Thursday, March 31, 2011

Long time...No time!

Yikes! My life feels like it's flying by! I feel like lately I haven't had much time to really sit down and write. And even if I did I don't know what I would say. My thoughts are jumbled as normal, but with the end of this pregnancy it seems like they are more jumbled.

The Diva is giving me a run for my sanity. She is on full blown cranky right now. She constantly wants to be held and I just can't hold her all the time. She is however extremely funny and has loved playing "this little piggy" over and over and over again! What a joy!

The Destroyer has been her normal self. We are working on potty training with her, but she has really gotten no where! We go back to the Dr. in 4 months if she hasn't made any progress to see what may be the problem. I have been trying so many different ways with her but nothing seems to fit. I am thinking I should change her name to The Superhero since she her expressions and the way she talks is very superheroish! What a joy!

The Emotionalist has been very up and down lately. She is struggling with her older sister growing up and she just isn't ready for it. It's caused some major melt downs on her end. She has gotten bangs which I see has very grown up, and I also am not a fan of them. But she loves we will keep them for now! She has Kindergarten round-up tomorrow! :( What a joy!

The Inquisitor is bossier than normal! But she has been amazing me lately. Her birthday is in October and she is already planning. She wants her birthday to be all about Jesus. So far she plans to read two sections of John 1 which she has been enjoying lately. She also mentioned acting out some stories of Jesus and having an Angel food cake. First she didn't want a cake, because they are not healthy. But we agreed on Angel food since it goes with her theme and is healthier. What a joy!

What a joy! I have been saying that a lot to myself lately. I want to find the joy in life! Jesus is my main source of joy...then my family! How could I not find joy in them? And yet some days I find it I make a point to say it everyday!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Review: How to be God's Little Princess

Book Review
How to be God's Little Princess
Royal tips for Manners,
Etiquette, and True Beauty
Sheila Walsh

It's not very often that I get a book, read it and post my review all in the same day. This book is the exception to that. First I thought it was just a great book and easy read for me and two I have a 6 year old daughter who is wanting to have this book. She has been asking me about every five minutes if I am done with the book yet!

Thomas Nelson Publishing has great books on their website Book Sneeze. This is the most recent book that they sent me for free for my review. I love books!

This book is the cutest book for girls. It's full of fun tips, crafts, quizzes and puzzles for God's little princesses. It has everything from How to Wear a Tiara (hairstyles) to How a Princess Perfects Her Poise (Manners). I loved the tips they give the girls on not wearing too much hair jewelry and how much shampoo they should use when washing their hair. It's cute and so practical. My girls are currently planning my royal birthday party. They are writing out who they are going to invite and what type of invitations are going to be made. They even have a list of games they are going to play. All of this from looking at a few pages in this book.

One of my favorite chapters was the How to be Media Wise. With kids learning at younger ages now how to use the computer and internet I think it was a great chapter to have in the book. Also a favorite was How a Princess Knows She Needs an Inner Beauty Makeover. Love it! Love it! Love it!

Thanks Sheila for a great book for my girls!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Book Review: Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor

Book review
Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor
Chuck Black

Sorry there is no picture of the cover this time. This time I am reviewing a book for WaterBrook Multnomah and I am still getting use to the site and how to use it. It's actually a great cover and I would suggest you check it out!

This book is number 5 in The Knights of Arrethtrae series. I wish I wouldn't have requested this book until I had a chance to read the previous books. I felt a bit lost at times, but over all I really enjoyed the book.

If you have a son, or even a daughter who is a preteen or early teenager I think they would really love this series of books and you would love them reading it. It's full of great life lessons and wonderful spiritual allegory.

My favorite part of this book was how it was written and laid out. I loved how the use of Biblical things were used, but used differently. There are Christians, Angels and demons, but they aren't called that. Instead they are Knights, Silent Warriors and Shadow Warriors. I normally enjoy giving my kids books to read that are a bit more straight forward with Christian reference, but for kids who don't have a great Christian background and are a little more reluctant this is a great series.

In the book Quinlan has to make a choice. Does he fight for the Prince and bring the Knights of Valor back together? Or does he just continue with his life and not worry about helping others? The author makes you think about deep questions of faith while enjoying a book. What does apathy do to our spiritual lives? Will it make us grow further away from God? If I allow apathy to grow in my life will I be more vulnerable to the evils of this world?

Great book and I would suggest buying the series especially if you have a boy who enjoys fantasy novels. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'm Not Going to be Your Favorite Person.

The title of my post today is something that I have come to realize myself. Having been a people pleasure most of my life I wanted to be everyones favorite person. I wanted to be liked by everyone. And if someone had something bad to say about got me so upset and sad. But I know that I am not going to be your favorite person. And today I am posting on something that has been bothering me for a couple of days and it's on a very touchy subject. Well I guess more of a branch off of a very touchy subject.

The other day I was reading the Des Moines Register and getting very frustrated by the headline story. I a world where there is so much going on. People fighting for their freedom, children dying...our headline was about a married lesbian couple in Iowa not being able to have both their names on a birth certificate. Hmmm...anyone see what this was frustrating or is it just me?

Here is what I think...and you are welcome to disagree with me. Only one of them can be the biological parent. Only one of them can really be considered the birth parent. The other has no way for being the birth parent and therefore I believe they should have to adopt the child. It takes one woman and one man to make a child. Those are the birth parents. Those are the ONLY people who should be allowed on the birth certificate.

Here is an example that has nothing to do with gays. If a woman is pregnant and meets a man (who is NOT the father) and they get married 6 months before the baby is born I do not believe that he should be listed as the birth father. He is NOT the birth father. If he wants to have the ability to make decisions for the child when that child is sick in the hospital then the mother can give the permission OR he can adopt the child.

To me marriage is based around the idea of a family. The only way that people can naturally have a family is by a man and a woman. Marriage to me was a religious thing before it became a government thing. Based on religion marriage should be between a man and a woman.

To end because I don't want to keep going and going and going...because I don't think it will do any good....
These women should not be allowed to have both of them on the birth certificate. The 2nd one should have to adopt the child.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Book Review: Sequin Bible - Pink

Book Review

Sequin Bible - Pink

Just look at this Bible! What little girl wouldn't want to have this...I know I have 4 in my house who are already after it! Thomas Nelson sent me this Bible free for my review. You can check our their book review program here.

The translation of this Bible is International Children's Bible. It's not like you would think a children's Bible is, but it's a complete translation of the Bible that is easy to read and focused on young children who are moderate readers. I would say any kid in the 3rd grade would have an easy time reading and understanding this Bible.

I sat down and read the book of John. Which is a book of the Bible we LOVE in this house. I found it wonderful and easy to understand. This is one Bible I would hand right over to my oldest and not worry about if she understands all the words or not.

One thing I found that I didn't like is it doesn't have any of the extras that most kids Bibles have. No extra information about people or the Bible or places in the Bible. No introductions to the books of the Bible, which I have found my girls really enjoy. They do however have in the back of the Bible a dictionary, Where do I Find it?, What God Promises About...,Memory Verses for my Life and a few maps. I like there little sections but I also felt they were lacking a little bit.

Over all it's a beautiful Bible that is easy to understand and I am sure any girl would love to have!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Let me Clear This up...

So yesterday I wrote about why I don't like the Unitarian church. A blog reader commented that Rob Bell is not teaching Unitarian doctrine, but he is teaching Universal Reconciliation. I am sure she won't mind me sharing what she said about it since she did post it publicly.

Basically, they believe that God is real, the Bible is true, and Jesus died for us. They believe that Jesus died for everyone, and therefore everyone will ultimately be reconciled to God. They emphasize God's great love and grace (true and important!) but don't think you actually have to believe in Christ. The Universalist (in this sense) does believe in Christ, but he also believes that non-Christians are saved too - they just don't know it, so they aren't "enjoying" God's love.

I want to be clear that anything I say after quoting my reader is not against my reader. She was being kind a pointing something out to me and I appreciate that. That is why I have comments enabled for my blog. This is what I got from her explanation of UR:

It doesn't matter if I believe in Jesus or God. It doesn't matter if I believe the Bible is true. It doesn't matter how I live my life because in the end...we are all saved anyway. Yesterday in my post I stated that only God and the individual know if they are going to Heaven. After talking to my husband this morning I changed my mind. Only GOD knows who will be in Heaven. I think Jesus made it clear that there will be plenty of people who are surprised that they aren't in Heaven.

Here is my actual problem I guess. My problem is giving people a false sense of salvation. I believe that God is able to do anything He wants to. He may in the end choose to save everyone. I am not going to say He can't do that because who am I to say He can't do something? But why would Jesus call us to repent if there is really no need to repent? Giving people a false sense of salvation and giving ideas, like it doesn't matter what religion you are or everyone in the end will be save or if you were once saved you will always be saved, is dangerous for us and for them!

My husband and I have talked about this subject a great deal. Our view is I would rather be safe than sorry. I think I mentioned that yesterday. I want to be sure that I love the Lord madly and I am not just wishy washy with Him. I want to challenge you in your relationship with the Lord so that you love Him madly. In the end I don't want to be standing at the gates of Heaven all by myself and the Lord is holding me accountable. He asks me why I didn't share His love. Why I didn't reach out to more people to tell them about Him. Why am I standing at the gates with no friends unsure if I am going to be let in? I don't want my answer to be "Well Lord I thought you were just going to save everyone. So I didn't see the need."

This may not have cleared anything up for anyone on what I think. If that is so feel free to comment. Ask me questions. Get me thinking a little bit more.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Who is Rob Bell?

I actually really don't know who he is. I just know lately I have been reading about him A LOT! I guess he has written this great book that isn't even out yet called "Love Wins". Lots of people seem to have a problem with this because they say it teaches Universalist doctrine. Some people who read my blog my not know what that is and don't worry I didn't really either until I started dating my husband. He had attended a Universalist church for a couple of years, not because he agreed with them but because they lacked something and he felt that was a true understanding of who God is and a real relationship with Jesus.

This is why I find Universalism a bit scary...This comes off of their website:

Unitarian Universalism is a caring, open-minded religion that encourages seekers to follow their own spiritual paths. Our faith draws on many religious sources, welcoming people with different beliefs. We are united by shared values, not by creed or dogma.

Our congregations are places where we gather to nurture our spirits and put our faith into action by working toward social justice in our communities and the wider world. There is no formal conversion process, so becoming a Unitarian Universalist (UU) is simply a matter of self-identification. Newcomers are always welcome at UU churches. Membership in local congregations is voluntary and does not require renouncing other religious affiliations or practices.

So what I find a bit worrisome here is that nothing is wrong and nothing is right. It's a breading ground for lukewarmness actually. I also feel like it's a great place if you don't want to be challenged in your faith and grow. Does anyone else see this? Does anyone else see the danger in believing that all roads lead to the same place? Honestly it's the same reason I stay away from the once saved always saved doctrine. Is that really how I want to live believing that I don't really have to do anything once I have been saved and if I do happen to stray away from God it's ok I am still saved!? My husband and I have always believed that it's better to be safe than sorry. I would rather go on believing that if you aren't living a life that is glorifying to God then you probably aren't saved even if at one time you were. I am going to continue to challange you and try to bring you closer to God.

So when I read a blog that Greg Boyd wrote I was a bit frustrated with something he said:

...questions surrounding the nature and duration of hell and the possibility that all will eventually be saved are not questions Christians should be afraid of. What does truth have to fear? (I sometimes wonder if the animosity some express toward Universalists [or toward those some assume are Universalists] is motivated by the fear that the case for Universalism might turn out to be more compelling than they can handle.

Yes one of my fears is that MANY people are finding Universalism compelling. I would actually say that too many people are finding it compelling. Let me ask you this if we have nothing to worry about and if we are all going to be saved anyway why did Jesus stress that we should go out and preach the gospel?

Mark 16:15-16 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."

So why does Jesus speak of those who are condemned? If we are all going to be saved in the end why would he even speak of that. Now I do want to point something out. I don't think I know who is saved and who is not. Please don't get me wrong. I can't know what is in someones heart just like someone cannot know what is in my heart. The only people who really know who is saved are the people themselves and God. Remember God is our final judge. I have often been heard saying that there are going to be lots of us surprised in Heaven.

So you may ask...why am I being so harsh on the Universalist if I claim not to know. Who is really saved? Well because of is empty. It doesn't teach of Christ redeeming power and it doesn't speak out against evil. I believe that this way of believing is a powerful tool of Satan. Actually which makes me think of something...if everyone is safe does that mean that Satan would also be safe? Anyway...

I think we need to be mindful and careful of leading people astray. Doesn't the Bible also talk about that? Also if we go about not caring because it doesn't really matter in the end because we will all be saved in the end...why does God talk about spitting the lukewarm out of his mouth? Really I am not claiming to know everything here...but I hope that I have gotten you to think a little bit.

Now have you reminded yourself today about what the Bible says about God? What do we really know about God?

God is Holy

God is eternal

God is all-knowing

God is all-powerful

God is fair and just

Just think about it all...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Day of the Sick...

Well our high school girls basketball team has made it to the 2nd round of state (GO Midgets!) there is no school today. So all the girls and my husband have declared this a GREAT day for being sick. I am a little under the weather as well, but any of you moms out there knows what that means. Not much rest for mom at all...even though all I want to do is sleep!

My husband helped me out with 3 of the girls while I franticly rushed around the house getting the Destroyer ready...I had forgotten about her check up this morning. We made it just in time. Then when I got home I finished making my homemade soup and had a little making the noodles.

Right now we are getting ready for rest time and my house is a MESS! Really that is the understatement of the year. Do you think I am going to work on my house right now? NOPE! I am going to snuggle up in my bed and take rest time right along with my lovely children. Hope you all have a great rest time as well! :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hard Times...

I look at my life and think of the hard times I have had. But lately my hard times seem like nothing compared to what others have had to deal with. I just currently had a friend who lost a baby and my heart just broke for her. She was expecting her first child and was so excited about the baby they were going to bring into their family. She was due a month before me and once a week when she came to see us (She teachers the youngest two) we would talk about how we were feeling and what new things we noticed. I was so excited for her because I remember what it was like to be pregnant with my first.

When I got the call from her boss that she wasn't coming and she had told me that she had her baby and the baby didn't make it I cried. I held it together until I hung up the phone and then I lost it. What pain I felt for her. I started to feel guilty. Why am I so blessed to have never have lost a child? Why have I never dealt with infertility? I have no answers for those questions and as many times as I tell myself that I shouldn't feel guilty in a small way I still do. So when Monday came and she was coming back to teach I struggled with what to say to her.

I guess I didn't have to struggle so much with it. All I needed to do was be a listening ear for her. I just needed to be that compassionate heart that was going to be there for her. I still struggle with what to do about it and what to say. I really feel that God is helping me with that. I also feel like He is helping me with my feelings of guilt. He is a great who helps us through so many different feelings.