Friday, January 9, 2015

Little House in the Big Woods: Chapter 11 & 12

I decided to simply read the chapters 11 and 12 aloud to the children and study the pictures. We finalized all our projects and completed our triple-level lap-books! I created a 'final exam' on the book and ended the quarter. We have learned so much and I think it will stay in their mind and hearts for a long time to come!







 
I closed my lesson plan book/binder on 'The Little House in the Woods' and look forward to studying, "The Little House on the Prairie!"



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

God, Me and My A,B,C's Flash Cards!


God, Me, and My A,B,C's Flash Cards
work with the God, Me, and My A,B,C's student workbook.
It is not only perfect for reviewing the alphabet each day,
 but also for reviewing the children's Bible memory verses too!
 
Each card shows the upper and lower case letter,
a picture to help your student hear the sound of the letter,
(The picture also matches the Bible craft from the student book),
and lastly, the Bible memory verse for that letter.
Here are a sample of a few letters of the flash card set:
 For example:
"Memory Verse: "We all, like sheep, have gone astray." (Isaiah 53:6)












If you are interested in ordering a flash card set for $10,
please contact me at joy.in.jesus@cox.net
 
You may be interested in ordering the 'God, Me and My A,B,C, set'
featured below:
 
which includes the teacher edition, student workbook and flash card set for only $37.
 A savings of $5 in purchasing the set.
 

God, Me and My A,B,C's

God, Me and My A,B,C's
Introducing:
God, Me and My A,B,C's!
written and illustrated by me!


It is a wonderful Pre-School Bible Curriculum
that teaches children:
-their alphabet
-Bible Stories throughout the Old and New Testament
-Bible Memory Verses and
-Bible Crafts

*Sample shown below*
Below is the student page for the letter Aa.
The children will hear the story of  how Adam and Eve
disobeyed God.
The title of the page is "Adam ate an apple."
Then they will color in their letter of the week: Aa.



In the back of the book the teacher will find the craft pieces.
(All of the craft pieces, for each letter, are included in the back of the book!)


Here is what the completed letter Aa page will look like!


I have also written a Teacher's  Guide to go along with the student book.
It will guide the teacher in how to use the student workbook, help plan her lessons, add ideas to the lesson, and create a wonderful experience using this book.


If you are interested in a copy of:
God, Me and My A,B,C's!-$12
and the Teacher's Guide-$20
or to hear about pricing
please contact me at:
joy.in.jesus@cox.net.

Monday, December 29, 2014

He is in the Boat

I am not a sailor and I can count on one hand how many times I've ever been on a boat, but in reading the Scriptures I have found that, as I am sailing through this life, Jesus is in my boat.

There is a story in the Bible about how the disciples took a trip across the lake with Jesus, when a storm suddenly began. "A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger." (Luke 8:24) The disciples were literally with Jesus on that boat. Jesus was with them, but had fallen asleep. "As they sailed, he fell asleep." (Luke 8: 22) The disciples did the only thing they could think of-to go to Jesus in fear and wake Him up! "Master, master, we're going to drown!" (Luke 8:24) Jesus awoke, and rebuked the winds and the water and everything became calm.

Many times I have had seasons of life in which I was simply sailing through calm waters. Everything was smooth and easy and I could see where I was going. There were no worries. I felt safe. And of course, on the flip side of that, I have had many seasons of life that came in like a brewing storm and took over my life. All of a sudden I was in the middle of what felt like a tsunami. Winds blowing, boat rocking, confusion, fear gripping my heart and I no longer could see Jesus. I would try to manage life, but in utter desperation I would yell out, "GOD HELP ME!"

Presently I am not in a storm. I am not afraid or worried. I have what may even be calm waters, but just the other day in prayer the Lord gave me a vision of myself on a boat, with the storms of life, whipping around me. In the vision I was worrying, and afraid. I, too, saw Jesus sleeping. I saw myself about to lunge towards him to frantically wake Him up from His slumber, when I stopped and thought, Jesus isn't sleeping. It feels like He's sleeping, but He is God and God never sleeps. The storm is real. The storm is scary. I feel alone and afraid, but the truth is God, Jesus, is IN my boat.

The vision was so powerful, but I had to ask God, "What storm am I in?" Without a word I saw all the things I am worried about flash up in my mind. I'm worried about my husband and his job. I'm worried about our finances. I'm worried about my children and the great, enormous responsibility I have been given to raise them to love God and follow Him. The fear of failing as their homeschooling teacher. The fear and frustration that my children's books will never get published. I worry and worry and worry. And yes, with all of these worries, I feel alone, in the dark, on a boat, out in the great, deep waters. I didn't realize how alone I felt. I didn't realize that I even thought Jesus was 'asleep.' But I have felt it. Many times crying out to God for a raise, or wisdom with the children and I just felt alone. The good news is, rather, the great news is, I may feel alone, BUT the truth is I am not. The Scriptures reads, "they were in great danger." The disciples felt they were in 'great danger' but Jesus, Himself, was in the boat-what possible danger could they really be in? None. Well, Jesus is with me too. In Matthew 1:22-23 it says, "All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). God is with me, He is in my boat. He has everything under control. He can see my future and He knows where I am going and the perfect timing of it all. I need to be at peace as I sail through life. I need to lay down right next to Jesus in that boat and rest in Him. I need to trust that He really does know what is best for me, my husband and my children. I need to surrender all these worries.

I'll tell you honestly that one of my favorite Scriptures is found in Matthew chapter six where it talks about, do not worry! I'll never forget it-it was about twenty-two years ago when I read it for the first time. The Bible actually says, "Do not worry." That is all I did back then-worry (and apparently, I still do!)  Jesus is bigger than the storm. He controls the storm! He is our God. He is our brother, our Father, our Holy Spirit in one. He cares for us and our life and keeping us safe, more than we do. He sees the enemy before we do and He's out there fighting for us and yet in all that He sees, He can rest. We need, I need, to rest beside Jesus and trust Him.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you- you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ' What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:25-34)

Lord Jesus, I surrender all my worries to you. I trust that you are with me. I trust that you will guide me. I believe through faith that you will protect my heart and lead me into the plan you have for me. Help me to be patient. Help me not take control when things seem to be going slow or when I feel like you are sleeping in the boat. Send your Holy Spirit to remind me of the truth of your Word. I love you and give you my life. Yours forever...
 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Protect My Heart

"Protect my heart, Lord," is prayer I never prayed, until recently. 

In the past, when I have been really hurt or wounded,  I have noticed a pattern of response: first, I would cry, second, I'd forgive, and then I would protect my own heart. I was told long ago that you can freely love everyone, but trust has to be earned. And that was my ticket- I'd forgive, but felt that I no longer had to trust the person who hurt me. They were put on my,'"Do Not Trust,' list. Whenever I had dealings with one of these people, I would be friendly and casual, but never deep, or transparent. I kept them at a certain distant from my heart at all times- never allowing them in, unless the trust was rebuilt, and rarely was trust rebuilt.

Recently, I've been hurt. Not just any little hurt, a real punch to the gut, kind of hurt. I cried for a good long time, then dried my eyes and said, 'Well, I'll never trust that person again.' I tried to go on with life as usual, but there has been no 'usual' since. Each day I would think about what happened. Each day I would profess forgiveness for each thing that wounded my heart. Each day I would ask God, "How can I ever trust 'so-in-so' again?" There was no answer.

Well, the other day I heard myself in prayer, talking to God. "Lord, I forgive this person, but I know they don't even like me, so what do I do?" I heard it...'they don't even like me.'  What did those words really mean? They mean, I believe this person is going to hurt me again. If someone doesn't like me or finds me annoying, (which is what I fully believed) then how can I be myself, talk casually and not be hurt again? I can't. I will be hurt again, and that's the issue- afraid of being hurt, again. I didn't know how to protect my heart from the inevitable. I cried out, "Lord, protect my heart!"

All these years I've been trying to protect my own heart from being hurt by the same person who hurt me once, but I never could. The only real way to protect my heart or strategy was to distance myself from them, loose the friendship, or simply-avoidance. In protecting my heart I had to constantly remind myself what the offender did to me. I thought I was completely in the right to remember the hurt. To not trust. To keep certain people at an arms length. I was wrong. The Bible, in 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that we are to keep no record of wrongs. No record. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." (1 Corinthians 13:4-5) Love is having no record of hurt against a person. With no record of wrongs, with no list of hurt or offenses, I have no reason to distance myself from someone. No reason to guard my heart. I must forgive, tear up the list of hurt, love again, trust again, and allow Jesus to protect my heart.

In having Jesus protect my heart  I am under no illusion that it should mean that I will never be hurt again. I know I will be hurt again, but the difference is I can live freely now. I can love freely. No more records. No more having to be alert and on guard every time I go out. I can be myself and allow the Lord to watch over me. And I truly believe that the Lord is able to do a much better job than I ever could. I have so many testimonials of how God has protected my very life from physical pain and death, and yet I never thought to allow God to protect my sensitive heart. Who knows, maybe this will be the beginning of not being so sensitive. Maybe as the Lord removes the fear of being hurt, I will not hear the whispers behind my back, or notice the mean glances. In not having to be so focused on protecting my heart, but rather loving others, maybe there just won't be so much hurt.

This is new for me. Sadly, it has taken me so long to figure it out, but I am here, trusting God with my heart. I am excited about all that will happen- deeper friendships, new friends, and the restoration of old friends. We have this one chance to live as Jesus- to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. (Luke 10:27) It is my goal to love everyone, freely, with all my heart, and without fear.