Monday, September 19, 2011

Life right now is just amazing....

I am in an amazing season of life right now.  I guess you could call it "growing pains"!

Recently, we have been praying, crying out to God, to show us what to do.  In every area of our lives as a family and individually. 

We had been going through such a dry time.  We had to leave the church we were attending.  We seemed to have almost no friends.  My one good homeschooling friend had to get a full time job so I never see her anymore.  Bob's work was very steady from March through mid-July and then nothing. 

So we were totally and completely relying on God.  And praying... and hoping.   But, you know, God is faithful.  He will never leave us or forsake us.  It was just fine to be taken out of the busyness and hurry to stop and focus on His still, small voice.  Sometimes, we can't hear it in all the frenzy.  We rush on about our own ways and don't heed His voice, His directions, His ways.  So we waited.  And waited......

Just when we were about at our end, (of money), God sent work our way.  He prompted us to hold a yard sale.  Then another call for a design job came in.  Bob has connected with a pool company and it may do very well for us. (Keep praying about that one, will you?)   Julia was paid for her jewelry that she sold to a store (finally).  Their ebooks sold well when hosted by the Homeschool Freebie of the Day.  Julia was asked to do some graphic design and was paid well for it.   Some Mennonite friends of ours run the Deli in town.  I asked if they would sell some aprons, hotpads and slippers that I made.  They were happy to do it and I sold almost all the slippers and hotpads in 2 days. (I had been trying to sell them at shows for about a year!)

We also had been praying about being vendors for homeschool conventions this year.  The door to FL was closed even though that was our first choice.  So we have knocked on the door of NC.  Then God sent a lady to our yard sale to tell us of a new convention in SC called "Teach Them Diligently".  So this morning I am filling out the application for that convention.  Knocking on that door to see if it is where we are to be in March 2012. 

We are friends with a sweet Mennonite family here in town and God is bringing me some sweet ladies online as new friends!

There are other things God is showing us.  It feels like....

Isa 54:2-4 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;

 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame:.....

That may be taken out of context but that is what it feels like here.  God is pressing us forward, requiring that we walk in faith and not in fear!  He is showing us things we need to learn and do. 

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of this last night.  As a family, we read 1 Peter 1.   I was so encouraged by this....
1Peter 1:3-9 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Our faith is being tried right now and we are believing that it will come out more refined.  God is keeping us by His power.  But during this trial, we can have joy unspeakable and full of glory!  We should be rejoicing!!  Wow!  I don't rejoice most of the time.  But I can and I should.  What a different perspective this is.  Lord, help me to see and have faith through this season.  Help me to hear your still, small voice and follow your leading, not doing what I think is best. 

So, if you feel led, please pray for us, will you?  I believe that God is faithful to hear and answer our prayers. 

If you are going through a dry time, a trial, take heart!  You are not alone and God is for you.  Have faith and believe His Word.  Listen for His voice for He wants to show you the way.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2 Freebies!!

Wednesday was the big day but don't worry!  You didn't miss out!

I am talking about the 2 freebies being hosted by the Homeschool Freebie of the Day

Yes, Warfare by Duct Tape is giving away The Throwing Axe Booklet and The Shield and Buckler Booklet!!  Just hop on over there and get your FREEBIES!!  (Scroll down to the bottom of the page.)

We are also giving a 20% discount on all titles of the ebooks for Jewels by Julia AND Warfare by Duct Tape!  Good only until 9/17/11.  So don't delay!!   Use coupon code HSFREE22  .

One of our customers, Stephanie, said, "Thank you Mark and Steven for sharing your creativity (and mom Gloria for the ebook)! We downloaded the FREE Shield and Buckler ebook and my boys, 8 and 4, and 35 year old husband have had so much fun. This really helped spark their imagination, enhance their love of learning and most importantly created memories.
I just purchased The Battle Book and looking forward to what it brings our family!   I'll be back for more!!"

So, go make some memories,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bless the LORD

Psalm 103
 A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;

 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

 Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.

Bless the LORD,

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

This Little Beauty is FREE!

Today, right NOW, this instructional ebook is FREE!  The Homeschool Freebie of the Day is hosting Julia's ebook as a freebie for just TODAY

So hop on over there for the link to her site, or a-hem...,( just click on the side bar), and click on the Freebie star.  Be sure to save it to your computer because it will only be there through Saturday. 

SALE!  Julia is offering 20% off all her ebooks until 9/10/11.  Use the coupon code HSFREE11 to get the discount!

This necklace ebook is an excerpt from her How To Create Noticeably, Noteworthy Necklaces ebook.

You will find it on her website, Jewels by Julia Shop, and can purchase it and download it as a PDF. 
Thank you Mr. Erskine for hosting our ebooks! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In the Desert

I am in the desert and it is not easy.

It's not what I'm used to.

I don't like it.


Desert Amazing Wallpaper 300x168 Desert Amazing Wallpaper

In the article, "No Fellowship, No Problem!" Chip Brogden encouraged me with these words,

The purpose of solitude in the spiritual desert is to get you to see that Jesus is Enough. You’re not going to die from lack of fellowship, but if you don’t learn that Jesus is Enough then spiritually speaking you’re dead already. He’s the One you need to be focused on – not starting a fellowship, not finding a home group, not making something happen with other people.

So, we've tried and tried to be part of a fellowship of believers and it has not worked out since we moved here.  Chip goes on to say,

There are times and seasons where He calls you to be alone and apart with Him. I’m not saying it will always be like that, but what if it is? What if He calls you to walk alone with Him for the rest of your life? Is Jesus enough for you?  I asked that question of a group of Christians once: is Jesus enough for you? Because most Christians do not believe this. They want Jesus, but they also want fellowship with others. Really, do you know what Christians want? Not fellowship with others. That sounds so spiritual. Really what they want is acceptance from other Christians. You go deep down and that’s what they want. They want to feel accepted by other Christians. Well, all I can tell you is that you’re setting yourself up for a huge disappointment. Eventually there will come a time when you will have to decide between the truth that God has revealed to you and the acceptance of other Christians. Now it hurts when you are not accepted by other Christians.

Yeah, I guess I want to be accepted by other Christians....and yeah, the disappointment is there, too.

But the bottom line is your spiritual life and walk with God does not depend upon the acceptance of other Christians. You might think it does, and it sure makes things easier, but it is not a condition of following Christ – making sure other Christians understand and accept you. The deeper you go into God the more unacceptable you will be to other Christians. ....Jesus is Lord and if you are His disciple then He accepts you whether the rest of the Christian population accepts you or not.

I AM accepted by my Father in Heaven.  He sees me and hears my heart cry!  He knows me for I am His!
He loves me just the way I am! 

“Oh brother Chip, I’m so lonely, I’ve been going to church every Sunday for twenty years and now we just sit home on Sunday and we feel so empty inside!” Well praise God, if that’s where God has you right now then thank God for it. Stop looking for other people to fill a void that only Christ can fill. You’ve been covering up that void with a lot of religious junk and He’s stripping all that away. He’s trying to build something in you, so let Him do it according to the times and seasons that He has appointed. Don’t rush through that process. Get comfortable with just you and God. My goodness, you don’t even know what it’s like to walk with God and just be hidden in Him because your whole life you’ve been following Him in a crowd, worshipping Him in a crowd, praying to Him in a crowd, learning about Him in a crowd.

It's time to get to know my Father, one on one without all the baggage.  Time to be quiet and restful and let Him fill the void and bring real peace. 

The Bible does not say “hold fast to the Body” or “hold fast to the members of the Body”, it says “hold fast to the Head.” The Bible does not say, “Seek ye first the fellowship of others”, but “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things – including fellowship – will be added to you.” You learn to do that and the rest will take care of itself, in the time and manner that God sees fit.

I choose to trust Him in this area of my life.  ...To walk in faith that His timing is right and true.  ...That I don't need to force the fellowship but wait on Him to provide the best thing.  I am beginning to be excited about what God is going to teach me and reveal to me through His Word and prayer. 

So, I'm in the desert.  It's lonely.  It's quiet.  And that's OK.

Where are you, today?

To read the entire article mentioned above, click here.