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Archive for the ‘Bible Reading’ Category

In January I read a book called, “Managers of Their Homes” by Steve and Terri Maxwell. It was a great book. I hope to someday share what I have learned. For the past few weeks since I finished the book I have been trying to put together a schedule that would work for our family. With 4 different ages/stages, a husband who comes home for lunch, and the needs of the house I just couldn’t get a schedule together that would work. It seemed like there were always one or two pieces of the puzzle that didn’t fit. But I kept trying and praying. My husband would often look at me and laugh when I was surrounded by a pile of lists (BTW – I love making lists!)!

I was trying so hard to put together a schedule so I could take the idea to him and get his counsel on what he would like me to change. He has so much stress in his life with work and things that I try to do as much on my own and not bother him. But I reached a point of complete frustration and Saturday I just poured out my heart and my frustration to him.

As I poured my heart out to him he graciously listened. Then it amazed me – in 10 minutes –  just 10 minutes he put together a schedule that I am so excited about (and I’m running by today!). It’s been PERFECT! I don’t know how he did it. I read the book, I had spent HOURS thinking, writing, planning and still couldn’t get it, and he in 10 minutes had it all figured out. If I would have just asked him weeks ago. . .

As I thought about this throughout the night last night (the baby was all stuffed up and was up twice in the night), I began thinking about how so often that is how I am with the Lord. I try so hard to do things on my own and when I can’t figure things out then I go crawling to the Lord who immediately knows what to do. If I would just learn to run to Jesus first. To cling to Him daily.

This begins (I’ve discovered the hard way) by spending time each day worshiping at His feet. For each of us the timing will be different, but for me if I don’t get up before everyone else it’s most likely NOT going to happen and if it does I’m not able to concentrate very well. When I begin my day by pouring my heart out to Jesus it goes so much smoother. I can handle the difficult things that come. Not that life isn’t difficult, but I’m going through the difficult things sheltered by the everlasting arms of the Lord.

“The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:

and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.”
Deuteronomy 33:27

As I read through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) I see over and over again how Jesus spent time early in the morning with His Heavenly Father. Jesus – God the Son – living as a man on earth, gave us the example of the importance of spending time with the Father daily. Jesus’ days were busy. Filled with many people pulling on and needing Him. Jesus never had a moment to Himself (mothers – does this sound familiar???). Yet despite all of the needs of everyone (meeting them probably late into the night), He still got up early in the morning to spend time with His Heavenly Father – getting recharged spiritually.

So I once again have been taught to run to Savior (and my husband) right away instead of trying so hard to do things in my own strength!

Psalm 5

To the choirmaster: for the flutes. A Psalm of David.

Give ear to my words, O Lord;
consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you do I pray.
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.

For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
evil may not dwell with you.
The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
you hate all evildoers.
You destroy those who speak lies;
the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
will enter your house.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
in the fear of you.
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
because of my enemies;
make your way straight before me.

For there is no truth in their mouth;
their inmost self is destruction;
their throat is an open grave;
they flatter with their tongue.
Make them bear their guilt, O God;
let them fall by their own counsels;
because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,
for they have rebelled against you.

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover him with favor as with a shield.

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A couple of years ago the Lord prompted my heart to begin having what we call in our home, Morning Worship. When I first began this with Josiah (Annalynn had not yet been born), I did not realize the vast blessing that would come from this time together.

As I began sitting with Josiah each morning (he was just a year old) one of my main goals was to practice sitting each day, to help him sit through Church. I knew he was too young to understand what I was reading, but I also wanted him to begin to develop the habit of spending time with God every morning. I wanted him to develop a love and respect for God’s Word.

I have seen our Morning Worship time go from something that Josiah complained about having to do, to now something that he enjoys and will often ask to do. It has become a special time where Josiah and I talk about the things of the Lord and offer our worship to Him. Oh what a blessing when he shares spiritual insight!

There are days when I fail to start the day with Morning Worship. We’ll have breakfast, and I’ll start some laundry and then one thing leads to another and it’s 11:00 a.m. and life seems to have fallen apart. The kids attitudes are terrible. There is whining and fussing and I wonder – WHAT HAPPENED!!! It is then when it hits me like a load of bricks – we didn’t spend time with the Lord first thing.

When I start our family off with Morning Worship (before ANYTHING else is done in the house, even breakfast) it changes everything.

– Our day runs smoother

– The kids have good attitudes and they don’t fight as much

– My heart is right before the Lord (The other day I was feeling upset with my husband. I knew I needed to have MW with the children, and I just couldn’t bring myself to have MW with the kids until I had called my husband confessed my bad attitude and asked his forgiveness.)

– And there is just a sense of peace in the home

Here is what we do for our Morning Worship:

  • Prayer (We thank the Lord for the nights rest and ask Him to take our Worship as an offering of Praise to Him)
  • Lovingkindness journal (Writing down all the blessings and lovingkindnesses from the Lord)
  • Sing (My children LOVE to sing. I have been teaching Josiah many great hymns of the faith. We try to stick with songs of worship.)
  • Quote Scripture (Josiah has been memorizing Scripture since he could barley talk. Now Annalynn is doing the same. Though she can’t quite pronounce all the words correctly just giving her one word at a time. She gets really excited to quote Scriptures like her older bother.)
  • Catechism (I found a catechism that I mostly like. You must be careful. I have not found one that I agree doctrinally with 100%. I use one as a foundation and change the questions/answers as I need to)
  • Scripture Reading (I read through a book a time, going back and forth between Old and New Testament. I try to spend the majority of our Morning Worship reading the Bible. It is very easy to get caught up reading and doing everything else, but what is the MOST important part!)
  • Inspirational Reading (I choose a book that I like to read to the children. Sometimes it is about a missionary or other spiritually encouraging books.)

I hope this helps you get an idea of what we do for Morning Worship. There is no right or wrong way to have Morning Worship with your family. Over the next few days I will share with you specifics in these areas.

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Editors disclaimer:

Four years ago ~ after I was married ~ I was introduced to a website called, “Women at Home University”. It was developed to encourage wives and mothers. I thoroughly enjoyed the website and was saddened when it was shut down. The couple who ran the website were committed to serving the Lord. They lived by a high standard ~ a standard that challenged me daily. Since that time the family has chosen to take a different direction in life. Though saved, they do not have such high standards for their family anymore. This article and any others I post by this author in the future were written before the family left the conservative movement.

In this article it is stated that Charles H. Spurgeon had four sons. Upon research he actually only had two sons – Thomas and Charles.

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THE ULTIMATE MISSION:
“THE ONE NEEDFUL THING”

By Jocelyn Zichterman

As already mentioned on this website, I am a mother of six young children. As most of you can imagine, my life is very busy from day to day meeting the needs of each of my special gifts from God. As I sat today reading a wonderful article on mothering in one of my magazines, I was thoroughly impressed with one thought which inspired the title I chose for this section article: “One Needful Thing.”

Luke 10:41-42 refers to two ladies. One lady’s name was Martha. She was cumbered about with much serving, doing something that was very good as she prepared a meal for Jesus and His disciples. The other lady mentioned is Mary. She was told by Christ that she had chosen the “good part” which was “sitting at Jesus’ feet” and “hearing His Word.” Most of us can relate to Martha in our daily lives much more easily than we can to Mary. We are often so busy serving by educating and ministering to the children, washing the clothes, cleaning the house, etc. Those things are good, but they often cause us to neglect the “one needful thing” of spending time in fellowship with Christ.

This story illustrates the difference between choosing the good, the better, and the very best. There is no better way to serve your husband or your children than to spend time in prayer for them. I have been greatly influenced in my own life by many Godly Christians of the past and several of them were great examples of faithfulness in the “one needful thing.” One was Susannah Wesley (mother of 19 children, 9 of whom lived to maturity). It is said of Susannah that she arose every day 2 hours before the rest of the house to pray for the needs of every one in her family.

Another story tells of the wife of probably the greatest preacher of the nineteenth century, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. At one time during a great revival at which he spoke, he became convicted of not spending enough time with his family, so he decided to return home early. When he arrived at home that evening, he heard a voice coming from the bedroom upstairs. He ascended the stairs and walked to the room of his four sons where he found his dear wife on her knees with the boys all around her. She was praying for each one of them by name and casting them at the Lord’s feet. Charles quietly left the room and said in his heart, “Thank you Lord for such a dear wife. Now I know that I can go on with my ministry, for my home is being carefully tended to.” Charles’s four boys all later became godly preachers. It was not their mother’s clean house, gardening, cooking, or tender nursing that made the difference. It was that she dedicated herself to that which Jesus said was the “good part,” that which would never be taken from her. The most amazing thing about Susannah Spurgeon’s testimony was that she was an invalid for most of her life. God made up the difference for her in spite of her limitations; He can do the same for you and me as well.

Maybe you are like me and you struggle with the “Martha mentality.” You might ask, “How can I possibly be like Mary when I have so much to do?” Follow these practical suggestions:

(1) Set a schedule and stick to it. The old saying is true that “if you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time.” Setting a schedule helps you keep yourself accountable to “redeem,” or “make the best use of your time.” I often wonder how any mother could even function from day to day by doing whatever, whenever. Chances are that if you have that “whatever, whenever mind-set” about prayer you will never really get around to it. James 5:16 says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” and the devil is very aware that prayer can completely revolutionize our homes. You must make it a point to schedule prayer in no matter how many items you have on your to-do list.

(2) Set a higher goal for yourself than you have ever thought possible. Maybe you will want to do as one friend of mine does- tithe your time to God by giving Him the first fruits of your day. Ten percent of your time in a 24-hour period is 2 hours and 23 minutes. You could evaluate your day by asking the question, “What good thing can I skip today to spend more time in doing that which would be best?” Ask God how much time He wants you to spend with Him each day and obey the prompting of His Spirit. Let me remind you again that this decision is a choice between good, better, and best for you.

(3) Make a prayer journal and write out every single thing you desire for each one of your family members. Pray through those lists several times each day. Make your journal very special by adding pictures and cards and quotes. This format makes the time go by so quickly that you will often not even realize you have been on your knees for so long.

“How to Have a Holy Hour of Prayer”

(Each step takes 5 minutes)

1. Praise – Praise God for who and what he is.

2. Waiting – Simply wait upon God meditating on His person.

3. Confession – Removing the greatest roadblock to prayer

4. Word – Study of God’s Word

5. Intercession/supplication – Come boldly into God’s presence on behalf of others.

6. Thanksgiving – Thank God for all his marvelous blessings.

7. Petition – Ask God for personal needs.

8. Singing – Sing Scripture back to God.

9. Meditation – Activate your mind pondering spiritual truths.

10. Listening – Listen for the still small voice of God.

11. Psalms – Pray the Word back to God.

12. Praise – End your time with praise for your fellowship during your “holy hour of prayer.”

Are you ever tempted to complete your service to your family with the secret hope of being seen and appreciated by others? The wonderful thing about being a “hidden woman” of prayer is the joy of knowing that you are doing this “secret” task for one reason alone–the glory of God. This is the one thing you can do as a mother that is completely in secret, something only the Lord will see. Remember that “the greatest mothers in the world today are the mothers who pray.” So go buy a notebook, get creative and get busy. I know I have to remind myself on a regular basis to get back to the “one needful thing.” Let’s work together as mothers and turn the next generation “upside-down” for Christ through the ministry of prayer.

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