alarm clock

911 PRAY FOR JERUSALEM

Shared from the blog of Anne Graham Lotz

9 1 1: One Hour of Prayer

Aug 28, 2014

The end of all things is near.  Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.  1 Peter 4:7

Following dinner the night Jesus was betrayed, He took His disciples with Him to  Gethsemane and asked them to watch and pray.  When He checked on them, He found them sleeping. I can almost hear His voice choking with emotion as He said, Could you men not keep watch with Me for one hour?Because He knew the seriousness of the hour.  He knew His arrest, betrayal, trials, crucifixion, death and burial were imminent.  He knew His disciples needed to be pre-prayed.  Instead, they went back to sleep.  As a result they were totally unprepared for the events of the next three days.

When God commands us to pray, it’s for a reason. He knows what’s coming. And I know He has commanded me to pray.  Now.  For Jerusalem. While I’m not sure of the reason, I wonder if it’s because something very dramatic is going to happen in the Epicenter. Could it be the rapture of the church is imminent?  Could it be, when that moment comes and every born again believer is caught up to be with Jesus, along with the Holy Spirit who indwells them and presently restrains evil, that Israel will be more alone in the family of nations than she ever has been since her rebirth in 1948? Could it be that at that moment God will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication?  Is it at that moment that they will look on the One they have pierced, and recognize Him as their Messiah?

While I don’t know the answers to these questions, I am utterly convinced it’s time to pray for Jerusalem. For just one hour…

To pray for those living in His land, visit 911 Pray for Jerusalem for written prayers and scriptures to pray.

IMG_5773

Underwear Man: Cardinal’s Baseball

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Here was my Friday night, August 29, 2014:

Farm Boy called home from work to ask if I wanted him to bring home the company tickets for four he was offered to see the Cardinal’s game tonight against the Chicago Cubs.

Let’s see? Colson, A.J. and I are huge Cardinal’s fans. We get to see my Stillwater, Oklahoma, home town favorite, Matt Holliday.  And…wait for it…we had just finished reading the latest Cardinal’s Club update that Yadier Molina was back on the roster to start in tonight’s game. YES—yes! Bring home the tickets!

After we parked and made our way to the stadium I was reminded that there is no other city in which I would enjoy baseball more than St. Louis, Missouri, home of Cardinal Nation. I love the sea of red but just because we live in a sea of red does not mean I enjoy the humidity that goes with living by the sea. Could somebody push the delete button on the humidity please? I have to drive three house west of St. Louis to lose it.

The nightlife at Busch Stadium buzzes like never before with the new addition of Ballpark Village. People pouring in and out of every open door as fans were enjoying pre-game meals, drinks, dancing, and parties.

For my boys, part of the fun in going to the stadium is seeing which ticket dad hands them. Ticket stubs are treasure which are promptly hung on the bulletin board in their bedroom upon arriving home. Colson was ecstatic to be handed Yadi’s pic and A.J. thrilled to have Holliday’s. To my boys, these are the two most prized tickets to hold in their ten and eleven year old hands.

Here are the reasons my boys love Yadi and Holliday:

  1. They are Christians.
  2. Matt was born and raised in my hometown of Stillwater, Oklahoma, and the boys are faithful fans.
  3. Yadier Molina is the best catcher in baseball.

Then—A.J. dropped his coveted Holliday ticket as we stepped on the escalator. Farm Boy made a return trip, by way of stairs, to the bottom of the escalator but either someone had picked up the ticket or the escalator had eaten it. We had a sad young man but smiles were to be had again as we found our seats just past third base overlooking Matt Holliday.

We enjoyed watching Holliday catch multiple popflys, get on base, and score an RBI.

The crowd went wild as Yadi stepped up to the plate for his first at bat since his seven week recovery following thumb surgery on his throwing hand. This was the third time the fans wildly cheered for him and it wouldn’t be the last standing ovation. The next came after he struck out. Yep! That’s how true fans roll. We stood and cheered for him again—cause we love him and want him to always be a Cardinal. Always! I hope Yadi will be a part of this franchise to the very end, following after the likes of Stan the Man Musial.

Here is the information the night will be remembered for: The drunk man. At least I assume the man was drunk—that’s the story we told our boys because who after all, would jump down from their seat and run clumsily across the field, zigzagging, in hopes of avoiding being caught by security, in their underwear. Yes, underwear.

As soon as I realized what was going on I looked over at my boys whose mouths were  wide open in astonishment, with quizzical brows, looking at me like, “What on earth is going on?”

“He’s drunk,” I said and I looked back at the field. All the time I was watching I was thinking and praying, “Please don’t take them (the underwear) off! There are children watching!” There was a lot of movement going on. Legs possibly ready to give way underneath him and hands theatrically flailing in the air. Please leave the underwear on, please!

As soon as Underwear Man began running  in the outfield, in front of Matt Holliday and running toward second base, a security man or Busch Stadium staff member gave chase. Then security came running from different directions to help catch Underwear Man. Loyal Cardinal’s fans did not need to fear as we watched the first man to give chase, dive and take Underwear Man down by the legs. The crowd went crazy as five or six red shirts helped keep Underwear Man down while a police officer handcuffed the uncaped non-super hero. The crowd continued to cheer for the good guys who saved the night.

Security surrounded Underwear Man so the crowd couldn’t see him, which I thought was wise, but then for some reason security dispersed and Underwear Man, soon to be jail-bird, was led off the field by the police officer with the help of two security officials.

I later asked Farm Boy if he noticed Underwear Man ran like perhaps he had a disability, to which he laughingly replied, “His disability was drunkenness.” Okay, he had an elected disability; color me blond! It provided a teachable moment with our boys. They saw first hand the stupidity of being drunk and realized the consequences the man will have to live with; an arrest record, fines, and pictures and video permanently placed on the world wide web.

I wondered what Holliday was thinking. Was this the weirdest night of baseball he had experienced? Had someone more bizarre than Underwear Man ever made it onto the field and, if so, had they entered in left field?

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I wondered what Mike Shannon’s commentary was as he announced live on KMOX 1120 radio the escapades of the crazy man on the field. The above picture is the ball the Mike Shannon sits on as he announces the games in the announcer’s booth.

Here is a link to pictures of the night including Underwear Man. I had Farm Boy look at the pics first and he told me the boxer briefs were flapping in the wind. In other words the pics aren’t fit for viewing so only look at the first picture of the handcuffed uncaped non-super hero. Skip the second picture. You have been warned!

This made me thankful we had a backside view and not a front view.

The game ended with the Cards being pummeled by the Cubbies, 7-2.

The fun of the evening came while watching and listening to a group of Cub’s fans from Chicago, who were in town for a wedding, cheer for their team through the multiple home runs blasted beyond the outfield walls. Multiple. Home. Runs. Ouch!

Perhaps history was made not because of Underwear Man streaking across the Cardinal’s field at Busch Stadium but due to Cardinal’s fans and Cub’s fans, each other’s arch nemesis, enjoying an evening of an old American classic, baseball, together.

Tex-Mex Crock Pot Pork Shoulder

huppiemama.com Pork Shoulder Roast
huppiemama.com Pork Shoulder Roast

Freshly Pressed from Huppie Mama:

“{We often do family potlucks at my house with my sister and my parents. Usually it’s a ‘bring whatever you want’ kinda thing, and we end up with something like baked ziti, chicken…”

via Pork Shoulder Roast recipe & Caribbean dinner ideas.

I found Huppie Mama on Pinterest when I was looking to prepare pork shoulder/pork butt with a new twist and she provided the twist—of lemon and orange. I tweaked the recipe a couple of times and came up with my own Tex-Mex version.

I buy the pork shoulder or pork butt at SAMS Club for under $2.00 per pound. I served four people five meals with this recipe.

This recipe can be cooked, divided into 5 portions, and frozen in freezer bags. I sprinkle more spices on the meat before reheating because it tends to lose some of it’s flavor.

Here are seven meals I have made using the recipe:

  1. Pulled Pork, Cilantro Lime Rice (I add chopped cilantro and 1 juiced lime the last five minutes of the 20 minute cooking time for rice and stir.), 2 cans rinsed black beans in beef broth with ½ teaspoon each cumin, onion powder & chili powder; chopped zucchini, yellow squash & purple onion sautéed in olive oil with cracked pepper and Greek seasoning or Adobo seasoning. (I like all the above ingredients piled on top of each other; my boys like the foods separate.) Watermelon.
  2. Pulled Pork BBQ sandwiches (Spread butter on hamburger buns or Texas Toast {The yummiest} and brown in a warm pan. Serve meat on the bread with BBQ sauce {Head Country sauce is my fav), baked French fries, salad, grapes.
  3. Pulled Pork Nachos: Shredded Cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese, drizzled cheese or queso sauce, pulled pork and drizzled Chipotle BBQ sauce. (I used a medium aggressive heat, smokey Chipotle salsa from Cantina Laredo, the salsa they serve warm.) I made a mix of half Chipotle salsa and half Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce. My guys were making happy noises the entire time they ate; except when the stopped eating to ask for more of the sauce. (Any BBQ sauce with smokey chipotle will work. If in the St. Charles county area, Sugarfire has delicious Chiptole BBQ sauce.) Serve with fruit; mixed melons.
  4. Large Yukon Gold baking potatoes with toppings of butter, sour cream, cheese and warmed pulled pork in its broth. Ladle the pork and broth over the stuffed potato. (My boys were not thrilled until they took the first bite; then they were in heaven!) Serve with salad or fruit.
  5. Pulled Pork Chalupas. Serve on warmed flour or corn tortillas with toppings of your choice: Cheese, lettuce or spinach, tomato, onion, lime wedges (for a squirt of juice), chopped cilantro and salsa. Serve with warmed tortilla chips and fresh salsa for dipping.
  6. Pulled Pork dipped in BBQ sauce, baked homemade sweet potato fries drizzled with olive oil—sprinkled with seasoning salt and Rosemary, veggie & fruit.
  7. Pulled Pork Quesadillas served on flour or corn tortillas with shredded cheese. Serve with sautéed or steamed veggies and fruit salad. I core and cut 1 red apple, 1 green apple, 1 cup green grapes, 1 cup red grapes, 1 can chunk pineapple, ½ cup whole pecans; spoon 1 small container of peach yogurt over ingredients and toss.

GiveMe Tex-Mex or Else
GiveMe Tex-Mex or Else

Pork Shoulder Roast Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion cut in chunks, plus 1 whole onion skinned with the slightest portion of ends cut off; just enough to remove the skin off the ends. You want the whole onion to stay together until finished cooking.)
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 2 fresh lemons juiced, choose the heaviest fruits—they have the most juice
  • 1 large orange juiced or several Clementines juiced
    • (the two juices combined should equal 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • One 5-7 pound, bone-in Boston butt (pork shoulder, pork butt – I used a 7.5 lb pork butt

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients, except the whole onion—NOT the whole onion, in a blender or food processor and puree.
  2. Pour half a cup of pureed mixture in bottom of crock pot.
  3. Place pork shoulder or pork butt in the crock pot and pour remaining mixture over the top and down the sides. Place whole onion is crock-pot. (I love onion flavor but putting one and a half pureed onions in the mixture messes with the texture of the finished recipe. The whole onion can be removed after cooking.)
  4. Cook on low for 9 hours. I checked mine at 7 hours. If it is still tough cut several slits across the top then turn it over and cut slits on the bottom.  It will finish cooking and be ready to shred at the end of 9 hours.

Yum!

 

 

protect children

Man sentenced to life in prison under Jessica’s Law

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Read: Man sentenced to life in prison under Jessica’s Law.

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It is sad when kind-hearted people remain hoodwinked by smooth talking grandiose actors but it can happen to anyone; I know from experience.

This is about a man who was found guilty of aggravated criminal sodomy of a three year old and received a life sentence without the possibility of parole for at least 25 years under Jessica’s Law on August 22, 2014.

The church must begin believing the children!

This letter was shared by someone the pastor traveled internationally with working in orphanages and preaching the gospel. This was circulated in the evangelistic association’s newsletter to their supporters and evangelists worldwide:

“In past years you have read of Evangelist Steve Butler in our newsletters. Steve joined our team of overseas evangelists several years back and served honorably and successfully winning many souls to Christ. Steve was not full time, he was part time. His full time service was as the Minister of the Christian Church in Independence, Kansas, where he preached and was loved by that congregation for over 6 years.

One year and a half ago Steve was suddenly arrested and jailed in Independence and he has remained in jail ever since. Many of us are grieved because we believe Steve is 100% innocent of the charge that has been made against him. We are asking all Christians to pray for Evangelist Steve Butler. He is your brother in Christ. He was baptized as a boy by __________ at the __________Church_________, where his father and mother were among the founding members of that church. Steve was also ordained to the ministry by the Elders of the church after graduating from Bible College.

Steve’s trial will take place at the courthouse in Independence, Kansas, the first week of August. Several of us who live in the area and surrounding towns plan to be present for the trial and will be in constant prayer that God will lead the Defense Attorney to accurately present Steve’s side of the story. Please pray for Steve, pray for his wife, pray for the Judge and for each member of the jury. Pray that Steve may be acquitted so he can continue his effective work as an overseas evangelist.

Thinking about the Apostle Paul.

During Steve’s incarceration I have often written to him and he has written many letters to me. Receiving a letter from Steve in jail is very similar to reading Paul’s Prison Epistles in the New Testament. I want to  share with you one of Steve’s letters:”

‘Dear Friends,

Thank you for the wonderful and encouraging letter I received from you. I so much appreciate the news of our evangelists’ work around the world. I am keeping these in my thoughts and prayers—and hope to join you in the work again soon.

How could I possibly express how thankful I am to both of you for watching out for, comforting, and encouraging my wife through these terribly difficult times? May an abundance of grace be credited to your account. (Philippians 4:16-18).

Jail has exposed me to men who have engaged in the worst of all behaviors. Many brag about their addictions to drugs and sex—the most lewd descriptions I have been forced to hear. It is sickening to hear it day after day. The word to best describe it is TORTURE!

The good news is that one-by-one, they have come to me and asked questions about the Bible. There are moments of shame and despair. I pray throughout the day for all of them—for the Lord to reach their hearts.

One man, convinced that “all men are equal,” (not believing that anyone was better than him) he reacted violently toward me when I said, “Yes, I believe there are some who are better than others.” I used examples like Noah and Job and Enoch and Elijah. He nearly hit me he was so angry, he said that I was Satanic. Then after telling him that I loved him, I left the room. Later that day, I handed him a Bible reference…”Consider others more important than yourselves…” (Philippians 3:2). It amazes me how so many do not esteem others beyond themselves. Needless to say, there is little to no respect for authority.

I have always had “heroes in the faith”. These men refuse to consider anyone as being better than themselves. While I understand that “all have sinned” and “all need the Savior”, there are many who are “walking ina manner worthy of their calling.” We are to “Give honor to whom honor is due.” These are foreign concepts; they demand respect, but often forget to give it.

The hardships are discouraging, and sometimes I lose hope—but my faith is strong. I cannot deny the Lord’s word, nor can I deny His faithfulness.

Thank you again for all you are doing to help us in this difficult situation. I believe the Lord will deliver me home and restore my joy.

I love you both beyond words, Steve Butler, Psalm 103′

OUR APPEAL IS THAT A LARGE ARMY OF PRAYER WARRIORS WILL SURROUND STEVE WITH YOUR PRAYERS TO GOD FOR STEVE’S ACQUITTAL.”

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard

Toxic Tuesday: Justice Served Super-Sized for Children’s Sake

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Dear readers,

This is real life and reality isn’t always pretty with bright sunny days, snuggly soft puppy dogs and beautifully spoken words. Sometimes life is unbearable and the content of today’s post qualifies for the later. I’m warning you in advance that some of the content is heavy and ugly.

Remember all the past posts where we prayed for justice in the lives of little children who had been sexually victimized by predators.

Good news: One down—more to go.

Prayer matters and the prayers and scriptures you prayed with me will make an eternal difference in the lives of precious little children who attend church every week with their families and who will never find the ill fortune of becoming the victim of one specific predator.

I’ll never tire of thanking God for this answered prayer.

This offender received a life sentence under Jessica’s Law with no possibility of parole for 25 years.

Jessica’s law requires a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and lifetime electronic monitoring of adults convicted of lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim less than 12 years old. The statute also requires that if an offender is sentenced to a term of years, he or she must be given lifetime probation following the imprisonment. This law is to keep offenders who seek employment in places of authority and with access to children; such as coaches, teachers and clergy members from regaining access to victims.

The sad and frustrating side to this ruling is about the wife and her family, along with some church members, who each believe with all their heart that this man is innocent. I can only imagine how their heart’s break. If only they could understand the truth of the man’s history; that predates their relationship with him. Then they could walk away, pick up their lives, and seek understanding and healing for the deep blindness and betrayal with which Satan has oppressed them.

We may not have the ability to change the world by eliminating pornography and locking up all the molesters and pedophilic offenders, but we can make the church a better place by praying offenders into prison one by one. Keep praying!

Here are a few of the facts and testimonies from court: I refuse to post certain words on my blog; therefore, I replaced the words with blanks.

-Facts: Physical evidence was presented to the jury.
-Testimony of child: He touched my _____and _____while in the classroom during a Wednesday night children’s class.
-Testimony of Ginger Hill, outpatient therapist at Four County Mental Health Center: The defendant described to child what Jesus would do and say when he returned. And acted out Jesus touching people upon his return; touching the boy on his _____and ______.
-Two women employed by the Child Advocacy Center, Vicki Speer and Erika Rider, both testified they did forensic interviews,“The defendent touched them in areas that were inappropriate.”
-Victim told the jury the defendant ___________________ during a 2009 Wednesday night children’s class. The child said the incident took place in the bathroom while he was a part of a Wednesday night children’s class. The child identified the defendant, “He was the preacher at our church. He taught a class. He touched my ___________. He put his ___________________in the bathroom at the church.” He said he was off the stool at the time it happened.
-The mother of the child testified her child told her when,“We were at home, lying down and he said,‘I love momma, I love daddy, I love ______’” She questioned,“You love _____?”
“Yes,” the child replied,“But tell him to quit ______________________because it hurts.” That was in late February 2010.
-It was on Nov. 11, 2009  when the defendant stopped teaching the adult class. He then started teaching the children’s class that contained children from age 2 – age 5 alone. [i]
-Two separate children’s testimonies, who did not know each other, corroborated what happened to them at separate times by the same man.

I must stop and ask; what man wants to be alone with little children and have to take care of changing dirty diapers? And what man with a history of sexual abuse allegations against children would ever put himself in such a situation? A man who had lost his own parental rights to his only child. And what church would allow it?

But that’s not all.

He was alone in a classroom which had no windows and according to court records he locked the door while the children were in the class. He was also alone with one of the victims in the boys’ bathroom.[ii]

He was alone doing unthinkable things while describing to the children what Jesus would do and say when he returned while acting out what would happen. He (Jesus), “Would touch people upon his return.”[iii]

The mother of one of the victims discovered an “awfully quiet” classroom one Wednesday night. “She went to the door of the classroom and it was locked.” “I knocked three times on the door. It took the defendant several minutes to come to the door and he would only open it enough that I could see him. He said the children were working on a craft and it was a surprise for the parents.” “I never saw any crafts that were being worked on,” she told the court.[iv]

 

Read the Topeka Capital Journal: Former Kansan Sentenced to Life in Prison Under Jessica’s Law

Other links: 

We believe Steve is 100% innocent of the charge that has been
made against him.  Page 2  Page 2 White Fields Evangelism

http://www.kansas.com/news/local/crime/article1276724.html

Steven Paul Butler KSN.com

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt

Topix Forum

[i] Allen Smith, “Children testify about alleged abuse by former Independence pastor”,Independence Daily Reporter, June 3, 2014

[ii] Smith, “Children testify about alleged abuse by former Independence pastor”

[iii] Smith, “Children testify about alleged abuse by former Independence pastor”

[iv] Smith, “Children testify about alleged abuse by former Independence pastor”

Steven Paul Butler, Pastor/Minister, Community Christian Church, Independence, Kansas, sentenced to life in prison under Jessica’s Law.

 

Electronic's Drop Off for under age house guests.

Toxic Tuesday: Underage House Guests, Technology and How I Protect My Kids

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard

Technology opened up a new avenue to develop kids into toxic adults. As a mom with a nineteen year old daughter and boys ages ten and eleven I’m concerned, as I’m sure you are, about how to protect them from spiritually and emotionally harmful technology. I wonder how any boy in today’s world is going to grow up without becoming ensnared by pornography at some time in life. Their only hope is in the Lord—so I pray for and with my boys and teach them to make decisions now to be resolved that when they see immodest pictures they will bounce their eyes away and not look back. 

Statistics show the average age for boys to come across pornography on the internet in our technologically advanced society is age eleven. This leaves a high probability that a young male guest visiting our house has already been introduced to porn either accidentally or intentionally. 

And then there are apps. Companies produce new apps on a weekly basis targeting children and teens as their market audience and many of these apps are dangerous for many reasons. You will find links below for more information on apps and how to control them on your child’s phone.

For many reasons I decided to limit technology that enters my house by way of my young boys’ friends. There is no way to know what someone could have accidentally or intentionally found and saved to their electronic device while surfing the net, listening to music, watching YouTube or movies, using an App, receiving ‘selfies’ from friends, or utilizing Google search; including but not limited to, Google images.

Electronic's Drop Off for under age house guests.
Electronic’s Drop Off for under age house guests.

I tell A.J. and Colon’s friends that although I trust them, I do not trust the World Wide Web and for that reason I have a house rule they will need to follow when they visit us. The rule is this: All electronics stay in the kitchen at the Hospitality Bar. If they need on the internet for any reason I will be glad to log them on to my computer, at the kitchen table, and I will search for what they want to watch or do.

I am almost always in the kitchen which means I am within range of seeing or hearing the entertainment on the computer. If I have to step away I can always look at the ‘History’ to make sure all content was safe.

My boys live by this rule in our own home. No internet access on their own. I log them on and they sit at the kitchen table where I can hear and/or see what they are viewing or listening to. At this time they are allowed on educational websites for school, Lego.com and Tim Hawkins’ website. No web-searching is allowed since we do not have any safeguards in place.

Laptops, phones, iPads, iPods and MP3s all stay on the hospitality bar until young guests are through visiting our home.

Hospitality Bar: Electronic's Rug on the right. This is conveniently located beside the door where they enter and exit.
Hospitality Bar: Electronic’s Rug on the right. This is conveniently located beside the door where they enter and exit.

If you want to implement this idea for your house guests you could use a basket, bowl, tray, plate, towel or just the bare countertop for ‘parking’ electronics. I like my rug because it is decorative and because I can easily count how many devices are deposited and if any are missing during the visit.

Since my boys don’t have guests over more than once a week and since they don’t need to spend their time together being entertained by electronics, I limit the usage and tell them they need to spend their time more creatively. I suggest other indoor activities or playing tag or ball outside.

I admit, telling my boys’ friends this rule makes me nervous because I have a difficult time setting boundaries and not feeling bad about it. I falsely feel like I have to explain my every decision. It would be easier to ask God to protect them from all life’s inconveniences and harms; however, God gave these children to me and I can’t outsource every earthly nuisance back on God as if it is His responsibility just so I can avoid feeling uncomfortable. Our Heavenly Father gave us the authority as parents to raise our children to; like Jesus, grow “In wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”

I use this ‘No Technology’ policy for my kids and for their friends. My goal is to keep everyone safe from internet vulnerabilities while they are under my care.

I cannot and will not abdicate my authoritative protection away to a youthful house guest or son; no matter how much I adore them and trust them.

So…you may have already heard from your child, “Mrs. Deevers has me leave my phone in her kitchen whenever I am at her house.” It is true—I do. It is for their protection. I hope you will return the favor when my boys visit your house.

Other helpful internet and app sights and articles:

MMGuardian Parental Controls for phones and apps

Ignore No More app Tired of her kids ignoring her phone calls, a Texas mom taught herself how to develop an app and created “Ignore No More.” Read the Washington Post article, Houston Mom.

Uncovering the Risks of Cell Phones for Teens

7 dangerous apps that parents need to know about. I’m certain this April 2014 list is behind the times but I could not find a more recent list I read two weeks ago.

COUNTERTOP/CANISTER RUG IS FROM: The Cobblestone Cottage, St. Charles, MO for local residents. The rug is not listed on the website.

D.I.Y. Student Divider Organizer

Colson's divider

 

After finishing a Monday of schooling necessity was once again the mother of invention. The day was long for this homeschool momma and for the students who were feeling defeated by their lack of concentration to get the assignments done. Listening, remembering and doing seemed the impossible goal—again. We have lost count through the years how many times my kids have heard and been shown how to put their blinders on by keeping their minds on the assignment, their eyes to their papers, and their mouths quiet. So on this particular day I decided to make the boys some ‘blinders’ complete with school supplies and their most used paperwork.

All through dinner preparations and the meal I took my turn daydreaming—about how I would make this divider tool.  As soon as my boys left for basketball practice I took inventory of supplies I had and supplies I thought I might need. My goal was to spend little money and use what I could find around the house. Then a made a quick trip to the store.

 

A Closer look.
A Closer look.

I was desperate to reign in daydreaming, distractions and endless chit-chatting. I’m still brainstorming  how to overcome the daydreaming but these dividers/organizers help tremendously to lessen distractions and chit-chatting between my two boys who are a year apart. Having almost everything they need within arm’s reach greatly reduced having to get out of their seat to sharpen their pencil or to retrieve a needed school supply.

We had a school room where there were desks but after A.J.’s severs traumatic brain injury three and a half years ago he could no longer tolerate being in the basement school room, with one north window,  surrounded by large shade trees. He needed to be in a larger open area so we began schooling upstairs at the kitchen table, next to large windows with abundant morning and afternoon light, and that is where we have stayed.

The boys sit at opposite ends of the table with their divider in front of them. There is plenty of room for a stack of books and workbooks or notebooks.

I began with a 36″ X 48″  foam core display board from Wal-Mart which I measured and cut in half with a utility knife/box cutter. (Display boards located in the office/school supply department.)

Elmer's 36" X 48" Display Board $9.99, school/office supply
Elmer’s 36″ X 48″ Display Board $9.99, school/office supply
Double-sided tape $2.00
Removable Double-sided tape $2.00, office supply

 

Elastic from my sewing basket
Elastic from my sewing basket

 

Command Large Damage Free Hanging Velcro Strips $3.55
Command Large Damage Free Hanging Velcro Strips $3.55, office supply
thumb tacks
Thumb tacks from the school room
binder clips
Binder clips my daughter had in her room; or I would have used painted clothespins
Hobby peel and stick cork roll from our art supply/craft closet
Hobby cork roll from our art supply/craft closet, available at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s Craft stores

AJs divider

marker board abcTop left: Marker board, from the school room closet, to record non-school questions/remarks. This keeps us from becoming distracted by topics that have nothing to do with school. So far my boys have not used the marker boards, which shows all of us the questions/comments CAN wait or aren’t significant. I used a binder clip to attach this which allows for other school assignments to be easily and temporarily added to the divider/organizer.

 

Bottom left: ABC cursive sheet of upper and lower case letters. I made this for free at Handwriting Without Tears Online Tools. You will need to create a free account and use the A+ GET STARTED Worksheet Maker. I used the Grade 4+ Spelling template. Red scrapbooking paper and ABC sheet held in place with removable double-sided tape.

animal tracksMiddle top left: Peel and stick cork board cut to size for extras that may need placed on the divider.

mult chart

Middle bottom left: Free printable Multiplication Chart 1-15 which I printed on scrapbooking cardstock. Removable double-sided tape for adhesive.

Weekly Scripture Memorization
Weekly Scripture Memorization

Middle top center: Weekly Bible memorization is held in place by a removable binder tab. I make these at Picmonkey.com for free under the ‘Design’ tab. Design possibilities are endless! Background scrapbooking paper. Adhesive is removable double-sided tape.

Middle center and middle bottom center: Scissors, ruler and calculator are held in place by elastic. I placed the objects on the board and made cuts thru the foam board on each side of school supply. I then pushed a piece of cut elastic thru the board and tied it in a double knot on the back of the board. (The white on white is not a terrible eyesore on the back side of the board.)

Math Measurements Chart
Math Measurements Chart

Middle top right: Symbols, tables, measurements and formulas sheet from Math-U-See student workbook. Adhesive: Removable double-sided tape. 

Center bottom right: Pencil bag attached with Command Velcro strips. This creates a strong hold that will not fall off when zipping/unzipping and removing/returning supplies; yet is removable. Supplies include: Pens, erasers, high-lighter, marker board markers, and Mechanical pencils which are on sale through the month of August at most stores that carry school supplies. Mechanical pencils eliminatethe need to constantly get up to sharpen pencils. (I feel the need to sing: If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands!” Plus I have never found an electric pencil sharpener that lasts the entire school year. Grrrr!

daily schedule

schedule calendarTop right: Each week I add the new day-by-day schedule. This method has proved to work best for us. They know what has to be done each day and they place a check mark beside the assignment when it is finished.

Bottom right: I printed this free mini calendar and cut it into four-month strips then used removable double-sided tape to adhere it, on top of colorful paper, to the display board. This keeps the boys from asking, over and over, for the correct date to write on their paperwork.

This project took between 2-3 hours which included finding free printables and making copies on my home printer. I have included links to websites in bold red fonts throughout the blog post to make your search for printables fast.

AJs divider

These could be used at a desk or table.

My boys were thrilled with their new dividers/organizers and I received several hugs, kisses and thank-you’s throughout the day.

Two and a half weeks later—the boards have been used every school day.  Best of all we have saved considerable time. We have less distractions, a lot less talking while working on assignments, and no need to get out of the chair for school supplies or necessary charts. At the end of the day the boards are folded up and placed next to the school book shelves.

This project was a Win/Win idea!

 

 

 

 

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard

Yes to You Means No to My Family

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard

Do you ever feel like you are becoming your own toxic frazzled mess due to time restraints, over commitment to good people, places and projects, or being off-balance from interacting with difficult people?

I am not a person who likes to say, “No” when asked to do something and most of the time I know I can do, organize or delegate what is asked of me. If I know I don’t have the ability it is easy to say, “No, I am not able to help with that request.”

The last few years I have worked on protecting my time, my rest, my family and my sanity.

I am learning to say, “I’ll think about it”.

Sometimes I respond, “I’ll pray about it and get back to you.”

When appropriate I’ll kindly reply, “I’ll think about it and pray about it.”

But most often I’m finding myself answering, “If I say yes to you, or to this request, I will be saying no to my family.”

This isn’t an excuse to say no to everything or to find an easy way out; it is a necessary tool for running my household, loving and serving my family, and preserving my physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

I can’t keep saying no to my family. When I become overly stressed, overly tired, or overly committed I am not caring for my family and in essence I am saying, “No,” to their needs.

 

Proverbs 31:28-29 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

 

I know my life is off-balance when I cannot find any fruit in my actions, thoughts or day.

 

Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

 

 

Because Life’s Not a Beach…

chocolateorelse:

The below blog post is by a dear friend of mine.

To me she has been the poster mom for ‘Thriving Despite Difficult Circumstances’ since I met her fourteen years ago.

I watched through curious eyes and heart as she taught her eight exceptionally smart and sweet spirited children in her home. She managed to homeschool her kids while dealing with the considerable health needs of her two youngest children coupled with endless doctor appointments. All this while imparting to her children the most important lesson of all: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27

Less than one year ago ‘Poster Mom’ experienced every mom’s worst nightmare, “upset just around the next bend.” I remember the moment I realized what she was saying from across the World Wide Web.

I went to my knees sobbing and praying on her behalf.

“No Lord, please no! Please don’t require this of her! I know life is not fair but this is too much. I don’t know how she handles her auto immune disease while caring for a son whose own auto immune diseases have threatened to take his life more times than I can remember. Her life has been difficult on so many levels and yet she doesn’t complain. She proclaims Your name and gives You glory. Please undo this for her. Show her a miracle—show her Your glory! ‘Lord, I have heard of Your fame; I stand in awe of Your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known,’ (Hab. 3:2) I have seen You do it—please do it for her today.”

This is where Sovereignty met her trust and her love for Him.

Originally posted on Funhouse:

Toward the end of last November(2013) we enjoyed a much-needed break from it all… this picture says so much. I’d arrived peacefully at the edge of something new after one rough and tumble road. A medical-season layered underneath Dan’s interim-head-year faded behind me. By October I’d resolved to welcome order into life. Finances, time, relationships. A complete turn-over. Thus, the feet…
Pacific Ocean CA feet

This image summons back the tide, the grit under my feet, the soothing song of the waves, the quiet of complete solitude. My mind returns to that place… so liberated from today. So blissfully blind to the upset just around the next bend. And I hold the same peace today.

… even while the earth beneath me wears itself away with the tide…

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

 

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Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard

Toxic Tuesday: Facing Bullying

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard

 

This topic goes along with last week’s post about helping children with Frenemies.

Below are six tips for facing bullying.

One more tip I am adding is confrontation. Sometimes confrontation is beneficial for setting healthy boundaries and parents may need to take up the issue with the bully and the bully’s parents. Strength in numbers will be important when confronting a bully so take a witness for moral support and to protect your testimony.

Matthew 18:16 (NIV) 

But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'”

Be aware that the bully may have learned their verbal, emotional and/or physical bullying from their dad or mom. In this case you may not receive any help from the parents.

Even the best of parents can find if difficult, if not impossible, to believe their child is bullying, lying, cheating or (you fill in the _____________.) I have seen friendships ruined because a parent refused to believe their sweet little angel could be guilty of any wrong doing.

Romans 3:23 (NIV)

 “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

This includes our children so if a trusted friend or adult comes to you with less than a glowing report on your child, please take time to pray over the issue and consider the possibility that the said child has sinned and needs to make amends with the other person and with God.

For several years I have prayed for God to show me when my children are in trouble or in danger; or to send a trusted adult with information I need for making informed decisions so I can help my children grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). I assure you my children wish I would stop praying this request!

I have seen first hand what can happen to a child whose parents refuse to believe their child is guilty of sin. For years the parents refused to believe it, or they hid it, and now the adult child will spend the rest of their life in prison.  I do not wish this worst case scenario on any family. This is part of the reason I pray for God to show me if my children need my help with a sin or safety issue. I don’t want to be a blind or deceitful parent; nor do I want my kids to practice secret sinful acts, thoughts or intentions of the heart.

6 Tips For Facing Bullying With Faith.

Toxic Tuesday: A Frenemy

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard

 

I’m sharing a recent blog article on dealing with a Frenemy.

I know of a sweet girl in the throes of middle school living through a lot of girl drama. Talk about tough on a mom’s heart. No parent likes to hear of or watch their child go through being lied about , gossiped about, manipulated and mistreated by someone who was your child’s friend. Worse yet is when the ‘Frenemy’ goes through the class girl by girl hoping to knock them down a few pegs on the ‘popularity’ chart and ready to take their place when the goal is accomplished.

What does God’s word have to say about this and how can you as a parent help your child thrive despite a difficult circumstance?

Please read:

The Best Approach with a Frenemy.

Double rainbow

God Still Uses Rainbows

After 7 7 7: Heaven’s Answer?!

Double rainbow

From the photographer: “This was taken July 8. My friend and I … drove around Independence Avenue and crossed in front of the Capitol, we saw this magnificent, double rainbow. I firmly believe the Lord sent this “DOUBLE” rainbow as a direct answer to all of our prayers with the 777 initiative, reminding us He is a covenant-keeping Lord and He has heard our prayers.  This double rainbow is a reminder of the double portion of His grace I believe He desires to shed on this great nation.”

 

This is so cool and so like our God!

I may have thought this a bit on the “crazy” assumption side if I had not received such an answer to a prayer almost two years ago.  My rainbow came on an early September morning when there was no rain on the ground, or in sight for that matter.

At the time I had been praying twelve years for justice, and for innocent children’s protection from someone I considered a pedophile offender.  The Lord had spoken to my heart, soul, mind and strength a year and a half previous that He was permanently taking the person out of ministry, which I believed could only mean prison for multiple reasons, yet I felt the pressing duty to pray it into being.

My friend Kim traveled with me to the preliminary trial where my intention was to let the defendant know I knew of their incarceration and was awaiting overdue justice. I woke up and spent time reading the Bible, praying and praying scripture out loud over the trial scheduled for that morning.  In our hotel room, after my time with the Lord, we opened the curtains to see a beautiful rainbow and we both believed it was a sign from the Lord reminding me He had already told me the outcome and I need not fear.  He is always true to His word.

It only took about three hours for me, who is made from dust, to forget His words and come close to panicking .

As I was praying, (Psalm 16:8-9 (GN), Isaiah 54:17, Isaiah 43:10, Psalm 62:11-12, Isaiah 40:28-29, I Cor. 2:9, Matthew 18:6, Psalm 126: 5-6, Nahum 1:7 (NIV), God gave a verse to my heart, soul, mind and strength, “(I) God act on behalf of those who wait for (me)’. And you waited for me’”. (This verse is from Isaiah 64:4b.)

The word, “Rainbow” was deposited in my mental bank.

I immediately felt at peace and was filled with joy. Only my God could do this!

“Thank you, Father! Who am I that you even consider loving and caring for me in such a personal way”, I internally asked?

I then knew the defendant’s attorney could argue away for his client’s release with an agreement to wear an ankle monitor, and the lawyer could request the court to lower the surety bond. It need not concern me for I already knew the outcome. I could barely contain the joyful smile wanting to erupt from my face. (To top it off—the judge denied both requests!)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This is why I share the 777 Rainbow picture. God sees. God hears. God answers!

Jul 15, 2014

“This picture was taken on Day 8 of 7 7 7 by a woman who prayer-walked the White House, Capitol, and the Supreme Court, using our prayers as a guide.  Since the rainbow was given as a sign of God’s covenant to Noah underscoring that never again would the world be destroyed by a flood, could it be that God has sent it as a sign that He has heard our prayers, will forgive our sin, and heal our land?

For the glory of His great name!” ~Anne Graham Lotz

Click here for After 777: Heaven’s Answer & Testimonies

 

alarm clock

AN URGENT CALL TO PRAYER: DAY SEVEN – Anne Graham Lotz

alarm clock

“Hallelujah!  Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are His judgments…Hallelujah!  For our Lord God Almighty reigns.  Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!” – Revelation 19:1-2, 6-7

 
“Note: For this, our seventh day of prayer, our format is slightly different than the first six days.  Today, we will pray and fast for seven hours.  So the following prayer is laid out hour by hour.  Included in the direction for some of the hours, I have adapted Puritan prayers from Valley of Vision* to help us articulate the cry of our hearts. They will be in italics. I have also made suggestions if you would like some additional direction.” ~Anne Graham Lotz

 

View Day 7: An Urgent Call to Prayer

alarm clock

AN URGENT CALL TO PRAYER: DAY SIX – Anne Graham Lotz

alarm clock

“The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” I Corinthians 4:20

“There’s more of the Spirit and more of God than any of us is experiencing. I want to go there—not just intellectually, but in life, with everything that I am.”  `Francis Chan

Join Anne Graham Lotz in petitioning God for what He has prepared for those who love Him. As we repent for our nation’s sins we pray that He has prepared forgiveness and mercy.

An Urgent Call to Prayer – Day 6

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard

Toxic Tuesday Headlines: My Bed, My Pew, My Life

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard

 

“Allowing a volunteer with known past abuse allegations to continue serving is beyond stupid, it’s handing him the keys to the door of abuse.” ~G.R.A.C.E. Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment

 

Some churches are a toxic wasteland where child predators walk and work among the hallways, classrooms and bathrooms. Predators are bio hazardous waste that needs to be found, collected and kicked to the curb for segregated garbage collection and delivered to a secure sealed location.

Many of our churches are not ready to protect children from such evil.

Why?

They don’t understand how molesters and pedophilic offenders think or act and they don’t understand how children fall prey to abuse. This makes church leaders and workers unable to protect because they don’t recognize the signs of abuse or the extent of the abuse and often when abuse happens they don’t believe the victim. The part that frustrates and sickens me most is when church leadership is informed of abuse allegations but they don’t report it to the authorities or disclose it to the congregation.

“We must never place greater value on the words & promises of sex offenders than the bodies and souls of children.” ~G.R.A.C.E.

 

Here is one such example recently making headlines:

A divorced man was hired by a small congregation in a small town for the position of senior pastor. This man had no contact with his own biological child; in fact, his parental rights were removed. Add to this the fact that he was forced out of his last ministry, in a neighboring state, due to allegations of improper conduct with a child. (A sexual crimes investigation by the local sheriff’s department for victimizing a six year old girl.)

The hiring church knew this background yet did not contact the ex-wife or the former church to hear their what, how, why, when or where perspective. They believed his spin on the situations and they loved his preaching. What more did they need to know?

Fast forward:

This church believed in their pastor so strongly that they allowed him to attend church camp during the summers, staying in the dorms/cabins with young boys and allowed him to travel with an international evangelistic team, to preach and work in orphanages in foreign countries. They also allowed him to stop teaching the adult class during Wednesday night services to teach the class for 2-5 year old children—alone. Yes, you read correctly. He taught this class solo, by himself, no helper, unaided—while the church leadership did not take into consideration his background of past allegations.

I’m angry! Shaking, crying, furious, appalled, sickened—my head hurts and I want someone to answer for this wrongdoing; this offence—this crime against children and in my book the church is a guilty partner in the crime.

Why?

Did anyone ever consider protecting the children?

In today’s society there needs to always be safety in numbers for the children’s protection. No one should ever be alone with children.

 

Again; fast forward:

In April 2012 this man was arrested on allegations of aggravated criminal sodomy of a child and aggravated indecent liberties with a child. He was held on a $500,000 bond, which no one provided bail for, so he remained incarcerated for over two years after waving his right to a speedy trial. He then waited while delaying his trial on more than one occasion.

His day in court was coming and there was no holding back the judgment of the Lord. (See previous post: Reversal of Destiny)

This man was told numerous times over the last thirty years to safeguard his ministry by not being alone with children.

Alone he was with a class of 2-5 year olds. [i]

I must stop and ask; what man wants to be alone with little children and have to take care of changing dirty diapers?

But that’s not all.

He was alone in a classroom which had no windows and he allegedly locked the door while the children were in the class.[ii]

He was alone doing unthinkable things while describing to the children what Jesus would do and say when he returned while acting out what would happen. He (Jesus), “Would touch people upon his return.”[iii]

The mother of one of the victims discovered an “awfully quiet” classroom one Wednesday night. “She went to the door of the classroom and it was locked.” “I knocked three times on the door. It took the defendant several minutes to come to the door and he would only open it enough that I could see him. He said the children were working on a craft and it was a surprise for the parents.” “I never saw any crafts that were being worked on,” she told the court.[iv]

Another mom told in detail what the defendant did to her son; it was more than showing or touching.

 

Being present for the guilty verdict was emotionally overwhelming for me; yet necessary.  Those in the courtroom were told to keep all emotions and reactions to themselves for the sake of the jury who had worked tirelessly on the outcome of someone else’s future. We were instructed by the judge to leave the courtroom if we felt we could not abide by his rules. One sweet momma had to do just that. I chose to stay in the courtroom. I was about to listen to the pronouncement I had waited what seemed like a lifetime to hear.  I understood and respected the judge and his reasoning yet found it almost impossible to follow. Years of waiting for necessary evidence, necessary non-family witnesses while knowing this man was having full access to children, yet unable to do anything about it due to the constraints of a former family court judge, weighed on my heart and mind thousands of times over the years.

I felt like a water balloon filled to four times its capacity but not allowed to bust, spill, leak or burst. Blood pulsated through my veins like hot lava while burning hot tears streamed down my face from searing bloodshot eyes while I attempted not to shake or let slip any groans or sobs.

I can’t imagine how the other moms in the courtroom felt. I’m sure we each reacted in our own way just like we each utilized different coping mechanisms through our individual circumstances involving the same perpetrator.

In two weeks the defendant will be sentenced for his guilty verdict. It is likely the minimum time will be 25 years without the possibility of parole. The defendant can be sentenced under ‘Jessica’s Law’:  Among the key provisions of the law is classifying lewd or lascivious molestation on a person under the age of 12 as a life felony, and a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and lifetime electronic monitoring of adults convicted of lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim less than 12 years old. The statute also requires that if an offender is sentenced to a term of years, he or she must be given lifetime probation following the imprisonment. Jessica’s Law is being applied to cases involving clergy, teachers and coaches; molesters and pedophilic offenders who seek employment in professions where they can target and prey upon child victims.

 

“Boundaries, limitations and refraining from complete trust are demonstrations of Christian love towards offenders who profess repentance.” ~G.R.A.C.E.

 

[i] Allen Smith, “Children testify about alleged abuse by former Independence pastor”, Independence Daily Reporter, June 3, 2014

[ii] Smith, “Children testify about alleged abuse by former Independence pastor”

[iii] Smith, “Children testify about alleged abuse by former Independence pastor”

[iv] Smith, “Children testify about alleged abuse by former Independence pastor”