Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Two opportunities to share the gospel before 7am!

We get up early in our household, actually make that 5 out of 6 of us get up early!. By early I mean between 5 and 6 am. I am usually the first up, then the dog, then our youngest, and then the others start coming out anywhere from 6am onwards.

The other morning during my devotions I asked God to help me be patient, self controlled and unconditionally loving towards my family.

It didn't take long before He allowed an opportunity to answer my prayer! Before we got to the breakfast table (which is around 6:30am) I gave warnings to my son who was not responding to my answers with a 'happy heart!'. This attitude carried over to breakfast time and it wasn't long before he was sent to his room to think about how he was responding. During this time, I talked to him about his heart, in particular his selfishness, and I told how this was sin, and then reminded him why Jesus came and shared the gospel message with him.

In his book Shepherding a Child's heart Tedd Tripp writes,

You need to shepherd your children in the ways of God at all times. There is, however, no more powerful time to press the claims of the gospel than when your children are being confronted with their need of Christ's grace and power during discipline. When the wax is soft during discipline, the time is right to impress the glories of Christ's redemption.

The gospel message is so powerful and I need to recognise the many opportunities I have been given as a parent to present and impress this into the hearts of my children.

It was only minutes after I had spoken with my son that I had to take my 4 year old daughter into her room and talk to her about her disobedience, another opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ!

All this happened before 7am!

There is such joy in seeing selfish and disobedient hearts turned into ones that have been forgiven and restored.

Needless to say I was incredibly thankful to God for granting me the patience and self control I asked for!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pumpkin soup and beef casserole

I love my slow cooker! I was thinking that today as I cut up some pumpkin to pop in my slow cooker for soup for tea tonight!

I don't know if anyone is interested but this is how I make pumpkin soup in my slow cooker.

1 butternut pumpkin
3-4 carrots (add more carrots if you want it sweeter)
1 onion
2-3 cups chicken stock

I just cut up the pumpkin, carrots and onions into cubes, and add around 2-3 cups of chicken stock, then put it on low and let it cook for the day. If you like chunky soup you can just mash it all up with a potato masher or if you like it smooth use a blender.

You can also put it on high for 3-4 hours, this always works well for us in Winter for Sunday lunch. I put it on around 8:30am Sunday morning and when we come back from church at around 12:30 its all cooked!

The other meal my husband in particular loves is a beef casserole.

500gms of diced beef
1 can tomato soup
Around cup beef stock

Put it all together in the slow cooker as is, no need to brown meat etc, and put it on low for the day. I was rather amazed at how much flavour the soup gave to the meat! You could eat this with rice, mashed potato or perhaps use the meat for a beef pie!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Scripture memory revived!

We have been rather neglectful with scripture memory in our household the past year. I'm not sure why I dropped it off, just got out of routine I think. But the past few weeks I have been resurrecting verses we have learned over the past few years, and I can't believe how awesome they have been.

I lent a chart called Wise Words for Moms by Ginger Plowman to a friend the other day. It identifies 22 behavior problems in children (such as disobeying, lying and tattling) and offers examples of Scripture passages that help address heart issues. I was going through it with my friend and I thought I hadn't used it very much, but upon review I realised how much I actually did use it in the past. A lot of what I say to my kids has come from suggestions from this chart. In particular we have learned a lot of the verses she refers to.

Seeing this again inspired me to get my kids back into scripture memory, not just so they can rattle off a bunch of verses to sound 'spiritual' but so that they can hide it in their heart and for it to help formulate their way of thinking about how they should respond to their day to day events.

I mostly did it with my older two kids who are 7 and 5 now and they remember parts of the verses, but the younger two never really got into it, they are 4 and 2 and 1/2 now. In the past I use to sit them down before going out in the morning and do a devotion and go over a memory verse together, but now I have just put them at the dinner table and try to integrate them into our conversation at the table. I try to pull the verse to bits and get them to really think about what it means and how they can apply it. I love being able to bring things back to the word of God.

We are reviewing Ephesians 4:29 at the moment,

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

This verse has been great because when they talk unkindly or rudely to each other, I remind them of this verse and ask if unwholesome talk is coming out of their mouth, and encourage them to think of words that are helpful and that will build the other one up.

It's a huge challenge for me as well, I love the power of scripture, it cuts so deep into the heart!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


We have had mice trouble in our bin and pantry area, its been going on for a while now, but we have been too slack to put out traps to try and stop them. Our cat sits diligently in the kitchen every night awaiting a capture, but she has yet been successful!

The other night during dinner I opened the pantry door to get some ingredients for butterscotch pudding when I saw a grey flash, I asked my husband to come and see if it was a mouse. He pulled out everything and there it was trapped and staring at us! Not for long though, it suddenly dashed off and out of sight. We dragged everything out, but we couldn't find it. We set a trap that night, but he didn't fall for it!

Two days later on my husbands day off I did a small grocery shop. We had a nice morning, went for coffee, browsed around Big W and finally into Woolies. The checkout lady was scanning items and packing items into my reusable shopping bags. She opened one and she looked down and said in a very calm voice "Oh", I thought there might have been a spider in there, she said "It's a mouse!" The mouse then jumped out of the bag, ran under her checkout then under the checkout next door. That checkout lady said, "I think I stepped on it, someone come and take it away, I don't want to look!".

So I sent my husband over to have a look and get rid of the mess!

It all happened very quick and we were all a bit shocked by it all! I felt rather embarrassed that the mouse had come from my shopping bags but I was very glad that it was stepped on so it didn't 'freak out' any other shoppers or checkout ladies!

I am so thankful for a very calm checkout lady, she said she would have been more bothered by a spider than a mouse, I am so glad she didn't scream, and for my husband who got rid of the squished mouse!

Upon reflection I can't believe that I had spent the past 1 and 1/2 hours carrying those shopping bags around, for coffee and all around the shops, and I am glad we finally found where that mouse got to!

And just so you know we still haven't got rid of the mice, so far I know of two that have died, and there is still evidence of more in the house! My oldest wants to keep one as a pet.....maybe not!

Monday, March 2, 2009

How television affects your brain

I have been thinking about the impact of TV on us as Christians lately and I googled in the phrase, 'How TV affects the brain' and came across the video.

My husband and I managed to get out of the habit of TV watching a couple of years ago, we fall back into it when we are on holidays, and I always look forward to getting back into routine and there being less TV!

This video proves to me that it does affect your brain. I just know for me that when the TV is on I don't have the capacity to think about anything else. I may not actually be thinking about what the shows about either, its like it dulls my brain. I used to just put it on to help me relax, but I found it sucked me in and I felt lazy and unproductive for the rest of the afternoon or evening.
It requires a complete change of thinking to stop turning the TV on and to instead turn on some uplifting music or to even just go and lie down if I am feeling tired, at least my brain is not going to zone out. I will often find that even though I may be completely exhausted, if I go lie down or just listen to some worshipful music, within around 30 minutes of resting I start think productive thoughts like reading a book, calling a friend, or doing the ironing! But if I was just watching TV there would be no chance for those thoughts to enter my head!

Anyway, check out this video and see what you think!

I have been thinking about these verses from Psalm 1 lately and how they relate to TV watching.

Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 1;1-2
When we watch something on TV and it's not from a godly perspective, aren't we exposing ourselves to the wicked, sinners, and mockers? And if we are watching TV more than we are delighting in and meditating on the word of God, we won't be like that tree planted by the waters.
I am continually challenged and convicted about Psalm 1, I pray daily that my delight would be in the word of God.