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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's been a while ...

My attempts at a newsletter have been unsuccessful thus far. So … for all in blog land that may be wondering if I’ve fallen off the face of the earth, I decided to post and give an update.

Latest News
Trip to MO: I have a few pen pals around the United States and really enjoy corresponding with them. Recently the husband of one of my pen pals offered to pay for our gas so we could visit them and their church. I checked out their church online as best as I could (one of the young men that go there has a blog with some information on it), and my pen pal mailed me some sermons. I liked what I read online, and especially liked the sermons. I emailed the pastor a lot of questions and he called me back one night soon after; it seems to be a biblically sound church … so after much thought and prayer, we decided to go ahead and visit. We plan to go back and visit a little longer as soon as time allows; our hope is to get a fuller picture of what the church is all about. Please join us in prayer for direction in this area.

Baptism: For all who do no know, Tylor, Brianna and I were baptized on Saturday, September 12th at Lake Cunningham; God really worked out all the details and I don’t think it could have went better. It being on Saturday, many people could not make it. Thankfully, the Lord was there, and that’s really all that matters. We sang a few hymns, a timely message was preached, and then we all walked down to the water. I’ll try to post pictures if someone has ones worth posting (Jenny … did you get a few decent ones to share?). After the baptism many of those who attended came back to my house for fellowship and supper. It was such a blessing to just sit and listen to all the men talk – it seems I could do that for days and days. It was hard saying goodbye to everyone! The pastor from MO did the preaching and baptizing, and our friend and dear Brother from central NE assisted. His wife worked behind the scenes and kept things running smoothly here at home so I could focus on the matters at hand. She was such a blessing and encouragement … I really do not know what I would have done without her.
My cousin: We were fostering my cousin for over 3 months [she turned 4 last week], but last Saturday she went to another home. We are stepping back and taking a less active roll in her life. We will watch her once in a while and take her with us when we visit our friends in central NE – she really likes them a lot and has so much fun when we go there. It was a blessing and a challenge to have her here; I know God used this situation to teach me a lot. One thing for certain, it sure did change my perspective on foster parenting. More often than not, I felt so helpless and hopeless – mostly because I was not allowed to use biblical discipline. This clearly is not right … it would take such a long time to explain though. We love her a lot.

Homeschooling: We are doing our best to be diligent with schooling; God has really been showing me that order is important. After a lot of prayer, along with trial and error, I think we finally found a system that works well for us. We’ve tried a variety of curriculums and found that we keep coming back to Rod and Staff … so now we use R&S exclusively. I only grade and test for English and Math; the children read their Science and Social Studies books on their own time and are not required to answer the questions on paper or take the tests. I know they are learning a lot because they are so full of information - I take a walk with one child each morning and I always learn something new! Their attitudes have been Christ-like and so have mine … this sure makes all the difference. Without Christ, it is all in vain anyway.

Family times: We are currently in Hebrews; every time we come around to Hebrews again I have to stop and re-read the first word of the book … GOD. I don’t know about anyone else, but it always makes me stop and praise God! The same goes for 1 John when it starts off with “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; ….” That’s just so awesome to me. No greetings, just right to the point. Not that greetings are wrong, but the lack of greeting in these two books always causes me to take extra notice right from the first word. Hmm, maybe that sounds strange. Something else I always notice in Hebrews is all the ‘ifs’ … this indicates a condition. Pay attention to them.
We listened to a really good sermon on the way to Missouri; it was called “Ten Shekels and a Shirt”. I highly recommend this one. The preacher said a Moravian quote that summed up the sermon nicely: “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward for His sufferings.” To God alone be the glory. It left us with a lot to chew on … we listened to it again soon after and plan to listen to it again when I am free to take notes. After that I will pass it on.

Well, I guess that’s it for the ‘LATEST NEWS’.


Narrow Way Ponderings: “Holiness”
How important is it that we, as professing Christians, are holy? There are many scriptures I could put here, however I will only put a few of my ‘favorites’. If you have a favorite other than what is listed, please share.

Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

I like how God’s word is so clear – there’s no question that we must be holy in all that we do … this includes our thoughts as well. If we are not holy, we will not see the Lord.

If you are a Christian, I urge you to earnestly seek the Lord and ask Him if there is anything unholy in your life. He will be faithful in answering an honest plea. For me, His answers have come gradually as I received more light from His Word. Music. Immodest dress. Anger. Frustration. Slang words. Sarcasm. Jokes. Even seemingly smaller things like being careful not to speed … yes, this is a part of ALL manner of conversation, and there are plenty more things I could add to this list that the Lord has shown me are not holy. Did God really mean what He said when He said “be ye holy in all manner of conversation”? Yes, I believe He did. I’ll end it with that quote I liked so much … why put a question mark where God put a period?


Well, that’s all the time I have for today. I pray all are doing well.
With love in Christ,
joanne

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