Sufficient Grace

for
Home-School Moms

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Marsha Iddings

Sufficient Grace For
Home-School Moms
40 Day Devotional/Journal

Sufficient Grace Publishing
Clarkston, Washington

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the King
James Version of the Bible.
©2008 by Marsha Iddings
Published by Sustaining Grace Publishing
Printed by Lulu
www.lulu.com
Printed in the United States of America
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or
by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording, or otherwise, without the prior written
permission of the author.
Marsha Iddings
Email: truthsetsfree@clarkston.com
To Order Additional Copies:
http://www.lulu.com/Marsha-Iddings

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Dedicated to home-school moms everywhere.
I am grateful for the ministry of Port Cities
Reformed Baptist Church of Lewiston, ID for
teaching me so much about God’s sufficient grace.
I am grateful to God for His grace, mercy and love.
He alone is to be praised.

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About the Author
Marsha has an Associate of Arts Degree in Theology from
Western Baptist College (now Corben College), Salem, OR. She has
been married for 25 years to her husband Rick and has a son and a
daughter. She has been a home-school mom since the children were
old enough for school and plans to home-school through high
school. She has been a devotional writer for Beyond Surviving
Home School, a web support group for moms with chronic illnesses,
since 2004. She has been blessed with opportunities for spiritual
growth through dealing with her own physical challenges of
osteoporosis, chronic pain, and gluten intolerance as well as the
health challenges of her husband. She lives in Eastern Washington
with her family and Daisy-pug.

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Introduction
This devotional is the result of several years of writing
devotionals for Beyond Surviving Home School, a support group for
moms who home-school and deal with chronic pain/illness. God has
graciously taught me many lessons over the years. I think the biggest
lesson has been that of learning to embrace my challenges rather
than merely cope with them. The difference is this: When I merely
cope with what is happening, it is all on the physical level, my own
sheer will power to manage. However, when I embrace the
challenges that have come, I go beyond what I see to the unseen
through faith and draw on the strength God offers me. I see
affliction and change in my life as an opportunity for growth instead
of something to simply cope with.
We as home-school parents have many challenges that come
our way with home-schooling. I pray that as you read these
devotions that God will speak to your heart and you too will see the
blessing of embracing the challenges that come your way.
Marsha Iddings

To order more books go to
http://www.lulu.com/Marsha-Iddings

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Table of Contents
Day 1 Planning the New School Year
Day 2 God’s Order for Education
Day 3 Sibling Rivalry
Day 4 It's All About Him
Day 5 The White Board
Day 6 Plans and Divine Interruptions
Day 7 Small Things
Day 8 God is Gracious and Merciful
Day 9 Learning to Race
Day 10 The Piercing of a Sword

page 10
page 12
page 14
page 16
page 18
page 20
page 22
page 24
page 26
page 28

Day 11 Keeping Our Focus

page 30

Day 12 They Call Her Blessed
Day 13 The Positive Side of Hay & Manure
Day 14 Our Stronghold
Day 15 Just One Step at a Time
Day 16 The Refiner
Day 17 How Does Your Garden Grow?
Day 18 Thick Darkness
Day 19 Clinging to the Rock
Day 20 Turn Toward the Wind
Day 21 Time Out
Day 22 Let Your Light Shine Through Me
Day 23 God & Time
Day 24 The Theory of Chaos
Day 25 Anxious Anticipation
Day 26 The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength
Day 27 Run Your Own Race
Day 28 Contentment
Day 29 Another Lap Around Mt. Sinai
Day 30 Success
Day 31 Do All to the Glory of God
Day 32 Complaining, Disbelief and Giving Thanks
Day 33 Burned Chicken and Soupy Pudding
Day 34 Brains in a Binder
Day 35 The War on Clutter
Day 36 A Still Small Voice
Day 37 Seeing the Trash in a New Light
Day 38 A Lesson in Blackberry Picking
Day 39 Ants and Cowbirds: Lessons from Creation
Day 40 School of Hard Knocks
Appendix

page 32
page 34
page 36
page 38
page 40
page 42
page 44
page 46
page 48
page 50
page 52
page 54
page 56
page 58
page 60
page 62
page 64
page 66
page 68
page 70
page 72
page 74
page 76
page 78
page 80
page 82
page 84
page 86
page 88
page 91

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Day 1
Planning the New School Year
Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD
directeth his steps.
When the end of the current school year rolls around, I find
myself looking ahead to plan for next school year. The curriculum
catalogues begin arriving in the mail and thoughts of a new
beginning and new school books begin dancing in my head.
What I have found, however, is that many times my best laid
plans for the following school year end up getting changed as the
year progresses. When I first started home-schooling I was not very
flexible. I purchased this curriculum and, by George, we were going
to use it and get through it one way or another! That hasn’t always
turned out well.
We can plan and buy and begin to implement it all in the new
school year, but sometimes the Lord changes our plans. Perhaps
what we had in mind is too advanced or too easy for our child.
Maybe it doesn’t fit with his or her learning style. Or maybe we just
plain got too lofty in our expectations and planned way more than
what could be accomplished in the time allotted. Our circumstances
often change too. Illness, injury or other family matters might come
up that require a change in the schedule for either the short or the
long term. The Lord directs our steps.
These detours are not what we planned and sometimes we get
upset thinking we will fail in our mission that we set out on. If we
can remember to think of these detours as being set up by the Lord,
it will positively impact how we react to these things.
So the challenge is to schedule some flexibility into the
school year, so that when we come to a detour that the Lord has set
up for us, we can be flexible and meet the change in our schedule
with grace and patience.
How is your school year working out? Have you had some
detours? If you are planning for next year, have you scheduled in
some flexibility for the detours the Lord might have in mind for you?

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My Journaling Space
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God has not called me to be successful; He has called me to be
faithful. [Mother Teresa (1910-1997)]

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Day 2
God’s Order for Education
2 Peter 1:5-7 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith
virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and
to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness
brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
I attended a home-school graduation where the mother of the
graduate spoke and told us how these verses were their key verses
for the home-schooling years. She explained that foundational to all,
we need to teach our children to have saving faith in God. Secondly,
we need to teach them virtue (good character) and then knowledge
(academics). If we make academics the most important thing, then
we miss the boat.
It's so easy to get caught up in the school work and not focus
on the other enough. I was telling my husband about how I was
feeling the need to try to work our son back into a particular
curriculum for math because it teaches the math concepts that I don't
know. The other curriculum I had been considering states up front
that I would need to teach it before he does the work and I didn’t see
where they had anything that would teach it to me first. I told my
husband that I was concerned about transitioning him back into the
other program because he gets so upset when the program marks him
wrong on certain types of problems. I suggested maybe just
skipping those so I wouldn't have to deal with his attitude. My
husband reminded me that this is a character issue and it needs to be
dealt with.
I am beginning to realize that instead of avoiding those
activities that precipitate bad attitudes, I need to ask God for wisdom
in how to deal with the underlying character problem. I need to pray
fervently for him to come to saving faith in Christ and work on
helping him correct his character issues.
Are there areas of schoolwork that you avoid with your
children because they get upset and have an attitude about it? Have
you asked God to help you identify the character issue at hand that
need to be dealt with? Does your child have saving faith in Christ?
Set aside time today to pray about his/her salvation and begin to
work on your child's character with His help and wisdom.

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My Journaling Space
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The family is the only means by which real and substantial
change for good might be effected. [James Stewart (1839-1901)]

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Day 3
Sibling Rivalry
Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is like releasing water;
Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts. (NKJV)
Like most siblings, my children get to picking at each other
once in a while and before I know it an all out argument is in full
swing. Sometimes I have ignored these little bicker sessions,
thinking maybe if I don’t acknowledge it it will just go away.
However, that doesn’t usually happen. Instead it escalates.
Recently I was reading my Bible and come upon the jewel
above. How true! Just a little strife…a little knit-picking…an
insulting comment here or there and suddenly it’s like turning a
water faucet on high. You end up with a big argument on your
hands.
Since reading this, I have been putting a stop to any remarks
that my children make that are designed to irritate the other. The
minute it comes out their mouth, I stop them dead in their tracks and
cut the conversation off. It has done much to make the atmosphere
of our home more pleasant and I am finding the children are getting
along better with each other now than they did before. It’s so nice to
hear them playing together and laughing as they are enjoying each
other’s company.
Do you have any dripping of contention in your home? Do
the children knit pick at each other? Begin cutting the drips of
contention off before they turn into a steady stream and see how it
affects the atmosphere of your home.
My Journaling Space
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There is no other place where the human spirit can be so
nurtured as to prosper spiritually, intellectually, and temporally,
than in the bosom of the family’s rightful relation. [John
Chrysostom (c. 344-407)]

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Day 4
It's All About Him
2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the
abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to
the glory of God.
I used to be Scholastic Books Coordinator for our local
home-school group. I still receive the brochures and I see all the
titles of the books that are being peddled to our nation's children.
One caught my eye. The title was “It's All About Me".
This focus fosters a mentality that says I am the center of the
universe and everything better go MY way. One could easily twist
the verse above to say that all things will go my way...otherwise how
can they be for my sake? I can see how one would read it that way
with the mind-set of today's society.
However, in context, “all things" in the verse above refers
not to everything that goes our way, but rather to all those things that
don't go our way. Listen to the verses that follow it:
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man
perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our
light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a
far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we
look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which
are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but
the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:1618)
Another verse that talks about "all things" is Romans 8:28-29.
And we know that all things work together for good to them
that love God, to them who are the called according to his
purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate
to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the
firstborn among many brethren.
Is it really all about me? Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth,
and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." If I always

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expect things to go my way, then I am not going the right way,
because Jesus is the way. It's all about Him. Romans 14:11 says,
“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to
me, and every tongue shall confess to God." Also in 1 Corinthians
10:31 it says, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye
do, do all to the glory of God."
Frank Sinatra sang a popular song that says, "I did it my
way..." This also fosters the idea that it's all about me. What many
people don't realize is that in the end we will all do it God's way.
Philippians 2:10-11 says,
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in
heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And
that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to
the glory of God the Father.
No, it's not all about me. Let's remember it's all about Him.
May God give us the grace to give glory to Him every day.
My Journaling Space
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A man is wise as long as he searches for wisdom; he
becomes a fool the moment he thinks he has found it.
[Tristan Gylberd (1954- )]

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Day 5
The White Board
Psalms 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he
removed our transgressions from us.
Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for
mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us
our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
One of the most useful things I have purchased for our homeschool is a white board. We use it daily during math, writing out
equations in bold black dry erase ink and wiping them off when we
are done with it. It cuts down on waste paper and helps keep the
work area free of unnecessary paper clutter.
When I sin, it's as if bold black marks are made on God's
white board. It can get pretty ugly over time if I neglect to confess
my sin to God and make things right with Him. But when I do, it's
as if God takes a cloth and wipes the white board clean again and He
does not remember what was there anymore.
It's easy for me to get that white board all marked up and
looking ugly. All it takes is a rise in temper when things don't go the
way I want them too. But it is comforting to know that even when I
fail and sin, God is there waiting to wipe the board clean again. I
only need to come in humble prayer and confess my sins to Him.
How is your white board looking today? God loves you so
much and He is just waiting for you to come in true confession to
Him and He will wipe it clean.
My Journaling Space
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When I am dead, I hope it may be said, though his sins were scarlet,
his books are read. [Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)]

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Day 6
Plans and Divine Interruptions
James 4:13-15 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we
will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and
make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen
tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for
a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, "If the
Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."
If you are like me, you have a daily planner where you write
down all the things you want or need to accomplish during the day,
week, month or year. And, if you are like me, you have certain
things that you want to get done at certain times. What happens
when something comes up to keep you from getting your plans
accomplished?
The Lord has been working on me in this area. There have
been times when I have planned my day out in detail and invariably
something happens to get me off track. I have planned certain
activities for certain days of the week or month and I have planned
for the kids to accomplish a certain amount of school work in a
given time. But when these things have not panned out, I have gotten
upset and cranky.
It has taken chronic health issues to teach me the value in
saying to myself, "If the Lord wills I will do this or that." I am
learning to look at the interruptions of life such as headaches,
tendonitis, a needy friend on the phone, an unplanned for work trip
out of town with my husband, unexpected trips to the vet, or to
physical therapy and the whole myriad of things that can throw a day
off track as Divine interruptions.
God is in control of my days. Before I was ever born He had
all my days written in His book. Psalm 139:16 says, "Your eyes saw
my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were
written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of
them." If He chooses to interrupt my day, then I need to be willing to
allow it with a right attitude. This is hard for me, especially when the
interruption is a headache or some other physical pain.
I see the value of planning flexibility into each day if
possible. The tree on the ragged rock cliff side learns to be flexible

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with the wind that whips it around. If it did not bend with the wind it
would just snap and break off. In order for it to bend with the wind,
it also needs roots that are deep and wrapped around the rock or it
could be uprooted. For us to be flexible with God's Divine
Interruptions, we need to have our spiritual roots growing down deep
and wrapped around the Rock of our salvation. If they aren't, then
we are apt to topple over in our faith when life gets rough.
How are your daily plans? Do you have some flexibility
planned in so you can absorb God's Divine Interruptions with grace?
Are your plans so important to you that an interruption would make
you cranky with those you love? The saying, "Take it one day at a
time" is Biblical. Proverbs 27:1 says, “Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth.”
My Journaling Space
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A Christian should follow his occupation with contentment.
Is your business here clogged with any difficulties and
inconveniences? Contentment under those difficulties is no little part
of your homage to that King who hath placed you where you are by
His call. [Cotton Mather (1663-1728)]

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Day 7
Small Things
Psalm 119:141 I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy
precepts.
Zechariah 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for
they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of
Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which
run to and fro through the whole earth.
Many of us dealing with issues in our lives, that limit us, feel
like our small contribution to the Lord's work doesn't amount to
much. We feel small and despised. Yet, Zechariah asks the
question, "Who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall
rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with
those seven;..." He is talking about just building the foundation of
the temple. It was a small thing in relation to the whole building.
But they had to start somewhere.
It is so easy to look at how big the task is and become
discouraged before even beginning. Take the laundry. Sometimes it
looks like a mountain and I know I can't get through it all in one
sitting. But if I just fold for 15 minutes, look how much I get done!
Even if the start is small, it is a start that you can build on from there.
The same goes for sharing Christ with others. I spent some
time witnessing to some boys. Nothing I said seemed to faze them.
It all seemed to go straight over their heads. Yet, God can take only
one small nugget of truth...just a seed and plant it in their hearts. I
may never see the results of the seed God plants and it would be easy
for me to throw up my hands in despair and say that my small effort
at sharing the gospel with them is a waste. But God knows why He
brought those boys to my house and He knows years down the road
where they will be. Perhaps one small seed planted in their hearts
while sitting in my living room visiting with me, will take root and
grow and they will come to know the true God of the Bible.
Sometimes I feel like a miserable failure because I see no immediate
results, but I should not despair. My small and feeble effort at
sharing the gospel could yield a crop for God one day.

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Our efforts at parenting and schooling our children may seem
like monumental tasks and we get overwhelmed. But each small
thing we do in that regard soon adds up to a large chunk of the task
getting done and before we know it they will be grown up.
Be encouraged. Small things do count. Our physical ability
may be small and we feel small and despised like the Psalmist says,
but God encourages us not to despise the day of small things.
My Journaling Space
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The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and
an ordinary woman and their ordinary children.
[G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)]

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Day 8
God is Gracious and Merciful
2 Chronicles 30:9 For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your
brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that
lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for
the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn
away his face from you, if ye return unto him.
"... the soul of the people was much discouraged because of
the way."(Numbers 21:4) Is your way discouraging? The children of
Israel became discouraged because of the way. The journey they
were on was difficult and they were discouraged. In Deuteronomy
1:28 Moses is recounting their way through the wilderness and he
reminds them of things they said. "The people is greater and taller
than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover
we have seen the sons of the Anakims there."
Discouragement is the sister to burnout. As the beautiful fall
season turns to the rainy gloomy days of winter, there is a feeling of
being overwhelmed that commonly hits about this time. It's a
melancholy that makes us feel like we can't keep up with the pace
and we want to throw in the towel and quit. This is not a unique
problem to home-school moms, although, it sometimes hits us harder
then it does others simply because we wear so many hats and we are
spread so thin. We begin to feel like the Israelites did. Our problems
are greater and taller than we can handle. We run into road blocks in
what we want to accomplish and it seems there is no way around
them and we can't climb over them. Our problems seem like big
giants looming over us and we feel as if we've been taken captive by
them. This is the beginning of burnout. I know, because I have been
there.
But God is always gracious and merciful when we turn to
Him. He waits for us to come to Him to find strength and
encouragement to continue. Just when I needed it most, two homeschool newsletters showed up in my email. Each one had a message
of encouragement. One spoke about discouragement and the other
about burnout. Are you discouraged, burning out? Get alone with
God. Ask Him to show you what you need to do to turn it around.
Evaluate your daily routine. What causes the stress? Does something

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need to be changed to ease it? Schedule time, just for yourself,
regularly. What are your expectations for yourself, your home and
family? Are your expectations too high? Perhaps you need to lower
them. I read one time that if we got rid of our expectations, we
would never be disappointed. Perhaps this is a bit unrealistic, but it
has an element of truth to it. God encouraged me with these
newsletters.
The most important piece of information I read was to stop
and take time out alone in prayer with God. Our verse above says to
turn again unto the Lord and you will find compassion, grace and
mercy for your time of need.
My Journaling Space
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The giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic
His giving, by grace, through faith, and this not of ourselves.
[Nicholas of Myra (c. 288-354)]

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Day 9
Learning to Race
1 Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run
all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
This past week I learned a little about how to "race". We
had a long car trip and for the first time, I drove most of the way to
and from our destination. It was approximately an eight hour trip.
Driving long distance is not my favorite thing to do. It usually
terrifies me. But God gave me strength and peace about the drive
and I was able to do it and actually enjoy it. Of course, it's easier to
enjoy when you are behind the wheel of an Impala SS with a
Corvette engine under the hood and the car handles like a dream.
The Rocket was gifted to us by my father-in-law in his will.
When driving through freeway traffic where there is a
cement divider on my left and a semi-truck on my right, I tend to
panic. If I look at the truck beside me, I begin to steer toward the
cement divider on my left. Then I see I am getting too close to that
and I over-steer to the right toward the truck. It's a scary proposition.
On this trip, I learned something. When I am in this kind of situation,
I learned that if I stare straight ahead toward what is in front of me
and don't look to my left or to my right, I can easily pass the truck
without a panic. (I also learned I can zip it up from 60 to 80 in a
matter of seconds and that helps too.)
The Apostle Paul says we are to run that we may obtain
the prize. He goes on to say "I therefore so run, not as uncertainly..."
(1 Corinthians 9:26). I was "racing" with uncertainty when I was
allowing the truck on one side and the cement divider on the other to
terrify me. But when I began "racing" with my eye on the destination
ahead, I was no longer terrified by my circumstances.
Are you looking around at your circumstances, and
allowing them to put panic into you? There are so many ways this
could be applied. The Jones' home-school is so much more perfect
than what I am doing. The next door neighbor keeps such a perfect
house. I can never measure up to that. Joe Blow has the perfect job
and family. Why can't I do that well? And it could go on. Does it feel
like things are closing in on you? Don't look at your circumstances.

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Look up and look ahead toward your destination. Press
toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God. (Philippians
3:14)
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Always try to drive so that your license will expire before
you do. (Uncle Ben’s Quote Book)

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Day 10
The Piercing of a Sword
Proverbs 12:18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword:
but the tongue of the wise is health.
James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great
things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
Guilty as charged! There are incidents when I hurl insults
while talking about another person who has irritated me or when
someone cuts me off in traffic. Little do I know my kids are
listening. Later when they start hurling insults at each other, I am
wondering, "Now where did THAT come from?!"
Matthew15:18 says, “But those things which proceed out of
the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”
I have been reading "Created to Be His Help Meet" by Debi
Pearl. It's a book for women on how to make your marriage better. I
have been impressed and convicted by what she has to say about the
power of a wife's tongue. It can either make a marriage stronger or it
can tear it down. What she says about the tongue applies to all areas
of life.
The tongue is such a small member of the body, but what
damage it can do and has done! I am just as guilty as the next person
of speaking before I think. Once those words are out, the damage is
done. It would be so much easier to just not say anything than to
have to try to do damage control after spewing out whatever comes
to mind.
Do you have trouble in this area like I do? Do a study on the
word tongue or mouth in the Bible and see what you can learn. Pick
a few of the verses that speak to you best and memorize them. Let's
see if we can start a new habit of thinking before we speak or click
the send button on the email.
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If you wouldn’t write it and sign it, don’t say it.
(Uncle Ben’s Quote Book)

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Day 11
Keeping Our Focus
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our
faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne
of God.
I took a jet boat ride with my children to see the Christmas
lights after dark. It took some getting used to. First, you have the
movement of the water to deal with. Second, you have no frame of
reference because it is dark out. And third, every time there was a
place where there were really pretty Christmas lights they did a
complete circle in the middle of the river so everyone could get a
good view. This wasn't a wide circle but a turn on a dime. For me, it
was a challenge because I had just come off of a really bad migraine
and the side effects of the pain reliever I took for it. Too keep from
getting motion sickness I had to glue my eyes onto the Christmas
lights on shore and try to keep looking at them as we did the turn.
Lately I have been feeling like this in my life. It's like I am
out in a boat after dark with no real good frame of reference, trying
to keep my equilibrium with the movement of the water. There are
so many holiday activities, added to the pressures of daily life,
home-schooling and physical difficulties that it's easy to lose my
frame of reference and equilibrium. Do you feel like this too
sometimes?
As I lay in bed early this morning thinking on this, it
occurred to me that just as I had to focus my eyes on the Christmas
lights to keep my sense of direction and equilibrium, so it is in life.
We must keep our eyes focused on Jesus if we are to maintain our
frame of reference and equilibrium. With so many activities and
things to do through the holiday season and life in general, especially
if you home-school too, it's easy to forget our real purpose in life and
allow circumstances to get us down. It's something I struggle with a
lot.

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The best way to live in the world is to live above it.
(Uncle Ben’s Quote Book)

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Day 12
They Call Her Blessed
Proverbs 31:28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her
husband also, and he praises her: (NKJV)
Mother's Day was coming and my friends were talking about what
their families were getting for them for Mother's Day. I sat and said
nothing because I knew my family couldn't afford to buy me
anything but lunch at a restaurant and a card. I remember the days
when I wondered if I would ever be a mother and how Mother's Day
only served as a painful reminder that I was not a mother.
And so, Mother's Day dawned and I made my way to the breakfast
table and found a nice card from my husband. He wrote, "You are a
great mother to our kids and special wife." Later, I saw my son
bringing a homemade card upstairs that said simply, "Happy
Mother's Day". It was his special way of remembering me and I
appreciated his thoughtfulness. As I passed by the dining room table
I saw a piece of paper laying there that said, "Happy Mother's Day!"
I turned it over and found this:
"I know I've said I'd run away
And I admit, I've screamed and cried
But please don't take it that I hate you
'Cause I really do love you deep inside!
I never called the taxi to take me from one friend's house to another
Who could be better qualified than a kind and loving mother?
You'll cook 'n clean all day, without a penny of pay
I've got 4 words to who'd do all of this: Hip-Hip-Hip-Hooray!
You clean up the whole basement and one day later it's a mess
Who do ya suppose did that? I know just the two people to guess.
Whoever wrote that children should be seen & not heard I thought
must surely be mistaken
But then again, why else would your poor head be so badly achin'?
And this concludes my poem, a tribute to my mother

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Your the best mom I could ever have, I'd trade you for no other!"
My friends talked about the expensive gifts they got for Mother's
Day, but I was given the best gifts of all.
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Happy homes are the responsibility of husbands and fathers---but
inevitably it is wives and mothers who make it so. [Theodore
Roosevelt (1858-1919)]

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Day 13
The Positive Side of Hay & Manure
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation (lifestyle) be without
covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he
hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
I read a story to my children about two brothers. One always
found the negative side to everything and the other always found the
positive in everything. They were put into two separate rooms. The
discontented boy was put into a room full of all the toys he could
ever want while his brother was put in a room full of manure and
hay. After twenty-four hours, their father looked in on them.
When he came to the room with all the toys, he heard wailing
and crying. He looked in and the boy was crying that the rocking
horse tipped over if he rocked too hard, the sail boat wouldn't sail
unless he blew on the sails and the train whistle blew too loudly for
his liking. When the father went to the room full of manure and hay,
he could hear shuffling noises. He looked in and the boy was
shoving hay and manure this way and that. When his father asked
him what he was doing he said, "There has got to be a baby cow in
here somewhere with all this hay and manure!"
How are your circumstances today? Are you in the room
with all the good things or are you in the room with the hay and
manure? Which ever room you find yourself in, God is there. He
has said He will never leave you, nor forsake you. Can you find
something positive about your situation that you can be thankful for?
Paul said in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever
things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are
just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if
there be any praise, think on these things.”
As I read this story to my children and the Bible study that
followed it on contentment, I was pricked in my heart and
challenged to think on the positive things about my own
circumstances instead of dwelling on the negatives. And the most
positive thing of all is that God will never leave me, nor forsake me.

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There is nothing better than that assurance in the days in which we
live. He is in control of all things.
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To be happy at home is the end of all labor. [Samuel Johnson
(1709-1784)]

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Day 14
Our Stronghold
Nahum 1:3, 7 ...the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the
storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. The LORD is good, a
strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in
him.
Storms are bound to blow into the lives of God's children at
one time or another. Some of us seem to experience more than our
share of storms. At times we feel as if we are going to be sucked up
in the whirlwind of chaos, out of control of our circumstances.
God uses the whirlwinds and storms that come into our lives
for His own good purposes. The Lord has his way in them. Since
the Lord is good, we can be assured that His purposes in the storms
of our lives are also good.
We can be assured that as we come to Him in our storms that
He will be our stronghold. He will be our anchor in the storm. He is
the firm Rock that will not be moved. As long as we cling to Him,
we will not be blown away with the wind.
It is a great comfort to realize that the God of the universe
knows those who trust in Him. He is a personal God. He is
intimately involved in our lives. He doesn't just stand off in the
distance and watch as we go through the storms of life. He is there
with us. He knows us. He has a plan for us even in the middle of
our storms. He knows what we need. So cling to Him in the day of
trouble.
The clouds are the dust of His feet. Look at the clouds and
be reminded that He is there with you.
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Truth crushed to the earth shall rise again,
The eternal years of God are hers.
[William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)]

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Day 15
Just One Step at a Time
Psalms 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity
have dominion over me.
Psalms 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD:
and he delighteth in his way.
"Just one step at a time, Mommy. Just one step", my then
four year old son told me.
He had broken his leg and had a cast from his thigh to his
ankle. I was concerned about how he would be able to get
downstairs the next morning, but was surprised to see him already on
the couch before I had come down stairs. I had asked him how he
got down the stairs and that was his response.
His attitude toward his difficulty spoke volumes to me. I had
just been diagnosed with two tumors on my thyroid and had several
tests and a surgery to go through to determine if it was malignant or
not. I was also suffering from a broken rib, although at the time I
didn't know it was broken. Later I would learn I have severe bone
loss that caused my rib to break. And, I was in physical therapy
because of neck pain and stiffness. It was tempting to go to pieces
(and I did a few times) with worry over what would come next.
My four year old taught me through example to take it all one
step at a time and the Lord taught me to trust Him for wisdom and
grace to take each step as it came. Now, I don't claim to have the
lessons all down pat. I get impatient and I still find myself trying to
take five or six steps at a time. But I am learning with each trial that
comes my way to take it one step at a time and let my Lord do the
leading.
We as home-school parents can apply this advice to our
home-school experience. If we look at the magnitude of the task we
will crumble in despair. We have to take the task of educating our
children one step at a time. Then later we’ll look back and see
God’s faithfulness to lead us through this adventure.
Are you in the middle of a trial, worried about what's ahead?
Try taking the advice of a four-year old. It's really good advice!

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Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you
don’t have the strength. Industry and determination can do
anything that genius and advantage can do and many things that
they cannot. [Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)]

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Day 16
The Refiner
Malachi 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and
he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver,
that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
1Peter 1:7 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:
The refiner sits when he purifies the silver and gold. He heats
it up over the fire and the impurities come to the surface where they
can be skimmed off. The fire must not be too hot or it will harm the
precious metal, but it must be hot enough to cause the impurities to
rise to the top. And so the refiner sits by the gold or silver to make
sure it is not harmed in the process and the heat is just right. He
skims the impurities off as they rise to the top and he knows the
process is finished when he can see his own reflection in the gold or
silver.
So it is with us. Our faith is more precious than the gold or
silver, and God, the Refiner tries it with the fires of affliction. He sits
by the fire next to us as the heat is turned up. We can be assured that
all through the process He is there to skim off the impurities of our
lives as they rise to the top and to be sure the fire is not too hot. We
may feel like the fire is too hot and that we can not take it anymore,
but He knows how high to turn up the heat and He knows what is
going to best accomplish His purposes in our lives. He is there
skimming the impurities off as they rise to the top and one day He
will be reflected in our lives as we submit to His purifying fire.
Praise, honor and glory to God should be the goal in all that we go
through.
Are things getting tough? Are you discouraged in your
home-schooling? Take heart. The Refiner is there sitting right
beside you. He knows exactly what He is doing and what His
purposes are in your life. Persevere through the trials and you will
come forth as gold.

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God chastens us with many instruments, but they are all held in His
ever-loving hand. (Uncle Ben’s Quote Book)

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Day 17
How Does Your Garden Grow?
Genesis 41: 51-52 And Joseph called the name of the firstborn
Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and
all my father’s house. And the name of the second called he
Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my
affliction.
Joseph had been wrongfully sold by his own brothers to be a
slave in Egypt. In Egypt he was wrongfully accused of seducing his
master's wife and thrown into prison. Years later in prison God gave
him the interpretation of the dreams of two men who were in prison
with him. One was executed and the other restored to his position as
Pharaoh's cup bearer. The cupbearer promised to put a good word in
for Joseph to get him released, but he forgot. Joseph sat in prison for
a number of years more before Pharaoh had a dream that his
magicians could not interpret. Finally, the cupbearer remembered
Joseph. Joseph was called to interpret Pharaoh's dream and then was
put in charge as second in command over all the land to save the
people from a coming famine. God gave him two sons. One he
named Ephraim, meaning, "For God hath caused me to be fruitful in
the land of my affliction".
Do you ever feel that you are suffering wrongfully? Do you
wonder "why me?” Joseph had ample opportunity to ask "why me?”
However, we see him taking his circumstances patiently and with
good character.
As Christians, we are to develop the fruits of the Spirit, in our
lives.
Galatians 5: 22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness,
temperance: against such there is no law.
Affliction is the garden in which the fruit of the Spirit can
flourish. Home-schooling can be that garden. When our children
grumble about their schoolwork, are uncooperative or have learning

43
difficulties, this is the garden where the fruit of the Spirit needs to
flourish.
How is your garden growing? Are you bearing the fruit of
the Spirit there? Sometimes it is not very pleasant when God tills
our garden with affliction, but He does it so that we will bear much
fruit to His glory.
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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT---LOVE
JOY is love exulting.
PEACE is love in repose.
LONGSUFFERING is love on trial.
GENTLENESS is love in society.
GOODNESS is love in action.
FAITH is love in endurance.
MEEKNESS is love at school.

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TEMPERANCE is love in discipline.
(Uncle Ben’s Quote Book)

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Day 18
Thick Darkness
Psalm 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalm 18:11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round
about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
1Kings 8:12 Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would
dwell in the thick darkness.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed and depressed, like a dark
cloud just followed you wherever you went? Have you ever felt like
God has taken the sunshine of His love away from you? Maybe you
feel like that today.
Read the verses above and see what it says about darkness.
Those who dwell in the secret place of the most High abide under
the shadow of the Almighty. What is the secret place of God?
Darkness. It seems to be an unlikely place for God to dwell. Yet,
Scripture tells us that the Lord said he would dwell in the thick
darkness.
I remember visiting Mark Twain’s Cave in Hannibal, MO a
few times as a child. When we were deep into the cave they shut the
lights off to show us how dark it is. The darkness was literally so
thick we could not see our hands even when we had them less than
an inch from our faces. We could not see that anyone was near us
even though they stood right beside us. When you are in a dark time
in your life, you may not be able to see that God is right there in the
darkness beside you. Perhaps He is silent and you feel that He has
left you. He has not. He is there. He dwells in the thick darkness.
He is giving you an opportunity to exercise your faith even when
you can’t see or feel Him in your life. This is the place where your
faith is exercised. When we exercise, what happens? It makes us
stronger. As you exercise your faith in the dark times of your life,
your faith becomes stronger.
Don’t give up. Don’t despair. God is with you. He has said
He will never leave you nor forsake you.

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Patience is accepting a difficult situation without giving God a
deadline to remove it. (Uncle Ben’s Quote Book)

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Day 19
Clinging to the Rock
Philippians 4:6 Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be
made known unto God.
How often have I had this verse drilled into my head and
heart? I bring my requests to God, endeavor to leave them there and
not worry and stew about them. But what guilt it brings when I
realize I am suffering from stress-related health problems! Then I
beat myself up for letting the stresses of life affect me. Is this the
way God meant it to be? I don't think so.
Can a person "be anxious for nothing..." and still be affected
physically by the stresses he or she encounters? Does being affected
physically by these things necessarily mean I am sinning by being
anxious?
Think about the unsheltered tree on the side of the cliff by the
ocean. It is beat up daily by the forces of the wind and the rain. Its
roots cling to the rock. Its appearance is twisted and gnarled due to
the stresses put upon it. The more stress it endures the deeper it
sends its roots down to cling to the rock. Physically, it might be
short, missing limbs, bent over and not looking all too good. The
stresses of life have affected it. But what we don't see is the tree's
root system clinging to the rock and becoming stronger and stronger
with each gale that hits it.
We may be under a tremendous amount of stress as we
home-school our children. We may have stress in other areas of our
lives as well. Our bodies can take only so much before stress related
diseases and conditions begin to show up. Of course it is important
to take measures to do all we can to manage the stress in our lives,
but sometimes we just can't do anymore about it. We become like
that beat up tree on the cliff side. It's not a sin that our bodies break
down under stress. The sin is in being anxious about the stress. That
only adds more stress to what we are dealing with. The storms of
life will beat you up and possibly break you down physically, but let
those storms make you stronger spiritually as you send your roots
deeper, clinging to the Solid Rock.

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Wisdom is oft times nearer when we stoop than when we soar.
[William Wordsworth (1770-1850)]

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Day 20
Turn Toward the Wind
Mark 6:48-50 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind
was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came
to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. And
when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a
ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But
immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good
cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
As you look at the task of home-schooling, do you
sometimes sink in despair? Does it seems like the wind is against
you and you are not making any progress? As I was reading this
passage, I see Jesus coming and saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do
not be afraid.”
I am reminded of a book titled, “Turn Toward the Wind” by
Dale Bourke. A couple years ago, I was in the hospital waiting room
waiting to have an x-ray when I looked down and saw this book. I
picked it up and began to read, “...times of crises become moments
of insight or insulation, a time to move closer to God as he truly is or
a time to stubbornly hold on to our image of him.” As I read on, the
author tells of her experience in learning to sail a sailboat. Her
instructor told her to find the wind and then aim her boat at an angle
toward it. She could hear the spirit of God whispering in her heart,
“Face the winds of change and use them to propel you forward.”
Are the winds blowing against you today? When the winds of
adversity blow into your life, don’t strain against it. Jesus says, “Be
of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Be of good cheer, turn your
sails toward the wind and allow it to propel you forward toward
Him. Allow it to teach you more of Who He really is and allow it to
strengthen your faith in Him.
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The great cleavage throughout the world lies between what is with,
and what is against the faith. [Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)]

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Day 21
Time Out
Mark 6:31 And He said to them, "Come aside by yourselves to a
deserted place and rest a while." For there were many coming and
going, and they did not even have time to eat. (NKJV)
I often find myself rushing about through my day, not taking
time out to rest and relax. If it weren't for my family, I might skip
meals to add a few more minutes of productivity to my day. My
doctor and my physical therapist have both expressed their concern
that I take time out from the concerns of the day and find time to
relax away from it all. Jesus tells His apostles, "Come aside by
yourselves...and rest a while." Jesus knows the need for us to get
away from it all and take time out to de-stress.
How are you doing in this area? Do you have a regular time
when you take time out for rest and relaxation? Start today to do this.
It will help clear your mind and make you more productive. If Jesus
saw it as important, so should we.
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His way is best,
I cease from needless scheming
And leave the ruling
Of my life to Him.
All will be well,
Though how all wrong, ‘tis seeming.
All will be clear
That now to me seems dim.
So I am blest.
(Uncle Ben’s Quote Book)

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Day 22
Let Your Light Shine Through Me
2 Corinthians 4:7-10 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are
perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck
down, but not destroyed-- always carrying about in the body the
dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested
in our body. (NKJV)
Sometimes there are weeks where I feel hard pressed,
perplexed and struck down by a number of difficult circumstances. It
is hard to not feel crushed, in despair, forsaken and nearly destroyed.
But I am not.
God has chosen us weak earthen, cracked pots! If we were
strong, and self-sufficient, then the world would see our own human
power, but we are broken, cracked pots---nothing impressive for the
world to look at, so that when God shows His power there will be no
question it is Him that is working, not us. It will be Jesus and His
power that people will see in our lives, not us. In order for that to
happen, we must be dependent on His grace, not trying to struggle
through the difficulties on our own. His grace is sufficient. His
power is made perfect in weakness. We also must be willing to wait
for His timing too. We learn patience when we come to the place
where we think we can't take it anymore. When we get to our wit's
end, that is where God will bestow grace and patience to meet the
need when we humbly depend on Him.
Having a hard week? Feeling hard pressed, perplexed, struck
down? Let God show His power in you. Depend on Him. He won't
forsake you.
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Step out in faith.
[Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)]

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Day 23
God & Time
Deuteronomy 32:3-4
For I proclaim the name of the LORD:
Ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect;
For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice;
Righteous and upright is He.
I read these verses in my morning quiet time on Saturday.
Sunday we had a guest speaker at church who spoke on the topic of
God's relationship to time. He brought out some of the following
points:









God is self-existent.
God's time signature is "I AM" Exodus 3:14, John 8:58
God is not bound by time, space and matter as we are. Psalm
90:4
God created time. Genesis 1:1
God is sovereign over time. 1 Timothy 1:17 (King eternal=literally, "King of the (eternal) ages." or King of time)
God does not exist in time; therefore He has never learned
anything and never gains anything. Nothing is new to Him. He
knows it all. Psalm 102:25-27 He does not change.
God inhabits eternity. Isaiah 57:15
God who created time understands it and fully comprehends it
even though He is not limited or bound by time.
God already knows the future.
For God, past, present and future are all equally vivid.
Revelation 1:4

As I pondered on these things, the verses I read the day before
became more meaningful to me. Our God truly is great and these
things should make us want to fall down and worship Him for Who
He is. The word LORD means Jehovah or self-existent One. God's

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ways are perfect because He sees past, present and future all at once.
He knows exactly what He is doing and why. Everything God does

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is done in justice, truth and righteousness. When things don't go the
way we think they should we sometimes feel He is being unjust with
us. That is because we are bound by time. We can not see what His
purposes are for what He has allowed to come into our lives and so it
seems unjust. God on the other hand sees the whole picture all at
once...past, present and future. He knows everything that is going to
happen and is not surprised by anything. His way is perfect and I can
take comfort in knowing that whatever He does is for a good
purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Are you worried about the future? Take comfort in knowing
that God is already there. He goes before you into the future and
nothing takes Him by surprise.
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I know not the way He leads me, but well I know my
Guide. (Martin Luther)

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Day 24
The Theory of Chaos
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to
them that love God, to them who are the called according to his
purpose.
At the Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center, my husband
pointed out a sign to me that made me feel a lot better about my
house keeping. Here's what the sign said:
"What is chaos? Most of us think of chaos as total
confusion--an unpredictable state with no order or pattern. This
dictionary definition differs from the scientific theory of chaos that
states that events may look "random" but are actually orderly and
predictable in the short term. Long term predictions are not possible,
and so the events appear random."
For those of us who are organizationally challenged, these
words come as welcome relief! (Grin)
Seriously, though, being challenged with adverse
circumstances, whether it be illness, financial difficulties, death of a
loved one, or whatever it may be, can make your life seem like it is
turned upside down and chaotic. Yet, the Apostle Paul says "...that
all things work together for good to them that love God" and in
Ephesians 1:11 he says, "In whom also we have obtained an
inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who
worketh all things after the counsel of his own will."
The theory of chaos fits really well into God's plan. What
seems random and chaotic is actually orderly and predictable from
God's point of view. One day we will be able to see it all from His
point of view and we will see that it is true. Hang on to these
promises. They are an anchor that will see us through tough times.
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The wise does at once what the fool does at last.
[Baltasar Gracian (1601-1658)]

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Day 25
Anxious Anticipation
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your
Lord doth come.
I stood behind the door in the dark garage, my heart
pounding with anticipation, wondering when one of my children
would come around the corner and yell, "I found you!" Even though
I knew one of them was going to eventually find me, when my
daughter finally came around the corner I screamed a blood curdling
scream of surprise because she came so suddenly and quietly.
"You're fun to play hide and seek with, Mommy, because
you scream so loud when I find you!" she laughed.
What will it be like on that day when our Lord returns? Are
you waiting in anxious anticipation for His return? The Bible says
we do not know the hour when He will come. Therefore we are to
watch and be ready.
1 Thessalonians 4: 8-10 tells us how to be ready for Christ's return.
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the
breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of
salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to
obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us,
that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with
him.
When Christ returns there will be some changes.
looking forward to that day when my body will be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:51-53 says,

I am

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we
shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead
shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For
this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal
must put on immortality.

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No more sickness or pain! What a day that will be! Were it
not for the trials here, I would not be waiting in as great of
anticipation for Christ's return. These trials work to wean me off this
world.
Are you watching and ready with anxious anticipation for our
Lord's return? I'm looking forward to meeting Jesus and you in the
air with our perfect bodies one day! What a day that will be!
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Hearth and home are the cornerstones of help and hope
and happiness. [Mark Twain (1835-1910)]

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Day 26
The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength
Nehemiah 8:9-10 ...This day is holy unto the LORD your God;
mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the
words of the law.Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat,
and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing
is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry;
for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
For some reason, I've had the phrase "the joy of the LORD is
your strength" going around in my head. Maybe it came from a song
I listened to. It has been good for me to meditate on that and to think
about it. So I decided to do a search for that phrase to see if it was in
the Bible. The verse above was the only verse that was returned in
the search.
It is in the context of when the wall of Jerusalem was rebuilt
and they declared a holy day to worship the Lord. All the people
gathered together to hear the law of the Lord. When they heard it
read they began to cry and to mourn. The people were told, "This
day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. Go
your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto
them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our
Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved."
Verse twelve tells us, “And all the people went their way to
eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth,
because they had understood the words that were declared unto
them."
Can you imagine the celebration they had simply because
they understood God's law? There are many times as I study God's
Word that suddenly I will understand something and joy swells up in
my heart because of that "light bulb" moment. I get excited and it
seems to renew my energy.
The Joy of the Lord. Have you ever noticed how joy will put
a bounce in your step and you just feel like you have more energy?
The joy of the Lord truly is our strength. For those of us who have
physical challenges to deal with, it's easy to start complaining and

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that drains our strength. But when we have the joy of the Lord, even
when we don't feel well, our energy can be renewed.
How can I have the joy of the Lord? First of all by being a
child of God, one who has the joy of knowing their sins are forgiven.
In our day to day life, there are several ways in which we can have
the joy of the Lord. I have found that playing joyful uplifting
Christian music gives a boost to my soul. Before long I find myself
humming or singing along with the music even when I don't feel
well. Daily reading of God's Word and prayer also helps to focus
my thoughts on Jesus and gives me that heavenly perspective of
joyful anticipation of heaven.
Perhaps you need a lift to your spirits, the joy of the Lord.
Won't you join me in taking action on some of the suggestions
above?
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Jesus
Others
You
What a wonderful way to spell JOY!

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Day 27
Run Your Own Race
Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about
with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and
the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the
race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher
of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the
cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the
throne of God.
I was watching a TV program where one of the main
characters was being coached on how to play chess. After several
moves, her coach said, “Remember that you need to play your own
game. Don’t try to play someone else’s game.”
I was reminded of what the Apostle Paul said in the verse
above. “…run with patience the race that is set before us…” God
has set a particular race before each one of us. Your race is not my
race. In a race, each runner runs his own race. He cannot run a good
race if he is looking at the other runners, thinking about what they
might do or how they might run their race. If he does this he is
going to get off course and he may not even make the finish line. He
is trying to run the other person’s race instead of concentrating on
his own race.
God has given us a race to run. Some of us have physical
difficulties, obstacles in our race to overcome. It is tempting to look
at the race God has given others to run and grumble because we
think He has given them an easier course.
Sometimes we have perceived ideas of what others expect of
us and try to run the race in a way to please them instead of Jesus.
We feel frustrated with our physical limitations and instead of saying
no to other’s requests of us when we know it's beyond our physical
limits, we say yes and then reap the consequences of taking on more
than we can handle.
We need to keep our eyes on Jesus. He is the goal we need
to look to. If our eyes are on Him, we will stay on course and not be

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distracted by how others are running or what we think others are
expecting of us. Our goal will be to please Him.

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We should remember that it is no honor or profit merely to
appear in the arena, but the wreath is for those who
contend aright. [James A. Garfield (1831-1881)]

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Day 28
Contentment
Philippians 4: 11, 13 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have
learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I can do
all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
How can we be content when things seem to go wrong? The
Apostle Paul said that he had learned to be content in whatever state
he was in. What was his secret of contentment? How was he able to
"do all things" and remain content?
I am reminded of the popular way of saying things. For
example: "I don't do windows." "I don't do toilets." "I don't do the
flu." "I don't do chronic illness." The Apostle Paul did "do ship
wrecks", he did "do hunger", he did "do beatings" etc. and through it
all he learned to "do contentment". Verse 13 tells us he did it
through Christ who strengthened him. I wondered, "How exactly
does this work?"
A song I love, by This Hope, gave me a little more insight
into this. Listen to the words of the last verse of "Joy Anthem":
"Your joy is strength, oh Lord,
It lifts us up in troubled times
We find our hope in you
Remembering that you brought us life
When we see You, not circumstance
Then we will be content at last. "
Did you notice the last two lines? “When we see You, not
circumstance, then we will be content at last." This is the secret to
contentment that the Apostle Paul had found. Instead of seeing his
circumstances, he saw the Lord in his circumstances.
Are you fearful and anxious, looking at your seemingly
impossible circumstances and wondering how you will ever
manage? Look up and see the Lord in your circumstances today.
Focus on Him today.

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We should learn to see things in a higher light.
[Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)]

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Day 29
Another Lap Around Mt. Sinai
Deuteronomy 8:11-12,17-18 Beware that thou forget not the LORD
thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and
his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast
eaten and art full,...thou say in thine heart, My power and the might
of mine hand hath gotten me this...( fill in the blank). But thou shalt
remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to...
(fill in the blank).
I have been having such a good month! Much has been
accomplished. I have been proud of all that I have been able to do.
I’ve been very busy. Too busy. I have neglected my quiet time with
the Lord.
One morning recently, I was awakened at 5:30am with a
tremendous headache. I got up, took a couple Tylenol and went
back to bed. Finally I was able to sleep some more and woke up
later, still with a headache, but at least it was bearable. I didn’t feel
like getting out of bed though, so I rolled over and picked up my
Bible and began to read where I had left off. “..forget not the LORD
thy God...lest thou say...My power and the might of mine hand hath
gotten me this...remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth
thee power to...” Uh, oh. It’s time to take another lap around Mt.
Sinai...until I learn that it is God that gives me the power and
strength to accomplish anything. It is He that gives me the good
days. It is all by His mercy that I am able to do what I have done.
It is so easy to take credit and become proud. It is often
tempting in home-schooling to be proud of our accomplishments or
to push our children harder then we should so WE can be proud of
what we have accomplished. I’ve noticed two things as I read the
Old Testament that God hates. He hates pride and he hates
complaining. He sends me on wilderness excursions around Mt.
Sinai often for these two things.
How are you doing? Will I meet you coming around the
other side of the mountain in the wilderness? I hope not. There is
one comfort in all of this. It is said in the Old Testament as well as
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Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man
chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.
(Deuteronomy 8:5)
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth
every son whom he receiveth. (Hebrews 12:6)
If God disciplines you, then it means you are one of his
children. He won’t discipline those who are not his own. I find
comfort in this. Since God comes after me when I mess up, I have
assurance that I am one of His children.
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As pride sometimes is hid under humility, idleness is often
covered by turbulence and hurry. [Samuel Johnson (17091784)]

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Day 30
Success
Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does
the LORD require of you but to do justice and to love mercy and to
walk humbly with your God?
Lately, I have been challenged with the question of, "What is
true success?” Our society says success is having a good job and
earning lots of money, getting good grades in school, being popular,
having nice cars, and homes as well as other possessions. In the
arena of the church, high attendance numbers, people walking the
isle each Sunday, programs with lots of people busy keeping them
going and a high profile in the community seems to be the measure
of success. In the home-school community, we tend to measure
success by how well we are meeting the standards set for us by the
state, family and friends and how well we measure up to other homeschool families.
What does God see as success? Success is doing justice,
loving mercy and walking humbly with God. Galatians 5:22-26 tells
us,
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's
have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we
live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not
become conceited, provoking one another, envying one
another. (NKJV)
Success in the church doesn't necessarily mean large
attendance. A successful church is one that keeps God's word and
does not deny His name. It is one that perseveres in the truth and
does not compromise the truth. Success in home-schooling isn’t
getting the entire curriculum done on schedule or measuring up to
standards put on us by others. It is persevering in teaching our
children truth, to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.

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Revelation 3:7-8,10 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia
write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who
has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and
no one opens": I know your works. See, I have set before you an
open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have
kept My word, and have not denied My name... "Because you have
kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour
of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who
dwell on the earth.”
The worldly idea of success is nothing like God's idea of
success. God's economy is different. If we are being faithful to God,
walking humbly with Him, allowing the fruit of the Spirit to develop
in our lives, then we are successful in His sight.
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My worth to God in public is what I am in private.
[Oswald Chambers 1874-1917)]

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Day 31
Do All to the Glory of God
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or
whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
I was impressed recently at church with the idea that we are
to do everything to the glory of God. For example, if God has called
you to be a garbage collector, then you should collect the garbage to
the glory of God. If the idea of doing all things to the glory of God
pervades our thinking, then we will be motivated to do the best job
we can.
However, as I began to think on this, I realized this could
bring a lot of guilt on those of us who have chronic health
conditions. Sometimes our health prevents us from doing the best
job possible or from doing a job that needs to be done. As homeschoolers, our job of teaching our children is taxing and sometimes
we aren’t able to keep our homes up to the standard of the “Jones’”.
Dear Friend, we don't have to feel guilty or beat ourselves up
because we can't keep things up to the standard we feel would be
glorifying to God. Hebrews 4:15 tells us, For we have not an high
priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities;
but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Jesus
knows our weaknesses. He knows our limits. He also knows our
heart's desires to glorify Him.
What has God called you to do today? If God has called you
to home-school, do it to the glory of God. Has He called you to
clean the toilets or the refrigerator? Do it for God’s glory. Are you
ill or in chronic pain? Has God called you to lie in bed or on the
couch today because of physical problems? Do all for the glory of
God. Do you see what a difference this will make in how we
respond to our circumstances?
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If we look externally there is a difference betwixt the
washing of dishes and preaching the Word of God; but as
touching to please God, in relation to His call, none at all.
[William Tyndale (1494-1536)]

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Day 32
Complaining, Disbelief and Giving Thanks
Psalms 27:13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the
goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Psalms 106:24-25 Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they
believed not his word: But murmured in their tents, and hearkened
not unto the voice of the LORD.
God has impressed upon me the idea that complaining about my
circumstances is just another form of disbelief. In Psalm 27:13, the
New American Standard Version renders it, “I would have
despaired, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in
the land of the living.” You see, according to these two verses
disbelief in God’s goodness and God’s word result in despair and
complaining. This strikes hard at my heart. So often I find myself
complaining about my circumstances. Sometimes I might not
complain outwardly, but my heart attitude is a complaining attitude.
When I complain I am showing that I don’t believe God’s word and
that I doubt His goodness. We are commanded in Philippians 2:14
to do all things without murmurings and disputings.
So not only am I showing that I doubt His goodness and His
word, I am disobeying what He commands me to do.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of
the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
(Colossians 3:17)
The alternative is to give thanks. Giving thanks is God’s will
for us. We are to do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks
to God and the Father by him. Have you ever heard anyone
complain in the name of the Lord Jesus? How absurd! These two
things just don’t go together.
Now I have to admit, that I have not mastered this. I know I
will fail and I often do, but as I go to God and ask His forgiveness,
He will give me strength to do better next time.
How about you? Do you find this area a challenge? Let’s
meditate on these verses and see if we can do better together!

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Thank God for dirty dishes,
They have a tale to tell;
While others may go hungry
We’ve eaten very well.
With home, health and happiness
I shouldn’t want to fuss,
By the stack of evidence
God’s been very good to us!
(Uncle Ben’s Quote Book)

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Day 33
Burned Chicken and Soupy Pudding
Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my
heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my
redeemer.
Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and
the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
We came home from church to find the chicken burned to a
crisp in the crock-pot and my attitude in need of adjustment. I
finished fixing the rest of the meal and we sat down to eat, burned
chicken and all. After the main part of the meal, I decided to fix
some pistachio pudding. I measured out whey milk because at that
time we were avoiding regular milk. Then I read the ingredients on
the pudding box and discovered there was milk already in the
ingredients! There went my attitude again. My husband even
commented on how cranky I was. I found an alternative dessert for
my son, went ahead, and mixed the whey milk with the pudding mix.
Then it dawned on me I should have used regular milk since my son
wouldn't be eating any. There went the attitude again! So I got out
the wire whisk and whisked away waiting for it to thicken up. It
didn't thicken, but my attitude did. I poured the soupy, sloppy green
stuff into cereal bowls and served it with straws. My husband
commented that it was one of the most unique meals I've come up
with yet. I said, "Ok, there's got to be a lesson here somewhere. I
wonder what it is?"
As my husband helped me fill the dishwasher, he made a
comment about our pastor thanking God for each food individually
that was on the table. I realized that instead of getting cranky about
the meal, I should be thanking God that we have food to eat, even if
it didn't turn out right, when so many go without.
How often do we grumble and complain about our
circumstances? Yet, if we take time to look around us, there are
many in far worse circumstances than our own. Would we want to
trade places with them? I doubt it. We have much to thank God for.

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He enjoys much who is thankful for little. (Uncle Ben’s
Quote Book)

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Day 34
Brains in a Binder
Psalms 39:4 LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of
my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.
Psalms 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply
our hearts unto wisdom.
Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
The Lord has really impressed upon me the importance of
time and how I use it. For those of us who have physical challenges
plus the added responsibility of home-schooling our children, time is
precious. Our time is limited anyway by the time it takes to teach
our children. Having them under foot all day everyday taxes our
energy reserves and creates extra work for us. So when our health
takes a plunge, many household things don't get done at all.
When I have good days I find I really have to pace myself or
I wear myself out. The temptation is to jump in over my head and
work myself until I am exhausted trying to catch up on all the things
that have gone into chaos while I was unable to do much. We really
need to pray that God would help us to number our days and apply
our hearts unto wisdom. When the days are good, we don't know
how long they will last. We need to make a list and ask God to show
us what items on that list are the most important ones and do those
first.
When I have a string of really good days, it is easy for me to
begin to think I am invincible. That God has healed me! Before I
know it, I am not being very careful, not pacing myself and doing
things I shouldn't be doing. This is where I would do well to post
David's prayer up where I can see it each day. “LORD, make me to
know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may
know how frail I am. “
In the middle of my good days recently, God allowed me to
wake up with an all day whopping headache on one morning and a
terrible locked up neck for the morning of another day. These only
lasted a day and a half and then I was fine. But it reminded me, that
I am not invincible.

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I find that a daily planner is a necessary item for me. It is my
brain. It has a place for menus, shopping lists, daily chores,
appointments and notes to remember. It’s my brain in a binder. I
write everything in pencil so if I set too many goals for myself on
one day or get sick, I can easily erase them and assign them to
another day. It is a wonderful tool to help me redeem the time.
I hope I have inspired you in some way in the area of time
use. It's hard to keep a handle on our time when illness and other
unexpected events arise. But if we have things written down, we
don't have to get knocked off track. Just move to a siding until you
can get moving again or switch to a different track and keep
chugging along.
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Genius is seldom recognized for what it is: a great capacity for hard
work. [Henry Ford (1863-1947)]

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Day 35
The War on Clutter
Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about
with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and
the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the
race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher
of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the
cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the
throne of God.
I just took a full car load of stuff to the Good Will today.
The clutter in my house is driving my crazy. It keeps me from being
able to efficiently clean without a lot of extra effort. Things have a
way of disappearing into thin air too. The clutter is controlling me
instead of me controlling the clutter. So today I declared war on
clutter.
We see in these verses that the writer is likening the Christian
life to a race. One who is in a serious race will eliminate anything
extra in the way of clothing, music players, etc. that would add extra
weight and potentially slow him down in the race. So the writer says
we are to lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily slows
us down.
In order for my home to be a place of refuge for my family
and me and to bring glory to God, I realize I need to let go of some
weight...the clutter that is slowing me down in the race that God has
set before me.
But the temptation is to let the clutter make me crabby and to
fly around the house with a big black garbage bag, grabbing
everything that is not necessary to life and throwing it in the bag to
pitch out. This would greatly upset my family as they see their things
getting tossed out. I certainly would not make any points with them.
It would stir up bad feelings and wouldn't be glorifying to God. So,
I must temper my temper, and go a bit more slowly than I would
like, allowing the family to have a say in what things of theirs I
pitch. This takes patience. But then, our verse above says to run the
race with patience too.
How's the clutter at your house? Getting you down? Ready
to declare war? Not feeling physically up to the task, yet it is driving

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you nuts? Take heart. Set a goal of just 15 minutes a day to declutter. You don't even have to do your 15 minutes all at once if it's
too hard. Do 5 minutes three different times during the day. Put it
in a grocery sack and store it in the garage until you have a load for
the Good Will. But, no peeking! Once you put it out in the garage,
don't go through it again or you will bring it back in! No one in a
race stops and goes back to get things to weigh them down. That
would be crazy! Are you ready? Get Set! Go declare war on
clutter!
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Any coward can fight a battle when he’s sure of winning; but give
me the man who has the pluck to fight when he’s sure of losing.
That’s my way, sir; and there are many victories worse than a
defeat. [George Eliot (1819-1880)]

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Day 36
A Still Small Voice
1Kings 19:11-12 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount
before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great
and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks
before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the
wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And
after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and
after the fire a still small voice.
Elijah had run for his life from Jezebel into the wilderness
where he asked God to take his life. He was tired and discouraged.
God graciously provided food and water and allowed him rest. Then
he traveled forty days until he came to a cave where he decided to
stay for a while. The voice of God said to him, “What doest thou
here, Elijah?” And he began to tell God about how zealous he had
been for the Lord and how he was the only one left who was faithful
to God. He exaggerated a bit. Later the Lord says in 1 Kings 19:8,
“Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which
have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed
him.”
God told Elijah to come out on the mount and the Lord
passed by. He wasn’t in the wind. He wasn’t in the earthquake. He
wasn’t in the fire. God came to him in the still small voice.
I see some things here that we can learn from this.
1. When we are tired and discouraged, take time to get
adequate nourishment, water and rest. God allowed
Elijah to rest, gave him food and water.
2. Realize that you are not alone. When you are
overwhelmed you may feel like you are the only one
who feels like this. Elijah said he was the only one
left who was zealous for God and they were seeking
his life. It wasn’t true.
3. Understand that God doesn’t always work in dramatic
ways. He often works in quiet ways behind the scenes

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and we must be still to hear him. God says, “Be still and
know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
It requires patience and trust on our parts to be still before
God and wait for Him to work. Often His work is done in still, small
imperceptible ways. Can you wait for Him?
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Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory. Wisdom
comes of such a recognition. [Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616)]

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Day 37
Seeing the Trash in a New Light
Psalms 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not
seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
I opened the cupboard door under the sink to take the trash
out and found it overflowing. It's not usually the first thought that
goes through my mind when this happens, but today this is what
went through my mind when I saw the overflowing trash:
Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise ye creatures here below,
Praise him all ye heavenly hosts,
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!
Wow, that was a strange thing to have gone through my mind
when I saw the trash overflowing. But then I got to thinking about
it. We complain about having to take the trash out and get irritated
when it overflows and no one in the house seems to have the
technology to take it out but Mom.
Have you ever thought about the fact that the overflowing
trash is a visible reminder of all the blessings God bestows on us
each day? We have food wrappers, milk cartons and egg cartons
because God provides food for our family. We have boxes and
wrappers from toys, and products that we buy to help make our lives
more enjoyable. God provides the ability for someone in the
household to bring in an income so we can have these things.
Taking out the trash can become a time of worship and praise
to God for all He provides for us each day. How's your trash today?
Overflowing? Are you the only one who has the technology to take
it out? Turn it into a time of praise to God for His over-abundant
blessings on you.
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I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to
accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The
world is moved along not by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but by
the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.
[Helen Keller (1880-1968)]

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Day 38

A Lesson in Blackberry Picking
Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord,
and not unto men; 
My children and I went blackberry picking. We found a big
patch of blackberry vines and started picking. I was struggling,
trying to get those berries that looked so good, but yet just out of my
reach. I was getting scratched and straining my neck and shoulders,
which I knew I would pay for later in terms of pain. As I came
around the edge of the patch, my daughter said,”Mommy, just look
down underneath. That’s where all the good berries are!” Sure
enough, I lifted a few leaves down low and there was a bunch of nice
ripe, fat juicy blackberries. I thought to myself, there has to be a
lesson somewhere in this. As I began to think on it later, I
discovered the lesson.
I was looking too high; stretching and straining to reach those
berries that were just out of reach, knowing I would pay for it in
terms of pain later. How often have I set my goals too high, whether
it is housework, or home-school, or other pursuits and as I push to
get it all done, I pay later in terms of either, frustration and/or
physical pain?
“You have to learn to pace yourself” is a familiar refrain that
I have heard from my physical therapist when I have over done it. I
need to learn to set my sights a little lower. Learn to not over do it.
Schedule fewer things into the schedule and just concentrate on
doing those few things well that I am able to do.
Are you trying to accomplish more than you can do
realistically? Are you frustrated that you cannot do as much as you
used too? Try these suggestions:
• Set fewer daily goals for yourself
• Choose a task, set a timer for 15 minutes and work
until the timer rings, then rest.
• Do those few things heartily unto the Lord….play
some praise music to help you.

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You will be pleasantly surprised at how much you
can get done in just 15 minutes! At the end of the day you
can see just how many "berries were hiding under those
lower leaves".
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I am of certain convinced that the greatest heroes are
those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs
whilst the world whirls as a maddening dreidle. [Florence
Nightingale (1820-1910)]

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Day 39
Ants and Cowbirds: Lessons from Creation
Proverbs 6:6 ¶ Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and
be wise:
Recently I sent my daughter up to the garden to do some
weeding. She came back excited about what she had seen. She had
pulled up a clump of weeds and underneath was an ant colony
nursery. As she watched, the ants quickly began carrying the eggs
down a tunnel deeper underground. There were hundreds of eggs,
but it only took them five minutes or less to accomplish the task of
carrying them all away to safety. I have had the same experience of
being able to witness a scene like this. Sarah was amazed at how
organized they were and so was I when I got to see it.
Isn't it amazing how God provides the tiniest insect to teach
us about diligence, and organization? He says to consider her ways
and be wise. They knew exactly what to do when their colony was
invaded and their eggs were threatened. We didn't find them
running around in a panic. They saw what needed to be done and
immediately set about to do it. Further on in the Proverb He says the
ant "provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the
harvest".
On the other hand, there is the cowbird. In my Birds &
Blooms Magazine, a reader sent a picture of a song sparrow feeding
a baby bird that was much larger than itself and wondered what was
going on there. As it turns out, the baby bird was a cowbird.
Cowbird parents are irresponsible parents. They don't want the
bother of raising a brood. So mother cowbird will flush a smaller
mother bird out of her nest right after she has laid her eggs and then
swoop in and quickly lay her own eggs in the nest of the other bird.
Then she flies off and never looks back. Sometimes the host bird is
able to recognize the eggs that don't belong to her and can push them
out of the nest. Sometimes she doesn't recognize the eggs as not
being her's and will hatch them and raise the baby cowbird as her
own. In the case of the Yellow Warbler, she can tell the egg is not
her's but she is too small to push it out. So she will build more
nesting material over the top of it so it won't be incubated. Some

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Yellow Warbler nests have been sighted that have as many as six
stories...new nesting material lain over cowbird eggs that kept
getting laid in her nest. Unlike the ants who diligently look after
their eggs and young, the cowbird is an irresponsible, lazy parent
that causes trouble for other birds by taking advantage of them.
God gives us so many lessons through His creation. Just in
two of His creatures, we have lessons of responsibility, organization
and diligence. What a wonderful God we have!
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The family is the primary building block of our culture. Nay, it is
itself our culture. [Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1942)]

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Day 40
School of Hard Knocks
Proverbs 30:8-9 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me
neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be
poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
Psalm 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I
might learn thy statutes.
I often must learn my lessons in the school of hard knocks.
When I was in Christian grade school, the principle would often
threaten to apply the board of education to the seat of knowledge if
we misbehaved. I never had to experience that but I came close.
As God’s child many of the most valuable lessons He has
taught me have been learned through tough times. When things are
going my way and I am comfortable, I tend to get too busy and
neglect my quiet time with God. I become “full” and in a sense deny
Him. I may take for granted what I have and become dissatisfied
and in a sense take God’s name in vain by complaining that I don’t
have enough.
God brings affliction my way to drive me to my knees and
back to Him where I belong. He pulls the rug out from under me
and lets me tumble in order to bring me back to my senses.
Often our children get too comfortable with what they have
and become dissatisfied. They begin to complain and grumble. It is
then that we need to follow God’s example with us. Discipline is not
fun for either them or us, but it teaches life lessons that they need to
learn. Hebrews 12:11 says, “Now no chastening for the present
seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth
the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised
thereby.”
My Journaling Space
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The greatest advances in human civilization have come when we
recovered what we had lost: when we learned the lessons of history.
[Winston Churchill (1874-1965)]

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Appendix

On the following pages is a listing of all the Bible references I
could find that describe our God. This would make a good guide
for your personal devotions. You can take one verse each day and
meditate on it, thinking about God in light of it and applying the
truth to your own life. I hope you will find this profitable as you
learn more about God.

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Our God
Numbers 23:19 God is not a man,
Deuteronomy 6:4 The LORD our God is one LORD:
Deuteronomy 6:15 (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among
you)
Deuteronomy 10:17 The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath
are the everlasting arms:
2 Samuel 22:33 God is my strength and power
2 Chronicles 30:9 ...God is gracious and merciful,
Job 33:12...God is greater than man.
Job 36:5 God is mighty, ... he is mighty in strength and wisdom.
Job 36:26 God is great,
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in
trouble.
Psalm 47:7 God is the King of all the earth:
Psalm 48:14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be
our guide even unto death.
Psalm 54:4 God is mine helper:
Psalm 59:9 God is my defense.
Psalm 68:20 God is the God of salvation;
Psalm 73:1 God is good ...to such as are of a clean heart.
Psalm 75:7 God is the judge:

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Psalm 84:11 God is a sun and shield:
Psalm 94:22 God is the rock of my refuge.
Psalm 99:9 God is holy.
Isaiah 12:2 God is my salvation;
Daniel 9:14 God is righteous in all his works
John 3:33 God is true.
John 4:24 God is a Spirit:
Acts 10:34 God is no respecter of persons:
Romans 1:9 God is my witness,
2 Corinthians 9:8 God is able to make all grace abound toward you
1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful,
1 Corinthians 1:25 the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the
weakness of God is stronger than men.
1 Corinthians 14:33 God is not the author of confusion, but of peace,
2 Corinthians 1:18 God is true,
Galatians 6:7 God is not mocked:
Hebrews 6:10 God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour
of love,
Hebrews 12:29 God is a consuming fire.
1 John 1:5 God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
1 John 3:20 God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

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1 John 4:8 God is love.
John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life:
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light
of the world:
John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, I am the door of the
sheep.
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd:
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life:
John14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
John 15:1 I am the true vine,
Revelation 1:17 Fear not; I am the first and the last: (compare with
Isaiah 44:6, Isaiah 48:12 I am the first, and I am the last; and
beside me there is no God.
Revelation 22:16 I am the root and the offspring of David, and the
bright and morning star.
Luke 24:34 The Lord is risen
2 Corinthians 3:17 the Lord is that Spirit:
Philippians 4:5 The Lord is at hand.
1 Thessalonians 4:6 the Lord is the avenger
2 Thessalonians 3:3 the Lord is faithful,
Hebrews 13:6 The Lord is my helper,
James 5:11 the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

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1 Peter 2:3 the Lord is gracious.
1 Peter 3:12 the Lord is against them that do evil.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,
Exodus 15:2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become
my salvation: he is my God,
Exodus15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
Exodus 18:11 the LORD is greater than all gods:
Numbers 14:18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy,
forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means
clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon
the children unto the third and fourth generation.
Joshua 22:34 the LORD is God.
1 Samuel 2:3 the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions
are weighed.
2 Samuel 22:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my
deliverer;
Psalm 10:16 The LORD is King for ever and ever
Psalm 14:6 the LORD is his refuge.
Psalm 16:5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my
cup:
Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd (compare with John 10:11 I
am the good shepherd :)
Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; (compare with
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the
light of the world :)

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Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield;
Psalm 34:8 the LORD is good:
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart;
and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Psalm 89:18 For the LORD is our defense; and the Holy One of
Israel is our king.
Psalm 92:15 the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no
unrighteousness in him.
Psalm 93:1 The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the
LORD is clothed with strength,
Psalm 95:3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all
gods.
Psalm 96:4 For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to
be feared above all gods.
Psalm 103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and
plenteous in mercy.
Psalm 111:4 the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.
Psalm 113:4 The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory
above the heavens.
Psalm 118:6 The LORD is on my side;
Psalm 121:5 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon
thy right hand.
Psalm 125:2 the LORD is round about his people from henceforth
even for ever.

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Psalm 145:18 The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him,
Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth
the prayer of the righteous.
Proverbs 22:2 The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the
maker of them all.
Isaiah 30:18 the LORD is a God of judgment:
Isaiah 33:5 The LORD is exalted;
Isaiah 33:22 For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver,
the LORD is our king;
Jeremiah 10:10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God,
and an everlasting king:
Lamentations 3:24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul;
therefore will I hope in him.
Nahum 1:3 The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will
not at all acquit the wicked:
Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble;
and he knoweth them that trust in him.
Genesis 17:1 I am the Almighty God,
Exodus 15:26 I am the LORD that healeth thee.
Leviticus 19:4 I am the LORD your God.
Exodus 31:13 I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
Isaiah 42:8, Isaiah 43:11 I am the LORD
Isaiah 44:6, Isaiah 48:12 I am the first, and I am the last; and beside

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me there is no God.
Isaiah 44:24 I am the LORD that maketh all things,
Isaiah 45:5, Isaiah 45:6, Isaiah 45:18 I am the LORD, and there is
none else, there is no God beside me
Isaiah 48:17 I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit,
which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
Jeremiah 9:24 I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness,
judgment, and righteousness,
Jeremiah 32:27 I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any
thing too hard for me?
Ezekiel 7:9 I am the LORD that smiteth.
Malachi 3:6 I am the LORD, I change not;

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