Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Mystery of History and Apologia Astronomy Updates

My blog has been scraped. If you are reading this post on any website other than Growing For Christ you are reading stolen material.

We’re still having fun with the Mystery of History curriculum, since this a curriculum that I can include all 3 children in on most days it makes it fun for the whole family.  Some things, like the memory cards I don’t have Christian complete but the girls both have their own sets.  Some of the activities are very much able to be integrated with even the youngest members of our family and all three enjoy listening to the text as I read it aloud and looking at the pictures. 

On assignment was to make a map and to make it look ancient (I haven’t taken pictures of the finished ones yet).  Here are the girls crumpling their maps and dyeing them with tea:

The girls dunking their maps:

They also got to make a pyramid.  There were directions included in the text but the girls had a Usborne Egyptian kit so we used the shiny pyramid paper in that.  Hannah’s is first then Bethanne’s:

We’re using Apologia Astronomy and the girls are finally caught up to each other which means less teaching for me LOL  We have completed the Venus unit and an experiment was to demonstate a volcano using flour and melted butter.  All three joined in and thought it looked neat after the butter congealed:

All content is copyright 2010 by Growing For Christ


BirdifulStitches: Padded e-Reader cover (Review)

My blog has been scraped. If you are reading this post on any website other than Growing For Christ you are reading stolen material.

Do you have an e-Reader?  It could be the Kindle (2 or 3), Nook or the iPad – but if you have one but don’t want to shell out the money that is being charged for the ‘designer’ covers then I have the thing for you – a pattern for your own designer cover from Birdiful Stitches.  She has some wonderful patterns at her Etsy store – and she was wonderful to provide me with two (the other I am currently working on and will post another review) patterns. 

I have never used a pattern written by a person like me, usually my patterns come from a major pattern company, but I wanted to step out and I’m glad I did.  The pattern came with 3 pages of step by step pictorial directions – this is great for the both the novice and beginner sewer.  The pattern pieces are included and if you print them off on good quality paper will last you much longer than the major companies will.  The pattern pieces are also color coded so if you are making a cover for the Kindle 2 (like mine) you’d cut on a certain colored line to ensure the size is correct.

The directions could not have been easier to understand and if you’re a visual learner the step-by-step pictures are a major plus.  The pictures are clear and sharp and provide clear answers if something isn’t clear to you in the written directions.  The seller is also available by email should you have other questions after receiving the pattern.  For way less than the cost of a designer cover you can make your own that is suited to your preferences – color, pattern, button, etc – it will be designer!  All it takes is 3 fat quarters, interfacing, batting or fleece (I’ve used both and prefer the fleece), thread, a button and sewing machine if you don’t want to sew by hand.  For my first cover I think I spent less than $10.00 and it took me right around an hour to completely finish the cover from cutting the pieces to inserting my Kindle. The pattern is $6.00 however you are allowed to make others to sell and the best thing is to give them as gifts.  Oh and those are pockets on the left side – two small and one large – how cool is that?

**I was provided a copy of the Padded e-Reader cover by Birdiful Stitches in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

All content is copyright 2010 by Growing For Christ


FIRST Tour: Pause for Power A 365 Day Journey in the Scriptures by Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:


Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe


and the book:

Pause for Power A 365 Day Journey in the Scriptures

David C. Cook; 2 edition (November 1, 2010)

***Special thanks to Karen Davis, Assistant Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***


Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe is an internationally known Bible teacher and the former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago. For ten years he was associated with the “Back to the Bible” radio broadcast, first as Bible teacher and then as general director. Dr. Wiersbe has written more than 160 books. He and his wife, Betty, live in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Product Details:

List Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; 2 edition (November 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 078140374X
ISBN-13: 978-0781403740


A Year in the Word

In the pages that follow, you’ll hear Isaiah’s invitation to wayward hearts, wrestle with Job’s dilemma, examine what Hebrews says about the breathtaking work of Christ, and listen in as Paul writes letters to infant churches. Such a task might seem daunting at first, but with the help of Pause for Power, it will take you only a few minutes a day. And here’s the best part: Over the course of a year, you’ll have read fifteen books of the Bible.

The devotions are undated, so you can start any day of the year. They’re also blended, so you can enjoy a variety of biblical voices and themes each week. One day you might contemplate Paul’s letter to the Philippians, and the next you might consider a wise saying from Ecclesiastes.

To get started, simply turn to Day 1, read the associated Bible passage in your favorite translation, spend time with the devotion, then ponder the question of the day. Repeat daily. In twelve months you’ll have studied Job, Ecclesiastes, Isaiah, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, and 1 John. But more importantly, you’ll have gained insight into God’s Word—insight that will bring you closer to the Author Himself.

Day 1

Consistent Actions

Read Romans 2:1—3:20

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

Romans 2:7–8

God had given Israel great material and spiritual riches: a wonderful land, a righteous law, a temple and priesthood, God’s providential care, and many more blessings. God had patiently endured Israel’s many sins and rebellions, and had even sent them His Son to be their Messiah. Even after Israel crucified Christ, God gave the nation nearly forty more years of grace and withheld His judgment. It is not the judgment of God that leads people to repentance, but the goodness of God; but Israel did not repent.

In Romans 2:6–11, Paul was explaining a basic principle of God’s judgment: God judges according to deeds, just as He judges according to truth. Paul was dealing here with the consistent actions of people’s lives, the total impact of their character and conduct.

True saving faith results in obedience and godly living, even though there may be occasional falls. When God measured the deeds of the Jews, He found them to be as wicked as those of the Gentiles.

Something to Ponder

Is it possible for people to grow to have consistently good (not perfect) character and conduct? If so, how? How does this fit with Paul’s claim that no one is righteous apart from Christ’s sacrifice (Rom. 3:9–10)?

Day 2

Devoted to Devotions

Read Colossians 4:2

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Colossians 4:2

It has well been said that the purpose of prayer is not to get our will done in heaven, but to get God’s will done on earth. Prayer is not telling God what to do or what to give. Prayer is asking God for that which He wants to do and give, according to His will (1 John 5:14–15). As we read the Word and fellowship with our Father, we discover His will and then boldly ask Him to do what He has planned. Richard Trench (1807–1886), archbishop of Dublin, said it perfectly: “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance; it is laying hold of His willingness.”

Of course, it is possible to pray in our hearts and never use the gift of speech (1 Sam. 1:13), but we are using words even if we don’t say them audibly. True prayer must first come from the heart, whether the words are spoken or not.

Something to Ponder

As you pray, in what ways are you “watchful”? In what ways are you “thankful”?

Day 3

The Mark of Maturity

Read Philippians 1:6–10

This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.

Philippians 1:9–10

Paul found joy in his memories of the friends at Philippi and in his growing love for them. He also found joy in remembering them before the throne of grace in prayer.

This is a prayer for maturity, and Paul began it with love. He prayed that they might experience abounding love and discerning love. Christian love is not blind! The heart and mind work together so that we have discerning love and loving discernment.

The ability to distinguish is a mark of maturity. When a baby learns to speak, he or she may call every four-legged animal a “bowwow.” But then the child discovers that there are cats, mice, cows, and other four-legged creatures.

One of the sure marks of maturity is discerning love and loving discernment.

Something to Ponder

With daily decisions, do you tend to seek what is good, or do you try to discern what is truly best?

Day 4

Avoiding Oblivion

Read 1 John 2:17

The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

1 John 2:17

Every great nation in history has become decadent and has finally been conquered by another nation. Some nineteen world civilizations have slipped into oblivion. There is no reason why we should think that our present civilization will endure forever. “Change and decay in all around I see,” wrote Henry F. Lyte (1793–1847), and if our civilization is not eroded by change and decay, it will certainly be swept away and replaced by a new order of things at the coming of Christ.

Slowly but inevitably, and perhaps sooner than even we Christians think, the world is passing away, but those who do God’s will abide forever. Long after this world system—with its vaunted culture, its proud philosophies, its egocentric intellectualism, and its godless materialism—has been forgotten, and long after this planet has been replaced by the new heavens and the new earth (Rev. 21:1), God’s faithful servants will remain, sharing the glory of God for all eternity. And this prospect is not limited to Moody, Spurgeon, Luther, or Wesley and their likes—it is open to each and every humble believer. If you are trusting Christ, it is for you.

Something to Ponder

If you are expecting to share the glory of God for all eternity, what things are you doing now to prepare for such an encounter?

Day 5

Sovereignty and Responsibility

Read Romans 9:14–33

Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

Romans 9:14–15

Moses was a Jew; Pharaoh was a Gentile, yet both were sinners. In fact, both were murderers! Both saw God’s wonders. Yet Moses was saved and Pharaoh was lost. Pharaoh was a ruler, and Moses was a slave, yet it was Moses who experienced the mercy and compassion of God—because God willed it that way. Nobody can condemn God for the way He extends His mercy, because God is righteous in His judgments (see Ps. 19:9 KJV).

Paul wrote of divine sovereignty and then human responsibility. Here is a paradox: The Jews sought for righteousness but did not find it, while the Gentiles, who were not searching for it, found it! The reason? Israel tried to be saved by works and not by faith. They rejected “grace righteousness” and tried to please God with “law righteousness.” The Jews thought that the Gentiles had to come up to Israel’s level to be saved, when actually the Jews had to go down to the level of the Gentiles to be saved.

Something to Ponder

When you can’t fully understand God’s working, what do you do to maintain your faith?

Day 6

Sins of the Saints

Read Hebrews 2:3–9

This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.

Hebrews 2:3

We have the idea that believers today “under grace” can escape the chastening hand of God that was so evident “under law.” But to whom much is given, much shall be required (Luke 12:48). Not only have we received the Word from the Son of God, but that Word has been confirmed by “signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will” (Heb. 2:4). The phrase “signs and wonders” here refers to the miracles that witnessed to the Word and gave confirmation that it was true. Today we have the completed Word of God, so there is no need for these apostolic miracles. God now bears witness through His Spirit using the Word. The Spirit also gives spiritual gifts to God’s people so that they may minister in the church (1 Cor. 12:1–11).

I have often told the story about the pastor who preached a series of sermons on “the sins of the saints.” He was severely reprimanded by a church member. “After all,” said the member, “sin in the lives of Christians is different from sin in the lives of other people.”

“Yes,” replied the pastor, “it’s worse!”

Something to Ponder

Do you agree that sin in the lives of Christians is worse than sin in the lives of other people? Why?

Day 7

Heart Gifts

Read 2 Corinthians 8:10–24

Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it.

2 Corinthians 8:11

During my years of ministry, I have endured many offering appeals. I have listened to pathetic tales about unbelievable needs. I have forced myself to laugh at old jokes that were supposed to make it easier for me to part with my money. I have been scolded, shamed, and almost threatened, and I must confess that none of these approaches has ever stirred me to give more than I planned to give.

We must be careful here not to confuse willing with doing, because the two must go together. If the willing is sincere and in the will of God, then there must be a “completion of it” (2 Cor. 8:11; see Phil. 2:12–13). Paul did not say that willing was a substitute for doing, because it is not. But if our giving is motivated by grace, we will give more willingly.

God sees the “heart gift” and not the “hand gift.” If the heart wants to give more, but is unable to do so, God sees it and records it accordingly. But if the hand gives more than the heart wants to give, God records what is in the heart, no matter how big the offering in the hand may be.

Something to Ponder

Think about a time you gave willingly and a time you gave grudgingly. What made the difference?

 My Opinion:

As we approach a new year using Warren W. Wiersbe’s 365 day devotional will help to center your day in being with the Lord for a time.  Whether you use it in the morning, the afternoon, or at bedtime (I know how can life can be with small ones to raise up and we catch any time we can to spend with the Lord) this will indeed bring some time alone with the Father and you so that your life can be restored to it’s center – Him.

This beautiful hardcover jacketed book has an attached satin bookmark so you’ll never lose your place, unless of course you forget to move it!  With a short Scripture reading that you read in your Bible and an included verse on the theme of the day, Mr. Wiersbe will give some thoughts on the subject ending with “something to ponder” that you can use to keep your mind focused on the Lord and His Will.  I enjoy that it’s so grounded in the Word and that Mr. Wiersbe’s purpose is to draw each of the readers closer to God and align ourselves with His Will.

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MamaBuzz Review: "The Autism Sisterhood" by Michele Brook

I just finished a great book for those who have a child with Autism or an ASD title “The Autism Sisterhood” and what’s great about it is that it’s short, VERY short, this is a book that can be finished in about 2 hours or less if you don’t digest it all first and come back later.  While I don’t have a child who has Autism I do have a child whose behavior somewhat mimics an ASD – this is not an official diagnosis though and homeschooling allows me to better serve that child.

This book is written for moms and dads who don’t have the time to sit uninterrupted for long periods to read a help book on their child.  It is written for those who may suspect their child has some form of Autism but haven’t sought out a diagnosis or just want to help their child on their own.  With tips on how to help a child, whether it’s your own, a niece or nephew or other child who is in your life this book will give you tips on schedules (be constant) and other issues relating to the challenges of raising a child who has Autism and remembering that Autism isn’t the child.

Another item I’d like to note about this book is the author really stresses the need to be in conversation with the child.  Not talking down to him or her but getting them engaged in the conversation, even if they may not answer you right away.  Discussing even the most mundane things opens doors to educational experiences.  Another reason I’m glad I can homeschool my children, whether or not they have Autism, is the discussions that doesn’t happen in schools.  Children with Autism and in general need to know they are heard and that their parents  want to talk to them and this book really stresses the need for that with children who have Autism.

**This is a Mama Buzz review.  I was provided a copy of “The Autism Sisterhood” by the author in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

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Eeeek! Mice!!!

My blog has been scraped. If you are reading this post on any website other than Growing For Christ you are reading stolen material.

While the dangers of computer/internet usage is very real and present it can also be used for good/uplifting/educational and even Godly purposes.  My children really enjoy drawing and making pictures in the art program that is on our computer and Hannah is getting especially good at it.  I thought her mice looked so awesome.

All content is copyright 2010 by Growing For Christ

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"Insignificant Moments" by Jeremy Asher

My blog has been scraped. If you are reading this post on any website other than Growing For Christ you are reading stolen material.

ISBN:  9781450231787

Size/Pages:  6 X 9 / 332

Publisher/Published:  iUniverse  June 2010

Price:  $18.95 softcover

This book is written with the idea that one act can affect others and ourselves for a lifetime – which I guess in looking at my life it does work that way.  One mean word can tear down someone and ruin their self esteem, a mistake can have someone else meeting the one they are supposed to marry.  I found this book hard to get into at first, part of it I think was the crude humor and cussing that is throughout, but I managed to actually get into the book while skimming or skipping the parts with cuss words and inappropriate humor.

I did find this book to be intriguing and well worth the read – if you can overlook the language – it does make the reader think about how their actions could affect others and themselves.  As a Christian I already know that my behavior should be a reflection of Christ – it’s not always – but I try and know that my actions could literally have a life or death sentence attached.  If you want an example of how one action sets off a change reaction that lasts for years then this book, no matter that it’s fiction, will definitely have you thinking about what you do next.

**I was provided a copy of this book from Bohlsen PR in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

All content (except book image) is copyright 2010 by Growing For Christ

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Christmas Presents Post 2

My blog has been scraped. If you are reading this post on any website other than Growing For Christ you are reading stolen material.

Okay, now here is the warning if you are a Grandma to my children DO NOT continue looking – if you do you WILL NOT be surprised come Christmas.  Again do not continue on if you are a Grandma to my children!!!  😀





These are wooden frames I buy at the local craft store and decoupage scrapbooking paper to and use wooden letters (that Hannah helped with) we paint and glue on.  Then I add a picture of three of the most beautiful children (I admit I’m biased LOL)

My mom’s (blue toile and gold letters):

My MIL’s (Noah’s Ark with green letters)

My Step-Mom’s (old fashioned w/ tan letters)

All content is copyright 2010 by Growing For Christ

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"Escape the Hezbollah" by Pola Muzyka

My blog has been scraped. If you are reading this post on any website other than Growing For Christ you are reading stolen material.


ISBN:  9780981783314

Price:  $28.99

Publisher:  Trinity Matrix

Format:  Hardcover, 292 pages

A glimpse into life of the Hezbollah where young boys are grabbed off the streets and disappear but where love can triumph over even these circumstances.  This is the story of a young man named Joseph and his friend Fareed who are abducted and are forced to join the militia – witnessing atrocities that one could not imagine are being carried out on fellow humans.  While one grows and thrives in this life, Joseph does not – he longs to escape back to his family and the girl he loves.  Spending years in hiding to escape the military life a fleeting moment opens to allow him to get the U.S. – the question is will he survive the journey?

Pola Muzyka has woven a story that gives her readers a glimpse into what life is like under Sharia law and life in the Hezbollah, especially for an American Christian living this life.  In reading this book there are moments that are ruthless in the violence depicted but such is the life in living in the Middle East.  As Americans we hear about what happens over there and we’re told by those who want us to believe Sharia is a good way to live – however this book gives a much different story even though this is a work of fiction, even fiction can give factual information.

This is a great book if you’d like to learn more about living in the Middle East and the fear that even those just out for something to drink with friends must live under.  Whether fiction or not, this book gives an insight into what goes on in the Middle East written by a fellow Christian who ministry is connecting Christians in the media.  If you’d like to learn more about the author, visit her site: Escape the Hezbollah

**I was provided a copy of this book from the author, in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

All content is copyright 2010 by Growing For Christ

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Christmas Presents Post 1

My blog has been scraped. If you are reading this post on any website other than Growing For Christ you are reading stolen material.

Yep, post 1 😀  This Christmas we’re aiming to do more of the homemade thing, we started doing this a few years ago but I’d like to keep doing it so we eventually give all handmade gifts.  I know not everyone appreciates the handmade gifts but so much love and time goes into each gift that, to me, these are the best presents to give and receive. 

These are the Crayon rolls I made via a pattern I bought at Adam’s Blankie Etsy store  These are being given to my friend Micki’s children who just happens to have two girls and a boy and are close in age with my two girls and boy!  Christian got to pick out her son’s fabric and each girl got to pick out her girl’s fabric.

Please don’t mind any paint spots or other crafting materials behind the completed gifts – during the Christmas season my kitchen table is turned into craft central.

All content is copyright 2010 by Growing For Christ


Bethany House Publisher: "A Rush of Wings" by Kristen Heitzmann

ISBN:  978-0-7642-0845-4

Price:  $14.99

Pages:  384

This book is another great one from publisher, Bethany House, and author, Kristen Heitzmann.  It started out slow but sticking with it proved to be fruitful in that the book was a really good read and moved quickly once it got going.  I really liked the fact that Rick Spencer feels the need to not be alone in his house with her and so they visit his parents – although eventually they do spend some time alone but he does what he can to keep space and a platonic relationship between them even though love is blooming.

If you enjoy books that build faith in characters, has suspense and intrigue then I would suggest this book.  There is kissing, but nothing more than that – keeping in mind that Noelle is recovering from a childhood abduction and rape so anything else was out of the question.  I really like how such a sensitive subject was done with a careful hand and there were no real details as you’d find in some secular books.  Overall, this was an excellent book and if you don’t mind a little romance thrown in then I’d say grab it and in a day or two you’ll have read a good contemporary fiction book!

**I was provided a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review, no other compensation was given.

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