Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

FIRST Tour: "A Cry for Justice" by Shelley Hundley

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:


Shelley Hundley


and the book:


A Cry for Justice

Charisma House (September 6, 2011)

***Special thanks to Kim Jones | Publicity Coordinator, Charisma House | Charisma Media for sending me a review copy.***


Shelley Hundley is one of the original interns who helped launch the International House of Prayer under Mike Bickle’s leadership and has been on the senior leadership of IHOP-KC since its inception in 1999. She currently serves as vice president of training at International House of Prayer University in Kansas City, Missouri. Fluent in four languages, Shelley is passionate to see the nations of the earth prepared for the return of Christ and to see 24/7 prayers for justice combined with 24/7 works of justice.

Visit the author’s website.


“Knowing Jesus as the Judge who will make all things right has been the greatest comfort of my life.”—Shelley Hundley

The daughter of American missionaries, Shelley Hundley was born in Colombia, and grew up on the campus of a seminary that trained leaders to serve in what was one of the most violent nations in the world. After suffering abuse at the hands of a minister in the community, she turns from God—angry and confused that He could allow this to happen.

In A Cry for Justice, Hundley uses her story as a backdrop to show how she found healing from the pain, guilt, and shame of the abuse she endured as a child and how she came to know Jesus in a new way—as a righteous judge who fights for His people and takes upon Himself the burden of our injustices and pain.

The story of Shelley Hundley’s journey from bitter atheist to wholehearted lover of God is unique. Yet what she learned on this journey is relevant to every person who has ever been hurt and has silently wondered, “Who will fight for me? Who can make the wrong things right?”


Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Charisma House (September 6, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616382597
ISBN-13: 978-1616382599


Why I Became an A theist

When I entered college at the age of seventeen, I was an avowed atheist, and I quickly distinguished

myself on campus as one of the most hostile and defiant people to the message of Jesus. This was no small thing because I attended a Christian college where the gospel was preached often, including at mandatory chapel services. I wasn’t always this way. The daughter of American missionaries, I was born in Medellín, Colombia, and reared on the campus of a seminary that trained leaders to serve in what was one of the most violent nations in the world. Murder and kidnapping were commonplace, and it was hardly unusual for my family to hear bomb blasts and gun fights on our street. In fact, I grew up thinking this was normal. I went to bed each night to the sound of attack dogs unleashed at 10:00 p.m. to prevent thieves or hired assassins from breaking into the seminary and killing or kidnapping one of the many missionary families who lived there. I knew of many believers who lost their lives when guerrillas burst into church services and sprayed bullets in the sanctuary. Even at a young age, I knew what it meant to suffer for Jesus. I saw people do it almost every day.

Although my childhood was anything but easy, I never resented living in Colombia. I thought Medellín was a beautiful place. It had perpetual springlike weather that made the brilliant landscape seem to be always bursting with life. From my perspective as a child, the Cordillera mountains seemed to wrap themselves around Colombia’s second largest city like a warm hug, protecting the fruit trees, wild orchids, and South American wildlife that thrive in its lush valley.

When I was a little girl, I often would slip out to the front porch in the evenings just to take in Medellín’s beauty. As sunlight fled and darkness took its watch, the city lights flickered across the sky like a magic show, climbing the sides of the mountains and then spreading out in every direction. The beauty and safety I felt as I looked at the mountains never meshed with the terror, violence, and death that shrouded the city and gripped its inhabitants with fear.

A Climate of Fear

Everyone seemed to have the same nagging yet unspoken question, “How long?” How long will the violence continue? How long until the next person disappears? How long before the guerrillas spill more innocent blood in the streets? No one said this out loud, but no one had to. It was in the eyes of every Colombian and anyone who had lived in the nation long enough to be infected by this contagious feeling of dread. Violence was as constant in Colombia as sunrise and sunset. With the advent of the drug years in the 1980s, Colombia fell into a downward spiral of political chaos and staggering suffering. A relentless underground cocaine industry and a vicious hierarchy of drug lords backed Marxist guerrillas. These rebels took over the Palace of Justice, which was the equivalent of the US Pentagon, as frightened Colombians watched the real-life drama unfold on their TV sets.

At the height of its “narco” (narcotics) years, Medellín was ruled by a drug lord named Pablo Escobar. He bred an environment of instability and unpredictability, and unspeakable bloodshed seemed to lurk around every corner. At any moment, a store or a restaurant might be blown up, massacring everyone in the vicinity, just because Pablo wanted to settle a score.
The danger was at such a height that my mom sat me down once before a visit to the dentist and reminded me not to give out any information about our family—what we did, where we lived, how many siblings I had. She told me, “Remember, Shelley, anyone could be a guerrilla, even people who seem nice. Nurses and dentists can be killers or kidnappers.” As a little girl, I struggled to understand what all of this meant. I pictured normal people taking off their masks and revealing their true identities as guerrillas, whatever those were. All I knew was that these guerrillas weren’t animals; they were men and women, sometimes even children, who had killed people we knew, kidnapping children and adults alike.

The other constant in Colombia was unspeakable poverty. Even as a child, I could never get over the despair and deprivation around me every day. I played soccer with neighborhood kids who had only one pair of shorts to their names and actually picked pockets to secure food and other essentials. This was so well known, the neighborhood children who came into the seminary were frisked on their way out to ensure they didn’t steal anything. This always seemed unfair to me at the time, but I understand it was necessary. Once, we missionary kids devised a scheme to turn the tables on the adults. We stole all the seminary professors’ wallets; then at the end of the day, when the neighborhood children were being frisked, we returned the wallets, grinning ear to ear.

As you may have guessed, I had an adventurous and sometimes mischievous personality. I caused a little trouble here and there for sneaking too much food to my friends or for refusing to wear new shoes or clothes because my playmates had none. But I also had fun despite my dangerous surroundings. I loved to play soccer with my big brothers, and I tried to keep up with all of their crazy stunts. The hills across this paradise were great for sliding, and bamboo groves made the best kids’ bows and arrows you could ever wish for. I especially liked to climb the mango trees. I’d carry my pocketknife in one hand and a little bag of lemon and salt in my pocket to dip my fresh mango slices in. Truth be told, I ruined my appetite for dinner many times with my mango eating, and it was a constant source of tension between my mom and me.

Medellín was like the times Charles Dickens described in A Tale of Two Cities: full of the best and the worst. It was a constant contradiction—good and bad, happy and sad, beauty and pain, paradise and poverty. I had the honor of being surrounded by missionaries who had left everything to serve the Lord and by radical Colombian believers who were ready to die for Christ. Many received the chance to do so. Some Colombian Christians were assassinated in the very churches where they worshiped because of their opposition to the Marxist guerrillas’ call for violent revolution.

Americans too were targeted for murder and kidnapping as retaliation for the arrests of Colombian drug lords who were extradited to the United States to be tried for their crimes. My brothers and I had the equivalent of “snow days” when the US Embassy would call to warn our parents that there were new death threats against Americans, so we couldn’t go outside or be near the windows.

Although violence hounded us, I considered Colombia my home. So when my parents decided to move to Indiana just before I entered eighth grade, I felt like the ground beneath me had been removed. My identity was deeply rooted in my cross-cultural experience in Medellín. I was a gringa-paisa, an American by blood but a Colombian by birth.

My family had lived in the United States for short periods of time, and the thought of leaving a nation and people I loved to move to a country whose rules I couldn’t seem to figure out pierced my twelve-year-old heart. I told my parents I wouldn’t leave and threatened to run away from home, but then reality began to sink in. The prospect of running away in a city where I would certainly be kidnapped didn’t seem to be a viable option either, so I begrudgingly surrendered to the move.

In Indiana, I trudged through middle and high school, dealing with major culture shock and struggling to make friends, though my gifts in music won me some friendships. Looking back I don’t think my experience in high school was much different from other American kids my age.
I visited my church’s youth group and attended their retreats. I even longed for intimacy with God at this young age, but I never sensed a breakthrough in my heart. I always felt like I was outside of God’s presence, incapable of even looking in. Real intimacy with Jesus always seemed just out of reach.

Buried Memories

In the midst of all my normal teenage challenges, I was grappling with feelings of self-hatred that I just couldn’t shake. On many nights I would sit huddled in my bedroom just sobbing in the darkness because I couldn’t make the shame and self-loathing go away. Terror would overwhelm me, and images of sexual abuse would flood my mind.

I didn’t know how to process these thoughts. I didn’t want to believe they represented actual experiences, but something was deeply wrong in my heart. I saw a girl huddled on the floor of an old Spanish-style home in Medellín. She had long wavy hair that seemed to be a mixture of light brown, blonde, and amber. And her soft blue eyes were filled with too much sadness for a child of only eight. Hugging her knees tightly to her chest, she buried her face and cried because someone bigger and stronger had forced himself on her, and I had the sense it wasn’t the first time this had happened.

The girl sat there wishing she had never been born and fearing when the abuse might happen again. She sputtered out jumbled phrases amid her tears and heavy breathing, “Why does this keep happening? When will it all stop?” Her breathing got heavier and heavier until she felt as though her lungs were filled with heavy iron. Each second made her feel more and more anchored to the cold tile floor.

When the tears finally stopped, she felt a numb, empty feeling wash over her. She felt this every time she suffered abuse. This man hadn’t been the first. He was the third person who had done this to her, but this time had been the worst ever.

Sitting there, cold and limp, she shuddered as she remembered how he had threatened her so she wouldn’t tell. But she was past the point of trying to figure out a way to tell someone, to stop the horror from happening again. She felt doomed to serve out a sentence she was beginning to think she must deserve. She thought that surely the torment must have been her fault somehow.

She looked so small and alone there on the floor as she recalled the man’s threats. “If you tell people, they will all know how perverse you really are and how you bring this on yourself. Do you want everyone to see what you really are?” His words seemed to burn into her brain, and she couldn’t make them go away. “God must hate me so much, but I just don’t know why,” she told herself. She thought she might explode because the pain was so great. “I can’t make it. I can’t make it another day!”

Another wave of weeping and heavy breathing poured out of the girl’s exhausted little heart. She remembered how disgusted she felt when she heard the man preach at a church service where the congregation responded so wholeheartedly to his message about holiness. Hearing him preach made her feel ill, but she wondered if that was just further proof that she was only receiving what she deserved. “I must be going to hell!” the little girl muttered. “I must be worthless and horrible and perverse.”
Somehow I knew the girl had accepted Jesus in Sunday school but couldn’t seem to find her Savior amid the confusion, guilt, and despair. “I must be everything he says I am,” she told herself. “I must deserve it all.” She pounded her body in anger thinking that if her injuries were even more severe, maybe then someone would notice and stop this torture. Once I saw that she succeeded in getting away. She ran as far as she could, only to realize as she fled that she was in as much or more danger running down the streets of Colombia as she was in the hands of the abuser. Terrified and feeling forlorn, she climbed a tree to the highest branch she could reach and sat there and cried.

No matter where she turned there was nothing but torment. When she was finally able to quiet herself down a little bit, she could hear some of her friends playing outside the house. But she couldn’t go out to play. Instead, she sank into a daydream, imagining a day when someone would finally make the pain and abuse stop.

Even when I didn’t want to believe that I was this little girl, the images of her and the pain she felt were always there in the background. And no matter what was happening in my mind, I couldn’t deny the depression, loneliness, and feelings of worthlessness that plagued my heart even when everything in my teenage life seemed fine.

The images kept coming, and with them an unexplainable repulsion toward one minister our family knew well on the mission field. His face seemed ingrained in all of the images, but still I hoped the scenes of the little girl weren’t real. Tormented by these persistent, invasive thoughts, and even more so by the fear that I could never escape them, I retreated even further behind a wall of shame. I did what I could to bury it all.

Facing the Past

I carried these feelings of pain and hopelessness silently for years. Then one month before I left home for college, I had a conversation with someone who had been on the mission field with my family. That meeting changed everything. Completely unaware of the abuse I had suffered, this friend told me that a minister we had known in Colombia was found to have sexually abused children when we were living in Medellín. He listed several children’s names, and some of them were my dear friends.

This individual had no idea what was happening in my heart as he told me this. All of a sudden I felt as though I was outside of myself listening to what was being said. I felt cold all over and couldn’t control the tremors that came over my body. It seemed as though some dark and tempestuous evil had reached up from the ground and grabbed me by both legs.

The person who spoke with me thought I would be shocked by what was said, but I barely even looked surprised. I knew now without a doubt that all the images that had filled my mind and the pain that kept me up nights crying in terror were real. I kept a cold expression on my face because I wasn’t ready to say anything about my own experience. I listened and took in all the information the person offered and asked as many questions as I could without giving away my own story.

When we ended the conversation and I walked away, I began a terrifying journey into the past. In those next moments, I felt as if I was being encircled by hell’s fire. I felt fenced in on every side, and I couldn’t move. I couldn’t talk. The curtain that covered the thing I couldn’t name had suddenly been removed, and now I was forced to face the reality of those horrible images. My emotions were all over the place. On one hand I felt a sense of relief as I thought, “I am not the only one. It really was wrong what he did. It wasn’t my fault.” But on the other hand, a steely, silent sort of rage started rising up in me.

I felt anger that I had never before been able to feel for myself, and it began to rise up as I thought of all the others this man had abused. I was finally beginning to piece together what I had experienced, and I was 100 percent certain that this person had sexually abused me for several years when my family lived in Colombia. The excruciating pain I had locked away deep inside had suddenly been set free and was now moving throughout my being.

I was filled with a quiet but fierce indignation during the silent drive home. I looked out at the road, but all I saw were the events of my life replaying with a new, insidious, hellish fire illuminating the dark, sadistic series of events. This horror wasn’t imaginary; it was my real life and the reality of some of my dearest childhood friends. And not only had this man abused me, others had done so as well.
In the car, I felt a heaviness begin to overtake me. Then I had a thought. It seemed like a lofty and wise idea, an indisputable solution to a difficult equation. I felt as though I was rising above my situation and being caught up by a wiser, more definitive conclusion than any I had ever drawn. The evidence had presented itself. It all made sense now. None of what I had heard about Jesus was true. It was all a lie. There is no God. And I should kill myself.


My Opinion:
Missionaries and their families really intrigue me – usually because they are in the middle of very hostile regions and how they function and cope is a true testament to the Christian faith and spirit.  I wasn’t sure what I was getting into in reading A Cry for Justice since Shelley Hundley was and ex-missionary kid turned atheist, turned Christian.  This book pulls you in and keeps you turning the pages, some may not like it because she does claim God spoke to her through the Holy Spirit, but if you agree that the Holy Spirit and the gifts that come with Him is alive today then it’ll be a great read.  I did enjoy this book and it told of amazing Faith of overcoming child hood abuse and even forgiving the one who trespassed against her.

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Happy Birthday!

7 years ago I gave birth to another beautiful little girl who didn’t want to come out.  She is my second born, first VBAC and second daughter.  Today she is turning into a beautiful young girl in God.  She has prayed to accept Jesus into her heart and is asking to be baptized.  She gives us humor when we need it, and is starting to warm up to hugs and kisses.  Although she is also proving to be girly-tomboy and can be a brute at times toward her brother and sister, we are working on this.

Here is my shout out to Bethanne:

Happy 7th Birthday







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Book Review: "Hey Kids, Want Some Chocolates?: My Family's Journey to Freedom" by Melitta Strandberg w/George E Pfautsch

About the book from Hey Kids Book:

There are few fictional stories that can match the true story of the Mohr family and their long quest for freedom which began in Romania as World War II was getting underway. Their journey from Romania to Weimar Germany would begin a perilous four years in the lives of the parents and their children, especially Melitta. She vanished into a Nazi institution on the day of her birth and would not be seen again by her family for six months. The miraculous circumstances of the reunion with her family would alone make a compelling story. But the dangerous adventures did not end. Their experiences in Weimar, which was also home to the notorious Buchenwald concentration camp, were among the worst that could occur to any family. Later, the family would be confronted with another decision between the time Patton’s Third Army liberated Buchenwald and Weimar and before the region would be turned over to the Soviet Union. Their efforts to catch the last train from Weimar to Augsburg, West Germany, are captivating.

My Opinion:

Short and succinct is the first thought that entered my head when I first began reading it but it is more than that.  It is a family’s tale of survival, hope, Faith and ultimately freedom from the terrors of Hitler’s regime.  While it wasn’t surprising that Melitta was taken from her mother’s arms what is surprising is her unexpected return six months later.  She and her family never know what atrocities were exacted upon the infant but authorities wanted to keep her so bad telling her parents she was dead.

Short on details but big on family history is what makes this story a great reminder of the things of the past, lest they be repeated again.  It doesn’t read like a classic but more of a journal of someone wanting to capture what is left of their history before it vanishes, but it still keeps the reader engaged throughout.  I read this in just under two hours which is great for an older child who is studying about World War II or for a busy adult.

As we enter a time period where the Holocaust, Hitler and Nazi’s are being omitted from the history books and people are denying the Holocaust ever happened, this book will give a new look on a sad and horrible time in history, and one that can’t be denied.  If you’d like to buy your own copy you can visit Hey Kids Book to order a signed copy for $9.00 plus shipping or Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and Author House.

**I was provided a copy of this book through Bostick Communications in exchange for my honest review,no other compensation was given.

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FIRST Tour: "Raising a Daughter After God's Own Heart" by Elizabeth George

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:


Elizabeth George


and the book:


Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart

Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Karri | Marketing Assistant of Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***


Elizabeth George, whose books have sold more than 6.5 million copies, is the author of A Woman After God’s Own Heart® (more than 1 million copies sold) and Breaking the Worry Habit Forever! She’s also a popular speaker at Christian women’s events. Elizabeth and her husband, Jim, are parents and grandparents, and have been active in ministry for more than 30 years.

Visit the author’s website.


Elizabeth George, bestselling author and mother of two daughters, provides biblical insight and guidance for every mom who wants to lead their daughter to a godly life through example, study, and prayer. Elizabeth includes questions to draw moms and daughter closer as together they pursue spiritual priorities and God’s heart.


Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736917721
ISBN-13: 978-0736917728


The Bell Sheep

Part 1  —  Earning Your Bell

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
And these words which I command you today
shall be in your heart.

—  Deuteronomy 6:5

On a recent Christmas Sunday, my husband, Jim, and I and our family of 14 arrived at a church service extra early to make sure we didn’t end up in the “Standing Room Only” section for this special occasion. With my bulletin in hand and several minutes to spare before the service started, I opened my Bible and looked up the Scripture passage the pastor would focus on during his message. Then I read through some additional teaching notes and commentary in the margin of my Bible. One article was entitled “The Bell Sheep.”

The bell sheep? What in the world is that? I wondered. I read on. The article explained that when a shepherd noticed a sheep who willingly followed him and stayed near him, he hung a bell around the neck of that sheep so the flock would follow the bell sheep…who, in turn, was following the shepherd.

Knowing I would begin writing Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart as soon as the Christmas holiday was over, I almost jumped out of my seat when I read this. I was shouting out in my mind, “That’s it! That’s it! A mom should be the bell sheep for her daughter!”

And it’s true! When we as mothers stay close to Jesus—as close as close can be, and when we love Him with all our heart just the way Jesus said to, and when we willingly follow Him and His Word, guess what? We become His bell sheep for our daughters to follow. Our girls observe—and copy—our behavior. They can—and will—follow our example. We become their very own personal walking, living, real flesh and blood, visual example of what it means to be a child, girl, tween, teen, and woman after God’s own heart.

How to Be a Bell Sheep…in Three Verses

Finally Christmas was over, meaning it was D-Day for me—or more accurately, W-Day as in Writing Day. So I sat down to begin and wondered and prayed, “Where does Christian childrearing really begin? And what is Thing 1, Goal 1 for a mom?”

In a few seconds I had the answer! And it came from God’s Word. It was packaged in three verses I had discovered as a young mom, and also as a baby Christian. I flashed back on those early new-believer days of excitement, of newness, of need as I hungered to find out for the first time what God teaches about…everything! And especially “What in the world am I supposed to do with two little toddling girls?”

I’m so glad a wise woman had advised me to read in my new Bible every day. Well, the day arrived when I made it to the book of Deuteronomy. And there I hit gold when my eyes landed on Deuteronomy 6:5-7. I was stunned. Amazed. Thrilled! God was actually showing me His guidelines for raising my own little daughters, then only one-and-a-half and two-and-a-half years old. And in only three verses! How practical is that? Here’s what I read over and over again and finally memorized:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

I adore these verses because they are packed with clear communication to moms. God goes straight to the heart of the matter—the parent’s heart, the mom’s heart. He knows we become what we love. So He is utterly straightforward about where we are to place our love: We are to love Him supremely.

Two Questions to Ask Yourself

Believe me, I thought through this powerful passage—a lot! Then I took it apart word by word and thought by thought. And I came up with two questions I constantly asked my heart during those days with little girls, and still ask even today with two married daughters who are now raising their daughters. (After all, a mom is always a mom!)

Heart Question #1: What—and whom—do I love?

We “love” a lot of things for a lot of different reasons. But God prescribes perimeters and scope for our love. He tells us what not to love: “Do not love the world or the things in the world” (1 John 2:15). And He tells us what we are to love and where our love is to be focused—we are to “love the Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:5).

But hold on. The Lord goes a step further and demands all of our love. He wants us to love Him with every fiber of our being—every breath, every ounce of energy, every thought, every emotion and passion, every choice. He wants us to love Him. He wants us to think first of Him and to desire above all else to please Him. And He wants that love to be intense and total, “with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” As writer Matthew Henry summarizes, “He that is our all demands our all.”

Matthew Henry continues on to point out that our love for God is to be a strong one that is lived out with great enthusiasm and fervency of affection. It is to be a love that burns like a sacred fire, a love that causes our every affection to flow toward Him.

Now, apply this information about the strength of this kind of love for God and think about the love you have for your daughter, for your children. I’m sure you’ve heard others say, “There is no love like a mother’s love.” And it’s true! From the split second we know a baby is on the way, all our thoughts, dreams, prayers, and goals are channeled toward that little one. We are completely consumed and preoccupied by this tiny being. As the baby grows within us, our love blossoms and our commitment to it grows right along with our expanding body.

Immediately we begin to prepare physically for his or her arrival by meticulously taking care of our health. Healthy mom equals healthy baby, we’re told. We also prepare physically by setting up a nursery area for the new little addition. A bassinet or crib. A blanket. A mobile. Clothes. Supplies. Loads of diapers! Sometimes we even paint or remodel a room.

Then we moms get to work preparing our schedule. Maybe we have to quit a job or arrange for a leave of absence. Oh, and we have to find a pediatrician, as well as make time for our own doctor appointments. And, if we’re smart, we begin to prepare by gathering wisdom and information from our own moms, other moms, and from classes, books, and the Internet.

But as much as we obsess and focus on an approaching child, God wants us to obsess and focus even more on Him. That’s because the more we love Him, the more we will know about love. And the more we know about love, the more we will know about how to love. And the more we know about how to love, the more we will love our baby, our child, our daughter. I like what C.S. Lewis wrote about his love for God and how it affected his relationship with his wife: “When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now.” Mom, your love for God will prepare you to love your child. The more you love the Lord, the better you shall love your earthly dearest daughter.

So…God’s first assignment to any and every mother is to love Him above all else. If you are a sold-out, on-fire, hot-hearted, committed-to-God woman, you will be infinitely further down the road to being the kind of mom who, by His grace, can raise a daughter after God’s own heart. Because all your love centers upon God, and because you follow Him with all your heart, you will qualify to lead your daughter to follow God too—to be…well…God’s bell sheep for her.

Heart Question #2: What’s in my heart?

I don’t know what’s in your heart, and I’m working on what’s in mine! But God tells both of us what is supposed to be there, what He wants to be there. Here it is: He says, “These words which I command you today shall be in your heart” (verse 6).

And here’s the scene surrounding these words: In Deuteronomy 6, Moses is in the final weeks of his life. It has been 40 years since God’s people left Egypt, 40 years of homeless wanderings in the desert. At last a new generation was poised to enter into the Promised Land. But before they move out, Moses restates the Law one more time to this new generation that had been born in the wilderness. Because this next generation had married and now had—and would have—children, he addresses their spiritual responsibility as parents. As Moses speaks, he doesn’t want these moms and dads to merely hear the words of the Law and the Ten Commandments. No, he wants more, way more! He wants the words of the Law to go beyond their ears and reside in their hearts.

You may want to look again at Deuteronomy 6:6, but it tells us that God’s Word, the Bible, is to be in our hearts. Other passages in the Bible send us this same message:

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night (Joshua 1:8).

Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119:11).

My son, keep my words, and treasure my commands within you…bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart (Proverbs 7:1,3).

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly (Colossians 3:16).

The message is repeated…and loud, isn’t it? And clear! God’s Word is to be in our heart. He asks this of you and me as moms. Why? Because when truth resides in your heart, then you have something to pass on to your daughter. She benefits! And you benefit too: As a mother you have something to guide you when you need help, strength, wisdom, and perseverance in your role as a mom, as a bell sheep. Don’t get me wrong—having and raising a child is perhaps the greatest earthly blessing you will ever enjoy. But, at the same time, it is the greatest challenge. But take heart, mom! God’s Word will always be there in you, with you, and for you as you guide your daughter in the ways of the Lord.

So…God’s second assignment for you as a mom is to be committed to His Word. You are to do whatever it takes to embed the teachings of the Bible in your heart, soul, and mind. As the saying goes, “You cannot impart what you do not possess.” The same is true of moms. To teach and guide, lead and raise a daughter after God’s own heart presupposes and requires that God’s truth be in your heart first. Then you possess something to impart. Then you have the most important thing to pass on to your precious daughter—the truth about God and the grace He extends through His Son, Jesus.

Becoming the Bell Sheep

I hope your heart is responding fervently to our initial glimpse at this primary role in the life of a mom after God’s own heart—that of being your daughter’s very own bell sheep. But maybe you are feeling like you need a little help. Well, read on to find out how to become the bell sheep. Practical help is on the way!

Part 2  —  Ringing Your Bell

You shall teach them diligently to your children,

and shall talk of them when you sit in your house,

when you walk by the way, when you lie down,

and when you rise up.

—  Deuteronomy 6:6-7

When my girls were young, I didn’t know about the bell sheep. But if I had, I would have wanted with all my heart to be one. And I would have been praying, “Oh, dear Father! You know how much I desire to be a bell sheep for my daughters. My greatest goal in life is to lead them to Jesus and teach them His ways.” I’m imagining this same heart-cry is being lifted heavenward from your soul’s core too.

As you’ve probably learned, knowing there is something God wants you to do is crucial. And wanting to do what God wants you to do is vital. But if you don’t know how to do what it is God wants you to do, you can become extremely frustrated.

So now we come to the big issue of how do I do this thing God wants—and expects—me to do? Well, here we go!

Yes, but How?

How does a mom help her daughter develop a heart for God? Deuteronomy 6:7 comes to the rescue and answers this question for you and me. God says, “You shall teach them diligently to your children” (verse 7). A mom who wholeheartedly loves the Lord and holds God’s words in her heart is to teach them to her sons and daughters.

—  “To teach”   There are two key ways to teach—by model and by mouth. And there are some basic practices you can follow for teaching effectively. I have a degree in education and have taught preschoolers, students from grades seven through twelve, and adults taking night school classes. Teaching was a job and I took it seriously. I developed my lesson plans for each day, week, month, semester, and school year. And I studied and prepared in advance for each day’s classes.

I also have a daughter who homeschools. I am in constant awe of her commitment. She plans out each year. She searches for materials for five children and their respective grade levels. She orders curriculum to arrive well before back-to-school day so she can preview it. Then she plans in advance the best way to teach, lead, and guide the five of them through each day of study.

Now picture this: I taught subjects that had nothing to do with God or with being a Christian, and so does my daughter. Imagine the effort we both put into teaching information and facts. And here in Deuteronomy 6:7, God is telling both of us—and all moms—to teach our children His Word, His ways, His truth. Now, this is life-changing stuff! The Bible is wisdom that will guide their lives and their choices. It is truth that will pierce a heart and bring a daughter to Christ. So be aware that every time you teach God’s Word you, the bell sheep, are ringing your bell! You are signaling to your daughter the priceless value of the treasure of the Scriptures.

This is exactly what happened in the New Testament to Timothy. As the apostle Paul said of Timothy, his trusted associate in ministry, “from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). God’s Word is dynamite! And Timothy’s mom and grandmom, a mother/daughter tag team after God’s own heart, were faithful to ring their bells! They were faithful to teach him the sacred truths of the Bible, which paved the way for Timothy’s salvation. Mom and grandmom did their part—they fulfilled their mission to teach God’s saving truth. And God certainly did His part!

Time out for a second. I’m thinking as we pause here, shouldn’t a mom after God’s own heart who wants to raise a daughter after God’s own heart take her teaching of Scripture seriously? If you are in this position, shouldn’t you be committed to…

…instructing your daughter in God’s ways?

…planning to some extent how you will accomplish this goal?

…scheduling a time each day for some kind of formal Bible time with her?

…encouraging her to have some time alone with God, a quiet time?

…coaching her in ways to have daily devotions?

…searching for age-appropriate materials and talking with other moms about how they teach their children biblical truth?

…praying daily about this mission from God, this teacher role He has personally given you?

—  “To teach diligently”   Next God tells us in verse 7 to “teach them diligently to your children.” The “them” is what you are to teach—God’s Word and His commands. And “diligently” is how you are to teach—being purposeful and conscientious in a task or duty.

Think about this for a minute: What are you diligent about? Some women diligently floss their teeth. Others are so diligent they would never miss their daily exercise or walk, or be late to work, or fail to pay a bill on time. I know women who are so serious about every bite of food they put into their mouths that they diligently record what they eat in a daily log. On and on goes the list of life instances in which women choose to be diligent instead of careless, or lazy, or negligent.

Now switch your thoughts to doing what God says, to being diligent to teach spiritual truth to your daughter…versus leaving this all-important assignment to someone else, such as a church leader or a Christian school or a grandparent. Don’t get me wrong! These are wonderful and needed resources. But they are to be your partners in imparting truth, not your substitutes. You as a mother are to be the bell sheep who rings the bell of truth like crazy! You, mom, are to be the primary model and teacher of truth to your daughter.

Well, thank the Lord He doesn’t leave moms on their own. This isn’t mission impossible. No, it’s mission possible. God knows most moms don’t have a degree in education or training in teaching. And, whew, God doesn’t expect this or demand it! Aren’t you glad? Instead, He tells us how to teach and what this teaching involves. He says, “You…shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (verse 7).

No matter who you are, or what you do or don’t know about teaching—or how busy you are!—God expects you to pour God’s Word out of your heart and into your daughter’s heart. All you have to do is:

Step 1, love the Lord with all your heart;

Step 2, have God’s Word in your heart; and now

Step 3, teach His truths diligently.

By…what? Talking?! You mean that’s all? That’s it? Yes, that’s it—by talking.

Now I ask you, you’re a woman. How hard can talking be? Why, we girls are the world’s experts when it comes to talking!

And note where all our mother-to-daughter talking and teaching is to take place—at home. Nothing could be easier or more natural or more convenient than home sweet home! You don’t need elaborate plans. You don’t need to dress up or go anywhere. You don’t need to start the car. And you don’t need to spend any money. No. God simply says that “when you sit in your house,” you are to talk about Him.

Whew again—this one’s easy! You sit to relax. You sit to eat. You sit to visit. You sit to read. You sit to work on a craft together. And you sit whenever you’re in the car together. No matter what your daughter’s age is, these natural, low-key, sitting instances provide prime opportunities to talk about the Lord and His love and His promises…and His Son.

And “when you walk by the way” you are to talk about the Lord. From babyhood, to toddler times, to little girl, to schoolgirl, you’ll be walking with your daughter. That’s your special time for talking about the Lord. So…

Got a newborn? You will walk…and walk…and walk each time you calm your crying, ill, or restless baby. And you’ll put in miles pushing her stroller. And you’ll find yourself talking baby talk to her. I laughed out loud when I read this true-to-motherhood quip: “Being a mom means talking to your baby all the time.” So go ahead and talk all you want. It will develop the habit in you—and tune your baby girl’s heart to your voice.

How about a school-age daughter? If you walk your young daughter to school or to and from the school bus stop, you get to talk about the Lord. Tell her how He will help her through her time at school, with her test or report, with making friends. If you walk to the mailbox down the road, take your daughter along and chat about the wonders of the Lord and what it means to know Him. Let her know how she can trust Him and talk to Him anytime, anywhere, and ask for His help. When you walk together through the grocery store or the mall, again, make that an opportunity to talk about God and His provision and blessings. If there’s a breathtaking sunrise, sunset, rainbow, or wonder of nature—a bird’s nest, blooming flowers, even something as small as a dandelion, go outside and marvel at God’s handiwork together. And while you’re at it, do as the psalmist did and “talk” of His doings. “Praise” the Lord for His mighty acts and His greatness. “Declare” His faithfulness.

And then come the teen years. Hopefully you and your daughter have developed the habit of talking to each other about any and every thing, and especially about the Lord. So during her teen years, when things can get a little weird, and she may even see you as a little weird, you can still talk because of your history of talking. Believe me, if you are available, and care, and give her your love and attention, she will spill all!

And if you haven’t developed this early habit of talking, don’t worry and don’t give up. Just be sure you start now. Start talking, even if your daughter doesn’t seem to be listening. She is hearing, and what you say in loving wisdom will be filed away in her mind and heart. And it won’t go away. She won’t be able to shake it or forget it. Draw your strength from the Lord and speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). And if your daughter won’t talk to you, that’s okay. Just know before God that you talked, just like He asked you to do. You faithfully rang your bell. You shared truth from His Word. And take comfort in the fact that God promises His Word will not go forth in vain but will accomplish His purposes (Isaiah 55:11).

And to end each day and start the next, God tells you what to do in Deuteronomy 6:7: “When you lie down, and when you rise up,” talk! Talk about the Lord, and keep on talking about Him. You can help even your tiny young daughter start her days and end them with thoughts of God in her mind. You can greet your waking girl with, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). Or you can call out, “There you are, my precious blessing from the Lord! Good morning!” And at night, prayer is the perfect way to put a little—and big!—girl to bed. It puts her day and all that happened to rest. It calms all sorrows and soothes every hurt from the day. And it quells her fears. Like David testified, “I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me,” and “I will both lie down in peace and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 3:5 and 4:8).

So…another of God’s assignments to any and every mom is to constantly be teaching and talking to your daughter about the Lord you love. Teaching and talking. And talking and teaching. Or put another way, ringing your bell! I hope you are grasping that being a Christian mom is more than taking your children to church. Home is a sort of church too. Home is the natural 24/7, morning-to-evening place to impress truth upon your daughter. Home is where she gets to see and hear every day how important the Lord is to you. Wherever and whenever the two of you are together is God’s opportunity for you to tell her about Him. So take advantage of the gift of such times. And if they are too few and far between, make it happen. Create the times together. In his book Shepherding a Child’s Heart, author Tedd Tripp gives this challenge to parents:

You shepherd your child in God’s behalf. The task God has given you is not one that can be conveniently scheduled. It is a pervasive task. Training and shepherding are going on whenever you are with your children. Whether waking, walking, talking or resting, you must be involved in helping your child to understand life, himself and his needs from a biblical perspective.

But What If…

I realize this ideal scenario does not happen in every mother/daughter relationship. Maybe the family you grew up in was not a Christian family. God knows that. He knows all about it—all about what you missed, and all about what you know and don’t know about being a Christian family and mom. So know that your mission is to begin where you are to follow the Lord. It’s never too late to receive Christ as Savior, to begin loving the Lord and growing in grace and in the knowledge of Him and His Word. You can choose any day—today, if you haven’t already—to begin diligently teaching the daughter you love, and talking to her about the God you love and who loves her. Point her to God. Encourage her in the Lord. Teach her what you know about Him from experience and from study. Pray for her with your every heartbeat. See her spiritual growth into a daughter after God’s own heart as your calling, your mission assignment from God. Commit to doing your part, and trust God to do His.

Perhaps you are thinking, This woman is crazy! Well, I wouldn’t blame you. But I will tell you I am crazy about God, crazy about my two daughters, and crazy about my four granddaughters. I will also tell you that I am passionate and passionately sold out to my role as a woman, mom, and grandmom after God’s own heart. It’s just so clear what God wants His moms to be and do. Your daughter has no other mother. You are the one He has chosen to teach her. And if you don’t, what if no one does?

Here’s a powerful description of what an all-out, all-or-nothing love for God and our daughters looks like. Let it encourage you today and in the decades of mothering to come:

…my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity…I won’t give up, shut up, let up, or slow up.

You Can Do It!

Each of the following suggestions is something you can do to contribute toward becoming the mom you dream of being. And each one betters your life…and your daughter’s too. Here we go:

Analyze your day.

Think through the rhythm of your day and pinpoint your discretionary time, the time when you have a choice about how it is used, when you can choose how it’s spent. There is always time to do what’s important to you. You’ll need to find the time to get to know God—to put first things first.

Design a quiet time.

Once you’ve carved out a special time to be with God, begin reading your Bible—even for just ten minutes. It’s been calculated that if you simply read your Bible for ten minutes a day, you will read through all of it in one year. That’s a doable task for you as a bell sheep whose life goal is leading your daughter to Jesus. There are scores of activities that fill your day. So steal ten minutes from a nonimportant activity like time on the Internet, time talking on the phone, time watching TV. Make a daily appointment with God and allow Him to speak to your heart from His Word.

Memorize Scripture.

Here’s a statistic for you: People remember about 40 percent of what they read. Wouldn’t it be nice to remember 100 percent? Well, you can if you memorize verses from the Bible. That’s what someone told me as a new Christian, and I followed their advice. As I shared earlier, as soon as I read Deuteronomy 6:5-7, I learned it by heart. I also picked out some verses that would help me with my daily life, including the daily challenge of being a mom after God’s own heart. Like “I can do all things [including be a mom!] through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Once you store up some verses in your heart, you’ll find that wherever you are and whatever is happening, you can remember God’s words to you. And just think—as a bell sheep, you can draw your daughter to Jesus as you speak His words to her.

Read about parenting.

In my mentoring ministry, one of my assignments for the women I meet with and give my time to is that they read five minutes a day on a variety of topics. They can pick the topics and the books. They can buy them, borrow them, or check them out of the church library. I do this because I’ve been reading on my own topics for five minutes a day for decades! For instance, I’ve been reading five minutes a day on marriage and family for what seems like forever. The same goes for time and life management. And health.

If you do this too, you will amaze yourself as you become an expert on your subjects by merely reading five minutes a day on them. You will also be super motivated because the topic and your new knowledge is fresh in your mind. Instead of dreading something, you’ll look forward to approaching it differently and trying some new techniques or methods. Your reading will serve as a reminder and an instructor to pay attention to the areas of your life you targeted for growth. Pray, and then choose your subjects. Just be sure as a mom that childrearing is one of them.

Write a letter to God about your daughter.

Then read the letter to Him as a prayer. Prayer involves God. So now there are two of you taking on the challenge of raising a daughter after God’s own heart. It will seal your commitment to becoming God’s kind of mom so, Lord willing and by His grace, your daughter grows to be God’s kind of girl. File your “My Prayer to Be a Mom After God’s Own Heart” away where it is handy and can be prayed often, even daily. Your prayer is another good reminder each day to keep on keeping on in your goals as a mom and your goals for your daughter. And here’s an idea: Each year on your daughter’s birthday, slip a copy of your prayer into her birthday card. Be sure to tell her where you were and what you were feeling when you wrote it. What a gift!

Mom’s Think Pad

Before you move on to your next Mom Mission, take a minute or two to think about what you can do to track with God as a mom. Make some plans of your own to take a few small steps that make a big difference.

I’m awfully busy, but I want to be the mom God wants me to be! What are several things I can do—or not do—to create some time to get into God’s Word? I want to be a mom after God’s own heart!
I want to set a goal to memorize Deuteronomy 6:5-7. Here’s my checklist:
Write these verses on an index card and carry it with me.

Pick a daily five-minute time slot that works for my schedule, during which I can memorize these verses.

Write out each verse ten times.

Copy these verses on several more index cards and post them on the refrigerator door, bathroom mirror, computer, car dashboard.

Ask my daughter to help me memorize these verses, to listen to me recite them, to be my audience, my checker, my best helper!

What are some ways I can “teach” my daughter about God and His Word by “talking” about Him…
…when we are sitting together?

…when we are walking together?

…when she is going to bed or going down for her nap?

…when she gets up?

What are some ways I can be more faithful and “diligent” in passing on God’s truth to my daughter?
Do I need to be mentored in my own spiritual growth? Who could help me? Or is there a class I can take? A group I can join? A book I can read?


My Opinion:
As a mom of two girls I can use all the knowledge I can get in how to best raise my daughter’s to know, love and serve the Lord.  I’ve had the pleasure of reading Elizabeth George’s newest book Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart and was very much drawn into what I’ve been doing right as well as things that I really, really need to improve on.  I want to make sure that as my daughter’s get older than can realize that I am there to listen to everything and I don’t want them turning to their peers and one day they’ll be God’s own and they’ll be able to fully rely on Him.

This was an awesome and powerful book, one that I know I’ll actually be sitting down with again when I have time to work through it instead of rushing through to get it done in time for the review!  There were only two instances that I disagreed with Mrs. George on and that was splitting the family up to attend church services based on peer related ages/groups and being involved in youth group so they can gain Christian friends.  I’m a proponent of family centered worship with children staying with the parents, that means no nursery, Sunday School, junior church, etc.  I also don’t like youth groups, especially gender mixed groups – I’ve experienced first hand what goes on in some youth groups.  Regardless of these two disagreements I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

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Booksneeze Review: "The Wonder of Your Love" by Beth Wiseman

About the book from Booksneeze:

Katie Ann lost the love of her life. Then God offers her a new beginning in Colorado.

Katie Ann Stolzfus lives in the small Amish community of Canaan, Colorado. At forty she is widowed and raising her first child. But baby Jonas will never know his father, and Katie Ann wonders if her Heavenly Father hasn’t forgotten about her as well. Is it really God’s plan for her to be a single parent?

Eli Detweiler has come to Canaan for a wedding and a long vacation. Having raised six children following the death of his young wife, Eli is finally an empty-nester. He’s enjoying the slower pace of having no one to care for but himself.

When Katie Ann and Eli meet, there is an instant connection. Yet as strong as the attraction is, they both acknowledge that a romance would never work. He is done parenting, while she has just begun.

But as their friendship slowly blossoms into feelings that are as frightening as they are intoxicating, Katie Ann and Eli question if the plans they made for themselves are in line with God’s plans.

Can Katie Ann entrust her heart to another man, and rediscover the wonder of God’s love?

My Opinion:

Step back into the Amish community of Canaan in the second book of the “Land of Canaan” series and find yourself lost among the richness of the enduring Amish Faith.  We get to meet Martha again, who is the bright and vibrant English woman who has befriended Katie Ann and loves her infant son just like a grandma.  We do meet Eli, the main male character and love interest of Katie Ann.

Don’t worry if you haven’t read the first book, as this book will refresh or get you up to date on what is going on.  After moving Katie Ann to Canaan her husband, Ivan leaves her while having an affair with an English woman in Pennsylvania.  He was coming back to his wife and Amish community when he was killed in an accident, unbeknownst to him that both his wife and mistress are pregnant.

This book is clean through out, unless you have an issue with two widowed adults sharing a kiss, otherwise this is a wonderful book of enduring love for the Creator, finding love when you think all hope is gone and of learning who your friends are and where your heart lies.  Another wonderful read from Beth Wiseman!

**I was provided a copy of the e-book from Booksneeze through Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

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The Homeschool Mother's Journal

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week:

Nothing, well not really but I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much either on the diet side of things or the exercising.  I think this is my time of year where I start to feel a little blah and we can’t go outside because of lots and lots of rain so we’re pretty much cooped up.

In our homeschool this week:

We’re still pretty much on track except for a couple things that we need to go back and re-explore for Botany just because I didn’t feel like making the clay for the flower and we also need to start growing something, anything in our light hut.

What’s working/not working for us:

I’m awaiting a new phonics program that I hope will make things easier for my 5 year old son who really wants to learn to read but had issues with another reading/phonics program.  Otherwise everything else is working great and I’m phasing in Five In A Row for my son as well.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Don’t listen.  Yep, ignore people.  I know some people mean well and just don’t know how to say things nicely but when it comes to my educating my children I tend to ignore those who want to critique and bemoan things that I or my children are doing wrong.  We homeschool.  Get over it!  Okay, vent over!

I’m reading:

Put Your Heart in Your Mouth by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD

How Do We Know the Bible Is True? by Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge

Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George

Weddings and Wasabi by Camy Tang

I’m praying for:

My children and my husband.

My family (mom, brother’s, dad, aunts, uncles, inlaws): that they will both come to know and have a personal relationship with the Lord.

For myself that in the near future I will find a family friendly ministry where my children and I can be the hands and feet of Christ.

Also for all of us to get into a family centered, Bible only church soon!

A video to share:

Click on the link below to watch my son in his karate learning how to spar.  It’s quite amusing – he is the littlest in the back with blonde hair.


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Kregel Blog Tour: "The Liberating Truth: How Jesus Empowers Women" by Danielle Strickland

About the Book:

Women everywhere, despite the feminist movement, remain subjugated and constrained by cultural norms, all too often undergirded by church practices that tell them to conform, hold back, and turn aside from God’s call upon their lives. The church and culture may restrict women, but Jesus empowered them, and Danielle call us to do the same.

My Opinion:

This book was hard for me to read but given that I’ll give you my opinion and let you decide if you should read it.  It was a very quick read in that it was short and to the point however I found myself disagreeing with the author, Danielle Strickland.

Let me begin by saying that I think slavery is wrong, whether it’s because of race, religion, gender, etc, it’s wrong and it goes against God’s Law for mankind.  The author give quite a few examples of women who are being held captive either because of society’s view on them (such as in prostitution) or because they are literally being held against their will.  I agree that is wrong however her points made against Biblical womanhood and manhood seem to be in the opposite direction of the Bible.  One example of this is that we Christian women believe we are subservient because we’ve been told by pastors, dads, husbands, etc that we are different.  I was made female and I am different and yes I should have different roles within the community, home and even the church.

There is much more in this book such as the author wondering why women have to take their husband’s name, why can’t the husband take the woman’s maiden name?  Why should a bride be given away because that implies ownership.  Even telling the reader that Jesus was a feminist because He welcomed women into His inner circle, He chose to appear first to a woman and have her relay the message He had rose from the dead – does that make Him a feminist?  No.  She outlines three views of women and our position in society 1) patriarchy which she calls the “old fashioned, nuts view”, 2) complementarian which is where persons are equal in personhood but hold different roles and 3) egalitarianism which is where both men and woman have equal authority and responsibility in marriage, church and community.

I must say I think the author would view me as unliberated and controlled mind, body and soul by my husband.  This is simply untrue and I cannot say that the Bible means one thing and discard the rest.  I’m liberated and I can’t say that I’ve ever loved my life more as a homemaker, wife, mom and home educator.  My husband doesn’t demean me or speak for me – we discuss things and we both have our own opinions.  I used to be a die hard feminist and can’t ever think I’d turn back to that lifestyle.  I also can’t help but feel a little saddened that I would be lumped together with women who truly are treated as trash as those in Iraq or prostitutes.

While I learned a lot about how some may think that Jesus was a feminist I think that is trying to put Jesus into a box that He doesn’t belong in and one that mere humans shouldn’t try to make Him fit.  Yes, He broke society’s norms but feminism tore down what was good and right for the family and society.  I want to make it clear that I’m not wanting to disparage this author but I also can’t agree with something that even though she says is backed up Scripturally, seems to go against Scripture all together.  You’ll have to make your choice if you think this is a book that you’d like to read.

**I was provided a copy of this book from Kregel Publications for the blog tour in exchange for my honest opinion, positive or negative, no other compensation was given.

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TOS Crew Review: AIMS Education Foundation; Primarily Magnets

Vendor Name: AIMS Education Foundation

Vendor Contact: AIMS Contact Page

Name of Product: Primarily Magnets

Price: $18.95 for book and CD

Age Range: grades K-2

Other products available: Actions with Fractions, Bats Incredible, State Specific Science, Essential Math, and more!

This book is 85 pages long and is chock full of 19 experiments dealing with magnets and how they relate to real life in an engaging and hands-on way.  Children learn best when they can touch, see, feel and hear and this is what is so great about Primarily Magnets you, the teacher, read some material about magnets and explain the experiment.  After which the children get to do the activity on their own or in a group (depending on how many children you have) and then that learning experience is connected back to real life.

The AIMS (Activites Integrating Mathematics and Science) Education Foundation was started in 1981 through a grant from the National Science Foundation.  The intent of AIMS is to provide hands-on educational materials that teach children the fun of science and math and making sure that students get an understanding of what they are learning and be able to apply it.  The benchmarks and standards are outlined in the front of the book so that teachers and parents can get a glance of what the children will be learning from using the book.

Children will learn about the following areas in Primarily Magnets:

  • Attraction: Magnets Interacting with Other Materials
  • Attraction/Repulsion: Magnets Interacting with Other Magnets
  • Magnetic Fields
  • Everyday use of Magnets
  • Culminating Experiences
  • Assessment

While this is geared for grades K-2 it can easily be used for those in higher grades, like my 4th grader, who worked along side her K/1st and 2nd grade siblings.  Fun experiments using magnets and household items like paper clips, an empty soda can, and of course magnets.  One experiment is a discovery bottle and you’ll use an empty two liter bottle, gift package shreds, and some objects that are and are not attracted to magnets.  The recording sheet lets children write or draw what was attracted to the magnets during the experiment.  Another fun experiment was the magnet man, I had to find some iron filings, but they were easily and inexpensively obtained at a local teacher store.

The accompanying CD is great, especially if you are teaching more than one as you can make copies for each of you children, although copyright is only granted for 200 copies.  You will need Adobe to view and see the files on the disk and it makes it convenient and also saves the spine of the book from making multiple copies on a machine.

This was a fun way to add a little something extra to our school day and my 5 year old begged to do this every day.  I’d say each lesson took between 15 to 20 minutes from start to finish but I also was only teaching 3 students/children and the oldest was a lot of help.  If you want your children to do more than just learn – you want them to understand then AIMS Education Foundation is a great way to start doing that.

*If you’d like to see more reviews on more AIMS Education Foundation products then please visit The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew blog.

**I was provided a copy of this book/CD set from AIMS Education Foundation in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.


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More Children's Museum

We went to the children’s museum with a friend and these are just some random pictures of that:

Hannah filling in the pet intake at the ‘vet’ office:

Christian doing the x-rays:

Christian with the pet turtle:

Christian and his friend ‘changing’ a truck tire:

Bethanne driving the truck:

So these are all I have right now – the children love this place and when it’s not busy I can pretty much sit on a bench, read and let them play.  Of course when you’re with a good friend sitting on a bench and chatting is more fun!

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FIRST Tour: Hot Chocolate With God by Camryn Kelly with Jill and Erin Kelly

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 authors are:


Camryn Kelly with Jill and Erin Kelly


and the book:


Hot Chocolate With God

FaithWords (September 21, 2011)

***Special thanks to Sarah Reck, Web Publicist, Faith Words & Center Street for sending me a review copy.***


Camryn Lynn Kelly is the youngest daughter of Jill Kelly and her husband, retired Buffalo Bills Quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly. Camryn has a passion for writing and sharing her child-like faith in Jesus. She loves teaching imaginary students and anyone willing to attend her classes the exciting truths found in God’s Word. While Camryn has loved books since she was just a toddler, her two-inch thick Bible Concordance is one of her favorites. As her relationship with Jesus flourishes, Camryn will continue to encourage others with the light of her faith that she shines boldly and brightly, and without apology.

Jill Kelly is the wife of Jim Kelly and mother of Camryn and Erin. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Without a Word, the story of her son Hunter, who as an infant was diagnosed with a fatal disease. Without a Word was published by FaithWords in hardcover, September 2010.

Erin Marie Kelly is the oldest daughter to Jim and Jill Kelly. Currently in the 10th grade, she enjoys playing basketball and just like her father Erin is a great, competitive athlete. She is a very artistic and gifted writer who also creates very colorful and beautiful drawings in many of her journals. Although she does not know what she hopes to become in the future, Erin believes that God desires her to excel as a student and follower of Jesus-trusting in His guidance all the way.

Visit the authors’ website.


Written for young girls 8-12, this brand-new series combines the writings of the Kelly girls with journal/activity elements in an engaging, exciting companion book to every girl’s walk with God. Each book in the series includes scriptures, fun facts, journal writings, and fun personal quizzes. Girls will be able to express their deepest thoughts and feelings, as well as share everything from their favorite ice cream to the things that make them cry.

In this first book, it’s all about the reader. Finding out who you are can be a fun process that will take you a lifetime-and this book gets girls started out in style! A self-guided tour through every area of a girl’s inner life, this book encourages girls to find the answers to small questions (What’s your favorite color? Your favorite ice cream flavor?, etc.) as well as large ones (What makes you sad? What makes you angry?)

A section on dreams and special gifts will also be included. All little girls have dreams of what they want to be when they grow up, and this book will help them discover which of the special gifts talked about in the Bible they have been given.

With activities ranging from word searches, create-your-own story fill-in-the-blanks, true/false questions, journaling space, a companion web site, fun facts, and scriptures, this first volume in the HOT CHOCOLATE WITH GOD series promises hours of fun and self-discovery!

Product Details:

List Price: $10.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: FaithWords (September 21, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0892968451
ISBN-13: 978-0892968459




My Opinion:

I wasn’t given much of a chance to read this book as once it arrived my oldest daughter absconded with it – and seems to still be enjoying it.  From what I’ve seen it is a neat and interesting book between journaling and learning more about God from reading His Word.  There is a section titled: “Freckles, Bras, Makeup, and Everything Else Body and Beauty”.  There is mention of makeup, nail polish and other such ‘beauty’ things – none of which we use in our house but this opens a discussion on what is appropriate and what our family’s convictions and beliefs are.  There is a brief mention of breasts in terms of “M&M’s”, boobies and “buds”  .

Overall, though this book is very much in getting girls to know who they are in Christ – not according to the world but to the One who matters.  I like the book as my daughter can fill it in and I can read it and then it can open discussions about the little things and the BIG things in life, especially as she’s becoming older and privacy is definitely an issue.  So even though I’m not to hip to the slang for the body parts mentioned above – it’s still a book that should be used as a way for girls to find themselves in Christ and keep an open communication pathway with their parents (or at least mom). 

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