Category Archives: Christian Faith-Bible-Character Building

GrapeVine Studies Reivew

Have you wanted to remember your bible study?  Do you easily forget what you have read? When I think about history, and how people remembered stories to tell the next generation, they often used a variety of stick figure pictures to convey their message.  Stick figures are universal and easy to make and understand for most people of all ages.  The artifacts we have left show that people either drew them with charcoal or painted them onto rocks or cave walls, drew or carved shells or beads, and some people carved them into walking sticks, bone or wooden boxes, and totem poles.  However the story was shared, simple stick figure drawings have been a form of communication and remembering stories since the beginning of time.

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We were recently sent a product called Birth of Jesus: Multi Level Bible Curriculum from GrapeVine Studies to learn how to stick figure our way through the bible and understand and remember what we have learned.

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Stick figuring through the bible is a revolutionary yet ancient idea for helping your kids understand and remember their bible verses.  You can bring the story to life and make the stories easy to share with pictures like ancient people’s did.  I have seen this phenomenon going around for the past few years, some folks use doodles and paints, and some bible studies use stick figures.  I came across a homeschool mom’s website a few years ago who had been stick figuring through the bible with her kids and I was fascinated with the idea and put it on my “someday” to do list to learn more.   Well my “someday” finally arrived a few months ago when we were sent GrapeVine Studies curriculum to review in our homeschool.

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Birth Of Jesus: Multi Level

GrapeVine Studies

For Elementary Age Students

e-book PDF Download (other formats available)

Price varies depending on format you choose, see website for purchase details.

This is a whole new way to do Bible Study with your family!

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What We Received:

Birth of Jesus: Multi-Level Student e-Book:

  • Ages 7+
  • lessons pages,
  • timelines,
  • map,
  • memory verses,
  • and reviews.
  • 48 pages.

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Traceable for Multi-Level e-Book:

  • Ages 3-6
  • lessons pages,
  • timelines,
  • map,
  • memory verses,
  • reviews
  • 48 pages.

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Birth of Jesus Teacher’s e-Book:

  • lesson notes,
  • stick figure drawings,
  • lesson goals & key points,
  • memory verses,
  • review questions & answers.
  • 64 pages

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How We Used GrapeVine Studies

The first thing I did when I received my e-books was print them out.  I hole punched them and placed them into a 3 ring binder, but many of my friends also take them to the local office store and have them spiral bound for ease of use.  You can also purchase GrapeVine Studies books already printed and bound and ready to use, they come in several format options to fit your needs.

Next you need to get your supplies ready and put them in a basket, milk crate or an easily accessible container for bible study time.

Supplies:

Supplies Needed To Complete GrapeVine Studies Include:

  • Lesson pages for each student
  • Teachers Book pages for lesson instructions
  • Bible
  • Bible Dictionary
  • Atlas of the Bible Lands
  • Dry erase board and/or a chalk board (for mom)
  • Dry erase markers and/or chalk (for mom)
  • Colored pencils

I gave each child their own binder, and we worked on the GrapeVine Studies with our bible study for 10 minutes to 20 minutes four days a week.   For my younger children I give them the traceable pages, and the older children I give the blank pages for them to draw out the story. This study is meant to last 5 weeks by doing 4 lessons each week or a total of 128 lessons.  Each product from GrapeVine Studies is different so be sure to check the length of other products if you are looking for a longer or shorter time frame.

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Schedule 10 to 20 Minutes Each Day

  • Monday: Timeline Review Page
  • Tuesday: Lesson page 1
  • Wednesday: Lesson page 2
  • Thursday: Student Drawing Page

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Extra Day 5 (Friday).  We added our own ideas to further the learning for Fridays.  We did a variety of things like have the kids retell the story, make a lego creation to retell the story, act out the story, etc.  Check out our Further the Learning Ideas posted below if you would like to do this study in 5 days a week instead of 4. This product is very flexible and you can adapt it to your needs.

Further the Learning:

These are our “extra” ideas for making the GrapeVine Studies into a 5 day curriculum.  We love Unit Studies, and I felt this curriculum was easy to expand into a fun bible unit study for my kids to enjoy.  This is a great curriculum to accompany what you are already doing or to stand on its own.  You can include it for circle time with younger children, individual study for older children, or family bible study too.  We made it into the bible portion of our unit study learning about the Birth Of Jesus.   This is such a flexible curriculum and easy to adapt to any situation.

Field Trip:

  • Take a field trip to a local museum and look at artifacts that contain stick figures.  Have the children compare these with their stick figures of bible stories.
  • Take a virtual field trip online and learn about stick figures on ancient artifacts and on cave walls.

Screenshot (281)Ancient “Jonah” stick figure. (Image source)

Recent discoveries of ancient Jewish artifacts reveals a rich history of stick figures and even their written language reveals stick figures.  Here is a picture of the story of Jonah discovered on a tomb in 2012.    You can find many examples like this to look at with your children in museums and online.

Study Language:

Ancient Greek and Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, as well as many other languages look like stick figures. Find examples of these languages online and have the kids guess what story they are telling, or what the different characters stand for.  See if they can identify stick figures and a story in ancient writings.  Check out wikipedia for an explanation of the history of stick figures in history.

Gift Idea:

  • Have the kids make a stick figure bible verse card for someone’s birthday, holiday, or anniversary.
  • Using cinamon sticks or tree branch sticks and hot glue, have the kids recreate a scene from their GrapeVine Studies and give this as a gift.
  • GrapeVine Studies stick figure scene painted or drawn onto rocks to give away as paperweights or give a whole story on rocks that can be displayed to retell the story.

Snack Ideas:

  • Have the kids make pretzel stick figures with pretzels, raisins, mini marshmallows, olives.
  • They could also use cheese sticks and olives with the help of a toothpick inbetween to hold them together.
  • Another fun idea would be to bake a stick figure scene from the GrapeVine studies with a bread stick dough.  Have the kids shape their stick figure scene on a cookie sheet and bake it to look just like their page.  This could be their centerpiece on the table at supper as they share the bible story with daddy or company who might come to visit, especially if using the Birth Of Jesus or the Resurection of Jesus GrapeVine Study near the holidays.

Arts and Craft Ideas:

  • Decorate a binder with stick figure animations to personalize it and hold their GrapeVine Studies bible study pages.  You can also create a lapbook, or create lapbook flaps they can keep in their binder to store maps, or mini booklets, etc that you might want to include if doing this as a unit study.
  • Go outside and find some sticks and and make puppets re-create one of the bible story’s they studied in their GrapeVine Studies.    Use the GrapeVine Studies pages as a script to re-tell the story with their stick figure puppets.
  • Use chalk and draw their GrapeVines Studies onto the side walk at a park or public area to share the gospel with others.
  • Paint rocks with the bible story using stick figure story ideas from GrapeVines Studies.  Retell the story to family and friends.   Could make a special bag or box and give this as a gift to a loved one that they could then display in their home.   This would be great to stick figure paint the nativity on rocks for Christmas too.

Lego Skit Ideas:

Legos look kind of “stick figure like” and every kid I know loves to play with Legos.  Using the pages from GrapeVine Studies as their written skit, have the kids re-tell the story using Legos. This is one of my kids favorite “extra” learning activities.

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Final Thoughts

I was really excited to review this product.  When I was younger,  I used to doodle in my bible and made notes in the margins.  It was my attempt to understand what I was reading and remember it.  Nowadays, I mostly use a spiral bound notebook to keep my bible study notes.

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Handwriting out long notes during bible study doesn’t really work for most of my children, especially my younger children, because they are not yet strong readers or writers.   Thanks to GrapeVine Studies we now know the kids can keep their bible study notes drawn in stick figure form, and they will remember what they have learned and be able to retell the story themselves.

Social Media

Be sure to check out GrapeVine Studies on their social media links for all the latest news and product updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GrapevineStudies
Twitter: https://twitter.com/grapevinestudy
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/grapevinestudy/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Grapevinestudies/posts
Periscope: @Grapevine Studies

Grapevine Studies Review

Be sure to check out what other families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using GrapeVine Studies in their homes.

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Stand Up, Stand Out, and Shine Bright

Have you ever come under attack because you stand up for something?  Have you been critisized because your talents and skills cause you to stand out?  Be encouraged today, because God has placed talents and gifts inside you that are meant for you to stand up and shine brightly with them, expanding the light of his Kingdom, illuminating a dark world, and bring Him glory through it all.

shine

As I listened to the words of Jesus this morning in my bible study, I realized he is saying he wants you and me to Stand Up, Stand Out, and Shine Bright.   He wants you to do good and stand out so others can see his light shining from you. That is not boastful. That is not prideful. Those are the words of Christ Jesus.

Jesus told us to “DO” and to  “STAND” and to “SHINE”.

To “do”, to “stand”, and to “shine” are ACTION words.   They are the opposite of “take a seat”, “stay seated” and “you may be seated” words we hear spoken today.   I don’t think Jesus would have defined his followers the way they appear today, seated and asleep.

If you asked the average person today how they would define a Christian, most would say something like:  “A Christian is a person who follows a religious teacher named Jesus by going to a building with four walls on Sunday to sing about him, pray, and hear a bible story”.  Jesus NEVER ever said for his followers to live like that.   Jesus gave his followers an assignment to stand out, to do good, and to shine and illuminate the darkness.  He told them to go out two by two to heal the sick, cast out demons, feed the hungry, set captives free and preach the Kingdom of God in all the earth. Yet sadly, the “Christian life” amounts to sitting in a pew on Sunday for most believers of Jesus today.

If a person, or group of people, are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, then they will do what he did and obey what he said.  The churches who are doing, standing, and shining, are the churches we see growing exponentially today, just as the early church that Jesus created did. Miracles are happening as those believers pray for others, cast out demons, heal the sick, restore sight to the blind, raise the dead, and set the captives free, and thousands of lives are being fed, clothed, and transformed, and the Christian believer is a bright light in that city.

Christians, and their churches, that shine the brightest in a city, also take the most criticism from other Christians that don’t choose to shine.  They have let their lamps grow dark outside of their four walls of their buildings, and they criticize those who stand out and shine bright.

This happens constantly, but I will use this one recent example to illustrate this point.  I recently heard a pastor of a small church in a decaying city criticizing pastors of larger churches.  He often points fingers at them and puts them down in discussions with his congregation.   He says that these larger churches are not truly following God or else they wouldn’t have such large congregations of people.  He says that they are prideful to have musical instruments and singers on stage and putting on a show.  He says these pastors are misappropriating funds to have large budgets for their church to fly around the US and the World and put money into these large outreach efforts.  He says they are showing off and worldly to draw in large crowds.

Yet while he critisizes others,  his own church’s light is dying.  He has no impact in his decaying city.  Even though he stays busy going here or there doing this or that, he and his congregation contain no new life and no change or growth.   In the community and even within the four walls of his building, there is no opportunity for the followers of Jesus to shine, even though he states weekly that they are in the midst of “revival”.   They host revivals (evening sermon meetings that last from anywhere from 3 days to 7 days) monthly through out the year.  I have attend several at that church and other local churches, I have spoken to these pastors and their guest evangelists, and from what I can tell, these churches are not really in revival.    It is just a word that label their meetings that they host that are different than Sunday service.

Revival is basically spiritual CPR.  To revive is to breathe new life into a dying or dead situation. Their church and their city continues to die despite their efforts at “revival”.  It is not effective. There is no spiritual CPR happening in the revival meetings that I have seen for many years.  Many years ago in the 1970’s and mid 1980’s I did witness true revivals that changed cities. But after that, except for a few dynamic on fire churches, what I witnessed across this nation was a sleeping church who’s light grew dim in their communities.

Christians speak about revival, but many have become lukewarm in allowing God to be Lord in every decision.  They trade out God’s word about living: eating, raising children, marriage, healing and raising the dead, casting out demons, etc. instead for an acceptance of government guidance in regards to daily living, education of children, health care, jobs, morals, etc.  They enjoy a “tax exempt” status and follow the social / political rules.  They may get a pat on the back or their name in the paper if they do a good event, but sadly most churches, don’t bring positive change to their communities.  Though God is honored during the service on Sunday or Wednesday, God is not the Lord of their daily living decisions 24/7.   Instead the congregation often seems to hide behind the four walls of the church building, hides their gifts and talents that were purposed to expand the Kingdom within their cities, and wait…wait…wait…asleep…until Jesus returns…all the while they never realize their lamps ran out of oil and they no longer were effective to shine God’s light into a dark world.

I just want to shout from the rooftops “WAKE UP O CHURCH!  WAKE UP O BRIDE OF CHRIST WHO HAS FALLEN ASLEEP.  YOUR LAMPS NEED TENDING.  KEEP SHINING BRIGHT AND STAND UP AND STAND OUT”.

“Your eyes are like a window for your body.
When they are good, you have all the light you need.
But when your eyes are bad, everything is dark.
If the light inside you is dark, you surely are in the dark.”
Mathew 6:22-23

How do we keep our lamps supernaturally full and shining bright?  Jesus is returning for a Bride who is awake and her lamp is full of spiritual oil and she is shinning bright and doing good, obeying the commands of Isaiah 58 while she loves God with her whole heart and loves her neighbor.

Jesus said to becareful because you will fail at shining if your light goes dark.  That seems obvious.  But he made it very clear as if it were not obvious or like we might forget if not reminded.  As if we are like the man who looks in the mirror and steps away and forgets what he looked like in that mirror.  He is right.  We easily forget that we must not let our light go dark. Jesus said if your eyes are bad, and you let darkness into your life, you can not shine.   How can your eyes bring darkness into your life?  The eyes are the door that Satan uses to tempt you. When you follow through with that temptation you bring darkness into your life.  So it is key to remove the darkness and temptations from in front of your eyes and look upon Jesus and obey him.

Jesus said if you love him, you will obey him.  He said to shine bright, stand out, and beam as brightly as you can like a lighted city on a hill, and a lamp on a high stand in your house.   Think about that for just a minute.  Has your power in the house ever gone out and you had to light a candle or use a lamp for light?  I have had this happen many times in my life, and I put that candle or lamp on the highest table in the center of the room so that the room is lit up and I can see where to go and what I am doing.  That candle or lamp can shine so bright that we can even cook a simple meal, or play games by it’s light.   However, if I placed that light in a corner of a room, it would not light up the room well enough for us to see.

When we stand out and shine, we send forth HIS light that is in us so that God will be glorified. Others will give God praise when they see you doing good and shining bright. Christians who stand out, who shine bright, often come under attack from both other Christians and non-Christians.  It can be a hard and lonely choice to stand out, and would be much easier to hide, or sit on a pew and let others do the shining.  But to obey Jesus (not your denomination, not your pastor, not religious rules or traditions),  as a child of God, you must be placed on a high place and stand out so that everyone around you can see what is around them with the light that you are shining forth.  The darkness of their situation is transformed and lit up by the light you shine.  You are the lamp that must shine bright while you are doing good. Don’t get burned out doing good, don’t fall asleep, and don’t hide your light or let it go out.

Think about it.  If every Christian obeyed the words of Jesus and stood out on a high place and shined forth God’s light while doing good, surely this world would experience true revival.  It would look a whole lot different. Surely multitudes of people would come to Jesus and give God praise for the good they see you do and the church would truly experience a spiritual CPR revival and grow exponentially.

“You are like light for the whole world.
A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden,
and no one would light a lamp and put it under a clay pot.
A lamp is placed on a lampstand,
where it can give light to everyone in the house.
Make your light shine,
so that others will see the good that you do
and will praise your Father in heaven.”
Mathew 5:14-15

 

O Church!

Wake up, stand up, and be the light of the world, giving light to everyone while we stand out and shine bright while doing good.

Be blessed!

 

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Under Drakes Flag Audio Review

Do you and your kids like adventures?  My kids love adventures and we recently used Under Drakes Flag by Heirloom Audio Productions to take a listening adventure in our van, and in our imagination on the high seas.

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UNDER DRAKE’S FLAG
Audio CD Theater Presentation of Under Drake’s Flag by G.A. Henty
Retails for $29.95 plus shipping
For ages 6 to Adult

Under Drakes Flag is about a famous ship captain named Sir Francis Drake and a boy named Ned who travels on his ship. They have one adventure after the next, and the learning adventures are so fascinating you can’t step away.  The suspense and excitement of these stories keeps you biting your nails, laughing, and learning all the way through.

About the audio production from the website:  “This movie-quality audio theater—recorded in London—features a cast of stellar actors, including acclaimed British actor Brian Blessed, state-of-the art sound design from award-winner Mark Drury (The Chronicles of Narnia audio series), and a stunning music score composed by John Campbell (Lamplighter Theatre®, Focus on the Family Radio Theatre®, Adventures in Odyssey®). Adapted from the book, Under Drake’s Flag, by G.A. Henty”

What we received and how we used it:

We received a two-volume CD set and a small Abridged Study Guide.   The CD’s cover 2 hours of listening divided up between 19 short chapter stories. The chapter stories include: The Opening; The Otter; The Invitation; The Plymouth Harbor; On Board the Poncha; In the Carpenter’s boat; The Voyage in Earnest; The Attack; Treasure and Retreat; Donna Anna; A Lull Before the Storm; The Storm; In Spanish Territory; With The Africans; War with the Spaniards; To The Coast; The Inquisition; Familiar Waters; and Disturb Us Lord.

The abridged study guide includes study helps for each story on the CD’s. For each story you will find: comprehension questions (Listening Well); open-ended questions (Thinking Further); and vocabulary words (Defining Words). There is also a Bible Study section that helps your child understand Godly Character. There is a larger complete study guide available too at www.hentyalive.com/studyguide.

Henty-Inside

We used the Under Drake’s Flag CD’s and Abridged Study Guide for our Sunday learning with our kids. We held faith-based adventures for our Sunday School learning in the van over the course of several Sunday’s and put the CD’s in to listen to while we drove around. The kids pretended our van was a big ship and they too were sailing the seven seas right along with Ned and Sir Francis Drake.

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We are in-between churches right now, and looking for where we FIT IN to serve and fellowship. That concept just sounds strange to me, because everywhere believers in Jesus are, should be a good fit to serve and fellowship, because we are all serving the same Lord. But sadly that is not the case in today’s church.  Sadly we hinder the work of the Lord by wrong attitudes, denominational rules, and looking for differences in people.  We are facing this challenge to learn what God wants from us as a positive opportunity to explore different churches, as well as a great opportunity to lead our own kids in hands on service ministry while teaching them the gospel.  If it is a Sunday that we travel anywhere within an hour of where we live, we put in various bible learning CD’s and faith-based adventure stories for the children to listen to and discuss together.

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I believe Under Drake’s Flag CD’s were a perfect fit for our bible study learning with the kids, because they are mobile (use at home, on the road, or anywhere at any time), they teach Godly character, and show how God is always with us and will help us when we turn to him. We decided to spend every other Sunday visiting a local church (also visiting churches on Wednesday nights), and the other Sunday’s listening to faith-based programs and “doing something” (Mathew West has a great Christian song called Do Something that our kids love), to put our faith in action in a hands on way to meet the needs of others. Basically we want to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a lost and dying world. Some people may judge us for this decision, to serve outside of the church building on a Sunday, but we believe it is the right decision for our family at this time. Isn’t that what missionaries and traveling Evangelists do? Isn’t this what Jesus did? Did he only sit in the temple and hear bible stories, or did he go out and do something and be the answer to people’s needs? Didn’t Jesus say to go out 2 by 2 and tell everyone about him? Didn’t he say to meet the needs of others by feeding them, visiting them, encouraging them, and more? As we seek the Lord in raising our children, this decision seems like a powerful way to show our children faith in action and what we as the body of Christ need to be doing. Our faith must be courageous and go beyond the church building and into the towns and cities and places people are living if we are truly to be the salt and light in this world.

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This opportunity to be mobile, and use Godly character building audio CD’s like Under Drake’s Flag, has allowed us to encourage our kids to reach outside of our comfort zone, and the four walls of the church building, to trust God and touch the lives of complete strangers. The kids are learning to trust God for the needs of others to pray with them, feed them, and meet some of their physical needs in a tangible way. Some folks we have met are homeless and some are not homeless. Some have given us their address and we have been able to maintain continued correspondence with them and sent them things they needed through the mail too to further their faith. Traveling from place to place in a moving vehical, listening to faith building stories and adventures, really enhances the kids excitement.

The kids were so excited to listen to every word of these stories. They were on the edge of their seat the whole time as Ned experienced one faith building adventure after the next. That is how real life is, one faith building adventure after the next, trusting God all the way to meet your needs and take care of you. With these Heirloom Audio Productions CD’s your kids will follow along on exciting adventures, learn exciting historical facts, learn exciting new vocabulary of historical sailors and pirates, and build an exciting faith.  With Under Drake’s Flag your children will learn right along with Ned to trust God in all things.

Exciting Adventures

Some of the fun, dangerous, yet faith building adventures Ned has with Sir Francis Drake include a shark attack, a shipwreck, he experiences fierce battles on both land and in the sea, and he comes face to face with the Spanish Inquisition.  How scary right?  But Ned allows God to  use each of these experiences to grow his faith.

Exciting History

Sir Francis Drake lived from 1540 to 1596.  He was considered by others as a hero in England but a hated pirate in Spain. He captured 93 Spanish ships as he traveled the globe.  He had a strong faith in God and allowed God to guide him on his journeys and in his conduct.  He helped England defeat the Spanish navy’s invasion of English waters.  He was the first ship captain from England to travel across the world.  Also Queen Elizabeth had Sir Francis Drake knighted which was a huge honor.

Exciting Vocabulary

There are all kinds of words used on this adventure that make it even more of a unique experience your kids will love. Some of the new words my kids learned about include: flag ship, Spanish Inquisition, penance, mainmast, yardman, constellations, soul, leverage, recant and so many more.

Exciting Faith

What excited me the most is how Ned grows from an inexperienced young boy into a young man through all of these challenges he faces on his journey, and how he puts his faith in God instead of being afraid.  It truly is a tale of faith, strength, and courage as much as it is a fun listening adventure.

About G.A. Henty
G.A. Henty authored the book Under Drake’s Flag. He lived from 1832 to 1902 and authored over 122 books. G. A. Henty was very athletic and adventurous, and he loved to travel the world and experience it first hand. He wrote historical fiction stories and his writings bring history to life with great details interwoven from his own experiences visiting those places.

Be sure to check out the website for more options on ordering and also follow them on Facebook for all the latest news and updates.

Under Drake's Flag Reviews
 

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Blessings From Praise

Did you know that offering praise to God can bring blessing?

God inhabits your praise, and exchanges  your praise for blessings.

God inhabits your praise, and exchanges your praise for blessings.

We frequently speak by faith that Jesus said “where two or more are gathered in his name, he is there in the midst of them”.  We speak this forth knowing with confidence that Jesus is wtih us when believers gather together and he hears our prayer and intercedes for us.

But did you know that Father God also said that he inhabits (dwells/lives in) the praises of his people? God is there with you and he is physically dwelling inside your praise.

There is also an exchange that happens when we praise. An exchange is when you give something and receive something back. There is a promise of blessing according to Psalm 112:1 “The Lord will bless EVERYONE who praises him and gladly obeys his teachings.”

That is awesome! You can receive blessings today, right now!

There are at least 477 verses in the bible that mention praise. That is a whole lot and it is very clear that God wants us to know about praise and what pleases him.

My earnest prayer is that you will take time today, and each day, to give him PRAISE and be BLESSED!

 

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Praise

Did you know that PRAISE is mentioned in the bible 477 times?   Praise is very important to God.  The bible says that God inhabits the praises of his people.  Imagine that for just a minute.  God inhabits…your praise…

Webster’s dictionary says that inhabit means “to occupy as a place of settled residence” and it means “to live in”.  source

Webster’s dictionary also says that praise is an “expression” and it means “to glorify”; “to esteem”; “to express a favorable judgement, or to commend”; and that it is an expression of “love, thanks, appreciation, respect, in spoken or written form”. source

Praise is God’s home.  Let me say that again, just incase you missed it.  Praise is God’s home.  God dwells in praise. God lives in YOUR expression of praise whether you vocalize it (speak, sing, shout, pray, mutter, mumble, groan, hum, etc) or write it out.  How awesome is that ?!

Do you celebrate when you offer praise?  I noticed a key theme in researching the bible about praise.  It should be filled with celebrations!

Praise should include:  shouts of joy, shouts of praise for all that God has done for us, prayer, offerings, lift your hands to God, praise him by dancing, playing instruments, play the harp and the tambourine, trumpets, stringed instruments, and woodwinds, cymbals and clashing cymbals, new songs, thankful heart, celebrate God’s wonderful deeds and victories over evil and enemies, sing songs and praise his name every day and announce “He has saved us”, sing praises to God in every nation of the earth, and so much more.   If you don’t believe me, do a search of the bible’s 477 verses that contain the mention of praise and find out for yourself.

In addition to telling us He lives in our praise, He also offers us a promise.  He will bless us because we obey Him and because we praise Him.

“The Lord will BLESS everyone who PRAISES him and who gladly obeys his teachings”.                      Psalm 112:1

One of the most amazing leaders of praise and worship of the Lord God mentioned in the Bible is King David. David sang, wrote, danced, layed prostrate, prayed, and played instruments in his worship of the Lord.  The bible says that God was pleased with his praise and worship.  Even so much that when others mocked him praising God, they brought a curse upon themself.  His own wife mocked him one time when he sang loudly, clanged cymbals, and danced naked before Lord in public and she was cursed. God was that protective of David’s praise.  Wow!

My dad was a Praise and Worship leader most of his adult life.  I loved growing up watching him lead the assembly of believers in praise.  It was really special to be a part of the congregation singing praises to the Lord with him.  He was so gifted in music and could harmonize in any key.  He died when I was 25 and I cherish those memories of my youth singing with him in church.

I too have served the body of Christ as a Praise and Worship minister.  I joined a Praise team in Kansas City when I was just 14 years old.  I continued participating in church choirs, high school and college choirs, and served on Praise and Worship teams for most of my adult life.  It has been one of my greatest joys in life.  My heart was and is always to lead the assembly of believers into a place of true worship of God as David did. To sing and praise and please God in our worship of who He is.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  He never changes.  His love for us never changes.  His mercies are new every day.  He is the beginning and the end.  The is the creator.  He is the author.  He is the provider.  He is the healer.  He is the king.  He is the warrior.  He is the savior.  He is the deliverer.  He deserves our highest praise everyday that we are blessed to take a breath.

Do you need help getting to a place of praise?  First of all, pray and ask God to help you in your praise of him.  Then spend some time learning about what God says about praise in the scriptures.  You will truly be inspired, and maybe even shocked if you have never praised him before, or if you have been part of a religious culture that has rules and limitations regarding praise.

Get encouraged by the example and testimony of other believers who are offering praise and worship to God…

One of the most amazing Praise and Worship Leaders I have ever witnessed in my lifetime is Rick Pino.  I was blessed to be in the crowd of Christian worshipers in August 2008 at Greenville, SC at a Youth Conference with over 5 Thousand people, both young and old.  That is OVER 5,000!  The songs we sang rang out to the heavens!  He led us for hours in the most sincere atmosphere of praise of Father God that I have ever experienced in my life.  His genuine worship of God was contagious and everyone caught it.

That must have been what it was like to praise and worship Father God when King David worshipped.  The bible says David was a man after God’s own heart.  God was pleased with David’s worship.

 

TRANSFORM YOUR PRAISE

Do you want an experience of praise and worship like that?  Do you want to be so overcome with praise of God that nothing else matters?  Do you know that if you don’t praise God, that rocks will cry out in your place?  He is that holy and deserving of our highest praise, that all creation including rocks will praise him!  AMAZING!

He longs for our sincere praise.  He longs for our hearts to worship him in spirit and in truth.  He wants to encourage “normal people”, you and me, to live supernatural lives, to receive supernatural blessings, and experience supernatural praise and worship of the only supernatural God.

My three favorite songs from Rick Pino’s albums I purchased back in 2008 at the youth conference are “Mighty Warrior” , “We Have The Best Dad” and “I Can Hear The Sound”.  I love these songs!  They truly transform your perspective and your praise.

Mighty Warrior: The Lord is with you mighty warrior, so rise, mount up, mount up on the wings of eagles, mount up, so rise, the Lord is with you mighty warrior”.

We Have The Best Dad: We have the best dad in the whole world!

I Can Hear Can Hear The Sound: This song is absolutely one of my most favorites. He sings in this song that he “can hear the sound of the river coming down.. its coming down…your sons and daughters will prophesy…it satisfies…come and drink from the rock…I can hear the sound.”

ABBA:  Abba, I belong to you…you wont leave us as orphans…Abba…I belong to you…

 

PIONEER: I love this song called Pioneer.   “There is a wilderness calling you, and you are the pioneer to keep pressing forward, only a fire (of the Lord) goes before you, your own frontier, you are a pioneer.”

 

You and I are pioneers on the path of life, telling those in our circle of influence (our wilderness) about God.  And if we don’t cry out with praise to God, the rocks will do it in our place.  Yikes!  I don’t want a rock to do what I was created to do!  God longs for me and for you to praise him.  He longs to dwell with us in our praise.

Are you ready?

When you transform your praise, and worship in spirit and in truth, you please the Father, He will dwell with you, He will bless you, and your life will be transformed through your expression of praise.

Give praise a try.  Lift your hands, lift your heart, celebrate, pray, worship the only true living God, and sing out…”Abba, I belong to you…”

 

 

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Free Education


This is the first post in a series of posts titled Free Education.

Each post will focus on a category or subject matter and include links for free resources you can use to homeschool your children for free (or almost for free, as there are costs involved for printer ink, paper, basic supplies, etc.).

As we travel on this Free Education learning journey, I will update the links as I find new ones to share. 

This post serves as a Table Of Contents, and master link, to the categories in this series.  As I post each category, the link on this page for that catergory will become active.

If you have suggestions and resources, please send them in, and we will keep the list continually updated with information.



Free Education Categories
:


Art, Crafts, and Coloring Pages

Books

Christian Faith: 
    Bible Study, 
    Character Development, 
    Faith,
    Church Programs

College Courses

Contests

Current Events

Curriculum:  Full K-12 Programs, Scope and Sequence

Documentaries & Other Free Videos

Early Childhood & Elementary & Special Needs & ESL

Field Trips

Games

Geography

High School

History

Language Arts: 
    Grammar, 
    Vocabulary, 
    Spelling, 
    Phonics, 
    Reading, 
    Writing, 
    English, 
    ESL

Language (other than English): 
    Arabic, 
    ASL, 
    Chinese, 
    French, 
    German, 
    Greek, 
    Hebrew, 
    Itallian, 
    Japanese, 
    Portugese,
    Sign Language, 
    Spanish

Lapbooks

Life Skills: 
    Auto Repairs, 
    Budgeting,
    Child Care, 
    Cleaning,
    Cooking, 
    First Aide, 
    Health & Hygene, 
    House Keeping, 
    House Repairs, 
    Relationships, 
    Sewing, 
    Survival Skills,  

Math

Music

Notebooking

Parenting Helps

Planning and Record Keeping

Poetry

Science

Spelling

Sports

Technology Skills: 
    Applications, 
    Cameras, 
    Computers, 
    Internet Safety, 
    Video 

Tests and Quizzes (Free and “not free” resources)

Typing

Unit Studies

Vocational Curriculum:  
    Childcare, 
    Computer, 
    Construction, 
    Engineering, 
    Farming, 
    Flight,
    Photography 
    Plumbing, 
    Mechanical, 
    Medical, 
    Ministeral, 
    Therapy, 
    Veteranarian, 
    Weather

Worksheets

MISCELLANEOUS Homeschool Resources



What free resources have you found that your family enjoys using in your homeschooling journey?


This post will be linked up with
Raising Homemakers




















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