Tag Archives: Faith

Noah and the Lego Ark

Got building blocks, Legos, or craft supplies?

Then get your kids busy reading, building, and re-telling bible stories!  Check out The Beginner’s Bible, or another youth bible you have on hand, for an easy to use resource for kids.  This is a great way to build family time together and a great way to incorporate daily devotions into your kids learning.  Your kids will have so much fun interacting with the bible stories and building props and seeing the stories come to life!

065

Noah’s Ark is a great story to retell with Lego’s because just like your child building with blocks of different sizes, Noah was also a builder and he built a big boat with different sizes of wooden boards.  In addition to building the largest boat ever created, called an Ark, Noah was also a husband, a father, and the “ultimate prepper” and “homesteader” and he had to store feed and safely house and care for a huge amount of animals as well as his whole family for an entire year on the floating zoo-boat /house-boat called the ark.  The story of Noah and the ark can be found in Genesis 6, 7, and 8.    As they read the bible, kids will learn about the man called Noah, his faith in God, and also about righteousness, judgement of sin, and God’s plan to save a pure remnant of the human race that were willing to put their faith in him.

056

God told Noah it was going to rain, and it would become a flood that would wipe out every living thing on the earth.  Noah was instructed to build a big ark (boat) and he was given the blueprints with detailed instructions to create it.  He built different size pens inside the ark and he was given instructions to save two pairs of every wild animal, three pairs of every “clean” animal,  seven pairs of animals that were to be sacrificed, and to also save his family including his wife, three sons, and their wives, by loading them all onto the ark before the start of the worldwide flood.

063

God told Noah that people had become evil and violent and he must cleanse the earth and wipe them out with the flood.  He could no longer stand to live with mankind and watch their evil deeds.   God caused the earth and sky to give forth water for 40 days and nights to flood the earth.  But God promised to protect Noah’s family and anyone righteous who had faith to believe in God.  God gave Noah the plan.  He gave him the specific dimensions, told him what wood to use, and how to build it and save his family and the animals.  His sons helped him build the ark, but the rest of the world mocked him as he worked and preached and did not help him.

060

Noah preached and preached to the people about God and the coming flood, but no one believed him and they did not turn from their wickedness and did not worship God. They had never seen rain or a flood before.   They did not care about doing right.  They did not turn away and repent of their wicked sins.  They did not want to trust that Noah had heard the truth from God.  They thought Noah was out of his mind to believe a God they could not see, and believe in a flood and rain that had never happened before, and work so hard to obey God and build a big boat.

058

If you don’t have Lego’s on hand, make your boat with paper, or other recycled materials you have on hand, or use other toys your kids might have in their collections.  Besides building a boat, they might have mini characters, and animals, trees, etc. they can also use.  Perhaps they can also create items to represent the weather changes, the flood, and make a rainbow too.   You can use as many props as you want to add to the effect of retelling the story.

Another wonderful way to use this learning opportunity is Language Arts (have the kids read, re-write the story), Science (weather, engineering, physics), Arts and Crafts (create Noah’s Ark themed art and craft projects), Math (how many legos?,  build to scale, use grid paper and draw their own blueprints to scale, etc), Geography (draw or color a map of where Noah was from and where the ark landed), Movie Making (use props and make stop motion animation), Unit Study and LapBook, and have the kids Share their project with Grandparents, Neighbors, and Sunday School class too.  There are lots of ways this method of learning can be used and incorporated into your curriculum.

Your kids will really enjoy this activity.  In addition to building up their faith as they read the bible, kids can relate in a hands on way as they put the story in action and retell the story with their own mini-size boat.

Here are a few Noah and the Ark themed videos we found:

Noah and the Ark Bible Story Animated by Beginner’s Bible

Noah’s Ark Lego Movie Trailer

Arts and Crafts

Noah Preschool Paper Plate Craft and Story

 

Online Bible

If you don’t have a printed copy of the bible, check out Bible Gateway for a digital online version.  You can read it from your computer and your phone and digital reading devices.

You can choose from several languages and several versions to use.   They also offer free bible studies and a free verse of the day they will email you if you desire.

Lapbook and Unit Study

will update more soon.

Please share.

Creation Museum, A Visit Back In Time

My family had a great time when we took a trip back in time and visited the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

IMG_1248

The Creation Museum experience is like walking through biblical history. It is a great experience for both kids and adults.  It covers the 6 days of creation, plus many more historical people’s lives from the bible like Noah, Paul, Jesus, etc. and the history comes to life in a hands on way at the museum.  There are life size exhibits and a planetarium too.  Visiting the museum was one of the best decisions we have made for teaching our family about who God is and his amazing creation called earth and the animals and people.  Seeing the bible come to life right before your eyes is an amazing experience and it strengthened our faith.

Map

To plan our trip, we watched for a discounted ticket opportunity and went when they ran a special for children ages 12 and under to get in free with the paid admission ticket of an adult.  It was a great savings.   So we loaded up the family and took a road trip to Kentucky.  The museum is about an hour and a half drive South from where we used to live in Richmond, IN (and only 7 hours north of where we used to live in NC).  The drive through Indiana’s mini-mountains in South-eastern Indiana is absolutely beautiful! It was even more beautiful as we sang praise songs and listened to Nest Family Audio Bible stories all the way there and was a great way to travel as it keeps the kids attention and they learn so much.

IMG_1246

Besides the beautiful scenery, there are some fun places to stop and visit along the way including two reservoir lakes and several historical towns.  There is the Whitewater Reservoir, and also a much larger reservoir called Brookville Lake. The towns of Brookville and Liberty Indiana remind me so much of the historical town of Hendersonville, NC and are set up beautifully for tourists.  There are lots of little shops to see and great history to explore in these small towns with beautiful historic courthouses too.  We also crossed the huge Ohio river, that borders three states and with breath taking views.  The river is huge and divides southern Indiana from southern Ohio and northern Kentucky.  You can clearly see God’s handiwork in creation when you look at the changing landscape and the river. It is all designed beautifully.

The kids were so excited to get there.  You know how it goes: “Are we there yet?  When will be there?  I got to go to the bathroom!  I wish we were there!  Do you know how to get there?  How much longer?  Are we there yet?”  Ha! Ha!  You just got to love traveling with kids!

IMG_1247

At the museum, there is a large 70,000 square foot building with a huge bronze dinosaur outside, surrounded by beautiful gardens and landscape, ponds, wooden bridges,  wrought iron and stone fences, and a tall fort with a zip line that crosses the entire museum grounds.  It is a very family friendly place.  The zip line costs extra and we did not buy a ticket for it on this day.  But someday we hope to be able to take the zip-line and explore the museum gardens from the tree tops as it looks like a lot of fun.

IMG_1256

The first thing we did was snap a picture with the dinosaur outside.  It had just rained and suddenly the sun was shinning really bright and we couldn’t hardly see at all.  It is funny how sometimes light can get so bright that your eyes cannot focus your eyes.  But once we got inside the museum, the lighting was perfect and there was so much to see.

IMG_1259

Archaeology is just one of their specialties at the museum, and they have lots of artifacts from biblical times. They have lots of fossils and a life size example of just about every kind of dinosaur.

IMG_1272

They have a replica of earth from the beginning, separating layers of the heavens, creating the stars, day and night, the Garden of Eden, the creation of Adam, and animals, and Eve.

IMG_1262

There is so much detail put into this museum that I bet you could go a hundred times and see something new each time that you didn’t notice before.  Actually they expect that you will need more time to see it all, and when you buy a ticket it is good for admission for two days in a row. Many visitors stay overnight nearby and come back the following day to explore some more.

IMG_1265

The museum is a combination of exhibits about science, history, astronomy, engineering, chemistry, Hebrew culture, our Christian roots, and so much more all rolled into one experience.

DSC01759 DSC01760

Each room of exploration leads you into the next phase of creation and history designed by an amazing God who loves us and his handiwork is so obvious. Nothing is by chance! Everything was authored by our creator.

DSC01763 DSC01764 DSC01765 DSC01766

This is such a fun way to walk through history!

DSC01767 DSC01768 DSC01771

If you remember the story of creation, there is a tree that Adam was instructed to never eat from called the Tree Of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

DSC01769

There is a deceptive serpent hiding in the garden who convinces Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

DSC01770

Eve tells Adam and he also believes the serpent’s lies and eats of the fruit, even though God had specifically told them not to eat of the fruit of this tree.

DSC01776

Evil becomes the ruler of the earth through Adam and Eve’s sin against God.

DSC01782

They disobeyed God, and once they realized what they had done, they tried to hide their sin from God.  But God called them out on what they had done, and he forced them to leave the Garden of Eden.  From that point forward mankind must make a blood sacrifice to ask God for forgiveness of sin in their life.

DSC01784

From this point forward, life becomes a struggle to survive. Later in the museum we return to the issue of man’s separation from God, and that he sent his son Jesus to reconcile us back to God through his own sacrifice. From that point forward, man no longer needs to offer a blood sacrifice for his sin because God sent his son Jesus who paid the price for us all who will believe in him and ask for forgiveness.

DSC01788

As the world becomes populated, people and fallen angels do evil and wicked things.  God tells one righteous man, a prophet named Noah, his plan to flood the earth and wipe out wickedness.  He instructs Noah to build a large boat called an ark and preach to the thousands of people who will listen to board this boat to survive.  But everyone mocks Noah and won’t listen to him.  God instructs Noah to bring his family (including his wife, three sons and their three wives) and also 2 of every unclean animal, and 7 of every clean animal,  plus supplies, and to board the boat.

DSC01792

Noah obeyed God and does all that he was instructed to do.

DSC01794

After the ark is completed, Noah and his family board the boat with the animals and God shuts the door.  It rains for 40 days and 40 nights and floods the whole earth.  It takes almost a year for the water to recede.  Eventually the boat comes to rest on Mount Ararat.   Later one of the birds Noah sends out brings back a branch with a leaf and Noah knows that is safe to release the animals and his family from the ark.

DSC01796

The museum has a lifesize interactive display of Noah and the ark.  You can hear the men talking and see them working as they build the ark.   The museum also owns a bible based theme park about an hour down the road from the museum.  They are building several life size recreations from the bible for the theme park.  One of those is called The Ark Encounter and it includes a life size ark, another museum and restaurant inside the ark, and a zoo.  We went to see it while it was under construction, and we plan to make trip soon now that it is open to the public.

Check out this short video we made of the awesome dinosaurs we saw!  The kids really enjoyed this entire trip and the highlight for them was seeing the dinosaurs.

And if you get hungry during your visit, the museum offers a jungle cafe to eat in and there are many picnic spots outside around the gardens and ponds.

IMG_1260

I encourage every family I meet to put this wonderful adventure on their to do list.  It is definitely worth the trip!

Be blessed!

Please share.

Casting Stones

“Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.”

Said by the wisest man who ever lived.

He is the living word of God, and his name is JESUS.

casting-stones

(photo source: Morning Star Ministries)

Over the years, I have heard many Christians say mean things about other Christians.  It is sometimes heart breaking to hear their judgmental reasons for choosing leaders, churches, politicians, based on who they think is a better Christian.  But the Savior himself said we are not to judge others, instead we are to forgive them.

I read an article about a young Christian man who made a serious mistake when he was young. At the time he made the mistake, he came forward and repented of his mistake and sought forgiveness and help from his church and family.  However his life and the lives of those he hurt was deeply scared by his actions.  Though several years had passed, and because his family is famous, he experienced more than his share of haters from the Christian community who had no understanding of the situation when they found out about his past.  The pressure on his life is intense due to their fame.  Even though he is surrounded by his family and many loving people of the Christian faith, his life will never be the same, and the public is ruthless, mocking, and unforgiving.  The crazyist thing about the whole “scandal” is the ungodly response of the Christians is worse than how the un-churched public treat him.  They do not act like Jesus Christ.  He had a problem, he confessed and was forgiven, yet the Christians accuse him of his past sin and of practicing fake Christianity.

Was Peter a fake Christian because he denied Christ 3 times?

Peter fell down in his faith and committed a terrible sin.  He denied the one and only son of God who had shown himself to him, his closest disciple.  If Peter, who was with Christ 24 hours a day for three years and saw everything he did from the beginning to the end, could sin and deny him, isn’t anyone capable of doing the same?  Jesus said to his followers: “If you deny me to others, I will deny you before my Father”.  Was Peter denied entry into heaven?  No.  Because when he repented of his sin, he was forgiven.  Peter was a true Christian, even though he made the same mistake three times, and Jesus Christ chose to build his Church upon the work Peter would do in sharing the gospel,

Let me ask you Christian…are you without sin?  Are there sins you have committed over and over?   Are you a closet sinner and hide the truth?   What is going on in your home?  Is there divorce, stealing, fighting, adultery, lust, pornography, lies, drug abuse, gluttony, hatred, cursing?  If Christians are divorcing at the same rate as the rest of America, and only 1 out of 20 Christian kids remain in their Christian faith after they grow up, then I believe this indicates a basic fact that there is a whole lot of ungodly sin going on in the lives of Christians today.

How many Christian families in church don’t even establish any boundaries at all for their teens?  From the article: “By 17 years old, 48% of teenagers have had sex. One out of every three teenage girls gets pregnant before the age of 20.  And it doesn’t count as consent just because you’re both under 18.  Another 26.5% of 15-19 year old girls are giving birth to kids – and those are just the ones that aren’t having abortions.”   Many of these kids live in Christian homes. Don’t tell me you don’t know. There are kids in your church right now that are sexually active and some are getting pregnant.   Let us take it a step further. How many teachers, leaders, and even pastors were sexually active before marriage? How many are guilty of other sins we overlook because they are in a position of authority, yet we don’t give each other grace for a similar offense?

Are you without sin?  Jesus said “He who is without sin, cast the first stone”.  No one is without sin, and no one should cast a stone at others.

Let us be careful how we judge.  Christians need to be mindful, because the same measure of grace and forgiveness we extend others, will be extended to us. God is not mocked.  Christians need to be mindful and careful of judging (stoning) others.  Jesus told us to say “and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” when we pray to Father God.  He also told us to forgive 70 x 7 even when a person does the same thing wrong over and over.  He said we are to turn the other cheek and forgive them.  He also told us to pull the log out of our own eye before we remove the speck from our brother’s eye.  He wanted us to practice forgiveness in our daily lives and not let the sun go down before we had forgiven and let go of resentment and anger.

It is interesting that several spiritual heroes who sinned are listed in Hebrews 11. These people certainly wouldn’t get to speak at Christian conferences today, and they probably wouldn’t fit in at any of the local churches.  They would be seen a backsliders.  In fact, most of them would probably be straight up kicked out of church.

Abraham lied and sold out his wife twice.  He also committed adultery with his employee and got her pregnant.

Sarah scoffed in unbelief when God said she would have a son.

Jacob was a schemer and deceiver who completely ripped off his brother of his inheritance.

Moses was a murderer and was easily frustrated.  His unbelief kept him out of the Promised Land, though he helped free the Hebrew people from Egypt and did many mighty miracles for the Lord.  He still got angry and doubted God at times.

Rahab was a prostitute who slept around.  Yet she became the grandmother of King David.

Gideon was power hungry, and he built many idols of worship and led the kingdom of Israel astray after God helped him succeed in battles and free the Hebrew people from the Philistines.

Samson was a sex-addict and couldn’t control his anger against the Philistines and caused innocent people to die as well as his own imprisonment.

David was an adulterer and a murderer,

Eli completely failed to parent his sons and they became evil in the sight of the Lord and abused people.

And yet the author of Hebrews tells us to consider all of these people and imitate their faith.  To follow after God just as they did. To walk the same path they did.  Why?

Not one person is any better than the other.

We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.   Not one person is any better than this young man or Eli, or Sarah, even Peter, Jesus favorite disciple. They were just people.  They sinned.  Yet they asked for forgiveness from God, and God in his grace and mercy, used their lives in a mighty way to be a blessing, to strengthen our faith, and further the message of God’s Kingdom.

Be blessed!

Please share.

Before Anything Else

We took a ride late one afternoon and treated our kids to some fun playtime at the park.

on the road

While driving home from the park, two of the kids had a squabble on the back seat.  As we were trying to talk them through it and get them to settle down, I noticed there was a man walking along the side of the highway.  As we approached him, I felt a nudge in my heart to pay attention to him.  But the squabble in the back continued and I felt distracted.

Mathew 6:23

“But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.”

I caught just a quick glimpse of him as we passed him. I wasn’t sure, but I thought his side profile looked elderly, and he was carrying two packs, maybe duffel bags or back packs, in his hands.  He looked tired and as if he could barely carry them, and as if his strength was giving out.  He was walking very slowly.  He was in the middle of a rural area of farms and at least 15 miles from town.   He was headed in the same direction as us, but it would take him a long time to get there and it was starting to get dark.

Proverbs 3:5-6

“With all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgment. Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow.”

I don’t know how far up ahead we had drove before we slowed down and turned around and headed back to pick him up. By the time we made it back to him, another vehicle was stopping to give him a ride.

My heart sank.

I felt that the squabbling in the van had been a distraction from what was really important.  I was distracted from hearing what the Lord wanted us to do.  We had missed God’s divine appointment to help this elderly man get to his destination.

I knew without a doubt that God had a timing for this man to be picked up. It was as if he had been issued a “bus or taxi pass” for such and such a time at such and such a location.  He had caused us to be at the exact time and location to pick him up.  But I wasn’t listening close enough to hear that God wanted me to stop and get him and fulfill the “get a free ride pass” the Lord had issued him.  I was the taxi the Lord had sent him, and I missed the call.

Even though I realized the message moments later, I missed the divine appointment.   However, this man did not miss the appointment. God sent another laborer in my place.

Hebrews 13:21

“I pray that God will make you ready to obey him and that you will always be eager to do right. May Jesus help you do what pleases God. To Jesus Christ be glory forever and ever! Amen.”

May we always listen to the nudges God puts on our heart before we listen to anything else, and may we always be ready to do His good will.

May you be blessed!

Please share.

Brinkman Adventures Season 3 Review

We took a day trip last week and enjoyed listening to the newest audio drama release from  Brinkman Adventures.

Screenshot (254)

The Brinkman Adventures: Season 3

5 Hours of Adventures

Recorded on 4 CD’s.

12 Episodes

Each episode is approximately 25+ minutes long.

For ALL Ages

Retails for $27.99  (purchase by donation only, whatever amount you feel led to give)

MP3 download version also available.   See web site for more details.

What is included:

These are short stories told in audio drama style of mission trips taken by real missionaries. They are full of suspense, daring escapes, and total reliance on God for provision and safety and making a way where there is no way.   They are inspiring and faith building.   They challenge you to believe and share your faith in Jesus Christ, to believe in the God of the impossible, Jehovah, and his love for mankind.

These stories are full of the kind of exciting adventures my kids loved!

This set contains 4 Disks.  Stories on each disk include:

Disk 1

  • Ep. 01 – God’s Mule.
  • Ep. 02 – Mountain Mover.
  • Ep. 03 – Silent Ambassador

Disk 2

  • Ep. 04 – Translating Trouble
  • Ep. 05 – Man-Up
  • Ep. 06 – Acorns & Oaks

Disk 3

  • Ep. 07 – A Saint’s Story Pt 1
  • Ep. 08 – A Saint Story pt 2
  • Ep. 08 – A Saint Story pt 2 (2)
  • Ep. 09 – Untouched

Disk 4

  • Ep. 10 – Busy Bees and a Bullhorn
  • Ep. 11 – Missionary Tourist Pt 1
  • Ep. 12 – Missionary Tourist Pt 2

How We Used The Brinkman Adventures, Episode 3:

We enjoyed these CD’s so much!  We took it with us on a day trip to enjoy the beauty of the fall and listen to amazing stories (testimonies) of God working in peoples lives. The kids were on the edge of their seat the whole time we listened to these stories on our trip.  They wouldn’t let a moment go by when one disk ended, they immediately wanted me to put the next disk into the player.

Fall Afternoon

I know we will listen to these audio drama’s again and again.   We have been audio drama fans for many many years.   When our children were very little we first began listening to christian missionary CDs and audio bible dramas for kids.  It is such a fun way to learn to listen and go on an adventure by listening and imagining all the places and people and events being described.

Here are a few examples of the fun stories we listened to:

In the first story, Ep. 1- God’s Mule, the missionary Tomas, secretly transports bibles to closed countries and has to rely on God to help in big and small ways to accomplish this impossible task that could land him in prison or even killed.

In the second story, Ep. 2 – Mountain Mover, another story about Tomas, he secretly smuggled 4,000 bibles in 14 years, then 5,000 bibles in one trip, and 10,000 bibles in another trip in 100 suitcases that the authorities never opened and their machines broke just as he and his team approached the lines to be inspected.  God showed his power in mighty ways to protect Tomas and make a way for the impossible.

In the third story, Ep 3 – Silent Ambassador, a young girl named Evyline becomes a kid with a mission.  She puts a kids club together and organizes the collection and filling of 200 shoeboxes of supplies for Operation Christmas Child.  When they learn about what she has done, she gets to become an Ambassador for the charity and travel around the country speaking on their behalf and also travel to the Dominican Republic to deliver the charity’s 100 millionth shoebox.

Story after story, 12 stories in all, each one will inspire you and your kids to live bigger and bolder and more outrageous for God.  They will encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and trust God to do the impossible to help you spread the news of his kingdom.

Further the Learning:

Play It Out:  One of the best parts of being a kid is getting to play.  Role play, active play, imaginative play, you name it and play is just fun and a great way to learn.  My kids were so inspired by the stories, they wanted to act out some of the adventures at the park.  We had been on the road for several hours and were headed back home but decided to stop and let them stretch their legs and their imaginations.  This was a great opportunity for them to imagine crossing bridges, climbing mountains, escaping dangers, and reaching areas of the world with the gospel.

Fall at Park

Map It:  Print out or draw out a world map.  Have the kids locate where in the world the mission assignment takes place.  Then have them learn more about that country and the culture of the people who live there.  If it is known what country or state the missionary came from, have them mark that too.  They can then find out what it cost to travel to that country, live there, and what kind of finances a missionary would need to complete the assignment. Perhaps this will inspire them to help raise money for missions.  At the bare minimum it will expand their understanding of the geographic locations of different peoples around the world.

Art It: Draw It/Color It/Paint It.  This activity does so much to help a person’s mind understand and remember the story.  We have found this activity to be very inspirational.  You can start with a blank page and let the kids draw the story, or give them a printed coloring page (many free ones available online) and have them color either during or after the story.

Unit Study: We loved these CD’s so much that we are going to go around the world in 12 weeks with them. We are going to create 12 mini unit studies and take 1 audio drama a week and listen and study the country the missionary went to and the people who live there.  We will fill in a map, make a timeline of events, make a recipe, a craft, and pray for the missionary and people they are reaching every day that week.  We will start on a small scale and do this for 12 weeks, one missionary story a week,  starting in January.

Curriculum:  There are so many areas you could incorporate these stories on CD with your curriculum: Bible, Language Arts, Culture Studies, Geography, History, Travel, Politics, Religion, Public Speaking, etc.  I would like to create some lesson plans and put something together for next year for a year long missions focused curriculum.  Perhaps we can turn Brinkman Adventures into a year long missions unit study, or keep it to the 12 weeks and fill in the rest of the year with their other audio volumes 1 and 2.  I found some great resources online for kids to learn about missions including worksheets, crafts, and lots of activities.  Also on their website are short written stories about each missionary and more information about their real life experience.  Brinkman Adventures also offers a curriculum called Ignite for ages 8-12 for $49 suggested donation.  This looks really good and may be an option for folks who don’t have time or feel comfortable to make their own lesson plans.

Invite Friends: I could really see this as a 12 month course and do this with a homeschool coop either in a local area or online with other families.  It would also be great to do with a bible study and with a youth group.   If doing with a bible study or youth group, I would definately check into Brinkman Adventures pre-made curriculum.  I am considering putting an online coop together and get several other homeschool families together on this with us, each family getting their own CD’s, and then we can follow some lesson plans to further the learning and put our faith in action, and finally do a blog hop online where all the families can share our experiences together. Let me know if you want to participate in this project.

Stay tuned for a future updates on this project.  Perhaps we can get missionary companies to offer a give away here or perhaps we can even help them raise funds for their missions outreach and needs.  Let me know if you want to participate in this adventure.  I think this has the potential to be life transforming if we can catch the vision for it!

Social Media

Be sure to follow Brinkman Adventures on their social media links for all the latest news and product updates.  They currently offer three volumes on CD sets with amazing missionary stories.  They also have a pre-made curriculum with lesson plans called Ignite that looks great.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Brinkman-Adventures-152895116079/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BrinkmanAdventures/videos/

Brinkman Adventures Season 3 Review

Check out what other homeschool families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using Brinkman Adventures in their home.

disclaimer_zps7f3b646c

Please share.

Faith Of Our Fathers Movie Review

I have an great movie to tell you about called Faith of Our Fathers from FishFlix.com.

Screenshot (202)

Fish Flix is a wonderful family friendly company on a mission to bring you the greatest movies that inspire your faith at affordable prices.  They have hundreds of great movies to choose from.  Most of their movies are very affordable and priced between $5 and $20.   They have movies that appeal to everyone of all ages: Family movies, Kids movies, Action, Romance, Feature Films, Dramas, Christian History, Apologetics,  and more.  They offer free shipping on orders over $35 and they also offer a 10% off coupon for signing up for their newsletter.

Screenshot (201)

Faith Of Our Fathers

Full Length Feature Film

Star Cast Starring:  Stephen Baldwin, Si Robertson, Kevin Downs, Robert AR White

$9.99 on sale ($14.99 retail price)

The movie takes place in both the past in Vietnam and the present in America, and connects them with a common thread as two sons try to find out what happened to their dads who were soldiers during the war.

Three men meet in the Vietnam War 50 years ago.  Two of the men had kids and a wife waiting back home for them and they wrote letters to their families.  Over the course of time, the two men formed a friendship on the battle field.   One man loved God and took his bible with him everywhere during battles.   Others on the squad were annoyed by his faith.   The other soldier was a strong fighter and didn’t know God and didn’t want to know God.   Both men formed a bond and in the end as one led the other to Jesus, they gave their lives for each other on the battle field.

25 years later, their grown sons, named Wayne (Robert AR White) and John Paul (Kevin Downs), are searching for answers.  Their paths cross when John Paul locates Wayne’s number in the phone book and calls him.  But Wayne refuses to talk to him.  John Paul travels across the country to meet Wayne who doesn’t want to meet, but finally gives in to the encounter by agreeing to share the letters for $500 a piece if John Paul will travel to the Vietnam Wall Memorial with him.  He had started on the journey to see the wall years earlier but was forced to stop because of a traffic accident that killed his mom and he had been to devastated to complete the journey.

On their journey, they have several problems and while John Paul turns to God regularly to solve his problems, Wayne doesn’t want anything to do with God and keeps screwing up his life. The dynamics between the two sons is very similar to the relationships of their fathers.  Along the journey they read the letters one at a time and the scene goes back and forth between Vietnam and the battle field, and the roads of America and problems / stresses they face in our culture.

They both eventually find peace and healing after meeting the third man, played by Stephen Baldwin, who was their dads’ Sargent in Vietnam.  He served with and was in charge of their dads.  He knew both men and saw their death.  He put in the missing pieces for them and encouraged them to complete the journey. He gave them a gift and his message of grace, and his kindness melted Wayne’s heart to receive the gospel.

All along it was John Paul planting the seeds of faith as he lived out his struggles in front of Wayne, but it was the third man who had known both their fathers that watered the seed with love and honor of their father’s memories, and as he shared his faith with them his message brought healing and caused that seed of faith to sprout in Wayne’s heart.  This is an awesome story of healing wounded relationships, faith in God, hope for a better tomorrow, and loving each other as we face battles both in war time and in our day to day living.

Movie Trailer

We absolutely loved this movie!  There are eight of us in our family and as you can see everyone took a spot on the couches or floor with blankets and popcorn for an evening of inspiring entertainment.

IMG_0846

The older four children loved the movie.  The two youngest kids sat next to daddy and they fell asleep about half way through the movie as it was past their normal bedtime.

IMG_0848

I can also see how this would be a great addition to American History studies, Cultural studies, and bible studies too.  We are Duck Dynasty fans and it was fun to see Si Robertson being his usual silly self acting as a store clerk in this movie too. Our whole family enjoyed this film and would recommend it for everyone.

Social Media

Be sure to follow Fish Flix on their social media sites for all the latest news and updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fishflix
Twitter: https://twitter.com/christiandvd
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/fishflix/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Fishflix/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/familychristianmovie

FishFlix.com Review No 2

Check out what other families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about using movies from Fish Flix in their homes.

disclaimer_zps7f3b646c

Please share.

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!

 

This post will be linked up with:

Raising Homemakers

Please share.

Stay Hydrated

It is sure easy to get dehydrated!  Whew!

I am trying to stay healthy and I set a goal to drink one half of my estimated pounds I weight in ounces.  This sounds easy, but for some reason, I have a hard time getting it all in.  It is about the equivalent of 3 quart jars of water.   For example, a 200 lb person would try to drink 100 ml of water per day.  Water is necessary for all functions of the body.

You can add flavor and healthy nutrients to your daily water intake by adding fresh fruit, herbs (tea), pink sea salt, extracts or a drop of a food safe essential oil. For a delicious treat, I like to add one drop of lemon essential oil to an 8 ounce glass of water for flavor and health benefits.

 

IMG_9182

Please share.

Tales from the Circle C Ranch Review

We have been having so much fun reading Tales from the Circle C Ranch.  We love these books! This is the second book by Susan Marlow from Circle C Adventures we have had the privilege to review.

Circle C Adventures

What We Received:

We received the Tales from the Circle C Ranch book, and also a PDF download of the corresponding Andrea Carter’s Tales From The Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook and Study Guide for the purpose of this review.

Tales from the Circle C Ranch

Tales from the Circle C Ranch

by Susan Marlow
Historical /Christian / Fiction /
160 pages
Paperback Book
For ages 9-14
Retails for $7.99

Lapbook

A Journey Through Learning: Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch, Learning Lapbook and Study Guide.

E-book PDF digital download.
39 pages
Instructions, study guide pages tying each chapter of the book with historical facts, and printout activities to create fun learning lapbooks.
Retails for $7.00

Tales from the Circle C Ranch is a book about a young girl named Andi (Andrea Carter) who lived in the late 1800’s.  The book is a collection of short stories about her life between 1874 to 1881 (about ages 6-13) and relates to the other Circle C series of books.  The author wrote this book to answer questions about Andi’s life sent in by her fans who read one or more of the other books.  Andi has a lot of fans!

How We Used This In Our Home.

We are having a blast with this book and study guide-lapbook combination.   Lapbooks and unit studies are some of our favorite ways to study.

IMG_7574

I received the reading book in the mail, and the lapbook PDF came in an email link.

IMG_7585

When I received the link to the PDF download, I printed it and put it into a three ring binder.

IMG_7586

The Lapbook is 39 pages, and is made up of a little less than 1/2 study guide (17 pages), and 1/2 activities (22 pages).   I printed off a copy of each of the activity pages for the kids, but did not print the study guide pages for them.  I have 6 kids and 22 pages a piece is a whole lot of printing!!!  I also glued two folders together for each child, that will hold their activity pages and eventually become their lapbooks.

IMG_7571

Instead of each of the kids having their own copy of the study guide, we read from the study guide pages from the main copy I put into the binder.  That way each child only had to keep track of their own activity pages, and I kept track of the main copy (study guide, instructions, activity pages) in the binder.   This method worked out well for our family and helped me save a lot of ink and paper!

IMG_7570

I also opted to save more money and printed the lapbook activity pages in black and white and let the kids color them while they listened to the book being read aloud, in instead of printing them in full color.   By having to color the activity pages instead of choosing them pre-colored, it helped them be even more involved in the learning process, and personalize their lapbooks so each one looks a little different from their siblings.

IMG_7569

For this review, each day I gathered all of the children together at the table to learn as a group.  One of the reasons we love lapbooks and the unit study approach to learning is the fun we have learning together.

IMG_7576

Our oldest son read the book aloud to the kids.  He read one short story a day to them, but he also enjoyed reading ahead on his own too.  Several times I found him reading after we were all finished at the table.  He couldn’t wait to get to the next story in the book.

IMG_7565

While he read the book, the younger children colored the corresponding lapbook worksheets.

IMG_7566

They loved coloring while listening to the story.

IMG_7563

After he read the chapter, he would then read the corresponding page about a related history subject in the study guide.  Then I would give the children instructions (cutting, stapling, and arranging the booklet position, and gluing it into their folders) to complete their lapbook assignment.

IMG_7568

The older boys preferred to just listen during the story read aloud, and then work on their lapbook worksheets afterwards while the study guide was being read.

IMG_7567

After completing the lapbook pages for each chapter, the children glued the finished activity into their lapbooks.

IMG_7562

The kids really enjoyed reading this book and creating their lapbooks. They have several things in common with Andi (Andrea Carter).  They could relate to her even though she lived during the late 1880’s.    This made it really fun for them to follow along in the story.  For example:

  • She has several siblings and we have a lot of siblings.
  • She lives on a ranch and has chores and we live on a homestead farm and have chores too.
  • She has horses and we have goats, chickens, rabbits, cats, and dogs as well as a big garden and several acres to play and run on our homestead.
  • Andi is a Christian and grows her faith through the experiences she lives out, and we do the same.  The kids can identify with her trust in the Lord.
  • In the book she buys a gift for her mom for her birthday, and we did something special for dad for Father’s Day and celebrated 2 birthdays during this review.  We celebrated each of these with gifts, cheesecake, and vanilla cake  and chocolate cake.

IMG_7588

There are several things I would like to do before we finish this fun learning adventure.   I hope I can schedule a field trip to take the kids to see some other things relevant to Andi’s life and the experiences shared in the book.

A few additional things I would like to add to this learning project is:

  • take the kids to see some horses, learn about different kinds of saddles and tack used to care for horses, get to feed the horses, maybe find a stables where we can ride horses on a trail, or take a carriage ride.
  •  I hope to find a good youtube video of a recent horse race for the kids to watch.
  • Visit the ocean.  Find a crab and clam shells.  Taste the salty ocean water.
  • Visit a nature center and hold a snake.
  • Attend a ball game.
  • Create some fake snow to play in since it is not winter here, but if you read this book in the winter, be sure to include some snow activities.
  • Visit a photography studio and learn how they process photos.
  • It would be awesome to be able to take a trip out west to see California, Oregon, and Washington where the story takes place.  I visited these states in my youth and those are awesome memories.  But I don’t really see a cross country trip to the west coast happening anytime soon though.
  • Cook food from the 1800’s that Andi mentions in the story, like Molasses Cookies, Crab, Flapjacks, Peppermint Sticks, Apple Pie, Roast Beef Sandwiches, Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Cake,

I hope round out this book, lapbook, and our own unit study of this time in history by planning a field trip to a pioneer village from the 1800’s,  an outing at county or state fair, and to visit a horse ranch, as well as cook a couple of recipes like the ones mentioned in the book that were served for dinner, to enhance our learning even more with this study.

You will enjoy this book by itself or with the additional lapbook.  You don’t need anything other than a desire to read and learn to use either.  But you can also really enjoy this time period in history by including a few fun projects to enhance your child’s learning too.  Either way, this book is a winner and goes into a permanant place on our family book shelves to read again and again for years to come.

About the Author:

We fell in love with the books when we read Thick as Thieves earlier in the school year.   We couldn’t wait to get a hold of more books by Susan K Marlow !   Susan is a homeschool mom who has dedicated her life to her family and to writing wholesome Christian fiction books for kids of all ages to enjoy.

Susan Marlow

Susan Marlow has authored over 17 books and workbooks for children. She offers several free study guides to enhance the learning too.   The sequel to the Thick as Thieves  book we read earlier this year for the 12 and older age group is called Heartbreak Trail and is coming out later this summer.  My older sons are begging for me to get it for them.  I don’t know of too many boys who beg their mom for more books, (especially books that center around a girl character), but these books are a winner!!!

Susan Marlow Books

Each skill level / age level has it’s own series of books to read about Andi’s life as she grows up. To access the various levels of books, from the Susan Marlow web site, you will see this info-graph I have posted above.  Once you click “enter” on the picture of the series or learning level you are interested in, a whole web site for that specific learning level appears with books, study guides, lapbooks, more articles, and fun photos about Andi.  Susan Marlow has done a wonderful job organizing her website into an easy to navigate, and user friendly resource for families.

Susan Marlow lives on a homestead in the state of Washington.   She also teaches writing workshops, and hosts a writing contests for youth too. Her connection with homeschool life and homesteading really comes through in her books and my kids can relate so easily to Andi and the other characters even though the stories are written about a girl and her friends and family who lived in a previous time in history.

I haven’t yet told my kids that Susan also wrote a series of books about a 12 year old boy named Jem who grew up gem mining during the Gold Rush in California.  We enjoyed gem mining and gold panning few times while we lived in North Carolina where the Gold Rush began.  My kids have fond memories of those fun times.  I just know they are going to want every book Susan Marlow has ever published about Andi and Jem as these stories are so exciting for kids to read.

Social Media:

Be sure to follow the social media links for Susan Marlow to find out updates and more about the adventures of Andi’s life in all the wonderful series of Circle C books, study guides, lapbooks, coloring pages, and more.

Andi’s Blog: Circle C Adventures   http://circlecadventures.blogspot.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CircleCAdventures
Twitter http://twitter.com/SuzyScribbles
Youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/susankmarlow/
Writing Contests
(enter 9/1- 1/10) http://www.circlecadventures.com/Writing-Contest.html

Dynamic Literacy Review

Be sure to check out what other homeschool families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using this product with their kids.

Crew Disclaimer

Please share.