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Thursday, November 14, 2013

To Whoever Prayed...

I do not believe in coincidences. I believe that God ordains everything.

To whoever prayed after reading my last post, know that your prayers were not in vain. My dad, the pastor, came in and we started a discussion because of a comment the student I mentioned earlier made regarding thee Bible. From there we expounded on every topic we had been discussing in devotion, especially salvation and proving the Bible as true. Tomorrow we will host a very special chapel answering questions from students.

Keep praying, readers.

Dealing with It

this week during our group devotion time, I have been discussing salvation. God really laid it hard and heavy on my heart on Sunday when I was planning. I was focusing especially hard on the Old Testament law such as what it was and how it tied in to Christianity today.

Day 1: We are never good enough (Matthew 5:17-20)
Day 2: If we are in Christ, we are free from the law. However, if it wasn't for the law, we would not know what is sin and how inadequate we are (Romans 7:4-7)
Day 3: We are free from the law of sin and death. We are not to focus on the things of the flesh, or earthly things, but on spiritual things instead (Romans 8:1-9)
Day 4 (today): The story of Nicodemus (Luke 3:1-19)

After reading, a student who is a self-declared Atheist slipped me a note saying that it is things like my devotions that make him glad he is an Atheist because he does not have to believe any of it. I was taken aback by his defiant and rude letter.Immediately I wanted to pull him out and tell him how disrespectful he is.

This, of course, is not the right action.

In the past, I was always the first to react to someone's disrespect of my God and my beliefs. Now my heart breaks for him. He is simply acting out as a way of showing conviction. He has questioned me on several occasions on my beliefs, to which I always give a proper response. Now I am in uncharted waters. I am dealing with a student instead of a peer, who is at a pivotal point in his life.

Today I am praying and researching on how to best deal with this situation. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Gypsy Life

Since I do not have cable or satellite, I have to make due with Netflix. recently I have been enthralled with "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" and I must say that some of their morals and expectations are awesome!

The views I find most appealing are that women must be virgins to be married, they are raised to be housewives, and their emphasis on family is incredible! I was a virgin bride so I know how hard it is in a sexually driven world to be a virgin. Gypsy's do not allow kissing, where it was fine for me to kiss. I was happy for that because when I kissed Kevin, my now-husband, for the first time I knew I would marry him.

Raising daughters to be housewives is an excellent skill I wish I had learned, and definitely one I want to teach to my daughter(s). When I got married, I didn't have a clue of how to keep a clean house! I am still working on making cleaning a habit, but it is difficult to break 23+years of habit.

Family is something very important to me, and seeing the emphasis the family from the show put on making each child out to be the most special and important. That mentality is wonderful for their confidence! A parent that makes their child feel special creates a positive bond and affirms love to the child in a unique way.

I would say the only things I don't particularly enjoy about the Gypsy culture is the drinking and letting the men do whatever they please. I am not a fan of drinking period so of course I would see fault with that. However, letting the men do whatever they please (right or wrong) is not good. Not having accountability for ANY gender, race, or group of people is wrong. It lets in bad habits that have the potential to ruin lives.

One part I am undecided on is the way the women dress. I grew up in a house where modesty is emphasized so it was very foreign to see young teenagers dress in minimal clothes. I know, however, that it is their culture to dress that way, just like it is for them to dance the way they do. Again, I was brought up where dancing like that was a sin because it evoked lust. In their culture, where girls marry at a very young age and are not allowed to really be around boys, I can see where dancing like that is justifiable. It is a form of courtship. Much like courtship dances in birds of paradise, Gypsy women show off their dance moves to attract a husband.

Learning about the Gypsy and Traveler lifestyle has really opened my eyes to their world. It is really a fascinating culture and I have greatly benefited from this glimpse into their world. I would love to know more.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

1,000 views... Thank You So Much!

Today I checked my stats and as of 9:54 am, I am literally 3 views away from 1,000. I can bet that when you read this, I would have reached 1,000 views. To celebrate this, I am going to be working on a special event. Since I have added LiveChat to the blog's Facebook page, I will educate myself on how to use it and set a date for a LiveChat with me. I will be answering any questions you have about the blog, motivation and confidence, or

Thank you so much for helping me reach this incredible goal!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Getting Kids to Read the Bible

Working at a Christian school, we have a lot of devotion time. I lead one every morning and sometimes have a bonus video or discussion during the day. One thing that I have not encouraged is for my students to read their Bibles on their own.



Today, after reading the first three verses, I assigned Hebrews 11 to the students. They were to read the verse and take notes. Of course they had no clue how to do that. I told them to read it and write down anything that stands out to them, and any thoughts or questions they had about what they were reading. Here are some of the results (no names will be used, only gender)

Boy: I like this verse (verse 1) because it explains faith's meaning so fully.

Boy: We must have faith to please God like it says in verse 6.

Girl: Without faith it is impossible to please God because you have to believe in him!

Girl: When I think of faith, I think of the fruit of the spirit.

Boy: I think it was cool that just because Abraham had faith he became a father.

Getting a child to read the Bible is quite difficult. They do not see it as a book to read, but as a book to study. It's like reading a novel verses reading a textbook. As a teacher, I desire to make reading and learning enjoyable. This is doubled for reading the Bible. I was always read "The Bible for Kids" which was a collection of the best stories that was translated in kid-friendly language. Making the transition from that to the good ole' King James was a bit difficult. I prefer the New King James myself, but even that can pose difficult to young readers.

 So how do you get kids to read the Bible without it feeling like pulling teeth? Here are some things to keep in mind when teaching your child proper Bible reading skills:


  1. Read together. This age old trick is not only a bonding time for you and your child, but it is a chance to really teach them about how to read the Bible. We all know that (for the most part) you can't read the Bible like a storybook, but you don't read it like a history book either. It is something that is to be examined. Children are not going to understand most scripture right away, especially names and places. Sitting with your child and helping them pronounce words will help build their reading and phonics skills; a BIG double hitter! 
  2. Guide your child into the development of theology. Developing a solid theology at a young age is crucial for Christians. I praise God every day that my parents did this! Some people do not want to do this, thinking that a child needs to develop such on their own. Let me remind you that the scriptures say that foolishness is bound in the heart of a child (Proverbs 22:15a). Doesn't sound so easy now, does it?
  3. Set goals and rewards. For every chapter your child reads, they will get extra computer/TV/video game time. This is one example of a goal and reward. There can be many ways to approach this and ill vary depending on the child. Some kids can blaze through entire books in a matter of days. Some may take a week to read a chapter. The important thing is to ask questions about what they are reading to see if they truly understand what they are reading. 
  4. Ask them to keep a Bible journal. Like I did in class toady, ask your child to keep a journal documenting what they have read, the date, and ask them to jot down their thoughts or important things they want to remember. This will help with their comprehension as well as sharpen their note-taking skills.
  5. Designate a special time. Teaching a child to set aside time for specific tasks is a great skill and is one even adults struggle with. Also, teaching them to arrange their priorities properly will give them an enormous advantage in life. Teach them to develop an attitude like: "Have all homework and play time done by this time or it will have to wait until I have read my Bible."
Even if you don't have kids, you can use these five simple tips and tricks to help you and your spouse during devotional time. My husband and I often share devotions and discuss what we have been reading. When you are married, your spiritual life is no longer just yours. What you do or don't do will effect your spouse just as much as it effects you.

If you have any other tips and tricks, let me know. I always enjoy comments!

Marriage Isn't For You

This article showed up on a Facebook page of a friend of mine who had recently been married. This concerned me at first until I read the comments. I am here to say that marriage isn't for me. Read the article and see why:

http://sethadamsmith.com/2013/11/02/marriage-isnt-for-you/