Helping Young People Grow Spiritually

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A few years ago, the Lord impressed me with a need in many young people. Growing up is difficult enough, but every young person at one time or another faces the thought that Mom and Dad are not quite all they were cracked up to be. As a parent, though I try my best to be what I should, I realize that I have plenty of failures…enough to cause any child to be disappointed.

I prayed, asking God how I can help Christian young people develop a closer relationship to God in spite of their parents’ failures. The result is the allegory, The Umbrella Story.

The young lady in the story has had her wonderful umbrella for as long as she remembers. She simply loves her umbrella. But one day, she realizes that there is a hole in her umbrella! How she cries, not knowing quite what to do.

How can the hole be patched? Is there anything she can do? Why does it take so long for the problem to be fixed? This allegory helps people of all ages to understand the answers.

To order, go to the publisher, Queen Homeschool Supplies, or email me at: lisaraub{at}rocketmail{dot}com.

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Lisa

Beautifully Imperfect

I saw this yesterday on Wifey Wednesday of To Love, Honor and Vacuum, and it really touched my heart.

“I never thought of it that way before,” one of my daughters said after watching this with me. I hope my girls will not expect Prince Charming to be divine, but a perfect complement for them.

Now, go give your hubby (or if you’re single, your beautifully imperfect dad!) a hug!

Lisa

You Know You’re Living In an RV in the Summer When…

Our RV is actually a converted tour bus, so it is literally a “tin can.” The hot summer Texas sun superheats the metal skin, making it burn to the touch! When My Beloved and my sons converted it, they put several layers of insulation, which helps, but the large windows also let in a tremendous amount of heat. Even with foil bubble wrap on the windows and our two AC units blowing constantly, we are still not able to keep it very cool inside.

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Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you read that right. That was yesterday’s indoor and outdoor temerature of our RV. While it was 110 degrees outside, it was a little cooler than 92 degrees inside, because the thermometer was on the sunward side of the bus. Inside, it was probably about 86. Still, it was enough to make most of us melt.

Yesterday while trying to stay cool, I wrote down a few things about summer in an RV:

YOU KNOW YOU’RE LIVING IN AN RV IN THE HOT TEXAS SUMMER WHEN…

– You burn your hands washing them with “cold” water! (It’s amazing how hot the water gets as it runs through the hose from the church to the bus!)

– You burn your elbow when you lean against the bus.

– You have to go out before sunrise to get your exercise…and it’s already 80 degrees!

– You do all your cooking either in the microwave, outside on the grill, or put the slow cooker outside.

– You take a shower with all “cold” water…and have to let it run for awhile to let it cool down enough so you don’t get scalded!

– You refuse to bake anything, for any reason, until Labor Day!

– A cool, wet rag is your best friend.

– You decide to go to the library to cool off, even though you have AC in your RV.

I just wish I could box up some of this heat to save for wintertime. Hot showers in the summer and cold showers in the winter are a way of life!

Have a great (warm) summer, folks! Praise God for the beauty of the lazy summer.

Yours for a more Courageous Journey for Him,

Lisa

Practice Makes…What??

 

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When I was young, I loved playing softball.  I was involved in lots of sports, but softball was my favorite.  In fact, my goal as a young person was to be on the Olympic softball team, but how God changed my heart is another story.

 

About midway through my high school years, we got a new coach.  Coach Watson was what we call, “old school,” and he spent hours teaching us the basic fundamentals of softball: throwing, catching, batting, and even running.  Many of us were already sort of set in our ways, and there was some resistance to his instruction.  Still, he took us back to basics, and we learned how to operate as a team.

 

Though I’m sure he didn’t try to, he taught us things about life.   “Be a good example,” he told us, “you never know who’s watching.  Walk tall – it unnerves the opponent.”  But the one that really sticks in my mind is the one I am often telling my kids:

 

“Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent.   Perfect practice makes perfect!”

 

And with that, we would go back to the drills – throwing, catching, and batting.

 

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For us, it is so true that practice makes permenent; perfect practice makes perfect!  If we’ve been saying discouraging things, we need to stop saying them, and replace them with better, more encouraging things.   For example:

 

Instead of saying, “If only I had a such and such, then I could do what God wants me to do.”

Instead say,“Lord, I’ll do whatever You want, You just meet my needs!”

 

Don’t say, “I doubt good can come of this,”

but insead say, “God can make this trial a blessing!”

 

Don’t say, “I just don’t have the time to spend time with my children,”

but instead say:  “The Lord will help me to MAKE the time to be with my kids.”

 

Don’t say, “I’m afraid such and such will happen!”

say:  “I know God will work it out!”

 

Drill, drill, drill.  It seems like that was all we did that first year he was coaching.  We learned how to make a double play, how to slide into base, and how to steal bases.  With all the drill, we learned teamwork.  And that year we did very well in the end-of-year competition.

 

But the next year, we came back and drilled again.  This time we were a real unit, and knew our stuff.  And we walked tall…Coach Watkins was right – it DID unnerve our opponents!  By the time playoffs were over, we had earned the second place trophy for the entire district!

 

Perfect practice makes perfect.  Coach Watkins would be proud.

 

Couch Potatoes, Arise!

My daughter Sharon has updated our family’s motivational/fitness blog, and it looks wonderful!!  Since half the problem with getting out of our chairs is lack of motivation or support, her quotes and inspirational sayings are tremendously helpful.


You may not be able to start a couch to 5K program, but all of us can do a little something to “bless” our hearts.  Take a gander over at her blog, enjoy her progress, and watch out – you may become inspired to move a little more.

 

Look up her motivational quotes here:

 Yes, she designed them all herself.  If you like her design work, contact her at contact.SharonJoy [at] gmail [dot] com!

 

May your weekend Journey be an exciting and wonderful one!

 

Lisa

Doctors, Dentists, and Fire Ants

Yesterday was a very long day!

Sharon finished up her run a little earlier than I did, so she went back to the place we were staying at, Jonathan and Brooke’s house. In about 15 minutes, I saw the van come speeding toward me, with Sharon driving.

She rolled down her window and told me, “Mom, Brooke needs you. She’s in a lot of pain.” Brooke is my son’s young wife, who is about 24 weeks pregnant. Pain of any kind during a pregnancy is something to be concerned about.

My first thought was, Wow, she must be desperate to want her mother-in-law!“OK, I’ll hop in, and we’ll go see how she’s doing, I replied, opening the door.

After a hasty shower, I took Brooke to Jonathan’s work site, where we traded vehicles, and he took her on in to the Emergency Room. Before getting into the car, Jon told me, “Hey, Mom, just be careful – that car is full of fire ants.” It doesn’t help that I’m allergic to them.

So my new mission was to get the car “home” (to Jon & Brooke’s house) before the fire ants, which were all over the passenger seat, found me! Unfortunately, I was only on that road once before in my life, and I wasn’t sure how to get home! To make matters worse, there was no phone signal at all (Jon and Brooke live in the middle of nowhere!) so I couldn’t call anyone for guidance.

Casting worried glances toward the little monsters not two feet away from me, I somehow found my way back…before getting discovered and becoming lunch!

I was so relieved to get back, but in thirty minutes I was out the door again, taking Lydia to her dentist for her root canal, which was two and a half hours away. The drive seemed to take forever, but thankfully, it was an uneventful drive, although poor Lydia was nervous.

Lydia had been to the dentist on Friday, and he was quite worried that the swelling would obstruct her breathing. He gave us a prescription for strong antibiotics, with strict instructions to take her to the Emergency Room if the swelling were to go below the jaw line. By the time we were on our way to the dentist again yesterday, her swelling was down quite a bit, praise the Lord.

Poor Lydia had read up on root canals, and unfortunately read enough horror stories to make her worried. But we prayed, and the Lord really blessed. The dentist was friendly and competent, and in spite of the invasive procedure, Lydia didn’t feel much.

We tease her now about being an iron woman. She says, “I don’t have a high pain tolerance, it just didn’t hurt!” I wonder if she’ll grow up to be one of those women who go into labor, go to the bathroom, and come back out with a baby??

During the long drive home, Jonathan called. “We’re on our way home, Mom. The baby’s fine, but Brooke’s still in a lot of pain. They checked the kidneys and a few other things, and they seem to think the baby’s in a really weird position, sitting on her nerves.”

It was a long evening, and poor Brooke was in such pain that she was sick. Jon was with her the whole time. Finally Jonathan came out and told us, “She’s doing a lot better now. We prayed and asked the Lord to move the baby, and a few minutes later, Brooke felt him move out of the painful area!” We were all so excited that the Lord answered his prayer!

So today, we’re on the road again, assured that Brooke is ok by herself. Driving back to our beloved home,The Bus, we’ve passed five accidents so far, but we’re continuing to trust the Lord for safety.

We arrived late this evening, praise the Lord! Soon we’ll be getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. Meanwhile, has the Lord been giving you any special blessings? Share them with us!

An Unexpected Trip!

Our regularly scheduled life went on instant hold Tuesday morning when I looked at Lydia’s swollen face. I knew she wasn’t hiding a baseball in her jaw, so I figured it must have been that abscess she had, coming back again. My husband took one look at her and immediately began making the necessary phone calls to connect us to our dentist in Mississippi.

So, The Courageous Journey took an unexpected trip! We got our bags packed and jumped in the van in record time: one hour and 15 minutes! Not bad for going from Zero to “5 Day Trip” in an instant!

Yesterday, Lydia went to the dentist, who was quite concerned that the swelling might restrict breathing, but she was too infected for him to give her a root canal. This morning, she already looked a lot better, thankfully.

And so The Adventure Continues….

Obstacles to an Excellent Marriage, Part 2

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As I rounded the corner I saw it: a huge rock blocking the gravel path!  Uh oh! I thought.  What do I do now?  Is this the end of the trail?  When I got closer to the monster rock, I saw the alternative trail wind up across the debris pile and back down the other side.  I must admit feeling a bit victorious as I pounded up one side and down the other.  The trail went on as far as I could see.

 

Daily we face obstacles in our marriages.  Identifying these obstacles is paramount; then, we can either remove the obstacle or find an alternative route!  Last week I wrote about Obstacles to an Excellent Marriage, Part 1.  What are some other things to watch out for?

 

Wrong thinking – Many times we are beset with incorrect thinking. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.   For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:8-9.  Here are some incorrect thought patterns we ladies often have:
1.       Making the assumption that I don’t have to really put effort into my marriage.  “I’m the exception; others may have rough spots, but we’ll be fine.”  I think we all know how dangerous assumptions can be.
A big news photographer needed to photograph some fires from the air.  He showed up at the airport, saw a plane warming up, hurriedly jumped aboard and told the pilot, “Let’s get going!”  Within minutes, the plane was airborne.  The photographer told the pilot, “Ok, I need you to fly low over those fires over there so I can get some good pictures.”
“Why?” asked the pilot.
“Because I’m a photographer for the big news agency, and I need to get pictures of the fires!”
The pilot was silent for minute, and then asked, “You mean, you’re not my flight instructor??”
Never assume.  It’s dangerous.
2.      Wanting fairness.  “My husband doesn’t put much effort into the marriage, so why should I?”
3.       Roadblocks of the mind.  “I can’t!”
                                                               a.      Don’t get “Can’t, Sir!” (cancer!)
                                                               b.      You are capable of more than you think  (see Philippians 4:13).
4.      Giving up.  “I just don’t care anymore.  I give up.”  This is one of the saddest of all, and one I have heard time and again from disheartened wives.  We need not ever give up.  There is always hope; as long as there is breath, there is hope.
  Visiting a church last year, the girls were spinning on the merry-go-round.  On and on they spun, and more and more people joined them until it was loaded with laughing spinning young people.  One of the church girls said, “That’s it, I’m tired.  I’m getting off.”
Sharon smiled and told her, “But remember, ‘girls never quit!’”
“Oh, that’s right!” she said.  “Thank you for reminding me of that, Sharon!” and she got on and went awhile longer.
It’s a saying amongst the girls in our house, “Never give up!  Girls aren’t quitters!”
Remember, that’s one of Satan’s biggest ploy:  If he can’t sideline you with sin, he will try to distract you.  If he can’t distract you, he will try to discourage you.
5.  Confusing illness and exhaustion with hopelessness.     Never confuse tiredness and sickness with defeat.  If you’re tired or ill, get some rest, get some food, spend time in the Psalms . . . but never, never give up!

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The bitter cold morning which dawned on Shackleton’s crew gave no hint of the incredible events that were about to take place.  The men were doing their usual polar routines when they were shocked by a sight almost unbelievable: a ship in the distance!  Somehow, against all odds, and against incredible hardships, Shackleton had not only gotten to civilization, but had come back through the relentless icy seas for his men!  Within minutes, the men were scrambling from their tents, some hastily lighting a greasy fire, while others stood on the shore, madly waving and yelling.
The saga of Shackleton’s voyage, shipwreck, and survival had a wonderfully happy ending because he hurtled every obstacle that stood in his path.  The complications were tremendous, but he never gave in, gave out, or gave up.  Let’s let Shackleton’s determination speak to us about our marriages, and remove, go around, or hurtle any obstacles we may have in our path to an excellent marriage!

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Hugs,
Linking up with these tremendous bloggers!
TLHV button                                 The Alabaster Jar

 

Three Ways Parents Go AWOL

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I usually prefer to write about positive things, if I can.  My more recent posts, How To Make Your Home a Better Place (Part 1 & 2,) How to Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life, and Finding Joy in Each Hour are all different ways we can put some positive principles into our lives.

 

But sometimes, we need to look at the negative as well as the positive.  Our cars require batteries with both positive and negative terminals.  Without both, there is no life, no spark, no results.  Anything with great power requires both positive and negative.

 

Years ago, I spent some of time with a rather large family in Pennsylvania.  During after-church fellowships, we would sit around and talk for awhile, leaving the children to play together.  Sometimes, one of the kids would come up and want to join in the conversation.  Any time one of this lady’s children came up, she would always shoo them away, saying, “Now, this is my time to fellowship with the ladies.  Go play!”  So the children were never welcome in our conversations.

Her pushing away of her children ended up having disastrous consequences.

 

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God has established the family to operate like a little country inside a big country.  While the president, or king rules his people, the parents rule the family.  Unfortunately, parents cannot give away their responsability without disintigration of their authority completely.

 

Parents who are AWOL (Absent Without Leave, or not showing up for duty without permission) give up their God-given responsability to train their children to be good, godly citizens.  Unfortunately, parents cannot give away their responsability without disintigration of their authority completely.

 

Three Ways Parents Go AWOL:

 

1.  Sometimes parents decide not to train their children because they desire their child’s approval, and so choose not to restrain them in any way.  Unfortunately, they usually end up giving up any possibility of earning the young person’s approval or respect, and so lose out completely.

 

2.  Many parents are just plain too busy with their own pursuits to train their children in any way.

This is, I think, one of the biggest reasons that parents go AWOL today.  I know that for me, it is a temptation to always pile my day full, and end up busier than I should be.  And isn’t it when we’re busy that the kids decide to get into things?  Busyness is something we all need to guard against, and during those times when we find ourselves too busy, we can take it as a signal to pull back, regroup, and prioritize.

 

3.  Some parents are just too lazy.  They figure that the child will turn out ok anyway, so why bother?

The question we need to ask ourselves is, “Is ok good enough?”  If they are anything like your average American young person, I think we have enough of them.  The world needs more godly people, not just people who are ok.

 

In each of these cases, we see that, in essence, the parents leave their position of authority primarily because it is simply too much work, too much trouble.  As parents, we must become acutely aware that it is not becoming to our high calling to lay aside or give up our honorable responsability.

 

Remember, our children are given to us as a trust by our Creator.  He is their Maker, and He can prescribe how they are to be trained.  As we train our children to glorify Him and seek His Spirit for strength and guidance, we will have His backing and power for the tremendous job laid before us.

 

Going AWOL can have dire consequences.

 

The family in PA has had some real rough times in recent years, but the hardest of all was waking up one morning to find their son gone…away from their protection and care.  But, haven’t they been pushing him away for years?  He’s only “fleshing out” what they’ve been teaching him all this time.

 

 

Parents, let’s be willing to take up the cross and do our duty to train our children.  In so doing, we will preserve the future of the faith, society and nation that we live in.

 

Find Joy in Each Hour

One reason we get so little enthusiasm out of our daily lives is because we put so little enthusiasm into our hourly living. – David Dunn

So slap a smile on your face, thank God for His grace, and find JOY in each hour!

— May your own Courageous Journey be an exciting one!