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Friday, September 30, 2011

Dry As Rain

"He'd give anything to forget the one thing she can't remember."

That's the situation Eric finds himself in with his wife Kyra in Gina Holmes book Dry As Rain.  From the back of the book:
"When Eric and Kyra Yoshida first met, they thought their love would last forever.  But like many marriages, theirs has gradually crumbled, one thoughtless comment and misunderstanding at a time, until the ultimate betrayal pushes them beyond reconciliation.  Though Eric longs to reunite with Kyra, the only woman he has truly loved, he has no idea how to repair the damage that's been done.  Then a car accident erases part of Kyra's memory - including her separation from Eric - and a glimmer of hope rises from the wreckage.  Is this a precious opportunity for the fresh start Eric has longed for?  Does he even deserve the chance to find forgiveness and win back Kyra's heart...or will the truth blow up in his face, shattering their last hope for happiness?"
I found Dry As Rain to be an engaging story of betrayal of the worst kind and of the beautiful redemption only God can bring about in the hearts and lives of those willing to trust Him for change.  While the premise of the book is a worthy one, I did find Ms Holmes' writing to be a bit stilted.  The story just didn't flow well.  However, I would still recommend the book if you like to read fiction that deals with relationships and the conflicts that often come about in them.

You can read the first chapter by going HERE.  Ms Holmes website can be found at

Thank you Tyndale House for sending me a copy of the book for the purpose of review!

Happy Reading,

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dangerous Mercy

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dangerous Mercy
David C. Cook (October 1, 2011)
Kathy Herman 

Suspense novelist Kathy Herman is very much at home in the Christian book industry, having worked five years on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and eleven years at Better Books Christian Center in Tyler, Texas, as product buyer/manager for the children’s department, and eventually as director of human resources.

She has conducted numerous educational seminars on children’s books at CBA Conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served a preliminary judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association , and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market.

Since her first novel, Tested by Fire, debuted in 2001 as a CBA national bestseller, she's added sixteen more titles to her credit, including four bestsellers: All Things Hidden, The Real Enemy, The Last Word, and The Right Call.

Kathy's husband Paul is her manager and most ardent supporter, and the former manager of the LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas. They have three grown children, five almost-perfect grandchildren, a cat named Samantha. They enjoy cruising, deep sea fishing, and birdwatching—sometimes incorporating these hobbies into one big adventure.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. —Matthew 5:7

When eighty-five-year-old Adele Woodmore moves to Les Barbes to be near the Broussards—and her namesake, their daughter—she wants nothing more than a comfortable, quiet life. Employing men from Father Vince’s halfway house for the homeless to do odd jobs and landscaping, she delights in the casual conversation she has with them, the fledgling friendships, and the idea that she is helping them get back on their feet.

A series of murders in Les Barbes has cast a pall over the town and, in fact, one of Adele’s handymen becomes a person of interest to the police. But Adele cares for these young men, she knows them, and continues to show them kindness in spite of her friends’ concern. And then one day a murderer walks through Adele’s defenses, sits down at her kitchen table...and they begin to talk...

You can read the first chapter of Dangerous Mercy by going HERE.    You can also find the author's website by going to


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Before the Throne Wednesday

Welcome back!  I pray you are experiencing a renewed intimacy with your Heavenly Father as you go before Him in prayer on behalf of your children!

I said last week that we would be praying through Psalm 119, but we'll put that off until next week.  There is lots of talk right now about the movie Courageous, which will be in the theaters this Friday, September 30.  My husband and I are going Friday to see it and are taking our daughter, Cecily (13) with us.  I wrote a review of Randy Alcorn's novel based on the screen play of the movie.  You can read that review by going HERE

Of the many virtues I pray my children will have, courage is one of them.  According to the Free Online Dictionary, "courageous" is defined as having or being characterized by "courage", which means the state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.  A synonym of "courageous" is brave and some related words are:  adventuresome, fearless, unafraid, bold and resolute.  Resolute is being firm in purpose or belief; characterized by firmness and determination.

I want to see ALL that in Cecily, Bentley and JennaBeth.  Right now JennaBeth has all that and more, in a two year old kinda way!  Seriously, I desire for each of my children to walk through their lives not afraid of what comes there way but able to stand firm and not be swayed by the enemy of their souls to compromise and give in to the world around them.  How will they be able to do this? 

I think Micah 6:8 is a good place for them to start:
"He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the LORD require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
I think you probably want your children and grandchildren and little ones in your care to be courageous as well.  Pray today that they will understand what the LORD requires of them; that they will act justly in all situations, that they will love mercy and learn to lean on God's mercy daily, and that they will walk humbly with God all the days of their lives.

And as parents, let's be courageous right along side of them!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011


What would you do if...

That's the question that Ray Comfort asks in his documentary 180.

The movie is 33 minutes long.  Make sure you watch when you have 33 minutes to devote your full attentionTHERE IS A PUBLIC ADVISORY WARNING DUE TO GRAPHIC CONTENT.  The film contains images from the Holocaust and a couple quick flashes of abortion images.  There is also an interview with a young man, who uses some very uncomfortable language; however, the expletives are "bleeped" out.

With that warning, you may ask why I would want you to watch.  I want you to watch, because I am pro-life in every sense of the word, not just in regards to the abortion issue.  Mr. Comfort makes a very compelling case for valuing life.  The following 33 minutes will make you think and they will grip you emotionally and they will challenge you to stand up and lend your voice to the protection of the most vulnerable members of our society.  Of all the "arguments" for or against abortion I have seen or read, this one is the most powerful!

Also included in the documentary, Comfort demonstrates his very straight forward method of witnessing by simply confronting people with how they measure up to the 10 Commandments - God's Law.
Watch and maybe you will do a 180!


Monday, September 26, 2011

A Beautiful Life

This past Thursday through Saturday morning, some of the ladies from our church experienced a retreat held at Gull Wing Resort on Fort Myers Beach.  The theme was A Beautiful Life and our speaker was Angela Blycker.  She and her husband, along with their three children are missionaries with New Mission Systems International.  Angela's website can be found at  She also has a blog, Immersion, which can be found HERE.  Her book is Running Into Water: Women Immersed in the Pursuit of God
(Betty Whitehorne at breakfast Friday morning)

The view from the conference room was amazing!  We were able to set up breakfast both mornings in a space just off from the meeting area and enjoy the view and fellowship before the study sessions.
The group of ladies you see in the forefront of the picture above are some of our senior adult ladies who were able to attend.  I was blessed to get to spend time talking and visiting with them.  I'm not always able to get to do that at church chasing my little ones around.
Eladia Osterhouse, our church pianist, led us in worship prior to each study session.  She is also the wife of one of our deacons and is the mother of four children.  She and her family are truly a blessing to our church.  She did a good job of helping us prepare our hearts to hear God speak through Angela.
And speaking of Angela...that is her (second from the left) in the picture above.
Here are Dawn (one of our church secretaries), Sharon and Louise (otherwise known to my son as "Lego Lady").  I had the wonderful privilege of rooming with both Dawn and Sharon along with Eladia and our pastor's wife, Mamie.  Sorry I didn't get a pic of you Mamie!

The thought running through all that Angela shared over the retreat was Creating Culture:  The Family as Culture Makers.  Here are my notes from the three sessions she shared with us.

Life is Beautiful
Creating Culture involves being firm in what you believe and then living it out.
Living our lives "to the praise of His glory" (Eph. 1) is a grand celebration of God's presence.  Angela explained "praise" as "grateful celebration" and "glory" as "the bright presence of God".
  1. Culture making is to reflect God's image.  (Genesis 1:26-31)  God let Adam feel his need (for a companion).  Obedience is our worship.  Our culture is what we were made to do under the gaze of God.  We have forgotten who we are and what we are equipped with in Christ.
  2.  Culture making is to sow into the things of the Spirit.  (Gal. 6:7-10, Rom. 8:5-7, Eph. 5:15)  As women, we need to get into God's own established rhythm work, relationships, and rest.  Angela asked us this questions:  "What are we making space for in our homes?" and "What is going in our homes and what is shining out of them?"  
  3. Culture making is to involve cultivation and creating.  (Rev. 21:24-27)  This question was asked:  "What is your posture?  Is it one of condemnation (focus more on the dangers around you or the delights), critique (beliefs with no experience), copy (not creating, but allowing the culture around you to dictate to you), cultivate (be receivers who are thankful and not just consumers) or create."
Body care is to express worship.  (Rom. 12:1)
There should be the peace of God showing in our countenance. 
We should be "living" sacrifices - Rom. 6:13, 1 Cor. 6:19, Phil. 1:20.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made - Psalm 139:13-16.  The secret place is the imagination of God.  If we were to lay out all the DNA in our bodies, we would be able to reach to the sun and back 77 times!  (Col.1:16-17, Zech. 14:20-21)
Angela reminded us that whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, it should all be done for the glory of God.  

Being a Modern Day Disciple
God sees what we can become and we should see this potential in those around us as well.  Angela encouraged us as women to live as transformed followers not holding onto the right to run our lives, living in complete reliance on Almighty God, and making disciples by "show and tell".
Love others in their imperfection - love others as God intends them to be.  She spoke a lot about how we use our words and encouraged us to "speak to the highest in another" (Prov. 10:11, 18:4, Eph. 4:29, Ps 141: 3)
Discipleship = Relationship.  Accountability - place yourself there!
A Disciple's Heart:
  1. Surrendered - My life is not my own.
  2. Growing - Everything alive is growing and changing.
  3. Servant - The opposite of self-centered.
  4. Generous - Gives liberally; it's a posture of the heart.
  5. Evangelistic - A passion for the nations.
As we abide in Christ (John 15), we will experience streams of Living Water flowing through us as we dwell in God's presence, listen to His voice, focus on His beauty and taste His goodness;  THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL LIFE!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Before the Throne Wednesday

Welcome back!  How are you and your "rewards" doing this week?  I pray if you've stumbled upon this post for the first time that you will be encouraged in the discipline and honor of praying for your children and of praying specific scriptures over them.

In recent Sundays our Senior Pastor has been preaching through the book of Ephesians.  He has also taken us to Romans 6 to look closer at what righteousness looks like in the life of a believer.  In that context, he has made this statement several times:
"The Spirit-filled life looks like the Law-filled life."
In regards to the Ten Commandments, he has also made this statement:
"The Ten Commandments are the character of God in writing."
One Sunday evening a month, rather than meeting at our church building for services, we've been meeting in small groups in different members homes.  In the group that my family has been a part of, we've had a gentleman speak about learning to love God's law and walk in His commands.  So, my mind has been on these two things a lot.

I desire for my children to know God's character and to live a Spirit-filled life.  As I've thought on these things, I have taken a closer look at Psalm 119.  The first two verses read like this in the NIV:
"Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD.  Blessed are they who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their heart."
According to John Calvin's commentary on the Psalms, "Among various matters dealt with in the psalm (119) are two main subjects: first, exhorting believers to follow godliness and holy living, and then pointing out the form of the true worship of God, so that the faithful may devote themselves to the study of the Law."

Here also is Calvin's thoughts on these first two verses of Psalm 119:
"The paradox set forth in the first psalm is given again:  men long for happiness but search for it by wandering through byways which lead to ruin.  Their greed hurries them in the opposite direction to that set forth here, for they imagine they will be happy the further they are from God.  The term 'way' denotes the manner or course of life, which is why he calls those blameless whose sincere desire is to practise righteousness.  The second clause defines what he means.  There is an implied contrast with those who follow their own devices, wearying themselves with inanities.  The prophet is not saying that there is no happiness unless we worship God perfectly, for there is no perfect obedience on earth.  Rather, because our uprightness is never complete, we take refuge in God's mercy; thus we are happy in that he does not impute our sins to us (Ps 32:2).  The second verse confirms this, asserting they are blessed who devote themselves to God's covenant and yield him obedience with their whole heart.  It is not sufficient to serve him only with external rituals; his truth must also be written on our hearts."
I encourage you today to pray Psalm 119:1-2 over your children that they may have God's truth written on their hearts.

Over the next several weeks of Before the Throne Wednesday, we will "pray" through Psalm 119 on behalf of our children, so be sure to join me!  You can find the other Wednesday posts by following these links:  1, 2, 3, and 4.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bentley's Birthday: Part Two

Like I said yesterday, Bentley has been planning his birthday for some time.  The last couple of years, he has wanted to go to Chuck E Cheese.  This year he wanted to have a cookout and invite all his friends from the neighborhood to eat and play water balloon games.  So that is exactly what we did this past Saturday!  Bentley wanted a Transformer cake and decorations, but wanted Legos for his present.

Cecily, my oldest, was a really big help getting everything ready.  She made his cake...
and blew up balloons along with some help from a couple of girls from the neighborhood.  The party was set to start at three, but I had a house and yard full of kids at 11 a.m.!  
We gently encouraged everyone to go play while we got things ready for the party.  Then when it was time for the party, we had to go round everyone up!  The kids each made an "Ocean in a Bottle" on the lanai...
before playing "Splish, Splish, Splash" (a water version of Duck, Duck, Goose) and some water balloon games.

We had a simple little Slip-N-Slide set up, but I think the kids had the most fun on it...

As a matter of fact, as you've already seen in most of the pictures, JennaBeth wasn't going to miss a beat of all the fun.  Here is a little clip of her and her little friend next door, Morgan, on the slide...

Once we peeled everybody off the Slip-N-Slide, the kids ate hotdogs, chips, homemade mac-n-cheese (Paula Deen's CrockPot recipe) and baked beans.  And of course there was the birthday cake!
Don't you just love the help baby sister was trying to give with the candles?  I just love it!!!

After cake was present time!  Bentley got lots of sweet cards and a little spending money and Legos, Legos, and more Legos...

That last one looks like a mug shot!  I think he was so excited he was in shock, ha, ha!
Everyone got to take a turn trying to pin the autobot emblem on Bumblebee...

 We ended with a pinata, Optimus Prime, of course...
When everybody had cleared out,
 this is what I saw...
Once again, big sister coming to the rescue and helping put his Lego Star Wars set together.  I told you she was a big help the entire day! 
Hosting a birthday party at home, exhausting.  One happy little six year old boy...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bentley's Birthday: Part One

Last Thursday (9/15), Bentley turned six!  He has been planning his birthday for...well since his birthday last year I think!  He's been counting down the days since September 1.  All week long, birthday cards have been arriving in the mail.  It worked out that he got a card in the mail about every day the week leading up to his big day.
We had promised him he could open up his cards and one present after school on Thursday.  Big sister was helping him do that when his little "girlfriend", Rylee, stopped by to visit him.  Rylee is a little girl in our neighborhood about Bentley's age and they play together really good...especially since she likes to play with Legos, which is what Bentley happens to be crazy about at the moment.
After Rylee's visit, Bentley got a phone call from my dad and step-mom (Papaw Conrad and Nana).  He then opened up his present from his Granny and Pops (my mom and step-dad).  They had sent me a check to go and get something for him to open from them.  He was just a tad excited...

And once again, he was amazed that his granny was so smart to know just what he wanted!

Next, I drove Bentley and Cecily to McDonald's for his birthday date with big sister.  This was all Cecily's idea.  She wanted to take him to McDonald's and treat him to a Happy Meal and whatever dessert he wanted with her own money.  I dropped them off and went to the Publix in the same shopping center to buy the food for his birthday party (that will be tomorrow's post) on Saturday.
I just imagine that he'll be walking alongside and looking up to her for many, many more days to come!  I sure do pray so.

One Blessed Mama,

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Doctor's Lady

Priscilla White knows she'll never be a wife or mother and feels God's call to the mission field in India. Dr. Eli Ernest is back from Oregon Country only long enough to raise awareness of missions to the natives before heading out West once more. But then Priscilla and Eli both receive news from the mission board: No longer will they send unmarried men and women into the field.

Left scrambling for options, the two realize the other might be the answer to their needs. Priscilla and Eli agree to a partnership, a marriage in name only that will allow them to follow God's leading into the mission field. But as they journey west, this decision will be tested by the hardships of the trip and by the unexpected turnings of their hearts.

You can read the first chapter by going HERE.

About the author:
Jody Hedlund has written novels for the last 18 years (with a hiatus when her children were young). After many years of writing and honing her skills, she finally garnered national attention with her double final in the Genesis Contest, a fiction-writing contest for unpublished writers through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).

Her first published book, The Preacher’s Bride (2010 Bethany House Publishers), hit the CBA Best Seller list on two different occasions and has won multiple awards.

Her second book, The Doctor’s Lady, released this September. She has completed a third book which will be released in 2012.

You can visit Ms Hedlund's website at

I am posting as part of the...

Ms Hedblund's The Doctor's Lady is a historical fiction piece based on the true story of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, a young missionary couple who actually traveled overland to Oregon in 1836 as Priscilla and Eli do in the book.  Although I felt the plot was a bit predictable, the story is still an amazing one.  Ms Hedblund writes with careful attention to detail and weaves a tale of overcoming unbelievable hardship and disappointment, devotion and love.  As a reader, I could almost "see" the scenes in the story come alive in my mind.  The only thing again that spoiled the book for me was the predictable plot almost given away too early in the story.  If you like historical fiction, you will enjoy The Doctor's Lady and the emotion of the characters will leave you wanting a sequel, which is something I hope the author will consider!


Nobody's Child

Just because we can do something, should we?

That's the question Austin Boyd's novel Nobody's Child stirs within its reader.  Nobody's Child is the first installment in a new series (The Pandora Files) of bioethics suspense novels by Austin Boyd.  When I worked outside the home, I served as a Social Worker in both medical and psychiatric settings.  Part of my responsibilities in both areas were to oversee the Ethics Committee.  I was very eager to review this book and Zondervan provided me a copy for that purpose.

Austin Boyd is an award winning author, inventor, business entrepreneur, spacecraft engineer, and Navy pilot.  He weaves real science with true-to-life characters in descriptive page-turning suspense.  Austin lives with his wife in Huntsville, AL.  They have four adult children.  Mr. Boyd manages an engineering and design company, and serves the community through Crisis Pregnancy ministries.   He supports Choose Life of North Alabama, the nation's third busiest crisis pregnancy center, located in Huntsville, AL. This center meets the needs of nearly 5,000 women in crisis each year. Mr. Boyd serves on the Board of Directors, and recently led the center's effort to buy and renovate a 9,000 square foot medical building, which is the center's new home. Mr. Boyd says, "Every day you see miracles in our center, womens' hearts changed, and babies' lives saved. It's amazing."

You can visit his website, Austin Boyd: A Novel Approach to Truth, at

View the book trailer for Nobody's Child below:

Mr. Boyd was gracious to answer a few questions for me via email.  I asked him first what inspired him to write Nobody's Child:
"Two inspirations, actually. First, we Americans desperately need to better understand the thorny dilemmas of bioethics and biotechnology, but few of us will take the time to read a bioethics treatise. This is my effort to get the word out, and do it in a way that creates an emotional moment for the reader. Second, as a native West Virginian, I wanted to tell the world about the beautiful place that I grew up. So, I frame the tough questions about egg donations in a natural setting that tells the world about my Mountain State."
I also asked Mr. Boyd what it was that he hopes the readers of Nobody's Child will come away with after finishing the book:
"I hope that readers of this novel will empathize with the deep pain of two women. Laura Ann is a young woman, raised by her dad on a lonely farm, a sheltered girl who's never even seen a gynecologist when she makes her first egg donation. In her mind, she's sold her body--tantamount to prostitution. Extreme? Maybe, but put yourself in the shoes of a destitute woman exploited by the promise of cash for her eggs. On the other hand, Sophia wanted children for her whole life. She grieves deeply for the chance to have a child, and is thrilled to at last be pregnant with Laura Ann's egg. Is egg donation a good thing or a bad thing? It's tough to say... it depends: are you Laura Ann or Sophia? I want readers to wrestle with these tough issues and pray about their response. There are no easy answers here, no black and white choices. But we must get a dialogue going about these ethical quandaries because we really do live in a "brave new world."
I was also interested in knowing what other topics we can expect Mr. Boyd to write about in his new series, The Pandora Files:
"The next novel, set to release just as we swear in a new president in 2013, is about health care rationing and "dying well." What if Medicare becomes so insolvent that only certain people are allowed life-extending treatment? Who makes the decision about the citizens who are refused treatment? And for those folks who don't want "heroic measures" to extend their lives, is it wrong to say "enough is enough" and accept death? What does it mean to "die well?" We'll explore both issues in the setting of a man and his wife who are both facing the end of life, but want to do it trusting in God and do it with a measure of dignity. Later novels in The Pandora Files series will provide suspenseful stories that deal with issues like black market organ harvests, drug-induced enhancement to make people smarter, growing human organs in animals, comatose patients who can hear, and immortality treatments."
As you can see, we have some interesting and time sensitive subjects to look forward to in the upcoming offerings in The Pandora Files series.  I can assure you, I will be anxiously awaiting the release of each book!

The reader of Nobody's Child is immediately drawn into the lives of Laura Ann, Sophia and Ian.  Mr. Boyd grabs your attention on page one and keeps you turning pages until the very last one.  He treats the subject of egg donation and the struggle of the donor and receiver with such dignity.  His attention to descriptive detail is exceptional.  You almost feel as if you are there with Laura Ann at her visits to the clinic or as if you are walking Sophia's journey of infertility right along with her.  I have never had a work of fiction make me feel the way Nobody's Child did nor ask the questions with which I continue to wrestle. 

Austin Boyd and The Pandora Files, will be an author and series you won't want to miss, so follow the link provided to below to purchase Nobody's Child.

The book can also be purchased at Zondervan's site by going HERE.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Before the Throne Wednesday

Welcome today!  One of the greatest privileges and possibly the most important thing we can do for our children is to pray for them.  I hope that as you read the Bible, you will begin to make your own list of scriptures to pray for your children/grandchildren.

Today's scriptures:
  1. Jeremiah 17:7-8  "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."
  2. Psalm 1:1-3  "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers."
  3. Galatians 6:22-23  "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law."
Today I encourage you to go beyond "God bless my children" and pray specifically for each of them by name that they would trust in the LORD, that they would put their confidence in Christ.  Pray that they would be careful to not walk in the counsel of the wicked, would not stand in the way of sinners or get comfortable in the company of mockers.  Pray that your children will be like trees standing tall with roots planted and watered by God.  Pray for the fruit of the Spirit to be grown in their lives and that your children will never fail to bear this fruit in every season of their lives.

Lastly, consider these thoughts in conjunction with the scripture given:

"Preoccupation with results often leads to emphasis on outward form. When we are preoccupied with achieving results it is natural to admire the results others seem to have achieved with their children. We like the way the pastor's kids sit reverently in the front pew and take notes of their father's sermon, so we go home and begin to teach our children to sit reverently and to take notes. What we don't know is that the pastor's kids conduct themselves with reverence and attentiveness not because he "cleaned the outside of the cup" and simply drilled them to do so -- he lived a genuine love for Jesus that was contagious, and watched as the fruit was born (Matt 23:26). Parents are destined for disappointment when they admire fruit in others and seek to emulate merely that expression of fruit in their own children. Fruit is born from the inside -- not applied to the outside.
Imagine that the fruit you desired was the edible variety, so you went out into your yard and planted an apple tree. Just suppose that one day, while you were waiting for the apples to begin growing on your tree, you caught a glimpse of a neighbor's apple tree. You noticed in admiration that its branches were laden with big, luscious apples. What would you do? Would you run to the produce market to buy some apples, then go home, and in the dead of night, tie them onto your tree? If you did, the sight of your tree might really impress your neighbors. But that is not what you would do. You would likely go to the neighbor and ask how he cared for and fertilized his tree to produce such fruit. It is the same with our children - luscious fruit will be born from what we put into them - not from what we tie onto them. As a matter of fact, in no time, the fruit that we put onto our children will rot and fall off."  (Taken from an article by Reb Bradley in the Virginia Home Educator Magazine.  The complete article can be found HERE.  The article targets "blind spots" homeschooling parents and families can have; however, I think the points Mr. Bradley makes can be blind spots for all parents if we aren't careful.  It is lengthy, but would be worth a careful, slow read!)
*Previous "Before the Throne posts can be found HERE, HERE, and HERE.

*I'm linking this post to the 

Be blessed today as you go before the throne of God on behalf of your children,