"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Friday, April 29, 2011

It Begins With An L - Spending Treasure VIII

“I have a word for Jan, and it begins with an ‘L’; ends in a ‘Y’; and has an ‘AZ’ in the middle,” my teacher told the class.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ridin' Shotgun

He was memorizing Scripture before he could read. Actually he was memorizing Scripture just as soon as he was able to talk! After Matthew was born, and when he was just a toddler, I stopped to think of all the little nursery rhymes that were still stuck in my head all these years…well, decades later. I realized that if those rhymes were what I (and almost everyone else I knew) remembered best, then the key must be that it was because of the young age at which we learned those nursery rhymes.

I decided if little kids could remember nursery rhymes that easily at that age, then they could also remember Bible verses. I am a firm believer that it is in our best interest to learn and memorize Scripture. “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” So, instead of teaching Matthew nursery rhymes, I had him memorize Scripture. I also believed that the brain was a muscle, and muscles need to be exercised. Memorizing Bible verses, I determined, was a great way to exercise the brain.

Matt sailed through AWANA, the children’s Christian organization whose main facet is in the memorization of Scripture. It is structured by age groups: Sparkies, Braves, Warriors...something like that. Matthew joined Sparkies at the age that he should have almost been finishing that age group and moving to the next age group. He wanted to finish all the books that were required for that age, so he memorized and completed in just a few months what most kids take 3 years to complete i.e. a book a year.  Instead, Matt memorized one book in a little over a month. At the time, I didn’t know that was exceptional. I was new to the organization, and I didn’t even know they only did a book a year. I just knew Matt could do all three, that he wanted to finish all three before he advanced to the next age group, so that is what I helped him do.

Later when the AWANA Commander made such a big deal out of his accomplishment at the award ceremony, I realized Matthew’s memory probably wasn’t normal, but rather a gift.

We continued the Bible memorization throughout his schooling. It always came easy for him. I knew someday, Matt would use and appreciate his gift. The knowledge of this utilization came a few years ago for me, when Matt went off to his first Civil Air Patrol encampment. He had a blast at this 7 day encampment. He was able to fly a flight simulator, have a ride in a Black Hawk helicopter, and participate in some other exciting events.

Encampment is an amazing opportunity, but the telling moment for me was when he arrived home and we sat down on the couch so he could tell me all about his adventures. The first thing out of his mouth was not at all about the helicopter ride or other cool activities. The first thing he told me was, “Mom, I got to witness to a boy that didn’t know Jesus! It was so cool! TB and I were lying on our bunks reading our Bibles and this other kid started asking questions.”

Matt proceeded to tell me about the Bible Verses he was able to quote to help this kid understand the questions that he had. This was a great moment for me; my son was so excited! I was seeing the fruit of our efforts as his parents. Matthew had connected with the wonderful feeling of being able to share his faith, by utilizing his gift. It was one of those moments in which a parent realizes the growth that has indeed occurred in their child….and it was as this parent had hoped. Witnessing had beat out a Blackhawk helicopter ride in the things Matt wanted to share. :-)

Yesterday was Matt’s 18th birthday. He’s considered an adult now. There aren’t any huge changes taking place. I had turned loose of the reins, a while ago, and have only been riding shotgun. I expect I will take a back seat in the wagon now that Matt is 18 and that is ok. Maybe, I will even get out and walk a while.
Thanks, E for the photo!
But on his birthday, I once again had that feeling I had a few years ago when I knew that everything was going to be ok. That perhaps his dad and I hadn’t done too bad a job in raising our son.

Yesterday, we were riding in the car on our way to town when Matthew told me. “It was soooo great, Mom!” Someone had asked him a question and he was able to respond with Scripture. The person countered with another thought, and Matt was able to respond with another Bible verse.

There were others present during this conversation, all Christians, and this was a pleasant discussion that Christians will often have with one another. An older gentleman in the group, praised Matthew's memory and it really made Matt feel good. “That is awesome that you have memorized verses like that!” the gentleman told him. Later, Matt heard the man telling his wife about Matt's ability to quote the Bible. The adults present, all made a pretty big deal out of Matt’s gift, encouraging him in his faith.

One of them asked Matt about his ability to remember verses like that.

“Well”, he told them, “I have been memorizing Scripture before I can even remember!"

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
 Psalm 119:105

Photo by Matt's cousin, E!
Thank you, E!
You go, Son!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Drivin' 48

A friend of mine had an interesting post on her blog about all the places she has traveled throughout her life. She included a colorful, little map of the United States that showed all the states she has been. Since my husband was a long-haul trucker and we used to go with him as a family from time to time, I thought it would be fun for us to make a map of our own. We homeschooled our son and riding on the truck across the lower 48 taught amazing lessons and gave us memories we don’t ever want to forget. Below is our map! Maybe eventually I will add a memory or lesson we learned from each state.

I included Hawaii, as both Matt’s dad and I have been there. Matt’s time in that state still awaits him. The provinces below, are my own travels.

Make your own map!  It's kind of fun!  http://www.epgsoft.com/VisitedStatesMap/

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Heads Up!!

“How did you know?!” she asked me.

“Well, I don’t know. I just knew. I knew as soon as he said he wouldn’t stop until he saw that birth certificate.” I responded.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I want to see that birth certificate, too. I absolutely believe the United States President should have to show his certificate just like everyone else; but with this President, I just happen to believe we are beating a dead horse by continuing down that path.

What was it I felt I knew?  I knew that Donald Trump would soon be telling us, if he didn't win the nomination for President, he would run anyway. How did I know? As I told my friend - I really don't know. Trump caring about Obama's birth certificate, just didn't feel right. I knew  the minute Donald Trump made his Presidential campaign almost exclusively about Obama's birth certificate, that Trump would soon be telling us he will run whether he wins the nomination or not. And it is as I expected - last night Sean Hannity reported this is indeed what Trump has planned.

There you have it. If the Donald doesn’t win the nomination and runs anyway, he will divide the conservative vote and Mr. Barak Hussein Obama will once again be our President…unless, it’s Hilary, of course…but that is another story.

It’s kind of a no-brainer, really. One only has to look at the last two times a democrat has won the Presidency to see what has taken place. Each time the democrats have won in the recent elections, we see a third party candidate whom I like to call a “Spoiler” cause division among conservatives. First it was Ross Perot in the election against George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. And then it was Ron Paul in the election against John McCain and Mr. Obama.

Now granted, neither Republican in those two elections was my first choice to be the Presidential nominee. Neither is as conservative as I would like them to be.  But the truth of the matter is, when they won the Republican nomination, the only right thing to do should have been to put our full support behind the candidate that won the nomination.

Where is the character in a man that runs as a Republican, but then when he looses the nomination he runs anyway; or he recommends his supporters place their vote for another 3rd party candidate. One has to ask why. It is clear these “Spoiler’s never draw enough votes to win, only enough to divide. So why do they continue to do it?  Intentional?  I don't know.  Mr. Trump is an extremely intelligent man. Perhaps he just wanted to gain the attention of that conservative faction of the Republican Party. He certainly did!

Though the liberal media would have us believe otherwise, we are still a conservative nation. This truth is demonstrated by the fact that the Democrats have never won by more than around 40% of the vote. It has clearly been shown that had the conservative vote not been divided by a 3rd party candidate, the Republican would have won. Oh, and by the way; we are still a Christian nation, too, despite what Mr. Obama claims. But then he is not the only one claiming we are no longer a Christian nation; we even have Christians that now believe that. What they don’t realize is when they choose to believe this way, they are denying our roots and joining the left in their agenda of destroying our Christian heritage.  But that topic is for another post as well.

I hope this post will be a heads-up. Heads up, conservative voter! Heads up, Christian! If we do not get solidly behind whoever wins the Republican candidacy in the next election, the democrats will once again be in control of our White House.

Throughout the last election, I heard over and over that there simply was no longer any difference between the Republican and Democrat parties. I think the vote on Obama-care proves otherwise. Every single Democrat voted for it, every single Republican voted against it. That is a distinct difference. And that vote hurt this country tremendously.

That is not to say, however, that we have to settle for less than conservative candidates. Of course we want to do everything we can to get the most conservative candidate in office. This is where the Tea Party is effective, and they have been absolutely what this country needed. But there will never be a “perfect” candidate. We are always going to have to vote for the “lesser of two evils” whether we want to or not; because man is evil. We are all sinners, and one doesn't have to look very far at any of our candidates, before we find a flawed human being, less than perfect in his beliefs, standards and actions. We must vote for the candidate that can win who most closely aligns with our beliefs.…trusting if we aren’t completely satisfied with him or her, it is only for a season and we will have to work that much harder the next time to help the more conservative candidate win the nomination.  Someone did a really good job of convincing us to vote our conscious last election, some even saying we shouldn't vote at all because there was no one worthy!  But the truth of the matter is, if we don't vote, or if we vote someone that we know can't win, we are voting for the opponent because our votes are divided. That is just a cold, hard fact my conscious will not allow me to do.

I am a strong advocate and supporter of the Tea Party movement. This grass-roots organization is doing a tremendous job of calling people back to our beginnings and demanding our U. S. Constitution be upheld. They are absolutely flat out correct in doing all they can to get the most conservative candidates in place for every office and every position. It is extremely important we seek out the ones that will honor our Constitution. But when the Tea Party's job  is done, and the candidates are in place after the primaries, if the Tea Party supporters don't join with the Republican that wins the nomination (for which ever office it is) we are going to have a whole passel-full of democrats win elections all across our union, once again. The conservatives can only win, when we stay united. That might mean settling for second best for just a time. But believe me second best is better than what we have, now.

So, Mr. Trump! Thanks for your concern; but I think you just put the last nail in your coffin, when you said you would run anyway. We’ve been down that road before and we’re too weary with the “hope and change” it brought us.  Oh, but if you win the Republican nomination?  You absolutely have my vote!