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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Farm Life Teaches Life Lessons


The world we live in is tough sometimes. Crime, murder, lying, bullies, cheating. Our world has evolved from a slow easy pace to survival of the fittest at break neck speed. This applies to human beings and animals alike.

If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times, Austin LOVES his chickens. They give him a sense of pride & ownership. A desire to be responsible to something that is solely dependent on you. This is a lesson that I could never have taught & produced the same results.

Austin could almost single handedly take care of his chickens. He's great with the other animals on our farm too. But there's something special about those chickens.

We all know that life is hard & anything but fair. But that is hard to explain to a 10 year old boy with so much love in his heart.

Austin came in the house a little while ago & said he had to kill one of his roosters. Of course, we immediately wanted to know why. Well, it seems that this rooster was being picked on by the other roosters. The scene he described was horrible.

Graphic warning inserted here.

The rooster was bloody, missing feathers. He had numerous cuts around his neck. One eye was pecked out. He also had a whole in the back of his head where part of his brain was coming out.

Austin tried to kill it with a shovel, so unfortunately it wasn't quick.

He didn't say much else. You could see the tears that he refused to let fall shining in his eyes and you could hear the words on the verge of breaking when he did speak. I told him how sorry I was & how brave & responsible he was.

Even though Austin is growing up way too fast, those few moments of sorrow reminded me that he is still only a 10 year old little boy.

Book Store Goodies

Given my love of books, the bookfair was naturally one of my favorite parts of the NCHE conference. I could have spent HOURS in there just walking around & looking - oh wait, I DID!

I loved being able to put my hands on all of the different curriculums that my friends keep talking about & several that I have never heard of. I enjoyed finding historical fiction books that would make great additions to our library. I was encouraged to look through my kids eyes at all the "fun" stuff to enhance natural curiosity. I allowed myself the time to get lost without worrying too much about anything else.

So naturally I walked away with some really good resources & I can't wait to start devouring them!







God Cast

bare books & lined stencils from Miller Pads & Paper

math manipulatives from Rainbow Resource Center

Tea with Michelle Duggar from Vision Forum

lots of historical fiction, easy readers, & just for fun books

After we left the book fair, a trip to Ollie's was necessary. I was able to pick up lots of fun & educational materials there.

I still have more to buy before next year though.



Thank You NCHE

I have thoroughly enjoyed my first experience at a homeschool conference! `

Yes, I am tired! Yes, my mind is running a million miles a minute. But I have walked away with more knowledge (& hopefully wisdom), a LOT of catalogs, several unexpected finds, plenty of bargains, part of our curriculum for next year, & MOST IMPORTANTLY recharged, refreshed, & renewed - ready to start next year with a remembrance of why I wanted to homeschool in the first place! That's what I so desperately needed out of this weekend.



I just want to say thank you to all of the speakers, vendors, & volunteers for sacrificing their own time, effort, & money to make this a positive encouraging event for so many people. Thank you to everyone behind the scenes at NCHE for your diligence & effort in organizing this conference. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts, feelings, hopes, & dreams to others through fresh inexperienced eyes. Thank you HSLDA for continuing to fight for homeschool rights & equality. Thank you GOD for allowing me the privilege to homeschool my children & try to lead them to you!

I am already anticipating next year's conference!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Homeschooling is NOT Enough


Why did you do it?

Many of us decided to homeschool our children to offer them a better education. We wanted them to have more opportunities. We wanted to ignite a passion in them for life long learning.
Many of us wanted to have more control over our beliefs & values.
Many of us wanted to shelter our kids from the evils of the world.
Many of us just wanted to spend more time with our kids.

The majority of us fall within several of those categories!

We spend so much time picking out the perfect curriculum, the most promising activities, the most prestigious co-op, & the most personal support groups. We teach reading, writing, Algebra, Latin, guitar, Botany, the Civil War, & everything in between. We spend hours planning & perfecting each year.

Then our kids grow up, move out, & somehow, somewhere, they no longer believe what we thought they would believe.

HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!?!
We have entered into the Graduate Generation. We have, for the first time since public school became readily available, started cranking out young people who have spent the majority of their entire lives under the direct instruction of mom & dad.

Shouldn't they be exactly what we want them to be? Shouldn't they believe what we believe? Shouldn't they think they way we think?

HAH! NO! These first generation homeschool kids are still their own people. They are individuals who think for themselves, who make choices that they have to live with, who make mistakes just like we did.

So how do we ensure that they don't stray too far from the hopes & dreams that we had laid out for them?

We need to make sure that we teach them about God. They need to know WHY we believe the way we do. They need to develop a heart knowledge, not just a head knowledge! We are only 3 (possibly less) generations away from apostasy. Our 1st generation were true pioneers in faith. Their beliefs ran deep & were evident in everything that they did. The 2nd generation usually following in their parents footsteps. They know what to do, but they aren't really sure why they do it. By the 3rd generation, too often, they no longer care.

Teaching school at home is not enough if we don’t teach our children about God!
We need to truly disciple our children.
To disciple – the student becomes like the teacher.
"The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master." Luke 6:40
"The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord." Matthew 10:24
Its hard to expect our kids to be something that we aren't.
Its not enough to just teach them our values & beliefs, we need to teach them why we believe the way we do! Make sure they know the difference between God's commandments, the principles of the church, & the preferences of your family. If something is not in God's word, but your family believes in it, make sure they know that.

We have to learn to let go. The trickiest time in a relay race is passing the baton off to the next person.
When they pass from teens to adults – hand off the baton, don’t throw it at them the way the world does, don’t put the baton in their hand only to continue to hold on while running with them. Entrust them with it. If they drop it, its ok. Pick it up & start again!

We need to express joy & delight with our kids instead of always trying to improve them.
Are you guilty of loving our kids without truly liking them?
We love Christ because He first loved us! Do the same with your kids. Show them unconditional love, respect, & trust & they will return it to you!

Be sure to check out Hal & Melanie Young in their adventures towards Raising Real Men!

The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Romance

Heidi St. John has done it again.

If anyone knows Kay Chandler, that is who Heidi reminds me of. Even when you are in a room full of people, it feels like its just you & her & she is sharing some personal enlightenment or world famous secret.

Do you remember “That Girl”? You know - the person you used to be.
Does your husband miss That Girl? You know - the one who actually tried to get his attention.
You CAN bring her back.

Did you know that your marriage matters?
It is a testimony
If your marriage fails, the enemy has a clear shot at your kids
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"1 Peter 5:8
The enemy can drive a wedge b/c we are unwilling to shine light on our own sins.
The marriage is the primary relationship in the home.
Do NOT sacrifice your marriage on the alter of home education.

Are you living a parallel life or are you living entwined together?
Do you travel along side by side doing your own thing, never touching or do you swerve back & forth between your own personal interests incorporating God whenever you connect during your most important activities?
"And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." Ecc. 4:12
 
Have you ever heard of the Homeschool Vortex?
The vortex can start silently enough by not spending time with God, by filling yourself with pride, or legalism.
The vortex can only lead to discontent, wrong priorities, comparison to others, exhaustion, disconnection, & depression.
Once inside the vortex, Latin has become more important than lingerie. Your thoughts are on homeschool all the time. And date night no longer exists.

Have you fallen into the vortex?
1. Are you growing in your relationship with God?
2. Has homeschooling taken priority over your marriage?
3. Are you living parallel lives?
4. Is intimacy still important?

We need to stop believing the MYTH that sex is not that important!

Sex between a husband & a wife is not only enjoyable, but it is vital!
A lack of intimacy - whether physical, spiritual, or emotional causes separation.

Your calendar says a lot about your priorities. Make time for each other & create WHITE space on your calendar. Leave at least 2 days in a row unscheduled & just enjoy each other.

We need to make an effort to be That Girl. Through it all, love our husbands, our children, our God. We don’t have it all together, but we know the One who does.

Nurture your marriage first, then homeschool out of the overflow of what God gives you.

"Courage doesn’t always roar, sometimes it’s the little voice that says I will try again tomorrow."

I want to be THAT GIRL! I want to Finish Well!

R.E.A.L. L.I.F.E. Homeschooling

Discover the LIFE God has for your homeschool!

R - Remember the Goal
     The Goal of education is discipleship – discipleship starts at HOME.
     Imparting your vision & your values onto your children.

E - Expect Opposition
     Spiritual Opposition
     1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a
     roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour"
     He is looking to devour us & our children! You CANNOT fight a spiritual
     battle with a carnal weapon. We must fight against the devil with prayer.

    Family Opposition
    When people question your decision to homeschool, there is no need to
     justify your decision. No one expects a fruit tree to yield fruit a few months
     after you plant it so you can't expect your homeschool to produce the
     effects you want immediately either.

     Friend Opposition
     You need to surround yourself with people who understand you, your
     dreams, & your values.

     Children Opposition
     Listen to your children, but remember that the responsibility of raising them
     belongs to you & you are accountable to God.

A - Adjust for Life
     Successful homeschoolers are flexible. Pregnancy, moving, illness, family
     needs, curriculum that doesn’t work, character training (more important
     than ABCs).

L -  Listen
     Listen for the Lord. Be in the Word. Joshua 24:15 "And if it seem evil unto
     you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether
     the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood,
     or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my
     house, we will serve the Lord."

     Listen to your spouse.
     Listen to your children.
     Listen to Godly counsel Prov 24:3 "Through wisdom is an house builded;
     and by understanding it is established"


L - Let Go of Legalism
     Spirit filled homeschooling is not bound by legalism. Don’t add to God’s
     word. Be careful of becoming like the Pharisees – amazing on the outside
     & rotten on the inside. Be careful of becoming self righteous. Major in the
     majors & learn to recognize the minors. Legalism is taking our personal
     convictions & trying to force others into it.

I - Invest in What Matters Most
     Growing your personal relationship w/ God
     Nurturing marriage
     Discipling children
     Leading by example
     Psalm 127:4 "As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of
     the youth."

     I love the image of an archer! The goal of the archer is to load the bow, aim
     towards the target, draw the arrow into yourself, feeling the tension, hold
     your breath & wait. Then only after you are satisfied knowing that you have
     done everything you can possibly do to hit the target, release the arrow with
     the hopes of hitting the bulls eye.

F - Follow the Leader
     What was Jesus like as He lived His life before men?
     Matt 11:28-30 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I
     will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek
     and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is
     easy, and my burden is light."
     Being yoked with Christ doesn’t mean that we will not have a burden,
     but He will help us. It means finding rest

E - Enjoy the Journey
     The homeschool journey is just as much about you as it is about the kids.

Hopefully we will leave feeling lighter than when we came. Keep it REAL.









Surviving The Homeschool Conference Bookfair

OH MY WORD!

People warned me, but I was not even close to being prepared!

There were so many different booths & so many different curriculums & so many different giveaways & so many people!

1. Invest in a cart. Bring a rolling luggage bag. Or tote a bookbag. Something - anything to carry all your goodies around.

2. Know your rock bottom prices. Do your homework parents. Search around & see just how cheap you can get books. Some things are cheaper at the conference, but some things (even if they are running a "special") are not.

3. Give yourself time - LOTS of time! Don't expect to be able to run in for 30 minutes & get much accomplished.

4. Pick up catalogs. There are way more curriculum options out there than what you have heard of.

5. Ask questions. How else do we learn anything?

6. Put your hands on the curriculum. Compare one math against another.

7. Wear comfy shoes.

8. Leave your "road rage" at home. This place is crowded & people bump into each other. Be patient & polite.


Above all - have fun & learn something new! Be open minded to new options.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Testing - A Giant in the Land

Testing on any level is usually not a positive situation. Too often, we as moms, feel that we are being tested. We wonder if we have been adequate, if we have done enough.

We need to remember that a test is a tool, not the final judge.

I chose to attend this workshop because their are so many testing options out there. And because hopefully it will ease my concerns and confusion.

Why Do We Test?
  • to comply with NC law
  • to get information
  • to explore possible dysfunction
A test can be like a photograph - beautifully taken & very flattering or blurry & out of focus.

Norm-Referenced -
norm means compared
standard public school bubble test
score is based on comparison, not number correct/incorrect
created to compare large groups
administered to many students to find the average
  • Stanford Achievement Test (SAT)
  • Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS)
  • California Achievement Test (CAT)
  • TerraNova/CAT 6
  • Personalized Achievement Summary System (PASS
Criterion Referenced -
score is directly from content
score based on correct/incorrect answers
verbal-interactive format
  • Woodcock Johnson
  • Brigance
Reading the results are very different. If your child takes a norm-referenced test while in the 3rd grade & the score states 7th grade 5th month, this does not mean they are reading on a 7th grade level. It means they are reading as well as a middle 7th grader would read 3rd grade material. However, if the same child takes a criterion referenced test & scores 7th grade 5th month, then they are truly reading on a 7th grade level.

How Do I Choose a Test?
  • know your purpose
  • know your child's ability & personality
  • know yourself
  • know your finances
Pros & Cons
Norm Referenced
  • easy to get
  • lower cost
  • take longer
  • not certain why they may miss something
Criterion Referenced
  • specific errors are shown
  • helpful for choosing next years curriculum
  • less time consuming
  • usually more expensive
  • does not prepare for college or timed tests

What's Wrong Little Buddy?

I head over to the NCHE Conference with mixed emotions this morning.

I had such a great time yesterday & I am looking forward to what the rest of the weekend holds. But I left a sick baby in the care of his nanny a little while ago.

Oh, I know she will take good care of him, but I feel guilty for leaving him. And we all know that when they are sick, they want momma. Does the mommy guilt ever end?

Other than 2 ear infections & an eye infection, Logan has never been sick. I'm hoping that its just where he is cutting those top 2 front teeth. But a fever of 100 & a green snotty nose doesn't look good. So say a little prayer that this is a quick thing.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Toddlers, Tweens, & Teens, Oh MY!

Let me just say that Heidi St. John is my new hero!

She is so down to earth, refreshing, & real! 

She gave a very encouraging talk about how to somehow manage teaching multiple kids at the same time. She should know, she has 7 kids!


First & foremost, we need to remember the goal of homeschooling is discipleship. When its all said & done, it is more important to develop our relationships with our kids & help cultivate their relationship with God, than to struggle over long division & Civil War reenactments.

At the end of the day our children will NOT remember everything that they have been taught. That’s right, moms. No amount of time, effort, or money will ensure their memorization of multiplication tables or appreciation for dissecting cats on the kitchen table. What they will remember is HOW we taught them.

Do we teach them with love & respect? When we are reteaching how to diagram a sentence for 4th time this week, are we patient & encouraging? Or do we run around with "our hair on fire" screaming to just do the work?

As busy homeschool moms, we can make our lives a little bit simpler by choosing to incorporate multilevel teaching. We can integrate our Bible study with multilevel teaching & our overall lessons may appear less fragmented. It can be less time consuming. We can also enlist our older kids help to mentor to the younger kids. Yeah - maybe they will actually like each other for a little while!

Unit studies, notebooking, lapbooking, & reading aloud are all easy to do with different age groups.

Teach to your oldest child by using a school bus method (no - this doesn't mean that you get to put your kids on that bus!). Start simple & progressively get harder. Let each child "off" at their stop.

Quit trying to do it ALL! Learn to exchange time. If you want to add something, be willing to take something away, at least for a little while.

Keep your eyes on the goal! You want your kids to develop a lifetime of learning.

What are the Lord's expectation of you? Remember you are the PERFECT parent for your child!

A New Outlook

I really had a hard time choosing which classes to take at the NCHE 2012 Homeschool Conference. There are so many good ones offered. And I need so much help & encouragement.

I have gotten to that point.

I am staring down the barrel of homeschool burnout. I was even afraid that if I didn't get a small break & a new outlook, next year would be a disaster before it even began.

So Lord, I'm all yours! Remold me, change my heart, make me into the wife/mother/teacher that I need to be!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The End of an Era

When did it happen? When do they grow up?

I realize entirely too often that times goes by way too fast, especially those moments you try to hold on to.

No she's not biologically mine, but I claim her just the same. I didn't give birth to her, but I have helped raise her. She doesn't call me mom, but I am influencing her.

I am talking about my beautiful niece Kelsey. She graduated from the 8th grade today!

I didn't have the privilege of being at her birth, but I was fortunate enough to show up when she was 4 months old. So many of my memories from the past 14 years have her in them. 14 years! Happy or sad, she's been around them all.

I hope that one day, she will be able to say the same about me. That I was involved in so many of her memories - good, bad, boys, friends, happiness, heartache, success, & failure.

I am proud of the young lady she is becoming! And I can't wait to see what the future holds for her!

What Are You Looking Forward to the Most?

For the past few days, I have been studying the schedule & the speaker handouts that have been made available before the NCHE 2012 Homeschool Conference.

To say that I am excited to attend this conference is a HUGE understatement. I have been wanting to attend the conference since we made the decision to homeschool, but financials & other obligations have restricted that possibility. I'm thankful that God has made a way for me to go this year. Yes, I wish Justin could go with me, but someone has to watch the kids ;)

I think the workshops I am most excited about are "Toddlers, Tweens, & Teens, Oh My!", "REAL LIFE Homeschooling", & "The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Romance". All of which are being taught by Heidi St. John. I am also looking forward to "Ballistic Homeschooling" & "Homeschooling is Not Enough" by Hal & Melanie Young. Of course I need plenty of help with encouragement, testing, & organization, but I probably NEED "The Will: Bend It? Break It? Develop It? What's a Parent to Do?" by Susan Chrisman more than most of the others.

There are so many workshops that I want to attend & so many speakers that I want to hear. I guess I need to pack my lunch because I don't have time to stop & eat!


Can I go ahead & place my order for the recordings?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Who Me?

Blogging started out as a way for me to channel my frustrations, my mistakes, my hopes, & my dreams. It has somehow over time become so much more. I still get to vent, offer praise, make recommendations, & share my joy, but somewhere along the line, I started inspiring people. I don't know how a simple girl from the country who has the same struggles, happiness, & insanity as the next person could ever get to this point, but I AM THANKFUL!

The only thing that I have ever known I wanted to do with my life was "to make a difference". No, it hasn't happened in the way I thought it would. I'm not some CEO of a major company. I'm not a doctor, lawyer, or a social worker. I'm not rich & famous. But I have come to realize that I am making a difference - in my children's lives, in my husband's life, in my friend's lives, & even in stranger's lives. WOW! How did I get here?

I just found out that I have been chosen to be part of the NCHE Conference Blogger Team!



YEAH! I AM SO EXCITED!!!

Make sure you stay tuned & check us out!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wait - HOW Old Are You?!

Here we go again.

Austin & these silly girls. He has always had a girlfriend. He actually has one now (I think), but its on the download to avoid teasing by mutual friends. I don't really have a problem with it.

Girls have always been drawn to him. Well, I would be too. He's awful cute (if I say so myself), he has those adorable dimples & just a hint of freckles (which I just LOVE), he has an outgoing personality, & he's athletic. Oh & he has that daredevil, James Dean, Rebel Without a Cause attitude that I fell for every time as a girl ...........

OH NO I'M IN TROUBLE!!!

For some crazy reason he seems to like older girls. I guess he's taking after Justin there ;) 

Some little girl (who's at least 2-3 years older than him) asked him out. Not sure if he didn't like her, thought she was too old, or knew I'd of have a fit, but thankfully he said no.

Well, something didn't sit right with her because next thing you know she's talking about being scared of a storm, wishing "her baby Austin" was there, posting his pic & declaring her love for him.

That's where Momma Bear had to step in.....

Needless to say that post was deleted very quickly.

Holy Cow! He's only 10! And the girls are already CRAZY! Not just about him, but C R A Z Y!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Some Lessons are Harder than Others

It has been a rainy dreary day.

Both outside & in.

Today has N O T been a good day.

I realize that its the middle of May & the longing of summer has set in. I also realize that restlessness has set in. Unrest with the kids & unrest with myself as well.

Motivation & diligence are not at the top of the food chain at the present moment. Although, they REALLY need to be.

The actual academic part to our learning is not suffering too much right now, considering that summer is just around the bend. But, I'm afraid that the spiritual training is suffering right now. Its all too evident with the attitudes that have been reflected recently.

But, its not only the kids who have been lacking in the fruits of the spirit. I certainly have too. And that seems to be rubbing off on them.

Although I KNOW from experience that my day runs so much smoother by starting it in prayer & study, somehow here lately, I have to MAKE myself study. And even then, it feels half hearted. I suppose I have too many irons in the fire again. I need to slow down, yet again & let the Lord lead me.

After a few fits, lots of tears, banishment to bedrooms, & an ice cold shower (a fire has not been built since yesterday, so there wasn't any hot water), I was gently reminded of the really important lessons in life.

The Busy Homeschool Mom posted this picture.

Luke 6:40 "The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master."

How scary is that? I am the main teacher, witness, & example that my kids are to follow. There are some days (entirely too many) that I don't want them to follow my lead. I don't want them to see my shortcomings & my sinful nature.

Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

BUT, how awesome is the promise that as long as we try, God will take care of the rest. I'm thankful that God knows my heart & He rewards my effort. I pray that I am able to use my mistakes for my good & for His glory.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Let the Games Begin!

Let me just say that I LOVE to read! Give me a book & my imagination any day over a television. Have I always been that way? Maybe not, but I have loved books as far back as I can remember. When I start a really good book, it becomes an obsession with me. The world stops turning, my thoughts stay surrounding the characters & events, & I can't put it down!

With that being said....

I have been listening to all the hype surrounding The Hunger Games & have had mixed feelings on it. Honestly, I wasn't really sure what it was even about but I heard people talking left & right about it. Then the movie came out & it was surrounded in controversy about whether to allow your teenage kids to watch it (even though its supposedly written to the teen audience).

So, curiosity got the best of me & I put my name on the waiting list at the library.

I started reading it on Tuesday & I have become a believer. I was enjoying the book but then I got to the last few hours before the "Games" started & I was HOOKED! I'm over halfway through the book. If you know me, you know I DON'T have time for this, but I can't put it down for very long.

The part that really amazes me is even though this story is completely fiction & set in the future, it COULD happen! The way our crazy world is going & the control that the government is trying to have over us doesn't make this such a long shot. I LOVE those kind of books. The ones where you can actually seem what's going on.

So, yes, I'm a fan! Yes, I'm now dying to know what happens. Yes, I will see the movie. Will I let my kids watch it? Ahhhh, I don't know yet. Maybe!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I Cheated

Yes, that's right! You are looking at (lol) someone who has never liked to play by the rules!

My dear pastor's wife requested that no one come visit him so he could rest before the surgery & a couple of weeks after the surgery. I understand her concern for his well being, but Justin & I both felt that we NEEDED to go. Plus when Justin talked to Fellman last night, he told us to come see him, so how could we resist!

We TRIED to make it short, really we did, but anyone who has ever visited with Fellman Cheek knows that you could talk to that man FOREVER & not even realize how much time had passed.

I'm glad we went. I took the time to tell Fellman just how much I love & appreciate him & what he has been in my life, the influence he has had on me, & the joy I get just knowing my kids get to sit under him. All of this was said, barely audible & through tears, of course. If you know Fellman, you know his response ..... picture it with me ..... "To God be the Glory!".

I feel at peace now. I have faith that God's hand will be on the surgeons & will guide them. I believe that no matter what His will is being carried out even as I write.

It was a sweet time of fellowship & I will always treasure the time I got to spend with him.

PLEASE keep praying for him. They are starting the surgery around 8am in the morning.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Thank You for Giving to the Lord

My heart is heavy, my mind is full, & my eyes are swollen.

As I sit staring out at this Super Moon, I can't help but think about how awesome our God is, how perfect His will is, how much He loves us, & how I don't understand any of!

I have an urgent prayer request. The man that has been my pastor the majority of my life is facing a 5 way bypass on Monday morning. The majority of his arteries are at least 90% blocked. The electrical system in his heart is not working properly. The Drs must take his heart out of his body in order to repair it.

I know that drs are very smart people & they can do amazing things, but without God intervening, drs are useless. And the best drs know this.

Fellman Cheek is the ONLY man I have ever met who could whip you from the pulpit just like he knew exactly every sin you had ever commuted & then tell you he loved you & YOU KNEW IT! He is the most Godly man I have ever had the privilege of knowing.

He has had a long life. I know he isn't perfect, but I believe that he has lived his life as best he could serving God. I believe that God will welcome him into His arms & say "Well done, thou good and faithful servant". I believe that he will have numerous crowns to lay at Jesus' feet. I believe that many people will come to him signing "Thank you for giving to the Lord".

I can't help but be a little jealous of Fellman, knowing that if something goes wrong according to man's plan, God's plan will be fulfilled & he will be shouting in Heaven. But I am also very selfish. I'M NOT READY for him to leave this world. I'M NOT READY for him to no longer be my pastor. I'M NOT READY for another saint to gain their wings.

Who will help us teach our children? Who will minister to me? Who will be bold enough to stand up to a lost & dying world? Who will have compassion enough to tell them about the Lord?