Who are you talking to?

“Who are you talking to?” Elijah asked.

That is just one of the crazy conversations I had with my kids while I was trying to record myself.

This weekend I worked really hard to make a video for a post at Ask God Today entitled “Anastacia Maness Speaks Out“. It goes along with this month’s series where you get to meet each of the members of the Ask God Today Ministries’ team.

If you are visiting my site from Ask God Today, welcome to my blog. I hope you find some encouragement while you are here.

As promised here are the Out Takes from that video. You can also view the out takes on my YouTube channel.

Be sure to watch this whole video to see my surprise guest.

Tell me in the comments when you find her. 

 If you haven’t already, please go over to Ask God Today and watch the actual video. In it I share a little about myself, my testimony, and my passion. 

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How to Teach Your Kids to Pray

Store bought Eggs are expensive here in Texas. It was nice when we were getting eggs from our neighbors down the road for free. 

IMG_20150825_163753Our 17 year old, Joshua, is our resident chicken expert. He has 8 chickens and studies every book he can get his hands on about chickens. So I asked him why his chickens weren’t laying. He told me that the one chicken that was laying an egg every other day may have been molting. The other chickens he said were possibly too young to lay yet. 

The other day he announced that one of his chickens were actually looking at the nest box. I half jokingly suggested that we should gather around the chicken coop and say a prayer over the chickens that they will start laying eggs. 

Jonathan, our 7 year old, was super excited over my suggestion.

“Yes, Mom! Let’s do it!” he exclaimed. “Please!”

 Now how can you say “no” to a plea like that?

IMG_20150906_124745Joshua was afraid that the seven of us gathering around the chicken coop might scare the chicken away from it. Instead we held hands in a circle in the kitchen while Jonathan led our prayer with the most heartfelt seriousness, despite the giggles of a couple of sisters, who seemed to think praying for chickens was a bit strange.

 

Even simple prayers answered help build our faith. Click To Tweet

While he prayed I silently prayed a heartfelt prayer of my own that the Lord would please answer Jonathan’s prayer, not for the sake of the eggs because we can live without eggs, but for the sake of my children.

Even simple prayers answered help build our faith.

So I prayed along with my son that God would help build his faith and show him that God still answers prayer.

God likes to hear our prayers, even for something as simple as eggs. Click To Tweet
After the prayer, I encouraged Jonathan that God likes to hear our prayers, even for something as simple as eggs. 

IMG_20150906_125138Guess what they found in the chicken coop the very next morning. Yes, an egg.

Elijah was probably the most excited, “Mom, Dad! Guess what Joshua found in the chicken tractor! An Egg!!! We prayed about it and God gave us an egg!” 

I cheered right along with my son. 

We can build our children’s faith in God by praying with them for things, even the simple things.


We can build our children's faith in God by praying with them for even the simple things. Click To Tweet

Did they lose something? Pray for God to help them find it. 

Did they hurt themselves on something? Say a prayer for them out loud. Ask God to help them feel better.

If you want to see a really good movie on prayer I highly recommend you watch War Room that has recently come out in theaters. My husband and I took our kids to see it and it reminded all of us to pray without ceasing and take our prayer time to the next level. 

Will you start praying with your children today?

If you have a prayer request, please share it with us in the comments or send us an email. We’d love to pray for you.

“Pray without ceasing!” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

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Joy of Salvation: Jonathan’s Testimony

jonathan Protected

Not quite the Salvation Armor but Jonathan is awful cute in it. :)

Jonathan was wanting to be saved for a long time. His desire began after Hannah was saved about 2 years ago. You can read her salvation post from April 4, 2011 entitled “Two Birthdays!!!

Hannah was so thrilled about being saved that she would tell Jonathan how to be saved while he was still very young.

We do not pressure our children to be saved. We want them to understand completely what they are doing and why. 

Jonathan did not understand that he was a sinner. We taught him that sin is the bad things we do. In order to be saved he needed to realize he did bad things and feel sorry about those bad things he did. 

Jonathan did not feel at all convicted of his sin when he was younger. So whenever he would ask us how to be saved we would explain that first step and then tell him that God knows he wants to be saved but until he understands what sin is God keeps him safe. 

Earlier this year, Jonathan was finally understanding that he was a sinner and really wanted to be saved. We were sure from how he talked and answered our questions that he wasn’t just wanting to join the “saved club”. 

He agreed that he was a sinner and I read him the Bible verses “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

“For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 

Jonathan understood what he needed to do. I even had him tell me how to be saved. He had all the head knowledge. All he needed to do was ask Jesus to save him. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

I wanted him to say the prayer for himself. I don’t like having a child quote a prayer I made up. I want them to understand that they are talking to God when they pray just like they talk to me. Jonathan wasn’t sure what to say in his prayer. I asked him if he wanted me to write a prayer that he dictates to me and then he can pray it. He agreed and he wrote a very nice well worded prayer. Telling God that he was sorry for his sins and that he wanted to be saved. 

After that prayer he looked at me and asked, “Am I saved now?” 

I looked back at him and said, “You tell me. Are you saved?”

“I don’t know.” He shrugged.

“Did you really mean what you said? Were you serious?” I asked.

“I don’t know. How can I be serious?”

Weeks after we had this conversation Jonathan still wasn’t sure. Whenever we would talk about it he was still stuck on whether he was serious or not when he prayed. He also wasn’t sure if he was sorry enough for his sins. 

He didn’t like sinning and he knew sinning was bad but he wasn’t sure if he was sorry enough. You know this is a good question to ponder on a while. Are we really sorry for those bad things we do? Are we serious? 

Committing your life to Christ is a longterm commitment. You shouldn’t take these things lightly and I feel Jonathan was truly weighing it all out in his mind.

Finally, Wednesday, August 20, Jonathan figured it out.

After our Bible Study that Wednesday night Jonathan told me that he wanted to be saved. I sent him to have a talk with Scott. When Jonathan came back he looked rather sad that he still didn’t understand.

I asked him, “What is it that’s holding you back?” 

“I don’t know how to be serious?” he said sadly.

“Are you serious right now?”

“Yes, I’m serious that I really want to be saved!” he replied.

The next part he was worried about was whether he felt bad enough about his sins.

He named a few things that he knew he did wrong.

I asked him if it made him feel bad that those things were holding him back from being saved. He said that he didn’t want to go to hell.

I explained that it was his sin that would cause him to go there. I then asked him if that made him feel bad. He agreed it did. 

He wanted to know how to not do bad things. 

I explained that he couldn’t be good by himself that only Jesus could help him. All he needed to do is ask Jesus to forgive him. It was at that point he closed his eyes and said a silent prayer. 

He opened his eyes and asked me, “Am I saved now?”

I replied, “You tell me. Are you saved?” 

“How do I know I’m saved?” he asked.

“Didn’t Jesus say in the Bible that He would save you if you ask Him to?”

I love seeing the light come on in a child’s face when they just figure something out.

He understood. “So I’m saved!”

“Did you ask Jesus to save you?”

“Yes! I’m saved!”

“Do you want to go tell Daddy?” 

“Yes!” He runs off to the other room shouting, “Daddy, I’m saved!”

Scott came into the living room to hear the whole story and to give Jonathan a big hug. Jonathan then ran around the house telling all his siblings the good news.

The next day Scott and I overheard Jonathan witnessing to Elijah, “Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. All you have to do is call on the name of the Lord!” 

Elijah who is only 4 and doesn’t quite have this all figured out yet hollers real loud, “LORD!!!” 

Jonathan has been wanting to tell everyone about what Jesus did for him. Even today he told us that when he grows up he wants to tell people about Jesus. 

It’s my prayer that he never loses that joy of his salvation and that desire to share his testimony with everyone.

Do you have that joy? When was the last time you shared it with others? Feel free to practice sharing that joy with us in the comments. Don’t stop there though. Go share that joy with the rest of the world. 

My next post will be written in Argentina. I plan to post a lot during this month. Pray for us! We fly out tomorrow morning. 

“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13

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A Flat Tire…

I walked out the door to see Scott pulling the jack out from the shed we have behind the house. We were about to go into town but we had a flat tire. I had the camera planning to take some pictures of the kids at the park but we had to go to a tire place. So instead of taking pictures of the kids at the park, I took a picture of Jonathan “helping” change a flat tire.

There are people in this world that would get upset, if this had happened to them. But we see these things that happen to us as opportunities from God. Maybe the people at the tire place needed to meet Scott. Maybe one of the kids could have been hurt at the park. We may never know what all the purposes are, but God knows and he is taking care of us.


They didn’t find the leak in the tire, even after airing it up and testing it with water and soap. Scott thinks that when the air was added to it, it may have closed the leak up for a while. So we may have another flat tire in a few days. Maybe the people at the tire place need another visit.

Life isn’t a card game that things just happen to us by chance. God has a reason for everything. He is so good to take care of us. Knowing this makes life worth living. We know we are here for a purpose. Even a flat tire can’t stop us from fulfilling His purposes.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
(Romans 8:28)

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Tea for Two…


It’s amazing how well our children are able to play together. This picture shows Ruth and Jonathan having pretend tea together. They just turned to smile at me while I took their picture but I had gotten this second picture as well showing Jonathan actually pouring the tea into Ruth’s cup. It was so cute to watch.

Ruth has been doing a good job helping with Jonathan. Jonathan has been wanting to have a “lesson” also, while Hannah is learning. So Ruth has taken it upon herself to teach Jonathan his numbers.

Joshua and Hannah are doing well with their lessons. Hannah has learned the letter F today. She has been really bragging to everyone about how Joshua is her teacher. She considers it a really special honor that he teaches her. Kind of like she has her own private tutor, that no one else has. It is really sweet and I praise him for how well he works with her.

The only problem Hannah has now is telling Ruth that she’s not her teacher. So I explained to Hannah that Ruth is Joshua’s assistant. She can teach Hannah things too. There seems to be a misunderstanding with Hannah as to who a teacher is. I’ve tried to explain to her that anyone that knows something more than someone else can teach what they know. I think she thinks you have to be big to be a teacher. Little does she know how much she teaches Jonathan.

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

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Shave and a Haircut … 2 Bits!

I cut Scott’s and the kids hair today. No, I didn’t get two bits for it. But I did think about it. This picture shows them all after their haircuts.

I started with Hannah’s hair. It is hard to get her bangs straight, since she doesn’t sit still very well. I used to try keeping a hair band in her hair and I hoped that she would eventually have her hair long enough to stay behind her ears, but the hair band would get lost and her hair wasn’t staying out of her face at all. So out came the scissors. It’s nice seeing her eyes.

After Hannah’s hair cut, I cute Joshua’s. His is the easiest hair to cut. I just use the razor with a fairly short guide and shave it all over the same length.

Then I cut Scott’s hair. His is the most stressful. He likes his hair a certain way, but he’s not sure what that way is. I know that he doesn’t want it sticking up anywhere. He has very straight hair and it has specific calic spots. Which makes his hair rather difficult to work with. It turned out pretty good though and he seemed pleased with it. He’s definitely pleased with the price, he doesn’t complain nearly as much after I cut his hair, than with someone professional that he has to pay.

After Scott’s hair, I cut Jonathan’s hair. This was his first real haircut. We had tried to cut his hair before while he was asleep but it wasn’t a very good one. This time I took him to the bathroom and stood him in front of the bathroom mirror. I showed him the electric hair shaver that I was going to use. I turned it on for him and let him hold it. I wanted him to get used to the sound and not be afraid of it. Then I turned it off and brushed his hair with the comb of the razor. Then I showed it to him again and turned it on for him again. Once he was used to it, he started playing with some of the combs I had set on the counter top. That was when I started cutting his hair. He didn’t mind at all. I kept talking real cheerfully with him about how pretty his hair looked. I think hearing me praising his haircut and having seen that the razor wasn’t going to hurt him, he wasn’t scared and didn’t mind.

Scott took Ruth with him to a Mission Rally today. I chose to stay home with the younger two kids and Scott gave Joshua and Ruth the choice to stay with me or to go with him. It was going to be a pretty long evening, since Scott was going early to play some music with another man from the church there. I didn’t know what there would be for Hannah and Jonathan to do. They would get bored and 4 hours of trying to keep them out of trouble sounded tiring. Ruth brought her mandolin along. She also brought her book with her in case she got tired of playing and wanted to read. She had a good time.

Our kids are growing up so fast. God has richly blessed me with a wonderful family.

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Happy Birthday!

We celebrated Jonathan’s first Birthday a few days ago. We didn’t really do a big party but we had a few friends over and baked a chocolate cake for the occassion. It was Jonathan’s first time to have chocolate cake. That is a tradition we have had for each of our children, on their first birthday they get their first taste of chocolate cake. It is also fun for pictures.

The kids and I spent his birthday making a few gifts. Joshua learned how to use the sewing machine. Meanwhile, Ruth wanted to sew her gift by hand. I helped cut out a Zebra shape for Joshua, and helped cut out a circle pillow for Ruth. The circle turned out looking more egg shape but it still turned out well. The material Ruth used for the pillow she made had dinosaurs all over it. The zebra Joshua made was made of black and white striped material. I made a dinosaur out of the same material Ruth used. We decided that the pillow she made could be the dinosaur’s egg.

Scott also bought him a toy that has about 5 rings that stack in order over a cone. Our guests gave Jonathan a car that has popping balls inside of it. He really likes pushing it down the hallway. I will post a few pictures that I know everyone is wanting to see. I will try to post a few more later on as well.
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Cause and Effect…

As promised, I’m adding a couple more videos to my blog. I entitled my blog today “Cause and Effect.” See if you can figure out why.

I don’t know if I will have time to post again before we leave. We will be back home this weekend but we’re not sure what the conditions of our home will be. We should have water and phones. However we are not sure if we will have electricity when we get there.

Hopefully we will be able to get any problems repaired. I know that we will have a tree down in our yard. It’s a pecan tree and I do not know which one it is. So I’m looking forward to getting back home and seeing first hand what the damages consist of at our house. I’ll try to get some pictures and post them as soon as possible.

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Baby in a Pot

I had to post this picture of Jonathan in a big pot. This was a pot Scott had bought when Joshua was just a baby. He liked it’s size, because you could cook a lot of food in it. It was funny when he bought it, since Joshua was just a baby he joked that he would fit in it. Of course, we would never really cook our children.

Scott and I had a real good discussion on that subject before we were married. He had studied Deuteronomy 28:56-58 in seminary, also 2 Kings 6:28-29. It is funny to look at that conversation that we had 12 years ago. I remember it started when we both saw a teenager steal a cookie from the bakery of the grocery store we both worked at. I was shocked to see him do such a thing in plain sight, and just before I let the words out, Scott said, “Don’t say you wouldn’t do that.” I was even more shocked that he would think, I would be low enough to steal a cookie. That of course got into a big discourse over the fact that I would not steal a cookie. He then told me about the women in the Bible that were so hungry that they ate their own children. I was shocked to even have that brought up, I told him that I would never eat my children. I would give my own fingers and toes rather than eat any of my own children. The funny thing is we both agreed, but we saw things in a different way. He thought I was saying that I wasn’t capable of sin. I thought he was saying that I can’t say I wouldn’t do anything like that. I firmly believed that if you follow the Bible and stay within those guidelines and you will never have to eat your children, because God will provide all your needs. After the strangest argument we have ever had, we both agreed that we were sinners and that we didn’t have to eat our children.

Of course, we still have to joke about our first argument, and when he bought that large pot, I just shook my head and reassured Joshua at the time that we would never eat our children. Of course, now Jonathan fits in it and thinks it’s the funnest toy around. His brother and sisters all had him in there and were adding toys and pushing him around the carpet like he were in a car. He just loves it. Hannah uses that pot to pretend she is cooking noodles.

I love my family. It’s amazing how much, we have all grown these past 12 years. God has really been good to us. I’m glad that he has provided for our every need, spiritual and physical.

Thankyou, Lord for all your blessings, especially my wonderful, precious family.
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Tooth Number 3!

Jonathan’s 3rd tooth has just come in. It is his top right front incissor. I thought it would come at any time. He had been a bit fussier than usual, and last night he kept whining in his sleep. It was hard for me not worry over him, but since he continued to sleep, I just went back to bed. This morning, he was extra fussy and so I decided to check his teeth. Sure enough it was there peeking through his gums. Ahh!! 3 teeth down and many more to come.

So far I haven’t had any trouble nursing him. He has been pretty good about not biting me. Hopefully this will continue now that he has a top tooth. I’m pretty sure his fourth one is real soon to follow. Three teeth with at least 4 more months of nursing to go. I think we can make it.

It’s hard to believe he will be a year old in 4 months. This has been a fast year so far. I guess, there has been so much going on that it has just flown by. This will be a busy month as well with Saturdays filling up with activities, Ruth’s birthday coming up, and Church Camp. I will try to get in some blogging during it all but if I lag behind this month, I may just be busy. I definitely won’t be able to blog during camp. I should be able to blog next week though. So please don’t give up on me. :)

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