Our Eldest Son Answers the Call to Preach

Sunday, September 20, our 17 year old son, Joshua, announced that he felt led of God to preach the gospel. Our church, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, voted to license him to preach and the following Wednesday he preached his first sermon at Fostoria Oaks MBC and Sunday morning his second at New Hope MBC.

I want to share his first two sermons with you all.

The first sermon we recorded the audio from my husband’s phone. Joshua preached from Proverbs 22:6.

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

Then this past Sunday Joshua preached from Ephesians 2:8-10.

I should explain the background noises that you will hear during Joshua’s second sermon. Since I was recording the sermon on my phone Elisabeth was a little active. She got out of the pew and about half way through Joshua’s sermon you can hear Scott whispering for her to sit down. Then all those kissing noises. That’s her kissing my arms. I tried to quiet her but well, she likes to give kisses. So you get a taste of what it’s like listening to the preaching with a 3 year old.

(If you are reading this in your email and can’t see the video then click here to view the post on the blog or you can watch Joshua’s sermon on YouTube.)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

And this was a shorter sermon. Imagine what Elisabeth does during one of her daddy’s longer ones. 😉

These are Joshua’s first two sermons and I’m looking forward to watching him grow in the ministry. Scott has already started mentoring him. They get up early every Sunday morning to study together at the Church. Scott wants to pass on to Joshua all the things he needs to know to be a successful servant of God.

I’m very proud of my son. I can only imagine the advantage Joshua will have with Scott pouring as much of his Bible knowledge into him before he goes to seminary.

Scott and I both agree that we want our children to grow up and be better than we are. We want them to raise their children better than we have raised them. Yes, we are setting the bar high. We want them to achieve great things and the only way for them to do that is to set high standards for our children.

Hope you enjoyed Joshua’s sermon. 

Would you like to encourage Joshua? Feel free to leave a comment for him or you can email me and I’ll pass the word along.

I also have a post that went live this week over at Ask God Today entitled “Is Jesus Truly God?” I would love it if you would check it out and let me know what you think.

 

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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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15 Years of Parenting

Our firstborn son turned 15 yesterday.  It was a busy but fulfilling day. 

Today, I want to share a few pictures and memories I have from Joshua’s life.

Joshua's first horse.

Joshua’s got his 1st horse on his 1st Birthday.

 

The months my husband and I were expecting our firstborn child was exciting. We waited until the day he was born to find out whether he was a boy or a girl. When we picked out his name we agreed we wanted to give our children Bible names. We chose a family name for his middle name.

We named him “Joshua” from the Bible and “King” after his father’s middle name. If he had been a girl he would have been named Ruth Ann.

I had just learned to crochet and taught my husband. Scott was so excited that he crocheted a baby blanket that started off small (because babies are small) and then got tighter and tighter toward the top. It looked like a bell. We decided it would make a beautiful wall decoration for the baby’s room. 

The day before Joshua was born I walked through the freshly cut woods on my parents’ property.  They had sold the trees to build an addition onto the house my dad had built for us. I was already 2 days overdue. Yet I was climbing over trees and limbs. 

That night my husband had gotten home late from working the night shift. We sat in the kitchen looking up at the clock. We just laughed at my irregular contractions. I had decided I was going to be pregnant forever.

My husband headed on to bed. I went to use the restroom when… My waterbroke!

I hollered for my husband. He was in a far bigger hurry than I was. I had heard that a first time mother could take 8 hours to have her first child. My husband grabbed my things and rushed me to the car.

We arrived at the hospital. My husband joked with the attendants, “Help! My wife swallowed a watermelon!”  

Joshua riding a pony when he was about 3 years old.

Joshua riding a pony when he was about 3 years old.

While the doctor was getting ready to deliver my baby she was telling the nurse of her dream that night that she delivered a cow with no skin. My only thought was that my baby had better have skin. That was also the start of my groaning to my husband, “Why did Eve eat the forbidden fruit?” Yes, we humans are prone to blame someone for our trials. I blamed Eve during the birth of Joshua’s younger siblings as well. 

After 4 hours of labor Joshua was born. Red faced and angry. We knew his lungs were healthy. 

Joshua riding a horse that he is training. He'll be teaching Hannah to ride on this horse.

Joshua riding a horse that he is training. He’ll be teaching Hannah to ride on this horse.

Many things have happened in these 15 years. He went from riding a toy horse, to riding a pony, riding horses, and now he is learning to train horses. 

For his 15th birthday we had a full day. I had a doctor’s appointment for Elisabeth. We came back home about the same time Joshua got off work. We fixed lunch, baked a cake, and then I took them all to the Library. Joshua and Ruth got to participate in some games and activities for the teens at the library, while I walked around, and chased the younger siblings. (That is a whole ‘nother blog post. Let’s just say I got a work out.)

We arrived home where their daddy was waiting to take us to the cook out with our neighbors and Joshua’s employers down the road. They have a pond that the kids have been anxiously waiting to swim in all summer.  There were other friends that had come as well making Joshua’s day even more fun. 

At the end of the day, as the mosquitoes were just coming out, we all loaded up into their Gator and Mule and helped feed and take horses out to pasture. 

We all had so much fun. But the time had come to go home.

15 Candles on Joshua's German Chocolate Cake

15 Candles on Joshua’s German Chocolate Cake

Joshua hadn’t opened any presents at this point. I had wrapped his presents in plastic bags and hid them inside a big cereal box. We asked him to clear a spot for his cake. He started moving the box and we told him to make sure it wasn’t trash in the box. I’m not sure at what point he figured out we had hid his presents. He laughed though.

We got him a new Cowboy hat to wear places other than work. His work hat had gotten quite dirty and we started having to request he not where it anywhere besides his work. He was very happy to receive a new hat.

I had been having my good coffee cups disappear. One day they all reappeared in my kitchen sink. He had been taking them in the mornings to work and kept forgetting to bring them back. So his next birthday present was a large mug. He’ll be able to take coffee in it and then fill it with water while he is working. It’s so big he shouldn’t forget it too often. 

The next thing he received was a Action Bible Story book. It is Bible stories done in Comic Book format. We also got him a book on how to write comics. He loves to draw and enjoys writing and drawing comic book characters. So both these books were right up his alley.

We want to encourage our children to use their interests and talents to improve their surroundings and bring honor to God. We got the Action Bible for him so that he can see what a Christian can do with that talent.

In what ways have you encouraged your children to use their talents? Do you have any special traditions were started with your firstborn? Feel free to share with me in the comments.

I am richly blessed to have such a wonderful son.

And to my son…  

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage;

be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:

for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

-Joshua 1:9

I love you, Joshua! I pray your 15th year will be a blessed one.

Love,

~♥~ Mom ~♥~

 

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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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Ride a little Horsey!

I finally have some videos for everyone. Yesterday, the kids had an opportunity to ride a horse. They actually will be getting to ride horses quite a bit. We have a couple that have been coming to our church that train and raise horses to sell. They offered to let the kids come out anytime to do a few odd jobs around the place and feed the horses. This is great for the kids, since Ruth has always loved horses and has wanted one for a long time. It reminds me of when I was her age and wanted a horse. I love seeing the kids get to fulfill some of their dreams.

The first picture is of Ruth and Hannah riding on Daisy, a Tenessee Walking Horse.

This one is Ruth riding by herself. The lady that works with these horses says that Ruth took to riding so naturally. Of course Hannah didn’t realize that the video was being taken and is talking the whole time.

This last one is of Joshua riding Daisy. He is learning to be a little more natural. He is doing real well for his second time riding.

I’m so glad that they are getting this opportunity to learn to ride. This will be a great experience for them as they get older.

Thank you, Ms. Laura for putting these videos on youtube!

I have to end with one last video, since I don’t know when I’ll get this chance again. This one is of Joshua unmounting. We had a good laugh. After this video was taken he had said, “Well, at least I tried it.” It was so cute!

You’re never too old nor too young, to reach for your dreams! Find what God has given you an opportunity to do and go for it!

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Growing Up!

Our firstborn, Joshua, had a birthday about a week ago. He turned 10 years old. It’s amazing how time has gone by. On his birthday, I told him stories of his past birthdays. Starting from the day he was born. I remember so many of his milestones. I remember his first laugh, his first tooth. I also remember the first time he road his bike without training wheels. Then this past April, he had driven a four wheeler all by himself.

Today he had another milestone. This was his first time to mow our yard with a powered lawnmower. He had used a reel mower before, but this is his first with the gas powered lawnmower. I had told him in the past, when he begged me to let him mow, that he could mow when he was big enough to crank the mower with the pull string.

Yesterday, I was trying to decide which of the many chores I needed to do while the baby was asleep. Joshua was outside as I was contemplating mowing. He asked me as we were clearing out the large sticks, and toys out of the yard, if he could try to crank the lawnmower again. So I agreed. After making sure there was plenty of gas in the lawnmower, he pulled the cord. After just a couple of pulls it cranked right up.

I explained to him how to start with a straight line. I had him mow a straight line towards the window of our house. I then showed him how when he turned the lawnmower around there was a grass line. A line where the grass is tall verses the grass that is short. I showed him how to put the tire right on the outside of that line. He did a perfect job. I was so impressed by his hard work that I took several pictures.

Looking at the picture above you can see how the lawnmower is as big as he is. So just imagine how much work it was for his small body. However when I asked him about half-way through our yard if he needed a break, he said “No, I can do it.” So I went and got him a drink, so that he would not get too hot. He mowed the majority of the grass that day. He came in hot and sweaty with a big grin on his face. My little boy, was able to do a man’s job. Where has the time gone?

Today, he told me that he had growing pangs, in his arms, legs, and hands. I explained that it was from all the mowing yesterday. He said, “But it feels like growing pangs.” I then told him that it was growing pangs. His muscles were growing from all the hard work they did yesterday.

Later on today, he came back to me, while his sisters were playing upstairs, and asked if he could mow the rest of the yard. I said, “Sure.” So out he went and I heard the lawnmower crank and start purring away outside.

I may have mown my last yard. From now on, my son will be taking on that roll. It won’t be long and his brother will be begging him to let him mow. I can see him telling Jonathan, “When you’re old enough to crank the mower, I’ll let you mow.” It won’t be long!

Psalm 144: 11-12 “Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:
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Waiting

This is a picture of my husband and our son Jonathan waiting at my sister’s wedding rehearsal. My husband is making use of his time by reading different mission reports on the bulletin board.

Today was filled with waiting as well. This morning I had to wait on the kids to get their shoes on and change their clothes for Jonathan’s doctor’s appointment. Then we got out to the van and drove to get the van inspected. So again, more waiting while the man drove the van in a circle. He told me I needed to get my right blinker fixed and needed to replace my windshield wipers before it would pass inspection.

I then drove to Wal-mart to buy wipers. You would think that would be simple and quick. Nope! The little computer thing that tells you what size wipers your vehicle needs was broken. So I had to wait while the lady behind the counter looked it up. She wasn’t completely sure which one it was and had to go into another room to ask one of the other workers there. Finally she came back and told me the size I needed to get. I then grabbed the wipers with the lifetime warranty wondering how long the life of my vehicle will be. I decided the little extra cost to buy the wipers with the lifetime warranty was worth it.

Then we were getting close to the time I wanted to be at Jonathan’s appointment so we left Wal-mart and went to the Doctor’s office. We were there a half hour early, so there was a little wait but it wasn’t too bad. Of course the appointment itself seems to take a while. We were called back to the room and waited for the nurse. Then we waited for the other nurse. Then we waited for the Doctor. Then we waited for the first nurse to come back and give Jonathan his shots.

Now all that waiting at the Doctor’s office I thought the kids, especially Hannah would drive me crazy. But the nurse came into the room and told me she wanted to compliment me on how nice my children are. She said she was amazed at how well behaved they are. It’s nice when someone tells me that because to me they seemed fidgity, but compared to most children that come there they are extremely well behaved. So I thanked her, and she asked me if we homeschool and I told her we did. She was impressed. I’m proud of my kids.

Then after the Doctor’s appointment I tried to get the car inspected at another place. More waiting… They gave it an inspection so that they could tell me exactly what it needs and give an estimate on how much it will cost to fix the part that we needed fixed. $320! So I told them I would check around and get back with them if we decided on that. So I then went to our normal Auto repair place. They have gotten used to seeing us there. They are very sweet and feel bad for all of our car troubles. We just drive worn out vehicles. They have always been good to us and tried to give us better prices than we are usually able to find anywhere else. Which is what they did this time. They were able to fix it for $180. Much better! Except they won’t be able to get to it until Monday. But that is o.k. We might try one more place that might inspect it with that minor problem, with the understanding of course that we are getting that part fixed.

Anyway, during these visits my son gets a call on my phone from his Grandfather, “Papa”. Of course the antenna would disappear in the middle of the conversation. “Mom! It hung up on us!” So my poor son had to learn a lesson in waiting. Later I was able to get him back on the phone with Papa. Then while I was driving we went into another area where the antenna doesn’t work. So another lesson in waiting for my son. Sometimes I think a lot of life is about waiting patiently. Now he is looking forward to his hike with Papa. Of course, I’m going to be hearing about it every day. “Is it time yet?” “How many more days?” He will definitely have the calendar down by the time the hike gets here.

There is definitely a lot of waiting in life. My son is young and will have a lot of waiting ahead of him. It is good for him to learn how to wait patiently at his young age. What better way to teach him how to wait patiently than showing him by example. So everytime I wait for something I need to remember my children are watching and make sure that I’m waiting patiently.

Romans 5:3-5 “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

James 1:2-5 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

And now for everyone to wait patiently until I get another blog written. :)

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