Monthly Archives: January 2009
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it will soon be time to make cookies for all the sweethearts in your life, young and old alike.
At our house, the tradition is for Dad to “surprise” everyone with some sort of small treasure, whether it is candy, a CD, or even a trip to the monster truck rally. (I am always so thankful we have never gone to that on our anniversary, which falls just a week before!)
I also use this day to make my “girls” feel special and am thinking now of what that can entail this year. I started doing this when my one and only girl went to college and have carried on the custom with daughters-in-law.
Then I like to make a special Valentine’s day dinner and come up with a special chocolate dessert for everyone to enjoy. I also make enough to send a day-after-Valentine’s Day-treat in Clay’s lunch. This year he doesn’t know it but he will be surprised with a small, heart-shaped cheesecake, his favorite.
I made a couple of fun treats during Christmas that I think I will bring back for Valentine’s Day, too. Here are two recipes that you can enjoy and that are simple enough for your children to make for their own “sweethearts” like Dad and Grandma.
Best-Ever Gingerbread Valentines
1 package spice cake mix
1 C. all-purpose flour
2 Tsp. ground ginger
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 c. oil
1/2 c. molasses
White and pink icing for decorating (You can make your own or to make it a quick and easy job, use the icing in tubes from the grocery store.)
Mix together cake mix, flour, and ginger in a large bowl and stir until blended. Add remaining ingrediens and beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Cover and put in fridge for 2 hours. Place dough on floured surface and roll out to ¼ inch thickness. Cut out with heart shapes and placed on greased cookie sheets or ones lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes, depending on the size of the cutters and being careful to not let them get too brown around the edges. Cool on wire racks and decorate. I like to place the decorated cookies on cookie sheets in the freezer for 10 minutes to set the frosting.
Crock Pot Valentine Candy
1 (16 oz.) jar unsalted peanuts
1 (16 oz.) jar salted peanuts
1 (12 oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (12 oz.) bag milk chocolate chips
2 (12 oz.) bags peanut butter chips
2 (1 lb.) packages White Almond Bark, broken in pieces
Layer ingredients, in order listed, into (4 quart or larger) crock pot. Turn the pot on low, cover it with a lid, and allow to sit for two hours. Remove lid and stir to combine. Check to see if almond bark is melted, and if so, stir and spoon mixture onto wax paper or into miniature valentine papers. Decorate, if you wish, with miniature valentine sprinkles or additional chopped peanuts. Allow to harden 1 hour or so before enjoying.
My friend, Carol, has so much great stuff on her blog this month that you really ought to check it out if you haven’t. I guess being snowed in must produce wisdom!
Every once in a while I like to listen to past podcasts where I have interviewed guests and I started today by listening to the series of four where I interviewed Corrie Marnett. We discussed just about everything possible that two homeschooling moms could talk about….raising children, the importance of being in the Word, living with difficult toddlers, the changing seasons of life….you name it. If you haven’t yet listened to this series or if you did and need a good dose of encouragement this bleak, cold month, I would recommend checking it out. It occurred to me as I listened that between us we have been homeschooling for 4 decades, have 16 living children and 10 waiting for us in heaven. Corrie hasn’t even gotten started on the grandma thing yet so we will have to come back and record again in another 5 years or so!
And thanks, Corrie, for sharing your life with us. You continue to bless me every day.
Men and Post Abortion Trauma, Part One “Statistics also tell us that nearly a quarter of a million evangelical Christians make the choice to abort their children every year. They also tell us that one out of every 3.5 women who are sitting in the pews on Sunday morning have already had at least one abortion and many of them are married to Christian men who have also shared this experience. We also know that on the day of a woman’s abortion, there will be at least 60 people in her life who are affected by her choice, family members, church friends, co-workers and that number increases as time goes by. The same is true for the fathers of those babies.” Listen here for this week’s podcast.
Or are we uploading their human “hard drives” with software they cannot understand if they “crash?”
Last summer we walked through an exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in Chicago, marveling at some of the things that were being presented as “facts.” All three of our sons quickly pointed out the problems with the theories and the holes in their arguments. When we got in the car at the end of the day, they had a hard time taking turns offering their perspectives, all of them talking at once, and wondering, in awe, at how so many silly things could be presented as verifiable “truth.”
I went to public school as a child and hadn’t been taught any science or history from a Biblical worldview perspective. My first introduction to the concept of a “Biblical worldview” came from reading Francis Schaeffer in the early 1980′s. It was the beginning of desiring educational integrity for my own children.
Yesterday I saw this article by John Stonestreet, one of our son’s favorite Summit teachers, on their website and thought I would pass it along. He hits the nail squarely on the head. It isn’t enough to protect our children from the world’s teachings. We need to give them the tools for discernment!
A couple months ago I drew your attention here to the 2009 Homeschooling Leadership Summit to be held in March, expressing concern that the self-appointed homeschooling leaders who are planning this conference are setting an agenda and speaking for all Christian homeschoolers without being given a mandate to do so. Not only have the leaders denied homeschooling moms any input into their event but they have made it quite clear that they have no interest in discussing the concerns of moms or anyone else. (See the comments section at the above link from this website where Bill Roach, president of CHEC, sounding more like the president of the Kevin Swanson fan club, refuses to engage anyone in any discussion on the matter.) Today I am certain that the situation is far worse that I had originally thought since, thanks to an alert mom, I have discovered that the screening and weeding out of “undesirables” within the homeschooling ranks has been going on for over a year.
On January 20, John Holzmann, co-owner of Sonlight Curriculum shared the story on his blog of his company being banned from participating in a curriculum conference sponsored by Christian Educators of Colorado, the same group that is organizing the upcoming leadership conference.
John states “The letter that informed us of our having been banned was strangely uninformative. I am not at home right now, so I don’t have access to a PDF of the letter to show you. But, in essence, the author said, “You don’t meet our standards. We are unwilling to talk with you about it. Don’t ask.”
Happily, I have enough of a relationship with the president of CHEC (not much, but enough!) that I wrote to ask what was going on, what insight he might be able to shed on the subject. . . . I mean: It’s not as if Sonlight had changed in any fundamental way over the 13 years it had been in attendance at the CHEC convention. . . .
Ultimately, Sonlight received no written or full “official” explanation, but got the message: the convention committee was of the opinion that the company isn’t Christian enough . . . primarily because it isn’t strict enough in its young-earth teaching. It carries Usborne books that, as virtually all secular books that touch on issues related to origins, present an evolutionary perspective.
That Sonlight doesn’t schedule those pages, or that, when it does schedule them, counters those presentations with young-earth creationist material: Not good enough. Someone–a child, perhaps, without Mom’s or Dad’s permission, or maybe even a mom or dad–might find the offending books so attractive that they will read those pages and become convinced of their truth. . . .”
This has made me wonder how many more state homeschooling organizations or even Home School Legal Defense, for that matter, who is also participating in the leadership summit, are taking it upon themselves to decide who is and isn’t Christian enough to participate in conferences, conventions, and support services for homeschooling families. Will there be a check list presented as part of the “vision casting” of the summit, one that outlines the requirements necessary to be acknowledged as “Christian enough” for these men?
This is outrageous.
CHEC president, Bill Roach, perhaps you might like to grace us with your presence again and give us your perspective on this situation. The floor is yours.
Jeannie was a young single mother raising three girls when she was first referred to me for post-abortion counseling. Everything about her said “I have no life purpose.”
During our first session, Jeannie told me her story. In her early twenties at the time, she had met the man of her dreams. A handsome and charming firefighter, Dan swept Jeannie off her feet and before she knew it, they were living together. When they discovered that Jeannie was pregnant, Dan suggested that they were not ready to be parents. Jeannie knew in her heart that abortion was not the right thing to do but she agreed to have one. On the day she aborted their child, Dan waited in the car, emotionally detached and angry.
In the following days and weeks, an “invisible elephant” moved into their home with them. The abortion was at the center of every argument they had. Jeannie was depressed and had lost any motivation for living. Dan suggested that they get married, hoping they could erase the past and start over.
Now Jeannie sat across from me, telling me of the bittersweet births of their children, a cruel divorce, her adultery with a married counselor, and her lost dreams of becoming a teacher. Would I help her? Could she trust the Bible to help her through her depression? Could she ever be used of the Lord in ministry to others?
Jeannie was like most of the women I have talked with who carry the secret of a past abortion. As a Christian, she felt unusable in the body of Christ. Self-condemnation and overwhelming regret visited her daily leaving her unable to live a full and abundant life in Jesus Christ.
In your church there are many women just like Jeannie. Did you know that:
- 43% of women who are 45 or older have at least one abortion in their past?
- 80% of these women suffer from what is known as post-abortion trauma that results in depression, anger, sexual dysfunction, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, guilt, and many other behavior problems?
- 250,000 born-again evangelical women make the choice to abort every year?
- 1 out of every 3.5 women in your church have had an abortion?
- On the day of her abortion, each woman has 60 other people who are affected by that choice, including spouses, children, parents, co-workers, and fellow church members?
Charles Spurgeon once said “The Lord’s mercy often rides to the door of the heart upon the black horse of affliction.” I know of no other affliction in someone’s life where this is more true than the burden of carrying a past abortion.
During the years I spent listening to men and women tell their abortion stories, the one thing that I noticed is the pervasive nature of abortion. The cloud of it seems to hang over ever area of life. It is the invisible elephant in every room of the house, always present, always in the way, always there to stumble upon, though never mentioned. While other sins are forgiven and forgotten, the sin of abortion, even when confessed and forgiven, seems to cast a shadow that brings a quality of sadness and grief over its owner. How often I have wept over this fact.
If you are a Christian who is suffering from the choice of a past abortion, I hope that you will recognize this shadow for what it is….Satan’s attempt to rob God of His glory in your salvation! If this is your story, it is God’s desire for you to place this burden before Him. He wants you to live a life free from the burden of this sin, free from the pain of the consequences that it has brought into your life.
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
Be sure to come back for this Friday’s podcast as I discuss some of the affects that abortion has had on men. Abortion has touched the lives of many homeschooling moms and dads and I so desperately want them to know that there is forgiveness, healing, and restoration through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Until then, here is something to ponder. Jennie was the one who introduced this song to me.
Cousins Vienna and Penelope become friends!