Devotional, Encouragement

Sharing the Light…

It happened one day on vacation. We were on a tour of the Jewel Cave. We noticed lights were spaced to help us find our way, and to help us see some of the wonders of the cave. Then suddenly, my daughter turned on her flashlight and shined it in my eyes. OUCH! That hurt. My eyes winced, my head turned away from the light as fast as possible. I didn’t want the light in my eyes, even if it helped light up the room.

As quickly as that happened, my mind filled with the thought that we possibly do that with the “light” God has given us. We shine it right at people, oftentimes our kids, who don’t know they are in the wrong and say, “LOOK!” Sometimes they wince in pain, turn and walk away…never changing and never seeing the light.

But, as we traveled through that cave, we stumbled upon rich cave treasures. They were pointed out by softly lit areas that our eyes in darkness could focus on. We gladly looked upon them and let our gaze stay a while to ponder what was before us.

I walked out of that cave a different person. One that was more aware of the proper use of “light”. A new perspective was given me on witnessing, on parenting, and on how to be a good example. Am I a glaring bright light that others turn from? Or am I a candlestick, gently lighting the house? Or am I trying to shine it directly on someone to show them they are wrong? God polished my character that day, and I pray that I shine more true for Him, now.

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

AHE Devotionals, Preparation Day Thoughts, Sabbath

Preparing for the Big Day…

Sometimes when I think about preparing for the “Second Coming of Jesus”, I get a little overwhelmed. I’ll admit I am a bit of a scatter-brain, and keeping my focus on one thing is a little difficult for me. Yes, I am the person with not just 10 tabs open on my computer… but 3 different browsers each with a couple windows open and each with many tabs open… sometimes as many as 30 each!!. Can I be scatter-brained? You bet, I can. I’d love to say it is just when I get on the computer, but my husband will tell you that I have so many interests and so many projects going on at the same time, *sigh*. So with so many things running through my mind, I try to remember to focus on the “good things”. When the thought of the “Second Coming” comes up, sometimes I wonder if I will have my focus on the right things…and that I am not so caught up with all of my other ideas that are running around in my head.

Well, a few years ago, I was beginning to struggle with getting ready on Sabbath. When younger, it was not a big deal, but with a home with 5 girls, planning a wedding or two, keeping up with homeschooling and helping with online ministries, and lots of activities at church… I was running on thin. Week after week, I told myself I was such a failure because I couldn’t get “ready” for Sabbath. What was my problem? I dreaded the weekly preparation day because I couldn’t keep things together. I realize looking back that I was going through some depression, dealing with some anger/forgiveness with issues in my life and the way I felt better was to stay busy. When busy, I didn’t tell myself what a failure I was… until Friday evening… when it all came crashing down on me that I once again was not ready for Sabbath.

I prayed about this. I sought studies on this. I asked the Lord what is it that I need to give up so that I can be ready. I was looking for the right way to accomplish it… perhaps a bit of a works type of readiness. “JUST TELL ME WHAT TO DO SO I CAN DO IT”. And you know what… I didn’t get an answer… not the answer that I wanted, but instead, I got a word. Preparation. I know what the word means… and I can prepare for an event… but I am a great person to do a big job… at the LAST minute! So, as I went to church… that word… “Preparation” began to gnaw at my very soul. We had a season of many many sermons in a row being focused on the second coming of Jesus, and preparation is needed… in my character, in my heart, in my actions, in my life.

One thought that came to me time and time again was… “If you can’t get ready for Sabbath, how will you ever be ready for the Second Coming?” That thought was deeply convicting. I used to have no problem getting ready for Sabbath, so I had to seek to find out what the problem was. God didn’t tell it to me… He gave me time to search out my own heart. I saw things I wasn’t very happy about. I saw things that needed to change. When I came to them, I simply asked, “Is it this?” And I felt a pitiful but a very deep love come upon me that just said… “Yes”. I began to let go of some of those things. And Sabbaths are beginning to be a joy in our home once again as my heart is ready and prepared to meet my Saviour as the evening hours come upon us.

As I have gotten back on track, I realized that none of us are safe. We are not saved by the things we did right in our youth. We are not saved by the things we are doing now. We are not saved by what we think we will accomplish. But we are saved when we know our Lord and Saviour and we seek to know Him day by day. That was where I was lacking… I somehow felt I had done things right when younger… but I was so busy with life that I was leaving behind the one thing that I truly needed… the “Seeking” of my God. I prayed, I talked to Him daily… but I wasn’t seeking Him… It was a more of a stale relationship. I knew I could trust Him. I knew His words were true. I knew the right things to do. But I didn’t seek Him out. Kind of like a marriage gone stale. You still love your mate, but you aren’t doing anything to bless your mate. I realized I had missed that time when I could bless my Lord and my Lord could bless me.

As Sabbath comes around, if you find yourself not ready… take time to figure out why. It may take months or years to get to the true root, but begin to seek it out! Now, when I look to Sabbath and I feel such joy upon it’s coming… I now no longer have the words above running through my head (“If you can’t get ready for Sabbath, how will you ever be ready for the Second Coming?”) Instead, I have lovely thoughts… I can’t imagine not being ready for that Big Day! I smile all day Friday… knowing what is coming… a blessed time reserved for me to seek Him just with an extra measure than I am able on the other 6 days. And you know… that’s the real reason for my joy when I think of the Second Coming… that I will have eternity to see His face, to hear His voice, to be ever near to the one that knows me so well.

“The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.” Psalm 18:46

“Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me. ” Psalm 66:20

“Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.” Psalm 104:1

Growing in the Garden

Grow Where You are Planted

I recently shared this on my Instagram account. I decided to share it here because I think it is important to recognize those object lessons we find in the garden… or in this case… out of the garden.

Found by my back door…a Bok Choy plant which planted itself. It takes a beating, but I leave it there to remind me to grow where I am planted…despite the hard days I have.

Sometimes in life, we don’t feel we are where we should be. We seem to be getting beat up. We seem to be in the wrong place. But, I believe we sometimes walk these times in our lives because God wants us to grow despite our circumstances.

May we all grow where we are planted!

*If you have a garden object lesson you would like to share here, contact us at adventisthomeducator@gmail.com

AHE Blog, Planning/Scheduling, Preparation Day Thoughts

What’s your plan?

kelly-sikkema-580858-unsplash

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Hebrews 11:7

This is such a small statement, but it says so much!

  • Noah was warned of things to come and he acted in faith. We have been given much truth concerning our future here are earth. Do you believe it? Are you living like you believe it?
  • Noah didn’t see anything happening, yet, but he still proceeded with his plan. Are we working, now, to prepare our family for the days ahead? Or are we waiting for something bad to happen before we create an emergency plan? What is your emergency plan?
  • Noah did not procrastinate. As soon as he became aware of the warning, he acted right away to create a plan of action and began to work it out.
  • Noah’s example condemned the world. Are we living in such a way that others can see living truth in our lives?

BELIEFS. FAITH. WISE WITH TIME. DILIGENCE. LIVING EXAMPLE OF HIS FAITH.

Are you preparing an Ark of Protection so that your home might be saved? May God lead us in the days ahead to focus on His Word that we receive the warnings, so that we might by faith, prepare for the days ahead! May we has homeschooling parents not be so focused on just our day to day school work that we forget an important task that we have with our own children to prepare them (and ourselves) so we might be saved.

Please take time to share how your family is making preparations in this area. What specifically are you adding this coming school year to focus on an area of spiritual preparation for your family?

Adventist Home Educator, AHE Devotionals, Parenting, Planning/Scheduling, Preparation Day Thoughts

An Uncertain Sound…

“For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” 1 Corinthians 14:8

My heart was drawn to this text this morning. While in context, this portion is speaking about speaking in tongues, I was drawn in my thinking to look at the battle ahead. My thoughts went to the three angels’ messages and how if we are not prepared, how will we be able to share the messages. As we raise up our children, are we not to train them up for the battle ahead?

There is an important work to be finished in the last days. We know it, we claim it, but do we live it? Are we living to prepare ourselves, and our children, for these events on the horizon? As homeschooling parents, do we have this battle in mind as we go through our days? Are we preparing them in their education to face this battle? Are we giving them the tools? Are we teaching them knowledge that they can use to share the message of Jesus with others? Are we helping them develop a character that is worthy to declare the messages that Jesus is coming soon?

Or rather, are we a trumpet with an uncertain sound? Are we jumping from program to program? Are we continually looking for the next best curriculum that is fancy and colorful to get their attention? Where are our attentions? Are they on our children? Or are they on visiting social media to find the next best thing out there? Are we so busy that we don’t have time to prepare and rather just survive each day doing the minimum possible just to check it off our list so we can get to other fun stuff in our days?

There are many good things out there, but often times we get so busy with the fun, new, exciting things, that we forget our calling to prepare our children for the battle ahead. Is your focus clear? Is your battle plan understandable? Do you know what trumpet sound you need to prepare your children for? How much of our focus is on this soon coming event?

This verse today, really spoke to me. Am I being a clear sounding trumpet to my children? Am I understandable? Am I declaring the Lord’s messages to my children, all day long, so they are prepared for the times ahead? Am I focusing on their character? Am I giving them knowledge so that they may be better prepared for this season? Or am I spending too much time bumping shoulders with others that I forget the vision the Lord has put in front of me? Do my educational methods prepare my children with understanding that they can stand alone (without my guidance) and do the work of the Lord?

This verse certainly brought a lot of thoughts to my mind. Did it strike a cord with you? “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” 1 Corinthians 14:8

On Thursdays, we will begin to focus on preparation, here at The Adventist Home Educator. It’s a perfect day, as it is preparation day, and a perfect day to not only prepare for the Sabbath, but to do a little self-check and see how we are doing with our battle plans. May we keep in mind the fight that is before us.

Growing in the Garden

Growing in the Garden: Determinate or Indeterminate

Tomatoes – Determinate or Indeterminate

Did you know there are two distinct types of tomatoes?  Tomatoes grow in two different ways.  The two types of plants are referred to as determinate and indeterminate tomatoes.  Here are some differences that I have found.

Determinates grow for their growing period and put on fruit all at once.  The plant has a definite limit to its growing capacity or ability to put on fruit.  This is a type of tomato that you would like to have in your garden if you are choosing to can your tomatoes.  You will get a large crop all at once.  They do well being supported with tomato cages.

wp-image-423967573jpg.jpeg

Indeterminates do not have a limit to its growing capacity, except by its external physical limitations.  Indeterminates will continue to grow, as long as they are supported and the weather allows.  These vines have been known to grow up to 12 feet or longer.  They grow best with a strong support system so the long vines do not break.  These plants put on tomatoes at regular intervals, so if you only have a couple plants, you will need to be creative with your planning for preserving your tomatoes.  If you have a lot of these plants, you will have a continuous supply of tomatoes for processing, eating fresh, and sharing.

What type of tomato plant you choose will be largely determined by your garden space, your ability to support the plant and your plans for the fruit.

I find that for canning, I like a paste or Roma tomato or a smaller round tomato like Marglobe.  Many of these are determinates (but not all of them).  I like the determinate varieties because they all come ripe at one time so I can pretty much be done with tomatoes in a 2 week period of time.  This is wonderful for canning purposes.

For fresh eating, I like to have tomatoes over a longer period.  I have found that indeterminate varieties are wonderful for this purpose.  As long as you keep the tomatoes picked, they seem to continue to produce until the end of your growing season.  These plants are good to get in early in your garden season so you have a longer continuous supply.

Over the years, the seed companies did not always (and still do not) mention whether a tomato variety is a determinate or an indeterminate type of growing tomato. Gardeners would get jealous over their neighbor’s tomato plants that grew 10 feet tall, while their own remained at a meager 4 feet height.  Others watched as some picked a large crop for canning purposes and they were struggling to find enough tomatoes to get a batch for canning.   I have been in both categories and it wasn’t until the last couple years that I finally discovered this interesting fact about tomatoes.

So, what can we learn from the types of tomatoes?

We each have different styles of growing and producing fruit.

A typical evangelistic campaign of sending out flyers and having a 3-4 week long session of meetings produces a crop of believers that we work with to produce a harvest.  Does it work?  Yes.

We also have another style of witnessing in which we put out feelers and have Bible studies with a smaller group, but on a more continuous basis.  It produces fruit often in smaller quantities, but in a more continual pattern. Does this work?  Yes.

In our homeschool setting, we will find that some children thrive with a large motivated project while others thrive with smaller more steady forms of input and output expectations.

Each style has its own type of work associated with it and its own expected response of success.  I have learned there are benefits to the two different types of tomatoes for my home garden.  I believe there are also benefits to the different styles of sharing Jesus with those we meet, to the learning styles within our families/homeschools, and to the style of teaching (sometimes switching it up is better for obtaining a different response). Knowing the growing style of the plant helps you to care for it better; knowing the learning styles of those around us, helps us to help them grow better, as well.

To learn more about determinate and indeterminate tomatoes, see the link below:

Should You Grow Determinate or Indeterminate Tomato Plants? 

Please share more spiritual insights that determinate and indeterminate tomatoes bring to mind with you in the comments below.