Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Who Was Hitler?

A president? A rockstar? When asked "Who was Hitler?" many people stuttered and stumbled through their answers. As my 9th grade history teacher Mr. McIntosh said, if we don't know history, we are destined to repeat it.

Please take 33 minutes of your day to watch this eye-opening documentary. Thanks!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Free Bible Memory Tools

I'm a big fan of learning Bible verses with songs. Seeds Family Worship has a series of CDs that only use the words of Scriptures. The best part: The songs are well-done and pleasing to a parent's ears! A few of them I wish we'd sing in church as a congregation. They're catchy and enjoyable to listen to.

And now, I just learned that they have a memorization check-list and Bible Memory Cards on their website! I just printed out the cards for the first CD we're going to memorize, Seeds of Courage. We already have most of the songs memorized from listening to in the car, so this will just be added reinforcement.

What a great resource! If I focus on these songs alone this school year, my kids will have learned about 60 key memory verses, and we will have had fun doing it!

Here's a link to the memory cards.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Just a little sentimental moment...

I was born a sentimental person. When my parents sold our old piano to get a new one, I asked if I could keep a key. Of course I couldn't keep a key -- the new owners needed it. But my six-year-old mind didn't understand that.

Life has made me much less sentimental. It could be that I'm married to a visionary who is, well, he isn't sentimental. It could be that I've learned to value people more than things. It could be that age has given me perspective. But still, occasionally, I think it's good to be a little sentimental.

Tomorrow is a big day in the life of our church. We are having our last service in our current sanctuary before moving into our new one. The current auditorium will be converted into a two-story educational space. That was always in the plan, and I'm thrilled with thoughts of the future!

But as I think about the current space, I can't help but spend a little bit of time reminiscing about memories I've had there, of how God met me time and time again. And maybe -- just maybe -- if I blog about it tonight, I will be able to hold back the tears tomorrow.

I've been at this church for over twenty years. We started in a warehouse, and I remember the night we moved into this space. We each grabbed our chairs during an evening service and walked them into the new sanctuary. How fun was that? Then we circled around and sang praise songs, giving God the glory.

Major life events have happened there. We were married there, Lee and Abby were baptized, we had a parent dedication, and we had my grandma's funeral service, among other funerals and weddings we attended.

God moved in my heart Sunday after Sunday.. I've cried so hard that I couldn't sing a word. I remember one song in particular was "Blessed Be Your Name." I stood in the front row weeping. There have been other times that we've sung that particular song and my hands were raised and I was full of joy. God has been in all of it - the ups and downs!

I've been so filled with praise I felt my heart would explode. At the end of one musical, the "airport one," I was onstage but in the dark. The choir was singing the finale and the dancers were praising. The lights went up brighter and I wanted to fly away. Praise God!

Conviction has struck like a knife. I've knelt at my chair and asked forgiveness many times. The Word has certainly been powerful and effective.

And other times, His healing has poured down on my soul and given me peace beyond understanding.

Some of my favorite sermons series's were when we went through Hebrews as a church. Trusting God in the wilderness. Pastor Nate's Stubby stories. Doug Paybody and his gentle way of saying, "Beloved." Joe Bartemus encouraging us with "But God" and "Lettuce Eat Meat." Jim Nossett's contagious enthusiasm. Then when Pastor Mark taught us about the Supremacy of Christ in Colossians. "Jesus Can!"

I have memories, of course, from moments not on Sundays too. Like when I first joined the worship planning team, we'd meet in the auditorium. I brought Abby, then a baby, with me. For almost two years she came with, playing in the midst of us as we planned the services. My, were the others patient with me! :)

Rehearsals for dramas, choir practice, late nights sitting and talking with friends, ladies teas, Couple's Banquets, children's productions, NANC meetings, VBS and Fine Arts Camp, youth group events... if those walls could speak.

They are just walls. I know that. And the church is not made of bricks and stones but of the people of God. And yet, I don't want to forget how good God has been to me over the years in that place. I don't want to forget His love, His lessons, and the life I experienced with Him there. He has been good, and I'm so very thankful for every moment of it.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Home School Resources and Plans

I've updated the Home School section of my website, Emerickhome.com.

Now, you'll have access to free resources such as copy work documents and journaling prompts. You can also check out what our school year looks like and see our family's favorite books.

Have fun browsing!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Free Family Devotional

Gossip. Slander. Exaggeration. Lying. Boasting. Encouraging. Building-Up. Edifying.

Great topics, huh? Who doesn't struggle in his words? The Bible says that if we can control our tongues, we are a perfect man!

Our church recently went through a series on the tongue called, "Oh Be Careful Little Mouth." You can listen to or read all the sermons here.

To go along with the topics, I was asked to write a family devotional for our congregation. It's available as a free download here.

There are three lessons during each of the five weeks, exploring the different elements of how we use our words. My family has been greatly helped during our time studying this important topic. I hope it blesses you and your family as well!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Free Literature

A chill was in the air, and after a few morning chores on Labor day, I snuggled into a comfortable chair outside, wrapped in a blanket with a book in one hand and a cup of pumpkin coffee in the other. Ahhh, fall.

I didn't get very far in the daunting 700 page novel Les Miserables that I'm attempting to read. My sons wanted to snuggle next to me, and they brought with them their own books they wanted to hear. So I set aside a classic for silly stories about pigs in the mud and a whale who wants to be a tugboat.

I was thinking, "Why can't I find time to read?"

But the next day of school, I realized that I read all the time. Right now, to my children, I'm reading Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott, Archimedes and the Door to Science, and Paddle to the Sea. We just finished The Trumpet of the Swan and will begin the first Little House on the Prairie book series tomorrow. I love learning through literature! For my NANC certification, I'm reading through two Jay Adams books, and I read magazines when I sneak away to the bathroom. So I suppose I should clarify: I'm not reading any exciting fiction of my own choosing. Therefore, attempting to read Les Mis might not have been a good choice in this season of my life.

But if you have some time, I've stumbled across a website that has a treasury of free literature resources online! http://www.online-literature.com/


Classics are my favorite, and that is what you will find when you browse the author list. So slip on a sweatshirt, pull up Little Women, and pour yourself a glass of tea. That's just what I plan to do... eventually. :)