Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Homeschooling Helps

My son is 5 years old and since September we have been using Landmark Curriculum for his Kindergarten homeschool.  It was going fine until the reading section got to the point that we both dreaded it.  The reading part was boring, dry and too long and "hard".  He did learn to read but It was not enjoyable for us and I even love to read!  They wanted him to read several pages of random black words on white paper.  I finally decided to switch our reading curriculum to Hooked on Phonics.  Someone had let me borrow it and we used it for Preschool but then I put it in the closet for some reason. 

We have been using Hooked on Phonics for a couple weeks now and we absolutely LOVE it!  He brought it to me on Saturday and said, "Mom lets do our reading!" 
It has colorful charts that you put stickers on for each little book they read so they see their accomplishment each day.  He loves looking at his ladder chart with titles of books he's read or will soon read.  The lessons make reading fun and smooth.  I highly recommend Hooked on Phonics for reading! 
Don't be afraid to switch curriculum halfway through...it has been a great decision for us.  My son asked me yesterday if we would homeschool him through College because he liked it so much!  Ha!  Your attempt to homeschool may be discouraging or awful only because you have the wrong curriculum.  Don't send them off to public school until you try different ways and methods. 
You are your child's best teacher! 

Faith and Works

1.       Sing a song to the Lord and pray.  Confess your sins to Him and ask for forgiveness.  Thank Him for 3 things.  Pray for your family by name.  Pray for your church and Pastor.  Ask for wisdom and ask the Lord what He would have you do this week.
2.      Evaluate the past 10 weeks that you have done Moment with the Master.  Have you grown spiritually?  Can you tell a difference since you are spending time in the Bible and prayer?
3.      Read James 2:14-20 as review.
4.      Read James 2:21-23.  Look in your concordance in the back of your Bible to find the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac.  Review that Bible story in Genesis 22. 
5.      Abraham loved and trusted God enough and had faith to lay Isaac upon the altar.  But even this great act did not make Abraham righteous.  What does verse 23 say made Abraham righteous?
6.      How is faith made perfect according to verse 22?
7.      When verse 23 says, “Abraham believed God” do you think that is the same thing as faith?
8.      Define the word imputed in your dictionary.  What and why did God impute righteousness to Abraham?  Read Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3, Galatians 3:6
9.      Read James 2:24.  How is a man justified?  Define justified.
10.  Read James 2:25.  Who else was justified by their works? But what did she have along with her works according to Hebrews 11:31?
11.  Read James 2:26.  What without works is dead?
12.  Evaluate your life.  Do you have faith and works?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Judging Others, Faith and Works

Pray as the Lord leads with thanksgiving.  (Don’t forget to ask for wisdom!)
1.       Read James 2:10-11 and read Matthew 5:19-20.  Have you broken one commandment in your lifetime?  When we break one, we are guilty of breaking them all!  The Bible says there is no one righteous and we are all sinners.  Do you get into Heaven for the good you have done?  Do you get into Heaven for the bad that you do not do?  Read Romans 10:3 and Romans 10:9-13.  No, it is through the blood of Jesus and by grace through faith that we are saved.  It is by grace because we are sinners and do not deserve it!  It is through faith because we cannot see it.
2.       Read James 2:12-13.  Since we have all transgressed/broken the law and sinned in some area or another we should never judge those who have committed a sin.  When you judge someone for something they have done it can come back to bite you and you may find yourself doing the same sin they did later on down the road!  This has happened to me more than one time.  It is so hard not to judge other people for their “awful sins” that we think we would never do.  However, if we judge them we will not be shown mercy by others when we mess up.  “Mercy rejoiceth against judgment” or mercy triumphs over judgment.  When you see or hear about someone messing up, don’t judge them, show them mercy.  God showed us great mercy, “While we were yet (still) sinners, Christ died for us”.
3.       Read James 2:14-20.  Some people say they are Christians but they do not show any signs of being one.  They show no works to go along with their faith.  The example given is of a person without clothes or food coming to you in need and you saying “See ya later, have a good day, stay warm” but you do not clothe or feed them…it does no good. 
4.       Read 1 John 3:18.  How are we not supposed to love?  How are we supposed to love?  If you are a Christian, a child of the King, you will LOVE God and LOVE others because God’s heart is in you.  Know Christ, Know Love; No Christ, No Love.   What does this quote mean to you?
5.       What is faith without works according to James 2:17?
6.       Read James 2:18 again.  This can be confusing and deep stuff!  Here is my thought…I am saved and I know Jesus and my whole entire life is wrapped around the fact that I love the Lord and serve Him and follow Him and do what He tells me to do.  Everything I do in my life today is because Jesus has told me and led me and taught me to do it.  My faith has works…does yours?  I cannot imagine saying “I am a Christian” and then go out and do my own thing and make my own decisions without talking to the Lord about it. 
7.       The flip side of this is that some people think they are going to Heaven because they do good works but they do not have a relationship with Jesus.  James 2:19 says even the devils believe in God and they certainly are not in Heaven.  Search your heart on this matter. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Favoritism, Appearance, Rich vs Poor: Moment with the Master Week 10

Congratulations!  We have finished James chapter 1!  Now lets move on to chapter 2 after prayer…remember to ask the Lord for wisdom and understanding.
1.     Read James 2:1-4.  Who is James talking to in these verses (vs 1)?
He is saying, as a Christian do not show “respect of persons”, meaning don’t show favoritism.   Verse 2 goes on to explain the scenario…  A rich man dressed nicely and a poor man not dressed nicely come into the assembly.  The “brethren” (those in the assembly) show favor to the rich man and sit him in a good place.  They are ashamed of the poor man and want to hide him by standing him in a corner or under a footstool.  An example of this today would be two types of people that will come to our church.  One type is the middleclass people who dress right for church and look the part.  (The rich).  The other types of people are those who are poor, lost, distraught, and don’t even own appropriate “church clothes”.  Pretend like you are sitting in church or sitting in a public place right now.  Now imagine a well dressed person coming to your table or pew and at the same time a poor ragged looking soul comes as well.  Would you get up and move if the poor person sat by you?  Would you stay seated and chat with the rich person hoping to make a new friend?  Are you embarrassed when people come to our church who don’t look like you or dress like you or smell like you?  Search your heart and ask the Lord to show you if you show favoritism.
2.     Read James 2:5.  He says, “Hearken brethren” (Listen, Christians).  This is important to take note of.  God chooses to use the POOR in the world’s eyes to do great things for God and be heirs in His Kingdom!  George Mueller is a great example of this.  Google him or read his book/Biography and it will change your life!  Gideon is a good example of this in the Bible.  (Study his story in Judges 6:11-18)  Rahab the prostitute is an example. (Joshua 6:22-25)
3.     Read 1 Corinthians 1:25-29.  My husband is an example of this because he used to be a drug addict and now he is a Pastor and Evangelist who has started 2 churches and traveled around the world preaching the gospel!  The world cannot explain that!
4.     Read 1 Samuel 16:7.  When Samuel was choosing a King he looked at Eliab (verse 6) and thought, “Surely he is the king” because he was tall and looked like a king with his physical appearance.  But God told Samuel not to look at his face/countenance, or his height because the Lord does not see what we see.  We all see someone’s outward appearance but GOD sees the heart on the inside!  WOW!  I love this verse!  Several men were brought before Samuel to be chosen as King, but do you know which one GOD chose? 
5.     Read 1 Samuel 16:11-13.  God chose the youngest son who kept dirty sheep and was “ruddy”.  David was chosen to be king and was a man after God’s own heart.
6.     I love 1 Samuel 16:7 especially as a woman.  When I get caught up in comparing my outward appearance to other women it never leaves me happy or satisfied.  When I spend too much time trying to fix my outward appearance this verse is a good reminder to focus more on my heart.  God looks at my heart, not my hairstyle, makeup or clothes.  Yes, he does want me to dress nice and modest so I please my husband and do not stumble my brothers in Christ by drawing attention to my body.  God thinks you are beautiful on the outside because He created you!  It’s up to us to make our hearts beautiful and pleasing to God.  Read 1 Peter 3:1-4.   
7.     Read James 2:6-7 and Matthew 19:24.  Why do you think it is hard for rich people to get saved and trust in Jesus?
Read James 2:8-9.  What do we need to do for us to do well?  It is simple and plain, just love your neighbor as yourself.  If I thought about that verse every time I was doing something it would probably change the way I treated people daily.  I need to treat people how I want to be treated.  Let’s leave the lesson at that and try to put that into practice!  God bless!