Saturday, March 26, 2011

Before the Throne of God Above

Before the Throne of God Above is an old hymn written by Charitie L. Bancroft in 1863.

The words to this hymn can be a bit difficult to understand at first; but, if you really look at them, you can see the Biblical truth that lies behind them, and really recognize the depth of our Savior's love for us. Its a truly great hymn to focus on as we enter the Easter season and remember the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord... 

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!

Several different tunes have been used for this hymn, one of which is the same tune as “Sweet Hour of Prayer” composed by William Bradbury. But, a more modern tune was written by Vikki Cook to be used in worship services everywhere. The hymn has been recorded with this new tune by numerous artists, including GLAD, Selah, and Go Fish. Here is the Go Fish version....

Beautiful song, isn't it? I wanted to know more about the meaning behind this hymn, so as I was searching online, I found a blog by Charles Bumgardner, a professor at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Plymouth, MN. He has written an extensive article around the Biblical meanings of this hymn, and you can read it for yourself by clicking on this link here: ORCHARD KEEPER

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"Super Shots" of Encouragement for Moms

I’m not feeling very creative at the moment, and am actually feeling rather “blah.” There’s lots of sickness going around in our area, so I’m hoping I’m not coming down with something. But, more than likely, its just the gray skies that are causing my need for a “shot” of encouragement.

Did you know there are many different definitions for the word “shot?” 

As an adjective, it can mean worn out, tired, or weary. For example, “I worked in the yard all day and I’m shot!”

As a verb, it is the past tense of the word shoot: “He shot the gun.”

As a noun, it can be a bullet launch from a gun: “The shot was heard from across the lake.”

It can also be the heavy iron ball used in a shot put sport.
It can be a vaccination or injection.
It can be a sequence of film exposures.
It can be a new opportunity: “Can I have just one more shot?”
It can be the act of launching a ball in a game: “He took the last shot.”
It can be a measure of alcohol.
It can be a chance: "It’s a shot in the dark."
It can be a remark or comment: “That was a dirty shot.”

There are many meanings for that one little word! So, what does it mean to need a “shot” of encouragement? I think the definition of a new opportunity probably fits best. A new opportunity is most often used in the context of someone getting a chance for advancement, progress or profit. I know for a fact that I could profit from having a new outlook on my gloomy day. 

That brings me to this month’s Gabby Moms review of “The Encouraging Mom.” It is a new membership program through Eternal Encouragement Magazine that gives a monthly “SUPER SHOT” of encouragement regarding specific needs of moms. Each month, a new topic is covered, giving practical ideas that help moms to "profit" from encouragement by strengthening their marriages, and becoming the kind of mothers that would make Jesus smile. Topics include things like: Kids that Clean, Words You Won’t Have to Eat, Preventing Parenting Pits, and so on.... Each topic is delivered straight to your e-mail inbox, and includes at least 4 different products (e-books, audio downloads, and video clips) that will give you the “shot” of encouragement you are needing. 

I was personally given the chance to look over the “Kids that Clean” Super Shot, and was pleased with what I saw. It included: 

1.  A 10-page e-book with 9 easy steps that teach your kids how to clean the bathroom. I really appreciated this little booklet because cleaning the bathrooms is something I really hate to do, and it doesn’t help that there are THREE of them to clean in our house! But, I guess I always figured the kids were too young (or not coordinated enough) to learn how to clean it properly. This booklet helped me to see that is not the case.

2.  An 8-page e-book with 10 steps for cleaning a messy kitchen. Step one isn’t what you might think, though. The first step is to set the timer for 20 minutes! Interesting.... why would we need to set a timer to clean a kitchen? Because kids (and even some adults) love a challenge. The idea is to see how quickly you can get the kitchen cleaned up (efficiently, of course!) before the time runs out. The booklet also includes some helpful tips for KEEPING the kitchen clean.

3.  A short, 5-page e-book with 10 habits for a clean house. I’m sure most moms have seen this phrase before: “Cleaning the house while children are growing is like shoveling the walk while it’s still snowing.” Well, Lorrie Flem disagrees with this statement. With her having 8 children, I can imagine how much mess there could potentially be in their house; And, Lorrie could have very easily used the above phrase as an excuse NOT to clean. But, she says there is a difference between showing your kids how to clean the house, and showing them how to KEEP it clean. It’s a matter of teaching good habits, having routines, and simplifying your life.

4.  A video clip about getting your day going each morning by having each child (and yourself) complete one chore before breakfast. Lorrie has since informed us moms that the video clips we saw in our sample of the Super Shots were only meant to give us an idea of what the program will entail. The actual videos that will go with each Super Shot will be in the form of a “mini-workshop” and will be exclusive to this membership program.

The launch date for this program is not certain, but is expected to be up and running sometime prior to April 1st. So, just keep a watch out for it on the Eternal Encouragement website.

What’s the cost? $7.97 per month will give each member one Super Shot (four products) on a specific topic. However, anyone who subscribes before April 1, 2011 will be a charter member and their monthly price will be only $6.97 a month. Charter members will be grandfathered in so that, as long as they are a member, their monthly fee will remain at just $6.97 per month.

Disclaimer: I reviewed "The Encouraging Mom" membership program as an official member of The Gabby Moms blogging program for Eternal Encouragement magazine. I did not receive compensation for this post and all opinions are solely my own.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Communion Book GIVE-A-WAY!

Easter (a.k.a. Resurrection Sunday) is less than 6 weeks away. So, I wanted to take this opportunity to put a plug in for my book,

The book isn't directly written about "Easter," but it does specifically talk about the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord - which is the basis for celebrating The Lord's Supper in the first place.

It is written in easy language for kids to understand, and many adults could learn from it as well. Could make a really great Easter gift for someone special.

I am currently running an EASTER SPECIAL, limited to the first 20 books, for those who are interested in purchasing a signed copy between now and the end of April. Please head on over to the "What is Communion?" BLOG to see the details of the special.


Also, for those interested, I will GIVE AWAY one book via a drawing.

Do at least ONE of the following BY THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING (Sunday, March 20th) to have your name entered in the drawing:

  • Comment on this post with a favorite Easter memory.
  • If you are unable to post a comment below, please feel free to e-mail me at: VICKY'S E-MAIL
  • Share this post on your Facebook page, and let me know about it.
  • Tweet about it on your Twitter page, and let me know about it.
  • Share it on your own blog and send me the link to it.

You are welcome to do more than one of the above, however, only TWO entries per person will be accepted.

Thanks, All....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Love of God

I really like this song that talks about the love of God....

Sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, but God provided a way for us to still have a relationship with Him. He gave His only Son to DIE for us. The kind of love that comes with that is immeasurable.

If the ocean was filled with ink, the sky was made of parchment, every corn stalk or tree was a quilled pen, and EVERY man was a writer, writing about the love of God would drain the ocean dry and there would still not be enough we could say about it.

The love of God is so rich and pure. It will remain forever and ever and ever.....

Thankyou, Lord, for you love for us!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Question of the Week for MOMS

Guess what? My PREVIOUS POST, the one where I talked about Encouraging Moments Newsletter, was given recognition as one of top 3 posts for the February Gabby Moms mission!  Pretty cool, huh? I ended up with a $15.00 gift card to spend on I've got a few things in mind that I need to get, so I'll be going "shopping" on there pretty soon.

When you get a moment to spare, I recommend popping in on the other two February winners to have a look at their posts. They are both excellent and deserve the recognition they received:

Speaking of The Gabby Moms, starting this week they are introducing a new feature on their site called Question of the Week. Each week, a new question will be posted and the best answer will win some sort of prize! The winners in MARCH will receive a $5 Gift Card to Starbucks!

So, if you are a Mom (not just a Gabby Mom, but ANY mom living in the U.S. or Canada), head on over to the Gabby Moms site right now to answer this week's question:

What is the number one thing you do to refresh yourself, your kids and your homeschool mid-year?

Be sure to leave your e-mail address, so they can get a hold of you if you win!

Have fun!