Monday, March 19, 2012

Community group accountability questions.

Christianity is not about a set of rules to follow, or about what you do or don't do.
It is about a loving God who wants to have a loving relationship with you.
It is about loving Him back with every breath, action, word and thought.
Because we love Him we have a passionate desire to live a life pleasing to Him.

Matthew 5:48 Therefore you are to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Accountability Questions (adapted from Heather Johansen’s Questions):
1. Have you lied, cheated, deceived, stolen or been in any other way dishonest this week?
a. Have you obeyed all governing authorities God has placed over you?
2. Have you desired anything or anyone above God or made anything else besides God your #1 priority?
a. Have you put your time with the Lord above all else this week?
b. Have you done your quiet time in the Word and prayer with the Lord every day this week?
c. How many days this week did you set aside time to study the word and pray eliminating all distractions?
3. Have you had an attitude of jealousy or covetousness towards anyone or their possessions this week?
4. Have you placed yourself or others in any tempting situations regarding lust?
a. Have your thoughts been completely free of impurity/lust this week?
b. Have you had any thoughts of dissatisfaction with being single or married?
c. Have you acted inappropriately to anyone else causing them to lust or sin sexually?
d. Have you treated everyone else as a brother/ sister in Christ regarding purity?
5. Have you been angry or harbored bitterness towards anyone else this week?
6. Have you been afraid or anxious about anything this week?
7. Have you allowed any unwholesome talk, slander, gossip or hard words to pass your lips?
8. Have you been lazy or gluttonous this week? Have you taken care of your body through physical exercise and proper eating and sleeping habits?
a. Have you used your time wisely?
9. Have you allowed any person or circumstance to rob you of your joy?
10. Have you thought more highly of yourself than others in any situation, or done something to pridefully place yourself in a better light to those around you?

The following is a list which CJ Mahaney included in his book "Why Small Groups" from something that Samuel Wesley used in the 1700's.

Introductory/Heart Condition Questions:
1) Have you peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ?
2) Do you desire to be told of your faults?
3) Do you desire that every one of us should tell you, from time to time, whatsoever is in our heart concerning you?
4) Consider! Do you desire that we should tell you whatsoever we think, whatsoever we fear, whatsoever we hear, concerning you?
5) DO you desire that, in doing this, we should become as close as possible, that we should cut to the quick, and search your heart to the bottom?
6) Is it your desire and design to be on this, and all other occasions, entirely open, so as to speak everything that is in your heart, without exception, without disguise, and without reserve?
Weekly Accountability Questions:
1) What known sin have you committed since our last meeting?
2) What temptations have you met with?
3) How were you delivered?
4) What have you thought, said, or done, of which you doubt whether it be sin or not?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Bike Riding!

We have entered a new world of riding bikes in our little complex street. It has been fun and we have met more neighbors.

I am fully behind the new balance bike movement. Give a child a bike with no pedals. Let them tootle around on it, pushing with their feet and they will learn to balance on their own. No training wheels needed. Since balance bikes are the same $ as normal, I got Kalena a $10 bike at a garage sale, and had my dad take the pedals off. She LOVES it, and is doing so great on it. She is getting faster and faster, and has learned how to balance. I foresee another couple months of her little balance bike, and then she will be ready to jump on a big girl bike!

After bath snuggle!

There is nothing better than a snuggle after a bath.


Our little Buddy is 7 months old now and moving around the house with ease! He started crawling and quickly learned how to pull up on furniture. It has been fun to watch his world expand as he gets his first taste of paper, hair rubber bands and other non-eatables that I regularly find him with. It is hard to baby proof a home from age 5 and down... it is actually near impossible. Anything the girls can get into, has to be safe for Andrew. I can't trust them to remember not to let him have little parts.
He is also eating now, and loves food! He loves oatmeal, chicken and blueberries. He is also taking to bottles quite well and loves formula.
I have noticed a few differences between my girl babies, and this little boy baby. He is bigger and stronger than the girls, crawling a good 2 months earlier than any of them. He hits everything. Toys, people, food, his carseat, everything. He loves the vacuum. My girls were scared of the vacuum, running in fear and covering their ears when it comes out of the closet. He actually likes it, smiles and giggles at it, and crawls after it. I have to vacuum quickly while he struggles to keep up with me. Thats it. Otherwise he is just a normal, sweet baby boy!
I pray for my sweet boy to grow to be a man of God, and faithfully read, teach and preach the Word like his daddy! I am still in shock that God gave me a baby boy. Thank you Jesus for my little sweet buddy.

Evening in the Park!

My Sweet Pre-Schoolers!

Katelyn and Sara have been doing pre-school with me during Andrew's morning nap and while Kalena is at school. It has been going great. The other day I brought out some word flashcards and thought I would teach Sara a few words. She and I were both shocked when she began to read! I love the giddiness both she and Kalena showed when they first began to read. This wass a moment I will always remember. She didn't just read dog and hat, but 5 and 6 letter words like, umbrella and football.(with a huge smile, and jumping up and down) Justin was getting ready for work and he peaked his head in the room with a shocked look. I knew she was getting close to reading, but didn't know she was really ready to start! Now she gets to read Bob books and our first reader pony books. Yay for Sara!!

Katelyn is also moving along in her "pre-school" which includes potty training and learning her colors. Her vocabulary is booming and we talk to her and she talks back in normal sentences. Occasionally she tries to throw in words like, maybe, probably, and actually which always brightens my day because it is hilarous. She has a rather explosive temper (as well as laugh :) so the first verses she has memorized are: Titus 2:5 "Be self-controlled" and Colossians 3:8 "...put away anger" and Colossians 3:12 "...put on ...kindness".

Both of my little pre-schoolers love each other so much and they have had so much fun bonding together in the mornings. Their tender hearts are so precious to me. I pray for them and their relationship that it will grow and flourish as the Lord matures both of them into women of faith and truth. I pray Jesus grabs hold of their little hearts and teaches them, guides them, and molds them into women who worship Him.

Mommy and Kalena!

Where's Waldo?

...or Wenda as she prefered.

Goodbye Green Van!

We said an emotional good bye to a part of our family. The Green Van. It was faithful (until the end), full of fun, spacious, and had assisted in many road trips as well as driven by all 4 of us to High School. The '79 Chevy was complete with sideways bench seats with an octagon checkers board/card table with drink holders in the back, curtains, and carpet from wall to wall. The stories of the green van go on and on. I used to keep a record of all the times i was pulled over in the green van.... driving in an illegal backroad, appearing too young to have a license, forgetting to turn my headlights on, racing (yes... with a high school friend who had a van as old as mine), not stopping, speeding, swerving the list goes on. I will never forget the officer who glanced at my lap belt at a seatbelt checkpoint after school one day. He told me to tell my dad to get me a new car. A new car? I thought... NEVER! I loved my van. I thank God that no one ever got hurt in the Van, He protected us so many times in it.

I begged and pleaded to the husbands and engineers in the family to fix it up again and let me install all my carseats and drive it around town, but there was a resounding "no" form the peanut gallery of all the men. However, none of us can even stand to think about it being dismantled and crushed. It is just too much to bear. Good bye Green Van. Your memory will live on in our hearts.


How many kids can you fit on a bed?

We decided to find out while we had a fun Community Group dinner at our place last month. We love these families who we have become so close with. We are excited to go through all of life's roller coasters with them. Thank you God for giving us brothers and sisters in Christ! And thank you God for Winnie the Poo, who was able to entertain all 12 kids on our bed for a while. (we actually have 13 kids in all and 2 on the way, Ellie was not on the bed and I don't blame her :)