Some Ways To Lose Your Child’s Heart

It seems that many parents are concerned about winning their child’s heart. I believe parents need to be more concerned about not losing their child’s heart.

Some Ways To Lose Your Child's Heart

A child is born with the natural instinct to see his parents as “good” and to trust them. I am sure you have noticed that when a baby is in unfamiliar or uncomfortable surroundings, his instinct is to find his parents – or to cry until he is safely in their arms. In a young child’s mind, his parents are his entire world …

The rest of this post can be found at Faith Along The Way!

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Car Seat Baby Blankets Are Ready For You!

ruthHannah just asked me if I was going to write something about my new Teddy Toes business.  My reply was something to the extent of, “Well … I have not gotten the inspiration of what to write exactly …”

Her loving reply was, “Uh … Car Seat Baby Blankets for sale … it is winter time. .. are you waiting till …”

“Summer time?”  Ha ha!

So here I am … announcing to every mother and father, brother and sister, grandmother and grandfather, aunt and uncle, cousin, boss, employee, friend and foe (did I get everyone?) … that you need one of these!

P1120638 - Copy (2)The Teddy Toes is not just an ordinary blanket … this blanket with feet is made from soft fleece fabric and is specially designed to use with a car-seat.  It also has snaps to form a hood.  As you can see in the color options, we offer several of the Teddy Toes with 100% Cotton Flannel Linings.

This innovative design results in a blanket that can stay with the baby while lifting in and out … it adapts to different baby slings, backpacks, strollers, joggers, carriers and swings … and it makes a wonderful blanket to swaddle your baby at any time!

Want to see the available colors?

Group  1

Group 2Group 3Group 4To order one of the special Teddy Toes blankets, just click here.

If you would like more pictures of a certain material, just email me.

There is a limited quantity so if you like a certain color, you might want to go ahead and get it 🙂

Be blessed and have a great day!

In Loving Memory Of My Dear Brother

In Loving Memory Of My Dear Brother

Today I want to remember all the loved ones that have gone on ahead of us to our King of Kings.  Ten years ago a baby boy was brought into this world.  This baby boy was my brother. He was so tiny and lifeless, but we could clearly define his features.  We named him Yosef.  My father built a tiny little coffin and a few days later we laid his body to rest with loving friends surrounding us.

In Loving Memory Of My Dear Brother

That was ten years ago.  I can hardly believe it.  The other day I was sitting on our couch when Yosef came to mind and I realized his birthday anniversary was in a couple days. I realized he would have been ten years old … double digits … the age every child looks forward to!  As I sat there, my heart ached.  I love my little brother and I wanted to give him a big hug.  I wondered what he would look like, what color his hair and eyes would be.  Would he be counting the inches until he was taller than me? 🙂  What personality would he have had?

In Loving Memory Of My Dear Brother

To tell the truth, for many years I never really loved our Yosef.  When he was stillborn, I was so young and I did not really take it to heart that he was my brother just like Tommy and Samuel are.  The birth was life-threatening for my mother and so at the time being, I was more concerned about her.  In the following years I would think of my brother, but it was hard for me to truly love someone whom I had never really met.  But in the last few years the Father has changed that.

I have come to truly love my brother.  I have come to realize there is a missing piece in my life – my brother.  I have come to realize that it is completely fine and good to cry when the tears come to my eyes while thinking of him.  He is my BROTHER!  I used to wonder why the Father took Yosef home at such a young age but now I realize, it does not really matter!  The Father’s plan is always best and I know there is no better place in the whole universe for Yosef to be, because he is with our wonderful Savior.  Yes, it would have been a joy to have another little brother here in our home, but he is in a much better place and I am happy for him!  I am thankful he never had to face this sinful world and all the temptations that are in it.  He is privileged to be an innocent child living in Glory!  Thank you Father.

In Loving Memory Of My Dear Brother

Sometimes it is hard to remember the birth of my brother, it is often easier to try and forget something that is painful rather than to remember and embrace it.  Even though Yosef never took one breath, he was fearfully and wonderfully made and he has a special place in our family.  We love you, Yosef, and are looking forward to the day when we are reunited!

There are many other babies who have been miscarried, stillborn, aborted, etc. and I just want to take time to remember them.  I think too often we do not fully remember and love these little blessings for who they are.  May the Father forgive us for that.  May we truly remember them and love them for who they are, because they are sons and daughters of our Almighty God. May we remember and rejoice that they were counted worthy to live in Glory!

“But Yeshua said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’” Matthew 19:14

In Loving Memory Of My Dear Brother

Fundraiser For Baby With Cleft Palate And Lip (and a sale!)

unnamedAs most of you probably know, my sisters and I sell Lilla Rose products and we are doing a fundraiser for some friends of ours who just had their first baby.  He was born with cleft lip and palate, and will be undergoing some repair surgeries.  We would like to help out Brian and Susanna and their new son – we actually met her family through Shining Stars and they have been a great blessing in our lives!  75% of the profits generated through this fundraising event will go toward Adna’s medical expenses.

Not only that, but this event is set up as a party and whoever places an order through this party link will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win the hostess rewards, consisting of free and half-priced items!  So to put it all into perspective: you can get some beautiful, functional, high-quality products for yourself, you can help out a family in need, and you can possibly win free and half-priced products 🙂 And if you are a new customer and order three items, you can get a fourth one (up to $16 value) for free.  (Note: I have to order the fourth item for you, please do not place it in the cart with the rest of your order!)

One of the great things about Lilla Rose products is that those of us who wear headcoverings can use them, even though that is not what they were originally designed for.  Here are some of my sister’s and my favorite styles:

headcoverings

Their headbands make excellent accessories for headcoverings and so do their bobby pins. Lilla Rose has really nice guarantee and return policies for their products – we have used their flexi-clips for years and they still work great!  They also have products for all different styles and lengths of hair.

hairband-bobby pins

Lilla Rose just announced a surprise one day sale, with all of their products 20% off.  This sale ends at 2pm PDT (3pm MDT, 4pm CDT, 5pm EDT) today, Sept 18th.  You can take advantage of the sale prices AND help raise funds for Adna by ordering through this link

If you have any questions or need help with sizing information, please do not hesitate to contact me.  If you would like to donate to the cause without purchasing anything, that is welcome also – please email me for details.  And even if you are not able to order anything, please pass this on to anyone and everyone whom you think may be interested in helping out!

unnamedI also wanted to let you all know that Shining Stars Magazine Volume7 Number3 is now available and subscriptions can be purchased on this page.  We have extra copies of this issue so if you would like to see a sample before subscribing, there is an option to do so on the same page.  This issue contains some wonderful, encouraging articles discussing various aspects of keeping the home and our responsibilities in doing so.

We are also preparing the material for our next issue, Volume7 Number4, so if you are interested in sharing anything for this issue, please visit the Current Issue page for information on what material we need.

The General Store – Connecting Like-minded Believers!

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Photo Credit

Like-minded fellowship.

It is something for which most, if not all, of us yearn.  Many of us have been led by the Father to walk a path that looks a bit different than most people around us.  Many of us have left mainstream churches for various reasons and yet we desire to have fellowship.  Some of us are privileged to have it … but many of us feel alone.  I often hear from people statements like “we don’t have any fellowship”  “we don’t know anyone who believes like us”  “we sometimes feel like we’re the only ones out there”.

It shouldn’t be this way.  We are a part of the body of Messiah and the body can’t function properly when its members aren’t filling that role that they have been given.  And it’s hard to fill those roles when distance separates us!

A dear friend of ours likes to call our family “the general store”.  He says that one of our gifts is to connect people and it’s true … the Father has used us to bring together different people who have become close friends, as well as people who have been able to minister together.  We have even had the privilege of introducing several people to their spouses!

With that being said, we thought it might be a good idea to create a sort of network for people who are looking for local, like-minded Believers.  This is for people who are looking for fellowship, as well as those who have fellowship and would like to make it available to other in their area!  If this is something you’re interested in, please fill out the form at the link below.  Once you have provided your information, we will send you that of others in your area as it is submitted.

This is not just a pen pal list, or a directory of people from across the globe.  This is to be used specifically to provide information for people local to your area.  And when we use the term fellowship, we’re not necessarily referring to an organized, once-a-week worship service.  This can also be a way to connect with other believers informally as families, or as individuals.

Note: this information will not be publicized on the Internet!  It will only be provided to those in your area who contact us looking for like-minded fellowship.  Please also understand that we do not know all of these people personally and are not vouching for them or their character.  We ask you to use prayer and your own discretion when connecting with others!

The General Store – Connecting Like-minded Believers!

Sheltered And Protected … Such A Blessing!

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You might like to read:
Part One: Child-Rearing … Taking Responsibility
Part Two: Being Different … It Isn’t A Bad Thing!

Remember I mentioned that our family has always been different than most others around us?  This isn’t a bad thing … this is a good thing!  When we search the Scriptures, we find that YHWH’s people are supposed to be different.  After all, didn’t YHWH choose Israel to be His people out of all the nations and give them a set of rules to follow which were very different than those around them?

“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:”  Exodus 19:5

“For thou art an holy people unto YHWH thy God, and YHWH hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth”  Deuteronomy 14:2

“And YHWH hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;”  Deuteronomy 26:18

If, through the blood of Messiah, we have been brought into the commonwealth for Israel (Ephesians 2:11-22), then aren’t these words for us too?  The Hebrew word for peculiar, means “possession, valued property, treasure”.  A similar Greek word is used in these passages:

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”  Titus 2:14

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:”  1Peter 2:9

The word peculiar in those texts means, “that which is one’s own, belonging to one’s possessions, a people selected by God from the other nations for his own possession.”

How are we to be His “peculiar treasure”, “holy people”, “chosen generation” and “royal priesthood”?  Do we not have the answers in the verses above … that we should “keep all his commandments” and “shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light”?  It is with that conviction that my parents chose to look into the Scriptures for daily instruction and standards and taught us children to do the same.

All of us are probably familiar with verses like these:

“whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God,”  1Corinthians 10:31

“whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”  Colossians 3:17

Do we really believe and practice that?

When facing decisions, in situations both life-changing and normal everyday life, we need to ask questions like …

“Does this glorify the Heavenly Father?”
“What is right about this?”
“How will this benefit us spiritually?”
“Is this gratifying the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life (see 1John 2:16), or is it cultivating righteousness and holiness?”
“How will this affect us in the light of eternity?”

These are some tough questions and one might get the idea that I am encouraging a super-spiritual lifestyle where everything is dictated rules and regulations and we aren’t allowed to relax and enjoy ourselves.  On the contrary, I think we have one of the happiest families around!  We enjoy a good sense of humor … my father is one of the funniest men I know and laughter is a big part of our family life.  We love to joke with each other and have a good time.  Playing games and making music is a highlight.  Sometimes we’ll even watch a good movie together.

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
Proverbs 17:22

It is a good thing to be happy and joyful, but we must beware that our joyfulness is acceptable in His sight.  There is a huge difference between the joy of YHWH that is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10) and what the world calls “fun” and “having a good time”.  How can we be a holy people if we take our cues from the Godless society that we are surrounded by?

My dear friends … those of you who do not yet have children of your own, please prayerfully consider how to live righteous lives now and prepare to be a Godly example to your children.  Learn now what it means to train up children in the way they should go and prepare to do just that, no matter the cost.  After all, what are all the worldly pleasures worth, compared to being able to lead a child to the Heavenly Father?

To the parents who have read this … please hear me say how grateful I am for my parent’s protection.  I am so thankful for the way that they have sheltered my siblings and me.  I am not experiencing the painful consequences of a sinful lifestyle.  I can go to sleep each night with a peaceful heart and without regrets, knowing that I am not perfect but in being made free from sin, I have become a servant of righteousness (Romans 6:18).

Dear parents, this is the greatest gift you can give your child … loving them enough to say no to ungodly influences and choices and directing them in the narrow way that leads to life.

“For wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.” – Matthew 7:13,14

Being Different … It’s Not A Bad Thing!

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You might like to read:
Part One: Child-Rearing … Taking Responsibility!

In world where everyone is expected to keep up with the latest trends and fads, my parents never made us feel uncomfortable about being different.  They taught us to be loving and kind to anyone and everyone, but they never portrayed that it was important to “fit in” with the crowd.  Somehow, we understood that being different was not a curse, but a blessing.  Believe me – we’ve been different as long as I can remember!  We have dressed differently, talked differently, played differently, ate differently, made decisions on acceptable entertainment (music, movies, etc) differently … you name it!

This isn’t because we want to have a holier-than-thou attitude and treat everyone else as if we’re right and they’re wrong.  In fact, some of our closest friendships have been with people who have different standards than we do.  It’s just that YHWH has given us strong convictions in certain areas and we feel the duty to uphold those.

Secondly, they take responsibility for our welfare – physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally.  They are protective about what influences surround us.  When we were young, my parents instructed us that if someone started to tell us about a movie they had watched, we were to ask them not to.  They knew that family standards are different and they did not want us exposed to something that they did not feel was acceptable.  They were (and still are) very careful about letting us talk and play with other children who they did not know very well.  We weren’t allowed to go off to bedrooms or be unattended for very long. Some people may feel that they were overbearing in sheltering us, but I can tell you how thankful I am for their protectiveness.

As we got older and grew into the teen years, we were not expected to be rebellious.  There were absolutely no excuses for wrong behavior … age and adolescence didn’t make any difference.  Now that I’m through those teen years, I can look back and view them as some of the happiest and most contented years of my life.  I see them as years in which I developed a deep respect for my parents and a close relationship with them.

A child holding hands with her parents.They were years that I cultivated a love for the Heavenly Father, a relationship with the Messiah and deeper understanding of Scriptural truth. Through study and life experience, I gained spiritual knowledge and my personal convictions were formed and strengthened.  I see similar experiences in the lives of my siblings and I ask myself why?  Why this difference?  How is it that in a time when the majority of families are dysfunctional, our family is functioning … not perfectly we’ll all admit, but at least that is our goal.  Why is it that my siblings and I are thankful for our parent’s protection and loving guidance, when so many young people are rebelling and going the way of the world?

I don’t have all the answers, but I do want to share a perspective that may shed some light.

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abides for ever.”  1John 2:15-17

The definition of lust, as used in this passage, is “desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden.”  This word is used a few times in a positive context (such as Yeshua desiring to eat the Passover with His disciples), but most of the references are in a negative context, describing a desire for what is forbidden.  Our culture promotes lust and self-gratification EVERYWHERE we go.  It is what makes the entertainment industry so profitable.  One of the definitions of pop culture is – cultural activities or commercial products reflecting, suited to, or aimed at the tastes of the general masses of people.

Biblical standards of right and wrong are forgotten or ignored and now it’s all about us; what we like and don’t like, what makes us happy, confident, fulfilled, etc.  This is a humanistic worldview and a quick look at its definition should make us turn and run in the opposite direction!  Simply defined,

“Humanism contends that human beings are a part of nature, that they have emerged as a result of continuous evolutionary process, and that all their values–religious, ethical, political, and social–have their source in human experience and are the product of their culture.”

This sounds very different than the passage in 1John 2, where we are instructed to love not the things of the world and the lusts of it.  Is it possible that so many young people are turning their backs on the ways of YHWH and embracing the ways of the world because they have not been taught to love the Heavenly Father, or more specifically, are taught to love the things of the world?  Maybe they haven’t been taught the value of a life lived in total surrender to His Will?  Perhaps they have been surrounded by opposing influences and do not have the Biblical foundation and knowledge to stand against peer pressure?

I once heard someone say, our children are the only possessions that we can take into the Heavenly Kingdom.  Granted, no one can force their child to accept the gift of eternal life that was purchased by the blood of Yeshua and no child is going to make it into the Kingdom because his parents are.  But parents have an incredible responsibility to train up a child in the way he should go so that when he is old he will not depart from it.  We see a lot of “departing” these days and it is unspeakably crucial that we know how to combat these darts of the enemy and train our children in righteousness.

(stay tuned for Part Three: Sheltered And Protected … Such A Blessing!)