Friday 30 October 2009

John McArthur

I was just listening to John preaching about sin and something about this statement struck a cord with me.
He said that people make choices
and the choices become
habits,
and from the
habits forms the personality
which reaps the character,
and the character of a person determines their ever lasting destiny...




Chilling.

.

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Milgram's Obedience to Authority Experiment 2009

I visited Chris Cleave'sblog today and as usual his post was very funny. He mentioned Milgrams obedience to authority. I vaguely remembered something about it so I checked out YouTube and found this short documentary. Watch it, it will open your eyes I think...







The comments around the four minute mark on the second part are insightful. As a Christian I can’t help but think about how the leaders stirred up the crowd so much that they were shouting for Jesus to be crucified (even though they heralded him days before while coming into Jerusalem). Also, even though Pilate knew Jesus was innocent and stated such, by washing his hands, he transferred the guilt of his decision to the Jews, or so he thought.

I don't know how I would have fared in this experiment but hope and pray that we will bring up Sean in such a way that he won't be one in nine...Justify Full

Saturday 24 October 2009

Poems by Laura Bruce

Through the trees

Comes, softly on the breeze Floating down from Heaven

Pure love – pure gold

Music in the silver stream

As it shines crystal clear

On its way

Through pastures green

To where the river plays.

Music in the song of birds

As they welcome

In the dawn

With harmony divine

As each new day is born.




Faith - Hope - and Love


With a gentle glow

Beautiful

Like blossoms in the snow

A delicate fragrance

That will survive

The tangled thorns

That life can show

A leading

A guidance

From above

Faith is and will remain

An evergreen

As all true believers know.






MADRID

The wind sings a

Desolate song

For those who did

Not survive

The storm that came

Violent, sweeping strong

When evil

Spread its wings

Like a bird

Of prey

Suddenly, in the morning

Making black the day.

Now, the world weeps

With Spain.



Your Presence

Your presence, in my life

Forever more

Will be for me

A beautiful reality

A yearning fulfilled

In a distant World

On a distant Shore.

When I leave the

Darkness

For the light of eternal Days.

To be with you in Glory

Where you stay.



SECOND COMING

There is a moment yet to come,

A glory still to be,

When you and I shall stand as one

Before eternity.

The sun shall be in darkness,

The sky become as flame

And they who call upon the Lord

Shall not cry in vain.

For swift shall be His coming

In triumph and in power –

The strong shall fail, the proud man kneel

In that mighty hour.

There is a time will surely come,

A glory soon to be,

When Jesus Christ will stand as Lord,

And all the world will see.

Laura Bruce

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Laura

I knew a woman called Laura. She attended our Church services for years but never joined the Church. She lived close by the building and used to just walk around at her leisure to join us. She was a bit odd. Sometimes she wrote poems with an amazing insight of the Lord. During the week when I cleaned the Church building I used to take a walk around to her home to visit her. She would take me into her back sitting room that always had a fire lit in it. It was dusty and old looking and you could tell it hadn't been decorated in years but she always gave me a cup of tea and a slice of bread. She would stand up and sit down, stand up and sit down and eventually take a slip of torn paper from behind an old ornament on the mantelpiece and read her latest poem to me.

At the Sunday evening service she would request that we would sing the same song again and again, week in, wek out. This evening I had my song book out and opened the page to where 'Laura's' song was. It's by Joseph Hart who lived between the years of 1712-68 and the scripture it follows is 'O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!'

Some of the lines in the song are...

'This God is the God we adore,
Our faithful unchangeable Friend.'

I can understand and relate to God as being my Father and I His daughter. I understand that He loves me. I can accept this because, behind it all, well, family love family don't they? Family are expected to love you even though they see your faults.
But God sees all I have done, am doing and will do and he still loves me, not only as a Father but as a friend...

Friends love you from choice don't they?

How can God know all about me and still love me, freely and unconditionally as a friend?

I loved Laura as a friend. She died a couple of years ago.
I thank God for her tonight.

.

Saturday 17 October 2009

John Piper.

'The best news of the Christian gospel is that the supremely glorious Creator of the universe has acted in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection to remove every obstacle between us and himself so that we may find everlasting joy in seeing and savouring his infinite beauty. The saving love of God is his doing whatever must be done, at great cost to himself, and for the least deserving, so that he might enthrall them with what will make them supremely happy forever, namely, himself.'

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Chicken Farm.




Yesterday while on our way home from Castleblaney we stopped off in a Chicken farm! It's a high life we lead here you know! Actually it was quite interesting... and very smelly:o) Niall had been here a few weeks ago when the birds were little chicks and said it was totally different, including the perfume.

We were invited to come back in three weeks to see the next batch of chicks. I suspect it will be a more pleasant visit!

A surprise treat!


Niall surprised Sean and me the other evening by taking us out in our pj's to have a late evening ice cream! We went out to our favourite beach and dined there:o) The weather wasn't bad and with the lights twinkling along the street and on the mountains opposite, we had a very blessed and restful visit. Check out the groovy pj's!
Thanks Niall!

Day out.

Last month we went to visit a Castle. It has lovely grounds with most of it's plants and flowers named.


I couldn't get over how unusual the flower on this tree was. I had never seen it before and was struck by the thoughts that Jesus designed it...



On the grounds they had the BEST play ground we had ever visited. We all had fun on it! Must get Niall to post a video of it!

All this beauty on a hill with a background of the Irish Sea to just finish it off, and all within easy driving distance.

Monday 12 October 2009

Autumn



The weather here in Ireland is beautiful at the moment. The sun is shining and there is little rain. We have been able to enjoy this season with a few walks etc. We went to the Bally Mac again for our home schooling, picked some apples and kicked some leaves:o)
Both Niall and I have taken Sean to the park on different days to enjoy the kite Niall bought him. We also hope to go and visit Kings Court before the weather turns and enjoy the forests and fallen leaves.

photo.jpg

Street work.

No, it's not evangelism! Niall and I started this particular project at the beginning of Summer and only got back to it last week. First time around we dug up the area, weeded it, planted shrubs and climbers. Niall attached the wire mesh to the wall.
When we went back to it last week you should have seen the height of the weeds! Pity I didn't think to take a photo then:o) However, as you can see from the photos we had lots of help and got through the whole project quickly, painlessly, with lots of fun... and cake!


Our neighbour Paula baked and shared her cake... God saved her about six months ago and she is growing so fast!!!

Tuesday 6 October 2009

An answer to a question

Hi Sarah,
sorry about the delay in getting back to you. I don't mind you asking me about home schooling. No. I have never been to University so I just have a regular schooling. I started schooling Sean when he was four and it was all very simple stuff. Jigsawa, colouring, ABC's etc. There are plenty of work books available in the book shope here in Ireland so there was no end of help/resources out there for me.

As he grew I just increased the work load. It came very naturally to both of us. When he wanted to learn how to tell the time when he was five, he learned to, although children here learn in school when they are between 7&8. He learned his tables at a very young age too.

He went to school when he was six for one and a half years and then we decided to home school him again. We wanted to do it and so did he:0)

We have a friend who is a school teacher who used to come visit us every month and advise me about Sean's education. She gave me a copy of the state curriculum that I read over a few times and I also used school books that the schools were using, along with other materials I picked myself.

Since then I have grown in confidence and I also know exactly where Sean is with his work, what his weaknesses are and his strengths. My teacher friend comes only about three times a year now and tests Sean with the regular State school tests. This, by the way has always been voluntary, the State does not demand it. It also helped calm a few nerves of the relations/grandmothers who thought Sean was missing out in a big way by not going to school!

And now we are on our last two years. Sean is doing well. He is in his last year which is sixth class and after that we have decided to give him an extra year where he can do lots of travel, art, music etc before he goes into Secondary School when he is thirteen. I would consider continuing teaching him but I know my limits and wouldn't be able to. It's different in the States. They have far more help over there and if I were to use their curriculum it would be hard for Sean to make the transition from an American education to an Irish/European education later on when he would go to college.

So far, things have worked out very well for us. The only problem Sean has had (recently) is with his maths and we have a friend who is a Scientist, got his Masters, and he has been kind enough to visit Sean every Friday and give him grinds for free, until he catches up.
For a tiny fee a young woman from Latvia has been teaching Sean to speak, read and write Russian for over four years. Her boyfriend knew my husband and as she was a student at the time and wanted to spend more time with English speaking people, she took on with the job. It has been a labour of love for her seeing as now she is an accountant working with a firm and she still comes to us most weeks... I can assure you it's not the money that is drawing her! She told us that, she just enjoys being with our family:0)
Also, a young woman from Lithuania who who swam for her country in the Special Olympics and visits our Church is helping Sean with his swimming for free. All we pay for is her and Sean's swimming fees which is eleven euros. My point is, I bet you have plenty of relatoins/friends who will be willing to help you out and share the load as time goes on.

We, as a family love home schooling. It is a lifestyle choice. Things are very relaxed and informal here but we do get things done. I do have a class room for Sean and a tight schedule for these final two years that is working out well.

I read somewhere that if somebody is thinking about home schooling, a good thing to do is to try it out during the Summer Hols. That way you get an idea if the child likes it and if you are able for it. I really believe that with children who are young, it is not hard to educate them, it's a matter of if you want to, and if you can stick with it. Patience is a big factor.

My goodness, it sounds like you are a very well educated woman. If you can afford to stay at home and educate your children there, than go for it. There is so much you can do. There is so much we did! Over the years we visited a lot of Museums, Castles, grounds, Water parks, Exhibitions etc. We homeschooled in Italy, Spain, America etc. We home schooled in the Library and on good days in Parks, Hotel grounds, friends homes and at the beach. We used Cd's and posters we picked up for free in newspapers and also were given permission to use the School Library connected to the local Library that only teachers can use, taking out a box of about fifty books at a time. We got free use of a local Soccer Dome so Sean can go play football with his dad. That is only the tip of the iceberg!

I understand your concerns. After all, we only get one shot at this. The good thing about home schooling is that when you start with young children, you can take it one year at a time and place them into a school any time you want.

In Ireland, we generally place our children into schools when they are four and sometimes we place boys in school when they are five. Some people wait until the child is six which is ok too. Others place them into play school at a much younger age. I suppose what I am saying is you can keep your children at home and start schooling them at any young age.

One thing that I fall down on with regards to teaching is that I am terrible at spelling (you may have noticed!) but a decent dictionary helps:0)

I hope that I have helped you in some small way. I am not one who goes around bad mouthing schools and a school education, but I really, really would recommend home schooling to anybody who can stay home and has patients. Try it and take it one day at a time and enjoy it! That would be my advice.