Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Thanks to God

 Thanks to God for my Redeemer, thanks for all Thou dost provide!
Thanks for times now but a mem'ry, thanks for Jesus by my side!
Thanks for pleasant, balmy springtime, thanks for dark and stormy fall!
Thanks for tears by now forgotten, thanks for peace within my soul! 

Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered, thanks for what Thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered, thanks for all Thou dost supply! 
Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure, thanks for comfort in despair! 
Thanks for grace that none can measure, thanks for love beyond compare!

Thanks for roses by the wayside, thanks for thorns their stems contain!
Thanks for home and thanks for fireside, thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!
Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow, thanks for heav'nly peace with Thee!
Thanks for hope in the tomorrow, thanks through all eternity! 

  1. "Gratitude produces deep, abiding joy because we know that God is working in us, even through difficulties." ~ Charles Stanley 


What are you thankful for on this last day in November? 



Psalm 92:1-5
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. O Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. 





Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!!  

Psalm 107: 1-2, 8-9, 43
“O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.”
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite, (if not my favorite) holidays. I love that we as Americans have a day set aside to reflect and remember that all the blessings we enjoy come from our loving Father. Some things I am grateful for today: 

~ getting to spend Thanksgiving with Lauren at our campus parent's house
~ trials and pain God has used in my life to help me become like him
~opportunities to grow in self-control and patience
~three days off of school
~the blessing of being a child of God
~the comfort of the Holy Spirit
~the privilege to enter boldly into the throne of grace
~the blessed assurance that Jesus is mine 
~beautiful hymns of thanksgiving and praise
~lovely friends
~a good night's rest
~cool, sunny fall weather
~warmth of a fire
~laughter
Psalm 33:1-5
Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltry and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise. For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgement: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

“Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; 
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” 


I would love to hear: what are some things you are grateful for today? 
How are you celebrating Thanksgiving? 
Hope you all have a wonderful day! 


love,
Ashley

Psalm 145:1-3
“I will extol thee, my God, O King; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.” 





Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Wonder of Creation ~ Book Review

 

About the book:

Well-known for his powerful and highly visual messages about science and the Bible, Louie Giglio has a passion for inspiring kids to notice, enjoy, and marvel at God's creation. In The Wonder of Creation, children will find new delight in God's creativity with 100 devotions that explore:

  • animals—from honeyguide birds to flying snakes to white rhinos
  • space—from black holes to volcanic moons to gamma-ray bursts
  • people—from optical illusions to brain freezes to our immune systems 
  • Earth—from rainbow rivers to blue lava to flowing glaciers                                                    
  • and much, much more!

With engaging illustrations and striking photography, this fun and informative book is ideal for children ages 6–10. Each of the 100 devotions features a scientific fact or an easy activity for exploring faith, a short Bible verse, and a closing prayer.

With a beautifully bright and colorful cover and a ribbon bookmark, The Wonder of Creation

  • is ideal for science-loving kids, Bible-loving kids, and any child ready to go deeper in faith
  • continues a well-loved devotional series that has impacted over a million children, parents, and teachers
  • includes informative content call-outs inviting kids to "Explore the Wonder"
  • makes a great addition to a homeschool STEM curriculum or a bedtime reading routine

As kids explore this awe-inspiring devotional, they'll be amazed at the many wonders God has made! 

#WonderOfCreationMIN #thewonderofcreation
#MomentumInfluencerNetwork


My thoughts: 

This is a colorful, easy-to-read kids book full of cute illustrations. Each devotional is two pages long with a Bible verse, an application to go along with it, and a prayer. Each one also has an "Explore the Wonder" box which contains an interesting fact about an aspect of creation, whether it be space, animals, plants, or humans. One downside to this book is that all the verses shared are from various versions. However, it is easy to cross out the verses and write the correct ones so children can memorize them. I would recommend that parents read the book with their kids so they can answer questions kids might have. Also, though it mentions God in each devotional, I didn't notice the gospel clearly laid out (it was mentioned, but somewhat muddled), so adults might want to incorporate it as they read to children. 

Giveaway:

 To enter to win one copy of the The Wonder of Creation, leave a comment below! The giveaway is limited to the U.S. only, and will end on December 4th. 





Many thanks to HarperCollins Christian Publishing for providing this product/product
information for review. Opinions are 100% my own. I did receive the product in
exchange for this review and post.




"Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created." ~ Psalm 148:4-5

 

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Happy Veterans Day!

Happy Veteran's Day! 
I just wanted to take a minute today to thank all the veterans who have served our country. I am very thankful for them and their sacrifice. What a blessing to be able to remember and honor them today. Praise  to the Lord for allowing us the privilege of living in the land of the free truly because of the brave. 

O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife, 
Who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life! 
America! America! May God thy gold refine, 
Till all success be nobleness, and every gain divine. 




Drop a note in the comments! Are you celebrating in a fun, special way today? 



Lamentations 3:22-25 
"It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassion fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him." 





Thursday, November 4, 2021

Homespun Devotions: Volume 1 ~ Book Review

 A cheery hello to you! Happy November! 

It's been quite a while since I've shared a book review, so today I am thrilled to introduce you to Cheryl Smith's brand new book, Homespun Devotions.

About the book: 
Christian living is like a quilt—multi-colored scraps of wisdom gleaned and assembled one stitch at a time. We learn as we go, as the common thread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is woven throughout the everyday moments, events, and situations we encounter. Only He can tie the pieces together and create something of beauty that will serve to warm the hearts of others and surround them with His grace.

"Homespun Devotions: Volume One" begins a series of books that record the piecing together of many of the stories of my life and the rich spiritual truths God has imparted along the way. As you read these homespun narratives of family, love, marriage, motherhood, friendship, and the music that is such a part of my heritage, you will discover glimpses into moments of the soul-searching and intense struggles I have experienced while journeying to a place of complete surrender to the One who bled and died for me.

I point you to no denomination, religious group, or sect—only to the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ, where redemption, restoration, healing, and peace still freely and lavishly flow. He loves you with a never-ending, unconditional love—I pray you embrace this truth afresh and with a deeper persuasion as you read.

My thoughts: 
I loved this book! I had planned on reading through it slowly, one devotion a day, but instead I read three or four a day! Each devotion is around a verse and Mrs. Smith inserts a personal story that shows how God has used it in her life to help her grow closer to him. I came away feeling very encouraged in my faith and was reminded of simple, yet essential truths from God's word. The devotionals are encouraging and very timely, and I will definitely be reading this book again in the near future. I'd highly recommend this book to every Christian, young and old, who desires to have a deeper walk with God and who wants to be encouraged in the Lord. 


*I received this book from Mrs. Smith in exchange for a review. All thoughts are my own.*


Click here to purchase Homespun Devotions. You will be so blessed. 
To purchase her other book, Biblical Minimalism, click here.


Malachi 3:16 ~ "Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name." 

 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Positive Reinforcements

Positive Reinforcements.  Have you noticed all the negative reinforcements there are in the world? Negativity is easily passed along from one person to the next. Sadly, it is even prevalent among many Christians and found in families. But we all need someone who believes in us. You know how many people have gone on to accomplish spectacular things just because someone believed in them? A simple sentence such as “I think you would be good at that!” can literally change the direction of someone’s life. It can cause them to continue in their endeavor. The opposite is also true. A lack of positive words can harm and/or discourage someone. 
This month, I’ve been spending a great amount of time reading in Proverbs and noticing what it says about the mouth and the words we speak. Pertaining to encouraging and speaking positively, here are a few that stuck out: 

  • Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” 
  • Proverbs 18:24 “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” 
  • Proverbs 25:11 “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” 
  • Proverbs 27:9 “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.” 

May each of us learn to speak positive, gracious words of life to one another in order to edify and build up. It makes a world of difference to the hearer, and who knows? God may even use you and me and our  influence to change someone’s life. 


love, 
Ashley

Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” 


Jude: 22 "And of some have compassion, making a difference:"



Friday, October 1, 2021

May 2021 - August 2021

 Hello! 
This post is just a tad bit late, but it is chronicling the summer months, which were full of work and fun. It was definitely a unique and special experience, one which I am very thankful to the Lord for orchestrating. 


After school ended in May, Lauren and I came back to college to work here during the summer. At the end of May, my aunt stopped by to see us and to show us her new Camaro. 😁

During lunch one afternoon, this adventurous squirrel climbed up on my table and enjoyed part of my lunch. :) 



Lauren, our friend Zara and I did some baking on the weekend when the kitchens were open. 
Lauren worked at a snack shop called the Hut and learned how to make yummy desserts, such as this ice cream sundae. 😋 

Throughout the summer, Lauren, Zara and I played countless games of Sushi Go. If you haven’t played this game, you definitely need to. It’s competitive and so much fun. 😁
Zara made Indian curry for lunch one Sunday...it was oh so good! 



There were so many beautifully unique cloud patterns painted in the sky on various occasions. 
Book club!
Black light bowling and a party characterized our celebration of the Fourth of July! 
Wednesday evening puppet crew
Sunday morning puppet crew. 
I was able to be a part of two different puppet groups during the summer. Wednesday night was vacation Bible school, and we followed a 10 week puppet story script with one performance each Wednesday. The theme was time travel, and the characters were a professor, professor’s helper Avery, a robot, and a queen (who got transported through time to the present accidentally). They were a lot of fun to act out, and the children definitely enjoyed it as well. :) The script was from Answers in Genesis, and I appreciate how it clearly presented the gospel throughout the story.


Until next time, keep looking up. 



As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 
~Colossians 2:6-9







Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Welcome to the Distribution Center for Abeka Book

A  happy hello to you! 

This summer I was blessed to be a part of the ministry of Abeka book and work in Abeka’s distribution center. My family has used Abeka books for many years in homeschool and maybe some of you have used them as well. I thought you might enjoy a small tour of the front warehouse where I worked. It truly is such an incredible place, and it was an honor to work there. The manager over the whole warehouse is such a godly man with a tender heart and deep love for the Lord. Every Friday we had a meeting, and he would often times share a short devotional of something he had read that day, or share prayer requests. It is such a blessing to work in a Christian environment. 

The pictures aren’t the best, but I hope you enjoy seeing inside the distribution center. 

This is the building where it all happens :) 
I often enjoyed getting to see beautiful and interesting cloud formations God placed in the sky as I walked to work.
There is a back picking isle with with all the materials up to grade 2. Each picking isle is numbered from least to greatest. 
This is the front picking isle filled with all the materials for 3rd grade and up. 
Each particular book or item has a certain number it is assigned to. Each number has a certain spot on the shelf. These numbers are printed on the back of the boxes as well, which makes it easy for the restockers to know where to place each box. 
To fill orders, a dispatcher places a pack of papers on a each cart. For the back (BA) picking isles, the pack may be one to three or four pages long. Usually in the front (FA) isles, the packs are longer, usually four to six or seven pages long. 
A picker takes the next available cart, and parks it at a spot in the isle. Starting at the top of the page and working his/her way down, he/she will move down the isle, following the numbers on the sheets and picking the correct number of books. The carts are sectioned in small spots called cells, and each cell is numbered. The paper not only tells the location, quantity, and name of the book or item, it also tells the picker which cell to place how many of each item in. When the picker has picked all the books on the paper, he/she  parks the cart in a line to be inspected, and can go start on another cart. 

Here’s a couple of picked carts, waiting to be inspected. 
The next step is inspection. An inspector takes a cart, parks it in front of a computer, scans the barcode on the paper, then scans the barcode of each book. Inspectors pull the books partly out of their cell so the barcode can be scanned quickly. Depending on the size of the cart, this process can take about 2-6 minutes to complete. Of course if there are books missing or damaged books, it takes longer. 
After the inspector is finished, she places the cart in a line to be packed. 
A packer will take the cart to his or her station, type in the batch number on the computer, and start packing orders. The order tells how many books the packer needs to pull out from each cell, and how many cells the order covers. For example, earlier in the summer we filled a lot of large school orders. Maybe an order would look like 10 Science teacher books and 15 Science student books in cell 12-14. The packer clicks “pack” on the computer, places the label on a piece of cardboard (and if there was an invoice, puts that on the cardboard), counts the books in cell 12-14, pulls the books out, and places them on the cardboard. Then it is ready to be placed on the line. When the line is not working, packers just pack and stack. 

Here, packages are going down the line. There are 12 packing stations along the line, 6 on each side. 
The packages enter this machine and get covered with shrink wrap to hold all the books in place. 
Then it goes through this heater which melts the shrink wrap together so it’s a secure package.
The packages continue down the line where it gets dropped into the correct box, the box gets closed and taped, the label goes on, and the box travels to the guys loading the trucks. It is such a neat process, and having the machines do this process really cuts down on the time it takes to send packages out. Sometimes the line does break, or packages get stuck going in the wrong box slot, and that causes problems. 
How the whole line works is pretty neat!
Two pictures above, you will see grey rollers on the line, before the green. After a package comes out from the heater, a scale scans the barcode on the bottom of the package. If it is not the correct weight or close to the weight shown on the label, the grey roller part will open up and the package will drop. This is called off-weights, and this is where I worked most of the summer. 
I first weighed the package. Sometimes moisture would get inside the barcode and create a bubble. So often, if the package was correct, I’d just cut a small window around the barcode and put it back on the line. If the weight was off, however, either over or under weight, I would open up the package, place it on the scale, and scan each book. If there was a book missing, I’d go get it, or if there was too many books in a package, I’d take them out. Then back on the line it went to get rewrapped. 
Sometimes, so many off weight packages dropped that they had to be stacked on another cart. The beginning and middle of the summer was like this. Different factors could affect the weight of the books, including humidity. Also, the print shop may have weighed an item and it was a different weight then when it arrived at our warehouse. If a lot of one particular item continued to be off weight, one of my supervisors, Mr. Bright, could go into the system and adjust the weight for that item. He did that several times, and it was extremely helpful. 
There is much more to the warehouse than I’ve shared, but I never really left the main warehouse so I don’t have any pictures. If you are ever in this area, I would highly recommend taking a tour of the distribution center. There were several groups that took tours this summer, and by the look on their faces, they seemed to always be amazed. :)


I would love to hear what you did over the summer.  Let’s chat in the comments! 





Sunday, August 15, 2021

Christ Be Beside Me

Christ be beside me, Christ be before me, 
Christ be behind me, King of my heart. 
Christ be within me, Christ be below me, 
Christ be above me, never to part. 
Christ on my right hand, Christ on my left hand, 
Christ all around me, shield in the strife. 
Christ in my sleeping, Christ in my sitting, 
Christ in my rising, light of my heart. 
Christ be in all hearts thinking about me, 
Christ be on all tongues telling of me. 
Christ be the vision, in eyes that see me.
In ears that hear me, Christ ever be.
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, 
All His wonderful passion and purity.
O thou Spirit divine, may I truly be thine,
Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.
Let my wonderful Saviour be seen in me, 
His amazing compassion and constancy.
His great love is my goal, by His Spirit’s control
Till my wonderful Saviour be seen in me. 

Let the fruit of the Spirit be seen in me
Grant me grace all sufficient that I may be.
True and faithful each day, ev’ry step of the way.
Pointing souls to the Saviour on Calvary. 


Galatians 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.