Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Bible Candle Christmas  Shepherds in Fields
Merry Christmas!
Bethlehem Stable
"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah,
though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old,
from everlasting."   Micah 5:2

Personal Christmas Note From Ashley:
You know, during this Christmas season, everbody has been buying gifts and thinking about what they are going to get one another. Well, there is one gift that has been given by the One who loves us so much; His love is unconprehensible, and He has given us a gift, which is free, and all you have to do is receive it. God is the One who has given us the gift, and that gift is eternal life through Jesus. Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." God sent His Son, Jesus, down to earth as a baby, to do many miracles and heal many people, but His ultimate purpose was to die on the cross and take our penalty for sin, which is death.

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas!
 Merry Christmas everyone!
 I can't believe that a year is finished and we are about to enter into another one. As you celebrate Christmas with family, remember: Jesus is the reason for the season, and take some time to thank Jesus for coming as a little baby in a manger, and giving himself for you on the cross. 

Luke 2:10-11
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Museum Pictures

On Tuesday, Dec. 16th, we went on a field trip to the Museum of Discovery and Science, along with Sarah's Chemistry class. Everyone had an enjoyable time. We went on some simulators, watched a 3D movie called Bugs, and walked around the museum. And of course, I took lots of pictures. :) If you can't tell, this is a panoramic photo. I figured out how to set my camera to take panoramic photos, and it's really cool! 
      At the entrance of the museum, there was this thing.
I don't know what to call it. It's a huge contraption that had balls rolling around on it. 
Inside the museum, there was a case with different kinds of brain coral. They really do kind-of look like the brain.
                       This is Maze Coral or Tan Brain Coral
                             This one is Grooved Brain Coral.
                                 And this one is Rose Coral.
                             This is a neat looking sea-snail. 
                    There was a tank with horseshoe crabs...
                                And a tank with tarantulas.
              These cute baby geckos were in another tank.
                This coral was pink and green. Very pretty!
                              The museum had a fish tank...
As well as a shark tank. If you look closely, you can see the huge lobster sitting on the rocks behind the shark.
                        These 3 baby alligators were so cute.
                         This baby alligator was smiling. :)
For lunch, we went across the street and had a picnic. After lunch, we took a lovely walk by the water. These Hibiscus flowers were the main focus of my pictures. 

      Many ladybugs were resting on the buds and flowers. 
                And here are some more beautiful flowers...

And finally, this is the otter's habitat. I took the picture from a window...I didn't have to opportunity to see the otters, but I know they're so cute!
*The saying of the week may be substituted for the thought of the week.* 
Saying of the week: A Bible in the hand is better than 2 on a shelf.

Bible verse of the week: Romans 6:22-23 
"But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

And the song of the week that goes with the Bible verse: Once For All.
"Free from the law, O happy condition, Jesus has bled and there is remission. Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall, Grace hath redeemed us once for all."

Remember: the reason this season is so special is because Jesus came to earth as Emmanuel, which means God with us, to die for the sins of this whole world. 2 Corinthians 5:19 says "To wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."

Abiding in the joy of the Lord,

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Life Lately...

Life has been very busy this whole week. Things are finally starting to slow down since classes are ending. Sarah's birthday was on Tuesday. When we arrived home around 4 pm. from our homeschool classes, there was an Edible Arrangements basket for Sarah sitting on our front porch. There was a little card attached to it, but there was no name at the end, so we don't know who it's from. :) We were very surprised and enjoyed eating the delicious fruit! (I didn't think to take a picture of the beautiful arrangement. :(
Take a look at some pictures from this week.

On Thursday, my daddy took us to Sony's because my mommy had a cookie exchange, which she attended. We made and decorated gingerbread cookies.

After we finished eating, we stopped to see this huge manger scene. Every year, this little store called Castro's Interior sets up a huge nativity set. The cover is thatched from many palm tree branches that are stapled together. It's quite amazing. We went to look at it on Thursday night.


  On Friday afternoon, mommy took me and my 2 sisters to a birthday party. They had these beautiful flowers and I just had to take a picture. :) 
On Friday night, my older sister, her friend, and I camped out in our tent. I finally decided to go inside at 5 am. because I couldn't get to sleep. On Saturday morning, we 3 girls went for a bike ride. I took these pictures of flowers that were lining the fence along the street we were biking on.

 Sarah and our friend had a picnic lunch at a beautiful spot by the water down at our neighbor's house. The water was so sparkly!!

Saying of the week:

Bible verse of the week: Romans 6:6-14
"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." 
After I read that last verse, I thought of the song "Grace Tis A Charming Sound."  This is the first verse and chorus of the song.
                                                        "Grace! tis a charming sound,
                                                              Harmonious to the ear; 
                                                    Heav'n with the echo shall resound, 
                                                         And all the earth shall hear. 
                                                            Saved by grace alone!
                                                              This is all my plea: 
                                                         Jesus died for all mankind, 
                                                          And Jesus died for me.

Hey! I just thought I should have a song of the week, that ties into my Bible verse of the week. :) What do you all think? 

Hope you all have a fabulous, good and godly week, for what good is a good week if it is not also a godly week? It's a no-good week!!!!

In the grace and truth of His majesty the King,

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Genesis 22

Hello friends! Sorry I have not posted in a whole week. I was super busy this week with school. This morning, our pastor preached an awesome message. I didn't take notes, so I am just going to recap what he talked about.
The passage was Genesis 22:6-14. In verse 8, Abraham tells Isaac, "God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering..." It's really cool, because God provided Abraham a lamb, and God provided sinners a lamb: His only Son. Jesus was the "ram caught in the thicket by his horns..." Jesus was our Sacrifice, just like the ram was. And it's cool that Abraham called the place Jehovah-jireh, which means "Provider". I thought of the song "Jehovah Jireh" when I read verse 14. If you would like to listen to this song, click here. 
Saying of the week:

Bible verse of the week: Romans 5:7-11
"For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dark to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."

May the Lord bless you all, dear friends. Have a good and godly week!
Warmly yours and eteranlly His, in the unbreakable and glorious bonds of Calvary, 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude-Always Have a Thankful Heart Day 30.

Wow! I can't believe this is the last day of Attitude of Gratitude, but I am so excited to share with you the number 1 thing I'm most grateful for: JESUS CHRIST. One of my favorite chapters in the Bible that talks about Jesus is Colossians 1:12-20. "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And his is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven."  I'm so glad that reconciliation is through the blood of Jesus and that He reconciles us unto himself.
If you have a favorite verse you're thankful for, I would love to hear it!
I'm so so so grateful He saved my soul, and He made me whole. Aren't you?? And here's one more passage I just thought of that I really like: Colossians 2:6-7 "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."

I really hope ya'll have enjoyed these 30 days of Thankfulness. I know I have! So many days I have counted the blessings the Lord has blessed me with- the ones I usually take for granted. But it is so important to give thanks for everything, as 1 Thessalonians 5:18 states: "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 

Saying of the week: From a jail cell last year, at the lowest point of my life, I found this to be true
Here's the Bible verse of the week: Romans 5:1-6 (*Romans chapter 5 is one of my favorite chapters in the whole Bible. :) 
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." 
And since we are all ungodly, Christ died for everyone!!! And for that, I am so grateful. :) 
I hope you all have an awesome, good and godly week!

Saved by grace and grace alone,

Attitdue of Gratitude-Always Have a Thankful Heart Day 29.

I am thankful for:
  • The Heavens. I always think of Psalms 19:1 which says "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork." Here's a creation moment that talks about the heavens declaring the glory of the Lord.
Creation Corner. The Heavens Declare the Glory of God.
Genesis 1:16 "And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also."
Astronomers who believe in evolution tell us that the stars formed when gas in a nebula began to gather due to gravity. Eventually, that gravity became strong enough to collapse the gas into a star.
Alcyon, in Pleiades Star Cluster, a typical blue giant star
Astronomers who believe in creation point out that this is unlikely, if not impossible. As we all know, compressed gas wants to expand by moving to areas of lower pressure. A cloud of gas that was large enough to begin compressing under gravity would begin to rotate faster. Magnetic forces would also increase. The increase in pressure, magnetic forces and centrifugal forces would overcome the forces of gravity, preventing the formation of a star.

At the same time, blue stars are common in the arms of the galaxies we can see. These stars are considered young because they burn their fuel so fast that they could only last a few million evolutionary years. On the evolutionary scale, they must have formed long after the Big Bang. The number of blue stars would then indicate to an evolutionist that star formation is common. Yet, as we have seen, the forces at work to form a star in this way make these stars either unlikely or younger than millions of years.
Perhaps God created the blue stars to serve as a clear indicator to scientists that He created the stars fairly recently.
  • Birthdays. I like celebrating other people's birthdays alot, especially my family's. And speaking of that, my daddy's birthday is coming up in a couple days. So, please leave him some birthday wishes in the comment box! :)  
  • The Beach. I love going to the beach in the mornings, watching the sunrise come up, taking walks on the beach and floating in the ocean on an inner tube. I also like looking for snails and fish, and taking pictures of the scenery. 
 Do you have a favorite birthday memory? Do you like going to the beach?

Attitude of Gratitude-Always Have a Thankful Heart Day 28.

I am thankful for:
  • Operation Christmas Child. Every year, we fill shoeboxes with toys, candy, socks, and other accessories. We take them to one of Operation Christmas Child's pickup places, and Operation Christmas Child takes the shoeboxes to kids in other countries. They share the gospel with the children and distributed the shoeboxes. We have done it for several years, and it's so much fun packing them and knowing that little children will be blessed and they will hear the gospel.
  • Fall time.  I have 2 favorite times of the year, and Fall is one of them. :) Here's a creation moment about plants knowing when it's Fall.
Creation Corner. How Do Plants Know It's Fall?
1 Corinthians 15:37-38 "And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body."       
In the fall the plants and trees of much of the Earth's northern hemisphere prepare for winter. Flowers lose their petals, and the leaves fall from trees as the air begins to become cooler. But there is far more to this change in the plants than simply a response to lower temperatures.
How Do Plants Know Its Fall?Many, if not most, plants measure the relative length of darkness to light in a 24-hour day to tell them to prepare for winter. In a similar way, they measure the relative length of light to darkness to tell them to prepare for spring. Other living plants seem to integrate time and temperature to prepare for the seasonal change. Apple buds, for example, need 1,000 to 1,400 hours of near-freezing temperatures before they even think about spring.
When winter finally arrives, we may wake up to what is a white and seemingly sterile world. It is then hard to believe that the plants and trees are out there sleeping while measuring time and temperature to be awake again in the spring.
It is no less a mystery to all of us that one day the dead will rise and believers will spend eternity with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Yet, life rising so gloriously out of the apparent dead of winter shows a similar power of our Creator on a smaller scale.
  • The Solar System.  I think what amazes me the most about our Solar System is how big it is. Here's a creation moment about our Solar System.
Creation Corner. Has a Solar System Like Ours Been Discovered?
Psalms 8:3-4b"When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him?"       
We have all heard reports of astronomers claiming that they have discovered a planet orbiting some nearby star. Each announcement results in speculation about whether there is intelligent life on the newly discovered planet. Lost is the fact that some planets are larger than Jupiter and made of gas. Scientists discover these planets by studying hundreds of telescopic pictures of a suspect star to see if  Artist's rendition of Upsilon Andromedae A with two of its four planets
there may be a tiny wobble in its position. A single-motion wobble is explained by the existence of one orbiting planet, meaning that this solar system does not have multiple planets like ours does.
That situation changed with an announcement in April 1999. Two teams of researchers announced that they had discovered three planets orbiting nearby star Upsilon Andromedae. However, this solar system is not like ours either. The inner planet is so close to the star that it is hotter than Mercury – no life there. The second planet's orbit takes it close to the star, then swings wide away from it. Such an orbit would provide temperature conditions far too erratic for life like that on Earth. The third planet is too far from Upsilon Andromedae and, thus, too cold to provide a home for life like ours.
   Our solar system is not a result of chance but has been uniquely designed for life by a loving Creator. Not only is Earth's distance from the sun just right for life, but its orbit provides the even, moderate conditions that life requires.                 
What's your favorite season? What amazes you most about the Solar System?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude-Always Have a Thankful Heart Day 27.

I am thankful for:
  • Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! I hope ya'll had a wonderful time with family and friends, as we celebrated all the many blessings God has bestowed upon us. Even though our nation celebrates Thanksgiving once a year, we can always have thanksgiving because we have so much to be thankful for. Our hearts should always be full of gratitude to the One who laid His life down for us.
  • Movie Making. When our friends were here, we attempted to make a movie of a reenactment of the first Thanksgiving. We only got 1 scene done, and some bloopers. :) Hopefully, we can finish it on Saturday. :) I wasn't in the movie because I was videotaping. I love making movies! Just not acting in them. :) lol
  • Prayer. Speaking of prayer, I have a prayer request. If you don't mind, please pray for our friends (the Nicholas family) who have 4 kids. Their dad had 2 tumors in his brain. One was removed, and one was tested, which turned out being cancerous. He was diagnosed with brain cancer. The doctors are giving him the best medicine and treatment to help him. Please pray for Mr. Nicholas to get all better, and for his wife and children, as this is a very difficult time.
Philippians 4:6 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."

Here's a really pretty song. My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness. Click here to listen to it.

What's your favorite thing about Thanksgiving? Do you have any family traditions? Do you like making movies?

Attitude of Gratitude-Always Have a Thankful Heart Day 26.

I am thankful for:
  • Clocks. Not only do we have clocks to tell us the time, but we also have clocks in our bodies. :) Here's a creation moment that explains it.
Creation Corner. The Brains' Master Clock.
Daniel 2:21 "And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding."
Our bodies have many different rhythms. For example, your body temperature and your blood pressure cycle throughout the 24-hour day. Other body rhythms complete their cycle in 7 days or 28 days, and so on.

Some bodily rhythms are controlled through the hypothalamus, some by the pituitary gland, but there are other glands that control the rhythms of other organs. This arrangement sounds sort of like standing in a room with hundreds of clocks ticking away. And to make matters worse, each clock goes off on its own time-none are set to the same time. It could be a confusing mess.
But now it has been learned that the brain has one master clock that coordinates all the other clocks in the body. This master clock goes by the initials SCN. It was once thought that the hypothalamus did this work. But the hypothalamus is just an assistant to the SCN. Together they turn out a bewildering array of chemical signals for the rest of the body so that everything keeps humming along in fine order. So here we have one more example of the intricate and wise design of our loving Creator and how He leaves no detail of life to chance. If He can do this, He certainly wants you to bring all the details of your life to Him as well.
  • Spending time with my grandma. I went over to my grandma's house to make apple pies. We made 3 pies: two for Thanksgiving, and one for my papa. We made them all crumb tops. Apple pie is my favorite!!
  • A house to clean. You know what, so many people complain about how much stuff they have in their house. I agree some people have too much stuff in their houses, but I think we should be thankful we have stuff to get rid of. Lots of people in the world would love to have the things we do, and a lot of the time, it's just taken for granted.
                     What kind of pie is your favorite? Think about it.

Attitude of Gratitude-Always Have a Thankfu LHeart Day 25.

I am thankful for:
  • One nation under God. The founding fathers founded this great country upon God and the Bible. God blessed our nation because we sought Him, but sadly, people are not seeking Him with their whole hearts.
  • Our brain. Our brain is so wonderfully amazing, created by an all-loving Saviour. Here's a creation moment that talks about the brain.
Creation Corner. Smart Brain.
Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” 
The human brain is the most complex arrangement of matter in the universe, and modern brain research is adding to this wonder.
But medical researchers are learning that if the part of the brain that controls your left hand, for example, is damaged beyond repair, other parts of the brain will take over for the injured part. This doesn’t always  Jazz pianist Thelonious Monk

happen automatically, however. It takes effort on your part. If you don’t use the hand, the brain won’t work very hard to reassign its function to another part of the brain. It also works the other way. Even if the brain isn’t damaged, failure to use your left arm will result in a shrinkage of the brain area that controls it. So pianists, for example, will have a growth in the area of the brain controlling their skills, if they practice.

These discoveries fill us with more wonder over the incredible abilities of the brain. But they also tell us something about ourselves. We are not, as many think, locked into certain bad habits or sins. We are learning that the transformation of our minds by God’s power is not only something that happens spiritually – physical changes take place in our brains as a result of our behavior. Is your mind being transformed by the power of God, or is it being conformed to the world?

Attitude of Gratitude-Always Have A Thankful Heart- Day 24

I am thankful for:
  • Pianos. I love playing the piano!
  • Violins. My little sister plays the violin! It's a great instrument to minster with. I mean, the piano is a good instrument to minister with too, but you can take the violin anywhere. You can't just pack up your piano and take it with you.  :)
  • Xylophones. I would love to play the xylophone! It looks kind of like a piano, and I think it makes such a cool sound. :)
Psalms 100:1-2 "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing."

Do you play any instruments? What's your favorite instrument? Leave a comment and tell me!

Attitude of Gratitude-Always Have a Thankful Heart Day 23.

Today I am thankful for:
  • Yard sales. I love going to yard sales! Recently, I helped a neighbor have a benefit yard sale to raise money for her child. You can find awesome deals at them!
  • Glasses. I am so blessed to have good eyesight. I know people who have to wear glasses, and it's such a blessing they have them. Without glasses it would be very difficult to function. Some people would have a hard time reading labels and prescription bottles. I guess the labels would have to be much bigger.
  • Sayings of the week.

Scripture of the week: Romans 4: 19-25
"And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom is shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification."

Your assignment for this week is: to read Romans chapter 4. You may have noticed by now, that I am going through Romans and writing verses from it for my Bible verses of the week. Leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite verse in Romans chapter 4 is. :) My favorite one is verse 5- "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."                                             

Believing on the One who has justified me,