My Life July 2014

Trust me. Learn to really trust me. There are harder things ahead. You are building more than a building foundation. I am building in you a foundation, immovable in me.

Not really the warm fuzzy message I was hoping for when I asked God what He wanted to tell me yesterday, but most certainly what He had to say.

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Christian
Walking out the lessons I see in scripture and life around me is hard. I have always thought I was patient. Turns out I am not so patient. True patience is waiting in faith, that strong assurance that what God has promised He will bring to pass. Deep in my soul, my spirit for sure I have that confidence. Maybe it is just my flesh and my emotions that are  not patient.

We are in week 11 of our God sized project and have not poured concrete yet. My emotions do not always handle that well, my reasoning either. I do truly believe waiting is grace so I will continue.

I love the song Oceans by Hillsong. To have the faith to go deeper I must actually go deeper. To walk upon the waves there must be waves. To have faith and courage to slay giants there must be giants to slay.

Wife
July 30 is out 20th anniversary. I don’t always feel old enough to have been married for 20 years. In other ways I can hardly remember what life was like 20 years ago. Just the two of us, taking off for the weekend on the spur of the moment. I have no idea what we did with our evenings and weekends.

We have grown as individuals and as a couple over these 20 years. I am SO blessed to have a man who lives unconditional love and sacrifice day in and day out. He’s not perfect, neither am I. He is perfect for me. I would have no chance of being who I am today without my husband and his faithful love for me. We so love being together, love being married. We decided to live to at least our 100th anniversary.

Mother
I really struggle with this part. I am good at working, especially on projects. They can easily consume me to the point of losing track of the rest of my life. Trying to make the best use of every moment we can work on our building plus take care of the garden, work to get fresh food for the winter, take care of the yard, and help my neighbor I really struggle to make time for fun.

I don’t feel I do conection well in the first place so I really am not feeling I am connecting with my children lately. I know it’s a season, but it’s a longer season than I was anticipating, which doesn’t make any sense, but it’s true. I need wisdom on what to fit in and how to make relationships priority over work getting done.

Author
I have many thoughts, posts, and even a book or two rolling through my head. However I have not craved out the time to get many of them out of my head. I think it maybe should be a tradition for me to post some favorite old posts or something in July. This isn’t the first year I’ve struggled to get posts done in July.

The “Next Big Thing” Blog Hop

What exactly is a Blog Hop? I learned of it last week when Kristi Burchfiel invited me to join this one.  Kristi answered the same questions I’ve answered below about her “Next Big Thing” a new daily devotional. Then she gave links to five other authors – one being yours truly. So I guess the hop comes from reading here and “hopping” over to the authors I’ve linked at the bottom or back to the authors that have already posted. Visit Kristi’s Blog.
Here’s my answers about my “Next Big Thing”
What is the working title of your book?
PEAS: Learning to Spend Time with God. This may change as I don’t know how many kids are excited about peas. The idea is an acronym for their time with God.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
The idea came when I was doing a Bible study by Beth Moore on the fruit of the Spirit. Beth explained a pattern she uses in her time with God. I thought it was a great model and wanted to present it in a way that would work for children to use with their parents or on their own.


What genre does your book fall under?
Christian Devotional, Personal Growth, Children’s

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hmmm. I really don’t have an answer for this one. Any child who would sincerely play a role showing a grow relationship with God and family. I’m not much of a movie goer so I have no idea. I don’t know that I would ever think of it being a movie anyway.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
PEAS is an easy to follow format to make spending time with God simple and meaningful for children.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My first two books are with Tate Publishing. I need to do more research into my options now that I have some experience before I decide.


How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It’s been drumming around in my mind for at least 4 years. The first draft I guess came together really quickly – an afternoon maybe. I can’t say I have the manuscript finalized yet. I keep changing my mind about exactly how I want to format it so the manuscript is still in process.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I haven’t used many children’s devotionals so I don’t know if it would compare to any that are out there. It is not a Bible study with workbook type fill in the blanks, at least that’s not what I’m
going after. I hope children will interact with God and record that interaction, like a guided journal I guess.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Well, Beth Moore’s model, and my passion for knowing God better. Mostly my passion for my children to be better equipped than I am when it comes to living what they believe inspires me.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I think anyone who has read this far deserves to know what PEAS stands for, so here you go.
P is for praise. E is for empty. A is for ask, and S is for share. If you want to know what I mean by those then you’ll have to keep your eyes open for blog posts and the next book!
Thank you for reading!
Here are some authors who will be sharing their “Next Big Thing” next week. You may find a new favorite author!
Amy Gatliff wrote “The Power to Never Give Up.”  It is her testimony of God’s faithfulness and provision throughout her life especially in the area of finances.  Visit Amy’s blog

Ursula Gorman author of ‘Old Aquaintances’, and ‘The Wayne Brothers Book I: The Best of Us’, both are mystery/romances.
Check out her fan page and invite friends http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=388526903624&ref


Laura Abbott  author of Daddy’s Shoulders and I Love You Infinity

Sherry Rossman author of The Miracle of Rain and Guardians

Easter Is About Jesus Blog Tour Line-up


I am so excited to share with you the great line-up of bloggers who are sharing with you about Easter is About Jesus!

First up is Cindy @ For One Another on August 18. She’s a writer, artist, and homeschooling mom. Here you will find musings on life, readings, and a relationship with God. Cindy shares her thoughts on Easter is About Jesus, a guest post from me and a chance for you to win a free signed copy!

Stop 2 – Jenifer moved to September 10. There will be 2 places for you to enter that day!
 
Stop 3 – Author Kelly Hagen @ Christian Author Book ReviewsAugust 23 Kelly offers her review of Easter is About Jesus.
Stop 4 – Shari Lynne @ Faith Filled Food for Moms with  August 28. Shari is a stay at home faith filled Christian midlife wife,  Mom,  Step Mom, and Grandma! She will be sharing her review of Easter is About Jesus, a guest post from me about where these books came from and she’ll be giving away a free signed copy!

Stop 5 – Lisa Tortorello @ The Moose at the Manger August 30. Lisa is the author of two books, teaches school and enjoys reading, writing, computing, and playing guitar in her time off. Lisa is reviewing and giving away a free signed copy of Easter is About Jesus.
Stop 6 – Sherry Rossman @ Sherry Rossman’s Blog September 4. Sherry is the author of the The Miracle of Rain and a follower of Christ, Wife, Mom, Author, artist, pet lover and ardent lover of chocolate. Sherry interviewed me for her blog. Sherry is also giving away a free signed copy of Easter is About Jesus.
Stop 7 – Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur @ SpiritualWoman Thoughts  September 7. Patrice shares her thoughts on Easter is About Jesus.
 
Stop 8 – Betsy Price @ Mrs. Price is Right about Homeschooling September 10 Betsy describes herself as a stay-at-home wife & mom and homeschool teacher and I enjoy it all (most of the time!). Oh, and no, I don’t get bored! And what is my purpose? “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever!” Mrs. Price shares her thoughts on Easter is About Jesus, a guest post from me and a chance for you to win a free signed copy!

Jenifer Metzger @ Sweet Blessings September 10. Jennifer shares daily devotions, keeps her home and schools her children. She will be reviewing and giving away a copy of Easter is About Jesus.

Stop 9 – Gretta Johns @ The Johns Family September 12.Gretta and her family have just moved to become missionaries with To Every Tribe. She homeschools and loves handmade crafts and sewing. Gretta will be offering her review, a guest post from me and a free signed copy!

Stop 10 – Victoria S. @ He Holds My Right HandSeptember 14. Victoria has written What is Communion? as well as homeschooling her children. Victoria will be reviewing Easter is About Jesus and sharing a guest post from me.

Stop 11 Troy Lewis @ Another Second Chance …God’s Story  September 17. Troy is the author of Another Second Chance …God’s Story how a stranger’s kidney saved his life …And his brother’s too! (A book I want to read). He will be sharing some thoughts on Easter and reviewing Easter is About Jesus.

Each of my guest posts are unique. I value your time so I wanted to be sure there was something new to read on each stop.

I hope you will enjoy the tour and invite your friends!

If you want to be sure of getting a free copy check out this link: Book Parties
Books are always available from me at Kove’s Cove (I have them now) as well as most online retailers, well will be after September 18th anyway.

Lamb—Jesus Is the Lamb of God

Easter 2012 is just around the corner, April 8. Today I’m sharing a devotion from soon to be released Easter is About Jesus: Family Devotionsfor the Easter Season.


Coloring page and ornament at the bottom of this post.

 

Lamb—Jesus Is the Lamb of God


The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him. John said, “Look, the Lamb of God.” He takes away the sins of the world!John 1:29

Do you know what sin is? Sin is doing wrong things. Can you name some sins? In ancient Israel, God commanded the people to sacrifice animals to make up for their sins. The people sinned and the sacrificial animals had to die in their place. The animals needed to be perfect and inspected by the priest. The priest did not ask for a list of sins from the person. He did not ask what changes the people had made to avoid sinning in the future. The priest examined the lamb. The priest would make the sacrifice and declare the people forgiven.

Jesus came to be the one sacrifice for all time for all people. When you come to God with Jesus as your lamb, God inspects Jesus. Jesus is the perfect Lamb of God. God does not look at your sins or ask you to change to be forgiven. God is well pleased with Jesus and pronounces you forgiven. When you see the lambs, tell God you are thankful he forgave you and will always forgive you when you confess.


More Time with God

Questions:
  • Why did Jesus have to die? 
  • What can you do after you sin? (Look at 1 John 1:9.) 
  • Does God want you to pay for your sins? 

Note to Parent: Discuss this idea in detail to be sure your child(ren) understand that though Jesus paid for all our sins it does matter if we sin. Sin has consequences, the worst of which is hurting our relationship with God and those he loves.

Activity Ideas:
  • Imagine God looking at you through Jesus. What does he see? How does it make you feel? 
  • Draw how God sees you. 
  • Draw or make a lamb.

Be the first to know when Easter is About Jesus is available for purchase. Send an email to Mukkove or use this contact link (there should be a blue “contact” button on the left. Please let me know if there is not).

Coloring page and ornament

Ornament Front
Ornament Back

Coloring page


Print coloring page full size or print small to color your own ornament.



Print ornament front and back and glue together, add a ribbon for hanging if you like. Make any size you want.



If the picture won’t print directly you can right click and select “save”, then print from that file. Let me know if you have trouble.

Do you have a blog or ministry you would like to share EIAJ with? Contact Mukkove for more information. 

More from Easter is About Jesus: Family Devotions for the Easter Season
Jellybeans-Jesus Uses What I Give Him

Flowers—Jesus Takes Care of Me

Butterflies—Jesus Made Me for Good Works

Easter is Coming – Introduction

Easter is Coming

Though it’s far from looking like spring here at my home in Alaska, spring is coming and so is Easter. Easter is About Jesus: Family Devotions for the Easter Season is not ready for print, a little like our snow is not ready to leave.

I want to share a sample of Easter is About Jesus with you this Easter. Books, a full set of coloring pages and ornaments will be ready for Easter 2013. I would love your feedback, even if you just let me know you read it. If you are blessed by what you read your help in spreading the word would be greatly appreciated. It can be as simple as clicking “like”, involved as setting up an event and many things in between. Contact me if you would like to help. 
First, why and how I wrote Easter is About Jesus: Family Devotions for the Easter Season.

Introduction

Jesus takes care of me
Flowers: Jesus takes care of me.
Welcome to Easter Is about Jesus. I created this devotional with two goals in mind: 

1. To give children ways to think of Jesus when they see the common sights of Easter;2. To help parents and children spend time with God in a meaningful way.

To achieve the first goal, I wrote fifteen devotions. Each one has something we see during the Easter season, a reason to think about Jesus, and a verse. Easter comes on a different date from year to year. Due to the change in date (or my lack of forethought), our Easter preparations vary from year to year. I thought your family might be the same. Here are some suggestions on scheduling:
Jelly beans: Jesus uses what I give him.

• You could do 5 days of devotions for 3 weeks or start two Sundays before Easter reading one every day, including Easter. You could even do morning and evening between Palm Sunday and Easter. 

• Pick a time of day that will be easiest to be consistent like breakfast or bedtime 

.• Pick a time when you are not hurried. Allow time for discussion and the “More Time with God” activities. You may want to choose one or two of the suggested activities. Consider doing some of the activities the next day if you are doing devotions at bedtime. 

• Do what works for your family.

For the second goal, I wrote the “More Time with God” activities. The intention of the activities is to equip the child to connect with God themselves and to begin listening for his voice. I believe it is vital to marry together knowledge of God and experience with God. We must have knowledge of his Word and his will to carry out the good plans he has had for us since before the beginning of time. We must experience his love and grace.

Lamb: Jesus is the Lamb of God
Children often hear God more easily than adults. When I began learning to listen for God’s voice, I was doing it with my children. We would read from the Bible and pray asking God to speak to us. I would ask my children to be quiet and listen for what God had to say and to tell me when they heard something. This did not work well for me because in five seconds they all had something to share! I hadn’t quit thinking yet.

God speaks in many ways. He may use words. He also may use pictures, numbers, visions, dreams, feelings—emotional and physical—colors, or impressions. He really is not limited—except by us. If your children share something you feel is strange, ask questions about how they felt or what else they saw. Ask them to ask God what it means. If they all share the same thing, it may be copycatting, or it may be that God really had the same message for all of them. The words may be new, or it may be a verse they have heard or memorized, or it may be words from a song. I would encourage you to keep a record of what God is saying with a journal, pictures, or drawings. When my children were young, I would write what they heard and saw as well as descriptions of their drawings.

Butterflies: Jesus made me for good works
What we hear and experience from God will never contradict Scripture. God and his Word are unchanging. If an experience seems to contradict Scripture, set it aside all together or until you have new insight.

Thank you for reading.

Blessings in Jesus,

Mukkove Johnson


I’ll be sharing some devotions and hopefully ornaments and coloring pages between now and Easter.

Watercolor images copyright Tate Publishing 2012

First Edits for Easter is About Jesus

I thought first edits would be easier this time. I was wrong. The manuscript spent months with me writing, revising, and hopefully improving. It spent December with an editor fixing all the grammatical errors – punctuation, spelling, structure. The first two weeks of January were spent with the conceptual editor. She was looking for the overall message and flow of the book. She was asking what needed improvement, clarification, or changing.
The last two weeks it was back with me. I evaluated her feedback and suggestions. I clarified things I hadn’t explained well. Following her feedback led to rewriting the beginning of my introduction. Trying to add more questions to each devotion somehow led to me reformatting the activity part of the completely. This was where it was harder than I expected. I thought I wouldn’t need as major of changes this time as I did on my first book. I guess they weren’t quite as major, but definitely more than I expected.
I’m happy with the changes though and I’ve worked on it until I feel I could begin to undo my hard work. I sent it back to the editor this morning. I get a break for the next two weeks while the editor works through all my changes and gets the manuscript to its “final” form. I’ll get one more chance to look for errors and make corrections later in February.