Worthy is the Lamb

We have been studying through Revelation.  This journey  began last spring when we started our timeline. Beginning a timeline led to studying before time began. Then my children wanted to know what happened after time. That led us to start studying Revelation.We read through Revelation and began study last spring. Over the summer our study dropped off. In January we started using Kay Arthur’s Bible Prophecy for Kids.We’ve really been enjoying it.

I print off the passage from Blue Letter Bible with 1.5 line spacing so there is more room for notes.
Scene Around the Throne
There are often activities to draw what has been described. Sometime we do our own. I encourage my children to do really fast sketches for this so they see they can get down a concept without being an artist.

There is a code for how to mark key words in the passage. This really helps to sort through exactly what was written.

Time Saving Encouragement

Get out a pencil and paper. 
Listen with full attention.
This is how I feel when I listen to Lorrie Flem do a presentation.
My life right now is not allowing me to do so. 
Maybe yours won’t either.
I decided what I really needed was to take the nuggets that caught my attention and focus on just those. 
Lorrie’s messages are so loaded with practical wisdom I would have a list far too long if I wrote it all down. Trust me I have taken notes on her talks, they’re loaded!
This month I was sent the mp3 of Lorrie’s message 12 Simple Time Saving Tips for Mom for review as a Gabby Mom. This means I am giving you my honest opinion on this message I received from Eternal Encouragement.
The 12 simple tips are more like 12 areas where you can save yourself time and therefore stress. I’ve listen 3 times, all while doing something else (one of Lorrie’s tips by the way- multitask when it’s reasonable).
The nuggets I caught were:
  •           to create a realistic schedule with ALL my responsibilities and buffers
  •          add approximate times to complete a task when I put it on the “to do” list
  •          take time to plan, but don’t just plan, do the plan. I don’t know that Lorrie said that last part but I know I must add it for myself.

As with any of the talks I have heard Lorrie give this one would be well worth the investment. She recommends several of her other resources as they relate to the tip she is covering. This is done to offer more resources and detailed information if there is one area you are really struggling in (like I think I need to get the one about building a brain).
I encourage you to visit Eternal Encouragement and look at the resources Lorrie offers. There’s something for every mother, wife, homeschooler and Christian woman.

What is Communion? by Vicky Stankus – Review

What is Communion?
Vicky wrote What is Communion? for the same reason I wrote my first book. I have to like that. Her children had questions about Communion and there were no resources that explained what she wanted them to know.

What is Communion? does a good job of laying out the basics of what Communion is and why we do it. It is written in simple question and answer format with simple black line illustrations (done by her dad).

Having these truths in a book is great with young children because they want you to read over and over. They don’t have to get it all at once because you can cover it again next time you read the book. With the questions in the book you can refer back to just one part if they are asking about something.

I think Vicky’s book is worth getting to read with your children. It will give a good foundation to talk with them about Communion and what it means to you.

Facebook Interview with Vicky Stankus

What is Communion?

Today on my authors facebook page I interviewed fellow Gabby Mom Vicky Stankus. She is the author of What is Communion? For more information about Vicky or her book visit her website. Here for my review. 

Mukkove Johnson – Christian Author   Welcome Vicky. Please introduce yourself.

Vicky Stankus   Hi, Mukkove! Thankyou for having me here! Let’s see… I met my husband, David, while attending college in Chicago, where I received an Associates degree in Biblical Studies. We have been married for 19+ years now, and have 2 children. I have been homeschooling them for the past 7 years. Our daughter is 13, and our son is 9. I enjoy writing, listening to music, reading, watching movies, and organizing.

MJ   I’m so glad to have you here. I homeschool my three also.

Vicky   Great!

MJ  Tell us what led you to write your book?
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Vicky  This book idea came about when my young son began asking questions after watching my husband and I take Communion one Sunday. He saw what we were doing and wanted to know what it was about. So, I tried to find an easy book with illustrations that would help to explain things better to him, as well as to our daughter with special learning needs. I wasn’t able to find anything, aside from the Catholic views of a child’s first communion. This was not the way my husband and I wanted to explain things to our children, so I decided to write a book myself, using an Evangelical Protestant view.

MJ Filling your need will meet the need of other families, too.

Vicky Yes! I am so glad the book has been helpful to others!

MJFor anyone visiting with us for Vicky’s interview feel free to ask questions or leave comments. You can just pop in and say “Hi”, too.

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Mary Just wanted to say we have Vicky’s book and enjoyed reading it to our kids. I appreciate the attention to detail on both the theological points, as well as the needs of her audience (children) to be able to understand a rather abstract concept.

MJ Thank you Mary! My children are older, but we enjoyed it, also.

Vicky Hi, Mary! Thanks for joining in!

MJ How do you see this book being used?

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Vicky That one’s easy. The book is intended for parents or teachers to read to their children (approximately 6-12 years of age) and to discuss it as they read it. The book includes a simple, yet detailed, explanation of what Communion is. It also explains who Jesus is, why He came to Earth, why He sacrificed Himself for our sins, and has simple steps for trusting in Jesus as Savior.

MJ You did a great job of keeping a sometimes complicated subject simple and clear.

Vicky Thank you! I did it with the help of my husband, my dad, and my former pastor. They all had some input into it. My friend, Mary, also previewed it before publishing.

MJ Support and input is so valuable.

Vicky Yes, it is! I consider my husband my “editor” on some levels. 🙂

MJYou wrote and published What is Communion? with young children. How did you manage? How does marketing fit with being a mom? (I often wonder myself)

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Vicky Yes, I wrote the book, and self-published it through a print-on-demand company called Lulu.com. The bulk of the writing and editing was done over our Summer break in 2009, so it didn’t take away too much from our schooling. My children were ages 6 and 10 at the time, and they played together very well for a good part of the day, so that really helped. 

To be honest, I am still learning about the whole marketing process and am taking things one step at a time. But, no matter what I end up doing, I know I don’t want to neglect the needs of my children. It is important that they always come before any outside ministries.

MJWhere can parents get your book?

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Vicky It is available in several locations, including Lulu.com and Amazon.com. You can go to my website to find out more: What is Communion?

MJ Great! Was it hard to get on Amazon?

Vicky No, not at all. Actually, the company I used (Lulu.com) is the one who did that for me.

MJ My publisher did that for me also, so I have no idea 🙂

MJ Are there more books in your future?

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Vicky I hope so. I have several ideas I have been working on, and one is now ready to be submitted to various publishers. So, we will see what happens.

MJ What types of books do you hope to write? What is the one you are pursuing publishing?

Vicky I am concentrating on children’s books for the time being. It is my desire to help other parents and teachers to teach their children about the Lord, and help them to grow in their relationship with Him. The book I am currently pursuing is about why we go to church.

Our Homeschool Blog:MJ Where can we learn more about you and read more of your writing?
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Vicky I have 2 blogs I write on. One is about encouragement for Christians and helping each other grow in the Lord. He Holds My Right Hand

The other blog is our homeschool blog.

MJ I’ve thought about doing a homeschool blog, but I don’t post consistently enough or have time, I guess 🙂

Vicky I also started a new adventure this year of writing articles for Eternal Encouragement Magazine.

MJ Congratulations! I met you through their Gabby Moms blog program, I didn’t realize you were writing for the magazine as well.

Vicky Yes. I am writing under the masthead of “God Blesses This House but He Doesn’t Clean It.”

MJ Very fun! I’ll look for your articles.

Vicky I believe the first one will be in the printed magazine in February.

MJWho did the illustrations for your book?

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Vicky My dad, Dr. James McIntosh, drew most of the illustrations for the book. He is currently an Instructor, and the Academic Dean, at Brookes Bible Institute in St. Louis, MO. The illustrations are simple, black and white line drawings, which can be less distracting for some children.

MJ How neat to be able to work with your dad! Did he make coloring pages of the illustrations?

Vicky No. But, I suppose the pictures could be photo-copied and kids could color them that way.

MJ Families and Sunday school classes could use them that way.

Vicky Yes!

MJ I have coloring pages with my Christmas devotion and am working on ones for Easter. They make great giveaways and easy activities.

Vicky Sounds fun! I enjoy your book.

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MJWho wrote the foreword for What is Communion?

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Vicky The Foreword for the book was written by Rev. Gary E. Gilley, a pastor and author friend of ours from Southern View Chapel in Springfield, IL. Gary has written several of his own books, including This Little Church Went To Market and Is That You, Lord? You can visit Gary’s website here: http://www.svchapel.org/about-svc/staff

MJ Those sound fun, hmm, more books to look at 🙂

MJ Vicky Stankus author of What is Communion? Thank you so much for hanging out here today! It was fun to learn about your book and a little more about you as well.

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Vicky It was fun to be here. Thank you for taking your time to do this!

Judith I enjoyed learning more about you and the book.

Vicky Thank you!

National Human Trafficking Day

I was moved by this post. I was unaware of today being National Human Trafficking Day and didn’t have time to process this information enough to have a response. I am sharing Lynn’s post here instead. Please pray.
Deliver Them From Evil
by Lynn Miosher
Are children abducted near you or even in your town for sex trafficking? Don’t think it just happens somewhere over in Southeast Asia. It happens everywhere. Here’s a link to check a map reposted by Human Trafficking (read their post) with documented cases within the U.S. The map is created and maintained by the Not For Sale Campaign, founded by David Batstone (more following).

I know I have written on this topic before, but I wanted to make you aware of it. Again. Because it is a very serious, worldwide problem.

January 11 is National Human Trafficking Day and the whole month of January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

A large part of trafficking is sexual slavery. I can hardly bring myself to write this. My heart breaks with pain and my eyes flow with tears. I force myself to type this. These children are raped repeatedly, more than 30 times a day, just for profit. Just for someone’s twisted pleasure. Now, my stomach turns. One report says that the younger the children, the better for the trafficker. That means even under the age of six.

Human trafficking is the #2 fastest growing crime in the U.S. with 50% of the victims being children. The average age of those forced into sexual exploitation is 12-13 years old.

While statistics are hard to pin down, as no one really knows the exact numbers and each site lists different figures, it is estimated that trafficking amasses $7 billion dollars annually.

Two men found this ugly truth existing right in their hometown of Atlanta. Their search led them into the secret world of America’s modern slave trade and to a global undercover operation to rescue victims.

The two men, Dillon Burroughs and Charles Powell, wrote a book about it. Not in My Town: Exposing and Ending Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery tells the story and provides many resources for those who care to stop the injustice. Together, these two men have founded Mercy Movement.

New Hope Digital has a great article entitled Ideas and Resources to Join the Fight Against Modern Slavery. It lists ideas of how we, John Q. Public, can help. One I especially like: buy free-trade products, which are 100% free of slave labor.

Another who is fighting this atrocity is David Batstone, of the site Not for Sale, and lives in the San Francisco area. One day, he read an article about one of his favorite Indian restaurants, which had been “trafficking women from India to wash dishes, cook meals and other tasks.”

David says, “This was happening in my country at a restaurant I frequented. My shock turned into a consuming passion that took me around the world to learn more about how slavery flourishes in the shadows…And I knew I had to do something. The Not for Sale Campaign combines technology, intellectual capital, abolitionist groups and a growing network of individuals like yourself – joined together to end slavery in our lifetime.”

A cyber-friend who also fights doggedly for this cause is Diana Scimone of Born2Fly. She has written a wonderful wordless book, so no translations are necessary, for children called Born to Fly which I told you about last month, in the article A Child is Born. The book helps at-risk children, “to educate kids, parents, and teachers about the dangers of child trafficking—with the ultimate goal of ending it,” says Diana.

A sister site to Born2fly is The Butterfly Project, which markets jewelry made by women and girls rescued from trafficking. Why not stop by and *like*
The Butterfly Project on Facebook? Better yet, support them with a purchase. I know you’ll be glad you did. You can contact Jané at gautieronfire@gmail.com and follow her on Twitter as @SireneduMississ.

Another cyber friend, Kathi Macias, an award-winning author of over 30 books and several ghost-written ones, has also joined in this fight by writing what critics call a superb novel on the subject. Deliver Me from Evil shines the light on this horrific injustice to humankind. She has been interviewed on the radio and speaks on the topic.

Gary Haughen, the founder of International Justice Mission, has written the book Good News About Injustice.

He says on his site, “International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to secure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to ensure that public justice systems – police, courts and laws – effectively protect the poor.”

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), a program of Polaris Project, is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that has set up a national, toll-free hotline that answers calls in the U.S. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

So many wonderful people lending a hand in whatever way they can to combat this atrocious crime that I couldn’t possibly get it all in this post. I know I have left out many worthy people.

Oh, my sweet friends, what will you do? Please, please do something! Even if it is only to pray.

~Lord, bring rescuers into the lives of these unfortunate ones who are at the mercy of wretched traffickers. Both the victims and the miscreants…Deliver them from evil! 

~~A big thank you to Tony Marino of Alive in Christ Radio LIVE program for mentioning the awareness day last night on his program.

Eternal Encouragement Newsletter Review for Gabby Moms

“Dedicated to women who hunger and search for righteousness where the fruit is peace, quietness, confident trust, and a sparkle in her eye.”

This is the mission of Lorrie Flem at Eternal Encouragement. She is a delightful lady.
Her newsletter Serenity for your Soul  is brief, honest and encouraging. Lorrie shares events and thoughts from her life so you know she’s human, like this:

I told you I was having surgery last week. I did it because I really had no choice. The orthopedic surgeon gave me two choices, “Wear men’s shoes or have surgery.” Like I said, he gave me no choice. Now I am hobbling around in a new black boot; all of a sudden men’s shoes have a brand new appeal to me!  

The scriptural message in this last newsletter is just what I need to remember. I can not do any of what I am called to do, much less all of it, unless I am relying on God’s strength in Christ Jesus.
If you could use a little more encouragement, and a giggle or two, sign up for Serenity for your Soul at Eternal Encouragement.Scroll down a bit and fill in the form titled “Sign Up for Our Newsletter”, easy and free 🙂

Disclaimer: As an official Gabby Mom I was asked to post this honest review. I do receive the newsletter, it is free so you can, too!

Thoughts for Authors: Conceptual Editing has Begun

I wanted to share the update on the publishing progress for Easter is About Jesus. Read the entire update on my blog:

Thoughts for Authors: Conceptual Editing has Begun: Easter is About Jesus has moved onto conceptual editing. This phase means fixing all the mistakes in spelling and grammar as well as the …

God’s Best for 2012

There are too many things I want to say. Too many directions I want to go. 

Looking back. 
Looking ahead. 
I hope to corral these thoughts into something meaningful and encouraging for you. 
For now though it seems I will have to simply wish you God’s best in 2012. I pray you will know him better and will be walking more fully in his plans for you. I pray I will be, too.

Interview with Author Sherry Riffle

 After reading Sherry’s book Where did Mommy Go? I wanted to know more about her and her book. I invited Sherry to share her thoughts here.

Tell us about yourself

I am just a small town girl who loves Christ. He is my EVERYTHING! I was born and raised in a rural area in southeast Ohio situated along the beautiful Ohio River. I married my high school sweetheart and have been happily married for 20 years. I have 5 children in which we have adopted 4. I am a HUGE advocate for adoption through foster care. Every child deserves a loving home!

What is the story behind Where Did Mommy Go?

On June 3, 1999, I awoke to news that my only sister had been killed in a car accident. At the young age of 23, she left behind a very scared and confused little boy. He was only 6 years old.

My husband and I took him into our home and tried to help slowly patch the broken pieces of his life back together. Each time that he would ask questions, I added to his confusion by giving him half-truths. In the mist of my own grief, I realized that he was so innocent about death. I was the one that was uncomfortable talking about it. I knew he needed answers but I didn’t know how to answer him. 

One evening I sat down and wrote this story for him. I believe this story to be divinely given to help him understand and heal. I wanted a story where he would be able to associate without being associated. I wrote it to be real with Sarah speaking as a child would speak with broken and improper English. He loved it! It answered many of his unanswered questions and helped him to move on with life.

This story sat in my basement for approximately 10 years then I felt a push to send it to a publisher. This past spring, my story was released to the public. Little did I know that God would take this tragedy and turn it into a tool to help not only my new son but other children as well.

What has been helpful to your family in times of loss?

Prayer has been essential to getting us through our time of grief. I feel at times that we weren’t in control but Christ cradled and carried us through those overwhelming times. He sheltered us when it was too much to bear and then gave us peace. Christ is with us always!

How do you teach children to accept comfort from Jesus?

I believe that if you teach children to pray then they will open themselves up to an intimate relationship with Christ. He is always there for us and prayer is a direct way to communicate with him. Something so simple yet so powerful!

Have you written other books?

I have written a total of five children’s books. Each one was created with a specific purpose in mind and has morals woven into the story. Where Did Mommy Go was my second story and the only one that has been submitted and published. I have started a biography about adopting through foster care in the US. At this time, it is several months from being finished. 

Can you tell me more about your passion for adoption through foster care?

We knew when Christ placed adoption on our hearts that we wanted the kids that “no one wanted”…the so called “damaged kids”. All kids deserve a home! I would hear people talk about wanting to adopt from other countries. That is great but we can’t forget God’s babies that are here. All they want is for someone to spend some time with them and love them.

Every step of getting set up for adoption through foster care was so easy. God walked with us in every step. After we received our homestudy, we submitted for our daughter. Within a couple months, we received word from her case worker of our match. God worked so fast! That was the first of our four adoptions. We probably would have adopted more but we ran out of room in our house and car.

If I ever have a hand at leading one person in the direction of adoption through foster care, I know that I have done the will of my Savior. I will rejoice because a family is a special gift. If God has placed it on your heart to adopt, please contact your local Department of Job and Family Services to take your first step in adopting through foster care.

How do people get Where Did Mommy Go? Where Did Mommy Go is available at numerous websites including www.wheredidmommygo.com , www.Amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com and www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-61739-720-2

Contact Sherry: wheredidmommygo@yahoo.com

My post about Where Did Mommy Go?