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Insider Peeks at Mission Academy using A Beka DVD

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Salvation

Moments of Influence

Great things come in packages of 3…have you heard that? Maybe I just made that up because….

#1 – it’s 3 AM, I’ve been up hushing little one, and hoping good things are to come at this hour….

#2 – AbiNoelle just told me last night that she wasn’t worried because PopPop said he was sure that Jesus would come back before the year 3,000. (PopPop: did you say that?)….

OR

#3 – We had a visit from 3 very special friends last night. Oh the joy to hold little Baker Lilly Duffy and fellowship with her Mommy and Daddy. When God dips his brush into the pot of grace and paints a life story, the testimony is unmatched, and what a blessing to be a small stroke of the brush in His uniquely designed masterpiece.

IHOP Fun – (left to right) Beka, AmiJoy, Baker Lilly Duffy, AbiNoelle, Baker’s Mommy

Many times our influence reaches farther than we could ever imagine. From sitting in IHOP to, now, my 3 AM reflections, the reward of influence comes into clear focus.

Little Baker’s Mommy was a little wisp of girl who had grown up in surroundings destitute of God’s love, yet miraculously had been saved as a young child and that simple faith guided her to a back row in church each Sunday as a single young lady. Through circumstances only God could orchestrate, He led the two of us to a table in IHOP that opened the door for a faithful year of discipleship. From depression, anxiety, and many destructive relationships, God reached out His loving hand and she took hold with that same faith that had saved her as a child. Last night, as we wiped the milk dribble and strawberry syrup from little fingers while our families enjoyed each other’s company, we were able to sit back in that same IHOP and see the GREAT reward of that moment of influence – an influence – a challenge to rise up and be the best you can be for God.

Providentially, at the table next to us in IHOP sat another family we had not fellowshipped with in years. As we quickly chatted and caught up on life happenings, we were reminded of a gift we had given their teenage daughter some ten or more years ago. That Bible given to her when she could just begin to read His Word is still by her bedside being used for each morning’s devotions. That moment of influence – an influence – a challenge to rise up and be the best you can be for God – no doubt, has the potential to make a difference reaching into eternity.

A blast from the past – more friends at IHOP
Playing Violin at Yard Sale

As we said our IHOP goodbyes to such special folks (I’m sure we had put on quite the entertainment for others who had stopped to simply eat a quiet meal – after all, we had talked and talked AND taken a silly amount of pictures AND heard AmiJoy’s rendition of her Bible verses and several other songs), our friends made the point to specifically encourage AbiNoelle to keep up her hard work with violin, Scripture memory, and Tweety-Pie lessons. They told her that she may not realize just how many people were watching her, but people were watching. What helpful words were those! We all need a reminder sometimes that our influence reaches far beyond what we might realize. In recent days, for AbiNoelle, that influence has been double-sided, you might say. In several unique situations, she has been given the opportunity to play her violin and portray Tweety-Pie (a character used in our ministry to teach on the Constitution and other Biblical lessons.) From “Nothing But the Blood” at the yard sale to “Angels We Have Heard on High” at the doctor’s office and hometown parade, the sweet melody of her violin has played a clear message of blessing and promise.

Portraying Tweety-Pie at Church Conference

To our amazement, her influence on others resulted in many encouraging words from complete strangers to keep up her efforts to learn the violin. AND NOT ONLY words of encouragement but monetary donations for her violin lessons fund. She now has raised nearly $500 for her next year’s lessons. No doubt, many of those who acted upon her influence do not realize how they have been used by the Lord to encourage a little girl and meet the need to further train to be used of the Lord, but we can certainly sit back and 3 AM and smile! That moment of influence – an influence – a challenge to rise up and be the best you can be for God will not be soon forgotten by AbiNoelle (or Mommy and Daddy).

In a world so obsessed with finding the next moment of validation for what is no more than a life filled with self-will instead of the will of God, self-respect instead of respect for God’s Authority, and self-trust instead of trusting in the Lord, we are thankful for those moments of influence – real influence that point us to a higher and closer walk with God.

Uncle Sam wanted his picture with the DAR duo!

AbiNoelle and I have had the privilege of tracing our heritage back to the days of the American War for Independence and in doing so, have been accepted into the DAR and CAR, respectively (Daughters of the American Revolution and Children of the American Revolution). While not an explicitly Christian organization, its foundation has been built on Biblical principles with its motto being “God, Home and Country.” The President General of the DAR is actively promoting the theme Rise and Shine for America! I like that word Rise. It indicates an upward, continual motion. I Corinthians 8:9 says, “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.” Certainly, here in America and as a 21st Century Christian, we have many liberties not even imagined by those gone before. It is our duty, our responsibility, and should therefore be our passion to not abuse those liberties resulting in a backward motion or digression in faith and practice, but to use those liberties to pursue a higher, closer walk with Him. It is not admirable to validate people where they are, but only to encourage them to reach, to strive, to rise above where they are and be the best they can be for the glory of God. Many say, especially in the wake of shootings and other tragedies, that what the world needs is Jesus. But the truth is that the world will not see their need for Jesus or the difference that He can make in their life if someone doesn’t Rise. Surely, there are critics and naysayers and names will be called – goodie-two-shoes, holier-than-thou, better-than-something, one-up, better-than-your-betters, etc. Regardless, the call has been given to Rise up and Shine…whether that be in the patriotic sense for America…or in an eternal impact for our Saviour. Rise in your voting, serving, working, dressing, looking, talking, studying, witnessing. In all that you do, do all to the glory of God.

And doing, we have, which we pray has been all to the glory of God…

Do Lilly’s WAIT or WORK?

WHOOO’s Waiting or Working?
Sampler Time in Third Grade Abeka Art

Let the learning begin! Wow! Third grade has really stepped up and AbiNoelle is soaking it all in. What a transition from second to third grade! Miss Heindel and the Abeka curriculum are not wasting any time TEACHING! From multiplication and division in math to inspirational stories and biographies in reading and history and an encyclopedia of facts in science, AbiNoelle is leaving the schoolroom everyday rich in learning.

Graphite and Magnets
Magnets & Water

Specifically in science, the hands-on activities explaining each new concept have kept up anticipation for future lessons. Already, we’ve made static, clouds, used investigating skills with a magnifying glass, and learned about balance using a yardstick. One lesson was especially memorable, not because of the experiment but the spiritual application. Miss Heindel taught the students about the two types of energy – waiting and working. As we reviewed this concept later, AbiNoelle explained that waiting energy was there, it was just ready and “waiting to be used,” while on-the-other-hand, “working” energy was busy and actively performing its task. So it’s like a lightbulb – a perfectly good, but un-used lightbulb is “waiting” to be used, but when you flip that switch, it then becomes “working” energy.

Daddy working with Printer in South America

Much the same it is as Christians. As Meme often says, “God sends seasons of ministry in our lives.” Some days are times of teaching, training, practicing, and learning. This is our waiting zone. It is our duty as followers of Christ to always be growing and filling our tool box with things we can use for God. In the eyes of a child, their days may always seem like endless “waiting” – always learning and never doing! The grass can for ever seem greener on the other side. For AbiNoelle, seeing Daddy and PopPop head off to missions in South America can be a source of disappointment as she sits back home and waits for her turn. Yet, as we have reminded her, how many 7-year-olds get to see Bibles from the printed page through collation, into the boxes by the thousands and given personally to the shipper for those waiting for God’s Word in the jungles?

Delivering Bibles to Shipper
Hard Work

Waiting or Working? No matter the season, we must be effective at both! Someone has said, “Joy is one of the most sought after and least understood things that should be found in the life of every Christian.” Joy can be found in every season…whether waiting or working! Each day, God has prepared gems of blessing ready to be sifted away from the dross of this world.

Recent days have presented our family with many precious gems.

Mommy’s friend Brandy and little Baker Lilly Duffy

What a precious blessing to be able to reunite, even if just for a moment, with our special friend Brandy and her family. Brandy was Mommy’s faithful discipleship partner for a year. We have laughed and cried and prayed and mostly studied God’s Word together. And through all this, God has moved in miraculous ways to give Brandy a beautiful life, and A+ husband, and the sweetest little girl, Baker Lilly Duffy. Next time we meet, Mommy promises to spend so much more time loving on that little namesake of hers, but for now, we wait and pray.

Another special blessing was walking in PopPop’s footsteps as he visited The WILDS Christian Camp where he accepted Jesus as his personal Saviour nearly 50 years ago. We are so thankful for those with vision and commitment to spend their lives serving and seeing lives changed for eternity’s sake.

Whether waiting or working, it is our desire to be happily content serving the Lord this day!

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