Jun 13

Summertime Soundtracks

2012 at 4:22 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Motherhood

Summer is an ideal time for kids to listen. Road Trips, long hours of play, even short drives to the pool can all be times to make memories and fill their minds with truth. Here are a few favorites our kids are listening to this summer:

deliberateDeliberate Kids 2 - This cd by Phil Joel is two years old but new to our family. Jude and Sophie have learned a lot of English through music since they’ve been home. I wish you could have been at the ice cream shop the other day when Sophie belted out the “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream” song ending it with the words: “Old Testament!” You’ll have to get the cd to find out why she thinks that’s the way you sing this American song.

slugsSlugs and Bugs - Our entire family loves these cds, and that includes us parents. I can’t tell you how sweet it is to hear Jude sing “I’m Adopted.”

chroniclesThe Chronicles of Narnia - by now you’ve heard of these, but if you haven’t purchased them yet, please do. These are some of the best audio stories for children (and adults) ever.

jesusstorybookBible Stories - Tori and Sophie listen and follow along to the Word and Song Bible in the mornings for their devotions. Soon we’ll transition to the Jesus Storybook Bible. For kids who can’t read it is great to have audio to go with their storybook Bibles.

Sermons - Jack and Jude often fall asleep listening to sermons by Daddy or Pop-Pop. Consider downloading a few of your pastor’s sermons for your children.

What are your summer listening favorites for kids?

Jun 12

Different, Yet the Same

2012 at 3:39 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Time Management

At bedtime lately, I’ve been enjoying a little light reading (on my Iphone!) with the free download of the Agatha Christie mystery novels. In Murder on the Links, the famous detective Hercule Poirot goes head to head with another, younger detective who is full of modern ideas and methods. When they first meet, his rival addresses him with a thinly veiled condescension:

“‘I know you by name, Monsieur Poirot,’ he said. ‘You cut quite a figure in the old days, didn’t you? But methods are very different now.’

‘Crimes, though, are very much the same,’ remarked Poirot gently.”

Methods are certainly different now. The Internet has radically transformed our way of doing just about everything in the space of a few years. And it shows no signs of stopping. The latest technology, websites, and social media platforms we use today may very well be outdated or obsolete by this time next year.

Crimes, though, are very much the same. We still drink from the polluted waters of our sinful desires instead of guarding our hearts with all diligence. We still nibble at the same table of the world as did our ancestors. And our diversions may be more accessible than ever before, but the urge to escape reality is nothing new.

That’s why as Christians we must flee to the cross and to our Savior Jesus Christ who “is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Rom 13.8). Our online temptations or sins have not put us beyond the reach of His forgiveness or His power to change our hearts. His promises remain:

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)

and

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” (2 Pet. 1:3).

So as we consider ways our online habits and actions may need to change in order to line up with God’s Word, let our methods always start and end at the cross of Jesus Christ.

Jun 11

Kids @52home

2012 at 3:05 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | 52home

When Kristin and I were little, our room was decorated in the then “hot” colors of bright orange and yellow. I still vividly remember that room: the yellow bed spread, the handmade desks from grandpa by the window, the big cabinet in the corner on which sat our books and record player (yes, it really was that long ago!). On our wall was a framed poster with some bunnies on it that said “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Now as anyone who knows me will tell you, I have a terrible memory, but I still remember that picture, and the verse underneath it.

Even the small things in a child’s environment can make a big impression; and as parents we want to God’s Word to make the biggest impression of all. Janelle has created some new prints for children’s walls that are considerably more attractive than the bunny rabbit poster and provide one more way to help our children hide God’s Word in their heart. This week we’re featuring a trio of prints for boys—great for the play room or bedroom or nursery.

Jun 8

Friday Funnies

2012 at 10:43 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Fun & Encouragement | Friday Funnies

Our friend Debbie sent us the following Friday Funny to go along with our current series.

See ya Monday!

Janelle for the girltalkers

Social Networking Breakthrough

SILICON VALLEY (The Borowitz Report) – A new social network is about to alter the playing field of the social media world, and it’s called PhoneBook.

According to its creators, who invented the network in their dorm room at Berkeley, PhoneBook is the game-changer that will leave Facebook, Twitter and even the much anticipated Google Buzz in a cloud of dust.

“With PhoneBook, you have a book that has a list of all your friends in the city, plus everyone else who lives there,” says Danny Fruber, one of PhoneBook’s creators.

“When you want to chat with a friend, you look them up in PhoneBook, and find their unique PhoneBook number,” Fruber explains. “Then you enter that number into your phone and it connects you directly to them.”

Another breakout utility of PhoneBook allows the user to arrange face-to-face meetings with his or her friends at restaurants, bars, and other “places,” as Fruber calls them.

“You will be sitting right across from your friend and seeing them in 3-D,” he said. “It’s like Skype, only without the headset.”

PhoneBook will enable friends to play many games as well, such as charades, cards, and a game Fruber believes will be a breakout: Farm.

“In Farm, you have an actual farm where you raise real crops and livestock,” he says. “It’s hard work, but it’s more fun than Mafia, where you actually get killed.”

Jun 7

Because We Want To

2012 at 8:46 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Time Management

Why do our lives—which should be simpler and easier—seem all the more complicated? Centuries before the Internet, Blaise Pascal answered that question: Our lives are busier because we want them to be.*

Peter Kreeft summarizes Pascal’s perspective:

“We want to complexify our lives. We don’t have to, we want to. We wanted to be harried and hassled and busy. Unconsciously, we want the very things we complain about. For if we had leisure, we would look at ourselves and listen to our hearts and see the great gaping hold in our hearts and be terrified, because that hole is so big that nothing but God can fill it.”

“Diversion” explains Douglas Groothius, “serves to distract humans from a plight too terrible to encounter directly—namely, our mortality, finitude, and failures. There is… [a] tension between our aspirations and our anticipations and the reality of our lives.”

Every day we face difficult, even heart-breaking realities: Our sin and failures, the disappointments of life, the difficulty of relationships, the unanswered questions, the tension between the way we want things to be and the way they really are. And our tablets and smartphones seem to open up a portal of “escape” from whatever it is we don’t want to think about. By going online we can, for a few moments anyway, forget what is troubling us or ignore what should be troubling us. So we give ourselves over to our online diversions.

“Postmodern people are perpetually restless” observes Dr. Groothius, “they frequently seek solace in diversion instead of satisfaction in truth.”

Where do you seek solace? Where do you find satisfaction?

Our hearts are restless until they rest…online?

(*Much of the content of today’s post, and the idea for yesterday’s post are from “Addicted to Diversion and Afraid of Silence,” a post by Justin Taylor. I highly recommend you read the entire post.)