Sunday, September 18, 2016

5 Summer Activities For The Home School Family

5 Summer Activities For The Home-school Family
Written by Amanda Hawkins

     Recently my husband and sister and I went to the Indianapolis zoo, and we had a lot of fun! It inspired me to write this short post about fun and educational things you can do with your family this summer.
     I believe that big extravagant things are overrated, and it's the small stuff that really matters, especially with family activities. 
      If you want to cherish your time with your kids, I would suggest some of these family oriented, stimulating experiences for you and your children, that you will actually enjoy too! These ideas are perfect for home-school parents planning field trips, and your curriculum. I am a firm believer that there can be a learning experience from nearly everything. Hopefully these few ideas will bring a fresh outlook to your summer curriculum planning.

1. The Zoo.
     Kids have so much fun at the zoo, and there are learning opportunities around every corner! Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, oh my! Bring along notes about each animal and you can teach your children about them. It's a learning experience, and if you pay a little extra money, some zoos will allow you to feed the animals. How exciting it would be for your child to be able to feed a Dolphin or a Giraffe! That is something they will remember.

2. Camping.
     Camping is a great thing to experience with your family, even if it's just in your backyard, and especially when it's done right: tents, a campfire, S'mores, music, and funny stories. And in the morning, eggs and ham and percolated coffee on the fire or camp stove for breakfast. 
     Depending on their age, you can teach your kids how to turn a stick into a skewer for hot dogs, or how to stoke the fire, or how to pitch a tent. Another great learning experience, and it's fun for everyone! 

3. Hiking.
     For only a few dollars you can pay admission for a car load to enter a state park and go hiking on their trails. Take a map from the office at the park and look for the shorter trails so that it's easier on your kids. 
     Pack water, some carrots, celery, fruit, your camera, your bible, a book about edible plants in the area, and whatever else you think you might need.
     Along the way you can teach your kids about the plant life, and watch for animals. When you take a snack break you can discuss what you've seen, tell your kids about how God made all of the wonderful things that you seen, and read a scripture of your choice from the bible to get your kids involved spiritually with God and the world around them.

4. Picnic.
     A picnic is a timeless family tradition. Involve your children in making the food for the picnic, and packing the basket. Take your picnic to a nice secluded meadow or hill, or take it to the park under a pavilion. It's your choice. Bring along a kite or Frisbee to play with after you eat. It's great for family time and exercise. 

5. Fishing.
     Fishing can be great for your kids to learn how to be self sufficient and to appreciate the things that they have to work for. Teach your children the value of the animals' lives, and the fact that God gave the fish for us to eat, to be thankful for it. It teaches your kids basic survival skills as well. 
     Whether your fishing style is on a boat or on land, the kids will enjoy. They may become easily bored, so make sure you pack extra things for them to do when they are tired of fishing, and maybe take the family to McDonald's for ice cream afterwards.

       So that's the list! Just a short post this week. I hope that you and your family have fun on your summer adventures.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Spirit Of Sickness

The Spirit Of Sickness
Written by Amanda Hawkins

     I have had a bad cold for the past few days. Before the virus, I had been reading the bible, praying, and really worshiping the Lord intently, and I woke up with this sickness. Sore throat, stuffed nose, my head felt heavy, my body ached, and I couldn't walk upstairs without being winded.
     There have been multiple times in the past that I started to feel closer to God, and end up coming down with a cold, and I forgot to read scripture, and I prayed less, and I grew farther from the Lord.
     I find the correlation between the two to be no coincidence. I've always believed that sickness is a spirit. It is spiritual warfare against you to keep you away from the Lord, which explains why every time we start going to church more, or reading the bible more, or worshipping more, we become sick. It explains why contact with people that are sick often makes us sick, and it explains why prayer and laying on hands can heal sickness.
     Why does medicine heal sickness? Because when people use medicine to rid a condition, they are showing lack of faith in God, and instead are placing their faith in the medicine to heal them. There is no need for that person to be sick, because they show no faith in God as it is.
     I knew a lady that said once, "God told me that if I would go to church He would take away the migraine I've been having. So I took a migraine pill just in case, and went to church." If she had any faith in God she would not have to take a pill, 'just in case.' She would do as God told her, and God would keep his promise.
     Do I think that there is a place for medicine? Yes. But I believe that prayer and discernment is important in deciding whether or not to take medicine, and that it should not be used for everything.

     God is bigger than the spirit of sickness, but if we do not recognize that it is a spirit, we cannot cast it away. It simply will have to run its course.

     Sometime last year I was beginning to come down with a cold, and the moment I noticed the symptoms, I began to pray. I asked the Lord to take the spirit of sickness away from me if it was in His will to do so, and I cast the spirit out in the name of Jesus. The same day my symptoms did not escalate, and the following day all symptoms were gone. And I praised the Lord for the small miracle that He had done.
     As Christians we need to recognize this spirit, and if we don't it will hinder us in our walk with the Lord. We need to put our faith in God. Sickness is not of God, sickness is of the world, and of the devil, though God can work miracles through sickness, by the prayer of faith.

"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." -- Mark 16:17-18

     We belong to Jesus. We have the power, through Christ, to lay hands on the sick and heal them. When did Christians stop using the gifts that God gave to them? We can cast out spirits and demons, we can heal sicknesses, in the name of Jesus Christ. Yet we don't. Rather, we go to the doctor to be diagnosed with multiple conditions, and to be prescribed drugs. Then we go to church on Sunday and during the prayer requests we ask, almost as an afterthought, for the congregation to pray for us. We don't really believe it will work entirely, because we have believed for so long that sickness needs medicine, even since we were children we were taught this.
     According to the bible, the sick should go to the congregation, ask the elders to pray for them, and the elders are to anoint the sick with oil in the name of Jesus, and pray in faith laying hands on the person.

"Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." -- James 5:14-15

     The bible doesn't say you need to go see a medicine man or a doctor. The bible says the prayer of faith shall save the sick.

     If any who read this are sick, I pray that you see the truth, and recognize that sickness is a spirit and that it needs to be treated as such, and prayed over in faith. I pray that you recover from sickness in the name of Jesus, may the Lord raise you up.