Researching Your Family History

September 21, 2018

Recently I started researching my family history, and I discovered my great great grandmother’s name was Cynthia. I’m pretty sure my parents had no idea someone in our family tree had that name. Even thought I’m not named after her, I am thrilled to find another Cynthia in the family. In the past, I have found researching history a source of encouragement.

My youngest son is disabled, and I chose to homeschool him as I had my other four children.  while learning all about his needs and working to bring him up to his highest potential it was pretty easy to get discouraged.

I became interested in a historical figure and began researching. Because of his  impeccable character I really believed he was a Christian, and I was able to document his faith. How exciting to unearth something others had passed over.

His story provided the encouragement for that super tough time, and even launched me into writing because I believe if God encourages you, Like it says in 2 cor 2, we need to give that away to others.

I tell my story to rejoice in what God has done.

He wants us to do that.

When the Lord helped the Israelites cross the Jordan, he told them to pick up a large stone for every tribe to make a memorial.

Joshua 4:6 “Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’

 (Jos. 4:6 NAS) Joshua 4:7 then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.”

Today I have Rebecca Price Janney. She has been researching her family and unearth a really fun story too. Even to the point that she feels a little like Cinderella. Her latest book is Easton at the Crossroads.


Darwin’s Mistake: The Origin of Sex

September 13, 2018

Darwin made mistakes.

Darwin goofed when he proclaimed the one-celled animal the simplest form of life. His microscopes couldn’t see the complexity we see today. The one celled animal is sofitsicated because one cell has to do all the work of our multi celled systems.

Most people don’t know Darwin assumed black people were lower in the evolutionary tree, and therefore less intelligent. That would upset a lot of people if they knew that.

When Darwin described his survival of the fittest based on the way animals adapted to his environment, He was describing a variation in a species, not the formation of a new species. That was something Gregory Mendel was describing about the same time.

Darwin’s work formed the basis for Hitler’s destruction of Jews in the Holocaust. Hitler based on Darwin’s work, deemed Jews less human, a lower form of life. That position is a pretty simple conclusion if you believe in survival of the fittest.

We don’t really want to live in a world where survival of the fittest rules. We would kill and obliterate the weakest among us. The outcome of that thought is tragic.

On the other hand, God proclaimed life was precious when he established the life for a life. And Jesus died to redeem us from the darkness and misery of sin. Redemption and restoration brings a hope to a damaged world.

F. La Gard Smith retired professor of law. He has written about Darwin’s mistakes too. “Darwin’s Secret Sex Problem. Exposing Evolution’s Fatal Flaw. The Origin of Sex.


Let’s Welcome September

September 1, 2018

Very excited to share this month’s Calendar Challenge. But, before we get there, let’s pray…
Dear Father, as the weather cools, remind me of your grace and unfailing love. Day to day life distracts me so keep me close by your side, reading Your Word, and praying for wisdom. Help me enjoy every moment and live in the joy of your presence. Thank you for my salvation.

In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

The Art of Living is #OthersCentered Calendar-September 2018-Cynthia L. Simmons
Click Here to Download the September “Others Centered” Calendar


Prayer: You Can Learn to Pray Like Jesus

August 31, 2018

“Pray without ceasing” I Thessalonians 5:17

Prayer used to be easy for me.  When I sensed God leaning over to listen. That was powerful, and I never wanted to stop. I’ve cried out in desperation and felt God’s presence. I treasure those moments.

However, life crushed some of my fondest dreams, and afterward  I found prayer more difficult. When I pray and feel silence or feel as if I’m in an underground tunnel, I want to quit. Give up.

I am now working again at prayer. So I’m very interested in the experiences of other.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

Satan does not want us to pray. He walks around like a roaring lion, and he would love to put barriers in our way.

Plus, walking by faith means we don’t see all that’s going on in the spiritual world. We don’t know what God might be doing that we can’t see.   I have to remind myself infusing my ow feelings into prayer has nothing to do with the reality of God’s mercy and love. A good prayer time doesn’t guarantee another one, or mean he listened more that time than when you feel like the sky is stone.

He loves me and listens even if I am tired or feel grumpy. The idea is to pray. Pray when it’s hard. Pray when you are discouraged. Pray when you are happy. Pray when you know life is changing, and you don’t like change. Pray. Pray.

This morning, I went to the printer to get copies of a curriculum I wrote for my latest novel. And I got home to discover the man assembled it wrong. Ugh! Rather than getting mad because I am busy, I made myself pray. And the tangled mess unwound.


Today Janet McHenry is my guest. She has written Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. She will share what she has learned.


Needs: How to Get Your Needs Met

August 24, 2018

Who meets your needs?

As a young girl, I wanted a young handsome man to carry me off and look after me.  Sort of. I loved Cinderella and Snow White. Of course, a kiss from the prince would cure Snow White’s problem, forever.

And in real life, that’s not so far fetched, because men like to rescue their love.

This summer, my son married. At the reception, I ran errands for the brides family. At one point I had to take a message to the bride, and I forgot I had on a long fancy dress. I took off like I usually do and fell down a set of brick stairs. Ouch. My husband was very upset he didn’t see in time. He didn’t protect me. In truth, he didn’t know what I was doing.

He’s a wonderful man, and I adore him.

I wanted to fall in love with someone I could trust as well as love, and I did. However, I discovered he couldn’t meet all my needs. In fact, ten years ago, he came down with a severe illness that killed people before the days of antiviral drugs. He depended on me for four years while he recovered.

As a nurse, I used all that stuff I learned and I leaned on the Lord for wisdom in using it too.

Life taught me we cannot depend on others entirely. While friends share good times and hard, you can crush someone with your needs.

Katy Kauffman of Light House Bible studies has complied a book Heart Renovation, and she has a chapter on this topic. How can we get our needs met?

Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare: Ways to Recognize the Enemy and Win

August 17, 2018
Spiritual Warfare

How familiar are you with spiritual warfare?

The Bible says Satan walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. I heard those words as a child in church, and they sort of went zipping out of my mind. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it had nothing to do with me. The pastor would talk about the spiritual warfare going on around us, and I would wonder what he meant.

However, all that changed. I grew up and married a man who is a fantastic Bible teacher. I had taken some classes from the pastor who married us, so after my children grew up, I began teaching too. And I loved studying. That’s when I learned those verses about spiritual warfare are real.

Several years ago a friend and I taught a lady’s Sunday school class together. We arranged it so that I would teach for three or four weeks and then she would take a turn. Anytime my turn came around, I would start having doubts about the passage I would cover. Or I would have thoughts about what a awful person I was.  After I worked all week to prepare my lesson I would wake up the morning the day I was going to teach, and I was so sure it was rubbish. The change in my thoughts was so marked, I learned to plan on it and pray.

Ephesians 6: 12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Today my guest is Joy Schneider and she has written Identifying the Hierarchy of Satan.

Strong-Willed Child

Raising Your Strong-Willed Child without Losing Your Sanity

August 10, 2018

Have you ever felt like pulling out your hair? Don’t! There’s hope.

My parents considered me difficult to raise. I don’t recall why although I know I had a tendency to want the opposite of what they asked me to do.

Let me explain. Our family loved apple butter, so mother would buy large jars. However, those jars had a tricky lid. It screwed on with two twists. One would hold but two closed it completely.  And my father had a bad habit of picking up jars by the lid. Even as a child, I believed that tendency odd. After all, picking up the entire jar worked better.

One day, I put away the apple butter [I didn’t leave a mess], but I gave the lid a quick twist, just making the lid stay on. After supper that night my father decided he wanted to have toast for desert, so he got in the frig and grabbed the jar–by the lid. It held until he closed the frig door, and then it let go. The almost-full jar hit the kitchen floor and apple butter splattered all over the room: the ceiling, the door, the floor, the walls, the curtains, the window. Ugh! Years later when my mother painted the room next to the kitchen, guess what she found. Dried apple butter.

My father lost his temper, and he preached a loud sermon about screwing on jars. Of course, I said nothing since I had no desire to be yelled at. Besides, I still thought it wiser to pick up the jar with both hands.

Mother often said if she ever got us raised, she wouldn’t have sense enough to come in out of the rain. I used to wonder what she meant by that. After I had my own children, I grasped her emotional distress.

Today Teresa Knight, homeschool mother of nine, is my guest. Teresa offers tons of tips about the strong-willed child.


Working-Mom: Michelle Medlock Adams Can Help You Succeed

August 3, 2018

A working-Mom often feels overloaded. Even though I didn’t work while my children were little, I understand how overwhelmed you can feel. I had five, and my youngest was severely disabled. Since I homeschooled all of them,  I felt like I had a full-time job.

However, I think we have evidence the lady described in Proverbs 31 was a working mom:

Proverbs 31:16 She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

 Proverbs 31:24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant.

She knows her merchandise is good

As far as her home:  Proverbs 31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

It also said her children rise up and praise her, which convinces me this Proverbs icon had kids who were grown, but she is busy woman with a lot to offer.

At this point, my kids could accuse me of things, and I might not recall every incident because. Those years are a blur. LOL!

Today Michelle Medlock Adams is my guest. She worked as a journalist throughout her mothering career. On August 7, 2018, she has a new book  coming out for the working mom called Fabulous and Focused.

Michelle is going to share how she kept going when her girls were babies, and some of the pitfalls of the journey. After being a working mom for years, she has great encouragement and tips to make you succeed.

Go to her website for lots more free stuff.


Five Tips for Better Relationships

August 2, 2018

God made us to have relationships with others. If only we didn’t have to work at maintaining them.

Whenever I think of people, I think of the verse in Romans 12 that says, “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”

That’s a huge assignment, however, remember God left some provisos in there. God put the words ‘If possible’ and ‘so far as it depends on you’ in that verse because you will find someone you can’t get along with, regardless of how hard you try. But this verse makes me work hard to be gentle with people, and love them. I like to think of each person as someone Jesus died for, and that thought changes how I relate to others. Normally, I like to get things done, and sometimes people can appear to be obstacles. So, I have to remind myself how valuable they are in the eyes of God, realizing that if I have an enemy, it’s not them. The spiritual world will array against folk who want to obey God, and I remember to pray against those unseen forces while being kind to people.

It also helps to remind myself God didn’t make everyone like me. He installed creative thinkers, artists, scientists and builders in the world, and I am part of his plan, just not the whole plan. Romans 12: 3 tells us not to think more highly of ourselves that we ought, but to see ourselves with sober judgment. I believe that means we see ourselves as a vital part of God’s church. Not the whole thing. But important.

As someone who’d rather get the job done yesterday, I have to remember relationships take time. Rather than think about what I need to get done next, I need to be willing to talk to people and really listen. If I hear what they say, I can get excited about things they care about. People enjoy having someone listen, and they are more likely to listen to me, if I care about them.

Peggy Sue Wells is writing about the Five Rs of Relationships, and she’s going to share her thoughts today.

Learn more about her here.


The Sunny August Days

July 31, 2018

Oh, Father, as we approach this busy month, keep our hearts from drifting. Help us juggle chores with your wisdom and let the warm weather remind us of your steadfast love. Fill our minds with eternal purpose to love you more each day and share that love with our husband, children, and friends. May we overflow with your goodness and kindness to anyone nearby.

In the precious name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

The Art of Living is #OthersCentered Calendar-August 2018-Cynthia L. Simmons
Click Here to Download the August “Others Centered” Calendar

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