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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.

Uncategorized

Working-Mom: Michelle Medlock Adams Can Help You Succeed

August 3, 2018
Working-mom

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.

Relationships

Five Tips for Better Relationships

August 2, 2018
Relationships

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.

Encouragement

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

Legacy

Family: You Can Leave a Legacy that Lasts

July 23, 2018
Legacy

I wanted to leave a legacy for my children.

My husband and I raised five children, which included homeschooling them.  While they were all little we had a favorite vacation. I have always loved bike riding, so we took our kids to Jekyll Island, Georgia. The area is very flat, and we would spend a week riding bikes.  That first year we went, it was just me an my husband and oldest daughter, and as the family grew our little bike train got longer.

When we went riding, I would always take the lead. The kids came behind me and then my husband was in the rear. He usually had the youngest on his bike.

Every year we would take our lunch to a large picnic area and then bicycle home. The island has lots of live oaks that are huge. We picked one very large one that had huge limbs close to the ground and make photos. One year a couple came along behind us, and we got a picture made with the whole family in that tree. That was very special.

We’d also go to the beach to play or walk, but biking was everyone’s favorite. We also did some miniature golf.

As the children grew, my oldest daughter got interested in cooking. We would buy whatever she wanted to cook and let her spend an entire day preparing dinner.

There were so many things we liked to do as a family.

I remember hearing the kids say, “It’s a tradition. We have to do it.” Or “We can’t break a tradition.”

When you read Genesis, you see the family is the first institution God created, and it’s important.  One of the things we wanted to do was pass on a legacy to our children of godly values and faith. But we had fun too.

Susan G Mathis has just written a book about traditions and legacy. It’s called The Fabric of Hope

You can find Susan here.

Surviving Grief

New Insights on Surviving Grief

July 13, 2018
Surviving-Grief

Grief can be crippling, but we all walk though it sooner or later. And we all need guidance on surviving-grief.  Here’s what I experienced:

My brother and I walked through the front door of the hospital as my cell phone started ringing. Alarm bells went off in my head because I couldn’t think of anyone that might call at that moment. I pulled out my phone and it was the hospital. I knew it must be bad news. I picked up and the nurse told me they needed me to come right away without saying Mamma had passed away.

We hurried to her room. My uncle and a friend stood by the bedside. I was so glad she wasn’t alone. They had been singing when she died. How sweet. My brother and I weren’t there. We had been at the funeral home planning.

An hour or so later, they came for the body and we stepped outside. What an empty feeling. A few minutes later, they wheeled her out. The man from the funeral home handed me a tiny butterfly to symbolize that she had flown away. That didn’t help the ache in my soul. I’d rather have my mother.

 Let’s get some insight on grief from the Word:

Psalm 88:3 For my soul has had enough troubles, And my life has drawn near to Sheol.

  I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit; I have become like a man without strength,

Forsaken among the dead, Like the slain who lie in the grave,

Whom Thou dost remember no more,

And they are cut off from Thy hand.

Thou hast put me in the lowest pit,

In dark places, in the depths.”

This is the only psalm that doesn’t end on a happy note. The person is grieving. And that’s serious business that we should allow them to experience Americans do not grieve well. My guest is Yvonne Ortega and she has written  From Broken to Beautiful Through Grief. She will share her insights on grief and healing.

You can find her here.

Abuse-Recovery

Great News About Abuse Recovery: You Can Heal

July 6, 2018
Abuse Recovery

Abuse Recovery? Yes. It is possible. Let me explain:

I have always loved orchids. And I love the big floppy ones called Cattleyas  although I like the small moth orchid that are very popular today.

At one point when I was starting to homeschool, I decided to grow some low-light orchids. I killed a few, but over the years I have learned a lot. If a plant isn’t happy, I  change the place it’s growing or  try changing a few things.  The plant can recover.

People however, are not as resilient. As part of my nursing, I had to take child development and psychology, and I was horrified at the number of things parents did to their kids. Of course, now that I’ve had children, I can talk about things kids do to their parents, but we all know how the home shapes the child.

When we had children, we thought through the Bible teaching on parenting and developed a philosophy of child rearing. We told our oldest she was our guinea pig, because we tried out our ideas on her. Frankly we worried about making mistakes, and we did make them. (I remember praying for God to bless the blunders.)

I am so thankful God can heal and restore. I like what CS Lewis said. He called resurrection, death working backwards. Redemption means God makes things new.  Thankfully, I did not suffer abuse as a child, but I have been through some tough times. And I can say. God can bring us through them.

Joel 2:25 “I will restore the yeaers that the swarming locusts have eaten.”

I have Shannon Dietz with me and she is going to share a story about recovery from abuse.

Learn more here.

Encouragement

July, July… You Have Finally Arrived

July 2, 2018

The heat is on! Here at Heart of the Matter Ministries, we love summer, but it’s funny how far we park just to grab that little tree which provides a little shade. Even if it’s just a little shade, our cars are just a little cooler for the next ride.

Shade. It’s a good word. Hmm… What does that make you think of? What about offering your life as shade for others? In this month’s Cynthia Chats with Chispa Magazine, I speak of loving one another’s gifts versus squabbling with one another. Loving one another’s gifts, despite our differences, not only allows Christ’s Love to come through, it also provides shade. You see, there is peace in shade.

Seek Him and Choose to Be Shade.

The Art of Living is #OthersCentered Calendar-July 2018-Cynthia L. Simmons

Download the July “Others Centered” Calendar

Junk

Junk: How to Live an Uncluttered Life

June 29, 2018
Junki

Junk. Do you have any in your house? The past few years I have waged a war with junk. Several years back, I had to empty the house where my parents lived for over forty years. That was a huge task, but I brought home certain things to go through because I cared about family history. What a job. I find myself mesmerized by a picture I see or a fact I learn, and then I can’t throw anything away. 

 

 

Take keys for instance, I found piles and piles of keys. I could discard door keys because we had the house re keyed when we rented it. But I also found small keys, and I kept hoping I would find the lock they fit. Even a couple of years later, I still can’t discard them. A silly hope hovers at the back of my mind:would that key fit a jewelry box or that lock box I found?  My mother had a cedar chest, a really nice one, and I wonder what happened to that key. 

 

 

And then there’s school work. I have some of my father’s elementary school papers. Does one throw that away? That’s truly history because he was 86 when he died. His World War II tote bag had booklets the government gave out warning soldiers not to have sex before marriage. (Talk about history,that would not happen today.)

 

 

Add to that my own junk. I write myself notes, and then lose them. So in any given room, you may find a purple note pad stuck beside the furniture or under something with lots of writing. I needed that at one point, but I probably don’t now.  The same is true with clothes. I have never worn it, and I may never, but I can’t seem to let go. 

 

 

I tell my self to keep my eyes on eternity and remember I don’t need it.

2 Corinthians 4:18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

 (2 Cor. 4:18 NAS)

 

Today I have Monica Schmelter who co-authored with Kaley and Rhonda Rhea. The book is called Messy to Meaningful. Learn more about them here.

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