Friday, April 24, 2020

Happenings at Home & Some Humor for You!

"Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing."
Revelation 5:12

Today, I wanted to pop in with some lighthearted content, for a change ~ some happy news to sort of get our minds off the heavy stuff for a few minutes.
Here are some "happenings at home" in our little corner of the world—in no particular order—well, I did save the very, very best for last.  You'll see what I mean.

Happening #1

Is anyone else enjoying this time of "sheltering-at-home?"  While my heart goes out in so many ways to all who are hurting, who are ill, and who have lost loved ones and/or their livelihood, I am finding so much joy in this slowed-down pace.  I am finding God here.  Seeing His love through the hands and hearts of friends, loved ones, and strangers.  Our dear, sweet neighbors have left a ten-pound bag of potatoes, some Easter goodies, and homemade German Chocolate cupcakes outside our back door.  On two different occasions, Kevin has been in stores trying to find toilet paper, and someone has walked up to him and offered him theirs.  It is so wonderful to see neighborhood children lining up (at a safe distance) outside the ice cream truck that comes past our home each evening.  Though people are guarded, and you can continually see the fear in their eyes, many are rising up and reaching beyond their discomfort to show kindness.  I don't really know how to explain it, but there is something so comforting to me in knowing families are spending time together at home.  I love driving through our neighborhood and seeing mothers and fathers outside in their yards playing with their kids, people walking their dogs, and the park down the road filled with people enjoying being outdoors.  There are good things happening, in spite of all the bad, and that makes me smile.

Happening #2

Our sweet friend, Janet, recently introduced me to the YouVersion Online Bible Studies, and I am enjoying them immensely.  I can't get enough of the Word of God, and what better time to delve in than now?  We are all "locked down" with no where to go, and time can never be better spent than in meditating on what the Lord has to say to us.  

Today, some friends and I are starting a new study written by Jentezen Franklin called "Right People, Right Place, Right Plan."  Will you join us?  If so, click HERE, then click "Accept Invitation."  Also, if you are already a member of YouVersion and are interested in joining us for future online Bible studies, just send me a friend request from YouVersion OR email me your email address (homespundevotions@gmail.com) telling me you want to be included, and I will make sure to invite you to future studies.  Getting to read the comments posted by fellow readers and the interaction and fellowship is such a blessing.  You can also study at your own pace, and there is no time deadline on finishing a study.  It is truly wonderful!

Happening #3

Our little dog, Gracie, is just adorable!  For no reason, other than to brighten your day, I thought I would introduce her to you and tell you that!  I don't think I've ever told you about her before, so here she is, in all her cuteness and glory!

Our sweet Havashu, Miss Gracie

She is quite the character! 
The Lord brought her to us last year, and she has become such a sweet member of our family.  Her fur has grown out a lot more since these photos were taken.  She is looking more like a true Shih Tsu now.  I pull her hair up in a ponytail now and then—(like a cewpie doll.  Does anyone else remember them?) which she enthusiastically shakes off at first opportunity.  She follows me around from room to room, and if you even so much as say the word, "chip," she goes into orbit!  She LOVES potato chips!!  I'm not sure what her former owner fed her, but if you rattle a chip bag, you are in for an all out doggie attack.  What a sweet baby!  Zach lays down the law, though and is extremely careful about what she eats.  When I beg to give her an "unapproved" treat, he always says, "Mama, you want her to live for a long time, don't you?"  It's just SO hard to say no to those big brown eyes!  I mean, who can resist this face?

 

Happening #4

Remember way back HERE when I announced I had finished the book I had been writing about our minimizing journey?  Well, I knew the book needed a thorough edit before it could be published, but have you checked the cost of book editing?  Whew.  It just looked impossible to me.  Until one day.  My dear friend, Marilyn and I were either talking on the phone or emailing, and she mentioned a friend of hers who is a book editor!  I contacted her and knew immediately we were going to be a good fit.  Her price was affordable, and God made a way.  She just finished editing the book, corrections are made, and now I am one step closer to getting the book published!  I thank the Lord so much for helping everything to fall into place and for prompting sweet Marilyn to mention her to me.

Now, I have a question for all of you concerning something I need to make a decision about before proceeding to self-publish the book.

I was raised using the King James Version of the Bible.  I know I am old-fashioned, but it is the one I memorized and the one I still prefer to this day.  BUT, I do realize I am in the minority on this, and I have to be realistic and consider what would be best for readers.  If I do make the choice to use another version, I want it to be as close to the KJV as possible.  The three I am considering are these:
 New King James Version
American King James Version
King James 2000 Version

What are your suggestions on this?  Do any of you read the versions I listed above?  If not, can you share with me what version you use and how you feel about it?
I really value your opinion and preferences and would so appreciate it if you could leave a comment telling me your thoughts!  Please?  Pretty please? 😥

Happening #5

I saved the best for last.  This mama's heart is filled to the brim with gratitude over the fact that our dear boy, Zach, aka "Little Mister Wisdom," started a very exciting new chapter and has been attending Liberty University Online!  It is another seemingly impossible dream, but GOD.  I wish I could sit with you and explain the miracle of how it all worked out, but suffice to say, God makes a way where there is no way.  He supplies our every need, and He is so faithful.  Zach is majoring in Biblical Studies, and our whole family is reaping the benefits.  He has an enormous amount of Bible reading each week, and we make it a family event to read it aloud together.  

As you may know, our 13-year homeschool journey ended a few months ago when Zach graduated.  I couldn't bear to talk about it for a while because even though I was over-the-top proud of Zach and all God blessed us to accomplish over the past 13 years, my heart ached (still does) over the ending of that precious journey. How quickly it all went by!  And, I MISS it —OH, I miss it!  I cherished every single second of those precious, precious years, but no matter how hard I tried to cling to them, they slipped through my fingers like grains of sand.  I have felt so lost.  

Then along came this amazing opportunity for Zach, and even though college is different than homeschooling, God is still allowing Kevin and me to be a big part of it because of all the reading we are doing together.  How wonderful is that?  It is filling a void in more ways than one.  I am SO very grateful to God and SO very proud of our dear boy.  It blesses my soul to no end to see his thirst for God and his longing to live out His plan for his life.

When Zach was a baby, I remember wondering how on earth Kevin and I would ever be able to instill in him the deep love we both have for God and that certain quality within us that longs to follow Him wholeheartedly.  It hit me recently that GOD did what we could not do, and my heart is so full of deep gratitude to Him for Zach and his heart and desire to live "all in" for the One who died for us.

ALL glory to Jesus forevermore.  He is SO worthy.

Is He Worthy? ~ Chris Tomlin

Some Humor for You!

Speaking of Zach, he grew up watching Veggie Tales.  At one point, I think he owned every, single episode they ever made.  We still, to this day, LOVE Veggie Tales, and every now and then, we enjoy re-watching them and reliving precious old memories.

I found the funniest Veggie Tales parody and am sharing it below.  But before you watch it, I wanted to share the original Veggie Tales song that the parody is based on, for those of you who may not have heard it!



And now for the hilarious parody!


God bless the Esh family for bringing back some great memories and making us laugh today!

During this "mandatory stillness," I hope you are finding peace and contentment in your own happenings at home with some humor mixed in, too!  Surely God sees it all, and He is our Father.  It is a great comfort to be on good terms with Him and to have a track record of serving Him.  I am so thankful I am His daughter, and no matter what is going on in the world around me, I continue to walk close by His side.
Keep looking up ~ He is with you right where you are.

22 comments:

  1. Thanks so much, Cheryl, for sharing so much good news here today! Your book, Zach's online college, meeting your cute little pup, and that hysterical family video simply made my day. God bless!

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet visit and kind words, Martha! Isn't that video hilarious? Oh, my! I just love it! God bless you, too!

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  2. Veggie Tales! Our kids grew up on them and I really enjoyed that sweet little familie's version. You can tell they have a lot of fun together.
    Miss Gracie is an absolute doll too. How could we have not known about her before this. Yes, Chloe's eyes are hard to resist too when we're eating a treat she would like to share.
    The excitement about your book and Zach's online schooling is wonderful! I'm so happy for you with both. Having the opportunity to continue to be part of his studies as he grows in Biblical knowledge is such a great goal for you all.
    Thank you for this encouraging post Cheryl. I, too, love hearing the voices of children playing in their yards this spring. Usually no one is home during the day. This spring I actually see signs of activity. It reminds me of when I was growing up and Mom's were home with the children and the houses weren't empty all day.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. Aw, that is so sweet that your kids grew up on Veggie Tales, too! I don't know why I haven't mentioned little Miss Gracie before! Thank you for your kind words and excitement for us. Your friendship and support is such a blessing in my life. May God richly bless you, my friend.

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  3. A joy to visit your blog today and catch up with all your news. How wonderful to get your book published and another great event your dear son attending university. Such a wonderful opportunity and so good that you can still be part of his studies. Take care and stay safe in these strange times.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, sweet friend! I am so grateful for your visits here and for all of your encouragement. May God bless you and your loved ones to stay safe, too. Such strange times, indeed.

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  4. Hi dear sweet Sis.. oh aren't we rich in Him??
    ... love this post so full 9f the joy of the Lord.. and His faithfulness to provide.. from toilet paper to university in the biblical studies.
    What a mighty loving Father God.

    Your Gracieis soooo cute.. and yes hard to resist.. understand .. loved the veggie tales.

    Re versions. I'm KJV through and through. A conviction not preference for me. I've analysed other versions (did several tears of Bible College, Greek etc) and it's the most accurate and reliable.
    Children are taught from it for centuries. If a child can comprehend it, surely adults can. Unless had very poor education then I think it may help them grow.
    I might stretch to NKJV at a pinch...
    Why don't you compare a cross section of same verses and compare that way.
    Chose two like best.. and if you come up against a verse you think is difficult in KJV then use your second fav choice.
    Lord bless you in it all, dear Cheryl.
    "If any lack wisdom, let him ask of God Who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not.." James 1
    Thanks for sharing, and may God bless and keep you and all whom you love, in these changeable times. As Paul wrote: "We walk by faith, not by sight."
    Prayer hugs, Shaz in Oz.x

    {Wonderful Words of Life - Shaz in Oz}
    {Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet visit and advice, dear Shaz. I totally agree about the KJV. I have never had a problem understanding it, and it is so beautifully written and precious. I am doing as you said and comparing and trying to be sure before going forward. My main desire is to please God and keep everything the way He wants it to be. I love the verse you shared. Oh, how I need His wisdom! I am so incapable of anything on my own and without Him and His anointing everything is completely flat and ineffective. Your comment just meant the world to me today, and I am SO grateful to you for sharing your dear heart with me. I am heading over to your blog - I saw you have a new post up, also. Sending much love and gratitude and many hugs your way today! So thankful for you.

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  5. Thank you for your great post. It's inspiring how much you rely on the Lord. A reminder to me.
    I often ponder on the fact that I am a daughter of God. Everything comes from that truth.
    I love that your son Zach is close to the Lord too. Out of my nine children only two truly live for God. Most of the others are believers but not close. My prayers for my children is that each of them realize they are a child of a loving Father. More prayers needed..
    gramswisewords.blogspot.com

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    1. How encouraging your words were to me today, Gram! I am so sorry to hear about your dear children, but I believe with all my heart that one day, God will draw them closer to Himself. The precious seeds of faith that you have planted in them through the years will germinate and grow and produce fruit. When they are old, they will not depart from all you have taught them. I am praying for you and coming to visit your blog. It was so wonderful to meet you! Sending many hugs your way!

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  6. Hi Chery! I loved seeing pictures of your sweet little Miss Gracie (love her name). How wonderful for Zach to find his calling and be able to do classes online. I know that you’re thrilled. Great news about your book, too. Oh my, isn’t thst the best?? As for the Bible, I think that you should follow your dear heart in which version to use. Thank you for the fun video of the family who doesn’t do anything. They really have pretty voices and wonderful harmony. Blessings to you this weekend, my friend.

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    1. Thank you so much, sweet friend! I love that name, too. When we got her, her name was Coco! None of the three of us liked that name, Kevin came up with the name "Gracie," and Zach and I agreed that it was a perfect name for her. She is so sweet. She quickly adapted to her new name, and hopefully, she has forgotten "Coco" by now. :) Thank you for being so happy for us. We are SO proud of Zach and so grateful to God that the book is moving forward. Many blessings and hugs being sent back your way!

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  7. This was a great post! My husband has pastored almost 50 years. He used the KJV for many years, then New Scofield, and now for about 25+ years has used NKJV (MacArthur Study and now Wiersbe Study Bible). I love reading the ESV and CSV but have chosen to memorize from the NKJV. I do not have a belief in the KJV only but have friends who do. Pray, talk with your husband and son, and ask God to give you peace about it!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and feedback, Gramma! Kevin, Zach, and I discuss it often, and yes, we are certainly seeking the Lord for peace. God bless your husband for nearly 50 years in the service of the Lord! Wow, that is a long time! My Papaw pastored for around 40 years, and he never used anything but the KJV. We sometimes read the ESV and Zach has a CSV. He prefers the ESV over the CSV. When the time comes to publish, we will know what to do. God is ever faithful! Thank you so much for your advice and comments. May the Lord bless you!

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  8. I am proud of you to pursue your book. Prayers for all the right doors to open. I know it will bless people. And Zack...this is wonderful news that he is doing online college right there with you guys. I can imagine how rewarding it must be for you to watch your son learn at this level! Gracie is a cutie and I would want to slip her a chip too. I don't know how you find time to do all you do, but I'm reaping great fellowship doing You Version with you and the ladies! God bless you and keep you in all your busy days. I am only familiar with the New King James, my study Bible for years. I'm curious about the others!

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, dear Mary! I deeply appreciate you, your prayers, your faithful support and encouragement, and our Bible studies together. Such sweet fellowship and blessing in my life you are! Yes, it means everything to us to have Zach studying here at home. Every moment with him is precious, and I am learning so much right along with him! Every now and then, he will say, "Mama, you HAVE to hear this" and will read something to me from his textbook. The Word of God is so boundless, and no matter how long we read and study it, we only skim the surface. There is always more to learn. I really like the New King James, too, and it is good to know that you have used it for years. Your words were such a dear encouragement to me tonight. Sending love and hugs your way!

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  9. Cheryl, I'm so glad to hear of the advancement of your book in the publishing process! That is great and I am praying for God to bless lives with the message in it. I also appreciated the song about the family who doesn't do anything. Cute... and very time appropriate. :)

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    1. Thank you so much! I am so excited to advance to the next step! I trust with all my heart that God will bless lives with the message in it, too. Thank you so much for your faithful prayers, support, encouragement, and friendship. It truly means so much!

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  10. Oh sweet friend! Your post here was the highlight of my day!! And much needed! My face literally hurts from smiling so much!!

    Oh my! Your little Gracie looks like such a sweety!! Oh what a joy and comfort she must be!

    I'm so excited about your book! The Lord indeed provides just what we need! As far as Bible versions, years ago, I read from the New King James Bible which I found very similar to my favorite version which is the New American Standard Bible version which, I believe, is a word for word translation. Many people actually feel that the NKJV reads easier than the NASB.

    Please tell Zach I said congratulations! This is such wonderful news!!! I know what you mean about the homeschool years ending. It was literally a grief process for me. But here you are now blessed to have Zach home with you doing distance learning through Liberty University. Praise God!!

    We love Veggie Tales too! My favorite song is "The pirates who don't do anything" and then as I continued reading, I laughed when I saw that was the very clip you posted! There was so much subtle humor in those shows that made me laugh so much! Haha.

    Praising God for ALL the ways He is blessing you not only in life, but during this pandemic.

    Sending you much love, Karen

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    1. Aw, bless your heart! You are so sweet to share in our joys and smile along with us! Yes, little Miss Gracie is a special joy to us! What a blessing she is! Thank you for your input on the Bible version. I am getting a lot of feedback and am reading the emails and comments and seeking the Lord earnestly! I think I am pretty near a decision. Thank you for your sweet words to Zach! I will tell him what you said. YES! It literally IS a grief process for homeschooling to end. You so understand and worded that so well. I am SO thankful for you, your support, encouragement, and friendship. May the Lord richly bless you, dear friend!

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  11. I used to work in a Christian bookstore and the New King James version was very user-friendly and the closest to the KJV. I have used many translations of the Bible, but for my own personal study at home I am using an Amplified Bible, simply because it helps me grasp things better. I also like the commentary throughout. But, when I really find scripture I want to delve deeper into, I usually look at many translations.

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    1. Thank you, Mandy! I appreciate your input. I like the Amplified Bible, too. It is so helpful in elaborating on the meaning. I usually look at several translations when I am writing a blog, too. God bless you!

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