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He fed the sheep

If you love me, feed my sheep...

If you love me, feed my sheep…image by Sarah Perz

For a few hours one day, along with several of his closest friends, he turned away from his Lord. For a few days, he struggled with his faith…until the day His risen Lord returned and fed him on the seashore. One afternoon, he denied Christ, but for practically his entire life, he followed Him.

At another point in his life, he acted hypocritically and was rebuked for his behavior. He was a man dedicated to Jesus, but a man who sinned like any other man on earth.

Do you know Peter? He lived a life of service–he was an apostle, a preacher of the gospel, and a faithful elder (Read Acts and 1 and 2 Peter). We know by Jesus' words that he would even glorify Him by his death–which is described by both Tertullian and Origin historically as crucifixion with his head down.

Why do so many remember him primarily for his denial (for his failures) when he lived his life for His Lord? Why do we judge him primarily as an impulsive man, a weak man, a man of little faith? Think again. This was the old Peter. Peter changed. Peter grew. Peter wasn’t perfect, only Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, but Peter lived faithfully until death.

Do you remember that poignant moment on the beach (see John 21:1-19), the third time that Jesus showed Himself to His disciples? He multiplied the fishes, He fed them bread and fish, and He spoke intimately to Simon Peter.

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Lessons from a surprising source

fRUIT OF THE SPIRITDon’t waste your time on gossip, ridicule, envy, self-pity, anger, guilt, arrogance, impatience, regret, manipulation, jealousy, fear, worry, and anxiety. It’s too stressful, and it destroys the energy you need to stay healthy and fit. If you choose understanding, truth, clarity, patience, devotion, gratitude, acceptance, wisdom, and forgiveness you will have peace of mind and all the energy in the world to do whatever you want.

I found this gem while reading Tony Horton's Personal Laws of Success — yes, Tony Horton, the fitness guru himself, has something worthy of our attention besides lessons on taking care of our physical body!

Wow! I was amazed to find such great thoughts in a simple booklet on exercise! It reminded me a great deal of many things I find in God's word. If I were a wagering kind of gal, I would bet that most of us could list a scripture for each of the things he addresses! I know many of us can quote multiple verses that touch on these very things…yet how many of us are guilty of choosing from the first list? We *know* we ought not to make wrong choices, but we do it anyway and make excuses (often placing blame elsewhere)? We are to put OFF those ungodly things and to put ON those things that will bring us peace!

Do we realize when we let other people dictate our feelings … when we are reactive instead of proactive … we let others steal our peace, our joy, our happiness? There are people all over the world who are survivors. They survive unspeakable grief, unimaginable odds, and they LIVE! Don't be a slave to circumstance! Don't blame your bad behavior on others! Choose to serve God! Choose to imitate Christ! Choose love!

If we are letting God direct our steps, we will be blessed abundantly! If you do not have the peace that passes understanding — the peace that only God can give you, will you seek it? It's all up to us — we must seek God! He is waiting with open arms — not for automatons to follow him unwillingly — but for His children to love Him and give Him their hearts!

I'll tell you this, there is nothing as wonderful on earth for me as being in my husband's arms…the only thing better than that feeling is knowing that God holds me in the hollow of His hands!

Believe His word! Hide it in your heart! Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalms 37:4)

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One thing I wish I’d tried sooner


Discussions about potty training are nothing new in the world wide web of moms! I can’t even count how many times I’ve been asked about this topic! However, after our sixth child, my advice has probably become quite a bit different than what most moms expect to hear. No worries, though! This isn’t an attempt to rally every young mom on the internet! This is just one mom’s journey!

In spite of our larger-than-average (six kids) family and our homeschooling-not-public-school-at-home lifestyle, this just may have been my most radical move yet. With our sixth child, I decided to practice what–in our modern society–is called ‘elimination communication.’ Here’s the scoop—I “potty trained” our infant (term used loosely). No charts, rewards or pleas to a toddler to change his preferred method of pottying–this is more like conditioning (you remember Pavlov and his dogs, of course). If you are a young mom it’s most likely that you’ve been part of a discussion about potty training…when? how? This is my journey and my effort to share about something that I really wish I’d tried sooner!

Without embarrassing our older children, let me say that they were not the fastest potty trainers–though we did get better with the fourth and fifth. Potty training was not easy for them or me and boy did I have to go through hoops to train them. I had only read a little about EC and it seemed like more than I wanted to do, even when re-thinking it for our fifth child.

Our sixth child came along seven years after the fifth, providing this mom plenty of time to read in between. The internet is filled with information on elimination communication (sometimes called infant potty training or going diaper free). The main idea is that disposables are relatively new and for centuries in various cultures, mothers have been watching signs and allowing their infants to potty in something other than a diaper. This made good sense to me!

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