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Saturday, 16 January 2010
New Thru 30 - Day 3 - Matthew 24:1 - 28:10 & Acts 1:1 - 4:37
Topic: Bible Reading & Devotions
OK, I know I'm late. I put my explanation over on my blogspot blog for why I am a couple days late in posting Day 3. I really should be on Day 5 tonight, but all of the stuff going on with my internet got me behind. I will catch up this weekend, so if you are following along, keep checking back. Anyway, click here for the link to blogspot.
Friday, 15 January 2010
Thursday's Child - The Disaster In Haiti
Topic: Compassion International
I blogged a few days ago about my first reaction after watching reports of the disaster in Haiti. It really made me think about my family, my ministry, my friends, and my family's Compassion International child, Marcelo. Today, I watched a heart wrenching video from Wess Stafford, the President of Compassion International, talking about Haiti and it's workers there. Here it is:
Click here or on the banner below to send donations to Compassion International for the Haiti Fund.
I have also been in contact with our mission BCM International. They also have a fund for the Haitian disaster. You can reach it by clicking here or on their banner below. It will take you to the BCM donation page. To donate, just click the box by the word "project", and simply type the word Haiti in the box by "project name" then follow the instructions. BCM has assured me that 100% of all donations designated for Haiti will reach Haiti. I am sure that is probably the case with Compassion International as well, but to be sure, please read their donation page carefully or contact them personally.
But, please, whether you are able to donate or not, please pray for the people of Haiti. Pray for the Christian workers from BCM International that are there and for the workers from other organizations like Compassion International. We may not all be able to donate financially, but we can all pray, and that is what these people need most. With God all things are possible.
"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."
Matthew 18:20 - New International Version
Thursday's Child is going to be a day late!
Topic: Compassion International
Because of some internet issues yesterday, and because of my TOS Homeschool Crew obligations, I am going to wait until tomorrow to post my Thursday's Child - Compassion International post. I've been thinking about how we can donate to help the folks in Haiti. I'll give you more on this tomorrow.
Thursday, 14 January 2010
Got a Guitar Anyone? - Jean Welles Worship Guitar Class Vol. 1
Topic: Homeschool Product Review
One of the great things about being on the TOS Homeschool Crew is that everything is prayed over. Since The Old Schoolhouse is a Christian company, the TOS Crew leaders pray over the vendors, the reviewers, the children using the products, the people that read the reviews, they pray for it all. They even pray that we who are doing the reviews will get just the products that God knows that we need. Sometimes we get products that stretch us. Sometimes we recieve an item that we would have never picked on our own, but God knew that we needed. Sometimes a package will come with a product that we have always wanted, but we would never buy since we are on a limited budget. This is one of those products.
John Allen has always wanted to learn how to play the guitar but we knew that at this time we couldn't afford the lessons or, for that matter, even a guitar. When I heard that we were on the list to receive Jean Welles Worship Guitar Class Vol. 1, both John Allen and I were ecstatic! Now the problem was to find a guitar. Sarah and I debated about buying, renting, or borrowing a guitar, but didn't know which way to go. After prayer and a little asking around, we found a good friend who had a guitar that we could borrow. Now all we were waiting for was the DVD to arrive. When it came, we were not disappointed.
We love, love, love this product. These lessons are geared toward older children and adults, and by the time you get done with this seven lesson course, you will have learned around nine different chords, seven different songs, and six different strumming techniques. The really neat thing about it is that it is all Christian. Jean Welles begins the video with her testimony of how she began playing the guitar, and in particular Christian music. She goes on by encouraging all students to pray before each lesson and practice, and to play as if playing for the Lord.
Another really great thing about these lessons is that you are playing a song on the very first day. She begins by teaching you the parts of the guitar and how to hold the guitar. She then progresses to how to tune your guitar. Finally, she begins teaching you chords and strumming techniques. Since Jean Welles has a degree in music and has extensive classical guitar and professional guitar experience, she is very qualified to teach. You might think that this course would be very heavy and perhaps difficult, but Ms. Welles explains everything clearly and she has such a demeanor about her that learning is not difficult at all. The close up shots of her hands and how to position them for each chord and strumming technique were also very helpful. John Allen and I were both playing a song the first time that we looked at a lesson. One great thing about a DVD (and Ms. Welles even encourages this) is that you can stop and rewind when you want to listen to something over again, or just stop to practice a while before going back. But, don't just take my word for it, here is a short clip telling about this great series. Quick note before you watch, since this video was made, Vol. 4 has been added, and they no longer carry the VHS format. The quality on the real video will also be much better. This is just a streamed YouTube video. All else is the same.
The DVD comes with an accompanying book that has everything that the teacher is teaching down in black and white for those who may be more visual learners. It even has diagrams of the things that she is talking about, and the songs with the chord charts above them.
The Worship Guitar Class Vol. 1 is the first volume in a four volume series. Volume 1 takes you from being a beginner to an intermediate proficiency level, Vol. 2 is for intermediate and advanced players, and Vol. 3 has lessons that cover intermediate, advanced and expert songs. In Vol. 4, you will be learning chord families, how to find a chord in various places on the fretboard, and even how to make instrumental arrangements. By the end of all four volumes, you will have learned over 60 chords, 30 strumming and fingerpicking patterns, and 28 praise and worship songs! Although the books are only in English, each DVD has a choice of hearing the lessons in either English or Spanish. The website offers various kits and packages with the prices as follows:
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Reality Slaps Me in the Face
It's been a busy day. I've been busy unpacking from our long trip; evaluating what needs to be done around the house and mission (too much); trying to get homeschool back in full swing; and to top it off I've been having internet problems. If you know me, that is the worst of the worst. I've been on the phone with technicians, reading manuals, trying to figure out modems and routers, it's been aggravating. I've more than once today thought about throwing my computer out the door. I have glanced at the TV, but not much. I've known about the earthquake in Haiti, but haven't paid too much attention. The internet thing has consumed me...until a few minutes ago.
I've just now been able to access my email and saw a message from Mission Network News. Mission Network News is a small organization that broadcasts information and news from and about all of the mission organizations that serve around the world. Their focus today was on the earthquake. They interviewed several representatives from missions that serve in Haiti.
One of the interviews that caught my eye was one with Kathy Redmond who serves with Compassion International. I won't divulge the whole 7 min. segment, but will tell you that it was quite emotional. Kathy not only fears for the safety of the children that Compassion works with, but also the Compassion missionaries that serve in Haiti. It really got me to thinking.
Although BCM works in Haiti, I don't personally know any of the missionaries. But, what if a natural disaster hit where some of my friends work? How would I feel?
What if a tornado destroyed most of the homes of the people that I minister to everyday? Folks that I know and love. What would I do?
What if an earthquake hit the city that Marcelo, our Compassion child lives in? Would I want to catch the first flight to Bolivia to try to find the boy that our family has grown to love?
Reality really slapped me in the face. I may still have some annoying internet problems, but they can be fixed tomorrow. The lives of the workers, children and people of Haiti are marred forever. They will never be the same.
I'm awaiting word from my mission's, (BCM International), head office to see what if anything other than praying we can do to help. In the meantime, click here to go to the Mission Network News website to listen to some of the interviews that I mentioned. But, whatever you do, pray for the people of Haiti.