Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter 2014

"...For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." 1 Corinthians 5:7-8
"Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Revelation 21:2-4

"Mom, are we Jewish??" A sweet question. No, we are not descended from that precious group of people that God chose as His treasured possession. But we have been grafted in, adopted, and chosen before the foundation of the world.
I think that in the hustle and bustle of the every day, it's easy to forget. With lots of little people, it is never easy to stop and take a breath. It is not serious and somber and still. But it doesn't mean we don't try. 
We still stop. 
We think.  
We remember. 
There is more to Easter than bunnies and candy. There was a sacrifice necessary. The wrath of the Father had to be poured out.  And there was only one sacrifice worthy to atone, to propitiate, to absorb that wrath. 
That's why His name is above all other names. That's why His name is greater than the rising sun. 
And so amidst the crazy, and the noise of Judah calling out "More matzah!!"....
We partake of the four cups and ask the four questions.
We remember the bitter herbs, always sweetened by the Kharoset of God's grace.
We remember that death would Passover only because of the blood....
And that in Christ, spiritual death has passed over us because of His blood.
We hunt for the Afikomen....and Daddy ransoms it....because Jesus' body was broken and hidden in the tomb-a ransom  for us.  The one who finds the Afikomen gets a small piece of chocolate from Daddy. But the Father.....His prize, the goal of the US.
We praise the One who could not be held by death....because He was without sin. He had the power to lay His life down and to take it back up again.
Hallelujah!!! What a Savior!!!!
Remembering the words of the old story:

Christ is risen! Henceforth never

Death nor hell shall us enthrall;

We are Christ's, in Him forever

We have triumphed over all;

All the doubting and dejection

Of our trembling hearts have ceased,

'Tis His day of resurrection;

Let us rise and keep the feast.

(From the hymn: Christ is Risen, Hallelujah)

The boys...
The girls (poor Ev still waking up)!
The family pics:
Resting for a moment!
Reading "God Gave Us Easter" while Uncle Scott hides the eggs....
Ambree and me.....
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation." Romans 5:8-11
Happy Easter from the Hester family!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Free resource to pray for you pastor!!

Here is a link to a free calendar to pray for your pastor (s) and their families all month long.
What an awesome resource to help us pray for these men who serve us wholeheartedly! And what a privilege to support them in prayer. :)

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Almost a year!!!!

Calling all homeschool friends!!!!

If history is one of your *least favorite* subjects to teach, or even if it is your favorite, check out the new self-paced history courses from Veritas Press! This is a fun and interactive way for your kids to learn about history, and not only that, it's on SALE! For $100, you get a full year access to a class covering 32 historical events within one of five history cycle time periods.  We have used Veritas Press for history, and have loved their history cards, their Biblical worldview, and their complete coverage of historical events.  We leave a history cycle feeling like we have really been immersed in it!  But unfortunately, all the fun and exciting activities suggested in the teacher's manual are usually what gets left out in the day-to-day hustle and bustle. Well, with the self-paced online course, it becomes even more user-friendly for the parent, and interactive for the student.  There are activities, games, review worksheets and tests all built into the course.
Feel free to try a sample on their website!
*note: this IS a Christian based curriculum, so I don't think charter schools will cover it. Sorry. :(

If you decide to go ahead and purchase the course, use the following link and I'll get credit. :-). That's the end of my sales pitch for the day. 

Here's a link for a YouTube video on the courses:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Just because....

Evelyn Hope..... You are so much fun!!!!!!! :-)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Taking God at His Word-book review

I was so very honored to receive an advance copy of Kevin DeYoung's new book for review, entitled Taking God at His Word.  It was refreshing, to say the least, to read a book with such a high and lofty view of God's Holy, written Word.  DeYoung describes the purpose of his book:

     "“The goal of this book is to get us believing what we should about the Bible, feeling what we should about the Bible, and to get us doing what we ought to do with the Bible”

(Excerpt From: DeYoung, Kevin. “Taking God at His Word: Advance Reader Copy.” Crossway. iBooks. 
This material may be protected by copyright.)

   I love this goal, and I do think DeYoung accomplishes what he set out to do.  In an easy-to-read, down-to-earth format overall, the author takes us through the doctrines of the Scripture, as laid out guessed it! Scripture!  Everyone can benefit from a higher and grander view of God's Holy Word.   We have an invaluable gift, and this book serves to remind us of the true purpose and treasure, and in fact, our absolute NEED for the Word of God in every aspect of life.  In DeYoung's own words:

     “No one makes it far in the school of holiness without hours and days and years in the word. You and I simply will not mature as quickly, minister as effectively, or live as gloriously without immersing ourselves in the Scriptures.
We need the Bible if we are to be competent Christians. The Bible will build us up so that we can endure suffering. It will give us discernment for difficult choices. It will make us strong enough to be patient with others and patient enough to respond with kindness when others hurt us.”

(Excerpt From: DeYoung, Kevin. “Taking God at His Word: Advance Reader Copy.” Crossway. iBooks. 
This material may be protected by copyright.)

     For me personally, I found difficulty in the approach that says God only speaks to us through His Word. Period. There was no discussion of Jesus' words when he told his disciples, "Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you." (John 16:7).  I agree wholeheartedly that God's Word is the final authority on all things! But, God reveals Himself to man.  That is who He is, it is His character. The fullness of His deity is shown in Christ.  And yet, Christ said it was better for Him to go, that He would send us the Holy Spirit.  This does not diminish my view of the Scripture, but it elevates it!!! I cannot rightly discern the leading of the Holy Spirit without rightly dividing the Word of Truth.  In our family devotions, the question was asked, "Why is it so important to read God's Word?" And my answer, among many other things, was that without knowing God's Word, I cannot rightly recognize His voice in any other ways He may choose to speak to me.  When I feel the Spirit say, "Go here." Or "Do this."  I must know God's Word, because it IS the final authority on all things.

   That being said, I think every Christian can benefit from the high view of the Scriptures as expressed and rightly defended here in this book.  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

More pics....

Your special birthday necklace!
A new tie and dress-up shirt!! (Which, as a side note, you wore a dress shirt and tie with your black rain boots to the zoo. It was fantastic.)
Look out world!!!  Here he comes!!

Judah Sean-3 years old!!

Oh Judah Sean. You are such a sweet little boy.  You have the biggest smile. We have had so much fun celebrating your third year of life.  We went to the zoo on Friday, and you got to ride the train with Daddy!
We had our family lunch at Pizza Guru, with soda!!!!
And then we had family movie night at home where we watched Promised Land, a surf movie set in Israel.  Last night we got to celebrate with cousins at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  You were so surprised when you saw the Spider-Man ride-on toy.  (The pictures are on daddy's phone, but I hope to post them soon.) 
After each card from your cousins you would ask, "Mom, do I get to keep this?"
And then of course, when you opened your markers and said, "Oh, these are just the ones I was wanting."
You are an amazing, bright, cuddly little boy.  When we asked you what you wanted for your birthday, you said, "Well, I'm thinking about it..."
Oh Judah. We love having you as part of this silly, crazy family.  You teach me all the time with your precious ways.  I pray that you will always take the time to "think about it."  That you will carefully watch and learn the ways of our God, and then follow hard after Him.  Your name means "praise God who is gracious."  May we all spend our lives praising Him, who is so gracious....may we think carefully about His kindness and goodness to us, who gave us all things in Christ.  And may we live with the "full joy" that Jesus came to provide, and that I see so clearly in your big smile.
I love you Judah Sean.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full-Book Review

This is an amazing, Gospel-filled, encouraging book for moms!!  Reading this made me just want to befriend the author and sit with her over tea.  From a mom who is "in the trenches", Gloria Furman uses tons of Scripture to call our eyes back to Christ and the wonders He has for us as mothers.  The only reason that I didn't give this five stars was because for the average, sleep-deprived mom, there will be parts that are a little difficult to read.  Those same portions are well-worth the effort, however, and the mom who is willing to persevere will be rewarded--not only with deep theological truth, but with fun and down to earth stories about the author's family life along the way.
I would enthusiastically recommend to all moms, especially those with young children.  I received an advance copy of this book to review, and I think it would be an excellent choice to use in a small group study of moms.  The chapters are short enough to get through quickly, but packed full of Scripture, truth, and encouragement for connecting our day to day mothering with the beauty of our Savior.