Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August Giveaway Winner...

Greetings, Dear Royal Sisters! We are very excited to share with you the winner of the lovely tea time cards sponsored by Scripture Designs!

Our giveaway has ended and we are now excited to share the winner with you!

But before we do, we would like to give a big thanks to Scripture Designs for sponsoring this giveaway!

We would also like to say thank you to all who participated in this giveaway... each and every entry was a blessing.

And now, after a prayer and a winner was drawn, the winner of the tea time card set is........

Miss Emily J!!!
Congratulations Emily! Please contact us through our contact page {Click here} with your first and last name as well as your mailing address and we will get these cards to you ASAP! :D Please enjoy your prize!

And for those who did not win, be sure and keep your eye open for our September giveaway which will be posted the first Wednesday in September! We also would encourage you to check out our Monthly Program, as we just posted our September program!

May the Lord bless you all!
Bethany Ann & Johanna Rose

Monday, August 29, 2011

Overcoming Temptation :: Part 2

                              {Written by Bethany Ann}
The other day as I was in the car I started to think about red lights. Most people don't really think much about it when they see a red light. They just know it means STOP! Even the most youngest of children know this simple sign. Have you ever thought about how God has "red lights" for us? Sometimes His "red lights" are in forms of parents, the Bible, wise Godly friends or our pastor. What would the streets be like without stop signs and red lights? It certainly wouldn't take long for many people to die and get hurt and it would be a jumbled mess rather quickly. We will get the same result if we do not heed and obey God's laws and obey them. While stop signs and red lights are always there, and God's laws are always there, they will not do us any god if we do not obey them. God has rules that must be followed in His Word, but sometimes we don't want to follow the rules, we want to do what we want to do. But the Lord knows best! He uses the Holy Spirit to inform us that danger is ahead and that it is not safe to continue on in that way or on that path. When we are getting ready to disobey, the Holy Spirit prickles at out mind warning us not to go on. But sadly we often don't listen and our foolish pride and belief that we are smarter than others will end us in a lot of trouble.

Image Detail      The devil would like nothing short of making us fall into temptation, so he will do ANYTHING to get us to fall into his trap. He feeds us lies that have 1 percent truth and 99 percent lie, to make us believe it, thinking it is true. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us: "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." So this is our first "stop sign" or our "red light'! We must at all costs resist the devil and when we do, we will gain this precious reward promised in God's Word: "Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen." {1 Peter 5:9-11}

     So just how do we resist the devil? Ephesians 6:10-20 gives us a wonderful picture of how we can accurately prepare our self for the darts of the devil:

 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."

      We must daily put on this "armor" or we will have no chance against the devils schemes! With the Lord's help we CAN resist the devil and when we do we will gain an even stronger faith in the Lord and will grow closer to Him. Dear sister, please remember the importance of resisting the devil! The Lord has great plans for you but if you don't obey His Word then we will easily fall into the trap of the devil! Stand firm in Christ and do not grow faint  for:

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
{Galatians 6:9} 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Royal Council :: Courtship vs. Dating

I find the one of the most popularly asked questions would have to be whether I choose to do courtship or dating. Often times, I find that young woman everywhere are asking this same question.
When looking at what the world has to offer, it is often easy to fall into the mindset of thinking that there is only one option :: and that is, to date.
But today, we would like to share with you a counter option -- which we find to be a much wiser way of going about such a delicate matter as that of the heart. 

Bethany Ann ::

     Courtship is one subject that has been on my mind and heart a lot lately these past few years. As I have gotten older the question "Do you have a boyfriend?" and "Who are you dating?" has been coming quite often. But as I have studied the Word of God I have found that the Lord's intention for one finding their marriage partner is certainly not by dating and that He has a different plan.

     Did you know that one in every two marriages end in divorce? How heartbreaking! God's intention for marriage was for it to be a lifelong commitment, not one that lasts as long as you are happy in your situation. Dating is almost like learning to divorce if you think about it! When you date, you go out with someone for as long as you are "in love" with them and after that period, you break up and find someone else. So if we constantly do this until we truly do marry then after the going gets hard we feel that urge to divorce because that's what we did before we married!

     When we date we are also giving parts of our heart away. We need to be saving our heart for our future husband and not give bits and pieces of it to other men. What if your husband were to get a dozen roses for you, but on the way to meet you he meets several other women and decided to give them a rose. Before long he gives away all his flowers and damages the rest. When he presents the flowers to you they are all torn and dried up because he gave them to someone else before He came to you. This is what you are doing with your heart when you date.

     One important part of courtship is having the father play a part of it. Courtship is when the father and daughter meets the possible husband and his family. When you court you meet your spouse with their family and this helps eliminate one-on-one time which can lead to bad things if not guarded and chaperoned. By courting you are allowing God to chose who you marry and not taking it on yourself. Most girls would say that they don't want  God to chose their mate, but honestly God is the one who made us to meet another mans needs and He made us according to those needs so that we can fulfil them to the best of our ability. So God truly does know best who would be the perfect person for us!

     When we trust God to take care of our meeting out future spouse then we are allowing yourself to get to know Christ better and strengthen our relationship with Him instead of frantically looking for someone to marry. And since God is our heavenly spouse and should be our number one desire to please and glorify, then our main focus should be on Him!

Johanna Rose ::

   This is a subject that the Lord has laid on my heart for the past few years. As I have grown older, not only am I at 'that age' where having a boyfriend would be the norm, but it is also a time when thoughts, such as :: marriage, weddings, having a family of my own, meeting my husband, falling in love -- all swirl in my mind, and cause me to wonder :: how will it all happen??

   This is a question, that I am sure, all girls ponder. Yet, sadly, I see so many girls turning to the world for answers -- and what does the world have to say?? To the world, boys and girls are just pieces in a game. Boy meets girl -- girl likes boy -- they date for a few weeks/months -- break up -- start over again. While this synopsis is very sad, it is a reality. 

   So many times I see that girls, as young as twelve, are expected to have boyfriend, and start dating. Clearly we can see that these 'relationships', at such a young age, are not even designed for the purpose of marriage. It is designed for temporary pleasure, and amusement. But we can clearly see that it is anything but a life long relationship. Rather, it will be a damaging remembrance for when you are married to your future spouse.

   So why do so many young woman date?? I believe there are so many reasons that go into why so many girls choose to date. First, I believe that we desire to have guys like us. We want them to be attracted to us, and to like us for who we are. Second, I think that a lot of times, girls who don't have a firm relationship with Christ, have a void in their heart -- which they want to fill with the attention they receive from guys. Third, I find that for those who are not dating, there will be an intense pressure from those around them. They think :: everyone else is dating -- why am I the only one who is not dating? But, perhaps the most common reason that girls choose to date, is because they are unaware of the other option -- courtship -- and the superiority that it holds, in comparison to dating. 

Courtship vs. Dating. What is the difference between the two???

   I believe that the most influential impact that Courtship has -- and Dating is missing -- is commitment. Upon looking up the word courtship in the dictionary I found that it is called the 'Prelude to Marriage'. What a beautiful way of putting it! And that is exactly what a courtship is -- a Prelude, or introduction, to Marriage. 

   When a man and a woman enter into a courtship, their intention is marriage -- a life long commitment. To counter this, when a man and a woman start to date, much too often the main intention is not to make a life long commitment, nor to enter upon marriage -- but, rather, it is for the present pleasure of having fun, and enjoying the attentions that guys will offer. Often times, dating results in 'breaking up' and starting over -- this sounds a lot like divorce, doesn't it??

   So, why can't you date -- what is wrong with 'breaking up' a few times, until you find the right one? Why would this effect my marriage?? There are several reasons why dating is not the best option, if you are set on having a life-long marriage.

   The first reason that I find, is that when you are dating -- when you are going out on one-on-one dates with a guy, your heart is vulnerable. And often times, we unknowingly will give our hearts away. Dating is very intense in comparison to courtship, because you are always alone with one guy. He will be the center of everything you do. He will be the only one to talk with -- because he is the only one there. He is your entire focus on dates -- and this will inevitably cause feelings, over time -- even when we don't realize it. And before we even know it, our hearts have been given away -- only to be tossed back to us -- damaged, defiled and torn. 

   This leads me to my second reason -- and that is, we must save ourselves for our future spouse. So many times, through the process of dating, we are giving away our firsts -- the first kiss -- the first embrace -- the first holding-of-hands -- the first love of our life -- the first time we will give our heart away. I fervently believe that these 'firsts' belong to our future husband, and no other. We must be willing to save them for him.

   So, why is courtship so superior to dating?? What are the differences between the two?? Well, there are many differences between them -- the the most significant transformations would be these ~

   First, as I stated a above, the intentions for courtship is marriage. This will make both the young woman, and and the young man, whom are involved in the courtship, take things more seriously. Rather then only focusing on the romance of the occasion, they will be taking a sincere interest in how this person -- whom they are courting -- acts, talks, thinks, hopes, fears, dreams, etc, etc. They will be focusing on their future happiness together, rather then only wanting to be fulfilled at the moment.

   Second, when a daughter is entering a courtship, she is much more protected and her heart is more sheltered and secure. Instead of going out, and being alone with 'her young man', she instead is with her family when ever together -- rarely alone. To many woman of the world, this would be a con. But I see it as a wonderful opportunity to get to know a young man, without giving my heart away too easily.

   Third, as a courtship involves both the man and the woman's families, this is a wonderful opportunity to get your loved-ones' opinions on your possible-future-spouse. Often times, your brothers and your father will be able to spot things, that you would have never notice -- whether these things may be good or bad, it is a wonderful way to get to know this young man in a different light. You will also receive wonderful insight from you mother, as she will be tracing things in this young man which she wants to find in her daughter's spouse.

   In closing, I want to encourage you to pray -- and seek the Lords will in this. Open your heart to Him, and pour out your thoughts. Remember that He is your ultimate, True Love, and He will never leave you nor forsake you. I want to inspire you to start creating a deeper relationship with Him right now. Make Him the Love of your life -- for He holds the fulfillment you are longing for.

Sincerely, in my loving Jesus,

Do you have a suggestion for future Royal Council topics? We would be so blessed if you sent your suggestions by way of our Contact page! Thank you! We pray that you were blessed by this month's Royal Council, and are left refreshed and newly-inspired to live for Jesus.

Abundant Blessings,
Bethany Ann & Johanna Rose

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Virtuous Woman :: Part Two

She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet.
She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants.
Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.
She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all."
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.

~ Proverbs 31:21-31 ~
{Written by Johanna Rose}
{Please be sure to read Part One first!}
Thank you so much for joining me for part two of this Proverbs 31 study. I pray that you have been blessed by taking a deeper look into this beautiful passage.... I certainly have. It has been such a challenge to write this -- for, writing this has made me study these verses intently and carefully, and now, I find that I even have a better understanding of this lovely Proverb. Let us begin Part Two, shall we?? ~

She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Proverbs 31:21-22

     In Proverbs 31:16, it talks of how the virtuous woman buys a plot of land, and plants a vineyard therein. In verses 21 through 22, we see that she doesn't even fear the cold weather, as she has provided scarlet clothing for her family. In both of these passages, we can see the the virtuous woman always is looking ahead -- she is not overly concerned with the present, but rather, she takes care to look to what the future may hold, and provides the necessities ahead of time.

     I can, again, see my own, dearest Mother in this verse. My Mama is constantly providing our family with the clothes we need, and the food we eat. Not once have I gone hungry, from lack of planning on her part. Not once  have I been cold, because she didn't supply me with the garments I need -- not once. This is truly a virtue which we, as young ladies, need to think about. So often, we only think about what must be done now -- or what is going on currently -- etc, etc. But ladies, we to often forget to prepare for the future. We need to be rational in our actions, and account for the present as well as the future -- this is the key to having a smooth, and well-runed household. 

Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.
Proverbs 31:23

     Now, we all know that Proverbs 31 is about the virtuous woman :: So, why is this verse specifically about her husband, and not directly about her??? Well, I believe that this verse relays a valuable  point, which I think a lot of us, when studying this verse, pass over. And that point is this :: the importance of honoring your husband.

     Often times, it depends on the actions and behavior of the wife, in order to accuratly label the character of the husband. Ladies, this is one of the hidden roles of being a wife, and help-meet -- and it is so very important. It is our duty to be a virtuous, hospitable, warm and welcoming homemaker. We need to be a reflection of Christ in every one of our actions, and in each of our words. This will not only add honor to the One Above, but it will also be honoring to our husbands, and reflect his good character. 

She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants.
Proverbs 31:24

     This verse ties in with Proverbs 31:18-19. Each talks of how she is a skilled seamstress, and makes profit by selling her goods. Often times, these verses are used the the feminist movement, saying that the virtuous woman was, indeed, a businesswoman -- a working woman. 

     However, I feel just the opposite. I believe that here, within these verses, we can see that the virtuous woman can indeed help her husband by bringing extra income into the home. But what I also see here, is that she does this in addition to being a homemaker and help-meet. She doesn't put her work above her family, neither does she put it above her biblical-calling which is to be the keeper of the home. She does her sewing and selling within the home. I believe this is a perfect way of helping your husband, yet still caring for your family at the same time. 

Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.
Proverbs 31:25-26

     Strength. Honor. Rejoice. Wisdom. Kindness. All of these virtues are mentioned in the above passage, and I believe we must take each one of them to heart, and focus on perfecting that trait within ourselves.

     Strength is something that, I believe, we all must have a degree of -- especially for the times that we live in. In our culture, being a full-fledged Christian -- one who loves to not only talk-the-talk, but walk-the-walk as well -- is not the easiest of tasks. In fact, it is far from being easy. We need to be as the virtuous woman, and gird ourselves up with strength. {Proverbs 31:17}

     Honor is something that one must gain -- not accomplish. It is like a reputation -- hard to gain, but easy to loose. We, as young woman, are vulnerable, and are easily lured into traps that would put our god-honoring hearts into danger. We must be sure to gird ourselves up with the sufficient strength in order to preserve our honor.

    Rejoice. Being cheerful in whatever circumstances. This is truly very challenging -- yet, I believe it is crucial. And when accomplished, I find that it is so rewarding. We need to constantly put our trust in Jesus Christ, and look unto Him. We need to empty our hearts of fears, so that their may be room for joy -- but certainly, their can't be both. We need to let Jesus reign, for that is when our joy truly will be full.

    Wisdom is something that a virtuous woman must attain. It is something that will last a life time, take a life time, and become a life time -- all we must do is gather it.

    Kindness is letting the beauty of Christ shine through you. It is an occupation that will fill our hearts with joy, and our souls with peace. Being filled with kindness towards others is often easy, but often times it can be hard. Again, when you let Jesus truly reign in your heart, you will be filled with true, everlasting joy. And that is when His kindness will shine through you, for all the world to see. {Mathew 5:16}

She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27

   When I have an encounter with a truly virtuous woman, one thing that I always note is that she is never idle. Again, my mother relays a sweet picture of what this verse entails. Those who know my mother, will say that she has never just sat about, and used her time for herself. No. Far from it. They would say that they never saw her sit down!! They would tell you that she was constantly on her feet, serving others, and making sure things were going smoothly. 

   This is another valuable virtue that we, as young woman, must learn :: and that is, to be hospitable to others, and serve them with our entire being, so that their stay in our presence may be as pleasant as possible. A truly virtuous woman will always make sure those about her are comfortable, and at ease. 

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
Proverbs 31:28

   Ah, what a wonderful verse this is -- this verse talks of the reward that the Virtuous Woman shall receive! Have you ever been talking with friends, and catch yourself saying "Yes, my Mother is amazing!!" *smile* I certainly have! My mama is a truly virtuous woman -- one who puts others above herself always, and who loves unconditionally. 

   This, my dear sisters, is something that we all will want someday. We will want our own children to love and respect us, and to call us blessed before others. We will desire our husbands good words, and true love. But, we must first earn it. We must be a Virtuous Woman in order to attain this praise.

"Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all."
Proverbs 31:29

   Ah. This verse is one of my very favorites -- if not my favorite, in the entire passage of Proverbs 31. This specific verse, holds a hidden challenge. A challenge that speaks to my heart -- and I pray that it will speak to your's as well. 

   It talks of how many woman have done well in becoming a Virtuous Woman. But, it ends in saying, "...but you excel them all." These words are so beautiful to me. In these few words, I can see so much. Ladies, there are so many young woman out there -- all, just trying to do what they think is right -- all, trying to be hospitable, and kind -- all, doing there best to be what they were created to be. But girls, a truly Virtuous Woman will excel them all. For, it is true, that when I encounter a truly virtuous young woman, I find that she is so different from those around me -- and the difference I see, is a reflection of Christ. 

   This is what I hope to be. There are many young woman in this world, but I want to rise above them -- I want others to see a difference between me, and the average girl -- I want them to see Christ dwelling within me.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Proverbs 31:30

   This, again, is another beautiful portrayal of a truly beautiful, and virtuous woman. Often times, when looking at the world, and the woman of this world, we will see a false image of what 'true beauty' is. We see this false image on magazine covers, billboards, posters, DVD's, etc. We can clearly see that to be truly beautiful in the worlds eyes, you would need the tightest, most low-cut shirt, the highest cut shorts, a complete makeover with the latest styles in the makeup department, an anorexic figure, and a flirtatious spirit. This, is what is now considered truly beautiful.

   Ladies, it can be so easy to fall into the trap of thinking this way -- without even knowing it. Let me encourage you now, to re-focus on Jesus Christ, and His beauty. Truly, I tell you, that even if you were beautiful on the outside, yet, lacked the Holy Spirit within, your loveliness would no longer be. Rather, I believe that, even if the Holy Spirit was your only ornament, you would hold an unchangeable, and true beauty -- which is worth far more then the beauty which the world has to offer.

Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Proverbs 31:31

   The last verse of Proverbs 31 is a glorious ending. And, I believe that its meaning is a very powerful one. For, a truly Virtuous Woman will reap what she has sewn. Ladies, this is so important to understand, and will be so encouraging in those times when we are doubting. 

   We will face so many struggles along our journey of becoming and being a wife, homemaker, help-meet and, ultimately, a Virtuous Woman. And, although this journey may seem as though it is not worth it at times, this verse holds a promise which will strengthen us to continue on our way. For it says that we will gather 'the fruit of our hands.' -- in other words, we will reap exactly what we have earned -- we will receive exactly what we gave. 
I want to close in saying this ::

   Dear Ladies, if you are truly striving to be a Virtuous Woman, know that the Lord will bless your efforts. Know that He is with you every step of the way. Know that He is aware of you vulnerabilities, and your weaknesses -- know that He will lend you His own strength when it is required. 
Know that He loves you unconditionally, and has called you to be a Virtuous Woman, because He has a purpose for you. 

And know, that this purpose, is something that is greater then you could have ever imagined!! And know that the most important step of this process is to trust in Him. Trust in His Strength. Trust in His Love....

Trust in His Plan.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Inspiring Quotes & Poems

"I must offer a word of warning to believers. Often the work of the Lord itself may tempt us away from communion with Him. A full schedule of preaching, counseling and travel can erode the strength of the mightiest servant of the Lord. Public prayer will never make up for the closet communion." ~George Mueller

"Avoid fruitless arguments and let truth do all the shouting." ~Bill Gothard

"You are the Potter, I am the clay; what do you want me to do today?" ~Justin Schlichter

"If you want to make a difference in the world, you have to go in the different direction than the world." ~Author Unknown

"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence." ~George Washington

"Don't waste time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the greatest secrets. When we are behaving as if you loved someone you will presently come to love them." ~C.S. Lewis

"Who we are is reflected in the people we choose as friends." ~Dr. Grace Ketterman

"Home with all it's prohibitions and opportunities to die daily offered training far greater than any Bible school curriculum." ~Amy Charmichael

"Without the assistance of the Divine Being...I cannot succeed. With that assistance, I cannot fail." ~Abraham Lincoln

A Careful Woman I Ought To Be
~Author Unknown

A careful woman I ought to be
A little girl follows me.
I do not dare go astray,
For fear she'll go the same way.
Not once can I escape her eyes
Whate'er she sees me do she tries.
Like me, she sees what she's going to be
That little girl who follows me.
I must remember as I go
Through summer sun and winter snow,
I'm molding for the years to be
That little girl who follows me. 

I'd Rather
By Meredith Grey

I'd rather be a mother
Than anyone on earth,
Bringing up a child or two
Of unpretentious birth.

I'd rather tuck a little child
All safe and sound in bed-
Than twine a chain of diamonds
About my foolish head.

I'd rather wash a smudgy face
With round, bright baby eyes-
Than paint the pageantry of fame
Or walk among the wise.

"If you were given a nickname descriptive of your character, would you be proud of it?" ~Author Unknown

"Some people complain to God, asking Him why he puts thorns among roses. While other thank God for putting roses among the thorns." ~ Author Unknown

"I often think flowers are the angels' alphabet whereby they write on hills and fields mysterious and beautiful lessons for us to feel and learn." ~Louisa May Alcott

"A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water." ~Eleanor Roosevelt

"Remember the tea kettle; it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it still sings!" ~Author Unknown

"A woman's heart should be so lost in God that a man must seek Him in order to find her." ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book Reviews

The Hiding Place
By Corrie ten Boom with John and Elizabeth Sherrill
{Review by Bethany Ann}

     What a wonderful read this was! When starting the book I feared that there would be all lot of  prapgic details at the concentration camp section but to my delight I found that the message was portrayed nicely, without graphic content. It was a blessing to read about the life of Miss Corrie ten Boom who lived with her family in the home above their fathers watch shop that had been passed down many generations. The story starts on the 100th birthday of the watch shops opening. Corrie and her family have a deep love for Jesus and it was evident through their daily Bible reading and holehearted devotion to Him. As the years went by, Corrie and her sister Betsy did not marry. Once Hitler's movement took place among the Jews the ten Boom's secretly hid several Jews in hopes of their safety from Hitler's cruel hand. While doing so, the ten Boom's were putting their life in danger yet the felt as if it was what Jesus would have done and so they continued to hide Jews at their own risk.

     It was fascinating to read of how their life's were forever changed by the living of these fearful Jews inside their home, hidden in a "secret room" inside of Corrie and Betsy's room. They had to re-change the way they did things, one of which was learning to go from having a dinner for all the Jews and in record time changing everything so that if Hitler's men came to investigate, that it would look as if only the ten Booms had been eating.

     One day the word got out that the ten Boom's were hiding Jews. The ten boom's were arrested but the Jews were safe as they stayed hidden in the hiding place. Read about the ten Boom's many trials as they strive to live in the concentration camps and how their faith in God got them through it with a joyful heart. I am sure you will be encouraged by this book, I know I was! It left me thanking God over and over for things I normally overlook like a clean living place, clean water, good food, and the basic necessities of living. If you have not read this true biography then I highly recommend you to do so! Recommend for ages 10 and up.

 Ruth, A Portrait
By Patricia Cornwell
{Review by Bethany Ann}

     This was a wonderful read! Ruth, A Portrait is a biography of the story of Ruth Bell Graham, wife of famous Evangelist Billy Graham, and mother to Franklin Graham. Learn all about Ruth's life and how she lived and grew up with her family as they were missionaries to China in her earlier years. Learn about how Ruth met her husband and what went on behind the scenes as she stayed at home with their children when Billy was away preaching for large amounts of the time. You will learn of Ruth's faith and her passion for the Lord and how she raised her children in His ways.

     I deeply enjoyed reading this biography! Written by one of Ruth's friends, it accurately shared the details of Ruth's life and will leave you in awe at this woman of God! It was a very good book! And I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning about women of the past! It if very interesting and you will learn lots of things you normally wouldn't learn about Ruth from any other source.

Noble Girlhood
By Tiffany M. Schlichter
{Review by Bethany Ann}
Oh, how encouraging this book was to my soul! If you are seeking Godly encouragement as you journey along this path of Godly daughterhood then this is the book for you! It is full of Scripture (lots of it! :D) and includes chapters on subjects including serving, honoring parents, wise friendship, purity, loving siblings, Bible-reading, true beauty, and five more!

     This book not only is full of encouragement but also lovely quotes, poems, recommended resources, beautiful artwork, and an application area at the end of each chapter. It was such an encouragement to me and I'm sure it will be to you as well! You simply must read this book it you haven't already! It is very good! I was encouraged by how honest Tiffany was on certain subjects she is still learning about and how she used a lot of Scripture to go with her encouragement. It was a blessing to read and I was left inspired and in awe of an beautiful example of what God can do with a heart fully devoted to Him, even at an early age!

     It can be purchased at Christian Book Distributors but you can also purchase it directly through Tiffany for $14 plus $3 for shipping. Send a check made to Virtuous Daughters to the address given at the bottom of the book recommendation for her other book All Glorious Within HERE which I reviewed last month. {Also as a side note I thought I would share with you that Miss Tiffany is having a special price for her book All Glorious Within from now until September 1st, 2011. If you purchase the book through her you can get it 40% off for only $9 each with $3 for shipping. Simply send a check made to Virtuous Daughters to the same address given at the bottom of the post given in the above link before September 1st, 2011!}

Lysbeth:A Tale of the Dutch
by H. Rider Haggard
{Review by Johanna Rose}
     This book was a wonderful, wonderful read! Full of suspense, adventure, treachery, secrets, and a wonderful & wholesome romance threaded through it all.

     This wonderful tale begins in Essex, where Rosamund lives along with her two, twin cousins; Godwin and Wulf, the Brethren. Each brother seeks Rosamund’s hand in marriage, but they make a solemn vow never to begrudge the other perchance that he may succeed. So Rusamund makes a promise that in two years, she shall choose the man she loves.

     Meanwhile over in Baalbek, Rosamund’s Uncle, Saladin, the great and powerful Sultan of the East, has a vision concerning Rosamund, his niece. Thus, he sets out, either to have Rosamund come to him of her own free will, or to force her to come, either way "His arm is long" and he shall have her as his Princess of Baalbek, until his vision is fulfilled.

     The tale takes off as Rosamund is captured, while her brave knights are drugged by a servant of the Sultan. Once Godwin and Wulf find out what has happened, they immediately go after her, and travel to Baalbek to seek her, and to rescue her together. While there, they meet the beautiful spy, Mausada, who would risks every thing, even her life to help the Brethren.

     Will Rosamund ever see the Brethren again? Will the Brethren keep there vow, and never turn against each other? Which Brother will win Lady Rosamund’s hand in marriage? Why does Mausada risk her all for these Knights? Will her dream ever come to be?

     I highly encourage you to find out in this amazing novel -- 'The Brethren'!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Overcoming Temptation :: Part 1

{Written by Bethany Ann}

Carissa sat down on her bed and opened her book to the place she had last marked with a pink silk ribbon. As she started to read she noticed that the content of that chapter was getting inappropriate. Her conscience started to prickle at her mind "Why are you reading this? You know you shouldn't! Your parent and the Lord wouldn't approve!" Will Carissa obey the Holy Spirit?

     Melissa grabbed the knife and fruit and headed for the cutting board. As she started to wash the peaches and cut off the bright green tops off the strawberries she remembered how she hadn't had her afternoon snack like she normally did. She all the sudden got really hungry and she instantly remembered how flavorful and juicy the fruit was the day before. Her mouth watered and she reached out to grab a strawberry when she remembered how her mother had asked her not to eat any of the fruit before dinner. But she was so hungry! Will Melissa give into this temptation?


     Rae Lynn was up in her room, and a long time had passed since the sun had gone down. She was trying to get a head start on the next days math test and was studying as well as trying to finish that book. All of the sudden she remembered of her parents wishes for her to go to bed at an early hour. She wonders is she could stay up without her parents knowledge. "It's not like I'm doing something bad with my time! I'm studying for school!" she told herself. "Your doing something productive with you time! What they don't know won't ever hurt them!" she thinks. Will Rae Lynn give in?


     Jo Ann heard the beep beep beep of the alarm clock. "Time to get up" she tells herself as she pulls her feet off the bed and onto the floor. As she gets ready for her day she puts on her day clothes, brushes her hair and teeth, washes her face and makes her bed. In a hurry to get breakfast due to the growling of her hungry stomach she flies down the brown stairs. As she steps down the middle of the stairs she remembers that she has not yet had her time with Jesus. "Oh, I'll just do it later" she tells herself. "Besides, I'm already half was down the stairs!" she complains. Will Jo Ann listen to the Holy Spirit?

     Have you ever been tempted in such a way as these girls in the above stories? Well do not feel alone, everyone is tempted! But with the Lord's help we can overcom temptation of the devil and overcome his foolish lies! Temptation can actually be a good thing if we use it for our good. If we can overcome temptations then that will strengthen our faith and the next time we are tempted we will more quickly recognize it as the devil's temptation. However, when we give into his lies then we will not recognize this as a temptation and then the next time we will recognize this as the devil's doings less and less every time. We will also be tearing down our faith as we give into Satan's lies and not find strength from the Lord instead. Dear, girls, we must not give into temptations! Can you think of one thing you are currently struggling with in your faith? Maybe it's obedience or keeping your thoughts pure. What about being kind to others or not gossiping? Well most sins start with temptation! So if we can stop temptations before they get going , then we can stop the chances of us being lead into sin without even knowing it!

     There are two well known Bible stories about two people who were tempted, except there were different outomes due to the persons choices. First, let's look at the well know story of the fall of Eve:

"Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”  The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it." ~Genesis 3:1-6

     Eve was not obeying the Lord, and thus she was punished by her opened eyes among the other punishment brough on later on in the story when God finds that they have disobeyed His commands. Have you noticed how Satan used a tiny bit of truth and mixed it with a lot of things that weren't true to make it look good and true? Yes, it was right that her eyes were opened, but no in the way she though it would be! Satan has a way of getting very sneaky and he will do virtually anything to get you to give into his lies! 

     Now let's look at another story, this time it is the story of Jesus' temptation:

"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”  Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him." ~Matthew 4:1-11

     Did you notice how Jesus used Scipture to defent Himself? What a wonderful example of a tried-and-true method to drive the Satan away and tempt you no more! In my favorite book Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally, Miss Sarah writes "Try turing every termptation into a prayer! Satan will think twice about tempting you if he knows you will turn it into a prayer!" It is so true and a great way to strengthen your faith as most Christians have many temtpations! :D So pray and ask the Lord for guidence whenever you are being tempted and He will help you! "God will give us aid against the enemy... with God we will gain the victory and he will trample down our enemies" ~Psalm 108:12, 13

Please join us for part two on August 29th as we continue to study the importance, and the knowledge of how to overcome temptations!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Home is Where the Heart Is

"For where your treasure is there your heart will be also."
{Matthew 6:21}

How to Keep Freshly-Cut Flowers Longer ::

Find a nice sized bucket, and fill it with water, and into this big drink plunge the stem of each flower within the first sixty seconds of a trice after you cut it. This is bloom-preservation principle number one. A cut stem, if not put into water at once, begins to suck in air which later will form “blocks” to prevent the sucking up of needed moisture when the stem does finally reach water. The result of such goings-on is a droopy, under-privileged looking flower that will soon lie down and die.
Second principle for cut flowers preservation is proper treatment or “hardening” of the stem so that it can drink up more water and keep the blossom fresh longer. This hardening treatment varies with the type of stem.

Woody Stem Plants, Shrubs
Examples: Chrysanthemums, Lilacs
Hard, woody stem plants, because of their internal structure, usually draw water very slowly. To speed up their moisture intake, smash the cut ends with a hammer for about two or three inches up the stems. This will expose the fibers and allow the stem to take up all the moisture it needs.

Hollow Stem Plants
Example: Dahlias, Delphiniums
The hollow stems of these plants have very little fiber surface and are quite hard around the outside. To open and soften the fiber layer so that it will absorb more water, dip the cut ends of the stems to a depth of four to six inches in boiling water, let stand a moment, then plunge into cold water.

Milky Sap Plants
Examples: Poppies, Poinsettias
In these plants, the action is reversed from the usual. Instead of the cut stem sucking up water, it lets its moisture run down, along with the heavy sap. They can be made to last two or three days in water if, when cut, the stems are immediately plunged into cold water and then, as soon as possible, held over a flame for about 30 seconds before being put back into water. Burning forms a callous at end, stops “bleeding.”

Flowers Requiring No Stem Water
Examples: Camellias, Gardenias, Orchids
These flowers hold a great deal of moisture. They need no water in container, only a light daily syringing of water on blooms. Syringe corsages, keep in refrigerator.

Examples: Marigolds, Cornflowers, Asters
These require nothing more than immediate submersion of cut ends in water, and hardening in cool darkness for several hours.

Bulbous Flowers
Examples: Tulips, Lilies, Gladioli
These require immediate submersion in water in deep containers, with all of the stem surface under water right up to the flower head. Then keep in deep water in the coolest possible place for three or four hours, or longer.


Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe ::

  • 1 cup grated Ivory soap
  • 1/2 cup Borax
  • 1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
  • Essential Oils or Fragrances {Optional}
Directions: Grade Ivory soap {you can get a bit more than one cup from one bar of soap}. Mix with Borax and Washing Soda. Store in a airtight container and use 1 tablespoon for every wash load.

Homemade Fabric Softener Recipe ::

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 8 cups white vinegar
  • Essential Oils

First mix the vinegar and water together then add the baking soda gradually, stirring the whole time. You will want to make sure to use a large pail to accommodate the fizzing activity from the baking soda and vinegar reaction.
Use a funnel to pour this mixture into a washed, gallon sized milk jug (plastic), add 1/3 teaspoon of your favorite essential oil, cap and seal then shake well.
To use: Shake each time before use, adding 1/2 to 1 cup at the start of the rinse cycle.

Homemade Hand Sanitizer Recipe ::
  • Aloe Vera Gel (make sure you get gel and not juice or it will be way too thin!)
  • Isopropyl Alcohol (70%)
  • Essential oil
  • Small pump or flip top bottles
Mix equal parts of aloe Vera gel and alcohol.  I just eyeball it, but you can measure if you feel more comfortable.  Then add essential oil to desired strength.  I use 8-10 drops depending on what scent I am using. You can also make this using glycerin in place of the aloe Vera gel, but it can be pretty thin.  Use Tea Tree or Lavender oil for extra anti-bacterial protection.  Pour into your favorite containers and you are ready to go. This only cost pennies to make and you can use your favorite scent.  Try lemon for a light, clean scent, orange for a fruitier scent or peppermint for a scent kids love!
*Notes: There are some articles out there that say unless it is 60 percent alcohol it is not effective, so you can add more alcohol.  I use tea tree oil which has anti-bacterial properties, so I leave mine at half and half.  Nothing is guaranteed to protect you from all germs, so use what you are comfortable with for your family.
The above recipe was found at Heart, Hands, Home blog. See original post HERE!