Your Love

Making preparations today for our family's celebration of Christ's birth!

Cleaning, decorating, dancing, preparing food, feeling extremely grateful for life and breath, singing along with some good oldies from Hosanna, and enjoying this wonderful reminder of God's love!

('Your Love' by Marty Nystrom and Don Moen, from the album Come to the Table)

God's love was why He sent His Son, Jesus, into this world, and we who have believed on Jesus for salvation will never perish, but will have everlasting LIFE! That can be you, too, this Christmas! (see John 3:16)

An Online 'Voice'

This business of discovering and honing an online 'voice' is not so easy.

My tongue keeps getting twisted between my fingers on the keyboard!

Two-Fold Goal

Now I'll practice writing the same thing (see the post before this one) as if I was talking to a friend across the dining room table or on the phone. (Writing informationally and minimally is my forte. Writing as if I was talking to someone, not so much. I need the practice - and to personalize it.)

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I have long believed that learning has a two-fold goal. The first goal is that I personally learn and grow, and the other is to always, always share what has been learned with others.

The point is not to go around telling everyone everything I know (that would be a short conversation! LOL!). The point is I want the focus of my life to be 'other oriented' using whatever knowledge has been given me to encourage others. I see it as learning having the purpose of a heart moved toward helping others.

Naturally, I want to apply the things learned to my own life first, and to come to own and live them out. But my goodness, they're not supposed to be hoarded as though I'm building a personal treasury of knowledge or something.

I'm not sure if this 'learn and share' view is simply what all human beings do (by virtue of being human - we learn, we share), or if it comes from a personal bent and joy in encouraging and teaching (as something God has placed the desire and ability in a person to do).

I'm thinking it's most likely a simple skill that can (and perhaps should) be learned.

Two-Fold Goal

The two-fold goal is one of:

1. personal learning and growth

and then

2. sharing what is learned with others

It is not about building personal treasuries of knowledge (hoarding for oneself), but it is always, always geared toward sharing what is learned with others.

It might be a natural thing for all people to want to learn and grow and then share what is learned (as in simply being a human being means a person learns and shares)...

or it might come from a personal bent and joy in encouraging and teaching (as in something God has placed the desire and ability in a person to do)...

or it might just be a good skill that can (and perhaps should) be learned - to ultimately make learning focus our lives on others.

God's Word

God's Word - the Bible - is the most powerful book on the face of the earth!

Our great God speaks to us in it and through it, so we want to use every method possible to saturate ourselves in it. We want to come to know it well, to learn to handle it accurately, and to experience the renewing of our minds and the transforming of our lives through it, just as He has made it to work in us.

We want to embark on a life-long study of it because it testifies of our Lord Jesus and the words of life and hope He gives us. It tells us God's story - real History - from the beginning of time to the culmination of God's plan for this world. It reveals this magnificent God to us and gives us glimpses of Him and His love for us, as well as His mighty power, sovereignty, and His great and awesome works. It unfolds what He has done for us so that we might know Him and enjoy Him forever!

How could we not want to devour His Word! What more important learning could there possibly be?

Memory Verse

There is no fear in love;
but perfect love casts out fear;
because fear involves punishment,
and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

We love,
because He first loved us.

If someone says, "I love God,"
and hates his brother,
he is a liar;
for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen,
cannot love God whom he has not seen.

And this commandment we have from Him,
that the one who loves God
should love his brother also.

(1 John 4:18-21)

RSSG Method

We are reviewing... the RSSG Method

Learn the skill of finding the main and most important points in a written material (book, article, paper, blog post, etc.). Be able to cut through large amounts of words to find the most pertinent info and produce a helpful and concise condensation of it.

RSSG = Read, Skim, Scan, and Glean

1. Read the material all the way through once.

2. Go back and Skim the material quickly.

When skimming you do not read every word. You merely want a quick review and overview of the material. Read the topic sentence of the chapter and then place your finger in the middle of the paragraph (starting at the top of the page). Drag your finger down, keeping it in the middle, and take quick note of what is on either side of the finger.

3. As you skim, Scan to find the most important words, themes, and points.

Scanning is looking for specific important information using cues the author has chosen to emphasize. Take special note of the chapter and section titles, any subtitles used, topic sentences, and things written in bold, italics, or underlining. Pay attention to last sentences in paragraphs and phrases like 'in conclusion,' and 'to summarize.'

4. Glean the most important points.

Gleaning is writing down the information you have found, in free flowing notes. Use bullet points or an outline format or any other method that will help you collect your notes.

~

After you have used the RSSG, organize your notes. Write a succinct synopsis of the material as if giving the information to someone who has not read it.

a. The theme was...
b. The key points were...
c. The bottom line or conclusion was...

Note: there are usually an abundance of words used in writings that give many details and talk profusely about the subject of the material. These are good to read for a well rounded and more thorough understanding of the subject. But many words can also hinder gaining a concise grasp of the subject. The RSSG Method can be helpful to overcome this problem.

Note: the RSSG Method is excellent to use when studying for a test.

Christian Skills ©

An Update

It is a beautiful late October day and our move is complete now and we are thanking and praising God for His grace and mercies to us!

We are so grateful for every kindness He's given us during these past months and this weekend's move, kindnesses that have come through our children and our grandchildren - dear loved ones who made this move so do-able and so JOY FILLED!

Rejoice with us! :) :)

Christian Skills

When we started homeschooling our children we soon came to believe our family's spiritual growth and equipping with biblical knowledge and skills (all geared toward knowing God and His plan for us) were the most important things we should concentrate on. (I hope to talk more about this in the future.)

To help make our belief a tangible reality, I generated some tools.

1. Be Able to... © was a list of our spiritual goals, things we believed should be learned. It was the what to learn guide to help keep us on target.

2. Next was all the Spiritual Growth Curriculum © written during our homeschool years (and beyond). In these were subjects, assignments, projects, helps, and resource ideas collected and generated for training in the various areas.

3. Then to assess the progress being made with the training, A Christian's Diagnostic Tool © was compiled to help find gaps needing to be filled.

4. Finally in this series, a test called Can You Produce...? © was constructed to be a challenge to produce the actual spiritual knowledge and skills. This was somewhat along the lines of senior finals in school to see if the things learned had come to be owned. (Just 'knowing' information or knowing about the things was so not the same as actually doing them, living them out.)

The subject matter for each of the above tools was essentially the same with a few minor variances.

The hope is to post many of the subject ideas on here as individual entities in a random fashion rather like a smorgasbord of ideas you can choose from. We'll also be building one page of links to those entities which puts them into helpful, organized groups. (For the list see the page at the top of this blog called Christian Skills.)

God enabling me. J

Good Eye Days, Bad Eye Days

Having a 'good eye' is connected with generosity and having a 'bad eye' is connected with stinginess.

See this great article on the issue:

http://www.thegoodbookblog.com/2011/feb/04/good-eye-bad-eye/

I frequently talk about having 'good eye days' when I can see better than usual, and 'bad eye days' when my vision is cloudier and it's much more difficult to see things clearly (after an eye bleed, or new scarring, or a medical procedure has been done).


Guess my eyes are being generous on the good eye days and quite stingy with sight, the little stinkers, on bad eye days. :)