Monday, August 7, 2017

When the Waves Distract.

Last week at church, our pastor had a special teaching time for the children. It was on Matthew 14:22-31. In this passage Jesus walks on water, but the part that got my attention was my favorite disciple, Peter, and his response. You see, I understand Peter. In fact there are times that I feel like he was included in the Bible for me. I am impulsive, all-in, foot-in-mouth follower, who, if I was incredibly honest with you and myself, fear that I too could deny Him, and do sometimes with the way I choose to live my life (that part breaks my heart)!

Here we find an impulsive Peter, bold enough to ask Jesus to let him come out on the water with Him, if it was indeed Jesus. Peter's faith is big, I believe that his intentions were in the right place. He knew enough about Jesus to know that He was able to allow Peter to join Him. Because of that big, bold faith, Peter walked on water. Can you imagine the high? I think this would have been a major 'mountain top' moment!

"But when..." verse 30 takes the turn. This is where I most relate to Peter. Stepping out in faith, is not the hardest part for me. The distractions of this life, that is where I get messed up. When my focus gets on my circumstances, when I over think another situation, that is when I, like Peter, begin to sink. Sometimes I recognize it immediately and cry out to my Savior. Other times, I allow the other stuff to clog my thinking for too long and that creates a whole lot of mess!

Last Sunday, I knew this story for the kids, was actually just for me! My Savior was reaching down into my pit of mess and once again pulling me to Him. I let the distractions of life, the opinions of others, the 'rational' thinking keep me from walking in obedience. The waves of life had distracted me. It was my time to repent and get things right again!

Being this open and vulnerable is not easy for me. I don't like sharing my mess with anyone. But I know that I cannot be the only one that struggles. We all need a Savior! I am so grateful for Jesus and His sacrifice for me! I can't begin to explain the peace that followed when I let go of my yuck and stepped back into His will and calling on my life. I know that the road ahead won't be easy. In fact, there will be so many days that I want to quit, days where those big waves try to blur my thinking. I also know that I can fix my eyes on Jesus! 

He even gave me verses in His Word to remind me:
Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shames, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Heirloom Audio's In the Reign of Terror- A Review

If you have been following me for any amount of time, you know that we are huge fans of Heirloom Audio Productions. You can imagine the excitement when we found out that we were chosen to review their latest audio drama, In the Reign of TerrorAs usual we stalked the mail carrier waiting for our copy to be delivered. We couldn't wait to get started listening to this new adventure!

In the Reign of Terror

We love audio dramas. In the past we have had the wonderful opportunity to review both Beric the Briton and The Dragon and the Raven. Both of these have become favorites that have been enjoyed over and over again. We love the action and adventure that the audio dramas provide. It is nice to have family entertainment that is fun and educational!

In the Reign of Terror is an adventure that lands us right in the middle of the French Revolution. It opens with Mr George explaining the difference between the American Revolution and the French Revolution. We used this to discuss the difference between the two ourselves. The American Revolution was fought for freedom from the King and England. We discussed how American's chose to keep God at the foundation of their new found freedom.  Whereas the French was a mob style mentality. The people were more focused on destroying anyone of noble blood. I never realized the stark contrast or that The French Revolution was a very dark time for France.
In the Reign of Terror introduces us to Harry a young British boy who is traveling to serve an aristocratic family. He is excited to get the opportunity to travel and serve. He never expected to be right in the middle of the fight against the nobles that he is living with and serving! You'll have to listen for yourself to see if Harry is able to save them from the mob!

The story was so well written, the characters so enticing, the adventure so alive, that we had a hard time breaking for bed! I found myself struggling to not listen to the conclusion without the Crunchy Kiddos! The kiddos are already asking to listen again, but they will have to beat Daddy T to it! He has intentions on taking it with him to listen to on his drive to work. 

We also received a downloadable study guide to help us learn more about the story. It opens with full page biographies of both Maximilien Robespierre, a key leader in "The Terror" part of the French Revolution. Also of Marie Antoinette, the queen of France. Both pages outline the character of each and the part they played in the French Revolution.

Each chapter has several questions to help with reading comprehension, vocabulary words that are used during that chapter, and questions that cause you, the listener, to 'Think Further.'  Every few chapters there are inserts that help you to expand a little further on the topic presented. The back of the study guide includes a Bible study to use along side the audio drama. 

I love that you can use this audio drama as a complete unit study style lesson or just for family entertainment, whichever fits best for your family and learning style. The best part is that these audio dramas are a perfect fit for any family! 

Heirloom Audio Productions has just announced their Live the Adventure Club! Here you can connect with other readers, access a read along script of the story, allow your children to earn badges for quizzes about the story, and so much more! 

Heirloom Audio Productions

You can connect with Heirloom Audio Productions online:
Instagram @HeirloomAudioOfficial

Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew received a copy of In the Reign of Terror as well. You can read their thoughts by clicking the link below:
In the Reign of Terror {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer