31 May 2011

Gate-Keeper of the Home Book Review!

2005 Me (32 weeks with Andrew), Heidi-Mari, Josua, CJ and Danika

I learned about the Top 25 Faith Blogs by Moms through a very respected Christian blog I follow.  I love to vote for causes a believe in and immediately jumped on the site to vote.  While scrolling down the list of blogs I was surprised to recognize some of the encouraging Christian blogs I read on a regular basis, and have been following for several years. I got even more excited when I read I can vote for as many blogs as I want to every 24 hours.  Call it naive but I thought of Faith Blogs as Christian blogs and believed this is what this ‘Top 25 Faith Blogs’ was all about!  So although my eyes saw some strange symbols and read alarming words while scrolling down, I didn’t give much attention to what I saw and just looked out for blogs (their pictures, since I’m a Visual Learner) I know.  It is only after I entered my own blog, and more calmly and attentively looked through the list that I actually registered what I was seeing and reading.  Pagan and witchcraft blogs!  What?  Pagan and witchcraft blogs by Moms!  Excuse me, aren’t Mothers supposed to protect their children against evil?

Through this voting campaign I got shocked more and more during the past few days.  I  literally saw a spiritual war playing off in front of my eyes. Pagan and witchcraft Moms who announced they will be the top 25 Faith Blogs by Moms, especially since they are so offended by Christians and the Christian Mom Blogs, who believe they have the only ‘right faith’! They proclaimed war against the Christians, advocating fellow pagan and witchcraft blogs, even Moslem and Jewish blogs, “since they are not Christian blogs” to use their exact words. I must say I did admire their ability to stand together and encouraging each other to vote for each other.
As I pondered on this, I tried to pinpoint what was the most disturbing in learning about these pagan and witchcraft blogs by moms.  Only then I realized it is because mothers are raising the next generation.  

Imagine all these pagan and witchcraft mothers raising sons and daughters who will influence the world tomorrow.  The idea was almost to scary to behold!
I immediately got under the conviction of my own responsibility.  My responsibility to raise godly men and women who will change the world for God and His glory.  I need to be so confident about my faith in God and Christ Jesus, that as I reached out to my children in every day life, it will rub off on them too.  And then when they do get confronted with other faiths will have no doubts.
To do so I need to guard my home, my marriage and children, against the influence of the World and influences of the Evil One at all costs!

And it reminded me of the study manual “Gate-Keeper of the Home” by Nancy Campbell from Above Rubies ministries, on the Twelve Gates of Jerusalem that Nehemiah and the Israelites repaired and how the gates relate to building and guarding the gates of our homes!

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In Bible times the gates of a city represented the authority and glory of a city.  When an army possessed the gates of a city, they took control of the city!  It is our responsibility as women and mothers to watch over the gates of our homes.  Our homes is our glory.  In our homes we nurture and love our families, and we raise a new generation who will do mighty works for the Lord.  We cannot vacate our posts and allow the enemy to possess the gates of our homes. We must stay on watch!  What must we watch out for?
Jerusalem had 12 gates that needed to be repaired and Gate Keeper of the Home relates them back to the home.
The Sheep Gate

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This gate speaks to us of our great salvation and the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for our sins.  Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”  John 1:29
Nehemiah had a plan in building and repairing the gates.  He started at the sheep gate and continued anti-clockwise around the walls of the city.  He started at the right place.  We all have to start at this gate.  It is most important to honor the blood of Jesus Christ in our homes. We must teach our children that they cannot have salvation without the blood.  We must lead our children to the cross and pray that each one will experience an encounter with Christ and receive forgiveness of sins through His blood.
The Fish Gate

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Training witnesses and be a light shining family.  “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
The Valley Gate

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This gate speaks of humility and lowliness.  This gate gets broken down very quickly in homes.  Pride arises so easily.  Everyone in the home - Father, Mother and the children all want their own way! How often do we as women get on our ‘high horse’?  We know we are right. We demand our way! This isn’t the way of Jesus. He doesn’t ride the high horse.  He rides the foal of a donkey. Will you follow His example and repair this gate?
The Dung Gate

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This was the gate through which they took out all the garbage to be burnt or buried.  Without the Dung Gate they could not keep the city clean.  Without a Dung Gate, we cannot keep our homes clean either.  The same applies in the spiritual realm.  If we do not use the Dung Gate to constantly throw out all that grieves the Holy Spirit, the atmosphere will soon become smelly and putrid.
Throw out stumbling blocks, anything that causes someone else in the home to be tempted to sin.
Throw out the planks.  It’s time to allow God to change our hearts to His ways rather than trying to change our husband and others, to our ways!
Throw out the scoffer, the mocking spirit.
Throw out the strange gods, the things that take your family away from giving God preeminence in your home.
Throw out all enemies, anything that is negatively affecting your home, no matter how much you like it!
The Fountain Gate

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Life is busy.  Often overwhelming. We run dry and feel we can barely keep going.  Do not despair!  God is a Fountain that never runs dry.  He is an everlasting Fountain, pouring out abundantly of His life and love.  You can constantly draw from Him.
Not only is God a Fountain, but He want you to be a fountain of His life and love.   As you yield yourself to Him, the Holy Spirit will spring up in you like a fountain. He will overflow from your heart to pour out rivers of love, life and salvation to others. 
The Horse Gate

This was the gate through which the soldiers marched out to battle and returned from battle.  In the Word of God the horse always speaks of war and battle.  It is imperative that we keep our horse gate continually reinforced and repaired!  We are in a war!  We are in a battle agains the enemy who seeks to creep into our homes with his subtle deceptions and evil connivings.  He is the one who comes to ‘rob, kill and destroy’ and his greatest joy is to destroy our marriage and family life!  

There are two aspects to motherhood.  Firstly, motherhood is tender, caring, loving, comforting and nurturing.  However, there is another side to motherhood.  It is the war-like, watch-dog, lion-like, horse-prancing spirit that roars at any enemy that would come to devour her marriage or her children.  The woman with this spirit is ready to fight.  She will fight hard to protect her family. She will not give up until the enemy is demolished. 

She will have banners of victory waving high - banners of uncompromising truth, righteousness, commitment, obedience, faithfulness, purity, love and forgiveness.
Come dear mother, banners are to wave high, not dragged on the ground. God has placed you on duty to hold up the banners at your home gate!
And there are 6 more gates - The Old Gate, The Water Gate, The East Gate, The Miphkad Gate, the Prison Gate and The Ephraim Gate.
This book changed my view of being a mother drastically! 

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When Nehemiah came from Babylon to build and repair the walls and gates of Jerusalem, he was met with much persecution.  He was laughed at.  He was despised.  He was mocked with cruel taunts.  He was ridiculed.  He was intimidated.
Can you relate to Nehemiah?  I can!  As I have taken up my stand to be on guard at my home, to embrace homemaking and mothering the precious children God want to give me, I have felt the sneers and rejection of family and friends. But this is all part of the great work.  Satan knows what a powerful job a mother is doing and therefore he seeks to intimidate mothers on all sides.  He wants to weaken us from our resolve so he can make inroads into our homes.  Satan knows that he has no power to touch a home where there is a mother who knows who she is, and who has taken up her stand to guard the gates of her home.  She is his biggest threat!
Through the truths shared in Gate-Keeper of the Home, I’m constantly reminded to put on a smile, keep a sweet spirit, lift my head high and keep on with my great work, in the midst of self-pity and despair.  I am employed by the King of Kings!  I’m training warriors for God’s army. 
With love

29 May 2011

New!!! Book Reviews

I grew up on a farm and due to the isolation, my number one pastime was reading.  Every Friday afternoon my mother would go into town for weekly supplies and we would stop at the library to get our supply of books for the weekend, just before we went home!  At that stage I was a teenager and read fiction only.  
After marrying Christo, he challenged me to read more factual books.  I was reluctant and settled for Christian fiction.  Then 11 years ago I started homeschooling my oldest son and devoured any book on the topic of homeschooling.  As my homeschooling journey developed and my family grew, I desperately needed material on being a Godly wife and mother.  The Lord amazingly provided me with life changing material on these topics.  So much so, that I seldom read fiction now days.  Maybe once a year on our annual vacation!

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During the years I educated myself through books specifically written by Christian writers from ministries I’m in one mind with.  
I’m planning to start a book review section on my blog and hope it will be of value to you!
With love

27 May 2011

Vote for your Favourite 25 Faith Blogs by Moms

As many of you have noticed, there is a button on my sidebar.  

Circle of Moms is looking for the top 25 Faith Blogs by Moms
Through my blog, I love to encourage women and mothers to live a life pleasing to God.  
The exposure and traffic Back to Ancient Ways can receive through this contest can bring God much glory!  
If you are encouraged by reading Back to Ancient Ways, would you please consider voting for me?  
The contest ends June 8th and you are allowed to vote every 24 hours, for as many blogs as you want to!  
Yes, you can go back every day and vote for your Favourite Faith Blogs by Moms.
There are some wonderful Christian blogs on the list:
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
A Holy Experience
I Take Joy
Generation Cedar
A Mothers Heritage
Large Family Mothering
Homemaker By Choice
Clay Jar People

So please go back to Circle of Moms every day and check them out too!
Thank you so much for your support!

26 May 2011

Moving Forward!

An imperfect human being, rotten to the core!
That is me!  I have still so many personal issues to sort out. I’m impatient, get angry easily and from time to time have a bad attitude.  I’m very easily distracted and my house is more often than not in a mess.  I can write in the dust on my furniture, things easily loose their places, lay around and clutter is an unwanted guest in almost every room!  To top it all, I take on projects I don’t have time for, and therefore buckle under my own dead lines.  In this season of my life I don’t practice hospitality as much as I would like to! My children throw tantrums, complain over chores and bicker between each other, due to my high pace lifestyle and impatient personality…!

Most of the time I’m sober minded about my circumstances and personality, knowing this is a season, but then once in a while the ‘comparing monster’ jumps on me and blows my circumstances and personality to pieces in my mind and I hit the bottom of a well! During the past week, I read about extremely well organized and self controlled mothers with their well groomed families and experienced guilt, hopelessness, worthlessness, the list went on and on!  If only I could parent like that, organize my house like that, be more patient, homeschool more effectively, have more time for hospitality
My dear husband who always gives me perspective on days like these, was out of town, and I longed to have a long heart to heart talk with one of my mentors in Mothering and ask her advice. What is my #1 mistake, how can I change this, where must I start? But I soon realized, I didn’t need to ask, I already knew the answer.  
She (as well as my husband!) would answer, “It is not important - get over it! Stop comparing yourself!”  What is important is where am I in my journey to maturity, am I growing in Godly character and am I becoming more holy!  Yes, that is what it is all about.  Where I’m coming from is history! I can do nothing about yesterday.  But God do expect from me to trust Him for tomorrow and put on the New woMan!

How am I doing in becoming a new woMan? Am I allowing God to work perfection and completion in me through my trials, sinful nature and weaknesses? Am I moving forward in maturity, growing in character and becoming more holy every day?
Yesterday is over and done!  But I can trust God for a new today!  Trust God to work in me and transform me, that one day I would patiently work without anger, impatience and bad attitudes.  One day I might even be able to de-clutter and organize my home. Faithfully dust my furniture.  I do trust one day I will be able to manage my time wisely and finish my projects, without unrealistic dead lines.  One day, hopefully soon, my children will be without discontentment and bickering, through my Godly example and faithful training.

And if the Lord in His wisdom didn’t give me the gift of organizing I will be content.  You might walk into my home and I’ll need to quickly pick up toys.  
Please be patient with me - I’m still working on my issues, you might pass me in the supermarket, and witness me lacking the fruit of the spirit.  Because my children and I are sinful human beings, you might find us in a selfish act. 
In all of this I will rejoice in the Lord, He promised He will never leave me, nor forsake me and surely will in me to move forward!  I will choose to have grace on myself. He that started the good work in me will finish it.
And so that night I went to bed, humbled before my God, repenting from my sin of discontentment and self-pity and with an expectation to let myself be more Spirit filled and led by the Spirit! But life is hard! That night Michael woke up almost every hour and I didn’t get much sleep and overslept the next morning!  What a way to start my new day!
But oh, God is faithful! As I opened my eyes, the sun shined through the curtains with a brightness unknown for a winter morning in the Cape! Let me interrupt myself for a second.  We live in the most beautiful part of South Africa, but currently it is winter here and in the Cape of Good Hope winters means rain and mist!  If it isn’t raining, the mist will hover until noon!
This day was totally different, and may I add, it was forecast to be a rainy day! The day looked fresh and new, no sign of clouds or mist. It was calling me to take everything out of it, as much as I possibly could!
Immediately I knew this was a special gift from the Lord to me, almost like a token to show me, his grace is new and fresh every morning! Even though Satan may want me to believe it is hopeless to be become a new woMan!  God has grace on me, but I must make His grace mine and pass it on to my children.  
So to say YES to His grace, and determined to extend His grace to my children, I decided to take my children out into nature and enjoy the beauty of the day! 

Since we are studying farm animals I searched for a place where the little ones could have a farm experience, but I couldn’t find any and we settled for the Tygerberg Zoo, only 20 minutes from us.  CJ, Heidi-Mari and I visited the zoo, 12 years ago. With great anticipation we packed lunch and was on our way!

What a blessed day!  Normally planning for a picnic lunch for 9-10 people puts huge stress on me and makes me freak out, even before we leave home!  But there was a quietness in my soul.  I put the expectation I had of a perfect picnic lunch with all the right food out of my mind, and just made do with what we had. 

What a great picnic we had!  Dressing all the little children and be on our way by a certain time, is another mission!  Even that ran smoothly.  The reason, I let God! I put my agenda aside and asked God what he wanted to be done.  God is concerned about the little people in my home!  

What a privilege to have my day filled with the people nearest to God’s heart - children!  

In my drivenness I often miss my children and God’s heart. 

That morning I was so aware of my children's souls and God’s heart!  Through the day, I enjoyed each of my children’s emotions and actions!  Being a homeschooling Mom of many children I’ve always been sensitive to my children, it is my job! But God renewed me during that night!  

There was something new to my awareness!  

There was also something new to the way I talked to my children, the way I disciplined my children, the way I take them in account when asking them to do something, the way I could laugh with them and enjoy the day to the full!

Yes, I’m an imperfect human being, rotten to the core, so aware of all my sinfulness and selfishness, but oh, so open to God’s grace and interference, His teachings, His truths and His overflowing love for me and my children!

Thank you Lord! 

With love

"I will be confident of this, that He who began a good work in me, 
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." 
Phil 1:6 

This post features on the South African Carnival of Homeschool Bloggers where South African home schoolers share experiences, ideas, philosophies and much more.  You can join the carnival too by heading to the South African Carnival of Homeschool Bloggers sign up page.   In the meantime, please feel free to browse through the links on this page to some awesome South African home school blogs!

22 May 2011

Judgment Day?

Reflection and perspective on believing and pronouncing that May 21st was Judgment Day.
"So let’s reflect on this together.  First, what can be affirmed? What were you right to feel and to believe?
  1. Your heart was in the right place. 
    This may sound like a minor matter, or it may sound like condescension, but I assure you it’s not.  This is a rare and exceedingly important thing.  It’s perfectly right to yearn for the day of Christ’s return.  It’s right to desire with all of your heart that you could be with God right now.  ”Better is one day in your courts,” writes the Psalmist (84:10), “than thousands elsewhere.”  You longed to be in those courts together with the saints.  It is a good thing to thirst for God and to look forward to the day when God’s truth and grace and justice will be made known to all humankind.  I believe that desire is precious to God.
  2. You were right to believe that God will, one day, gather his children unto himself and draw history as we know it to a close. 
    The most persuasive falsehoods are always the ones that contain the greatest proportion of the truth.  Although only a very small slice of the Christian community believed that Judgment Day was arriving on May 21st, the vast majority of the church around the globe and throughout its history has believed that Christ would come again to bring judgment and restoration, and ultimately the beginning of a new age of peace and justice.  We should always live as though Christ’s return is imminent.  Today is always the day of salvation."

"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, 
no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."
Matth 24:36

17 May 2011

A Special Birthday Coming Up - Follow the Heart Link!

16 May 2011

A Memory Making Morning with My Little Ones!

While I was busy nursing Michael on Sunday night, I felt a desire to just have a fun day with my little children!  It’s been a while since we went out with only their interests at heart, so I decided to take them to watch the animals and play at Stodels.  Josua is the fun guy in the house, so I took him with and to have an extra pair of hands.  CJ and Heidi-Mari stayed home to study and had lunch ready when I arrived home with hungry, tired little people.

Watching the Koi fish

Josua taking Michael for a horse ride

David is my son who absolutely loves animals.  His biggest desire is to have his own baby chick!  He told me if I only take him to a place where there are little chicks, he will catch one himself!

Andrew and Danika at the duck pool

David and Andrew with the goats

Is Andrew trying to catch a chicken for his brother, David?

After watching the animals, they played at the jungle gym and had so much fun!

David, Andrew and Daniel, my three Musketeers!

Danika, having fun between her brothers!

I’m convinced that I’m loving my children more with every new baby!  When I look at these precious little faces, love is overflowing my heart and I want to seize the moment in time!

My precious baby Michael! I adore this blue-eyed boy of mine!

We certainly need to do this more often!
They definitely enjoyed the outing. This was what I found when getting home, after I dropped CJ at the horse farm.

Little David, fast asleep on the couch!
Love you lots my little ones!

With Love

"A book of remembrance was written before Him"
Mal. 3:16
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