a bit of homeschooling encouragement, from our family to yours

There's Something Growing in There!
By Reginald Bullard
The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.  He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!’ “
Ezekiel 37: 1-4, NIV

At the end of each planting season, I am always amazed to find a small tomato, basil or mint plant in areas that I thought were dead.  God always reminds me that He is at work throughout the year in our garden. The same could be said about our lives.  For the past several years, I have been in a position that “paid the bills” but was not truly fulfilling.  While I am thankful in an uncertain economy to be gainfully employed, it truly has not been my passion.  There have been coworkers around me who have moved to more desirable positions.  I have prayed for and counseled some of them, but I silently wondered when it would be my turn.  I am reminded of Joseph in Genesis 40 (NIV) who was an encourager and helped others in prison, but no one remembered him.  God, however, remembered and restored him!

Fast forward to a couple of years later, I was sitting at breakfast people-watching on my first international business trip. It was just across the border in Canada, but it was a big deal to me!  Who would have imagined that I was asked to assist in a project, building rapport with Senior Management, when other managers above me weren’t even invited? Did I mention that there is also a current travel freeze such that I should not have been able to leave my home base?

In Ezekiel 37 (NIV), Ezekiel discusses in great detail the Valley of Dry Bones.  My favorite verse 12 states…” I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them… Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord.”  This blesses me because we see that God’s Word can bring restoration.   Do you have areas that you have declared dead?  Maybe it’s not a career, but a disobedient child or a life-long dream.  If God could restore Joseph after his time in prison, he can certainly restore us in ALL situations.
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Speaking of planting season, if you follow us on Instagram or Facebook, you might know that we recently harvested our sweet potatoes, just in time for fall. We are starting our fall/winter garden, and leafy greens will fill the spaces where all of our summer crops once grew. Of course, I will make pies for Thanksgiving, but I have found that sweet potatoes are not just for dinner or dessert; this filling, healthy vegetable is excellent for breakfast, in smoothies or in great bowls like this one based upon the recipe of (photo also courtesy of the same site).  Enjoy this simple combination of ingredients:
  • 2 fully baked sweet potatoes (make ahead by baking at 375 for 1-1/2 hours, completely peel skin when cool)
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Almond butter
  • Fruit and nuts

Blend the sweet potatoes, orange juice, honey and cinnamon to give the sweet potato a creamier (and even sweeter) taste and texture. Divide this mixture into serving bowls. Add a generous couple of spoonfuls of almond butter to each bowl, and then top with your favorite fruit and nuts. Optional toppings might include granola, coconut flakes, chia seeds, or whatever you prefer!
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