Maturity in Christ
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Road Schooling...on the road of life
  • The Christmas Critter
    A fun, Christ-centered alternative to the popular Elf on the Shelf concept. A Gospel focused, fruitful approach to the countdown to Christmas.
  • The Christmas Critter: Clyde
    Join Clyde as he has adventures and mishaps in his search for the true meaning of Christmas!
  • The Christmas Critter - Pack 2
    Create your own character with a unique name in this pack, and follow his journey of building godly character as his excitement for Christmas grows.
  • The Christmas Critter - Super Hero Pack
    Your Christmas Critter wants to be a superhero for Christmas, but he just isn't sure which super power he wants. Some super powers are just too much for him to handle!
  • Scripture References
    All Scripture references are taken from the King James version of the Bible.

Last week, our family dealt with something we had not yet experienced in our new country. It was a week long puja (worship) service that lasted from sunrise until late at night everyday at our neighbor’s house. They had two huge loud speakers that blasted music, chanting, pagan worship, bells, horns blowing, and more.

What started out as a week of severe auditory torture and spiritual attack, ended up much different than I ever expected. I posted on Facebook as the week progressed. Watch the transformation, and praise God for His goodness. All by His grace.

July 8th...

At a neighbor's house, a pavilion erected for a religious ceremony to pay homage (worship) to a deceased relative. I am thankful I will see my Daddy again one day. He trusted Christ as his Saviour and so have I. These people will never see this relative again. And if they do not make the right choice, they, too, will endure the same end as he. What are you doing to reach your neighbors, your family, the world for Christ?

Uh oh... Things just got worse. That lovely picture of the Pavillion I posted apparently also houses loud speakers. They are doing a sound check... Ugh.


And the screeching hideous music has begun. At least it isn't rap or hip hop with trashy words we can understand.

July 9th...

5 am... Music blaring next door... Being crabby is going to be a serious temptation today. I tried to stay positive by telling myself at least they turned it way down at 11 pm last night, but my positive nature is a little crabby at 5 am.

They are playing traditional music... Usually on a continuous loop... One song for two hours. The music/songs are repetitious to begin with, so two hours of extreme repetition. Painful. But it could be worse.


Could it be? The music has stopped? 8:30 am and it's quiet? Please let that be the end. 13 hours is enough...

NOOOOOOOOOOO! They were only taking an hour long break! AHHHHHHHHHHH! Hahaha! I think it is time to put our own stereo to good use. Hmmm..... Maybe Paquette's CD? Maybe a little Rasquinas? Maybe some Abigail Miller? Rochesters? How about a little of everything.

They now have an accordion and someone singing...


Update and prayer request...

The pavilion, music, and "festivities" next door were not for a deceased relative as we thought. Our worker just arrived and informed us that this is some other puja (worship) but she doesn't know the reason. She also said this will last anywhere from 7 to 15 to 31 days. Right now a priest is loudly reading puja stuff over a mic. It is hard to concentrate to pray or do devotions or anything. To get a break, I went in the kitchen, closed the windows and doors, and blared some Christian music. I wish we could all stay in there like that, but the weather is so hot!

Kids have now started a DVD loudly to at least unplug from the monotony. I have school work to prepare, so I think I will put on some headphones with a sermon. Please pray. Spiritual warfare is serious here.


SWEEEEET! Got a full fam devotion in while music was turned down. We got out of the house for a little while. When we came home, we spent some time singing around the piano. It drowned out the music pretty well and sure fed us spiritually... Then family devotions was the icing on the cake! Blessed! Thank you for praying. Keep it up!

July 10th...

Day three of "Noise Fest" didn't start until 6:30 this morning. It poured the rain all night and we had peace and quiet! Lovely!

Right now puja reading is going on. At 6:30 am, bells rang and the puja horn blew many times. Then the priest and a buddy sang a song. They sounded like Otis off of Andy Griffith. Doing well so far in this spiritual battle for the mind... By God's grace!


Battle for the mind (1): There is no doubt we are in a battle for the mind right now. It is blatant and obvious for us. It is hard to think with the noise going on outside. It echoes on the concrete walls even with every window closed on these hot monsoon days. But the solution is the same as when the battle for the mind comes creeping in on tippy toes. #1) Approach the throne with THANKSGIVING and pour my needs out to Him.

Today, as I pray for God's intervention in this battle, I am thankful I know He is on the throne. He can bring the rain and give us sweet peaceful sleep. He can cause a break in the noise to give us a chance to do family devotions. And He can keep our hearts and minds in the midst of the battle. Thankful.

July 11th...

Battle for the Mind (2): the music started at 5:30 am today. I am reminded that peace isn't the absence of war nor the absence of noise. Peace is a gift from God to those who trust in the Lord and fully rely upon Him. It is the absence of inner struggle, fear, or conflict regardless of outer disturbance because Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father. Yes, this puja is an irritation, but when my focus is on Christ, and when I trust He will bring us through this... Peace.


God always knows exactly what we need...

We went to the other side of the valley this evening to be a blessing to some traveling friends... But, boy oh boy, was it exactly what we needed! Peaceful, Christian fellowship, a wonderful break from the noise next door. They had MoMo... And doughnuts! The first doughnuts we have had in 8 months! Such a refreshing evening. Thankful. It was sooooo worth the long drive.

July 12...

Battle for the mind (3): The music woke me up at 6:30 am this morning, but I slept well. Same song every morning... On continuous loop. Why? Because it's all about getting into your mind. I have even found myself almost humming the tune. The tune gets so stuck in my head after hours of listening to it, that I struggle recalling Amazing Grace. I struggle recalling verses that I have known for years. It is all about keeping us from Phil. 4:8-9. Thinking right things leads to right behavior... Which leads to peace in our lives. If we want true peace, it starts by learning and thinking truth... Then doing it! BTW... This morning Jason had earplugs ready for us... Thankful!

July 13...

Battle for the Mind (4): The noise held off until 7 am this morning... The same thing day after day. The same songs, the same horn, the same prayers. Prayers repeated over and over and over. Why? Because they do not know the True God, the One who takes care of the sparrows and clothes the grass of the field with the beauty of the lilies... But He takes even better care of His children. The repetition irritated me, but after reading Matthew 6:7-8 again the repetition saddens me. How I wish they knew Him!
Thankful He knows my needs! Yesterday, the noise level was half of its usual volume. One of the speakers was gone. Not sure why, but thankful! Friday was such a tolerable noise level! We could think. We could speak to each other and still be heard. God has done everything we need to get us through this week while learning to focus on Him IN SPITE of difficult circumstances! What a valuable time of learning! Difficult, but valuable! He knows my needs. Thankful!
July 14th...
Ok... Now I have been dreaming that the two singing priests next door are about six inches tall sitting in a corner or on a shelf... Singing away. My dream will be going along just fine, but then I hear the music and singing. I look around and there they are in an inconspicuous place... Otis and his sidekick, like little cartoon characters singing the background music for a Disney movie.
Battle for the Mind (5): Sometimes Scripture feels like simple words on a page. You believe it, but it just isn't "real." Then you get into the thick of the battle, and those words which seemed like mere words on a page jump to life... Vivid and full of meaning. They become your life line. If there were never a battle, the armour of God would be like viewing a suit of armour in a museum. But again today, I am being handed a full suit of armour. The battle is fierce. You bet I am going to put the armour on! My battle is obvious this week. Yet every day we are both in a battle. When the battle is subtle and sneaky, we lull ourselves into thinking the armour is not that important today. "It's a good day. I don't want to weigh myself down with the unnecessary gear." And the enemy gets a foot in. Our battle for the mind may be bold, blunt, obvious... But you are in a battle, too. And the ambush is more deadly than the full frontal assault. Let's both put on the whole armour today and finish our day knowing we fought a good fight.
July 15th...
Battle for the Mind (6): Can you have complete peace in the midst of such intense, constant, repetitious, satanic noise? If you would have asked me this question one week ago when the neighborhood noise fest started, I would have been hard pressed to say it was possible. My first prayers were that the speakers would be damaged or that the event would be cancelled. But as the week continued, I experienced a greater miracle. I experienced God's power making the devices of the heathen of none effect. I experienced first hand God doing a work in my heart and mind that seemed impossible. I watched Jason transform as the week progressed, too. His family devotion last night was so touching! Yes, we can have victory... Not just by having the battle removed, but by God empowering His children. What an amazing training ground this past week has been! The Devil meant it for our harm, yet God used it for His glory to strengthen and train His children. The noise fest is continuing today. I hope this is the last day, but even if it isn't I have come to know God's peace in the midst of noise. I can still hear His still small voice clearly. Psalms 18:49 "Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name."
Most powerful and heartfelt family devotion ever tonight. God has done amazing things in our hearts this week and it just bubbled over... From the singing around the piano to the prayer time to the Scripture time to the closing comments. Blessed.

11 pm and I think the neighborhood noise fest isn't ready to wind down yet... But I am so filled with peace, it doesn't matter. Victory.

July 16th...

Battle for the Mind (7): It is 9 am. No music. No chanting or preaching or horn blowing. At midnight last night they were still partying. Maybe we have finally come to the end of it. This past week has been the most valuable week spiritually since I have been here. I learned so much about my God. And He did an amazing amount of molding and shaping in my life. At the beginning of the week... I dreaded the noise. It was torture and I was praying that God would do something to make it stop. I was focused on me. At the end of the week, I was broken hearted for the people. They were doing all these things to appease their gods, to try to be heard, to have hope... Vain repetitions to try to gain the ear of spiritual beings they do not even understand. At the beginning of the week, I felt overwhelmed and could not imagine ever finding peace amid such noise. I was focused on the problem. By the end of the week, my heart and mind had been redirected toward the God of peace. Sweet peace in the midst of chaos... Only my God can do that. At the beginning of the week, I was focused on temporal things... A clean house with organized cabinets, homeschool preparations, language learning. At the end of the week, my eyes again found their tears for these people. My focus has been transformed to the eternal. I was in captivity... Not by the noise. It was certainly distracting, but I was even more distracted by the preparations of learning to live here. And as my captivity was turned... As my heart was changed and refocused... My mouth was filled with laughter, my tongue filled with singing, my heart filled with peace, and my eyes filled with tears. Just as they should be.