The Warrior Poet

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My son graduated from Kindergarten last week. Graduated. From Kindergarten. Well, he didn’t quite make the graduation because he had a fever but still. That first year of school. The first lunchbox. The first backpack. It’s all over.

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When we filled out his application for our hybrid-homeschool, they wanted to know about Asa’s strengths. I wanted to write “imagination” or “loves to play”. He needs to play with little figurines every day. He can play outside with a stick for hours, loves to don costumes and lives in imaginary worlds most of the day. And it’s one of my favorite things about my little guy.warrior poet 1

Now that he’s done with the first year of school, I’m feeling conflicted. I love seeing him grow up. He’s learning new things and doing more than ever. It’s exciting to see him become a big boy.

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But I miss his preschool naiveté. I miss that he doesn’t always want to hold my hand in front of others. I miss that he doesn’t play puppy all day or snuggles when he’s hurt.

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I want him to be both–full of pixie-dusted imagination and growing into a strong man. It’s the part of being a boy mom I’ve dreaded since he was born. I’m not raising a baby boy. I’m raising a husband, a dad—a man.

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For Asa’s unEaster basket, I gave him some shirts from Warrior Poet. They are super cool shirts without skulls or creepy girls-are-dumb sayings. They have this same “be both” mission because they recognize (and want little boys to know) that boys are made to be warriors–strong, in charge guys. But at the same time, they can be tender, loving and thoughtful.

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When I explained the “warrior poet” to Asa, he was very serious. I asked him when he wore the shirts to remember to be a warrior and a poet. To be the strong guy and the guy who puts others first. (See how easy it is to make any and everything point back to God and his plans?! Deuteronomy 6:4-9 in action!)

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So, more than imagination or holding my hand in public, I want my boy to to be the chivalrous knight, the strong servant, the tender warrior. I want him to grow and become a godly man who will follow God to battles or to quiet places.

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I continue to pray the same prayer over my Asa that King Asa prayed over his life and battles, Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.” (2 Chronicles 14:11)

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My Asa, follow God in all your battles. When He asks you to stand up for what you believe, or step aside to let others be first, do it it–do it quickly, with happiness and honor. Learn to lean on Him, to follow Him and let Him fight for you. In this way, you will be all He has for you, regardless of where it leads or what it looks like. I love you, my sweet boy. I’m honored to help you become the man God has planned for you to be.

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Remind your own little guy to be a warrior and a poet! Buy a Warrior Poet shirt & use code BL-Amanda to get 30% off! And make sure to follow Warrior Poet on Facebook and Twitter so you can keep up with all their goodness.

 

2015 Reading Progress

How To Read the Bible in 90 Days // ohAmanda.com

source: suzanne chapman

Last year I read 64 books. The year before that, 66. This doesn’t include the multitude of books I’ve read to the kids. But this year? This year, I’m at a mere 10 books. At this rate, I’ll be lucky to read 30. Why?

Well, because of one other book I’ve been reading. A book that took me exactly 90 days to finish: the Bible! I read the Bible in 90 days! The entire Bible from cover to cover in 90 days! It’s basically only 12 pages a day and I DID IT!

Now, it’s not that I’ve never read the Bible. I’ve read it at church, for devotionals, in Bible College and followed Bible plans but I’ve never read the Bible straight though and so quickly.

Do you wanna know what I walked away with? Two things.

1. EVERYONE SHOULD READ THE BIBLE.

OK, you knew I was going to say that, right? Well, it’s not for the reasons you might think.

If you identify as a Christian, you need to read the Bible because the it is the who-what-where-when-how of our faith. As you read the Bible straight-through, you’ll begin to see not verses you’ve heard sermons on, or passages you’ve done a word-study, stories you’ve read a fictional novel about but an actual full, big, spanning-the-millenia story that is still going on today.

If you’re not a Christian, you think the Bible is just an old book (especially if you’ve ever adamantly disagreed with something in the Bible), you need to know what your disagreement is all about.

The Bible is not a graphic on Pinterest or a saying on a church sign. The Bible is actually a collection of 66 books, letters and histories. If you haven’t read it, you have no idea what those snippets of feel-good sayings, proverbs and stories are really about.

My father-in-law has read the Bible in its entirety almost two times a year for his entire adult life. (WHAT?!!) He says the more he reads it, the more he begins to see where all the verses fit. All those “things” we know in the Bible begin to line up chronologically and in their right context.

Bible scholars (and wannabes) are always harping on taking a verse “out of context” and for good reason. We get so excited about the way a phrase or verse makes us feel, but we have no idea what it actually meant at the time of writing or what it means now. Well, read the Bible all the way through and it will be a lot harder to take things out of context.

2. WHAT DO I REALLY BELIEVE?

I’m going to be really honest here. As I was reading the Bible I said to my husband, “I want to go back and read this and mark all the things I disagree with.”

Yes, I said DISAGREE.

But hear me out: I do believe God’s Word is inspired and living and active. Growing up in the church, surrounded by the Bible, Christian culture, sermons, podcasts and blog posts, I have been overwhelmed with “this is what this verse means to me…” and “here’s what the Bible really says…” and “God spoke to me through this verse…”. And I’m not saying those things aren’t true. They might be.

BUT. The question I began to ask myself as I was reading was this:

Do I believe the Bible OR do I believe the form of the Bible I’ve been taught by humans? AND am I willing to not believe something I’m passionate about? Am I willing to stop believing something I’ve thought to be true my whole life in order to believe what the Bible actually says?

I don’t have a specific example for you. It’s not like I had a revelation. I just got this feeling that people who are adamant about what “the Bible says”, probably are more adamant about what they THINK and FEEL the Bible says.

It was a big wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee-Amanda to remind me that just because I admire a blogger, buy a book from a Christian publishing company, read an article from someone I respect on Facebook or listen to an articulate podcaster, doesn’t mean it’s actually God-breathed inspiration. If I do feel like maybe God is speaking to me through an article or sermon, it’s up to me to go to the Bible, to go to God and say, “Keep talking, Lord. I’m listening.”

So, yeah. Reading the Bible in 90 days was a big thing for me. I’m pumped to do it again, buuuuut probably not for another year! If you attempt to read the Bible in 90 days, here are my four little tips:

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1. Stick with it. Reading 12 pages a day really isn’t that much–reading 48 pages in one day because you’re four days behind? ROUGH.

2. Use an e-reader. I can just read so much faster on my Kindle! Plus, the Kindle version of the Bible in 90 Days tells you exactly where to start/stop right in the text.

3. Get into it. I got to the point where it was like turning on a TV show or getting back into a favorite novel. It was like going to a PLACE when I opened up the Bible. Not necessarily because I was so engrossed or it was so interesting but because I was in the middle of this BIG story.

4. Read normally. Don’t read devotionally or take notes on every word. Just read the way you would read a magazine or novel. You’ll get a fuller understanding of each book or storyline.

So, tell me: have you ever read the Bible straight through? Especially in a short amount of time? I’d love to hear your experience!

ps: did you see this awesome Mother’s Day deal? Less than 10 bucks for some beautiful tableware!

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The *Little* Commission

source: d sharon pruitt

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photo source: NDPettit

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Feathers Podcast by AmyJBennett.com with ohAmanda.com

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