A Blog Devoted to Encouraging Homeschooling Mothers

A Blog Devoted to Encouraging Homeschooling Mothers
The Burts in 2013

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The God Whom Moses Knew A Novel By J. Roger Nelson, M.D.

The God Moses Knew by J. Roger Nelson is a fictionalized account of Moses leading the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt to freedom in the promised land. It's written as a novel that expounds on the Genesis and Exodus Bible characters to give a glimpse of what their lives might have been like beyond the Biblical record. Moses is the primary figure in the book and as such his life is explored in depth.

I'm not typically a huge fan of fiction when it comes to adapting the Bible into a novel, but I was curious to see what the author might have to share about the life of Moses. Some of Dr. Nelson's "ideas" don't align with what we know of Mosses from the Bible - and as a Christian who firmly believe sin the whole counsel of the Word of God, I had to disagree with some of Dr. Nelson's creative ideas. Interesting? Yes. Biblically solid? Umm, not so much.

However, if you're into historical Biblical fiction, this could be just the book you've been looking for!

On my 'Page Turner Scale' of 1 to 5, I give this book a 2. I'd like to be able to give it a 3, but I just didn't enjoy it that much as I found myself referencing what I know of Moses from God's Word.

(Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from BookSneeze for review purposes.)

Day 151 done :)

Jan L. Burt
I review for BookSneeze®

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Real Way to Keep On Keeping On

January days tend to be bleak, dreary, and L-O-N-G for homeschool families. And the homeschooling mother usually bears the burden of keeping the household positive and upbeat during January (and February, into March...). But moms need a dose of encouragement in order to keep being a source of encouragement to their families. Today's post is about finding that encouragement in the Lord.

Hebrews 11:33-34 says, "By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight."

How did they do what they did? They did it BY FAITH. Due to their faith, God made their weakness to be strength (something that happens only in God's economy). They stared down the toughest of times, scariest trials, tremendous obstacles, worst case scenarios - all BY FAITH. And that same faith is available to us as homeschooling moms, right now, today. If faith enabled them to face their giants, then I can certainly rely on the Lord through faith to gift me with the ability to be a source of encouragement to my family during the long winter months of homeschooling!

Be sure to make time with the Lord a priority as a mom. He is the source of your strength, and He take the time you give Him and multiply it back to you in infinite measure. He's always ready and waiting to spend time with you; an awesome thought, really - the God of the universe waits to spend time with you! We should race to spend time with Him; rush to be in His presence. It's a privilege and a right unique to us as His children, but we gain none of the promised blessing if we fail to meet with Him. You cannot enjoy a gift that you fail to open!

Ephesians 3:20 reads, "Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope."

Why not take advantage of His mighty power at work within you today? Spend time with the King of kings and Lord of lords, and prepare to be amazed at what He will accomplish through you! Your family will be blessed and those long, dreary winter homeschool days will be filled to overflowing with more than you could ever ask, dream, or imagine!

Keep on keeping on by keeping Jesus first in your heart!

Day 150 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Follow That Voice!

How do you know when to do one thing versus another thing? When do you stop moving in a certain direction and begin down a new path? Is there ever a time we should shoot from the hip; and if not, where is the room in our lives for spontaneity?

I think the answer is found clearly and concisely in the Word of God. And if you've been reading my blog for very long, you already knew I'd say the answer could be found amidst the pages of my Bible!

John 10:4b-5 says, "The sheep follow Him because they recognize His voice. They will never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from Him, because they don't recognize the voice of strangers." (HCSB)

This is the answer to the question, "What now, Lord?". It isn't the answer once in a while, when it's a REALLY BIG problem. It isn't the answer only when we feel as if we can't come up with the answer on our own (because the Bible says NO WHERE that God helps those that help themselves). It is the correct answer to every "Who? What? When? Where? Why? How much?" question we ask in life. And the reason we know it's the right answer is because He is always the right answer ~ to every question, every problem, every need, every ache in your heart, every minute of every day.

And if you're unsure how to be sure that you are most assuredly following the voice of Jesus, who is our Good Shepherd, then simply pray and ask the Lord to teach you how to follow the voice of Jesus. Ask Him to teach you how to discern what "voices" you are following and give you the strength, wisdom, and ability not to follow the voice of another. Pray it daily, all throughout the day if you need to, until you are confident that you are following the only voice you should truly recognize in your heart - the voice of Jesus. The Holy Spirit was given to you for this very purpose, and He will not fail to fulfill His calling. If you are willing to hear, He is more than willing to speak. If you are happy to follow, He is more than happy to lead. If you want only to do His good and perfect and pleasing will, He is more than willing to reveal it to you.

This includes homeschooling. Every day, with regard to each of your children, seek to hear His voice. Commit not to follow the voice of another, because you simply will not recognize it. In the middle of the meltdown your 4th grader has over long division, ask Him to speak to you and show you how best to teach long division. When your teenager is unsure about his or her future (go to college? enter the mission field?) ask Him to lead and guide you with His voice, and teach your teen to do the same.

I promise you, this is the way to live a Spirit led life. You can take the check of God's Word to the bank over and over, and He'll make good. But don't take my word for it ~ take Him at His Word, and try it for yourself.

And why not commit to memorize John 10:4-5 while you're at it? I can't think of a better use of your time than to hide His Word in your heart!

Have a blessed homeschool day!

Day 149 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Few Verses to Encourage You Today!

Today's post will be short and to the point. I'm sharing some verses from God's Word to encourage you on your journey as a homeschooling mother :)

Micah 7:7 _ "But as for me, I will look to the Lord and confident in Him I will keep watch; I will wait with hope and expectancy for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me."

Proverbs 10:22 - "The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and He adds no sorrow with it."

1 John 5:14 - "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."

Psalm 119:18 - "Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in Your instructions."

Amos 5:14 - "Do what is good and run from evil - that you may live! Then the Lord God Almighty will truly be your helper, just as you have claimed He is.

Philippians 4:4 - "Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again - rejoice!"

Take comfort and draw strength from God's Word today. Share His great love and unending grace with your husband and children today. Be encouraged as you face the giants in your life today, and trust fully in Him and His promises to you today!

Lord bless you in rich and abundant ways as you set your heart on His will for your life!

Day 148 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

TOS Crew Product Review ~ Z-Guide to the Movies - My Side of the Mountain

Zeezok Publishing has a variety of curriculum that work wonderfully in the homeschool setting, particularly if unit studies are your primary learning method. The product I received (free of charge for review purposes) is the Z-Guide to the Movies, My Side of the Mountain e-book.

My Side of the Mountain (by Jean Craighead George) is one of my family's favorite books; and while the 1969 movie differs quite a bit from the book, we were excited about utilizing this Z-Guide.

Basically, the way a Z-Guide works is it takes a particular film (often the movies are based on good books) and draws lessons from the movie. First the student watches the movie in it's entirety; then they follow the Z-Guide's instructions, complete the activities, and learn a whole lot. And yes, all this stems from watching a movie. What homeschooler wouldn't like that?!

Z-Guide, My Side of the Mountain follows the 1969 film version of "My Side of the Mountain". This movie is available for purchase at the Zeezok website (, for purchase at ( where it can be viewed as a digital download right on your PC, or rented from places like Netflix or Blockbuster. Most of the other films that correspond with Z-Guides can be found easily - so don't let the idea of a snipe-like movie hunt deter you from considering using Z-Guides!

The Z-Guide, My Side of the Mountain e-book is 32 pages long and covers topics such as Natural Science, Henry David Thoreau, and Survival Skills. Activities include Worldview, Hands-On Activities, Review Questions, Filmmaker's Art, and a How To Use section. This Z-Guide is organized into an Overview, 10 Activities (and a Bonus Activity), Family Discussion, Additional Resources, and the Answer Key.

The Day 1 - Day 5 Activity Breakdown allows the student to complete the unit in one school week. You can pick and choose certain activities or alter the lesson plans to fit the student's course objectives, areas of interest, or time schedule. As an e-book, this resource is non-consumable. Just print out the pages you'll need for each day's work and next time you want to use a Z-Guide, simply open that file on your computer and print what you need!

One thing I'd like to make mention of is that the 1969 film is different than the book, and while that's not a bad thing, it does mean students need to pay close attention to the film so as not to confuse the book with the movie.

The cost of this Z-Guide is $12.99 (which seems to be the cost of all the Z-Guides)

Feel free to check out their website for more information, and if you have a particular movie you simply love, why not use a Z-Guide to the Movies as a springboard for learning? Sharing things you enjoy with your children, and turning those moments into learning experiences is something only homeschool families can do. Make the most of the time you have with your children. It really does pass by in the blink of an eye!

To read what my fellow Crew Mates had to say, click HERE. (By the way, we didn't all review the same Z-Guide, so check out their reviews to see what movie guides they reviewed.)

And don't forget to visit the website ~

Day 147 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome to a Brand-Spankin'-New Year!!!

Isn't it great to be starting a brand new year, with the Lord to guide our paths? And isn't it terrific to end each year by celebrating our Lord's birth?

It's always interesting to wonder at what a new year might hold. When we look back over 2011, I doubt any of us could have predicted what things would come to pass. God always does more than we can imagine, and living a life sold out to Him is guaranteed to never lack excitement! It's the grandest of adventures, better than exploring the final frontier, filled with surprises and blessings galore. It is good to walk with Jesus; very, very good.

What are some things you plan to focus on in 2012? Do you have any homeschool dreams that you are praying the Lord will bring to pass? Keep asking Him to make those dreams come true - and ask Him to change those dreams to better ones if that's His good and perfect and pleasing will.

Some of the things I'm hoping will come to pass in 2012 include more blog posts to encourage homeschooling mothers, a new and improved website for the Bible study I wrote several years ago (see to check out my "lacking" website as it currently stands...), perhaps composing a book of encouraging devotions or short articles for homeschooling mothers, improving our church youth group as we seek to disciple young believers, and maybe write some blog posts or a short book regarding my fight against diabetes (a fight I won, by the way - losing 45 lbs and keeping the weight off and regulating my blood glucose numbers).

Let's jump into this new year feet first, give our all to the Lord, our husbands, and our homeschools, and expect to look back on 2012 with amazement at what the Lord has done!

Philippians 1:6 says, "He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Take that promise from God's Word to heart and watch Him work out His good plans for your life.

Day 146 done :)

Jan L. Burt