Join Other Believers and Listen to God’s Word

A month ago, we enjoyed attending the Kansas City Scriptorium and our very own Abby recited John 16.

You might wonder just what is a Scriptorium. In basic terms, it’s listening to specific passages of Scripture being recited, along with some great fellowship in between. It’s very inspiring to listen to an entire book of the Bible; it really makes that book come alive! I loved seeing the enthusiasm of those reciting. This is a great family event, and I’m confident you’ll meet some new friends.

Scriptoriums are coming to Rockwall, Texas, and Jackson, Georgia over the next two weekends. And after that, several more locations in Georgia, Ohio, and Wyoming. I really encourage you to check out the website, attend a Scriptorium, or maybe even see about hosting one in your city!

With a friend at the KC Scriptorium
Abby reciting!

Mom with another mom who shared that one reason her children had time to memorize was because of Managers of Their Homes and their schedule.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all
good works.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17

The Battle Is Not Yours But God’s

In my personal Bible time yesterday, I was struck by 2 Chronicles 20:15-17.

“… Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor
dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the
battle is not yours, but God’s. To morrow go ye
down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff
of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook,
before the wilderness of Jeruel. Ye shall not need to
fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and
see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and
Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out
against them: for the Lord will be with you.”

Talk about powerful truths in this section. I encourage you to think on these phrases. The people were to go face their enemies and then stand still. Wow. Amazing. I was so blessed I wanted to share!

“For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

“Ye shall not need to fight in this battle:”

“Stand ye still.”

“Fear not.”

“For the Lord will be with you.”

A Walk to the Park

Wednesday afternoon, Anna had the beautiful idea to walk to the park and meet up with Mom, Melanie, and crew. The funny part is I’ve never considered this park walking distance. Probably because it’s not in our normal exercise radius. Yet, it easily was, and I have to say that walking somewhere instead of driving felt really great. So, we headed out with Christopher’s oldest three. Ruthie kept Ellie and me company in the back while Anna pushed Liddy in the stroller, and Joshua randomly walked between all of us. We missed Mary, but she had a big work project.

The playground echoed with lots of happy laughter, and the sunny skies and pleasant temperatures were the perfect touch. Ellie got herself a fan club and received tons of attention from happy children of all ages. Mom and Anna kept busy keeping tabs on all the littles.

Benji has been my little buddy lately, and he’s pretty enthralled with my dog!

When we were done, Anna and I walked home with a different set of youngers. I should say the older-youngers. Abby, Bethany, and Amelia, my cousin’s daughter. A perfect way to end a great afternoon!

Little things like this add a sweet sparkle to a day. What could you do with your children or nieces + nephews or brothers + sisters or grandchildren this week?


“Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.”
Psalm 103:2

John and Chelsy Maxwell’s Wedding Pictures

About a week after the wedding, I shared iPhone pictures from John and Chelsy’s wedding, along with the story + timeline of the day.

Now, it’s time to share the real pictures! Laura did an excellent job, and her smiling, joyful presence was a huge blessing.

Enjoy a peek into the day.

Mary Maxwell

Hair time.

Sarah Maxwell
John Maxwell

Amazing the day had arrived for John to become a married man.


Anna and Chelsy

Mary and Chelsy

Chelsy and me

Lots of bridesmaids!

Love this one.

The entire wedding party.

The new Maxwell family
John and Chelsy with Steve and Teri

Dad and Mom with the new couple

With GiGi

Maxwell siblings with John and Chelsy Maxwell

The moms

The time had arrived, and John walked Mom down the aisle.

If you’ll notice, Danny didn’t make it in the group. He ended up coming out with Christopher on stage.My favorite part of the ceremony might just have been when Mr. Bontrager asked my younger siblings to step forward. You see, if it hadn’t been for Dad and Mom’s change of heart regarding children, those lives wouldn’t be here. Including, no wedding for John and Chelsy. A very tender moment.

As you can see, there were so many people to fit into a relatively small space for the reception. But people managed!

I thought the coffee station clever and inviting.

Taco soup for dinner!

Some in the bridal party shared during the reception, and then they opened it up for others.

Those in the kitchen worked hard!

The new couple with Christopher and Anna Marie’s family.

Joseph, Jesse, and a few others braved the cold (as in 0 degrees!)  to decorate John’s truck. They did a stunning job.

That inflatable was really grand.

After the send-off, John and Chelsy came back, they did a private family goodbye. Such a special time!

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the
Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
(Colossians 3:17)

The Way God Prepared John the Baptist

During family Bible time recently, we read a portion of Mark 1. Likely you’re familiar with John the Baptist. How did God prepare John for ministry?

The answer is pretty amazing if one takes a moment to ponder it. He prepared John in the wilderness. Really think about that. God could have sent him away to a comfortable place with many resources to study and plenty of great food to eat. No! His preparation came in the wilderness.

God writes each of our stories, and they are beautiful. Maybe you’re chafing against time in the wilderness (it’d be pretty lonely, wouldn’t it?). Please don’t. Embrace it. Rejoice in God’s amazing plan.

Matthew 16:24 is so clear on what we as Christians are called to joyfully do: “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

Serving the One Who died for me is a sweet privilege. How could I give any less?

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye
present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.”
Romans 12:1

How to Make a Pour Over Mocha

Happy Monday! I hope your week has started off well. I love mochas, and the question has been posed on how I make mine. I tried to be quite detailed for your sake, but it’s not hard at all. Feel free to leave me a question in the comments below if you need clarification on something.

At the end of the post, I’ll include links where each of the items can be purchased, but you don’t need the exact products to make something similar. For your reference, this makes about a 16 ounce mocha.

To begin with, add some hot water to your cup (several inches’ worth). I’ll explain why in a moment.

Next, heat water to 190 degrees. We have a handy Cuisinart that does that.

Grind coffee beans. Dump out the water in your cup, and add about 2 TB. chocolate syrup (more or less depending on how sweet you like your drink). The hot water warmed up your cup so the syrup will be more room temperature if it’s been refrigerated. You can use my recipe here, or any kind of syrup. I’m a fan of peppermint mochas and often use some peppermint syrup in mine (so in that case, I would do about half chocolate and half peppermint for flavoring).

Now put your paper filter in the pour-over cup, and add 2 TB. freshly ground coffee.

To make the most of your time, pour milk into the frother. I love using whole milk, and I pour to the max line which is 8 ounces.

Next, pour hot water over the coffee, ensuring all the grounds get a nice amount of liquid. As the liquid drains into the cup, add more water. Lift up the white pour-over cup and check the liquid level. I aim for about half full. I let the water-coffee mixture not quite drain out of the pour-over and then set it in the sink. I read somewhere that if you let it all drain into your cup, it’s kind of bitter.

Stir the coffee and chocolate.

The frother should be done, so simply pour the frothed milk into the coffee-chocolate mixture. Top with whipped cream for an even sweeter experience.


Equipment I use to make my pour over mocha. These are all Titus2 affiliate links, and the earnings bless our ministry. (See our Privacy Policy for more information.)

  • Tanors Ceramic Coffee Dripper
  • Paper filters for dripper
  • Cafe Don Pablo Coffee Beans
  • Hamilton Beach Coffee Grinder (the one we have is no longer sold, but this looks close to it)
  • Kuissential Milk Frother (important note: I’m sharing this because it’s what I use, but to me, it’s not an outstanding product. You have to make sure to clean it really well, as milk sticks to the bottom, I guess due to the heat. Even if it’s cleaned, the milk will build up. Last fall, when I went to purchase a frother, this seemed middle of the line price wise, and I didn’t want to spend a lot. The price has gone up about 20% since I bought!).
  • Simple Modern 20 oz. Tumbler: this is a favorite for me, and it comes in tons of colors. Some of the colors are $2 or more off, and the price extremely reasonable. The lid it comes with has an opening, so I recently purchased a closeable lid, and I like it.


Again, the items I use are not necessary. You can figure out substitutes if you want, even using brewed coffee instead of the pour over method. The grinder and the frother would be the two biggest expenses. You could simply heat your milk if you prefer or use already ground coffee.


“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty;
he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy;
he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17