As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, I’m exited to share some Christmas traditions, and how we celebrate Christmas in Bolivia; my homeland. (This post contains affiliate links, see my full disclosure here.) My family immigrated to the United States when I was just 11 years old, my husband’s family arrived from the Philippines in the same year. Seven years later, we married and formed a family that has managed to keep Bolivian and Filipino traditions, while also adopting American traditions, and in recent years British traditions. I guess you can say we love Christmas, and we love to pass down traditions. I’d love for you to grab a cup of hot chocolate, and learn a bit about how Christmas is celebrated in Bolivia. The Nativity and The Christ Child In the latter weeks of November, every family sets-up elaborate nativity scenes. These include lakes, hills, houses, all sorts of animals, shepherds and angels. Many of these take up entire rooms in many homes. I remember working on our nativity setting for hours with both of my parents. Just take a look at some of the pictures below. The central piece of the nativity of course is the Christ childREAD MORE

5 Reasons Why You Should Teach Apologetics To Your Children

Apologetics have become a very important part of my life. I’m the type of person that needs to fully understand the why, behind every because. For ten years I’ve read countless books on Christian theology, attended conferences, and taken classes at church. I can say whole-heartedly say that I know why I believe what I believe, however it wasn’t until recently that I felt a calling to share not only what I’ve learned, but to urge my family to always be ready. Studies show we are losing our kids to the world in elementary, middle school, and high school and not in just in college as previously thought. I want to challenge you into digging into God’s word deeper. I want to encourage you to teach your children more than Bible stories, and I want to help you promote a true desire for knowing God personally through His word and His creation. 1. Teach apologetics to encourage a well-rooted foundation. If you’re a believer, you’ve either read or narrated the Genesis account of creation to your children. We see it as history, as fact, as truth and we present it as such. When our children are young, they believe every word,READ MORE

Today’s song, Build Your Kingdom Here by Rend Collective, is one on my favorite worship songs EVER. If you come and visit, there’s a 99% chance you’ll walk in on me uncontrollably dancing, and singing it at the top of my lungs. I love the call for revival. Don’t you think that REVIVAL is what our country needs the most at this particular point in history? Because I could not pick a specific stanza to share with you, here are the complete lyrics. Feel free to turn up the volume, hit play and sing along, as you already know I am. Build Your kingdom here Let the darkness fear Show Your mighty hand Heal our streets and land Set Your church on fire Win this nation back Change the atmosphere Build Your kingdom here We pray Come set Your rule and reign In our hearts again Increase in us we pray Unveil why we’re made Come set our hearts ablaze with hope Like wildfire in our very souls Holy Spirit come invade us now We are Your Church And we need Your power In us We seek Your kingdom first We hunger and we thirst Refuse to waste our livesREAD MORE

I first heard this song while trying to minister to someone I love very much. She was looking for answers to really hard questions about her past, and even tougher questions about her future. This song was playing in the car as we spoke. While at a red light she repeated the following lyrics: But my joy has been on holiday And my peace has almost passed away Tell me I’m forgiven and free O He died, He died to rectify my hopeless situation And His blood commands my guilt to leave Now on Calvary I stand Empty pockets, open hands O there is no condemnation for me I pray still, that she truly believed this promise. The promise that His blood is enough and that there is nothing additional required of her, or of you, or of me. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the lightREAD MORE

Todays’ song is I Am Mountain by Gungor. I had second, third and even fourth thoughts about including this song. So far I’ve shared songs that have encouraged me, I’ve shared lyrics that remind me of Bible passages, and I’ve shared songs that helped strengthen my Christian walk. This is not one of those songs. Why then, would I include it in a series that is intended to bring encouragement? On day 2 of this series I mentioned that is not uncommon to sing a song, without really thinking about what we’re saying. You’re thinking about the kids, work, dinner, all while singing along. This is dangerous ground. To be completely honest, I originally did intend to share this song, and this was my reasoning: I like this band. The band members consider themselves to be believers, therefore I accepted them as worship leaders. I added the song to my playlist, and have listened it to it for years. As I was compiling the list of songs for this series, I added it without a second thought. As the weeks went by and I started to really hear each word, and to my dismay, I realized this is not worship. Don’t get meREAD MORE

Todays song All Around Me by Flyleaf is not your typical worship song, I’m aware of that. However this is a song I love. I love the intimate relationship with the Lord that it implies. Please watch the video and listen to the lyrics, before reading on. (This post contains affiliate links, see my full disclosure here.) Flyleaf’s lead singer Lacy Sturm was a guest speaker at my church about a year ago. Lacey shared her powerful testimony, and how the Lord truly brought beauty from ashes. There was such passion in every word she uttered, such a deep desire for God, and a type of gratefulness I haven’t seen before. As I hear this song and think back to that day, I am reminded of the parable of the moneylender Jesus told at the house of the Pharisee. “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Therefore, I tell you,READ MORE

I’m sure you’ve heard today’s song at one time or another. This is another one of those that has brought me to tears. Oh, it’s love so undeniable I, I can hardly speak Have you heard of Periscope? I discovered Periscope a little over a year ago, and the some of the people I’ve met have become a big part of my life. One of the first people I started following on Periscope was Lara Marriott. She’s part of a homeschool group for homeschool moms. I was drawn to her transparency in every broadcast. Lara is a worship leader, song writer, voice coach, blogger, and fellow homeschool mom. Please visit her webstite, you won’t be dissapointed. Every so often, Lara goes on Periscope (@LaraMarriott), to simply worship the Lord. At he piano she sits, and worships. One very late evening, after a week that seemed to only bring bad news and worries, I was getting ready for bed and a little Periscope notification got my attention. Lara was on live. I connected and there she was, singing this song. There was two other people watching but I believe she was singing this for me. He knows what we need before weREAD MORE

I took the picture above while on a hike with my girls a few weeks ago. This cross is located at the very top of a nearby hill and not that long ago it was a great point of controversy in our city. You see, the land it sits on was once privately owned, but was later donated to the city and it became public property. A group of atheists who didn’t even live in the county heard about the cross and demanded it be taken down. After several city council hearings and Christian groups coming together enough money was raised to buy the .43 acres of land where the cross sits. The cross is offensive. Oh that rugged cross My salvation Where your love poured out over me Now my soul cries out Hallelujah Praise and honor unto Thee After the land was purchased, the atheist group moved on. They no longer cared to have it removed, since the cross was no longer on public property it would not “send a message that the city favors the Christian religion”. Can you think of a city, anywhere in the world that ‘favors the Christian religion’? I can’t. The cross isREAD MORE

  Have you ever seen Phil Wickham perform this song live? I have, and let me tell you it’s fantastic every time. You can see his love and devotion to the Lord with every strum. This is one of those songs that you can’t help but dance to in total celebration of amazing grace. Today I share this song simply because I am overwhelmed by the grace He has granted me and I want to sing for all that he has done for me. How can I pray for you? Feel free to leave a comment below, or e-mail me at prayer@themusingsofmum.com. To catch the rest of this 20 Day Series, click on the image below.READ MORE

As a full-time working, homeschooling mom, who moonlights as a blogger, I can honestly say I’m worn. Today’s song however is not about physical exhaustion, but a desire for spiritual rest and awakening. If you’ve been following this series, you know I’ve been openly sharing my heart each time. Each song has been a personal prayer that at some point or another declared exactly what I couldn’t articulate on my own. Don’t get me wrong, I havent been going through a time of severe darkness, however I have experienced times of separation from the Lord, and I’ve struggled with having to live in two worlds at the same time. Are you in that place? Is the weight of the world crushing your soul? Paul tells us is Romans: Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to thoseREAD MORE

On this 8th day of our 20 Days of Worship Through Song series, I am once again compelled to share a song by Rend Collective. Their songs have been in complete sync with my heart these days. I feel like the Lord is speaking to me through worship, and showing me the direction he wants me to take.  As always I’ve attached a video to this post, and I urge to hit play, close your eyes and just listen. Did you have the urge to dance? I’m one of those people who likes to dance. I don’t do it well, but dancing makes me happy, and dancing unto the Lord brings me joy.  You may be going through a difficult time right now, I know many families who are. The bible tells us to consider it pure joy, even in times of severe testing. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. – James 1:2-3 Perseverence. Raise your hand if you don’t always feel like singing and dancing when life just keeps pulling you down. I’m raining mine. Yet I am called to rejoice! The painREAD MORE

[mailerlite_form form_id=1] Thank you for joining me on day 6 of our 20 Days of Worship Through Song series.  Today’s song is Your Love is Extravagant by Casting Crowns. According the Oxford dictionary the word extravagant means lacking restraint in spending money or using resources, costing too much, exceeding what is reasonable or appropriate; absurd. I think this is the perfect word to describe the love that drove Christ to this extreme sacrifice. The ripping of His flesh caused by the lashing, the ridicule, the rejection. He loves you and me that much. No restraint.   Oh what is man that you are mindful of Him? True extravagant love. My husband and I have been married for nearly 21 years. We married at a young age, and have seen each other grow up. When I hear this song I can’t help to think of our marriage, and how it is to mirror the relationship between the church and Christ. As the bride we are to stay pure, faithful and we must be ready for the bridegrooms arrival. This song speaks of an incredible romance, an intimate relationship, an absurd sacrifice. Oh how grateful I am for that sacrifice.   How can I pray for you? LeaveREAD MORE

Thank you for joining me on day 5 of this 20 Days of Worship Through Song series. I encourage you to click on the graphic at the end of the page to catch up on previous days in case you’ve missed them. (This post contains affiliate links, see my full disclosure here.) Today’s song is What Do I Know of Holy by Addison Road. Have you ever sat in church and felt like the message that was being preached, or the story that was being told was just for you? Remember the conviction of the Holy Spirit? Or how humbled you felt that the Lord would deliver the message that YOU needed to hear? I could cite scripture that comes to mind every time I hear this song, but I wont. Instead I will say that this song drives me to a deeper relationship with Christ simply because I feel as if it was written for me and about me. I came to a relationship with the Lord when I was 12, I was baptized at 13 and my faith was on fire at 14. By the time I was 16 I didn’t know the Lord at all.   I knewREAD MORE

When I created the list of songs I wanted to share with you this month I jotted down notes of what I wanted to discuss each day. As I prayed over today’s post the notes no longer made sense. At first I though about moving this song to a later date, and give myself some time to review what I wanted to say, however I decided to keep each song in the order the Lord inspired. (This post contains affiliate links, see my full disclosure here.) Today’s song is Second Chance by Rend Collective. Their songs have really been speaking to me lately so be prepared for a few more in days to come. I played this song at least 40 times today. Despite my decision to get rid of the notes, I attempted to break it down, to explain how the song has affected my walk, but I couldn’t. There’s just too much here. A few years ago, a good friend expressed his deep disapproval for all worship, that didn’t directly derive from scripture. He believed that all worship should come directly from the bible, word for word. While I respected his opinion, I didn’t agree with it. I believeREAD MORE

As day 3 of this writing challenge rolls around, I can’t help but see a theme within the songs the Lord has given me.  As I mentioned on yesterday’s post, I didn’t intend to put these in any particular order, but it is clear that when the Lord wants to speak to us He does. I pray He is speaking to you, as He is speaking to me. (This post contains affiliate links, see my full disclosure here.) Today’s song is Here for You by Matt Redman. This song inspires me to literally SHOUT praises. When was the last time you shouted words of praise? Let Your breath come from heaven Fill our hearts with Your life   Let our shout be Your anthem Your renown fill the skies Psalm 98:4 says: Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,     burst into jubilant song with music; Psalm 47:1 says: O clap your hands, all peoples; Shout to God with the voice of joy. Did you notice both verses call for singing with joy? Worship should be both reverent and exciting. Yes I am one of those people that SHOUT, because I was once deserving of wrath but in His mercyREAD MORE

When I came up with the list of the songs I’m sharing with you this month, I didn’t place them in any particular order, with the exception of day 1. It was the song that inspired this series after all. Also, had no intention of keeping a ‘theme’ within the songs, however the more I look at the list, the more I see the Lord had a theme in mind. (This post contains affiliate links, see my full disclosure here.) Today’s song, I Belong To You by Jesus Culture is an almost perfect follow up to yesterday post. I love how the Lord works. You can be the One that steals my heart With just a simple thought of who You are Let Your light shine in the darkest parts Let Your love fill the world In his gospel, John tells us exactly who He is: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, andREAD MORE