We Put Away the Bible Story Book

We did.
We put away the boys’ Bible Story books.
Don’t panic.
We needed to mix it up a little.
My youngest children are 8yr & 10 yr old boys,
and since we’d read & reread all the
Bible Story Books in the house,
we went for something new at bedtime.

Enter YouVersion.
Bible app

We chose a “family” reading plan that has some
devotion ideas to make it interactive for kids.
But actually, we don’t do the devotional things.

My boys love looking up the scripture verses
in their own Bibles and reading them out loud.
That search is so satisfying for them, and it
helps them remember the order of the Books of the Bible…
(we may or may not be occassionaly sing a quirky
song to remember them.)

Then I ask them several questions about the verses.
Things like these:
“What does this tell us about God?”
“Why did Jesus say this?”
“What does He want us to learn from this?”
“What are some situations in our lives where we
would need to remember and apply this?”

I like to make the questions more personal and specific
than the above list, but you get the idea.
Either way, my boys are loving this hands-on time
in God’s Word, and the discussion afterwards easily
leads into prayer time that deals with real situations
that relate to the scripture.

Actually, just about anything can come up in
these conversations since they know that I’ve
set aside this time JUST for them and I will listen
carefully. Their depth and understanding
astounds me sometimes.

As a parent I’m continually trying to reevaluate the
way I go about life. I ask God specific questions
and want always to be willing to switch things around
– big or small- to help my kids grow into the people
He has designed for them to be. And… in the process
I grow a smidgen every now & then, too! ūüôā

Just Standin’ there, Confused

It’s there… in the Bible… and it seemed like
such a sad thing to say about the disciples/friends of Jesus.

Jesus hung dying on the cross,
“But Jesus’ friends, including the women who
had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching.”
(Luke 23:49 NLT)

It was a BIG deal. A huge moment.
An event that would forever change their lives.
And they kept their distance, watching.

These were not just casual observers who had heard of Jesus,
these were His close friends. The Greek word used in the
text means those who had a close experience with Him;
someone who knew Him first-hand. Someone like…

That’s exactly what I said to Jesus as I read this.
“Lord, I’m like these disciples. I know You first-hand
and understand that You’re doing something hugely
significant right in front of me, and yet I’m standing
off at a distance, rather dumb founded, just watching.”

Then God silently spoke: “You ARE just like those friends.
But what ELSE are they doing?”

Me: Umm.. we’ll they were probably…

But they…
Were Loyal
Kept eyes glued on Jesus

Oh… Yes… Thank you, Jesus.
I get it!
(Big relieved sigh!)
I will keep my eyes – heart- glued on YOU!

It’s Another Friday..

It’s Good Friday again. One of my favorite days of the year!!
Last year I blogged about the HUGE miracle that Jesus had done in
in our daughter, Courtney’s life back in 1997 and the new
medical challenges that she was facing at that present time.

Now it’s 2013…
and an update is long over due.  MANY of you (who so kindly read this & have prayed)
have inquired about her health over the past year.  I will give a brief update in form
of a bullet list… cuz no one really enjoys LONG medical explainations, right?

– black outs, weakness, headaches, chills, etc
– various blood work
– many tests on her heart and brain
– doctors & specialists are unsure
– specialist finally decides to treat her as though she has particular & unusal type of Migraine
– we don’t necessary believe this what she has, but are willing to try treatment
– Courtney starts daily medication that won’t even begin working for at least TWO months
– within a couple weeks she begins to improve
– we know this is NOT the medication
– in a month or so she is close to feeling like herself again
– six months later the medication prescription ran out…
– and we choose to stop having her take it
– that was in November 2012… and she is Well!

Jesus heals!  Again!
Thank you for praying, for caring and for inquiring about her over the last year!

Another Good Friday! Thank you, Jesus!!!

Courtney Singing an original song YouCharist 2013, Courage Church, Hamtramck

Courtney Singing an original song YouCharist 2013, Courage Church, Hamtramck

It Was a Friday


Good Friday, 1997:

We’d just arrived at our hotel with 180+ teenagers in tow. It was the Ohio Youth convention that we’d looked forward to for months. Chilly was the speaker & a bunch of our students were involved in a detailed illustrated sermon that very evening. Chilly had just been to the front desk to get everyones’ room keys when he pulled me aside with a weird look on his face.

“Netta, Courtney is in the hospital. She has pneumonia.”

“That’s not funny, Chilly.”

“I’m NOT kidding, Netta. She’s really, really sick.”

Through teary eyes  we began searching for someone who would be willing to drive the 5 hrs back to Youngstown with me. No takers. Chilly was calm but going insane on the inside. He wanted more than anything to drive back. But he was the speaker and we decided that he would drive back right after the service.

I wasn’t waiting around. I got in my green minivan and began the drive home. Praying. Praying like never before!¬† Thankfully, my cell phone, which hadn’t worked when we were driving the 5 hours away from little Courtney, started working (cell phones were pretty new back then). Our doctor was a trusted friend and attended the same church we did. I spoke many times to her during that drive. She gave me very little detail… and rightly so.¬† At some point I was told that they were preparing to life-flight her to Akron Children’s Hospital. I really don’t know when I learned that part of it. I just needed to be with her!

Amazingly, the 5 hours went quickly. I’d like to say that I drove the speed limit, but I have no idea. As I sprinted into the ICU room where my baby girl¬† was lying, I couldn’t stop the tears. Our little one year old was only wearing a diaper and was covered in tubes and wires. The most startling thing, however, was the deep cave in her chest that came with every breath. Dr. Anne Stover gently told me that she was struggling to breath and needed to be moved to Children’s hospital. She was going by ambulance. Our dear friends were standing there, too. Mary said I could ride to Akron with them.

“Thank you, Mary. But I’m going with Courtney!¬† I just drove 5 hours. I will not leave her side!!!”

Every nurse & doctor in the place abruptly and swiftly told me, “Oh NO. That is NOT allowed!”

“YES!¬† I’m going with her!”

Thank you, Jesus, for Dr. Stover. She knew me. She spoke softly to the others in the room and before I knew it I was riding in an ambulance, next to my seriously ill little Courtney. I held my breath as I waited for each of her’s. Praying & remaining calm, I realized that at any moment the situation could turn and I’d have to sit helplessly as the medics worked. I prayed. and Prayed. That “peace from Jesus that doesn’t make any sense to your mind, but total sense to your heart” held me tightly.

Meanwhile, Chilly and the 180+ teenagers were also praying, and calling everyone they knew. As they prepared to go on stage and minister to 4000+ teenagers, their thoughts were with Courtney. But God honored their faithfulness. Back stage, my husband was on his face, begging God for healing. Then he stood, went out & delivered a powerful & creative message of Jesus’s love. Hundreds of students committed their lives to JESUS that night!¬† Then Chilly got in a van & two of those students drove through the night to the hospital in Akron.

In the early morning, Chilly burst into Courtney’s ICU room and told me that he’s prayed all the way there, and that God told him we would taking Courtney home!¬† Since I was a tired mess, he sent me to the waiting room where our precious & loyal friend, Mary, hugged and encouraged me. Chilly’s next few moments were not as encouraging. The nurse, apparently surprised by his calmness, pulled him aside.

“Mr. Chilton, I don’t think you understand the seriousness of your daughter’s illness. It’ VERY, very serious. You need to prepare yourself for the worst.”

“No, on my drive here God assured me that we would take Courtney home.”

“Sir, really. You need to face the reality of the situation and be prepared for what may come.”

That was Friday.


Jump ahead to EASTER MORNING 1997:

Our oldest daughter, Mariah, attended Easter morning services with our friends who graciously kept her that weekend. Chilly and I waited in the hospital…. waited for that final word. And then it came….

“Mr. & Mrs. Chilton, you may take Courtney home!¬† We’re amazed at how her situation has drasticlly¬† improved.”


On Friday, near death.¬† On EASTER… ALIVE & going HOME!!!!


Any & EVERY time I think of this miracle my heart bursts with JOY and THANKFULNESS!  OH, THANK YOU, JESUS!
Your death, on that Good Friday so long ago, brought life & healing!  THANK YOU, JESUS!

That was 15 years ago.



Courtney is no longer a baby. She’s a gorgeous 16 yr old who has her own beautiful relationship with Jesus. Now today, Good Friday, we’re facing another need for healing. She’s experienced strange symptoms and has had several tests already. Nothing is known yet. The next course of action requires specialist. We’re grateful for doctors, and God has always provided us with wonderful, trust-worthy medical professionals. But we’re praying for another MIRACLE! You may be facing a difficult situation, too. Jesus is BIGGER! GREATER! ABLE to do more than we can think or imagine!

Some of you who are reading this actually remember when the Easter miracle of 1997 took place. You were at that convention, or hospital, or you’re the one who drove the late-night van, or you may even the doctor. (Hi Anne.)¬† We know that God can do anything! Let this true story remind you of God’s true story of FORGIVENESS & GRACE; of His GREATNESS!¬† We serve a RISEN SAVIOR!¬† Let’s tell people! Let’s live with that JOY and HOPE that only JESUS gives!




Sugar Cookies & Frosting


This past week my kids & I

were cookie-makin machines!

Over 250 cookies were baked

and decorated in our cute,

cozy kitchen.






My friend, Margie, and a¬† “blog-friend,” Amie,

asked if I would post the recipe to the cookies…

Yes! Yes, I will.

This is from my friend, Cheryl Miller of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

She wrote it out as a TRIPLE RECIPE! I’ve used this recipe

since she was kind enough to share it with me in 2004.

Cheryl’s SUGAR COOKIE – triple batch

2 C  shortening

2 1/4 C sugar

3 tsp.  vanilla

3 eggs

4 T milk

6 C  flour

4 1/2 tsp  baking powder

dash salt

Mix Sugar & shortening. Add wet ingredients.

Add dry ingredients. Mix well.

Put if the frig for at least 1 hour.

Roll out 1/4 of dough at a time. Roll sorta thick.

Bake  350 degrees for approx 8-10  minutes.

Cool before frosting.











(this is my own concoction, but I certainly did NOT invent it)

It’s a runny frosting that you can lay the cookie face-down

into it and then let excess drip off. When it dries it looks so nice

and smooth.


Use a SHALLOW but wide bowl (big enough to lay your cookie

down flat)

Add a cup or so of POWDERED SUGAR

Add a few tiny drops of MILK and a few drops of food coloring.

Stir.¬† Add more of each until it’s runny but not too thin.

(It takes me few minutes to get it right.)

Lay cookie face-down into frosting, let excess drip off.

Add sprinkles if desired.

Let it dry on wax paper or a flat pan that’s easy to wash.

After it’s dry you may pipe on fancy icing to really look professional,

but I usually don’t.








(NOTE: these cookies pictured above have

a butter cream icing, NOT the frosting listed above)


A New Tree

Some people are celebrating “Earth Day” and that’s cool.

When you’re a large family on a not-too-large budget you tend to be

quite green… but it’s really just frugal & smart.

(To read my Earth Day post from last year click here. )


Today I’m celebrating a tree.


The cross that Jesus died on…

to take my place,

forgive my sin & to give me NEW LIFE!


Life that goes beyond situations

& even beyond death!





The  EGG makes a

lovely symbol of new life…

and this week my kids made

an Easter Egg tree.

We gave old things a new life.







It’s made from:

-old clothes & curtains, cut into strips

-twigs we gathered recently on a walk around the neighborhood

-spray paint from the storage in the corner of the basement

-ribbon scraps from other projects long ago

-glue from the school & craft supplies

-a blue bucket from Target, $2.50

(Is this a “Green Project” or what?)


















(This is blurry but I just

HAD to add it… for obvious






But really, we made this tree cuz I  wanted my children

to make something memorable & fun that now

decorates our home and will remind them JESUS gives NEW LIFE!























Do you have LIFE in JESUS?

What are you doing to celebrate THE TREE?


Here’s two ways you can join in the celebration…








Details here








Easter. Serve. Learn.

It’s EASTER week!

I love this week… even though it’s raining outside, it’s definitely

spring inside!¬† We’ve been doing some fun stuff so far…

We’ve been measuring things with Jelly Beans (a CD case is

9 jelly beans long), and playing guessing games that introduce

the concept of “probability,” sorting by color & making charts to show

which color has more beans.











There’s a little poem about jelly beans that tells the

story of JESUS. It’s also teaching how to use scissors,

using reading skills, writing practice and it’s just fun to color

the giant jelly beans & glue them.


























And now… the cookies… lots & lots of cookies!

They’ll help share the love of Jesus to kids in

an Urban Arts Outreach & a Tutoring/ministry

in “the projects” and to our wonderful neighbors!

My kids are helping & learning that sharing and giving

is about giving something that’s personal; something that

requires work and/or sacrifice. (Although, the concept of

sacrifice may be diminished due to the fact that they’re

allowed to eat the broken cookies!)

Here’s some sites that have inspired this projects above:

Math with Jelly Beans

Coloring page

dltk Easter Ideas