Friday, July 29, 2011

Jesus Found Me

So blessed by this sweet, sweet testimony.

Such a precious word when he says:
"I opened the lid of my heart--so to speak--and saw the filth in my heart.  The private sins in the deep corners."

Enjoy this video, sweet friend:

Humbled by His love for me,

Thursday, July 28, 2011

More Fruitful

John 15:1-17
 1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit,
while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes 
so that it will be even more fruitful.

3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you.
No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.
Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
   5 “I am the vine; you are the branches.
If a man remains in me and I in him,
he will bear much fruit;

apart from me you can do nothing. 
6 If anyone does not remain in me, 
he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; 
such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, 
ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, 
showing yourselves to be my disciples.
   9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
10 If you obey my commands,
you will remain in my love,
just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you 
and that your joy may be complete.
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.
Instead, I have called you friends,
for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
16 You did not choose me,
but I chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.
Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
17 This is my command: Love each other.
(Emphasis mine.)

His love amazes me,

P.S. Do not use an electrical saw for tree work.  Use a wood saw.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Blogger Tutorial -- Image Upload TWO

Here's another way to quickly upload images successfully to a Blogger post.  You can use Picasa to upload images easily.  It looks like this:

1. Open Picasa.
2. Select the folder that houses your images.
3. Choose the images you want to upload (left mouse click + Ctrl).
4. Now, click the Blogger button located at the bottom of the Picasa screen (the orange square with the white B inside).
5. At this point your Blogger sign in will pop up.  You can then maneuver through the details of your images (left, center, large, small, etc.).

6. Next, you'll be redirected to another page where all your images pop into place.
7. Lastly, you're ready for text and the finishing details.

Happy posting!


Google search terms: Blogger image tutorial on uploading images. Vertical image upload to Blogger.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thank You, TOS!

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine just released the Summer 2011 issue in digital form as a FREE issue.  I am so beside myself.  I get to share this amazing magazine with you all at no cost (just this one issue that is).  Totally free.  Wahooo!

So partake of this free issue.  By clicking here.  And enjoy this goodness:


Monday, July 25, 2011

Is Your Soul Thirsty?

David in the Psalms repeatedly cried out to the Lord.  In Psalm 63:5 David says this:
" soul will be satisfied as with he richest of foods..."

My soul.  Satisfied.  Then he paints a comparison.  He uses food to describe what satisfies him.

As the text continues we find out what satisfies him:
" soul clings to you..." (Psalm 63:8).

Ezekiel 3:3 talks about eating the scroll and being satisfied.  The scroll was the recorded word of God.

Jesus openly states that He is the bread of life.  John 6:33 says this: "For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."

Our pastor at First Baptist Church of Merced brings the Word unashamedly.  He teaches sound doctrine.  Concretely.  Purely.  He exemplifies integrity, humility, character, honestly, and trustworthiness.  Amazing.  Wonderful, humble man.  We praise God for him and his sweet, sweet family.

So, why would I encourage you to seek out more teaching?  Because it satisfies.

Is your soul thirsty?  Are you wanting to be washed with The Word?  Are you hungry?  If you are looking for more teaching I encourage you to check out this link.  You'll find link after link of wonderful, godly teaching and preaching.  Beloved, I trust that you will be encouraged by His Word.

Because He lives,

Friday, July 22, 2011


Yesterday I talked about the NEW college experience and I talked about Logos software.  Today I'm gonna unwrap that a bit more.

Jason and I are currently in a graduate degree program working toward a MA in Biblical Counseling.  I may jump ship and pursue NANC Certification instead.  (We'll have to wait and see on that detail a bit.)

So, in our program we are using Logos.  It is the Ferrari of Bible software.  It is the Mona Lisa of Bible software.  This program is the bomb.  I won't even come close to scratching the surface on how awesome this program is.  If your local pastor does not have this software, I highly recommend giving it to his as a gift at some time in his career.  This software is invaluable when it comes to teaching The Word.

So, here it is...
A word study on blessed using several different resources.
A word study on blessed using several different resources.
Another word study on blessed using several different resources.
A linguistic analysis of hope in Hebrew.
(Click on images to see them larger.
Click Back on your browser to return here.)

Languages.  Maps.  Pictures.  Books.  Commentaries.  Sixty-five different Bibles to choose from (including several different languages that is).  Dictionaries.  Sentence diagramming tools.  More books.  More commentaries.  And...if you aren't satisfied with the 600+ resources in your digital library you can always buy more.  The information is uploaded into the software and it's right there for you to use.  Uh-ma-zing.  Amazing.

If you are a homeschool mom, see if this tool/resource may be useful to you as you teach your children The Word.  Or, if your son/daughter is currently leading a bible study or a Sunday school class, this may be a perfect gift for him/her.

"Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God..." (Psalm 146:5).

For the King,
Melissa Culver

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The NEW College Experience

I graduated from college in 1999.  The internet was very, very new back then.  My college experience at the undergraduate level was vastly different from the collegiate experience that I'm having now.

So what was new?  How has college changed in 12 years?

1. Laptop.  I had a laptop at all times with me during lectures.  I'm not at the mercy of writing out lecture notes for myself with great detail.  I have the luxury of typing 75 wpm.  Additionally, I am able to email my notes to other students quickly and efficiently if they missed lecture for some reason.  I don't have to hunt down dimes or a copy machine.

2. Lecture notes.  The night before class lectures started our professor uploaded his partly-empty class notes to our class home page.  Each student was able to download those notes to their computers.  We followed along in our notes while he lectured.  We filled in all the blanks and added additional information as we went along.  A vastly different teaching and learning style from 11 years ago for sure.  Here's a screen capture of the notes he sent to us:

3. When my professor started talking about hapax legomenon I was able to hop on my internet-ready laptop using on-campus WiFi.  I was then able to jump over to  At that point I was able to find out what it meant and how to spell it.  This made it possible for me to add this information to my notes clearly and accurately.

4. Facebook.  Our Summer Intensive Program now has a Facebook page.  We are able to easily connect with each other using this online format.  Prayer requests.  Praises.  Questions.  Advice.  Camaraderie.  Since we are scattered all over the globe this really helps keep us all connected.

5. Computer Software.  For various classes, today, you will find that computer software programs are a must.  Different collegiate institutions will request that you use a particular word processing software.  Other academic programs will require you to use diet and nutrition software (specific programs for your field of learning, basically).  In our program we used Logos.  I'll talk more about that in a later post.  But, be aware that this may be a program cost for your specific academic program.

6. Assignment Upload.  I never turned in any assignments by "handing" them in.  All of my work was uploaded online using a portal specifically designed for the classes I'm taking.  My assignments--after graded--were re-uploaded to that same portal in pdf format with comments.

Well, if you plan to jump back into the world of academics, yourself, I hope this helps.  Or, if you are preparing your high schooler to head off to college, this bit of information may be of great benefit to you.

Humbly serving the Master,
Melissa Culver

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

TMC Homeschool Online

I found this brilliantly fantastic--seeing that I'm a homeschool mom and all.  I had to share this delightful news with you.

The Master's College has undergraduate classes that can be completed online.  And many states (potentially all) afford you an opportunity to get dual credit for taking college courses while in high school (high school credit AND college credit).

If you are wanting your high schooler to take college level courses to complete high school credit, this would work for you.  Or, if your high schooler needs to be at home for a bit longer--post graduation--but still wants to complete college-level courses then this may be something for you to consider.  Here's the link to get more information.

Check it out.  Pray about it.  See if this is the perfect fit for you or your family.

Melissa Culver

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


When Jason and I were in SoCal we were able to Skype with the kids.  Here are a few of the images from our video conference:
Jason and I are in the upper corner.
And we are Skyping the kids from our dorm room.
Big R is helping Little D read a book to us.
They are telling us all about the people in the airplane.
He was so excited about reading to us that he had to start
from the beginning and read it a second time.
No, he can't read at the age of three.
However, this is actually a wonderful pre-reading behavior that
should be highly encouraged in young children.
What a radiant smile!  And so proud of himself.
Such a sweet, sweet boy.

Did you know that one-to-one, video-Skype conversations are free? Yes, they are.  Just download the software, set up an account, find a friend who is on Skype and you are good to go.  You will need a webcam.  They are not too expensive; most laptops come with built-in webcams now.

We actually use Skype as part of our classroom, on occasion.  Have you ever thought about having your kids read to friends or family that you know via video?  My oldest son reads to grandma (who happens to be in town) using Skype.  It's like having an academic tutor in the other room.  How fantastic is that?
Here I am with my crew Skyping my parents.

We enjoy using Skype in our classroom.  Do you?  How do you use Skype in your classroom?

Melissa Culver

Monday, July 18, 2011

Video Postcard

Last week Jason (my husband) and I were in Santa Clarita, California at The Master's College taking graduate classes in Biblical Counseling.  Our four kids were with my parents.  Here's just one of the video postcards I sent them:

Devotional Video

Why do I share this with you?  If you are out of town for some reason, this may be a great way to stay connected with your kids.  Sing songs.  Read a story.  Tell them a story of your childhood.  Set the privacy settings to unlisted and share away.  Unlisted means that people won't be able to find your video if they search for it.  Only those with the link have access to it.  Or, feel free to share your masterpiece with the whole world.

Melissa Culver

Saturday, July 16, 2011


The Old Testament narrative calls people to remember.  Here are a few verses that say such:
"Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth” (Genesis 9:16).

"But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison" (Genesis 40:14).

"God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation" (Exodus 3:15).

"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy" (Exodus 20:8).

"Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God." (Numbers 15:40).

"Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day." (Deuteronomy 5:15).

"Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands" (Deuteronomy 8:2).

In light of this beautiful calling to remember I wanted to pause--myself-- and remember this:

One year ago Jason was here.  He was in an isolated room.  Looked over by infectious disease specialists.  Investigated.  Probed.  Examined.  Rescued from the pit.  And finally released with a clear bill of health.

So, today I paused and said:
Lord, I remember.  I remember Your goodness to me.  Thank You, Lord.  Thank You for rescuing Jason.  Thank You for authoring this calamity for our good and for Your glory.  Thank You.  Thank You for the gift of remembering.  May the reflective bits of my mind rejoice in Your excellence.  May I be a rememberer.  May I choose to remember the greatness of Your plan, the awesomeness of Your care, the beauty of Your provision.  You alone are worthy.  AMEN

Beloved, what do you remember?  Maybe you too can pause today and say, "Thank you."

Because of His grace,
Melissa Culver

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blogger Tutorial -- Scheduled Posts

How on earth do you blog nearly every day?  Or when you are out of town?  I don't.  Here's the trick.  I type up several posts on one day and I schedule them to "go live" each on a different day.  For example, I may knock out 5 posts in one day, but I schedule them to go live Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of the following week.  See how that works?  It saves my readers from having to blaze through several posts in one sitting.  It also gives me the freedom to move things around a bit if I choose.  And, the information trickles in, in lieu of flooding in.

So, here's how it works:

Here, you can see how I have several posts scheduled to run.  In red it says "scheduled".  I even have one scheduled in November already, but I removed the name of that one.  I don't want the cat out of the bag just yet.

And down here you can see where you too can make this happen at your blog.  Click Post Options and the rest of these tools will cascade down for you.  They are hidden if you don't click on that.  Then choose Scheduled at and type in the date and the time you want your post to go live.  The Preview button (blue and to the right of Publish Post) allows you to see what it would look like if you truly published it right now.  This is spectacular.  I use this to make sure that my line spacing and text formatting are right on the money.  Almost 100% of the time I edit something after hitting that button.
(Click on images to view them larger.)

So there you have it.  Let me know if there are any other Blogger tutorials you'd like me to run.  I'll see what I can do for you.

Enjoying the journey,
Melissa Culver

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why Write It?

Is your son allergic to fine motor skills?  Does he detest writing?  My oldest son does not enjoy pencil work.  There are some days where I will write out his work for him.  When we're working on Math I assess him in Math.  When we're working on Handwriting I evaluate his progress in that area.  Why must the two be mixed?  They certainly can be, but they don't have to.  Let me show you:

See his bits on the left?  See my bits on the right?  He told me the answer.  I wrote it down.  Cheating?  Not at all.  Again, the assessment here is comprehension of the task/skill/element.  Does he know it?  Yes, he does.

Some days we don't even write it down.  Simply telling me the answers is fine and dandy.  Spelling tests can be oral.  History tests can be oral.  Pretty much anything can be assessed through conversation if you want it to be.

So, next time consider writing it yourself.  Or, simply talk to your child about it.

Enjoy the Journey,
Melissa Culver

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

San Francisco -- Part 4

Good eats...

Artistic pics...

Having fun...

A new bridge.  The Bay Bridge is not earthquake sound and so a new bridge is going up next to it.  I don't know when the construction on this bridge will be complete, but it sure was fascinating to see it mid-way through the project.

Enjoying the journey,
Melissa Culver