Friday, July 29, 2016

They're Your Kids

I have a friend who I admire mention a book that she really liked-They're Your Kids by Sam Sorbo. Since she has been homeschooling longer than I have, I thought I would check it out. She was kind enough to share her copy with me.

I also really liked this book. It's subtitle is, An Inspirational Journey from Self-Doubter to Home School Advocate. I am not a self-doubter when it comes to a home school standpoint, but I am an Home School Advocate.

Much of the information in the beginning of the book I already new, but it did educate me on some points that I didn't know. It showed me that even before I had become a public school teacher, things were starting to go downhill. Of course, I didn't see what was happening as bad at the time, looking back, you can see it was the beginning of what I see as a major problem in public education.

I love that she doesn't just spout off her ideas, but uses references to documented facts, quotations from other people, and information from recognized studies.

One of the major "complaints" I hear about home education is that parents do not think they are capable of doing it. While she combats the most common complaints with common sense, I love what she says towards the end of the book.

Raising children is difficult. Many of us find ourselves overwhelmed by all the challenges children can pose. But doing the hard thing is often the only responsible way forward. I've tried to show that as hard as it is, it's still not as hard as sending your kids away from you to the state institution to be educated.

I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book and reading it. It is good for those who already home educate as well as those who are thinking about it or even thought about it for only a second. In fact, I think it would be beneficial for even the staunch public school advocates to read as it brings to light some issues that many people are blind to seeing.

I'm sure you can find this book at your local library. It is also available as an Amazon Kindle download if you prefer to use your e-reader.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Proverbs 21:3 
To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

The world says to do and ask forgiveness later. God says to live right in the first place. He wants our hearts more than He wants repentance.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Marriage Moment Monday-Be Friends

Proverbs 18:24bthere is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times
Song of Solomon 5:16bThis is my beloved, and this is my friend

What is a friend?

A friend is someone you want to share things with. You want to spend time with a friend. You share confidences with a friend. A friend is there when you need him. A friend will comfort and give you advice. A friend will lend help when needed.

Aren't all these things what you should be doing with your spouse?

While we will always have our personal friends, the marriage bond will only strengthen if you also add the bond of friendship.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Losing is Gaining

Matthew 16:24-26 KJV 
24 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. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

As I studied these familiar verses, I was thinking about the different ways Christ calls people to "lose their lives."

In some instances, He calls people to literally give their physical lives for being His follower. We call these people martyrs and admire their faithfulness, strength, and commitment.

In other instances, He calls people to give up the comforts of this world and go and be missionaries to remote villages or in violent countries. We admire these missionaries for their selflessness and care for others.

There are many other "smaller" ways He calls people to "lose" their lives, but one that sticks out to me right now is parenthood.

We recently announced to family and friends that we are expecting our 12th child (not counting the two who are already with Jesus). Of course, the comments aren't new to us, but they have started again.

We are crazy.

Better us than them.

Aren't we smart enough to know what causes that?

What about my health?

We can't possibly have enough to provide for all those children! (Of course, everyone's definition of provide is different. They are thinking of fancy vacations, college, cars for each child, etc.).

As parents, we are called to give up comforts of this world. We experience violence among our own people. Sometimes parents give up their physical lives for their children. However, unless it is done in some grand way (like saving a drowning child or saving a child from a fire), it is looked down upon. Why is it that losing this life, as the world sees it, for our own children is not seen as following God's commands? Why do we esteem sharing the gospel with other people groups worthy while sharing the gospel with our own children is wrong?

I am not bringing this up to try to gain pity. Nor am I seeking approval. I am bringing this up to encourage other mothers that although it may not seem you are doing great things for God, you are! you are denying yourself and "losing" your life for your children. When you are selfless, you are showing Christ's love to those around you. Be of good courage! Raising children is just as much a mission field as going to the remote villages of Africa or the land of Iraq.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

None Other Name

Acts 4:12
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Why is it that people can talk about God all they want and there is not an hint of persecution, but as soon as they mention Jesus Christ, people get agitated and upset?

It is because there is power in the name of Jesus!

Christ is the only way to salvation. The only true path to God and eternal life. Satan knows that and is going to try to stop discussion of Christ whenever and however he can.

Please don't try to "fit in" with the world by just talking about God's love. Share Jesus with others! He is the only way!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Proverbs 20:11 
Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

People often say that it isn't right to judge, yet observing a person's actions will tell you whether that person has pure and right intentions.

Also, people should know what we believe in by our actions. Do our actions show we love and trust God? Do they show we love what He loves and hates what He hates? This is important to keep in mind in this upcoming election.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Marriage Moment Monday-Listening For Wisdom

Proverbs 18:15 
The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.

A wise person seeks knowledge.

A wise person uses that knowledge to make wise choices.

A marriage is blessed by wise choices.

So, how does one gain wisdom? Well, studying God's Word is the best place, but you can also gain wisdom by talking less and listening more. I'm not just talking about listening to hear, but listening with the intent to understand and gain knowledge. listen for what your spouse isn't verbally saying, but may be saying with his body language or tone of voice.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Making the Crooked Straight

Ecclesiastes 1:15 
That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.

The author of Ecclesiastes set out to seek wisdom (vs. 3). In his pursuit of wisdom, he discovered that what is wrong with this world can not be fixed by anything on the earth.

Mankind is unable to correct the wrong path or increase what is lacking. Why? Because we are sinners. We live in a fallen world and on our own, we know only evil. It isn't until we come to know Christ that our hearts are transformed.

Without the love and power of God, this world can not change. We lack the ability to do it on our own.

This nation drastically grew more and more wicked as we started taking God out of our schools, public places, and homes. We can not expect evil people to produce good fruit. Good fruit only comes from the one who abides in Christ and allows God's love to flow through her.

God is the only answer to straighten the perverseness of this world. When people come to know Him and allow Him to work in their lives, then we will see progress.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Nothing New Under the Sun

Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 KJV 
9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. 11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

As I was reading Ecclesiastes, I was struck with the last part of verse 9:

Our world has seen and endured much evil in the past few weeks. We have seen tragic loss. We have seen extreme hatred. We have heard some pretty awful things said to those who are grieving or confused. Many people have said that this world keeps getting worse; however, did you catch verse 9?

"[T]here is no new thing under the sun."

God has seen this evil before. He has seen people say and do some tragic things. It is not new to Him. While we may have forgotten about the events of the past, He hasn't. He helped His people through it before and He will help His people now.

Don't lose faith. Don't live in fear. None of this is new to God.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Proverbs 19:18
Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

If you truly love your children, you will train them and the time to train them is when they are young and before they are set in their ways. They will not like it ,but when they are old, they will be thankful.

Many people will say, "Let them be children;" however, childhood is the best time for training.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Marriage Moment Monday-Financial Contentment

Many newlywed couples often find themselves wanting to live the life they are accustomed to living so they use credit to support it. Unfortunately, they forget that their parents didn't always live that way themselves. It took many years for their parents to get to the place where they are.

Most couples can handle a few years at least living on credit, but at some point, something will happen which will threaten their finances. And what is the number one marriage stressor-money!

Hebrews 13:5
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

We, as married couples, need to learn more contentment. What more do we need than to know that God is always with us and will never forsake us?!

How do we learn contentment? Read God's Word daily, talk and listen to God in prayer, and spend time with people who know God and will teach you about Him.You will soon come to realize the contentment in living with God has provided for you.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Fitting the Puzzle Pieces

Luke 19:1-10 KJV 
1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. 4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. 6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. 8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Today I turned to the story of Zacchaeus when I opened my Bible. It is a familiar Bible story and I sing the song with my children often; however, as I was reading it today, I remembered something I had seen once. It was a facebook meme that said that long before Zacchaeus wanted to see Christ, God had already planted and grew the tree he climbed.

What comfort it is to know that long before we have a need, God has already taken care of it!  He has already orchestrated what needed to be done for all the puzzle pieces to be put together. He has taken care of all the details. How silly it seems to me now to think of all the worrying I do about situations I have no control over. Just as Zacchaeus couldn't help that he was small, I can't help some aspects of my life. But . . .it doesn't matter! God has already taken care of it!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Sleep in Peace

Psalms 4:8
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

Proverbs 3:24
When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

I have not been sleeping well lately. I am definitely tired and fall asleep easily, but I don't stay asleep. I wake up many times a night and since my youngest is sleeping better, I'm realizing it isn't just her waking me up.

Why can't i stay asleep? Why is my sleep so fitful?

I turned to scripture for wisdom. Both of these scriptures talk about safety and not being afraid. My guess is that I feel afraid about something; I don't feel safe. However, I can't think of what is causing this fear.

I'm asking you to join me in prayer for revelation on what is causing this fear. Also, if you know of any other scriptures on this topic that you think may be helpful, please share.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Proverbs 18:14
The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
Proverbs 18:21
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

I think these verses go hand-in-hand.

We often see people, who have a spirit to live, overcome serious injury as well as those who do not have that spirit to live succumb to a minor wound. The spirit truly affects the physical. While the saying is, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," it is the farthest from the truth.

Words can bring life!

When you see someone down, speak encouraging words to uplift their spirit. An uplifted spirit can help someone through the hardest of times.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Marriage Moment Monday-Unite

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 KJV 
9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

When you unite with your spouse and work together toward a common goal, you will be able to accomplish much more than if you try to do it on your own.

Many marriages today start with each spouse trying to remain an individual. They want separate bank accounts, separate hobbies, and separate friends, but this doesn't' work.

When we married and lit our unity candle, we kept our individual candles lit as well because I was a feminist at the time and wanted to make sure I kept my identity. Well, we learned quickly that it doesn't work. Our marriage was not doing well and it wasn't until I set my goal of individuality aside that our marriage grew stronger.

Look back at verse 12, "a threefold cord is not quickly broken." When you look at a strand of rope, you can see it is made up of smaller ropes braided together. Each strand is still a strand, but when working together with other strands, it is stronger. Make Christ the third strand with you and your spouse and you will accomplish much!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Be Not Like Children

Ephesians 4:14 KJV 
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

When we come to Christ, we are considered babes. We know little of what true discipleship is. As believers, we are called to grow in Christ. We can not stay as babes only trying to survive on milk. We must desire to dig deeper and feast on the meat of scripture.

Let's look at another aspect of children. Children are easily persuaded. They are very trusting and think that those in authority know all things. They are easily swayed by what they are told and usually lack the intelligence to perceive deception. In fact, many adults are often deceived so how can we expect more from our children?

It is in light of this scripture that my mind turned to education. Most Christians who send their children to public schools say that their children are lights to others and that their children will not be swayed by the humanistic thinking and teaching.Their children will be different. Unfortunately, I just don't see that happening (except in a very few cases.)

If we, as adults, are not successful in being lights to those we work with or with our neighbors, how can we expect our children to be different?

Yes, our child may come home and say that their friend prayed the prayer with them, but how do we know the sincerity of that prayer? Was that child just being swayed by another doctrine? I can't even count the number of people I know personally who as children said the prayer but then turned and never returned to the right path.

We need to realize that those who are against Christ are cunning and crafty and lying in wait to deceive. In fact, as the days go by, there is less cunningness and more and more blatant opposition to Christ.

We are called to not be like a child. We need to open our eyes to the deceptions of the evil one and protect our own children until they are no longer children.