Sunday, July 3, 2011

Will I ever get to homeschool the way I want to?

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine
By Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor
June 29, 2011

I ask myself this question, not once a year, but nearly every week: "When will I ever get to homeschool the way I want to?" I'd be the best homeschool teacher if it weren't for (fill in the blank: difficult interruptions/difficult finances/difficult children/friends who do it better/spouses who aren't supportive, etc.).

Should I give up if I can't afford that perfect curriculum, or what if I have it and can't implement it every day? Should I quit because I can't do the extra classes and field trips right now? Should I think of another alternative because my kids are always whining or bickering? What about those all-too-often family emergencies that interrupt the schedule? And what about that necessary part-time job that keeps me busy-shouldn't I give up on this homeschooling business?

So many things get in the way of me having that perfect homeschool setting I dream about. So many LIFE things. Instead of asking, "When will I ever get to homeschool the way I want to?" we should probably be asking, "When will life be perfect enough to let me do things the way I want them done so I can feel successful?" The answer is: maybe never. And guess what? There is freedom in that.

Instead of looking at everyday life as an "obstacle" to finally getting to do what we want to do, we need to look at the obstacles as part of the life God intended for us to live, and teach around those. It's how we live THAT life that brings glory to the One Who designed it. However, that does not release us from properly planning our ways and keeping unnecessary distractions at bay.

We should definitely start each school year praying, "God, what do you have for me and the children this year?" and then we should follow that plan as much as we can. Then, we should have a daily prayer of, "God, what do you have for me and the children today?" Then, instead of feeling like we've failed when interruptions come, we can rejoice in the fact that everything that happens out of our control is under His control.

Don't give up. Don't give in. Start again and again. Little by little, day by day, we keep it at. Why? Because we are the ones that God designed to teach our children. He didn't give the responsibility of that job to any other but you. What the Lord wills for you, He provides for you.

And, the alternatives are not worth it. The high percentage of children leaving their faith is staggering. Hold on to the hearts of your children while you can. Home is best. Home is where you belong. Home is where they belong.

"Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that." James 4:13-15

TOS Senior Editor

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What is God Telling Me?


What is God telling me with the problems He permits in my life? The problems we face will either defeat us or develop us, depending on how we respond to them. Unfortunately, most people fail to see how God wants to use problems for good in their lives. They react foolishly and resent their problems rather than pausing to consider what benefit they might bring.

Here are five ways God wants to use the problems in our lives:

1. God uses problems to DIRECT us. Sometimes God must light a fire under us to get us moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change our ways (Proverbs 20:30).

2. God uses problems to INSPECT us. People are like tea bags. If you want to know what's inside them, just drop them into hot water! Has God ever tested your faith with a problem? What do problems reveal about you? 'My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience' (James 1:2-3).

3. God uses problems to CORRECT us. Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It's likely that as a child our parents told us not to touch a hot stove, but we probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something like health, money, or a relationship by losing it. 'My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes. My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness' (Psalm 119:71-72).

4. God uses problems to PROTECT us. A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents you from being harmed by something more serious. Last year a friend was fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss had asked him to do. His unemployment was a problem-but it saved him from being convicted and sent to prison a year later when management's actions were eventually discovered. '... ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good ...' (Genesis 50:20).

5. God uses problems to PERFECT us. Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders. God is far more interested in your character than your comfort. Your relationship to God and your character are the only two things you're going to take with you into eternity. 'And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope' (Romans 5:3-4).

Here's the point: God is at work in our lives-even when you do not recognize it or understand it. However, it is much easier and profitable when you cooperate with Him.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Raise the Bar

There are many different kinds of contests. There are spelling contests, sports contests, Miss America contests, and so on. But life is not a popularity contest. Especially the life of a Christian who truly desires to please our Lord. Our journey here on this earth is not about popularity. If that were the case, then some of us would lose.

We would lose because our life goal and purpose is not to please our fellow man. Our primary purpose is to please our Lord God Almighty. And honestly, this viewpoint is not very popular.

Some will see this devotion to our Creator as an act of self-righteousness, a holier-than-thou attitude. Some who have this devotion will be treated unfairly, reputations will be damaged, and people will be hurt deliberately by brothers and sisters in Christ. There will be those who spitefully use you and persecute you. Trust and respect will be lost.

Christians should always try to be the example as Paul instructs Timothy in 1 Timothy 4.12. "(Let no one despise your youth, but) be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." We are trying to "raise the bar". As children of God called out of the world, we must strive to maintain a higher standard with our lives, our speech, and the way we treat our fellow man, especially our brethren.

Jesus teaches in Matthew 7. 13-14:“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." We are told that the way to eternal life will be difficult and few will find it.

Jesus also tells us in that same chapter, verses 21-23: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ "

Many believe that this is talking about denominations. I wonder if it is not talking about people who profess to be Christians, people who believe themselves to be children of God, but don't realize that they keep one foot planted squarely in the world.

I strive with my life to be able to face my Savior on Judgment Day to hear him say: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; … Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Will you be able do the same?

I challenge you to RAISE THE BAR!