Saturday, May 30, 2015

Just About Ready

We have an unfinished basement downstairs with lighting and studs and some paneled walls. Dear daughter and I have been working in one of the rooms to convert it into her sewing room. It doesn't have a ceiling, but it does have a large fluorescent light fixture and a good outlet for her machine. We have cleared it out and are arranging it for her sewing area. She has her table  and machine down there. I think we will probably put our yarn storage down there. I have a big bookshelf with my Nancy Drew and Star Trek collection as well as lots of other bound treasures. Virginia has some beautiful Sound of Music plates that she is going to put on the wall over her table. I will get some pictures loaded when we get everything straightened up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Higher Education . . . .

This beautiful painting is by John Sloane. He captures a lifestyle longed for by many of us. If you get a chance, pop over to his web page and browse his beautiful work:  
The title of this painting is "Higher Education."  That is just so wonderful. Children today get their moral compass from the school system, the internet, the television---all sources which have been infiltrated and taken over by the other side. Today I heard Todd Starnes talk about a school system that teaches there are no definite genders--that everyone's gender is one on a "spectrum." Unbelievable. 
Genesis 5: 2 tells us in no uncertain terms, 
Male and female created He them; and blessed them. 

Just when the Church should be stepping up, it seems to be stepping back.  Everyone is afraid of offending, of losing members--I think what they're really afraid of is being considered "irrelevant" or old-fashioned. We received in the mail a flyer advertising a local congregation recently where they tauted "relevant messages."  What does that mean? They bragged of contemporary music and casual dress. 
 Michael and I were talking the other day about "Seekers"--those who are looking for the Lord (even though they may still be unaware of what they're seeking). If they're seeking, it must be because they are not satisfied with the world. Why then should the Church look like the world? 
The music, the dress, the values--should they reflect the world or a different set of values entirely?
Scripture leaves no room for doubt:

And be not conformed to this world. but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 
Romans 12:2

I am more grateful than ever that we have been able to educate our children at home, and that the Bible is our Compass. God's Holy Word is "Higher Education." 

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
2 Timothy 3:16

Let your home, your heart and your family be directed by this Compass. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Thoughts About Summer School

We have a week or two off before summer classes begin, and I am so grateful for that. We need to get lots of things done around the house and take care of eye appointments, checkups and the like. James Martin will be taking a biology course at the College (For those of you not familiar with TMC, please know that all of our biology courses teach the Scriptural Truth about the Creation of the earth.). This course will be a challenge for him, but I think he is up for it, and he understands that now is the time to learn to work even harder. The Professor told him that the summer schedule would be like trying to drink water out of an open fire hydrant. We have seen with JM that he actually works harder in the courses he "fears."  I think the course is four hours long every day. I told him that he needs to come home and study that long each day--to treat this course like an 8-hour a day job! The teacher will be fair, but the time demands will be challenging for all of them. 

 I have  Latin I and II and the First Ladies courses to teach.  
We have been talking a lot at home about Ima Virginia's summer and school year. I have mixed feelings about the early admission/accel program--it should be a supplement, not a replacement, especially for homeschooling families. Having said that, I think she would enjoy the environment of the summer courses with me. This past year, she audited two of her Dad's classes as well as a Literature class with our beloved Dr. Walton Young (she earned an A!). In that class, she read several marvelous novels from American literature. We think she might just go ahead and register for EN 101 with Dr. Young for the Fall. 
John Boy wants to write and read over the summer. He will be taking the First Ladies course as well, and I think he is going to begin on his capstone paper.  In the Fall he wants to take Greek, and that will take a lot of his time (he will love it, though). Michael and I are pleased that he really wants to take part in the MA in Theology program here. He took a course as an elective this past semester called "Theology of Worship" to help with his leading music at Church. That class's instructor, Dr. Jon Duncan, taught John Thomas so much about hymns, worship and the Lord.  I can't tell you the differences I have seen in him. 
This year has been a good one for the kids, and I am so grateful. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The 8-Second Generation

I recently read that the new norm for attention span length is 8 seconds. I can't help but think that the computers, phones and even old-fashioned remotes (!) have killed out ability to read, watch or concentrate on anything. Even Kindles and tablets used for reading offer too much opportunity to slide over to something else on the internet. I see it in myself and my children. I wonder what would happen if everyone put away their electronic devices for a day?  
One of the best things to happen did come out of a TV program Virginia and I have been watching. She loves (and so do I) a British mystery series called Rosemary and Thyme. This program is about two ladies who are gardeners and they solve mysteries! Contrived, but ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!

Virginia decided that she wanted to garden. It has not been easy getting everything together, but as of this writing, she has a BEAUTIFUL little plot out back with tomatoes, marigolds, red peppers and thyme. It is really lovely. She and her dad worked at it together.  In learning to sew and garden, she has taken a direction with her life that many never do these days. 

There's nothing like working hard at something and seeing a result.  I think we fool ourselves into wanting "instant results" but there is a deep satisfaction in working at something over time and then seeing the end product. Reading a novel, crocheting an afghan, planting a garden . . . .
something worth doing is worth the time invested. 
If they're not careful, "the 8-second generation" will miss this blessing. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Getting Through the Week

This week at school has been one of ups and downs. I was invited to attend in a Senior Presentation  wherein a student who has been working for me  in the program I direct was to discuss impact of the program on students. This is my first year as Director, so I have been feeling overwhelmed and inadequate. I have gone out of my way to help the student gather data, and she has gone out of her way to help the previous Director gather data for his report to our Accrediting Service.  When I went in to the Presentation, the room was full of many of my students--they have all had me for Latin, and I love them. I was glad to get to see their presentations. When it came time for my student to give hers, I have to say it was unquestionably the best one. She spoke without notes, with authority and with a fabulous powerpoint presentation. But she also sliced and diced the program, basically dismissing it as a "joke" in the view of the students. The goal of the program is to measure the students' world view each year of their tenure with us. It is not in and of itself designed to change the world view, but to measure how the courses may be changing their worldview. We were held up for ridicule. I think it would be impossible to not take it personally. I believe in the program, and I had believed strongly in this young lady.  As soon as I could, I left.
My heart is broken--the program was misrepresented. Had I any idea that her presentation was going to be such a surgical character assassination of the program, I would NEVER have attended. 
I went to my office and typed up a list of measures to address some of the issues mentioned, and then went to see my boss.  He soothed my ruffled feathers.
Being with hubby and my family helped more than I can say.
The Lord has been dealing with me, making me confront the fact that I don't forgive. This is my test, and so far, I am not doing well. 
To encourage me, the Lord's servant, my friend Janice, sent me  a beautiful  card with an even more lovely devotion enclosed.  I believe the timing was Supernatural as she did not know about what had happened.  As you can see from the tone of this post, I am far from resolving my forgiveness issues, but I feel a bit closer.