Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Busy Week

This is VBS week, a time of year Michael has always called "the most important week of the year." We are working in partnership with another Church who has people, children and resources that we do not.  They are between pastors and were not having Bible school this summer, so they are at our Church doing a major work with us. We had 101 last night--the highest attendance since I have been a member here. The Lord is at work.
The Justus children have helped so much, especially Virginia. She mapped out the routes for the buses (yes, 3 and 4 each night); she rides in one of the buses, trying to help keep calm. She has led the singing in the opening assembly; she created the powerpoints with the verses to the HYMNS (yes, HYMNS) and she is teaching, with her sweet brother James Martin, the 2-k age group. On top of that, she is trying to get an online class completed. Some of the youth in the group were very rude to her the first night, but she came back like a trooper.  
John Boy has had a very heavy work schedule this week at the Chicken House, and I am glad. He needs those hours, and is feeling more confident in the work. The Lord is with him, and I am so very grateful.  James Martin is feeling like a man with a purpose working in Bible school with his sister. 
I couldn't  be more proud. 
JT is part of another wedding this weekend, and Sunday is another full day at Church. I am hoping for a night soon when we can all again be around the table together. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Landmark Baptist

I'll give a full report later on, but I wanted to take just a minute to talk about the Homeschool Fair we attended this weekend. This was such a wonderful event, and I met the nicest people in the world. I once again had the brief, fleeting feeling of belonging somewhere beyond the walls of our home. We saw old "friends' from Lamplighter Books and Virginia Soaps and Scents, and Michael saw the dear people with whom he spent quite a lot of time last year at Rod and Staff. They remembered him. I saw the family at Miller Pads and Paper--I have seen them every year since we started this about 11 years ago. 
We made some new friends, and I want dear daughter to blog about one in particular. But, let me tell you about the folks from Landmark Freedom Baptist Curriculum. This press and ministry is based in my home county in Florida, but this couple was actually from Michigan. They were retired school teachers, and they have seen so many changes in education, families and children. They were not the least bit pushy, but very kind and helpful. Their booth caught my eye, and the more I looked, the more I liked what and whom I saw. The curriculum is very inexpensive ($40 per course with all materials included).  It is very  sound academically and most importantly, with regard to its Christian content. They are independent Baptists and King James based. They don't seem to be anti-anyone with regard to our other Christian brothers and sisters. They are just very positively Biblical. 
Dear daughter is doing lots of English work at Truett with her favorite professor, but I wanted her to have more in the way of grammar, vocab, and British literature. We had thought about using ABeka British lit, but we can't really afford much from them beyond the math (which we will do). Looking at the Landmark Baptist, I was pleased to see that they read The Pilgrim's Progress, In His Steps, and Pride and Prejudice.  I think that is a fabulous combination. We have read In His Steps as a family, and Michael uses is in his American History courses, but I am pleased as punch that she will read it again.  We will be doing Creation Science, English, Bible and a special study for young ladies with this curriculum. I couldn't be more pleased. 
I bought a Bible study from Rod and Staff for James Martin and I to do together.  It is workbook formatted, and more importantly, the theology is sound and unworldly. 
John Boy had to stay home and work at the chicken house. I sure missed him. 
Otherwise, we had such a great time. I will post more about our "finds" and adventures very soon. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What Can You Give Them That Really Matters? Some Serious Thoughts About Young People Today

This has been an unusual year for me as a college instructor.  I thank the Lord for His endless mercies and for the kind life He has bestowed upon our family.  Once in a while, the world creeps into our lives.  Students today say and do unspeakable things--I don't know why. They want higher grades given to them; humor isn't valuable unless it is at someone's expense; cheating isn't wrong . . . the list goes on and on. Being in a Christian college doesn't seem to deter them from this behavior.  I hear all the time that these students are "hurting" and that we need to be patient and forbearing. The Lord certainly was and is with me, and I must work harder to follow His example.
My question is "why are these students 'hurting'"?  Some have terrible stories and family situations. Others are just not taught better; they are not raised.
What can we give our children that really matters? What can we give them that will overcome the world?  Firstly, we must introduce them to Him who has overcome the world.  Teach them what is expected of them as Believers. Teach them about Jesus and how precious He is and what He did for them. 
Secondly, give them your time. They think they want things, but what they really want is you. Play, read, laugh and discipline them. Believe me when I tell you, they need it as they grow older, too. They need for you to listen to them, not as a friend, but as a parent. Age doesn't change that relationship. Give them your attention when you can; when you can't don't feel guilty. Don't feel guilty when you need a break, some time to yourself.  Take time to recharge--this will bless the whole family.  A truth revealed to me over these years is that the more time you spend with them, the MORE you want to spend with them. 
Tell them when they do something right.
Tell them when they do something wrong. Correct without belittling. Don't make excuses for them; hold them accountable but be as forgiving as our Heavenly Father is of us.
Stand up for them, but teach them that the Lord wants us to turn the other cheek. This one is really a challenge for me. 
Teach them that when someone is unkind to them, it is far better to be the one hurt than the one doing the hurting. 
Do whatever you can to stand between them and the values of the world.  Don't fall for the lie that they have to learn what's really out there. I know a rattle snake is poisonous without standing next to it or  trying to pick it up. Watch what they watch and listen to what they listen to. Guard their hearts, eyes and ears as they are growing up, and they will follow suite as they move into adulthood. 
Pray over everything. I should pray more than I do. 
Don't feel like you have to keep up with anyone other than the Lord. 
Don't feel bad when they don't have the latest phone, computer or I-thing. 
Focus on what is eternal. Paul tells us that what is eternal is not seen; what is seen is temporal. 
Give them what matters . . .
II Corinthians 4:18

Please don't think we have had no troubles or worries in our home. I look back on so many mistakes I have made, but I can see clearly the good things the Lord has shown us as well.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Counting Down the Days . . . .

I am sorry to post again on a topic so recently discussed:  But I am SO excited about the upcoming homeschool fair.  Among my favorite booths are the Lamplighter Books friends.  These books are life-changing. You can't read them and not be moved.  These stories won't make it into the YA section at Barnes and Nobles, but that in itself says a lot.
I am also looking forward to seeing my friends at Virginia Scents and Soaps  and the precious Brothers and Sisters from Rod and Staff Books. They are all like members of my family . . . well, I guess they are. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Thinking About the Fall Term

This year, we are returning to the homeschool fair in another state. We went last year with fabulous results. The entrance fee for the entire family is about $12, and the vendors are the same as in the fair here in our state.  There are other advantages to attending this particular venue.  The atmosphere is much friendlier (even thought the vendors are the same). The people who run this event are Christians, and they seem to be truly invested in the homeschooling movement and rationale--not just the profits. I wish we had attended there in previous years.
In any case, there is much to think about and pray about for the coming year for dear daughter. She can take a full load at Truett as a dual-enrollment student, but is that what I really want her to do? More importantly, is that really what is best for her? She can do it academically, and it would be good for her to be ahead. But, I also would like to try to pursue at least 2 homeschool subjects together. 
Her dad is going to do math with her. She needs to do heavy music theory with Mrs. Ann before she hits the college courses. I have always wanted to do more than we have in the study of Composers, National Parks and British literature.  And then there are the Lamplighter Books. All of these possibilities have to be done on a shoestring budget, and we can make that work. 
Janice, if you are reading this, I would love your input. Reading is where we need to be, don't you think?