Everyone a Homeschooler

It has little to do with academics. The three ‘R’s of reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic may never be discussed. Scheduling is variable, sometimes nonexistent, curriculum often ignored, college degrees are irrelevant, and lesson prep is the furthest thing from your mind. Nevertheless,

 

You are a homeschooler. Every parent is.

 

When one discusses a child’s education, questions like the following are asked: … (more…)

Faultless

Fault…a deep crack in the earth revealing instability beneath. Rough places, breaches in the surface where the rock below has been moving in contradictory directions…

Faults…breaks in a in a person’s smooth, exterior character that diffuse a distinctly carnal scent. God, help me. I know this subject well.

 

A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:8) …

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Don’t Forget to Remember

“The church at large…never has learnt, and never can learn, this truth in such a way as to be beyond the danger of forgetting it…” (C.K. Barrett)

It is always shocking to me how quickly I forget the details in a Bible story, or the reference for a well-known Scripture. …how is this possible? Haven’t I heard the stories enough to remember them?

But consider the meaning of “remember.”

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Read this book!

“Have you ever wondered if this is it? Is this true Christianity? Am I as close to God as I can be until I reach Heaven?”

This book chronicles the path of a faithful Baptist couple who found that there was MORE God had to offer them. It is drawn from the personal journal of a woman who sought God herself and was surprised to find what awaited her. And it had been there in the Scriptures all along!

I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Find it Here, or Here.

The Way of the Rechabite

Jeremiah chapter 35. Jerusalem.

The threat of invading Chaldeans is heavy in the air, and ‘weeping prophet’ Jeremiah is pleading in vain with the people of Judah to abandon their idols and return to God.

God speaks to Jeremiah:

“Assemble all the men from the clan of the Rechabites in a room in the Temple. Bring wine, and tell them to drink it.”

Jeremiah obeys. He sets the jugs of wine and cups in front of them. He says, “Drink.”

“But we can’t.”

is the unanimous reply.

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Zealot

There’s no mistaking it: God loves a zealot. A real, off-the-beaten-path wacko.

John the Baptist, clothed in animal skins, wandering around the wilderness.
Saul of Tarsus, persecutor-at-large turned Paul the Apostle, author of over half the New Testament.
Peter, jumping out of boats and hacking people’s ears off.
Another Simon, “Simon the zealot,” was a disciple.

Just about all the OT prophets were zealots.
And there’s David, who danced in front of the Ark.
Jesus Himself:

“the zeal of the Lord hath eaten me up”

…wreaking holy havoc in the Temple…(but it was HIS HOUSE).

Chances are, if you aim to please God, He will give you plenty of opportunity to make yourself a fool in the eyes of men. You might be the one shouting a little louder, dancing a little wilder in His presence, and dressing a little stranger than the norm. If it is truly to His glory, there is nothing more beautiful. It’s the overflow of something built up, something utterly consuming inside. The presence of a Holy God that by necessity overwhelms His fleshly house and spills over. It’s messy, loud, and a little strange. But it’s the glory!

Lest I cause someone to stumble, let me clarify: this zeal was not a ploy to attract positive attention; it usually had the opposite effect, in fact. The attention gotten was rarely (if ever) positive, but a disruption to the atmosphere, a shaking-into-the-present of minds lulled to sleep by the rhythm of the day.

For seven days, during the Feast of Tabernacles, the people watched as priests poured water over the altar from the pool of Siloam and worshiped in ritual. On the last great day of the feast, as they gathered in solemn assembly, Jesus stood up at a climactic moment and disturbed the peace.

“Ho, every one that thirsteth come to me and drink!

He shouted. Total zealot.

“How dare he!” huffed the Pharisees, straightening miter and tallit and shooting him a withering look. Ironic, when they were the fig trees withering from the inside, whited sepulchres with no life within. “Disturbing our beautiful tradition!”

I do not advocate chaos–let all things be done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40). But it is within the perfect order and design of God to fill us to overflowing with His presence. While the spiritual evidence is unmistakeable and demonstrative, the humanity is still humble and does not seek its own glory. This is the order He has chosen. Spiritual zeal, humble humanity.
When was the last time you were eaten up from the inside, so hungry and thirsty and desperate for Jesus that it didn’t matter how you looked, how loud you were, or who heard you?

“Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.”(Psalm 42:7)

Next time you find yourself quoting this, you can humbly blush to those around you, “Pardon my messy worship–that’s just my cup overflowing!”

..”be zealous therefore, and repent…” (Rev 3:19)

Planting the Word

Yay for Spring! I have dirt under my fingernails and I’m not sorry for it. 🙂

I love the thrill of a new shoot peeking upward, announcing its humble, miraculous presence. My daughter and I just planted bush beans last week, and now a few little pale proofs of life have pushed their way to the surface.

I’m pretty sure that each little plant has emerged because we put the seed there last week, and because we watered it. And I’m also thinking it will survive if we keep watering it and making sure it’s got enough light.

On that note…

The Word of God is spoken of as seed in the Gospels. In the lives of my children (cute little plots of earth), I am a sower. It is my crucial task to sow the seed of the Word of God into their hearts with fervor and care.

I try to care for the ‘soil,’ removing rocks and weeds (discipline), shooing away the fowls of the air (praying God’s protection for them, and shielding them as best I can from unGodly influence), and ensuring that the seeds fall on the dirt rather than the sidewalk (well-placed direction and criticism).

But I must remember that without the Seed, my fussing with the ‘soil’ is pointless.

It seems that most parents are very concerned about keeping the ‘soil’ tilled and weeded (keeping ‘bad influences’ out), but are often scant with the sowing (getting the good stuff IN). This is usually not intentional; most people are simply overwhelmed with the prospect of teaching their children the Scripture, especially when none of us are perfect.

For instance, It can feel a bit hypocritical teaching the following verse:

“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city”(Prov 16:32)

…when I just bit someone’s head off. I say this from experience. Eek.

But let me encourage you (and myself, please): these flaws and faults confronted in Scripture offer perfect opportunities to show humility in the presence of our children. We all pale in comparison to the glorious standards set forth in the Bible; it’s OK to admit this to our children:

“We all need the grace of God, and we all are trying every day to be more like Jesus. This verse tells us how/why…”

So, back to the seed…If I don’t diligently sow, what will I do with an empty garden bed? Is it not effort wasted, weeding and watering nothing but dirt? Thinning the plants comes later (rightly dividing the word of truth), but there will be nothing to thin if I don’t liberally sow now.

How exactly do I do this, you ask?

In my next post, I will be addressing the practical side: How to begin planting the Word in a child’s heart. See you then! 🙂

 

the Witness

From the Voice in the Garden to Adam

and to Abraham

and to Isaac

the one who wrestled with Jacob

and sent Joseph ahead to save all of Israel

who called to Moses from a burning bush

and spoke to Joshua in the tabernacle

who inhabited the pillar of fire and of cloud

who inspired judges to lead

gave prophets Words to speak

and kings wisdom to reign

and kept His promise

by coming Himself, in the flesh,

who did not leave us nor forsake us

but left us a Witness,

making us witnesses ourselves,

still speaks,

still moves,

in this day, in this hour,

for those who seek Him.

Romans 8:16: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”

“Beareth witness” means He shows UP! God Himself, Jesus, in the flesh–now OUR flesh, our redeemed flesh, once weak and worthless, now filled with this Treasure!

Have you received Him? No, not reciting words like ‘I accept you..’ followed by nothing noteworthy. Have you received Him? Undisputable evidence of His presence?

(‘Received’ implies that the action is taken on the part of the giver, not the receiver. We cannot instigate a ‘reception’ until something is given. A football is not ‘received’ until someone throws it.

God is not passively waiting around for us to ‘receive’ this spiritual football–pardon the sports analogy–while it hovers just above our heads. He throws it when we’ve shown we’re ready to catch it! He takes the action, and there is no disputing when you’ve caught it–it’s right there in your hand!)

He has never, and will never, leave Himself without evidence. When so much of our social system depends on proof, do you think He would require us to stand on nothing and claim belief when no active, tangible proof of Him exists?

Do you think He would hold the proverbial carrot in front of our faces by saying, while in the flesh, “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you,” and never follow through, but instead let us believe that heavy statement was figurative? Would He leave us hanging like that for two thousand years?

Do you think He willingly removes His presence from our daily lives just to see us squirm and struggle?

Let me ask you: for an engaged girl who lives far from her fiance, would he never call or visit? Do you think there’d be much of a relationship there if she didn’t see or hear from him until the wedding day?

He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust. He knows our weaknesses and is sufficient for all of them. He knows we humans are fickle, easily distracted, easily swayed by temptation when we feel detached from Him. And He knows that our detachment from Him is remedied by an audible, tangible Proof of His presence.

I must tell you: Jesus is alive. Not figuratively. Not in the way that a deceased person is kept ‘alive’ by our memories (for this is what His presence amounts to for so many people, unnecessarily!), but ALIVE. He lives, and where He lives is EVIDENT! You KNOW when you have met the Creator, because He causes you to say what you could not say, do what you could not do, be what you could not be without Him.

He is supernatural by nature; His evidence in us, therefore, is–MUST be–supernatural. In keeping with His nature.

I must tell you it is REAL.

Have you received that witness–the Holy Ghost–since you believed? Acts 2:1-39

He lives, and so shall we!

It takes a lot of faith to believe someone who is dead will live again.

Lazarus was not only dead, but stinking. Any hope of healing was gone. Martha said, “if only you were here a few days ago, my brother would still be alive..”

But that’s just it. Sometimes we want God to heal us, heal our situation, fix the problem. But God knows it is impossible to be healed from ‘sin sickness’ without dying first. “Without shedding of blood is no remission (of sins)” (Hebrews 9:22)

For if we were healed without dying first, we could still live on unto ourselves, not having crucified the ‘old man’ of sin. The real problem would remain.

Life lived unto ourselves is no life at all. Jesus replied to Martha, “I AM the resurrection and the Life.” True life, as Adam and Eve experienced before the fall, can only be where sin is absent, and this only happens in Jesus. So when we are resurrected with Christ, it is His life we live, not our own.

“God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
‘Commended’ here means “brought together.” So God brought His love and us together. But since He cannot abide with sin, sinless blood was required for us to be brought together with Him. He shed His own blood to cover our sin, erasing the curse of death that separated us from Him. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (2 Cor 5:19).

But blood can only be transferred where there is an open wound.

In Isaiah chapter 1, the people of Judah were brimming over with sin, filthy, with hands ‘full of blood’ (bloodguiltiness). God described them as full of sores, open wounds, “putrifying sores,” from head to toe. But it isn’t simply the presence of sin that brings His forgiveness; if that were the case, we’d all be saved already without repentance.

In Galatians, where Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ,” the words literally mean “impaled together with Christ,” as if the nails and sword that pierced Him pierced us too in the same thrust. This requires something of us. Something voluntary. It isn’t just the sickness of our open wounds that readies us for His blood…it is the voluntary nearness to Jesus in the act of dying to our sins that prompts Him to bring His love to us. “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you” (James 4:8). And when we are crucified with Him, “mortifying the deeds of the flesh,” the blood shed in His death flows to our open wound, annihilating the poison in our blood, abolishing the bonds of death. Praise God!!

When death occurs, the first thing to decay is the blood. The curse of sin was passed to us through the ‘bloodline’ of Adam. Leviticus 17:11: the life of the flesh is in the blood, and when diseased, that means the death of the flesh is in the blood.

Why is Jesus the only one who could save us? Whereas sickness is spread among man by infected blood, Jesus’ sinless blood is not subject to this. Rather, healing is spread by His blood…a reversal of the curse of sin. This could only happen outside the paternal bloodline of Adam. Jesus, Son of God, was the only one who could conquer sin.

How imperative that we have His blood cover us! There truly is no hope, as Martha felt, otherwise. The disease will not be cured without death to sin…for if sinful man is not killed, he will yet have his reward: ‘the wages of sin is death’ (Romans 6:23). Our choice is either death now, voluntarily, being crucified with Christ, that we may LIVE with Him…or death later, without hope of resurrection.

What is that hope? David said, “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell.” Our death (repentance) and burial (baptism in His name) is our step toward Him. It is the “draw nigh to God” part. And because He will not leave us buried in the ground, “He will draw nigh to you.” He brings us to life, not just a cleaner version of our former selves, but NEW, as if the sinful man had never lived!

The mark of this is evident: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16). This happens with Holy Ghost baptism, evidenced by speaking in other tongues (Acts 2).

Because He rose again, so shall we! Not only in this New Birth, but even more to His glory on That Day!

So, what shall we do? Shall we choose to live on in sin, asking again and again for healing, when what we need to do is die? Or shall we choose to die now, and find true life in Jesus?

I choose now! Now is the day of salvation. While it is yet day, let us draw nigh to God with repentant hearts, crucifying the old man, that we may live in Him!

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Happy Easter!!