Author Archives: Guest Blogger

Hospitality Table: The Unseen Guest at Every Meal

Editor’s Note: Today’s blog post, “Hospitality Table: The Unseen Guest at Every Meal,” is written by Vic and Christine, who serve with Medical Ambassadors International at the California headquarters office. Vic is a medical doctor who coordinates MAI’s international ministry in holistic community development. Christine is a former Fulbright Scholar and health educator who served in Africa and then later in Asia with her husband. They homeschool their two girls, Selah and Rinnah.

Brunch at the Hospitality Table

If this table could talk… It might seem strange to ask for prayer for our dining room table. It’s a long, heavy, big black table that my husband’s brother gave us when we returned from Asia and moved to California’s Central Valley. Sometimes, the table gets covered in mail and butterfly crafts and piano lesson books, and it’s seen its share of spills and scratches. But, in our family priorities, its main role is to be the gathering place for our guests.

If the table could talk, it might tell you about friends from Africa trying to use chopsticks for the first time … or neighbors hanging out drinking spiced cider at Christmas … or lots of international development workers sharing about all the things they get to do all over the world, in places like Albania and Pakistan and Europe and Central America, and even the USA. It would tell you about special visits from family, when we enjoyed meals and conversations face-to-face. And, it could tell you about refugees sharing their stories of heartbreak and their stories of hope.

This past month, we heard a Muslim man at our table talk about his journey of faith and his search for God, and it was striking how connected our stories can be, when Victor, my husband, began sharing about God’s love with this man through a story about Victor’s own parents’ journey of faith when they were new immigrants to the USA. Would you pray for this man? And would you please pray that God would continue to fill our table with people —and that He would be that “unseen Guest” at every meal?

Prayer Project

Please take 10-15 minutes to prayerfully reflect:

  1. Lord, how do I use my home and my dining room table for hospitality?
  2. Lord, how can hospitality become the venue for sharing the gospel message?
  3. Abba, how am I demonstrating love of God and neighbor through how I invite and receive others into my home?
  4. Lord, what have I taught my children about Christian hospitality in the context of homeschooling and daily life?
  5. Abba, have I taught my children that you are the “unseen Guest” at every meal?

Lord Jesus, I want nothing more than to do your bidding. Help me to prayerfully invite others to sit at our table and break bread together. Help me to model for my children the meaning of Christian hospitality and invite them into the development of their own gifts in the area of hospitality. Lord, help my children become aware of the “unseen Guest” at every meal. Expand my heart to give more, hear more, see more, pray more, and love more. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Christine and Vic, Medical Ambassadors International

Should you be sheltering students from evidence against Christianity?

Editor’s Note: Sean McDowell is an internationally known apologist, author and expert on helping youth cultivate a flourishing faith. Originally posted to on January 13, 2017, today’s article was the #1 post on his blog last year. Have thoughts to share about Sheltering Students? Join the conversation on Facebook.

Teenage girl with backpack steps into a shelter in the woods

Sheltering students from beliefs contrary to Christianity is a big mistake. Let me say it again, to be sure it sinks in: Sheltering students from arguments for other religions, or against Christianity, is a bad strategy for developing them as disciples in the faith.

In his book You Lost Me, researcher David Kinnaman argues that “protecting” kids from opposing viewpoints is ultimately detrimental to their faith. Like “helicopter parents” who “hover” over their children to keep them from any conceivable danger, many young Christians feel that the church demonizes everything outside the church, fails to expose students to the complexities of the “real” world, and is too overprotective. Read more

“Sticker Shock” – Choosing to Invest in Your Home

Editor’s Note: Today’s post, “‘Sticker Shock’ – Choosing to Invest in Your Home,” comes from Rebecca Kocsis, who serves as general manager of CHEA, and Director of CHEA’s Support Network. This post originally appeared on CHEA’s blog, Homeschool411; we’re grateful for Rebecca’s willingness to speak from her two decades of homeschool experience, as well as CHEA’s faithful 35 years of serving Homeschool families in Southern California.

Couch – Invest in Your Home BYA blogHomeschoolers live in their houses all day, every day. Contrary to our traditional schooling counterparts, who are often out of the home for the better part of the day, our homes are well occupied. Because they are well occupied, our furnishings have a way of developing that lived-in look well before their time. That “lived-in look” is fine for a pair of jeans or old sneakers, but on sofas it quickly deteriorates to just plain old shabby. I know that the shabby chic look is in, but too shabby is not chic. Read more

Giving Notes of Thanks

Editor’s note: Today’s blog, “Giving Notes of Thanks,” is written by Michelle Eastman, and adapted from the archives of her blog, A Heart Surrendered. Michelle is a veteran homeschool mom, who is educating five boys and a girl at home. She is also the wife of Dennis Eastman, Associate Director of Biola Youth Academics. We hope you enjoy her practical insight and Spirit-filled wisdom, and visit her on her blog.

Giving Notes of Thanks – Card that says "Thanks" next to a coffee cup with heart latte artToday has been a day of joy and reflection … and both were needed for the hurting and weary heart that beats in my chest.

This morning I was given the glorious gift of an entire hour to myself! My children were gone, my tennis shoes were laced, and I embarked on the long walk I had been dreaming of for days.

It had just stopped raining, so the temperature was crisp, the streets were wet, and the air smelled fresh and clean. For this rain-loving girl it was the perfect setting for my time alone. Read more

Prayer and Self-Regulation: A Spiritual Practice that Increases Focus and Self Control

Editor’s Note: Enjoy this week’s blog by Luciano Cid, Assistant Professor of Biola University’s School of Education, as he explains the connection between the role of prayer and self-regulation in a child’s development.

Young Girl reading quietly on a couch demonstrating prayer and self-regulationRecently, while I was teaching Sunday school to a group of four and five year old children, I experienced an amazing psycho-spiritual event. You see, although the children who normally make up my Sunday school class tend to be extremely well behaved and respectful, this particular day, for some reason, a great majority of them were acting a bit unruly. Read more

The Case for Homework: Capturing the Heart of My Child

Editor’s note: This week’s post, “The Case for Homework: Capturing the Heart of My Child” is written by our BYA Temecula Valley Campus Coordinator, Barb Tupaj. We’re grateful for Barb’s keen insight, gathered and gleaned from over a decade of homeschooling and years as a BYA parent and campus coordinator.

Mother and teen daughter spending time doing homeschool curriculum homework together

The 2017-18 academic year marks my tenth year as a Biola Youth Academics parent. This is also the year my youngest of five children began schooling with Star Academics. This milestone has proven to be exciting and challenging for my daughter and for me.

Biola Youth Academics is known to be an academically rigorous program for homeschool students—which I love. It is also known to have equally high expectations of parents, which I admit does not always stir up loving emotions. In particular, the requirement that parents grade their student’s homework can sometimes frustrate me as I struggle to complete my daily tasks as a wife and working homeschool mom. I can be inclined to put off the grading or view it as a burden. Read more

The Bible in Your History Curriculum – The Bible’s Influence on Earth-Shattering Events

Editor’s Note: Today’s blog post, “The Bible in Your History Curriculum – The Bible’s Influence on Earth-Shattering Events,” is offered by Biola University‘s Assistant Professor of Apologetics and internationally-known speaker, Sean McDowell. Consider how incorporating his insights might help you teach the Bible in your history curriculum at home. We’re grateful to Dr. McDowell for allowing us to repost this article from his blog,

Martin Luther King, Jr. - The Bible in Your History Curriculum

Dr. Martin Luther King giving his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington in Washington, D.C., on 28 August 1963. WikiCommons.

In the recent update to my father’s classic book Evidence that Demands a Verdict, we begin with a chapter on the uniqueness of the Bible. Unquestionably, in comparison to every book ever written, the Bible stands out as unique in a number of areas including authorship, literary genres, translation, geographical production, circulation, survival, and impact. The Bible truly stands in a category of its own.

And yet I was recently reading a new book (which is part of a larger series of books being released this fall as part of the opening of the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C.) about the Bible’s influence on key historical events. The book is called 99 Earth-Shattering Events Linked to the Bible, and its fascinating!

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Prepare Christian High Schoolers for College: A conversation between Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow

Editor’s Note: Today’s blog post, Prepare Christian High Schoolers for College, is a conversation between Biola University‘s Assistant Professor of Apologetics and internationally-known speaker, Sean McDowell, and Jonathan Morrow, who is an adjunct professor of Apologetics at Biola and director of cultural engagement at Impact 360 Institute where Morrow teaches high school and college students. Morrow recently rereleased his classic book Welcome to College, and in 2010, Morrow and McDowell co-authored a book Is God Just A Human Invention?, which is a tremendous read for those interested in Christian apologetics. We’re grateful to Dr. McDowell for allowing us to repost this interview from his blog,

3 Students at wooden table prepare for college


SEAN MCDOWELL: Your book Welcome to College has done quite well. What motivated you to do an update?

JONATHAN MORROW: Many students are not prepared for the ideas, experiences, and relationships that will challenge their faith and shape their future during the college years. I want students to not just survive the college years, but to also flourish there—with their faith firmly intact. In many ways, Welcome to College is everything I wish I would have known as I began the college years as a Christian.

Over the past 9 years since the first edition came out, I have been so encouraged by all the notes and emails from both students and parents about how Welcome to College has been helpful to them in navigating the college years. I wanted to make sure it was fresh and updated with the best information to speak to a new generation. Read more

Doing Ministry Together: Priorities of a Good Family Life

EDITOR’S NOTE: This week’s post on family ministry priorities comes from Talbot Seminary Professor of Bible Exposition, Dr. John Hutchison. This blog post was originally posted on the Good Book Blog, and you can read it, and other posts from Talbot Faculty, here.

Dr. Hutchison has 30 years of pastoral experience, and he is presently serving as Pastor-Elder at Oceanside Christian Fellowship in El Segundo, CA. He writes this blog from the perspective of a husband and wife balancing full-time public ministry, and private family life. Whether you are engaged in ministry with your family or not, his insights are wise and relevant to busy families living and learning together.

Photo of an open Bible siting on a home end table in front of a family photo

One of the greatest assets to effective ministry is a positive message coming from the home—specifically a healthy marriage and stable relationships with children. Patterns of dysfunction here can be disastrous. Paul provided for two young pastors, Timothy and Titus, a list of qualifications for church leadership (1 Tim. 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9), most of which emphasize character qualities. One notable exception is the more visible factor: “He must manage his own household well . . . for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” (1 Tim. 3:4-5). Read more

The (homeschooling) day belongs to the Lord!


This is the 10 year anniversary of The Eastman Academy. And this homeschooling day still belongs to the Lord!

It is hard to believe we have been homeschooling for a decade, but it is true! And I LOVE it! I never thought I would feel so passionately and strongly about homeschooling, but I find the Lord increasing my resolve with each passing year. I remember the day He planted the thought in my mind, and I am so glad He never gave up nudging me in this direction, even when I resisted, or refused to trust Him for the wisdom, finances, discipline, and skills to accomplish what He was asking me to do. How blessed we are to serve a God who knows what we need before we do – and then directs our steps until we are walking in the same direction as His own.
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