Author Archives: June Hetzel

What We Want — or What We Need?

Holding out roll of cash - what we want

In our homeschooling journeys, are we modeling for our children to pursue what we want, or to seek out what we truly need?

As I read Acts 3:1-10, I was struck by the story of the lame man. Lame from birth, he was daily carried to the gates of the Temple where he asked for alms of those who entered the Temple. Imagine a life habituated towards asking for alms on a daily basis . . . yet, we see it every day in the lives of the homeless. “Do you have a quarter to spare?” the man asked me as I went through McDonald’s drive through. He looked at me expectantly. “Yes,” I responded and handed the man some cash. “God bless you.”

Similarly, the lame man when he heard Peter say, “Look at us,” directed his gaze towards Peter and John, expecting to receive alms. He was expectant for material goods. Imagine the lame man’s surprise when Peter said, “I have no silver or gold.” Silver or gold would have been the lame man’s biggest want. With silver or gold, he could buy food, clothing, and shelter.

What We Want vs What We Need

But then Peter said, “But I give you what I have… in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” and… he did! The lame man got up after a life of lameness and walked for the first time. Imagine… Acts 10:7 states, “And he [Peter] took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.” Immediate strength. An ability to walk. Something the lame man had surely, in the deepest recesses of his heart, yearned for all of his life. Yet his expectation had been alms. This man “stood,” in fact he leapt up, and entered the temple with Peter and John (vs. 8). As he entered the temple, he was “walking and leaping and praising God” (vs. 9).

The lame man wanted material goods, but what he really needed was physical and spiritual healing of body and heart as we see him walking, leaping, and praising God.

Sometimes what we want (e.g., money, silver, gold) isn’t what we need. We ask and expect, but we are going after secondary goods. God knows what we need. He even knows what our children need.

I wonder what you ask for and wait expectantly for when it comes to homeschooling your children? Do you focus on the material (i.e., secondary goods) or do you pray and ask and wait expectantly for the things that matter most — the issues of the heart?

Prayer Reflection

  1. Lord, am I focused on the right things? Am I focused on silver or gold when you have better things in store for me and for my children?
  1. Lord, am I worried about finances and what material goods I can provide for my children when you have better goods, in fact, the Ultimate Good, in store for them… that is You, the Creator and Sustainer of life.

Oh Lord, teach me to focus my gaze on You and not the world’s goods. Lord, may your Spirit help me to differentiate clearly between what I want and what I need and to see with clarity that You, indeed, are all I need and all my children need. Help me and my children to pant after streams of living water (Psalm 42:1), thirsting for You, the Living God. In the matchless name of Jesus, Lord of Heaven and Earth, Sustainer of Life and Breath of my soul, Amen.

 

June Hetzel, Ph.D., Dean of Education, Biola University

Homeschooling in the Spirit

Young boy laughing joyfully while reading Scripture

Is it possible to educate our children in such a way that we are homeschooling in the Spirit? I always stand amazed at the work of the Holy Spirit each time I read the book of Acts. For example, today I read Acts 8 and was reminded of how in verse 29 the Spirit says to Philip “Go up and join this chariot.” Philip follows the lead of the Holy Spirit and guides the eunuch in his understanding of Isaiah and “preached Jesus to him” (verse 35). The eunuch believes in Jesus and asks to be baptized.

A similar event happened to my friend, Sue, this week. Sue was walking the trails of Fullerton and she passed by a truck with two workers, she felt a nudge from the Spirit to go back and share with the workers. She turned around, walked back, and struck up a conversation with one of the men. Read more

A Prayerful Observer Discovers Entry Points to Paradigm Shifts in a Child’s Home Education

Woman Praying - A Prayerful Observer - Inspired Home Educator Blog Post

When we become a prayerful observer of our children’s thought processes, learning styles, values and worldview, the Lord can highlight entry points to help bring new academic and spiritual understanding.

In Acts 11, Paul addresses the Athenians by standing in the Areopagus and saying, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you . . . ” Paul then goes on to preach the gospel message.

Note three aspects of Paul’s approach to teaching in Acts 17:22-31: Read more

Fostering Wonder and Curiosity for Science and Research at Home

Little Girl in Wonder watching a hose spray water

How great God is and how great is His creation! Every time I gaze at the stars, scan the canopy of heaven, inhale the beauty of the ocean, explore underwater sea creatures, touch the soft fur of my favorite canine, or marvel at a spider’s orb web, I gasp and declare that God’s creation shouts His glory.

I am awed by His handiwork, wrapped up in His beauty, and enveloped in His love as He displays His love through the gift of nature. We were created by God and placed in a garden among plants and creatures. Nature is the place where we flourish as we are nourished by His love and beauty in the created order. We learn about our Creator through the book of nature (see Romans 1). And so, as an educator, I’ve always given value to building upon the natural design of the child which is consistently awe, wonder, and curiosity in relationship to the created order.

Read more

As the Sculptor Works: Glacial Molding and the Spiritual Lives of Home Educators

Woman standing, facing large glacier - as the sculptor works blog photo

After a busy year homeschooling your children, it is always great to take a break! Robin Slagle, Academic Director, highlighted the importance of rest in one of her recent homeschooling blogs for The Inspired Home Educator. . . I hope you will read it!

The way my husband and I took a break this summer was by spending 10 days in Alaska with our friends, Pete and Dyanna, celebrating their 40th anniversary. Dyanna is a former homeschool mom and currently an educator working with homeschool families.

Read more

Corrosion in the Battery, Sin in the Life of a Saint

Classic El Camino car with California plates

A father knelt over a car battery and began to clean the collecting crud on the outside of the battery ports. As he carefully cleaned with bicarbonate soda and distilled water, he explained to his son that it was important never to let any of the corrosion or soda fall into the battery. If the corrosion or soda fell into the battery, it would poison the battery, making it useless.

Read more

Jehovah Jireh, My Provider: When God Answers Prayer

Salad set on a table - Jehovah Jireh

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 ESV

God Answers Prayer…with Salad?

Once, I prepared a luncheon for a dozen colleagues. I had prepared three salads, but as I looked at the group around the table and began watching the salads disappear, I knew there was not going to be enough. Prayerfully, I pleaded, “Lord, please let there be enough salad.” People kept dishing out their salads and filling their plates. Each person’s plate was brimming with food as the salads continued to be passed around the table. “We will surely run out by the seventh or eighth person,” I thought to myself. “Please, Lord, let there be enough salad.”

Stunned, I watched salad multiply. Every person took out full servings, every plate was filled and overflowing, and when the twelfth person received each bowl, there was precisely one generous serving left in each of those bowls. “Thank you Lord!” Read more

Does Anyone Remember? Experiencing God’s Provision in Loss

Woman wandering a mall

During a visit with my dear adopted aunt, Polly McNabb, we heard a marvelous story of God’s comfort and provision.

Polly’s friend in Missouri was suffering through the second anniversary of the loss of her daughter, Sharon. On the anniversary day, the Mrs. Beck woke up feeling amazingly sad as she remembered the loss of her precious high schooler. Sharon had been a delightful young daughter and successful in school. Sharon was musically gifted and had just been accepted into the Springfield State Honor Choir. And then the tragic accident that took the life of this vivacious teenager. How could her mother spend this second anniversary of her death? She felt so depressed and she felt like no one remembered. Read more

Faithful Prioritization: Make a List and Check it Twice

Make a List

A lot of demands were coming at me at once and my multi-tasking skills were being pushed to their limits. I had made a “to do” list for the day and the week, but where were they? I kept on taking the interruptions . . . the phone calls, the emails, the walk-in visitors, and employee’s questions. Before I knew it the day was over and I was exhausted. I had no idea if I had met my day’s objectives because I had no idea where my “to do” list was located. A mound of papers stood on my desk. Read more

A Hike in Black Forest: Incorporating Beauty Amidst Busyness

Woman walking in the woods“The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1 NASB

Hiking through the Black Forest near Baden-Baden, Germany, I happened upon a clearing that revealed a rustic chapel. Stepping through the unlocked door, I found myself alone, awestruck by quiet reverence. Rustic pews graced each side of the center aisle. Light gently streamed in through side windows. A single candle flickered near the altar. I sat, quietly allowing the stillness to envelope me, wondering if others would enter. They did not. I was alone. I continued to sit, taking in the stillness. Listening, I felt the arms of Jesus enfold me. Enveloped in His presence, and overwhelmed by His beauty and quiet strength, I began to weep. “Heavenly Father, in the stillness of this moment, I feel you, know You, recognize your awesome presence. Here in the middle of the Black Forest, earthly coordinates unknown, I rededicate my life to you.”

A time warp had occurred. Distractions cleared away, cluttering thoughts cast aside, clarity emerged as I removed myself from the cacophony of the rush and hubbub of the city. Like pollution washing away on a rainy day, worldly cares rushed past me. The more I allowed the beauty of the forest and the quietness of the chapel to calm my inner spirit, the farther away I was from worldly cares and the nearer I felt to Jesus.

The Psalmist knew what he was saying when he penned, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1), and “Cease striving and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). The beauty of the Black Forest and the quietness of the chapel had enveloped me with His presence.

Prayerful Reflection: 

  1. Lord Jesus, how am I incorporating stillness, nature, and beauty amidst busyness I experience in my homeschooling routine?
  2. Lord Jesus, is place and time and quietness on our family calendar?
  3. Lord Jesus, is place and time and quietness on my personal calendar?

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have neglected to make space for You by neglecting to place myself and my family in the beauty You have created. Help me to create rhythms of beauty and quietness so that we all might be still and hear from You. And, Lord, help me not to feel guilty to pull away from everyone for quiet moments of prayer and study so that I might be filled by You and return to my family restored and filled by You. Amen. 

« Older Entries