Category Archives: Devotional

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

Modeling Christ at Home

Woman writing at home

Our children pick up on whether or not we are modeling Christ at home. For instance, I am not a professional writer, but I love to write. However, I have not always enjoyed writing. In high school, I used to loathe writing assignments, and saw them as time spent not doing other things that were more interesting…talking on the phone with my friends (remember stretching the phone cord as far as it would go so you could have some privacy?). I tried to complete these assignments as covertly as I could, because if my mother discovered an opportunity to write, she took it; whether it was a thank-you note, a letter to my grandmother, but especially if it was a homework assignment. 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

It’s Summer! Work Efficiently, Rest Sufficiently

man carrying son on the beachIt’s summer! Time to catch the children up on math, read those literature assignments that fell off the lesson plans, and revisit all those amazing science experiments that were planned for this past school year!

OR…is it time to catch up on some quality one-on-one time with each of your children, and read that novel you have been putting off because you’ve been too busy? 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.

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Joy in the Journey

Woman jumping for joy in the journey down a desert road

As I was enjoying the calm after one holiday rainstorm, Psalm 118:24 came to mind.

“This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

I began to reflect upon rejoicing and what that means.  As a former homeschool mother of four, I did not always exhibit joy during the homeschooling journey when the lesson plans needed attention, the laundry was piling up, there was no milk in the refrigerator, and there were so many dust bunnies in my house we could start a farm!! The Psalmist commands us to rejoice in each day and be glad, but I found I could become overly focused on the stressors, which can take away the joy in the journey. 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

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