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

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

Learning with LEGO – Homeschool Fun

Child learning with LEGOWatching our students develop, we know that learning happens even outside of time spent in textbooks and worksheets. Even while they play, learning occurs. One of the joys of homeschooling is seeing our students grow, learn, and love doing it.

If you’re like many homeschool families, you might have a bin or two of LEGO pieces lying around. Have you considered how you might leverage the little bricks to stoke learning and creativity? 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

The Earth is the Lord’s – Earth Day Activities for Christian Homeschoolers

 

Windmill and Field of Flowers representing Earth Day Activities

The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. -Psalm 24:1-2

Have you considered incorporating Earth Day Activities into your coursework this week?

This year, Earth Day is celebrated around the world on Saturday, April 22, 2017. It offers an opportunity to hone in our curriculum calendar to consider world events, stoking our students’ interest in environmental science, while cultivating a biblically-centered worldview on care for God’s creation. Check out the links below and discern if any of the activities might benefit your students if you incorporate these ideas into your curriculum this week. Read more

4 Ideas for Spring Break Homeschool Field Trips

Palm trees and sunset with text overlay 4 homeschool field trip ideas for spring break

Spring Break is upon us! Need ideas for homeschool field trips to get the family out of the house? While your students might take a break from worksheets and textbooks, there’s no reason the learning needs to stop.

As a homeschool parent, there are a number of homeschool field trips waiting for you and your family to embark upon. The following list is focused on the Los Angeles and Orange County area of Southern California, but if you’re reading from outside the area, use this as a launch pad for your own field trip research. When you go on one of these field trips, keep the conversation going with our discussion questions, below.

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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. 

Sabbath Queen – the Art of Welcoming Rest

lioness welcoming rest in a tree“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” EXODUS 20:8

I don’t know about you, but I love my week-ends. I work extremely hard during the week and I work long hours. Week-ends for me are a time to catch up on my home chores. A time to get some sunshine and work in the yard. A time to sort my laundry and wash my clothes. A time to go grocery shopping and plan a menu. A time to sort my paperwork and pay my bills.

I don’t know what I would do without my week-ends.

Week-ends are also a time to get ahead. I get ahead by doing a little extra work for my job. I get a head by answering my work e-mails and phone calls over the week-end. I get ahead by doing a few extra writing projects and earning a few extra dollars.

But something has gone wrong.

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