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A Better Way to Absorb the Splendor of God’s Creation Out of Doors and Through Our Eyes

How God’s handiwork inspires our art


 

The other day during a Bible study with a dear friend of mine, the topic of art and Christianity came up in conversation. We were discussing music, to be exact, and that, of course, got me thinking more closely about art within a Christian worldview. I proposed to study this topic more closely and share some thoughts in a series of posts that will, hopefully, answer some of the many questions I’ve pondered in my walk with the Lord while continuing to teach my children about beauty through picture studies and nature studies.

When I look at the faces of my children, I see how beautiful their countenance is, how perfectly summoned are the dimples of their cheeks, the furrows of their ears a maze of instrumentation, and the sweet tone of their little voices are a song in the midst of noise. I know this is exactly the way God wished to create them at this very season in their lives.

On the days when we venture out to observe nature, absorbing the splendor of God’s creation out of doors, I can’t help but witness what the Psalmist said:

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. (Psalms 19:1)

 

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Photo by Cole Hutson on Unsplash

 

We respond to nature with awe and amazement, because it best explains to us the grandeur of the One who made all out of nothing, who made all things good and beautiful. We see the strength of trees towering over our little bodies below, and we see flowers colored in their rich vibrancy until they are plucked and destined to wither.

We can agree that the natural world is indeed beautiful. We escape our clamorous lives to nourish ourselves in the quiet aromas of living things outside, the peaceful chirp of birds and their calls to God’s rich order.  He ordered it this way and we long to experience it.

When we see a beautiful work of art, we are also praising the one who created that work. Meandering canyons, raging rivers, and starry nights beg us to respond aesthetically. The Christian knows that the greatness of our God is infinite, that He is praiseworthy for who else can make what He makes? We appreciate beauty because He lives. The very first verse in the Bible declares that He is the creator of the heavens and the earth.

 

Imagine This

My children have a wonderful imagination. They can see things through their mind’s eye with a purity that only I can covet. They haven’t seen all the wickedness I have seen in my lifetime and their eyes are reservoirs containing what they view in their nature walks for the first time. Anna Comstock wrote in the Handbook of Nature Study:

Nature-study cultivates the child’s imagination, since there are so many wonderful and true stories that he may read with his own eyes, which affect his imagination as much as does fairy lore; at the same time nature-study cultivates in him a perception and a regard for what is true, and the power to express it. All things seem possible in nature; yet this seeming is always guarded by the eager quest of what is true. Perhaps half of the falsehood in the world is due to lack of power to detect the truth and to express it. Nature-study aids both in discernment and in expression of things as they are.

 

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Photo by Sohail Sarwar on Unsplash

 

In the homeschool, as I’ve mentioned in the beginning of this post, we do picture studies of several artists. Last quarter, we studied Vincent van Gogh and this quarter we are studying Leonardo da Vinci. We looked at van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” “The Sower,” to name a few, and it was always a window for me to see exactly how my children look at art, and what they perceive it to be. To culminate the quarter, the children made renditions of “Rest from Work” and had a chance to experiment with collage and mixed media painting. It was wonderful. The process was painstaking at times (for mom to prep), but the results were delightful. I was thoroughly impressed, not because they accomplished something, but because they learned enough about the artist and his process in order to render their own after it all. I don’t think, despite the compliments, that they perceive themselves as artists, or as imaginative because art for them is just something other people do, it is nebulous, yet fun to experience because it doesn’t feel like work.  It is a “rest from work.”

 

 

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Photo by Dimitri Tyan on Unsplash

 

One thing I read about this subject as I studied it was that since we are made in God’s image, this must include the glorious concept that we, too, are creative. When God made man, he granted him rule over the earth that it may be subjected to him. Adam dressed and kept the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15), an invitation to share in the process of creation with the Heavenly Father.

This is why it is so innate in us to arrange anything, to create, to make, to design, to fulfill our purpose as it was given to mankind in Genesis.  Mind you, this is not implying that we want to be masters of the universe (idolatry is another subject in and of itself), but rather that we are permitted by God to be creative, to express ourselves in a way that is very significant in God’s overall design.

 

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Photo by Pär Pärsson on Unsplash

 

God has given us a rich selection of beauty to behold.  He gives freely at our disposal and equips us with the sense to smell, see, listen, and feel as a means to utilize our creativity and talents, our gifts and our knowledge of truth in the most comprehensive way possible.  And what an honor to take part of this bountiful feast, as we are made in His image, and can enjoy art and creativity as He does.

In my next post, I will explore the battlefield we find ourselves in as artists, in this fallen world…

But for now, what do you believe is aesthetically unique to the Christian artist and their worldview?

 


 

How God's handiwork inspires our art. We respond to nature with awe and amazement, because it best explains to us the grandeur of the One who made all out of nothing, who made all things good and beautiful. Click to read and respond.

Why I Repent Teaching in Secular Higher Education

 


Dear Student: I lament teaching in secular education as a Christian

 

What I am about to express to you, dear reader, opens up the code of silence that many Christian faculty may feel in the depths of their heart, a delicate sensibility that leaves such a bitter savor, unpleasant in hindsight, a grief to the Spirit. I was bitter when I got out of academia and now I can speak of this openly.

This is my story.

I think of all the opportunities I forfeited at serving God while I was buying everything else, hook line and sinker—never doubting my position in the academe. I was building my career, right? I was using my gifts and talents so it must be God sent, unmistakably.

I couldn’t sleep at night. I was vexed like Lot and dejected like Joseph.

I asked myself: How could I continue in an institution that indoctrinates children in humanism and justify it as God’s will for my life?

Was I foolish to think I could not be spoiled through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ? Why did I misplace my vexation with the notion that if God allowed me to enter a career in secular higher education, then it must be approved and favorable to Him. I was doing a good job, after all—I was getting good evaluations, I was staying away from the unfruitful works of darkness, my managers approved of me, and I was getting paid well while acquiring more class sections to teach. The students were learning a great deal and were bearing fruit in their writing skills.

Well, God still got a hold of me, despite what seemed fine. I realized that I would not be worth my salt if I didn’t mention the spoils of vain deceit, the tradition of men, the rudiments of the world. If I could only write a letter to every one of my students, I would pour out remorse and regret. I’ve borne a heap of sorrow and guilt over my part in the process of indoctrinating them in what goes antithetical to my faith in God. I repent and I lament:

 


Dear Student,

I taught you writing and critical thinking in a place that was at war with the Creator of all things, teaching you that what you were learning in my class was to get you closer to the philosophies of the academe, at the cost of getting you further away from God. I told you that successful people paid attention and do well in class and study and make good grades. 

I am sorry, dear student, for agreeing to put you through petty drills to make the standard grade and keep your eyes on the essay at hand, on the thesis, on proving yourself clear and concise. What you really needed was someone to tell you that you were good at something, that God can reveal to you the gifts He’s imparted to you, and that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. That as challenging as you were with me in classdefiant, irresponsible, tardy, negligentI needed to tell you that God loves you.

To hear you say you wanted to be an electrician and that you weren’t interested in learning how to expand your vocabulary or how to write eloquently should have been perfectly fine with mewe are all gifted in distinctive ways.  We are not all the same.  We don’t flourish in a monolithic. Academia defined success and we were to assign the work and grade the valuea collection of life sentences that would eventually tell the world where you were by the standards of secular humanism.

I wish I could tell you that fools despise wisdom and that the beginning of knowledge is the fear of the Lord. I should have asked you what good is success and money and a premiere education if your soul is lost? What good is it to encourage you to invest your money in support of a secular education that devastates you spiritually and morally, even though academically you will be favored in the world? I regret not proclaiming from the high tops that you’re learning a false religion when right and wrong is taught to be rooted in moral reasoning (relativism). The Bible refers to this as “having other gods before me.”

You survived through the confines of the classroom, a box waiting to implode with minds vulnerable to all sorts of philosophies, beautiful minds influenced by the doctrine of man. And I survived that as well. I broke free from that box and only by God’s grace, was delivered into His protective hands, and was shown that what was worth fighting for was that beautiful mind of yours.

Now, I will fight tooth and nail for you, people like my children, people who are led astray by the spirit of the age.

 


Now, in the words of the Apostle Paul:

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: (Philippians 3: 8-9)

Not many Christians who teach in secular higher education will admit what I openly share here. Do you lament teaching as a Christian in a secular institution? Why do you think our spirit is vexed when we continue teaching in the humanist environment? Click to read full post. teaching| secular education| homeschool
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When It Hurts To Be Broken By A Church


God is ready to love and to heal as He guides you out

 

God extended my life for another birthday.  Thirty-nine.  I am blessed to be alive as I am, walking closely with Him and knowing with full assurance that He is all I need. I had what the world would call success – a drug-free life, two degrees, a career, a consulting business, a husband, a home, a few children, and good health. And a car.

How shallow this sounds as it is not the success by any measure of the faith! It is the picture of what the world would want for me, but God got a hold of me and when He did, I surrendered my life to downsize our living space, and refuse the road to career ambition for the sake of teaching and admonishing my children at home. I homeschool and I don’t want to look back at what I had, or what I could have if I gave up God’s command.

I’ve been beaten by life, I’ve hit rock bottom spiritually. I’ve learned to love the One who first loved me. I am amazed by the One who knitted me in my mother’s womb, who knew me before anyone else knew me. Who fearfully and wonderfully made me. He made me. He loves me. I weep at the thought! I am special to Him. I may not be to those who cast me aside as a child, but I was significant to God. “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!”  I think of Susannah Spurgeon’s sweet words of praise to God in her book A Carillon of Bells:

Nay, more than this, dear Lord, Thy power is so great that Thou dost sometimes trans form the very things that hurt and grieved me into means of grace and blessing to my heart and life. Disappointments in my work, obstacles to its performance, the estrangement of friends, conscious incompetence and weakness, and often an over powering sense of deepening responsibility, — these experiences are all like thorns and briers, which irritate and worry by their persistent and close contact ; — yet all these vanish when Thou, my gracious God, dost give the word, and I wonder as I find myself walking peacefully among the fir trees, where the pine needles lie thick upon the ground, spreading the softest of carpets under my tired feet ; and where the myrtle’s snowy blossoms and glossy leaves promise perfume and sweetness even to those who bruise them. Thy ways, O Lord, are past finding out, but they are very gracious and tender ; and this turning of seeming evil into good, of making Thy children’s trials grow into triumphs, and their pains into pleasures, is a wonderful proof both of Thy pity and Thy power.

 

By His grace, after years of disappointment and years of confusion, after healing and being transformed by the renewing of my mind, I praise Him Who saved me. He saved me from a childhood wrought in sin, where my young eyes witnessed wickedness: fatherlessness, abandonment, neglect, sexual abuse, alcoholism, gambling, adultery – all these sins my little eyes saw growing up, but He saved me from those stains in my life that, otherwise, I would have considered normal, until coming to faith in Christ at age 10 through the sharing of the gospel from extended family in another country. It wasn’t until the age of 25 that I fully surrendered my life to Christ and said, Here am I, Lord. Use me as you see fit.

I had nowhere to go but to God. I was desperate to find answers and thus, His word spoke to me. He brought me to my knees in repentance and I began drinking the milk of the Word.

I kiss my Bible. I love His word. I don’t want to imagine where I would be without Him. He got a hold of me just in time. I may have wrecked my life if He hadn’t. How merciful He is to have long-suffered with me, to be so patient with me; to take me through the fires of a bewildered life without burning me. How in every corner of my past, He was there carefully nudging me to Him. I look back at all the compromising and perilous areas of my life in which I could have taken the plunge and made some decisions that would certainly bear scathing consequences, but it was His grace that kept me from falling miserably, for that decision at age 10 was persistent in my mind. Always in the back of my mind…

I don’t get tired of sharing my testimony. There are new things I remember each time I do. I get to thinking about the detours, the shut doors, the closed opportunities that now I know were God’s preventative measure – His protection. And I am thankful. Thankful that my mother, as lost as she was is now turning a bit warmer towards the gospel. As delicate of a situation as it is to be the Christian of the family, it is a badge of honor to carry it for the Lord. I am vexed in many areas of my life, and the heaviness of my heart can get a grip on me when I see things that I cannot change.  I turn to rest and take comfort in the scriptures, the passages of His word that edify and encourage me, the words of wisdom that reflect the new life I have in Him, and the direction He set before me.

 

Taking Every Thought Captive

What these years have taught me is that I need to be ready. I have hope. As Christians, we will hit bottom and we need to tell our kids and be ready to give them an answer for the hope we have when we do. We need to come to a sackcloth and ashes type of humility with our families in order to allow the Spirit to sanctify us.

I’ve learned that we need to get the Bible in us because we have hope. The world doesn’t and thus, we need to seek the answers where the hope is found. His word is a treasure for all matters of life, and in this past year – as I’ve come to learn through bitter tears -I can attest that the guarding of my heart has taken such tremendous strength.

Above all else, guard thy heart; for out of it flows the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23

Solomon in this passage tells us to keep our heart with all diligence, making sure we focus on godly desires, putting boundaries on them by not going after everything we think we need. This helps keep us from getting sidetracked and entering into precarious territory.

 

And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Mark 9:43

This passage stresses the importance of putting sin out of our lives. Painful self-discipline is required of Christ’s true followers. Giving up a job, a friendship, a habit that is against God’s will may seem just as painful as cutting off a hand! But Christ is worth any possible loss or discomfort.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

 

Here is why I decided to shut out the headline news from my life for months now.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalms 19:14

 

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Photo by André Ferreira on Unsplash

 

This passage really makes me think about how much I need to change my thinking. It makes me ask myself whether I would change the way I live if I knew every word and thought would be examined by God first. David asks that God approve his words and reflections as though they were offerings brought to the altar. Offerings! GGod help me to look at my words as offerings worthy of your presence…

I’ve learned in my years that a fair amount of churches are fake. The facades are coming down. Example after example, we see all over the place apostasy that is relentless, that grabs a hold of even the most of lukewarm Christians, compromising the faith, those that don’t live by conviction but by convenience, those that don’t hold the sufficiency of scripture as doctrine. Sound doctrine divided between evil and good builds fences that are necessary and churches need to be distinct and unlike the world. The body of Christ needs to stop making concessions for certain areas of life that are ungodly by God’s standards, but by the world’s standards are acceptable. The church body needs to repent and we need to praise God for the facades coming down… praise God for the exposure of sin. It reminds us of Who is still on the throne.

I’ve learned that there indeed is a remnant. God strengthens the things that remain.

“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.”

As a family, we want to be part of that remnant. It took standing apart in the middle of a hurting church that like Sardis, looked good on the outside, but is full of corruption on the inside. It is cold and ready to die, and for that reason, we left with our banner for Christ, and not for man. It is a sanctifying process when we realized that what we were doing was a facade, that is was superficial at the core. We need to say we have been wrong, and begin to love and delight in His word and see Him sanctify our flesh with the work of the Spirit. As we do this, we will eventually see the remnant and a strong core of true faith and love for brothers and sisters in Christ and thus, will not be defrauded. We will strengthen the things that remain by the grace of God.

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 1 Peter 4:17

God is ready to love, and He is ready to save those that are broken and lost. I was there, and the life I have been given is not free of hurt or burden, but I am pardoned, and I couldn’t have forgiven myself on my own. My family is ready to live for Christ and we will rest on His word and live out His goodness, with His power and His strength, without fear, knowing He will be pleased. It is a walk, a test of endurance in the race, but knowing He is with us gives us hope for our family to grow stronger in Him alone.

What are some things that God has brought to your attention recently?  How has He brought you to a fuller understanding of His character?

 


When you're broken by a church that hurts, God is ready to love and to heal. He will guide you out.

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Sackcloth and Ashes: A Sign of Repentance for Sin

In the Bible, sackcloth, and ashes was worn as a sign of repentance for sin. Simply put, sackcloth and ashes was an external demonstration of an internal condition. It was a visible mark of someone’s deep sorrow and mourning. The action itself required a most sincere humility that only the repentant one can possess and God’s forgiveness in response is praised by David’s Psalms.

“Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.” Psalms 30:11-12

I can’t believe how much God’s love abounds. I am full. I can’t believe he’s loved me despite all I’ve done and all I am, the wretched sinner that I am. This alone motivates me to change my life, to continuously express it through repentance. And there is a joy, like David describes when I come to the Father and beg for His forgiveness, when I decide to turn away from selfish desires and seek His face instead. It is a daily feat. At times defeating. I desire to do better in my walk, and as I pursue admitting my wrongs to Him who forgives, I can only encourage others to do so also. I am speaking to myself when I say this.

We can’t take for granted that we are rich by virtue of where we live but rather rich by the grace and mercy of a Saviour that was the atonement for our sins. I am encouraged by those in the scriptures who put on the sackcloth and ashes as a sign of repentance, an example we ought to learn from ourselves:

 

By Ahab

“But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house.”  1 Kings 21:25-29

 

Ahab refused to admit his sin against God, but rather accused Elijah of being his enemy. When envy and hatred blind us, we find it almost impossible to see our sin. Although Ahab was more wicked than any other king of Israel, he humbled himself deeply and repented in sackcloth and ashes. God took notice of Ahab’s humility and thus reduced his punishment. The same God who was merciful to Ahab wants to be merciful us. No matter how evil we have been, it is never too late to humble ourselves, turn to God, and repent.

 

By the Israelites 

“Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.”  Nehemiah 9:1

 

Fasting, wearing sackcloths (made of material like burlap) and sprinkling earth (dust) on the head were public signs of sorrow and repentance. The Hebrews practiced open confession, admitting their sins to one another. Reading and studying God’s word takes precedence over confession because it is the Word of God that we are shown where we are sinning. The honest confession comes before worship because we cannot have a right relationship with God if we keep certain sins from him.

 

By Daniel

“And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; we have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.”  Daniel 9:3-7

 

Daniel knew how to pray. He had read God’s words and believed them. As he prayed, he fasted, confessed his sins, and pleaded that God would reveal his will. He prayed with complete surrender to God and with complete openness to what God was saying to him. We need to speak openly to God and examine our attitude. We should always be honest and vulnerable.

In the gospels, we also see reference to sackcloth. The gospel of Matthew (ch 11:21) says:

 

“Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.”

 

Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom were ancient cities with very wicked reputations, long-standing. Each was destroyed by God due to its evil. Jesus said that if some of the most wicked cities in the world had seen Him, they would have repented. Because such cities as Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida saw Jesus and didn’t repent, their punishment would be even greater.

Now, we have churches in most cities across our nation and Bibles within reach, so we have absolutely no excuse on judgment day if we do not repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.


 

In the Bible, sackcloth, and ashes was worn as a sign of repentance for sin. Simply put, sackcloth and ashes was an external demonstration of an internal condition. It was a visible mark of someone's deep sorrow and mourning. The action itself required a most sincere humility that only the repentant one can possess and God's forgiveness in response is praised by David's Psalms. Click to read full post.

A Better Way to Take Flight in the Homeschool Before Memories Slip Away


Just like the balloon that slipped away, so has the first week of homeschool

 

I could never take back the failures I made in the homeschool, but I can only remember the sweet memories, my children looking up from their work to tell me I’m the best teacher or my eldest coming to me to give me a hug after some struggles, after some tears, after some frustrations.

It’s Friday and we are having our wind-down. I finished a load of laundry and the boys helped put away the folded clothes. My eldest made a rule in our home this week that everyone should fold their own clothes. This after we learned about the Separatists and how they believed rules were important and how they created the Mayflower Compact in the New World.

We ate lunch earlier after my little one woke from his nap. We were supposed to have the day off today but because we went to the doctor yesterday, the work carried over today: Heritage Studies and English. We thought we’d have the day off when we began the week, but I was reminded to be flexible and was forewarned that plans in the homeschool won’t always go as expected. I can see that for sure now. Emergencies happen.

We read My Red Balloon by Eve Bunting and remembered the Parisian short film The Red Balloon. My little one gathers his stuffed dog named Dos and his blanket to cuddle as we watch. He says he’s afraid to watch the part in the film with all the boys who bully the little boy with the red balloon. He tells me exactly as it happens.

 

 

This is the first time we watch TV this week. They have a greater appreciation for the film than they did the summer they first saw it. My eldest has an appreciation too for reading the exclamatory sentences in the story by Bunting as well. He’s good with mechanics and has no trouble learning the four types of sentences this week. Yet he struggled with comprehending the literal and interpretive ways to read a story. He enjoyed learning about Shays’ Rebellion and the Constitutional Convention, George Washington and his mansion on Mount Vernon, and the three branches of government and the Great Compromise.

My preschooler struggled with the color red all week, but today he understands it because he sees the balloon on the screen. He knows black, white, green, yellow, orange, and blue. He learned how to draw circles and color them. In fact, he used circles to create a dinosaur and colored its eyes red. I prompted him to collect red things throughout the house. I told him to bring me 5 blue items, 5 yellow. He cut cardstock, marked some jagged, wavy, straight lines too and then glued them on green card-stock. He learned the capital letter and lower case letter A and matched apples on the tree I made for him. He played Uno with his brother and worked on the Starfall app on the tablet.

At the end of the movie The Red Balloon, the little boy collects all these balloons that land from the sky and he is whisked away, far away above the rooftops. We never see where he lands but we know that he has a victory after his red balloon was popped by the bullies that were taunting him.

 

 

I remember a couple that we had dinner with some time ago who commented that homeschooled children are not very social. He said he knew a family like this. While many people still may not understand why I would want to give up a career to stay home and homeschool my children for long hours throughout the day, I’ll gladly take this burden knowing that the eternal value is far richer than any consulting project I sign up for. I know that doing this is an alignment with Deuteronomy 6: with teaching my children, discipling them, and caring for their every need. I don’t think that when they are grown I will regret spending time with them as much as I did, teaching them, nor will I wish I would have spent more of my life in a high-rise office, making more money every year, keeping up with the latest innovations and practices.

I know for sure that my children have a better chance to land on the firm ground with the foundations of God in the homeschool than they would be whisked away by the currents of the present culture, a plethora of balloons on the way to who knows where.


A Better Way to Take Flight in the Homeschool Before Memories Slip Away. I know my children have a better chance to land on the firm ground with the foundations of God than they would be by the currents of the culture. If you'd like to know how we maintain those memories, click to read.
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Why Leaving the Ministry May Be An Act of Obedience

Stepping down from the ministry may be a better way to honor God


We know a pastor’s father who once was a pastor but left the pastorate due to discouragement. Had he stayed, he may have hurt the name of Christ instead of advancing it. Likewise, my husband stepped down from the ministry of Sunday school teacher. He had two main reasons for His decision.

One is because he was also discouraged by the class. How would God’s kingdom be advanced with a class that doesn’t want to be led? Moses must have felt the same way, for forty years in the desert, with plenty of problems from the multitude. There is no glory to God by leading a ministry in which the heart is not therein. It is not wise for someone who’s discouraged in ministry to remain in ministry because he’ll not serve with all his heart and desire. How effective could that actually be? It is hard to love families that don’t want to be loved.

Second is because he wanted our family to get the best of him as the one to disciple our family. There is a danger in ministry that surfaces when a leader pastors a small extension of the church, say, in a Sunday school setting for instance. When he tends to that small flock and neglects the home in order to do so, leadership is now out of order. This disorderliness does not bring honor to the family.

“Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.” Psalm 112: 1-2

Holding On

How many times do we see leaders in the ministry giving their all to the cause of Christ in the church body, but neglect the first ministry that God gives them: family. I’ve seen arrogance, a pride that dominates these types of leaders. The evidence becomes clear. They will not leave their post in the church, even though it is apparent that in their home, their family is in shambles. These types of servants of the Lord fail in a tremendous way because as much as they plug away in the various ministries at church, they have nothing at home to show for it, other than an external godliness that is on display every Sunday. And what does this do? It tears the name of Christ from under its footing. They may have the desire to serve with fervor, but the work is in vain if it comes at the expense of his family.

My husband doesn’t believe he will be a Sunday school teacher again. Recently, he pondered the thought that perhaps he probably didn’t love people as much as he thought he did. As Christ loves the world and died for us, walking in His footsteps and deciding to do right time and again for others, despite the failed returns, is one of the many burdens that most in ministry can attest to. Our former pastor, as much as he loved his flock, had experienced some whoppers from people. Yet still, he forebeared and long-suffered through some wrongs and hurts that came his way.

My husband knew that by leaving the ministry it would be an opportunity for someone’s heart to be stirred enough to step up themselves. In order for any believer to grow in Christ with the renewing of his mind, faithful servants need to be available to take on the work.

An essential quality of leadership is knowing when to step down, and when to follow. Many people in the ministry want to be the big chief. They don’t want to be the little Indian that follows the chief. It takes a big man that is humble enough to do just that.

After leaving the ministry, my husband has been challenged to continue to be a friend to those that need one, and he continues to sharpen his leadership commitment to our home. This is the highest calling God bestows on a father for it is the legacy he will leave after he is gone. It is a treasure stored up in heaven. That is where he is glad to hang his hat for now.


Why leaving the ministry may be an act of obedience. Stepping down from the ministry may be a better way to honor God.