Articles

  • 16 May 2012 8:29 PM | Patrick Nix (Administrator)

    It’s hard to admit it, but I have been a mess the last couple of months.  I sometimes get really busy and little overwhelmed- but this is not the same. No- this has been a case of the blues- and I am not out of it yet.  Being that this is not an entirely new sensation, I am sharing it so that I can share with you- my precious friends how I plan to get my groove back.

    1.  Eliminate some of the noise.  I gotta get the balance back.  Since May I have been baking on Fridays for the farmer’s market on Saturdays.  This means up to 10 hours of baking- on my feet, in a hot kitchen, away from my children.  Then, working the market itself for 5 hours.  I love it and I hate it.  I love the doing.  I hate being away from my children for a whole day.  I do not like ho much energy it depletes from the ones I love. I realize that sounds wimpy and very UNmodern. But it is the reality.  I miss my babies.  So, Duncan and I agreed that my time at the market is ending until next summer, when we will reevaluate.  I feel a little sad about it, but I also feel very relieved.

    2.  I need to exercise.  I will do this- for me, and for the children.

    3.  I need to take my vitamins.  When I take my Supermom vitamins and my Bee Strong and Berry Well, life is just better. I feel better,  I have more energy.  I have more strength.  It’s not that I do not want them, I just forget to take them, so now I am moving them to my upstairs bathroom next to my toothbrush.  I know you should not store vitamins in a moist environment, but at least I will remember them there.  That will be better than not taking them at all.

    4.  I need to cultivate my friendships.  Working too much leads to a huge imbalance, and I have been REALLY missing my close friends.  Monday morning, I am putting some dates on the calendar with some girlfriends.  And I mean it.

    5.  I am starting a new in-depth inductive Bible study.  My brain craves input and when I spend time reading fluff I can shrivel up and die mentally. Here is the one I started last Monday:

    6.  I am getting my house back in order.  With all the hours I have been working,some of the basics have been neglected.

    7.  Get outside in the sunshine and fresh air daily.  Not kidding, I really have to put this on a list or I will work myself to death in a cave and never see the light of day.  My sickly pale fair complexion can attest to this.

    8.  I need to increase my water intake.  In April I gave up sodas entirely.  All kinds, all flavors, all colors.   However, I still do not drink enough water.  Lots of times I find myself going about my day THIRSTY because I do not take the time to grab a drink.   This is goofy and can be easily fixed.

    9.  I am striking things off my to-do list and moving them to a “I am really never going to do this, but it might be nice if someone else will”  list.  Having open loops, especially ones I can never act upon is just a downer.  This will leave more room in my list for those things the Lord is calling me to do.

    Now, if you are in a serious depression or have chronic issues with depression or the blues- this is not medical advice.  This is just one mom sharing with another the things I KNOW have helped me in the past.  It is time I quit singing that song from Alice in Wonderland; “I give myself some very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.”  Of course, I hope to do it before I find myself down another rabbit hole.

    - by Malia Russell

  • 09 May 2012 8:16 PM | Patrick Nix (Administrator)
    Has your decision to homeschool your children ever left you feeling tired, overwhelmed or stressed out? As a student who was homeschooled (my family began homeschooling in 1978), I have learned a few things and over the years about how to avoid burnout in your homeschool.

    One of the most common reasons for weariness and frustration among homeschooling parents is the weight of self-inflicted deadlines and standards. It is good, of course, to have goals in mind, but we must always ask ourselves: "Am I seeking to do the Lord's will, or am I merely pursuing my own agenda?"

    As Christian families, we need to view homeschooling not as a glorious end, in and of itself, but rather as a means to an end. The main goal is to raise children who love the Lord, and are committed to following Christ. It is not to produce robots that can recite random facts and data at the drop of a hat.

    What a child knows is really insignificant compared to what he or she believes. We must move beyond facts to convictions. It is vital that our children know: 
    1. What they believe. 
    2. Why their beliefs are true. 
    3. How to articulate their beliefs.
    4. How to live their beliefs consistently.

    Getting the right answers on a test is meaningless unless a child knows how to apply those truths to everyday life. Non-applicable knowledge is worthless. As parents, we want our children to excel academically, and homeschoolers usually do. Our main motivation for homeschooling, however, should not be academic prowess. Instead, we should "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these (including academic) things will be added to us." (Matt. 6:33)

    We should always stay focused on our long-term goals, but we must consistently follow the leading of the Spirit. Why are we homeschooling? Our main objective should be to fulfill our God-given obligation to "train up our children in the way they should go." (Prov. 22:6) Psalm 78, Deuteronomy 6 and 11 and many other passages stress the importance of teaching God's laws to our children.

    What is the purpose of an education? God's primary reasons for commanding you to teach your own children are to: 
    1) Enable God to purify you (the parent), as you allow the fire and pressure of the homeschool setting to make you into pure gold.
    2) To help your children know and love Him, and become prepared to serve Him.

    God desires for us to have close family relationships, and He uses the process of family discipleship to develop Godly character in both the children and the parents. God has established and He designed parents to be the primary influences in shaping their children's values. Parents can't expect to receive a Godly harvest unless they labor during the planting.

    We must learn to view home education as a lifestyle decision, and not merely an academic alternative. Use every available moment to teach eternal principles. Developing a Biblical worldview in children is not something that happens by accident. It is taught by formal instruction and caught by the Godly example of the parents.

    By keeping in mind that we are homeschooling because we want to raise children who love Jesus, we won't be so frustrated if our child doesn’t understand Phonics or Chemistry. I've seen some mothers become so frustrated by their inability to communicate math facts that they scream at their children and throw books! In trying to teach academics, are we achieving our ultimate goal of developing Godly character? Nothing is so important that it overrides our relationships with God and each other.

    It is also easy to get caught up in the busyness of activities, running our children here and there, and over-committing ourselves into panic. Are all the programs we are involved in bringing us closer to God and each other, or are they mostly wearing us out? We may need to recalibrate our compass. What does God expect of us?

    "He has shown you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you. To do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)
    "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." (Ec. 12:13)
    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
    "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." (Gal. 6:2)

    If we focus on teaching eternal principles, and developing Christ-like character in our children, we will have academic success as a natural result of our obedience to God. We should not merely teach our children what to believe, but show them why our beliefs are true. They should be able to determine, from the principles in Scripture, what is good and what is evil. They should recognize absolute truths and be able to reason from a Biblical worldview.

    By keeping obedience to God as our primary reason for homeschooling, we will have the flexibility to change our educational approaches, relax in the face of deadlines, and put family relationships above SAT scores. We can have a joyful, peaceful, loving family and still achieve an academic standard superior to the world; but we must keep Christ as the focus and avoid humanistic expectations.

    - by Israel Wayne
  • 02 May 2012 8:08 PM | Patrick Nix (Administrator)

    Much like the election of 1860, the 2008 presidential election has generated a spirited debate over the correct relationship between the state and federal governments. The former election debated the relationship of “states’ rights” to the issue of liberty; the current election has resurrected the issue of “states’ rights” but this time in the areas of life and family. Several current presidential candidates declare themselves to be pro-life and pro-marriage but, citing federalism and “states’ rights,” they oppose either a Human Life or Marriage Amendment to the federal Constitution, claiming that such issues are to be decided by the state rather than the federal government. Yet a candidate’s position on such issues actually identifies their understanding of inalienable rights rather than their commitment to federalism.

    In the original governing principles set forth in the Declaration (and then subsequently incorporated into the Constitution through Article VII), the right to life is one of three specifically identified inalienable rights; additional inalienable rights were subsequently enumerated in the Bill of Rights. The original documents – both the Declaration and the Constitution – make clear that the primary purpose of government, at all times and in all situations, is to protect those few inalienable rights.

    Some candidates believe that the right to life is inalienable only to the degree that a specific state agrees – that if a state does not believe that the right to life is inalienable, then the federal government should not force the state to protect that right. Yet protection for the few specifically enumerated inalienable rights must always surpass what any particular state wishes – and this is the proper constitutional position on all inalienable rights, whether of life, private property, the right to keep and bear arms, the right of religious expression, etc. It is the duty of all government – including state governments – to protect inalienable rights. In fact, if the philosophy originally set forth in the Declaration of Independence and subsequently secured in the Constitution is rejected – the belief that there is a God, that He gives inalienable rights to man, and that the purpose of government is to protect those rights at all times (even when the states refuse to do so) – then there is no longer a unique American philosophy of government that will distinguish us from the rest of the world.

    Understanding this, voices across the nation therefore asserted that what the state of Connecticut did in weakening property rights vis a vi the Kelo decision was intolerable because our founding documents specifically protected the inalienable right of private property through the Fifth Amendment; and they likewise asserted that what Washington, D. C. was doing with gun bans was wrong because it similarly violated the inalienable right to keep and bear arms secured to the people through the Second Amendment. Why, then, do they now believe that it is improper for the federal government to tell states that they must observe the inalienable right to life and traditional family set forth with equal force in the very same documents?

    Some candidates have even declared that because they are strict constructionists, they oppose amendments to the Constitution (a strict constructionist is one who supports interpreting the Constitution according to its original intent). Yet, since the Founders specifically included Article V in the Constitution to specify how the Constitution might be amended, then a strict constructionist must also support the part of the Constitution providing for its own amendment. In fact, refusing to consider a constitutional amendment does not reflect strict constructionism but rather a rejection of Article V of the Constitution.

    The Founders wisely raised the bar so high as to make it is extremely difficult to pass any amendment, requiring a two-thirds approval of Congress and three-fourths approval of the states before any change could occur. Consequently, while there have been over 10,000 amendments to the Constitution proposed since 1789, only twenty-seven have been able to meet the constitutional standard. Of those twenty-seven, twelve were passed by the Founders themselves (the original “strict constructionists”) in only twenty years; in the subsequent two-hundred years, the nation has made just fifteen changes.

    Federal constitutional amendments should be rare, but that does not mean they should be non-existent. States cannot be allowed to pick and choose which inalienable rights they will protect (although under the Constitution they are completely competent to determine virtually all other issues). The Constitution was written to preserve American culture and society, not to cause citizens to stand idly by while the culture is destroyed – especially when they have in their hands the means to preserve it through a constitutional amendment in the manner prescribed by the Constitution itself.

    Some voices naively assert that simply eradicating abortion at the federal level and returning the issue to the states will correct the problem, but they are completely wrong. When the federal courts get out of the abortion issue and return it to the states, 20 states (based on both pro-life and pro-abortion estimates) will continue their current abortion practices, and those states include many with the largest population (e.g., California, New York, Illinois, etc.). Citizens from the other 30 states will therefore travel to one of those 20 states to get an abortion; so while the number of abortions will undoubtedly go down when the issue is returned to the states, it will come nowhere close to ending. Additionally, stopping abortion at the federal level will do nothing to correct the legal rulings generated in the state courts over the past 35 years as those state courts infused federal court positions into their own state case law. State courts will remain hostile to state attempts to restrict abortion because state case law is now as infused with the broad “health” exceptions, etc., as were the federal decisions.

    A parallel legal analogy to today’s life and marriage protection concerns is seen in the 1860 slavery issue. At that time, even though the right to liberty was an inalienable right guaranteed in the founding documents, slavery was so deeply imbedded in the nation that the mere federal removal of itself from that issue vis a viseveral federal statutes passed from 1861-1865 did little or nothing to change the slave culture in any of the states, either North or South – and those federal statutes certainly did nothing to change the bad court rulings that had occurred at the state level over the previous century.

    Historically, the only manner in which bad case law can be completely eradicated from the law books (and thus completely terminate a long-standing harmful national practice that has permeated the states) is through a constitutional amendment – and a number of constitutional amendments have been passed to do just that (13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, etc.). In fact, had there been no constitutional amendments to secure the inalienable right to liberty that had been so egregiously violated by so many states, then there likely would still be slavery in America today as one generation, or family, or judicial system transmitted its errant beliefs to the next. So, too, with abortion.

    The federal government should never have intruded itself into the abortion issue through the multiple Supreme Court decisions that opened the proverbial Pandora’s Box; however, the federal government did intrude itself. As a result, the abortion culture is now deeply implanted in America, and there are those who are as committed to that practice today as there were those who were committed to slavery a century-and-a-half ago. And abortion (like slavery before it) has become one of the nation’s biggest economic businesses; it therefore will not be eradicated from the nation by mere statutory action at the state level (or vice versa).

    The Founding Fathers established federalism to preserve states’ rights, but they also placed the protection of inalienable rights far above the level of states’ rights. Candidates who desire to lead the nation should follow the Framers’ example and conform to the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, protecting life and marriage through the constitutional process those early leaders wisely provided.

    - by Rick Green & David Barton

  • 25 Apr 2012 8:23 PM | Patrick Nix (Administrator)
    Has your decision to homeschool your children ever left you feeling tired, overwhelmed or stressed out? As a student who was homeschooled (my family began homeschooling in 1978), I have learned a few things and over the years about how to avoid burnout in your homeschool.

    One of the most common reasons for weariness and frustration among homeschooling parents is the weight of self-inflicted deadlines and standards. It is good, of course, to have goals in mind, but we must always ask ourselves: "Am I seeking to do the Lord's will, or am I merely pursuing my own agenda?"

    As Christian families, we need to view homeschooling not as a glorious end, in and of itself, but rather as a means to an end. The main goal is to raise children who love the Lord, and are committed to following Christ. It is not to produce robots that can recite random facts and data at the drop of a hat.

    What a child knows is really insignificant compared to what he or she believes. We must move beyond facts to convictions. It is vital that our children know: 
    1. What they believe. 
    2. Why their beliefs are true. 
    3. How to articulate their beliefs.
    4. How to live their beliefs consistently.

    Getting the right answers on a test is meaningless unless a child knows how to apply those truths to everyday life. Non-applicable knowledge is worthless. As parents, we want our children to excel academically, and homeschoolers usually do. Our main motivation for homeschooling, however, should not be academic prowess. Instead, we should "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these (including academic) things will be added to us." (Matt. 6:33)

    We should always stay focused on our long-term goals, but we must consistently follow the leading of the Spirit. Why are we homeschooling? Our main objective should be to fulfill our God-given obligation to "train up our children in the way they should go." (Prov. 22:6) Psalm 78, Deuteronomy 6 and 11 and many other passages stress the importance of teaching God's laws to our children.

    What is the purpose of an education? God's primary reasons for commanding you to teach your own children are to: 
    1) Enable God to purify you (the parent), as you allow the fire and pressure of the homeschool setting to make you into pure gold.
    2) To help your children know and love Him, and become prepared to serve Him.

    God desires for us to have close family relationships, and He uses the process of family discipleship to develop Godly character in both the children and the parents. God has established and He designed parents to be the primary influences in shaping their children's values. Parents can't expect to receive a Godly harvest unless they labor during the planting.

    We must learn to view home education as a lifestyle decision, and not merely an academic alternative. Use every available moment to teach eternal principles. Developing a Biblical worldview in children is not something that happens by accident. It is taught by formal instruction and caught by the Godly example of the parents.

    By keeping in mind that we are homeschooling because we want to raise children who love Jesus, we won't be so frustrated if our child doesn’t understand Phonics or Chemistry. I've seen some mothers become so frustrated by their inability to communicate math facts that they scream at their children and throw books! In trying to teach academics, are we achieving our ultimate goal of developing Godly character? Nothing is so important that it overrides our relationships with God and each other.

    It is also easy to get caught up in the busyness of activities, running our children here and there, and over-committing ourselves into panic. Are all the programs we are involved in bringing us closer to God and each other, or are they mostly wearing us out? We may need to recalibrate our compass. What does God expect of us?

    "He has shown you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you. To do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)
    "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." (Ec. 12:13)
    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
    "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." (Gal. 6:2)

    If we focus on teaching eternal principles, and developing Christ-like character in our children, we will have academic success as a natural result of our obedience to God. We should not merely teach our children what to believe, but show them why our beliefs are true. They should be able to determine, from the principles in Scripture, what is good and what is evil. They should recognize absolute truths and be able to reason from a Biblical worldview.

    By keeping obedience to God as our primary reason for homeschooling, we will have the flexibility to change our educational approaches, relax in the face of deadlines, and put family relationships above SAT scores. We can have a joyful, peaceful, loving family and still achieve an academic standard superior to the world; but we must keep Christ as the focus and avoid humanistic expectations.

    - by Carol Topp
 

 

 

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