Archive for faith

Oct
21

Reformation Day Giveaway

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For many, October 31st is known as “Reformation Day,” and Martin Luther, with his shaking of the church of his time, as the “Father of the Reformation.” The date acknowledges Luther’s nailing his ninety-five theses to a church door on October 31, 1517 in Wittenburg, Germany; and becoming a major catalyst in what we now historically call the Protestant Reformation.

We would do well to recall The Five Solas (Latin phrases) that emerged during the Reformation. These should essentially underlay Christianity:

  1. Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
  2. Sola Fide (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
  3. Sola Gratia (“grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
  4. Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.
  5. Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.

Giving our children a firm foundation in their faith is vitally important. Danika Cooley has been lauded as “an engaging writer of children’s literature, she is a careful and winsome theologian.” I am excited to be reading her latest book, When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther, and it will soon be available to you. (You can actually pre-order it now from Amazon at a sweet discount.) To celebrate Reformation Day and the release of When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther, I’ve joined together with a team of blogger friends to host a fantastic giveaway, valued at over $500!

 

Reformation Day Giveaway

One person will win ALL of the following:

$100 Amazon Gift Card

Fire 7-inch Tablet, WiFi 8GB ($49.99)

When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther (hardcover $16.99)

From WiseDecor.com, a $50 Gift Certificate

From Nuremberg Tourist Board, a Playmobil Martin Luther figure ($9.99)

From Thinking Kids Press, a curriculum bundle from When Lightning Struck! author, Danika Cooley:

From Fortress Press, a book bundle by author, Tim Dowley:

  1. Christian Music: A Global History  ($35)
  2. Introduction to the History of Christianity: Second Edition ($55)
  3. The Student Bible Atlas: Revised Edition  ($12.99)
  4. Atlas of the European Reformations ($24)

From Home School Adventure Co.:

  1. Philosophy Adventure: Pre-Socratics (digital $39.95)
  2. Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal (digital $18.95)

 

*To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter below.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:
This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn. Entry into this giveaway will subscribe you to the Thinking Kids Press email list.

Blessings,

Penny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Apr
12

Day 102

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“Unto Thee, O Lord. . .”

 

I woke up with this song, from Psalm 25on my mind this morning,

 

 Unto Thee, O Lord, by Maranatha! Singers

 

Blessed Heavenly Father, I am grateful that You are good and upright.  I am thankful that all Your paths are mercy and truth.  Forgive my sins, Lord, and help me to keep short accounts with You.  Let me never be ashamed of You, or who I am, in You.  I have nothing to fear, because You are with me.  Let not my enemies triumph over me — Whether real or imagined, physical or mental, foreign or domestic. My trust is in You, Almighty God.  Keep my soul, and deliver me.  Deliver our nation, Lord.  Deliver and restore us to righteousness, for Your Namesake. Blessed be Your name!  In Jesus’ name, I pray. . . Amen.

 

Blessings,

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May
26

Fall On Your Knees

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Puddle Jumping - KneeDeep

 

I wrote the song, Fall On Your Knees,  in 2007.  I have an audio recording of it, but this is the first video recording I’ve done.  Actually, it’s the first time I’ve played guitar with it! It’s not the best sound, but I think you can hear it well enough; and I hope it blesses you.

A special note of thanks to my mom for her constant encouragement, and genuine gratitude to my brother for playing back up guitar with me.  I’m continuing to step out of my comfort zone!  God is good, and all the glory is His!

 

 

Lyrics:

Every day I look around I don’t see what I want to see.
Our whole world is crashing down and so rapidly.
People are just givin’ up, they don’t think there’s a chance,
To save these souls; but they don’t know our wondrous Father’s plans.

CHORUS:
Fall on your knees.  Lift your prayers up to heaven, we’re a new generation; 
We’re gonna rock this world. 
Fall on your knees.  Lift your prayers up to heaven, we’re a new generation;
We’re gonna rock this world.  We’re gonna rock this world!

All across this lonely earth, people are reaching out for love,
To chase away the fear and hurt they hold inside their heart.
Though there’s sin and selfishness, hope will not be drowned.
Through this pain and suffering, faith will find it’s ground.

CHORUS

It’s time to, call on His Holy Name.  It’s time to, call in the cavalry. 
We’re gonna rock it.  We’re gonna rock it.
It’s time to, share the love of Christ and
It’s time to, show the world what’s right.
We’re gonna rock it.  We’re gonna rock it.

Fall on your knees.  Lift your prayers up to heaven, we’re a new generation.
We’re gonna rock this world.
Fall on your knees.  Lift your prayers up to heaven, we’re a new generation.
We’re gonna rock this world.  We’re gonna rock this world!

Warmly,

Sarah E.

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted; they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace, and may not be used without permission.

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Apr
21

Speak – Before It’s Too Late

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Puddle Jumping - KneeDeep

 

When tragedies like the Boston Marathon Bombing, and the West, Texas Plant Explosion hit so close to home we are forced to face reality.  Our world is a mess.  It has been since the fall of man in The Garden of Eden, yet we are still surprised.  We shake our head at people in disbelief and dismay.  We pray and cry for the families of the wounded and dead.  We mourn the lives that are lost, but do we consider their souls?

As Christians, we do not have to fear death.  Philippians 1:21 says, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”  In other words, I believe that alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m His just reward.  This life versus even more life eternal — I can’t lose!  So, truly, we live.

It breaks my heart, thinking about the unsaved, eternally separated from God.  Forever in darkness and anguish.  Only God knows the heart of man, and where on the other side the souls of the dead reside.  Do their spirits now dance with Him in glory, or not?

I scold myself, thinking, if it genuinely breaks my heart why do I sit and do nothing?  Every day I should be telling someone about the gospel of Jesus Christ!  It could be their last day.  I don’t have to be in church to teach it, nor do I have to be on a mission trip to share it.  I just have to be walking-it-out, living it day-to-day, keeping it on my lips.   The free gift of eternal life, that Jesus gave me, should always be on my mind; and the good news of it should be the first thing that I want to tell people.

The truth is, I could die to protect any stranger on the street.  I know where my eternity is, but I would want to make sure they had another chance to hear about God’s love for them.  Willing to die, but not willing to approach them and speak?  In a room, I don’t think I’d be the first to talk to them.  “Why?” I ask myself.  Am I that shy?  Am I afraid of what someone will think of me?  Again, “why?”

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” [2 Timothy 1:7]  I am praying for boldness in Christ Jesus, with every expectation that God will give it to me because He wants me to have it.  In the mean time, I consciously make myself move, in spite of my timidity.  I think it is a heartless and selfish thing to not share the hope of salvation with others.  That’s not who I want to be.  I want to be like fresh water for the thirsty, not the stagnant water no one can drink.

If I were told that, for one day only , the gas station on the corner is selling gas for one cent per gallon, I would be spreading the information like crazy.  I would not hesitate to tell everyone, and they would tell everyone!   We would post it on facebookWe would tweet about it.  We might even stand on the corner and shout about it.  Friends, neighbors, and strangers.  We would be advising people to stock up, and not miss the opportunity.  A penny a gallon!  Wow.  Yet, salvation is free to each of us.  Jesus already paid the price.  Why aren’t we telling everyone to stock up on everlasting life?

 

index

Granted, we are not responsible for the choices others make, but we are responsible for what we choose — whether or not we tell them about our faith and God’s gift of grace.  Salvation is the greatest deal on earth!  Yet, many still don’t know about it.  We couldn’t force anyone to pump gas for a penny, and we can’t force them to believe on The Lord, Jesus Christ, but we should at least tell them of His loving offer.

The world may continue to fall apart before our eyes.  May every heartache it throws our way be kindling to a fire inside us, that ignites a burning desire to further the Kingdom of God and see souls saved.  We must speak.

 

Warmly,

Sarah E.

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted; they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace, and may not be used without permission.

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Mar
31

No Muck Here

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Puddle Jumping - KneeDeep

 

For as long as I can remember, God has been an important part of my life.  I’ve grown up with morning devotions, scripture memory, and family prayer time.  I wore my first Bible to shreds from constantly looking at the pictures! When I was five years old I asked Jesus to come into my heart.  My parents sat next to me, on my brother’s bed; guiding me as I said a modest prayer.  I didn’t fully comprehend the immeasurable wonder that salvation is, but I didn’t have to; I knew Jesus loved me.  I recognized that I did things that were wrong and I knew He would help me do good.  I accepted that He was the only way to get to heaven and I certainly didn’t want to be left out of that!  

 

Child-like faith comes easy when you’re a child.

 

During my lifetime, I have heard many powerful testimonies of redemption.  I would sit back and listen to people tell of how they lived lives in theft, sexual immorality, or bondage to alcohol or drugs.  I’d be moved to tears when they recalled how Christ saved them when they were in their darkest time, and He was the light that set them free.  Then, I’d think to myself, “Wow, my testimony is nothing compared to that!  I won’t inspire anyone by telling them I became a Christian when I was a kid, and I was raised in a Godly home.  It’s so boring!”  Now, I know how wrong I was.

 

 It’s God’s plan of salvation that’s beautiful and inspiring,

 

not the amount of muck you go through to receive it.

 

I have had and will continue to have my own tests, trials and temptations.  I am not even within throwing distance of perfect!  I do think I had one day where I didn’t commit a single sin – I was sick and I slept for 26 hours.  Truth!

 

Never Boast

 

I know that “all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.”  [Romans 3:23]

 I rely on the fact that No temptation has overtaken you [me] that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you [me] be tempted beyond your [my] ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you [I] may be able to endure it.”  [1 Corinthians 10:13]

 And I do my best to “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you [I] meet trials of various kinds, for you [I]  know that the testing of your [my] faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you [I] may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  [James 1:2-4]

 I am saved by Grace, not by my own works.  Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins.  When I accepted Him, in faith; believing, He washed my sins away!  All of them – past, present and future!  I thank God for keeping me from evil, for growing me as a Christian, while I was growing from child to adult.  What a blessing to have been brought up in a loving, nurturing environment, by parents that taught me the fear and admonition of The Lord!  What a gift to have been established on a firm foundation!  God changed my heart then, as a child, and He’s still changing it day to day.  He’s perfecting me for His Glory!  This is Easter, and it’s one of my favorite holiday celebrations, because it reminds me of what my Savior did for me.  I like the term Resurrection Sunday best, because without His resurrection there is no victory!

 

Redeemer, sung by Nicole C. Mullen, is in my top ten song list.

When it comes on the radio, I close my eyes and soak in the awe-inspiring words. . .except when I’m driving, of course!

 “He lives
To take away my shame
And He lives
Forever I’ll proclaim
That the payment for my sin
Was the precious life He gave
But now He’s alive and there’s an empty grave!

And I know
My Redeemer lives
I know
My Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
That this life within me cries
I know my Redeemer”

 

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines redeem as this:  1.  Compensate for the faults or bad aspects of (something)  > (of a person) atone or make amends  > save (someone) from sin, error or evil.  2.  Gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment.

How fitting that we call Christ our Redeemer!  What an awesome God!

“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.  They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.  In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:  ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” [Luke 24:1-7]

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

 

 I know my Redeemer lives, and I hope you do, too.

 

Warmly,

Sarah E.

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted; they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace, and may not be used without permission.

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Aug
22

Make a Defense

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Where did we come from?

Who are we?

Why are we here?

How should we live?

Where are we going?

Have you ever asked any of these questions?  When asked, can you answer your child, your spouse, your friend or neighbor?  These are the five most consequential questions in life, and most people, even the majority of Christians cannot give Biblically-based answers for the hope that we have.

[1 Peter 3:15]   “In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as Holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

When we study the reasons for why we believe what we believe, we build the strength, develop the confidence and assurance to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God.” [2 Corinthians 10:5]

[2 Peter 4:1-2]  “I charge you…preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”

Many good books have been written to address these questions and the multitude of others posed by believers and skeptics alike.  Is there such a thing as truth, and can it be known?  Who made God?  Does similarity of design prove a common ancestor or a common designer?  Is Moral Law undeniable?  Do we see Biblical miracles today, and if not, why?  Why can’t all religions be true?  Is the New Testament reliable?  Did Jesus really rise from the dead?  Was he a mere prophet, The Son of God, or a madman?  The one book I have found to address each of these questions is I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEISTby Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek.

This an exceptional book of Christian Apologetics.  It is an intensive read, over 400 pages.  I’m still reading it, and sharing my single copy with two teens.  I’ve been encouraged by their comments:

“I like that it’s not just for Christians.  I can think of two people, right now, that I want to give this book to!”

“I need a dictionary, but the cool thing is that the book is interesting enough that I don’t mind getting the dictionary to reap the full benefit.”

“It’s not conversational.  I’m still being taught, but it isn’t stagnant writing.  It’s fast paced and interesting.”

“I think the authors do a good job of detailing and explaining objecting viewpoints.  They come across as being persuasive without being pushy.”

Personally, in reading I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, I was surprised at the level of blind faith it takes to be an Atheist, especially in light of the logical and reasonable path to belief, in Jesus Christ, that is cleared by Geisler and Turek.

~

Apologia has stepped up to make this a full Apologetic Curriculum, by publishing an exhaustive workbook based on the book.  I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST Curriculum is an oversize, spiral-bound book, written by Frank Turek and Chuck Winter.  “It presents supplemental material, study questions, and activities designed to encourage personal reflection and discussion and build writing skills.”  It is suggested that two to three weeks be spent reading each chapter, and completing the study questions and assignments.  Because of the flexibility of this course, it is our intention to spend about a week on each chapter, the first time through the book, but then to read it again, reviewing the notes and answers we recorded the first time.  My girls and I agree, “We want to be able to make a defense now, not 9 months from now,” which is the amount of time it would take with the original course plan. 

I have browsed through the entire curriculum, but have not had much opportunity to use it, yet, because of a delivery issue that delayed the arrival of my book.  The book can be read alone, but the curriculum guides you through an in-depth study and must be used in conjunction with the text.  For every chapter in I Don’t Have Enough FAITH… there is a corresponding chapter in the Curriculum workbook.

Each chapter is divided into four main sections.

Hook – “Questions that Grab Your Mind” and stimulate your brain for learning.

Book – “Facts in This Chapter” promote a deeper study and testing of comprehension and retention of the material.

Look – “You Do the Digging” is suggested assignments that prompt you to “question with boldness,” as Thomas Jefferson said, and not just take the author’s word for it.

Took – “What Do I Do Now?” leads you through a summary and possible applications.

This workbook is consumable, but because I plan to use it with several students over the next few years, we’ll use personal notebooks to transcribe the questions and write our answers.  There is a Glossary of Terms at the back of the book and every answer to every question in this study is provided in a downloadable Answer Key.  I did use one of the highlights of the workbook weeks before the book arrived.  In each lesson there are profiles of historical people or topics that are mentioned in the book, fascinating pages that give insight to, St. Augustine, Friedrich Nietzsche, David Hume, Isaac Newton, Nontheistic Religions, Clement of Rome, Mother Teresa, Biblical Archaeology, and more.  I read every one of them!

~

I’m excited to work through this study!  I want to be ready to tell anyone, at any moment, of The Hope that I have within me.  My enthusiasm has piqued my husband’s interest, and I can say without doubt, that this will be required reading for my children.

I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST sells for $16.00, and the I Don’t Have Enough FAITH…Curriculum can be purchased for $33.00.  There are also optional DVD’s available that correlate directly to the book.

If you have questions or comments, please CONTACT Apologia.

Write ~

Apologia Educational Ministries
1106 Meridian Plaza Suite 220
Anderson, IN 46016

or

Call ~ 888.524.4724

Thanks to Apologia, teaching the essentials of the Christian faith is much easier for me than it once was.  I have previously used and reviewed the first three books in their What We Believe Series:   Who Is God? , Who Am I? , and Who Is My Neighbor?   I also appreciate their  Resources for Parents,  especially   Educating the WholeHearted Child.

You can read additional reviews of this book and curriculum, written by my Crew mates, when you click the banner below and follow the link.


 

 

“This does not mean there is no room for faith.  But God wants us to take a step of faith in light of evidence, rather than a leap in the dark.”  ~ Norman Geisler

 

Reading this book will give you the knowledge and the courage to answer life’s big questions, whether they’re your own or someone else’s.

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   A copy of I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, and the Curriculum by the same name, was given to me free of charge, in exchange for my honest review, as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. 
I appreciate your comments.

 

 

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

 

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Feb
24

What Will Your Child Believe?

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From the time our children are born we teach them that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.  They grow knowing it, because they hear it often.  When they’re a little older, they’re often amazed the first time we share The Scripture, from Psalm 139:13-16, with them, because they realize it’s not just momma and daddy, being momma & daddy and saying they are wonderful and unique, God said it.

“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.”

The Bible is our touchstone.  It is the measure by which the validity or merit of something can be evaluated.  We view knowledge through The Bible.  We believe it is the ultimate authority.  We desire to live by faith in Christ Jesus and anchor our world-view in Him.

As our children become preteens and teenagers we challenge them to apply themselves to know why they believe what they believe.  Yes, we want them to know The Truth, and to believe it, but it will not hold them fast if they don’t own it themselves.  If you don’t know why you are waiting to have sex until after you’re married, inevitably you’ll find yourself in a situation of compromise.  If you don’t know why you think a baby is a baby before it’s earthside, abortion is a possibility.  If you don’t know why you believe in Jesus Christ as The Way, The Truth, and The Life, someone may come along and give you a good enough reason to think He isn’t.

What will my children believe when they stand on their own?  What will your child believe when he’s 15?

Who Am I, And What Am I Doing Here?, by Apologia, gives you foundational truths to teach your children.  You’ll know what they believe, and they’ll know why they believe it.

Written for ages 6-14; “based on the Biblical Christian worldview, which affirms that truth is absolute and knowable through the revelation of God.  It affirms that knowledge of God is the beginning of wisdom and the key to understanding the world around us.”  $39.

Comments or Questions?

Contact ~

Write

Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc.

1106 Meridian Plaza, Suite 220/340

Anderson, IN  46016

Phone

888.524.4724

or

765.608.3280

Email

biblicalworldview@apologia.com

Blessings,

Penny

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

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Oct
24

A Wholehearted Conversation

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Over the years, I have often been asked, “How can you homeschool your children,” usually quickly followed by,  “I just don’t think I’m smart enough to do that!”  Inevitably, I respond by assuring them that I don’t believe that I have all of the answers to my children’s educational needs, or that I’m even required to, but I can find the answers.  After early elementary school, academically, my job is one of teaching study skills, application and discipline, providing large doses of encouragement and support, and supplying necessary resources.  I am better equipped and empowered when I utilize resources for parents, too.

A recent conversation with my friend, we’ll call her Heidi, went like this:

ME:  “I have a TOS crew review to write on a huge book!  It’s 8 1/2″ X 11″ and more than 350 pages!  If I could own only one book for homeschooling (counting curriculum, but excluding The Bible, of course) it would be this one.”

[Her face looked a bit shocked.  I’ve been homeschooling for more than 25 years; so, I definitely had her attention.]

HEIDI:  “What!  What is it?  Above curriculum?  How?  Why?”

ME:  “Ultimately, I can pull teaching material from anywhere, but this book reminds me of why I homeschool.  Why I do it now, why I did it then and why I would do it all, again, but do it better!  The authors say that those reading it usually fall into 1 of 3 categories:

  1. Those that are already using a wholehearted approach to teaching and have followed their leadership for years.  This book was actually first published in 1994 and revised in 1996.  It is now (2011) in it’s third printing, with more than 100 new pages added and a large portion of the original pages rewritten.  Content and resources needed to be updated and they, like most of us, have learned a thing or two in fifteen years.  These readers will discover a new or forgotten morsel of truth in this edition.
  2. Those, like me, who have been homeschooling for cen-tu-ries (intended hyperbole) and are in need of affirmation, inspiration or even a little coaxing to continue on this path.  When I started reading this book, I wondered why I didn’t have it in 1994 or 1996.  I was homeschooling then, why now?  Because now is when I need to be reminded of my desire and my right to raise our children “in the fear and admonition of The Lord;”  to emulate and teach an I’m-all-in-(body, mind, heart, soul and strength)-devotion to God, consistently and constantly.  This book has been a transfusion to my life-battered being.  I remember why.
  3. Those who are fresh to the idea of homeschooling their children.  The young explorers that appreciate having good navigational tools at hand.  A compass, a map and a light for the way ahead.  This is a guide, written by those that scouted and traveled the road before you.  This book is a vision shared, one of “Wholehearted Learning – a Biblical, commonsense, discipleship-based lifestyle of home education using real books, real life, and real relationships.”

“It’s an apologia WholeHeart publication and it’s titled, Educating the WholeHearted Child, by Clay and Sally Clarkson.

 

It gives you a layout, a design, a plan…to make your home “a heart-filling, rich, and lively learning environment where your children will love to learn as naturally as they love to play.”

HEIDI:  “Are you a speed reader?  Did you read the whole thing?  Can I read it when you’re finished with it?”

ME:  “You know that I can read quickly, but you won’t believe it, I’ve actually written in the margins of this book.”

[Her brow furrowed and comprehension was a bit slow.  We do not write in books unless they are consumable workbooks.  It is a firmly established momma-law, taught from the time my children are knee-high to a grasshopper.]

HEIDI:  “YOU wrote in the book?”

ME:  “I did.  I’m an adult and it is my book!  It is a high gloss paperback, but it is clearly non-consumable.  I’ve found myself wanting to savor it and digest it.  I’ve highlighted sentences and paragraphs!  I haven’t read the whole book, yet.  I’ve never lost sight of the destination, but this book has renewed my joy in the journey of homeschooling!  I’m not in a rush to read it,  just for the sake of reading it, I want to sort of meander along and absorb my surroundings.  At the moment, my youngest child is only 7 years old, so I don’t foresee being finished with this book any time soon.  You’ll want your own clean copy, anyway.  Put it on your Christmas list and I’ll see what I can do.”

HEIDI:  “That’s a nice thought, but I don’t know if I want to wait until Christmas, that’s 60 days away.  How much is it?”

ME:  “Sixty days, are you kidding me?  (Between the heart palpitations I’m thinking, where has the year gone!)  It’s going to be here in no time!  (Think peace, I think.  Don’t freak out!  Enjoy Thanksgiving, first, my brain tries to reassure me.)  Educating the WholeAHearted Child is $22.00.  It would be the best gift to get if you’re even considering homeschooling.

It has chapters pertaining to:  HOME, LEARNING, METHODS for Discipleship Studies, Disciplined Studies, The Study of Ideas, Discovery Studies and The Study of Living with an eye on your child’s Divine design and natural bent, and LIVING.

You can look up *https://apologia.securesites.net/pdfs/TOC/297.pdf to see the Table of Contents in detail,  and if you go to *https://apologia.secutesites.net/pdfs/sample/297.pdf you can view a sample of the entire 1st chapter.  You’ll notice there is additional information along the margins of the main text, Scripture references and notable quotes.  There’s even more in other chapters, throughout the book.  You’ll find answers to questions, like What about Socialization?  Information and statistics.  “…nearly 4 percent of the school-age population are homeschoolers.”  That’s  more than 2 million K-12 children in the U.S. that are homeschooled, which is considerably more than the estimated 30,000 when I began to homeschool.  There are recommended resources and suggested math tools, lists of good books and field trip tips and rules.

Starting in chapter two there are italicized notes, under the heading of IN OUR HOME.  Located at the bottom of a page, these snippets offer a glimpse into the Clarkson’s own home.  This is what you’ll read on page 217, “With all the baskets lying around our house, someone might think we like to shop at the local Farmers’ Market.  Except for one thing – they are all filled with books!  Next to just about every comfortable couch or overstuffed chair, there is a big can or wicker basket of fruits and vegetables for the mind.  The baskets were originally filled with random or topical selections of books (holiday, illustrated stories, heroes, preschool, etc.).  Later we turned them into personal reading – one for each child and one for library books.  We change the selection periodically with input from the children.  It’s so fulfilling to see our children grab books to read alone or together stretched out on the couch or stuffed into the overstuffed chair.  Now if we can just find a good Farmers’ Market for books.”  With all of their years of personal education, experience and accomplishments, Clay and Sally Clarkson seem very humble.  I didn’t find judgment or absolutes in this book.  I encountered an undeniable love of Christ, family, life and learning, and the desire to pass that on to anyone and everyone that will listen.

Oh, I almost forgot, there are also more than 15 essential, time-saving, record-keeping, organizational forms at the end of the book.  One of my favorites is the “My 24 Family ‘Ways to Be” – Godly Character” form.  The “Ways to Be” are from Our 24 Family Ways:  A Family Devotional Guide by Clay Clarkson from Whole Heart Press.  24 Character traits and their descriptions are listed and memorized.  They are all simply and clearly written, but we’ve been concentrating on three for the past few weeks.   #8  Forgiveness – Treating someone who has offended me as though I had never been hurt.  #18  Peacemaker – Finding a way to avoid or end a disagreement rather than to begin or win it.   #21  Integrity – Knowing what is right and living that way.

HEIDI:  “I don’t think you have to convince me.  I think it’s more of a decision of when, not if; so, if I decide that I can’t wait until Christmas for this book, or if I decide to give it to myself for Christmas, but at an earlier date, where can I find it?”

ME:  “Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. has a website at *https://apologia.securesites.net/ and you can find it there under apologia Press, Resources for Parents, along with Read for the Heart, another apologia book, by the Clarkson’s daughter, Sarah, that I reviewed this past May.”


or Contact:

Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc.

1106 Meridian Plaza Suite 220

Anderson, IN  46016  US

telephone – 888.524.4724

and

Questions or Comments for the Clarkson’s can be addressed to:

Whole Heart Ministries

P.O. Box 3445

Monument, CO  80132

email – www.wholeheart.org

telephone – 888.488.4466

ME:  “I’ll let you know, Heidi,  when I get my review posted and you can read my final thoughts about it then.  But, honestly, I suspect it’ll sound a lot like this conversation, shared straight from the heart.  I’ll attach a link to my crew mates reviews, too; so, you can read some other opinions.”

And so it is…

There’s little more to write for this review.  I think Educating the WholeHearted Child is a treasure chest full of God’s goodness, and every time I dip my hand into it, turn the page, I pull out another priceless gem.  I find it remarkable that this book has made such a defining impact on my life.  I trust God that His timing is perfect and this is the exact place of weariness that I needed it’s restorative power.  I am ever in awe of Him and His great love for me and the family that I adore.

Blessings,

 

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Your comments are most welcome.  Thanks. 

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

 

 

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Aug
08

Keep It Simple

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Can you respond to all seven of the following statements with the same word?

1. The word has seven letters.

2. It preceded God and all that He is.

3. It is greater than God!

4. It is vastly more evil than the devil.

5. The poorest people have it.

6. The wealthiest people need it.

7. If  you eat it, you will surely die.

It’s been reported that only 5% of Stanford University graduates were able to figure this out.  YOU can do it!  It isn’t hard and actually, it’s keeping it simple that leads to the answer.  Trust and believe what you know is the absolute truth and there’s your answer.  Persevere!  You’ll be glad you did.

Post your answer in the comments, but only go to the comments if you have the answer or you want the answer AND, smile, because God really does love you!

I like the simple architecture of this, Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

Blessings,

*The content of this blog is owned by Knee Deep In Grace and is not to be copied without express written permission.  Thanks.

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Aug
06

Filling the Well

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I have a true story to share with you and what better place than here, on my blog, on the internet, where it will surely reach millions!  =)

Last week my children and I went camping on the lake.  The grandchildren were invited as an end-of-summer event.  We have been waiting for a break in the rainy weather but my window of opportunity was quickly closing with the end of July looming.  The forecast was for sunny skies; so, I planned to pick up the grands in the afternoon, while the final touches were put on the camp.

Over the last few years, we’ve developed a system for camping that actually works!  Simply:  I orchestrate; direct a lot and plan & pack for meals, my girls do most of the home work, getting clothes packed, bedding organized, etc.  My boys go to the designated campsite and start putting up the tents.  The idea is to have the tents up, supplies on site and then deliver the campers.  Smooth and easy.

So… I sent the boys down early with the tents.  Cell phones now make this job (orchestration) even easier.  I can sort of be in more than one place at a time.  I called after a while and found out that things were going well and two of the smaller tents were already up.  Things were going well at home, also, and we were all so excited to spend this time together.  Some time passed and I got a call about our big tent.  The tent.

After several years, we bought a new family-size tent just last year.  It’s the tent that I sleep in with my two youngest children and three or four young grandchildren.  I know exactly where they are each night and how they’re sleeping.  Too hot in this scorching summer, too cold in our unseasonably freezing fall (last year), giggling and telling stories way past lights out, rolled atop each other, etc.   I sing louder than the crickets and tree frogs, until the last one falls asleep,  zip tent flaps, move kids back into sleeping bags and generally watch through the night, even when my eyes are closed.  lol  This is an important tent.

My older son called to say that because they didn’t remember the specifics of putting this tent up and couldn’t seem to put their hand on a diagram, there was too much stress on one of the main poles and it broke.  “Don’t stress,” he says,  (I wasn’t), and he assures me that he isn’t, either.  They’re going to leave it alone for a time and concentrate on getting the other tents put together.  My response, “I’m not worried; not stressed, but…we must have this tent.  I need this tent.  This is not cool.  I don’t want to come up with a plan B; I am more than comfortable with plan A.  Okay, it’ll be fine.  We’ll think of something.  Call me in a little while.”  I remember thinking, “It’s a fairly new tent, right.  I bet we can order a replacement piece, but that’s not going to help now.  I wonder how long it will take to get it?  Maybe they can overnight it?  Wonder how much that will cost?”

Let me pause here, to tell you that this isn’t really a story.  It is a testimony.  If you’re already here, reading now, this post is for YOU.  Read on.  Don’t miss what God has for you.  It will be a deposit into your personal well of God’s faithfulness.  You will draw on it when you need it.  You’ll be able to tell others and it will be added to their wellI do not believe in coincidence.  I believe in the power of prayer and I believe in God.

We kept at our preparations and we prayed.  We asked God for help and wisdom.  I asked for peace and the ability to maintain a good attitude even if I had to change my ideas of what was best.  A couple of hours later my son called, again.  God had made a direct deposit into his well of faithfulness and he couldn’t wait to tell me what had happened!

Our youngest son had walked down to the lake’s edge to wade and explore.  The oldest decided it was a good time for a break.  They had been working, in the heat, with another brother, for several hours.  He walked from the campsite, across the shore and directly into the water, about 10 feet.  The bottom is sort of gooshy and it tends to make the water a murky, muddied-orange, until you reach some depth and the volume of water washes it out.   Just to his right, lying 2 feet under the surface, on a lake bottom he could still clearly see, was something shiny.  He said that before he even pulled the tent pole out of the water he knew what it was.

This lake encompasses 38,000 acres of water, and nearly 700 miles of shoreline.  There are more than 1/2 a dozen campgrounds and at least 20 designated swim areas; a huge water park and numerous marinas.  Yet, within sight of our camp, at a certain moment in time (not the day before or the day after), there was a tent pole lying at the bottom of this lake and he saw it!  It was not broken or even attached to a broken piece.  The pole that broke on the tent was an end piece.  It had a specific purpose and it’s manufactured for the position it held.  Tent poles come in different lengths and diameters according to the specifics of the tent.  There are ends and middles.  The pole that was in the water is an exact replacement for the broken tent pole.  Exact.  It did not have to be modified or manipulated in any way!  It is the correct size and the specific design for its position!  The FACT is, I could not have purchased a better fitting replacement and there it was.

In our house, this is a-God-thing.  It defies reasonable explanation.  We talk about it.  Praise Him and give Him the glory.  We stand in awe that He would care about something so small and seemingly insignificant in our lives that He would take the time to change our circumstances; to impress upon our hearts that He sees us and He knows our every need, long before we know it ourselves.  We are honored that He loves us enough to build our faith and trusts us to share His Good News.  No doubt, there will come a time when the enemy will tease and torment us with the thought that God has abandoned us and we are unimportant to Him, but the enemy is a liar and this history of God’s faithfulness will be a powerful tool to defeat him.  I share it with you.

 

Our campsite and its stunning view!

 

 

“And they overcame him because of the blood of The Lamb and because of the word of their testimony…”  Revelation 12:11

“Behold, I am The Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”  Jeremiah 32:27

“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:2

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”  2 Corinthians 5:7

“…as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”   Romans 12:3

I don’t have nearly all of the answers to my own questions, let alone yours.  I don’t know why children starve or are abused.  I don’t know why those that seem so good, die so young.  I don’t know why earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, fire and floods are allowed to destroy lives.  I.do.not.know.

What I do know is this ~  God knows and we can put our trust fully in Him.  He loves us, He is faithful and He keeps His promises.

“Yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving Glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.”  Romans 4:20-21

“Why are you in despair, O my soul?  And why have you become disturbed within me?  Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.”  Psalm 42:11

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.  Selah… The Lord of Hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold.  Selah.”  Psalm 46:1-3; 7

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:19

“Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:7

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Don’t give into the temptation of dwelling on your circumstances.  Look to God, where your help comes from.  Nearly 90 years ago, Helen Lemmel penned these words:

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.”

Blessings,

 

*Photographs and content of this blog are copyrighted;  are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

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