Thursday, April 3, 2014

Happy Resurrection Day!

Below are a few videos of some of my favorite songs that celebrate the resurrection of our Savior.  They are performed by Keith Green and Don Francisco.

 I hope they minister to you too.  For some, they will bring back rich memories of a special time in Christian music.

    Keith Green was a powerful part of the Jesus Movement in the 1970's.  Along with two of his children, he was killed in a plane crash at 28 years old .  He was full of much conviction and had a passion for telling others about Jesus.  You can learn more about his ministry here .
   Don Francisco was also a strong voice in the Christian music community during the 70's & 80's.  He and his wife, Mary (from Wendy & Mary) still minister today.


                                  The Easter Song, by Keith Green

  Too Small a Price, by Don Francisco
From their website...
Don Francisco's music has always focused on the forgiveness of a loving God. Don is known worldwide for his ballads written from the point of view of Bible characters who were surprised by God's grace. His best known song, "He's Alive", is written from the point of view of Peter just after the crucifixion of Jesus. "Too Small A Price" is another powerful song written from the point of view of the thief on the cross who slowly comes to realize that he is being crucified next to the Messiah.
This song has two parts.  The first is the story of the thief as mentioned above.  The second part is what is happening with the saints, during the 3 days that Jesus' body is in the tomb. 
The Victor, by Keith Green
He's Alive! , By Don Francisco

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Common Core State Standards Initiative - Let's Be Informed

     So what do you know about "Common Core"?  If you're like me, you've recently been hearing the phrase more and more, but aren't sure what all the fuss is about.  As a home educator, I often must ignore the issues that  plague the public school system.  I'm busy enough keeping my own nose above water, and working on the task of homeschooling my own children.   So while I can't get too involved in every political issue floating around, this subject seems to warrant my attention, especially since people and organizations (like HSLDA) that I respect are starting to weigh in heavily on the topic.  The information that is coming to the forefront is alarming and concerning, and seems to affect all of us... public, private and home schools... and eventually our society in general.   It is definitely worth spending a little time finding out what this is about, because our children's futures are closely linked to this agenda. 
     My understanding of Common Core is that it is a standardized curriculum primarily for math and English, designed by the federal government, that individual states are adopting and implementing in their public schools.  The incentive for states to give up the independent governing of their own public schools is of course... money... incentives in the form of federal dollars.  Since the public schools do have many issues with the quality of education, this sounds like it should be a good thing, right?  But there are several problems with this that affect homeschoolers, either directly or indirectly, and families in general.  For example, as public schools change their curriculum to reflect what is on the Common Core exams, and colleges change their entrance and placement exams to reflect that same curriculum, private and home schooled students who are not taught the content of Common Core, will be at a disadvantage for admissions, scholarships and other options.  And the content of Common Core is
reason enough to be concerned.  Also, it appears that there is an agenda completely separate from educating, as it calls for the gathering of private information, studying students' behavior for invasive purposes, etc.  It's all rather shrouded and curious.  I'm no expert for sure, and am still trying to understand it all.  Perhaps the info. below will help add some clarity.
     Below is an article and a few short videos that will help explain the reasons for the concern. You may not be able to watch them all at once, but please take the time to work through this information until you have a good understanding and can tell a friend why they might want to be concerned too. These are all quite compelling, so take a moment, and join me on a journey of information gathering.  I think we owe it to our children not to sleep on our watch. 

Also, here is an article by Michelle Malkin, with more details. Quite informative.

This is a short film (39 min.) from HSLDA, explaining Common Core and some of the concerns:

David Barton on Common Core (39 min.): 

Arkansas Mom on Common Core (4 min.):


Monday, March 17, 2014

Christ With Me - A Prayer of St. Patrick

 Below is an interesting article on the life of St. Patrick, and his role in bringing the gospel to the people of Ireland.  I have read several accounts of his life, and while there are a few contradictions, the main point seems to be that this man (who wasn't Irish) had a heart for sharing the Lord with a people that did not know Him, and risked much to do that.  So, instead of posting pics of shamrocks (which he supposedly used to teach the trinity), I thought I'd post an article that might open discussion in your family, as well as the "poem/hymn" below that is based on his personal writings.  Since so many are talking of wearing green today and there is much reference to drinking & partying in honor of this historical figure, I thought it was worth taking the topic and holiday in another direction. 

You can read the article here  .

Prayer of St. Patrick

As I arise today,
may the strength of God pilot me,
the power of God uphold me,
the wisdom of God guide me.
May the eye of God look before me,
the ear of God hear me,
the word of God speak for me.

May the hand of God protect me,
the way of God lie before me,
the shield of God defend me,
the host of God save me.
May Christ shield me today.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit,
Christ when I stand,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

New Jerusalem

 It is so easy to be distracted by all the scary unrest in the world.  It can be difficult to find peace at times, looking at the unstable world situations, as our children are coming of age or will be in the near future.  Have I equipped them to navigate this mess?  Do I feel equipped?  Not really.  The only source of peace is to trust in the Lord and His sovereignty.   I know the Lord is on His throne, regardless of it all.  Everything passes through His hand.  The world stage is not unknown to Him nor is it a surprise.  This is a comfort in times of uncertainty.  And I am reminded that I am to continually prepare my heart and be on watch for His coming. 

 I was reading and thinking of the Church and end times and it reminded me of a beautiful song that my dear friend sang often (when we were young and would take guitars to the beach and watch the sunset and laugh and chat and sing to the Lord.)   It is a song by Jamie Owens Collins called New Jerusalem. It is a beautiful word picture of the Bride of Christ, waiting and watching and ready to meet her bridegroom, in the midst of the world chaos, knowing that He will come for her.

Listen carefully to the words.  Enjoy and be encouraged.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Creation Debate - response

 Here is one more article  about the Creation Debate.  This one is from an author who is an evolutionist.  In the post-debate interview from my previous blog post, Ken Ham references this article.  A note of caution... the author uses profanity a couple of times, so it may not be suitable reading for the entire family.  But in spite of that, it is an informative read. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Creation Debate with Ken Ham & Bill Nye

You can read a great follow up article on the debate here .

And one more here .

Here is a post debate conversation with Ken Ham, regarding the Creation Debate with Bill Nye.  It is about 45 minutes long, and is quite interesting to hear his response to the event.   This discussion explains what was really important about that debate... it wasn't the drama or media buzz of opposing views being expressed. It was about the opportunity to share the gospel with millions of people, as well as Bill Nye.  Really worth the time to watch with your kids, especially if they saw the debate. 

And if you didn't get a chance to see the debate, you can watch it here for awhile, at least.  ( It may be available only temporarily?).

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Daughters of the Faith - Book Series


Daughters of the Faith is a series of 8 books by Wendy Lawton.   They are well written biographies of 8 Christian women, focusing on the events of their childhoods.  Several of these names most have heard of, such as Pocahontas, Harriet Tubman, Phyllis Wheatley, and Mary Bunyan.  But some were new names from familiar events, like the Mayflower.

     From a Holocaust survivor to a freed slave, and several others, the stories are told in order to give an account and testimony to God's hand on these young lives.  I have read many biographies intended for middle school and these are some of my favorite.  They are not typical historical fiction, where a fictional character is plugged into a time or event in history and encounters well know historical people. Instead they are well documented bios on these girls, telling the stories of their real lives and situations.  They are appropriate, yet not too graphic, as they tell the real story of the injustices and hardships that were endured, as well as the powerful way the Lord moved in their lives. The purpose is not so much to tell us about an event in history, although the reader will get familiar with that, but the purpose is more to remind the reader of what God is capable of doing in our lives.  They are a fine combo of history, biography and church. :)
    After I discovered them in CBD and read Karen Andreola's review, I found them at our local library.  They are interesting and engaging enough that I read them as well, and truly enjoyed them.
    Unlike books such as the American Girl series or My America, which are usually geared towards girls, these titles could be enjoyed by boys as well, in the same way that our daughters might read a biography on George Washington Carver or Daniel Boone.  And  while I enjoy historical fiction, I appreciate that these books are based on true events in young lives, and almost all (if not all) of the characters and events in the story are real, which makes for a powerful testimony of God's faithfulness.
  Although they are probably intended for a middle school audience, my 14 yo 9th grader has enjoyed them a lot, and in fact, Shadow of His Hand is one of her favorite books.  It had a tremendous impact on her heart. 
  You can find these titles at CBD or at our local library.  You can read more about each title from the  author's website .