Thursday, December 29, 2011

The High Places Are Meant For You

Oh, tell me five months haven't passed since my last blog. Since life finds me in the season of child rearing, I find myself with little time to spare, and when I can write, my thoughts often run along the lines of this most important area of family theory. So...I've been thinking lately...

God's word equivocates us to hinds (a deer-like animal) which are able to "skip upon the hills" and nimbly negociate the sharp peaks of the highest ascents. The high road is surely the place to be. With great views and the fresh air of the highlands, who wouldn't want to travel there? The high road, however, requires sacrifice of those who would seek it. As Hannah Hurnard points out in her book, Hinds Feet on High Places, one must be first equipped with the feet to travel there. No worries, though, Jesus will do that for you. But you must walk with him and follow His directives exactly, for you are going places you have never been. The high road is never the easy path.

There is much to hinder you from choosing the high road, of course, but for those who dare, the rewards are incalculable.

Think on that for awhile, and then read on. You might even want to check out the aforementioned book.

Application of the truth of hinds feet and the high road can be made across the board, but there is no concern more significant than its application in the area of family and children. With that in mind, I offer the following thoughts concerning home education from one of my favorite education resource groups. Why, you ask, does she so often share thoughts on this subject? Surely it's not the only subject of import. Surely not the only subject, but I have found that the way in which a family regards education is the way in which they regard the formation of their child's worldview. And, I'm in the middle of this, so the philosophy of education is often on my mind. God gives us the absolute right to shape our children's character through education.

Whether you already enjoy what I consider the the educational high places or you are thinking over the course of action you need to take concerning your children's education, below you will find some most interesting ideas that will help clear the thinking process. Remember, education is so much more than getting information into a child's brain. Education literally shapes who you are. Teachers are really mentors and gain precious paths of influence over the mentored. The information imparted is colored by the worldview of the writer and what you learn shapes how you view the world. Education is character training; to call it less is to devalue its power.

Homeschooling is not a new idea. Indeed it is ancient, as evidenced by this description of education in the Old Testament: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (Deuteronomy 6: 5-7)
Public schooling is the new idea, and was not common in America until the passage of the first compulsory education law in Massachusetts in 1852.
Homeschooling remains the absolute right and choice of parents. The numbers of children being homeschooled grows each year. Why? Because it works.
1. Homeschooling allows parents to keep their faith active and alive. You can’t live a God-centered life if God is not allowed in your door, as is the case in the public school. Teaching at home allows you to have all learning infused with the Word and Spirit of God.
2. Family values are preserved in the homeschool. We can instill our values, which are God’s values, with regard to life and death issues, heaven and hell, evolution and Creation. Everything else in our culture, it seems, tried to detract from family values. Homeschooling is one way to preserve them.
3. Homeschooling allows for both academic acceleration as well as learning at your child’s own pace. If your child is achievement oriented, he can and will excel in homeschooling. Conversely, if your child learns in a different way or has cognitive development issues, you can tailor-make your studies to suit them.
4. You can practice sane socialization in your homeschool. Rather than being randomly assigned to a group that most likely does not share your values, you can introduce and encourage God-honoring friendships. Instead of the peer dependence seen in the school setting, your child can relate to and learn from people of all ages.
5. Finally, you can ensure the physical safety of your children. Hardly a week goes by without news of another act of school violence. Homeschooling allows you to raise your children in the safety of your home.
If homeschooling sounds like a good fit for you and your family, know that you have an absolute right to do so. Some states are higher in regulation, while others have few if any requirements. We suggest that you focus first on some key principles to succeed:
1. Know the law in your state.
2. Follow the law.
3. Do your work as homeschoolers excellently.
4. Keep good records.
These will be the keys that will be able to protect your right to homeschool in the future. Doing an outstanding job and being able to demonstrate that your children are being well-educated will help protect the freedom to home-educate.
If you are thinking of homeschooling your children or have already chosen this right, the Christian Law Association, through the Homeschool Legal Advantage, stands behind you with information, encouragement and representation for you and your family.

When you home school, you are not alone! There are many support organizations and thousands who are choosing to home school every year. In the Austin area, I direct a support group and service organization. See information about that at or see our home pages at

Monday, July 11, 2011

Health Nut Confessions

I am the health nut of my family. I could feel lonely, but around Austin, I've met more than a few, shall we say, health food "aficionados." Please notice use of the preferable term in place of the commonly used "nuts." Although far from complete devotee, there are several things I do about which I am often asked. And here they are.
Mornings, I take a barleygreen product before eating anything. I learned several years ago in a three-day health minister training I took at that having freshly extracted vegetable juices or a barleygreen product does the most good on an empty stomach. Since there is no fiber to digest, the nutrients are free to absorb right through into your bloodstream. There's no better way to get the nutrition in there. If you've ever taken anything "sublingually," or "under your tongue," you'll know what I mean. You feel better right away. I suppose that's why doctors give heart patients the little pill to put under their tongue in case of heart attack symptoms. If I am not feeling well, I juice carrots and drink eight ounces of the freshly extracted, strained juice. No fiber in that either. I would love to say that I juice everyday, but that just doesn't happen. I make it happen, however, if I think my body is needing some help healing or remaining healthy. I can feel when I need it. I think it is a great advantage to listen to the body and follow the lead. Making carrot juice is a bit time consuming and messy to clean up, but it's one of those things that is heavy on work but heavier on reward. And there's no pre-prepared, powder, bottled, or any other kind of carrot juice that is the same as freshly extracted and immediately consumed. I've looked for years and tried them all, but for powerful results, only the best will do. My father calls it a lobster complex. Unfortunately, I have that tendency in other areas of my life as well. That can be expensive. I have to watch myself. Having said all that, the barley green product I use comes from a company that also makes a carrot and a beet juice powder. I do take that daily, and I think it helps, but I use it for maintenance of a healthy system. If things aren't kicking well, I start on the real thing.

After fifteen minutes, I have my cup of hot tea! This is for pleasure, not health, although I have read that tea does have those beneficial anti-oxidants in it. After tea, I have a "Super Food" product and/or a "fiber" product. These go in a drink; a kind of yucky drink, but I believe it helps me so much it is worth it.
I wait at least half an hour and then sometimes I have double-fiber bread toast with lots of REAL BUTTER on it, toasted in the oven like my grandma did it. But sometimes I am too full from all the drinking and so just enjoy cup of tea #2 until lunch. My children almost always want breakfast, but they prefer white toast, like their Daddy. I trick them whenever I can with "white wheat." I'm not sure how much better that really is, but at least the label says it has more fiber than white! What do you think of the REAL BUTTER? Health or pleasure? Pleasure. I don't know of any great health benefits of real butter. If you do, I wish you would comment. I'd love to have a good reason for using four happy pats of butter on my toast. Someone once told me that margarine was only one molecule different from plastic. That threw me a loop. I never looked at margarine the same way again. Then I got to thinking that hydrogen peroxide is only one molecule different from water. I felt better about the margarine then, but I still don't eat it unless there is NO BUTTER in the vicinity.
Before bed, I take one teaspoon Bragg's Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar and one teaspoon raw honey in four to six ounces of warm water. Shaken not stirred. I love James Bond; the old ones a la Sean Connery. I'll let you look up the great benefits of the raw, unfiltered vinegar. Amazing. The drink smells like dirty socks but the flavor of my little evening toddy is very soothing and my tummy loves it. I drink it in the kitchen. My hubby isn't too fond of going to sleep smelling dirty socks.