Wednesday, February 18, 2009

At the End of the Ages in Kindle Format...

You may want to check out my husband's Kindle book here:
At the End of the Ages

One reviewer said: A Vital Work of Scholarship Concerning a Sensitive Subject.,
February 15, 2009

The subject of hell is laden with emotional baggage for many Christian believers, but the author does a masterful job of dealing with this subject in a scripturally solid, yet sensitive manner. He is refreshingly candid as to his own spiritual journey as it involves this particular subject, and thus is able to challenge orthodox belief with compassion and sensitivity. The book is full of solid scriptural arguments for his position and he also does a masterful job of defending his thesis from church history, as he quotes from the writings of such early church fathers as Origen, in addition to more contemporary scholars on this vital topic. It is not overly technical, however, and is easy for the average reader to comprehend.

It is a book that I find myself returning to over and over again as an important resource for the doctrine of Ultimate Reconciliation. I recommend it highly.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Something [worthwhile] to Think About...

I love books! And books are the key to giving your child something worthwhile to think about.

[Note: This is part four of a four part entry about Being Real Moms and Shepherding your flock.
To read the blog about Something to Love, please go here, for something [worthwhile] to do go here and for the beginning of this topic you can go to Real Moms, Shepherding your Flock .]

[Chad reading to Kari and Scotty]
Through great literature you child can have unending worthwhile things to think about. The secret is to read to your child. Read, read, read! Read when they are just born and read to them when they are teens.

A child's mind feeds on ideas--they need to be exposed to great books and then have unstructured time to think and imagine and to sort things out. Real, LIVING books enliven a child's mind. I am talking about good fiction, biographies and interesting factual books. NOT textbooks! Textbooks are pre-digested works, summarizing what the author(s) thinks is important. UGH! A textbook will tell you what the author thinks, such as "the three causes of the depression"--REAL books will let the child discern the causes, the results and they way people were affected.

Real or Living books make a child more curious, stir his imagination and encourage independent thoughts and ideas.

By reading books to your child you can bring him a world that otherwise would be out of his reach. You can read books to your child that he will enjoy and learn from that may be above his reading level. Also, as you read you can discuss your world view and pass on your core beliefs by discussing the characters, themes and plots with your child!

Kari and I loved [and still love] the Little House on the Prairie Books. We made doughnuts, churned butter, made biscuits, ground wheat and discussed things like family responsibility, hard work and honor. And actually, if the truth be told, Kari is named after Carrie Ingalls in the Little House books. I am sure many of you have a favorite book that somehow changed your life--they are that powerful.

I remember reading Carry on Mr. Bowditch aloud to various kids through the years. I love that book. It is a biography about Nathaniel Bowditch , beginning when he was a child. He was a brilliant man. As I read this to my kids, the one thing that stuck out in my son Chad's mind was how Nathaniel taught himself languages. He would get a grammar and a New Testament in the language he wanted to learn and would start translating the book of John "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God..."

This idea so impressed Chad that he began to learn Spanish just this way. About 5 years after I read this book to him he came home with a Spanish New Testament and said if Nathaniel Bowditch could do it, so could he. What an awesome way to give our children heroes and something worthwhile to think about.

Another book that made a huge impression on a couple of my children was The Endless Steppe
by Esther Hautzig. This book is an autobiography of Esther as a youth when she was exiled from Poland to Siberia during World War 2. This book taught us about unfairness, prejudice and about making the best of a terrible situation. We also learned a lot about the war, geography and so much more.

I think, through good literature you can teach your children to love what is good and noble and also to discern what is not good and not noble. You can explore places, people and situation you would never be able to do in several lifetimes--all through books.

Books give your child something worthwhile to think about.

In summary, we can lead our flock by being an example. We need to treat our spouses, our in-laws and our neighbors with respect and dignity.We are to be an example to our flock but in order to do this we must spend time [quality and quantity] with our flock-- being an example, because we are willing and because Christ calls us to a life of service and humility.
[I had been reading, just set down the book. I don't have any pictures of me actually reading to the kids--I guess we were to engrossed in the stories to take pictures!]

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Something to Do...

Continuing with the theme of raising kids and encouraging them and making the most of your time with them, today I will talk about Something [worthwhile] to Do. To read the blog about Something to Love, please go here and for the beginning of this topic you can go here; Real Moms, Shepherding your Flock .

You can best serve your children by teaching them service. They can be taught to do chores that help the family. I truly believe doing chores helps build self esteem.

Children should be taught Magnanimity- Generosity or nobility of mind or greatness of spirit. Brought about by high thinking and lowly living. The child learns to think great thoughts, but is also generous to overlook insult or injury. He is not too good to do lowly chores.

Practically, this can be taught by:
  • Learning to share when it is hard
  • Teaching about Jesus--serving and humility
In addition to teaching magnanimity, children are born with a natural curiosity. They need to be fed with ideas so they have worthwhile things to think about. Some ideas along this line:
  • acting out historical events
  • pretending to be historical characters
  • draw and collect things having to do with nature: rocks, leaves, bugs, etc.
  • learn to identify birds, flowers, weeds and so forth [a bird feeder and a field guide can be a lot of help]--I like the Peterson series.
  • listen to great music and learn to identify composers and/or instruments
  • learn to identify great art works
  • do some gardening
  • making doll clothes
  • woodworking
  • make and perform a play or puppet show
  • helping younger sibling to get dressed, put away toys
  • have picnics
  • teach child to make a simple lunch
  • sweep floors
  • raise children to appreciate God's creation
  • have child plan and carry out a tea party
  • have child making something for the family such as a wooden door stop, or pot holder
  • keep the porch swept and clean
  • Playing marbles or hop scotch--games that require thinking and coordination and cooperation
  • and so on and so on...
I think you get the idea. Get away from the TV and the video games--give the child real things to do-real things to imitate. Have them learn great things like art and music and nature study-yet be willing to do humble things like helping a younger

[Kari weaving on a popcycle loom]
sibling, cleaning the toilet, etc. Keep the idea of magnanimity in mind and you can't go wrong. Something important to do-isn't that what we all want? To do something important?

Some books I recommend for young children for art and music appreciation...

Child Nature Book I Like
Animals in Art
Enjoying Art with Children
Bernstein Favorites [music appreciation]
Childs Book of Art

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Husband's Blog...

My husband just started a Faith Blog with the Lexington Herald-Leader. You can find it by going here: BobEvely's Page

This is how it starts:'

I was raised in the church (mostly Methodist), and have also read many authors, Bible teachers and preachers from other denominations. Nearly all of them will tell you that "The Gospel" goes something like this.
"If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in this lifetime, while you have the chance, you will be saved and ... Read More »

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I am taking a break for a few days...

My Mother in Law died this week and my Father in Law is just getting out of the hospital after having surgery, so we are kind of swamped. I will take a blog break till next week. See you then,

Take care,

Friday, February 6, 2009

Something to Love...

I talked last time about Real Moms and how to shepherd the flock God has entrusted to you.
  • So, we need to shepherd and lead our children
  • Not lording it over them
  • Be eager to serve and an example to our flock
Where do we start in our desire to raise our children to be thoughtful men and women of God? I mentioned that I love the book A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen
[our new puppy Lucky-1992]
Andreola. This is a very readable book that boils down much of the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason. And I think a lot of her philosophy can help us in shepherding our children.

I love Charlotte Mason's ideas. You can find out more of her philosophy by going to Simply Charlotte. com According to the website, "Charlotte Mason was a British educator who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Her method, the Charlotte Mason method, is centered around the idea that education is three-pronged: Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life."

She believed that each day children needed:
  • Something to love
  • Something to do [worthwhile]
  • Something to think about
Our children are not our pets. They are individuals created in the image of God and on loan to us. They are not our possessions. As such, they need to have their own responsibilities, jobs and duties to do while they are children in order to prepare them to be adults.

The thing to love could be family members. Part of the point of making sure a child has a thing to love is that the child will learn to take responsibility for another living being. This will help them to not be selfish.

The thing to love and care for could be a pet. It could be a neighbor that they visit and take some responsibility for--perhaps bringing in the neighbor's mail or taking over treats or just spending time with them. Providing acts of service for those who they love should be a goal your strive for as soon as a child is old enough, perhaps by 3 or 4.

By doing for others a child learns to do things for himself, to be aware of the needs of others, to not be self centered--- but other centered.
[Dusty reading to Kari and Scott-and act of service]

Who among us has not seen a child who wants to protect his baby sister, or who teaches his dog to sit and shake? These things are vital to forming their personalities and priorities in a positive way.

Next time we will look at Something Worthwhile to Do, and in the mean time, I would encourage you to think about how you can encourage your child to do acts of service and to have something to love every day.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Real Moms-Shepherding your flock...

I love the passage from first Peter that talks about shepherding God's flock which is under your care.

In this passage, Peter is writing to dispersed Jewish believers who were scattered throughout the Eastern World. These were probably those who heard Peter speak at Pentecost and were heading small ecclesias [gatherings of believers].

Because of persecution throughout the Roman Empire, these believers were scattered many were in hiding. Peter is encouraging them to remain faithful, to continue to live in hope, to encourage other believers. This letter was not written to us, but I believe we can glean some principles from it that we can apply to our own lives.

I Peter 5:1-4

To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve, not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

As moms [and dads] we can put ourselves in the role of "elder". Our flock is our family. We are elders or overseers of our children--God has given us this flock.

We, like the shepherds in this verse, lead because we must. We do not do it for money or recognition. We must do this willingly, eager to serve, not lording over our families. We must be an example to our flock.

Quite a tall order.




Not lording

Being an Example

How can we possibly do all this? Is it possible? How can real moms in this day and age do this? Well, I am a retired homeschool mom so I come from the viewpoint that children need quality time--and LOTS of it! Even if you don’t homeschool, you will have to admit that preschoolers (and really, children of all ages) require LOTS of time.

Our challenge, is how to make it into quality time and truly be shepherds of our flock. I think most of us are willing to shepherd and lead our children, but we don't know how. We need to be reminded not to lord it over those entrusted to us and I think the hardest things are to be eager to serve and to be an example to our flock.

I think we all want to pass along our beliefs, our love, our encouragement to our children in a meaningful way. We want them to grow up to be thoughtful men and women of God.

So, where to we start?

Where do I start?

Many of these suggestions I am taking from personal experience and from a book called: The Charlotte Mason Companion, by Karen Andreola. I have learned much from this book and it is one that I re-read every couple of years when my children were younger.

To serve and be an example we must make the most of teachable moments, to show our children what we believe in, to talk to them about why we believe what we do, to show them what it looks like to have a servant’s heart.

Part of this includes the way we handle even routine household chores. We don’t want to serve by “doing things for the child that he can do for himself” because then the child will not learn the lessons he needs to learn while under our watchful care and guidance. Ultimately we want to raise capable, caring, responsible adults-and training toward that end should begin in early childhood.

According to Charlotte Mason, she says, and I totally agree, that each day children need:

• Something to Love
• Something to do (worthwhile)
• Something to think about

Tomorrow I will begin to look at these three things and discuss how to practically give these things to you children and why they are important.

Before then, I urge you to consider the verse above, I Peter 5:1-4, and think about how you can apply it in your life.

Take care,