By Rick Morton, Associate Pastor for Discipling and Equipping at Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett, TN
One of the most common conversations I find myself having with fellow pastors regards their struggle to balance justice ministries like “care for the fatherless” with the Church’s mission to make disciples. It seems like most of these pastors are wrestling with the tension of not losing a passion for or proper focus on the gospel as we care for “the least of these” in Jesus’ name.
The central question that I always come back to is, “Why?”
As I read the Gospels, Jesus never seemed to place any tension between seeking justice for those who are defenseless and extending the good news that He was bringing the long-awaited salvation that the world needed. In Matthew 25, Jesus went so far as to confront His disciples with the reality that those who follow Him will be people who feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, welcome the estranged, and visit the imprisoned in His name. Being consistent with everything else Jesus taught, He could not possibly mean that those works were specific acts that merit salvation.
So, we are left with only one reasonable conclusion:
Those of us who are in Christ and are His disciples will do these things naturally as an outworking of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. As we go to the world to tell the gospel, we show the world the evidence of the gospel by bringing justice to the fatherless and the defenseless in Jesus name. If we fail to show this evidence, our telling of the gospel becomes really hollow.
It’s not as if this is a new idea either. Seeking justice has always been part of gospel proclamation. Look back at Deuteronomy 10. God called Israel to care for widows, sojourners, and the fatherless in the same way He had cared for the Israelites by bringing them out of Egypt: meeting their need when it could not be met on their own.
Why did He do it this way? Because He wanted Israel to be qualitatively different than all the peoples around them so they could testify to the nations of His character. Moreover, Israel was given the privilege to give the world a taste of what God was about to do to bring salvation through Jesus. They were giving a living object lesson of the coming Messiah and His gospel.
As pastors, God has entrusted us to care for His church.
We have the opportunity to lead His people to catch a bold vision to care for the fatherless as a way of pointing to the gospel not detracting from it. We can help our churches give evidence of the gospel as they care for the most vulnerable in our world. Further, we can help our churches to catch an even bolder vision to disciple a fatherless generation to know Christ and follow Him.
With God nothing is impossible. At Lifeline Children’s Services, we are committed to the vision of reaching this generation of fatherless children with the gospel and leading them to follow Him and to build His Kingdom. We would love the opportunity to partner with you, your family, and your church to accomplish this vision at home and around the world. Please visit Lifeline Children’s Services at lifelinechild.org if you are interested in helping make this vision a reality.
Rick Morton is the Associate Pastor for Discipling and Equipping at Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett, TN. Father to three transnationally adopted children, his dedication to orphans extends beyond his family. Rick is the author of Know Orphans and Coauthor of Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-Centered Adoption and Orphan Care (www.newhopedigital.com). He and his wife are cofounders of international orphan-hosting ministry Promise 139, based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. An inspiring speaker, Rick shares God’s heart for the fatherless at many conferences for pastors as well as orphan-care conferences. He and his family live in the Greater Memphis area.
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The American School offers a great value in high school distance education—combining affordable tuition and top-quality curriculum in both print and online formats. In its 117-year history, the American School has educated more than three million students from across the country and around the world. Many of them, such as bestselling author Christopher Paolini and actress Jessica Alba, have gone on to become famous, but all American School students enjoy the benefits of the American School’s Four C’s—curriculum, caring student service, credibility and cost.
After a student is accepted at the American School, he or she can earn his or her accredited diploma faster than he or she ever thought possible—up to twice as fast as classroom high schools—by choosing either of two distinct diploma programs, both of which consist of 18 units of credit from the American School’s innovative curriculum.
The American School’s College Preparatory Program is designed for students who plan on attending a four-year college or university after graduation. Students complete 15 required courses and may take art courses, foreign languages courses or courses such as Business Law and Journalism as their three electives. More information on the College Preparatory Program, including a list of required courses, can be found at www.americanschool.org/collegeprep.
The American School’s General High School Program is designed for students who plan on entering the workforce or attending a two-year college after graduation. Students complete 13 required courses and may take trade courses, such as Carpentry or Automotive Repair, or life skills courses, such as Food Study and Home Planning and Decorating as their five electives. More information on the General High School Program, including a list of required courses, can be found at www.americanschool.org/generalhighschool.
In total, the American School offers more than 80 courses, many of which are available in entirely paper-based and entirely online formats. The American School also offers online exams in select paper-based courses. Offering the same top-quality courses in multiple formats allows students to learn in the way that is most comfortable to them. A full list of courses may be found at www.americanschool.org/courses.
Throughout 2014 the American School plans to add more online courses to its already robust curriculum so that students may do their entire program online if they so choose. More information on the American School’s online learning offerings can be found at AmericanSchool.org.
Students work entirely at their own pace, but they are never alone because the American School tries to make distance learning as personal as possible. For example, instructors write personalized, handwritten comments when they grade exams in print courses, and staff is available during normal business hours to answer telephone and e-mail inquiries. The American School is proud to be accredited by Accreditation International (Ai) and the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA) and recognized by the State of Illinois as a non-public high school.
The American School’s status as a non-profit school allows the School to keep costs to an absolute minimum. A full 18-unit diploma program, including all study materials and grading of exams, costs just $2100, and flexible monthly payment plans are available.
Prices for students residing in a foreign country are slightly higher. In addition, the American School offers free evaluations of transcripts from United States high schools and offers pro-rated prices if a student needs fewer than 18 units of credit to earn his or her high school diploma. If a student desires to take American School courses to enrich an existing homeschool program, he or she can do that, too. The cost of individual courses usually runs between $150 and $300.
Over the years, there has been a heightened interest in ACT and SAT prep courses. In response to requests from students, the American School became an affiliate of Method Test Prep, a company that has specialized in online preparation for the ACT or SAT for more than a decade.
Method Test Prep offers both self-paced and teacher-led courses, and anybody who uses the code AMERICAN when enrolling in one of Method Test Prep’s teacher-led prep courses will receive a 10% discount off their purchase.
Method Test Prep is responsible for all course content and billing, their customer service team answers any and all questions from American School students and for others who enroll in their courses through the American School’s Web site, and Method Test Prep’s courses do not count toward an American School student’s diploma requirements. For more information on the American School’s affiliation with Method Test Prep, visit www.americanschool.org/actsatprep.
The American School is ready to help you earn your accredited high school diploma. Call 866- 260-7221 around the clock, or visit us online to enroll today!
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The facts are these:
Boys take longer to learn to read than girls do. Boys read less often. Girls tend to comprehend better than boys do.
14-year-old boys listed these as their top obstacles to reading:
- Boring/no fun: 39.3%
- No time/too busy: 29.8%
- Like other activities better: 11.1%
- Can’t get into the stories: 7.7%
- I’m not good at it: 4.3%
Choices of reading material
Boys read less fiction than girls. Boys are more inclined to read informational texts. Some boys are passionate about fantasy. Boys tend to enjoy escapism and humor. Source
What can we do about this?
Be aware of the differences between boys and girls when it comes to reading, and then provide boys with plenty of the kinds of books on topics they care about, from the time they are very young.
Usborne Books & More has the absolute best selection of these types of books: non-fiction, informational books of all kinds and all reading levels with lots of pictures and internet links. We have fantasy (Sword Quest), escapism (Knight’s and Pirate Handbooks), and humor (joke books). Two recent serial novels: Conspiracy 365 and The Last 13 have been huge with boys. Real life biographical stories of heroes, spies and true stories of survival, war and adventures particularly appeal to boys of all ages.
Find out more and watch Book Trailers at www.Usborne-Books.com.
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Before we dive into the approaches to Christian homeschooling, let’s take a step back and talk about what goals you have for your homeschool. First, we need to look at you, your family and your kids. Only then can you determine what approach to use & what curriculum to buy for your homeschool.
Think about this for a minute:
What is education to you?
Is it . . .
Memorizing all your multiplication facts?
Writing a research paper?
Getting a job?
Learning to cook or sew or garden?
Obtaining the tools of learning?
Reading, Writing & ‘Rithmetic?
Getting a high school or college degree?
(That’s 8 goals for your homeschool)
Once you determine what an educated person is, you can determine your goals for your family and your children. This will include both long-term goals, such as know, glorify and enjoy God forever and short-term goals, such as working on a particular virtue.
What type of long-term goals might you have for your children?
Obtain a Job
Go to College or Technical School
Prepared for Adult Life
Self-Learner – Independent Thinking
Mature in Jesus Christ
(5 more goals for homeschooling)
Depending on the goals you have, your homeschool might look different from other homeschoolers. The goals above are just examples for you. Let’s take a look at how you might homeschool with any given goal.
Implementing Your Goals in Homeschooling
If your goal for your children is to obtain a job, you should spend time developing work ethic, integrity, perseverance.
Or, maybe you want your child to go to college. In high school, you’ll spend time preparing them for the SAT & good study habits.
What if your goal is preparing your kids for adult life?
You’ll spend time on real life skills. These may include preparing them for a job, for marriage, for family, for ministry, for home management. Specifically, you might teach your kids carpentry skills, auto care, home maintenance, taking care of children, cooking & baking skills, sewing, gardening and cleaning.
One of our favorite ways to teach real life skills was through a family business. With our family business, our kids had a variety of learning experiences, growing in character & real life skills.
If your goal is for your children to be self-learners, you need to provide the tools of learning and encourage independent thinking in your kids.
One of the most important goals in our family was to grow in maturity in Jesus Christ. If you have a similar goal, you’ll want to train your kids in righteousness, truly loving & following God’s commands regardless of how difficult it is. That’s an awesome task. It goes back to wisdom & virtue, along with truth, goodness and beauty.
For me personally, I had a full-orbed philosophy of education. I believe education is more than just academics; although academics are a huge part of our homeschooling. Our family had all the goals listed above. We used different strategies in our homeschool to meet each of the goals.
Kerry Beck homeschooled all three of her children for 10 years. She is now an empty-nester that encourages homeschool moms online and at live workshops. She wants to give you a free ebook: Everything You Wanted to Know About Homeschooling that you can grab by clicking here. She also has a free Lucky Charms Graph & St. Patrick’s Day Activity Guide for you.
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As we are moving to a new area, I am looking for ways to save on expenses.
We are moving from a fairly large area to a much smaller town. Already, I am missing our huge (World’s Largest Single Story) public library that was a homeschooler’s dream. If I didn’t have a book, the librarians were more than willing to order me a book through Inter-Library Loan.
The new area charges for those who don’t live in the city limits.
I called the little community library and they were so sweet. I felt like a found a new Grandma who would make me cookies. But, she knew nothing about the library.
I couldn’t help but laugh. This sweet lady just volunteers to answer the phone but really knows nothing about the library’s policy. One thing for sure, I made a new friend, at least on the telephone. However, I still have a dilemma.
Books can be expensive.
They can cut into a homeschooler’s budget quickly especially when you have a family who loves to read.
So I found a few alternatives to buying retail:
- The NEW Teach Them Diligently Curriculum Classifieds –
An awesome brand new way to find or post books with other homeschoolers. You must have a Facebook account to participate – who knows what deals you might find.
- Homeschool Buyers Co-op
This has saved us a lot of money by buying in “bulk” with other homeschoolers.
- When You Rise Up – Buying Used Curriculum
(Holly, has listed ways to save using yahoo groups and other ways to buy curriculum at a discount.)
- Paperback Swap
This is a simple way to swap books with other members. This site has blessed my family many times.
- Thrift shops, Consignment Stores, Goodwill, and/or Yard Sales
When we are on road trips we visit stores in other cities and found “treasures” for less than a dime.
- Digital Copies
Only brave people go digital. I’m not brave. I like smelling, feeling and being able to read with a flashlight and not have to depend on me charging a tablet. However, e-books are so much cheaper than normal retail and I feel I must mention it.
- Free Kindle Books
If you do have a tablet or phone that has a Kindle App, here is an awesome Pinterest Board that updates Free Kindle Books.
- ILL – Inter Library Loan
My most favorite resource in finding free books. If your library has this resource, it is great for homeschoolers. I have found so many “old” books that are no longer in print via this method.
- Friends! Some of my friends have bookshelves in their home that just collect dust. If I put on my personal Facebook that I am needing to borrow a book, it never fails, someone always has a copy.
What is your best way to save money buying books? Please feel free to share your own resources, this Mama is going to need them.
Blessings to you! You are loved!
My name is LANA (like banana).
Our blog is about loving Jesus, loving kids, loving others, loving food, loving DIY projects, loving travel and just loving life! Find me over at iLoveMy5Kids.com.
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