In June 2009 my wife, Staci, and I found ourselves in an orphanage in Guatemala.
We were both teachers at the time and wanted to spend our summer in a “far away land” helping others. Little did we know that this 4-week experience would change our life forever.
During this time we came face to face with the reality of the severity of the orphan crisis around the world. At this time there was an estimated 147 million orphans around the world, and in 2014 this number only continues to increase to an estimated 153 orphans and vulnerable children in the world.
Day after day we looked into the eyes of children who were abandoned, neglected or had a special need all without a permanent family to call their own. The reality that this was just a small picture of what was happening around the world forced our family to make a choice.
Would we go back to suburban America and live our lives as if we had not met them? Or would we choose to obey the command of James 1:27?
New International Version
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
For our family we chose obedience… We immediately started the process to adopt. In 2011 our son came home, and now in 2014, we find ourselves in the adoption process again.
Our prayer for your family is that you will choose obedience to the command of James 1:27, as well.
This command, to look after orphans, can look different in so many ways. For some it is adoption…for others it is prayer or orphan ministry in your church.
Below are some ways your family can live out James 1:27:
- Pray for the fatherless
- Give to a project that supports the fatherless
- Go on a mission trip to support a local church working with the fatherless
- Consider Adoption
- Engage your church in starting an orphan care team
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Last week, I realized just how much I have grown to love my new online planner. I have NEVER been one to use any online organizational tools. I love my journals. I love my pen and paper lists. I have been slow to make any change to that. But, I’ll be honest. I am too busy for them now. God has given me many opportunities, and it has become very clear that I need to make the best use of my time possible.
I had become terribly disorganized. I hated that! I hated feeling like my school and work were running me, instead of me running them. I hated the many times we didn’t get through everything we needed to scholastically, because I would start chasing other things.. or forget where I left off… or just get too overwhelmed to care. Have you ever been there?
I had been searching for a way to manage my homeschool online, but I had not found anything that I liked for ME. You see, it HAD to be easy. It could not be overwhelming or intimidating, for I knew that I didn’t have time to try to figure it out. I had already run from some other programs that I had tested, because I was overwhelmed by them. Finally, though, I found one that I really, really liked!
One afternoon last week, as I looked at my (relatively) clean desk and my (relatively) clean office, I posted the following on our Facebook page that honestly poured from a heart that was so grateful to finally have some order in my life that I couldn’t stay quiet about it:
There is no way to make this not sound like a promotion, BUT I am sitting here, finishing school again with a real sense of accomplishment that I didn’t have last semester. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the new online planner we are offering through Teach Them Diligently. It has made this crazy busy homeschool mama of 4 so much more organized, which has made our crazy busy homeschool SO much more peaceful. I know where we’re going; and when life throws us curveballs, I can easily change the dates on things. Please, PLEASE check it out– it’s FREE for 3 whole months with your registration, and I really believe it will be as big of a blessing to you and your family as it has been to ours! If you have already registered, sign back into your account to claim your planner!!
What is the Teach Them Diligently Planner and how does it work?
Teach Them Diligently has partnered with My Homeschool Grades to bring our attendees a great and easy online homeschool planner. As part of each family registration, we are offering a free trial membership for three months. It is a $15 value–for three months–and we are confident that once you start utilizing this resource for your homeschool you will not want to use anything else.
Want to take a peek at mine?
This is how I am greeted early every morning as I prepare for the day… and yes, my second son is often upside down, so this picture fits him perfectly. (He was actually stuck in a toddler slide set at a playground… I had to take a picture for future use before helping him out.)
I then click on the documents tab at the top of the page to print their assignment sheet for the day. Their sheet helps them– and me!– stay on track. For my oldest son, who is in 8th grade, I have him note his time on task for each assignment. That helps him to learn where he is wasting time and helps me to see areas that he may need more help. At the end of the day, they turn in their assignment sheet with their assignments. We grade the material together, correcting anything that they need help with and then I register their grades. My planner averages the grades and gives me up to date information on where they stand. It is SO easy!
The daily assignment sheets look like this, and I have added extra things like “piano practice” to our lists each day to help remind us not to forget those important elements of our day.
If you have registered, I hope you’ll log back into your account to activate your 3-month FREE TRIAL of the planner. I believe it will bring more order to your days just like it has brought to mine. If you have not registered, we have good news for you!! We are now able to offer the Planner to you as well– just without the 3-month trial period. You can order the planner HERE. It does come with a 30-day money back guarantee, so you really have nothing to lose!
Does your life and your homeschool need more order? I am confident you’ll find this planner provides a great fix!
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“We made our own.” You’ve said it. And no doubt you’ve done it, too.
We loved the bread our neighbors bought at the bakery, but we can’t afford it. So we made our own.
We couldn’t find curtains to fit our unusual windows, so guess what? We made our own.
That one-size-fits all discipline method didn’t work for our family. After praying about it, we made our own.
When it came to choosing a Bible study curriculum to share with the thousands of families we serve, the Shelby Kennedy Foundation (sponsor of the National Bible Bee) had some specific requirements. This Bible study would have the following characteristics:
- Inductive; using observation, interpretation, and application as primary tools
- Tool for family discipleship
- Revealing deep biblical truth, yet easy to understand
- Strong Scripture memory and prayer components
Despite the many wonderful Bible studies available, we couldn’t find one that fit our specific vision of in-depth study of the Word of God, Scripture memorization, and prayer. And yes, you guessed—we made our own.
The Shelby Kennedy Foundation is thrilled to announce the new availability of its unique inductive Bible study series, the Sword Study, to families, Bible study groups, and churches. We’d love to assist you in the critical task of family discipleship.
Organized into five different levels according to age, each Sword Study covers one book of the Bible. We’ve synchronized the levels to cover the same truths at the same time, with age-appropriate graphics and learning tools. A Parent Guide includes step-by-step instructions for leading a group discussion and celebration at the end of each week of study. All levels of 2 Timothy, 1 John, and 1 Peter are now available through your local Christian bookstore and at our dedicated website, www.swordstudy.com. We’ll release a new Sword Study on June 1 of each year.
Here’s a sample of what families are saying about the Sword Study:
We’ve finished the first 5 weeks of the Sword Study book and I can say that it has been AWESOME. We’ve done a lot of Bible studies with the kids, and for an inductive study this has been the most challenging and most thorough so far.—Mom blogger and parent
I have a friend who is a single mom. She has been doing the Bible Bee 1 John study this summer with her boys. She is so, so blessed by it. She was telling me it is the help she needed. She is soooo thankful for this tool to help her impart the Lord’s ways to them.—Parent
The Sword Studies (along with the Scriptures themselves) form the core study tool for local Bible Bee competitions held in August as well as the National Bible Bee to be held in Orlando, Florida October 29-November 1, 2014. But our focus is not on the competition as much as on assisting parents in discipling their children as God intends.
We made our own. And we’d love to share it with you.
Do you have questions or comments about the Sword Study or the National Bible Bee? Feel free to share them in the comments below or contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Does your vision need adjusting? Find the solution via these unique workbooks at your local Christian bookstore, favorite bookseller website, or www.swordstudy.org.
Don't forget to REGISTER today and SAVE!
Save $10 By Registering Before The End Of 2013!!
With a phenomenal children’s program, a teen program that will not only instruct your children in worldview but will also give them a chance to learn to serve, a men’s breakfast and so much more, there is truly something for everyone in your family! Don’t miss out on this savings! Register today!