Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: discipleship

what does discipleship in homeschool look like

As a mom of three children, there is nothing more rewarding than walking alongside my kids as they grow in their relationship with Christ. Whether reading the Bible or attending church on Sundays, I’ve come to place so much value on experiences we have as a family that connect us more deeply with Scripture and help us grow together.

My passion for connecting people to the Bible was cultivated early in my own childhood.

I grew up in our family’s business. My grandfather went from producing milk as a dairy farmer to producing live stage shows with a purpose. He was passionate about helping people see and understand the Bible as he did: full of life and creativity. Deeply motivated by the way Jesus used parables to help people connect to scripture, he used what he had to begin doing the same. Armed with a camera, slide projector and passion for the gospel, he began creating experiences for families to share together that connected them to Bible stories. What started as a small multi-media show grew into the Sight & Sound Theatres that exists today: two state-of-the-art venues in Lancaster, Pa. and Branson, Mo. where Bible stories come to life on a panoramic stage with massive sets and live animals (not to mention our signature roasted almonds which are an experience of their own!).

A lot may have changed in our 42-year history, but one thing remains the same: our passion for bringing the Bible to life. We realize not everyone may be able to visit us in person, so this April we’re “taking the show on the road.” For three days, our landmark production NOAH will be playing in movie theaters nationwide! We’re thrilled about the idea of thousands of people across the country experiencing this cherished Bible story together in their own backyards.

If you’re making plans to bring your family, I’d like to recommend reading the story together before embarking on your excursion (found in Genesis 6-9).

Additionally, here are three discussion questions for the drive home after your voyage:

  1. Noah had to make a hard decision and was ridiculed for it. Was there ever a time that you had to make a decision that wasn’t popular?
  2. Noah had to trust that God was going to deliver on His promise even when he couldn’t see the outcome. Was there a time you had to trust God in your own life when you didn’t know what would happen?
  3. God’s faithfulness is evident throughout Noah’s whole life. How have you experienced God coming through in your life?

We invite you to set sail with us in April to experience this extraordinary Bible story full of animals (two-by-two!), a monumental flood, and (spoiler alert!), a rainbow for the grand finale! Our hope is the story will come to life for your family in a brand new way. We can’t wait to see you there!

 

About NOAH

Seen by more than 5 million people live on stage, Sight & Sound’s landmark production sets sail into movie theaters April 9, 11, and 13 for a special nationwide event. Filmed in front of a live audience, NOAH takes you on history’s best-known voyage as you board the enormous ark—along with two of every kind of animal! For locations and tickets visit NoahEvent.com.

 

About Katie Miller

As the oldest grandchild of Sight & Sound’s founders, Katie Miller was the first member of the family’s third generation to work in the organization. Katie stepped onto the stage when she was four years old and performed as part of the cast until she was 13. Today, she serves as Corporate Communications Manager. Her unique, rich experience within the company’s formative years has helped her collaborate in everything from publicity opportunities to future succession planning. She lives in Lancaster, Pa. with her husband of 15 years and their three children.        

 

 

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Are We Engaged In The Right Battle?

One day last week my son asked me to play a game of chess with him. He had it already set up and was so excited that I agreed to join the game. I was not really engaged, though. My body was playing chess, but my mind was working on something else altogether. It took him all of three moves before I heard “check mate.” He rubbed in that he had beaten me again, told his siblings and his daddy, and generally had a great time with it. I on the other hand realized in an instant the importance of fully engaging in the battle into which I have been called.

As believers, we are in a war right now on many fronts. I don’t think anyone would question that. I wonder, though, if we are fighting the right battles or if we are allowing Satan to make us impotent because we have taken our eyes off the true prize and have no energy or manpower left for the battles that really need to be fought.

The Battle For Home Educators- Fight with the end instead of the means in mind!

We have largely allowed ourselves to be taken out of the spiritual battle as home educators. Satan has caused us to focus and even to fight for home education so much that we have lost sight of the true end we sought initially– that we as families would love the Lord our God with all our hearts and that we would be girded up to fight His battles when they come our way.

I have seen this misplaced loyalty in the news and even through our social media. When someone posts a juicy common core article or  homeschool freedom article, the engagement numbers soar. But a discipleship post sits primarily dormant. This should not be!

Yes, we need to be informed about what’s going on- but not so we can fume or be afraid. No! We must be informed, so that we, like the Apostle Paul at the Areopagus, can intelligently use what people in culture know and understand to point them to Christ. (His speech in Acts 17 is brilliant, weaving culture and history together to point them to Christ.)

The real fight that is ragingWe must rather fight this battle with the end, not the means in mind. The battle should never be strictly for our right to home educate without government influence, though we certainly want to see that maintained. The real fight that is raging, though, is for our families- for the very souls of our children and of our children’s children. That is the battle in which we must engage. It is imperative that we take these freedom-filled days of home education to instill in our children a rock solid foundation of love and devotion to Jesus Christ alone. Every other foundation we would try to give them can be broken down but not the Cornerstone of God’s Kingdom!

The Battle For The Heart of our Children

We must use these days to train ourselves and our children about what love for Jesus looks like– for what is in our hearts will always come out. Love for Jesus will overflow into a life lived powerfully, not running from the skirmishes we encounter. Love for Jesus must manifest a sincere love for people, for Jesus Christ came to seek and to save those who were lost. (Often lost people are very unlovable and disagreeable, but those are the ones Jesus came for. We must never forget that we were once counted among them.) Love for Jesus and a passion for serving Him at all costs and instilling those things into our children must be our highest objectives as parents. There is coming a day very soon when the battles that rage in our land are going to necessitate that we take hard stands and dangerous positions as believers. Are we preparing our children for that day?

Oh that we will get our hearts and our minds in the right battle! May we not be so distracted by the fear of losing our rights to home educate autonomously that we miss the time we have to build a solid foundation for our family that is capable to stand even when the real battle comes to our front yard. Our family started Teach Them Diligently with this battle in mind. There will be a ton of material presented that will equip you to be a better home educator, but the real heart of the event is to equip you to be a better parent, to build a stronger family, and to better disciple your children to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, and mind. The stakes are high! It is time to gird up, learn all we can, and prepare for battle.

We sure would love to see you there! Register today and gird up for battle. Find an event near you by clicking here.

Get involved in the battle through strategic prayer. Join me in praying for our children and marriages. Sign up here: www.TeachThemDiligently.net/pray.

 

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The Path of Suffering, Part 1

Most of you don’t know this, but I coached my son’s varsity basketball team last year.

It was one of those experiences that I would not trade for anything. It was my son’s senior season which was part of the motivation, but I came away with a sense that this was something that I should have done sooner. They were a good team and a great bunch of guys which made it much easier. We had a lot of success! However, I have to tell you that while it was fun, it was also stressful.

To be quite honest, I lost much more sleep worrying about the basketball team than I did about Teach Them Diligently or even our mission agency during that time.

As we went through the season, I would spend time before games and at practices teaching the guys from what God was teaching me. The truths I am going to share with you over the next couple of days came out of one of those times with the team. We had just come through a difficult pre-season tournament in which we lost our first game and then won the next two. After the tournament and just before our first regular season game, I shared these truths with them. As I taught, I thought of a very difficult time in the history of Teach Them Diligently back in 2013.

In 2013, Teach Them Diligently moved forward with an aggressive expansion that we felt God was directing us toward. We expanded to three large events and then we added 10 mini-events on top of that. This plan had been bathed in prayer, and we moved forward with great excitement. It was not long, however, before we realized that things were not going as well as we had hoped. By the time we got to the end of May, we started to cancel events. We had not even started the mini-events and cash was low. To make a long story short, we only did four of the planned ten mini-events. We lost more money that year than we brought in total for the year. We also had to let go several people we hired to help run these new events. It was hard, and I was devastated. I had so many questions. Most started with “Why?”

Why would God do this or not that?

Why did I feel so certain that this was the direction God wanted us to go?

Why am I even doing these events?

And, why should we even continue?

I will tell you that I felt responsible, and I was beating myself up pretty hard over the problems.

Now, the first question that many of you are asking is “Why am I telling you about this?” Obviously, Teach Them Diligently did not go under, so this could not have been a really serious problem. Well, first I want to tell you that it was very serious, and Teach Them Diligently and our family are still feeling the impact of that time even now–6 years later. Second, I wanted to tell you about this because Teach Them Diligently is something that all of us have in common, and this organization was very close to closing. The reason it is here is because of God’s sustaining hand, and what He taught me during that time in 2013.

So, let’s go to Scripture. The Scripture that I am bringing all of this from is in Romans 5:1-11.  The caption at the top of this chapter in my Bible is “Peace with God Through Faith.” Please read these verses.

In these verses Paul is talking to a group that is wondering about suffering in relation to the Gospel. Some are wondering why they are suffering now that they have accepted the redemption of Christ. For others, Paul is rallying them around the idea of glorifying God through suffering. And, Paul in a manner that we see over and over again in his epistles gives a step by step growth path. He takes one characteristic and adds it to another and then another and then another.

Here is what this path or road looks like in Romans 5:

  1. Suffering
  2. Endurance
  3. Character
  4. Hope
  5. No Shame

The first thing that we often do when a time of suffering comes into any of our lives is ask why. Whether we are dealing with a difficult marriage, the death of a loved one, a child that we are homeschooling that is just incredibly difficult to handle, or we are tired, enduring financial hardship, or anything that puts us into a rocky and hard time, we tend to ask “Why?”. Why is this happening? Why is God allowing this? Whether we are angry and frustrated or even just sad, it is highly likely that you are asking a lot of questions and searching for answers as you are suffering. Additionally, you may also be asking a question like “Is this worth it?”

That is Endurance…What I mean is that if you face any hardship, the first thing that develops as you work through it is endurance. The opposite is to give up and that can be pretty serious in some cases. For some it means that they just stop or resign a position. For others, it may involve entering a self-destructive spiral. Developing the Endurance that Paul talks about here is searching for meaning in what you are going through and finding it.  

This is the same place Job was in while his friends were telling him what he had done to deserve all of this tragedy in his life. They were answering the question why. Although their answers were wrong, they were trying to help Job by answering that grand question.

I want you to know that there is a plan, and God is not going to allow suffering in your life just because he wants to or because he is angry with you. That is not the purpose of suffering. Many of you are hearing this and starting to fill in the blanks with your own answers of why God allows suffering. Or, as many put it, “Allow bad things to happen to good people…” God does not waste these times of difficulty, and the treasure on the other side of this suffering is faith. Your belief is deeper and stronger.

To recap, Endurance develops because God answers the questions we have, and we realize that there is a point. God has a plan! However, He is not done.

God plans on taking what we have learned and putting action to it. That is where character comes in. We will discuss that next Sunday evening. Suffering leads to Endurance and that endurance leads to character…

The night that I presented the truths to our team we won by 25 points. We were not as good as we were going to be, but God had already used the difficulty of the pre-season tournament to mold us as a team. These guys were starting to play together. They trusted and believed in each other.

And, 5 years ago, I actually considered shutting down Teach Them Diligently completely. I doubted everything, but something would not allow me to close these events. I just had this strong sense that God was burning off the “dross”. That he was molding something. As my wife puts it, God had directed us to step out on this path of faith, and then He stood behind us, forcing us to stay the course as He blocked our way back.

Next week, I will unpack character…How does character fit into suffering, and why does Paul include it on this path?

Tonight, though, I hope and pray you are planning to join us for one of the Teach Them Diligently events this season. We believe passionately that God is at work through these events, and we have been thrilled to hear from countless families testimonies of His grace and reviving power as they come out of them.  I sure would love to see you there, and to hear your story  of how God has worked. If you want to learn more about these events, click here.

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Sincerely,

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teen

The First Reason Kids Get Sucked in by Porn

Fifteen-year-old Sarah’s brow furrowed as she recounted her story of being stuck on porn at age 8.

As a homeschooled child, Sarah (not her real name) had many advantages in avoiding inappropriate content online. She didn’t ride a school bus packed with kids watching cell phones, and she missed the naughty jokes on the playground. But she did overhear some boys saying words she just didn’t know, so she picked up her dad’s phone to search what she had heard.

Each search produced a parade of images and video that shocked and confused her and ignited feelings she didn’t understand. Like every child, she was curious about what people looked like naked, but this was so much more than that. And each image and video led to another, and only the sound of her parents’ footsteps could break the trance.

In secrecy, day after day, week after week, month after month, she watched porn for two years before her parents discovered her habit and provided help.

At 15, she brought her dad to our Covenant Eyes booth at a Teach Them Diligently conference to sign up for Accountability and Filtering services, and she grabbed a handful of flyers to take home. “So many of my friends are struggling too,” she said.

Sarah’s story is common. Children today, who know little to nothing about sex, stumble into hardcore and deviant porn. Because they are unprepared for what they see, they fall headlong into its neurologically stimulating trap. Often, they have feelings that this must be wrong, but their brains won’t turn away. Feelings of shame, secrecy, and fear help them keep their secret from parents, yet they are less reserved about sharing their discoveries with other children. And thus, pornography is being spread from child to child like the secret handshake of an exclusive club, except the membership is sadly broad and destructive.

Parents shudder at this thought. Surely, their beautiful, sweet, and playful child would never be curious (like you and I were curious at that age). And even if they did see pornography, wouldn’t they just look away? It wouldn’t dig its claws into them, right? If they did see porn, wouldn’t it be better to just ignore it, because talking to them about it might make them more curious, right?

An untrained child has such a difficult time looking away from pornography, but as parents we can prepare and train our kids to turn, run, and tell, so that porn doesn’t have an opportunity to stain their minds and how they view the world.

Holy Smokes, What’s That?

Porn is not sex; it is a hijacking of what God created.

Today’s graphic online pornography commandeers the brain’s neurology with what science calls supernormal stimuli. In basic scientific terms, supernormal stimuli are artificially enhanced. They subvert and hijack our natural appetites and motivational systems and overstimulate our neural pathways.

In common terms, porn can light up a brain, including an unsuspecting and inexperienced child’s brain.

Since the 1950s, a myriad of studies by Niko Tinbergen and others have shown songbirds feeding fake babies who had wider and redder mouths, peacocks choosing exaggerated dummies for mating, and butterflies trying to mate with bright cardboard replicas and ignoring other real butterflies.

We see supernormal stimuli affecting people today as they choose saltier, sweeter, and fattier processed foods. Our senses are artificially stimulated far above what we find in nature.

If those supernormal stimuli change behavior, they pale in comparison to today’s pornography, which activates fireworks shows in the arousal and rewards systems of the brain.

Online, a person can surf through dozens, even hundreds, of images and videos at a time. Seeing so much pornography, which is often shocking, violent, and even bizarre, isn’t normal. And our brains become hijacked.

Supernormal stimulus is just the first step. Cravings and seeking behavior for porn come with repetition.  And often, adults who struggle most with pornography were exposed at early ages.

So, that’s a lot of bad news.

The good news is you can train your child to know what pornography is and how they can defend themselves.

Let me leave you with three actionable steps you can take now.

  • First, use a porn blocker to prevent accidents and get a report of your child’s online activity and turn curiosity and interests in to conversations. Blocking prevents accidental exposure, while the report shows curiosity, intentions, and even tricks used to try to get around a blocker. Use the code TTD and get 30 days free at covenanteyes.com.
  • Depending on the age of your child, read with them either Good Pictures, Bad Pictures or Good Pictures, Bad Pictures Jr. These books provide age-appropriate information, and teach your child to recognize inappropriate content, to look away, and to tell a trusted adult. Simply put, they learn to turn, run, and tell.
  • Download a free e-book called Equipped: Raising Godly Digital Natives to help you start teaching and instructing your child today. Get it free at covenanteyes.com/ebooks.

 

Sam Black is a vice president at Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability, a speaker, and the author of The Porn Circuit: Understand Your Brain and Break Porn Habits in 90 Days.  He joined the Covenant Eyes team in 2007 after 18 years as a journalist and has edited 16 books on the impact of pornography, how to protect our families, and how God’s grace brings restoration. He has been married for 23 years and is a father of two.

 

 

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Genesis Paradise Lost DVD

In spite of our arduous work to homeschool our children and train them in the ways of God, sometimes we hear them state, “I am not sure that God is real. Maybe the scientists and atheists are right. Maybe this religion and Bible stuff are just fairy tales that people use as a crutch.” What do we tell them?

Perhaps it is not only what we tell them, but also what we show them.

As homeschoolers, we are committed to diligently teaching God’s Truth to our children in every facet of life. Sadly, our 21st-century culture stands in stark opposition, loudly screaming from every venue any information that denies God and His ways. Eight years ago, three producers embarked upon a journey to put forth a high quality, cutting-edge, film countering lies pressed upon men—lies intended to squalsh the very first chapter God wrote to mankind.

The result—GENESIS: Paradise Lost.

The riveting CG-filled film boasts many awards already: including Best Documentary, Best Cinematography and Visual Effects, Best Director, Dove Approved for All Ages, and a Prestigious 4 out of 4 Stars by MovieGuide. But that’s not why TTD chose this production as our Movie of the Year. The team of three producers, including Ralph Strean, Bill Harrity and Eric Hovind didn’t spend years on this project to win awards.

Eric and the Creation Today Team invested in this resource to answer the culture-war challenge we all face amid a rapid moral decline. God in His infinite wisdom knew the battles we would face and He addressed them head-on, right out of the gate in Genesis 1:1. Recognizing the power of God’s Own Words coupled with the dynamic influence of film, the GENESIS: Paradise Lost producers uniquely incorporated interviews with top scientists, historians, and theologians all corroborating the divinely inspired Book of All Time. That’s why TTD chose GPL as our Movie of the Year.

Due to its place in fundamentally grounding the lives we have been entrusted to shape, TTD hopes you will join us in using GENESIS: Paradise Lost in the education and evangelistic outreach of our families. Discounted copies can be purchased through our registration page and picked up at the convention.

Join Eric Hovind in his 2019 sessions which offer solid scientific facts and authoritative words from Scripture to propel you and yours in your faith-walk with our Creator God!


Experience Eric’s Dynamic Sessions at a Teach Them Diligently Convention near you!

Paradise Regained Amid a Rapidly Degenerating Culture – From the Genesis: Paradise LOST Small Group Curriculum, LOST!

What Do You Tell Your Children When They Question the Reality of God?! – A powerful journey into the reality of God and what He expects, from Eric’s own testimony.

 

 

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Depending on who you ask or reference…approximately 60% to 80% of young people from Christian families are leaving the church once they graduate high school.  

Many Christian families look at these numbers with trepidation.

Some think that whether their children become a statistic or not is completely out of their control. We are all observant enough to perceive that there are a lot of big churches out there that are empty on Sundays. We notice that the church in America seems to be shrinking and not growing. Some adults have even accepted this idea of the prodigal son or daughter as being a part of growing up where we can expect children to leave the church for a time.

All of us who went to a secular college or university went through the gauntlet of a bitter professor that spent an inordinate amount of time trying to convince young Christians that there was no God. I was one of these young people that went through his teenage years in a church-going home, never believing, and fleeing the church the first opportunity I received. I didn’t believe in Christ when I arrived at college and while I was there one of these professors simply gave force to the beliefs already bouncing around my head. By college, I had already veered off the course my family preached.

I was no longer willing to check the same boxes as my family…

These larger statistics of young people leaving the church and the antidote to this trend is the answer to why we believe these events are so important.

I want to give you a quote that is foundational to the mission of Teach Them Diligently. Make no mistake, we are a homeschool convention, but we are also much more! Teach Them Diligently has a mission tied closely to the Great Commission that we believe will turn the tide of young people leaving the church.

“You teach what you know, but you reproduce who you are!”

If you have been around Teach Them Diligently for a while (this is our 8th year producing events,) you have heard me say this from the main stage at one point or another. Keep reading because I will tie that quote into the larger mission, but first, another story connected to a good friend of ours.

Once as I was reading Family Shepherds by Voddie Baucham, I noticed how he described how separated our families are now.  He points out that a typical Christian family will send their children to a traditional school for 8 hours a day while the parents head to work. The mom and dad often get home late, and the children are generally participating in extra activities like cheerleading, sports, clubs, etc. Once everyone finally comes home, they scarcely ever eat a meal together. The children will do homework and study for tests while parents watch television or whatever.  Then, they go to church, and it is worse. They go to Sunday School separated by age and then on to children’s church. The church is filled with programs broken down by age so the families seldom worship together in the same room or even sit together. Many young children never witness their parents actively participating in worship.

Did you know that the average father or mother only spends 34 minutes per day with their children?

When I saw this, my immediate thought was that this was the answer…! This is the reason that so many of our children are running from the church when they leave the home.

In Deuteronomy 6 God gives a very direct and specific plan to the Israelites about how to pass down their faith in God to their children. He does not say create this institution or find a youth pastor or find a good school. Instead He directly instructs the parents. He tells them how and what to teach. We will unpack this a little more in an upcoming article.  However, what I want to focus on right now is that God instructs the parents to teach them.

Now, some of you are reading this and thinking that I am demonizing all schools, youth groups, and Sunday School programs. I am not!  What I am saying is that there are a lot of parents that are anxious to throw their children to churches and schools to disciple and educate them. They are outsourcing!

So many parents do not even realize that they are the ones God has directed to pass down a love and belief in the redemptive work of Christ.

Homeschooling is not a checkbox! You don’t suddenly start homeschooling and your children become smarter and more spiritual than everyone else.  At Teach Them Diligently, we are adamantly opposed to diminishing a Life with Christ to a series of checkboxes.

The truth is that our children need their parents. They need parents to invest in them and engage.

It is very possible to engage in discipling your children and still send them to public or private school. However, I do think it is harder, but definitely possible! I know a lot of children that love the Lord in public and private schools.

We (Teach Them Diligently) are advocates for homeschooling because we believe homeschooling with the intention of discipleship and equipping them to excel in this world is the best way to reproduce young people that love the Lord Jesus Christ . Additionally, we believe parents are to teach their children how to teach and mentor others. Some of you have heard me say many times that your home is your Jerusalem, and Leslie and I absolutely believe that our mission is first to those God placed in our home.

AND, if parents are to be the disciplers God meant them to be, there is one word you should remember that is incredibly important in this process. I discussed this one important word in another article you can access by clicking here.  It truly could be the most impactful thing you could ever tell your children in the day to day process of raising and equipping them, so I encourage you to take a few minutes to check it out.

We believe the antidote for the flow of young Christians out of the church and away from Christ is parents engaging and taking serious the task of discipleship God has given them.

This is the reason that you hear us talk so much about relationships at our events, and that is the reason Leslie penned the Teach Them Diligently book to talk about what the Bible has to say about discipleship-focused parenting.

Of course, we spend a lot of time talking about the academic success of homeschooling. However, there are also a lot of sessions regarding relationships in terms of parenting and marriage and even your relationship with Christ. Every year there are several that realize that they have never come to a saving knowledge of Christ. (One year, we had 8 salvation decisions in our teen program that wasn’t even programmed with that end as a goal.)

We don’t ignore teaching methods, organization, and academics. But, if you are in October and getting frustrated because your school year is not quite going the way you envisioned in August, remember that the core is discipleship. Pray over your homeschool! Ask God to forgive you for being frustrated and remember what the ultimate goal is! It will be okay! God is with you!

God will not ask you to do anything that he has not equipped you to achieve, right? You need Him, though, and that is the point.

He does not expect you to be perfect! Which brings me again to the one word you need to remember…You can read that article here!

For now,…Remember that your children need you to engage in their life with Christ and mentor them to be reproducible believers equipped to love God and to serve Him better in the future.

We at Teach Them Diligently see our mission as encouraging you to seize the role God has for you and help you proceed with greater confidence as a servant of Christ. We truly do believe that homeschooling when done Biblically will strengthen your family in Christ.

We would love to have you join us there, because we truly do believe that you need this encouragement and further equipping for the mission God has given you. Find an event near you and plan to join us now.

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Sincerely,

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crosses at sunset on mountain

God Has Big Plans For You!

Have you ever felt like God wanted you to step out and do something? Have you felt His hand clearly resting on you and directing your thoughts in ways that you would have never imagined for yourself? Were you a little scared at the thought of it all?

God wants us to do big things for Him.

Isn’t that amazing? The God of the Universe, Who could accomplish His will in whatever way He chose, chooses to use poor, sinful people who in themselves have little to offer Him. He chooses to work in His children who are willing to look at Him with open hearts and hands saying “use me in whatever way you see fit.” Wow. What a privilege and honor to be able to serve the King of Kings!

Many years ago, God called our family to do some things we absolutely never saw coming. He asked my husband to quit his job to run a mission agency called Worldwide Tentmakers. The call was so clear, that even taking the step of faith to quit seemed easy. Within a month after that, God again clearly called us to take another step. It has been this step that has had the most impact on our lives in the last 7 years.

Teach Them Diligently Began

God called us to try to reach His families and encourage them to disciple their children and to equip them with great resources for parenting and home education and their own Christian walk.  We started Teach Them Diligently Convention that same month. Having no idea what to expect (or honestly exactly what we were doing,) we set out to serve. We laid every element of the event before the throne of God and asked Him to lead and direct our choices. We prayed that He would bring in the families that needed encouragement and revival– and HE did. He brought in so many that first year that I was afraid the fire marshal would come after us for overcrowding of the facility.  He has continued to bless the work of our hands, and this year we are producing four Teach Them Diligently events with the prayer of reaching even more families onsite.

The journey God has led us on has been treacherous at times. I am glad God didn’t give us a full view of what was ahead when we started out, for I fear we would not have had the faith to make the trek. Through each day, each trial, each joy, each victory– God has been right there with us. We have been brought to our knees. We have been humbled. We have been able to see just how great is our God over and over again. I wouldn’t trade it for all the world (although my flesh has thought otherwise from time to time.)

How about you?

Has God called you to step out in faith and do something higher and greater for Him? Perhaps that call involves home education and laying a strong and sure foundation in the faith for the next generation. Perhaps He has given you a vision for service in your church or community. Perhaps He has given you words to write or speak. Are you moving forward in that call?

In the days and months ahead, I look forward to getting to know you all more as we explore how to deepen our relationship with Him through the great privilege of communing with Him in prayer and serving Him wholeheartedly in our homes and around the globe. It is my sincere hope and prayer that God will bring us all together next spring at one of the Teach Them Diligently events, so we can share our stories of His faithfulness and encourage one another through the amazing fellowship found when a whole bunch of homeschool mamas get together.

In the meantime, really ask God if He wants YOU to take a big step for Him. Trust Him enough to take that step of faith. Can you imagine what He would do with a mobilized force of believers who are willing to take big steps of service?  WOW! How I pray we see that day!

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

Homeschool Workshop

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discipleship teaching

As a homeschool mothers, wives, and believers in Christ we have many aspirations. We want to love the Lord with all our heart and be a godly wives according to Proverbs 31. We want to teach our children in the ways of the Lord and shield them from the evils of this world. We want to give them a Christian worldview so they can be world changers and carry on the message of the Gospel to the next generation.

Recently as I pondered these thoughts I wondered if how we attempt to do this is really an effective strategy. Am I teaching my kids to stand up for Jesus or stand apart?

Standing Up for Jesus

Standing up for Jesus means sharing my faith when it is not the popular thing to do. For me that means inviting people of different faiths into my home and sharing truth from God’s Word. It means not being afraid of those different from me and being willing to show the love of Jesus to those in need. It means letting go of the critical spirit that so easily besets those of the Christian faith and reaching out to the world in need.

I grew up completely surrounded by those of a faith just like mine. It wasn’t hard to stand up for Jesus in that environment. I learned to be comfortable and I spoke with all the Christian lingo of my friends. I was a good girl who followed in the faith of my fathers. There came a day, however, when I had to make my faith my own. I began to take ownership of my faith and realized the joy of my salvation. I wanted to share that with others. I spent time doing short-term missions. I was exposed to those in need in a great way by those trips.

When I came home, I saw the world through different eyes. I was no longer content to stay in my little circle and reach out to only those like me. I saw the sadness in the eyes of those I passed in the street. I was more aware of “divine appointments” or opportunities that God brought into my life to share his love with others.

 

gospel matthew 24:14

Standing Apart

My definition of standing apart in this context is to reject a spirit of pride and haughtiness and not convey to my kids that we have all the answers and those that are not living, doing or acting as we do are in the wrong. I teach my kids that there are moral standards that we should follow and I am purposing to take them to the Scriptures when we have questions about right and wrong: however, I want them to see others who are different from them through eyes of love rather than judgement. Can we see the victims of abuse through the eyes of Jesus? Can we see the homeless through the eyes of Jesus? Can we see the addict through the eyes of Jesus? Can we see the friend who is bitter and out of church through the eyes of Jesus? Jesus sought out sinners to dine with them.

 

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. Mark 2:17 (NIV)

 

I found that the early years of child rearing were tough and some days I was living on flare prayers. “Jesus help me!”, I would cry as I went about wiping runny noses, cleaning up potty messes and mending scraped knees. I spent my time teaching the kids Christian values by sharing truth with them from the Bible.

Now as my eldest is entering middle school, I am starting to see the transfer of faith and how important it is for me to live out my faith by example. It is no longer enough for me to tell my kids we need to love like Jesus because the Bible says so. They need to see me loving like Jesus loved.

We need to serve in the soup kitchen together. We need to do missions as a family. They need to see us give as a family. They need to see mom and dad participate in missions. They need to be beside us on their knees crying out for the salvation of our loved ones.

Am I teaching my kids to stand apart in judgement or join in the work with a heart of love toward those that are different? I want to join with Fanny Crosby and make the lyrics of this old hymn Rescue the Perishing my heart’s cry:

 

  • Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
    Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
    Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
    Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.
  • Refrain:
    Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
    Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.
  • Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting,
    Waiting the penitent child to receive;
    Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently;
    He will forgive if they only believe.
  • Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
    Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
    Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
    Chords that were broken will vibrate once more.
  • Rescue the perishing, duty demands it;
    Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
    Back to the narrow way patiently win them;
    Tell the poor wand’rer a Savior has died.

1869 – Public Domain

 

Let’s teach our kids by example to put away pride and haughtiness and be about our Father’s business. Let’s not get so caught up in standing apart from sin that we neglect the sinner in need of a Savior. Let’s look for opportunities to teach our kids to stand up for the faith and reach out to a world in need with a heart of love and compassion, while holding firm to our convictions and beliefs.

 

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

 

Bio photo JSA

 

Jennifer Allen is a homeschool graduate, wife to her soulmate David (who also contributes to the blog), homeschooling mom, registered nurse, AWANA teacher, pianist, reader and lifelong learner. She can be found on her little corner of the web at conversaving.com.

 

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

Do you want more fun articles on a wide range of topics like discipleship, academics, family, encouragement and general homeschooling?  Just click here to search the vast blog library!

 

Rethink Home Education

To further your reading, we have a special ebook that we would like to send to you. It’s entitled “RETHINK EDUCATION, Turning Scary Questions About Home Education Into Exciting Possibilities.” It was written after countless conversations with moms who are either considering homeschooling or struggling with doubt. My heart in writing it is to offer hopeful answers to some of the questions moms tend to be asking… and you might be surprised at which ones didn’t make the list. I would love for it to become a resource you could share with your friends who are considering home education, or who are wondering if they’ll keep going. So, grab your copy today! – Leslie Nunnery

 

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Homeschooling Parents

About David and Leslie Nunnery

Leslie Nunnery and her husband David founded Teach Them Diligently, the nation’s premier source for gospel-centered homeschool events. With seven years of homeschooling experience from preschool-high school and a passion to encourage and equip homeschool families, this mom of 4 shares her know-how and insights weekly through Teach Them Diligently media and on TeachThemDiligently365.com.

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