Math War Victory

It was one of those days. Have you been there? Cooperation was not on his internal spelling list, nor was it on his vocabulary list. It was the dreaded math hour.

“I HATE MATH!” was his daily mantra.

“IT’S TOO HARD!”

This was not a battle I was excited to enter. Though I had girded up my loins that morning with the “whole armor” of Ephesians 6:11-18, somehow I was failing miserably.

My son was completely losing it. He was adamant that he did not understand the lesson. I calmly insisted that I was right here to help him, that we had gone over this concept many times before, and that it is not as hard as he imagined. However, he was not convinced. Combined with the fact that lunchtime was approaching, math was his sure enemy. “Can I just drop out of math?” He vehemently questioned.

School that day seemed to be crumbling all around me. I sat on the couch feeling totally defeated, and we had only just begun. The tears wanted to fall, but a tinge of pride kept them at bay. I knew that I needed to pray even harder. “Lord, I do not know how to help ‘Your son.’ He’s so upset. Help me not to react. Help me to keep calm and let him see You in me.”

His younger sister was taking in the whole scene. She calculated my every move. It was as though she was storing away my anxiety level, my facial expression, my tone of voice, and of course my responses, so that she could decide her fate for future math duels. I was on display, the very place I loathe to be. Right then and there I had a decision to make, for I knew I was “not fighting against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places,” Ephesians 6:12. I knew that my Lord would give me the victory in this face-off, but I would need to surrender my natural inclinations and accept His will, that still small voice, and do whatever it bid.

The enemy was feeding my spirit at the same time God was. He began to tell me to get angry, to raise my voice and my authority and not to be sympathetic; on the other hand, God was gently whispering encouragement. He cautioned me to stay calm, to speak sweetly, and to empathize with my son. As I did this, my son’s frustration begin to dissipate.

I proceeding to calmly and prayerfully help him with each problem. Though I knew this process was unnecessary, I sensed that it was more about the attention my son sought rather than truly needing my help; acting out was only a symptom. Thank the Lord for helping me to realize this simple truth. “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me,” Psalm 54:4 NIV. The morning could have been gone in a totally different direction had I given way to my feelings and emotions, allowed the enemy to take over, or insisted that he finish the assignment (that I knew he was very capable of completing) on his own.

How easy it is for my feelings to rule my heart. Feelings have a mind of their own. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9. I must never allow my feelings to usurp the Word of God. I have a decision to make every time the temptation arises for me to choose feelings over faith.

My son later apologized and asked forgiveness for his stubbornness and rebellion, and I gladly granted his pardon. “Confess your faults one to another…” James 5:15 KJV.

The Bible cautions us, “and let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” I am encouraged by this promise of Galatians, aren’t you? A friend of mine used to always say, “You may get tired on the journey, but do not get tired of the journey.”

Parenting indeed can be one of the toughest jobs on earth, and I would venture to say, the toughest job on earth, but oh, what rewards await those parents who faithfully take on this sacred duty.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from Ministry of Healing that encourages me when it’s been one of those days:

“The mother’s work often seems to her an unimportant service. It is a work that is rarely appreciated. Others know little of her many cares and burdens. Her days are occupied with a round of little duties, all calling for patient effort, for self-control, for tact, wisdom, and self-sacrificing love; yet she cannot boast of what she has done as any great achievement. She has only kept things in the home running smoothly; often weary and perplexed, she has tried to speak kindly to the children, to keep them busy and happy, and to guide the little feet in the right path. She feels that she has accomplished nothing. But it is not so. Heavenly angels watch the care-worn mother, noting the burdens she carries day by day. Her name may not have been heard in the world, but it is written in the Lamb’s book of life. There is a God above, and the light and glory from His throne rests upon the faithful mother as she tries to educate her children to resist the influence of evil. No other work can equal hers in importance. She has not, like the artist, to paint a form of beauty upon canvas, nor, like the sculptor, to chisel it from marble. She has not, like the author, to embody a noble thought in words of power, nor, like the musician, to express a beautiful sentiment in melody. It is hers, with the help of God, to develop in a human soul the likeness of the divine. The mother who appreciates this will regard her opportunities as priceless. Earnestly will she seek, in her own character and by her methods of training, to present before her children the highest ideal. Earnestly, patiently, courageously, she will endeavor to improve her own abilities, that she may use aright the highest powers of the mind in the training of her children. Earnestly will she inquire at every step, ‘What hath God spoken?’ Diligently she will study His word. She will keep her eyes fixed upon Christ, that her own daily experience, in the lowly round of care and duty, may be a true reflection of the one true Life,” MH p. 376-378.

Auditory Learning

I love to teach. Maybe I should say, I love to talk. I love to give instruction and see my children follow it and benefit from it. And, now that I think about it, I am sure Christ felt and feels the same way. When he began His brief public ministry, He taught many, and as a result, lives were changed. The interesting thing about how Jesus taught is that He used stories to appeal to the hearts of the people. Stories have an incredible way of digging into the soul of its listeners.

My children love to listen to stories. As a matter of fact, a large portion of our learning is done through audio dramas. I have discovered many excellent resources in auditory form. Here are just a few that we love:

Adventist History

American History

Creation

  • Jonathon Park: Dramatized adventures of the Park and Brenan families captivate listeners of all ages while it teaches the truth of biblical, six-day creation. Each adventure is based on real places and scientific discoveries. jonathanpark.com

Bible

  • Your Story Hour: Dramatized stories of the book of Acts and the Life of Christ along with almost every story told in Scripture.
  • Bible in Living Sound: Dramatized audio Bible stories. bibleinlivingsound.org

Character Building

  • The King’s Daughter and other stories for girls audiobook by J.E. White: Beautifully read stories for girls which focuses on character traits. Available free on youtube.com. You may also purchase the four-CD set. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEodwyUe17Q
  • Your Story Hour: Dramatized stories teaching character-building traits. yourstoryhour.com
  • Lamplighter Theatre: The greatest stories we’ve discovered over the past 4 years. Dramatized stories with strong Biblical lessons. A must listen! http://lamplighter.net/c/, http://www.lamplightertheatre.com/. Audios available on Lamplighter site, Amazon and Ebay.

Fun

  • Eric B. Hare: Great engaging stories told by Burma missionary Eric B. Hare, always containing valuable lessons. Available at adventistbookcenter.com and Amazon.
  • Pilgrim’s Progress: Dramatized allegory written by John Bunyan.
  • Christiana: Dramatized sequel to Pilgrim’s Progress. Both available at orionsgate.org
  • Brinkman Adventures: Exciting radio show that tells true, modern, missionary stories through the fictional Brinkman family. brinkmanadventures.com

**Your Story Hour can be heard for free at: http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/your-story-hour/listen/

There are a few months available of archives on the site. Each Sunday a new story is uploaded. They are also available on youtube.

Your local library also may have some of these or may be able to order them from a borrowing library. If they cannot be found in your library’s district consortium of libraries, you can ask your reference person to look them up on worldcat.org.

I hope this list is helpful. Please share others that you have used for your homeschool.

Advantages of Audio Adventures (from the Jonathon Park site):

Audio adventures are a more powerful and effective alternative to video for pure Entertainment because listeners continually create stories in their limitless imaginations.

Audio adventures are a more robust way to bolster your children’s Education because science shows that they activate the critical thinking side of the brain.

Audio adventures spark Creativity in your children’s minds, unlike video which puts the brain on “cruise control”.

Audio adventures are Inspirational because your children can create their own custom movies in their minds.

Audio adventures offer more Lasting Value than video. Since they’re not limited by someone else’s imagination, your kids will want to listen to them over and over — each time offers something fresh and new!

Audio adventures are so Convenient — your family can listen to them in the car, while doing chores, enjoying fun activities, or when your kids are settling down for the night (a great alternative to TV).

~Happy Listening

When Animals Die

Our dear Izzy is gone. That big, awkward, loving St. Bernard is no more. How devastated we all have been. And, though she was new to us, she was not new to this pre-existing community. She has been a part of this family for many years. She was rescued and had been much-loved every since. We came into her life in her latter years, and only had the privilege of knowing her a short while. But, that time was precious and anticipated every day.

Often we would open our front door, only to discover Izzy sprawled across the porch making it impossible to get out. We would gently coax her to scooch over some so we could exit the house. She would always [slowly] comply. Every day we looked for this scrumptious beast and felt welcomed when she would verbally announce our arrival as she saw our van pulling up the driveway.

When we got the news that her owners had to put her down due to a fall that had gotten worse, it was a deep blow. We somehow became very attached to an animal that we barely knew. I think that is so easy to do with animals. There is a natural attraction to God’s domestic creation. Perhaps because they love us so. For the most part, they are easy to care for, they do not ask for much, and they think we are the best thing since sliced bread.

But, what happens to these dear creatures when the Earth is made new, when Jesus takes His redeemed to their eternal home? Will they be resurrected, or will they be destroyed with the wicked? These are questions that parents will be asked by young children who must know what will become of their beloved pets.

I do not have a for-sure answer of exactly how God will restore, in particular, His four-legged creation, but the Bible gives some hints of His heart toward animals.

“Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD,” Psalm 36:6 ESV.

“And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left — and also many animals?” Jonah 4:11 NIV.

And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; and with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth,” Genesis 9:9-10.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?” Luke 12:6.

These are only a few texts that gives us a glimpse of how our Father feels about animals. I cannot image that when we get to Heaven we will be nothing less than satisfied with God’s perfect way in the dealing with the animals that we held dear here on Earth. We can tell our children that God will do what’s best, and we will be glad.

My Vow to Train Up a Child

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As many of you know, we recently relocated to a new town. It is a very rural area; I guess you can say country. Our reason for moving from our former comfort zone had to do with my middle daughter desiring to join the choir at Great Lakes Adventist Academy, which meant she would need to desert the past 11 years of her homeschool life and begin attending Academy, a decision my husband and I prayed heavily about. We made the decision that she would attend as a village student, thus the move. We have been here a little over a month and I am beginning (once more) to sense my race. I hate to have to write about such a subject, but in the past 12 or so years, it has clearly become my reality. As I grapple with the thought that this issue is quite prevalent in the Christian church, it grieves my heart.

While this is a very true reality, not only in the past few churches we’ve attended and now in our new community, I have determined in my heart that my children will not be subject to such an ungodly mentality; the thinking that forces them to believe that because one is of a different color, race, or nationality, that some how they are inferior. I never want my children to think that God is a respecter of persons. If Jesus does not consider us less-than if our pigment shade has added melanin, then why should we? I do not allow my children to refer to people as white or black, Asian or Hispanic. They are allowed to describe people as tall, short, young, older, red hair, blue shirt, thick eyebrows, etc.

I realize that our perception of people begins from the cradle. Babies do not emerge from the womb knowing any difference in skin tone or race. I realize I have a solemn responsibility to train my children right, to make sure they know and understand that God died on that cruel cross for all man; red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight.

And, though I am concluding in my own mind that this may be a thorn I will have to contend with until Christ returns, I will be certain that my children will always treat their fellow man as Christ would have them treat him. They will not see color, but the heart, the character, the soul.

I purpose to have many conversations about what they may experience in this life, and the very real fact that in this world of sin, they may be thought of as different because of their golden tone, but that that is no indication of how Christ thinks of them. They will know that though they may be treated differently because of the extra tight curly texture of their hair, that this in no way lessens Christ’s love for them. They will be confident of their value and worth in God’s eyes, though others may see them as odd, strange, or uncommon.

With God’s grace, I will do my best to relay to my children their infinite significance in the heart of a God who left the royal courts of a perfect Heaven to come to a sin-ladened, pitiful, wicked planet to save — even them.

Auditory Learning

I love to teach. Maybe I should say, I love to talk. I love to give instruction and see my children follow it and benefit from it. And, now that I think about it, I am sure Christ felt and feels the same way. When he began His brief public ministry, He taught many, and as a result, lives were changed. The interesting thing about how Jesus taught is that He used stories to appeal to the hearts of the people. Stories have an incredible way of digging into the souls of its listeners.

My children love to listen to stories. As a matter of fact, a large portion of our learning is done through audio dramas. I have discovered many excellent resources in auditory form. Here are just a few that we love:

Adventist History
Pathways to the Pioneers
Dramatized history of the Advent movement. Available free on
http://www.whiteestate.org/pathways/pioneers.asp
You can also purchase the 22-volume set.

American History
Living Principles of America
Powerful dramatizations about America’s greatest heroes, their patriotism and belief in God.  Brings to life George Washington, Daniel Boone, Susan B. Anthony, Booker T. Washington, and many others.

Your Story Hour
Dramatized history series
yourstoryhour.org

YWAM (Youth with a Mission) Heroes of History Audiobook
Excellent stories of missionaries and notable Christian figures.
http://www.ywampublishing.com/c-101-audiobooks-cd.aspx

Creation
Jonathon Park
Dramatized adventures of the Park and Brenan families captivate listeners of all ages while teaching the truth of biblical, six-day creation. Each adventure is based on real places and scientific discoveries.
jonathanpark.com

Bible
Your Story Hour
Dramatized stories of the book of Acts and the Life of Christ along with almost every story told in Scripture.

Bible in Living Sound
Dramatized audio Bible stories.
bibleinlivingsound.org

Character Building 
The King’s Daughter and other stories for girls audiobook by J.E. White
Beautifully read stories for girls which focus on character traits.
Available free on youtube.com.
You may also purchase the 4-cd set.

Your Story Hour
Dramatized stories teaching character-building traits.
yourstoryhour.com

Lamplighter Theatre
The greatest stories we’ve discovered over the past four years. Dramatized stories with strong Biblical lessons. A must listen!
http://lamplighter.net/c/
http://www.lamplightertheatre.com/
Audios available on Lamplighter site, Amazon and Ebay.

Fun
Eric B. Hare
Great engaging stories told by Burma missionary Eric B. Hare, always containing valuable lessons.
Available at adventistbookcenter.com and Amazon.

Pilgrim’s Progress
Dramatized allegory written by John Bunyan.

Christiana
Dramatized sequel to Pilgrim’s Progress.
Both available at orionsgate.org

Brinkman Adventures
Exciting radio show that tells true, modern, missionary stories through the fictional Brinkman family.
brinkmanadventures.com

**Your Story Hour can be heard for free at: http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/your-story-hour/listen/
There are a few months available of archives on the site. Each Sunday a new story is uploaded. They are also available on youtube.

Your local library also may have some of these or may be able to order them from a borrowing library. If they cannot be found in your library’s district consortium of libraries, you can ask your reference person to look them up on worldcat.org.

I hope this list is helpful. Please share others that you have used for your homeschool.

Advantages of Audio Adventures (from the Jonathon Park site):

“Audio adventures are a more powerful and effective alternative to video for pure entertainment because listeners continually create stories in their limitless imaginations.

“Audio adventures are a more robust way to bolster your children’s education because science shows that they activate the critical thinking side of the brain.

“Audio adventures spark creativity in your children’s minds, unlike video which puts the brain on ‘cruise control.’

“Audio adventures are inspirational because your children can create their own custom movies in their minds.

“Audio adventures offer more lasting value than video. Since they’re not limited by someone else’s imagination, your kids will want to listen to them over and over — each time offers something fresh and new!

“Audio adventures are so convenient: your family can listen to them in the car, while doing chores, enjoying fun activities, or when your kids are settling down for the night (a great alternative to TV).”

~Happy Listening