Should We Homeschool?

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Homeschooling is not for everyone. I was homeschooled from the fourth grade all the way through high school. I had been falling behind both academically and socially. Public school was failing me by passing me on from one teacher to the next. I had trouble with reading, math, etc. My parents realized what was going on and brought me home. I’m thankful.

Tabitha and I have always said that our children would attend public school. As long as the teachers and the overall district were willing to work with us, we’d stick with it. Our children would be good examples for others to follow. Salt and light.

Enter our son:

  • Helped teach his fellow students in kindergarten
  • Excelled through first grade
  • Has continued in second grade to consistently earn high grades
  • Reads on a middle school grade level

(I can brag as a dad, right?)

The boy wants to be pushed. He wants to learn multiplication and how to write in cursive. Our fear is that his enthusiasm for learning is going to be snuffed out unless he is challenged. We realize that public school can only do so much for him. A teacher has to teach so that all students are on the same middle ground. That means that the higher students in the class are often ignored. Not the teacher’s fault at all. Teaching is hard.

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So how do you make the decision to homeschool?

Throw some dice?

Spin a bottle?

What?

I know the challenges that are involved with it. I have seen them firsthand. I know the impact it has on a family and on a marriage.

Social outlets are essential. Support in the form of a homeschool group help a bunch. The kids never leave the house… ever. Mental fortitude is a requirement.

But how does one pull the trigger?

Trying to figure that out.

Failure is OKAY

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A few weeks into a job, I came across a situation that was very foreign to me, verbal abuse. I don’t remember exactly what the task was, but my boss repeatedly told me that I had failed.

“This task is so easy that a third grader could do this.”

Then pointing out the window, “Do you see the Fedex person walking by? This is so easy that they could do this.”

Any sense of college optimism I had jumped out the window in that moment. Sadly, I began to let small repeated moments like those define who I am. Lies from the very pit of Hell itself.

Past failure, if we let it, can quickly become a part of our identity.

Failure is okay. I think that we have to grant ourselves the slack to fail from time-to-time. As long as we are learning from those failures, we are golden. Lies can only be exposed by truth. It is okay to fail because you will.

GO: The Groundwork

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19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus commanded his disciples to tell others about what they had seen, learned, and experienced during their time with him. They were to go and tell others about the Good News, that the Son of God had come and paid the price for all sin; that Jesus had lived, died, and had been resurrected on the third day.

In Acts 1, we find the disciples waiting in Jerusalem as they were instructed by Jesus:

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 1:4-5

The Holy Spirit soon comes, Peter preaches/confirms that Jesus was the Son of God, and the body of believers grows in numbers. One will notice, however, that no one is “going”. Instead, the believers begin to form a tight knit community, sharing everything they had with one another. Little did they know that a storm was coming.

The storm begins with small clouds (Ananias and Sapphira holding back part of their money in Acts 5:1-11) and slowly darkens as the Apostles are persecuted (Acts 5:17-42). Some of the religious leaders of the day write off the growing number of believers as simply a craze:

34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35 Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37 After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” – Acts 5:34-39

Note: The key verse here is verse 39 – “…But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” Who could argue with that?

Lightening appears on the horizon amongst the darkening clouds as one of the believers, Stephen, is killed for his faith. The storm has now hit. In Acts 8, the new believers who have failed so far to heed Christ’s words and “go”, are forced to move due to persecution:

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. – Acts 8:1

Something odd began to happen as a result of this:

Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Acts 8:4

Christ’s command was finally being obeyed, His word was being preached. God was using a potentially evil situation for His good. But how does all of this apply to Christians today? Check-in tomorrow to find out.

Lack of Leadership

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The Longview News-Journal ran an article yesterday on the possible closure of a local VFW post. Why closure? Lack of members willing to step up into leadership positions.

“The problem is, we don’t have enough members who want to serve,” said former Post Commander Joe Crenshaw.

I have witnessed this “me-driven” phenomena for quite sometime now. People just aren’t willing to step up and take responsibility. On the church level, I have seen this in the lack of volunteers wanting to serve in the children’s department. Everyone seems to be willing to drop off their kids but no one is willing to stay and serve. This is a problem.

We live in a culture today that only wants to consume. We are content to let others lead while we sit back and criticize. At some point, leaders are needed. Without guidance, without leadership, we have no direction. I want to encourage everyone today to step up, to take responsibility, and lead. Are you with me?

Surf Report – 5/3/10

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Welcome to the Monday edition of the Surf Report.

.: God :

The college ministry, at my church, has been in need of a big jump start for a long time. Currently, two students attend. At one point, the college group at church had a full time pastor dedicated to leading the group and going out onto college campuses and recruiting. The college group was huge at its height…but that was maybe 9-10 years ago.

About two weeks ago we had a speaker at our church talk about what our personal gifts are and how we should be using them in the church. This got me thinking. I really enjoy mentoring others, being an open ear to listen; I also enjoy teaching out of the Bible. So…why not come up with a plan to takeover the current college ministry and infuse it with new life. Having a vague idea about how to do this, I e-mailed a bunch of friends and asked for their opinion. I specifically asked that if they attended a church college group while attending college, what attracted them to said group? Their answers are as follows:

Structure – College students are lectured to all day. Why lecture to them more by preaching for an entire hour? Instead (working with an hour format) dedicate:

  • 10 minutes to announcements/ misc.
  • 20 minutes to a time of worship (rock out!)
  • 30 minutes to a time of teaching (make it partly an open discussion, engage people)

Activities – Schedule numerous low-key activities per month with a big activity scheduled at the end of the semester. Activities could include:

  • Formal dinner – get dressed up and go to someones house for a nice dinner.
  • A night of board games with another class at church
  • Movie night, etc.

Leadership – activity engage/ include others in leading the group through:

  • Planning activities
  • Leading worship, etc.

So I’m still in the process of compiling my thoughts on this possible project. If you have any ideas to bring to the table about your experience in a college ministry or why you attended a college group, comment away.

.: Life :

Confession time, I am a bit of a Disney geek. There is something about the ability to transport people into other worlds that just sparks my imagination. Below is a video of a new water show that Disney is working on in their California Adventure park. Enjoy!

.: Gaming :

At the suggestion of a friend, I dove into Half Life 2 over the weekend. Already I have defeated futuristic helicopters, played fetch with a robotic “dog”, and entered into the darkness that is Ravenholm.

"Dog"

Hopefully the gravity gun renders Ravenholm a walk in the park. Until next time.

That is it for this weeks Surf Report. Make sure to comment below and have a good week!