Monday, December 22, 2008

O Come Let Us Adore Him

For weeks now I have rolled over in my head what really is all of this Christmas stuff about. I shared with some friends that around November, I began to dread December. I grew up in a family that knew that Christmas wasn't about Santa, it was about Christ. Now that I am a mom, I am so convicted that my children are to truly understand what this time of year is about.

The way America celebrates Christmas literally makes me ill. I am not one of those who thinks it is so wonderful that everyone whether they believe in God or not is singing songs about him at least once a year. They are not singing to him, they are simply singing a song they grew up hearing. What I see is that Christmas has become about the Christmas list. It is all about what you are buying for someone or what you are asking someone to buy you.

I listened to people at church this morning in simple conversation ask others if they are ready for Christmas. What they meant was if they were finished shopping? Did they have their house decorated & their goodies all baked? Not one mention of our Lord Jesus. My children were asked several times what they wanted for Christmas. Then one mother asked me if they believed in Santa, when I said no she was very surprised. At that point she had no other questions for my boys. It was like she didn't know what to ask them anymore if she couldn't ask them what they wanted Santa to bring them.

So, what are we doing? Why are we Christians celebrating Christmas? The way many of us celebrate looks just like the rest of the world. How much of what we do is really about Jesus. We bake a "birthday cake", set our our nativity and read Luke 1. But the rest of our time is spent busy with activities that are not done to honor our God.

This popular Christmas carol has been on my mind lately and one particular phrase has really stuck.

O Come, let us adore Him.

Adore. To Worship or honor as deity. To regard with loving admiration. Attitude of worship.

O Come, let us adore Him

This is worship. Something that only our God is worthy of.

You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3

He is particular about how we worship also. Remember Cain & Abel? Who found favor with God? Abel did because he brought God the best he had, but Cain only brought some of his crop.

Jacob understood what God wanted. He wants our whole & complete hearts, not traditions or rituals. Genesis 35:2

We are to only serve & worship our God.

Even the evil spirits knew to bow down to him, but could not worship him.

Our worship is not about what we do for God. The Pharisees were really good at acting as though they worshipped God. They had great prayers and ceremonies that were meant as worship. But were they really? They had lot's of great festivals and celebrations that were meant to worship God, but did they accomplish that?

Mark 10:45 - For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Amos 5:21-24 explains about a time when God had run out of patience with his people. They were wicked at heart, but still enjoyed all of the festivals that were set in place to cause them to stop & worship. All of the celebrations were not done to worship God, they were only traditions & rituals.

21 "I hate, I despise your religious feasts;
I cannot stand your assemblies.

22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, [a]
I will have no regard for them.

23 Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.

24 But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!

When I read this passage, I couldn't help but see the similarities between what we do now in December and what they were doing then. I wondered, how much of what we do in December all in the name of celebrating Jesus birthday does God despise? How much does it bother him that we spend more time shopping for that perfect gift than we do preparing our hearts for worship? The more I have pondered this & prayed about it, I am convinced that He is grieved greatly. I feel as though he thinks that we have missed it.

I know that December 25th is not really the date of Christ birth. I know that the date actually stemmed from pagan holidays. I know that the Bible never specifically said that we are to remember his birth. I don't think that celebrating during this time is what grieves him. I think it is how we celebrate. Are we like the Israelites whose hearts had turned from God, but kept the traditions? I think so.

This is a time for us to worship him for sending His son to us. We can't even comprehend what that meant for Jesus to become a man. But if you will spend just a few moments in quiet meditation & open your heart, I think the Lord would love to give you a glimpse of what it meant.

Spend the next few days adoring your Savior. Spend time everyday with your children discussing what He has done for your family this year. Remind them that it isn't about what we have done, but what he has done for us. Worship is a response to a gracious God & it needs to be placed in this context if it is to be understood properly.

I love Mary's song that she sang after the angel had just rocked her world and told her that she would carry the Son of God.

46And Mary said:
"My soul glorifies the Lord
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55to Abraham and his descendants forever,
even as he said to our fathers."

Not one of her words are about what she has done, but what her Jehovah Adonai had done for her & the faithful who had come before her. That is worship.

Our family is trying something new this year on Christmas Day in hopes to take the focus off of ourselves & put it on the Lord. We are exchanging gifts for each other on December 24th. On the 25th we will spend time together as a family in prayer and worship to our Lord Jesus together as a family. We will enjoy a big breakfast together as we remember how the Lord has provided for us over the past year. Late afternoon, we will pack up the van and head to my parents house for a few days to enjoy more time with family. I'm hoping that this will be something that we can continue to do for many years to follow.

Come & behold Him.

O come, let us adore Him

O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.

O come, let us adore Him

Christ the Lord.

Listen to; O Come All ye Faithful

Jesus_LO Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.
O Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing all that hear in heaven God's holy word.
Give to our Father glory in the Highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.
All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.




Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Funny Craigs List Ad

Scott & I like to check out Craigslist every now & then for some freebie bargains. Yesterday we were looking on there & he saw an ad titled, "The Loudest Vacuum on the face of the Earth". Scott clicked on it & this is what we found. It is kinda long, but way too funny not to pass on.

The loudest vacuum cleaner on the face of the Earth (PPU)

Giving away absolutely free of charge, with no lien, mortgage, or other encumbrance of any sort,
the undisputed world-record holder in the "loudest vacuum cleaner on the face of the Earth" category!
Act now to take advantage of this truly unique opportunity! "Wow" your friends with this incredible Hoover!

To accurately describe this fine piece of machinery, I will need to be rather wordy, so please bear with
me on this matter. Imagine you are on the runway at D/FW airport, right in front of one of the jet exhaust deflectors.
A Boeing 747-400 has just taxied on to the runway about 8 feet in front of you, and holds there, awaiting clearance for takeoff.
After a few short moments, clearance is given. The pilot keeps the brakes firmly applied as the co-pilot
gently places his hand on the throttles, then, in an instant, violently shoves all four of them forward
to maximum thrust; right up against the stops.

The ensuing cacophony resulting from the dissonance between the screaming whine of the turbines
spinning at ten bazillion RPM and the 65,000 MPH blast of air and choking exhaust blasting you into
the cold, sooty metal of the deflector is utterly deafening.
That is not how loud this vacuum is. It's louder.

Just as the pilot of the 747 releases the wheel brakes, and the silvery, tubular behemoth commences its
trip toward the other end of the runway and into the wild, blue yonder, air traffic control realizes they
have made a deadly mistake; they had previously cleared an Airbus A380, the largest plane in the
world, to land on the same runway, in the opposite direction! Frantically, they radio the two planes in a
vain attempt to prevent the impending disaster, but to no avail. The planes meet nose-to-nose in a gut
wrenching, mind-numbing collision. Add that noise to the already earsplitting din that was being
emitted by the first plane.
That is not how loud this vacuum is. It's louder.

While all of this is happening, the air traffic control supervisor has notified the airport's fire department
and they have rolled to the scene just as this tragedy takes place. Their sirens are blaring as they pull
up, only adding additional decibels to the already unbearable level of noise you are experiencing. Your
eardrums feel like red hot razor blades fired from a 12 gauge shotgun careening around inside your
cranium. You honestly wish a 2-ton piece of the shrapnel flying from the ruins could just catapult your
way and sever your head, putting you out of your misery once and for all. It never happens; you survive
this, the most miserable moment of your entire life, surrounded by carnage, the noise level absolutely
unbearable, with blood now flowing profusely from what used to be your ears.
That is not how loud this vacuum is. It's louder.

Take the entire scene and insert it into the humungous wind tunnel at the Chrysler factory. Run the
wind tunnel up to about 350 MPH. Take the noise you are now being subjected to, and triple it.
Now, THAT'S how loud this vacuum is.

I've had people tell me I'm wrong, that this thing is much worse than I've described, and I'm being
gentle just to be able to unload it on some poor, disadvantaged housewife in an act of masochism,
thinly veiled as generous, selfless philanthtopy.

I expect the competition for this beauty to be fierce, but if you want it, just email me and I'll set it out
on the curb for you. If you need help finding the place after I give you the address, just let me know. I'll
turn the lovely contraption on and you can follow the roar. Don't worry, it'll drown out the highway
sounds from the semis, and the traffic choppers overhead and you'll have no problem getting here,
even if you're just pulling out of your driveway in Guatemala.

Don't get me wrong, it does what it's supposed to do; it cleans the floor.
I'm just tired of cleaning the blood from the walls that sprays out of my ears when I use this little gem.

ATTACHMENTS INCLUDED!
ALLERGEN FILTRATION!
BRUSHED EDGE CLEANING!
WON'T LAST!
ACT NOW TO TAKE THIS CREAM PUFF HOME WITH YOU TODAY!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bumbo the Flying Buffalo

We have began collecting funny saying that Gracie spits out during the day. She is really full of them lately. We decided to keep adding on to our list here as she spits new ones out.

m2m-picnic-022

  • Sarah found Gracie & Sam digging in her purse one day. She asked Gracie what she was doing. Gracie answered, "I'm looking for a kleenex because Sam just bless-you'd all over my stuff." Translation: bless you'd = sneeze.
  • When asked what Gracie was watching on TV she answered, "Bumbo the flying buffalo" Translation; Dumbo the flying elephant.
  • She crawled up in mommy's lap and asked "I want some birthday kisses." So mommy kissed her all over & then gave gave her a zerbert(strawberry) on her cheek to which she commented, "and birthday spits".
  • Gracie got a doll house for her birthday. We had bought it from a friend & with it came some furniture & people. We also bought her some more people & furniture. We didn't pay attention that we had bought her another set of parents. When Scott's mom came over one day Gracie had to show Mamaw the doll house. Mamaw asked, "does the baby have a daddy?" To which Gracie answered, "she has 2 daddies!" So we have a politically correct doll family & didn't know it.
  • As her sisters were going out the door to go to the store for me, Gracie follows then saying, "Can I go? I need to go to the potty!" What child doesn't need to go potty in the store, our's insist on going to the store so she can go potty.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Reformation Day

Do you know what October 31st is to Protestants? It is Reformation Day.

I have been so busy that I have not collected all of my favorite links to share with you about this, but a sweet friend of mine has done all of the work, so I am sending you to her blog.





Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Running the Race

The other day I was on my way home from a meeting. It was about 4:00 in the afternoon so the kids were getting out of school. I noticed 2 teenage girls who were running on the median between the 2 streets. They were obviously training for a track competition.

It reminded me of the days (over 20 years ago) when I ran track in school. I was not an athlete at all, but I could run long distance. I enjoyed it & as I watched those girls run I remembered how hard it was when we would run off campus. I remember falling a few times when our coach would drop us off miles from our school & we would have to run through fields, dirt roads & finally sidewalks to get back to the school. It was hard to run where the ground was not level. If you stepped on a rock just right you could hurt yourself...and I did a few times.

I was reminded of a great verse in Acts through all of this thinking about running.

I consider my life nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. Acts 20:24(NIV)

This is the Apostle Paul speaking & he is on his way to Jerusalem. He knew that trouble was probably awaiting him, but he knew that he had to go. His physical body meant nothing to him, he was that committed to preaching the gospel. All he wanted to do was finish the race that the Lord has set out for him to run. The ground got real rocky for him, it was never an easy race for him to run. But he understood what his purpose was, to testify to the gospel of God's grace.

How do you run your race? Do you want to quit running when the race gets difficult? Do you wish you could run on a smoother surface? Oh sweet mom, we all do. I find myself asking God, "when will this get easier?" He gently reminds me to just keep running, to keep my goal in mind and to trust him with the obstacles. It is all to His glory that I run and when I run to complete the task that my Lord has given me I can run with joy and satisfaction.

Busy-Mom-and-Housewife

The Physical Race is how we go about in our day. How we respond to others. how we accomplish the mundane chores and errands. Do our children know what is important to us? Does our husband know that he is the most important person to us? How do you manage your day?

The Emotional Race is where we let our feeling and mind go. Do we guard our heart like Proverbs instructs us to do? What do we watch, read & listen to? It all matters.

The Spiritual Race is our relationship with our God. Do you have one? This is the most important race of all. We will not take our bodies to Heaven, but our souls will go. How much time to you spend nourishing your soul? How much time do you spend talking to your Lord? He deeply desires to speak to you & loves to hear you talk to him. do you meditate on his word, do you memorize it? The older I get the harder it is for me to memorize scripture, but I still work on it. It is such a blessing when I can remember a scripture passage that speaks directly to my need at the time.

You know when Paul went to Jerusalem, he was arrested. The Holy Spirit prepared him that prison & hardships were waiting for him, but he went anyway. I don't have the faith of Paul, but I am working toward that.

We live in very easy times in that we do not face the persecution that Paul faced or that Christians in other parts of the world face like in Orissa, India. Yes, we struggle. Our economy is failing, we are looking at the possibility of a new President that is not a godly man and I could go on. Must understand what our God given purpose is...to glorify Him by teaching his gospel to our children and others.

Run the race with perseverance the race marked out for you (Hebrews 12:1) and let God cover the obstacles with his grace & mercy.




Tuesday, October 7, 2008

You Can Correct & Prevent Dyslexia

I have 2 children with varying degrees of dyslexia. It has been a challenge to teach them, but it has been done. We used techniques that others didn't agree with, but it worked for us. Finally, I found an "expert" who supports what we did & says that it works. We knew that it did, but it always helps to have a expert say it also. We did not raise our children under the umbrella of "disability" We never told them that something was wrong. They are not special needs, they have learning challenges. Who doesn't have learning challenges, but theirs is just a little more complicated. Here is an excellent article that showed up in the THSC newsletter. I would suggest htat you share it with anyone who is struggling with a child.


You Can Prevent and Correct Dyslexia


Sue Ellen Haning


Texas Home School Coalition Association REVIEW © February 2005

Dyslexia is a fairly new word (I could not find it in the 1971 Oxford English Dictionary), but it is one that we see and hear with increasing frequency, and it has become a buzzword in the educational community. Although each of the many books and articles written on the subject of dyslexia has a slightly different spin, the common ground most share is the death sentence to the student and his or her parents. I have even read, “Once dyslexic, always dyslexic.” Is this death sentence a reflection of current societal thinking? (Victims are everywhere.) Is the word “dyslexia” a scapegoat for the school system in which such labels originate and which receive funds for students in special programs? How many sleepless nights have mothers and fathers spent blaming themselves--or just lying awake trying to engineer a way to remove the unfortunate label--while the powers that be (teachers, administrators, doctors) slam the gavel on the child’s file, condemning him or her to a life of special classes that go on and on, year after year, seeming to make little, if any, difference in the child’s ability to progress? As a parent, I would strongly resist any label that anyone wanted to put on my child.

My education degree is not in special education, but I have thirty-three years of experience teaching “dyslexics” in the classroom and in private tutoring. My students have ranged in age from five to thirty-five, and many have been labeleddyslexic” for years. Their symptoms include problems in reading, spelling, and comprehension; poor decoding skills (inability to read phonetically); terrible handwriting and reversals; auditory processing problems (inability to store and retrieve information presented auditorially); visual processing problems; attention deficit disorders; hyperactive disorders; etc. There seems to be no end to the symptoms attached to the label. Most of these students have attended special classes specifically designed for them. While well intentioned, these classes move the student along at a snail’s pace or not at all, and most use the same teaching techniques that did not work for the student in the first place. Self-esteem work is often a major part of these classes. Our society seems to value positive strokes above real learning, and coddling ourselves above challenging ourselves, and it does not understand that self-esteem is a natural by-product of personal accomplishment.

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) defines dyslexia as a “specific learning disorder that is neurological in origin,” meaning that dyslexia is a nervous system malfunction. I disagree with the IDA that all diagnoses of dyslexia are neurological in origin; however, I do not doubt that 20-25% of the population has some degree of learning difference—not disorder. We are all unique in our learning styles. Some understand numbers better than words. Some have auditory strengths; some have visual strengths. Some are kinesthetic. Some have a mixture of two or more of the preceding. The diagnosis of dyslexia relieves “the system” of responsibility, but it does not necessarily help the student who is having trouble learning.

To facilitate the educational system, all students are expected to operate within one learning style. Professionals in both the educational and medical fields encourage—indeed often demand—that a child take one or more of the popular drugs to help force him into the mold. Ritalin is just one drug prescribed to millions of America’s children, and its chemistry is so close to cocaine that it takes a chemist to tell the difference. I encourage you to read You Can Prevent or Correct Learning Disorders by Dr. Hilde Mosse. If you are not up for reading the entire book, please read the pages devoted to drug use in children.

More often than not, my experience with “dyslexics” has exposed environmental causes rather than neurological ones. Environmental causes are preventable and correctable. In order to learn well, children need daily, frequent, verbal interaction with adults—the complete sentence type of dialogue. The language and perception skills a child learns from personal, face-to-face, frequent, daily dialogue with an adult will go a long way in preventing learning problems by building good thinking skills. What keeps these good skills from forming?

Television, in my opinion, single-handedly causes more harm to children’s learning than diet, day care, and dairy products combined. This ingenious invention can connect us to the rest of the world and teach us much about the world and the people in it, but in my opinion, the destructive aspects of TV outweigh the constructive ones. Television continually stimulates the viewer both auditorially and visually, with short, choppy thoughts—which shorten attention spans. Children’s programs are the worst, as they constantly jump from one focus to another. Family shows are not any better, with their constant interruption by commercials (which often focus on a pill to solve our ills). In many homes this TV monster is on much of the day and night, even when no one is watching. Parents say, “Oh, our children don’t watch TV.” Further questions reveal that the children may not watch the TV, but it is on nevertheless, and what are the children doing while the parents are watching TV? They are engaged with and entertained by other electronic devices such as the computer, video games, books on tape, etc. The same attention and learning problems result from these toys. No amount of technology can replace the one-on-one, face-to-face, positive interaction with adults through dialogue and reading.


There are other environmental causes of learning problems and hyperactivity that I have directly addressed with my students and their parents: disorganization (household and personal), cluttered walls at home and school (visual stimuli), inconsistency in all aspects of life, too many outside activities, pressure to hurry, noisy study environment, too little rest, MSG and other food additives, emotional turmoil, chaos, and tension at home and in the classroom. It is impossible for a child to concentrate for any period of time when he is overly excited or overly stimulated in any way. Most children are over-stimulated day and night. No wonder so many are hyperactive. “But we live in the twenty-first century,” you say. “This is part of life.” You must determine if it is more important for your child to fit into the culture or for him to have a good foundation for life.

The educational system inadvertently creates problems too. Often the copy method is used in teaching children to form letters and numbers. The teacher stands at the board in front of the students and forms a letter or number with little or no instruction in how to accomplish this task, and the student must try to mimic the forming of this letter or number on his paper. Casual teaching is popular, with the belief the child will get it in his own time. The correct formation of each letter and number must be taught, and then the student must practice it correctly. In English, we read and write from left to right and top to bottom. Beginning readers and writers must have consistent practice in forming their letters from left to right and top to bottom. The copy method often results in the student beginning the letter at the bottom and going to the top or starting the letter on the right side and going back to the left. Constant practice in forming the letters inaccurately teaches the brain to address the written word incorrectly, and dyslexia is born. Teaching rhyming words—bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, rat, sat, etc.—trains the child to look at the end (right side) of the word first and then look back to the beginning of the word (left side). We read from left to right—not from right to left. This may seem simple or inconsequential, but to a beginning reader and writer, it is very significant. Teaching systematically is imperative in preventing or correcting writing and reading disorders.

The popular use of workbooks that require one-word answers inhibits language development also. The child usually chooses from a list of four words to complete the sentence. The child may not even be able to read all the words in the sentence but can often make a correct choice. In workbook assignments, the student does not have to engage the entire language. The language appears in bits and pieces (what goes in the blank). Active practice in writing and speaking in complete sentences advances language skills.


Another hazard to linear reading is the comic book or cartoon. The inconsistent placement of words and the visual stimulation of the pictures encourage scanning and picture-gazing. Often children look for the pictures to tell the story and read only a word or two of a caption on pages where the pictures do not tell the story. Comic book reading may not cause a problem in the experienced reader, but it hinders linear reading progress in the young or beginning reader and in the child who has a learning difference.

While the educational system creates some learning problems, others actually happen accidentally as the child grows. One correctable neurological problem is crossed hemispherical dominance. Hemispherical dominance is helpful in working with any learning. If a person is right handed, his right ear and right eye should be dominant as well. If he is left handed, his left ear and left eye should be dominant. If one side is dominant, he is hemispherically dominant. The dominant eye and dominant ear receive information and store it on the opposite side of the brain. If the right eye is dominant, but the left ear is dominant, then information is incorrectly filed and becomes hard to retrieve. This problem accounts for children being able to access previously learned facts one day but unable to access the same facts on another day. For more information on this issue, log onto www.hope-future.org. This Web site will give you access to full information on hemispherical dominance and how it affects learning, and it will help in determining and reinforcing dominance.

My experience with dyslexics has taught me that consistent, multisensory, detailed instruction and practice is the approach that works. Whether the weakness is auditory, visual, or kinesthetic, the multisensory approach corrects the weakness and makes the strength stronger. I teach extensive phonics to my dyslexic students (no matter their symptoms) and have them practice daily. It is the consistency in correct practice that makes the difference. This method has been so successful that I can guarantee reading and writing success. Parents’ cooperation in removing or at least reducing environmental hazards results in greater improvement. When this approach is faithfully followed, the outcome is always positive.

Some learning differences are more involved than others, but when the parents and students are dedicated to working consistently and correctly, the results are phenomenal, and the dyslexia goes away! The key is in the instruction, practice, attitude, and philosophy. The only question is, Are you willing to accept the challenge?

Meet Sue Ellen Haning



Saturday, September 27, 2008

Homeschooling the Rebel

We have a rebel in our family & this article by Deborah was very helpful to me. When I first read it, my husband & I were discussing how to homeschool our son that year. AFter much prayer & discussion, we decided that my husband would homeschool him. It has worked wonderfully! Our son is coming around and is focusing more on his relationship with the Lord than before. He needed the extra one on one time with his dad. We are so thankful for the Lord's guidance. My husband now plans on homeschooling all our sons when they reach their freshman year of school.

Homeschooling the Rebel

by Deborah Wuehler

"I won't do it!" my child screamed after being asked to sit down and start the day's math assignment. "You will too!" I resolutely stated right back. "I will not!"

Some days were worse than others, but all were equally miserable. The older siblings would complain and take up my offense. Younger siblings would cry because Mommy was crying. All the while, the smug little hard-nosed rebel sat defiantly on the bed screaming and shouting to his (or her) heart's content. It was a struggle not to allow bitterness to rule my spirit. The daily strain upon my heart, soul, and body were wearing me down to the point I wanted to pull away from everything and everyone. I would cry out to God. "How long, O Lord?" I lived in the comfort of the Psalms. After I cried, I would read and pray. I HAD to in order to face my child again.

How did we end up here? We analyzed everything from birth. Was it the fact that this child was born screaming? Maybe it was that time at 3 that I intervened, thinking Dad was too harsh. Or was it because in public he was well behaved, so I let slip his passive rebellion at home? Was it his early mental maturity trapped inside a childish body? Was it because he was sandwiched between six other siblings? Was it medical? (Indications of ADD were present-not hyperactive, but rather the ultra-slow, highly distracted side.) It was probably the combination of all of these things that enabled this sweet little child to erupt into a full-blown rebel. Yelling, screaming, throwing things, you name it. I had only read about this kind of child, and now I had one. What in the world was I to do?

Recognize the Triggers of Rebellion

We both desperately needed help, so I started to research. I learned to recognize the triggers of these angry responses and my contribution. I began to look at what happened before the flare-up and recognize the signs of an impending eruption. Was I angry with him? Was he provoked by a sibling or maybe jealous for my attention? Was he distracted? Was his schoolwork too difficult or too easy? Did he get enough sleep? What was he eating? Getting to know the triggers helps in warding off the explosions. Follow me as I share with you what I have learned in dealing with a rebel.

Be a Disciple, Make a Disciple

Discipling was one of the keys to eventually opening our rebel's heart. As we continued to disciple and pour the Word of God into our child, we began to see things change. Here are some suggestions:

* Be a good disciple of the Lord yourself! My goal is for my rebel to follow Christ as I follow Christ.
* Draw your child in close. We had to pull our rebel in as a shepherd does with a wayward lamb. We took him with us wherever we went, and he stayed by our side as much as possible.
* Be to her what you would have her be. Exemplify patience and kindness. You will begin to see your child's heart soften and your own heart change toward her.
* Have other godly influences in his life: teachers, friends, and godly pastors and speakers who reinforce what you are teaching.
* He needs to be close to the authority figure. He should go to work with Dad or become his shadow when he is home.
* Disciple her in prayer. Show her who to run to! Let her see your vulnerability. She usually sees your strength. Let her see your tenderness. Allow her to follow you to Jesus.
* Discipling takes time. Invest time you do not have, and you will reap fruit you did not expect.


Teach What Is Good

* Teach your rebel the Word of God. Help him define rebellion. Lead him to Scriptures relating to "rebellion," "fools," and "stiff-necked" people.
* Teach him that God disciplines those He loves.
* Teach her the cycle that is repeated throughout history: idolatry, bondage, repentance, deliverance, and rest. Idolatry is turning away from God's commands to our own self-rule: this leads only to bondage. If we repent, we are delivered and find rest (read the book of Judges).
* Teach him God's plan for protection offered in authority. When we step out from under the authority placed in our lives, we are left unprotected.
* Teach repentance by modeling repentance toward the child. If I show any signs of anger or unkindness, I ask for forgiveness quickly.
* Teach the order of godly government. God has given us the duty to govern our own households. Children lacking self-government must be governed. God's beauty and order is displayed in godly government.
* Creation is governed by order, not chaos, and declares the glory of God.
* Teach the foundation of our faith based on the order of a literal, six-day creation. God also created our rebel to declare His glory-teach her that she can glorify God if she stays under His authority structure. Teach him that self-control is placing himself under God's control. He will soon realize that he can't control himself; this is when you can show him his need for God's control.
* Go over what Christ did on the cross. Christ can free us from the power of sin and the penalty of sin. Lead your child to the cross at every turn.


Homeschooling

If you are dealing with major rebellion from your child, you may need to adjust your educational goals for the time being. You may need to step back and let your child excel at a lower academic level rather than struggle where he "should" be. I had to re-focus my standards on the basics: Bible, math, and language arts. You can also help your child with the following adjustments:

* Provide lots of good reading to cover the rest of the school subjects, such as good biographies that exemplify people strong in spirit.
* Look for curriculum that doesn't frustrate. Don't hesitate to change curriculum that is boring or overkill.
* If writing is too hard, have him dictate to you and then show him his work.
* Allow her to choose topics of study. Find out what she delights in and continue in that direction until the desire ceases.
* Have him read a Proverb and ask him to tell you what it might be saying to him personally. What did God mean when He wrote it? How can he apply it to his life this day?
* During peaceful times, have her read the Bible or a good character book to you and discuss it together.
* Scripture memorization changes hearts. Write the same verse every day until it is memorized. Feel free to do so with her.
* Let him play his instrument before doing his schoolwork. It can help soothe and set the tone for other work to follow. If it doesn't distract, play calm praise music quietly in the background during school time.
* Separate siblings. This eliminates many distractions and potential trouble. Try to make a place of solitude for your rebel. Have the other children respect that privacy.
* This is the kind of child that needs to be "doing" something with you. Our child flourished when we worked together and balked at independent study. Stay with her until she is confident and successful.
* Give him something to look forward to when he gets his assignments done. Have a good book, special project, or free time waiting for him as a reward. Rebels can be highly motivated by rewards.


Consistency

Provide clear, strong guidelines in all areas-personal, school, chores, etc. The child must know what is required of him, and requirements must be clear. Print them out. Have the same rules, the same school assignments, and the same chores every day. Give him a daily schedule or checklist to visually keep him on track and monitor progress. Be consistent in all of these areas:

* Have a consistent bedtime. This child may have an earlier bedtime than his siblings, since he may need more sleep.
* Have consistent meal times. We eliminated sugar and provided snacks between meals to keep blood sugar level issues at bay. This helped the intensity of emotion to decrease.
* Be consistent with discipline, and be sure consequences for each offense are consistent. Allow input so that the child knows you are being fair.
* One of our rules is no breakfast until morning chores are finished. Our rebel can't handle more than two assignments at any one time. We keep our instructions as few and simple as possible and try to keep them focused on the task at hand.

Discipline

Drastic rebellion sometimes calls for drastic measures. We employed all of these disciplinary tactics at one time or another:

* If he caused trouble with siblings, he was not allowed to play with them for a time and was assigned to his room. He could play quietly or read books of our choosing.
* For disrespect, disobedience, or angry outbursts: loss of privileges such as computer time, playing or talking with friends, going on field trips, or participating in classes or any form of entertainment for a given length of time (rest of the day, week, etc.).
* If the morning went badly or if he had an eruption the previous day, he went to work with Dad with a backpack full of school books. He followed Dad around on the weekends frequently.
* We have had to say no to many activities. For the most part, people understand. Some think we are too harsh, but they have never seen the rebel who lives at our house. They only know the sweet child who goes out in public. Only after a year's worth of many painful cancellations did our child begin to realize his loss and our commitment to keeping our word. Only then did we begin to see a real change.
* We have had a tendency to ride the rebel hard and forget about the other children. Stay consistent in enforcing the rules with all of the children so that no "respecter of persons" or bitterness is fostered.
* Don't drag out the discipline. Take care of it quickly. When it's over, allow her the grace to start over. Don't bring it up again. Always pray together afterward.
* If he cannot control his emotions, he is grounded to his room. I have him read the Word and pray before he is allowed to come out so that he will have an acceptable attitude.

Change the Way You Respond

This type of child tends to be extremely intelligent and to push the boundaries wherever possible, employing manipulative strategies. They are also good at blame shifting. How should we respond?

* When I react harshly to disrespect or disobedience, the battle escalates. My grievous words stir up anger in both of us. I have to be quiet and calm, purposing to be kind. Falling into anger and bitterness against the child does no good, as our anger never produces the righteousness of God.
* Continuing to repeat a command only frustrates both of you. If the argument is over a command you've given, don't continue repeating the command. Set aside the physical action you want done and take the spiritual action of dealing with the heart issue of rebellion.
* Don't entertain an argument or try to have the last word. Stop yourself in the middle of the battle. Drop it and allow the Holy Spirit to intervene. Rebels love to battle, so this will make them angry. You may need to isolate the child until he has calmed down. Don't take personal offense. The rebel is not the enemy; we are doing battle with the enemy of her soul.
* Instead of pointing out all her faults, share your own struggles with her. Come up with word pictures or analogies to show her the effect of her actions.
* He feels like a failure, so watch him closely with the purpose of praising him. Find the good, however small. Praise any attempt at obedience or kindness. Praise for the lack of meanness.

Love Your Rebel

Your child needs to see and feel your love, and not only when it is manifested as correction.

* Don't pull away from her physically. She needs to be reassured of your love for her every day.
* Discover his "love language." Plan dates whenever possible. Your child's wayward actions may be his way of trying to get your attention. Be proactive and give him undivided attention regularly.
* Teach all the children to love and not to engage in conflict with or provoke each other. Teach them to love their enemies and to find a way to bless and not curse them. Teach boys to honor and protect girls. Teach girls to love and respect boys.
* Love is patient and kind-but is Mom patient and kind? Allow God to fill you with the same love that He has for your child. She needs to see love from you even while she is yet a rebel.

Stay Grounded

Rebels are very draining-spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. We need to stay grounded in the Word and in prayer.

* We need times of refreshing at regular intervals. Get away to a quiet place and rest. Spend time in the solitude of prayer and Bible study.
* We need the Word. This is a heart-wrenching, iron-sharpening, full-out battle, and we need to keep our armor on. We need the belt of truth. Untruth comes forth from the child regularly. Read the truth, speak the truth, and memorize it together.
* We need prayer and fasting. We are in the trenches of warfare for the soul of our child. We need to be vigilant and proactive and one step ahead in prayer. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against every evil thing that exalts itself. Spend time fasting and focus on the spiritual battle-not just the outward rebellion.
* We need to die to our pride, our anger, and our unrealistic expectations.


Have a Future Vision

We need a future vision as we are raising the next generation. What will these rebels have to face in their future that will take this kind of strength of character? If persecution comes to your rebel for his faith in Christ, what kind of person will he need to be? Obviously, God is raising up an army. Remind your child to fight the good fight he was created for. Remind him that he is fighting the wrong fight when he is fighting God's authority (you), and tell him that God made him strong for a reason-he is to be God's warrior. Give her a cause to stand up for, something to fight against, and help her use her strength for good now. We need rebels in the Kingdom of God to stand against sin and to stand for righteousness.

Be a Rebel

Homeschooling a rebel is extremely difficult, and we are still working through it all. Yes, we still have eruptions, but much less frequently. We have learned how to pray, repent, and start over. More importantly, the strong will has carried over into spiritual battles. This will be the time to form a stronger prayer life, a stronger sense of what is right and wrong, and a stronger love for the Lord and His Word. Rebels don't give up easily-be a rebel, Mom, and don't give up on your child. You will both learn to turn to the only One who can truly change hearts: Jesus Christ.

I can hear you asking, will my child ever change? I am here to tell you that there is a God and that He is more interested in the heart and soul of your child than you are. Jesus Christ Himself intercedes to His Father on your child's behalf. Join Him in prayer as you intercede for the heart of your child. Don't give in to discouragement; be encouraged with new vision for your child. You are not alone in having the special blessing and calling of raising a rebel.

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." -Galatians 6:9



Further Resources

I highly recommend the following resources:

* Homeschooling the Challenging Child, by Christine Field
* No Greater Joy-free monthly newsletters
* Winning the Heart of a Rebel and other resources on anger by S. M. Davis
* The Five Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman
* Doorposts-many resources taken from the book of Proverbs
* Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit, by Teri Maxwell
* The Heart of Anger, by Lou Priolo

Deborah Wuehler is the Senior Editor, Chapel Editor, and Devotional Editor for the Old Schoolhouse Magazine. She resides in Roseville, California with her husband Richard and their seven gifts from heaven. She loves digging for buried treasure in the Word, reading, writing, homeschooling, and dark chocolate!
http://www.HomeschoolBlogger.com/DevDoorDeborah

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Free China Unit Study

Terri Johnson from Knowlege Quest has another great unit study. This one is about China. She has some really great reading suggestions, some we already had! Also, the recipe's I'm sure will be a great hit. Go to her site & check it out.

China Unit Study



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fantastic List of Homeschool Links



My friend Jacque at Walking Therein has compiled a wonderful list of blogs & websites of Homeschool families and resources. It is pretty extensive. I thought that you would be interested in it. Leave her a comment to let her know how much you appreciate all her hard work.


Homeschool Family Links

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Homeschooling in the Storms of Life

When you homeschool your children you soon realize that life around you doesn't change really. Things still happen. People still get sick, jobs are still lost, deaths still occur. Life doesn't stop so that you can have plenty of time to devote to your children.

You learn to roll with the punches. Over time I have seen the beauty in homeschooling with flexiblity. If we need to stop for a little while during a crisis we can. If money gets tight (which is almost always) I learn other ways to get the lessons taught. If I get sick or one of the children gets really sick, we can rest for a few days and then jump back in.

Our school has become the one constant thing that we can always count on. No matter what is going on around us, no matter how great the storm becomes, we can always have the normality of school in our life. When we are crying out for a normal life again, our school is there. It keeps us together, it keeps us connected, it provides that safe haven during the storm.

God promised that there would be storms. He also told us how to get through them..."Remember I am God, and there is no other" (Isaiah 46:9) Read the whole chapter, it is full of his promises and reminders that there is no one else who can rescue us, only Him.

When the storms come, we must remember that he is God, our Creator, our Sustainer and there is none like him. We must teach this to our children and live it out in front of them. When our lives are based on this truth, our schools are based on this truth and it will remain constant even through the storms of life.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Martin Luther speaks about schools

Here is a quote from Martin Luther...

I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth.
I advise no one to place his child where the scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt.



Federer, William J.: Great Quotations : A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Quotations Influencing Early and Modern World History Referenced According to Their Sources in Literature, Memoirs, Letters, Governmental Documents, Speeches, Charters, Court Decisions and Constitutions. St. Louis, MO : AmeriSearch, 2001


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Thirsty Soul

The past few days have been very hectic & really busy for me. I am on leadership in the Mom's Ministry at my church as every year we give the moms who participated all year in our program a Tea. It was a beautiful morning, but there were hours of planning and work that went on behind the scenes. There were meetings to go to, reservation lists and childcare lists to maintain and there were little things like name tags & bookmarks to make. These seemed little until it was time to make and complete everything and then I realized how many hours it would take to finish it all. But we all did it and it is over now!

In the midst of all the preparations and meetings there were a few mornings recently when I did not get my full quiet time in. Maybe all I had time for was to pray a short prayer or read a chapter of scripture. But it wasn't the full time that I am used to.

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you..." (Psalm 63:1)

Because of the habit of getting up early and spending concentrated time in prayer and study, when that couldn't happen I could feel it. I missed it, I was getting spiritually dehydrated. I longed to spend more than 10 minutes in prayer & meditation of His Word.

"I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory." (Ps 63:2)

I have experienced the power and glory of my God. I have experienced him in the sanctuary of my solitude and silence. It is a marvelous thing and one that I want to experience over and over again. It gives me a glimpse into the wonder of Heaven. When I miss out on my time with him, I miss out on experiencing his power and glory. Of course, He can still speak to me out of that sanctuary of silence I have in the mornings, he has many times. But that time set aside for Him at the beginning of my day always prove to be the sweetest time for He and I to communicate.

Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands." (Ps 63:3,4)

When you see God do great things in your life...don't keep it to yourself! Share it with someone. Praise him! When you experience his love & goodness you are getting a taste of God and what eternity will be like with Him. His love is better than life...it sustains and renews us.

My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you." (Ps 63:5)

There is an empty place in our heart that only God can fill. We can read all of the best books by the best authors, go hear all of the best preachers, but they cannot fill the void and empty place that God can fill. When we come to Him, praising Him for his love, repenting of our sin, acknowledging that He alone is God and believing that His son, Jesus Christ died for YOUR sins, your soul is satisfied. You can do nothing else, but praise Him because you are in awe of His love for you..the filthy sinner.

I had the best time with the Lord this morning. My soul was thirsty and he nourished and renewed me.

Are you thirsty?

Drink of His love and goodness. He has so much that he wants to pour into your soul.


Picture compliments of Liquid Sculpture