I Can or I Can’t?

How often have you thought, “I can’t do this?” Maybe during struggles in parenting, or marriage, or serving Christ these doubts arise. Jeremiah told God he couldn’t do what God was asking, but God had a different idea. “Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak” (Jeremiah 1:6-7).

If we look at ourselves, yes, of course, we are unable, but we need to look at an all sufficient, all powerful God. It is His grace, His strength and His knowledge that enables.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

Follow Where?

“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). What an incredible request for Paul to make of the Corinthians. He was confident that his example in following Christ would bear good fruit. Paul said something similar to the Philippians and the Thessalonians so his challenge to the Corinthians was not isolated.

Imagine with me for a moment: what if all pastors challenged their people like that? What would their church be like? Good or not so good? On fire sharing Christ? In the Word every day? What would the families be like? Children obeying their parents? All the children saved and reading the Word every day? Good, solid, respectful, happy?

Whoa, now take it a step further. Dads, what would the fruit be in our children’s lives if they followed our example? I ask not to put a guilt trip on anyone, but that we understand the weight of our example in the home. We will all fall short, just as Paul did in actuality. However, daily may we seek our Lord Jesus–to love and submit to Him. As He lives through us, we can be confident of the example set before our family.

“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14).

Steve

Being Treated Fairly?

Have you noticed how other guys sometimes appear to have a far easier time of things than you and I do? His job is easier, nothing breaks at his house, he has a better walk with the Lord, his wife has easier pregnancies, and his children all love the Lord Jesus.

Just like a beautiful butterfly struggles to get out of his cocoon, we can anticipate the Lord using difficulties to mature us. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

We are told in Genesis chapter five that both Enoch and Noah walked with God. Enoch, though, was taken to be with the Lord in Heaven early in life, while Noah was left on earth to build the ark. “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (Hebrews 11:7).

From an outside perspective, it would seem that Enoch got the best deal. God, however, had a purpose for both men. One’s life looked easy. The other’s didn’t. Isn’t the same true for us? We simply trust that Almighty Sovereign God’s ways are right and just. Amen and amen?

Steve

Three Crucial Steps to Fruitfully Start the Homeschool Year

How can excitement, drive, and determination so quickly deteriorate into tears, discouragement, and feeling like a failure on the first day of the homeschool year? Somehow my plans, joy, and ideals dissipated with each grumble, resistance, and dawdling leaving me a disappointed basket case by 3:00 p.m. With experience, the Lord showed me steps to turn those first-day-of-school blues into smile-filled momentum and achievement.

1. Prepare for the Year

Have your plan in place. That includes curricula for each child and their supplies such as notebooks, notebook divider tabs, pencils and pens, paper, folders, calculators, scissors—whatever they will need. Hunting for essentials when school is in session is sure to take precious minutes from study. I have many more details in this area in Managers of Their Schools.

What about your homeschool schedule? Nailed down? Printed? Available? Invest time in schedule crafting to insure productivity in education when school starts. Playing it by ear is certain to meet disaster by the end of the day. If you need any scheduling help, Managers of Their Homes is a reliable, understandable, time-tested, homeschool-mom-endorsed resource.

Do you have a homeschool chore system in place? You simply can’t do all the housework yourself. Even preschoolers can pitch in to help, and older children are actually productive. It is possible that a chore plan will make or break not just your first day of school but your whole year. House work has to be accomplished efficiently and effectively. Managers of Their Chores takes you step by step through making a customized chore system for your family using ChorePacks.

2. Prepare Your Heart

Pray. Sometime before starting school make time to pray long and specifically for school and each child. I would gather all our school books around me, working child by child through them to direct my prayers. 

One of the deadliest enemies of homeschool joy is expectations. Give your expectations to the Lord. “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him” (Psalm 62:5). Then cultivate a heart of gratitude that finds reasons to be thankful rather than disappointed. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). 

3. Prepare Memories and Your Children

Let the the first day-of-school be memories not academics. We actually called this our pre-first-day of school. We had a special breakfast—that’s very time consuming. I put out school surprises that ended up distracting from our normal flow of morning life. We took photos of each child with their school books. But when memories were our goal, it didn’t matter how long it took or how much it distracted. 

I also met with each child so I could go over his homeschool schedule, look at his books with him, and set up any other school materials that he had. I let him know what the requirements were for each subject and how he would tackle it. That way when we dove into our homeschool schedule the next day, he was prepared to study.

I am smiling as I think about you starting school in the next few weeks. I am praying that these three crucial steps will have you smiling at the end of that pre-first-day of school and your children sharing a happy report when your husband comes home. I would love to know how it goes for you. Just reply to this e-mail.

Trusting in Jesus,

Teri