Living in Florida I remember being fascinated any time I heard about a sinkhole event occurring, sort of like a modern Korah, Dathan, and Abiram moment (Numbers 16). Likely that single event of Numbers would hold the all-time, world record for sinkhole devastation.
There is a costly, modern day sinkhole of another sort that impacts many (most?) men today. Sadly, few recognize the longterm consequences. However, I’m confident there is a horrific “cost” to God’s kingdom due to all the hours it sucks out of men’s lives and the negative impact to their souls. What is it? It is the news, and man’s insatiable “need” to be informed about every illegal, disastrous, scandalous, juicy, gory, and immoral event that the networks can find to keep their ratings up.
Do I hear cries of “Heresy!” “Outrageous” “Insanity!”? Please extend me a bit of grace. Consider what the result of mentally “ingesting” the list from above? What profit is there? Does it build you up in Christ? Does it enrich your life or foster love, joy, or peace? Do you have a far greater hunger to read God’s Word as a family than you do to listen to or read the news? How many families are starved for the Bread of Life, while Dad is feasting on the sewage of the world?
Since it is a shame to speak of the works of darkness, it is certainly not good to listen or read them. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Ephesians 5:11-12).
My Brothers, Scripture tells us what we are to feed on. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
It was a hot day during summer vacation. My buddy Jack and I were taking the shortcut home across the vacant lot. I glanced back at Jack, and to my horror, he was tossing lit matches over his shoulder. Why? He was Jack. By the time we got the grass fire stomped out, our tennis shoe soles were severely melted.
I wonder how many professing Christian dads reading this are playing with fire. You might lose your wife, your children, your home, and even your job. Maybe you aren’t tossing matches over your shoulder, but those compliments to other women, or special movies or “racey” TV shows (I’m confident that some of today’s commercials would have caused Job to cover his eyes), spicy Youtube videos you watch or books you read may be lighting a little fire of a different sort. Could you be saying, “Doin no harm. I can handle it.”?
Consider Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived. God appeared to him and warned him. Still he ruined his life and tore up the nation because he wouldn’t obey his God Who told him to not take foreign wives. “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father” (1 Kings 11:4).
Might you and I do well to steer way clear of s*xual temptation? Its power is so strong, we won’t overcome it. We must run from it.
“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22).
There was an expression I heard and then used growing up when I was ready to be finished with a project or school report, “Good enough for government work.” However, once I was saved and began reading my Bible, I learned that God calls His children to a higher standard. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
May I challenge each of us to consider our walk with the Lord. I shared before about not being satisfied with being barely on the good side of the “line of sin.” That is a “good enough” mentality. There should be no “good enough” when seeking Him. “Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore” (Psalm 105:4).
“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-15).
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).
The concept of “easy” made one man billions and billions of dollars because he played to the “flesh” of customers who wanted to buy online that way. Satan led the way by playing to the flesh of billions and billions of people, purchasing them and destining them to hell.
Mankind likes easy. My flesh likes easy. However, Jesus’ command for us to follow Him isn’t easy. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).
There is a young brother with a wife and two little girls serving as missionaries in the Ivory Coast. God graciously spared his two little girls when they were deathly sick the end of last year. In their December/January newsletter, when the girls were sick, there wasn’t a hint of self pity or blaming God. Seth is a church planter and also seeking to reach men in prison. I love their hearts. Their life isn’t easy.
In their April/May newsletter (BTW the date at the top is wrong, November 2020), they mention the need of two computers. In all the years of sending out Seriously/Corners emails, I don’t think we have ever asked for your financial support, but now I am. Would you help them?
Whatever you would give goes to them through their mission board, Baptist World Missions (baptistworldmission.org). You can give online. Scroll down to “Click to Donate Online,” then “Amount” and for “Designated to,” there is a drop down list where you can find his name: Seth Cuthbertson. Thank you so much. Note: that link doesn’t work in Chrome for me but it did for Teri.
I encourage you to sign up for their newsletter as well. You can do that through the Subscribe link at the top left of their newsletter page.
“How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15)
A productive summer schedule can help homeschoolers (or anyone) toward desires or goals you have for your summer months. Perhaps those would include doing some homeschooling, accomplishing activities that don’t fit into a homeschool year, or simply relationship building. Whatever the desire, purposefulness in making a schedule should give time to work on various aspects that lead to its achievement. Often moms get to the end of their summer dismayed with their lack of productivity and disappointed that they didn’t accomplish what they had envisioned. Your schedule is a tool that will let you look back on summer with satisfaction rather than regret.
If you haven’t scheduled before, summer is a perfect time to learn scheduling because usually summer has a more relaxed pace than the school months do.
List and Pray
To begin, write your desires for summer accomplishments onto a list. Having these desires in writing means you can visualize the ideas all together. You have a limited amount of time and energy so what you want to accomplish will be mitigated by that. The list and then the schedule is a reality check for what is reasonable to try to do.
Before you work on the actual schedule, you want to pray and seek the Lord’s direction for what He would have you and your children accomplish this summer. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). You may grow or shrink the list as you spend praying over it and also evaluating your available time.
Then pray about the actual planning and working out of the schedule since you want God’s help through that process. He is the One Who gives you direction and creativity for how to put the pieces of your schedule together.
Add a Few Notes
Now look at your list of desires for the summer. What needs to be scheduled to accomplish those goals? Start by making notes on your list since a particular goal might mean multiple spots on the schedule.
For example, your list says: summer school. But your note would be more specific – keep math and reading going during the summer by doing it daily. Your list could have: relationship building. Your note with it might say: weekly outing with one child rotating every week through the summer, assign a kitchen helper for each meal, have a daily game time.
The next step is to put times with what you have on your list. It simplifies the schedule and schedule production if you use the same schedule for summer that you do for the school year when it comes to your normal daily needs. Then you don’t have to relearn that routine for the summer. School time is freed up to assign for your summer accomplishments, but the rest of the schedule remains the same.
If, however, you want to change the whole thing up, your schedule can accommodate! Just be sure to write it down. Trying to keep it in your mind is a setup for failure!
Then you use your notes to help you put what is on your list into time slots on the schedule. What is on it that you will do every day? Plug those into your schedule first. That allows you to evaluate the time blocks you have available for activities that don’t happen every day. If you want to have larger chunks of time for outings, try to group your daily activities together, so that you have several hours that can be scheduled for outings and the activities that don’t happen every day.
Finally what is on the list that you can do a couple of times a week or once a week? Put those into the blocks that are still open after the daily pieces have been entered into the schedule.
Make the Summer Schedule a Reality
Sometimes putting together a schedule seems daunting. That’s usually the case when it is all floating around in your head. Committing the details to paper or the computer, generally flows nicely once you take that first step to begin.
The productive summer schedule for homeschoolers will help you end your summer with a smile as you look back over all that you achieved through those months.
If you need more scheduling help, I recommend our book called Managers of Their Homes. That book is full of scheduling information plus it walks you step by step through putting a schedule together utilizing the included scheduling kit.
Here are some other articles on summer scheduling.
Are you concerned about the state of the nation and your children’s future? In our lifetime we have had the “good life,” but things have changed. Have you thought much about why the change?
God blessed this nation with everything a country could hope for: incredible climate, bountiful natural resources, a paradise of cropland, freedom of religion, a government founded with the concept of trust in God, and laws that paralleled a Judaeo Christian mindset. We have been blessed beyond measure and imagination.
It is my opinion that the United States is God’s answer to anyone on earth or in heaven (Hebrews 12:1), who might claim God unfairly blessed and favored Israel. He brought a microcosm of all the world together in the US to represent the world.
God can point to the U.S. and say “I gave you everything, if not even more than I gave Israel. Look what you did with the blessings and freedom (Galatians 5:13) I gave you. I made the US a melting pot of the nations, but you followed the same evil path that Israel did. I judged Israel, and I must judge the United States as well.” Brothers, if God doesn’t judge the U.S., He would have to apologize to Israel, and that isn’t going to happen.
What if we Christians had pursued our God wholeheartedly, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” (Mark 12:30) and fervently shared Christ (Matthew 28:19), bearing fruit, instead of the pursuit of our own happiness (fun and pleasure), might this country still be the Christian nation that it was? I think not only was but better.
“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:8).
Practical encouragement for homeschool moms by Teri Maxwell, and weekly e-mails for Christian men by Steve Maxwell.