A. S. A. P.

     (Vickie Merrill shared the following.) Ever wonder about the abbreviation A.S.A.P.? Generally we think of it in terms of even more hurry and stress in our lives. Maybe if we think of this abbreviation in a different manner, we will begin to find a new way to deal with those rough days along the way.

 There’s work to do, deadlines to meet;
 You’ve got no time to spare,
 But as you hurry and scurry-

                     In the midst of family chaos,
                     "Quality time" is rare.
                     Do your best; let God do the rest-
                      ASAP – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.

 It may seem like your worries
 Are more than you can bear.
 Slow down and take a breather-

                      God knows how stressful life is;
                      He wants to ease our care,
                      And He’ll respond to all your needs
                      A.S.A.P. – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.

Homeschooling and Politics

     It is increasingly apparent that the homeschooling community has become a significant force in the political realm, and with the 2008 Presidential campaign already in high gear, all kinds of candidates are appealing for the homeschool vote. Unfortunately, I am afraid that we shall see homeschooling families screaming, yelling, and battling with each other over who is the most homeschool-friendly candidate (HSLDA has already entered the fray by endorsing Mike Huckabee; also many homeschoolers are very pro-life and the National Right to Life committee has endorsed Fred Thompson). However, I thought that this was an interesting note. In "An Open Letter to Homeschoolers – Will the Real Homeschool-Friendly Candidate Please Stand Up?" from LewRockwell.com on Dec. 17, 2007, Shana Kluck, a 33 year-old homeschooling mom currently residing in central Alabama with her husband and four children, wrote, "Daily I read a new article about overtures being made to the homeschooling community by prospective presidential nominees. John and Elizabeth Edwards are educating their children at home with the help of a private tutor; so now, supposedly, they can identify with other homeschoolers. I’ve got news for them – that’s not even remotely close to the ‘real’ world of the average homeschooling family." True. Of course, Mrs. Kluck is the national coordinator for Homeschoolers for Ron Paul. All of us will have to examine the candidates carefully, decide who best represents our personal interests, and make our own choices for ourselves.

Practical ways fathers can connect with their children

     And in the Dec., 2007, issue of Biblical Insights (p. 15), Frank Walton of Huntsville, AL, wrote, "Taking home leadership seriously in Scripture will ‘turn the hearts of the fathers to the children’ (Luke 1:17). Busy dads, who want to be the spiritual leader with their children, as God requires (Eph. 6:4), are always looking for ways to grow closer to their families." He quotes from John Trent who observed, "Sometimes we think we need tons of time to make this connection–like regular nights out with each child or weekend camping trips with just Dad and the kids. Dates and camping trips are nice, but it’s actually the little things–done over time and with a loving heart–that loving connet with kids." Frank then notes five ways that fathers can connect with their kids. 1. Daily life conversation. "When you spend time with your kids, whether it is driving to church, at the dinner table, playing catch, or shooting hoops, along the way ask questions….Time together offers just enough distractions for kids to open up about issues on their mind." 2. Be a mail man. "Write some letters…that express your hopes and dreams for what kind of person you pray they will become. Lovingly express your praise and admonitions for their life. When you’re out of town, send them postcards with a loving message." 3. Serve up love. "Bedtime rituals, like discussing the day’s activities or reading together and praying together, give fathers a chance to connect with each child. Ask a simple question like, ‘How did things go today?’ Tell them one thing you appreciate that they did that day." 4. Team up. "Pick chores around the house to do together with your child. The work gets done faster and, more importantly, your children will learn your work ethic." 5. Keep watch. "Pray with your children, as well as pray regularly for them….Prayers said at the breakfast or supper table, or before they go to school or to be, shows we rely on God foremost and that our children are special. Family prayers together help us show them our heart. It will influence them to draw closer to and depend upon God daily."

A Letter to the Superintendent of Schools in Portland, Maine

     Also in the Dec., 2007, issue of Biblical Insights (p. 14), editor Wilson Adams noted, "The Portland, Maine, school board recently passed a bold proposal allowing middle school students as young as age 11 to access a broad range of contraceptives from the school’s health center–without parental notification. This plan obviously makes it easy for young middle school children to have sex and takes away power from the parents. It is yet another sad indication of the direction our nation is heading. As a result, I thought the following letter from Debbie Lanphear [of Bowling Green, KY] was worth sharing." Here is a portion of the letter. "I am a retired director of a residential community corrections facility where we dealt with every kind of problem and family related issue you can imagine. We served our county and state within our program and also served the drug court in our area. Our population was made up of non-violent offenders and misdemeanor cases, property crime offenders, and substance abusers. One of the largest problems we faced was impulse control and personal accountability. The court expected these participants to exhibit self-control in all areas of their life and if not, there were consequences in place to handle the problems that would inevitably arise. They struggled with addictive personalities and I cannot imagine what would have happened within our facility if we had simply handed out birth control and condoms to anyone that requested them….I am no stranger to the problems you face, but I would implore you to furnish these young people with tools that will build their character and personal accountability so they won’t develope the problems that my participants faced….It is unfair and inconsistent for us to pass out condoms and then condemn those who won’t control themselves in our society. Frankly, I want my neighbor, soldier, doctor, lawyer, and politician all to develop more character and personal accountability within their lives so that our children have some real heroes to look up to as opposed to the ‘Brittany Spears and Lindsey Lohans’ types that we see so often. I find it sad that we encourage the very same behavior in our young people by giving them a free pass to serve their every whim and then condemn their teen role models like the above mentioned young women for living it out in front of our eyes."

The Toleration of Homosexuality

     In the Dec., 2007, issue of Biblical Insights (p. 7), Marc Hinds of Texarkana, AR, wrote, "J. K. Rowling’s best-selling series, Harry Potter, gave many conscientious Christians concern. But recently, the popular epic about wizards and wands has raised an entirely new and unrelated issues: the toleration of homosexuality. The beloved master wizard Albus Dumbledore is gay. This is straight from the author herself during a question-and-answer session at Carnegie Hall in October 2007. Her announcement was shocking. But the response from the audience was alarming: at first, there were gasps of surprise, but they were quickly followed by cheers and applause….From Hollywood to school boards across America, the push to promote the homosexual agenda is growing. As a result, girls holding hands and kissing each other publicly is a common sight on campuses across our nation. And while an older generation of Christians finds this repugnant, a new generation–our children and grandchildren–are finding it to be…tolerable [sic]. Inundated by the homosexual agenda, young people today are growing more and more comfortable with their gay friends….While gays are coming out of the closet, Christians everywhere must ‘"come out from among them and be separate," says the Lord. "Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you"’ (2 Cor. 6:17)."

Are some religious leaders missionaries for evolution?

      It may seem a bit strong to call some Christian leaders "missionaries for evolution," but, in fact, leaders in many denominations will make an all-out effort to promote evolution. While some Bible-upholding leaders oppose what they’re doing, their voices are often drowned out. Evolutionists can capitalize on this confusion in the church. Sometimes church leaders are some of their strongest allies! Here’s what the Paleontological Society said in an evolution tract written for the general public: "Many people of faith, including scientists, find no conflict between evolution and their religion; in fact, many religious denominations have issued statements supporting evolution. Science and religion need not conflict." [J. Pojeta D. A. and Springer, "Evolution and the Fossil Record" (Alexandria, Virginia: American Geological Institute, 2001), p. v.] That’s double-talk, of course. It doesn’t work both ways: the only way that the Bible doesn’t conflict with evolution is if religious leaders surrender and compromise the Word of God. You can’t say that God created in six days out of nothing, and then turn around and say that God also created in billions of years, using evolution’s death and suffering before sin. Church leaders, instead, need to return to the sufficiency of Scripture without incorporating humanity’s fallible ideas about the past. (from Answers Weekly; December 15, 2007; e-mail newsletter published by Answers in Genesis, http://www.answersingenesis.org .)

Global warming and homeschooling

     In an editorial for WorldNetDaily.com on Dec, 12, 2007, headlined "Global warming and Christian discernment," WND founder Joseph Farrah said, "If any one should be prepared by their faith, their worldview, their belief in Scripture…to see through the deception of the global warming alarmists, it is the Christian. Sadly, however, many of those proclaiming themselves as believers have been seduced by the worldly spirit of deception on what has become one of the defining issues of our time. One the macro level, we see Rick Warren and other evangelical leaders insisting global warming is a real crisis that should be a preoccupation of the church and a focus of government action." After pointing out that few can argue with the biblical mandate to be good stewards of the planet, he points out the facts that man-caused carbon dioxide emissions represent only an infinitesimally small percentage of CO2 present in the atmosphere, that there is no evidence carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere cause global warming, and that God has promised in Genesis 8:22 that He alone controls the world’s temperature and climate, not man: "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." He says, "One of the reasons my children are homeschooled is to avoid the brainwashing they would received in either public schools or even private schools on issues like global warming," yet laments, "Last week, I learned that one of my children is being taught about the crisis global warming represents in a Christian homeschool cooperative biology class! It’s bad enough my oldest daughter was forced to endure repeated and required showings of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth in an art class in a public college. But now we see this agitprop deceiving even those who should know better." Farrah concludes, "Nowhere in the Bible does God directly or indirectly warn us of the dangers of carbon dioxide, a natural, non-polluting gas as necessary to life on our planet as oxygen. Instead, God warns us about a real pollutant in our environment. It’s called sin….I don’t think we need any more confusing talk. What we need, especially from Christians, is more reliance on God’s word and less acceptance of the world’s claims." Amen!

Evolution and education

Oscar Miles, a gospel preacher and homeschooling father in Florence, AL, reported the following. “According to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll from 2005, 53% of Americans believe God created humans without evolution, 23% believe God used evolution to create humans, and 17% believe in a godless evolution. A 2006 Gallup Poll showed little change with 46%, 36%, and 13% respectively. A 2007 Newsweek poll showed gave 48%, 30%, 13%. Many scientists believe in God, of course, and more scientists than most people realize believe in creation. But many are up-in-arms about the popularity of creationism. They believe creationists have too much influence. However, all the information is there for everyone to examine, atheistic evolution is taught in 99% of the schools, and almost all the popular media pushes evolution. Therefore, people are choosing to believe in creation not because creationists have too much influence but because it is what they truly believe.”

Something to check out on the web

      I received the following e-mail message recently from Daniel Rhoads ( mrsunz@ctcis.net ) of Maryland Heights, MO (a suburb of St. Louis), on Mon., Dec. 3, 2007. "Hello, My name id Dan Rhoads and I started a website for my children. I want to help teach current events. If you think other families might find my site useful please share my link www.warriorcitizen.com . Thank you for taking the time to review my site." I looked at it, and it is identified as a "Homeschool current affairs website. The Rhoads family has placed their curent affairs program on the net for any family looking to discuss new events." It says, "Welcome to the Rhoads’ family homeschool current affairs class. The goal is to read what is in the news and hold a discussion about these events. Please click on the ‘Read Lesson’ button. Then click on the article link and read the article that is presented by the news source. The ‘Dad’s Rant’ is full of my opinions for my family so you may want to edit or avoid that section with your kids. The ‘Talk Points’ section is a list of questions you can use to discuss these articles with your children. Please use this resource to help your children understand what is happening in the world and what their place is in it."

Letter to the editor of WorldNetDaily.com that mentions homeschooling

     "I appreciate Chuck Norris. However, in his commentary on education, he missed the mark by a long shot. Public education has become one of the main tools of the liberal left to undermine American culture and society. Many have tried to reform the educational system, but due to those in positions of power, their efforts have been repeatedly ignored and undermined. Unfortunately, the ‘progressives’ have fully embraced John Dewey’s system of education. To save our children from the corrupt educational institution, the only solution is either private school (which most families cannot afford) or homeschooling. Many parents have committed themselves to a vain hope that their children will be getting a good education. Unfortunately, they have not taken a hard look at what public education is producing in the minds of our nation’s youth. Verna." She was responding to a Chuck Norris column about Republical presidental candidate and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee in which he said, "Mike’s plan to fix our public schools, halt that exodus, and provide citizens with support for alternate sources of education is exactly what our country needs. But to date, he has not been asked one question in any formal debate about it." I certainly agree with the general principles stated by the letter writer.  However, it seems to me that those of us who homeschool, even for religious reasons, can still support those who are doing their best at working to keep our public schools from being leftist indoctrination centers. Even as we support homeschooling as a viable educational option, our entire society will be much better if those who do send their children to public schools find that their children are being taught reading, writing, arithmetic, rather than liberal propaganda.