elders, advice, disciple, listen, stubborn, wisdom, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Elders: Allowing Others’ Wisdom to Shine in our Lives

The wisdom of our elders can help us shape our lives in positive ways. Can we resist the urge to pave our own paths and let others disciple us?



We are in a tough stage in our household. Our six-year-old is learning at lightning speed. We have so much to teach him, but at the same time, his spirit of independence and self-reliance is growing at an alarming rate.

Sometimes, in sharing the wisdom we have from experience, we are met with ultimate resistance. He wants to do it his way. We are most probably wrong because he trusts that what he wants to be true, is true. We, as his elders, want to teach, mold, disciple. He grasps at every feeble toehold of independence he can find. He wants to already know, be fully shaped, and need no discipling.

Sometimes, we allow him to fail. Other times, we beg him to trust our years of experience so that he doesn’t have to fail. It is always hard to discern which will be better for him, but we know that at the end of the day, there are some things he really needs to trust us about.

The wisdom of our elders can help us shape our lives in positive ways. Can we resist the urge to pave our own paths and let others disciple us? Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #advice #listen #elders #disciple

Seeking Elders

We can often be just as resistant in our lives. I cannot tell you how many times, and from how many people, I have heard basic principles about handling my money. Despite having the wisdom of people who have more life experience and more success managing their money pour over me, I resisted; doing what I wanted and crossing my fingers in the hopes that everything would turn out just peachy.

Yet, when the time came that both my husband and I lost our jobs, we were not prepared to be able to survive even a full month on our salary. We had frittered away money on wants we spoke about as needs.

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’

1 Peter 5:5, ESV

The faith that my indwelling wisdom was enough to guide me in this area was full of pride. There is no humility in straying from a tried and true path just because we don’t like the flora surrounding it. We must seek out those who can feed wisdom in our lives. Though we can and will learn from our own risk-taking and failures, there is value in seeking out people to disciple us spiritually and practically.

The Wisdom of Age

So, how do we decide whose wisdom we should follow? Who would be our elders? Obviously, people who are older than us can have wisdom to impart from going through similar stages of life before we did. Their ability to see things from the other side of the finish line should not be dismissed. Why learn from your own mistake when you can learn from someone else’s? Or from their successes?

My father was a smart man, but he struggled to get through college. He took more than the typical four years to graduate. In those years, and in the ones that followed as he pursued his Master’s degree, he learned how he should have studied. He imparted this wisdom to me and my sister many, many, many, many times through our school years.

My sister, much more academically motivated than I, utilized his wisdom far more often than I did. She now has a Ph.D. I did well in college, but did as little as I could to achieve, and achieved far less than I could have. My dad’s wisdom, borne of his own foibles, would have helped me a great deal if I had just applied it instead of taking my easy way out.

The Wisdom of Experience

Sometimes, we go through different experiences at different stages in our lives. Many people raise their own siblings. People marry, have kids, get promotions at different ages. As a couple who married at a later point in our lives than most of our friends, we learn from people who are younger than us in age, but still our elders when it comes to experience. It is important to not just use age as a measuring stick for wisdom. Respect the story as much as the longevity.

Maturity can also be a distinguishing factor in who we rely on for guidance. This can be difficult to assess because it requires self-evaluation that we might not like. It is important, though. We need to recognize if someone is mature enough to choose logic over emotion when we react purely based on our feelings on a regular basis. We need to see balance in others where there is imbalance in ourselves.

Elders in Spiritual Maturity

Additionally, we all come to Christ at different ages and stages. This is a critical area of our lives to be aware of our own maturity, especially in comparison to others. We need to be discipled and we need to disciple others. This cannot happen if the perception of our own spiritual path is skewed. We can’t let pride, or shame, distort the truth.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

Romans 12:3, ESV

While I truly believe we must each learn who God is through our own careful study of His Word, it is important to have good judgment about our own weaknesses. We need to listen if someone warns us that our ideas or actions do not accurately reflect the intent of the Word. The only way we can do this is to trust the wisdom of our elders and go back to the Word to reassess our understanding and application.

Favor Listening

In the end, we all want to be heard. It is a common turn of phrase to say that one finally felt heard. We have this need to express our thoughts, opinions, beliefs. Sometimes it is rooted in a desire to be affirmed. Other times we need to feel righteous. But God tells us repeatedly that listening is of far more value than speaking in most cases.

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

Proverbs 18:2, ESV

So, let’s not be foolish. Let’s find wisdom in others. Let’s push aside pride and be willing to learn from our elders. If you do not have at least one person who can qualify as an elder in your life, go seek one today. If you do, really analyze if you are listening to them to learn from their experiences and their relationship with the Lord. Only when we see this discipleship relationship in full action, can we seek opportunities to disciple others, positioning ourselves as elders in their lives.

God tells us repeatedly that listening is of far more value than speaking in most cases. So, let's not be foolish. Let's find wisdom in others. Let's push aside pride and be willing to learn from our elders. Click To Tweet

The wisdom of our elders can help us shape our lives in positive ways. Can we resist the urge to pave our own paths and let others disciple us? Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #advice #listen #elders #disciple

unsplash-logoJoanna Kosinska
balance, comparison, unique, wisdom, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Handle: Balancing What God has Given Us, What Really Matters

It can be difficult to handle all the abilities God has given us as women. With Him and our fellow sisters, we can learn to balance what really matters.



While traveling to my best friend’s house one day I heard a speaker on KLove. She was discussing how we as women try to handle multiple tasks or commitments at one time. My active imagination conjured up this image of a female waitress with octopus arms, holding multiple platters with ease.

It can be difficult to handle all the abilities God has given us as women. With Him and our fellow sisters, we can learn to balance what really matters. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #scripture #devotional #balance #unique #wisdom #comparison

Handle It

I had to chuckle when this picture came to mind. But, seriously ladies, unless we have octopus arms none of us can handle it all. Where are you right now in your life? How much are you trying to handle by yourself? Do you have a teacup, a bowl, a plate, or a platter you are trying to handle? Let us talk for a few minutes about what really matters!

Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.

Titus 2:3-5, NLT

Juggling Act

There is a young woman I have known for many years that has 7 children. She home schools them all. The kids are perfectly well behaved and docile, not to mention beautiful within and without. She has a petite figure and always seems to have it all put together! She is the woman who has the platter!

I have a dear friend who also has multiple children and is heavily involved in the homeschooling community. However, as dearly as I love her she is a teacup kind of girl. She is very focused and intent on what is in her cup, but that is all she knows she can focus on at that time. Very wise if you ask me. She knows her abilities and limitations and accepts them both.

I would like to think of myself as one who carries around a plate. As a single mom coordinating school, church and appointments for three kids is sometimes overwhelming. I use to carry around my platter trying to manage it all by myself.

It took some major life-changing situations to learn God does not want us to rely on our own abilities or handle it all by ourselves! It places other people in our lives to help us handle it. I sometimes have to pass a plate off to my mom, or my oldest son, or a dear friend who offers to help.

So, ladies, do you know what kind of dish you are carrying around? Are you handling what God has given you the right way?

Comparison

There is a lot of “mom shaming” in our culture today. Thanks to social media and our inter-connected society we see the accomplishments of others constantly. I often see or hear things like, “She can’t handle that! I can do that better. What is wrong with her kids? Does she not know how to discipline them. What is her problem?”

When we fall prey to “mom shaming” we fall prey to the devil’s handiwork. He wants us to compare ourselves to each other, to build up our pride, or to fuel jealousy between us. What we have on this earth does not compare to what Christ has prepared for us in heaven as believers.

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

1 Corinthians 2:9, NKJV

God does not want us to dwell on what others have, or what we do not have. Throughout the Bible, there are numerous examples of how jealousy created bitterness, anger, and lead to strong adversaries.

Rachel and Leah bickered out of jealousy (Genesis 30:15). Hagar was fruitful and bore Abraham a son, but instead of being her advocate, Sarah was cruel to her (Genesis 16).

Now I have to tell you I am sure if I was in the same situation as these ladies I probably would have felt the same way. But, I have learned some hard lessons over the past few years and having a community of strong Christian women around, is powerful!

The fact that I am a women does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.

Elizabeth Elliot

 Handle What Matters

There will be different times in your life when you carry different sizes of dishes around. It is okay. God made us all with different abilities, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Instead of becoming jealous and bitter towards one another, we should help teach each other.

God gave us an example to follow in Titus 2. I have been encouraged and learned from spiritually older women throughout the years. Remember God places women in our lives for specific reasons. Listen to the wisdom of these women and learn from their godly counsel.

Perhaps you feel like you have too much to handle. Let me remind you for a minute that God never gives us more than we can handle. However, He does expect us to handle what we have been given. Matthew 25:14-30 has the parable of the talents. Each servant according to his own ability was expected to use what he had been given for his master’s glory. Are we using what God has given us to glorify and point others to Him?

So, sweet sisters, it does not matter if you have a teacup, a bowl, a plate, or a platter. What matters is we handle what God has given us the right way.

Until we meet again… Gracie

God expects us to handle what we have been given according to our own ability. Are we using what God has given us to glorify and point others to Him?  Click To Tweet

It can be difficult to handle all the abilities God has given us as women. With Him and our fellow sisters, we can learn to balance what really matters. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #scripture #devotional #balance #unique #wisdom #comparison

unsplash-logoIva Rajović
knowledge, wisdom, understanding, God's Word, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Knowledge: Trusting the Omniscience of God to Preserve Your Life

Knowledge can be powerful, but to what end? Understanding may bring advancement, yet at times those tidbits of information leave us wishing we could un-know it



Recently I read a case study about a woman who struggled with paralyzing fear. Both she and her fiancee were followers of Christ, but her betrothed had been sexually immoral before he became a Christian. She was concerned about STDs so they both underwent testing. He came back clean, but she learned she would have difficulty conceiving children. That knowledge sent her spiraling into a deep depression. She went from one fear to another based on the information she received.

Knowledge can be powerful, but to what end? Understanding may bring advancement, but those tidbits of information can leave us wishing we could un-know it. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #knowledge #wisdom #understanding #Godsword

Ignorance is Bliss

On my way to the auto shop the same day I read the case study, I was keenly aware of the thin tread and unwelcome screw lodged in my back driver-side tire. Wincing each time I hit a bump, I tried to navigate the winter roadways with the expertise of a racecar driver.

Then it donned on me: A week ago I had no idea my vehicle was less than safe to drive so I drove around town without worry. God was just as faithful to get me from A to B, but like the woman I read about, I did not experience any anxiety until I had knowledge of the incapacity. There are definite perks to not knowing some things. Once known, what can we do with it?

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.

Psalm 143:10-11, NIV

Knowledge is Power?

In the beginning, Adam and Eve knew only goodness and purity. There was not one iota of doubt, fear, or anxiety. They trusted God completely, loved one another fully, and enjoyed creation without hindrance. Their only need was God’s presence. Then an opportunity arose.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

Genesis 3:1, ESV

Eve responded by quoting what God told her and Adam, saying God had commanded them not to eat the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden — not even touch it — or they would die. Then the serpent offered a different viewpoint. He fed her more information than she had to begin with.

But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’

Genesis 3:4-5, ESV

FOMO

Eve likely thought what all of us have undoubtedly considered at one time or another: What if God is holding out on me? Are you familiar with this acronym — FOMO? It means fear of missing out. Eve had a choice in that moment… Trust her Maker or pursue selfish curiosity. God had given her and Adam one no in an entire world of yeses. “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

So of course, being the children that they were, that’s exactly what they did…Instead of embracing God’s good gifts, the man and woman doubted God’s generosity toward them. Doubted that an entire world of goodness was enough. Instead, they turned their eyes to the one thing that had been withheld…As much as the man and woman clearly defied God’s boundary, they also rejected everything He had already provided for them. They saw all that He offered them and decided that it was not good enough. And in doing so they turned from His goodness to seek goodness elsewhere. But all they discovered was evil.

Hannah Anderson, All That’s Good

It’s Simple

I want to be clear: knowledge is not evil. Pursuing education, practicing memorization, reading, and studying can be positive avenues to gain wisdom. But let the pursuit of knowledge have the purpose of conforming us more and more into Christ-likeness. And as a friend shared with me, it’s okay to be simple…

God will give us the understanding we need when we need it.

The unfolding of your words give light; it imparts understanding to the simple.

Psalm 119:130, ESV

Some knowledge strikes fear in our hearts.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

1 John 4:18, ESV

This verse is not meant to shame, but to encourage us. Pray to be perfected in love!

Some knowledge plants pride in our hearts.

This is what the LORD says: ‘The wise person should not boast in his wisdom; the strong should not boast in his strength; the wealthy should not boast in his wealth. But the one who boasts should boast in this: that he understands and knows me — that I am the LORD, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things.’ This is the LORD’s declaration.

Jeremiah 9:23-24, CSB

Revealed

We can never exhaust our knowledge of God. He faithfully reveals His character through His Word, His people, and through His creation. He knows all things, and as a result of His overflowing delight, He has given us the gift of His Spirit to preserve and grow us into His likeness.

Now God has revealed these things to us by the Spirit, since the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God[…] Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God.

1 Corinthians 2:10, 12, CSB

Sisters, may we trust what has been freely given and revealed to us, and only ever seek the knowledge that draws us closer to Christ.

We can never exhaust our knowledge of God. He faithfully reveals His character through His Word, His people, and through His creation. Click To Tweet

Knowledge can be powerful, but to what end? Understanding may bring advancement, but those tidbits of information can leave us wishing we could un-know it. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #knowledge #wisdom #understanding #Godsword

Sharon McCutcheon

dreams, foolishness, passion, wisdom, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Foolishness: Rejecting Worldly Wisdom to Follow Christ

Sometimes we feel foolish when we veer away from the path that the world prescribes for our lives, but choosing to live out our calling is not foolishness. 



Years ago when I was in college, my mom gave me some sage advice. But at the time, I considered it foolishness. It was Thanksgiving break, and I had driven out to her little, off-the-grid homestead for a few days. During our visit, I basically spewed out all of my stress and anxiety about all of the school work that I had to do.

That following week, I would be taking the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), a challenging standardized exam required for graduate school admission. In addition to my GRE prep, a mountain of papers, presentations, group projects, and final exams loomed large on the horizon. Gripped by stress and fear, I could barely function, much less actually enjoy the holiday…

Sometimes we feel foolish when we veer away from the path that the world prescribes for our lives; but choosing to live out our calling is not foolishness. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

College Nonsense

On my last evening at Mom’s, she offered me some warm mulled wine to calm my nerves and settle my stomach. Sipping the hot, sweet concoction, I sat on a sheep’s fleece in front of a crackling fire in the fireplace. As I futilely attempted to practice my GRE vocabulary flash cards, I felt the strong brew hit my belly.

Just as I was beginning to feel tipsy and a little sleepy, Mom stood directly in front of me, leaned over, and stared me right in the eyes. With her typical dramatic flair, she emphatically stated:

Hopey, you need to quit school and go be a singer. You’ve gotta stop all this college nonsense and do what the Lord put you on this earth to do. Hopey, you have to sing!

Mom’s stark statement shocked me out of my sleepy stupor. Her words struck a chord inside of me because somewhere deep down, I knew that they were true. But at the time, I could not receive what she was telling me.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:14

Utter Foolishness

Rather than allowing myself to seriously consider her advice, as a means of self-protection, I took offense. I told Mom what an idiotic statement she had just made. Utter foolishness. Most likely I spouted off some comment like, “Yeah Mom, why don’t I just drop out of college, forget about graduate school, and go on the road and start busking for a living?! Sounds like a great idea. Really smart. I’ll be sure to get right on that.”

The next morning, as I drove the winding, hilly highway back to campus, I tried to shake the feeling that I was caving. Retreating back to the safety of the ivory tower. Back to the secure halls of higher education where Mom’s silly notion of pursuing my true passion was relegated to the annals of foolishness. I had organized my life in such a way that my education would be my ticket to success. Financial freedom and prestige were my goals. But all of the worldly ambitions I was clamoring for were drowning out the still, small voice of truth that simply said, “Sing”.

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.

1 Corinthians 1:27

Her Foolhardy Dream

I comforted myself with the thought that, in her younger years, Mom had been a first class fool herself. A few credits shy of earning her Master’s degree in Music Education from the prestigious Indiana University School of Music, she had run off to New York City to chase her foolhardy dream of singing on Broadway. Mom never actually made it to Broadway, but she did land a number of leading roles in Off-Broadway productions.

One time she told me that she had played the role of Eliza Doolittle in the Off-Broadway version of My Fair Lady. For those performances, she got to wear all of Julie Andrews’ costumes from the Broadway show. Another time she mentioned making $5000 in a single day for acting in a nationally syndicated Huggies commercial.

I had always been curious about Mom’s former life in the entertainment industry, but whenever I pried about her experience, she would sidestep the conversation. Mom had categorically written off those years as her foolish and sinful past. And she claimed that when she had been born again, she had died to all of that. Ultimately, she regarded her years in show business the same way that Paul describes his life before Christ:

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.

Philippians 3:8

A Dead End

Fast forward a decade from that Thanksgiving visit, and I then had both a Bachelors and a Masters degree under my belt. I was establishing my career, climbing the supposedly sturdy ladder of professional success. That is, until the Lord–in His infinite grace, mercy, and wisdom–allowed me to hit a dead end. It came in the form of severe depression, crippling anxiety, and unshakable thoughts of suicide. Somewhere deep down inside, Mom’s foolish advice was still reverberating. I knew I was not living out my calling, but I had no idea how to change course. I wanted to end my life.

When I finally hit that wall, I was crying out to the Lord to show me my purpose on this earth or else… And to my utter shock, the Holy Spirit actually answered me very directly! In a profound encounter, He reminded me of who I’ve always been to Him: His songbird.

Today I believe that–despite how it might look to the outside world–the Lord is leading and guiding me in the way that He wants me to go. And I’m learning to follow His lead. I don’t have aspirations of singing on Broadway, but I am learning how to sing to the Lord. How to worship Him in spirit and in truth. And He has given me so many original songs that have carried me through difficult seasons that I would not have made it out of on my own. And He’s showing me opportunities to share those songs with others who are hurting in their own journeys.

Even If You Feel Foolish

Beloved, if the world were to inspect the trajectory of your life–your career, your relationships, all the choices you’ve made–are there some twists and turns that might look foolish? If so, you’re likely on the right path! When sheer worldly wisdom is applied to the life of a true believer, there should be a great deal of the picture that does not overlap. Because on the face of it, certain steps of faith appear like foolishness to the carnal, natural mind. And more often than not, worldly wisdom does not apply to the path of faith that the Lord calls us to walk.

It’s taken many years, but I’m finally coming to appreciate the simple wisdom in what Mom was trying to tell me: Follow your dream. Pursue your passion. Don’t get bogged down in all of the pressures and anxiety that the world tries to heap on you. Don’t do what you’re supposed to do. Do what makes you come alive. Do what you know you are called to do. Whether it’s singing, painting, cooking, teaching, running, writing, serving, inventing… Whatever you know deep down that you were put here to do, do that! And this kind of advice is not foolish; it is life-giving. Despite what worldly wisdom recommends, above all else, follow and trust God with your life. Even if at times it feels crazy. Even if you feel foolish. Do what He has called you to do.

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1 Corinthians 1:25

Have you ever taken some “foolish” advice that turned out to be wisdom?

Certain steps of faith appear like foolishness to the carnal, natural mind. And more often than not, worldly wisdom does not apply to the path of faith that the Lord calls us to walk. Click To Tweet

Sometimes we feel foolish when we veer away from the path that the world prescribes for our lives; but choosing to live out our calling is not foolishness. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

All scripture references from the King James Version of The Bible.

Ray Hennessy

respond, last days, tragedy, truth

Respond: What Are We To Do In These Last Days?

Tragedy is occurring all around us at an alarming rate. How are we to respond to the devastation? What are we to do in these last days?



An earthquake in Iraq kills over 400 people.

A driver mows down people on a cycling path in New York city, killing 8.

A crazed gunman enters a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, his gun blazing, killing anyone who made a noise…including babies. He slaughtered 26 people.

After leaving a relative’s home, located in one of the nicer neighborhoods of the city, a young couple was accosted by two armed teens. Shots were fired. The 30 year old husband of 9 days gave his life to protect his bride. They attended my church.

The young man who killed the cyclists with a box truck believed he was doing it for his god.

It is reported that the mentally ill gunman had a grudge against his mother-in-law, who is a member of the church he decimated. She wasn’t attending that day.

The two 15 year old boys who shot the young groom wanted money. “Random robbery,” the police said.

Tragedy is occurring all around us at an alarming rate. How are we to respond to the devastation? What are we to do in these last days?

Respond: Living With Tragedy

Tragedy…it’s happening on a regular basis now, occurring so often that we’re numbed by the news stories of death and loss. Until it hits in our home turf.

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

2 Timothy 3:1-4, NKJV

Is this world losing its mind?

Every generation since Christ walked the earth has asked, “Are these the last days?” Even the disciples questioned Jesus about it!

As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray…And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains…

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away…And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end; will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Matthew 24:3-14, NKJV

Respond: What To Do Amidst Tragedy

Would it surprise you to know that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world? I’m not quoting a Christian magazine or organization; even secular news has taken note. Increasingly, Christians are hated in America, but they are dying for the gospel around the world.

What is our response to these last days occurrences? To this evil that lives in our midst? Should we quake in fear? Sometimes it does feel frightening.

Or, conversely, go to the mission field? Be part of proclaiming the gospel to other countries? If you are called, go, but we’re living in a mission field.

Perhaps the most difficult thing to do is Paul’s charge to Timothy…

But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:14-15, NKJV

Tragedy is occurring all around us at an alarming rate. How are we to respond to the devastation? What are we to do in these last days?

I don’t know about you, but in the face of crisis, I want to go DO SOMETHING!  Point me in the right direction and I will charge! However, I’ve been known to make a few messes in that state of mind; Paul has a different message.

But you…continue in the things you know are true. Continue in the Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus.

In these last days, let’s covenant together to persevere… to continue in the truth… which will make us wise.


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Tragedy is occurring all around us at an alarming rate. How are we to respond to the devastation? What are we to do in these last days?

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is from the English Standard Version.
photo credit:
Wil Stewart

Deciding NOT to Homeschool

Nearly a year ago I shared a post about deciding to homeschool. And in that post I shared that part of this process in deciding to homeschool was to give myself the freedom to stop.

“I may only do this until winter break. Or maybe for the year. Or maybe for elementary school. Or maybe through middle school. And I may not homeschool my second son. It may not be right for him.”

At the end of this past school year, in my homeschool review, I shared that the choice to homeschool was a scary one, but that I did not have any regrets. I wrote my review a week before learning that moving was a possibility.

“One year, one semester, one month at a time. I have no idea what we will be doing years from now, but I do know that I already bought the curriculum for next year!”

Well folks, It lasted for just over a year. We did start the year homeschooling in order that he would be up to speed when he began at the school here, which is a year-round program. The short time I was homeschooling confirmed for me that sending him to school was the right decision. I was in no condition mentally to be teaching. Now, my son is not only going to public school, but is even getting himself there on the bus!


The decision…

My decision to stop homeschooling came down to two main issues.

First, I would be losing the great support system where we lived before. It was fine with my son, who is very outgoing, to be home during the day because we were involved with so many people in so many different areas. Now, moving to a city where we do not know anyone, I felt that we would be isolated while homeschooling.

Second, moving is quite stressful and I need to be able to release stress through exercise, otherwise I am ineffective as a mom and teacher. Being active has allowed me to stay off medication. Endorphins are my drug of choice, and running is the best way to supply those for me. Not being able to exercise as frequently had always been my biggest concern with homeschooling. I was able to make it work last year since my son was only in second grade and the school work load was not heavy. But that load is only going to get heavier. Stress and the need for exercise are directly related. The more stress I have, the more important it is for me to exercise. The short time I did spend teaching my son was evidence of this. I struggled with being patient with him when learning something new, I was yelling more, and I feared that he would begin to hate learning if we continued.


The positive…

So far, my son is so happy being in school. The first day he came home talking about all the friends he had made. Him and his brother are not bickering as much. He has struggled with a new way of learning (Hello? Common Core!!) but seems to be catching on now.

The negative…

There is not as much time for extra things. Before, my son took piano lessons during the day, and he loved it and showed talent for it. Now, our piano has a layer of dust over it.

He has friends, and I don’t know who they are. I’m sure they are great kids, and I know I will eventually meet them and hopefully their parents. It’s odd for me that he has a life that I am not a part of. This is part of letting him grow. It’s exciting to see who he is becoming, but it hurts my heart a little too.


Final thought…

Just like I gave myself the freedom to stop homeschooling at any time, I also have the freedom to go back to it. As a mom, I never stop praying for wisdom to know what the best thing for my children is at each stage of life.

 

decidingnottohomeschool