If you had lived in Germany during Hitler's rise, would you have spoken up against the atrocities inflicted on the Jews?
If you had lived in the early days of America, would you have spoken up to end slavery?
If you had been caught up in the crowd yelling at Pilate to crucify Jesus, would you have spoken up to defend His innocence?
I'd like to think that yes, I would have spoken up. I'd like to think many of us would have done so.
But the reality is, people who should have known better during those historical times did NOT speak up.
And the reality is, I know my own weaknesses and fears. While I would love to say with confidence that YES, I would have taken a stand against evil in any form, no matter what the consequences...inside I can't help but wonder if I would have been any different from those who turned a blind eye to bloodthirsty hatred or even justified it.
Evil triumphs for a long while because it squashes those who voice opposition. It rules with fear and terror on its side, not only for those whom it specifically targets, but also for those who would dare stand in its way...whether with words or weapons.
May we never falter in these times of trouble. Give us strength and courage to rescue those being led away to death, to hold back those staggering toward slaughter. We know the evil of these times. May we never be complicit with it because of outward pressures or inward fears. You know all things. You alone are the righteous Judge. May we be faithful to serve you and others as long as you give us life here on earth. In Jesus's name, amen.
Last week my family enjoyed a "staycation" while we hosted some family friends from a couple of states away. This gave us the wonderful opportunity to plan for some activities we may not have prioritized had we not been planning this visit for a few months!
One of our grand adventures (well, probably THE biggest adventure) was going whitewater rafting. While Ted and I had been before, none of our children had, and they were eager and a bit nervous about the new experience. We left the house bright and early to drive the 95 miles and make our 8:30am arrival time. We chose a half-day tour, opting to go before lunch in order to beat the heat.
We couldn't have asked for better weather! It was so beautiful, with a nice breeze and lovely blue skies. (This was a day before we had a tornado watch...! In Colorado!!!) Our guide was enthusiastic and shared plenty of corny jokes as we made our way down the river. Our raft brought up the rear of our 3-boat entourage, which was perfect for splashing our friends, who were in the raft just ahead of us. We enjoyed a series of Class II and III rapids, which were very fun but definitely left all of us wanting MORE! Unfortunately, kids under age 14 were not allowed on the more intense part of the river, but I think everyone had a great time anyway.
In between the rapids, we enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the Arkansas River as it snaked its way toward the Royal Gorge. Seanin (our 9yo son) was deeply disappointed that the whole ride wasn't whitewater rapids! And that made me contemplate a little life lesson...
We all have "rapids" in our lives: exciting, thrilling adventures and high points that leave us invigorated and energized.
Sometimes those rapids take a turn and become dangerous, even injurious.
We need a loving, all-knowing guide who will travel with us through the good, the bad, the fun, and the difficult times of life. Jesus is that guide...or at least, He is for me. Are you navigating life with a Guide? Or are you trying to steer the boat and avoid the rocks all on your own?
And another aspect to this little life lesson: what do we do in between the rapids? Do we chafe and moan, wishing life could be one big adventure? Or do we look around and notice the beauty of where we are? Not just our physical environment, but also the spiritual beauty of resting, waiting, traveling at God's pace instead of running ahead?
Just some thoughts from our Journey Quest adventure!
"The righteous will never be uprooted, but the wicked will not remain in the land." Proverbs 10:30
These stumps in a pile were once growing, thriving trees. They've been cut down and uprooted to make space for a new house in our neighborhood. As I've watched the process unfolding during my morning walks, I can't help but wonder: are my roots strong enough, are my children's roots strong enough, to withstand the cultural upheaval working so hard to make space for a "new" world order which is actually based on the most ancient of lies?
Dear homeschool mama, the enemy will do anything to uproot you and your children. You MUST be deeply rooted in God's truth. You must know the truth about who God is and about who you are. When we know we can trust God's character, we know we can trust His calling.
Are you standing firmly on truth today? Are your children?
God, may we be faithful to stand on truth no matter the consequences. Grow our roots so strong and deep that the lies swirling around us will never uproot us or our children. Your Word says, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives." Make Proverbs 13:12 a reality in our generation in Jesus's name. Amen.
Let's be real...FRUITS are way more exciting than ROOTS!
They're more pleasing visually.
They taste yummy.
They are refreshing, satisfying.
They energize our bodies.
Roots, on the other hand, are frankly rather ugly.
They don't really DO anything tangible for us, only the tree.
But without the roots, the fruits wouldn't have a chance!
When it comes to homeschooling (or parenting in general), it is VITAL that we have deep roots. All too often, we get fixated on whether or not we see fruits from our efforts. And while fruit is important, and we certainly pray the Lord will bring about fruit in our lives and in our children's lives, when this becomes the focus, it also becomes the measure of whether or not we are "successful."
That, my friends, is a recipe for doubt, disappointment, and discouragement!
It can lead to burnout.
Wanting to quit.
Looking for other materials, methods, motivations.
But...when we attend to our roots, we rest in Jesus and trust that GOD will bring about the growth in His own way and in His own timing.
How are your roots?
***I did not write this...if you know who the original author is, please let me know!***
Though I teach my children how to multiply, divide, and diagram a sentence, but fail to show them LOVE, I have taught them nothing!
And though I take them on numerous field trips, to swim practice and flute lessons; and though I involve them in every church activity, but fail to give them LOVE, I profit nothing!
And though I scrub my house relentlessly, run countless errands, and serve three nutritious meals every day but fail to be an example of LOVE, I have done nothing!
LOVE is patient with misspelled words and is kind to young interrupters.
LOVE does not envy the high SAT scores of other Homeschool families. LOVE does not claim to have better teaching methods than anyone else, is not rude to the fourth telephone caller during a science lesson, does not seek perfectly behaved geniuses, does not turn into a drill sergeant, thinks no evil about friends’ educational choices!
LOVE bears all my children’s challenges, believes all my children are God’s precious gifts, hopes all my children establish permanent relationships with Christ, and endures all things to demonstrate God’s love!
LOVE never fails!
Where there are college degrees, they will fail; where there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
For we know in part and we teach in part. But when the trials of life come to our children, the history, math, and science will be done away and faith, hope, and love will remain;
BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE!
– Author unknown