Just Worship Him

God is so amazing! I’m writing this, not because I just received good news or something wonderful just happened. I’m writing this because it’s true! The Lord is holy. He is above all. He is worthy of all praise. He is seated on the throne of the universe. Just think about it.

Let’s worship Him in spirit and truth. Nothing else we can do today is as important as this.

Give Him the glory He deserves.

And the thing is, He will bless you for it, and then you will have some THINGS to thank Him for.

Worship Him first.

He deserves every bit of it.

Should We Do School at Home?

Should we be using the same methods of instruction in our homes that are used in institutional schools?

I always guard against burn-out. For me and for the children. I see institutional methods being used at home, and I see bored kids and mothers. I see myself trying to check things off a list and getting impatient and irritated and rushing through to get things done.

I believe learning should be more natural and flowing, a part of life. There is a place for textbooks and workbooks, but the main form of education should flow from our relationships with God, with each other and with what the Spirit leads us to learn more about. Drill and memorization have a place, but they are not what education is really about. Playing with cute manipulatives and learning games is a great way to learn, but they can be overdone if they’re forced and the children are only tolerating them because mom insists on them playing them.

We need discipline, and we have to learn to do things that are difficult and unpleasant just because they need to be done, but our whole educational experience should not consist of those types of things. There should be times of discovery and exploration. There should be lots of time for creativity and learning about what the children themselves are interested in.

I am concerned that former public and private school teachers may be bringing some institutional methods into their homeschools and sharing them with other homeschoolers who latch onto them and bring the same mindset of the classroom and the spirit of the world into their homes unintentionally. And I see a danger in overworking our kids and giving them so much to do that they get burned out or bored with the same activities day after day with no break to process on their own – no time to just think about the things they’ve been learning.

What is the spirit of homeschooling?

Is it about providing our children with an excellent academic education so they can compete in this world and be successful in the eyes of the world?

Is it about protecting our children from false teaching and passing our faith and values to them?

Is it about building a warm, loving, nurturing family?

The family is the building block of society.

What will we do if the foundations are destroyed?

I often heard Dr. Dobson say, “Values are caught, not taught.”

So building a strong family is an important reason for homeschooling.

There’s something that’s even more important, though.

I believe the spiritual element is the most important part of homeschooling. I believe that if we miss that, we’ve missed the main reason the Lord told us to homeschool in the first place.

And I believe that God has established a way for us to teach our children so that our values and our faith are transferred to them. And it has nothing to do with traditional academic subjects. Our children must see that we have a living, vital relationship with God ourselves. They must see that we truly believe the Bible is the Word of God and that we are living by it. We must talk to them about what the Lord is saying to us. We must pray with them and for them, and model for them a life built on prayer that not only talks to God but listens to Him and obeys Him. We should be sharing our spiritual experiences with them. We should be praying for them, in their hearing, to have a close relationship with their Father God and to have experiences with Him that will draw them closer to Him and cause them to have all that He wants them to have in their spiritual lives.

We should pray that God will reveal to our children the height and depth of His love for them so that they will never want to walk away from Him. Who wants to walk away from the Person who has the greatest love in the universe and who cares about every little detail of their lives? But they have to experience His love for themselves. And we need to facilitate that happening for them by talking about our experiences with the Presence and love of God and leading them to Him when they have problems and encounter hurtful situations, even when the person who has hurt them is their own mom or dad. We need to teach them that God is always there for them even when we can’t be.

We need to turn the education of our children over to God. They are His children. He knows their needs and their futures. He will give us ideas of how and what to teach them. He will direct us to the right books to read to them or have them read. He will lead us to fun and interesting ways to teach them information that they will need in the future so that the learning will really stick.

So I don’t believe that we should do “school at home”.

I don’t believe we should cram anything down our children’s throats, even instruction in the Bible or spiritual disciplines.

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little.” Isa. 28:10

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deut. 6:6-9

I see this as a naturally, supernatural way of teaching our children. Letting the Spirit of God lead us in teaching them and saying the things He would have us say to them as He brings them to us throughout the day. It’s not all planned and organized, but they learn the things that really matter and they learn how to have a living, vital relationship with God. Jesus taught in parables, and He helps us to teach the same way when we’re listening to Him. He helps us to see things in the created world that relate to spiritual life and explain them so that our children develop a deep faith in God that is real and is their own.

He gives us revelation as we read the Bible that we can share with our children so that they see that the Bible is a living book that God speaks to us through, and they will want to hear Him speak to them in the same way.

He will also lead us in the correct way to teach the academic subjects, the way that is right for each child. If we ask Him, He will give us the answers we need. He promises to give wisdom to us when we ask for it (James 1:5).

Everything in life is about God. Everything that happens is intended to draw us closer to Him.

Let’s keep our focus on Him in the education of our children.

I’ve linked this post to the Big Family Friday link-up at Holy Spirit-Led Homeschooling.

Holy Spirit-Led Homeschooling

Fear the Lord = Kiss the Son

Psalm 2 (a Messianic Psalm that hints of God’s Trinitarian nature) shows us that the fear of the Lord is best understood as the opportunity to: “Kiss the Son!” (verse 12). Oh, if only we’d see how precious the Lord is! We would take great care not to offend him in any way. We’d delight in him with affection always. This is a healthy, mature fear of the Lord. Truly, “Perfect love removes all fear” (1 John 4:18).

My prayer inspired by Psalm 2 will help you to appreciate how precious Jesus is:

A Prayer to Kiss the Son of God

O Jesus, I see you smile at me! I see your arms open to me! In my excitement I run to you. I throw myself into your arms. I kiss your cheeks again and again. I burrow my head in your chest.

Jesus! Jesus! Sweet Jesus! Your name is honey on my lips. Your Spirit is water to my thirsty soul. Your Word is the bread of heaven for me to I live off of every day.

Jesus, you are most dear to me. You are the One I delight in. You capture my interest like no one or nothing else. To be near you in your kingdom is heaven on earth. How could I be so privileged and honored as to be welcomed into your arms of love?

All my worries are put to rest when I simply speak your name: Jesus! All my hurts are comforted when I embrace you. All my ambitions mean nothing next to you. Temptations have no appeal when I look into your lovely face. When I fail and when I succeed all that matters is your grace.

When people criticize me I remember your cross, O Christ. When they praise me I remember to give glory to you. Whether they support me or disappoint me I give thanks for your faithful love.

Jesus, you alone are my Refuge, my Safe Place, my Hiding Place. You are my Secret Soul Mate, my One Essential Friend – I love to carry on conversation with you all day long!

I am the most blessed person on earth to kiss the Son of God!

Making Jesus the desire of your heart always puts all of your life in proper perspective and is the answer to all of your problems. Probably you won’t hear many Christian psychologists say that, but I have found it to be true for myself and many people I help.

Taken from an article by Bill Gaultiere at CBN.com. Here’s the link to read the whole article.

Put Christ Back in St. Patrick’s Day

God in my living
There in my breathing
God in my waking
God in my sleeping

God in my resting
There in my working
God in my thinking
God in my speaking

Be my everything
Be my everything
Be my everything
Be my everything

God in my hoping
There in my dreaming
God in my watching
God in my waiting

God in my laughing
There in my weeping
God in my hurting
God in my healing

Christ in me
Christ in me
Christ in me the hope of glory
You are everything

Christ in me
Christ in me
Christ in me the hope of glory
Be my everything

This song is a beautiful song that I heard in the Prayer Room at IHOP-KC.

In our homeschool studies, we studied about St. Patrick, and I read his prayer that he prayed every day. It was called St. Patrick’s Breastplate. It’s really long, so I won’t put the whole thing here. But here are some excerpts from it.

Excerpts from:
St. Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer

Christ be with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me.
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit,
Christ where I arise.
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me.
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me.
Christ in every eye who sees me.
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Christ.
May your salvation O Lord, be ever with us.

Do you see the similarities in the song and in St. Patrick’s prayer? They both reflect the fact that God and His Son, Jesus, are supposed to be everything to us. Everything in our lives is to reflect God and be done in Him and through Him.

So when I hear the song, “Everything”, I think of St. Patrick and his prayer.

St. Patrick is a hero in the faith that we should teach our children about. But you need to go to Catholic writings to find out what he really did. They believe in miracles, so they didn’t try to explain them away as coincidences or superstitions or legends.

I wrote a post about this last St. Patrick’s Day that you can find here. In it I mentioned a book by Kathie Walters, called Celtic Flames. I highly recommend reading this book to learn about true miracles that have been expunged from the history books of our time.

Here is some information about St. Patrick. The sources are Catholic and credible.

St. Patrick Raised the Dead – Many Times

For the blind and the lame, the deaf and the dumb, the palsied, the lunatic, the leprous, the epileptic, all who labored under any disease, did he in the Name of the Holy Trinity restore unto the power of their limbs and unto entire health; and in these good deeds was he daily practiced. Thirty and three dead men, some of whom had been many years buried, did this great reviver raise from the dead, as above we have more fully recorded. …

St. Patrick was a great missionary bishop who converted a whole land from paganism, overturning the religion of the Druids. He consecrated 350 Bishops, erected 700 churches, and ordained 5,000 priests. In less than 30 years the greater part of Ireland was Catholic. St. Patrick so consolidated it in the Christian faith that during the Protestant Revolt, Ireland was almost unique in its preservation of the Faith. Even today, people speak of “the faith of the Irish.”

It is hard, indeed impossible, to comprehend such a vast and enduring transformation without the visible support of God through great works and wonders. But that is what Christ promised to His Apostles, and it has been historically demonstrated in the well-attested lives of His great missionary saints.

Since St. Patrick is claimed to have worked 33 resurrection miracles, it seems a moral certitude that he truly must have worked at least a good number of such wonders, even if the count of 33 may not be exactly accurate. (Some details may be confused, and thus two slightly different accounts could actually refer to the same event.) It is only fair to report at least several of these.

* One day St. Patrick came to a place called Fearta. On the side of the hill two women had been buried. Patrick ordered the earth removed; in the Name of Christ, he raised them up. The two proclaimed that their idols were vain and that Christ was the true God. Along with the women, many bystanders were baptized. As the ancient writer observes, Patrick not only revived these two from a double death (both temporal and eternal death), but by this miracle he gave spiritual resurrection to many other souls.

* When Patrick came to Dublina he prophesied how great that small village would someday become. He also caused a fountain to spring up there. It happened that in the region nearby, the young son of the King lay dead in his chamber. The sorrow over his death was compounded when it was learned that his sister, who had gone to bathe in the neighboring river, had drowned in midstream. Her body was finally found resting on the riverbed, and was laid out beside that of her brother. Tombs were prepared for both according to pagan custom.

At this sorrowful time the rumor spread that Patrick of Armagh, who in the Name of the Unknown God had raised many that were dead, had arrived in the village. The king, Alphimus, promised that he, his nobles, and the whole “city” would be baptized into the new faith if his two children were restored. Patrick, seeing the opportunity for a great gain of souls, raised them both to life.

By the physical resurrection of the prince and princess, the spiritual resurrection of the whole area from the darkness of paganism and idolatry was accomplished. And the temporary resurrection of bodies (that is, until they died again) gave a promise of eternal life in Heaven and of the resurrection of the body on Judgment Day.

After the raising of this royal brother and sister, churches were built and tributes appointed to Patrick as their patron, that is, as the first Archbishop (or Bishop) of Armagh. It is reputedly from the revived Princess Dublina that the present great city of Dublin got its name. …

* On another occasion a band of men who hated St. Patrick falsely accused him and his companions of stealing, and sentenced them to death. Patrick raised a man from a nearby tomb and commanded him to witness to the truth of the case, which the resurrected man did. He protested the innocence of Patrick and his companions and the deceit of the evil ones. In the presence of all, the resurrected man also showed where the alleged stolen goods – some flax – were hidden. Many of those who had conspired for the death of St. Patrick now became his converts. …

* An evil man named Machaldus, and his companions, who placed on their heads certain diabolical signs called “Deberth,” signifying their devotion to Satan, plotted to mock St. Patrick. They covered one of their group, Garbanus, with a cloak as if he were dead. Garbanus, though in perfect health, was placed on a couch as if laid out in preparation for burial. The men then sent for Patrick, asking him to raise the covered Garbanus from the dead. This was a fatal mistake.

St. Patrick told them it was with deceit, but not with falsehood, that they had declared their companion dead. Disregarding their entreaties, Patrick went on his way, praying for the soul of the derider.

Then, uncovering their friend, the plotters found Garbanus not feigning death, but actually dead! Contrite of heart, they pursued St. Patrick; they obtained pardon and were baptized. At their entreaty, St. Patrick also revived the dead Garbanus.

The same once-evil Machaldus became a great penitent, a bishop eminent in holiness and miracles, and became known as “St. Machaldus.” …

Let no one doubt that the Lord gave to the humble Patrick the gift of raising the dead to life – for the glory of God, the proof of the True Faith, and the salvation of countless souls.

This article on St. Patrick is from a chapter in Saints Who Raised the Dead, True Stories of 400 Resurrection Miracles, by Fr. Albert J. Hebert, S. M.
http://www.traditioninaction.org/Questions/B255_StPatrick.html

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