From fear and bondage to love and faith. And FREEDOM!
What does that mean anyway?
According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist, your brain was wired for love, you were wired for love.
God made us in His image. And He is love. So, doesn’t it make sense that He wired us for love?
Well, what does THAT mean?
There is a “perfect you” that we should be striving to live in. When we step out of our “perfect you”, we get into fear and other negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions. We have to learn to fear, and when we do we put our body and brain out of whack!
When we learn to live out of fear and give into these negative thoughts, we actually cause brain damage!
We have learned to fear through living in this fallen world, through thought patterns and ideas that were passed on to us by people around us, the ways that people have treated us, by our own sinful ways, traumatic events in our lives, whispers of the enemy that cause doubt, and other factors that affect us and cause us to expect negative outcomes and to fear the future and dread the unknown.
But God wants to restore us to our “perfect you”.
You were made for love. God made you so that He could love you.
Here’s the truth:
God delights in you.
He views you as His little child who is in the process of learning what life is really about, what God is really like, and the reason that He made you, the purpose of your life, the thing that only YOU can do.
You can get back to the original blueprint that God had for you by changing the way you think. When you know that you are loved unconditionally, that God has wonderful plans for you, you learn how He sees you, that He favors you, He has extraordinary affection for you, He smiles on you, you have His heart, you have His favor, you begin to think differently. You begin to see yourself as a child of God.
The way that God sees Jesus is the same way He sees us.
We renew our minds.
We start to develop the mind of Christ.
Jesus had a great self-image. He lived in His “perfect you” all the time.
Jesus was wired for love, and unlike us, He never learned to fear. He never succumbed to the worldly way or the satanic way of viewing Himself. He always knew who He was.
We can be constantly becoming more like Jesus by thinking the way Jesus thought and the way Jesus thinks.
As we do this, we will be Changed By Love.
See what I did there?
We change the way we think by taking negative and toxic thoughts captive as soon as they come into our minds, casting them out, and substituting positive, loving, true, pure God’s thoughts in their place.
Simple, but not easy, because we have to overcome years and years of wrong thinking habits.
But we have to start somewhere, and there’s no time like the present to start working on changing our thoughts.
Become the best version of you. Change your thoughts.
And let God Change you By His Love!!!
If you are interested in brain research, you should listen to Dr. Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist, and read her books. She has a website http://drleaf.com that is full of videos, episodes of her TV show, her blog and more.
The purpose of this post is to describe how I have adapted the Charlotte Mason method to my personality style and styles of my children, our family dynamics, my energy level, my priorities, and my Great Expectations!
The biggest element of our Charlotte Mason education and homeschool method altogether is reading aloud. I discovered this key when I took a closer look at what was working and what wasn’t in our daily homeschooling endeavors. I saw that making my children do workbooks and forcing them to think about what I wanted them to think about was making it feel like a fight every day. It was like I was the evil ogre and they were the poor frightened children who were at my mercy, and making them learn was my weapon against them. That is not exactly what I had in mind when I started homeschooling them, and it’s not how I wanted every day to feel.
I thought about what I enjoyed and what they enjoyed each day, and it didn’t take long to realize that it was the time we spent reading a good book together. I then thought about the different subjects they were learning about just from the stories I read aloud to them. Most of them were from different periods in history, so they were learning about history. Most of them were about different places on earth, different countries, different parts of our own country, different cultures. You know what subject that is, or subjects those are, don’t you? We were covering geography, social studies, social sciences, cultural anthropology (!), and more social type stuff. Not to mention, the elements of a story, good writing, character development, plot development, setting, descriptive writing, too much to mention, right?
And they were interacting mind to mind, heart to heart, with ideas and thoughts of some of the best writers the world has known. Not to mention, the stories and biographies of great men and women who have been greatly used by God and the principles of the Kingdom of God from the books I chose. The inspiration to live a great life for God, wholly committed to Him and being a person of strong character, integrity and virtue were also thrown into the mix. Win, win, win!!!
So that’s my spiel about why reading aloud is such a great thing. And choosing good, living books.
Now onto some other ways that I have adapted the CM method so that it works for us.
We have done notebooking and lapbooking in the past. Some of my children have enjoyed it and thrived with it. Others did it because I asked them to. Most of them keep notebooks of their own, even as they have gotten older. It helps them to keep their stuff organized.
We have done lots of nature study for science. Just look at all of the caterpillar posts on my blog, and you will see how seriously I take the butterfly’s metamorphosis! We have had tadpoles become frogs. We have learned about rocks, minerals, earth science topics, through living books from the library. We watch documentaries. I encourage them and resource them to study whatever science topic they express interest in.
The other branches of science come up according to their interest and through life in general, and we research whatever we want to know more about.
History is sometimes a discussion topic when we are talking about current events. I also have many DVD’s and CD’s that cover history topics.
We have studied History chronologically, biblically, by countries and regions, etc.
We have acted out scenes from different time periods occasionally, too.
I see these activities as whetting their appetite, and giving them a foundation that they can build on and develop according to their interests and needs later on.
Math is always a challenge. I keep trying different things looking for the best method for each child. I make sure they have the basic skills and basic facts memorized, then supplement as they show me more of what they want to do with their lives.
We have used Teaching Textbooks, Life of Fred, CTC math, and Living math activities in the kitchen. My youngest is currently using Master Books Math Lessons for a Living Education, and seems to enjoy that.
We do some picture study, some composer and music appreciation (just identifying a song and its composer) and some study of composers and artists through living books from the library.
We do copywork from Queen Homeschool Supplies and some from Character Italic published by Shaw Family Media since I like to use Italic handwriting with my children.
Copywork can be used to help with handwriting and such skills, but it can also be used to inspire and teach moral lessons. It can be used to help with scripture memorization and study, too.
Narration is an important part of reading aloud. I mostly use it to review what happened the last time we read the story, but it’s a good way of helping them to take the learning and memory to a deeper level than it would have gone without the act of narration. I find that my kids remember a lot better than I do when I ask them to catch us up on what happened last.
I am an educator. I love teaching and learning. But I am not a drill sergeant. I am not the fount of all knowledge. I am a person, and I recognize that each of my children is a person with his own interests, moods, needs, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, callings, struggles, rhythms, routines, and minds that are known only to them and God. I see myself as a facilitator of education, learning, and attaining their dreams and desires. I do not want to be a stumbling block or an obstacle to their gaining skills and knowledge and reaching their own goals, dreams, desires and hopes because of something that a book decided or I decided they needed to devote lots of time and brain space and thinking time to because someone else arbitrarily decided they needed to know it.
So there you go! Take from it what you will. I hope something in all of this may help someone to relax a little more and enjoy the learning experience and lifestyle that we call homeschooling.
Ask the Lord how your philosophy, curriculum (or lack thereof) and routines and habits, patterns and rhythms should flow in your family to bring honor to Him and establish His purposes for each of your children. And may peace and contentment reign in the atmosphere of your home to minimize stress and relationship problems while each of you strives to become all that God meant for you to be.
By Gary Wilkerson, son of David Wilkerson
Oct. 22, 2012
“And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul” (Jeremiah 32:38-41, ESV).
Do you remember when you raised your hand in third grade and asked, “Teacher, can I go to the bathroom?” What did the teacher reply?
“Of course you can, but the correct question is, MAY I go to the bathroom?”
In this verse God uses the words, “may not.” It is a declarative statement: “You may not do it!” He is saying, “I am going to put My law in you that you may not break covenant with Me.”
I love that He calls this an everlasting covenant. If I could impart one thing into your life, it would be this message of understanding, walking in and enjoying the reality that God’s covenant with us is an everlasting covenant.
Can this New Covenant be broken? God says through the prophet Jeremiah: “Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar — the LORD of hosts is his name. If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the LORD, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever” (Jeremiah 31:35-36, ESV).
When will the New Covenant promise be broken? When the stars refuse to shine, when there is no longer a sun, and when man can go down to the depths of the core of the earth and measure the stars and the universe. So God is saying, “The New Covenant is an everlasting covenant!”
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jer. 17:7,8 NKJV
Or put another way:
“But blessed is the man who trusts me, God,
the woman who sticks with God.
They’re like trees replanted in Eden,
putting down roots near the rivers—
Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through droughts,
bearing fresh fruit every season. Jer. 17:7,8 The Message
And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]. Psalm 1:3 AMP
And for a fresh look at a familiar passage:
1 How well God must like you— you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon, you don’t slink along Dead-End Road,
you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.
2-3 Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
always in blossom. Psalm 1:1-3 The Message
What does “replanted in Eden” mean?
It means living in the Kingdom of God instead of the kingdom of this world.
Have you been replanted, or are you still living in the kingdom of this world? There is a real difference.
How do we get replanted? We trust in God. We ask the Lord to draw us and teach us how to live in His kingdom.
What did Jesus bring with Him? He brought the Kingdom of God.
We live in The Blessing, not the curse. We have to change our address.
We need to go from “this world” (the curse) to “the Kingdom of God” (The Blessing or Eden).
(As for me and my house, we are praying for our final change of address in the natural!)
Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. Matt. 6:33
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Rom. 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 1 Cor. 4:20
Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22
Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer… 2 Thess. 1:5
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son… Col. 1:13
About 12 years ago, my husband and I made a conscious decision to start living in the Kingdom of God instead of the kingdom of this world. We can definitely vouch for the “tribulation” and “suffering” part. The Lord told me that we were vessels that would be broken and spilled out so that His fragrance would be spread to the world around us.
Through our experiences since that time, our foundation that was built on shaky ground was replaced with a rock solid foundation based on knowing that God is real, He loves us, He takes care of us and He is good. His word is true and He is faithful to it. It was God plus nobody else who sustained us through our years of being re-formed and replanted.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned
Nor shall the flame scorch you.”
God was with us through every trial, every waiting period, every pressure. We have faced foreclosure, homelessness, wandering across the US somewhat aimlessly, poverty, unemployment, landlords (especially property management groups – ugh!) that made unreasonable demands, and an unmet need for “our own home”.
We also had plenty of people talking us down. Everywhere we went.
Not much support. Only God.
A few people have stuck with us and let us know that they care and believe in what we’re doing. We really appreciate those few.
But God put us in such a place that we could only rely on Him.
He separated us from everyone else.
“How well God must like you— you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon, you don’t slink along Dead-End Road,
you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.”
Yeah, we’re separated all right. How well God must like us.
But we wouldn’t mind some company here in the Kingdom of God.
And “there’s no place like home” never meant so much as it does now.
Lord, thank you that you will grant us our desire for our own “home sweet home”.
Plant us, please.
The drought is over!