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~J.A. James, “The Duties of Parents” 1828

On parents it depends in a great measure, what their children are to be . . .
happy–or miserable in themselves,
a comfort–or a curse to their relationships,
an ornament–or a deformity to society,
a seraph–or a fiend in eternity!

It is indeed a fearsome thing to be a parent, and is enough to awaken the anxious, trembling inquiry in every parent’s heart: “Lord, who is sufficient for these things?” 

graceless parent is a most dreadful character! Oh! to see the father and mother of an expanding family, with a crowd of young immortals growing up around them–and teaching worldliness to their offspring, and leading them to perdition by the power of their own example!

A sheep leading her lambs into a den of hungry tigers, would be a shocking sight! But to see parents conducting their children to the bottomless pit–is most horrible!!

HT: Grace Gems


Teach love to others. Press it continually on your children. Tell them the great duty of kindness, helpfulness, and considerateness, one for another. Remind them constantly that kindness, good nature, and good temper, are among the first evidences which Christ requires in children. If they cannot know much, or explain doctrines–they can understand love. A child’s religion is worth very little if it only consists in repeating texts and hymns. As useful as they are, they are often . . .

learned without thought,

remembered without feeling,

repeated without consideration of their meaning,

and forgotten when childhood is gone!

By all means let children be taught texts and hymns; but let not such teaching be made everything in their religion. Teach them to keep their tempers, to be kind one to another, to be unselfish, good-natured, obliging, patient, gentle, forgiving.

~ J.C. Ryle


a verse from Scripture~
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light.”
Ephesians 5:6

train rides * long talks * mulching gardens * a snowy spring morning

a view beyond the front porch~
tidy gardens ready for flowers * lots of birds at the feeders 

from the garden~
pea shoots * a new herb garden * spinach

around the kitchen~
French onion soup * crusty oatmeal bread 

school notes~
Algebra 2 starts today * Driver’s Ed complete * research papers * formal proofs in logic 

currently reading~
Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

lessons learned from the Labs~
love leftovers!

at the morning watch~
Warning about Calvary Chapel & ‘Rediscovering God in America’ conference

thinking about the week ahead~
‘office’ work * new suit & tie for son * home school mom’s tea * plant herb garden * pack for trip to PA!  (-:

one of my favorite things~
the smell of fresh mulch


Have a wonderful week!




Should I celebrate Christmas?

These thoughts began a few years ago and have only become more intense this year because of a few other serious blog posts.  I have no desire to decorate because that involves not only my time, but sometimes lots of money.  Gift giving is almost a required aspect, so I haven’t even approached the subject knowing it will be painful.  At this point, I am simply trying to honor the Lord with how to spend my time during this ‘season’.

Sick mother

Fifty years of smoking has led to serious health issues for my mother.  After spending the better portion of the last decade nursing her failing husband, her health care was put on hold until now.  Complications after another stent was put into her leg caused some worry, but she’s on the mend now and looking at getting her other leg cleared soon.

Patriocentric theology

I have been a closet supporter of the patriarchy movement for quite a while.  I have desired my husband to be the spiritual head of our home, wanted to be a stay-at-home, homeschool mother, and hoped to keep my daughter and son home until they marry, are all thoughts that drove my way of thinking and influenced most of my decisions.  …until recently.

Karen Campbell has a series of podcasts that I have been listening to.  Boy!  She has opened my eyes to some of the problems in this movement.  Now, to be sure, I have known about some of the issues associated with some of these groups.  For example, I am aware that many in this group are Dominionists.  And recently, in Vision Forum’s new catalog they have started selling Rushdonney’s books.  But now I am questioning the actual biblical support for some of their teachings.

Talk about rocking your world!!

A new church

It has been six years since we left our last church.  Since then we have mostly had what we call ‘home church’ which consisted of Bible Study, prayer and singing of hymns.  Initially, there were two other families that we met with, but they both felt the need to join others churches.

A few weeks ago, my husband decided that it was time to try church again, so we have begun attending a small, local congregation were we know many of the families and the pastor.  It is a Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) church which is different than the United Methodist, American Baptist and Southern Baptist churches that we have been part of in the past.  I am quite familiar with the official teachings of the PCA church and have a number of differences in my personal theology, but right now it is wonderful to be back with a group of believers in corporate worship.


I am remembering these words of comfort from my Savior,

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”   Matt. 11:28-30

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Since writing this post I have come across two other blogs concerning patriocentric teaching, specifically Michael and Debi Pearl’s methodology.  Here are the links:

I am in the process of reading these sites in hopes of a deeper understanding of the problems of this movement.




Taken from The Official Book of Homeschooling Cartoons (


Have a blessed Thanksgiving!


My family recently returned from spending a month traveling around the country visiting the national parks.  We pulled our travel trailer to many of the the major parks out west, ending our trip in Kentucky at the Creation Museum. 

The impetus for this excursion was two-fold:  firstly, it was something my hubby and I always wanted to do and secondly, our kids volunteer at a local, national park and had earned a free pass to all of the national parks for a year.  Also, considering our oldest only has two more years of high school, the timing was perfect! 

Here’s the ride…

We began at the Gateway to the West–the St. Louis Arch.

…spent a day at the Petrified Forest National Park which boasted a painted desert,

…hiked the Grand Canyon,

where we saw this outside a gift shop,

Who’da thunk it?

Next we enjoyed the beauty of Zion’s hanging gardens,

…and marveled at the snowy, Grand Tetons,

where it was rather chilly,

At Yellowstone, we saw lots of animals,

…and some strange things, as well.

On the other side of the park, we found this lovely sight.

Then off we went to Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands…


…where we did a bit of spelunking at Wind Cave and saw some unique boxwork formations.

By the end of our journey, we were all amazed at God’s glorious handiwork and will always cherish the memories of this precious time together as a family.





This devotion from J.R. Miller struck close to my heart.  Having  children who are quickly becoming young adults, character building is our focus on a daily basis.  The world’s influence is powerful and draws them mightily in a direction opposite to God’s Will.  Striving to teach them biblical truth is a priority in an effort to mold them and guide them through these last years of parental influence. 

This world demands, “Get a college degree so you can make enough  money!”   And yet, God demands obedience to Him; making lots of money may not be His will for their lives. 

I’m ready to step out of the powerful tide of the world; to quit battling against its unending current and put both feet in the peaceful water of God’s perfect will for my children. 


What is success?

What is the true aim in life?

What should one, setting out to make his way through this world–take as the goal of all his living and striving?

‘Views of life’ differ widely. Many think they are in this world to make a career for themselves. They set out with some splendid vision of success in their mind–and they devote their life to the realizing of this vision. If they fail in this, they suppose they have failed in life. If they achieve their dream–they consider themselves, and are considered by others, as successful.

The world has no other standard of success:
  it may be the amassing of wealth;
  it may be the winning of power among men;
  it may be the triumph of a certain skill;
  or genius in art, in literature, in music, etc.
But whatever the definite object may be, it is purely an earthly ambition.

Applying this standard to life–but few men are really successful. Great men are as rare as lofty mountain peaks. Only a few win the high places; the mass remain in the low valleys. Only a few win honor, rise into fame, and achieve ‘distinction’; while the great multitude remain in obscurity–or go down in the dust of earthly defeat.

Is this the only standard of success in life? Do all men, except for the few who win earth’s prizes, really fail? Is there no other kind of success? The world’s answer gives no comfort to those who find themselves among ‘the unhonored’.

But there is another sphere–there is a life in which success is not material–but spiritual. One may utterly fail, so far as earthly results are concerned; and yet, in the invisible spiritual realm–be a splendid winner in the race!

The true test of life–is character. Everything else is extraneous, belonging only to the husk, which shall fall off in the day of ripening! Character is the kernel, the wheat–that which is true and enduring. Nothing else is worth while–except that which we can carry with us through death, and into eternity! “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

It is altogether possible that a man may fail of winning any earthly greatness, any distinction among men, anything that will immortalize him in this world’s calendars–and yet be richly and nobly successful in spiritual things, in character, in a ministry of usefulness, in things which shall abide–when mountains have crumbled into dust! It is possible for one to fall behind in the race for wealth and honor–and yet all the while to be building up in himself–an eternal fabric of beauty and strength!

What is the standard of success in the sphere of the unseen and the eternal? It is the doing of the will of God. He who does the will of God–makes his life radiant and beautiful, though in the world’s scale he is rated as having altogether failed in the battle. He who is true, just, humble, pure, pleasing God and living unselfishly–is the only man who really succeeds–while all others fail.

Really, there is no other final and infallible standard of living. One who writes his name highest in earth’s lists, and yet has not done God’s will–has failed, as God Himself looks at his career.

God had a purpose in our creation–and we only succeed, when our life carries out this purpose. The most radiant career, as it appears to men, means nothing–if it is not that for which God made us. We fail in life–if we do not realize God’s will for us.

We live worthily–only when we do what God sent us here to do. A splendid career in the sight of men–has no splendor in God’s sight!

Not the making of a fine worldly career, therefore–but the simple doing of God’s will–is the one true aim in living. Only thus can we achieve real success. If we do this, though we fail in the earthly race–we shall not fail in God’s sight. We may make no name among men, may raise for ourselves no monument of earthly glory–but if we please God by a life of obedience and humble service, and build up within us a character in which divine virtues shine, we shall have attained abiding success!

~Grace Gems

Saturday, I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Voddie Baucham speak at our state homeschool convention.  The following video is not from the convention but is similar in nature to what I heard. 

I love the phrase that ‘if you send your children to Caesar’s school, you shouldn’t be surprised if they come out as Romans.’   Oh!  So True!


By the way, this video was posted on youTube by American Vision.  Including this video on my blog is not an endorsement of that organization.

Dear Compass,
Do you know of any scriptural support for homeschooling? I am being pressured by some close friends to look at doing this with my 7 year old. All I can think about is the next ten years spent teaching at home. I guess I’m questioning the overall need for homeschooling as it seems like a knee-jerk reaction, or an overreaction, to a few isolated school incidents. I worry about the long term effects of homeschooling — what if they find out we wasted a lot of time and energy for nothing? We’ve had public schools forever — don’t you think this might just be a passing fancy? What exactly is wrong with public schools anyway?
If you want us to talk you out of homeschooling, you’re barking up the wrong tree. We think that it should be a major consideration for every parent, regardless of income, education or teaching ability.The case for homeschooling far exceeds the “isolated school incidents” you referred to. Most of those who choose to homeschool do so for reasons other than concerns of bodily harm for their children at school. Believers are scripturally commanded to train up their children on scripture, all day long (Deut. 6:7). Sending children into a place that forbids the Word of God to be spoken makes a good case to find alternative means to educate them. The endless secular propaganda from teachers and curriculum that contradicts scripture should also be a concern.

The Bible teaches that proper ethics are paramount in influence for our children. On the contrary, public schools teach ethics that are opposite from scripture (homosexuality, abortion, and no absolutes). Research has shown that a person with a 6th grade education can home educate a child through high school as well, or better, than a person with a college degree.

As far as homeschooling just being a “passing fancy:” There are over 1,700,000 children being homeschooled today in the U.S. In our home state here in Idaho, an astonishing 22 percent of children are homeschooled. And, homeschooling is NOT new — public education for the masses IS new. George Washington, Patrick Henry, John Quincy Adams, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, and Andrew Carnegie were all homeschooled. Many homeschoolers are more confident, make better grades, exhibit less rebellion (if any) during the 12-16 year old period, understand good citizenship, excel in college, and have a Biblical grasp of right and wrong, despite what the “group thinking” may be.

We think you should do more research on homeschooling through the Internet or through local associations in your own state. As you better understand what the truth is, you can make a better decision without the questions and concerns you cite. The question you should ask is not whether you think you should homeschool, but rather, does God want you to homeschool. If He does, He’ll bless your effort regardless of the circumstances.


I’d like to add that public school has not been around “forever.”  Actually, it has only been around since the 19th century.  Before that children were primarily schooled privately or at home.  Here’s a link to a fascinating ‘tour’ of how public education actually came about


 homeschool1When the decision was made for us to homeschool our children, my husband and I were convinced that we were choosing the best possible educational option.  Through the years, our choice has been validated by many experiences and lessons that the Lord has taught us.  

Below are two quotes that put to words some of our thoughts that we have had but could not have expressed any better.   


Often, the children of truly godly parents,
are acquainted only with the theory of true
religion–but their hearts are far from being
influenced by it. When such leave home, and
family restraints are removed–they generally
yield to the corrupt inclinations of their hearts.
And if they even keep within the bounds of
, (which is not always the case) they
gradually adopt the attitudes, manners and
habits of the world.

Edward Bickersteth


 Many object to homeschooling or private Christian schools based on the fact that God has called us to be “salt” and “light” and to evangelize the world. Ironically, this is precisely why we chose homeschooling. The Great Commission states: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I command you” (Matthew 28:19-20, emphasis added). How is this likely apart from Christian education? How can I effectively “make disciples” of my children if I send them off to the government school forty-five to fifty hours per week? The Nehemiah Institute, The National Study of Youth and Religion, and the Barna Report have shown us clearly that our children do not even understand–let alone obey–all that the Lord has commanded. Moreover, how can our children evangelize our government schools if they don’t know what they believe and why they believe it? Not to mention that all of the evidence currently points to the fact that our children are the evangelized, not the evangelists, in our nation’s schools. They are the ones being carried away by every wind of doctrine. . . . The Nehemiah Institute continues to demonstrate year after year that Christian children in government schools who actually retain anything close to a biblical worldview are the rare exception and not the rule. . . . Let me be clear–I applaud men and women whom God has called to teach in government schools. These people are front-line warriors, and they need to be right where they are. However, there is a big difference between sending fully trained disciples into enemy territory and sending recruits [children] to our enemy’s training camp. If we do the latter, we shouldn’t be surprised when they come home wearing the enemy’s uniform and charging the hill of our home waving the enemy flag {emphasis mine}   —Voddie Baucham