Thursday, October 28, 2010

An Apology

A couple of months ago, I posted a blog post out of sheer frustration and emotion.  I have since removed the post.  If you read the post, I apologize.  I do not want to boast in my works, and I have to admit that none of the things that I called sacrifices do I even consider a sacrifice.  They are things that do not matter to me.  I think now that it was inappropriate of me to try to elicit sympathy for any of my life choices.  Thank you friends!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Exposing the 7 major blind spots in Homeschoolers

A good friend of mine recommended this article to me.  It took quite some time to read through, but it was more than worth the time!!  If you home school or if you don't...this is valuable for all of us as parents.  We do not want children who seek to emulate Christianity--we want kids who LOVE Jesus and as a result live for Him.

WARNING!  Please do not skim this article.  If you do, it is easy to get the wrong idea about it.  The author NEVER advises against home education or strong family bonds, but it is easy to get the that idea if you do not take the time to read it fully and really try to understand what he is trying to convey.

ALSO, there is nothing in this article that I disagree with.  I think it is right on.  However, I have never read any of the author's books, therefore, I do not endorse them in any way.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Making Mosaics

We are continuing our study of ancient Rome this week with the life of Julius Caesar.  While mosaics were unearthed much farther back then Roman times, the Romans loved mosaic art.  My kids really loved thinking up a picture and finding kitchen ingredients to make their ideas come alive.

Emma's page used lentils, spaghetti, red kidney beans, and bay leaves.  I think that is a macaroni sun and a blue bead moon!

Hannah's sun used red kidney beans, macaroni, and spaghetti.
I am so excited!  We are only 8 lessons away from being done with The Story of the World Volume 1: Ancient Times.  I have learned so much right along side of my kids this year.  I can't wait to start Volume 2!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Looking for Living Water

Today we studies the writing of Ancient China.  My kids were able to practice Chinese calligraphy!  They did a great job.  :)  One thing that struck me was that the first emperor Shi Huangdi was looking for a living water that was reported to bring eternal life.  This was 200 years before Jesus was born.  When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well, He asked her for a drink.  She asked Him why He would ask a Samaritan for such a thing and He answered her:

"If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink' you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water."

Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water I shall give him will never thirst.  But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."

Oh that forever dirty face!!!
I am forever thankful for the gift of eternal life Jesus has given me!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

It happens every year.  Right about this time.  Facebook is flooded with articles about the evils of Halloween and how Christian families should have no part in it.  Much of the reasoning lies in the origins of Halloween and the fact that "All Hallows Eve" is a high and holy holiday in pagan religions.  Jack-O-Lanterns were borrowed from a pagan ritual designed to scare away evil spirits.  Witches, well that's self-explanatory!  We are admonished to "avoid all appearances of evil"  as the Bible instructs.

So it is up to us to discern what the appearance of evil is.  Is it evil to dress up like Captain America and go door to door begging for candy?  I have to apply a little bit of logic to this.  I have given the issue a lot of thought over the past year.

Last year, I was introduced to some friends who do not celebrate Christmas.  My first thought was WHAT?  Why in the world would you not want to celebrate the birth of your Savior?  Well, as it turns out, my first thoughts were a bit judgmental and wrong.  The reason why someone who loves God would choose to remove Christmas celebration form their calendars is because Christmas is a holiday that has borrowed from pagan rituals.  There is not even proof that Christ was born in December!  The gift giving was taken from the Roman Holiday Saturnalia, which celebrated their gods with gift giving.  The Christmas tree has pagan roots also.  However, Christians have adapted these things as a celebration of Jesus birth.  I have heard the argument that "At least Christmas has some redeeming value because we use it to celebrate Jesus, Halloween has no redeeming value."  I have to say that logically, I cannot agree with that.  Both were holidays that were extracted from pagan culture and eventually celebrated to mean something different from their original intent.  I sincerely cannot see the difference.

So, the question now is do we attempt to remove all things that have pagan origins from our lives?  That would take a tremendous amount of study, as many of our traditions can claim some pagan roots.  Veils were used in the Bible as a means of modesty, but were also used in Roman culture to protect the bride from evil spirits.  Should we discourage the use of veils because of their possible appearance of evil?  There are many other customs that we observe that either shared origins with non-Christian cultures or came completely  from the non-Christian traditions.  Do we have the strength to search out all of these things and eliminate them?  Do we really need to?

I am going to give you my opinion here.  Just my opinion, so take it for what it is.  I believe that Paul dealt adequately with this in his teachings.  Colossians  addresses the fact that Christ's death of the cross has "disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it."
He goes on to say "let no one judge you in food or drink, or regarding a festival or new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ."  I know that most people who oppose Halloween are very familiar with that verse as an argument.  I don't see it as much of an argument for Halloween, but an argument that we are not bound by any of these things.  The holidays he mentioned were Jewish holidays that the devout Jew was obligated to observe.  He says you no longer have any obligation to them under grace. 

So in my opinion, it is not evil to dress up like Captain America and go trick or treating.  I personally do have a problem with zombies, vampires, etc, because of what they represent.  To trick or treat, in my opinion, does not mean that you are honoring or worshiping satan.  That being said, I have the utmost respect for those who choose not to participate.  I think that if we cannot participate with a clear conscience, then we should simply avoid it.  However, I do think that we need to keep in mind that BOTH Christmas and Halloween traditions started out with ungodly origins.  Christians have adapted Christmas into a beautiful celebration that honors the birth of God on earth.  We have the grace to do that.  I can put up a Christmas tree with a clear conscience knowing that I am not worshiping false Roman gods, but rather honoring my Savior.  In the same way, I can dress my kids up like the Knights of the Round Table (our family theme this year?) and take them trick or treating and know that I am not honoring satan in the process.

I know that there are many of you out there who will disagree with me.  I have no problem with that.  The only warning: I would not want to receive an admonition from you against Halloween and get a Christmas card from you two months later standing in front of your Christmas tree.  I believe when we teach against something, it is vital to examine our own lives before we judge to remove any "planks" that might blind our vision.

James 4:12 

Once again, I welcome your comments, disagreements, and insights.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Book Review: Son of Hamas

First let me say this:  I am usually not a fan of spy thrillers.  It just so happens though, that this one is true.  I really loved this book.  Because of the nature of the topic, it was tough for me to read at times.

Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of the seven founders of the Hamas organization.  You might have already guessed that he lived his entire life amongst considerable danger and violence.  But what I didn't expect was a rich tale of Palestinian family life.  On some level, I found myself really liking his father (despite of what he promoted or tolerated.)  This book put a human face on those we consider to be the enemy.  The depth of the book comes from the author's experiences living a life that most of us only hear about.  He gives a non-spun perspective of political figures and devastating decisions made by leaders such as Yasser Arafat. 

On the family path to become a terrorist, Yousef is captured by the Isaeli security forces.   After a less than comfortable stay in an Israeli prison, he is offered the opportunity to work for the Shin Bet as a double agent taking out suicide bombers in his Father's organization.  As the story continues, Yousef meets Christian friends and is given a Bible.  Throughout the book you can see the evolution of his heart from a terrorist into a born again believer in Jesus Christ.  Even before he could accept the fact that Jesus was God, he saw God changing his heart through His Word.  He had a love for Christ's teachings for some time before he actually became a Christian.  Killing became unthinkable.  Forgiveness became natural.

The thing that I liked most about this book (and actually surprised me most) is that it deepened my compassion for Palestinian people who are caught up in  the hatred and heated emotion of terrorism.  Not compassion in the sense that I believe that terrorism is ever the answer, but compassion for the very hearts of these people.  Yousef's father is a very passionate man who loves Allah with an impressive devotion.  Surprisingly enough, he is not a violent man.  Should he come to a relationship with Jesus, he would be the kind of man all of us would likely look up to.  It is encouraging to think how God can use Yousef's story to reach a seemingly unreachable people.

Yousef concludes the postscript of the book stating:  "Truth and forgiveness are the only solutions for the Middle East.  The challenge, especially between Israelis and Palestinians, is not to find the solution.  The challenge is to be the first courageous enough to embrace it." 

Jesus is the answer.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Carribean Pork Tenderloin w/ Pineapple Salsa and Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

I just can't seem to get away from Will's favorite dishes!  I was making a menu and a grocery list today and I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner over the next week.  It sounds like it will be a gourmet week for us.

This is a great fall dish because sweet potatoes are in season and I crave them!  Gearing up for fall dishes makes my mouth water!

Caribbean Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple Salsa and Sweet Potato Fries

2 Pork tenderloins 12 oz each
1T. Olive oil
2T Light brown sugar
2t.  Coarse salt
1t. Cinnamon
1 t. Cumin
1/2 t. Allspice
1/2 t. Ground pepper

Heat your broiler.  Rub the tenderloins with the olive oil.  Make a rub with the rest of the ingredients, mix well, and rub all over the pork.  Broil 15-20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reaches 150 degrees turning halfway through.  Wrap in foil and let sit for 10 minutes

Pineapple Avocado Salsa

1 8 oz. can of sliced pineapples, chopped
2 Scallions, chopped
1 Avocado diced
Coarse salt and ground pepper to taste. 

Mix gently.  Serve over

Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

2-3 Medium sweet potatoes
1t. Cumin
1t. Salt
1/4 t. Pepper
1T Olive oil

It helps to get all of the sweet potatoes near the same size and thickness.  Quarter the potatoes and coat with oil.  Mix the dry ingredients well and sprinkle over the potatoes evenly.  Bake in an oven pre-heated to 450 degrees for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...