End of Year Phil Robertson Doug Phillips Miley Cyrus Homeschool

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Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.

It’s the end of another year. Yes, we have circled the sun one more time. It’s been a blessing, hasn’t it? This amazing life we are given is full of good times and hard times. But, what makes them good or hard? And where are the blessings? Why do we think blessings only come with shiny bows and smiles?

The most meaningful blessings are those that come with tears, sweat and the ultimate was paid for with blood.

Over the past week, I have been thinking about blessings and tears – and the ultimate price. I have been considering the events of 2013 and today, I’m going to wrap up my thoughts for 2013 and clear the fog before 2014 begins…..

Homeschool

Through all of the personal changes, some of our biggest changes have been in our homeschool. Not just how we homeschool, but my thoughts and ideas about it (remember, I quit homeschooling and believe every Mom is a Homeschool Mom). One main thing I have fully embraced: as a homeschool family grows, things change. What works one month may not work the next or the next year or with a different child or even the same child.

I have read and heard that homeschooling is hard. I’ll admit – it is. But, I’ve come to the reality that it is hard because a Mom wants to do what is best for her children. And while our children know that, they are sinful – just like their parents. So, when we take children and place them in the home to learn, there is an unstated expectation that the children will just always do their best because they are with Mom – and they love her and want to please her.

Well, that isn’t true and the Bible is full of truth to show how we, the sinful humans that we are, have behaved towards God the way our children behave towards us some days.

Through that knowledge, I want to share these thoughts:

  • Homeschooling will NOT save my children
  • Homeschooling will NOT guarantee my children will be the smartest or the brightest
  • Homeschooling can become an idol if a parent does not realize it is a tool for God’s glory – not for ours.

And last – but not least is understanding that until my children’s hearts and minds are opened by the Lord, they will not fully grasp wisdom and knowledge – and this has brought me to a new level of prayer that I have never experienced.

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; (Proverbs 2:6 ESV)

How we educate our children should not be an idol. Homeschoolers should not be returning the negative criticism about homeschooling with more criticism. We should respond in peace and love and if we can’t – then we should not respond at all.

Society

It’s been a crazy year in our society. While we do not have cable, it’s hard to miss the drama of Miley Cyrus (and witness other young girls attempt their own twerking moves through social media), Phil Robertson and A&E, Doug Phillips and Vision Forum – and yes – Obamacare Affordable Health Care Act – to name a few.

All of these events have left me sad on so many levels. And while I am sad for our nation and all who have shared their views on each, I am most sad for the Christian Church.

Too often Christians have joined in by

  • Criticizing Miley Cyrus, rather than praying for her and raising up a new generation of young women focused on using their gifts and talents to the glory of God. How many parents would prefer their daughters become a movie/singing star rather than a missionary or even – dare I say it – a MOM?
  • Shouting how unfair A&E was and telling them – ‘they’ve done it now’…..Wow, when did Christians need a television show to share the gospel? And why do Christians expect a non-Christian network to do anything that glorifies God? Yes, they have changed their decision and that is based on their idol – their god – the dollar. But, really – Christians – are we going to feed into ‘that beast’?
  • Spitting on a professed Christian: Doug Phillips – I’ll be honest, I haven’t followed any of the old gossip about how many families were hurt because they ‘followed what he said.’ Honestly, it’s not my business.  But here’s the thing – when a Christian confesses a sin, shouldn’t they be treated like the prodigal son? Shouldn’t we help others who are willing to help those who are sinned versus attacking them? After all, we’re all sinners. And – if you were a family who was hurt by him for whatever reason, I’m sorry for that pain….but, where in the Bible does it say we should follow a ‘man’? Shouldn’t we be holding ourselves accountable for who we follow and ensuring we are reading the Bible and praying for God and Jesus to lead our families? And why in the world would anyone want to be a Christian with the way we treat our fellow brothers and sisters? We are called to love one another and our enemies. (I am not saying what he did was right or anything like that – but we are called to love and forgive our enemies. After all, we are all enemies of Christ until we lay down our lives for His.)
  •  Obamacare – Affordable Health Care Act – well, many asked for change. It’s coming. I pray Christians are ready and prepared to be the hands and feet because they’re going to be needed as more and more families go without due to the looming impact this will have.

It’s time for Christians to wake up. It’s time for us to stop blaming others for the shape of our own lives. It’s time for Christians to go out and make disciples of all nations. It’s time for all families to stop making education another idol.

It’s time for today’s Christian to truly consider what Jesus said - “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you:‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” (John 15:18-20 ESV)

Too often Christians want to sell a ‘lite Jesus’. They want people to like them and Jesus so they give them the ‘love’ side without the truth side. And here’s the truth. That’s NOT love. Yes, Jesus loved the world – to the point of dying on the cross. And, yes, HE did that freely. But, to follow Him – that will cost a person everything. We have to give up our lives, our choices, our freedoms to follow Him.

While I end this year with a lot of different thoughts I have been praying over, I want to also end it with this: Let’s make 2014 the year that Christians served God through faith and actions. Let’s not sell our God short, let’s place Him back at the head of our nation and shine His light through Love and Truth.

It’s time to end the ‘tattle tale’ drama, learn how to forgive and approach others who need to hear the truth about their sins and we must address our own.

How will you spend 2014? Seeking your own dreams and desires? Looking like the world? Criticizing the world or understanding, each and every person is an opportunity to share God’s love and truth with…. (and not one of us is perfect)

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Comments

  1. I am hoping that in 2014 I can become closer to God and also introduce my children more to God. I also hope to be more positive and optimistic in 2014!

  2. I think our opinions differ on a lot of issues, but I like your reflective post. It’s good to take a step back at the end of the year and think about what has happened and prepare for a new year about to begin. Happy 2014!

    • Chrysa, I appreciate your comment more than you know. It’s ok to have different opinions. It is a beautiful thing to admit that and remain loving with one another. Thank you for stopping by! I pray you have a very blessed 2014!

  3. Beautifully written as always Rebecca. 2014 is all about more for me, more Jesus and less of myself :)

  4. I am not a Christian, but of course I can understand where you are coming from. It seems like you have a very deep faith and that’s wonderful! I love your attitude regarding the society – Miley and the A&E show (I’m not a fan/follower/watcher of either LOL) – I think EVERYONE, not just Christians, should share your approach to these situations. Instead of tearing Miley down, we need to focus our efforts on raising girls that will not turn out like that!

    • Jennifer, wow! What can I say except – THANK YOU for your comment. Our world would love to see you and I argue over this – one a Christian and another – not. But, here we are, agreeing – we need to stop tearing others down and raise up a generation of girls who are different. I pray you have a very blessed 2014!

    • I am a Christian, Jen, and I feel exactly the same. Although I did giggle thinking about Billy’s achy breaky heart. I think there are many parts of our society that are falling apart because of our incessant need to bow down to the almighty dollar.

      And the God I know is about love. Love one another. Not love one another as long as or if you. So that’s all I have to say about that. We’re all flawed. Each of us. We still have to choose love.

  5. part of my new me for 2014 is to express my opinions and reflect more on the things that affect me. I love how you’ve been able to do that here.

    • We all need to learn how to be honest and loving at the same time. The world is too full of hatred and ridicule – as well as criticism. I pray you will be able to share your thoughts and that I am able to, as well!

  6. Hear, hear! Maybe if we’d get our faces out of screens–t.v. AND the internet–and spend some time in the Word, we’d put a lot less stock in the things that entertainers and politicians tell us.

    The Miley Cyrus thing, especially. I’m constantly amazed by how many parents encourage their children in the performing arts so much that there’s little time for anything else. I guess there’s nothing wrong with singing or many kinds of dance, but when every word of encouragement to your child is concerning how entertaining she is and how well she does at (insert expensively attained “talent” here), rather than teaching them to focus on loving others and working hard at the plain things in life, you’re raising someone with ZERO discernment about what is a useful contribution to society. You’re also raising a narcissist. But hey, she looks AWESOME in that beauty pageant makeup!

    • Oh, dear friend – that word narcissist has been rumbling around in my head for months and months. The constant ‘selfy’ pictures I see of ‘perfect’ beauty across social media – astounds me and begs to ask – what has women’s lib done for women if we are selling our women based on beauty and sex? That is what we are selling – when you walk through the mall, turn on the television and consider abortion as a type of birth control…..we’re selling our bodies and our souls.

      Yes, less screen time and more Book – more of THE Book – the Bible – that’s all that will change the soul – the spirit at work.

      YOU, my friend….bless me. Thank you for encouraging me to think past the screen, to not allow emotions to rule my words but truth and wisdom. I still have so much to learn.

      And yes – discernment. We need less ‘critical’ thinking and more discernment.

  7. You wrote the words I was feeling to all of these subjects. My heart aches for the girls who believe they are worth more if they twerk. I just want to hug and cry with each and every one of them. I would like you to know how much you motivate and inspire me. God blesses me through your words. I pray you know that God is using you in so many ways to bless others. May He pour His blessings down upon you and your family. Happy birthday to your daughter and Happy New Year to you. Blessings! :)

    • Barb,

      How can I possibly reply to that comment? To encourage others – to grow in Christ – that is the fire that is burning in my heart…. no other fire exists there right now. Thank you for blessing me – with your encouragement and I’ll share a big Happy Birthday with my daughter! Happy New Year and Blessings to you, too!

  8. So true! I love your thoughts about homeschooling too! I agree that EVERY mother is a homeschooling mom. Every child IS different, why can we support each others decisions as parents instead of criticizing!

  9. One of my goals is to grow closer to Him by understanding – really understanding – His word. I need to take a few quiet minutes each day to read the Bible and that has been hard to do lately.

  10. You are spot on with your view of 2013. Too much criticism and judgement going on! I am striving for more optimism and positive thoughts in my life and my home for 2014.

    • Yes, I think we all need to find a way to disagree without throwing people under buses. We need to be honest, but loving…Thanks for all of your comments this year, Kecia, it’s been fun getting to know you and reading your blog.

  11. Fantastic post and I couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said. I will spend 2014 seeking my own dreams and desires and understanding the world! And persevering!

  12. Hi, this is the first time I have connected on your site. I have to say that I am glad that I did discover your site. I like your views, and think you are very smart, and intelligent. I couldn’t agree more that us Christians need to be more Christ like and stop be judgmental. We live in a very idol filled world so it is great to find someone else that knows the truth! God bless you and your family!

  13. I try really hard to not judge, and to surround myself with positive and uplifting people. I hope others feel that I do the same for them.

  14. Happy 2014 to you and yours. Hopefully, the criticizing will get better, but don’t hold your breath. Praying for all.

  15. As a Christian wife and mother, it is always nice to read other’s views of Christianity and politics even when they are different from mine.

  16. Well said, my dear friend. I’m so glad you put this into such eloquent words. Blessings on you and yours this coming year. I pray we see each other soon. Love you to bits.

  17. I agree so much! It’s so incredible how God can change us. Literal 180′s. I see these girls and my heart just aches. I hear “progressive” Christians spouting lies and I hurt. I pray that we are raising leaders to bring God the glory and prepare the world for His return. I know 2014 is going to be another amazing year full of blessings and growth and hope. I am already loving the changes from the word and verse I was given for 2014. Happy New Year and lots of hugs to you, sweet Rebecca!

    • Lots of hugs to you Lara! I know this is going to be an amazing year for you and yes-together, we can raise leaders and women for this world who glorify God!

  18. By no means do I have strong faith, but I do agree with your principle of forgiveness – we are all human!

    And yeah… that Affordable Health Care Act is ANYTHING but. We don’t get to keep our plan for more than 12 months, don’t get to keep our doctor, and our premiums doubled. hooray….

    • Lindsey,

      Our plan has been cancelled and it sounds like the only option my husband’s employer is giving them is to sign up through the exchange. We have decided to move over to Medishare because the increase in the rates for us on the exchange push us well beyond what we can pay (and our payments were already more than our mortgage – and we are healthy). I’m a little scared to move to Medishare – but I’m praying and know that God will carry us through.

  19. 2013 was definitely an interesting year! Here’s hoping that we’re all a little less judgmental and a little more accepting and loving!

  20. I am still considering whether I would home school my sons, its certainly not an easy task to undergo. I applaud you for doing whats best for your family.

  21. Yep, Christ is the Only way… the only way to be healed, the only way for salvation, the only way we can love anyone other than ourselves, our only hope. Thank you for blogging!

  22. Sounds like you have a lot on your plate. Best to you as you push through it.

  23. This is the second post about homeschooling that I needed to read today. I really feel like HE is trying to say something to me. Right before the holidays I was going to give up homeschooling my 4 children. It has been a really difficult year but I hoping for the best in 2014

  24. What a crazy year 2013 was! I hope that in 2014 we become a little less accepting of the outrageousness of some of the celebrity ways and a little more down to earth!

  25. I definitely want to take a positive spin this year. If my reaction is a negative, I want to try to spin it into a positive!

  26. Great points, Rebecca! You are absolutely right about Christians reacting to pop culture. I hope that we can all learn to be a little more loving and respectful this new year.

  27. Liza @ Views From the 'Ville says:

    It’s definitely hard to keep commentary to myself on issues like Miley, but I think that’s just because it’s something my upbringing is so far removed from, and something I hope I never see my daughter do. I do agree with you, though, that we should be focusing more on raising our daughters to be as aghast at the behavior as we are, and less on focusing on the poor choices of others.

  28. Anjanette Young says:

    I remember watching the VMA’s and I was in shock. But all I could think of was that poor girl, something is wrong. I had to turn the channel the was disturbing to say the least. I have 5 daughters, all I know will have growing pains, but at least in won’t be in the public spotlight.

    • Oh, we all make mistakes. I have three children, one is a girl and two boys. Each of them have their own heart issues, I just pray I can keep the world from adding many before their hearts are fully secure in Christ. Even then, there’s grace and I’m thankful for it, I’ve made my own mistakes. Thanks for stopping by Anjanette!

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