Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"Faith in Future Grace...

satisfies us with the joy set before us" (338).  John Piper discusses throughout his book, Future Grace, the idea of what it means to actually LIVE daily life as Christians with the foundational understanding that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him". 
The challenge is not merely to pursue righteousness, but to prefer righteousness.  The challenge is to get up in the morning and prayerfully meditate on the Scriptures as the main place where we see the gospel of the glory of Christ. 
An internal preference manifests in external pursuit which comes from the gospel of the glory of Christ.  My source of power to meet that challenge and my motivation is found in the Living Word and being saturated in the Word of Scripture about him! 

Technology Blips (user error)

Ooops! User Error!

So, knowing I was going to have a busy couple of months, I took a few late nights to write several blog posts for future days as scheduled postings.  Well, I have a ton of drafts that should have been posted automatically while I was away.  I am guessing that when you edit a scheduled post it changes the status back to draft-it's the only thing I can figure out, and I have generally found that any technology blips are usually user error!

Here is a good lesson!  Watchful awareness is better than assumptions based on what should be happening :-) I will attempt to reschedule my drafts to publish over the next month!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The air we breathe

I was thinking about the Atmosphere of our homes and the Discipline of Habits and I began wondering about how the atmosphere around us brings us ideas to consider in the natural way of things - just in living life.  I think Charlotte Mason calls it something like thought life and that we breathe it in just like we breathe air.  I began to pair this with how our ideas affect our behavior, the conduct of life.

I saw this example in Future Grace (Piper) today that reminded me of habits, atmosphere and the conduct of life...
There is the whole area of family conditioning.  If parents reward a child for whining, and give in to the manipulation of a child's moodiness, then that child will be trained that a good pout will get pity.  And thirty years later, the mastery of his moods will be twice as hard.

The habits that are formed 'thoughtfully and deliberately' are not tossed about by the waves of outside influence that come if they are based in the Atmosphere of Ideas, many worthy ideas found in many worthy books.  Ideas lined up against the Truth of Scripture that must surround us like the air we breathe and be more constant than the waves that roll.

Interesting, those of us with an understanding of a Charlotte Mason Education Philosophy recognize some foundational principles in educating our children, yet, I think it just applies to persons.  All of us...  What am I doing today to cultivate an Atmosphere, a Discipline and a Life of Truth and Grace?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Conference After Thoughts

What a lovely Home Education Conference we enjoyed with this past weekend!  I always enjoy speaking and teaching.  It gives me an opportunity to meet new friends and encourage others in their homeschooling adventure! 

For newbies especially, one tip I try to clearly emphasize is that you can't go learn to 'do this' or 'do that', then begin in the fall with the expectation everything will be just as you planned!  Nothing in life ever works that way! We make our plans, but the Lord directs our steps.  What a relief that it doesn't depend on me to make all the right decisions & do it all perfectly!  Remember friend...

Be patient, learn as you go, check your expectations, and depend on God's unfailing GRACE!

Monday, April 21, 2014

The 'Wider Circle' of Living Books

Dear Charlotte Mason Friends,

I recently read through some Parent's Review articles about "suitable" books for children.  It seems the question of what that is has been a hot button topic all along!  Today as well, 'Living Books' can be vague and even ambiguous phrase depending on the source of the definition.  The term is much in use in the home education venue and many different curriculum makers grab the words and apply their own meaning.  Which tends to make things more fuzzy!  After listening to a disillusioned young mom beginning the home school adventure exclaim, "Just tell me what a Living Book is for goodness sake and I'll get them!", it occurred to me that instead of setting out a feast of ideas, we are back down to our system perspective where we input this and out comes this, removing the life and vitality out of individuals AND books!  We were able to talk a little about the aura that seems to surround 'living books', give a few examples and realistic applications that helped clear the tension in the air a bit.

A note to self & other CM advocates:  We may be in need of a gentle rebuke... I think we have to be more careful and thoughtful in the way we use familiar "CM" words. I am sad to remember times of hearing a flippant, "Oh, you know... we only use living books in our home.  None of that twaddle for us!" And off we go having left, at the very least, a snobby impression in our wake and no clearer understanding of what Charlotte Mason meant when she said that children should be fed upon the very best and many worthy books.  I think it is not generally intended that way, and we would be aghast and even ashamed that we tread so rough-shod upon a foundational method instead of sharing discussion on vital thoughts and living ideas!
a display of living books for older students
Vital thoughts and living ideas are contained in living books, but to give hard and fast 'rules' won't encompass the nourishment of truth, nobility and beauty of those works.  We need a bigger picture and an overarching perspective.  There are some principles we can consider to help in our choices; we will discuss some to consider as we continue talking more about living books.  For now, I will leave you with a couple of thoughts to ponder...

Matthew Arnold's definition of 'culture' may apply: "to know the best that has been thought and said."
"One of the great functions of reading [sic] is to widen the sympathies by throwing the reader into a larger circle of life than his own...that annihilates time and space...a world that is opened up..." (Ronald McNeill, Parent's Review, vol. 8)