Remiss in daily Bible reading

Alas, I have to repent. Back in July, I wrote a post about daily Bible reading. I was very excited and intense about my readings. However, since then life has seemed to have gotten in the way. I still have been reading my Bible, but not as much or for as long as I hoped.

I started a Bible in 90 days schedule at the beginning of the year. I knew it would be ambitious but still hoped to be well on my way to finishing (if not totally finished) by now. Such is not the case. Here it is a few hours away from the first of September and I have just finished 1 Chronicles.

It’s not that I don’t want to read the Bible. I have all the normal excuses: a busy schedule, I was traveling, I was sick, etc. One good note is I actually did more Bible studying on my trip than I have in a long while thanks to the Mennonite revival that was going on while I was there. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that I have been remiss in my daily independant Bible reading. Now that I’m home and we’re settling into a bit more regular fall schedule, I am able to again enjoy longer time with my Bible.

I’m going to close with the same question I posed in my earlier post. How’s your daily Bible reading going? What in your life is holding you back from getting more out of your daily Bible reading? How can it be changed? Do you also need to repent of the excuses that are holding you back? If so, let’s get back on track together.

Alaskan questioning Palin

I am an Alaskan, and think Sarah Palin is doing a great job as our governor. However, I don’t think she is ready for national politics at such a high level. This is her first term as governor. Prior to that she was mayor of Wasilla, a small town near Anchorage.

Just because she is a woman and my state governor, doesn’t make her qualified. If you plan to vote for the Republicans because of her being picked for VP, better check up on her. Do we really want someone a heartbeat away from the presidency who has no international diplomatic experiance in today’s world? How does the simple fact she is a woman make her qualified?

On top of that I was at an Alaskan 50th celebration in Fairbanks back in July where she herself said in a speech that she wasn’t interested in the VP nomination. She wasn’t interested! Yet now that she has been officially asked, she accepted. I feel a bit betrayed.

I think she can best help Alaska and the nation as our governor, not the Vice President. She would leave a very important gas project at a critical time if she were to leave now. She needs to stay and finish the job she started here.

Having our governor as the VP nomination doesn’t change my vote. I’m still voting for Obama.

A bit of an amusing thought. This summer Todd Palin (Sarah’s husband) was at Chena Hot Springs while we were there. Our kids played with him (perhaps some of their kids too but not sure as there were too many kids to tell whose were who). They all seemed to have a great time. If Palin is elected as VP, my kids will have played with the VP’s hubby! ๐Ÿ™‚


UPDATE:

AM1090 in Seattle had a blurb about a Palin commentary they are doing. It has a list of many of the doubts (and a few things I don’t think really matter). You may want to check it out.

Another school year begins

Today was our first day of school. Richard did 2nd grade and Karen did preschool. It went pretty well. Neither wanted breakfast other than grapes. Unfortunately about a hour and half later they were both hungry. Hopefully tomorrow they will eat a real breakfast.

My husband was teaching Karen the first letter of her name and our phone number. She did pretty well with some help. Then I started the first CLE preschool workbook “Adventures with Books”. She did a maze.

Richard did LA, reading. I gave him his spelling list to write the words 2 times each. This all took longer than I thought. I planned 2 hours but will probably end up spending 3 on school every day. Where the extra hour will come from I’m not sure.

One of the things talked about at teacher training for homeschools is to get your house cleaned and ready before starting each year. Friday the kids sorted out their old books, papers, and supplies then got out the ones they will need to start school. Yesterday I mopped and Ray cleaned outside. I finished cleaning inside the house today.

Getting our house ready also includes firewood. Yesterday evening we went exploring a new wood cutting area and brought home a full load of nice, dry wood for this winter. That makes 2 loads we cut this weekend. Now he just needs to finish putting the furnace back together from fixing the leak. In the meantime we are using a little electric heater. We also have a small wood stove we need to pick up which we can put upstairs to help keep the chill off if we don’t want to use the main furnace.

Supplemental math

I’ve decided to supplement math. We have been using Math-U-See with great success. It is wonderful for teaching basic math facts in a very systematic way. However, it doesn’t include a lot of the little things like < >, math sentences, odd/even, or ordering which are required for his next math level. When I was down at CLE last week, I looked over their 2nd grade math. I brought home unit 201 which is pre-tests and review of first grade. As a family we looked through it and decided to go ahead and do both MUS Beta and CLE 2nd grade to complete his math levels. The CLE is designed for a lesson every day and we use MUS twice a week. I will skip pages in CLE that are covered better in MUS. The MUS Beta arrived in the mail today. I ordered the CLE this morning so it should be here in a week or two.

UPDATE 9/14/08
Ugh. I should have read the MUS scope and sequence for Beta better before ordering the CLE because the things I mentioned are being covered. Now I have both math programs. I haven’t used the CLE yet and not sure I will. My husband says to use both. This would mean doing math every day rather than just 2x/week. We have enough trouble finding time to do what we’re already doing each day. What to do? Does anyone need a second grade CLE math?

Highlights of my trip

Well, I finally got home about 3am today. Wow! What a wonderful 2 weeks I had.

First I was came down with a cold the day I left so I had a fever when I was on the plane. The next day in Washington DC, I was still quite sick so I checked into the hostel and slept. Then I did a little shopping and bought some meds.

The next day (Thursday), I spent walking around the US Capital area. I was wearing my pink cape dress and white prayer cap. It was very comfortable. I didn’t get as many stares as I was expecting, especially since I was alone.

I saw the Washington Memorial (but couldn’t go up because the elevator was broken), the Lincoln Monument, the WWII Monument, the Vietnam Memorial. I was going to go to the White House but was not feeling very well so I just took a picture from a few blocks away. The same with the US Capital building. Ford’s Theater (where president Lincoln was shot) and the American History Smithsonian museum were both closed until fall for renovations. I was rather disappointed about that.

Friday I took the train into Virginia. Frieda met me at the station. I didn’t have any set plans so I stayed the night at her house. On Saturday, we made me a new dress (button-front in green Tropical Breeze). We had to go to a country store to get buttons and thread. The store caters to local conservative Mennonites and Amish, including Old Order members who arrive in horse and buggy. While there, I also bought some gifts and sweaters for me and the kids.

I wore the dress to church on Sunday. There were 2 teenage girls with the same fabric. I was invited to lunch at a woman’s house. There were 16 at lunch that day. She surprised me on Thursday evening by bringing me a dress she had made for me!

The training didn’t start until Monday afternoon. I went to a museum with a wonderful light-up map and video of General Stonewall Jackson’s Civil War campaign in the Valley at the neighboring town of Dayton in the morning. I went to another museum and was amused to be asked if I was familiar with the Mennonites (I was wearing my cape dress and white cap). ๐Ÿ˜†

I had already done the workbook part of the teacher training before I arrived, which left my evenings free for visiting. I helped a family with cutting corn off the cob and shelling soy beans, neither of which I have ever done before. I also went to tent meetings.

The Mennonites in the Shenandoah Valley area have a revival every 2 years which they call tent meetings. That was going on during the week I was there so I went to that every night except Saturday. That was real interesting. Rather than simply trying to draw people to God, they were also seeking to keep those who were already believers on the narrow path. All the singing was done without instrumental accompaniment. On Sunday there were about 250 people at the tent and it felt like sitting in the middle of a choir.

The training itself was held at the main offices of Christian Light Education. There were 40 trainees which is the largest group they have ever had. They were giving certificates for teacher, first grade teacher, homeschool teacher, or administrator. You could get one or more certificate depending upon how many workbooks and lectures you did. I got a certificate for teacher, homeschool teacher, and first grade teacher.

Since I had already finished the workbooks, I spent my days when not in lecture reading some books the instructor lent me; The Master Teacher by Ruth Hobbs and the Handbook for Creative Teaching by David L. Martin. The second is a hardcover book over 900 pages relating to all aspects of teaching. I browsed about 600 pages and took many pages of notes before I saw they sold it at the bookstore so I bought it.
I met Ruth Hobbs. She signed my copy and explained the story behind why she wrote the book.

We also were given a tour of Christian Light’s facility. We saw the art, production, ordering, homeschool,
and shipping departments. We also saw the printing area. They were printing some Math 300 Lightunits and a Sunday school quarterly while we were there. They explained all the steps to get a new book or revision to market.

I was finished Thursday afternoon. However, some were still working on finishing their work and testing Friday. I went to some museums on Friday. I also made last minute purchases at the bookstore then mailed it all home. I drove out of town to the Luray Caverns. That was an interesting tour. I had some difficulty finding a hotel with a vacancy but finally found one.

Saturday I spent all day at Shenandoah National Park hiking parts of the Appalachian Trail and driving before returning to Harrisonburg in the evening. I went out to dinner with the woman I was staying with. The next day we went to church then returned my rental car and drove the back roads to the train station.

I spent the night at the hostel in Washington DC, then all day on Monday was traveling.

The ‘s’ word

Well, it’s that time of year. Yes, the first time the “s” word appears on our screens, No, not that s word, but something more ominous. SNOW. that’s right, SNOW.

Here’s tonights Fairbanks forecast:

Tonight
Periods of rain in the evening. A chance of rain after midnight. Rain becoming mixed with or turning to snow above 2000 ft. Areas of drizzle and fog by midnight. Lows 35 to 45. Southwest winds increasing to 10 to 20 mph…locally 30 mph on the hills.
Now compare that to Washington DC where I’m going in a few days:
Overnight
Partly cloudy late this evening…then clearing. Lows in the lower 70s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph.
Our highs aren’t as warm as their lows. I’m going to melt! It’ll be nice to see some sunshine though.

Worldly drift in Christian chruches

Yesterday Lindsey at !* wrote a good post about Ephesians 5:1-7. Today I found a quote by John MacAuthur posted by The Pilgram about “contemporary” Christianity.

These two posts together give a picture of how in the quest to modernize the Christian church we have moved away from basic Biblical teachings. Instead of sermons about Biblical living, we have sermons about love. While this is an important aspect of Christianity, it should not be the primary focus of churches. It is merely one component in the bigger picture.

To focus so much attention on the one aspect is unbalancing and has led to acceptance of (or at least ignoring dealing with) the things the Bible expressly condemned, supposedly in the name of loving or accepting others. While teaching on love is important, Christians also need to read their Bibles and hear Biblical truths and teachings about sin (not limited to just the 10 Commandments), its consequences, and virtuous living.

Sadly, this just isn’t being done in many modern contemporary churches. It often makes people uncomfortable (and rightly so) when told that as Christians there are very specific things we are told to do and avoid doing in our lives. Many of these things are contrary to much of what society would have us believe is normal, accepted behavior in our country like crude language and greed (as discussed by Lindsey).

We now more than ever need to hear the truth they both mention in their posts to fight the worldly drift away from Biblical teaching prevalent in most churches today. Sin is sin and should be treated as such no matter how unpopular or uncomfortable it is to do so. We can’t afford not to, if we want our eternal reward.