Theological Term of the Week: Infidelity

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Part I Words and Terms Describing Philosophies of God

Last week’s term: Agnosticism – The denial that God is knowable. It is not the denial of God’s existence, as is atheism, but simply the denial of His knowability.

This week’s term:

Infidelity – No faith, or unfaithful. The proper description of a person’s way of life, who neither claims nor pursues any faith. Also used to describe the act or practice of violating commitments to faith or faithfulness which have been made. 

Thanks for reading,

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Week Two is Finally Through

We began the week with a great shock. Last Sunday, the Labor Commissioner for Oklahoma, Mark Costello, was tragically murdered by his son, Christian. He was stabbed to death at a Braum’s restaurant in Oklahoma City. We didn’t know Mr. Costello, but we know some people who were close to him. They have had only kind things to say about him. We did have the opportunity to meet him at the Stephens County GOP Fish Fry last May. Our hearts ache for his wife and four other children as they laid him to rest last week and who now must watch as their son and brother is prosecuted for this crime. It came to light that Christian suffered with mental illness. Mr. Costello and his wife have tried to help him in that fight for many years. It just goes to show that everyone – even those who walk in the marble halls of the state capitol – have burdens that are hard to bear. We should take every opportunity to show kindness, to offer a helping hand, and most of all, to share the Gospel with those we meet.

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Mark Costello and Leslie, Laci and Matt at the fish fry last May. Mr. Costello gave out the cute elephant hats that the kids are wearing.

We began another busy week of school, which included the beginning of volleyball and the second week of band. Mitch is getting to play volleyball for the first time this year and so far, he likes it. Lauren is really enjoying playing in band. I’m so thankful for the many opportunities the kids have here in Oklahoma. We homeschool our children so that they can learn the Word of God and Christian values in their curriculum, not to isolate them from the world. However, there are many activities that require a large number of people in order to do them, like sports. I’m so thankful for our homeschool group leaders who make these activities available for us.

The little girls made me smile this week with this Lego version of their dad:

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Matt enjoyed using play-dough in phonics time to make some letters. Here’s his “I”. He also made “U” and “E”.

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In our school, we believe the Bible should be studied by adults, children AND stuffed animals. :D Matt arranged his bear this way to wait for him to finish his work. *Awwww!*

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I use these felt pieces to teach patterns and practice counting with Matthew. Laci used them to create a felt masterpiece!

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When Matt gets a little unruly in school, I just shove him in this cabinet.

I’m *just kidding*.

We celebrated Lauren’s birthday on Thursday. Hard to believe I’m old enough to have a sixteen year old! She sure is a blessing to her mom.

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Her giant cookie decorated in orange and black – OSU colors!

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Leslie gave her a note and a tract that looks like money. She said, “You’re worth a million!”

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Matt drew her a picture, and enjoyed eating his portion of the cookie, as you can see!

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We gave her a season of The Big Valley, because that’s what she asked for. She sure is easy to please! And I can’t think of a better role model than Victoria Barkley. ;)

By the end of the week, I was pretty wiped out. I have been losing my voice a little each day, which for some reason, seemed to please my entire family (?), so by Friday I was tired. I decided to retreat to my “happy place”, Mayberry, North Carolina. “The Pickle Story” puts a smile on my face every time I see it!

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We had a wonderful day in church today. Great spirit, great singing, and of course, great preaching from my pastor, and even from my Sunday school teacher! [That’s an inside joke. ;) ] I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be in this place. I still struggle with loneliness and homesickness from time to time, but when I do, the Lord reminds me of the wonderful people here that I am blessed to serve God with. I sure do thank the Lord for them. In fact, I think they are the sweetest people on Earth.

I hope you all have a great week. Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for my “Theological Term of the Week”! I’m sure you’re wishing I’d go ahead and post it now, but patience is a virtue.

Thanks for reading,

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Sweet Sixteen

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Lauren, with the Mark Twain statue in Kansas City.

It’s hard to believe that my Lauren Kassidy is sixteen years old today! She will be driving alone in a matter of months! This doesn’t seem possible. I mean, I remember when I was sixteen!

I am so thankful that the Lord placed Lauren in our lives sixteen years ago. For a lonely girl living in the hills of West Virginia, she was, quite literally, my reason for living. Her toothless grins lit up my world, and cuddling her was the highlight of each day. I can still remember when she said “uh-oh” for the first time, after I dropped a bottle of shampoo into her bath water. My! That seems like last year. Each new thing she has learned has given me the hope that I’m doing okay as a mom; that I’m not blowing it! Words cannot express how much I love her, or what a testimony of God’s grace she is.

Here are some traits about my girl that I wanted to share:

L eader – I suppose this is natural since she’s the oldest of five children. She is a “take charge” kind of girl. I hope she will always strive to lead others to do right.

A dventurous – There is nothing she won’t try! She will admit to being nervous, but she doesn’t let it stand in her way.

U nique – She has developed her own style: a tomboy with a lovely smile and a flare for bright colors. Her favorites are Grace Kelly, Star Wars, Dr. Who and Dr. Pepper. She’s athletic and tough, with a bit of tenderheartedness mixed in. She’s got a great sense of humor and a rich vocabulary. I don’t say it enough, but I love the woman she is becoming.

R eader – Ever since that day in second grade when she picked up her first Magic Tree House Book, she is rarely without something to read. She devours books like I do chocolates.

E ager – Whatever she is supposed to do, she does with gusto! If it’s Algebra II, she rises at 6 AM to do it. If it’s walking 20 miles a day canvassing for Bill Cassidy in Louisiana, she tackles it happily. No job is too large for her to at least attempt.

N eat – Lauren is organized and likes to keep things tidy. This is a great blessing to her mother! :)

I have made a lot of mistakes these last sixteen years of raising Lauren, but she forgives easily, and holds no grudges. I do not deserve her, but I’m so glad she is mine!

I love you, Lauren, and I thank my Heavenly Father for giving you to me.

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A Tip for Teaching Abeka Phonics

In this short video, I am passing along a tip that has helped me teach my children to read using the Abeka phonics program. It was too complicated to share in writing, so I decided to make a video of it. {Please ignore the hick accent, if possible.} If you cannot access the video below, please click HERE to view it on Youtube.

Another tip (that doesn’t require a video to explain) is for the short “a” sound. For this one, mime the action of taking a bite of an apple as you say the sound for the first few times. You can do this any time the sound is hard to hear for them.

Happy homeschooling!

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The ABC’s of Our First Week

The first week of our school year is officially in the books. And, may I pause here and shout for joy? I have to say, I didn’t really think I’d make it! At least, not with my sanity in tact.

Let’s take it alphabetical order, shall we?

(Don’t worry, we won’t do all 26.)

C is for “Change”.  This would be too many things. The change to Notgrass for history, Bible and literature seems to be going okay, but it’s been an adjustment. Easy Grammar, which I’ve used in the past, has been a good change. The Institute for Excellence in Writing is taking some getting used to, but I think it will be great once we find a rhythm. We’re also making some math changes for some of the kids…I hope that turns out to be the right thing! And Lauren is really enjoying the switch from private trumpet lessons to taking a band class.

E is for “Emotional”. That would be me, the mom. I can’t confirm it medically, but I think I suffered from “I’m in my twelfth year of homeschooling and I have a Junior, a Kindergartener and everything in between” syndrome. (It probably has a really long, un-pronounceable medical name.) {But what could be longer than what I just typed? Oh well. Don’t bother me with details.} My symptoms were insomnia, crying easily, the feeling of suffocating and loss of appetite. The loss of appetite was a good thing. Everything else I could have lived without.

F is for “Frown”. This was the expression on most of our faces last week. We all had different reasons for it, of course, and sometimes the frown was replaced by a look of confusion. (That mostly happened to me.)

K is for “Kindergarten”. Matthew enjoyed doing his first week of K5! He greeted us each morning for the first three days of school with this:

His enthusiasm was contagious…and boy! Did we need it!

If he hadn’t been so adorable in every single thing that he did, the rest of us would have truly languished.

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O is for “Overwhelmed”. Again, this would be me. I consulted my schedule, then my lesson plan, then back to my schedule, then the clock, gasped for air, and collapsed. Okay, I didn’t collapse, but only because no one would have noticed and I was worried about getting stepped on.

S is for “Sick”. That would be Lauren, Mitchell, Matthew, Leslie, and Laci – in that order. We somehow caught a lovely summer cold which left poor Matthew sneezing in between numbers. He counted to five – then sneezed and sneezed and sneezed. We started over, got to five again, same thing happened. It took us three times to get through it, but we made it to ten (and beyond). Poor guy sniffed and sniffed, but worked on in spite of it.

T is for “Try”. They all tried, and even succeeded! They gave it their best, in spite of the changes, their emotional and overwhelmed mother, and their own sickness. Each one excelled in the areas they disliked the most: Leslie forged ahead in grammar and science; Laci did her best at math and penmanship; Lauren worked hard at composition and history; and Mitch did a great job doing his own science experiments!

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(Sorry about the blurry photo of Mitch. I’m sure you’re not surprised!)

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He did an experiment showing the density of various liquids. I think. *nervous laugh*

He did two other experiments and didn’t even tell me till he was done, so I didn’t get photos! I think that was on purpose…

Z is for “Zzzzzzzz”. That was me from early Friday evening until late Saturday morning.

Until nap time…I mean, NEXT time,

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Theological Term of the Week: Agnosticism

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Continuing in Part I – Words and Terms Describing the Philosophies of God. To read previous entries in this series, click on the “Series” tab at the top of this page.

Last’ week’s term: Atheism – the denial of  any divine existence.

This week’s term:

Agnosticism – The denial that God is knowable. Agnosticism is not a denial of God’s existence, as is atheism, but simply a denial of his knowability. 

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My Disappointed Dad

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A few weeks ago, a Christian friend told me how disappointed my dad would be in me because I believe in God’s sovereign grace. Any regular reader of my blog knows that my dad and I were very close, therefore, these words were particularly cutting. I’ve thought and thought about them. Then I asked myself, what about my life would disappoint Dad any more than the monumental task of raising a stubborn, rebellious, selfish child? Would he be disappointed that I am striving to serve the Lord and study His Word? Would he be disappointed that I try to witness to others of Christ’s saving grace? Perhaps the fact that I stay at home with my children and teach them the Gospel would disappoint him? Would he be saddened that I write about the Bible, my family and the glorious Gospel? These are my reasons for living; my goals for life! I’m nowhere near perfect at any of it, but I’m trying.

So, would Dad be disappointed in me? I do not know. I do know this: if my dad were alive, I would at times disappoint him just like I did so often in my childhood. I am following the Bible, and my husband, so my deceased father’s, or any living person’s, opinion of my life is of little concern. As that famous hymn says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” That is my aim, to keep my heart fixed upon His Word until someday I see Him face to face.

“Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me;…” 2 Timothy 4:17

With love,

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