Theological Term of the Week: Trichotomy

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This week’s term: Trichotomy – The theological view of man which holds that the soul and spirit are separate terms, and that thus man is a three-part being, made up of body, soul, and spirit.

Last week’s term: Dichotomy – The theological view of man which holds that the soul and spirit are synonymous terms, and therefore, a man is a two-part being, made up of body and soul.

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Lessons I’ve Learned as a Homeschooling Mom


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My first child is graduating in a little over a hundred days. It seems like yesterday that we began this journey of learning together. I can still see her in the little school desk that Great-Grandma Saylor gave us. I can see her tiny hands, her blonde bangs, her big smile that revealed baby teeth. I can hear myself say, “Welcome to the first day of Kindergarten!” to my one and only pupil. She was grinning from ear to ear, and I was too.

The experience has been full of highs and lows. I can remember getting so frustrated (and feeling like a failure) because she couldn’t read a blend, or remember what 6 + 2 was. I can remember all the laughs we had trying to think of ways to recall spelling words or rules of math. I remember all the times we snuggled up, enjoying a book together.  I can vividly recall the joy I felt when she learned to read well, and then later, when she loved to read (and feeling stupid for worrying that she couldn’t read that blend in first grade). I remember beaming as I read one of her essays in 6th grade, or feeling warmth in my heart as she expressed her opinion on a part of history, or a piece of literature…she was thinking, and debating. Those are good things for us to do. She has helped me see the other side of many issues, and maybe a few times, she’s even been right. 😉

I have had a front row seat to everything she has learned, and it’s been wonderful. Frankly, I don’t want it to end. I’m grateful that she won’t be leaving soon, because her absence would leave a gaping hole in my life. She is planning on attending a university in our town, so I am excited about having a front row seat to her college experience, too. I’m also happy that I have four more children to love on, read with, listen to, and from whom I can learn even more lessons. Here a few of them:

  1. Walking with the Lord is the secret to everything in life, especially homeschooling. As a Christian, it didn’t take long to see that I can’t do much – homeschooling, or anything else – without spending time with the Lord, mostly on my knees. I can remember so many times over the years that I have lost my cool while trying to explain something, or overreacted to a situation. I can remember saying the wrong things to my children and seeing that pained look in their eyes. In pains me now to think of it! All I can do is cry out to God for help and forgiveness. I do the best I can, but I must depend on the Lord’s mighty power to do as He pleases in their lives. And that is my prayer! I pray they will be saved, and I tell them the gospel. The rest is, and will be, the Lord’s doing.
  2. Asking my children to forgive me is hard, but worth it. As I mentioned above, I often do the wrong things or say the wrong things to my children. I ask the Lord to forgive me, and I ask them to forgive me, too. I used to say things like, “I’m sorry for snapping at you, but I’m just so tired.” Then I realized that by saying “I was just so tired,” that I was giving myself a free pass to have done wrong. It’s hard to say, “I’m sorry I snapped at you. I have no excuse. Please forgive me.” It’s humbling, and it’s not my favorite thing to do at all, but the benefits are beyond description.
  3. Starting the day with spiritual things is paramount. Over the years, I have done everything from starting the day with a short prayer with the children, to reading a chapter of Proverbs. Currently, we are reading one chapter out of a devotional series each morning. When I finish it, I am not sure what I will do next. But what I do isn’t as important as doing something. Prayer, Bible reading or memorization, it’s all crucial and should be first thing each day. If I teach my children to read, but do not read to them the greatest words ever written, the Bible, then I have lost a golden opportunity to plant Gospel seeds in their hearts.
  4. Homeschooling moms must be disciplined. There must be some type of schedule, it can be any kind, starting any time of day, but it must be consistent. Children thrive with a schedule. It offers security and stability and makes motherhood easier. It’s hard to get up and get going at the same time and do the same things for 170+ days of the year, but it’s vital to success.
  5. The most important lessons are not in textbooks. I love to learn, and knowledge is important. But what good is knowledge if your kid is a jerk who can’t share, show respect, or work with others? My favorite quote is by the gold medal winning ice skater, Scott Hamilton. He said, “The only disability is a bad attitude.” Amen to that. My uncle is a paraplegic. He is also a farmer who owns thousands of acres of land. He grows wheat, soybeans, milo, corn, and he owns cattle. He is handicapped…or is he? He never complains, he rises before dawn, works long ours in the heat/rain/wind. He uses his upper-body strength to climb up into tractors and combines. He doesn’t quit. He tells a joke better than anyone I know. I smile just thinking about him. He has a good attitude and that has made all the difference. He has been an outstanding example to my children over the years as I have tried to teach them what makes the difference between average and above average. All I have to say is, “Look at Uncle Gary.”

My children make each day an adventure! I love being with them. I have a lot of excitement in my life because I am a homeschooling mom.

And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

With love,

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Theological Term of the Week: Dichotomy

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This week’s term: Dichotomy – The theological view of man which holds that the soul and spirit are synonymous terms, and therefore, a man is a two-part being, made up of body and soul.

Last week’s term: Genealogy – From the Greek “Gena” (race or stock). The study of, or recorded descent of a family or race of people from an ancestor or ancestors. In scripture, it usually deals with the lineage of Christ, or of Hebrew kings.

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Encouraging Myself

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It’s been a long week. I’m not sure why I am feeling overwhelmed right now, life has been going along as usual. Maybe it’s just because I’m human; I’m frail. I just…grow weary sometimes. My first mental reaction to such feelings is to quit. Quit homeschooling, quit blogging, quit friendships – basically, I feel like just quitting all the stuff except actual survival skills. You know, food, water, clothes.

However, I reasoned with myself and decided that perhaps I was overreacting to want to just throw in the towel. I got up and took one step and then another. I read my Bible, even though my faith was weak that it would help me. But what happened was like that story, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, one thing led to another. Reading my Bible made me think of someone else who was discouraged, and had every right to be so: David. I looked up the verse that came to mind. 1 Samuel 30:6 says, “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. And then he prayed. Sounded like a plan. Reading the word of God and praying  made me think of praising God. Praising God made me think of singing. Singing made me think of the great hymns of praise that have been written over the years. One of my favorites is “Come Thou Fount” by Robert Robinson, written in 1757. Our church just completed singing the hymns in the hymnbook in order. When we came to this one, our song leader shared that the version in our hymnbook is not the original version. There were more verses, and they were arranged differently. The actual song has a reference to God’s sovereign grace – in 1757! This was encouraging to my heart because so many friends and even some family members look at us sovereign grace BAPTISTS as being protestants or worse – heretics. I certainly can’t fight them, nor do I wish to, but I admit that it gets old being called names by adults.

Thinking about this hymn made me look up the original words and read them again. That encouraged me. My heart is prone to wander, I am truly, as the hymn says, “prone to leave the God I love”. But my salvation is not fixed upon my human heart or mind or even my own faith. My salvation, my faith, begins and ends with the God of all creation! He holds me, He loves me, He keeps me. Even if my father and mother forsake me, the Lord has promised to take me up. (Psalm 27:10). If the entire world should turn against me, the God of the universe will never do that. What more do I need?

Yes, I started out overwhelmed and discouraged, but I ended up thrilled and happy. What made the switch? The Lord of heaven.

Here are the original words to that lovely hymn, if you would also like a little encouragement this morning: (And who can resist singing them in your mind as you read them? Both the words and tune are beautiful.)

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothèd then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

Oh yes, the “realms of endless day”! Maybe I will go today? But if not, that is fine. To live is Christ, to die is gain. (Phil. 1:21)

With love,

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Pondering Unconditional Election

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My brother is moving to North Carolina to pastor a church there. I know there are a lot of reasons for this move. One of the reasons is that my sister lives there. You see, I have one brother, and one sister. My brother is closer in age to my older sister than he is to me. They share lots of memories, went to the same Bible college, and have several of the same friends. I am the “caboose” of the family. I have a few fond memories of my brother and sister growing up, but they were not around a lot. Even so, a part of me still longs for their stamp of approval in my life. The curse of being the “baby” of the family, I guess. You know, the youngest is always wanting attention. 😉

I am genuinely happy that my brother and sister will be living within an hour of each other, but I’d be lying to say that I didn’t feel a little left out. It’s as though the caboose has been unhooked from the train and left to sit on the tracks. It’s a lonely feeling. Each year, my mother will go out to see my sister for the holidays and in the summer time, like she already does, only now it will be a big family reunion…minus the caboose. Then again, there’s that part of me that is excited for my sister, who hasn’t had anyone from her side of the family living near her in years. So there I am, happy/sad, happy/sad. A caboose on a roller coaster!

My point, however, is theological. My brother made a choice. A very logical choice. He picked the sister he knows the best. He picked the sister with whom he has the most in common. He didn’t choose me. If I were in his position, I would have picked her, too. God has also made choices, in eternity, above time, before the foundation of the world.

My brother has every right to choose which sister to live near.  Genesis 2:24 says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife…” According to scripture, I have no say over my brother’s life, or his choices. He has obeyed the scripture by leaving and cleaving. Likewise, I have no say over God or His will. The scripture says in Isaiah 43:13, “Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?” And Romans 9: 14-19 says,
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

If my brother, a man, can choose one sister over another, why can’t God, the creator of all that was, is, and will be to come, choose to do that which He pleases with His own creation? Who am I, or any human, to say to God, “No, God, you can’t choose a people to come from (Abraham, Israel), or people to call to salvation (the elect) because that wouldn’t be fair”? Even we, when we create something, choose what we shall do with that thing we have created. My sister knits scarves. She doesn’t wait for the scarf to decide where it wants to go, but rather, she gives it away to the person of her choosing. As a mother, I do not have to ask my child what he wants to eat, I can put before him that which he should eat and he will eat it. On and on the analogy goes: the creator, the owner, choosing what to do with his creation, without regard for whom he may be leaving out.

There is not one single person walking around saying, “I would love to be God’s child, but I’m not chosen.” If they are thinking that way, they should cry out to God for salvation, for He will not turn away from those who call upon Him (Rom. 10:13). However, there are many people who have not been chosen for something by man who are very hurt. Remember those days of choosing teams for kickball? Remember holding your breath, hoping against hope that you wouldn’t be chosen last? Yeah, I remember.

When I make a choice, I do it based on the good I can see in that person or situation, like my brother did. But God’s choice was not made because He saw good in me (or in any of mankind) at all. He chose me before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4) and He will never let me go (John 10:28).

Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.

~ Psalm 65:4

With love,

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A Family Calendar

I wanted to share a little gift idea that I made for my mother this past Christmas. Many people have seen the calendars you can have printed at Walmart or Walgreens, which have photos of your family on them. I put a little twist on this idea by staging photos to match the month. My kids, husband, and I all had a great time coming up with ideas for my mom’s calendar. Believe it or not, it was some work getting twelve photos (plus the cover and the back) planned, shot, edited, and uploaded. Then, I crossed my fingers hoping that they would print nicely. We decided to devote the month of each of the kids’ birthdays to a photo of that child, or children, as in the case of August (Lauren and Mitchell). I also threw in my birthday month for fun. We were very pleased at how it turned out.

Here’s how it looked:

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Cover (It says “Basham Family Calendar 2017 for Nana We Love You!”)

january

January

february

February
march

March
april

April

may

May (Leslie)
june3

June
july2

July (Matthew)

august

August (Lauren and Mitchell)

september

September

october

October  (Guess who?!)

november

November

december

December (Laci)

It was an extra special gift because each of us were involved in the making of it. We all worked to keep it a secret, and we were all holding our breath as she opened it, anticipating her reaction. She shed happy tears, so we knew we had accomplished our mission.

Each year, the giving of gifts, and this one in particular, is the true joy of Christmas. That moment was definitely the highlight of my Christmas Day.

With love,

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Theological Term of the Week: Genealogy

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This week’s term: Genealogy – From the Greek “Gena” (race or stock). The study of, or recorded descent of a family or race of people from an ancestor or ancestors. In scripture, it usually deals with the lineage of Christ, or of Hebrew kings.

Last week’s term: Anthropology – “Anthrop” (man). Anthropology is the knowledge or science of man. Speaking Biblically, it deals with the issues of how scripture describes man’s condition and conduct before God.

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