Category: Perspectives

One Way Ten Years of Homeschooling Has Paid Off

I’ve cried more times than I want to admit about this whole homeschooling thing. We’ve been doing it for ten years and each year has different tears, different fears, different joys.

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It’s not easy. It’s not always fun. It challenges me and bothers me.

There have been years I’ve gotten so close to chunking the whole idea and sending them to school so mama can get a break.

I’ve never done it.

The guilt bag would be too heavy.

But, I can pack a guilt bag for anything. Not teaching them enough. They aren’t getting all they need. They won’t have the great memories I do. I’m a slacker. My schedule doesn’t look like hers. They aren’t going to be smart! They’ll never read!!

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Ten years of wondering if I’m doing the right thing, while knowing I am. For our family, this is the right choice.

Ten years of looking at them in pajamas working on English and Math.

Ten years of taking long winter breaks and stopping school on a crisp, spring day to go play outside.

Funny thing is, I have twelve more years of this. And it will be my joy.

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Then, last night, at Perspectives, a young mother of two comes up and with anticipation and some fear in her eyes, she starts asking me about homeschooling. I want to stop her right there and say, “Oh honey. Your babies are two and 7 months. Come back to me in three years.” But the look on her face said “Help!”

She shared with me her own education and how long she was in school to get a doctorate for a job she now hates. I could sense she didn’t want that for her kids. Also, there is a growing chance that she and her husband might pack up their little family and move to a foreign country to take the Gospel of Jesus out to the nations. That country won’t have class parties and PTA boards. They will have to do it.

This is where her wide eyes spoke to me saying, “I don’t think I can do it! How will they learn? I’m not able to teach them!”

I assured her an email was coming full of encouragement, links, and resources to start helping her bring her heart rate down and sigh some deeps sighs of relief. She hugged me and already seems to be relaxing.

Then it struck me…

All these years, all these years of tears and joy, anger and bliss, frustration and victory, I never once thought that my choice to teach my kids at home might be a catalyst of peace for families who are considering leaving the States. 

If you grew up in the public school system, it gives you the sense, because we know no other way, that if you don’t put your kids in the system, they will miss out on something or they will lack in something.

This simply isn’t true.

If you choose to not use the public system of education, then you have a wide open field of choices as to how you will educate your child. The resources available to you are so plentiful, it can actually be overwhelming. The support around the nation, and I’m sure, in your own community, is important and prevalent.

If you choose to uproot your family and leave the States, the choice to come out of the public school system is now no longer a choice. You’re leaving. Maybe where you’re going has it’s own system, but what about the language? What about the actual system? What about the environment? What if they don’t have a school system? What if you’re going remote?

Home education can trigger a whole new level of panic.

Home education outside of the States for missionaries can trigger not only a panic, but a burden that seems overwhelming.

This should not be.

I realized that my ten years of doing what I though was just for my family might be of some comfort to those leaving. That sweet mom at my class last night was reaching out to someone a decade ahead of her for confidence and assurance.

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And I was able to give it to her. I was able to look at her and say, “You two can do it. You’re more than able and there is so much support out there.”

I was able to look at someone and give her assurance that her children will be just fine and she is more than capable of educating them. More than that, she and her husband are more than able to look beyond an American definition of education and give their children lives full of a Spiritual education that only they, as their parents, can give them.

I never dreamed that my years at home would one day be the confidence a young mom would need to take one more step to becoming a missionary.

Never think that what you do isn’t for His glory or someone else’s benefit.

What an honor to serve His servants this way. 

Why You Matter

From since before the earth and universe were created, there has been one theme, one triumphant sound coming from one constant orchestration of what has been and what will be.

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From the first Spoken Word “Let there be Light” the Light spanned galaxies and time and space, turning the eyes and hearts of men toward one end point. The Light raced through history and screams past us on the Timeline of what is happening. We turn our heads and follow it, sometimes unknowingly, sometimes willingly, but all will eventually find where the Light comes to an end. At some point we will all stare at the End of the Light’s reach.

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What will we be looking at?

What will hold us captive?

Where will the Light take us?

Once the Light reaches its final end of its journey, after it’s illuminated all it was called to illuminate; once it’s finished the work required of it over the earth and universe, the Light is absorbed by its Creator. It returns to the One who spoke it into existence, and is needed no more because its Creator is the Light.

The Light will return to the Beginning where the Theme of the Universe first started. What is this Theme? What is the orchestration? What is the purpose of the Light?

The Creator’s Glory

The only reason The Creator spoke the light into existence, and the rest of the creation, was to bring back to Himself worship and glory.

Then He sent a Second Light. The Second Light was the exact representation of His Creator. Sharing character, power, authority. He came to bring the Light into the hearts of Man. For centuries, men watched the Light move around them, come down among them, guide them, reveal itself to them. But now, the Light came to live in their hearts.

Nothing like that had ever been seen or comprehended. 

The Second Light, pure, holy, righteous, paid ransom for all the First Light revealed, exposed. The created light had in it a wickedness that came and tainted, faded the light of men in sin and darkness. Only the sacrifice of The Light of Men could redeem all that was lost. His sacrifice cracked open the darkness and the Light expanded to all men in all nations on earth.

Then, after He set free all from darkness, He offered the Light to be manifested internally, eternally.

The Light in us still has the same purpose as the First light…

To bring glory to our Creator by taking the light to all men. All nations. All people groups. Not just geographical boundaries on a map, but that the Gospel of this Light would penetrate each language group and family of men and women around the world.

We are Carriers of the Light, charged with the same task as both created light and The Light of the World, Jesus Christ. It is for His fame and glory, and our full satisfaction in the Light that we would labor for this Light to be made manifest in all the world.

Then, the end will come. 

He said it Himself.

We have work to do, dear Light Bearers.

How will you help extend the Light to the Nations?

You matter because you are a Light Bearer.

You have the power within you to extend the grace of our loving God into all the world.

It is not a burden, though those lost in darkness is a great burden, indeed. It is not a burden as though we have a task list of things we must accomplish in our own efforts and die with our lives broken and wasted. No, we are the Light in us, powered and upheld by the Holy Spirit of God. We have Him in us, to bring power and satisfaction to us, so that He is magnified in us, and the world will see.

We extend the Light in many ways:

Prayer. Prayer for the nations that they would see the Glory and Magnificence of God! This would make worshippers of Him, fulfilling the search for those who would worship him.

Help. Give your money. Reach out to the needy in our land. Give to the work in the Dark places so that they will be well-equipped and won’t worry about finances. Know the agencies and people you could support. How can you use your money for the advancement of the Light in your city, your nation and around the world?

Get Informed. Know what is left. If you don’t know, you won’t know how to help. Study. Read. Take Perspectives. Be informed. To be ignorant of what is left to do for the Grace, for the Light to be taken to Nations who have not even the chance to know Him, is irresponsible.

Know that many nations have access to the Gospel. But there are many, many who don’t. How can you help change that?

This is our call. This is His Directive. His Name taken to the nations is His plan, not ours.

You matter because He has equipped you with Light in you.

How will you let it shine?

And when the end of the age comes, and we are all standing under the Tree, gazing at the wonder of the Light of God, He will illuminate the room and the sea of colorful faces, the sounds of a thousand languages, the wave of indescribable worship, will rest upon us and we will be completely fulfilled and satisfied as He is completely glorified.

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Round Tables Meant Engaging. Gag.

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I’m reluctantly taking a class called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. And by reluctantly, I mean I flat out don’t want to take it. JT took it and I don’t want to. And yet, I signed up. I drag myself to the church, keeping my eyes down in case Jesus was looking for people with bright eyes willing to shoot their hand in the air and say “YES!”

I know, I just know that if I take this class God will make me want to leave the country and live in the jungle. That’s not something I am willing to do. I mean, where is the good mascara and air conditioning? Doesn’t He know I have issues with sweating, like I don’t sweat very well at all and can break out in a migraine? God, this isn’t funny. I cannot leave America. (Note: I still live in America.)

I’m dreading the class.

Dreading. It.

But because I am a submissive wife and listen to my husband when he says, “Honey, I think you will really like the class. There is homework and reading. You’ll love it!”, I’ll go. New pens. Drive to church. My Tuesday nights are about to be hijacked by sixteen weeks of “WILL YOU BE A MISSIONARY AND GROW OUT YOUR HAIR AND WEAR DRESSES?” I’m not looking forward to never wearing pants again.

I am greeted by smiling people behind eight foot tables. They are armed with computers, pens (thanks, I already have some), books, nametags and plenty of offers for help if I needed it. I appreciate that, but I can find where to sit. Dang. We are at round tables. Round tables mean talking with people I’m sitting with. Round tables mean engaging, sharing and “ice break-ing.” I’m thinking, “How do I tell these people I’m not in the mood to be a missionary? How do I tell them that I’m here because I told my husband I would come? How to I tell these bright-eyed, eager-to-learn weirdos that I don’t want to be there?”

Round tables mean exposure. It’s not looking good.

Our leader leads the way as a leader should lead and we all watch and clap and pray. There is worship every night and snacks (please note: as a leader, provide snacks. Keeps people happy and coming.) But, there is something more. Each night provides a different teacher or instructor. Something is happening…

The stories, the wisdom, the knowledge are blindsiding me and I am realizing I didn’t know jack about what God had been doing around the world for His name and am appalled at the ignorance and pride in my life.

Week after week, chapter after chapter (of a very large book, by the way), open book test after open book test (which, if you really pay attention at the beginning of class, you will know these are open book tests. I, did not hear that for the first two. But, nailed it anyway!), I was exposed to God’s love and plan for the nations.

It wasn’t a class about missionaries…

It was a class about God’s mission for the world and our part in that plan. 

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That class was the pivot point for what God would want me to do with my life. Even since that class, I have, in some ways, kept trying to dodge the world of missions. Oh, I haven’t completely stayed out or away, and He didn’t call us to Africa, but, I have tried to do other things and keep this whole idea of being in the Global Movement to the side. I wanted to be a famous Bible teacher, or publish books that would not only bless your life, but change it forever!

*crickets*

I thought I could become a blogger that had millions (thousands) of readers and keep their hearts warm with all my brilliant parenting tips and ways to be a godly woman.

These things haven’t happened, but what has happened is a deep and unending draw to the world of global impact in the kingdom. I dream about it. I can cry when I think too long and hard about missionaries. I want to know what is happening in the underground church and pray for the persecuted. I worry about believers who are being hurt and killed. I wonder what they do from day to day. I wrote a prayer blog for those who support missionaries and the people they serve. I want to have a furlough house in the states someday. Through the last decade I have been in and out of a committed heart to this. But in all these years…it doesn’t go away.

The want to publish….gone.
The desire to be a Bible teacher in some mainstream “famous” way… gone.
Blogger extraordinaire? vamoose!

There is nothing wrong with these things, it’s just they have been wrong for me.

In 2015 I will be diving head first into the world of the global movement of God. I don’t know what that looks like, but I know where to start. I’ll begin with being the coordinator the the class I never wanted to take, here, in Nashville. Perspectives has been gone from Nashville for three years. It’s time to come back. Also, I will stop the nonsense of not talking about what is near and dear to my heart. It doesn’t matter who reads what I write, but it does matter that I do what I think God is telling me to do. Write.

So, come back if you want. Read. Enjoy. Learn. I will do my best to present what God has asked me to in regard to His heart for the nations. Who knows, maybe someone who doesn’t want to read this will someday be in it neck deep.

 

To find a Perspectives course near you or learn more about his life changing class, please visit the Perspectives website.

The Snake Guy was Murdered

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Don and Marianne Baughman

The Snake Guy drove me to my junior high on a very stormy day. I can remember being in car and watching the torrential rain slam into the windshield. My seventh grade memory fails me as to why, exactly, he would have taken me that morning. I try and reconstruct what must have happened. I assume he had come over for breakfast, realized that mom was going to have to get out in that weather, and offered to take me since it was on the way to our church. That had to be it. The Snake Guy was back in town visiting our church, telling us stories of what happened on the other side of the world (Africa) and brought with him a slide show and, yes, snakes. He was captivating. And he stayed with my grandparents when he came.

 A few years later I was back a church, this time in high school. I was there making copies for some up and coming very important youth group shindig when my pastor came in to tell me that the Snake Guy had been murdered on his front lawn. Bandits. No reason. Shot dead. He was in that country for Jesus.

Martyred. Don, the Snake Guy. 

I walked down the hall to the sanctuary. The stain glass window faced the West and the sun was just low enough to pierce the colors. The whole room was warm and thick with silence. It was just me, the green carpet and pews, and a glow in the room from the sun. It’s like the light was hugging me. I didn’t ever really know how to comprehend all of it, but I sat on the front pew and cried. Wept. Stunned.

Murdered? Unbelievable.

But, his story is one of thousands. Millions. Those over the years who have died for the name of Jesus. Those who have given their lives so that the name of Jesus would be made famous around the world are by no means a small amount of humanity.

It happens everyday. All the time. When I am shopping for shoes on Amazon or am weeping over the nations, they are dying. Who will go in their place? Maybe some will. Many will rise from the places they fell and take up the cause right there. Over and over the name of Jesus is taken round the world, fulfilling God’s desire that all men would know his name and the redemption he offers.

So, what does the Church do?

What about those of us who live in the States?

What do we do?

We pray. We pray for the power of the Spirit to consume us and show us how to pray and what to pray for. We pray that our strength and vitality to complete the task is armed and made steady. We pray.

We pray…and we pray again.

We study. Most of the Church doesn’t know exactly what God’s desire is for the nations. Start reading. Find out. Take a Perspectives course. Go through “Xplore” with Center for Missions Mobilization. Study the Bible. Read Andrew Murray and John Piper. Learn. Don’t just say, “I don’t know.”! Find out! What IS God’s plan and heart for the nations? If you can’t answer that…find out the answer. (or ask me)

We join. Find out what your local church does to send missionaries around the world. Find out what trips you can go on and do it.

We give. Global impact can only be successful (outside of prayer and commitment) if the Church is not only sharing her time, and prayer, but her money as well. Send. Give money to those who are going into the nations who have yet to hear Christ! Get them there and then support them ferociously.

We go. If you have a burning to see the name of Jesus go into all nations, then by all means, GO! Find a team and join them. Talk to your pastor. Get trained, get support and get out of here!

We wake up. Our society feeds us with the mantra that more is better and your dream is exactly what God wants to do in your life. Man, that sounds amazing. I want him to make me happy and give me a dream to fulfill, but, oh (and I know I am swimming upstream) I struggle with our constant state of “Make my dreams come true, God!” when how many of us are asking, “God, will you make your dreams and passions come to pass and use me to do it?” Church. Wake up. It is HIS dream and HIS passion we should be studying, searching, praying for and living for. Not ours.

Will your 2015 be more about you and your dreams and plans, or will you take the time to find our exactly what God wants from his Church, from you? Will you pray, study, join, give, go and wake up? I pray you do. I pray I do.

Psalm 46:10 I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.