Sunday, May 31, 2009

Christian Homeschooling and Charter Schools

Last night we went to a meeting of the Exploring Homeschooling Ministry, the topic was charter schools and we viewed the well done short documentary: Exposing A Trojan Horse. The documentary included such people as Voddie Baucham, Kevin Swanson, Geoff Botkin, Brian Ray and others dealing with the danger charter schools present to the Christian homeschooling community.

A question was raised as how does one answer those that ask “what is wrong with charter schools if they allow one to do as they please and one can still be reimbursed?”

As stated in the DVD and shown in other places around the US and the world, once the government gets its tentacles into something the rules quickly and suddenly change when they have the grasp they desire. It is not necessarily an issue of the current situation but what will come of charter schools in the future since the government controls them. The DVD title is Exposing A Trojan Horse, as that is what the charter schools are, a Trojan Horse, and they need to be exposed for what they are. Charter schools are an inviting gift that outwardly appears generous but once it is in the door it will be anything but inviting.

This all made me think about why anyone that homeschools, from a Christian perspective, would ever turn to the government for such a program. Why are we, as believers, so easily swayed by the baubles the world hangs before us when we have the creator of the universe to supply our needs? I am sure some would say that this may be God’s gift to us but an honest, closer, look will reveal the basis of the charter system is anything but based on God’s word. Again, the school some may be part of may have freedom now but we must always remember it is still part of a government system which by its very nature and rules does not allow the Christian perspective and guidance we as Christian parents should desire in the discipleship of our children.

So I thought I would set forth some thoughts on this subject.

First, we need to realize that God’s design for government as well as our constitution does not call for the government to have any say over education. It is only the integration of government into every part of life and the demise of the family that has allowed believers to acquiesce to even the thought of government intervention. We have over time, allowed the government to encroach into every area of our lives. As believers we need to realize this is not what God established for the role of government in scripture. Even more importantly, the government has taken over the role of parents in the discipleship. Yes, I said discipleship, as that is what education is toward our children and has specifically usurped the role of fathers in the family. Deut 6:1-9 and Ephesians 6:4 set forth that the discipleship of our children is the responsibility of the family and the father is central to this. When we give this responsibility over to the government, we have disobeyed God’s word.

The issue is not only about charter schools but a greater issue as to why believing parents would even consider sending their children to the pagan government schools at all. The following are questions we need to ask of ourselves and then be honest with the answers in light of God’s word. These are questions that relate to various reasons I have heard in regards to charter schools and even public education. So here are the questions we need to answer:

- Why do we need to meet man’s standards for education?
- What is the purpose of education/discipleship for believer’s?
- Is the government to be involved in the education of my children at all?
- Why do we need relief or a respite from the presence of our children?
- Why are we so easily swayed by the money & items offered by charter schools?
- Should not my children be in the public school to be lights in a dark place?
- Isn’t the method of education of our children a preference?

Over the next month or so, I will make an attempt to review each of these questions. If we function by God’s standards, as revealed in all of His word, we will find that the answers to these questions show that public education, including charter schools, is not what God calls us to partake of.

Below is a trailer for the DVD Exposing A Trojan Horse

Series Posts
1) Christian Homeschooling and Charter Schools
2) What is the purpose of Christian Education: Part 1 & Part 2
3) Should the Government be involved in the Education of our children
4) Why are we so easily swayed by the money & items offered by charter schools?
5) Should not my children be in the public school to be lights in a dark place?
6) Why do we need to meet man’s standards for education?
7) Why do we need relief or a respite from the presence of our children?
8) Isn't how we educate our children a preference?
9) What if my husband says he does not want to homeschool?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Another Trailer for Food, Inc.

At my post, Fresh the Movie, I had some video trailers concerning the food we eat. Below is another trailer for the upcoming movie Food, Inc.

If you haven’t checked out the trailers for the other movies, King Corn, Fresh the Movie and a previous trailer for Food, Inc., at my previous post they are well worth viewing.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

IE Error Update

After much investigating it does seem that the “Followers” gadget in Blogger was the issue even though others that use it did not have the same problems and it worked fine in Firefox. The issue seems to be with the code and how it works with the rest of the items in my side bar.

Updated (again) 5/28/09
Well I have given up on "Followers" as it was crashing again until I removed it. I am sure it is because fo some compbination of the code in my side bar but do not have the time to figure it out. While followers is sort of interesting it is not worth the hassle right now. The truth is it is realy frustrating that this only happens in IExplorer and no other browser.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Our Great Reward

Often in Genesis 15:1-21 the focus is on a number of things; God’s promise of descendants, a promise of land and Justification by Faith alone. While these are important I think verse 1 is key to this passage, which was the focus of today’s message: Our Great Reward. Right after Abram has rescued Lot from the 4 kings God appears before him and declares that he is not to fear. There are a number of things that a recently successful Abram may have feared: Retaliation of the kings, anger from the king of Sodom for not taking his offer, uncertainty of the promises of God and also simply being spoken to by God in a vision. But this is all to set the scene for today’s passage and specifically verse 1.

What I think is so telling is that God does not set about answering specific fears of Abram but instead tells him what is of greatest importance. God relates to Abram that He is his shield and the great reward. The KJV seems to give the best interpretation of the Hebrew by making it clear that God is the reward He speaks of and the great reward spoken of is not the promises of posterity or land. Certainly they are rewards but not the exceeding great reward that God Himself is.

I think this is so key as all too often when we share the Gospel it is overly focused on the personal benefits to the one being shared with and thus the Gospel message often becomes very man centered. However, if we were to share the Good News as Abram hears here our message would be different. It would have God as the focus and not the promises of God. This is not to minimize the promises of God but to instead maximize the person of God. This is to not focus on the promises but the promiser. The truth is, as with Abram, we need to be focused on God as our shield and reward, “exceeding great reward”, and it is because of this we can have hope and have our fears quelled.

Abram needed to know that his focus should to be on God and realize that God would fulfill His promises in His time and His way. When we begin to focus on what we see as the promises of God we end up many times being overly inwardly focused and lose sight of God being our reward. The truth is how many of us are truly satisfied simply to know we have God as our reward if nothing else, from our perspective, goes as we would plan.

Let us then always start with our focus on God Himself and not on what He can do for us. Remember when you share the Gospel that the only thing you can truly promise is that God is the great reward. You cannot promise wealth, health or any number of other temporal benefits as those are in the hands of God. You can promise that no matter the circumstances God has you in He will always be there and be ones shield and “exceedingly great reward.” So let us live a life that not only claims God at the center but exhibits it in our actions and words.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Church: Its Place in the World

As I look around at the church today what strikes me more often than not is how similar the church looks to the world. So this begs the question” Why is there such a similarity?”

I think this comes from a misunderstood concept of what God’s purpose and place for the church is. For many the sole purpose of the church is evangelism, for others it is to care for the needy while others simply think it is a place to be refreshed for another week of living in the world, I would add living like the world. I am sure there are others but these are what come to mind right now.

The mistaken idea that the church is here solely for evangelism comes from a misunderstanding of the Matt 28:19-20. The call in Matthew is not to evangelize but to disciple and not only disciple but to teach those that are disciples to obey all that God commands. While it sounds spiritual to be all about evangelism it often leads to a truncated Gospel that stops at the cross. Often this view stems from an eschatological view that sees the end coming soon and thus saving souls is of prime importance but I can assure you over the course of history many have thought the end was near. Another issue that can stem from this view is that churches will do whatever it takes to have people make a verbal profession of faith even if it is not a true profession. In doing this, the church becomes more focused on the desires of the world than God so as to accomplish its desired result, professions. So while seeing evangelism as important is a good thing it is not to be the sole focus of the church.

How about the call to care for the needy? Well that is also an area the church is to be involved in but not at the exclusion of other things. As with evangelism it is not to be our sole goal. Some have even minimized the sharing of the Gospel so as to have the ability to get into areas to help those in need. The issue here is that helping one with physical nourishment is of little effect if their spirituals needs are not taken care of. The result here has been seen before and leads to the social Gospel and again truncates the Gospel. So we as believers should be intent on caring for the needy, first in our local church and then outside the walls of our church. Remember that when we read the NT the letters we read are in large part written to local churches and it is in those letters that the writers deal with caring for those in the local church and then moving to others

As far as the church being a place of refreshment, it should be. But as with the others if this becomes the main focus the Gospel and teachings of Christ will be marginalized or softened. There are churches and pastors that have stayed away from talking about sin due to a concern that it may upset their flock and in the process truly hindered the sanctification process of those they are to build up for the work of the ministry. This in the end makes the church more of a social club than a gathering of those called out by God to be separated from the world in both thought and deed. When the goal of the local church is to have its members and attendees feel good about life and themselves there are many difficult and convicting parts of scripture that will be avoided.

I do not want this to simply be about bashing the church but to help us see we have such a great purpose and calling in this world that to miss it is to miss the greatest joy we can have. So again what is the place of the church in this world, It is the same as the first calling of all those who are truly children of God and is stated most clearly in the answer to question one of the Westminster Shorter and Longer Catechism: Man’s chief end is to glorify God (Psalm 86; Is 60:21; Rom 11:36; 1 Cor 6:20,31; Rev 4:11) and enjoy Him forever(Ps 16:5-11; Ps 144:15; Is 12:2;Luke 2:10; Phil 4:4; Rev 21:3-4).

This glorifying of God is a result of living as He calls us to live by the power He supplies to live as such. When we live as we are called we will be the light we are called to be. Yes, we will often be disliked as we dispel darkness and make those that enjoy darkness begin to squint at the glory of God. This living is not to be by our finite understanding but is to be guided and directed by the law of God, yes the law of God. Many people are intent on saying the law is not relevant to the NT believer but that misses the beauty of the law. The beauty is that when we live by God’s standards as expressed in ALL of His word we will be used by God to change the world we live in.

Even as early as Genesis 12 we see how Abram lived in such a way to make a statement as he set up altars to the one true God in a land that was intent on worshiping a multitude of non-existent god’s. It was this living differently that God was to use to both condemn and reveal Himself to the world Abram pilgrimages in. God does that today and I think this leads to the place of the church today.

The church is to be a people that stands out and in doing so is used by God to call others to Himself. We are called to be pilgrims and a peculiar people. We do this simply by being obedient to the call of God and in doing so we will be the light we are called to be. The actions of the church will not change people’s hearts but is a means by which God changes people. So when we become involved in the world we are in (the City of Man) but live by the standards of God (The City of God) God will be most glorified and His name will be magnified.

So the place of the church is to change the world. Not by our power but by God’s power. To be used by God we need to be obedient and follow His law. The Apostles lived by the word of God they had and that was the OT so we are not to minimize or worse discount all that it says but to realize that the NT lets us see that we, by the New Covenant spoken of in Jer 31:31-34, are able to live as God calls us to live. Let us be the change agents that God desires us to be. Let us realize that this is God’s world and live as such. Lastly, let us live as a church that truly sees itself as the bride of Christ.

I pray this was clear as I have such a great love for the church, as we all should. My desire is not for the church to conform to my view but to be conformed to the One that we are called to be the bride of. We need to see that it is not the place of man to dictate what the church should look like but it is our job to see what scripture, again ALL of it, dictates the church is called to be. So let us be a church that changes the world and not one that is changed by it. Let us proclaim the victory of Christ and not live as if we have been defeated and thus need to live by the rules of the world.

Also, let me add, I do not have this all figured out and am constantly finding myself doing what I think is best and not necessarily what God commands. Even though I did not grow up in the church and actually was not called by God until later in life (28) I have ideas and concepts of the church that have come from what I have seen and experienced that often do not align to God’s call for His church. So it takes a constant, conscious effort to change those default concepts that have become ingrained and one way to do this has been to write on the church.

This link goes to a post that has links to other posts on the: The Church

Thursday, May 21, 2009

IExplorer Error

If you have experienced IExplorer aborting when trying to get on my blog or some other Blogger sites it seems there is an issue with the widget "Followers" that IExploere does not like. Once I took the widget out the blog seems to work fine. From what I can tell this is being worked on and only seems to affect IExplorer and not Firefox.

Sorry if this caused any problems earlier.

Added 5/21/09 8:40 PM

It seems this is not true for all sites as I have been on other sites that have Follower and they work as well as it seems others are having problees even after taking it out. I was checking and it seems Blogger knows there is some sort of problem but do not yet know what it is. I guess the best answer is to quit using IE 7 or 8 but that probably is not realistic.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The “Not My God” Syndrome

I seem to hear more and more, I am sure though this is not new, statements that in essence go like this: “ “My God would not do ……….” Or “The God I worship would not………”. This usually is heard in response to conversation on issues relating to difficult issues in life. It definitely comes into play when the topic of the sovereignty of God over all things is discussed.

I realize that the people that say this may not have thought about the repercussions of such comments but nevertheless these comments say much about where many get their theology from. These statements tend to show a leaning towards feelings and opinion rather than from doctrine and scripture. I am not saying that those that speak as such do not use scripture but I have found much of the interpretation used with the given scriptures is often driven by presuppositions acquired by feelings.

Also much of this thinking often comes from misunderstanding the difference between apprehension and comprehension. We need to realize that there are many things about God we can know and apprehend but may never fully be able to comprehend. I think this is one of the errors of postmodernism concerning truth in that they often seem to express that if one cannot comprehend something as they think they should it is assumed one cannot know it for certain. This again misunderstands the difference between apprehension and comprehension; that we can know something, apprehend it, without fully understanding it, comprehension. The trinity is just such a concept as we can clearly see, or apprehend, in scripture the validity of God being one in essence and three in person even if we cannot fully understand or comprehend how it happens.

It’s not an issue of what kind of God we can or cannot worship but the real question is who the God is that’s revealed to us in scripture. When I speak of scripture I am speaking of all of scripture in both the New and Old testaments. God is not always going to be easy to comprehend as Isaiah 55:8 (“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”) reveals but we can apprehend, understand, who He is and that is who we are required to worship. God is not occupied with putting out a resume to see if we see Him as worthy of worship but is instead worthy of worship by virtue of His being God.

As I was reading Romans 9, specifically verses 9-29, I realized this was Paul’s way of answering the unasked question of the people regarding what God can and cannot do just as God answered Job in Job 38:1 – 40:2. Paul’s answer is as simple as: God is God and we are not. In Paul’s case he is heading off the question of “that is not fair” or maybe “my God would not….” by saying God can do as He please because He is God.

So let us not fall into the Not my God Syndrome by realizing that we are to worship the God of the bible and not the god (little ‘g” on purpose) of our own understanding as Gene Robinson an openly gay bishop in the Episcopal church prayed at the Inaugural concert for our current president. God is not concerned with getting our worship by being the God we desire but instead changing our hearts so that we worship the God of scripture and the creator of all as He is. So along with Paul I have to say let us make sure we not only realize in thought but also in deed that we are to worship not the God we desire but the God that is.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tennessee Day 11

Well we are back in Southern California and as I did not have time to post photos from our last full day in Tennessee I have put them below. We had dinner at the Vaughn’s whose blog, Vaughnshire Farm, I follow so it was sort of cool to see the farm we have seen online. The Vaughn’s are also one of the families in the Franklin Springs Family Media film Inherit the Land: Adventures on the Agrarian Journey. Below are some pictures of their farm. The first video below is of Annie, Nik and I milking a cow, unfortunately Donna was not there as Andrew was not feeling well. I can tell you if we were to do this for a business we would starve.

Annie, Nik and I attempting to Milk a Cow

The correct way to Milk a Cow

Some video of the Vaughn Farm (no audio for about first 1:20)

Pictures of the Vaughn Farm

The DVD Winner Is

The winner of the free DVD from Vision Forum is: Brandon

I wish I had more to give away, as there were only two entries, but I am hoping there will be other giveaways in the future.

Brandon, can you email me your address, send it to: . I need the info by tonight (5/14) so I can send it in to Vision Forum.

I will send the info to Vision Forum and they will send your copy of The Devolution of Law directly to you in about 3-4 weeks so let me know if you do not see it by then.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tennessee Day 10

Well today (5/11) Andrew was sick so I stayed home while Donna, Annie and Nik went to Bowie Nature Park in Fairview which is just down the road. They said it was very beautiful and they even saw a newly born deer near the trail. Below are some pictures Annie took of the park and here is a link to another site: Friends of Bowie Nature Park, Inc.

Baby Deer

Nature Park

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fresh the Movie

Paul Vaughn placed this movie trailer for Fresh the Movie on his blog: Vaughnshire Farm. This looks like a good movie that reveals not only the downside to our current food production methods but the hope there is in doing things a different way. The truth is the different way is probably in reality more like doing it the old way. Another good move along these lines to see is King Corn which shows the problems with today’s corn production and usage.

Watch the trailer to Fresh the Movie below and when the first trailer is over click on “more” to see the other 3 trailers.

Here is the King Corn trailer:

Here is a trailer for another documentary on food that is coming out in June called Food, Inc

DVD Giveaway Reminder

Don't forget the Reclaiming the Culture DVD giveaway at my previous post, here. There is still time as the cut of time is 8PM (PST) on 5/13. Due to the generosity of Vision Forum I am able to give away one f the following DVDs:

The Top Ten Questions About Genesis and Creation

Tennessee Day 9

We spent the day (5/10) in worship and fellowship at Covenant Family Fellowship. They are presently meeting at a temporary location but plan to move back to their regular spot possibly next week. It was a great day and again good to see a fellowship work through the details of calling Elders.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Tennessee Day 7 & 8

Well on Friday (5/8) we basically stayed home as Nik was sick and the weather was questionable. There was a tornado watch for a large area, that included where we are, for most of the day. So we stayed home and relaxed. In the evening we had the electricity go out but all was back on around midnight or so. Below is a weather map from 5/8 that shows the area we are in.

Today (5/9) we went and helped someone that attends Covenant Family Fellowship move from Nashville to Centerville. It rained quite a bit in the beginning of the move but it finally subsided and we got the trucks loaded and sent them off to Centerville as we were only able to help with the loading in Nashville. Sorry no pictures of me doing manual labor as we got so busy moving Andrew forgot. When I got back to the Smith’s house I found Nik not feeling any better and his ear was now hurting so it was off to the Urgent Care where he was given some antibiotics for his ear. The good news was that he did not have strep throat. If you’re in the area and need an Urgent Care the one we visited in Franklin Tennessee was very helpful: Walk-In Medical Center with Dr. Rudge. By the Way this is the only doctors office I have ever been in that had Answers In Genesis magazines in the office.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Reclaiming the Culture DVD Giveaway

Thank to the generosity of the people at Vision Forum I am able to give away one of the 5 new DVD's in the Reclaiming the Culture series that they recently released.

The Top Ten Questions About Genesis and Creation
The State of Parental Rights in America
Christianity and Science Fiction: Reclaiming the Genre for Christ (1 DVD and 2 CDs)

The giveaway will run until 8PM (PST) on May 13th and then I will randomly choose a winner. Just leave a comment as to which DVD you would like. By the 14th I will post the winner and then you can send me your address via email, as the whole world does not need to know it.

Check out the DVDs above as there are clips from them on the Vision Forum Site.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Tennessee Day 6

We went on a drive to see some more countryside today. We stopped off in Centerville, map, and then went from there down some really beautiful roads. The weather today was in the 80’s and was a little humid after all of the rain for the last 4 days or so.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Where is the Reliance on God?

I have started reading Greg Bahnsen’s Theonomy in Christian Ethics and in the introduction are some quotes (pgs 12-13) that are very relevant to our times. These quotes reveal what turning from God’s standard’s to anything else looks like.

“Everything for the State, nothing outside the State, nothing above the State” - Mussolini

“The State dominates the nation because it alone represents it” – Hitler

“The State embraces everything, and nothing has value outside the State. The State creates right” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“…[God} is teaching us that we must live as men who can get along very well without him.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

What these quotes show is reliance not on God but on man to deal with life. This shows the government (State) to be the perceived messiah of man and nothing can be further from the truth. While most would not claim Mussolini or Hitler to be a believer Bonhoeffer’s quote is disturbing as it comes from one that is often held in high regard within the Christian community.

In today’s culture there is a great deal of antinomianism and within the church this is often just as prevalent. Many may not claim to be antinomian but actions and words often reveal quite the opposite. It needs to be realized that if one does not live by God’s standard, as reveled in ALL of His word, one is left with a standard that is truly no better than anyone else’s.

Tennessee Day 4 and 5

Well yesterday, day 4, was fairly uneventful as we simply ran errands and fellowshipped with the Smith's

As far as today, day 5, Nik has some sort of cold that will, we pray, not get worse and better yet be gone by tomorrow. So we have spent the day just relaxing, what a novel idea for a vacation. We are hoping to get out and look around some more tomorrow. Below are some pictures Annie has taken.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Around the Web and Blogosphere (5/5/09)

This months free audiobook download at is Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (unabridged). You simply have to have a free account with ChristianAudio and then type in May2009 for the coupon code.

Nathaniel Darnell has revised his site Persevero, check it out. His most recent article is: The Purpose of the Law. In a day and age where the professing church appears to be seeking to distance itself from the law of God this is a good article to read.

Scott Head at These are the Generations of… writes on: Essentials of the Family Integrated Church: Fathers are being equipped to be spiritual leaders of their homes.

Doug Philips wrote an excellent article: The Return of the Child Catcher of Vulgaria: Why Christian Homeschool Families Are Being Targeted for Public Censure.

Tennessee Day 3 Update

We met with 4 other families to play volleyball and it was alot of fun with with everyone getting to play.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Tennessee Day 2 and 3

Well yesterday, the Lord's Day, we had a great time of fellowship at Covenant Family Fellowship. It was good to see them work through the process of finding those God desires to be elders and seeking to glorify God in the process. Then in the evening we had a meal at the Smith’s with the Vaughn family and Pine family. It was a great time.

Today we went to Franklin to do some errands and in the process saw some the great countryside. We also went through Leipers Fork where part of A Journey Home and The Peasall Sisters: Family Harmony, both by Franklin Springs Family Media, were filmed. Enjoy the pictures of the beautiful countryside.

The True First 100 Days of Obama’s Presidency

The US asked for change and that is what we are getting. Voddie Baucham placed this video from FRC on his blog: THE FIRST “100 DAYS OF CHANGE FOR THE FAMILY”

This is in only 100 days imagine what change he can bring in the days to come.

When our governing authorities, including many that carry the label conservative, refuse to hold to God’s all sufficient word for their standard the change that will happen will not be God honoring. Our current president has his own standards and he desires, along with the people around him, to impose those standards on the people he is supposed to serve. We need to not only be angry because we are killing babies at a disgusting rate but are to be even more offended because the government is denying and going against God’s word. We need to always remember to base our standards on God’s word and not only our opinion because if we do not do so we will not be standing on any firmer ground than our government and its leaders.

Let us stand on the word of God.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Day 1 in Tennessee

Well we are coming to the end of day one here in the Nashville area. We spent a great time of fellowship with our friends, the Smith's, last night after our arrival. Today we took the boys out and visited a local gun show in Nashville. Tomorow we are off to worship at Covenant Family Fellowship, a local family integrated church that the Smith's and another family we know, the Pine's, attend.

So what did the boys do with their spare time. Well what else but shoot their BB guns.

It rained quite a bit last night and more is to come. It so green here and the area is much different from Southern California. Here are some pictures from today