Saturday, October 3, 2015

Standing Strong in Faith

Homeschooling is a calling for most of us.  I know it began calling to me when I was pregnant with Egee.  I tried to stifle it.  I suppressed it for years.  Telling myself that the time wasn't right.  I needed to continue to work because we needed insurance and my salary.  I wanted at least one more child.  We were trying to grow Hubby's business.  The time just wasn't right.  However, the notion kept creeping up inside me and finally, He spoke loudly into my heart and said, "It is time."

It was time to act.  Little Man was going to be entering kindergarten and He knew that it was not where he needed to be.  Things fell into place like a puzzle being put together.  Hubby's business was taking off.  He replaced my income.  We found affordable insurance to fit our needs.  The time came.

We were never regular church goers.  I hated to leave my children in the care of strangers.  We observed religious holidays.  We just weren't church people.  Hubby spent his childhood and adolescence in the church.  His grandfather was a pastor.  My family went to church on a fairly regular basis, until I was a teen.  We believed in God and Jesus Christ.  We exposed our children to religion.  We just weren't the bible thumping type.

However, it was God that called me to homeschool my children.  He knew that this commitment to my children would become my renewed commitment to Him.  One of the first things I did when we began our homeschool journey was to include a Bible story time.  Every day we read a story from a young child's Bible.  When we finished it, we moved up a level and reread the Bible stories with more detail.

After our first year, we were invited by friends to their church.  Egee asked Jesus into her life during Vacation Bible school.  I was so proud of her!

We have continued our study of the Bible. We incorporated using Mystery of History into our schooling.  I remember going to school and learning about history and then going to church learning about Biblical times, but never making a connection as to when it happened during history.  Mystery of History has taken the mystery out of this.  The children love it and we read further details in our Bible study.

I believe it was into our third year of homeschooling that I decided to start talking to the children about their faith.  The threat of ISIS and all the things going on in our world began to hit hard on my conscience.  We were now attending church on a more regular basis and the preacher was preaching from the Book of Revelations.  I began to wander if my children really knew how to stand strong in their faith during a crisis of life and death.

I didn't want to alarm my children and make them afraid of their world.  However, if I am to protect them, I must arm them with everything possible.  Both of my children have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, so they will have eternal life.  But what if the bad guy asks them a question of their faith and then tells them if they don't convert or deny that faith, they will be killed.  Are my children strong enough to withstand the urge to live on this earth and stand in their faith?  We began our conversation of standing strong.

These conversations have been hard.  Holding back tears at times.  I have reassured them over and over that if such a thing were to happen to NOT deny their faith.  They would be in a much better place and that I and their father would understand and see them again.  If they were to deny their faith and the bad guy still killed them, then we would not see them again. 

I know as a child and teen, it is hard to imagine dying over living.   As Christians, we must tell our children that dying is not the end when you stand with Christ.  That dying for Him and not denying Him will allow them to live an eternal life full of happiness.  I believe arming my children with the facts that Jesus himself told us.  Our life to come in His father's house and witnessing all His glory.  Knowing that I and their earthly father are prepared to do the same, will give them the strength they need to do the right thing. 

So, I ask you:  Are you having these conversations with your children?  Have you had that conversation with yourself? Your spouse?  Will you and your family be able to stand strong in your faith and honor The Father?  Ten people did just that in Oregon.  May God bless them.  May their family know they are in a better place.  If you haven't begun to have these conversations, time is short.  Don't let it become to late.