Contributions from our Members: "Faithful Friend" ... Both my children have gone through times when they feel lonely. It's been amazing to see whom the Lord chooses as their friends. It's also been a blessing to watch them grow in their friendship with the Lord.
The past few days we've been watching the approach of Hurricane Bonnie. What a difference experience makes ... experience doesn't make much of a difference. What do I mean?
Two years ago, North Carolina had a double whammy hurricane season, and was particularly hit hard by Hurricane Fran. Fran was devastating and, in some ways, North Carolina is still recovering from it. But Hurricane Fran did alert people. For the past two years, a lot has been done to be better prepared for a hurricane, including educating citizens and having better emergency procedures. This state was ready for Hurricane Bonnie. What a difference experience makes.
Today, Hurricane Bonnie came ashore. She seems to be a slow, plodding, determined, big hurricane. She has been and will be destructive. We can't prevent her forward progress, her high winds, her flooding rains, her storm surge, her path--which spells terrible destruction & erosion for the coastal area. North Carolina knew Bonnie was coming and couldn't stop her. Experience doesn't make much of a difference.
Hurricane Bonnie will leave North Carolina in the next day or two. She'll leave behind destruction, but there will be people here to rebuild. The coastal areas won't be the same. Lessons will be learned, new procedures put in place, new experiences that will affect the way people react the next time a hurricane comes this way.
What's my point? (IOW, why is this post in the Homeschool section? *grin*) I was thinking about some of the messages I've been reading from homeschoolers going through some tough times with their homeschool. It seems like a hurricane is in our midst. When it comes to homeschooling -- What a difference experience makes ... experience doesn't make much of a difference.
We can learn from past homeschooling experiences, whether it is our own or through others that share, but, even if we are prepared, we can't stop the trials that will come.
In _The Valley of Vision_, a collection of Puritan prayers & devotions compiled by Arthur Bennett, one of the prayers has this beautiful quote ...
Keep me sensible of my weakness,
and of my dependence upon thy strength.
Let every trial teach me more of thy peace,
more of thy love.
from the prayer titled "Grace In Trials".
Be prepared, learn from experience, and do not be surprised by these trials. Take some time to meditate on the following Scripture:
Are you surprised that you are having a difficult time?
1 Peter 4:12-13
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
Are you worried?
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Are you afraid?
He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid
Are you feeling weak, inadequate?
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Do you feel like quitting?
forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Do you wonder why you are doing this?
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We watched a show recently about barrier islands. These islands are literally shifting piles of sand. Imagine building your home on one of these islands. Steadily beneath your home, the sand, upon which you've laid your home's foundation, is shifting. One hurricane can take out your foundation and send your house toppling into the sea.
Our "homes" are thankfully built on the Rock, on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ and His Word. When a "hurricane" comes against you with high winds and drenching rain, threatening to knock out your foundation and send you tumbling into the raging ocean, you should be reminded of what Jesus said ...
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
Jesus sure knew what a hurricane was like.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
"We Gather Together" ... I would like to share some snippets from one of the Thanksgivings in Mitford. Sit back and enjoy the characters, the descriptions, the action, the food, the prayers, and the love woven throughout Jan Karon's Mitford ...