faith

The Problem with Feeling-based Faith

I remember having a conversation with a friend. I was 18 and wondering about how I would know what God wanted me to do with my life.

She told me that God knew that I was an emotional creature and would show my heart where to go and what to do.

That I could trust my feelings.

We’ve talked before about what the Bible has to say about trusting your heart and your feelings.

Your heart, your emotions are part of your flesh swayed by the sinful nature as a result of the curse.

The problem is that feelings lie to you!

We like to say that we’ve given our hearts to Jesus, but that’s not in scripture anywhere.

We should be giving all of ourselves to Jesus, not just our emotions.

When the Bible talks about matters of faith what does it talk about?

The heart and emotions?

Or the mind?

“You were taught to put off your former way of life, your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be renewed in the spirit of your minds; and to put on the new self…” Ephesians 4:22-24 (emphasis mine)

We have a whole bunch of Christians walking around out there whose faith is based solely on how they feel. 

It’s not surprising because that’s how we treat all relationships even marriage: I’m here as long as I feel love or as long as I’m “in love.”

If you only follow Jesus as long as you feel in love with Him, you’re going to abandon Him.

This is why I cringe when people say they are in love with Jesus.

I guarantee that you will not feel “in love with Jesus” when persecution comes.

When the Lord’s discipline comes.

When trials come.

You’ll feel abandoned and alone.

That’s why it’s so very, incredibly, immensely, and entirely important to know the facts of scripture with your mind before the trials come and the feelings run out.

This is why theology –the logical study of God and His word– matter so much!

You need to have a solid understanding of scripture. You need concrete belief based on knowledge of the Bible and God’s character for when the feeling go away.

I remember going to summer camp in high school. I would get this awesome, excited, on-fire-for-God feeling.

And then I would go home.

And my sister was still annoying. The boy I liked still didn’t like me. I still had a temper. I still dealt with depression. I was still bad at math.

Everything went back to normal.

Why didn’t I feel God anymore?

I felt Him at camp.

Why didn’t I feel Him now?

Truth: it wasn’t God that I felt at camp. It wasn’t a spiritual high. It was an emotional high.

I had based my faith on how I felt instead of what I knew.

I had an American view of my relationship with God just like I had an American view of every other relationship in my life: it was based on how I felt.

If I felt loved, I was loved. If I felt unloved, then I wasn’t loved.

Everything was based on my emotions, and my emotions were part of my sinful flesh.

It wasn’t until I got older into my thirties and got very sick that I started searching the scripture for comfort and understanding.

That’s when I learned that God was always there –even when I couldn’t see Him. That’s when I went looking to understand more than feel.

That’s when I began to actually grasp the verses I had learned so long ago. Verses like this:

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, theevidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (emphasis mine)

Faith was believing in God –in His goodness, His faithfulness, His love– even when I couldn’t see it or feel it, even when it didn’t seem like I was loved.

Emotion-based faith causes all kinds of problems. It leads us to wishy-washy faith that’s tossed about by every wind of doctrine based on how we feel.

It leads us toward emotionalism, mystic faith and spiritualism (trying to spiritual for the sake of being spiritual). It leads to problems like Romantic Panentheism or Lectio Divina which teaches that the Bible says whatever you feel like it says. 

This is shifting sand for our faith.

We need the Solid Rock underneath us when the waves of strive, trials, and temptations beat against us.

Emotion-based faith will not provide that stability.

Just like I did after summer camp, we will feel abandoned by God because what we feel changes but a solid understanding of the word of God leaves us with an unshakable confidence in God –a confidence based both on His nature and His track record.

It is against His nature to break His promises, and He has proven Himself faithful through history. Some of the most wonderful examples of His faithfulness can be viewed within the pages of our bibles.

We can take comfort in the legacies of the saints who went before us and now stand as our cloud of witness cheering us on to faithful service to the One who will never abandon us.

Don’t trust your heart.

Don’t trust your feelings.

Trust your logic when your mind is fully stayed in Him and His word.

No matter how your circumstances make you feel.

Use your logical understanding of God word to calm your emotions when you feel like your life is out of control.

Trust Him.

He has always and will always be faithful.

He, who is our unchanging, steadfast, and faithful God.

Know Him: you’ll never regret it.

Knowledge is the only thing that will comfort you when the feels fail.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

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homeschooling, interview with a homeschool graduate

Interview with a Homeschool Graduate no. 4

In 2012, I joined the administration of a large homeschool group in my area. As part of that, I began writing for their homeschool newsletter. One of the most enjoyable articles I wrote was a series of interviews with homeschool graduates.


Interview with Alyssa

What year did your family begin homeschooling? 1986

How did your parents hear about homeschooling? Mom had a good friend who homeschooled her daughter.

What was your parents’ motivation for homeschooling (what made them choose to begin?) Mom was sure she could do better. She kept seeing me come home with all my homework.

What age and grade were you? 7 years old, 2nd grade; I went back to school for 3rd and 4th grade; home schooled for 5th grade. When we moved [to Oregon], my brother and I managed 3 weeks in public school before we were BEGGING to come home!

What curriculum did you use? Rod and Staff, A Beka, Bob Jones, Streams of Civilization, Far Above Rubies, Saxon (math)

Was there a particular curriculum that you found worked better for you than another? I loved Streams of Civilization! I learned a lot from Far Above Rubies (calligraphy, studied gems) but I wasn’t self-motivated enough to stick with it. A Beka Algebra was really hard for me.

Did you experience resistance from family or friends about your family’s’ choice to homeschool? My grandmother was very resistant to homeschool for quite a few years. She is fully supportive now.

What was your favorite course or class? I LOVED art! And history!

Did you have any learning disabilities or challenges? I cried over algebra!

What other activities were you involved with: church, ministry, co-ops, homeschool groups, community groups, sports, etc.? I was involved in gymnastics, art (lots of art!), ballet, babysitting, speech and debate, choirs & plays, Science Fair, piano Syllabus, recitals and Festival, ballet syllabus, working with Dad, and Wooden Shoe Bulb Company

How many siblings do you have? 6

Were they also homeschooled? yes

To your knowledge would they or do they homeschool their children? yes

Did you get your GED or graduate (if you graduated was it a homeschool graduation or through an organization)? no

At what age did you graduate? 19

Did you go to college? I went to a year at Clackamas Community College

Did homeschooling allow you to accomplish something or participate in something public schoolers wouldn’t be able to? Most of my extra curricular activities

What do you see as the advantages of being homeschooled? Being able to explore different interests at different time. School time being flexible.

What do you see as the disadvantages of being homeschooled, if any? Too much family time and/or not enough outside-the-home-time leans toward being a potential for the “ingrown” mentality as I call it.

Were you lonely as a child or did you feel deprived by being home-schooled? I had some lonely years in my teens, but I don’t regret them. I had a lot of peaceful days with my dog, playing out back. I had best friends but I didn’t see them often until I started driving..

My husband I were both home-schooled (he never went to public school) and when we were dating, we never even talked about schooling our children until after we got married! Our two boys are 6 and 4, doing first grade work and kindergarten [in homeschool]. It is most rewarding to see their eyes brighten with the knowledge and understanding. I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Stay tuned for more interviews.


Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

faith

Christians: Stop Judging Unbelievers

For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:17

For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 1 Corinthians 5:12


Jesus wasn’t here to judge the world.  In fact, he was kind to sinners but had some pretty scathing things to say about the religious leaders of the day!

The world will be judged one day, but not today. Corinthians refers to us judging the world and angels in the future, as in during the end times. For now, in the Age of Grace, the judging is left to God. 

Paul used rhetorical questions to explain that we are not supposed to judge those outside the church, but we are supposed to judge those inside the church.

By judge, I don’t mean treat harshly.  There’s a right and a wrong way to judge.

Judging the proper way is making a decision about whether or not someone is living or acting biblically.  This decision is for the purpose of trying to correct and help someone.

That is only to be done within the church

We absolutely should not be attempting to correct those outside the church!

First of all, they’re dead in their trespasses and sins. They have no power to follow Christ and Christ’s message is foolishness to them anyway.

We only have the power to live victoriously and obey bible commands because of Christ’s power within us. How could we expect them to even understand –let alone obey?

Let me give you an example of what Christians judging the world looks like and how it affects unbelievers.

I have an unbelieving relative who lives with her boyfriend and their kids.

Someone who claims to be a Christian but was nearly a complete stranger told her she was in sin for having children out of wedlock and made a big scene about it in a public place. She was crying when I talked to her. This person was not kind to her at all. They were harsh and even said that her boyfriend must not really love her since he didn’t even marry her. He also said something about her being a cow which was entirely inappropriate.

And guess what?  Now, she wants even less to do with Christians than she did before.

We’re supposed to be known for our love for each other, not for our judgment and harsh treatment to unbelievers.

I wonder how many more people we would win for Christ if we didn’t go around screaming that they were sinners on social media.

Statistically, the majority of people who come to Christ will do so through a friend — through a relationship. Not through people yelling at them and mistreating them.

We have it wrong in the American church.

We go around trying to berate everyone around us into being moral and living by bible rules when —apart from Christ– no one has the power to do that and that kind of judging is what we’re not supposed to do.

Christians want the world to be safe for them and their children so they try to make a religious society. This has caused way more problems than good giving people a false sense of security since being a Christian is associated with being an American or being moral instead of actually dying to self and following Christ.

We’re supposed to suffer and die for Jesus. A religiously safe place is not part of the deal.

People wonder why God allows laws that are against the bible: perhaps it is because we were never supposed to have a safe “Christian” government.  

We are supposed to be persecuted!

We should be correcting and training those within the church, but, those outside the church, we should not be judging! We should absolutely be witnessing: we should be genuinely concerned about their souls, but not treating them harshly.

The truth, when not conveyed with kindness, is wrong. As I’ve mentioned before,  the only time we’re allowed to be harsh is when dealing with false teachers.

Some things Jesus said were harsh, but He had one advantage that we do not: He could see their hearts.

When interacting with unbelievers, I often ask myself this question: is what I’m doing likely to make them more or less receptive to the gospel?

Remember that the gospel means good news.  Not harsh treatment.

We’re supposed to be ready to give an answer for the hope we have. We have hope that they need.

Are we living in such a way that they can see that hope, identify it as hope, and ask about it?

If we’re being rude,  they’re never going to bother asking.  

The bigger issue than judging unbelievers is that we have believed the lie –the half-truth– that we should never judge. The problem is that one verse says don’t judge, but the rest of the passage and the other parts of scripture expand on how you should and shouldn’t judge.

We are supposed to judge our Christian brothers and sisters.

Here’s how to do it properly and biblically.

1) You better be pretty sure this person is saved because many in our churches are not.

2) You better be doubly sure that you’re not guilty of the same sin that you judging someone else for.  

3) Be aware of how you’re judging. You’ll be judged the same way you judge others. So make sure you’re doing it right

4) Communicate your judgment in gentleness, love, and kindness. They may not appreciate it, but you need to know you didn’t behave offensively.

5) You’d better be 1000% sure that you can back your judgment up with a clear New Testament command. If not, then don’t bring it up.

6) Only communicate your concern if you can be absolutely certain that you’re doing it from a pure heart wanting what’s best for them and not just to make yourself feel better or look better.  

7) You need to be a mature Christian if you’re going to do this.

8) While you’re correcting a brother or sister,  make sure you don’t slip into sin.

That’s how it should be –but rarely is– done in the church.

But, scripture is absolutely clear that we shouldn’t go around accusing people outside the church of being in sin.

We are supposed to be kind to all people. 

We should build relationships with people and absolutely talk about our faith and share that they need a savior, but the abrupt, in-your-face, hell-fire-and-brimstone rebukes that Christians are unfortunately known for is simply not biblical.

And it doesn’t help anyone.

Do you really think a single homosexual person has turned from their sin by someone accusing them of sin, being rude, and verbally abusing them?  

How about by denying to bake them a cake? Do you think Christ is honored and people are won to Him while we demand that our rights to not bake cakes for people who sin? If that’s the case, you better stop making cakes!

Because we’re all sinners.

Is anyone won to Christ while we Christians behave harshly and unkindly?

No! Absolutely not.

And that’s not how were commanded to behave.

If you think it is, you might have bought into American Christianity which is more about making a safe place for a religious society then it’s about living for Christ and dying to self.

May we keep a proper view of judging and focus our correction on the church where it should be –where it is absolutely, critically needed.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

faith

Are You Legalistic?

First of all, in this discussion, we need to define legalistic.

The dictionary defines legalism as this:


le·gal·ism
ˈlēɡəˌlizəm/
noun
excessive adherence to law or formula.
THEOLOGY
dependence on moral law rather than on personal religious faith.



“Legal” has to do with the law.


le·gal
ˈlēɡəl/
adjective
adjective: legal
1.
of, based on, or concerned with the law.
appointed or required by the law.
relating to theological legalism.
2.
permitted by law.


“-ism” has to do with adherence to a certain practice.



Ism: a suffix appearing in loanwords from Greek, where it was used to form action nouns from verbs (baptism); on this model, used as a productive suffix in the formation of nouns denoting action or practice, state or condition, principles, doctrines, a usage or characteristic, devotion or adherence, etc. (criticism; barbarism; Darwinism; despotism; plagiarism; realism; witticism; intellectualism).


So legalism is, by the way that the word was formed, a way to describe adherence to the law.  

I was once told that legalism is a good thing.

Is that true?

Is adherence to law a good thing?

Well, that depends on what law you’re adhering to.

There are 3 possibilities that I can think of:

1) Adherence to Old Testament law or the Mosaic Law (called Judaizing)

2) Adherence to man-made law which may include various parts of the Mosaic law or human tradition or sense of morality (called moralism)

3) Adherence to the law of Christ (which is defined by grace instead of law and not what people mean when they say legalism).

If you’re describing following Jesus’ law as legalism, then, by all means, follow Jesus!  

But that’s not how I’m using it. That’s not what people mean when they say legalism. I’ve never heard legalism used to describe following Christ biblically.

So if you’re legalistic, you’ve got a problem: you’re not following the bible correctly.

Legalism is used to refer to adhering to rules instead of living by faith.

It is used in contrast to salvation and living by faith alone.

People like to be legalistic so that they have something to boast about. Grace through faith gives us nothing to boast about and takes the pride and self-glorification out of the picture.

People want to think they are better than other people, therefore, they’re drawn to lists of rules to make themselves feel better.

But that’s not what the gospel or Christian living is about. It’s not about making ourselves feel better that we can follow a list of rules.

Salvation is by grace so that we can’t boast.

We are not even able to follow Christ except God makes us alive in Christ and empowers us to live for Him.

Legalism is usually used to describe the first two options in our list above: it is either Judaizing or moralism.

Legalism usually focuses on adding rules to what God has commanded or claiming that God wants us to live by man’s sense of morality.

Legalism is not a new concept. The Pharisees were guilty of being legalistic.

How were the Pharisees legalistic?

If you’re familiar with Old Testament, you’ll remember that in the time of the Old Testament prophets, Israel was judged for not following the commands in the Law of Moses (Mosaic Law). They were taken captive and moved away from their homeland. In an effort to keep their people from breaking the Law and being punished again, the leaders of the Jews made additional rules on top of the Mosaic Law. Their intentions were actually honorable, but their method was wrong.

The problem comes when you say “Thus saith the Lord,” when the Lord has not thus said.

Here's the thing- you don't have to read stuff you don't agree with. You can just scroll past. That's what thousands of people do every day. More people should. (5).png

“So for the Pharisees, they not only tried to follow the 613 commandments of the Mosaic Law but the literally thousands of new commandments that were created to clarify the original 613 commandments.”

It wasn’t good enough for them to have one single rule to keep the Sabbath day holy, for example. No, they had to specify in which ways you would or wouldn’t be keeping the Sabbath holy. They added thousands of rules just about how to keep the Sabbath day.

Jesus came along and challenged their rules when he walked through fields on the Sabbath and picked grain to eat. This was something that was not against the Mosaic Law but was against the Pharisees’ extra rules, against their legalism. The Pharisees were not happy!

Even the New Testament has laws, rules for living, the Law of Christ if you will. So, how do you know if you’re adhering to the right law? How do you know if you’re just obeying the Bible or if you’re being legalistic?

1) Was the rule given to a different people in a different time (ie, not Gentiles in the Age of Grace)?

2) If it was given during another time, does the context indicate that it’s a rule for all people in all time?

3) Is it repeated as a command in the New Testament?

As we’ve discussed before, God, though Paul, said the Law is finished and we no longer have to follow it. Then, to clarify –because He’s not a God who makes us guess– He inspired New Testament writers to restate or mention the commands again if they still applied today.

How else would we know what commands had ended and which hadn’t?

So, if it’s not repeated in the New Testament, you don’t have to do it. It’s not a command to us today.

It’s that simple.

For instance, every one of the Ten Commandments was repeated except keeping the Sabbath day holy. That’s why we don’t rest on Saturday. Biblically, we do not have to.

Those who claim that Sunday is the new Sabbath are twisting scripture. The Bible never says that. In fact, the book of Colossians has specific commands against judging each other on the basis of who keeps the Sabbath.

People try to say that there are all kinds of commands today solely based on Old Testament laws: women must only wear women’s clothes, we must tithe 10 percent, and many other Old Testament concepts that are not repeated in the New Testament. People also try to add to scripture, for instance, saying that it is wrong to drink alcohol when the scripture only says to get drunk. 

Remember, we can’t say, “Thus saith the Lord” if the Lord has not thus said.

The most common type of legalism I see is people adding man-made rules to scripture.

Now, I make rules for my own family all the time. How do I know when I crossed from making reasonable rules to being legalistic?

The difference is this: do I try to say God is commanding everyone else to abide by my rules?

For instance, if I make a rule for my children –that they may only be online for one hour in the evening and in the same room with me, in an effort to keep them away from sinful things online like pornography– is that legalistic? No, not really.

What if I start telling everyone else that they’re disobeying God or not saved because they’re not doing the same thing with their children’s internet time as I am?

Making rules for my own family is not legalistic.

But, when I start…

–saying my rules are God’s rules,

–mistreating or judging others for not obeying my rules,

–saying they’re in disobedience to God or not saved,

…then I’ve crossed over into being legalistic.

I’ve mentioned before that unless you can back a rule up with a clear New Testament passage, you can’t say that it’s a rule for today.

God doesn’t make us guess about what He wants us to do. That’s not the kind of god He is.

Unfortunately, we’re often so busy worrying about man-made rules that we ignore actual verses that are commands.

If the command has to do with the exterior, we can be pretty certain that it doesn’t apply today (with a few exceptions).

God’s way more concerned about your heart than your clothes! And, we’re repeatedly told in scripture not to judge someone based on their appearance.

Do you try to enforce your sense of morality on other people?

Can you back up your position with clear New Testament scripture?

Do you judge or mistreat people who don’t abide by your sense of right and wrong –even if it’s not backed up by scripture?

Do you understand the concepts of Christian stewardship and liberty?

Do you understand that the Old Testament is history and that those commands in the Mosaic Law (and during previous dispensations) do not apply today?

Are you trying to still follow the Mosaic Law even though 9 out of 13 Pauline epistles warn about the dangers of trying to follow the Mosaic Law and even though the New Testament is clear that the Law has passed away and is finished?

Jesus had some strong things to say about the Pharisees who tried to add to scripture, add to what the Bible commands, and who made rules where God did not.

Jesus called them whitewashed sepulchers!

May we have a proper understanding of scripture and not put ourselves in bondage to a law that couldn’t save and only served to remind that we needed a Savior. Even in the Old Testament times, the Law was pointing toward Jesus, showing that no one could be good and everyone needed Jesus.

We have that Savior now and do not need the Law.

Let’s keep the Mosaic law in a proper perspective –as part of Bible history– as it should be.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

interview with a homeschool graduate

An Interview with a Homeschool Graduate No. 3

In 2012, I joined the administration of a large homeschool group in my area. As part of that, I began writing for their homeschool newsletter. One of the most enjoyable articles I wrote was a series of interviews with homeschool graduates.


Interview with Kyle 

What year did your family begin homeschooling? 1983 was when my oldest brother was born and, as they say, a child’s educational journey begins on day one.

How did your parents hear about homeschooling? Through numerous friends in the Polk County area.

What was your parent’s motivation for homeschooling (what made them choose to begin)? My folks were both brought up in the public school system and knew when they got married that they wanted to take a different path for their children.

What age and grade were you? Obviously, I wasn’t around quite yet when my parents first began… but I was around 6 or 7 when my “formal schooling” started.

What curriculum did you use? Ah, yes, curriculum. By the time I came along, we really had quite a diverse collection of material that Mom had put together. I used Abeka for health and history, Saxon for math, Apologia for chemistry, Bob Jones for biology, and for grammar we used Frody Jensen’s “A Journey Through Grammar Land”… just to name a few.

Was there a particular curriculum that you found worked better for you than another? When I began doing Algebra, there was a DVD series we found from a vendor at one of the homeschool conventions called, “Video-text Interactive”. Being a visual kind of person, the way that they illustrated the different problems was unique and definitely helpful for me.

Did you experience resistance from family or friends about your family’s choice to homeschool? From whom? Can you describe an incident related to this? Actually, we were very well supported, all things considered. Even my great Aunt and Uncle, both public school teachers, were agreeable to the idea. A bit cautious in their approval… but still agreeable nonetheless.

What was your favorite course or class? The co-op classes I took…, literature and composition, win hands down on this one. I also found chemistry enjoyable because it wasn’t just math… but rather math in action.

Did you have any learning disabilities or challenges? If bad handwriting is considered a disability, then yes.

Did you have challenges with any classes for which your parents found creative solutions to help you? (perhaps a method that the public schools wouldn’t use?) Math was, and probably still is, my weakest subject and so as I would be at the table slaving away at (what seemed like) the 647th problem on my sheet, Mom would have me take a break and clear my frazzled mind by running a few laps around the house or simply switching subjects for awhile.

What other activities were you involved with: church, ministry, co-ops, homeschool groups, community groups, sports, etc.? Oh boy, what wasn’t I involved in? My family participated in copious amounts of “outside the home” activities that ranged from visiting nursing homes to homeschool band and choir, co-op Spanish classes to church league softball, Bible memory programs (AWANA) and 4-H clubs were some of the main focuses my brothers and I had.

How many siblings do you have? I am blessed to be one of seven boys. I was the youngest of my parent’s original four, but when we adopted three younger boys from the foster care system I happily became the middle child.

Were they also homeschooled? Yes.

To your knowledge would they or do they homeschool their children? Although I’m uncertain where my oldest brother would stand, I know for certain that the rest of the guys all have a heart for home education and will definitely continue the legacy when they have kids of their own.

Did you get your GED or graduate (if you graduated was it a homeschool graduation or through an organization?) At what age did you graduate? I was 17 when I graduated and received a very handsome diploma from my parents. To make the day extra special, my close friend Steven Johnston and I had a joint celebration that we planned together.

Did you go to college? No, not a bona fide college. But by volunteering through our local fire dept. I’ve been certified as a firefighter level 1 as well as an emergency medical responder (EMR). Recently, I also completed the test for a class B commercial driver’s license.

Did homeschooling allow you to accomplish something or participate in something public schoolers wouldn’t be able to? Since my Dad has owned his own business for some time, the greatest opportunity I received was learning the meaning of an arduous day’s work and seeing my Dad serve his customers and gain their respect. Operating all kinds of tools and equipment was another benefit that flowed naturally out of that. Home education gave me the flexibility to travel during the school year and yet not fall behind. A couple of examples would be; when I was 15, I went to Southern Mexico with a team of local people to help build a bible school. And when I was 16, I traveled to Northern Washington to help lead a pro-life outreach on a university campus. Wonderful experiences. Really, I’ve been so exceedingly blessed.

What do you see as the advantages of being homeschooled? Any Christian family who has been homeschooling for awhile could probably tell you that the heart of education is discipleship. Over and over and over again in the book of Proverbs we see variations of the phrase “My son, give ear to my understanding…” It’s through the prayerful ( and sometimes painful ) years of pouring themselves into their children that parents win their hearts and raise them up to love the Lord. In regards to academics, schooling at home gives you immense amounts of flexibility as a parent. Where children excel naturally, it’s easy to spur them on and not be hindered by an age and a grade that are out of proportion. And when a child struggles, the parent can either focus more one-on-one time with them or, if necessary, call in someone else who’s more skilled in instructing that particular subject. Overall, you’re given the freedom to see that your children are getting their individual needs met in just the right way.

What do you see as the disadvantages of being homeschooled, if any? For myself, I look back and realize that there were some subjects where I simply didn’t push myself to excellence and I’m afraid only laziness is to blame for that. It’s easy for parents to get busy and let their kids (especially older kids) go through their day’s work basically on their own. Normally, this works marvelously! However, if a young person lacks motivation (or diligence in my case) it can lead to doing work that’s sloppy and just-the-bare-minimum-to-get-by.

Were you lonely as a child or did you feel deprived by being homeschooled? Oh goodness, no! In fact, I usually respond to the old “socialization question” with a chuckle, “If I had any more friends… my parents would’ve probably gone insane.” Seriously, though, regardless of where a child gets their education, it seems to me that they’re only as socially gifted as their parents teach them to be. The “socially deprived homeschooler” is simply a grossly erroneous perception.

Would you change something about your homeschool experience? If so, what? Regrettably, it wasn’t ’til I was high school aged that I started pursuing deep and honest conversations with my parents about what it meant to be created in God’s image and how he made our beautifully designed bodies to work. Puberty made no sense to me and I didn’t understand why all these changes were taking place. ( You see, my Grandfather was a very quiet man and never taught his sons how one is to grow up and honor the Lord as a masculine creature. And, In turn, that’s something that my Dad never instructed me in either.) As Dad and I talk now and look back on those days, I believe there were many foolish, emotional mistakes I could have avoided had those lessons started happening earlier.

The only other bleak spot in my (otherwise blessed and absolutely fantastic) time as a homeschooled student was what I alluded to earlier. At times, I know that I squeaked my way through a class, not really pushing myself to learn, but apathetically doing just enough to get a decent grade. I needed to be reminded that especially in schoolwork the principle of Col. 3:23 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…” Yep, that also includes arithmetic.


Stay tuned for more interviews in the future.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

ADHD, featured, homeschooling

17 Things Your ADHD Child Would Tell You if He Could

 If you disagree with this blog post, please read this post: ADHD and Self-identity.


17 Things Your ADHD Child Would Tell You if He Could (based on my and my husband’s lives living with ADHD and raising ADHD children):

 

1) I’m trying way harder than you’ll ever know even though it doesn’t seem like it to you. I really, truly am.

2) Criticizing me or getting angry at me that my brain doesn’t work better doesn’t help me. It makes me hate myself even more.

3) I’m painfully aware of all the areas that I’m not measuring up. Instead of making a big deal about my shortcomings, try to find ways to help me.

4) An accommodation isn’t the same as enabling. If you help me where I’m genuinely struggling, I’m going to be grateful. Don’t assume that I’m manipulating you.

5) I’m not doing this to you; it’s not something I am doing on purpose.

6) If you think it’s hard to live with me, imagine trying to live inside a body that won’t do what you want it to do.

7) My brain doesn’t work right but I don’t know how to tell you that. It makes me angry and unkind, but I’m not trying to be that way.

8) When I’m being horrible, what I really need is for you to tell me you’ll love me no matter what. And maybe hug me, too. I probably believe that I’m unlovable, so prove me wrong.

9) I know that my lack of motivation is frustrating, but pushing harder doesn’t help me do better.

10) My anger and frustration is a result of my brain not processing properly. When I’m overwhelmed and freaking out, don’t escalate by freaking out or getting angry too. I need you to be calm and show me that everything’s going to be fine even when I feel like it’s not.

11) If I get overwhelmed, don’t expect me to sort out the problem all by myself. The part of my brain the controls regulation doesn’t work properly. That’s why I need your help to regulate.

12) Don’t try to break me of things that you see as weaknesses. My sensitivity as a child means I’ll be compassionate as an adult. My stubbornness as a child means I’ll be independent and assertive as an adult. Instead of squashing these characteristics, channel them toward something good that can benefit me when I’m older. Don’t view me as something that needs fixed or toughened-up.

13) Don’t be afraid of labeling me. A label gives me answers and help. If my condition is serious enough to need to be diagnosed, you can guarantee that I’ve noticed something’s wrong and I’m wondering why I’m different too. Unless you tell me what’s going on, I’m likely to grow up angry and confused about why everyone has it all together and I don’t. A label means I can get help; it gives me answers and vindication.

14) I have a real, actual medical condition in my brain. It’s just as real as if I had Type 1 Diabetes. Just like Diabetes, I need help to deal with the condition. No one tells someone with Type 1 Diabetes that they are lazy if they’re tired because their blood sugar is low. They understand that it’s part of the condition. Please, please, please learn about my condition, and don’t blame me for things that are out of my control. Just like leaving Type 1 Diabetes untreated results in serious complications and even death, untreated ADHD can lead to serious complications –potentially including death. Thankfully, there are many ways to treat ADHD (and medication isn’t the only way).

15) My frontal lobe is developing 30% behind normal. Please understand this and don’t put me in situations I’m not ready to handle. If you give me responsibility that’s beyond my developmental age, don’t be angry with me that I do poorly. That’s setting me up for failure, and that’s just cruel.

16) Stop expecting me to be normal. I can’t be. Not for all my trying. Until you accept that, I’ll always be a failure in your eyes, and I’ll always view myself as not good enough.

17) You have the power to make me miserable by how you treat me. Remember to treat me with love and grace. Treat me how you would want to be treated if you were struggling with a problem in your brain. I may make myself miserable sometimes, but don’t add to that by treating me poorly. When in doubt, be kind. Believe me, I need your kindness.

***This list has been reviewed and approved by adults with ADHD***


You can find more of my posts about ADHD here.

This a reminder that I am not a doctor or a scientist. I am just a writer and artist with ADHD making graphics and posts based on information I have read from leading authorities on ADHD. I encourage you to research these issues yourself and watch the Dr. Barkley videos at the bottom of this post called What You Need to Know About Your ADHD Child for more information about the science behind ADHD.

I hope this information is helpful. If you enjoyed this post, I would be honored if you would subscribe to my blog and follow me on Facebook.

Blessings,
Sarah Forbes

 

getting started homeschooling, homeschooling

11 Things Homeschool Moms Need to Know

1) Homeschool –when it’s effective– very seldom looks like the public school. Don’t copy the broken system you left. Don’t try to keep up with the school system.

2) You can’t teach your child everything they need to know. No teacher can not even the best professional teacher. Accept that. It’s okay.

3) If you can instill a love of learning in your child, he’ll fight you less and be willing to fill in those gaps himself if he needs to when he’s older.

4) You can’t force learning. You can try, but the truth is that real knowledge is obtained voluntarily. Anything else is less effective and will be miserable for the child and you.

5) When homeschooling is done wrong, homeschool parents can become bullies themselves doing damage to their own children in the name of education. Don’t force learning to the detriment of your child.

6) Tests and quizzes are unnecessary. They’re a method of monitoring large groups but really not necessary in a homeschool environment. Like all curriculum, it’s your tool, not your master. Don’t use anything unless you see its value in your situation.

7) The issue of socialization is a non-issue. We’ve been brainwashed into believing this was an issue. Don’t believe the lies.

8) Your child’s emotional, mental, and psychological well-being are way more important than a schedule or goal.

9) Some of the most efficient kinds of education methods are the ones that look the least like “regular” educational methods. My favorite non-traditional methods are Delight-led Learning and Unschooling. Your children are learning all the time even when it doesn’t look like school.

10) Trust your instincts even if it’s way different than what’s considered normal. You’ve been teaching this child’s since he was born and have way more knowledge of what works for this child’s than any “professional.”

11) You have something to offer your child that he’s not likely going to get from a teacher: unconditional love. Don’t underestimate its power. Love is an amazingly powerful tool that has the power to heal.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

getting started homeschooling, homeschooling

Why You Need to Know Your State Homeschool Laws

Although Oregons homeschool laws are very lax, I was rather shaken into reality last week when I attempted to enlist the help of the local public high school to test my oldest son for his learning disabilities.

Accommodating to his needs hasn’t been a problem. We’ve found ways to make learning possible. It was through done trial and error, but that was many years ago now and we’ve basically got it figured out now.

So, an IEP or a 504 isn’t that valuable to me. It can’t do anything I’m not already doing.  Since legally in Oregon homeschools are a separated kind of organization, different from either the public or the private school, I am not required to have either of those.

I had tried in the past (when he was in grade school) to have him tested and we met with challenges that included not being able to find someone well-versed in learning disabilities and also his high intelligence possibly masking some of the problems.

 

What got me started on this train of thought to revisit the issue is multiple conversations in various online forums. One mom insisted that unless I got him an IEP now, at the beginning of highschool, he wouldn’t be afforded any accommodations when he got to college.  

First if all, this sent me into a panic which I admit was an overreaction on my part. I was in the middle of fighting another kidney infection and not thinking clearly through the pain. So I freaked out and started doing all the research I could to find out how I could guarantee that my son would have accommodations if he needed them in college.

The lady on the one forum who pushed me hard to go the public school lives in a state where any homeschoolers are already under the authority of the public school.  

She had no idea that my laws were different and that if I pursued this I had the potential to lose the ability to make educational choices for my son.  By choosing to use the public school system, I was giving up our autonomy and choosing to have their oversight.

Now,  before I go farther,  I should clarify something.  I’m not anti public school.  I don’t think you’re in sin if you send your kids there,  wrong if you use a charter school instead of traditionally homeschooling,  and I’m not about to diss the public schools.

I’m a homeschool graduate,  so people assume I’m anti public school.  I’m not. I have extreme philosophical differences with the public schools and I don’t believe that their method of educational is the only way or even the best way. But that’s just an opinion about methods.

I have significant trauma from my public school years, but my best friend in high school attended public school and had no problems. She even thrived there and graduated with her faith intact.

So with those caveats, let me move forward with my explanation of why you need to know your state laws,  why it’s not good enough just to take advice from any random person on Facebook or a homeschool forum without checking that advice against your laws specifically.

– Laws vary by state.

– In Oregon homeschools are considered a separate entity –legally recognized as separate.

– To partake in the public schools in Oregon is to relinquish our autonomy as a homeschool and place ourselves under the public school’s authority.

– Once I relinquish that autonomy the decisions about my son’s education are no longer mine alone to make. I only regain that authority by removing us from the public school again.

– No one in my little town has ever tried to get a homeschool teen tested for learning disabilities at the public high school. It has never been done, so there is no precedent regarding how this situation would be handled. The school administration had to have a special meeting about how to handle our situation.

– A similar attempt to access school services  in a different town near us (which we pay for and are legally available to us homeschoolers) resulted in Child Protective Services being called because the special ed teacher –who had exactly zero knowledge of homeschool law– decided that the mom –who was in obedience to homeschool law– was not doing enough to educate her special needs child. This was at the middle school level.

– Once you access government services like public school, you lose access to representation like that which is available through HSLDA because, legally you’re not homeschooling anymore.

– The school insisted that I bring proof that I was educating him even though they didn’t know what the legal homeschool requirements were or what proof was legally required ;they wanted to see tests, quizzes, etc. Since we do online school, did delight led, unschooling, and oral work when he was younger, and only do state mandated tests every few years (the last one was almost 3 years ago), I didn’t have anything concrete and in paper form to show them.  They really didn’t like this. They really didn’t understand how homeschooling works.

– They were willing to do a meeting to explore possibly testing him, but any additional services  were contingent upon me enrolling him full-time in the high school. I think that is against federal law but I don’t have the energy to fight it. I am pretty sure it would require getting a lawyer and then do I really want my child around people who I forced to help him against their will?

– Many parents have successfully gotten their children enrolled in special needs services through the public schools, but it is nearly always done at a younger age.  

– The fact that he was still struggling with learning disabilities and that I did not diagnosed him when he was younger was apparently an indication to the special ed teacher that I was not doing my job properly. I’m not sure how that makes sense logically since many bright students don’t get diagnosed, and learning disabilities don’t go away simply because a child gets of high school age.

– I was only interested in help with the learning disabilities.  However, help was not available through the school district without strings attached. This is the case with many government programs, unfortunately.

This is why it is imperative that you know the laws for your state. If I had followed the advice that worked in other states, I had the potential to open a can of worms I didn’t want to have to deal with and a can that may not have easily been reclosed.  

In some states, homeschoolers are already under their local school or already are regulated about what they have to do when or even answer to public school teachers..  In some states, you wouldn’t necessarily lose your homeschool status by using those services.  I do know families in Oregon who use the school services and the school leaves them alone to homeschool, but none of those families tried to access those services at the high school level.  The high school seemed keen on proving that I was not doing a sufficient job, because if I had been my son wouldn’t have needed their help.  

In the end, we declined the public schools offer to enroll him full time and chalked it up to a lesson learned. Instead, we’re looking into having the testing done at a local college.  Apparently, contrary to what I was told, it is quite common for colleges to diagnose learning disabilities and even if he had an IEP or 504 in high school, it would have to be revisited and reevaluated when he got to college anyway.

So all my stressing was for nought.

Remember how I mentioned before that the pressure for homeschool moms to succeed is immense?  Even those of us who champion ignoring that stress and letting your child learn naturally occasionally lose sight of that and give into the stress.

It was actually my husband who finally calmed me down. We were out to dinner alone, and I was venting all my frustrations about the situation and telling him how I was doing the boys a disservice because we didn’t have them properly diagnosed.

He told me that in his observation the learning disabilities are not causing as many problems as I feared they were. He reminded me that many kids don’t get diagnosed with learning disabilities until adulthood (myself included), and that they fare well when they receive support, accommodation, and encouragement (which my children have).

He squeezed my hand and told me it would be alright.

His confidence in me and in our son’s ability to attack whatever challenges he faced was reassuring.  

We’re still looking into other options, but they’ll be private options because I’m unwilling to allow someone at the public school to have power over my son’s education.

Next time, hopefully, I will think before I freak out.

This is just one incident, but it serves as a good reminder that we need to know our state laws and how to work within those so that we don’t accidentally shoot ourselves in the foot.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

faith

Satan Wants to Distract You

There are certain commands given to believers in the New Testament.

The first and possibly the most important command –if you could even rate them–  is the Great Commission.

The command has two parts: (1) the go part and (2) the make disciples part.  They’re two separate but connected things. Go is outreach to the unsaved, and discipleship is training and teaching of the saved.

Every spiritual gift is intended to help the church to either go or to make disciples.

The gift of mercy, giving, help, teaching, and evangelism –all these and more are meant to enrich the body of Christ.

Our passion, our greatest pursuits should be using these gifts that God gave us to enrich His body. This is why we’re given spiritual gifts.

At the very least, our passions shouldn’t be drawing us away from the greater issue of using our spiritual gifts for eternal purposes.

Satan wants us to get so wrapped up with other things that we don’t take the time to do the eternal stuff or to do the church stuff or to use our spiritual gifts; he wants us to be so distracted that we don’t have the time, energy, or focus in order to use the gifts in the church.

It’s a bonus if he can use our spiritual gifts against us: if he can use our gift to get us wrapped up in something that doesn’t have eternal value but seems to be good.

We probably wouldn’t be distracted by it if it didn’t seem good, but there’s a difference between almost right and right.  

Satan mixes just enough almost-good into it to make it appealing, to make us think that what we are going is eternally valuable.

AMONG (2)

Discernment is not telling the difference between right and wrong, rather it is the difference between right and almost right.” C.H Spurgeon.

He will get us emotionally invested in anything that seems good and noble as long as it is distracting us from using our spiritual gifts as God intended.

Now, by themselves, these pursuits do not automatically mean we have a problem, but he wants to be so passionate about them that it will almost become a religion unto itself.

Distractions of almost-good-things that I’ve seen people take too far are listed below. I know I’m stepping on toes so bear with me and let me explain.

– Trying to save horses from the glue factory

– Trying to get everyone to spay and neuter their animals

– Trying to stop abortion

– Trying to stop domestic abuse

– Adoption and foster care

– Stopping deforestation

– Feeding the homeless

– Trying to saving endangered animals

– Trying to stop animal abuse here or in other countries

– Trying to stop other countries from raising animals for meat if we don’t eat them here in the US

– Trying to stop the euthanization of animals

– Trying to stop the use of vaccines

– Trying to stop the use of pesticides

– Free trade movement

– Buying handmade items from poor people in other countries

None of these are bad things. Some of them are even things that I support.

So when does it pass from a healthy concern to an obsession that’s drawing us away from God?

…when we start making moral absolutes where the Bible doesn’t.

…when we start letting a temporal issue distract us from the eternal.

Here are examples that indicate you’ve stepped over the line and you’re trying to make scripture support your interests instead of using your gifts to support the church as commanded in the bible.

You are overstepping if you say:

-It is morally wrong to not spay your cat.

-Anyone who doesn’t picket against abortion is supporting it.

– If you’re not fostering and adopting as many kids as you can, you’re in sin.

– God told us to take care of the earth, so if you’re letting people you’re in sin.

– If you’re not buying handmade items from people in other countries you are sinning.

Some of those things we as the church are supposed to do, but does every individual church member have to do those things even if they are gifted differently?

If everyone’s gifted differently and one person is the hand and other the feet as scripture says, why do we expect everyone to minister in the same ways?

If the church as a whole is given a command like caring for orphans and widows does every member individually have to do it or does the church as a group just need to see that it’s being done by someone in their midst? Of course, we don’t expect Grandma Mary to foster kids at age 90 or the lady with cancer to take care of the homeless. If it is really a sin then it is a sin in all cases.

Beyond that is the concern that people start making extra-biblical rules to support their hobby or pet topic and trying to force everyone else into supporting their beloved issue.

If Satan can get us to ignore our gifts and the issues of salvation and discipleship which we are commanded to focus on as a church and get us to champion a different good-but-not-biblical issue

If he can get us to use our talents on something that draws us away from using our gifts in the church…

If he can get us to champion an issue in an unbiblical way and ruin our testimony…

…he wins.  

And we let him, unfortunately.  

The biggest issue I see is when people pick their pet topic, their passion, and then go looking for verses to back it up so that they can say everyone else should do the same thing they do. They try to make the Bible verses support their position even if they have to twist the bible to make it say that.

Like spaying a cat.  Someone once used the verse about knowing the good you should do and not doing it as a command to spay your cat. Now, I think it’s good to spay your cat. It’s probably even wise. But it’s not a sin to have an unspayed cat.  Is it of eternal value? Is it really worth twisting scripture to get people to do a surgery on their house pet? There are some pretty specific rebukes for those who choose to twist scripture. I have heard people use Old Testament verses about defending injustice to back up any perceived injustice they can think of.

People will also champion moral ideas in the political realm. For instance, abortion. But, they’ll get so wrapped up in arguing about the immorality of abortion that they forget that the person they’re arguing with is going to hell without a Savior. What’s more important: that you convince them that abortion is wrong or that you convince them they need a savior? By arguing with them about abortion you can easily lose sight of the eternal soul of the person you’re debating. Paul said we shouldn’t judge those outside the church. We shouldn’t be focusing our energy on trying to correct unbelievers. There are enough problems in our own churches actually need to be addressed. Those are the problems we are commanded to address: the problems within the church.

If Satan can get us distracted with other passions and pursuits than witnessing and discipleship, he’s winning.  

I don’t care what topic you like as long as you don’t twist scripture, lose sight of our purpose here on earth, or try to make a new version of Christianity by twisting the Bible to suit your own preferences.

You can like politics, cats, horses, stray kids, the forest –whatever. Just don’t ruin your testimony while you’re championing your pet project. Don’t make that topic and pursuit of that topic more important than the commands to go and to disciple. Don’t lose sight of the eternal.

How do we know when it’s crossing over from a reasonable hobby to an obsession that’s drawing us away from God?

1) We expect everyone else to have the same passion we have and equate pursuit of our passion with morality.

2) We expect everyone else to have the same spiritual gifts we have and use them the same way.

3) We start looking for ways to use the bible to back up our passion even if it means twist scripture.

4) We start arguments and accuse other people of being in sin because they’re not helping us with our passion or not as passionate about a topic as we are.

5) We build our beliefs around the pet topic instead of reading the Bible for what it says and seeing if our passion fits in with that.

6) We care more about our passion and proving to everyone that we’re right than we care about the souls around us who are bound for hell.

7) We contend for our pet topic more vehemently than we contend for scripturally solid topics like the fundamentals of our faith.

8) We become self-righteous thinking that we’re the only truly holy people because we’re following the “right way” (our made up version of Christianity that is tailored to include our pet topic) and everyone else isn’t.

Do you have a hobby that’s a passion?

Are you diligent to make sure it’s not drawing you away from God?

Are you diligent to make sure that you have a biblically accurate understanding of that topic?

Are you more passionate about the salvation of the lost and education of believers than you are your pet topic?

Are you careful about your testimony, that you’re not ruining it while pursuing your passion?

This is a slippery slope.

We should be willing to give up any hobby that draws us away from God and tempts us to make gods out of our pursuits.

I pray that we would have discernment and not let Satan have a foothold in our lives.  

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

P.S. for more info on this topic I recommend Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis.  In that book,  the demons try to keep the believers so busy doing “good” things that they’re distracted from eternal things.

faith

The Worst Among Us

If you viewed her profile on Facebook, it said: “I am a Christian, and I love people like Jesus does.”

If you read her posts and comments she is self-righteous, judgemental, unloving, ungracious, and accusatory.

She believes that she is the only one who isn’t fleshly and actively accused others of walking in the flesh while she also claimes that she will only obey scripture or listen to teachers when she could “feel the Holy Spirit telling her this was right.” She ignores passages of the Bible because she doesn’t feel the Holy Spirit when reading that passage.

She spent 84 comments on one public post telling everyone there (who, based on their comments, were Bible-believing Christians) that they weren’t saved because they didn’t agree with her 100%. Unless they did things her way they either weren’t saved or had lost their salvation if they had ever been saved.

She had decided that she was the only holy person out there. They certainly weren’t as holy as she was.

She denied the existence of Christian liberty and judge not only on outward appearance but on things not specifically discussed in scripture. Her way, the way that she said everyone needed to follow, was a minimalistic, legalistic lifestyle including denial of anything enjoyable and never reading anything except the Bible, a belief called asceticism.

She trolled the pages of one organization I follow on Facebook until I finally blocked her because I was tired of her vitriol.  

This is what the public sees.

This is, unfortunately, what Christians look like to them.

As I’ve mentioned before, a group is judged by the worse among us.

Don’t believe me?

What do you think of when I say, “Muslim”? Do you think of the moderate Muslims living in the US and just wanting freedom?

My guess is your first thought –as mine usually is– is of Muslim extremists.  

This group is also judged by the worst among them.

I’m not saying it’s right.

I’m saying that’s a reality.

The world will judge us by the worst among us.

Make sure you are not poorly representing Jesus.

Are you sound and accurate biblically?

Do you know what kind of judgments are allowed biblically and what aren’t?

Do you impose your preferences on others?

Do you accuse others of being unsaved? Do you assume you know their heart?

Do you judge their character by their outward appearance?

Do you accuse those around you of sin when you have no clear passage in scripture to back it up?

Do you communicate in humility, grace, and kindness?

Is your motivation love and not to make yourself look better?

Do you make your disagreements public and air dirty laundry in the presence of unbelievers?

Unfortunately,  the lady described above is not an anomaly.

This behavior is rampant.

I would like to say that this behavior is just a result of social media, but it is not.

I remember similar extreme behavior all the way before social media existed.

What social media has done is made that behavior public and visible to everyone.

This behavior may have happened at church meetings of the past, but that was pretty private.

Now it’s out there online for everyone to see.

This is our testimony, unfortunately.

And, as a group, it’s not such a great testimony.

It’s actually pretty pathetic.

This is why Christians are having such a hard time having an impact on the world.

It’s hard to take us seriously when there’s so much nonsense attributed to our members.

Case in point:  who remembers the infamous red Starbucks cups?

The amount of outrage by people I know in real life was ludicrous. The number of people picketing and protesting like spoiled children acting like they were owed cups decorated the way they preferred was frankly embarrassing.

Do we honestly think we won anyone to Christ or planted any spiritual seeds in that debacle?

While Christians were out whining about their rights they were losing their testimonies. I am glad Jesus didn’t whine about His rights, aren’t you?

The entire red cup situation did believers only harm.

What we do and say matters.

We are Christ’s ambassadors.

As a whole, it seems we’re doing a pretty poor job of representing Christ.  

I think part of that reason is because we’re not vigilant to see that false teaching, legalism, and inbelief isn’t in our midst.

I understand the people who choose not to use the word “Christian” because the word is kind of empty of meaning today. It used to mean people who truly followed Jesus. Now it just means anyone who kind of goes to church and sometimes does religiousy type stuff.

This is part of the problem with calling the USA “a Christian nation.”  It muddies the water between real believers and those who are just flirting with religion or just think they are Christians because they live in the US.

Imagine being an American Ambassador to another country. Would you be a good ambassador if you attacked people, argued, treated them unkindly? Do you think anyone would want to come to the US if all they ever saw was angry unkind people who fought with each other and attacked each other, making public scenes?

We’re supposed to live in such a way that people will ask about the hope we have. People should want to become a Christian because of the peace we have.

Is peace a ruling factor in our lives?  Do we display that to other people?

Are we living in such a way that we show we have hope to offer people?

I cannot emphasize enough how much our testimonies matter.  

Don’t be the worst among us. Have a good testimony and live in a way that shows what a Christian should be like.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes