Monday, October 22, 2012

pastoral thoughts on infant baptism

The distinction and concession underscores the reality that Salvation is always by Grace and not Race while at the same time maintaining that because of Grace, Grace often runs in familial lines (Deuteronomy 7:9).
And so we believe with Scripture that whenever God made covenant with man He always included the children of whom He made covenant with in that covenantal arrangement.
A Short Rationale for Infant Baptism by Pastor Bret McAtee of Iron Ink

"The father says, in effect, by keeping him at arm's length from any covenant blessings, that his profession of faith and trust is more worthy of doubt than credence, and this is the first (twisted) covenantal lesson the child learns. Christian parents are commanded to teach their children to believe, and instead, in the name of high conversion standards, we teach them to doubt. Then, when they grow up and mature in the doubting that we have taught them, we point to that doubt as clear evidence that we did the right thing in keeping them away in the first place" (A Primer on Worship and Reformation, p. 73).
from Pastor Douglas Wilson of Blog and Mablog

lessons of the heart

I have struggled with how to document this school year's progress.  In some ways, I feel like I am still trying to figure some things out which leaves me in no position to speak with confidence or authority about methods or materials.
And then, in other ways, I do feel confident in what I want learning to look like in our home, but I hate making it sound like I've got it all together.
How about some transparency?
I'm typing this right now when normally we would be working on grammar, spelling, read alouds and other quieter work while the girls nap.
But a little while ago, as I was looking over some copywork that Seth had completed in cursive earlier this morning, I noticed two letters that I wanted him to re-write a different way.  His cursive is very nice and I am very pleased with the neatness and accuracy of his handwriting.  However, I saw some changes that needed to be made. I also noticed that he missed a word in the copywork, so I pointed that out as well, asking him to correct that.  Something else that he was doing, not related to academics, needed some correcting, until it all snowballed into him becoming upset and bringing further problems to the table.
As I spoke to him about these issues and watched him angrily correct the mistakes, I was reading through the passage that he had previously read and completed both a oral and written narration on and found many details that he had neglected to tell and write about.  His narrations were very skimpy, given the rich detail found in the few paragraphs of material.  By now, he is no mood to hear any further reproof and was quite upset and complaining that he should be able to have a nap(unheard of for him).
And by now, I'm quite annoyed by all that has transpired in the last five minutes, so I order him up to his room with his book to re-read the selected passage and add to his written narration.  He left quite mad.  I also was mad over how quickly the situation had deteriorated.
At this point, I couldn't care less about his handwriting or written narration, I am much more focused on helping him mature in his character development(and mine too!) Or what I think of as his spiritual training, his discipling.  Biblical parenting is a fully-orbed discipleship program.  One minute you are discussing barnacles and the next, you are asking them to maturely handle making corrections to their work.  Minutes later, you are praying with them to be victorious in a bad habit and then going on to enjoy the next chapter of Little Men together, which is how I hoped this afternoon could end.
But the day is not over and since he has fallen asleep now (which is definitely not normal for him), I will give him time to rest and when he comes back downstairs, I will offer a hug and speak with more gentleness about how we can do better tomorrow.  Yes, I have lessons and books planned, but I don't put much hope in lessons on grammar and spelling when the lessons of the heart need more attention.
I have found that all of this, whether it is planning science lessons or teaching self control, require me to be in constant prayer for wisdom and a gentle spirit, because my natural personality is not to be gentle.  As soon as I start thinking, "I've got this under control or I've got this great routine", then I forget to pray and seek God's help for each situation.
This is not the homeschool update I thought I was going to try to write today.  I will try to post something more typical soon, but some days don't happen the way you think they will.  <Nervous laugh>  And that's the lesson for everyday.

In his heart a man plans his course,
    but the Lord determines his steps.
~Proverbs 16:9

Saturday, October 13, 2012

fall days

Snapshots of our day at the apple orchard, untouched and very realistic!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Winds of Change

Winds of Change

Autumn winds
Pulling and tugging
Waiting for me...
To leave my home,
Find my destiny.
To float on air,
To see and be free,
But only for a moment
And then I must be
Just another leaf
Under this old oak tree

By Tracy Patterson
Memphis, Tennessee
Birds & Blooms
October/November 2009