Imparting a classical education at home. Check out the Edwards Academy.

Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bonhoeffer's One Reality: Christ is Lord over all of it

All his life, Bonhoeffer had applied the same logic to theological issues that his father applied to scientific issues. There was only one reality, and Christ was Lord over all of it, or none. A major theme for Bonhoeffer was that every Christian must be "fully human" by bringing God into his whole life, not merely into some "spiritual" realm. To be an ethereal figure who merely talked about God, but somehow refused to get his hands dirty in the real world in which God had placed him, was bad theology. Through Christ, God had shown that he meant us to be in this world and to obey him with our actions in this world. So Bonhoeffer would get his hands dirty, not because he had grown impatient, but because God was speaking to him about further steps of obedience.
~Eric Metaxas, from Bonhoeffer, 2010, p. 361

Monday, June 28, 2010

Postpartum Algebra

y = pre-pregnancy weight, a faint memory and a current goal

z = y + 50, weight at delivery. I know! Fifty pounds. A little more than what is recommended.

x = z - 30 pounds, weight three weeks after delivery---and four weeks after, and five weeks after, and six weeks, and seven, and eight. . . I seem to be stuck at x when I want to get to y!

y = x - 20

Then, this morning----

x - 3 = current weight!

Rejoicing in small victories. Bigger victories:

Lydia sleeps from 10 to 6 without eating! I get up to settle her a few times, but she goes right back to sleep with her pacifier or music. I don't deserve it, but I'm grateful that God gave me such a happy fifth baby. An example of His grace.

Especially since my dear fourth child is often unspeakably naughty, which quite frankly is another example of God's grace. He is so good to give me a child that forces me to my knees each morning and shows me that I must depend upon Him! Compliant children just deceive us into thinking that we don't need prayer and don't need God.

His Own Arm Brought Salvation

Why do I need Jesus? Isn't God powerful enough to hear me and save me? Yes, He is powerful enough but my sin is the problem.
Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

...The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.
He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede;
then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him. . .

There was no man, but God sent Jesus to intercede for me! Thanks be to God! (Isaiah 59: 1-2, 15b-16 ESV)

***

I've been reading through Isaiah this summer, along with other passages in the M'Cheyne Bible Reading Plan. I've also been reading D. A. Carson's For the Love of God (Vol. 2), which is a devotional book designed to accompany daily Bible readings in the M'Cheyne plan. What a blessing this has been to my summer devotions!*

In September our family will start the new Bible Study Fellowship year, which will be studying Isaiah for the first time. If you aren't doing BSF, I highly recommend it! This year I'll be taking Toby and Lydia to the preschool program (BSF now welcomes babies) and Mr. Edwards will take the others to the school program. All seven of us will be in BSF studying Isaiah!

*I bought the Kindle edition of Carson's book and read the daily devotion on my iPod using the free Kindle for iPod/iPhone app. For the Love of God (Vol. 1) is also designed to accompany the daily readings. Each daily reading contains four passages. Carson's first volume comments on the first two passages, the second volume comments on the last two passages.
Photograph of an open (ESV) Bible, open to Psalm 119, by Amy Edwards.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blog Makeover

Veritas at Home has a new look. If you're reading a feed and can't see the blog design, be sure to check it out!

The War of Jesus Christ

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said this, in the confirmation sermon for three young men:
"Confirmands today are like young soldiers marching to war, the war of Jesus Christ against the gods of this world. It is a war that demands the commitment of one's whole life. Is not God, our Lord, worthy of this struggle? Idolatry and cowardice confront us on all sides, but the direst foe does not confront us, he is within us. 'Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.'"
It was 1938.
Bonhoeffer quoted Mark 9:24; this excerpt from his sermon comes from Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas, p. 309

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saddle Ridge Ranch


Last week the Edwards kids went to Saddle Ridge Ranch each morning, where they were "roundin' up questions and drivin' home answers."


Questions like:

"Who am I?"
"Does God care about me?"
"What is God's plan for me?"
"How can I be like Jesus?" and
"What do I do now?"

Ranchers discovered that they are God's precious creation, remarkably and wonderfully made. "I will praise you for I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful and I know this very well." (Psalm 139:14)


They found that God cares for them very much and He can be trusted, even when hard things happen. They heard about Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his family, falsely accused of a crime, and thrown into an Egyptian prison. All of these horrible things happened to Joseph, and yet God was with him and ultimately used those things for his good. "Cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)



Best of all, they learned that God's plan is for them to have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.  Although our sin separates us from God, Jesus took the penalty for our sin upon Himself so that we might be saved when we trust in Him. They heard about Jesus calling Zacchaeus. "'I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'" (Jeremiah 29:11)


They then discovered that as a believer in Jesus, He gives the power to be like Jesus! "Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 2:5)



And what now? Honor God with your life and ask Him for the wisdom and help to do it. "If any of you lacks wisdom, they should ask of God who gives to all generously without criticizing and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)

This was our second VBS this summer, the first was at our church and the "Saddle Ridge Ranch" VBS was at their grandparents' church. (I didn't get any pictures of 'Studio Go' at our church.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Fun '10

Gusty Kansas winds have blown away several of our hoped-for lake outings this summer and we've been inside more than usual to keep little Lydia cool. Here are some recent pictures:





Lydia almost doesn't look real in this picture of Sydney holding her. Doesn't it look like Sydney has a doll?



How do you like my kitchen helper? Deputy Toby (note the badge) loves to play in the water.  Nice gloves, huh?



Toby loves the boonie hat that Mr. Edwards gave him. Red-headed and fair-skinned, he needed a sun hat that would cover his face and his neck.



Lane is developing a taste for strategy games. Do they even sell Stratego anymore? This game is one I've held onto from my own childhood. Lane is lining up anyone he can to play with him. 


While Mr. Edwards and Lane played Stratego, and I doggedly played Blokus with Toby (he kept knocking into the board which shifted the tiles around), Hope and Sydney played Mancala together. 



Did I mention that Lydia is smiling at us?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Every Day More Wonderful

"First of all I will confess quite simply--I believe that the Bible alone is the answer to all our questions, and that we need only to ask repeatedly and a little humbly, in order to receive this answer. One cannot simply read the Bible, like other books. One must be prepared really to enquire of it. Only thus will it reveal itself. Only if we expect from it the ultimate answer, shall we receive it. That is because in the Bible God speaks to us. And one cannot simply think about God in one's own strength, one has to enquire of him. . . Only if we will venture to enter into the words of the Bible, as though in them this God were speaking to us who loves us and does not will to leave us along with our questions, only so shall we learn to rejoice in the Bible. . .

. . . And I would like to tell you now quite personally: since I have learnt to read the Bible in this way--and this has not been for so very long--it becomes every day more wonderful to me. I read it in the morning and the evening, often during the day as well, and every day I consider a text which I have chosen for the whole week, and try to sink deeply into it, so as really to hear what it is saying. I know that without this I could not live properly any longer."

--Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in a letter to his unbelieving brother-in-law (as quoted in Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas, p. 136-137)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day, Mr. Edwards! We love you and are so proud of you!



And Happy Father's Day to my dad and to Mr. Edwards's dad. Thank you both for your godly example and love.

Check out this article which relates some research about the importance of fathers. Children benefit from the unique and different parenting of both their father and their mother. For example:
As important, paternal play promotes social skills, intellectual development, and a sense of self-control. The playful side to fathers teaches their children how to regulate their feelings and behavior as they interact with others. Engaging in rough physical play with dad teaches children how to deal with aggressive impulses and physical contact without losing control of their emotions. For instance, one study found that father-child play taught children to recognize others’ emotions and to regulate their own emotions. (W. Bradford Wilcox)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Standing Firm

I'm reading Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, by Eric Metaxas, right now. I've only just started, but can already tell you that if you don't have this on your reading list, you need to add it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Speech Ferapy

It suddenly dawned on me that Toby is not pronouncing his "th" sounds. For the voiced "th" in this, that, there, he substitutes a "d" sound. In the quiet "th" in bath, thanks, and therapy he uses an "f" sound.

Toby's young enough that this might still resolve on its own, but I'm thinking I might like to help him along in the process.

I was happy to find this website, mommy speech therapy, to help.

Monday, June 14, 2010

More on Mama Grizzlies

Is Sarah Palin the embodiment of a Proverbs 31 woman? I'm very uncomfortable that many Christian women seem to think so. She seems to be subtly altering the way that evangelical Christian women understand what it means to be a Christian woman, and I'm unconvinced that Sarah's example is a biblical one. Newsweek might be hopelessly biased, but the recent cover story about Sarah Palin's impact on how evangelical women understand their womanhood makes some fair observations worth thinking over.

Whatever the case, the recent primary elections are making news because of the number of female, conservative candidates. This is newsworthy--and puzzling--to many in the mainstream media because their understanding of womanhood is so tightly linked to pro-choice feminism that they cannot understand any other sort of woman. In this worldview one is evidently either a strong, pro-choice, intelligent woman or a weak, pro-life, um--what shall we say?--lacking-in-curiosity woman.

How can it be that suddenly a crop of strong, pro-life, intelligent women are running for office--and winning? And not only that but they are married with children!

Several articles try to make sense of the new shift:

Newsweek's Palin article.
Ross Douthat at the NYT.
Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review Online.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Narrative

From the May/June 2010 Imprimis, by Charles R. Kesler:
Postmodernists speak of narrative--one of those words one hears a lot of these days in politics--rather than truth. Narrative means something like this: Even if we can't find meaning in any kind of objective reality out there, we can still create meaning by telling each other stories, by constructing our own narratives--and the more inclusive and empathetic these narratives, the better. President Obama often speaks this post-modern language. For example, here is part of a discussion of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence in his book, The Audacity of Hope
"Implicit in [the Constitution's] structure, in the very idea of ordered liberty, was a rejection of absolute truth, the infallibility of any idea or ideology or theology or 'ism,' any tyrannical consistency that might lock future generations into a single, unalterable course, or drive both majorities and minorities into the cruelties of the Inquisition, the pogrom, the gulag, or the jihad."
So our President believes the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence rejects the notion of absolute truth? I suppose the Founders simply wrote their own narrative of self-evident truths.
. . . We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed . . .

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mama Grizzlies and the Like

Several Republican women have won primary elections this week in high profile races (Carly Fiorina in the U.S. Senate primary and Meg Whitman in the governor primary in California; Nikki Haley in the governor primary in South Carolina) and lower profile ones (Kristi Noem in the U.S. representative primary in South Dakota).

Sarah Palin endorsed Fiorina and Haley and calls these candidates "Mama Grizzlies."

This comment reminds me of something completely outside of politics: my first reaction to the movie "The Blind Side."

It's a great movie, of course, with an inspiring story. But the women are strong . . . and the men are, well, complete wimps.

Consider the husband. Kind. Loving. Supportive. Submissive even. But not much of a leader.
The coach. Hesitant. Uncertain.
The male teachers. Mostly negative, grumpy, and doubters.

After four decades of feminism, our culture is feminized. But femininity and masculinity are lost.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

College Bound

Great post by Douglas Wilson over at Blog and Mablog about the need for Christian higher education. Is every Christian college-bound student bound to choosing a Christian college? Not exactly.

The requirement is for every Christian to see that Christian higher ed is a good thing for those who are called to it, and an obvious blessing for those who receive it.

Setting the Bar High

"I will walk with integrity of heart within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
anything that is worthless."
Psalm 101:2b-3a

My morning "coffee with the Lord" had me reading Psalm 101. Can I repeat the Psalmist's vow before the Lord today and mean it?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Now We Are Six (Weeks)

What a difference six weeks makes!

I love watching my babies develop in their first year of life; the changes are so rapid and dramatic! Lydia is now beginning to fix her gaze on objects or faces. She is just beginning to follow or track objects and faces as they pass in front of her. Her movements are still very reflexive, and accidental, but it won't be long before we see her reaching and grasping.



In the picture above, you can see Lydia looking at an object in her floor gym. Lane is patiently playing with her, not understanding fully how limited her abilities still are. He is watching and waiting for the first signs of play from his sister!




Hope is very happy to cuddle with Lydia. She and Sydney took turns holding Lydia the other day and took pictures of each other with their sister. They took nearly 40 photos! 



Lydia is filling out and growing stronger, as you can see in this picture of her on her Daddy's lap.



Best of all, we are increasingly blessed with her smiles. These were very random and reflexive at first but we have seen a few now that we believe are more responsive.

I only began to study child development since first becoming a mother ten years ago. In those early years of my motherhood I checked out stacks of library books and read up on what Jean Piaget had observed about babies and children. According to Piaget, Lydia has just moved out of the first month's stage of reflexive motions to the second stage which is from one to four month of age. I am not schooled in psychology or sociology, but find Piaget's observations of the stages of development helpful in interpreting the things my babies are doing. Unlike Piaget, I see the glory of God in every milestone my children reach.

A more practical resource on child development is The New First Three Years of Life by Burton White. I recommend it especially for first time mothers.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Are You Covering Everything?

I'm often asked, "How do you know that you are covering everything you should in a given grade level?"

Primarily I let our curricula guide us, but I also refer to other resources such as The Educated Child by William Bennett, Chester E. Finn, Jr., and John T. E. Cribb, Jr..

Here's another resource: The Common Core State Standards. Keep it bookmarked and look it over once or twice a year to help you stay in touch with what your students should be accomplishing successfully at their grade level. Sometimes homeschoolers eschew standards and are suspicious of anything that smacks of the educational establishment, but it is very useful to stay informed and these Common Core State Standards are very ambitious.

Even if you don't homeschool, this is a very helpful resource for you in evaluating your child's school and his own academic progress.

Check it out.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Making it Count

Two weeks ago my aunt received a dreaded diagnosis: she has cancer. As I post this, she is not feeling well at all and is hospitalized as they determine her treatment.

Whatever the outcome of the tests and treatment, she is now suffering.

As I've been praying for her, I sought out John Piper's article "Don't Waste Your Cancer" to help me pray. Have you read this short ten-point article?

An excerpt:
The design of God in your cancer is not to train you in the rationalistic, human calculation of odds. The world gets comfort from their odds. Not Christians. Some count their chariots (percentages of survival) and some count their horses (side effects of treatment), but we trust in the name of the Lord our God (Psalm 20:7). God’s design is clear from 2 Corinthians 1:9, “We felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” The aim of God in your cancer (among a thousand other good things) is to knock props out from under our hearts so that we rely utterly on him.
Read the whole thing here.
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