Code For Teens Review

The new school year will soon be here, and we have a new computer science curriculum lined up for this fall called  Code for Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide To Programming (Volume 1) that Code for Teens sent us to review.

Code for Teens

The Awesome Beginner’s Guide To Programming

Volume 1: JavaScript

Softcover

221 pages

Illustrated

Retail $25

Code for Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide To Programing Volume 1: JavaScript is a softcover illustrated 221 page book designed for highschool students and those reading at a sixth grade reading level and above. This course has 10 chapters including vocabulary, follow along projects, quizzes, drills, DIY exercises, reivews, and key concept summaries.

This book is a text book, lab book, and teacher answer key all in one.  Students will need the book, a computer and keyboard, internet access, Google Chrome browser, and access to Google Documents online, or an installed software program such as Microsoft Word.  With the Chrome browser, students will be able to access Chrome’s console to complete the step by step exercises in the book. As a final project in chapter 10, students create their own web game called Hangman.

Students keep track of their progress by creating a “Workbook” within “Google Documents” or on Microsoft Word or similar software program that they can access and use again and again, saving their progress.  Students can check their own work, or have a parent check their work.  This book is designed so that students can work through this course independently.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Hello World!
    Write your first lines of code and make mistakes.
  • Chapter 2: Time to Operate
    Code with numbers and math operators.
  • Chapter 3: Comment on the String Section
    Concatenate strings and make snide comments.
  • Chapter 4: Have Some Functions
    Declare and invoke functions.
  • Chapter 5: Shall I Compare?
    Use booleans, if blocks, conditionals, and comparison operators.
  • Chapter 6: Logically Operational
    Work with null, undefined, and logical operators.
  • Chapter 7: Projects Galore
    Practice methods in lots of short projects.
  • Chapter 8: Hip Hip Array!
    Introduce arrays and do stuff with ’em.
  • Chapter 9: Loop a Round
    Put your code on repeat with loops.
  • Chapter 10: Make a Hangman Game
    Combine concepts from every chapter to build a cool game.
  • Conclusion
  • Answers
  • Glossary of Terms

During this course, students will develop skills for computer programming, problem solving, and learn to think like a computer engineer.  After mastering this course, students are encouraged to continue learning HTML and CSS with Code for Teens (Volume 2) where they will learn learn even more coding skills and learn to build web pages, games, and more.

Author:

This is a brand new curriculum for teens published in 2018 by Jeremy Moritz and illustrated by his wife Christine Moritz.  Together they are raising and homeschool educating six children in Kansas City, Kansas.

In addition to writing curriculum, Jeremy is also a Director of Music Theater,  a Choreographer, and a Performer, and he has been involved in over 100+ productions with children and adults.  Christine is a busy mom, a creative artist, and the book mentions she enjoys cooking, power tools, and playing piano.

I am head over heals to so to speak over this couple and their family.  I spent some time watching Jeremy’s Youtube channels where he shares videos of his family and some of the productions he has been involved in.  The videos are not about the curriculum, but about his family and more.  I was so impressed with his family.  They are a beautiful homeschool family, and the photos show real life events, a lived in house, bouncing and playing in the yard, their church, chess tournaments, and really funny kids full of lots of energy.  The videos really capture the life of a large homeschool family.  It is so nice to review curriculum written by homeschool parents and see they are in the midst of life, loving it, living it, breathing it, doing it, for the glory of God.

One of the videos that really impressed me was a video he shared of his engagement to his wife on their wedding slideshow. WOW!  About half way through that video they both share they are in love with God and it was their love for God that drew them to each other.  To hear them talk about what inspired them in each other and what drew them together left me and my kids awe struck!

Another inspiring video is of him and his wife and a skit called Where Do We Start?  It was really interesting to see the author and illustrator as husband and wife and their creativity working together. It is something you just don’t get to see most of the time.

I hope Jeremy and Christine will make more videos that inspire people to learn about Father God, his Word, his Son and salvation, and loving each other and raising a homeschool family.

Our Experience

We were sent Code for Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide To Programming Volume 1: JavaScript in exchange for writing an honest review.   I am using this book with my 13 and 15 year old sons for a highschool computer science elective.

I also had my 18 year old son who has previously taken a beginner’s Java language coding course (and several graphic design courses) look over the book with me, because he is more experienced with computers than I am.  He read through the first couple of pages and then went online and learned more about Java and JavaScript as two different coding languages and read up more on both.  Then came back to the book and after reading through the first two chapters in the Code for Teens book, he informed me that he wants to take the course too and will use it when his brothers are finished.  He has asked me to acquire the Volume 2 HTML and CSS  courses as soon as we can. He loves every opportunity to learn.

This book is written very simply and step by step.  Chapters include short lessons that include new vocabulary and concepts, a Follow Along projects you implement as you learn, then a short Quiz, Drills to practice what you learned, Aggregate Review building on what you have learned, DIY activities so you can learn to think for yourself, and a chapter summary called Key Concepts.

A few key points, about why you might consider teaching a computer coding class to your kids:

*Computer coding is a useful and relevant skill in the modern age we live in.

*Computer coders are highly desired in the job market and well paid.

*Learning computer coding is like learning a new language. Some of the computer languages are: Java, JavaScript, Python, C#, PHP, Go, C++, and more.

*JavaScript is the most used computer coding language in websites and mobile apps.

I read through the book myself and it peaked my interest to join the kids and learn right along with them.  There is a lot of vocabulary and concepts that are new to me too.

However, I had a couple of issues with a few sentences in this book.  The author encouraged kids to learn code so they can gain “super powers”.

In the Introduction at the beginning, the author compares acquiring coding skills to super powers, and encourages kids to learn to code so they can have powers such as Harry Potter.  I was shocked, on the one hand, the author is telling parents they didn’t need to teach this course to their kids, just turn them loose with the book and they could learn it on their own, yet to the kids it is referencing the wizard Harry Potter and harnessing their brain to gain power.  There are also a few references in the book to magic wands, magic keys, etc.  He also draws a comparison to knowing code as being mortal/immortal, having magical ideas in your head, having power to control others, and having power to make machines obey your coding commands.  These statements are off the cuff, and seem to be intended as funny jokes to kids, and do not seem intentional to cause harm.  However, it has spiritual significance.

The author has a sense of humor and I get it that he is trying to be funny and keep kids interested in learning.  Had it not been for these few comments about Harry Potter, power, magic, and imagining yourself at Halloween, etc. I would have considered this book near perfect.  But for our family, these are things we don’t participate in and referencing them in curriculum makes us pause and consider if we want to continue learning with the material. We are a faith based homeschool family and are involved hands on with our kids education.  We believe that sorcery is wrong, Father God has forbidden it in the scriptures, and we do not encourage our children to seek out books, movies, or ideas that promote magic and sorcery.

I talked over these points with my kids, and because the majority of the the curriculum is without these kinds of references, and it seems the author was only trying to be funny and is most likely unaware of the spiritual implications of what he is saying, we decided to proceed with using it.  As I said earlier, if it hadn’t been for those few statements, I would have seen the book as a perfect curriculum and would not have had any doubts about using it.  I think using this beginning code book can be a benefit to my kids and myself to learn about coding and how to understand and use JavaScript.  We just have to keep in mind, the spiritual significance of all of this.  The kids and I are working our way through the book and I will have them continue using it with their fall curriculum.

My personal thoughts about coding computers, smart devices, and Ai:

I believe a “PROCEED with CAUTION” sign is advised for Christian families when learning about computers, and we need to understand how they are changing, and how we use them in our every day lives.  I hope more people who love Father God will wake up to the truth that is happening right before their eyes and proceed with caution when it comes to computers, coding, smart phones and smart devices, the internet, and Ai.

The bible tells us that the final kingdom is “trans” human, as it blends clay and iron (man and metal, man and machine), brings about a “one world” religion and government, and is cashless needing only the mark of the beast to buy or sell.  It tells us that the Beast, False Prophet, the Antichrist, and Abbadon (also known as Helios and Apolyon) will soon release a terrible time in history upon mankind.   The increase in computers and Ai machines that people place their trust in will fulfill bible prophesy.  For example, many have already accepted the rfid computer chip to buy and sell and access their personal medical records and passwords. The rfid computer chip can get them into their offices, air planes, trains, expedite hospital admissions, access their bank account to pay for their coffee and purchases, and more.  Another example is of the co-creators of Google, they have opened a church called “The Way” and worship “Ai” as a “god”.  People are putting their faith in Ai to answer their life questions, to run their schedules, to guide their cars, to make purchases, to do facial recognition, to predict risk, to find a mate, to know when you ovulate and when to procreate, to create solutions to social dilemmas, to mix chemical formulations for pharmacy to treat diseases, to predict diseases and life span, to choose life or death for the unborn and the aged, to secure their homes, etc. There is a lot more examples I could share, but hopefully this is enough to raise your eyebrows and sound an alarm bell in your head.

Did you know that in Hebrew, “Ai” was the place other gods were worshiped, they set up temples to these other gods, especially the transgender god Ishtar (Iana, Diana, Easter, Venus, Morning Star, Summer, Sumeria, Liberty, Queen of Heaven, Lucifer) and participated in festivals to various gods, and it made Father God very angry and Israel was judged for it?  Did you know that in Hebrew, “Ai” means “ruin”?  The bible says there is nothing new, these deceptions have all been done before and continue to be done in society and even in the church.  Ai will once again become a heap of ruins, and all those who put their trust in it will be ruined for eternity.

We are living in the end times, and we are warned in the scriptures of a day when folks will be forced to take the “mark” or starve, and forced to worship the “beast” or be killed, and worship the image of the antichrist, the one who replaces Jesus of Nazareth, Yahusha Ha Mashiac, our healer and savior.  This evil one will use technology to create an image that speaks.  He will be trusted for everything and people will believe he will make the world a better place.  He has also been given the “power” to work sorcery, signs, miracles, cause storms and earth quakes, and he will create a false peace and trust.  But he will eventually break that trust and bring terrible events, disease, and war upon the people of the earth.

I encourage you when you and your kids are learning about computers and smart devices, computer languages and design, to understand its place in bible prophesy and proceed with caution and use discernment to test the spirit, pray, and understand the big spiritual picture.

Final Thoughts

I would encourage Homeschool parents who are interested in teaching their kids about coding computers to check out this curriculum and perhaps learn how to code right along with their kids.  I know this book is designed so parents don’t have to teach it and kids can teach it to themselves, but perhaps one of the best relationship building things you can do with your kids is to work through the curriculum together and talk about what you are learning, talk about how it lines up with history, with current events and the bible, and grow in your relationship and your spiritual walk.

You can read the Introduction and First Chapter for FREE at Code For Teens.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CodeForTeens/

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using Code for Teens in their home.

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The Sea Was No Longer There

Revelation 21: 1-8

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had passed away, and the sea was no longer there.

Also I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “See! God’s home is with mankind, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and he himself, God-with-them, will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.  There will no longer be any death; and there will no longer be any mourning, crying or pain; because the old order has passed away.”

Then the One sitting on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new!”

Also he said, “Write, ‘These words are true and trustworthy!’”

And he said to me, “It is done! I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z,’ the Beginning and the End.

To anyone who is thirsty I myself will give water free of charge from the Fountain of Life.

He who wins the victory will receive these things, and I will be his God, and he will be my son.

But as for the cowardly, the untrustworthy, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those involved with the occult and with drugs, idol-worshipers, and all liars — their destiny is the lake burning with fire and sulfur, the second death.”

 

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Bible Study Guide For All Ages Review

Are you considering a bible study curriculum for your kids?  How about a bible study that everyone can do together, no matter how young or old they are?  Then you might check into the Bible Study Guide for All Ages.

We were recently sent several of their products to review in our home:

The Bible Study Guide for All Ages has products for all ages and they can be used with any version of the bible.  There are several levels to choose from and each level covers the same lesson at a deeper (higher skill) level depending on age and skill level of the learner. There are levels for Teens and Parents/Adults, and a Primary (1st and 2nd grade) level too.  However, I am only sharing today about the three levels (Lessons 1-26 of Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced) and the cards, maps, and timelines that we looked over for the purpose of this review.

Beginner Student Pages (3-K) 

The Beginner Level includes several activities for young learners.

  • Coloring
  • Listening
  • Memory Work
  • Review
  • Introductory Learning Activities

The Beginner Student Pages set includes a workbook with 26 one-page lessons (front and back).  You can easily tear off each page as needed or leave them in the book to be completed.  This is a large book with legal size 8.5” x 14” pages.  These books are consumables and so each student needs their own book.

Beginner Timeline:

Time Line helps students understand the chronology of the Bible.  The Beginner Time Line (for ages 3-K) is 34 full-color, 8.5″ x 11″ pictures on sturdy card stock with one question about each picture. The visual aid teaches young students one simple fact about major people and events in the Bible. It also teaches them the order in which those people and events appear in the Bible.

Intermediate Student Pages (3rd & 4th grade) 

The Intermediate Level contains lots of skills and activities including:

  • Memory work
  • Review
  • Bible story/text
  • Time line
  • Map drills
  • Application activities

The Student Pages of interactive activities follows the same format for each lesson.  The kids will see the same headings that reinforce the learning pattern as they work through each lesson:

  • Remember It? (review of previous lesson)
  • Memory Workout
  • Guess What
  • Timeline
  • Get Active
  • Apply It

The Intermediate Student Pages set is constructed the same as the Beginner Level.   This workbook includes 26 one-page lessons (front and back) and you can complete them in the book or remove them one lesson at a time as needed.  The pages are 8.5” x 14” (legal size).  These are consumable workbooks and each student needs their own book.

Advanced Student Pages (5th & 6th grade) 

The Advanced Level contains lots of activities like the Intermediate Level, but just at a more in-depth understanding.

The Student Pages format for the Advanced Level is:

  • Remember It? (quick review of previous lesson)
  • Memory Workout
  • Guess What
  • Timeline
  • Apply It
  • Get Active

The Advanced Student Pages sets is a workbook of lessons and activities that includes 26 one-page lessons (front and back).  The pages are lightly glue-bound in the binding and you can complete them in the book or easily tear off each page if desired. The size of each page is 8.5” x 14” (legal size).  These are consumable workbooks and each student will need their own book.

Teacher Key (Contains Advanced, Intermediate, and Beginner Level Guide and Answer Keys):

The Advanced Teacher Key has all the answers to each of the lessons for the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels, instructions and tips for using the Unlabeled Wall Maps and Time Line and additional background information.

It is not required to purchase the Teacher Key for using the Student Pages sets, but it is very helpful to the parent, and it is recommended when using with groups.

Bible Book Summary Cards

This video explains more about how to use the Bible Book Summary Cards along with the bible study lessons.

Wall Maps and Timeline Set (Unlabeled)

The Wall Maps and Timeline set includes a timeline, three maps, and a book that contains the labels and figures for you and your students to cut out and apply to the timeline and the maps during specific lessons.

The size of the time line is 76″ x 25″.

The sizes of the maps are 38″ x 25″, 19″ x 25″ and 19″ x 25″.

VIDEOS:

Check out this video “Teaching Our Kids” by the Bible Study Guide for All Ages:

Check out this video Introduction called “Intro To The Bible Study Guide” by the Bible Study Guide For All Ages:

Scripture Lessons 

4 Years of Bible study lessons covered in Bible Study Guide For All Ages:

UNIT 1 (lessons 1 to 104)

1-14 Joseph (Genesis 37-50)
15-20 Daniel
21-36 Jesus’ early life & 1st year of ministry (Mt 1:4-11, Mk 1:3-19, Lk 1:5-11, Jn 1-5)
37-41 Adam (Genesis 1-5)
42-45 Noah (Genesis 6-10)
46-48 Job
50-68 Moses (Exodus 1-20)
69-84 Joshua
86-104 Jesus’ last week (Mt 21:28-26:16, 57-75; Mk 11; 12:41-44; 14:12-52; Lk 22:24-30; Jn 11:55-17:26; 18:12-14)

UNIT 2 (lessons 105 to 208)

105-111 Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, resurrection, & ascension
112-119 Peter, Stephen, Philip (Acts 1-8)
121-130 Abraham (Genesis 11-24)
134-139 Jacob (Genesis 28-36)
141-162 David (2 Samuel 1-24; 1 Chronicles 22-29; Psalm 139, 23, 51)
163-174 Solomon (1 Kings 1-11, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs)
175-178 Ahijah (1 Kings 12-16)
179-186 Elijah (1 Kings 17 – 2 Kings 2)
188-192 James
193-199 1 & 2 Peter
200-205 1 & 2 & 3 John, Jude
206-208 Revelation

UNIT 3 (lessons 209 to 312)

210-231 Moses (Exodus 21 –> Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)
232-238 Hebrews
240-254 Jesus’ 2nd year of ministry (Mt 5-7; 8:18-22; 9:10-34; 12:22-50; 13:24-53; Mk 4:1-29; 6; Lk 7:1-8:3; 8:22-39; 11:37-13:9;
Jn 6:22-71)
256-260 Peter (Acts 9-12)
261-269 Paul (Acts 13-18:22, 1 & 2 Thessalonians)
271-288 Judges
289-292 Ruth
293-297 Samuel (1 Samuel 1-9)
298-312 Saul (1 Samuel 10-31)

UNIT 4 (lessons 313-416)

314-333 Jesus’ 3rd year of ministry (Mt 17-19; Mk 7-8; 10:32-52; Lk 10:1-11:13; 13:10-19:28; Jn 7-11)
335-384 Paul’s 3rd journey (Acts 18:23-28:31)
336-343 1 Corinthians
345-350 2 Corinthians
351-353 Galatians
354-361 Romans
371 Philemon
372-373 Colossians
374-376 Ephesians
377-378 Philippians
379-381 1 Timothy
382 Titus
383-384 2 Timothy
386-416 Elisha, Divided and Conquered Kingdoms: 2 Kings,
2 Chronicles
391 Obadiah
394 Joel
396-397 Jonah
398 Amos & Hosea
401 Isaiah & Micah
403 Zephaniah & Nahum
404 Habakkak & Jeremiah
405 Lamentations & Ezekiel
406-407 Ezra 1-6
408 Haggai & Zechariah
409-411 Esther
412 Ezra 7-10
413-416 Nehemiah
416 Malachi

Check out this video of the Intermediate Level in action.

Our Experience Using the Bible Study Guide for all Ages

We were sent the first 26 lessons (of 416 lessons) for the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels, Advanced Teachers Key, plus the Beginners Timeline, Bible Book Summary Cards, and the unlabeled Wall Maps and Timeline sets.

The Beginner’s level was just the right level for my youngest son. In the pictures below are examples of his progress on lessons 1 and lesson 2 as we studied about the life of Joseph in the bible.  Fourteen of the twenty six lessons focus on the life of Joseph.  One of our boy’s name is also Joseph and he has several brothers (and one sister) so they could identify with having lots of siblings.  All of the kids enjoyed learning with this bible study.

In the Beginner’s level, there is a page to color on the front of the lesson while he listens to the bible scripture and answers a few questions, and also a CD with songs is also recommended to help memorize the scripture, but it was not sent to us for review.  The back side of this page has a few steps to complete at this level to help reinforce the learning.

Each step and task is numbered.

My 9 year old really enjoyed using the Intermediate level too.  There are bible verses to look up, and instructions to follow including a few small things to color and lots of fun tasks to complete.  Each of the tasks are numbered and for the most part he was able to complete them independently while I helped his younger brother.

For the Advanced level, there is more writing and tasks to be completed than at the Intermediate level.  Below you can see the work my kids completed in all three levels from Lesson 1 side by side. You can see how each student workbook covers the same information, but at different skill levels.

Hanging the Timelines and Wall Maps:

Best to take some measurements, as these resources take up a lot of wall space.  They suggest if you don’t have the wall space, to place them on sheets of cardboard that can be easily set up and taken down and stored as needed.  There are smaller timelines included in the student pages too.

Label Book:

The Maps and Timelines are constantly a work in progress depending on what you are learning about in the lessons.  You will move things around and add more lables on as you go.

Final Thoughts

We have enjoyed using these bible study materials in our home.  They are cartoon like, so they appealed to our younger kids, especially my six and nine year old sons. However using cartoon characters with bible study may or may not appeal to everyone.  Also the size of the pages is a little awkward for storage on a book shelf or binder because they are 14 inches long.  So far, I have just been storing them flat in a box with all the bible study materials we need at the same time, but I do hope to find a better system for storing them.  I do like the addition of the interactive wall maps and timeline activities and feel these have enhanced our bible learning.

If you are looking for an interactive bible study for your whole family (or coops or church groups), then stop over at Bible Study Guide For All Ages and see if they have what you are looking for and the resources to meet your needs.

Social Media

Be sure to check out Bible Study Guide For All Ages social media links for all the latest news, tips, and product updates.

Facebook
Twitter
Youtube

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using this product in their home.

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Creamy Crunch Bowl~Low Carb Desert

Creamy “Power” Crunch Bowl is my new favorite low carb desert.

My family went to Dairy Queen for Blizzards last week, and I mustered up every ounce of will power I could find to not eat one.  It has been at least a year since we had visited this DQ and their icecream used to be one of my favorite “foods”.  I ordered a coffee latte instead, and took one sip and it was too sweet so I gave it to my teenage son.  He willingly accepted.  I will admit I was disappointed.

But when we got home, I got the idea to make my own creamy desert with some Greek yogurt I saw in the fridge.  My husband had bought the yogurt for one of the boys who likes it as a substitute for sour cream.  It was a big tub and he uses very little.  I will admit that I hadn’t eaten any yogurt in a long time at this point.  We usually buy the individual size sweetened yogurt (vanilla and fruit blends) each week for the younger children’s snacks, and I just skip using them partly because they are sweet, they are expensive so we get just enough for their snacks, and partly because I would rather drink a creamy coffee.

However, I made a commitment to myself last week to lower my daily carbohydrate intake.  I am still trying to put together a routine that incorporates a low carb life style and avoid foods that would sabotage my goal.  Power Crunch bars are a delicious treat I have used for the past six months or so as a desert when my family is enjoying a normal desert (like cookies, cakes, or pie).  I really enjoy having a Power Crunch bar and a cup of coffee as a desert.  So finding that big tub of Greek yogurt sitting in the refrigerator was just what I needed to create my own low carb DQ blizzard substitute.

Creamy Crunch Bowl

Ingredients:

1 cup of plain Greek yogurt

1 Power Crunch bar (flavor of choice).

(optional: sweeten with stevia or truvia to your liking)

This recipe makes 2 snack servings.  But if there is no one near by to share it with, I am sure you will want to eat the whole bowl!

Directions:

Break a Power Crunch bar into pieces and stir into Greek yogurt.

Creamy Crunch Bowl

Nutritional Data:

  • Calories: 190
  • Carbohydrates: 9 grams
  • Net Carbs: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Fat: 10 grams
  • Protein: 16 grams

Recipe Variations:

Almost DQ Creamy Power Crunch:

Freeze for a delicious ice cream substitute, like a homemade DQ blizzard.

Pecan Creamy Crunch Bowl

Just stir in – 1/4 cup Pecans, chopped (use nuts, or nutbutter of your choice).  Again, this makes two servings, so you can have one now and refrigerate one for later, or eat both servings if you wish!

Pecan Creamy Crunch Bowl

Nutritional Data:

  • Calories: 284
  • Carbohydrates: 11 grams
  • Net Carbs: 9 grams
  • Fiber: 2 gram
  • Fat: 20 grams
  • Protein: 18 grams

Amazing!

ENJOY!

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What Pleases God?

Have you ever asked “What Pleases God?

We spend our lives pleasing ourselves and others.  But what about our Creator?  Do we stop to think about how we can please Him?

Looking into the scriptures, here is what I found…

Hebrews 11:6

“without trusting, it is impossible to be well pleasing to God, because whoever approaches him must trust that he does exist and that he is a Rewarder to those who seek him out.”

TRUST is Faith.  It is impossible to please Father God, Yahuah, Adonai, without complete trust in Him.

Trust him for everything.

  • Salvation.
  • Healing.
  • Guard and Protect.
  • Provision.
  • Food.
  • Covering, Shelter, and Clothes.
  • Restoration.
  • Nurture and mature.
  • Companionship.
  • Family.
  • Fertility.
  • Comfort.
  • Joy.
  • Understanding.
  • Discernment.
  • Tomorrow
  • Future.
  • and more.

TRUST Him to meet every need you have.  He wants you to come to him for your needs.  Trust Him just as a little child trusts their parent to meet their needs.  They don’t worry.  They have simple faith. They simply seek Him and trust Him and move forward knowing with confidence He will meet their every need.

John 15:16

“You did not choose me, I chose you; and I have commissioned you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that whatever you ask from the Father in my name he may give you.”

When you get time, check out the full chapters of John 15 and Hebrews 11.  John 15 is about staying connected to the source (you stay connected to the Son and he is connected to the Father), trusting Father God, and bearing fruit.  Hebrews 11 is about people who pleased God because they trusted in Him and He helped them do amazing, and some would say impossible things, bearing much fruit for the Kingdom of God.  We know with God all things are possible to those who love Him and are called according to his purpose.

Be wise and be blessed!

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The Master and his Apprentices Review

If you are looking for a Highschool Art History curriculum, then you might check out The Master and His Apprentices company.   We recently had the opportunity to review their product called The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective.

The Master and His Apprentices:

Art History from a Christian Perspective

Covers Art History from Creation to Modern Day

Highschool Elective

Full Color Illustrations

Two Versions Available: Digital & Physical

Digital:

Digital Text $34.99

Digital Teacher Guide $19.99

Physical:

Hardcover Text $149.99

Softcover Teacher Guide $24.99

The Master and His Apprentices is designed to give students a solid foundation in art history.  It is written from a Christian worldview and incorporates scriptures into the study.  The Master and His Apprentices helps readers understand history through art and helps create a “visual” timeline of biblical and world events.  Unlike most other art history curriculum, this one does not contain nudity, but instead focuses on various masterpieces artists created during specific historical periods.

Art History Periods covered:

  • Creation: God is the Master Artist
  • Ancient Cultures: Ancient Near East, Egyptian and Aegean
  • Classical Antiquity: Early Greek, Etruscan and Roman
  • Middle Ages: Medieval & Islamic, Early Christian & Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic
  • Renaissance: Proto-Renaissance, Early Italian Renaissance, High Italian Renaissance and Northern Renaissance
  • Baroque and Beyond: Baroque, Rococo to Today (modern art) and Global Highlights (non-Western art)

The Master and His Apprentices can be completed independently by highschool students or adapted to be used by the whole family. This course is available in both a digital version and a physical book version.  This is a full curriculum, covers over 125 hours of instruction (text, notes, discussions, worksheets, research papers, and exams), and can be used for highschool elective credit.

Text:

The Text is about 372 +/- printable pages and contains reprints of ancient art, architecture, statues, paintings, and relics from around the world throughout history.

It covers around 19 different historical and cultural focuses condensed and divided into 6 historical periods.  The course starts out with an introduction to art history.  Then a brief focus on the first six days of creation and Father God as the first artist.  Next it covers man-made art, sculptures, relics, and buildings from around the world throughout different cultures and periods in history.  It also covers art related vocabulary and related concepts used in art such as: Design and Composition, Line and Shape, Value and Color, Style and Texture, etc.

Teacher Guide:

The Teacher Guide is about 60-70 +/- printable pages (they are not numbered).

This book includes a suggested schedule with week by week instructions, worksheets that can also be used as discussion questions, four exams, instructions for writing four course papers on artists from different time periods, grading chart, answer keys, and more.

A suggested schedule is to do the class over 36 weeks or divided into (2) 18-week semesters.  This course can also be used as a supplement to other curriculum (world history, bible history, ancient history, etc).

Author:

Gina has been a teacher and author for over 12 years. She is a home school and college graduate. I have been very impressed with things she has shared about her experiences and why she wrote this curriculum.

She states her goal in writing this curriculum is: “From the beginning, I’ve been praying that God would use this book to draw non-believers to Himself and to push believers even further into Jesus as His fingerprints become more visible in creation and history.”

She says she has watched students transform as they connect the Creator to Art History.  From her website, she states “In fact, often for the first time in their lives, they were able to make connections between their different classes. Visually “seeing” the periods allowed them to create a framework in their minds for combining various timelines from other disciplines, be it history, Bible, literature, science, philosophy, etc. More importantly, many students were awaking to the fact that the Bible isn’t just a story, but real history – a history that overlaps other famous periods, places, people, and events.”

Our Experience:

For the purpose of this review, I focused on my son who loves art.  He wants to be an artist (drawing and painting), and a craftsman (with wood and leather) himself.  However, all three of my highschool boys are taking this course for highschool elective credit.

We were sent the digital versions of this curriculum which included:

  • Digital Text ~ The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective
  • Digital Teacher Guide
  • Digital Print/Photocopy Rights for our household.

With the digital versions, you can view the curriculum on the computer and you have the option to print out what you need if desired. The Print/Photocopy Rights give you the permission to print additional copies for multiple students in your household.  Or you can purchase the physical book versions if there are things you want a physical copy of and if you don’t want to print them yourself.

After using the program on the computer (Text and Teacher Guide), and printing the worksheets as we needed them, I decided to purchase the physical copy of the Teacher Guide too.  I actually purchased three Teacher Guides so that all three of my highschool sons have their own book to write in.  We were fine with the colorful digital copy of the Text book to read on the computer, but having a physical copy of the Teacher Guide in front of me and my sons simplified things so I didn’t have to go back and forth to the printer for the worksheets.

So far, my son is enjoying this course.  There is a lot of information covered and he is very motivated.  He has other courses with overlapping information that he is doing at the same time for: Ancient History, Bible History, and World History and Art.  So this class is mirroring what he is learning in those courses and increasing his knowledge about various art, history, cultures, and what we know about them.

He has no problem completing the worksheets.  The worksheets are filled with questions and give you space to answer, usually answers are a phrase or a few sentences.  You can also use these questions for discussion.  There are also a few pages to diagram.  We have not yet completed a test or a research paper though.  But I have no doubt he will do well as this is a subject he enjoys and is motivated to complete.

My Personal Thoughts:

I hope I am getting wiser in my “old age”.   I know I am getting bolder in my faith and sharing what God has put on my heart and my understanding of scripture.  So that is what I am about to do, and you can skip this section of my review if you don’t want to hear it.  I have a lot more to say, and I will post more (a continuation) in a future post.  But here is a very brief statement.

I appreciate the Author’s love for Father God and her desire to help students understand bible history as they learn about art history.  I also appreciate her hope that people will draw near to Jesus as their savior.  She has done a good job putting art history and bible history together.  The bible scriptures she has included and in depth timelines help to connect the dots of events in history, bible events, and art.

However, I have some misgivings about using art history or any art appreciation curriculum to draw students close to “god”.  There are so many different gods and idolatry represented in artwork from cultures around the world that I believe people can actually be led away from Father God while they are “appreciating” art if they are not very careful.

I personally believe most things in this world that fall under “art appreciation” and “art history” and “ancient history” and “world history” would be things Father God has warned us to stay away from.

Colossians 2:8  ” Watch out, so that no one will take you captive by means of philosophy and empty deceit, following human tradition which accords with the elemental spirits of the world but does not accord with the Messiah (Jesus of Nazareth, Yahusha HaMeshiac).” 

I have sincerely questioned over the years whether or not Father God wants us to study what the world calls “art” from history.  There is a HUGE difference in knowledge and wisdom.  Much of what we learn in academics is just knowledge. Society asks us “How much do we know?”  Society “ranks” us and often pays us by what we know.

The “god” of every society on earth is the same deceiving serpent from the garden that was there when man first fell away from Father God, Yahuah, our Creator.  Do we really want to teach our kids to glorify and appreciate the statues, buildings, pyramids, paintings, and man-made creations that honor another god? Should we not sound the alarm and send out warnings and cautions to teach them not to glorify it?

Matthew 24:6 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (riches, money, possessions, or whatever is trusted in).”

But the real question should not be “what do you know” but rather “Does what we “know” draw us closer to Father God?” OR “Does “knowing more” draw us farther away from him?”  For example in scripture, Adam and Eve bit the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil when the serpent deceived them and told them to “appreciate” the forbidden fruit, he told them to “behold it, look at it, taste it, it will give you more knowledge, you will not die but you will become like god”.  Another example is in the lives of the Israelite’s who mixed all the cultural practices of Egypt, Greeks and Roman gods and traditions (and so many more examples) and what they “knew” and their “appreciation” of the “art” and idols of these other cultures actually drew them away from Father God, not closer to him.

Mark 7:9  “Indeed,” he said to them, “you have made a fine art of departing from God’s command in order to keep your tradition!”

Or put in context, it reads as “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me.  Their worship of me is useless, because they teach man-made rules as if they were doctrines.  You depart from God’s command and hold onto human tradition. Indeed, you have made a fine art of departing from God’s command in order to keep your tradition!”  Mark 7: 7-9

Until the church members of the Bride of Jesus of Nazareth, Yahusha HaMeshiac, wake up and see the truth, their brains will continue in gaining knowledge, but their spirit will lack discernment of truth, vision of the spirit, wisdom, and the power to defeat spiritual wickedness.

Perhaps most “great works of art” are proof of man’s sin against Almighty God.  Most famous works of art are a direct violation of God’s command to not create a graven image and not create idols and not worship any other gods.  Most are attached to demons and worship of deities and even in more modern art, many artists have shared they were under the influence of something evil and supernatural when they created their masterpiece.  In my early Christian walk, I was shocked when I first learned that demons are real, not just something from two thousand years ago, and not just someone’s imagination in modern horror movies and mental illness as we are led to believe, but instead they are real entities.  More recently I was also shocked to learn that many famous artists, musicians, and writers of “great” masterpieces were plagued by demons and blood sacrifice.  Yet Christians glorify these things that “artists” create and display them in their homes, education, communities, and churches.

1 Corinthians 12:2 “Remember the way you used to live when you were Gentiles (pagans) apart from God? You were engrossed—enchanted with voiceless idols, led astray by mere images carved by human hands.”

Jesus of Nazareth said that “traditions of men nullify the power of God in your life”.  The church has no power because they have traded their trust in the anointed word of Father God for “trust” and “appreciation” in man-made traditions.  He also said if the spirit of Father God is in you, then you will do greater things in this earth than he did.  How many Christians do you know who have done “greater”?  How many do you know who have healed someone, opened prisons, gave sight to the blind, raised the dead, made the lame to walk, cast out demons, etc.?  The church today is in bondage to buildings, demons (denominations) and “famous works” of literature and art and the traditions of men, academics, sports, pharmacia, artificial intelligence, music, and material possessions, and it lacks power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit of God.

I have prayed for discernment and have prayed that my family will see the world as Father God sees it.  I pray that we will avoid being deceived by the “things that look good to eye” and “desirable” in this world.  I pray Father God will give us eyes full of compassion, that look for his goodness,  and beholds what is upright, and for lips that speak truth and show kindness and charity to others, but also hearts that are wise and filled with truth and discernment.

Matthew 10:16  “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

Final Thoughts:

If you are looking for a thorough Art History curriculum, then The Master and His Apprentices will give you a historical understanding of famous works of art and artists, and an indepth timeline of art pieces and events, including biblical events, in history that will meet highschool requirements for Art History and Art Appreciation.

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Hake Saxon Grammar and Writing Review

If you are looking for a Grammar and Writing curriculum, then you might want to check out courses from Hake Publishing.

We were recently sent their Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 Language Arts curriculum set to review in our homeschool.

Hake Publishing has had great success helping students in both homeschools and public schools with their Grammar and Writing Language Arts curriculum series.

  • Grammar and Writing 3
  • Grammar and Writing 4
  • Grammar and Writing 5
  • Grammar and Writing 6
  • Grammar and Writing 7
  • Grammar and Writing 8

The Grammar and Writing curriculum series is written by Mary Hake (teacher, homeschool parent of 5, and grandparent) and Dr. Christie Curtis (teacher in public schools, private schools, and universities, parent of 3, and grandparent).  Together Mrs. Hake and Mrs. Curtis have worked hand in hand with Stephan Hake who is the lead creator of the award winning Saxon Math textbooks.  Mary Hake is Stephan Hake’s wife, and together they also homeschooled five kids.  Stephan Hake is also the owner of Hake Publishing.  Stephan has extensive experience writing and publishing curriculum.  He began writing curriculum for the well known Saxon company in 1984. The Grammar and Writing curriculum is written in a similar format to Saxon Math.

Grammar and Writing is an award winning, proven curriculum series that has been used by elementary school, middle school, high school, and even college students.  It is recommended for students to complete at least two years of the program to fully master skills and be ready for college level essay writing.  This will ensure that a strong foundation of language mastery is developed which will serve students well during higher education endevours and adulthood. Grammar and Writing 3 is Hake Publishing’s newest level in this curriculum series to come to the educational market.

Grammar and Writing 3

Grammar and Writing 3

Consumable Textbook, Writing Workbook, Teacher’s Guide

English Language Arts Curriculum

Writing

Vocabulary Development

Spelling

Grammar

Retail: $87.80 on sale for $63.30

The Grammar and Writing 3 course is designed for students who are reading at a 3rd grade reading level and above.  This is an easy to use Language Arts curriculum.  This course emphasizes lots of practice to develop good writing skills, vocabulary development and mastery, rules of spelling, dictionary skills, correct word usage, and mastery of grammatical rules of the English language.

This course contains 111 lessons with daily reviews and 22 tests overall.  A test is usually completed after every 5 lessons, except the first test begins after 10 lessons and the final test is after only 1 final lesson.  Writing Workbook lessons are recommended on test days, however the Consumable Textbook grammar lessons are not suggested on test day, so this creates an opportunity to utilize all the different aspects of this curriculum.  A suggested schedule for completing the lessons and daily reviews, tests, and writing assignments is listed in the Teacher Guide.

Grammar and Writing 3 meets and/or exceeds State Standards for English Language Arts.  See the downloadable Scope and Sequence  and the Faq page for more information.   Versions of this product are sold both to public schools (Hardback cover) and to individual homeschools (Softback cover).  Homeschools can purchase the Writing and Grammar 3 curriculum through the Hake Publishing Homeschool Orders page.

Consumable Textbook:

The 488 page Consumable Textbook contains 111 lessons with daily reviews.  Each lesson and review is 2 to 5 pages long.  Lessons and daily reviews are designed to take approximately 30 to 50 minutes to complete.  The suggested schedule in the Teachers Guide recommends completing 1 lesson and review per day.  However, you can go as fast or as slow as you like, but do not skip ahead in the order of the lessons.

Each lesson follows the same format and includes information that builds upon the learning skills of the previous lesson.

Each lesson begins with a brief “Grammar Meeting” to train student’s ears to listen (in the upper levels, this step is replaced with dictation); then a brief vocabulary exploration; then a lesson instruction, and finally a daily review.

  • Grammar Meeting: Speaking & Listening 2-3 minutes.
  • Vocabulary Words 2-3 minutes.
  • Lesson 10-15 minutes.
  • Review Set 20-25 minutes.

Teacher Guide:

The Teacher Guide is 391 perforated pages.  It contains 111 complete lesson plans and a suggested schedule.

Lesson Plans include “Teacher Scripts” (what to say to the student during the Grammar Meeting) for each lesson, a format for the lesson including a timeline for each lesson, and specific teaching tips.

The Teacher Guide also includes answer keys, student test masters, and the test answer keys, and also “More Practice” masters.

Writing Workbook:

The 92 page Writing Workbook contains 21 lessons in addition to the Textbook lessons.  These pages are perforated and hole punched for ease of use.  The workbook contains assignments for further practice and mastery of good writing skills. Each writing assignment in the Writing Workbook is approximately 4 to 6 pages and consists of a combination of fill in the blank, write the sentence, write a paragraph, or write a summary types of assignments.

Writing lessons are recommended to be completed on test day, but you have the freedom to choose to teach the Writing Lessons on days other than tests days also, use them which ever way works best for your student.  Writing Lessons should be completed in order, don’t skip ahead, and they build on skills progressively.

Video:

Check out this video to hear Stephan Hake and Dr. Christi Curtis explain the Grammar and Writing curriculum series:

Our Experience:

We received the 3 piece set of Grammar and Writing 3 to facilitate this review.  The books are very well made and contain a lot of information.  I like the way the books are laid out for both the student and parent, and the Teacher’s Guide makes this curriculum very easy for a parent to teach to their students.

This curriculum is geared for students with a 3rd grade or higher reading level, however my fourth grader felt frustrated at times as she tried to understand some of the information.  After working through the first three lessons with her, I found the curriculum to be more advanced than her reading level. She was not able to read it independently. She is currently using an online reading training program that is assisting her to be able to read proficiently at a third grade level, however she is not at this skill level yet.

After doing some research on the website, I found out this curriculum is meant for students who can read well at least at a third grade reading level or higher.   The series numbers 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 after the title, has more to do with the level of reading proficiency (understanding of language, comprehension, and use of vocabulary) and not actually a specific grade level. So it could be used by various grades as long as they are reading at that level or above.

According to the website, even highschool students as well as college students can benefit from these books and should choose a level based on their level of reading proficiency.   The website also states that as long as you complete two years of either books 3 and 4, or 5 and 6, or 7 and 8 consecutively, that you will have covered enough grammar and writing material to benefit the student to write well.

So with that in mind, I asked my older boys if they would like to work with this curriculum.   One of the boys agreed to work through a few lessons with me to see how he liked it.

It was a great fit for him.  He felt he learned a lot in just a few lessons and stated it was just what he needed to help his grammar and writing.  He will continue to work through the rest of this course on into the new school year.  We will purchase the next level up for him as soon as he is finished with this one.   He is also currently taking a composition course that he loves and it helps him write short stories, but it doesn’t break down the structure of sentences and the roots of vocabulary.  So he is really glad to have Grammar and Writing 3 curriculum to help him understand even better.

I found the Teacher Guide to be essential for this course.  It was easy to guide my child through each question in the practice and review sections.  We did not use the optional “More Practice” worksheets, but we might at some point in the future.  It was very easy to follow the suggested schedule and lesson plans.  The lesson plan for each lesson and all of the information needed to teach that lesson fits into 1 page and is easy to view in one glance. The answers to the practice questions are listed on a corresponding page in the answer key section.  The information in the Teacher’s Guide is well organized and written in a step by step method so that it is easy for a parent to implement the lessons.

Final Thoughts:

I believe it is important to practice good grammar skills and learn to write well.  Writing is an important form of communication to convey information and ideas to others.  It is beneficial to find a Language Arts curriculum that works well for your kids to help them improve in these skills.

I am putting a list together and will be getting curriculum ready for the upcoming school year soon.  The Grammar and Writing curriculum is a good fit for our homeschool and I have decided to add it into our upcoming school year.  I will purchase additional sets for all three older boys for this coming school year and I would also like all three of my younger students to work through this curriculum too in a few years when they are ready.

I would encourage other homeschool families to check into this curriculum and see if Grammar and Writing 3 from Hake Publishing is right for their family.

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Father’s Day Miracle

We spent this last weekend celebrating Father’s Day.  It was a wonderful weekend and we didn’t want it to be over so fast.  We are thankful for the hard work Dad does to care for the needs of our family.  So our efforts to celebrate him this past weekend seems to pale in comparison.

We have another Father to celebrate too.  Our Father God is also a GOOD FATHER!  He spends our entire lifetime caring for our needs.  He knows what we need even before we ask him.  He meets our needs over and over and our cup overflows with his goodness and blessings.  He is amazing!  He can do anything!  Don’t forget to thank him.  Don’t forget to celebrate him.  He is good and his mercy endures forever.

One of our favorite songs is “Good Good Father”.  If you haven’t heard this before, I would encourage you to take a minute and listen to this video:

Be sure to check out our Father’s Day Weekend story about all the fun times we had with Daddy on Saturday and Sunday.  In the story I am writing today, I wanted to share with you our wonderful Father’s Day Miracle that happened on Sunday.

On Sunday afternoon, we drove to a place along the river and took a drive around the adjoining lake.  We tried to find a quiet place along the shore with access to fish and with shady cover.  Most areas are privately owned and there are many houses all around the water’s edge.  We ended up returning to a little cove we had fished at six months ago.  Though it was a quiet spot in December, it was jam packed in June for Father’s Day.

We eventually found a small piece of shoreline with a few trees that we could use.  It was just what we needed. One of our boys got out his binoculars and did some bird watching.  Another one of my sons put up his hammock in the shade of the trees. The rest of us set up our fishing poles and got busy casting them out into the water as far as we could.

Then after about an hour, some people next to us ended their Father’s Day get-together and after they left we were able to spread out more and have a larger area of shoreline to fish, and now more trees for shade, and we acquired the use of the picnic table too.

I love fishing.  It is one of my favorite activities.  This is something I did with my dad growing up.  He loved to fish too.  He died many years ago.  But I have fond memories and think a lot about him on a day like today, especially because it is Father’s Day and we are fishing.

I am so glad my husband and kids like fishing too.  It was a hot day to be out fishing.  We spent about four hours in the heat, casting our lines.  One casting reel of one of the fishing poles broke when it fell on some rocks.  We also got some gear caught on a log out in the water, etc.  As usual, we kept Dad busy fixing things.  Despite the heat, we kept faithfully casting our lines even though we only had a few nibbles.

The younger kids got bored and eventually fished by hand for minnows with small hand held nets.  They actually caught a few.

During this time of fishing with my family, I prayed and sang to Father God quietly.  I felt so full of joy.  Even though it was hot, and even though I had not caught a single fish.  I was still filled with joy over the blessings Father God has given me.   I noticed as I sang, what appeared to be 100 small minnow size fish would show up very close to me in the water.  It was strange because when I didn’t sing and I just walked along the shore, the kids and I would notice maybe five to ten little fish nearby.  But when I would sing, nearly 100 would suddenly appear and stay until I stopped singing.  I have never seen fish do this before.

One of the prayers I prayed was to ask Father God to send fish to bless my husband for Father’s Day.  I wanted him to have a good experience fishing today.  I wanted him to catch a fish.  I wanted him to go home with some good memories and good sized fish to eat.

I asked Father God for a crazy request, and I knew that nothing is impossible with God and if it happened then no one could say it was their skills or their fishing gear that led to the outcome.  When my prayer would be answered, all you would be able to say is that “Father God made it happen”.  I prayed He would send a whole school of fish all at once for us to catch so that no one could deny that He had blessed us.  For several hours I believed without a doubt that He would send the fish.

My youngest son also started telling me about how he believed Father God was going to send fish, because He said he knew that “Father God could do anything”.  He was so happy when he said that.  I agreed with him.

I told him the story about the men in the boat on the lake who had fished all day and all night and hadn’t caught anything.  Then Jesus of Nazareth, Yahusha HaMeshiac, called out to them from the shore and told them to cast their nets on the other side.  They were so discouraged and basically said what is the use?  But then they obeyed and trusted him.  Next thing they did was haul in so much fish the load almost sank their boat.  They had to call for help and have more men bring their boat to help them too.  That was a miracle!

“Simon Peter told them, “I’m going fishing.”
They said, “We’ll go with you.” They set out in a boat, but throughout the night they caught nothing.  Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples didn’t realize it was Jesus.  Jesus called to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”  They answered him, “No.”  He said, “Cast your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”  So they did, and there were so many fish that they couldn’t haul in the net.  Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard it was the Lord, he wrapped his coat around himself (for he was naked) and jumped into the water.  The other disciples followed in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they weren’t far from shore, only about one hundred yards.  When they landed, they saw a fire there, with fish on it, and some bread.   Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you’ve just caught.”   Simon Peter got up and pulled the net to shore. It was full of large fish, one hundred fifty-three of them. Yet the net hadn’t torn, even with so many fish.   Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples could bring themselves to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.  Jesus came, took the bread, and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish.”  John 21:3-13

Then my son said “Mom, did you know the son of God can feed millions with bread and fish?” I agreed with his wisdom and faith at such a young age of only six years old.  Then he continued to tell me the story about how Jesus of Nazareth, Yahusha HaMeshiac, fed 5,000 men plus women and children with 5 fish and 2 loaves of bread.  After he prayed and blessed the fish and bread, he divided it and fed all the people.  Then his followers collected 12 baskets full of leftovers.  My son knows the truth and he knows Father God and His Son will feed you when you are hungry, and he can feed you in a special way that is bigger than anything you can imagine.

“When Jesus arrived and saw a large crowd, he had compassion for them and healed those who were sick. That evening his disciples came and said to him, “This is an isolated place and it’s getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said to them, “There’s no need to send them away. You give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here except five loaves of bread and two fish.” He said, “Bring them here to me.” He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves of bread and the two fish, looked up to heaven, blessed them and broke the loaves apart and gave them to his disciples. Then the disciples gave them to the crowds. Everyone ate until they were full, and they filled twelve baskets with the leftovers. About five thousand men plus women and children had eaten.” Matthew 14:14-21

So we continued to trust Father God for our bounty of fish, even though it got later and later and the sun was starting to go down.

While the younger kids enjoyed trying to catch minnows in their little nets, the older boys enjoyed other activities to pass the time.  One of the boys whittled sticks.  He found several buoyant very hard sticks to whittle and play with that must have spent a long time in the water before they washed ashore .

Another one of the boys just enjoyed watching the water and wildlife from his hammock and enjoyed relaxing. Another one of the big boys had brought binoculars and enjoyed bird watching.  There were geese, a variety of ducks, herrings, etc. to see.  Before long, a huge four foot tall snowy egret with a huge wingspan flew in and landed very close to us.  He was so thrilled.

About 7:30pm, a boat pulled up to our fishing spot.  I was a little irritated that they pulled up right in the middle of us fishing.  The boat was carrying three men.  One of the men jumped off the boat at the shore and walked up the hill to retrieve his truck and trailer.  As he passed by our fishing poles, folding chairs, and picnic table, as he kept walking hurriedly, he quietly asked do we need any fish and he kept walking up the hill.  He never stopped, but just spoke as he went.  I thought at first he was being friendly and saying “Hows the fishing?” Which seemed a little insulting after pulling a boat right through the middle of our fishing poles.  But then as I thought about it, I was sure he didn’t say that, but instead said ” Do you want any fish?”  He kept walking at a fast pace, so it was hard to hear exactly what he said.

He walked to the back of the parking lot to his vehicle.  Then he backed his trailer down to the boat dock to pull the boat from the water.  We were not fishing at the boat dock, the dock was around the corner in deeper water.  So the boat entering our shallow water fishing spot was really out of the ordinary and is enough to scare any and all fish away.

I felt disappointed.  All of my family felt it too.  They all looked back at me and then at the boat several times as if they didn’t know how to feel.  I felt that if Father God had brought the fish in to take our fishing lines, surely this boat had just ruined our only hope of catching anything. However, I was making a big mistake, because that very disappointment showed that I was at risk of forgetting how big and amazing my Father God is.  I swallowed my discouragement, and put on a smile, and eventually I mustered up a friendly wave to the other two men in the boat as they drove their boat away.  We are told to forgive, pray for and bless others, no matter how they treat us.  So I let the dissapointment go.  I now waved at them with a genuine blessing of peace and kindness.

Internally, I thought to myself “Where was my faith?”  I had just trusted Father God to bring us a school of fish, and I know He is God and if I put my complete trust in him, then why would I doubt his ability to overcome a boat that might disrupt his answer to my prayer?

God is AMAZING!

Before we knew it, the three men we had just seen come to shore in a boat, were now in the parking lot above us.  Their boat was securely on their trailer and they were doing the last steps of putting their gear away before leaving.  They asked us if we had “something to put some fish in?”  I said “we have a cooler”.  They said “is it cold?” and I said it had a little ice left from chilling water bottles earlier and that we would stop and get more ice on the way home.

Next thing I knew, there was fish being pulled out of the belly of their boat.  I wouldn’t have believed what I was seeing had I not said the prayer and trusted Father God to answer my prayer earlier.  I knew without a doubt Father God had worked a miracle for me.  He proved it was him.

It wasn’t a special fishing pole, or special gear, or the right spot along the shore, or anything that I could have done to “bring in the school of fish all at once”.  No, instead Father God answered my prayer His way, by sending three men on the water enjoying Father’s Day together.  They were lead to show up in the middle of our fishing trip in the middle of our fishing poles and stir the water and bless our family with their school of fish they had caught.  It was truly a miracle that only Father God could have done.

This Grandfather, Son, and Grandson trio of fishermen just kept pulling out more and more fish from the boat.

I told the men what had happened.  I told them all of it.  I told them how I trusted Father God for a whole school of fish that would arrive all at once.  I told them how my youngest son believed fish were on the way too.  I could see their shock and amazement on their faces.  I told them that I knew Father God had sent them.  I shared with them about the prayer I had prayed and how I had trusted Father God to answer my prayer.

Then the oldest Father in the group said “never doubt what Father God can do, he can do anything!”

 

YES! Father God is amazing! He is a good Father! He can do anything!

“Stay united with me, as I will with you — for just as the branch can’t put forth fruit by itself apart from the vine, so you can’t bear fruit apart from me.  I am the vine and you are the branches. Those who stay united with me, and I with them, are the ones who bear much fruit; because apart from me you can’t do a thing.  Unless a person remains united with me, he is thrown away like a branch and dries up.  Such branches are gathered and thrown into the fire, where they are burned up.  If you remain united with me, and my words with you, then ask whatever you want, and it will happen for you.  This is how my Father is glorified — in your bearing much fruit; this is how you will prove to be my disciples (talmidim – student teachers – followers).  Just as my Father has loved me, I too have loved you; so stay in my love.  If you keep my commands, you will stay in my love — just as I have kept my Father’s commands and stay in his love.  I have said this to you so that my joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.  This is my command: that you keep on loving each other just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than a person who lays down his life for his friends.  You are my friends, if you do what I command you.  I no longer call you slaves, because a slave doesn’t know what his master is about; but I have called you friends, because everything I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose me, I chose you; and I have commissioned you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that whatever you ask from the Father in my name he may give you.”  John 15:4-16

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Father’s Day Weekend

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Father’s Day.  Seems dad’s just don’t get enough special days though out the year.  I heard recently some folks are trying to do away with calling it Father’s Day and have put forth legislation to change the name to “Parents Day” so it is more “inclusive”.  Such a shame though to take the focus away from Father’s.

We spent the whole weekend celebrating Father’s Day.  Why not?  He works so hard to care for the needs of our family.  Dedicating this entire weekend just to him pales in comparison.

Father God is also a good father and He spends our entire lifetime caring for our needs.  He is amazing!  He can do anything!  I want to encourage you to not forget him.  Don’t forget to thank him.  Don’t forget to celebrate him.  He is good and his mercy endures forever.

On Saturday, Daddy opened a couple of gifts we had picked out and some that were made for him.  One of the special gifts this year we have been focusing on has been learning “skills” from outdoor survivalist Creek Stewart.  For Dad’s birthday a few months ago, we got him a bimonthly subscription to Apocabox, and he will get six of these boxes during the year.  So for Father’s Day, we stayed with that theme and we ordered him a bow drill from Creek Stewart, so he can learn to make friction fire, also a folding saw for cutting tree limbs, and a Special Edition Apocabox.   However, the Apocabox had not yet arrived before he opened his gifts Saturday morning so I figured the box might be here by Monday.   We told him it would be coming, and we gave him his other gifts and he was quite pleased.  We gave him the Creek Stewart bow drill, a collection of some fire tinders that were hand collected by one our boys including homemade charcloth he made, an extra large coffee cup that says “make it happen”, a swiss army military style clipper set, and his favorite chocolate pecan turtles.  One of our sons is working on a special paracord bracelet that is still in progress, but not finished yet.  Another one of our son’s made him a beautiful leather bag.  I will post a story soon about him creating the bag.

We got ready to leave to take Dad to lunch.  We had a few plans including taking him to lunch at a Mexican restaurant and then take him to Cabela’s to get a new fishing pole.  To round out the special weekend, we planned to take him fishing on Sunday afternoon.

Just as we were planning to leave the house Saturday, the mailman brought a package.  My husband met the mailman in the driveway and he was beaming ear to ear when he got back in the house with his box.  It was the Special Edition Apocabox from Creek Stewart, and he (and our boys) couldn’t wait to open it.  I will post a story soon about this box.

After looking through his Father’s Day gifts and spending the morning together, we went to lunch.  We ate at a place we have eaten at a few times for special occasions such as birthdays.  We had actually been there two weeks earlier to celebrate our oldest son’s eighteenth birthday.  They make delicious tasting Mexican food and our whole family enjoys it.

After lunch we took Daddy to Cabela’s to look around and see if he would like a new fishing pole and gear.  Our family has some fishing gear, but with eight people in the family, and with little ones, some things get broke and we all share what we have, and sometimes Dad is so busy fixing the poles, lost gear, tangled gear, or re-baiting them etc, that he doesn’t even get to fish.  We thought it would be nice to get a new pole just for him.

Cabela’s is a very interesting sporting goods store.  On this day, they had set up a pool in the parking lot and were giving Kayak lessons.

Another cool feature inside the store are the wildlife animal displays and the huge aquarium.

But at the end of our time at the store, the only thing he really wanted was a tee shirt and a flashlight.  So we came home without a fishing pole, but we enjoyed spending time with him anyway.

After we got back home Saturday, we ate some Father’s Day cake our daughter made.  Then we spent time in our back yard trying to make a fire by hand with Dad’s bow drill. 

My husband had our 13 year old son assemble the Creek Stewart Take Down Bow Drill.  He was thrilled to get to assemble it. These bow drills are custom made by hand.  They are made so you can disassemble “take down” the bow and put it into your backpack to carry with you on camping trips.

My son had also made a tinder “nest” for this special occasion.  He is learning so many skills and I am very proud of his efforts.

After it was assembled, they headed to the back yard to practice.

The two of them worked together to run the bow drill.

They had smoke coming from the friction several times.

But each time they would check for a “coal” from the smoke, there was not a coal.

But they did have lots of ground up and smoking wood dust, created by the friction of the two sticks, that could become a coal in the right conditions.

I don’t know if you have ever tried to make a fire by rubbing sticks together, but it is not easy.  They tried for a long time.  They tried up on a table so it was easier on my husband’s 50 year old back.  But when that wasn’t successful, they moved it to the ground.  They also tried making it on a flat rock.  But it proved to be too difficult this evening to get a friction fire going.  We plan to re-watch Creek Stewart’s video about how to use the bow drill to create a fire and then “make it happen”.

Later after dark, the family all went back outside and played with flashlights. Dad got out his new flashlight, and the boys got out their flashlights and they all played around seeing who’s light could shine the brightest out into the yard and go the farthest down the driveway.  As they get bigger and older, it seems Dad might be feeling a bit challenged.  But Dad’s new light won the “farthest” competition with the flashlights and he felt very proud to still be the top dog!

Sunday morning, we got up and made coffee and pancakes.  Knowing we had plans to take Dad fishing later, we played around the house for a bit, and we watched a few videos together.  There are some really good weekly videos on youtube that show current events each week.  There are also some wonderful bible teachings.  When we have time, if we are home on a Saturday or Sunday, we watch some of these bible teachings, and videos that show current events worldwide, including world wide weather events (hurricanes, floods, volcanoes, earthquakes, mudslides, etc), and some that focus on events in the USA.  It is a good way to catch up on the news from a Christian worldview, something you don’t get on regular TV.  It helps to see what is happening in current events, and understand from a Christian worldview what is happening and how it lines up with bible prophesy.  We are told in the scriptures to watch and to understand.  We are living in the end times, and though we don’t know the day or hour it will all take place, I would encourage everyone to try to keep a watchful eye however they can and learn as much as they can.

Then we headed outside to load our fishing gear and cooler into the van and headed out to find a fishing spot and to enjoy the rest of the day with Dad.  We stopped along the way to get a bag of ice, bread, lunch meat, chips, bottled waters and Gatorade.  We planned to have a lunch picnic.  It was 95 degrees out today and we wanted everyone to stay hydrated.  We drove around for about two hours looking for just the right fishing spot.

Finally we found a nice little spot along the water that faced away from the sun, and it had some shade trees.  This seemed like a good spot to put our fishing lines in.  Shade trees can be a blessing, but you can also get your lines tangled in them when casting.

But it was so hot outside, we were sweating while just standing still, and having that little bit of shade from the trees was important.  Eventually we realized the fish don’t like the heat either and we were not catching anything.  After several hours of trying on our part, the fish were just not biting on our lines, other than an occasional nibble.  Then, not long before dark, we had a Father’s Day miracle.

We didn’t get home until very late, and we were all tired, but it was a great day.  Despite the heat, we had fun just spending time together as a family and we enjoyed each other’s company and enjoyed the special day and our special Father’s Day Weekend with Dad.

Be sure to read the next post for an amazing outcome to our Father’s Day weekend:  A Father’s Day Miracle.

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Apocabox Special Offers From Creek Stewart June 2018

I recently found out that Creek Stewart from Apocabox was offering a few specials and I wanted to let you know about them right away.  I am not affiliated with Apocabox or Creek Stewart.  I simply believe in his mission to teach others about survival and life skills.  I believe in the idea that “if you give a man a fish then he will eat for a day, and if you teach a man to fish then he will eat for a lifetime”.  I want to encourage other families to check out the life skills and survival skills challenges that he teaches.  My family has been blessed to learn from him and all of these skills are useful and could help you in a survival situation someday.

Anyway, the free offer was for a folding survival saw that fits in your back pack.  I watched his video about the saw and ordered one to put into my husband’s Father’s Day gift.  The saw is FREE, but you do pay $3.95 for shipping and handling through the offer on his website, and he will send it out to you.  If the offer is not posted on the front page of his website, then it is over.

After placing that order, there was another notice for a Special Edition Apocabox ONE TIME OFFER. If you decide you want it too, then both orders will be billed and shipped together.  Creek Stewart has loaded a box with almost $200 worth of leftover gear from previous boxes and he will send it out for the standard $50 Apocabox price.  He is hoping that after folks get this and try out the gear, they will want to join.  But there is no commitment needed, it is a one time offer.  One other offer pops up after that for the entire collection of Creek’s pocket survival guides at a huge discount.

I watched two of his videos he made, one is about the knife and one is about the gear he included in the One Time Offer Special Edition Apocabox, and I thought both of these would make a nice addition to my husband’s Father’s Day gift.  He will have some really nice items to use for camping, hunting, fishing, and to keep some gear in his vehicle if he ever needs it.

I am waiting for my order to arrive and I am hoping it arrives today or tomorrow so the kids and I can give it to my husband for Father’s Day.  I was sent an email yesterday that it has shipped.

I wanted to get this note out to other homeschool families and other folks who might be interested.  Creek Stewart said this is a One Time Offer.  It won’t last long and supply will run out soon. It is a first come first serve basis.  So once the supplies are gone, the offer will be over.  I will post a story about the contents of this box after it arrives.

More about Apocabox:

Apocabox by survival instructor Creek Stewart, is a DIY Survival Skills or you could think of it as a Survival School In A Box.  It is shipped bimonthly to your door (Feb, April, June, Aug, Oct, and Dec) for a cost of $50.  Each box has a different theme for the skills being taught.

We joined the bimonthly subscription at the beginning of this year and have received the Feb 2018 Mass Exodus and April 2018 Silent Hunter boxes so far.  We are waiting for the June 2018 Flat Line box to arrive.  Flat Line is a first aid theme and we are looking forward to learning more.  I had researched the Apocabox service months before joining and watched several of Creek Stewart’s videos.  Then we joined when it fit best into our budget.

We are using Apocabox for a life skills curriculum with our kids.  There are 8 of us in the family, and we are all learning together.  All of us have enjoyed learning, and when you work on these projects together as a family, it draws you closer.  I would also say my husband and our teenage boys have been really challenged and motivated with this learning adventure.

Within the boxes we’ve received so far, there have been around 10-12 skills to learn in a pocket survival guide, one or two special skills that are sent with raw materials and templates and instructions in the main newsletter, plus links to exclusive training videos, and 5-10 survival gear items.  To do the other skills in the pocket guide you will need to source your own materials, or the skill being learned might involve practicing with one of the gear items in the box, or it might involve making something like a survival kit for your backpack or vehicle with the gear that is included.  For our family the cost equals out to be about $50 box / 10 lessons (average) = $5 per new skill lesson / 8 people = 0.625 per lesson per person every other month.  So it has been a very affordable learning program for us so far.  However, I don’t think his boxes always include the pocket survival guides and when they don’t, there is less instruction / guidance to learn from.  I do wish he would include a pocket guide in every box, but it is what it is.  It is possible to find enough instruction in other places to make up the difference.

Anyway, I have shared 3 stories about these boxes so far, and if you want to learn more about it, see these posts:

Apocabox: About & Forager

Apocabox: Mass Exodus

Apocabox: Silent Hunter

Creek Stewart has several services where he shares his knowledge and skills with others:

Outdoor Survival School called Willow Haven

Author of several books and survival guides available on his website and amazon.

Creator of numerous survival skills videos on Youtube

Host of S.O.S. How To Survive (on the weather channel)

Host of Fat Guys In The Woods (on the weather channel)

Apocabox bimonthly service

Wild Edible of the Month Club

Surivival Skill of the Month Club

And he has a couple of online stores where he sells various survival products from books to knives to camping and survival equipment and more.  You can find all of this information including the special offers on his main website for CreekStewart.com and also learn more about the Apocabox subscription membership on myapocabox.com

Bottom line:  there is a special time limited opportunity to get a Free Folding Survival Saw offer and if you order the saw, there is an additional opportunity that will appear on your computer dashboard to get the One Time Offer Special Edition Apocabox from Creek Stewart if you are interested.  I want to encourage homeschool families to check out the services Creek Stewart has to offer and see if it might be a good fit for your family.

Be blessed!

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