I have been spending a lot of time thinking about the future--thank God for Matthew 6 to keep me a little balanced, though that last verse I always take to be a doozy--'today has enough trouble of its own! Thanks for that. I have a stack of books that are giving me a lot to digest.
I have two homeschooling-through-highschool/college-prep books that manage to be polar opposite on some major themes while putting exactly my own thoughts into words. If I were to think about this for too long, I could grow concerned about my sanity. Both are written by Christian homeschooling moms who have graduated at least a couple of kids from their own homeschool high schools. One book is virtually spilling over with a boisterous personality. She is more than a little defensive about her conversational writing style that includes a deluge of italics, commas and a seizure-inducing number of font changes--totally up my alley. She is all about freedom and learning and screwing the system. Requirements for graduation or college entrance? We don't need no stinkin' requirements! We love Jesus and ts'all good! I am making light, but I actually agree with the fundamental philosophy of seeking God's will in our lives and not worrying about man-made rat races. Her book is choc-full of a dizzying number of charts and forms for keeping track of secondary education.
The other book is just as devoted to Christ, but not as colorful in its delivery. The philosophy embraces learning and loving the Lord with all our minds, as well as with our hearts, strength and soul. While acknowledging that college isn't for everyone, and even cautions against sending kids to and spending money on college without careful prayer and forethought, the instructions for maintaining a solidly competitive edge academically with institutionally schooled peers are thorough. The foreword to this book is by Michael Farris of Homeschool Legal Defense Association and Patrick Henry College fame. The value of civic responsibility isn't emphasized, but rather assumed and is a present undertone througout the book. You go to college and get involved to make a difference for the better. Me likes! This book contains templates for documenting high school work, but its real treasure is all the information about when and how to test, research, apply and gain entrance into the college of your choice. This one makes me think I can actually do this.
I also grabbed a book that is full of tests to help choose a career. It has tests and chapters on things like your values, interests, personality and skills. I can barely read the text because it is just filler. I started to take a couple of the tests, and I have hope that it may help give some direction to the kids just by having them take the time to assess themselves as objectively as possible. My real hope is to offer an opportunity to turn over some previously untouched stones to gain a broader understanding of all the options available out there.
The final book is one I actually read at the beginning of the month on God's will. The author suggests that God's will can be clearly seen in Scripture, and there are five elements--so nice when things are succinct and neat like that, right? These are even alliterated. Imagine! Again, I make light, but I don't mean to undermine the veracity of the ideas. (Oh my goodness!! I just had a 'supposably-moment! I am alone, and still so embarrassed. I always thought it was undermind, not undermine. My spell checker refused to agree with me. *blush* Moving on!)
Anyhow, here are the five things God wants for everyone. The five words are his, the explanation is more my interpretation of the author's.
- Salvation: He wants everyone to be reconciled to Himself through Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, who took the punishment of death for all our sins and then beat death so that we may have eternal life.
- Spirit-filled: Understanding that all who call on Christ as Lord and Savior receive the Holy Spirit, and believers can submit themselves and invite the Spirit to move freely in their lives, in whatever way He wills.
- Sanctified: God desires that we are set apart from this world for Him. We keep our eyes on the big picture, and do not invest or seek the treasures and rewards of a dying earth.
- Submissive: God teaches through Scripture that we honor the laws and authorities of the land, so that we do not soil our testimonies. When we are disrespectful to matters such as speeding or paying taxes, it undermines our words when we urge people to allow Christ to be their Lord. So we submit with with love and humility as long as it doesn't go against His higher law. This idea seemed specifically in regard to civil authority, acknowledging both that God puts leaders into position and that mindless civil disobedience makes Christians look bad. Titus 3:1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,
- Serving: The New Testament is is packed with references to serving, caring for the poor and tending to one another. Putting them together, there are most conservatively over one hundred separate commands to live a life of service. There just aren't two ways about it; if you love Jesus, you better be serving. A lot.
It's a lot to take in, all these books. I am thankful I don't have to do it alone.