Thursday, November 25, 2010

John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams  From Home School Heart today.

The second president of the United States, John Adams, was the head of one of the early American homeschooling families. Today on Home School Heartbeat, Mike Farris talks about the education of John Adams’ most famous son, John Quincy Adams.

Michael Farris:

John Quincy Adams was the oldest of John and Abigail Adams’ five children.

John and Abigail decided early on to educate their children at home rather than to send them to school. The education his mother provided him at home equipped John Quincy Adams to accompany his father on diplomatic missions beginning at the ripe old age of 11. At that age, John Quincy acted as his father’s secretary during a diplomatic mission to France.

When he was 14, John became the secretary and interpreter for a member of the first diplomatic mission to Russia. John Quincy Adams then traveled throughout Europe for several years under the close tutelage of his father. He learned six modern languages, as well as Latin and Greek, and participated in the diplomacy of the American Revolution.

After the spectacular opportunities and education which his parents provided him, John Quincy Adams entered Harvard College at 19. He grew up to serve his country as a diplomat to Holland, Prussia, and Russia, secretary of state under James Monroe, and president of the United States.

Without question, the home education which John and Abigail Adams provided their oldest son enabled him to become a great statesman in service to his country. I’m Michael Farris.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

John Jay

This is from today Home School Heartbeat from the HSLDA.

Many of the men and women responsible for the founding of America were taught at home by their parents. Yesterday on Home School Heartbeat, we highlighted the life of Patrick Henry. Today, Mike Farris shares the life of another homeschooled patriot.

Michael Farris:

After our Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution, they had to submit it to the states for ratification. In order to persuade the states to ratify the federal constitution, three great men wrote The Federalist Papers, a stirring defense and explanation of America’s founding document. John Jay, the eighth child of Peter and Mary Jay, was one of the authors of the book that convinced the states to ratify the Constitution.

When John was a young child, his mother taught him the rudiments of English and Latin. At the age of 14, John Jay entered college, and upon graduation was apprenticed as a lawyer. His law training later allowed him to become the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court.

John Jay’s parents were staunch Christians and profoundly influenced their son’s character in addition to his academic training. John’s parents were careful to educate their children in the Word of God. John Jay later said, “In forming and settling my beliefs relative to the doctrine of Christianity, I adopted no articles from creeds, but such only as, on a careful examination, I found to be confirmed by the Bible.”

We can thank John Jay’s parents for raising a godly son who served his country with the kind of moral leadership we so desperately need today. I’m Michael Farris.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus - Must See!

I only recently found out what a "flash mob" was. The ones I've known have been dancing which is cool, but this one is amazing!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Answering the Call to Missions

One of the things that my husband and I had in common when we met was a heart for missions.  Didn't know how but when we got married, we both felt that missions was somehow in our future.  After several years of marriage, we finally prepared "officially" go to the mission field.  We were on deputation for five years attempting to raise support.  After five years, we realized that God was closing this door. 

After God closed that door, He took us through a wonderful, faith-filled journey of adoption which is a story of it's own.  Little did I know that when I became a mother, I was truly entering the mission field. The mission field of parenting.

Think about it. 

1.  Unsaved Souls: Anyone who's dealt with a child knows they are not "tabula rasa" but a sinful sinner.  My husband used to ask where our daughter learned such things.  Sorry honey, she's just skilled at being unsaved. Just like any unsaved person here or abroad, my daughter needs to learn about salvation through Christ.  Thankfully, their eternal destiny is up to God, but He's put us in a place to be tool in helping to bring that about (and hopefully not hamper it!)

2.  Foreign Culture: Whether your three year old is talking about their imaginary friend or your 13 year old is talking about Hannah Montana (Blah!  I just gagged as I was typing it.), there are aspects about childhood and teenagers that are completely foreign to us.  Sure, we lived in this culture a long time ago (some of us longer ago than others), but we just don't get it anymore. 

3.  Foreign Language: If U no w's^ then XLNT but 2 me it's 511 so SYL8R @ *$.

4.  Hostile and/or Reluctant Natives: I'm sure it's only my child but sometimes trying to communicate anything including the Truth is like beating my head against the wall.  How many times have I told her the same thing?  Excuse me, but did I just see an eye roll?  Time to get out Proverbs 30:17.

5.  Testimony: Sure, a testimony can be something you share verbally, but even more so it's something you share by living.  As a missionary (or a Christian for that matter), I am called to walk the walk; to set an example of a life enjoying and glorify God forever.  Truth is there have been a few times when I respond to my husband in a disrespectful way.  Then I grieve because I know the way I submit to my husband is an example of how I also submit to God, and my daughter has just seen poor example of both.  Hopefully, I remember to set a good example of asking for forgiveness.

6.  Finances:  We struggled with getting support when we were on deputation, and sometimes we still struggle with finances on the mission field of parenting, as well.  Some sources say that it costs over $200,000 to raise one child.  Besides meeting basic necessities, it's our God-given responsibility as missionaries to determine the best way to spend that support. Don't get me wrong; my girl does gymnastics and ballet, so I'm not against outside activities, but we do need to evaluate things.  As a missionary, we are responsible to make the best use of the funds for the Kingdom of God.

7. Support System:  Any good missionary knows the importance of a helpful, supportive, and praying sending agency and supporters.  They stand with you in faith and truth.  They encourage your growth and hold you accountable.  They can identify with and pray about your everyday needs.  These can make or break a missionary on the field and also with the mission field of parenting.  A good church that supports, not replaces, our role as parents is mandatory. Knowing and reaching out to others who are either "in the trenches" with us or who have "been there, done that and got the t-shirt to prove it" can make a big difference.

I think sometimes in the midst of rearing (sometimes literary) my child, I forget that God has made me an overseer of an eternal soul. Isn't that what a missionary is after all? A person who wants souls to acknowledge Christ as their Savior.  For some reason, I was placed in her life "for such a time as this" as her own personal missionary.  I pray that I make the most of this opportunity and not forsake my first missionary field.

Some Interesting Quotes

"The group consisting of mother, father and child is the main educational agency of mankind."  Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens at the White House, but what happens inside your house."   Barbara Bush

"I am convinced that the battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers that correctly perceive their role as proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being...The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and new -- the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent with the promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of 'love thy neighbor' will finally be achieved."
 John Dunphy

"We have come to a turning point in the road. If we turn to the right mayhap our children and our children's children will go that way; but if we turn to the left, generations yet unborn will curse our names for having been unfaithful to God and to His Word."  Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


This is the latest devotional from 


Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits:
who forgives all your iniquities,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from destruction,
who crowns you with loving kindness
and tender mercies." (Psalm 103:1-4).

What a loving, tender-hearted and compassionate God we have.  Every day He crowns me with loving kindnesses. Every day He crowns you with loving kindnesses.

Do I hear you say, "When was the last time God crowned me?"  Stop and think about it for a moment. God crowns you with His loving kindnesses through people around you. When your baby or your little child smiles at you, in fact when anyone smiles at you, you are crowned with God's loving kindness. Every time your husband embraces you, you receive another one of God's loving kindnesses. Every time he helps you with the dishes or baths the children, it is God's blessing to you. When someone says an encouraging word to you, it is God's loving kindness to you. He has not forgotten about you. You are graven on the palms of His hands. He has forgiven your sins. He has healed you many times.

When you sit down at your table and eat the bountiful food God daily provides for you, it is His loving kindness to you. When you reap the harvest from the garden you have planted, it is His loving kindness. When you look up at the clouds and are reminded of His faithfulness, you are crowned. You look at the mountains, the ocean, the undulating hills and trees and you are blessed that He has given you all these things to freely enjoy.  And you don't have to pay a cent. The world is yours to enjoy, no matter how little money you have in your pocket!

Start looking for God's loving kindnesses. They are all around you. They are happening to you throughout the day. Instead of focusing on your problems and disappointments, look out for God's blessings. Learn to be aware of them. Do not forget one of His benefits. Not one! Gratefully thank the Lord for every tiny one. I am starting to do this more and more. In fact, when I read this Scripture about being crowned I was very convicted. I realized that I had been taking God's blessings for granted. Now I seek to thank the Lord for crowning me every time I receive a blessing-a hug, a smile, a word of encouragement, the blessing of children around me and the joy they give with their antics and funny things they say. The blessings of God's creation-the flowers, the birds, the butterflies and the beautiful colors of the fall which I am beholding as I look out of my window now. It makes such a difference to your life when you become grateful for every little crowning from the Lord.

Because God is crowning me through His people (and maybe even those who are not His people), am I letting Him use me to be his vehicle through which he can crown others? This is a challenge for us, isn't it?

Recently my daughter, Serene faced a difficult trial, a little more difficult because her husband was overseas fulfilling a contract with the military. In the middle of being weighed down by the problem, her car ran out of gas in the middle of a busy lane of traffic. She had all the children in the car and the car wouldn't budge another inch! She put on her blinkers and decided to call the police, but her phone suddenly went dead! She was stuck!  She cried out to the Lord. He nudged her to try the car again. Miraculously it started and she managed, weaving through traffic, to get to the side of the road. She was still stranded, but then God showed her His loving kindness. People stopped their cars to help her. She had more help than she could use. Some were people she would normally be scared to talk to.

One big burly guy with tattoos all over him drove to a service station and bought gas for her and filled up her car. She knew God was sending His angels to her. Not only did she get gas for her car, but the loving kindness of strangers and this big, scary tattooed "angel" caused Serene to feel God's loving kindness pouring all over her. She forgot all her problems and filled the van with praises the rest of her journey.

We can be used by the Lord to crown our husband, our children and many others with the loving kindness of the Lord. Let's be on the offensive to give love-hugs, smiles, affirmation, encouragement and practical help wherever needed. What a blessing to be the instrument of God's loving kindness.

"Thank you, dear Father, for constantly crowning me with your loving kindnesses. Help me to be aware of them and full of gratefulness to you. And please anoint me to b a messenger of your loving kindnesses to others around me. Amen."

I will not forget a single blessing!

Preparing for questions over the holidays.

Todd Wilson doesn't know this yet, but he helped me get through our recent forclosure.  Regardless, he's a blast and has the gift of making you laugh and feel convicted at the same time!  Here's his recent piece from The Homeschool Minute email from  BTW, I think I prefer answer #5 !!  ;-)

The Familyman

Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries

The way I see it, you have only a few options when dealing with the unavoidable homeschool questions that well-meaning Aunt Bertha asks every Thanksgiving AND Christmas.
  1. Pretend that you don't hear her and hope she goes away.
  2. Act like you're choking on a turkey bone and hope that in all the commotion she forgets what she just asked.
  3. Take the bold approach, stand your ground, and say in a commanding voice, "Yeah, we're still homeschooling, you old busy body . . . what's it to ya?
  4. Smile pleasantly and make comments about the food . . . "My goodness, Jane's noodles are tender this year . . . Did you ever taste such creamy potatoes?"
  5. Before she can ask about homeschooling, beat her to the punch line: "So is your daughter still sending her children to that pagan institute that is Hell-bent on her destruction?"
  6. Or better yet, just answer her questions, confident that you're doing what God would have you do. Don't feel like it's your job to convince her (or them) of all the benefits. Just answer the questions and let your children be the PROOF. They'll see the difference.
Note to dads: Dad, it's your job to be a knight-in-shining-armor and protect your sweet damsel from dragonish relatives. Stand up, take the brunt of the questions, and let your wife hide behind you.


Be REAL and don't whitewash the cold, hard facts,







Saturday, November 13, 2010

3 year old Jonathan conducting Beethoven

I just had to post because this was awesome!

3 year old Jonathan conducting to the 4th movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony. This piece was originally conducted by Herbert von Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker, one of Jonathan's favorite conductors and orchestras. Jonathan's passion for classical music became apparent when he was only eight months old. Shortly after that he began conducting on his own.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Practical Side of Science

Tradition, if not truth, states that Newton developed the Law of Gravity by watching the apple fall to the ground.

This highly intelligent (and godly) man also developed the First Law of Motion.  Part of it states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted on by on outside force.

I know when God showed him these nuggets of knowledge, a home school mom was not the purpose, but in my case at least, they definitely apply.

You see, when objects fall to my floor, they stay there.  Oh sure, they may occasionally be kicked to another location on the floor, but they pretty much stay there.  Walked around.  Walked on. 

I have never been an immaculate house keeper.  I had a refrigerator magnet that assured me "Boring women have clean houses, " and I am anything but boring.  When I wanted to make sure I was being biblical, I consoled myself with Proverbs 14:4, "Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox."  My house is a mess because I'm busy being productive! 

And then came home education.  Everyone knows that housekeeping gets laid to the side when the education of future generations is at stake.  Or at least I've been told.  Or should that be consoled? 

In fact, a friend credits this fact to the safety of her home.  They recently awoke to find their front door broken in.  Nothing was taken, however.  She stated that she thought nothing was stolen because the thieves didn't want to deal with the chaos in her living room.  So I think that homeschooling as a theft repellent should give you a discount on you home insurance, right?

Now, I know that there are those that seem to have cleanliness and order built into them, but for those of us who don't, we can have some help from places like House Honcho or Flylady.  (Although another friend pointed out that one new to Flylady is considered a "Fly baby", and a fly baby is actually a maggot.  So now I've gone to oxen as a excuse and maggots as a way out.  Something Freudian about that I'm sure.)

All this to say is that I don't think I'm in this alone.  I think even those who "have all their ducks in a row" sometimes go "quackers" with the rest of us.  And the rest of us who are constantly paddling as fast as we can need to give ourselves some grace.  I think God does.  He lays upon us the responsibility to be "keepers at home".   Now, "keep" doesn't merely mean to "keep" things off the floor.  Keep actually means "to guard."  Guarding our children's hearts and characters is one of the most important things we "keep" at home.

So as we advance our children's education for the sake of the Kingdom, I say let's grab every opportunity.  All the things on my floor are not merely evidence of my poor housekeeping, but a science lesson on gravity and the First Law of Motion.

Oh, and we can add the Second Law of Thermodynamics: any system left to itself will deteriorate.  Yup, that's definitely the science lesson for today!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Missouri First to Allow Homeschool Parents to Issue Work Certificates

Great news from HSLDA

On the Air

Listen to HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff discuss these changes in detail on Wednesday, November 10, beginning at 4:40 p.m. Central Time on KJSL 630 AM, the “Dr. Gina Show.”

In an exciting nationwide first, Missouri now allows parents to issue work certificates for their own children if they follow certain requirements.

Formerly, parents had to work through the public school bureaucracy. This often involved red tape, delays, and inconvenience. And it was illogical. How would the public school system be in a position to know whether the proposed job would conflict with the student’s homeschool program?

But now a parent can be the “issuing officer” for a work certificate if the various requirements are met. HSLDA has posted an article explaining all requirements, and a blank work certificate form, under our “forms and resources” section for the state of Missouri (available to members only). This article explains who needs a certificate, how to issue or obtain one, what hours and days of work are allowed, the difference between a work “certificate” and a work “permit” (they are not the same!) and related information.

There is nothing particularly difficult about the various requirements, but there are quite a few! A parent wanting to issue a work certificate for his own child should take the time to read the HSLDA article, or educate himself carefully some other way.

Missouri child labor laws are primarily found in chapter 294 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri. The specific statute that deals with parents issuing work certificates is §294.045.

Public school superintendents continue to have authority to issue work certificates for homeschooled children, and parents may choose this option if they wish.

In a related breakthrough, teens who want to work are no longer bound under state law by one monolithic public school schedule. Revised Statutes of Missouri §294.045.4 says that a child’s work hour limitations shall be based on the calendar of the school the child actually attends. For homeschool families, this generally means their own homeschool calendar. This is important to keep in mind whether you issue the work certificate yourself, or you ask the local superintendent to issue it.

Families for Home Education (FHE) deserves the credit for these important changes. FHE has spearheaded this, and many other changes that are very helpful to homeschoolers. If you are not yet a member of FHE, please consider supporting them.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Candy Experiments

I have heard about Candy Experiments from a few different sources.  It's actually really cool and easy.  It's a great resource if you have any candy left from last week or as we get more candy with the holidays coming up.  The site also mentioned that you could use them as activities for a party.

The Vitures of Latin

From Home School Heartbeat. Click here to listen online.

You have friends who are teaching their kids Latin, and wonder if you should be, too. Or maybe you’re explaining to a skeptical 13-year-old why you’re teaching it to her! Today on Home School Heartbeat, Mike Farris talks with Barbara Beers about the benefits of Latin study.

Mike Farris:
This week, I’m talking with Barbara Beers, who’s the author of the curriculum The Latin Road to English Grammar. Barbara, welcome to the program!

Barbara Beers:
Thank you, Mike!

Barbara, this is sort of a stock question when discussing this topic, but it’s important, so give us your perspective: Why study Latin, and not some other modern language?

Well, first and foremost, there is no language in the world that affects English as much as Latin. We’re over 60 percent Latin-based in our vocabulary, and we learn as we study it that that vocabulary comprises our most sophisticated English words: those of our sciences, medicine, law, even our technology.

We also learn that Latin is the mother language of our most common spoken languages, Spanish and French, as well as Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian. So my students get a good working introduction to five commonly spoken languages in the same amount of time that others spend in just learning one language.

And by comparing and contrasting Latin and English for three years through translating, a student learns the basics of how most languages of the world work, as both Latin and English represent the two most common language structures.

Well, that makes a lot of sense to me, Barbara. Thank you so much. I’m Mike Farris.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Don't Give This to Your Daughter - Despite What Your Doctor Says

An article from Dr. Mecola about Gardasil.  I'm glad the truth is finally getting out there about the "vaccination"

It's been four years since Gardasil debuted as a blockbuster vaccine with sales that rocketed to over $1.1 billion in its first nine months.

Touted as a wonder vaccine that would end cervical cancer, it was supposed to be the savior of both mankind and Merck's Vioxx-damaged bottom line. But now, according to CNN Money, it's a dud.

It just posted $219 million in sales. But in the pharma world, that's a paltry pittance, nothing short of an in-flight explosion that's caused Merck stock to drop 3 percent, with analysts and investors scrambling to figure out what went wrong.

So what happened?

How did a vaccine that was supposed to be Merck's beacon for higher profits in the 21st Century go from flagship to flop?

The Science Speaks for Itself

CNN Money calls Gardasil's crash a "design flaw" and faults the economy, puritanical parents, bad press, and Merck itself for contributing to the fallout.

The article ends with the hypothesis: "Or, maybe people just aren't ready for a cancer vaccine when it's for a sexually transmitted disease."

I think they're way off the mark.

The real reason Gardasil is a flop is that people have become educated about this vaccine.

They've looked at the science and weighed the risks vs. the supposed benefits, and have made a choice not to get it for themselves or their children.

The word is out: despite what the CDC would have you believe, Gardasil's safety record is in serious question. As of September 28, 2010, the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) has more than 18,000 Gardasil-related adverse events listed in it, including at least 65 deaths.

As a vaccine used in the developed world, the science speaks for itself: Gardasil can't – and never will -- replace Pap smears, which are the reason that the incidence of cervical cancer is so low in the United States after decades of including pap smears in routine medical care for women.

Today, cervical cancer is not even in the top 10 cancers that kill American women every year.

As a vaccine for children, it doesn't make sense to vaccinate to try to prevent an infection that is cleared from your body without any negative effects within two years in most healthy persons, and is not transmitted in a school setting like other airborne diseases that are easily transmitted in crowded conditions.

Gardasil is designed to prevent only two of at least 15 strains of HPV that can lead to cervical cancer in those who do not clear the virus from their body within two years and become chronically infected.

There is also some evidence that Gardasil-induced immunity may wane after about five years. Pre-licensure clinical trials did not follow young girls or women for decades to find out if the vaccine does, in fact, prevent cervical cancer.

What went wrong with Gardasil is that this may be a vaccine that set many more health care consumers on a course of self-education that helped them make an informed decision about whether or not to take it – and there are several good reasons why many are deciding NOT to take it.
Science vs. Politics

First, the science: Peer-reviewed journal articles widely available on the Internet show that Gardasil is not what it was made out to be in the "one-less" TV commercials that jumped into people's living rooms a few years ago.

Consumers now know that:

  • Gardasil is NOT a cancer vaccine. It is simply a vaccine for two strains of human papillomaviruses (HPVs) that in some instances can lead to cancer in some women (Gardasil's other two HPV strains are for genital warts, which don't cause cancer).

  • Since there are at least 15 HPV strains that can lead to cancer, Gardasil-vaccinated girls can still get cervical cancer from other 13 HPV strains not contained in the vaccine.

  • The vaccine doesn't work if you've already been infected with the HPV strains in the vaccine.
But the politics of this information is that you won't hear it or read it in the mainstream press. Instead, what you get is a repetition of the politically charged mantra that parents don't want their young daughters or sons to get a vaccine associated with sexual behaviors, and complaints about the vaccine's high cost.

However, the real truth is that Gardasil's downfall has nothing to do with sex or money.
The Truth about HPV and Cancer

It is important to distinguish between HPV and cancer: Just because you currently have HPV, or may have had the infection in the past, does NOT mean you have cancer or will get cancer.

HPV is NOT cancer. It is a viral infection that can lead to cancer in some people if the virus does not naturally clear from your body, as it does for most people within two years.

Some high risk factors for developing chronic HPV infection are:

  • Smoking
  • Co-infection with herpes, Chlamydia or HIV
  • Long term birth control use
  • Multiple births
In the US, infection with HPV is very common, and it is estimated that about 20 million Americans have an HPV infection at any given time. In fact, HPV is so common that most sexually active people will get it at some time in their lives.

The important thing to know about HPV is that in almost all cases, it clears up on its own without any adverse health effects within two years in most healthy people.

Genital HPV infection that is persistent, and more likely to lead to cancer, is most common in men and women who have had multiple sex partners. According to the CDC, other contributing risk factors to HPV infection that leads to cervical cancer includes smoking, having herpes, Chlamydia or HIV (the virus associated with AIDS), or another health problem that makes it hard for your body to deal with infections.

Using birth control pills for a long time (five or more years) or having given birth to three or more children is also a risk factor.

Also, certain populations in the US are more prone to getting cervical cancer. According to

"Cervical cancer occurs most often in certain groups of women in the United States including African-American women, Hispanic women, white (non-Hispanic) women living in rural New York State and northern New England, American Indian women, and Vietnamese-American women.

Hispanic women have twice the rate of cervical cancer compared to non-Hispanic white women. African-American women develop this cancer about 50 percent more than non-Hispanic white women".

These disparities are due, in part, from poor access to health care. The women who are most at risk for the disease are women who do not have regular check-ups that include pap tests.

Official reports from the CDC and WHO estimate that between 11,000 and 12,000 women in the US are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and 3,800 to 4,100 die from it.

About half of these women had never had a pap smear before they discovered they had cervical cancer. The majority of the others had not had a pap smear within the previous five years.

According to the CDC's report on HPV to Congress in 2004:

"Cervical cancer is an uncommon consequence of HPV infection in women, especially if they are screened for cancer regularly with pap tests and have appropriate follow-up of abnormalities.

The purpose of screening with the pap test is to detect cervical abnormalities that can be treated, thereby preventing progression to invasive cervical cancer, and also to detect invasive cervical cancer at a very early stage. If detected early and managed promptly, survival rates for cervical cancer are over 90 percent."

A study published in 2000 in the Archives of Family Medicine also showed that in the US, women who are elderly, unmarried, and uninsured are more likely to be diagnosed at a late stage of cervical cancer.

The Truth About Gardasil

According to a 2006 report to the international group Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), Gardasil and Cervarix (GlaxoSmithKline's two-strain HPV vaccine) are only effective in young women and men (boys are now approved to receive HPV vaccine) who have never been infected with HPV.

According to Merck's package insert on Gardasil, the end-point in its clinical trials for the vaccine's efficacy, or effectiveness, was NOT cancer, but instead was the presence, or non-presence, of vaccine-relevant pre-cancerous lesions (CIN 2/3).

There is absolutely no proof, and no clinical trials that show Gardasil protects against cancer in the long-term.

In fact, in clinical trials, Gardasil's protection against cell dysplasia leveled off at four years, and clinical trial participants were given a fourth dose to boost the number of antibodies measured in the blood (immunogenicity) of those who got the vaccine. This is the efficacy being reported by Merck, even though the vaccine series is marketed as three shots, not four.

And, according to Dr. Diane Harper, a lead researcher for Gardasil, its efficacy against genital warts is only two years.

Additionally, according to the manufacturer's package insert:

  • Gardasil does not eliminate the necessity for pap screening

  • It does not treat active infections, lesions or cancers

  • And it may not result in protection for all vaccinees

An outstanding question is whether the mass use of Gardasil (and Cervarix) by all girls and boys will put pressure on other HPV strains not contained in the vaccines to become more dominant and perhaps more virulent in causing cervical cancer.

The "replacement" effect has happened with other infectious organisms that have developed resistance to vaccines used on a mass basis, such as pertussis (whooping cough) and pneumococcal vaccines.

The Truth about Gardasil's Clinical Trials

Only 27 percent of girls who have received the Gardasil vaccine have gotten all three shots in the vaccine's series. Merck blames it on forgetfulness, and has launched a "reminder" program that contacts vaccinees, and urges them to complete the series.

CNN Money suggests that it has to do with the vaccine's high cost – just under $400 for a three-shot series, although some private doctors charge up to $875 for a three-shot series.

But neither has considered the third possibility – that the reported reactions girls are suffering after getting one or two shots of Gardasil are so severe that they decide not to go back for more.

In any drug trial, whether it's for a vaccine or not, safety should be the top priority – and Gardasil's safety should have been thoroughly investigated before it was licensed and put on the market and recommended by public health doctors for ALL young girls to use.

But Merck used bad methodology in its pre-licensure safety studies that did NOT contain a true placebo. In reporting systemic adverse reactions to the vaccine, instead of using a true placebo that is not reactive on its own, Merck used a vaccine component (aluminum) in what they called the "placebo."

Aluminum can cause inflammation in the body and can make your blood brain barrier more permeable, allowing toxins to pass into your brain and cause damage. It is definitely not appropriate to use an aluminum-containing "placebo" to measure the reactivity of an experimental vaccine like Gardasil that will be given to children.

Researchers did use a saline placebo in one clinical trial, but only reported it in reference to injection site reactions. In those comparisons, the saline placebo had significantly fewer reactions than either the vaccine or the aluminum-containing placebo.

When it came to reporting the actual adverse, systemic events with the vaccine, Merck combined the aluminum and saline placebos, thus making the "placebo" results nearly the same as the vaccine's – and impossible to objectively judge true safety comparisons.

This encouraged the perception that the vaccine is "safe" because the adverse events associated with it were nearly the same as the aluminum containing " placebo."

Another important outcome of the clinical trials that was not properly investigated before licensure was the potential association between the deaths that occurred in the clinical trials and the Gardasil vaccine.

A number of the girls who died during the trials were killed in car crashes. Yet, Merck did not report whether the girls were the drivers or passengers at the time of the accidents.

This could be critical information in determining the vaccine's true safety, since one of the most common post-marketing adverse events is syncope (sudden fainting) as well as dizziness, seizures, and neurological events that could have contributed to a car accident if the person had just received a Gardasil shot and was driving at the time of the accident.

The Truth about Gardasil and its Thousands of Injuries and Deaths

The federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) has been in place since 1986, but many experts believe that only 1 to 10 percent of all serious health problems that occur after vaccination, including hospitalizations, injuries and deaths, ever make it into the VAERS database.

Most doctors and other vaccine providers do not report vaccine-related adverse events to VAERS even though it is a requirement under federal law since 1986 with the passage of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.

Gardasil was a "fast tracked" vaccine and with so little active reporting of Gardasil-related health problems to VAERS, this means that Gardasil should be on the red-alert list for agencies like the CDC, the FDA, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

Yet these three federal health agencies and medical organizations urging doctors to give Gardasil to children and young women have joined Merck in insisting that Gardasil is safe, despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

Gardasil victims and their parents have been posting their heart breaking stories on websites.

These tragic entries posted by Gardasil casualties is stark testify to the fact that something isn't right with this vaccine – and what isn't right is that the list of Gardasil victims just keeps growing.

The unfortunate fact is Merck only studied the vaccine in fewer than 1200 girls under age 16, and most of the serious health problems and deaths in the pre-licensure clinical trials were written off as a "coincidence."

And now, since those adverse reactions aren't listed as possible warning signs that the vaccine can cause harm, health officials are still ignoring them, even while girls die and others suffer ongoing, and often permanent, injuries and disabilities from it.

For example, a rough comparison of Gardasil and Menactra (a vaccine against meningitis) adverse event reports to VAERS through November 30, 2008 revealed that:

  • Compared to Menactra, receipt of Gardasil is associated with at least twice as many emergency room visit reports; 4 times more death reports; 5 times more "did not recover" reports; and 7 times more "disabled" reports.

  • Compared to Menactra, receipt of Gardasil is associated with all of the reports of blood clots. All 23 reports of blood clots following Gardasil occurred when Gardasil was given alone without any other vaccines.

  • Compared to Menactra, receipt of Gardasil is associated with at least 4 times as many cardiac arrest reports. All 9 reports of cardiac arrest following Gardasil occurred when Gardasil was given alone without any other vaccines.

  • Compared to Menactra, receipt of Gardasil is associated with at least 6 times as many fainting reports and at least 3 times as many syncope reports.

  • Compared to Menactra, receipt of Gardasil is associated with at least 4 times as many lupus reports. 27 reports of lupus following Gardasil occurred when Gardasil was given alone.

  • Compared to Menactra, receipt of Gardasil is associated with at least 15 times as many stroke reports. 16 reports of stroke following Gardasil occurred when Gardasil was given alone.

  • Compared to Menactra, receipt of Gardasil is associated with at least 3 times as many syncope reports.

  • Compared to Menactra, receipt of Gardasil is associated with at least 33 times as many thrombosis reports. 34 reports of thrombosis following Gardasil occurred when Gardasil was given alone.

  • Compared to Menactra, receipt of Gardasil is associated with at least 5 times as many sasculitis reports. 11 reports of vasculitis following Gardasil occurred when Gardasiil was given alone.

  • Compared to Menactra, receipt of Gardasil is associated with at least 30 times as many rechallenge reports, which involve a worsening of symptoms experienced after previous receipt of Gardasil.

What's disturbing about this is that these reports in all likelihood are just the tip of the iceberg because most physicians are making their reports to Merck, rather than to VAERS, and Merck is forwarding such poor quality information to VAERS that the CDC and FDA can't follow up on the majority of reports that Merck makes.

As reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in August 2009, Merck made 68 percent of the reports to VAERS and 89 percent of them had information that was too insufficient to review!

Is This a Vaccine that You Would Want?

An editorial in the August 19, 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) commented specifically on the risks and benefits of vaccinating with Gardasil, Merck's marketing of it, and the safety issues that are so obvious with this drug:

"When weighing evidence about risks and benefits, it is also appropriate to ask who takes the risk, and who gets the benefit," the JAMA author said.

"Patients and the public logically expect that only medical and scientific evidence is put on the balance. If other matters weigh in, such as profit for a company or financial or professional gains for physicians or groups of physicians, the balance is easily skewed.

"The balance will also tilt if the adverse events are not calculated correctly."

The commentary is so poignant that it's a wonder that the mainstream media still hasn't' picked up on the impact of what this author is trying to say – that maybe, just maybe, people shouldn't be so quick to jump on the Gardasil bandwagon.

The JAMA commentary goes on to say that one of the core questions of all medical decisions should be: When is the available information about harmful adverse effects sufficient to conclude that the risks outweigh the potential benefits?

It's apparent that that question is in the minds of anyone who has really taken the time to study this vaccine.

What happened to Gardasil is that consumers looked at the science and lots of them made a choice to not use this vaccine.

And that, CNN Money, is why Gardasil is a flop.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Christmas Coloring Contest

This coloring contest is sponsored by Veritas Press.  They have specific coloring pages to use at the link below.

"In celebration of Christmas we are holding a coloring contest. A $50 gift certificate from Veritas Press will be given to the family who sends us the picture we judge best in each age group. There will be winners in each of three age categories: 3 to 5, 6 to 9, and 10 to 12. Submissions must arrive at Veritas Press, 1829 William Penn Way, Lancaster, PA 17601 by 3:00 PM EST December 13, 2010. Please write the child's name, age, address, parent e-mail address and phone number on the submitted picture. Click here to download the coloring pages from which you may create your masterpiece. "

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Are We Making Progress?

This week, The Homeschool Minute from had the topic of progress with everything from catching up to accessing progress.  I thought I'd share all the articles I thought had good points.


Well, it's November now, and I know that while some of you might be tracking right along with your lessons, others might be struggling- the new has worn off, life has gotten hectic, and the bookwork has taken a backseat, or maybe you're still struggling to even get things on track this year!

So, what do you do?

Well, first of all, you don't try to "catch up" by cracking the whip and cramming in 15 lessons a day. That will make both you and the kids crazy. (Trust me, I've tried it before.)

I think you start getting back on track by asking God what He wants you to do with each day and just starting small. Stop beating yourself up and begin just putting one foot in front of the other. Your goal isn't to finish the curriculum on time, is it? Pray about what God wants you to focus on and then just keep your eyes on Him. God can do so much to bless our humble efforts. He works with imperfect moms and imperfect kids all the time. Just follow Him and start anew.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Enjoy every minute, no matter where you are in the books!

Nancy Carter
THM Editor


Mercy Every Minute

Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor

Are We Making Progress?

This question is always at the back of the mind of every homeschooling parent. We wonder if we are doing enough of this, or teaching enough of that. We wonder if our kids are keeping up or falling behind. We wonder if we are falling behind as their teachers, too!

There are some great ways to track progress. One is setting goals, writing them down, and then marking them off when they are met. Another is testing knowledge in various ways and recording the results. You may also want to see a little bit of change in an attitude or behavior and work toward that goal, praising your child as you go along.

If you don't see change or progress immediately, don't give up. Keep going one day at a time, teaching "line upon line and precept upon precept," and you will see the maturity and knowledge increase as you trust the Lord to work in your children's hearts and lives.

Perhaps you feel like you are stuck in a rut with one of your children or with a certain curriculum. This is the time to pray and then try something different. Sometimes coming at things from a different angle or perspective (or teaching in a different style, such as a more kinesthetic or auditory or visual style) really helps get things going again.

I always say that God rewards our obedience-period. So, trust and obey as you walk with the Lord in the light of His Word. If you have your children home where they belong, you are well on your way to making the best kind of progress.

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You!" Psalm 84:11,12

Trusting God with you,


It's Just Common Sense

Ruth Beechick, Curriculum Specialist
Debbie Strayer, Homeschool Consultant

One reads at 5, another not until 8. Math comes easily for some and with tears for others. One high schooler works independently and another needs much support. Is one better than the other? With so much diversity among children, even those in your own family, how can you be sure they are making the right amount of progress?

Within every child, there is a timetable for development. Each child is "fearfully and wonderfully made," created in secret for a lifetime of purpose and progress. Our job as homeschoolers is to get in sync with God's timetable and leave behind the schoolish notion of one size fitting all. Scope and sequences, typical courses of study, or even what your older children learned at a certain age-all can create in us a sense of anxiety, even feelings of failure. We can worry, "Why isn't this child on the same page as others?"

Start measuring your child's progress from where he is now. Observe what he can do and consider what the natural next steps would be. Lay before your child the tools he needs, but let him pick them up when his ability and maturity are ready. Stay busy practicing present level skills. Focus on creativity and enjoying your time together. Help your child see his success while you wait for the fruit to appear, and have faith in the Author of the schedule.

~ Debbie

Raising the Bar

Well, Nancy Leigh deMoss has been used this week to correct me.  Been having some problems knowing how to handle some behavior issues my DD has been having. I've been everything from frustrated, down right angry and feeling hopeless.  This devotion reminded me that I need to make sure I'm also forgiving...not holding on to grudge even.

Raising the Bar

“I can overlook the little things pretty easily, but nobody can forgive everything. Can they?”

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Colossians 3:13 says, “As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” That raises the bar pretty high, doesn’t it? We’re to forgive the same way God has forgiven us. How has God forgiven us?

The psalmist tells us, “As the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

God’s forgiveness is complete. It’s permanent. It’s unconditional. And here’s what I love most—it’s undeserved. We can’t earn it, work for it, or perform harder to get it. It’s all because of God’s grace.

Do you have trouble forgiving? Maybe you need to spend some time thinking about how much God has forgiven you.

With Seeking Him, I’m Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Real Answers from a Real God

This is from today's Revive Our Hearts you even listen to here.

At Revive Our Hearts, we’re marking our 10th year of broadcasting. Over those years, listeners have heard from Kathy Helvey many times. She’s offered practical advice in living out God’s Word in tough seasons of life.

We’ll hear a recording Kathy made with a group ladies in 2007. This group had just heard Nancy teach through the book of Habakkuk. We’ve revisited that classic series as part of our 10th year anniversary. And as part of that series, we’ll hear Nancy talking with Kim Wagner, Holly Elliff, Maria Johnson, and the late Kathy Helvey.

Holly will begin.

Holly Elliff: I have to tell you as I was first of all reading through the book of Habakkuk and then during this study on the day, I think, beginning in chapter 2 where you started talking about Habakkuk climbing into the watchtower to wait for God, I had this vision of myself tying to climb the tower and all these little people grabbing my ankles and saying, “Mom, wait, wait, wait.” [Laughter]

I have a bunch of children. Literally, I sat there thinking, "Would I be able to get up in that watchtower and say I’m going to sit here until God speaks?" Then I thought, well, "I could maybe do that like at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning." It would be quiet enough. It was just almost comical as I thought about myself trying to get in that posture.

Nancy: . . . of listening to the Lord and waiting on Him.

Holly: . . . saying I’m going to sit here until God answers. I know God has a way for me to do this, but it was a pretty comical picture.

Nancy: So as a mom, how do you get alone with the Lord? How do you get still and quiet and let Him speak to you.

Holly: For me, literally it is sometimes 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning when it’s finally still and quiet and I know there’s a good chance that nobody’s going to be waking up for a while. That’s when I can get to Him. I’ve found that even just a few minutes in the midst of my day makes a huge difference.

Nancy: I know, Kim, you have very busy days. We were just talking about how you’re at a season of life where your days are so full. How do you get that time to just really listen to the Lord?

Kim Wagner: I have to have that time. That’s how I get that time. The Lord taught me several years ago that if I did not meet with Him first . . . that’s my sustenance. That’s the only way that I can operate is by meeting with Him first thing. I know Holly’s time is late at night. For me, I have to meet with the Lord first thing in the morning.

Holly: Actually, see mine’s earlier in the morning than yours.

Kim: Right! Mine’s just about two hours later than yours. But I told my friends, you don’t want to be around me until I’ve met with the Lord because He needs to deal with me first thing in the morning.

Really, that is the sweetest time for me of my day, to really go to Him, lay out my heart before Him and just seek Him, ask Him, what in my heart do You need to deal with? How do I need to surrender to You? Then to intercede for others that He is bringing to my heart and mind as I’m just seeking Him before I get into a time in the Word.

I’m a pastor’s wife, and probably the first ten years of being a pastor’s wife, I had a quiet time with the Lord pretty typical of probably most Christians. I would do it one day and go another day. I remember pulling out a journal as we were moving from one pastorate to another.

Going through the moving boxes, I pulled out one of my spiritual journals. I remember thumbing through it and saying, “Oh, wow, this is good. The Lord met with me here October 24. That’s a good word. That’s interesting.” I go to the next day, October 25, and then I go, November 24? What happened between October 25 and November 24?

The Lord really used that to convict me that there were several days there missing. All through that journal I could tell, it was very sporadic, my times of meeting with the Lord. I started to wonder, “Father, what did you want to speak to me on those days when I didn’t stop and meet with You? What did You want to teach me that I missed out on?”

That wasn’t enough to convict me. It took about a year later, I guess. We were living in Indiana at the time. I was traveling to Indianapolis to minister to someone in the hospital. As I’m driving along just going my merry way to minister for God, the Holy Spirit so faithfully spoke to me and said, “You’re going to minister to someone, but You did not meet with Me this morning. You didn’t seek My face first.”

Me in my prideful, arrogant, flippant way said, “I’m meeting with You, God. I’m listening to Adrian Rogers right now on the radio.” God very clearly and faithfully spoke to me and said, “No, you did not seek My face this morning. You did not meet with Me this morning.”

There’s so much in our lives that gets so hectic, with children, with responsibilities, with people needing to be ministered to. We can let all of those things crowd out the most important thing. I’m so thankful for Luke 10, an example of Mary who, yes, there was a lot of busyness going on.

Martha was doing a lot of good things, a lot of needful things. Those men needed to eat, but Mary was doing the most important thing. For me, I’m not saying it’s the same for everybody, but for me, God has shown me that I must begin that in the first time of the day.

Maria Johnson: For me, it’s a little bit different, because life isn’t always so ordered if you’re up all night with a sick child and such. I love the morning. That’s my most favorite time, before the sun is up, time. Just go outside with a cup of coffee even wrapped in a blanket. There are the stars, and it’s you and the Lord. That’s my favorite.

With four children and six grandchildren and my husband’s work schedule, I can’t always do that, that 5 o’clock or 4:30 or 6 a.m., not when you’ve been up two or three hours with a sick child or grandchild or something.

So what the Lord began showing me from Psalm 16:11 was that I was very consistent with that morning quiet time, and I became proud in that. “In His presence is fullness of joy.” He began showing me that I had to live every moment in His presence. Every moment.

So whether it’s with a sick child or helping my married kids with their children or a neighbor at church, whatever it may be, whatever the need is, it’s in that moment to realize God is there, and that He has made provision for His glory in whatever the circumstance is.

That’s not to say time with the Lord in His Word isn’t important, but it’s even bigger than that. Where can we go from Him presence? Nowhere.

I can remember riding on a subway in Boston and turning to my cousin and saying, “Look at all these people, all these nationalities. I can’t bare to think that they’re going to die and burn and hell.” It’s just realizing that His presence is everywhere and in His presence is fullness of joy.

My favorite place, of course, is before Him in His Word in the quietness alone. But everywhere He wants us to see Him, and everywhere He’s made provision for His glory, whether it’s pointing out lost or helpless people or ministering or just having fun like drawing chalk pictures on the sidewalk with the kids. Everywhere God has made provision for His glory. It’s remembering that and remembering we’re always in His presence. Always. Always.

I was taught early on about that early quiet time, early quiet time. Boy, I did it. Tell me what to do, and I’ll follow those three steps. There’s a pride in that. Then God said, “No, it’s bigger than that. I’m always there, and I’ve made provision for My glory everywhere I’ve placed you.”

Doing puzzles with the little kids, teaching women. It doesn’t matter. God is there. Our purpose for being there, my purpose is to glorify Him.

Kathy Helvey: Nancy, you mentioned something, I was looking in my notes here and I cannot find it, about the Word of God. If we were to really believe it and live it, then our lives would be so transformed. It would be so different. I think of that Scripture in Romans where it says, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2, KJV).

Since we’re talking about quiet times and time with the Lord, as I’ve grown older, I’ve had to walk for exercise to keep the weight off. One thing that motivates me to get out there everyday and walk is something I started doing a few years ago and that’s memorizing Psalms because it’s a lot like poetry. It flows.

So I started memorizing different psalms. I would motivate myself to walk by taking my little 3 x 5 cards out on the road with me. Then I would just quote them and say them over and over. As I started walking, there’s that little jingle or little chorus that goes, “And He walks with me and He talks with me.” That’s what started happening.

I started having the best quiet times, and I still do, with the Lord when I’m out walking by myself. I’m very selfish about these walks. People have said let me walk with you. I’ve said no. I just need to do it alone. It just wouldn’t fit into my schedule.

Nancy: Tell them you already have a walking Partner.

Maria: That’s right, and I love Him. So as we walk and as He talks with me, it was just a joyous surprise. I think C. S. Lewis wrote a book, Surprised by Joy, and that’s kind of what happened to me on our walk one day.

I was talking to God about a certain situation and then I started quoting this little 3 x 5 card psalm. It ended up I started praying those very words to God. Before they were just rote memorization, but it became a part of who I was, what the situation was, about what I wanted to say to the Lord, and what He wanted to say to me.

So much of life change now has come to me by memorizing God’s Word. I was told when I was very little in daily vacation Bible school how important it was to memorize the Word of God, but I had no idea. Now I have many 3 x 5 cards, and I just walk and I talk. The Word of God becomes a prayer back to Him, and it’s thrilling.

Nancy: I’ve found that happening myself even in this study of the book of Habakkuk. As I’ve been meditating on the book and studying it, I’ve ended up memorizing it. That last verse, “GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places” (Habakkuk 3:19).

I found myself just so needing the strength of the Lord, but drawing strength from the Scripture that is now in my heart and saying by faith, “God the Lord is my strength. Lord, You are my strength. You make my feet like the deer’s. You make me tread on my high places.”

Going into this recording session—this is a high place for me, a hard place. It’s taking more stamina than I have. It’s taking more wisdom than I have. The Scripture becomes personal that way, so it’s not just Habakkuk saying that. It’s not just me knowing it in my head. It becomes a part of my actual walk with the Lord.

Kathy: So many people will say when I ask them how’s their quiet time, because a lot of times most of the women I talk to are women having some kind of problem, and I’ll say, “Well, how’s your quiet time?” They’ll say, “Well, I pray all the time.” Then my next question is, “Well, that’s great, but when do you listen?”

That’s what you’re talking about. Your 3 x 5 cards—you’re not just talking to the Lord. You’re listening because He’s talking back to you through His Word. That is how He talks to us and directs us, corrects us, through His Word, so that’s a neat way to do two things at once.

Kathy: There’s a verse in Psalm 94 and it says, “When my anxious thoughts consume me.” Another version says, “When my anxious thoughts multiply within me . . .” (Psalm 94:19, NASB).

Nancy: Yes, we all know that verse!

Kathy: Then the second part is, “Your consolations delight my soul.” To me consolation is what He says, what He promises. If I haven’t been there to know what He’s saying, then when my anxious thoughts get carried away and multiply and the stresses and fears of life come and the demons of darkness come in the middle of the night waking me up and I’m fearful. If I don’t know God’s Word, haven’t hidden it in my heart through memorizing it, then I’m lost.

Kim: There’s nothing to counteract those lies. You don’t have that truth hidden away.

Kathy: It can’t grab a hold of my life, and I can’t have life change. Can’t trust. Don’t just read God’s Word, but memorize it.

Kim: Meditate on it.

Kathy: If we memorize it, I think God’s promise is, it’ll come back to us.

Holly: I agree, Kathy. So many of the women I talk to haven’t even picked up their Bibles and they don’t understand why they’re not getting what they need from the Lord. “God is just not listening to me.”

I thought about Habakkuk being so determined. I mean he got real honest with God. He told Him what his questions were. But then he was determined to get in a place where he could hear from God.

I think if we’re not careful, we put all the blame on God and don’t accept responsibility for the fact that God’s Word is readily available. I’m sorry, everybody can find time somewhere to get to God.

I know there are crisis moments where it’s just incredibly tough, but unless you are at the deathbed of a loved one, or it’s a hospital stay, or I mean it’s just a crisis moment, there is time in most of our lives.

Nancy: Actually, it’s in those crisis moments that a lot of people do get to God.

Holly: Well, then you remember He’s there.

Nancy: Right.

Holly: But we are so unprepared even for when those things come because in the midst of our everyday lives, we forget. It’s not that we forget. We know. We just are not desperate enough to hear what God has to say, which means, as Nancy brought up, that we’re just dependent on ourselves, and what we have is what we have apart from Him. That is so frightening to me.

Kathy: We’re so feeling-oriented, especially as women. What came out to me through this whole session was that Nancy kept saying it’s a choice. Someone once wrote a book, Faith Is Not a Feeling. I thought, okay, faith is not a feeling.

Sometimes we’re so consumed with our feelings because of the hurt or the pain, whatever is going on in our life that I like to think of it now as a contrary choice. I have got to go contrary to everything I am when I’m in that situation. That’s hard to do unless I’ve invested while it’s good. I’m walking close with the Lord.

Dear Habakkuk, I love you. [Laughter] Because I sat there thinking, this is a Habakkuk conundrum. This is what it is. He’s puzzled. He’s confused. He’s angry. He’s at a loss. He feels he’s been abandoned, rejected. Where are You, God?

We’ve all been there. I want to follow that man. I want to be a Habakkuk and go from my conundrum to where we ended in this little book—faith.

Holly: Well, I’m just wondering as you talk with other women why it is that you see women not doing that. Why do women not make that choice?

I talked with a gal a couple weeks ago. In the course of the conversation she maybe mentioned ten other women that she had already shared with what was going on in her life. When I finally said, “Have you had time to get to God about this?” “No.” She really hadn’t. She was so quick to get to everybody else. I just think that’s such a dangerous thing to get enough salve on the wound that we don’t need to get to get to God like Habakkuk did.

Maria: It comes so naturally though to be independent. You don’t teach a child to say, "I can do it myself." You teach them to share. I think that’s part of it. It’s one of the things, like Kathy had said that I liked about this book is how real God is with His Word. He’s so practical.

Emotions are real, and we as women know that. But what are we going to do with those emotions? Now, he had fear. He had questions, I’m sure. Habakkuk had doubts. I mean he said how long and why? Emotions are real, but we can’t stuff it, deny it, ignore it, or medicate it. We’ve got to learn to run to God.

I have watched over and over, He allows that pressure to come to remind us we do need Him because we tend to be so self-sufficient. I can do this myself. It’s just an attitude that we’re born with, I really believe. You have enough of those things in your life happening and you begin to realize you need him.

There was a season in our life where in an eight-year period, the longest we went without a major crisis was six months. I’m talking death, hospitalizations, major accidents, a child nearly dying three times in six months. The longest we went with peace was six months in eight years.

Yet I would not trade those eight years for anything in the world because in the midst of that I learned to run to the Lord. Our whole family did. You get a glimpse of God when everything else doesn’t work, doesn’t help, doesn’t satisfy. I mean you need real answers. You need a real God, and He is there.

“The LORD sat enthroned at the Flood, and the LORD sits as King forever” (Psalm 29:10, NKJV). That’s the verse the Lord gave me beside my 17-year-old son that was unrecognizable. No one even knew that was really him except me and his daddy; he was so injured. I just sat there, and that is the verse the Lord gave.

That was the beginning of eight years straight. Six-month breather. Big things. Lots of deaths, surgeries, accidents, financial loss. I mean like how long, Lord, and why? He was there, and He was enough.

You have a few experiences like that in life and you can sing with Habakkuk at the end. There are seasons of that. I mean, that’s not the only time. But you have a good season of it, and you begin to realize God is enough. He doesn’t mind those honest questions.

We were waiting once, even before that season, when we felt God had led us to adopt even though our first two children were 13 and 15. Everyone thought we were crazy, but we really felt that God said there were specific children. It wasn’t like I wanted a baby or we didn’t have a son or didn’t have a daughter or we wanted this or that.

We were waiting. It took 18 months, and it only takes 9 months to have a baby biologically. This was too long. The social workers kept changing.

Anyway, a friend of mine who had a lot of courage took me to lunch one day. I was just complaining, like you said, whining and whining. She leaned over to me and she said, “Maria, you are not waiting on a social worker, and you are not waiting on children, and you’re not waiting for your house to sell, and you’re not waiting to buy a bigger house” (because you’re going to have more kids). She said, “You are waiting on the Lord.”

Now we were in a restaurant with a server, they call them now. What does a waiter or a waitress do? They wait for you to signal, nod, gesture to them, and they come to you. That’s my picture the Lord gave me in that second, that I was to wait like a servant on the Lord. He would nod, and He would gesture when He wanted me to go or stay or left or right. I’ll never forget that. We’re waiting on the Lord. That’s what Habakkuk did. He waited until God answered him.

Leslie: That’s Maria Johnson. We also heard from Kim Wagner, and Holly Elliff. And we heard from Kathy Helvey, who went home to be with the Lord this past April.

These ladies listened as Nancy Leigh DeMoss delivered a teaching series called, Habakkuk: Moving from Fear to Faith. Today’s conversation was a follow-up exploration about what this teaching looks like practically day to day.

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