Sunday, September 30, 2007

Wilmington is Okay

At least that's the implication of Jeremiah 5:22.

‘ Do you not fear Me?’ says the LORD.
‘ Will you not tremble at My presence,
Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea,
By a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it?
And though its waves toss to and fro, yet they cannot prevail;
Though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.'

It's risky to be too dogmatic about interpreting prophecy, but this does sound like a refutation of too-anxious predictions of rising seas and global catastrophe. Note, it doesn't preclude storm surge.

Countdown to Surrender

... of the British at Yorktown. On September 30, 1781, the British evacuated their outer works and withdrew into the town's defenses. From then it was less than three weeks to the end of Cornwallis' war in the colonies.

One of my ancestors, Uriah Wright, served with the 1st Virginia Militia in the siege; at present I don't know if he was before Yorktown proper or across the river in front of Tarleton's position, but this site shows the two locations.

Friday, September 21, 2007

We Need More Helicopters After All

College Board, which publishes the SAT and AP exams, also conducted a survey of high school seniors' opinions on their parents' involvement in their college decisions. Guess what?

NEW YORK—Helicopter parents, so named because they hover like a helicopter over their children’s lives, were the focus of the first issue of studentPOLL published jointly in a new collaboration between the College Board and Art & Science Group. The findings of a national online survey of high school seniors conducted by the two organizations show that high school seniors are generally satisfied with the current level of their parents’ involvement in the college planning process. Ninety-five percent of students indicated that their parents were either “very involved” or “involved” in their college plans but, contrary to anecdotal suggestions, the students reported very little unwanted, intrusive behavior on the part of their parents. In fact, nearly 30 percent of students want more, not less, parental involvement.

In other words, at least 25% of the students indicated their parents are involved in the decision, and want them to be even more involved.

Detractors may call it "helicoptering" but in this case, it looks like responsible family life to me.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

God's Pathway

Good and upright is the LORD;
Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
The humble He guides in justice,
And the humble He teaches His way.
All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth,
To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Bookstores Form The Rings of Smithfield

I have an offer to do a book review for publication but it's due this week, so I needed to get a copy of the book right away -- no second hand copies from Amazon this time. A search of the big bookstore chains yielded the head-scratching discovery that there are three Barnes & Nobles stores between 29.1 and 29.33 miles from Smithfield, and a fourth at 27.9 miles.

Borders has two stores located at 32.7 and 33.2 miles.

Books A Million is at 26.6 and 32.7 miles.

And if you go another two miles out, you can catch about three more stores.

In other words, there are no big bookstores within 25 miles, but eight of them in a band about five miles wide and thirty miles away, like rocks in the rings of Saturn. And they're not all in Raleigh, by any means. Go figure.

Home Educators of Rainbow Forest

Last Thursday Melanie and I spoke at a meeting sponsored by the Home Educators of Rainbow Forest, a group affiliated with a Baptist church just north of Roanoke, Virginia. We always appreciate the opportunity to meet and talk with other homeschoolers, and our thanks go to Jane Campbell, the organizer who invited us and coordinated the evening.

I promised the group that notes for our talks would be available online, and now they are -- follow the links below.

Strengthening the Homeschool Marriage

A House NOT Divided: Promoting Unity in the Homeschool Family

Again, thanks, Jane and all the leaders and members of HERF - it was a pleasure!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Strengthening the Homeschool Marriage

Notes from Hal & Melanie Young's presentation to
Home Educators of Rainbow Forest, Troutville, Virginia,
September 6, 2007

Homeschooling is a tremendous responsibility. Even when everything goes smoothly, the demands on a couple’s time and attention are great; and nothing ever goes as easily as first planned. How we manage the pressures of homeschooling will not only reflect how strong our marriage is to begin with, but will either provide greater strength or compounded stress.

I. Husbands: Unity of Purpose

A. Not every couple is convinced about homeschooling in the same way or at the same time

B. The couple should strive to agree on this, though, especially the husband

1. OT law gave the husband responsibility even over his wife's vows (Num 30:3-15)
2. Husband needs to accept responsibility for the decision as the head of household (
Eph 5:23)

C. Move from "Permission" to "Vision"

1. As a practical matter, generally Mom does the actual instruction
2. Dad should still look for opportunities to be involved
3. Biblical pattern places father in the forefront of teaching the home

a. God revealed Himself to Abraham because Abraham taught his household (Gen 18:17-19)
b. Fathers are commanded to teach God's law to their children (
Deut 6:6-7)
c. Paul assumes the fathers are teachers (
1 Th 2:11-12)

D. Avoid the "School Bus of the Mind"

1. Fathers may risk transferring "responsibility" from the school to their wife
2. Home education is never "someone else's problem" - both parents are responsible and accountable

II. Wives: Love and Respect

A. Husbands need the love and respect of their wives, not because they deserve it, but because God placed them in a difficult position - and God commands it! (Titus 2:4-5)

1. Avoid public criticism (Pr 31:11-12)
2. Avoid comparisons to other husbands

B. Acknowledge the husband's role and authority over the home school

1. The mother's authority over the children's education is delegated from father's (Deut 6:6-7)
2. Enlist his active prayer involvement as the family's "priest"

C. Remember the wife's role as "home-keeper" (oikourgos, Titus 2:5)

1. Not just "housekeeping", but making the home a haven
2. Ensure the home is a place of unconditional love

III. Husbands: Provision and Protection

A. Husbands are responsible not only to provide for their wives (1 Tim 5.8)but to understand them (1 Pet 3.7)

B. Consider your wife's needs in the context of homeschooling, too

1. Be open handed with the school budget
a. Trust your wife to shop for curriculum wisely
b. Think like a school administrator - all teachers need "professional development" and the right tools to do their job
c. Define "educational expense" broadly - all schools have overhead

2. Respect the physical and emotional demands homeschooling makes on your wife
a. Be willing to give her "space" to rest and recharge
b. Be willing to help with her responsibilities (home or school)
c. Don't accidentally add expectations to her burden (
Matt 23:4, Acts 15:10)
3. Take active responsibility for your family's homeschooling decision
a. Be available to defend her from demanding friends, hostile neighbors or relatives, and so on
b. Also be alert to demanding friends, distracting opportunities, or even the impact of your own wishes

IV: Wives: Affection and Beauty

A. Husbands need protection against the sensual temptations of the world

B. Wives can provide that protection but it takes attention

1. Save some attention and energy for them
a. Designate quiet time for naps or "recharging" in the afternoon
b. Make time for quiet time with the Lord, too
c. Take a few minutes to prepare for their return home
2. Recognize that wives are called to balance their roles for children and husband
a. It is important to God as well as your family (
Is 66:11-13)
b. "Alma Mater" means "nourishing mother"
c. God will provide the grace needed

This is not a period of life we struggle to get over with quickly -- the Lord's perspective is very different:

“Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe – all the words of this law;
For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life ..." (Dt 32:46-47b)

May we embrace it, and enjoy it in Him!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Forever, O LORD,
Your word is settled in heaven.
Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
You established the earth, and it abides.
They continue this day according to Your ordinances,
For all are Your servants.


You learn something every day. I knew that Wal-Mart (and apparently some other big chain stores) allowed RV owners to park in their lots at night. Living a few miles from I-95 and halfway from Up North to Florida, we see lots of them when we make a late night diaper run. I didn't realize there was a name for the practice, in RV parlance -- "boondocking". Apparently there's some controversy in the camping community over it, but never mind.

However, the real catch of the day is this website which plots all of the Wal-Marts in North Carolina on a map. What a triumph of capitalism and private enterprise! It's enough to make Lou Dobbs cry.

The parent site also has a travel guide which shows you the food, lodging, gas, and yes, Wal-Marts, at each exit on the Interstate. Here's the mountains-to-the-sea guide to I-40 in North Carolina.

See, you knew it had to be out there somewhere.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Aargh !

Maybe everybody goes through this at one point or another. I'm on death watch for my PDA, which was splashed with coffee yesterday morning; probably less said, the better.

At least it wasn't something stupid like happened to my last cell phone. I'm not counting the one that went through the laundry, that's a separate issue altogether.

Maybe beloved wife's opinion is correct, at least as far as electronics ... coffee kills.

For what it's worth, the old Zire 71 has been on the injured list for at least a year and a half; there was a design issue with the internal cable from mother board to screen, and when I couldn't buy the replacement cable I found that a good firm slap ("Palm" to palm, you might say) would restore readibility. Still, I hate to see it go like this.