real encouragement for real homeschool moms

“In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches us about God’s relationship to us with the presupposition that fathers know how to give good gifts to their children. He assumes we won’t give them a stone instead of bread, encouraging us, “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). In other words, our obedience to Christ is measured by how we “one another” and “one-anothering” begins with our children!

Become familiar with stages of child development so you have realistic expectations. “When Jesus saw the crowds, He had compassion for them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). If this describes our children, how are we then to respond to them? Scripture tells us “If someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:1-2). If we are to “restore gently” when someone sins, how much more gently ought we to respond to the normal afflictions of life!”

~ The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling, Spring 2014

I know so many moms and dads are starting to consider homeschooling next fall. Do you have questions and need help sorting through them? I hope this series of podcasts will be a huge help and encouragement to you! If you want to talk further, please leave your questions in the comment section or send me an email at


An Introduction to Homeschooling Series
Podcasts 61-65, June 7, 2008 – July 4, 2008

chef jude

June 7, 2008
An Introduction To Home Schooling Part 1
Are you considering homeschooling or questioning your decision to do so? Thatmom answers some of the nagging questions and reflects on her own life as a homeschooling mom.

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June 14, 2008
An Introduction To Home Schooling Part 2
Are you considering homeschooling or questioning your decision to do so? Thatmom answers some of the nagging questions and reflects on her own life as a homeschooling mom.

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June 20, 2008
An Introduction To Home Schooling Part 3
Are you considering homeschooling or questioning your decision to do so? Thatmom answers some of the nagging questions and reflects on her own life as a homeschooling mom.

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June 27, 2008
An Introduction To Home Schooling Part 4
Are you considering homeschooling or questioning your decision to do so? Thatmom answers some of the nagging questions and reflects on her own life as a homeschooling mom.

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July 4, 2008
An Introduction To Home Schooling Part 5
Are you considering homeschooling or questioning your decision to do so? Thatmom answers some of the nagging questions and reflects on her own life as a homeschooling mom.

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all content copyright Karen Campbell 2008

book cover


“In today’s homeschooling world, you can find all sorts of formulas and prescriptions.  If you just follow the correct method, your children will grow up to live godly lives, and they will always make family (including you) their priority.  In this book, Karen Campbell gives you the real story.  Homeschooling and parenting are not about formulas and prescriptions.  They are about relationships.  Weaving together Scripture, her own successes and failures, and her observations of the homeschooling world, Karen provides a wealth of wisdom for the homeschooling parent.  If you want a formula, this book is not for you.  If you want honest wisdom that will aid you in your homeschooling journey, this book is exactly what you are looking for!” – Dr. Jay Wile, PhD, speaker and author of the popular “Exploring Creation with” series of textbooks.


(This post is a rerun from a few years back but I think is deserves a repeat this morning!)

In 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was completed, allowing New York City residents of Brooklyn and Manhattan, for the first time, to cross the East River without going by boat or waiting to be ferried. The bridge was initially designed by John Roebling but, upon his death, the actual job of building the structure fell to his 32 year old son, Washington, a Civil War hero and graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

While supervising the building of the underwater caissons that support the massive towers of the bridge, the crucial part of the structure which he had designed himself, the younger Roebling was stricken with decompression sickness, what we now call the “bends,” leaving him permanently disabled.

In order to see the project through to completion, his wife, Emily, who had no prior experience or training in civil engineering, purposed to learn all she could in order to finish the bridge.  She kept meticulous notes and a scrapbook full of every detail of the construction project. Tutored by her husband in advanced mathematics, physics and drafting, Emily walked to the job site daily on behalf of Washington to oversee the work, instructing and supervising the engineering team for over a decade as they built the bridge entirely by hand.

On the day the bridge opened, Roebling placed his wife in the seat of the first carriage to cross over the river, knowing the amazing structure could not have been completed were it not for her sacrifice. Historian David McCullough once noted, in writing of their project, that “nowhere in the history of great undertakings is there anything comparable.”

Though, perhaps, the marriage of Washington and Emily Roebling is not what many would consider the most romantic of love stories, I believe it pictures for us one of the key aspects of a good marriage.  Scripture describes marriage as one man and one woman becoming one flesh. It does not mean that each will be exactly the same, but rather, it is the supernatural blending of two individuals who, as they find the strengths and weaknesses of each other, fill in the cracks of each other’s lives.

Too often, we tend to see the weaknesses in each other as a detriment to a marriage relationship. Instead, we should see those weaknesses as an opportunity to grow together and build the marriage, focusing on the goal ahead, the “Brooklyn Bridge” in our own relationship. When stresses and disappointments come, and they inevitably will, it is then that we have to keep the big picture perspective front and center, trusting that they are yet another opportunity for the cracks to be filled.

Not long ago, Clay and I were talking about the past 38 years since we first started dating. As we recalled some of the more difficult times, Clay made an observation that I believe is quite true.  The sum of our marriage is based on the small choices we made together through the years.  Getting married, having a family, choosing to not make military life a career, deciding to live near my parents, choosing to live on one income with me being at home, homeschooling our children, welcoming my widowed mom into our household, etc., each of those decisions brought stress and required sacrifice. Every choice we made to do one thing meant that we chose to NOT do a whole lot of other things. And all these decisions, individually, were part of the big plan, the end goal we have not yet completed.

Looking back, I see so clearly how the Lord protected us from so many things that could have brought disaster and how, in the process, those life cracks have been filled in, making us one. Our hope for the future is in the proof that God’s grace is sufficient to continue filling in the remaining cracks, using us to build each other up in the faith and, in the process, to serve Him.

I couldn’t end these thoughts without this clip from one of my favorite movies.  This scene shows the very beginning of their relationship and the blessed alliance they form.

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(Introductory comment about this article: A great deal of credit for this article goes to my late father, Dr. Ernest L. Martin. I really consider this post a collaboration with him because some of the information found herein comes from some of his early teachings going back to the 1970′s. I have elaborated this material and brought forward into today’s context as my father died in 2002.)



We are living in a whole new world, there is no looking back and you can either join it happily or get left behind and be dazed and confused

The world that we are living in today is fundamentally different than the world that existed just 200 years ago.

Here I am not talking about all of the modern mechanical differences that we are all very familiar with, but more so how people think and how their thought processes work.

Yes, were we today to go back in time just 200 years ago, we would be uncomfortable in that society.

Go back even further than that. Were we to go back 2,000 years, we would definitely be more uncomfortable than 200 years ago, but, in fact, many of the major factors that existed 200 years ago also existed 2,000 years ago and these major social customs/factors dramatically affected how people thought about life and how they looked at the world and they are fundamentally different than what you and I today believe or agree with as proper.

Now, let me say, I think that when you finish reading this short article, you are going to agree with me that our current society is vastly superior to what was taking place in human social life 200 years ago and especially so if we go back to the time of Christ.


A material culture context before a psychological cultural context

Before we can look at the social customs that dramatically affected how people thought about life, we also need to consider some of the physical, mechanical material culture which was very different in ancient times compared to today.

I think we all may recognize that this is really how things were, but I think it is good to contextualize it a bit. We have to admit that a number of the subjects that I am going to address are not really a part of daily conversations.

Today, we live in the most advanced technological period of human history. We all recognize this. But we may not understand why we did not advance as much as we have in the last 200 years as we did up until 200 years ago. There are several reasons for this, but we are really going to focus in on one major point in this essay.

Let’s look at a specific example of this.

One thing about human beings that are living today (compared to people who lived in ancient times) is that we are all the same beings physically. We all need to eat, drink, sleep, grow, reproduce and later on die and then a new generation comes along.

However, people who lived in ancient times, though they were the same as us, they did not advance technologically as fast as we have in the last two hundred years.

For example, there is one invention, which appears to have been invented in India in the second century BC, which reached China shortly thereafter, but whose importance really did not become seriously relevant until the 8th century AD.

Evidence of this invention is known through archaeology and through bas reliefs or on coins found from Egypt to Rome and other places, but as I said, from the time it was first invented until it really came into its own, was 1,000 years.

This invention in fact is quite a simple thing. Hardly complex, but it is a good indicatorial type of invention which shows how slow human beings up until the last 200-300 years were to develop new ideas.

The invention in question is the stirrup on a saddle.

One can study out the history of this very simple invention and learn that it was really put into use by a man named Charles Martel, who was a political and military leader of the Franks, who later became the French (some of my relatives in fact as I know my own forefathers came from France to the USA in the 17th century being practicing Hugenot Protestants.)

This man was the one who connected this device and its usefulness to military engagements (though there is some debate on this) and the decisive battle of Potier was due to this invention.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, they say that the invention of the stirrup was the second most important invention in the history of warfare in the history of the world. (Gunpowder, which came from China, was number one!)

This invention was not known in Moses’ time. It was not known in King David’s time.

It was not known or used neither in Alexander the Great’s time nor in Roman times. But it is one of the simplest things!

Whatever we can say about this quite seemingly simple invention, it clearly was not widely used before about 500 AD.

Now this invention has been called by some scholars a major turning point in European history similar to the printing press or similar inventions and that may be true, but what I want to home in on is the fact that these people, who had been riding horses for thousands of years, never seem to put two and two together and to create this thing at a much earlier time.

Now why is this? Why did they not think about it?


Another factor – Limited land transportation in ancient times

When we look at the ancient world, it is interesting that land transportation was in fact quite limited. Certainly the Romans are famous for building roads, but overall transport over those roads was quite limited.

Why is this?

Even in the later part of the book of Genesis we see chariots mentioned, but isn’t it interesting that it is normally royalty who are using them and who could afford them

Chariots and wagons were at this time very expensive to operate.

There were also by the way some majors differences between ancient chariots and those used in Ben Hur by Charlton Heston.

It is a fact of history that in ancient times, the effective range of a chariot was no more than 100 miles and the chariot would then have to be totally refurbished and have to have its rolling stock replaced.

Why is this?

Simple. The principles of lubrication using oil products and grease were wholly unknown until modern times. Olive oil (which was a food product) was used a little bit, but they did not have the knowledge even in Roman times to keep these wheels and running stocks properly lubricated.

This is why it was normally only the wealthy that had these types of machines. Everyday people could not afford to operate such a machine and continually have to replace its running gear.

It was not really possible in ancient times to take a wagon from Cairo to Jerusalem. The machine itself would wear out and break down during the journey due to lack of lubrication.

Can you imagine trying to transport goods overland in these periods? Very hard. By sea, it was possible and sea trade was widely known, but moving goods overland was much harder than has been the case in the last 200 years.

The point: There was not so much physical travel over land in ancient times like we know of today.

Why didn’t they think of these things?

Think of a modern example. The Western part of the USA was conquered very quickly. Why? Because our forefathers had wagons that could move thousands of miles and they had grease for lubrication!

Those same wagons could travel from Missouri to California in one go. Not so in ancient times.

Now why is this? Why was it that people just did not get in their minds to invent new things?

We can look at another example. Steam engines.

Steam engines were not put into major use until the Industrial Revolution, though the main concepts behind steam power were know 2,000 years ago, but they were not considered practical to use for power generation or moving things.

What did they use them for? Toys!

Look at another example here in Israel.

I live in modern day Jerusalem, where the ancient King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, also lived. We know from the Bible and from history that it was quite common for people, especially the wealthy to move down to the desert areas of Jericho and other desert places in the winter months because it was so much warmer there. Those of us who have lived in or visited Las Vegas or Palm Springs or even Arizona in the winter know what I am talking about.

Now, Jerusalem is located about 2,500 feet above sea level and Jericho (or the Dead Sea region) is located about 1,300 feet below sea level.

In fact, to get from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, anyone who has ever done it knows, it is a steep decline down.

Now, when I was a kid, my father used to take tours around these areas and he always used to comment that it amazed him that King Solomon, in all of his wisdom, apparently never even considered the idea of building a type of train to go from Jerusalem down to Jericho or even Masada, where King Herod used to go.

King Solomon clearly had the know how to do this, but in fact, he never even considered it!

All he would have had to have done is to forge metal and make a small railroad with a small car with a brake and he could have reached Jericho and been there in 30-40 minutes.

Now, 200 years ago in America, we used to have horses pulling barges along the Erie Canal. But seemingly King Solomon, in all of his wisdom, never even thought of these kinds of things.

Not only did King Solomon not think of such a thing, neither did Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, Caesar, or any of the great thinkers or builders in ancient times.

Now it has amazed scholars and historians looking back at these periods when there were amazing inventions and achievements, but in fact, many of the simplest of inventions were not even considered and if they were, we have no evidence of them.

Now what was the main reason for this lack of progress? Why did people never get any of these things going? What was holding back social and technological development?

You may be surprised to learn what it was, but it has been widely studied in ancient history and the main reason for this was the use of human beings as bond servants, that is, the practice of slavery!


The impact of slavery on socio-technical culture in ancient times

We who study the Bible know about slavery. It is commonplace in the Old or New Testaments. In ancient times, people could make themselves slaves for a certain time period or longer. One can study that matter on their own more carefully.

Now, it is clear though that in all of the countries of the Middle East, ancient Israel used slavery less than other surrounding countries.

However, often during times of war, if one people were captured, often they would be made the slaves of the winning party.

Having large amounts of slave populations in ancient times was so common. Even in the later times of the Roman Empire, it has been said that no fewer than 50% of the people were slaves.

There were two types of people in those days, who were not slaves: Aristocrats and free people.

The aristocrats were rich people and they used slaves in a huge way and the free people also often catered to these people to provide them services.

But as far as banding together and creating big manufacturing concerns, these types of things were non-existent. You also did not have big shipping programs offering inland transport so much. Yes, you did have the spice routes and so on, but these were smaller isolated issues. The ancient Syrians did engage in some clothing manufacture, but this was not done wholesale throughout, for example, the Roman Empire.


The impact of slavery on ancient times affected ingenuity and creativity

What history shows is that people in the Roman Empire were not encouraged to cooperate and join together to do things so much. This idea came much later in history. People had a tendency to keep to themselves much more than we do today.

Look even at the illustration in King Solomon’s time of everyone being “under their vine and fig tree”?

The point is, if you do not have lots of travel, no big movement of commodity goods, no democratic type thinking, it is fine to be under your vine and fig tree and for your neighbor to also be in the same condition, but what you find in these types of circumstances is that everyone is fine and happy generally speaking, but they are fine and happy eating grapes and figs! There is no real huge development of society!

Now, the point here is the following, this can all be different if you get people cooperating together and make them free! With freedom comes responsibility to take care of yourself and your own. It also leads to innovation because people now, who were say freedmen or women in the Roman Empire, now were forced to depend on themselves and not their masters for their livelihoods.

They were forced to think a bit more about things, about ways to survive and prosper.

Now, getting out from underneath the yoke of slavery for some was no doubt traumatic, but what happened? It forced them out to be independent and on their own and they started to think more about their own livelihoods and how to do things better, faster, smarter, to make money and thrive.

So what happened?

We see in the aftermath of the Roman Empire, Europe suffered some setbacks due to plagues and so on, but it was not too long until the Vikings and others and the later Columbus discovered the New World. People then began to travel and be forced to innovate and develop. Sailing and shipping became much bigger.

Then, when so many people left Europe, even new development began to take place in Europe itself and then coal was discovered and then the Industrial Revolution started (where lubrication began) which was the beginning of our society today.

All of this happened in many ways due to the rise of freedom of the individual and it really was culminated in our modern society with the end of slavery as we know it.

We will never look back to the old world and slavery no matter what.


None of this would have been possible without ingenuity

What happened when humanity started to see the need for new inventions and new thinking, development began to happen in a big way.

Of course, one of the greatest curses to have ever happened to mankind was slavery.

It was there in the biblical period and the seeds for getting rid of it were also there.

Paul told people who were Christians and slaves that if they had a chance to get their freedom to take it, but he never advocated the overthrow of slavery. (There are reasons for this which I am not going to address in this article.) He told people to try to get their freedom if they could get it. ( I Corinthians 7:21)

We have to understand that the seeds of freedom are found in the New Testament, but the background of the society at that time was one of slavery. St. Paul was called to preach the Gospel at that time. Slavery as a system needed a little bit more time to end, but the seeds to ending it were planted in the New Testament period.

Now, I think it is clear that we today live in an entirely different age philosophically. We would not even think for a moment about returning to slavery. We live in societies of innovation and such things are moving at light speed.

Now, in the Biblical period, in the old way of looking at things, slavery was allowed, but the seeds for bringing us to where we are in our societies today, where slavery is looked on as evil and wrong, were planted in the New Testament and represent something new and good.


The freedom in Christ

Now, when it comes to the seeds of our development and our freedom today, we can thank Jesus Christ and his inspiration of St. Paul for paving the way toward freedom and development. Note what he said: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28 ESV)

This is staggering when this was written by Paul in the cultural context at that time. For him to say that at that time was earth shaking because it was not in evidence in society at that time.

(Note: I urge anyone to look at the important work of Professor Rodney Stark who demonstrates so clearly the state of women in the Roman Empire. It was abysmal.)

Now, once again in those days, the vast majority of people were bond slaves. They would have loved to have known about this.

In those times of the Roman Empire, the slave owners did not want the slaves thinking about anything new. They just wanted to keep them busy doing their work and making money for their masters.

Galatians 3:28 only works to its full potential in an environment where people themselves are free.


There is no male and female

Now, today, we are still fighting over this issue even today. Paul, of course, shares Christ’s view which says there is no difference between men and women in the eyes of God.

But listen to many today who still say: Women are the weaker vessel and have to be supervised by their heads, the men in their lives. This needs to be reinterpreted correctly.

We are now just today getting to a more equal situation between men and women and there is still much work to be done.

Now, in talking about women, this post has been a follow on to a first post about Jesus meeting a woman at a well.

Now, we need to make a comparison here about the situation of women, not only in the overall societal culture, but within church culture.

What we find taking place today as I mentioned in my last post, is a real revolution in knowledge among women today.

Why? As I have shown in this paper, when you have people under slave oriented systems, you do not have freedom and you do not have innovation. You do not have innovation or free thinking and people will just defer to their “owners.”

Religious leaders have in many ways unfortunately and in some cases unknowingly used the Bible to keep women in the same type of bondage that they experienced under the system of slavery.

Under those systems, women experienced a total disempowerment, were controlled by men, and were told that they were incapable of thinking, feeling or being.

Women were told by men that they had to defer to men for every decision, every thought and every action and to do anything else would be out of step with God.

The only thing is, this idea totally violates what Jesus Christ told St. Paul in Galatians 3:28.

We can see today that women are now, just like slaves have done the past, throwing permanently off the shackles of not physical slavery, but spiritual slavery and what is happening?

A whole new world is opening up where women are joining with men to create the world that God wanted in the first place.




Human slavery: “when one person completely controls another person, using violence or the threat of violence to maintain that control, exploits them economically, pays them nothing, and they cannot walk away.” 

Sometimes we can feel so small and helpless in a world that has such little regard for human life. Here are some good resources for you and your family into being awareness to the issue and to consider practical steps for making a difference right where you are.

The Home Educating Family blog has a great article by Ann Hibbard outlining 4 ways to get your children involved and to educate others.

The Endit Movement is growing and you can get involved.

Indifference is NOT an option!

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“Jesus is calling women to meet Him at a new well to drink the water of life and share it with others” 


(Introductory message of thanks to Elizabeth Henderson Esther. I was inspired to write this after reading her recent piece on A Deeper Story.)

When I was a small kid growing up in the World Wide Church of God, I can remember how women were treated in that denomination. My dad (Dr. Ernest L. Martin) used to talk about it often. He talked about men teaching that women we just there to be controlled and dominated by men, to keep the house clean, to prepare food, to change nappies and take care of kids and to make sure they kept the beds warm.

Men controlled everything women did. I will never forget my father talking about one prominent politician who came to him for counseling hoping to make a reconciliation with his wife who had left him. She became so fed up with his treatment of her that she had just had enough. The straw that broke the camels back for this wife was her husband’s insistence on controlling her wardrobe. He forbade her from wearing trousers and forced her only to wear dresses.

Dad commented that if that politician had been such a tyrant (that he would not have allowed his wife to wear trousers), imagine how he treated her on more important matters. She felt powerless, controlled, disempowered, empty, cold and alone with someone who was supposed to be her prince charming. No wonder she left.

Women were treated quite badly in those days. This was the late 1960′s/early 1970′s.

At this time in my life, I was spending my summers as a small boy in Israel where my father was responsible for a group of students who were coming to work on a large archaeological excavation in Jerusalem during the summer months.

From 1969 – 1973, my father lead five groups that saw over 450 students come to Israel to work on that excavation. In addition, to working on the dig, my father would take the students around Israel to see the Holy Places we’ve all read about in the Bible.

Now to be clear, most of the places that even today people come to see in the Holy Land are not the real thing. I mean there is so much false tradition associated with places where Jesus did this or Paul did that.

In the middle of all this tradition, though, there is one place which stands out in my memory, a true place whose identify is singular, holy and perfect. It is almost unspoiled and the message that still speaks from this place continues also to be singular, holy and perfect.

Something very special happened at this site. It is a story about Jesus meeting a woman at a well. Here is the story, which you all know very well.

And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.

A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him.

Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” (John 4:4-42, ESV)

Now, I can tell you a fact. This story is real. Jesus went to this well and spoke to this woman. I know it is true because I have been to the well myself at least six times. The last time I was there was about ten years ago.

However, while this place still echoes the truth of God by its ancient witness of the truth (because ancient wells and water sources do not move around), there is something more important in this story and it is a message for today.

(Several years ago, I wrote a post titled: “We are living in an age of discovery.” In that post, I showed that today, the world is changing so dramatically due to new information. This post needs to be brought up-to-date, but at the very end of the post, I identified some winners and losers based on the new paradigm we are now in today.  I said that women and children, were definitely in the winners column. As for those on the losing end, you can read the post.)

But getting back to the story of the Jacob’s Well in the Gospel of John, we find an amazing story of our Lord reaching out to a woman and using her as a tool for sharing His message.  He engaged with this woman after sending His disciples to go grocery shopping.

This ancient story is now being replicated all over the world through the spirit of God, because now, a new well of the Spirit of God has been opened by the Lord Himself and He is calling his daughters to come and drink of the living water and to take His message out and change the world.

What we find today, is a revolution in knowledge and an amazing freedom in Christ which women in particular are now experiencing all over the world.

Forty years ago, what is being experienced today was only possible in our dreams, but now, women are throwing off the shackles of organized religion and are engaging with Christ and His Message in ways which just a few years ago were not possible.

Women are starting to think, feel and communicate with the Spirit in a way that allows them to follow their motherly instincts and not being told how to think about their feelings and what to think about God.

The results of this move of the Spirit we see all around through the powerful written testimonies, books, videos, etc done by women and we are starting to see women experiencing a new found freedom in Christ.

Make no mistake about it, just as Jesus met this woman at the well, He is speaking to women all over this world and telling them:

“Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him”

For so long, Christian women have been told by male pastors how to think, believe, feel and engage with the Spirit of God. They have been told that they can only approach God through their husbands or through mediators such as ministers making them feel like second class citizens in the kingdom of God.

But thankfully, now with the democratization of knowledge and the empowerment of women and them throwing off the shackles of organized religion, freedom of thought has spawned a new type of religous thinking in which women engage God on their terms.

In conclusion, I urge you think carefully about this story in John 4 as men, because there is a warning given by Christ Jesus if we are willing to listen to it. It is found in the following verse:

Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?”

This text is a warning for us men. Today, Jesus is speaking to His daughters and they are out doing His work. Let us follow the wise example of the disciples, who when they saw what the Lord was doing they kept their mouths shut and got out of the way and let the Lord do His work through his daughter, this lovely Samaritan lady.

We all can see the result of the work the Lord did through this wonderful sister.

We men need to get out of the way because He has work to do and just as He has and will use men, He also has a special place in His heart for ministry for His daughters as well.


This post was shared by my friend, Samuel Martin. Look for more thoughts from him, especially on the topic of gentle parenting, on his blog.


The most delicious bread recipe ever! Perfect to make on a cozy winter’s day!!!


Early American Bread

¾ cup yellow corn meal

½ cup brown sugar

1 ½ TBS. salt

1/3 cup oil

1 ½ cup whole wheat flour

¾ cup rye flour

3 cups boiling water

 3 TBS. active dry yeast

1 tsp. sugar

¾ cup warm water

6 cups white flour


Place first six ingredients in mixer bowl, cover with boiling water and mix well.  Allow to cool to room temperature. In 4 cup bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and sugar. Set aside to proof, about 10 minutes. When it becomes foamy and bubbly, mix in with cooled mixture. Add in 6 cups of white flour, mixing in one cup at a time. Knead for 8-10 minutes in mixer with dough hook or by hand until elastic and smooth. Place dough in greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and place in warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.  Punch down and divide into three sections. Cover and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Shape into three loaves and place in greased bread pans to rise for 35 minutes. Bake in preheated 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove from pans and brush tops with butter. Enjoy!




On January 23, 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell graduated first in her class, becoming the first female doctor in the United States. Her decision to become a physician was cinched when she heard of women performing abortions. Referring to an article in the New York Herald about the notorious abortion provider Madame Restelle, Elizabeth wrote in her diary:

“The gross perversion and destruction of motherhood by the abortionist filled me with indignation, and awakened active antagonism. That the honorable term ‘female physician’ should be exclusively applied to those women who carried on this shocking trade seemed to me a horror. It was an utter degradation of what might and should become a noble position for women.” ~ from Feminists for Life

Now available!


"In today's homeschooling world, you can find all sorts of formulas and prescriptions. If you just follow the correct method, your children will grow up to live godly lives, and they will always make family (including you) their priority. In this book, Karen Campbell gives you the real story. Homeschooling and parenting are not about formulas and prescriptions. They are about relationships. Weaving together Scripture, her own successes and failures, and her observations of the homeschooling world, Karen provides a wealth of wisdom for the homeschooling parent. If you want a formula, this book is not for you. If you want honest wisdom that will aid you in your homeschooling journey, this book is exactly what you are looking for!" – Dr. Jay Wile, PhD, speaker and author of the popular "Exploring Creation with" series of textbooks.

Promote Relationship Homeschooling!

Be sure to visit Relationship Homeschooling on Facebook!

Family Integrated Church podcasts

The Family Integrated Church ~ Are you frustrated in your search for a church home? Are you considering a family integrated church? The podcast series on the FIC movement is just for you! This series includes Pastor Shawn Mathis who explains the "theological basis" for the movement, Pastor Steve Doyle, who was once an FIC pastor and left the movement, and Bible scholar and author, Jon Zens, who looks at the underlying doctrines that permeate many FIC churches. The series concludes with thatmom's encouragement to homeschooling families as they seek to be part of the entire body of Christ. You will also want to read the series of articles on the pros and cons of the FIC and my exhortation to homeschooling families who are looking for a church home!

thatmom’s podcasts on iTunes

thatmom’s thoughts on curriculum

And you can learn about my thoughts on developing your own philosophy of education as well as finding the methods of homeschooling that work best for you and your children by

looking for my presentations on the Home Educating Family media site!

Three Cheers……..


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truth from the Word

"Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73: 25-26

more truth from the Word

"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." ~ Ephesians 4:32

William Carey says:

"Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter."

Tim Keller says:

"God’s love and forgiveness can pardon and restore any and every kind of sin or wrongdoing. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. It doesn’t matter if you’ve deliberately oppressed or even murdered people, or how much you’ve abused yourself… There is no evil that the Father’s love cannot pardon and cover, there is no sin that is a match for his grace." ~ Tim Keller

Tim Keller also says:

“The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.” ! Tim Keller in The Reason for God.

Oswald Chambers says:

"If we simply preach the effects of redemption in the human life instead of the revealed, divine truth regarding Jesus Himself, the result is not new birth in those who listen. The result is a refined religious lifestyle, and the Spirit of God cannot witness to it because such preaching is in a realm other than His." ~ Oswald Chambers

Phillip E. Johnson says:

“When pressed in interviews to name my heroes, I have spontaneously responded that they are homeschooling mothers! To me, the heroic mothers who nurture the next generation of faithful Christians are among the leaders of the church.” ~ Phillip E. Johnson

John Stonestreet says:

“C.S. Lewis said that for every new book we read, we ought to read three old ones. But I think for every latest, greatest new homeschooling book you read, go find three old homeschooling moms and ask them what happened and what worked.” ~ John Stonestreet

Carolyn Custis James says:

“The power of our theology comes alive when we take the truth personally. Holding God at arm’s length—no matter how much theology we think we know—will never make us great theologians. We have to learn to write our own names into the plot. God will always be the subject of our theological sentences but our sentences are incomplete until we make ourselves the direct objects of his attributes…..Simply knowing a lot of theological ideas, no matter how orthodox and sound they are, will never turn us into great theologians. Theology isn’t really theology for us until we live it. Not until we learn to make explicit connections between what we know about God and the race we are running will we taste the transforming power of our theology. Fixing our eyes on Jesus means reminding ourselves of all that He is to us now. He brings meaning to our routines and energizes us to tackle the difficult tasks at hand. Fixing our eyes on Jesus gives us hope to offer disheartened husbands and hurting friends, and the wisdom we need to raise children who will fix their eyes on Him, too.” ~ from Carolyn Custis James in When Life and Beliefs Collide

Anne Ortlund says:

“So what do we do to encourage them to grow inwardly, to become resourceful and creative, to think, to meditate, to lay the foundation for growing up well? Don’t push, but affirm them! Give them the sense that all is well, that their rate of progress is acceptable to you, that you like them just the way they are…..Guide them but be delighted in them. Let them know that life is to be reached for and drunk of deeply…..Enthusiastic, that’s how you want them to grow up! The word comes from “en Theo,” or “in God.” Support them with words of faith, hope, and love, and in that framework “in God,” they’ll be ready to tackle everything. Fears and cautions are built in at an early age but so is courage! Tomorrow’s world will be different if your child has been released to experiment, to risk, to lead others, to pursue righteousness, to be an affecter for good in society, to go courageously after God.” ~ Anne Ortlund in Children Are Wet Cement

J.C Ryle says:

"Kindness, gentleness, long-suffering, forbearance, patience, sympathy, a willingness to enter into childish troubles, a readiness to take part in childish joys, these are the cords by which a child may be led most easily, these are the clues you must follow if you would find the way to his heart." ~ J. C. Ryle in The Upper Room

Clay Clarkson says:

“Many Christian parents, myself included, tend to speak to children as though they were Pharisees. We can speak harshly and with judgment, implying by our manner that their hearts are hard and resistant. But this attitude is not justified by Scripture. There is no record of Jesus ever speaking to a a child in a harsh tone. When the Gospels record Him speaking to a child, it is always with gentleness. Our children are not our adversaries. Though our children’s hearts are corrupted by sin, they are not hardened sinners who have made conscious choices to reject the Savior. Our children are simply immature and childish. That’s why children need love and compassion, not harshness and guilt.” ~ Clay Clarkson in Heartfelt Discipline

Tim Kimmel says:

“Grace can’t be some abstract concept that you talk about in your home. It has to be a real-time action that ultimately imprints itself in your children’s hearts. To talk about grace, sing about grace, and have our children memorize verses about grace – but not give them specific gifts of grace – is to undermine God’s words of grace in their hearts. Grace means that God not only loves them but that He loves them uniquely and specially. The primary way to give our children grace is to offer it in place of our selfish preferences.” ~ Tim Kimmel in Grace-Based Parenting

Chuck Swindoll says:

"You want to mess up the minds of your children? Here's how - guaranteed! Rear them in a legalistic, tight context of external religion, where performance is more important than reality. Fake your faith. Sneak around and pretend your spirituality. Train your children to do the same. Embrace a long list of do's and don'ts publicly but hypocritically practice them privately...yet never own up to the fact that its hypocrisy. Act one way but live another. And you can count on it - emotional and spiritual damage will occur. "

Kathy Thile says:

"I say this gently, as the parent of grown kids, knowing *insert parenting guru* is also the parent of grown kids: we have wonderful children — he does, I’m sure — and so do I. But without even knowing his children I can know this about them: they are not perfect. They hurt. They make mistakes. They struggle. They are prideful and overly simplistic at times; and crippled by shame and hesitancy at others. Yes — they are beautiful examples of human beings, his children (I assume), and mine (I know.) But they are not perfect. If they were, they would not be human. If it were possible to raise children to perfection, then God would have sent a parenting method, not Jesus. Our marching orders are not to raise our children by a method to be like *insert parenting guru* children. Our marching orders are to be Christians to and with our children." ~ Kathy Thile

Anna Quindlen says:

“The biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less." ~ Anna Quindlen

Winston Churchill says:

“My education was interrupted only by my schooling." ~ Winston Churchill

John Taylor Gatto says:

"The shocking possibility that dumb people don’t exist in sufficient numbers to warrant the millions of careers devoted to tending them will seem incredible to you. Yet that is my central proposition: the mass dumbness which justifies official schooling first had to be dreamed of; it isn’t real." ~ John Taylor Gatto

Fred Rogers say:

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” ~ Fred Rogers

thatmom says

"The truth is that the way a marriage becomes truly heavenly is for each husband and each wife to pursue, really pursue, a relationship with Jesus Christ, to commit to obey the Word of God, to set aside each of their own agendas and paradigms, and then as they walk in the Holy Spirit, as they are sanctified, a little at a time each day, they will grow closer to one another. Godly wisdom will manifest itself in purity, peace, gentleness, mercy, a willingness to submit to one another, the fruits of the spirit, and no role-playing (the true meaning of hypocrisy). (James 3:17)" ~ thatmom

thatmom says:

"We need to approach our children not as character projects, but rather, we must see them with hearts of sympathy, with compassion and understanding, and with ears that listen. You see, homeschooling is not about lesson plans and research papers and standardized tests. Homeschooling is about building a relationship with our children, friendships that will last our entire lives on earth and clear into eternity. Homeschooling is merely the tool whereby we build those relationships." ~ thatmom

thatmom knows:

As a homeschooling mom, I have realized that everything, ultimately, is outside of my own control. I have learned that the unique circumstances that happen in my family have occurred because God’s plan is so much bigger than my own. It is knowing this truth about God and in experiencing that truth with those in my home that has enabled us to face past challenges and that will prepare us for all those difficulties that still lie before us.

thatmom realizes:

If I think about 37 years of marriage, times the number of loads of laundry I have done for 2 parents, 6 children and 1 grandma, I am amazed to know that I have washed, dried, folded, (sometimes ironed) and put away roughly 27,526 loads of laundry. That is over 215,000 socks! Or, in that same amount of time, provided 38,324 meals for a family and sometimes guests. Or that I have overseen nearly 21,500 hours of education of one sort or another during that time. Just thinking of these numbers takes my breath away. ~ thatmom

thatmom says:

"Real books from the library, a tub of art supplies, being read stories rich in vocabulary, a variety of good music, the daily discussion of God’s Word and how it relates to the world around him, and the attention of a loving parent who includes him in all the activities of real life are the secrets to a great learning experience for children." ~ thatmom

thatmom says:

"Being a mom is sort of like being all the people who crowd into a basketball arena all at once. Sometimes we are the players, the ones who are responsible for everything that is going on and our presence is front and center. Sometimes we are the coaches, giving comfort and encouragement, instructing with a clipboard in hand. Other times we are the referees, no striped shirts required but whistles are a must to break up the disputes when the game isn’t played as per the rules. Still other times we are the fans, cheering wildly from the stands, shouting from a distance but not from the floor. And then there are the days when we are the cheerleaders, the ones who scream 'Yeah, you can do it.' " ~ thatmom

thatmom says:

“The beauty of homeschooling is building relationships within our families and inspiring our children to become lifelong learners, gently leading them into the truth of Scripture and trusting that the work we have begun will be brought to completion by a sovereign God who has a plan for building His heavenly kingdom.” ~ thatmom

thatmom says:

"A family that embraces a paradigm becomes lazy and doesn’t study the Word of God for themselves. They take what others state as gospel. They have to check in with the “expert” blogs to see how so and so is doing it. It requires little effort and, truthfully, little leadership on the part of the parents. Dads who think they are turning the hearts of their children to themselves are really turning the hearts of their children to the dad’s gurus!" ~ thatmom

thatmom also says:

“After parenting for 36 years, I have come to realize that all paradigms are basically a list of do’s and don’ts that someone has created. Instead of embracing a list, I have discovered that it is best for me to run all ideas, philosophies, and paradigms through my “one-anothering hopper.” I ask myself if the suggestions or ideas I am hearing will serve to build my relationships or will serve to tear them down; will they reflect the one-anothering commands of Scripture? I ask if they are a picture of Christ and His relationship with me as His needy daughter. If not, I am not interested, no matter how much appeal they might have for any number of reasons.” ~ thatmom

thatmom says this, too:

“The word wisdom is used in Exodus to describe the knowledge that the Lord gave to the skilled artisans so they could make Aaron’s garments for worship. We are told that these workers “were given wisdom and understanding in knowledge and all manner of workmanship.” I have never had to sew any garments for a priest to wear for worship. I have not had to sew any draperies or build any walls or prepare any inner sanctuary as per the Lord’s instructions. But I have been called to give all I can toward the goal of building up children in the faith, preparing children for life outside my home, children whose bodies, we are told, are called the very temple of the Holy Spirit, children whose job it is to worship in spirit and in truth." ~ thatmom

what does thatmom believe?

" What is thy only comfort in life and death? "That I, with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with His precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him." ~ Heidelberg Catechism

What does it mean to be a Christian?

1.We must acknowledge that we are all sinners. “For we are all become as one that is unclean, and all our righteousnesses are as a polluted garment: and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6) and “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

2.We are all accountable for our own sins before God. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)

3.There is only one way to be forgiven of these sins and that is through the blood of Jesus Christ. “Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

4.If we confess our sin to the Lord and repent of it (not allow it to rule in our lives) we can be forgiven and be in right standing with God. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousenss.” (1 John 1:9)

5.Genuine salvation will result in living lives of good works but none of those works contribute in any way to our standing before God which is based solely and completely on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God. (Hebrews 10:12) and “Not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy He saved us by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:5) and “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

6.We all, men and women, boys and girls, have direct access to the throne of grace because everyone who is a born-again believer in Jesus Christ is called a “priest and king” in God’s economy. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (I Peter 2:9)

I believe that many of the false teachings within the patriocentric movement are in direct contrast to these Scriptures and I would encourage each of us to first examine what we believe about Jesus and His work on the cross, its implications and its marvelous power.

Secondly, I would challenge anyone reading here to examine your own heart and ask yourself whether you have been trusting in good works….baptism, homeschooling, church attendance, modest dress, the list goes on and on, or if you have placed ALL your faith and hope in Jesus’ blood and righteousness alone.

And finally, I would challenge you to examine the teachings within your own church system, whether it is Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, etc. Ask yourself what your church teaches about ecclesiastical authority and family authority. Does it line up with the Word of God? It is a top down system that requires certain works in exchange for a relationship with Jesus Christ or do you have the assurance that you are saved for eternity by His death on the cross in your stead? Does it teach that the fruits of the spirit and obedience to all the one anothers is what our lives will demonstrate or is there a list of man made rules?

If you desire to talk with me about this, please send me a note to My desire is that no one who visits this website will leave without knowing the glorious truth that we can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and can enjoy a life filled with His goodness and grace!



Adoration of the Home was painted by regional artist, Grant Wood. The original hangs in the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. Ben Campbell and Lon Eldridge deserve extra cookies for writing, performing, recording, and mixing Mom’s Prairie Song for the podcast intro and outro. Great job, guys. Garrison Keillor would be proud.

Copyright © 2013 ~ ~ Karen Campbell ~ All Rights Reserved.