Christian Heroes to Celebrate

October is a great month to practice thankfulness, so let’s thank God this month for our Christian Heritage.

The Bible tells us we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses that are cheering us on (Hebrews 12). Who are these witnesses? Why, all the folks in Hebrews 11’s Hall of Faith. We also have heroes from history whose lives inspire us to stay the course and run the race.

Let’s meet a few!

Saint Patrick

Kidnapped by Irish pirates, Patrick finally accepted Christ while he was a slave in Ireland. He managed to escape and get home to England only to find that his godly parents were already in Heaven. Patrick pursued the Lord and grew in his faith, eventually sensing a called to the ministry and, believe it or not, to the Irish people. After years of training, he returned to the idol-worshiping people of Ireland and called them to repent and believe in Jesus. His ministry was an exciting one and I am happy to tell you that Patrick was used by the Lord to convert most of the Irish people to Christianity. He even had some power encounters with the druid priests who got their power from the forces of darkness.

Read more about Saint Patrick here.

Athanasius

During his lifetime, many people who claimed to be Christians did not believe that Jesus was God. Athanasius preached and taught tirelessly the truth of the deity of Christ, often facing persecution. Finally, Emperor Constantine called for church leaders to meet and write up a statement of faith: the Nicene Creed, declaring the Jesus is God of God, Light of Light, True God of True God.

Have you ever heard of the Nicene Creed? You might say it every Sunday if you are part of a traditional church. The truths contained in this creed is what all Christians agree on. We may disagree on baptizing infants or communion, but we can all agree that God created the world, Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of the Father, the Holy Spirit gives life, and everyone who believes in Jesus is part of the universal church.

Pope Gregory the Great

Born into a wealthy political family in Rome, Gregory gave up his wealth to become a monk, living an honorable life of service to God and people. It was hard for him to accept the call to lead the church as pope, but he did. He called his bishops and priests to a humble life of loving the Lord and people. He also wrote songs, created musical notation, unified the mass throughout Europe, and sent missionaries to England.

Read more about Pope Gregory the Great here.

Jan Huss

John Huss was a powerful preacher who discovered the works of John Wycliffe, emphasizing the need to make the Bible the center of life and doctrine. In Bohemia, Jan meticulously copied John Wycliffe’s works for others to read and discuss. He began to preach these truths himself, ushering in revival in his nation. Eventually, John Huss was burned at the stake for his disagreements with the pope.

Read more about John Huss here.

His teachings influenced Martin Luther.

Martin Luther

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther protested against the bad behavior going on in the Roman Catholic Church at the time. He reminded all of Christendom that “the just shall live by faith” and that we are saved by grace through faith. The good news is that the Roman Catholic Church did reform, but the bad news is that it was too late. The Protestant Reformation had begun resulting in numerous denominations and spreading revival across Europe. Now, instead of one church in Western Europe and America, there are more denominations than one can count. However, every denomination has been called to “Sola Scriptura” or making the Bible the center of faith and living.

Read more about Martin Luther here.

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa is one of my personal heroes. She served the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta. Saint Teresa of Calcutta was born in Skopje, now the capital of Macedonia. Feeling God’s call to be a nun, she served the Lord in Ireland as a nun, training for her future. She felt a call to move to India and serve the poorest of the poor, doing it for Jesus Himself. Devoted to the Lord, she saw every life valuable, speaking out against abortion and urging Christians to love Jesus by serving others. She started “Missionaries for Charity, now active in 133 countries serving folks with AIDS, leprosy, and other illnesses, as well as the poor, orphans, and the uneducated. She took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Her followers do the same. She  won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, but more important she obeyed God’s Word by serving those who cannot serve you back. She is an inspiration to many.

I hope I have whetted your appetite to learn more about the great cloud of witnesses that is cheering us on from the pages of history. It is definitely worth investing our time in learning about our amazing Christian heritage.

Here are some resources for you:

12 Saints Every Christian Should Know

Our Reformation Sunday Celebration (this is how we celebrated Reformation Day one year with adults dressing up as godly reformers)

Have a Heroes for Jesus Party (a fun way to teach kids church history)

Until next time, Happy Homeschooling,

Warmly,

Meredith Curtis

Teach History by Throwing a Party

 

I love history!

I even pick up history textbooks and read them for fun. There! I admitted it!

However, not every child is born loving history. So, I have looked for ways to bring history alive, to make it fun. We read historical fiction, make timelines, look at maps, watch movies, make crafts, time travel in the kitchen,  create radio dramas, and write poetry.

We also throw parties to study history! We love to have fun when we homeschool.

Yes, we do!

 

 

     

We have had medieval banquets, archaeology digs, luaus, 1950s sock hops, Victorian teas, and Ancient Greek Olympics.

How Hard Is This?

Doesn’t that sound like a lot of work just to homeschool history? you ask.

Well, yes and no. We love parties, so I am motivated if it means people I like, good food, and lots of wholesome fun! My kids love parties, too.

Here is why we learn history when we plan an event like a sock hop or a medieval banquet. We have to research history to create an authentic experience. We dig deeper than normal to find out what they wore, what they ate, exactly what they did, where they did it, and why they did it.

When we planned our Ancient Greek Olympics, we learned that the games were a form of worship to their idol/gods. They opened each day by committing everything to one or more of the idol/gods or idol/goddesses. We decided to open our ceremonies in prayer and commit the whole event to Jesus. Then we learned about all the events and how they competed. In the process, we learned about Greek city-states and their relationships with one another. We discovered some funny stories along the way.

[Read more…]

Finish Well Like Daniel

Whether we have been homeschooling for years or just getting starting, if we are homeschooling high school, we are approaching the finish line. We want to Finish Well.

Throughout my years of homeschooling high school, Daniel has been an inspiration to me.

“Daniel who?” you ask.

Daniel from the Bible.

I love his story. Here he is, a young man with a great life in Israel, but his country is invaded by the Babylonians and he is taken away with some of his wealthy friends as a slave. He leaves everything behind, including the temple of the God He loves.

Why was he captured? Because to the Babylonian rulers, he had potential and promise. He was well-born and smart.

Our teens have potential and promise, too. That’s a big reason we are investing in them.

Making a Choice

As soon as Daniel is settled in, there is the temptation to disobey the Lord. He is brought food each day that is unclean. Will he break the Mosaic Law?

No way!

He resolves not to defile himself with the unclean food of the Babylonians because He belongs to the Lord.

He appeals to the guard and the guard agrees to let Daniel and his friends eat a different diet than the others—a diet that will honor the God of Israel.

Something really cool happened!

“At the end of ten days, they look healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guard took away the choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead. To these four men, God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds,” (Daniel 1:15-17 NIV).

Daniel’s Choice Leads to Blessing

Not only did God bless these young men, who took a stand for holiness, spiritually, but he also gave them knowledge and understanding of literature and learning.

I love that!

If we want to raise smart, godly kids, there is only one way to do it! Resolve to not defile them with the world’s ways, but instead always seek first the Kingdom of God. The Lord always blesses those whose hope is set on Him!

Our Ministry

Homeschooling high school is more than getting a teenager ready for college or a career.

It is a ministry. God has called us to educate our children and equip them for life.

We need to be like Daniel first if we expect our teens to be like Daniel. Resolve to teach teens God’s way, not the world’s way.

My goal to educate and equip my children for the life the Lord has called them to live’ Daniel inspires me to make plans that will be productive and effective toward that end.

Let’s Homeschool High School for the Glory of God!

If you would like equipping and inspiration for homeschooling high school, check out Unlocking the Mysteries of Homeschooling High School by Meredith Curtis and Laura Nolette. Also, please visit us at Finish Well Radio where we encourage teens and parents to be world changers.

Happy Homeschooling!
Meredith Curtis

FW Radio – Heroes for Jesus

FW_002_Heroes

An interview with Polycarp, David Livingston, Amy Carmichael, St. Augustine, Nate Saint, Corrie ten Boom, and Mary Slessor.

Travel back in time with the Finish Well team and meet some heroes from ages past. They will share a little bit about their life and give a word of encouragement to the church in the twenty-first century. At the end of the show, we will travel back to modern times and learn how these heroes have affected Christians of today. This would make a great presentation at your Fall Festival or Heroes for Jesus party.

Read more about the Finish Well Team at:

Finishwellcon.com
Joyfulandsuccessfulhomeschooling.com
Powerlineprod.com

FW Radio – Where Did My Day Go?

FW_001_Wheredmydaygo

An interview with Joshua Nolette, Jimmy Curtis, Linnea Brooks, and Sarah Joy Curtis

We talk to four homeschoolers on the Finish Well team about the challenges of managing time while homeschooling, even in a big noisy family. They share practical tips and ways to put Jesus first in everything, including managing your day.

Read more about the Finish Well Team at:

Finishwellcon.com
Joyfulandsuccessfulhomeschooling.com
Powerlineprod.com