East African mother washing her baby. Taken by my grandparents circa 1950. I love this picture.
There are way too many things of interest to read on the internet. Since I can't possibly write about everything that seems important or really useful, it seemed like it might be a good idea to share some links once in awhile. It may be a monthly thing, or it may not be. The subjects will likely be quite varied as I'm a pretty diverse reader in some ways. Please keep in mind that just because I use a link from a specific site or author it does not mean that I necessarily approve all their writings or of them personally. And, as always, I disclaim other versions of the Bible which may say things very differently from the one I use - the KJV. (I am shocked sometimes at the changes some versions make, but that's a subject for another time.)
Here are a selection of articles and blog posts that I found of particular interest during January.
When Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense - Most Recommended. Written by a woman who supported abortion during the days of Roe v. Wade. If you don't read anything else, I recommend you read this one. It is long, but it is worth it.
This "other" element to the abortion issue has bothered me for some time - women and girls who feel they have no choice about having an abortion because everyone around them expects and demands it. Obviously, I don't agree with all of the author's views, but she makes some very important points. Let's not neglect the heart of the mother while we focus on the live of the child. Both are important in the economy of God. There is a greater tragedy than just babies dying in the womb - and that is that many women and girls feel they have no other option than to kill their child. Friends, in case you are not aware, this horror has been going on in various cultures for thousands of years, whether in the fires of Molech; as human sacrifices in ancient Europe and elsewhere; infanticide practiced because of poverty, greed, and superstition (something with us to this day in parts of the world); or for other reasons. It is always the women and the children who suffer the most, and we must never forget both parties in the abortion issue! As Christians we need to see all the suffering people, not just the ones we want to see or the ones that fit our political agenda. James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
16 Things I Would Want If I Got Dementia - Highly Recommended. This was a thought-provoking list. My husband and I are at the point in life where we have to acknowledge that our parents are "getting up there" in age. I liked the positive approach of this, and it reminded me that sometimes the best thing we can do for someone we love is just make them as happy and comfortable as possible and not worry too much about all the "losses."
2016 Reading Challenge - Here is a link to a reading challenge for 2016. This is the simple PDF version. It is divided up into various levels of reading, but it isn't necessary to follow his "plan" at all. I have printed a copy for myself, but in all honesty, I don't intend to use "as directed." ;-) I will just use it as a point of reference and inspiration for my book choices. It seemed like a good idea to expand my reading or make choices in a more structured manner, so I'm going to give it a go and see how I like it. Let me know if you find it useful.
Forcing home-educated children into schools for child protection won't work - and it's not the job of teachers anyway. This particular article is from a British viewpoint, but I appreciated that this public school official brought out the points that the media is irresponsible in their reporting and that the public schools are not blamed when children are abused who attend them. While I am very concerned about some of the abuse cases that have been exposed in the U.S., I think we need to be clear in realizing that homeschooling is attractive to some people who are already abusers. It does not follow that when people homeschool they become abusers.
I do think that the church and homeschool community needs to show some responsibility regarding homeschooled kids, however. When it appears that something is wrong, it needs to be checked out. Child Protection Services have such a bad reputation in some Christians' minds (and not without just cause!), that they have failed in a number of cases to report legitimate abuse where they knew it was going on. This ought not to be! We need to exercise some common sense in these matters. My experience partially growing up in the homeschooling community (8th-post high school) tells me that if you make an effort to acquaint yourself with homeschooling families you can tell which ones are "strange" and which ones are pretty normal, well-adjusted folks. This might make someone mad - that I would even suggest there could be issues with how some families socialize - but I have seen it myself, where some family cuts off all, or almost all, interaction with other people. I have also experienced a normal socialization within the homeschool context, and I know there are people who obviously are "fringe" in their thinking and behavior. Someone needs to make the effort to get to know them and notice what is going on with the kids. (I didn't say "report them." But, if something criminal is going on, we are morally obligated to make that choice. Abusing children is contrary to scripture and illegal in most places where my readers live.) Luke 17:1-2 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
BUT - it is totally unfair to assume that all homeschoolers are hiding abuse and/or require close government supervision just because they homeschool!
In the Kitchen - Dishes - This is a short post reminding us that we shouldn't have a bunch of dishes that we don't need, love, and use. It made me think - I need to go through my dish cupboard and china cabinet!
The Adventures of Shadow the Kayak Cat: Timberland, A New Habit. And just for fun - Here is a post from my sister-in-law's blog about their cat Shadow who loves to go kayaking with them. :-)
Well, that's all for this post. I think this is quite enough for a first time. :-)