delivery, please add
Feature Article – Me and My Needs by R.C. Sproul, Jr.
Helps – by
Last month at this time we were scurrying to post information and the ability to register for the Veritas Press Scholars online classes for 2008 – 2009 and the 2008 teacher training options. Things have quieted down a bit since the initial rush but the registrations for online classes nearly doubled our current year in the first two weeks! My thanks to our wonderfully talented and dedicated staff for a well-created, fine-tuned system that withstood the onslaught.
As I write I am looking out on an unseasonably warm winter day with a perfectly blue sky. Spring is right around the corner for us northern folk. I am a bit disappointed that I cannot enjoy the day more as I am recovering from a rather severe flu bug. Yet, it is good to be reminded that even our day to day health is a gift from God. We should be more in tune with this fact and express our gratitude more often.
Me and My Needs
It was my first, and I pray my last, experience
being on the wrong end of an intervention. They wisely wouldn’t have called it
by such a psycho-babble name. From their perspective it was a Matthew 18
scenario. These friends were coming to confront me about several sins. One of
the two was a fellow student, a friend at the college we both attended. The
other was a tad more intimidating. He was a professor, one who was discipling both me and my friend. They knocked on my dorm
room door, invited me out for a walk around the quad, and graciously began to
list for me several areas in my life that were out of accord with God’s Word.
They were concerned about my unbelieving girlfriend, about my flippant defiance
of the rules of the college (and of the state of
“Look guys” I said with silk in my voice, “I really appreciate your concern for me. It is touching that you would go to all this trouble. And I’m perfectly willing to concede that I’m a sinner. What you don’t understand, however, is that I have been on a mission from God. I have set my attention and my labors in fighting my sin, but the sin I’m fighting is the argumentative, judgmental attitude everyone knows I suffer from.” I hadn’t picked a fool to disciple me, and he put an end to my folly, explaining, “R.C., that’s great that you are working on those kinds of attitude issues. But surely you know that putting to death sin A isn’t a license to commit sin B. You don’t get to pick and choose which parts of God’s law you’re going to obey.” I knew I had lost the argument.
Trouble is, I still, now twenty years later, fight that same temptation. I still want to cover my failures in one battle with successes in another. James makes much the same argument my mentor did, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery’ also said ‘Do not commit murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law” (James –11). James is not saying that all sins are equally heinous (remember Jesus judged the Pharisees for failing to keep the “weightier matters of the law” (Matthew )), but that all sins are sins. The butler can not be acquitted of murdering the Baron simply because he didn’t steal the jewelry of the Baroness.
We who are fathers and husbands have been given a great burden. In Ephesians 5 God charges us with the task of, by His grace and through His Spirit, sanctifying our wives. In Ephesians 6 He reminds us not to forget growing our children in grace. It is a great leap forward for us to remember these charges, and to take them seriously. Such doesn’t, however, entitle us to neglect our own sanctification. We cannot excuse our sin on the grounds that we’re working on the sins of our family. But it is equally true from the other perspective. We cannot excuse our failure to sanctify our families with the excuse that we are busy sanctifying ourselves.
The truth of the matter is that they each serve the other so profoundly that they are virtually one. The best thing you can do for the sanctification of your family is to sanctify yourself. And the best thing you can do to sanctify yourself is to get to work in the sanctification of your family. What will change them is a changed you. What will change you is changing them. As you work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, you will be working out their salvation in fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure.
Nancy Wilson once explained wisely that there is
something wrong with a wife and mother who thinks
there is something wrong when she falls into bed exhausted after a hard day’s
work. She encouraged those who so think to understand that such is a good
thing, a sign of diligence and hard work. I recently had a similar conversation
with a man who wondered, “After a long day at work, and after seeking to
sanctify my wife and my children, there’s nothing left for me” he explained.
“That’s okay,” I replied, “you’re already dead. Or at least, you’re supposed to
be.” What do we need? To stop worrying about what we need,
to pick up our cross, and follow Him. What we need is to lose our lives. And
then, and only then, will we find them. Only if we seek first the
R.C. Sproul, Jr.
Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr. is the husband of one, father of seven, and the founder, chairman and teacher of the Highlands Study Center, www.highlandsstudycenter.org. His book on the covenant family, Bound for Glory has just been re-released by Tolle Lege Press.
spring is just around the corner. By this time of year I have had my share of
old man winter. Having grown up in
We thought that you might enjoy bringing some spring into your home a little bit early by making a terrarium. I made these with my boys at different times over the years, and it was really fun to see how creative they were. One of my boys always wanted to add live worms for effect—welcome to boys. Another one of them, now training to be an engineer, always wanted to build a bridge to put in his. So, you might even gain some insight into the future careers of your children.
We have also included some poetry dealing with spring that you may find enjoyable to read with your children. One project you might want to do after you copy the poems is to get some color copies done and take them to hand out at a local nursing home. They are sure to be appreciated.
It is hard to believe that the school year is almost over, but I am already starting to think about next year. It is hard for me to believe, but next year will be my final year with any children at home. Our youngest is approaching his senior year, and then they will all be in college. It is bitter sweet. I didn’t know how I would feel about it, but just like I look forward to spring every year, so I am looking forward to the next chapter in our lives.
Click the link for the terrarium instructions and poems.
Deep Discount on a Book
Well, it’s not free, but … Voddie Baucham is our keynote speaker for the 2008 teacher training conference in Lancaster. He has written the highly-acclaimed, insightful and convicting book, Family Driven Faith (item #900-971). To encourage your reading of this important work, we are offering a 40% discount on the book for the month of March with any order. That’s $8 off the retail price of $19.99. You just need to tell us when ordering that you’d like the discounted price. If ordering on our web site, type “Family Driven Faith Discount” in Special Instructions. You’ll be very glad you did.
Q. How do the online classes operate and what does it look like?
A. We are currently using Webex technology for our online classes. All classes are live, real-time with audio. The teacher and all of the students have a microphone. The teacher has the ability to mute and unmute students’ microphones. The entire left side of the screen is a whiteboard on which the teacher can put notes, art, maps, PowerPoint slides, web sites and other applications. On the right side of the screen both the participant list and chat box are visible. Students can communicate both by written chat and by microphone. Students use a hand-raise feature to indicate to the teacher that they have a question or something to say.
Q. What criteria is used for selecting books for the Veritas Press catalog?
A. Of course, most of the catalog remains the same from year to year. Twelve years ago we chose what we believed was the best curriculum for classical Christian education, and we only change it when we see something that improves on what we offer. We have reviewed most of what is out there for classical Christian education. For instance, there are many Latin programs, but we only carry what we think are the top ones. Just today we received about 40 books to review. Core curriculum tends to remain available, but things like historic fiction don’t always remain in print. Consequently, we are routinely looking for great historical fiction to enhance the learning of history. We estimate that no more than one in 50 books we review actually ends up in the catalog. We hope that you find our choices helpful, and we are always interested in products that you recommend to us.
Please submit any questions you’d like answered here to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coloring Contest Winners
With the February epistula we initiated a Valentine’s Day coloring contest. We are always amazed at the number and quality of the entries. Entries were separated and judged in three categories, with the winner in each category receiving a $50 gift certificate. Click here to view the winning pictures. Our thanks to all who participated. Here are the winners:
Age JOLYON EDWARD HEFFNER of West Lawn,
Age 6 to 9 GRACE HEFFNER, of West Lawn, Pa.
Age 10 to12 JESSICA
Teacher Training Conference Registration
As indicated in the February epistula, the ten largest orders in February were entered into a drawing, and our winner will receive two free registrations to the teacher training conference of her choice.
Michelle Jackson of
Press Scholars Online classes is now open for the 2008–2009 school year. We have been accepting registrations for only several
weeks and already have far more students for next year than are taking classes
this year. Imagine a class studying the War Between the States that includes
students from the north and the south or a class studying the War for
Our recent survey indicated enough interest to do two teacher
training conferences this summer—one here in
Baucham, author of Family Driven
Faith, will be the featured speaker at the 2008 Teacher Training Conference
July 21–23 in
Those who choose to take advantage of one of these foundational learning opportunities will leave the conference invigorated, with clear tools, methods and plans to teach and administer a classical Christian education in their school or homeschool. We will also be offering Latin-in-a-Week, Omnibus I-In-A-Week and Omnibus II-In-A-Week July 21–25th.
Look for a brochure with all the details in the mail shortly if you are already on the ACCS or Veritas Press mailing lists, live east of the Mississippi, or live in California or Texas. If you fall outside these categories, to ensure you receive a brochure send a request with your name and mailing address to email@example.com.
Job Openings in
First Phone – Veritas Press has an
opening beginning mid-summer for what we call “First Phone.” The successful
applicant will be replacing Karen. She and her husband are starting a family
with their first child due in September. Duties include customer service,
answering customer emails, processing orders, and of course being the first to
answer the telephone when customers call. Imagine one call from
Online Teachers – Veritas Press Scholars Online has teacher openings for the 2008–2009 school year. Experienced teachers can work from home, the beach, or anywhere high-speed internet is available. Openings currently include Composition, Greek, Math, Rhetoric, and Science for secondary classes (grades 7–12) and in Bible and History in upper grammar school (grades 4–6 only). Additionally, if you are interested in teaching these or other disciplines in the future, let us know. Anticipated growth makes us want to pre-qualify good candidates now. Send resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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