Lately, I've been reading posts in social media homeschooling groups in which parents lament that their ideal of homeschool isn't what they thought it would be. Of course it's not.
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One very reason to homeschool is to spearhead our children's learning in such a way that they can think for themselves, and to protect their fragile minds from agenda-based education. Yet, when you're first starting out, the temptation is there to replicate school in the home--but there is one huge problem with that: Homeschool is not school-at-home.
The parents on the social media groups are concerned because their kindergartner isn't reading yet, or their second grader hates math word problems and refuses to do them.
Moms and dads, please listen: give yourself grace. Give your child grace. Homeschool is not a sprint but a marathon that doesn't end after high school or even college. One great goal of homeschool is to instill a life-long love of learning into children that will grow when they're adults. But to get to that point, we need to instill more joy and eliminate frustration within homeschool, today.
Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget postulated that "how children and youth gradually become able to think logically and scientifically," and this information is invaluable for us homeschoolers to remember about our children. Piaget taught that children in the "preoperational stage" of ages two to seven have the ability to represent objects, but they don't have the ability to do so in organized or logical ways. They learn through dramatic and imaginative play.
Kindergarten Take-away: Teach the alphabet, numbers 0-9, shapes, and colors. Play games (including simple board games) with the child. Read to the child every single day. No screen time. Concentrate on learning -- not grades.
First Grade Take-away: Move to teaching sight words (no more than 5 a week). Teach numbers 10-20. Continue playing the same games as before but introduce more difficult ones. Read to the child every single day, using a finger to guide the reading, word-by-word. Limited screen time (only educational shows). Concentrate on learning -- not grades.
Children are sponges, and they will absorb information (good and bad). Given the right environment, without being overwhelmed with information, they will develop the cognitive ability to process higher levels of thinking and learning.
Second Grade Take-away: Continue teaching sight words (10 a week). Introduce one-digit addition, followed by one-digit subtraction, using both visuals (apples minus apples) and numbers. Read to the child, encouraging the child to read along with you. Help the child foster independent reading with you. If you must grade, do so using letter grades.
Third Grade Take-away: Many states require homeschoolers to start standardized testing and/or saving of school work as a portfolio, in the third grade. Use a third grade spelling curriculum (my daughter and I like this one) but if your child doesn't do well with the book's lessons at first, use the spelling lists and do your own thing (click here for ideas!). Use a math curriculum that builds on itself logically (division follows multiplication; subtraction of two digits follow addition of two digits). Laura and I found our math book at a curriculum sale, but it's available here, as well. We really like it. It is not a workbook -- it's a hard cover book and Laura writes problems out in spiral-bound notebooks and shows her work. By the third grade, it's highly important to link thinking with writing, and writing out math problems (as opposed to only doing worksheets). Introduce simple science, too. What I do is go on my state's department of public instruction's website, and download the science standards for third grade. This gives me some idea of what to teach, but the way I teach it is up to me. I utilize science center field trips, appropriate YouTube videos, worksheets, and library books to teach science. I also introduce history in a very simple way.
As a child grows in knowledge and the ability to access that knowledge to draw conclusions, they move into what Piaget called the "concrete operational" stage (ages 7-11). This is when math word problems should be introduced, as the child has both the knowledge of math systems (numbers and operations), the reading skills, and the wisdom to discern what the word problem is asking, to answer the question.
Parents, if you teach learning to your child, on the child's developmental level (never mind what "grade" the child should be in if he was in public school), the child will learn. If you teach joyfully, your child will love to learn. Please have grace with yourself, Breathe! On the next beautiful day, take your child to the park and play with her. Relax, and plan to succeed in homeschooling your precious children.
Love in Christ,
(C) 2019 Terrie Bentley McKee All Rights Reserved
Abortion. Infanticide. The homosexual agenda. Sex trafficking. The Church responds with "amens" and clapping when preaching-the-Word pastors call out these issues but after the service is over, what does the Church do?
We're become complacent. We've heard liberals shouting Scripture verses at us, out of context, and lost our voice. The conservative, evangelical, Christian voice that was integral in getting President Trump elected has decided to hunker down and wait for the Rapture.
Meanwhile, there are innocent, pre-born babies screaming, unheard, as they are aborted while being born. Why? Because the mother decided in labor that she was overwhelmed about parenting -- and she and a doctor determined that for her "mental health," it would be better to slit the baby's spinal column or inject poison into the baby's skull to 'abort' it. "Abort" is a non-emotional word for "murder."
Listen, Church: the world is going to do what the world is going to do. We can witness to it, share the Gospel with it, and post Christian memes all day long. The problem, therefore, is not the world---but the Church. There are entire denominations that say they belong to God but their organizational leadership support abortion, the LGBT lifestyle (even going so far as to ordain active homosexuals to preach and performing homosexual "marriages"), and preach social justice instead of the Word of God.
We should not be surprised at this, though, for God's Word said this would happen. "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed." [2 Peter 2:1-2].
The problem is that Bible-believing, Word-preaching, conservative churches have lost their first love: Jesus, and, not knowing the Word themselves, have been quieted when liberals shout, "The Bible says 'don't judge'!" So we don't speak out. We continue discussions in church leadership meetings about which VBS program to have or the color of the carpet in the lobby, instead of harnessing the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus gave us. Jesus said in Matthew 23:23, "“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others." We're so focused on the little things that mean nothing in the kingdom, then speaking up for children.
Children are being slaughtered by the millions -- the Church shares memes
Children are being influenced in libraries by transexuals -- I know of one blogger against this
Children are encouraged to not accept the way they were born and become the opposite sex. People scream about not vaccinating their children but they're willing to give a boy estrogen to grow breasts to become a girl
The Church has lost her first love. We need revival in the Church. Revival means that something that was once alive is made alive again. We need revival in the Church -- to come back to our first love, Jesus, and make a stand for Him. Will we lose friends? Yes. Will we lose followers on social media? Yes. Will we be persecuted? Yes. Will we need to be ready to really minister to the lost and broken? Yes. Will it be worth it? Yes. Anytime we draw closer to Christ it is worth it.
The Bible says, "...If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." [2 Chronicles 7:14]. We, the Church, are the "people" who are called by Jesus' Name. We must pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways of not allowing children to come to Him, of standing idly by while millions of babies are sacrificed in abortion to the god of convenience. We are guilty of the sin of doing nothing. "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin," [James 4:17].
This blog, Near Your Altar, serves to encourage Christians to draw closer to Jesus Christ in every aspects of life. Therefore, I am calling for a Nationwide Call for Revival, based on 2 Chronicles 7:14, on Sunday, July 14, 2019.
Bloggers are asked to join with me in this nationwide movement by sharing social media posts, writing blog posts, and calling for revival of followers of Christ and churches throughout the United States. Pastors are also asked to join in this movement by preaching on 2 Chronicles 7:14 on July 14, and encouraging altar calls for repentance and a renewing of faith in Jesus. Christians throughout the United States are asked to pray for revival.
Resources are for the Nationwide Call for Revival can be found here.
Won't you dress yourself in the Armor of God and join in this Call for Revival? Our children, our faith, our church, and our country are at stake.
In His Name,
(c) 2019 Terrie Bentley McKee All Rights Reserved
The question is not, Why us? The question is, Why not us? Why do bad things happen to good people? The short answer is this: sin.
This post is an excerpt from Terrie McKee's book I've Been Shot! Encountering Christ in Trauma, available here. The book details the attempted armed robbery which left her husband Greg paralyzed and its aftermath -- and how Christ worked in and through that tragedy.
When Eve made the choice to listen to satan instead of God in the Garden of Eden, she not only brought damnation upon herself and her husband, who was standing right there and did not stop her, but also all their descendants and even Creation itself. God told Adam:
“Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return,” [Genesis 3:17-19 NIV].
Before sin appeared on the Earth, there were no weeds, briars, or thorns. Sin brought these dastardly hurtful things on the planet. No longer would the Lord God walk with his children in the cool of the Garden, talking and in perfect fellowship.
Committing that first sin was as much a choice as Darren had when he pulled the trigger.
Because of Darren and Terrell’s choice, Greg is paralyzed. Another way: Because of Darren’s sin, Greg is paralyzed. All sins affect others–even the ones done in shadow and mystery. Just as Adam and Eve’s sin affected all of humanity, Darren and Terrell’s sin affected us, causing Greg to be paralyzed. All of us experienced ramifications of that terrible night.
Now, some might ask, where was God? Don’t we often hear that from nonbelievers during times of trauma and tragedy? Asking that question shows not only a lack of faith but also a lack of knowledge about the character of God.
God placed the bullet square in the L1 vertebrae, making Greg paralyzed but not killing him. He allowed or even led that man to spit in the water fountain, causing the custodian to clean it with bleach water, which gave a perfect canvas upon which Terrell left two perfect latent fingerprints.
Where was God? Scripture says that He “hem(s) me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me,” [Psalm 139:5 NIV]. As we were shuffling boxes around the morning of November 28, God was already moving. As we were waving goodbye, God was putting into place the detectives, the troopers, even the custodian–setting the stage with all the players He wanted in this drama. He went before us and came up behind us.
As I was driving down I-85 to the hospital, seeing a sea of red lights ahead of me, it was Jesus who heard my heartfelt and desperate prayers to “split the Red Sea again.” With my hazard lights blinking and horn blaring, Jesus moved the cars in front of me and allowed me to drive right down the middle line between the cars. It’s all Jesus. He is sovereign.
Sovereignty means God rules all. We may think we have it all figured out, and we’re in charge, but we aren’t in charge of anything. We shake our fists heavenward and say, “When I get to heaven, I will ask God __________________.”
I love what God said to Job. “Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me” [Job 38:1-3].
It did no good to demand an answer for the shooting from God. Did God allow it? No, and yes. While Greg getting shot was the natural consequence of sin, God has bigger plans for Greg and everyone affected through the shooting.
Luke 8:2 states that Jesus cast seven demons out of Mary Magdalene. Why had seven demons possessed her? We have no idea why seven demons took control of her mind, when one would have done the trick. What horror she had to have experienced! What possible good could have come out of demon possession seven-fold?
When Jesus cast them out, Mary Magdalene, in her right mind and freed of the torment she had suffered, became a staunch supporter and disciple of her Lord. In fact, the five times in Scripture she is not named within a group of other female disciples, she is a leading lady in the story of Christ’s death and resurrection. In fact, it is Mary Magdalene who, after experiencing the risen Savior, runs to tell the other disciples that the tomb was empty. Glory!
As seven in biblical terms means “completeness,” perhaps Mary was possessed by so many demons to illustrate that she was completely overwrought with sin and wickedness. With Christ’s healing, the seven demons drive home the point that only Jesus could completely and permanently heal her. No one else. Only a complete healing from the One Savior could completely eradicate wickedness. After the change of management, she had a purpose and mission drastically different than her life before: to share her Savior with others.
Greg was shot in a senseless crime, but Jesus has a higher purpose than for Greg to be a statistic. Before the shooting, he was wrestling with depression and weight gain. He didn’t have an understanding of what the Lord had in store for him. But God did.
The Bible says, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you’” (Jeremiah 29:11-12 NIV). Verse 11 is often quoted but verse 12 is just as powerful. When bad things happen, we need to look at them as plans that the Lord has put in our path, not to harm us, but to draw us closer to Him. When we call on Him, He is faithful and just, and will listen to us.
This is a hard concept, especially for people who have had loved ones die in shootings, bombings, terrorist activities, and car accidents. This is a hard concept for parents who are holding lifeless little ones, or children who have been hurt. As followers of Christ, we must have the faith that our Lord is Lord in the good times and in the bad.
Some people might ask, why didn’t God stop the shooting? Greg is alive, isn’t he? Had that bullet traveled one-quarter of an inch in any direction, he would not be here today. The bullet was fired from less than three feet away—the detective called it a “kill shot.” But God is sovereign. He did not want Greg dead. He wanted to use Greg because of the shooting to minister to others.
This is a hard thing to understand, but just perhaps, we are not meant to understand it. Some things are too hard for us to grasp, and we cannot imagine a sovereign God who would allow such wickedness. Listen: when sin entered the world, everything changed. Ramifications of sin meant that all would pay the consequences. This is little hope in the unnatural act of a parent burying a child, but just as much as we cry, Jesus cries too.
Jesus cries because He knows what started all this mess in the first place: rebellion against His sovereignty in the Garden of Eden. He cries when His children—you and I—experience the ramifications of sins like murder, bullying, pornography addictions, and drunkenness.
Jacob, when he was little, rebelled right after his dad and I divorced. He started shoplifting. After discovering a little stuffed bear in his room that I didn’t recognize, I questioned him about it. The truth came out: he shoplifted the bear from a restaurant that had a gift shop. He and I drove to the restaurant, where I asked for the manager and made Jacob tell what he had done. I then made Jacob pay for the bear, and we walked out with it. He was told that despite money eventually being exchanged for the bear, he could not have it. I had him throw it in a trashcan at the restaurant. Jacob’s sin of stealing meant the bear went into the trash and he lost a stuffed animal. There were ramifications that occurred.
Where was God the night of the shooting? Jesus prevented Greg from passing out as he looked inches away into a pool of his own blood, enabling him to give the trooper detailed descriptions of the suspects. He delivered strength to me to keep Jacob from going after those men, who would have hurt or killed him. He provided someone to comfort Laura when I had to be helping Greg and talking with police. Jesus was there in every God-ordered step. No, Jesus did not prevent the shooting, but He did something even more powerful: He demonstrated His incredible grace to us.
Grace is giving a gift to someone who doesn’t deserve it. We did not deserve Jesus’ power, presence, and peace that night, but He gave it to us anyway, knowing that we needed it. Because of that grace shown to us, we must extend that same grace to other undeserving people, namely, Darren, Terrell, and Keyona.
Greg dealt (and is dealing) with the ramifications of Darren and Terrell’s sin of shooting him, however—in God’s sovereignty, this was part of a bigger plan that He had for us all. We had to go through the desert to get to the promised land—and we had to trust Jesus that the promised land was on the other side of the desert though we could not see it over the towering mountains that lay before us.
Romans 8:28 (NIV) states: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
This passage can be an extraordinarily hard one to understand, given the pain that life can bring. We don’t want to think of our God as being Someone who orchestrates hardship upon our lives. That’s not what this powerful verse is sharing. “We know that in all things.” Even in life’s deepest hurts, even when it involves someone being paralyzed or killed, in all things, God is moving. He is in the background and the foreground, working things out for the good of those who love Him.
This may mean that He works in us and gives us a choice: to retreat in our misery and become bitter, which hurts our health more; or to reach out for Him, extend forgiveness, and move forward with our lives—whatever that entails.
Terrie McKee's book I've Been Shot! Encountering Christ in Trauma is available on her author website, at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC; The Book Lady in Monroe, NC; and at Pages Books and Coffee in Mt. Airy, NC. To book Terrie to speak about Christ's power, presence, and peace in trauma, simply email her here.
(c) 2019 Terrie Bentley McKee All Rights Reserved
Christianity and America are under assault. They are not being attacked from an outside force such as another country, but from within. Who’s behind this assault? The LGBT movement.
This is not some fly-by-night, make-it-up-as-we-go movement. This is a highly orchestrated, psychological, marketing-oriented, intentional drive to change the narrative about homosexuality, sin, and even God.
In 1988, outside of Washington, DC, a group of nearly 200 influential homosexual activists from across the country met to strategize about the AIDS epidemic and “to combat” what their leaders said was “growing homophobia in America.” In an archived news article, Vic Basile, the then-executive director of the Human Rights Campaign (a Washington-based political action committee), called it “the most expansive national gathering of gay rights leaders since AIDS became an epidemic.”
This meeting, which was dubbed the “War Conference,” had a number of topics pre-planned to discuss, such as AIDS, civil rights of homosexuals, and “some type of strategy on how we can get the community organized nationally,” said Basile. In the article, released prior to the conference in 1988, Basile posed this question regarding one of the topics that would be discussed: “How do we get affirmative, progressive kinds of public health measures passed?”
So what happened during this conference? What did the homosexual activists accomplish? Participants assessed strengths and weaknesses to “build the strong national force” and considered “a wide range of strategies” to build their movement “and defeat our enemies,” according to the “Final Statement of the War Conference,” a summary statement issued by the attendees on February 28, 1988.
While participants acknowledged their lack of adequate financial backing, they also recognized their numbers, writing, “gay and lesbian activists…are but a tiny minority of our community,” and that “many cities lack an organized gay and lesbian presence.” To combat this, they wrote that they “must do a better job of encouraging people to come out of the closet,” citing the “exhilarating liberation” of the process of coming out. From today’s standard, they succeeded in those War Conference goals.
From the beginning, the homosexual movement was a political one, as participants at the War Conference declared, “We must acknowledge the desperate need to build the political consciousness and effectiveness of our community. We must better reward our friends and punish our enemies.” The movement also wanted to target youth, stating, “We must recognize our special obligation to gay and lesbian youth…We should support our youth programs and work to devise better ways of reaching this isolated segment of our community.”
Among other priorities, conference attendees placed the media in their bullseye, recommending “a nation-wide media campaign to promote a positive image of gays and lesbians…We must consider the media in every project we undertake. We must, in addition, take every advantage we can to include public service announcements and paid advertisements, and to cultivate reporters and editors of newspapers, radio, and television… Our media efforts are fundamental to the full acceptance of us in American life. But they are also a way for us to increase the funding of our movement…”
If the War Conference launched a new narrative in the homosexual movement, the ground-breaking, bold “The Overhauling of Straight America,” an article that originally ran in Guide magazine, was the launch pad. In this piece, homosexual activists Marshall Kirk and Erastes Pill wrote a number of how-to strategies for the movement. This article, published in 1987, stated that introducing homosexuality in the form of sitcoms, movies, news, political candidates, etc would ease Americans into gradually accepting the lifestyle. “The principle behind this advice is simple: almost any behavior begins to look normal if you are exposed to enough of it at close quarters and among your acquaintances…” wrote Kirk and Pill.
Acknowledging that most Americans would be disgusted by details of homosexual sex, Kirk and Pill strongly suggested that physical aspects of homosexuality be downplayed in the media at first, and to play upon the “protector” role so many patriotic Americans have had in the past. To do this, they suggested that instead of “homosexual,” the phrase “gay rights” should be used. The concept of “gay rights” bounces off “civil rights” and “women’s rights” – ideas that most Americans in the 1990s would agree with.
This meant that gays would be cast, at first, in a victim role within the media. “In any campaign to win over the public, gays must be cast as victims in need of protection so that straights will be inclined by reflex to assume the role of protector,” wrote Kirk and Pill.
The protector role, displayed though many media channels, was promoted to sway straight America that gays needed their help with social justice and civil rights. In one commercial they outlined in the article for “vilification of victimizers,” Kirk and Pill wrote, “We have already indicated some of the images which might be damaging to the homophobic vendetta: ranting and hateful religious extremists neo-Nazis….These images should be combined with those of their gay victims by a method propagandists call the ‘bracket technique.’ For example, for a few seconds an unctuous beady-eyed Southern preacher is seen pounding the pulpit in rage about ‘those sick, abominable creatures.’ While his tirade continues over the soundtrack, the picture switches to pathetic photos of gays who look decent, harmless, and likable; and then we cut back to the poisonous face of the preacher, and so forth. The contrast speaks for itself. The effect is devastating…It would portray gays as innocent and vulnerable, victimized and misunderstood, surprisingly numerous, yet not menacing.”
The point about the Southern preacher ad is this: it did not matter to the expert-level psychological marketing people within the homosexual movement that what they were peddling was a made-up storyboard lie. It mattered that the perception of it triggered an emotional response in its viewers that stirred up a false sense of empathy for homosexuals and hatred for the image of the Southern preacher. At the same time the homosexuals were intentionally placing ads and networking with media executives about not using stereotypical images of homosexuals, they insisted on promoting the stereotypical image of a backwoods preacher who was Southern. That is called hypocrisy and vilification, which means “to speak ill of, defame, slander, to make vile,” according to dictionary.com.
The “vilification” of Christians took off in 1998 when a young man named Matthew Shepherd was horrifically brutalized and killed. Using the media as their vehicle, “homosexuals lobbied to lay the blame at the feet of conservative Christians for having created a ‘climate of anti-gay hate,’” stated an article titled “Messing With Your Mind: The Gay-ing of America” – even though an investigation discovered that Shepherd was targeted in a robbery and not for his homosexuality. This “propaganda” that was fed to the media by the homosexual movement “laid the foundation for ‘Christian racism’ against homosexuals,” according to the article.
Did you catch that? Even though the truth was something totally irrelevant, the foundation was laid for open warfare against Christians and the Church. The foundation was a lie.
Targeting the Church
By 1989, Kirk and Hunter Madsen had expanded Kirk and Pill’s 1987 article into a guidebook of sorts for the grassroots marketing of the homosexual movement. Using tactics from After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the ‘90s and catapulting off the Shepherd murder, the movement changed its victim narrative to directly challenge beliefs held by most, if not all, churches in the 1990s.
By vilifying Christianity by victimizing themselves, stating they couldn’t help being gay because they were “born that way.” Kirk and Madsen wrote, “to suggest in public that homosexuality might be chosen is to open a can of worms labeled moral choices and sin and give the religious intransigents a stick to beat us with. Straights must be taught that it is as natural for some people to be homosexual as it is for others to be heterosexual: wickedness and seduction have nothing to do with it.”
Despite years having passed since After the Ball was published, one thing remains the same: wickedness has everything to do with it. America has been seduced into thinking homosexuality is just not acceptable but approved and condoned. Worse, many church denominations who identify as Christian confuse the situation by encouraging the wickedness by ordaining homosexual ministers, lobbying for gay rights, and “affirming” the LGBT movement. The choice of the word “affirm” is interesting: on dictionary.com, it means “to state or maintain positively; maintain as true.” Those affirming ministers are approved by the movement while Truth-speaking pastors are accused of hate.
Progress. The word gives a mental image of forward motion, not standing still, checking off a to-do list. All positive images. Like the word affirm, that is what makes the psychology of the homosexual movement so insidious: taking positive words and twisting them to mean something totally different.
Progressive churches, to the gay movement, not only accept homosexuality but condone it. They don’t equate homosexuality with sin and believe God is fine with it. Several major denominations “affirm” the LGBT lifestyle, including the Presbyterian Church (USA), United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church (US), and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, among many other denominations and individual congregations.
Listen, God is not fine with it. The Word of God is crystal-clear on the subject: “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them,” Romans 1:26-32, emphasis added.
What is particularly heinous is “affirming” denominations who are, in actuality, false teachers who are offering thirsty people the poison of homosexuality. “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep,” 2 Peter 2-3.
The false teachers that fall behind their father, satan, who the Bible says masquerades as “an angel of light,” is leading people on a fast track straight to hell with the lies they spew in pulpits. Listen: there is nothing holy or right or pure or natural about homosexuality. Nothing.
The homosexual movement has duped America into thinking if you do not support or encourage the homosexual lifestyle, you are filled with hate.
Masters of marketing, they have taken the word “love” and twisted it to mean something vile and evil. Just as satan in the Garden of Eden with Eve and in the Wilderness with Jesus twisted words and meanings, the homosexual movement has traded truth for lies and natural for unnatural—and expects the rest of us to nod along complacently. The father of lies, satan, is behind all of this.
For the most part, the capital-C Church has been complacent—and way too quiet, which is what the LGBT power players want. As long as the Church is quiet, the gay movement controls the narrative, and like satan, they are keen to twist Scriptures and throw “don’t judge” and “love your neighbor” around to shut the mouths of Christians.
As long as the homosexual movement can shut Christians up, they paint the picture: about God, His position on homosexuality as it is written in the Bible, perceptions about the Church, and Christians. It is time for the Church to pray it out, study the Word, and armor up (Ephesians 6:1-18) and be outspoken with the Truth. Unbelievers may not respond to the Gospel, you see, but the Holy Spirit oversees the listening. We are commissioned to share it—and for the love of people who do listen, we should protect it.
© 2018 Terrie Bentley McKee All Rights Reserved
I had had enough of my left foot hurting. What my primary care physician thought was an ordinary bunion, turned out to be a ball of arthritic calcium encasing a nerve on the first major joint of my big toe. It hurt. A lot. Walking, standing, even having a blanket on it at night were excruciating. Surgery was scheduled: the podiatrist would carefully chisel the arthritis ball away, freeing the nerve, then immobilize the joint by screwing a plate over it, into the toe bones.
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
It was routine, she said; she does thousands of these surgeries a year. I signed the consent forms, had the bloodwork, washed my foot the day of surgery, and headed to the same-day surgery center at my local hospital with my dear mother-in-love, Barbara. My husband, out of vacation and sick time, would be at work. No worries, I had said; this is routine surgery, in-and-out in four hours. I made my nest in my recliner, as I had researched "foot surgery" on Pinterest, and that seemed to be the thing to do: have books and the TV remote nearby for serious foot-healing couch-potato'ing.
At the hospital, I dressed in the gown and put the surgery cap on along with the anti-slip socks. I was ready to start the journey to a non-hurting foot. I was even looking forward to the surgery itself: a good nap would do me good, I thought, chuckling to myself. The IV was administered, hugs exchanged with Barbara, and I was whisked off to the operating room.
My doctor was in a good mood, as were the techs and nurses. It was a busy day for surgeries, and things were on schedule. I was taken from the flight deck to the OR itself, where I looked up at the lights. It seemed like they were made up of hundreds of sparkling, shining diamonds. Someone said, "OK, time for a nap," and I felt the sedation meds hit my arm through the IV.
Everything went wrong
I don't remember much after that. I remember my mother-in-law's voice calling my name, her voice urgent and loud. Between her voice and waking up in the intensive care unit 24 hours later, I don't remember anything.
When I had left the OR to the recovery room, my doctor checked on me and I was doing well. A mere fifteen minutes after that, according to Barbara and medical staff, my right hand started twitching (it was at this point Barbara had started calling my name). I launched into full-blown grand mal seizures. Not one, or two, but five, over several minutes. It took all the anti-seizure meds in the same-day surgery recovery to stop it.
My left lung collapsed. I was in respiratory distress. I coded.
I was resuscitated and intubated: a tube was put down my throat so a machine could breathe for me, and given drugs to put me in a medically-induced coma as I tried to yank the tube out of my throat when they tried to get me to wake up. Barbara tells me that I had all manner of wires and tubes in and out of me. Tests were run: CT scans, EEG brain scans, X-rays, blood work.
The only thing they could narrow the cause to was that I am in an elite group: in the small, tiny percentage of people (less than 1%) allergic to the sedation drug propofol, which is commonly given in surgeries, especially "twilight sedation," which I had had with my foot. Normally, with the previous eight surgeries I had had, I was under general anesthesia. The foot surgery was the first (and last) twilight sedated surgery I've had. It was the only time I've had propofol.
It's the drug that killed Michael Jackson.
The next day, memories are sketchy and run together. I remember waking up to my church's worship pastor, Bruce, standing beside the hospital bed and saying, "Hi, Terrie!" as I was waking up. I remember asking him what had happened, and where was Greg, my husband.
I remember my son and his girlfriend visiting me, and Jacob's green eyes six inches from my brown, looking intently at me. I remember my mother coming, and kissing me, and Barbara seemed to be ever at my side. I remember Greg in his wheelchair holding my hand. I was in the intensive care unit for two whole days, drifting in and out of sleep, before moving to a regular room.
Family members and medical staff started giving me patchwork-quilt descriptions of the nightmare surgical recovery. My throat hurt, and my chest hurt, and I seemed to itch all over. It was the propofol getting out of my system.
I had experienced the "rare" variety of side effects from a routine sedation drug. The seizures, decreased lung function, trouble breathing, itchiness, and drowsiness, and inflamed veins were all related to a life threatening allergic reaction. All the tests came back negative for epilepsy (a chronic seizure disorder) or head trauma, so doctors determined it had to have been this routine, every-day sedation drug that killed me.
Jesus has a plan. I know full well that the moment things went south for me, Barbara was praying and upon her relaying the news to Greg, he was praying. Prayer warriors from all over lifted holy hands in prayer, and God heard them. Jesus has a plan.
A routine, normal surgery that's performed thousands of times of year turned deadly. Laying in the regular hospital room, I thought about this. We go through life swimming along, doing all the things, and our Christian walk becomes routine. We read the Bible and go to church. How much of this is routine, and how much of it is fueled by sheer passion to know Jesus on a deeper, more intimate level?
Once saved, we're saved--but how much more abundant and powerful could our walk and witness be, if they weren't "routine"?
(C) 2018 Terrie Bentley McKee All Rights Reserved
My dear daughter,
I see your tears. I hear your desperate cries. I know your thoughts, even the ones that you can’t express to your loved ones.
I know you are overwhelmed. Life is busy and crazy and tough, and I long to hold you in My arms as you talk with Me – as you drive the children to school, or teach them spelling over the dining room table, or even as you lay your head on the pillow.
Those tears you cry? I catch them in My hand and count them. The sighs you breathe out as you wait for your child to come home at night? I hear them. When you are so upset and cannot find the words to talk with Me, I hear the prayers of the Holy Spirit intercede for you.
Dear child, My princess, I am working in you for great and mighty things, even though you cannot see it right now. I have loved you since I laid the foundations of the universe. I created you fearfully and wonderfully, and when I see you, I am so proud to call you My own.
I see that you are overwhelmed. I want you to know this: when you awake in the middle of the night, do not fret. I miss you and want to whisper My truths to you through My Word. Please get up off your mat and join me in the quiet stillness of the living room. I have such incredible things to show you in My Word. Truths that will edify you and draw you closer to Me.
I long to shoulder your burdens, to allow you to rest in Me. Child, I have created the heavens and the earth. I have formed the mountains and seas. I chisel each delicate snowflake individually and know where each wild deer gives birth. Don’t you think I am strong enough and big enough to handle your problems, if only you’d give them to me? If only you wouldn’t take them back?
Don’t think I don’t understand pain and separation, My love. I endured both on the cross as I was separated from my Father. I laid down My life for you on the cross and took it back up again after three days. I died to release you from sin and shame and I rose to give you life and give it abundantly.
You are My Child, a Daughter of the Most High King. Straighten your crown, my girl. Let me wipe your tears. Then hold your head high, with uninhibited joy, and know that I am with you as you rise in the morning and as you lay down at night. What you give to Me I will protect. I may take you through valleys, but know this: it is because I have made the plan for you and you alone, and I know what is on the other side of the valley.
I don’t like to waste anything. The trials and tribulations you experience I will use to encourage someone else, through you, later on. I cannot wait to see your face when you realize that!
I may say ‘yes’ to some of your prayers, and I may say ‘no.’ Sometimes, I will say “wait.” I ask you to have faith in Me during the times I say no and wait – and follow My direction when I tell you yes. No matter My answer, I know what is best for you – trust that, please.
Daughter, I love you. When I was standing in the garden after I resurrected, Mary did not recognize Me until I said her name. Do you know that as I stand at Father’s right hand, that I tell Him your name? I know you by name, My child. When no one notices your pain and hurting heart, when no one sees that you need help, when no one will listen to you – I do. I, Jesus, listen and hear you and pray to Father for you by name.
Let this be a comfort to you: that I am even now building you a room just for you. I’m pulling out all My carpenter skills and working it up, just for you. I am so excited about you seeing it! In My time, you will, and I cannot wait to take your hand and show it to you.
My daughter, I am always a prayer away. I am always with you. Always.
By Terrie McKee
© 2018 Terrie Bentley McKee
A few years after the birth of my last child, I began to experience horrible abdominal pain. The pain soon gave way to other symptoms and my doctor diagnosed me with polycystic ovarian syndrome. I continually had benign tumors growing on ovaries, and it was only a matter of time before benign would turn into malignant. I chose to have a total hysterectomy.
A total, radical hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. While the procedure cured the tumor growth and eliminated pain, bleeding, and the cancer risks in that region, I was unprepared for the sudden onslaught of menopause within six hours after surgery.
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The intense hot flashes intermixed with incredible waves of cold coupled with sweating through my clothes made me nearly wish for a surgical reversal. I wanted my ovaries back! Without the hormones from the ovaries, my body was protesting on a cellular level.
Plus, I was irritable. That's italicized because of the intensity of the irritability.
No one told me that menopause would hit me six hours after surgery, or that it would be that intense in the days, weeks, and months afterward. It's been four years and I still have hot flashes and cold sweats, although no where as intense. The hot flashes would grow from an internal furnace I had no idea I had, and radiate out. Cuddling with my husband became a tropical nightmare.
Something had to be done.
I found these items helped me manage the menopause after hysterectomy the most. Because no one told me about these things, I want to make sure you know about them, if you're going through this.
Washcloths and Blankets
Damp, cold washcloths put around my neck helped to cool me down, and they could be easily removed if a hot flash turned south to a polar trajectory. Blankets helped during the cold flashes. My hysterectomy was in a very warm May, and I wrapped up in flannel blankets.
One word: don't. The hysterectomy surgery recovery was one of the few post-surgical times in which I was incredibly uncomfortable: dealing with pain and soreness from the laproscopic surgical site, then all.the.hormones -- I was in no shape to entertain well-wishing visitors. Some people brought food, which was great, but: suggest to people that restaurant gift cards would be better, and have a caregiver or spouse (or adult child) get take-out instead.
It's not that I didn't like people -- it's just I was so uncomfortable in my own skin that I didn't want to be near myself, let alone others. Did I mention irritability?
You are going to want a small travel pillow or even a nursing pillow to cover your abdomen and protect it. The nursing pillows are something that you really should not give away. It's inevitable that someone will have a broken arm, tummy trouble, or something, and this pillow helps wrap around the abdomen. It gives a sense of a shield around your belly.
Sherbert or Ice Pops
I found that snacking on a small bowl of sherbert, or an fruit ice pop, helped with hot flashes internally, more so than even drinking cold water.
I found some natural supplements that were miracles in a box. These supplements temporarily eliminated (at least for me) hot flashes so that I could sleep, and helped the irritability. I am not a doctor, and don't claim to be, so you need to ask your medical provider if taking a supplement is right for you, but they worked miracles for me. The ones I used are available here.
Most of all, I had to realize that losing my ovaries was the cause of the sudden menopause, not my husband, or children, or an unexpected visitor that would.not.leave. I learned I had to have grace with others who were just trying to help me, and, I had to have grace with myself. Having a hysterectomy is often a traumatic thing -- for me, it was knowing having another biological child was out of the question -- so extending grace and even praying for yourself during this trying time are important.
Please share below if you have suggestions to help others going through a hysterectomy [but please be kind].
(c) 2018 Terrie Bentley McKee
I allowed my daughter to go trick-or-treating last year for the first time, and it was the last time I'd do such a thing. I kept being nudged by the Holy Spirit that we were not glorifying God in word or deed by costuming up and joining others in doing so.
In fact, I felt that I had grieved the Holy Spirit by giving in to my daughter's peer-pressured begging to take her around the neighborhood. Sure, I knew most of the people she asked for candy, but not all of them. I certainly couldn't tell who was who behind masks and makeup.
That's the scary thing about Halloween: costume children up and let them loose to wander neighborhoods, going right up to just anyone's door -- even a sexual predator. No one knows who is who behind masks and candy-filled doors. But that's not even why God two-by-four'd me into not ever doing Halloween again.
It was this: "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. [Philippians 4:8 NIV].
What is true about hiding behind masks and makeup, especially with the absolute evil-looking costumes available now? What is noble about begging for candy? What is right about taking kids to strangers' doors after telling them to never talk with strangers? What is pure or lovely about witches, zombies, fake blood, or anything else in stores' Halloween sections? What is admirable about telling children one thing in Sunday School then taking them out to trick-or-treat?
The answer to all those questions is one word: nothing.
Halloween is based in the satanic. It coincides with Samhain, which is the witches' new year for people who practice the pagan religion, which is also satanic. One particular website encourages pagan parents to blend Halloween with their rituals that honor their dead (which include communication to the dead) for their children.
For Christians, the fact that Halloween and Samhain coincide is all the more reason to put away their jack o'lanterns, spiders, bats, and other Halloween/Samhain symbols. Do we, as followers of Christ, really want to encourage the celebration of witchcraft to our children?
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 (ESV) is very clear about witchcraft and communicating with the dead: "There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you."
Christians cannot think that they can ride the fence on this issue. We are to be in the world but not of the world -- and that includes Halloween.
Some might say, "What about Christmas trees? They're pagan!" The answer to that is a resounding yes -- and no. Like anything the world argues about, they serve up half-truths with their pumpkin spice lattes. According to The History of Christmas Trees:
"The evergreen fir tree has traditionally been used to celebrate winter festivals (pagan and Christian) for thousands of years. Pagans used branches of it to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it made them think of the spring to come. The Romans used Fir Trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia. Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God."
Some Christians display evergreen trees in their homes as a way of celebrating Christ's birth. Some Christians don't. The difference between Halloween and Christmas celebrations is that there is nothing redeeming or holy about Halloween.
Like evergreen trees, some Christians and pagans use family altars -- one is to worship God, the other, satan. If you do not worship God, you worship satan: "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters," [Matthew 12:30 NIV] There is no in-between. There is no fence-riding.
This year, and for years to come, my daughter will not be trick-or-treating. Our porch light will be off and blinds closed. Is this a time to mix and mingle with other costumed folk as a way to share Christ? Perhaps. But with everyone hidden away behind masks and makeup, who can tell the Christian apart from the horde?
That, my friend, is the entire point. We need to be different than the horde.
(C) 2018 Terrie Bentley McKee
My little girl was diagnosed with dyslexia last year, but she has always struggled a bit. Learning spelling words has been an ordeal, which means I have to get creative with teaching her.
She was delayed with walking and talking as a baby, so it makes sense that she struggles with hearing sounds -- so when her teacher last year (her last year of public school) expected her students to learn words phonetically, she had a difficult time with it. She never received more than a 50 on a spelling test of 20 words.
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This year, knowing Laura learns best with hands-on activities, I decided to incorporate hands-on activities with writing, saying, and spelling words aloud.
Writing Three Times Each
Laura, in the third grade, admittedly does not do any schoolwork on a computer. Physically using a pencil or pen and paper, writing out spelling words or math problems, helps improve learning and memory. An 2013 article in Psychology Today quoted a professor at the University of Washington who stated that students "wrote more words, faster, and expressed more ideas when writing essays by hand versus with a keyboard." Interestingly, the article went on to add that "school systems, driven by ill-informed ideologues and federal mandate, are becoming obsessed with testing knowledge at the expense of training kids to develop better capacity for acquiring knowledge."
Writing her words three times each, while saying them aloud, makes the connection between her brain and her hands in spelling the words correctly. Having her write the words neatly reinforces penmanship and intention on writing so that others can decipher her handwriting.
Laura loves -- and learns best -- doing hands-on activities. One of her favorite spelling word activities is using letter stamps and an (washable, just in case) ink pad to stamp the words on construction paper. I then have her write each word neatly beside the stamped word. This does two things: one, it helps her create words out of letters, and she makes the mental connection with handwriting.
I have a number of magazines I like and subscribe to, but I struggle with what to do with them after I've read them. Using kid-sized scissors and a glue stick, Laura either finds her spelling words in the magazines and glues them onto construction paper, or she cuts letters out and makes the words herself. Writing the words again reinforces what she has done. This is another hands-on activity that she loves to do. After she's completely finished with a magazine, it goes in the recycle bin.
I like these kid-sized scissors that have a safety cap, just in case. For kids who are left-handed, try these lefty scissors.
Using stickers shaped like letters, Laura sticks these on construction paper as another hands-on activity to learn her spelling words (with writing the word beside the stickers). At first, I dumped all the stickers into a large bowl for her to rummage through, but this became frustrating for her and time-consuming. So I bought couple of organizers like the ones used for small parts, stuck one letter per drawer, and had her organize the letters in the appropriate drawers. It just keeps this activity organized, which is important when you have other subjects to attack besides spelling.
I think it's important that Laura not only learn how to spell words, but also know what they mean. We use a good children's dictionary for her to look up her words, and their meanings, and write both in her binder. It's important to use an actual, ink-on-paper book, and not a website, so that kids can see and understand their world is full of words -- and they don't just exist in the virtual world.
Lastly, we only learn 10 spelling words a week. Twenty was just too much for her. It's crucial to understand your child and their capabilities, and to stretch them without killing their interest in learning. These five methods have helped my daughter not only improve her test grades (her lowest weekly spelling test has been a 90 so far) but also greatly increase her thirst for knowledge -- which is an all-around better goal anyway.
(C) 2018 Terrie Bentley McKee
Children seem to grow up so quickly these days. One week, you're tying shoelaces and wiping jelly off faces; the next, you're explaining to your daughter has she must wear a t-shirt over a two-piece swimsuit at camp. I recently took my daughter on a mother-daughter retreat to facilitate important conversations in a non-threatening and quiet environment.
The two-night outing was so successful that I wanted to share how I planned a Christ-centered mother-daughter retreat, so that you, too, can have conversations with your daughter that lay the groundwork for future talks about purity, cleanliness, who they are in Christ, and the relationship both of you share.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate or referral links. Affiliate links help provide for this website as well as a small income for my family. I did not receive any compensation for housing referral links, but refer them nonetheless due to the superb service, cleanliness, and charm of the accommodations. -TBM
Granted, my daughter is eight years old, and you need to tailor the retreat's topics based on your own daughter. But first, the logistics. We went off for a two-night, three-day retreat, and that is important, particularly if there are other kids in the house. This is supposed to be one-on-one time, or if you have multiple daughters, consider bringing all the girls. But it is vitally important that girls get one-on-one time with their moms if at all possible.
We stayed in an Airbnb cottage that I have stayed in previously for a writing retreat. As soon as Laura walked in, she was immediately swept up in the thought that this was a sweet and special time for just her and I. Although she had her own room, she hung out in my room a lot. The Airbnb had a kitchen so we were able to cook together, eat with each other in the dining room, and talk about each others' hopes, dreams, and aspirations. When planning a retreat, look for an affordable get-away whether that's a house, apartment, or hotel room. It doesn't have to be hours away--check your city for any affordable Airbnbs, which eliminate the mileage anyway, and bring groceries from home.
To make this time fun for Laura, and so I could at least get some writing done, we stopped and bought a "friend" for her 18" doll, Ella. Although not from the expensive class of similar dolls, "Kate," Ella, and Laura had a wonderful time playing quietly, which is a rare occasion. It's important to mark this retreat with something special and tangible for your daughter so she can remember it with fondness. The doll and some accessories were the perfect complement to achieve that goal.
The material things aside, over a dinner she helped me make the first night, I started the conversations about purity by telling her that when she accepted Christ as her Savior last year, that very moment, she became a Child of God, a Daughter of the Most High King, and in that exact moment, Jesus gave her the gift of the Holy Spirit, Who immediately indwelled her. "What?!" she said. "You mean the Holy Spirit is inside me?" Quickly bringing me her Bible (for some reason she wanted to see the words in her own Holy Word), she said, "Show me where it says that!"
I turned to these passages and she read them, out loud, with a huge smile on her face:
"Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.' ~ 2 Timothy 2:14
"Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?" ~ 1 Corinthians 3:16
"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come." ~ John 16:13
"However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him." ~ Romans 8:9
"I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns.He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." ~ Revelation 19:11-16
"Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” ~ Mark 3:35
I told her that the moment she had accepted Christ as her Savior, she became a Child of God, a Daughter of the Most High King -- so, therefore, as a Princess, a Daughter of the King, I asked, how was she supposed to act?
Laura thought a minute and said, "Like Christ. Serving Him by serving others."
I also talked with her a little about purity -- based on her age -- but mainly kept it to the need to properly clean herself, health, and also, that she is to protect bathing suit areas. She is to sit like a lady (not like a boy who just hopped off a saddle) and to shine like the diamond she is for Jesus' sake.
The retreat was only for two nights and three days, but the conversations we had were reiterated, prayed over, and talked about in various forms as we were at lunch on Main Street, walking though an antique store and other shops, and playing together at a playground. We prayed together. We hugged and snuggled and painted toenails and fingernails. She took delightfully long baths and enjoyed the soaking tub.
This will not be the only Mother-Daughter Retreat we will have. These retreats will be annually, and will build upon one another. Childhood is so fleeting these days--it's up to us, Christian moms, to grab those moments and nurture them, to tell our daughters they are worthy, beautiful, and important to us, to our families, and to Jesus.
(C) 2018 Terrie Bentley McKee
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