Category From the TEACH Manager

1
Apr

Get To Work – A Study in Haggai

In 538 BC, King Cyrus decreed that the Jews could return to Jerusalem, and just a year later, they began work on rebuilding the temple. Fast forward fifteen years however, and the work has halted with only the foundations laid. At this point God steps in and sends the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to ‘encourage’ the people in their work.

Through Haggai, God speaks to the people who were saying “it’s not yet time to build the house of the Lord” and says, “Why are you living in such luxury, while my house lies in ruins?!”

But why should God care that His temple was not built? After all, He tells us that He does not live in temples made with hands (Acts 17:24). The point is this: The Jews had become more concerned with their own comforts than with doing the work that God had called them to do. This is so often true of us as Christians today. And just as is reported in Haggai, there is no satisfaction in just working for ourselves.

The NLT puts it that the Lord then ‘sparked the enthusiasm’ of the leaders & the people. What a great thing it is to be stirred up by God! He goes on to ask them to remember the former splendour of the temple and compare it to what was in front of them. Sometimes, we do need to remember where we have been in the past, it should motivate us to get back there.

He tells them “Be strong…and now, get to work!” This may not appear to be the best of management techniques! But He adds: “for I AM with you…so do not be afraid”. What more inspiration should we need than that as we go about doing God’s work in educating our children, He is with us, the best manager we could ever have.

1
Feb

The Lord Will Fight For You

“Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today…the Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” – Exodus 14:13-14

It seems at the moment that hardly a day passes without there being something in the media which is designed to undermine biblical education, whether at school or at home. While the onslaught of negativity is tiring and sometimes frightening, we must remember the Word of God, which we are seeking to teach to our children (Deuteronomy 6:6), also teaches us that if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) Whatever we are facing, be it financial difficulty or government officials, we can know that God has promised us that he will never leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)

There are two battles that stand out in reference to this passage in Exodus. The first is the battle of King Jehoshaphat against Moab, Ammon, & Mount Seir in 2 Chronicles 20, where God caused the different sides to war against each other. He told Jerusalem simply to praise Him, for the battle was not theirs to fight, but His! Again in 2 Chronicles 32 we read of King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah praying to God for deliverance from Assyria, and again, the army was defeated by His power alone. It is noticeable that in these two instances the situation seemed so terrible, and the odds insurmountable, that only God could bring deliverance.

In Jeremiah 17:5-8 we read that “cursed is the man who trusts in man” but “blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord.” Echoing the Psalmist, these people are compared to trees along a riverbank, who do not fear and are not bothered when the heat comes. Nor are they anxious or worried when there is drought. Notice that there is still heat and drought to be faced, but they do not cease from being fruitful, because they have their roots in the Word of God. As we trust in the Lord, Who alone can fight our battles for us, let us trust that He can also make us to be fruitful.

1
Jan

Excellence in Home Education

You only have to read the news today to know that the authority of the parent is being questioned and undermined at every available opportunity. It is not so often assumed anymore that parents know what is best for their children. A plethora of confusing opinions are continuingly being forced upon us, and all the while the cry goes up: “How can you possibly know what to do?!”

This attitude is perhaps most commonly encountered and keenly felt by those parents who have chosen to educate their children at home. With ‘out-of-school’ settings currently in the limelight, the concern is obviously that home educators will be next in the firing line, and the freedom to bring up their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”, through the use of Biblically based & academically rigorous curriculum will be hindered.

As the efficacy of home education is questioned, we should remind ourselves of the evidence, both in forms of personal testimonies and recent research, that has shown the effectiveness of well-implemented education at home.

There is no question, even in secular circles, that a high level of parental involvement is a major factor in a child’s development. A study undertaken by the University of Cambridge stated: “In the midst of the many differences in philosophy, outlook and practice… home schooling appears to consistently offer children a more efficacious educational experience even as measured by the standards of normative performativity. One constant in the midst of much complexity is the better than average performance of home schooled children when compared to age cohorts in the general population”

Let us take heart from the witness of those past and present who stand as proof of the quality of home education, and “Let our light so shine before men, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.”

28
Jul

An Introduction

I hope you are all enjoying your holidays and the great summer weather!

As you should hopefully be aware, I have taken over from Ross Purchase as TEACH Manager here at CEE. It is a job I am already thoroughly enjoying, and I have been blessed by the conversations I have had with several families during my first few weeks here.

My wife Becky & I are both graduates of the ACE curriculum, and we are really looking forward to teaching our new daughter Phoebe at home. She is now three weeks old, but I still can’t quite get her to do her phonetic alphabet yet, you know how it is…

We have always been passionate about being involved in the work of CEE, and if you’ve attended TEACH Camp or ESC in the past couple of years you may have seen us there. We are both looking forward to meeting & connecting with you all at future events.

I would like to share a passage that spoke to me while I was praying about taking this position, taken from Romans 8:31-39.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The position of TEACH Manager seemed like quite a huge responsibility for a little IT Engineer from Mid-Wales, especially with Becky five months pregnant at the time! Those verses reminded me that it wasn’t me who needed to be able to conquer everything, because it is only through God that we can conquer anything. And if God is for me, then who can be against? And whatever does befall me, nothing will be able to separate me from the love of God, which is all I need, both in this life and the next. I pray as you enjoy your summer holidays, that you will be reminded that through all the challenges of home-educating, God is for you, and so nothing can stand against you.

Please do call the office or send me an email if you’d like to speak to me or ask any questions. I’ll do my best to answer both the phone & the question!