Sunday, February 18, 2018

I am, I can, I ought, I will.

I am, I can, I ought, I will.

1989 - Tennessee. Sophia and Yolanda are still close today. 
The Motto
The motto of the P.N.E.U is for persons of any age and position.

In the middle of the school year it is good to be reminded of our motivations.

One of the benefits of home learning is that children look up to adults.

In an age-integrated environment, spiritual and intellectual meals are served family-style with discussion and narration part of the menu plan.

Students work independently with lovely focus too, keeping a record of their learning in notebooks and through projects.

The smallest segment of their learning is experienced within a group of  peers in a co-op, perhaps, within meaningful activities, these can include opportunities for ministering to others.

In his pamphlet, A Generation Which Knew Not the Lord, addressing why an alarming number of children raised in Christian homes are leaving the church, pastor Joseph P. Cammilleri says,

"The godliest young people that I have observed are those who spent the most time with their families; family dependence, so to speak, in contrast to peer dependence."

Yolanda and I made tea cozies for gifts one year. We made some in blue pots, too.
With family-style learning, even grandparents may get into-the-act. This year a mother shared with me how her retired father studied WWII with her son (for high-school credit). History was a favorite subject of Grandpa's. He is gone now but during those influential years he was esteemed for his teaching-love. What Grandpa left behind him, in the heart and mind of his grandson, is special and immeasurable.

In the philosophy of secular humanism (and hedonism) there exists no higher authority than man (or self). Yikes. We see what a mess this philosophy makes of a civil society and the lives of individuals. Yet, this is the religion of the government schools and Universities. It is also the religion of Hollywood.

Being brought-up in a Christian household a student is blessed by living with higher and purer ideals than what is presented in the government schools. His ideals steam from the Word of God. Let's look at a few ideals today, within the motto.

The first draft of my book is finished. I am contemplating pictures for it.
Ideals are way up high. We have to reach for them. Carl Shultz said,

"Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you [use] them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny."

It stretches our personality while it develops our character, to reach for an ideal - although what we actually achieve will be somewhere lower. I am reminded of a song I used to sing in Sunday school - "We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder." We reach-up to climb. The song had hand motions to go with it. When I think of Charlotte Mason's motto I think of climbing Jacob's Ladder. The first step of the ladder is:

This is the cover of one of my Victorian books. Isn't she sweet?
I am. 

If I am a Christian who am I? I am an ordinary person and have sin-nature, but if my faith is in Christ I am a new creation.*1 Through His Holy Spirit I am a partaker of the divine nature.*2 I am a person redeemed,*3 ransomed,*4 reconciled,*5 adopted.*6 I am of the elect*7 and accepted in the beloved.*8 etc.

Many beautiful old hymns were written in praise of who we are in Christ. Please feel free to share any favorites in the comments.

I can.

I can reach for an ideal. A series of failures may result in setbacks because I am an ordinary person. But each effort should bring me a little nearer to the goal. Christ chose ordinary men to be his disciples. To these ordinary men were left the important work of continuing what Christ began.

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'"*9

A found a beautiful mother and child for a page in my new book. I have 40 chapters and hope to find 40 pictures.
I ought.

The word "ought" comes from the word "owe." What we ought to do is what we owe to our God, parents, and one another. We are to outdo one another with showing love and honor.*10 "I ought" is a twin with "I can" for what we ought to do we can do. "Duty" is old fashioned word. We rarely hear or use it today, which suggests there could be a cold association with it. But we can think of this step surrounded by a glowing halo. We would do better if we loved warmly what we ought to do.*11

We used zig-zag stitch to applique our cut-out pieces.  Piping in top seam.
I will. 

The last step involves our will. It should be prefaced with "by the grace of God."*12 We are often too inclined to depend on our own resources. "It is God who works in you, both to will and to do for His good pleasure."*13 I thought hardly anything about the will until I read Charlotte Mason's writings. The function of the will is to choose moment by moment. The more we consciously perform an act of will, the stronger that willpower becomes.

Here I am. Send me. 

With this motto each person can say, "I am only one, but I am one; I can't do everything, but I can do something. That which I do, I ought to do, and that which I ought to do, with God's help so I will do it."*14

May this motto greatly encourage my Christian friends mid-year.

Post Script
For those who asked, Sophia and Yolanda are doing well. I hope to share more soon.

Sophia needle-felted me this corgi. Compare it in size to the postage stamp.
I connected the points made (above) presented concisely, to truths in the Word of God as I understand them.

Comments are Welcome.
Karen Andreola

End Notes
*1 2nd Corinthians 5:17
*2 2nd Peter 1:4, 2nd Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 3:9
*3 Ephesians 1:7
*4 1st Peter 1:18
*5 2nd Corinthians 5:18
*6 Ephesians 1:5
*7 1st Peter 1:2
*8 Ephesians 1:6
I CAN *9 2nd Corinthians 12:9
I OUGHT *10 Romans 12:10, *11 Romans 12:1
I WILL *12 James 4:15, *13 Philippians 2:13, Hebrews 13:21
SUMMARY *14 Isaiah 6:8

Thursday, February 1, 2018

From Doodles to Websites

From Doodles to Websites

First a Chat.

All January I was frazzle-busy. In between cooking and company I was writing and polishing my new book. Nigel is illustrating the cover. "Please give the mother a contented smile and make it a good-hair-day," I said. He is obliging me accordingly. I hope to tell you about the book soon. I am working to make it as ministering as I can.

I found this old photograph taken in Christmas 1990 (just before I started my Parents' Review). My red dress is a Laura Ashley, wool cotton. It is in my closet still today. That was the last year I kept my hair to my waist. I used to love holding a little one on my hip. In this picture it is Nigel hanging there. Yolanda is in green. Sophia is in red. She is now five years older than I was in this picture. Oh my. (I'm feeling nostalgic this winter. What fun those home-teaching years were.) I hope to have some happy news to tell you about Yolanda and Sophia in my next blog post. I have an old photo of Dean and Nigel to share, next time we meet.

Poor Dean has a bad cold and is in bed. It's a good thing we have homemade broth in the freezer (from the Thanksgiving turkey). My next blog post is in draft still so I decided to make this announcement in the meantime.
I am delighted to announce our new family business venture.

Starry Night Media, LLC.

My son built the website to showcase his abilities. Isn’t it handsome? He’s an award-winning web designer, graphic designer, and illustrator.

Starry Night Media provides quality websites, beautiful graphic designs, and artistic illustration services.  
With web design he can build you a brand-new website, spruce up your old one or aid your efforts to do it yourself. He built our website and makes sure his projects work on all popular devices. If you watch the hot-air balloon on our website you will see it is sailing on the breeze.

With a diverse range of art styles we can illustrate most anything you can imagine.

At present, Nigel has some book illustrations in-the-works and is happiest while painting and drawing.

He painted this spotlight of a grocery store shelf. It shows how useful a good illustration can be in making your product stand out. The exotic squirrel on "Gold Crisp" corn flakes is an example of an interesting cereal box. "Puffs" is bland in more ways than one. he, he. If you eat "Sugar Rush" you are at risk of glowing in the dark.

To fit the banner width of the website Nigel expanded Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting. He matched the art style impeccably with his own composition. For example, the sparkling river in the painting is entirely his artwork and add-on.

He is often asked what drawing course he took as a boy. Just picking up a pencil and leisurely drawing what he felt like drawing, while listening to the Your Story Hour audio or a Jim Weiss audio, developed his skill. That's basically it. Time spent drawing. He doodled on his Saxon Math page to my dismay. "Can't you resist doodling on at least a few pages. I need to put some dignified-looking neat-n'-tidy doodle-free pages in your the portfolio," I pleaded. Years of Picture Study must have carried some weighty influence, too. We can never know to what measure "inspiration" plays a part in education. But we can be sure it does.

The only exercises that were of real practical help, he says, were the ones by Jon Gnagy. We followed the exercises in the age-old brown book. I see on Amazon that the brown book is sold expensively, being that it is probably out-of-print. My link is to a kit that is shown to be in color. I wonder how close it is to the old brown book.

Karen Andreola