Bible Lessons Follow Up

A couple questions have been asked about my Bible Lessons post. Here’s a little more information, both on the basics and details end of things.

1. We follow the Freedom & Simplicity™ in Bible method and schedule (not yet published) and have a “routine” of going through the Bible each year (or so. We just keep going until we’re done, then start over again.) It is divided into 6 terms each year, relating to the PIPEline and each year we study different things within each of those terms. Term 1 covers Creation & Flood links. Term 2 covers the Patriarchs link and Moses, from the Law link, Term 3 continues the Law link (including Judges, Kings & Prophets), Term 4 covers Jesus Christ, Immanuel (the Gospels), Term 5 covers the Early Church (the letters of Paul), Term 6 Early Church (the letters of others).

We do NOT try to cover EVERYTHING (every person, every event) in the Bible each year. We cover different aspects, and usually within a Theme for the Term. The Theme is a thread that runs through all the lessons connecting them, as the Theme of Covenant ran through those I posted.

2. The other questions I got mainly had to do with our last lesson and the connections made there. I’ll just share a Scripture or 2 that will help you get started on your own study of this.

Most of you already know Jesus is the Lamb of God, slain, and His blood covers the sins of His people, delivering them from death. For a direct starting Scripture, to make the reasoning easy for your students 🙂 , 1 Cor. 5:7 says, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.”

A starting Scripture for the other connections is in 1 Cor. 10:1-4, “all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual food; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” We are told in John 6 (see especially vs. 51) that Jesus is the bread of life, come down from Heaven.  In John 4 & 7 makes further connection to the living water that comes from the Rock that is Christ (1 Cor. 10). We “eat and drink” of Christ after salvation, and that is represented and celebrated as we partake of the Lord’s Supper.

This is built upon our other lessons and the connections made there: Egypt – the world, land of slavery, to sin; Pharoah – satan, “god of this world” of sin; after Passover (salvation) leaving “Egypt” behind, defeating “Pharoah”, then baptism, crossing over to new life of freedom and following God (the cloudy and fiery pillar), and walking through the wilderness being fed from Heaven, and worshipping God in the tabernacle (we are the temple of the Holy Ghost,) until we cross over into the Promised Land.

Are you excited to study out this awesome principle of Representation through the story of the Covenant of God in the lives of Moses and the Israelites yet? I’d say these were our favorite lessons, but I think I said that about our Lessons on “In the Image of…” 🙂


The Best Laid Plans

Sometimes this journey of home education is not just "The Road Less Traveled", it’s a roller coaster of ups, downs, and sharp turns. As we follow and teach Lifestyle Education through Discipleship™, education based on biblical principles, we try to present the Freedom & Simplicity™ of home education in the Spirit, grounded on the Word. Well, my nicely laid out chart for our Freedom & Simplicity™ in Bible course is, of course, completely grounded on the Word. But following the direction of the Spirit within that sometimes leads to an adventurous ride.

We just completed this term, which for our Bible course covered the PIPEline period of the Patriarchs to the Law, Abraham to Moses. On my chart it had a few nicely termed titles for the themes of each week, but as I studied to prepare to teach, I saw how God had orchestrated it to come together. A clear theme of Covenant was being laid through each week, each lesson.

The first week we studied Abraham. We studied the giving and the promise of the covenant – initiated by God, the sign of the covenant – circumcision, faithful to the covenant – the test of sacrifice.

The second week studied Isaac, heir of the covenant. We studied human covenants under God’s – and those under covenant in a covenant household, the servant sent for the Bride, the marriage covenant.

The third week we studied Jacob, unworthy of the covenant. The unlikely choice for the covenant, wrestling to enter the covenant, servant of the covenant.

The fourth week we studied Joseph, learning to walk faithful to the covenant. We studied his knowing the call but being proud – pride comes before a fall, his faithfulness through his humbling – God’s means of refining, and God lifting him up – and Joseph seeing "God meant it all for good."

The fifth week we studied Moses, re-instater of the covenant. We studied Moses’ confronted by the covenant – and his excuses, his failure to bring his son up in the covenant, and God’s power through the covenant.

The sixth week we studied Israel and symbols/representations of the covenant. We studied the passover – and its relation to salvation, the crossing of the Red Sea – and its relation to baptism, and the manna and water in the wilderness – and its relation to communion.

The best laid plans are those directed and brought together by God Himself, the author and finisher of our faith. As I studied His Word, He was faithful to lay out our plans in such as AWESOME way.

We didn’t just study these stories in and of themselves, reading, researching, and recording what we found. But we studied through them in relation to what God had for US in them, reasoning, relating, and releasing the application to our lives, and how God wanted us to grow through studying this.  It is amazing, but I still continue to be amazed at how home education in the Spirit, grounded on the Word brings such Freedom & Simplicity™.

Our Lifeline

What holds us and our families securely on the path of life?

Genuine faith will always involve reliance upon the biblical Christ. If the integrity of the message about Christ is compromised, children may put their faith in something other than the true Savior—that is, “another Jesus” and “a different gospel” (2 Corinthians 11:4).

Jim Eliff relates our lifeline to a ferry cable that keeps it from being carried downstream.

He says:

Consider the importance of that cable, and then think about this: God’s Word is such a cable for our children. If they are ever going to renounce “ungodliness and worldly desires” and follow Christ (Titus 2:12), they must hear the truth. We must apply what the Apostle Paul makes lucid through a series of questions in Romans 10:

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? . . . So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (vv. 14, 17)

Faith depends upon the facts of Christ’s saving work. As parents, grandparents, pastors, and teachers of children, we are obligated to make these facts as clear as possible. A child’s real understanding of the gospel is in God’s hands (cf. Romans 9:16), but our children cannot believe unless they hear the truth. They should grow up breathing biblical air!

He goes on to share three obvious practical implications. Read the whole article here. It’s a worthy short read.


Bible Lessons from Beginnings

This week we are finishing our first term. In Bible that means we are finishing our studies in Beginnings. This year’s focus has been on the principle of God’s Design.

We have looked at God’s Transcendence, how He is different than anything else, His incommunicable attributes. All else is created by Him and apart from Him.

Then we looked at Man in the Image of God, how God has “communicated” (shared) some of His attributes to some degree with man, making him different than any other thing in Creation.

Next we looked at God’s Design in the Heavens and Earth – in Time, Space, and Matter, and in living things to reproduce “after their kind”, and the purpose for Creation.

The next week was one of the hardest for me to bring together. But we saw that there is even Design in temptation, satan’s perverted methods really don’t change much, nor does the result of sin.

Last week we looked at God’s Design in the life of Noah. I’ve already blogged about that, how amazing His Sovereignty is even in the “smallest” of details.

This week we are looking at the beginnings of nations, God’s Design in Noah’s sons. We’ve mapped where the various families settled and began building nations. We’ve looked at the prophesy given by Noah and saw God’s Design for fulfilling His dominion mandate through the lives of men. Once more we are amazed at what we can learn from the “jots and tittles” written thousands of years ago.

Though we are moving on after this week, we’ve by no means exhausted these areas. But they will be revisited from a different angle again, as we build our learning, here a little, there a little.

After 20-some years of serious Bible study, (after 20-some years of mostly Bible stories before that,) I still stand amazed at the freshness and depth of God’s Word, teaching us something new everytime we gaze into it.


Contemporary Music Artist of the Week

Well, contemporary to the time period we are studying – early 1800’s.

The last couple weeks or so we have been studying the War of 1812 – looking at God’s Providence, cause and effect, individuality, and such. We’ve met the men and lived through their battles. One of the things we’ve done is had the children each pick a battle and draw it and then narrate from their drawing what happened.

One of the key people we looked at was not a big General or fighting war hero. We didn’t look at him initially or even primarily for what he is most known for. We took a back door, and fell in love with him for a scripturally rich hymn he wrote. He wrote of his inexpressible praise for God, and for all He has done and does.

We saw in action a quote we memorized at the beginning of the year: “A good hymn is the best use to which poetry can be devoted.“, by another poet of renown, John Greenleaf Whittier.

Our poet is Francis Scott Key, if you haven’t guessed yet. Of course, once the children knew who it was, they knew what he is most famous for (our national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner,) and his and its connection to the War of 1812.

We learned the other verses of the Star Spangled Banner and saw the depth in them, and realized that like hymns, you really don’t know the author’s heart, intent and message if you don’t know all the verses. We lose much Biblical teaching by eliminating some of them.

The hymn we learned is Lord, with Glowing Heart I’d Praise Thee. Click here for the words. It’ll be worth it. 🙂


the Ark of the Lord

My dc and I are currently studying the Ark; so far we have been looking at Noah’s life.

As we are studying, I am trusting in the grace of God to make His Word sweet to them. That they would be excited – AMAZED – at his Word. That it would be honey to their lips and strength to their soul. That it not just be another “lesson” to learn. But they would see it as the Living Water that it is.

Yesterday was one of those AMAZING days. In studying a story so common our 5 yo can narrate it, Lord bring freshness. Yesterday in looking at Noah’s history we talked about his grandfather and great grandfather and what all those around him must’ve thought as they, and even just their names, prophesied to the world. They were amazed as they saw it as The Great Story! real people living real lives sold out to God, walking with Him against all of society.

We talked about the prophecy of the 10 generation of names from Adam to Noah, telling the gospel, of God coming to save His lost, wretched people. They were amazed. They saw the intricate design of the Sovereignty of God in the details of men’s lives.

This is what it is all about. I can’t make our learning all fun and play all the time. But I can focus on reaching their hearts. That is so much more important to me. I can trust God that when His Word is sent forth it won’t return void. That it will be water, bread, meat to the soul. And I can trust the Holy Spirit to be our Teacher, as He teaches through the heart.


Hymn Study

For Hymn Study we love the living books by Douglas Bond in the Mr. Pipes series. There are currently 4 books in the series covering different time periods of hymn writers. The story is of 2 American children who go to England on vacation and meet an elderly church organist and hymn historian, who shares stories about hymn writers of old and the hymns they wrote. Besides reading and narrating these stories, we also copy and learn to sign the hymns, add them to our timelines, and do further research and writing on some of the authors and hymns.

The series is an ongoing story between Mr. Pipes and the children. But we didn’t start with the first book and we didn’t get lost. Obviously when we went back and read the first, it filled in some answers. But feel free to start where you like.

Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Writers is where the children first meet Mr. Pipes, so it is first even though it isn’t first in history chronology.
Mr. Pipes and Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation is next – this is where we started, because it was what we were studying in History.
Mr. Pipes Comes to America is next – we haven’t read it yet.
Mr. Pipes and the Accidental Voyage is the newest and about the Early Centuries of the Church – so the first in hymn chronology but last in story order.

We just got the new Accidental Voyage this week and my children are upset that we won’t be getting to it this year. I planned on just finishing the British one and taking a break for a while. They obviously really love them.

We also have and have used are 101 Hymn Stories.
I’ve seen and plan to get Hymns for a Kid’s Heart series by Joni Tada
too. See more about all these resources on our History: Music & Art webpage.

I just ran across a website yesterday that looks like it will be a good supplement for us. Songs and has information about the hymn itself, the lyric writer, the tune composer, (including pictures of many of them -which is how I stumbled upon this site, looking for pictures of the writers), Scripture the hymn is based on, the words and music to listen to and read, and a story about the writing of the hymn and a devotional about it. Their daily radio show, Adoration Songbook, can be heard on some radio stations or listened to online. It is 5 short episodes about the hymn of the week.

UPDATE: Here are a couple more links to websites we’ve used in our hymn studies. Timeless Truths and The Cyber Hymnal. And a couple of Psalms sites. Psalm Singing – we found it when looking for The Scottish Metrical Psalter, and a more recent find,


A Peek at Our study of Matthew

Our studies are a bit off kilter this year. We normally finish various topics at the same time, but this year they are staggered. A few weeks ago we finished our study in Matthew (which I said I would post on), and this week we are just finishing up our lapbooks of Gratefulness, after adding more to this study after my mmh newsletter went out.


Some key teachings we pulled out of our studies in Matthew are outlined below:


Big Picture from Matthew: The Kingdom of God
Chapters 1-4: It is Written, the Kingdom foretold
Chapters 5-7: Kingdom Teaching: as One having authority

Chapters 8-12: A Different Kind of Kingdom Advancing
Chapters 13 (-25): The Kingdom of Heaven is Like
Chapters 14-18: The Authority of the Kingdom
Chapters 19-20: Greatness in God’s Kingdom
Chapters 21-23: The King of All Kings
Chapters 24-25: The King is Coming Back

Chapters: 26-27: The King’s Sacrifice
Chapter 28: The King Reigns Within

Extra study: The Name