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Can You Spare a Dime? "For a Double Mocha Frappicino Latte

Posted by Bela Franklin on April 02, 2014 @ 8:36 PM

By Mark Kennedy, ACSI, Eastern Canada

To me one of the profound mysteries about the North American Christian community is, “How can so many people in two of the wealthiest nations the world has ever known say they can’t afford Christian schooling for their children?”

Now I know that there are low income families here who can barely afford the necessities of life let along Christian school tuition. But what about everyone else? Well thanks to the research of the Vanier Institute of the Family’s ninth annual report, I am beginning ‘to get it’.


The report entitled, “The Current State of Canadian Family Finance” points out that:
  • Since 1990, family debt has been rising seven times faster than household income—to the point that it is now equal to a record 131% of household incomes.
  • More families than ever are living well beyond their means, despite low levels of unemployment, modest wage gains and an 18% increase in real net worth since the year 2000.
  • Among Canadians earning a net mid-range income of about $60,000 annually, credit card debt has almost doubled from $12,000 in 1990 to over $22,500 today.
  • There has been a steep decline in the amount of money families are able to save annually from $7,000 in 1990 to about $1000 today.
It seems our income level is less of an issue than our level of spending. An increasing percentage of Canadian families are spending more than they earn annually and, for these families adding payments for Christian school tuition on top of everything else is an extremely unattractive prospect. So even if a family’s annual income is $1,000,000 they cannot afford Christian schooling if their yearly expenses are $1,300,000.
Click here to read the rest of the post on The Christian School Journal

Christian Education as Crucial

Posted by Bela Franklin on March 31, 2014 @ 8:02 PM
Mr. Bill Stevens
Headmaster, Wilmington Christian School ~ Hockessin, DE
 
In my thirty years of being involved with Christian education, I have heard it called a number of things. It is an"alternative", "optional", "nice", even . . . "important." Never has the word CRUCIAL been uttered in my hearing. Yet, I believe that the times in which we live, the educational atmosphere, and the current state of the Church warrant using such a word.
Webster defines crucial as, "important or essential as resolving a crisis." When I consider this, in light of what we do in Christian schooling, and what I see in the world around me, I can't help but come to this conclusion . . . that the Christian education of our children is essential to resolving the crisis that we now see in education and, to reclaiming the future of our churches.
It only takes ten minutes of watching CNN or Fox News to see that our country needs a biblical worldview with which to approach and respond to the issues around us. A Christian education is not just "glorified Sunday School," but rather a holistic approach to viewing life, faith, and learning. Every subject taught has its foundation in the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:14-17), and teaches a perspective that God has established from the foundation of this world. In his recent studies, noted Christian researcher, George Barna states, "It appears that most Americans have not thought very much about the most pressing spiritual issues they face." Certainly this statement brings a sense of the "crucial" to the Christian education of this next generation!
A second crucially significant factor is the educational, psychological, social, and spiritual development of young people. Our children (from Kindergarten to young adulthood) need a frame of reference to their learning. I strongly believe that the current lack of stability and security in the hearts and minds of our young people is this lack of a "reference point" to learning. For too long our educational system has become piecemeal and compartmentalized, without a cohesive, driving, unifying force. God provided this in His Son. Bruce Lockerbie, in his book on Christian education, refers to this as the "cosmic center". He cites the illustration of how he suffers dizziness when watching the mesmerizing rotation of a merry-go-round. Lockerbie asks the carousel operator how he stands it all day long? The man responds by taking him to where he views things, from the center! It makes all the difference in one's perspective. Without a center that (Who) holds all things together, kids will not build that holistic framework that God, Himself, deemed crucial to our knowledge, wisdom, and understanding (Psalm 34:11; Proverbs 24:3-4).
Probably the most crucially compelling argument for Christian education is in the word itself. Crucial has its root in "crux," or "cross." It's where we get crucifix and crucify. WOW! That brings two closing thoughts to my mind. First, I can boldly say that education is at a crossroads. We can keep looking at education in the same old, same old manner ("public school was good enough for me, it'll be good enough for my kids"), or we can make Christian education a priority, both in our church mission, and in our individual family commitment. It's costly to move in this direction, but it's also crucial if we are to make any real change and secure any real future for our children's sake, and the sake of the "children yet to be born" (Psalm 78).
In this expanded view of "crucial" that references the cross, it doesn't take a big leap to conclude that what makes Christian education vital is Christ, and what He accomplished for us on the Cross. Not only is our salvation secured and our eternity is sealed, but, our here and now is held together (Colossians 1: 15-20). Mrs. Stevens and I have had a "rough" four years. Between cancer and heart disease, we have certainly seen the crucial side of life as it relates to our faith. Probably the central point in this "rocky journey" has been the people and ministry of Christian education, in Schenectady, in Eastern Europe, and here in Wilmington, that has made the crucial difference for us! It is through the Cross of Christ, and the centrality of it in our perspective that has made all the difference in our worldview. So we too, have been enriched and encouraged (at age 58!) from a Christian education . . . why not our kids?
As we reflect upon the world around us, and the state of affairs we've gotten ourselves into, the "crucialness" (new word?) of a Christian education in the generation to come may well stand as the closest relative of the Christian Church. Just think of the voice with which the Church would speak in the marketplace of ideas, having such a crucial ally as the Christian schooling of our youth!
No longer an option . . .

Choosing a Christian School - Critical Questions

Posted by Bela Franklin on March 28, 2014 @ 7:23 PM

Jonathan Ekeland
The Christian Academy ~ Brookhaven, PA

“We’re now considering a Christian education, what’s next?”

Any good guidance counselor will tell you that the first question regarding college is not, “What college are you thing about?” or even, “What major are you interested in studying?” The very first question a student should be asked is, “Why do want to go to college?” Many students don’t really spend much time considering that question. They just go ahead and start planning out a path without much thought and prayer. Sometimes they go because all of their friends are going and they don’t want to feel left out. Sometimes they go because their parents are “making them” go. These are not very sound reasons.

Next, when parents do start to explore various colleges with their son or daughter, there are always a few good questions that they should be asking? “What percentage of your graduates get a job in a related field of study?” or “Does a grad student teach the class or does the professor?” Well, the same should be true with parents who are seeking to send their child to a Christian school. Questions like, “Is your school accredited?” and “What percentage of your graduates go to college?” are typical questions that should be looked at.

If you’re going to visit a Christian school, chances are your minds are pretty close to being made up that that is what you want. It’s now a matter of obtaining information and making wise decisions about “where” to go. But first, make sure you’ve answered the question thoroughly, “Why do I want my child to have a Christian education?”

Once you’ve answered that question, now the fun begins! Below is a link to a set of questions that may be useful in helping you get a better understanding of private Christian schools. Schools don’t mind if you come in for a visit with a prepared list of questions – in fact it’s a great sign that you’re serious about your child’s education. So go ahead and copy the list!

 

Click Here for a complete list of Critical Questions!

Pealing back federal influence on education

Posted by Bela Franklin on March 27, 2014 @ 7:29 PM

The federal government has long sought control of the education of our children.  The most recent attempt comes by way of Common Core curriculum.  The curriculum being pushed on states is riddeled with practical dificiencies and is largely contested.  In addition to failed education goals, Common Core interjects many themes and naratives that explicitly contradict truths we know and believe as Christians about morality, ethics, gender, family dynamics, and sexuality. 

Thankfully, resistance to Common Core is growing.  A great victory was won on Monday, when Indiana Governor, Mike Pence, signed a law expelling Common Core requirements from Indiana schools. 

Read more about the Governor's strong action: Indianna Drops Common Core

For another look at common core see D.C. Innes article: The Common Core catastrophe in public schools

Reflections on Character Education

Posted by Bela Franklin on March 25, 2014 @ 7:45 PM

Deb Gahman, Hamilton Strategies

There’s a lot of talk these days about Character Education and the teaching of Ethics in school and in the workplace. In fact, many public schools have not only opted to cover these topics, but have now officially included them in the school district curriculum.

In her article, “What Happened to Ethics?”, Vicki Salemi quotes a business school professional, a co-founder of a training and consulting firm, and an MBA student at a major university. The common thread in their comments is that the core of ethics is being a good citizen by being truthful and choosing right over wrong which leads to the creation of good corporate citizens.

In addition to teaching young adults the importance of honesty in the business world and in all of life’s avenues, these sources were quoted as saying the following:

on servant leadership -“the decision to serve rather than to be served is key to effective leadership…We teach students that sometimes when the numbers look right, the decision is still wrong. A lot of ethics are instilled by operating on a set of values.” Kenneth Blanchard, co-founder of The Ken Blanchard Companies
on ethics -“We teach it as a hard right instead of the easy wrong…We teach them to frequently flex the ethical muscle so when they graduate and enter the work force it becomes second nature.” Paul Fiorelli, Xavier University

on doing the right thing -“Ethics shape how we ought to behave as an employee, a friend, a co-worker, a citizen [and as] a person.” Casey Field, M.B.A. student, Villanova University

While I agree that we need to teach and train young people how to exhibit ethical behavior in all of life, and I applaud those who have devoted their time and talents to doing just that, I have to wonder about the values on which they base the training.

Years ago, most people agreed upon right and wrong in our society, and on the consequences that went along with making wrong choices. Today, however, it is increasingly difficult to find those who will stand up for truth that is based on God’s Word. In an effort to promote equality in our society, the black and white of lies and truth has been watered down to a muddled gray, leaving the door of ethics wide open for interpretation. Whose ethics are we teaching?

This is where the importance of an education based on God’s Truth is invaluable. Not only do we want to train our children in the truth at home, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that our children are in need of training in character development and ethics at school.

Now, the question is, do you know the central driving force in the values system of your child’s educators? Is it the one true God to whom you have entrusted your life? When your child is faced with a dilemma about right and wrong at school, is there someone he can go to who will base their advice and guidance on the teachings of the God of the universe? Do you have the assurance that your child is in the presence of teachers who will lead them in godly ways throughout their interactions with peers? If you answered yes to all of these questions, you must be the parent of a child who attends a Christian school.

Readers Respond

Posted by Bela Franklin on March 21, 2014 @ 7:51 PM

…another great story about the usage of the DiscoverChristianSchools.com website.
Shawn Hill, Christian school parent in Humble, Texas

"I have a coworker who was contemplating sending his kids to a Christian school, but was getting some resistance from his wife. It was a money issue, which would require the wife to get a job. Since she was adamant about not wanting to work, he was just about ready to dismiss the whole idea. I talked to him and introduced him to the website, which he reviewed and immediately passed on to his wife. She read through it and apparently felt convicted and agreed to look for a job. Well, you'll never guess what happened. She ended up landing a position at the Christian school in which they were wanting to enroll their kids. The problem was the pay still wouldn't cover the additional cost. Here's the kicker. Unbeknownst to them, the position came with a 50% reduction in each child's tuition. This finally allowed them to enroll their kids in the Christian school. Praise God! It's just amazing to see Him work in peoples lives.”

AbortionISAwesome said...

Posted on May 13, 2014 @ 8:06 PM -
Life is great when a mommy robs the school! She should have an abortion, at least she would known to a work ethic.

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A Christian Approach to the Content of Education

Posted by Bela Franklin on March 20, 2014 @ 7:17 PM

Is there a Christian approach to the content of education?

The content of education, unlike the specific curriculum, has an implied value. Content rests on an implied value. Let’s see…

In the non-Christian school there is no absolute or ultimate truth. It is each person’s responsibility to decide their final or overarching truth.

A true Christian education studies all of life in submission to the word of God, the Bible and its precepts, or truths.

When we look at content this way we see a significant difference. God designed us to seek the truth; He declares truth will set us free – from bondage to sin.

The content of education is an aspect that we must seriously consider and pray about.

Please partner with a school that begins its content with the truth of the Bible.

We can help you find a Christian school and fulfill the directive we have been assigned as Christian parents.

A Christian Approach to the Control of Education

Posted by Bela Franklin on March 18, 2014 @ 7:49 PM

IS THERE A CHRISTIAN APPROACH TO THE CONTROL OF EDUCATION?

Some Christian parents believe that they have no right to control the education process – it’s the government’s role. Let’s see…

In both Proverbs and Deuteronomy God clearly gives parents the responsibility for and the control of a child’s training.

That makes sense. At the end of our lives, when we hear God’s pronouncement on our obedience to Him, we want to hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” God will not hold the school district responsible for our children.

Maybe we need recalibration. The control of education, whether at home or in a classroom, falls on parents’ shoulders; and it should be in concert with the parents’ values.

Please partner with a school that agrees with your role in your child’s life.

We can help you find a Christian school and fulfill the directive we have been assigned as Christian parents.

DO AMERICANS TAKE CHRISTIAN EDUCATION FOR GRANTED?

Posted by Bela Franklin on March 17, 2014 @ 8:32 PM

In Bihar, India, poverty runs rampant. Dependent on daily earnings for their survival, these people are so desperately poor they also draw sustenance from rats, snakes and other field animals. In the past 50 years, only two people in this village have gone to school past the 10th grade.

Gospel for Asia reached out to them with a Bridge of Hope education center. Because of the Bridge of Hope center, precious souls have come to Christ in this village and 170 children were able to attend school for the first time. No longer can this village be called uneducated or without the transforming hope of the Gospel.
Do we thank God that there are thousands of Christian schools in our country? More importantly, are we using the gift of Christian education the Lord has provided to us in such abundance?

Foundation

Posted by Bela Franklin on March 13, 2014 @ 7:31 PM

Are we building a solid, unshakable foundation for our children's lives?

Luke 6:49 says, "the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete." Whether we realize it or not, as parents we are adding to the foundation of our children's lives every single day. Do we as parents give great attention to the foundation of our children's lives? If not you can change that beginning today. Choosing a Christian school can be an excellent way to help ensure that you are building a foundation based on God's Word.

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Big Ideas to Consider:

1. There are basically two kingdoms: a kingdom of light and a kingdom of darkness. It seems strange to have those who walk in darkness educate children of light. It doesn't fit.

2. If Jesus Christ is Lord, then He is Lord of all. We cannot divide things into secular and sacred.

3. All truth is God's truth, and God's Word sheds light on our path. Only in His light can we see light. Education is not focused on possibilities but on certainties found in God's Word.

4. Deuteronomy 6 tells parents that, in all they do, they should provide a godly education 24/7.

5. Three key institutions that shape a child are the home, the church and the school. Children are served best when all three institutions point them in the same direction.

6. Only an education that has the liberty to address the whole child -- social, intellectual, emotional, physical AND spiritual -- reaches the possibility of excellence.

7. The best preparation for effective service is to be well grounded in one's mind before direct engagement of the culture.