Done with school? Time to get educated!

One of the problems with being a full-time student is the lack of time available to read books.  Books that interest you.  So, if you are finished with school — graduated high school or university —  you finally have the time to do some reading!

A great place to start is The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer.  This book is actually just a book list.  Bauer lists five categories of books:  fiction, autobiography, history, drama, and poetry.  In each category, she lists several dozen ‘must read’ books in chronological order, so that you are learning history as you read through each of the lists.

For example, one of the books in the ‘fiction’ category is Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe.  It is one of those books that every American should read.  Although I read this book seven or eight years ago, I can still feel the tension and pain that made an imprint on my heart by reading this fictional story . . . a work of fiction that was based completely on true stories. (The author’s family was active in the Underground Railroad of the 1860’s, and each aspect of this famous novel is entirely based on true events.) It has been said that when Abraham Lincoln met Harriet, he said, “So, you are the lady who started the Civil War.”

After graduating from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s Degree, then going on to earn a second Bachelor’s Degree at a Bible College, I gained my true education once I became a homeschooling mother!  🙂

15 years of homeschooling is where I became educated, and yes, Susan Wise Bauer’s book helped tremendously along that road.

There is so much to learn. I never want to stop learning. Books are the key. Educated teachers are of huge importance also, and have helped me so much. But, today, I just want to say a word in praise of books.

Books! Glorious books! Let’s all keep reading.

What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments below. The book I’m in right now is “The Science of Trust” by John Gottman, PhD.  And, oh my gosh, it is sooo good.

Having life more abundantly

photo of butterfly

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Jesus said that He wants us to have life, and to have it more abundantly. But what is abundant life? Can the question be answered by taking a class (I actually spent a semester studying “The Abundant Life” in Bible College), or by listening to a sermon or by reading a blog?

No. It is useless to tackle this topic academically; learning about the abundant life is a personal experience; it requires faith; it requires a surrender to the gospel, and the pursuit of a relationship with Jesus. However, there ARE plenty of other things that can be learned through classes, sermons and blogs.

I really enjoy learning, and discovered that teaching my kids was a great way to learn. I got an education through homeschooling, and it was a blast! Honeybee colonies, and galaxies; the Mayflower Journey, and the difference between object pronouns and subject pronouns.  🙂  So many wonderful things to teach my children and to learn (for the first time) right along with them!

As the years went by, however, I learned that I was failing to live up to the ideal of becoming “the perfect Christian mother.” So, God took the opportunity to use my inadequacies to teach me the truth. After many long years of wandering in the wilderness of Churchianity amidst the evaluating eyes of other home-school moms, I entered the Promised Land of Rest.

Resting is a really important part of living! And to discover the abundant life, a born-again child of God needs to first rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Once I began to rest, Jesus made Himself known to me again.

It was as if He said, “Hi there! Remember me!?”

I did remember Him! My kind and gentle Savior. I once again felt an overflowing of that glorious joy that only He can give. Resting in Him is where abundant life is found.

Growing in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, I learned that I was a forgiven person. I learned that He accepts me in the midst of my sinfulness. I learned that He truly has time to spare for me, and that He gives of Himself as He speaks to me in His unique way of speaking. As I grew and matured, I began to understand what Jesus meant when He said, “I have come that they may have life.”

There is no real life apart from the Lord. Living in reality with Him, is the abundant life.  Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is the resurrection and the life. He is the only One who can offer real life.

“For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself.” (John 5:26).

You can receive His life by responding to Him in faith, and by believing in what He has already done for you: Jesus Christ died, was buried and then He rose again.  When you believe in the gospel you receive spiritual life. The life that you receive is Him, His Spirit.

Real life begins there, and it never ends. How can it end? We have been given an eternal life.

We discover the abundant life as we LIVE, as we walk in the Spirit. And we do walk in the Spirit because His Spirit dwells inside of us as we are walking around!

He gave us life by coming to dwell inside of us because we chose to believe in the gospel and to put our trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ. We trusted Him at the moment of our new birth, and we continue to trust Him today, tomorrow and for all of eternity.

As we continue trusting Him every day and in every circumstance, we will experience the abundant life because the God of the Universe lives inside of us.

February 25, 2016