Why We Choose to Homeschool

I always knew I wanted to Home-school.  I love spending time with my children and watching them learn.  Many days, I learn along with them.  But, even more than that, I feel I am called to teach my children at home.

In today’s world, women are made to feel as if they are somehow less important if they stay home and do not have a career.  But staying home with your children is a sacrifice to Yah that will reap many blessings in future years.

We read in Yahweh’s Word scriptures like Titus 2: 4-5 that say older women should teach the younger women to be sober, to love their husbands and children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, kind, and obedient to their husbands so that the word of Yahweh will not be blasphemed.  Deuteronomy 6:7 reads, “And thou shall teach them (Yahweh’s laws) diligently unto thy children, and thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the ways and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”  After reading these Scriptures and others like them, I know that the decision to homeschool our children is the right choice.

There are many benefits in homeschooling.  One is that you can pick your own curriculum from a faith-based viewpoint.  You can start your day in Yahweh’s Word and proceed with books that continue to ground your child’s faith.  Another advantage is that you can also work at your child’s own pace.  My favorite homeschooling benefit is that you can surround your child with peers who have good morals.  If you see a behavior that is not kind or uplifting you can deal with it immediately.

I am not a perfect homeschool mom.  Some days I have to ask my children’s forgiveness for not being patient enough.  Last year I even broke down crying to my husband, telling him that it was just too hard.

But, despite these challenges, I really do love homeschooling and am looking forward to this next year.  There will be days when we feel overwhelmed, but there will be so many more days that I will see my children build a science project they are proud of, read their first book, memorize scriptures, help at a food shelter, write a poem, the list goes on and on…

In closing I would like to add that, for our family homeschooling is best, but it may not be for everyone.  Whether you send your children to public or private schools or homeschool, nothing will influence your children’s desire to follow Yahshua more than a family who studies together and lives their daily lives according to the Bible.

So whatever your choice is…have a blessed school year.

by: Jessica Mansager

Got Water?

From the beginning the Scriptures say a lot about water. In Gen. 6:17 Yahweh is washing the evil off the earth with water!  Jeremiah 12:13 says Yahweh is the fountain of living waters.  And, of course, we must be immersed in the water of baptism in order to be adopted into the Body of Messiah.
It is absolutely crucial to provide all the parts of the body with a lot of this basic component.  Chances are that you’re among the 75% of Americans who are chronically dehydrated.

In the beginning all water was alkaline. Pollution from so called civilization is still corrupting Yahweh’s creation. It turns out that the single measurement most important to your health is the pH of your blood and tissues; how acidic or alkaline it is.  Just as your body temperature is rigidly regulated, the blood and tissues must be kept in a very narrow pH range. The human body is designed to be alkaline, and will go to great lengths to preserve that.  A body insufficient in alkalizing minerals will seek these vital components elsewhere. Sodium or potassium will be leached from the blood, calcium from bone and cartilage, and magnesium from muscles.  If the acid overload gets too great for the blood to balance, excess acid is dumped into the tissues for storage. Then the lymphatic (immune) system must neutralize what it can and try to get rid of everything else.  Unfortunately, ‘getting rid of’ acid from the tissues means dumping it right back into the blood, creating a vicious cycle of drawing still more basic minerals away from their ordinary functions and stressing the liver and kidneys. The body creates fat cells to try to protect the vital organs.  When you eat and drink to make your body alkaline, the body won’t need to keep that fat around anymore.

Chronic over-acidity corrodes body tissue and, if left unchecked, willinterrupt all cellular activities and functions, from the beating of your heart to the neural firing of your brain.  An imbalance in the blood and tissue pH leads to irritation and inflammation and sets the stage for sickness and disease.  So many of our diseases start with inflammation, that I cannot help but think of the curse in Deuteronomy 28:22,

“Yahweh will smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew, and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.”
The nastiest consequences of an overly acidic body, however, are the presence of bacteria, yeasts (or fungi), and molds.  These microforms take advantage of the body’s weaker areas, poisoning and overworking them.  In an acidic environment, they basically get free rein to break down tissues and bodily processes. They live on our body’s energy, or electrons, and use our fats and proteins (even our genetic matter, nucleic acids) for development and growth.  Bacteria, yeast, fungus, and mold do not themselves produce symptoms in the body, their toxic wastes do.  Nor do they initiate disease.  They only show up because of a compromised internal environment that causes body cells to transform into bacteria, then yeast, and finally mold.
It is just as important to maintain an alkaline body as it is to monitor your fish tank water or swimming pool water. And, any gardener knows to adjust the soil pH in order to grow strong healthy veggies.
The small intestine must be alkaline in order for the food to be transformed into red blood cells.  So the quality of the food you eat determines the quality of the red blood cells that determine the quality of your bones, muscles, or organs, etc. Hippocrates, known as the father of modern medicine, is noted as saying:  “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”  You are, quite literally, what you eat!

The number one over-the-counter remedy sold in the United States is antacids!  Recurrent and chronic acid indigestion and heartburn are urgent messages our bodies are sending us.

The chaos of acid imbalance and microform transformation and then overgrowth is an entirely natural and orderly process when life is ending.  The body automatically becomes acidic upon death. Once a body stops breathing, microforms thrive in the acid they love. They are the “undertakers” when we die; they decompose our dead bodies.  Biologists call it the carbon cycle.  It’s the literal meaning of “ashes to ashes and dust to dust.”  Acid is what makes our corpses rot and it does the same thing to us when we are living!  (A good book to read on this subject is The pH Miracle by Robert O. Young, PhD.)

So drink up! For best results drink two liters of purified alkaline water every day and the water of the Word. HalleluYah!

by: Lora Wilson

Clean Cuisine – Summers Vanity

Last February, I pined away for the taste of a fresh tomato, tender green beans, or a basketful of sweet lettuce leaves – all freshly picked from the garden.  But, each year in late summer I am reminded of the old saying, “Be careful of what you wish for.”  The branches on the peach trees droop in an attempt to carry their load and birds swarm the blackberry canes in frenzied efforts to get their fair share of the bounty.  The springtime lettuce has bolted in the Midwestern heat, the green tomatoes have changed into their brilliant red attire, screaming, “It’s now or never,” while the zucchini…I won’t even go there.  I gaze upon the beauty and abundance of the garden  and realize that in a few short months all will be gone in the colder months to come.  Yes, harvest is here and it’s time to enjoy the colors, smells and tastes of our labors.

BABA GANOUSH – Growing up, I absolutely hated eggplant.  Now, however, I can’t get enough of the stuff: eggplant parmesan, eggplant pizza, eggplant and tomato pasta, marinated eggplant, fried eggplant, pickled eggplant and, especially, this wonderful Mediterranean dish that is served spread on bread or crackers, or eaten as a side dish all by itself.

1 large eggplant

¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)

3 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon cumin

Salt to taste

1-2 Tablespoons  olive oil

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Kalamata olives

Grill the eggplant for approximately 10-15 minutes until the skin starts to turn black and the flesh starts to soften.  Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven and bake another 15-20 minutes until very soft.  After cooling, peel the eggplant and transfer the flesh to a mixing bowl.  Mash the eggplant into a paste.   Add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and cumin and mix well.  Add salt to taste and adjust other ingredients, as needed (you may want to add more tahini or lemon juice).  Mound the mixture in a serving dish and, using the back of a large spoon, form a shallow well in the center.  Spoon some of the olive oil in the well and drizzle the rest over the mixture.  Sprinkle parsley over the top and arrange olives around the outside. Serves 6.

ZUCCHINI FRITTERS – This is an updated form of potato pancakes using zucchini instead of potatoes.  Not only is it delicious and nutritious, but who isn’t looking for more recipes when the green things mount their invasion of the garden?

3 cups coarsely shredded zucchini, skins on and seeds removed

2 eggs, beaten

½ small onion, chopped

½ teaspoon salt

Dash pepper

2 Tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

1-2 Tablespoons milk, if needed

Mix all of the above ingredients together – I stir vigorously instead of using a mixer.  Add a tablespoon of milk or two only if mixture is too dry.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a hot, well-greased griddle or skillet.  Brown on both sides and serve immediately.  Makes 10-12 fritters.

RASPBERRY VINEGAR – More cooks are moving away from  prepared foods to more natural ingredients in the family meals.  Although there are a few bottled salad dressings I occasionally serve, we more often opt for olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice on our salads.  Flavored vinegars are easy to make and have a variety of uses.  Fresh blackberries, blueberries, or coarsely chopped cranberries may be substituted for the raspberries in this recipe.

3 cups red or white wine vinegar

1 cup fresh red raspberries

½ cup granulated sugar (optional)

½ cup red raspberries for decoration (optional)

Combine vinegar and sugar (if desired) in a stainless steel or enamel saucepan.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until hot but not quite boiling.  Pour into a glass bowl and stir in the raspberries.  Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a cool place for about a week.  Strain through cheesecloth, coarse muslin, or a coffee filter a couple of times to remove all debris.

Pour into bottles or jars with tight-fitting lids and store in the refrigerator – up to several months, if it lasts that long!

by: Debbie Reed

Proverbs 31- Far Above Rubies

Proverbs 31 Verse 20: “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.”

I always enjoy reading Proverbs 31. And, it seems no matter how many times I read it, I can always go back and find something new—a clearer, deeper understanding within this jewel of the Word. This week, when I returned to Proverbs 31, my heart was drawn to verse 20 where the virtuous woman is described as a woman of compassion and charity: “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hand to the needy.”

While this devotion in charitable service is heartwarming in general, let’s take this verse in context. This virtuous woman is not a woman with a whole lot of time on her hands. She is one busy lady! Her hands are busy working from the moment she awakes to after the household is still into the late hours of night, never eating of the bread of idleness. She not only cares for her husband and children, but tends to the needs of those within her gates as well. So, where does she find the time to help the poor?

When I read Proverbs 31, I am amazed by all this woman encompasses, from a gentle spirit full of wisdom, to a heart full of kindness … to an incredible work ethic that should set the standard (and not the exception) for us all. And, despite her daily duties, which she seems to thoroughly love, she is moved to stretch forth her hands to the poor, which means she is doing this herself. She is sacrificing valuable time away from her family and her daily chores to work some more … to give of herself … a sweet offering … to give in such a way that she cannot be repaid for her labor … giving to those who have so little. In this verse, verse 20, we can see the true colors of her heart, and they’re beautiful, like a rainbow set before a child for the first time.

What does it mean to help the poor and needy, to stretch forth your hands and reach them? I can share through personal experience that sacrificing time and money, to help those who are poor and needy, is an amazing experience. Not only are we told to do this in scripture, but there is a transformation of the heart that occurs every time you serve, and I think this is why we are directly encouraged to serve the poor and needy … it brings us closer to Yahweh! If you’ve never directly helped in this way, ask someone who has. They will likely tell you they received more than they gave, and it’s true! When I serve, I feel energized and humbled at the same time. You’d think that giving time and money would feel draining, but in fact, the exact opposite happens! Through service to the least of them, you become closer to the greatest of them … Yahweh.

May we all continually strive to be virtuous women pleasing to our Father and those we are blessed to serve, for serving is a gift and Yahweh is the Giver. May Yahweh bless you and guide your footsteps as you seek to serve Him and your household. HalleluYah!

by: Amy Pletz

My Big Box of Troubles

It’s been almost three years since Mom passed away unexpectedly and, since that time, I have thought a lot about her life.  The distance has given me a unique perspective on how I want to spend my remaining years.  While I try to emulate all of her wonderful traits, there is one habit that I don’t want to copy.

I noticed that my mother, and my grandmother, had a tendency to worry.  It seems like a lot of time was spent speculating and being concerned about the future and I find myself falling into that habit, too.  When my daughters were younger, I would find myself waking up at night and worrying about bills, about the kids, about my parents, about my job – it was endless.  In the middle of the night concerns loom large and seem insurmountable.  Of course, daylight comes and they are again manageable.  One of the things I tried was to designate Wednesday as the day I worried.  I would tell myself, “I’ll worry about it on Wednesday.”  Usually, by Wednesday the problem had disappeared or was solved.

My mom was diagnosed with diabetes in her late thirties and I remember her telling me that she prayed she would be able to live until my youngest brother, Gary, a toddler at the time, finished high school.  Not only did she live until his graduation, she also lived long enough to see Gary’s oldest child, Jordan, graduate as well.  All of that time spent worrying when she could have had peace of mind.  Mom also worried about outliving Dad and she had taken out several small insurance policies on his life.  As it turned out, he outlived her.  All of that worrying – the concerns and the sleepless nights – what purpose did they serve?

Studies have shown that 85% of the things we worry about never come to pass.  The Bible has a lot to say on the topic.  When I googled “cast your cares,” I found 83 Bible verses that tell us to “cast your burden on Yahweh,” “fear not,” and “for those who love Yahweh all things work together for good.”  My favorite verse (that I often say to myself) is Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to Yahweh.”

While I often talked to Mom about her constant worrying, I didn’t get very far.  I saw the toll it took on her, interrupting her sleep (she would often write letters in the night when she was awake) and her health.  My dad, who had such a close relationship with Yahweh, would read the Psalms and fall asleep easily and peacefully.  I want to have that kind of security, knowing that Yahweh is holding me in the palm of His hand.

Do I still have “worry Wednesdays”? No.  These days I don’t even want to deal with worries on Wednesday.  I mentally throw my concerns into a big, big box.  I put the lid on it, tie it shut, and ask Yahweh to handle them.  When they start to interrupt my sleep or disturb me during the day, I tell myself that Yahweh is taking care of them.  If the Creator of the universe is taking care of those burdens, my heart can be trouble free and unafraid (John 1:2-4).

by: Linda Lowe

the gift

The Gift

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:32

A gift of freedom from the chains of pagan tradition has been passed down to our children.  This gift is far superior to anything they ever found under a tree.

We ceased to observe Christmas exactly 20 years ago.  It was impossible to convince our family and friends that our reasons for taking this step were correct.  Our children feigned understanding, putting on a brave front, but heartsick in secret.  We didn’t make the yearly pilgrimage to celebrate with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, as in former times.  We didn’t give or receive presents.  It was a very difficult thing to do — not observing Christmas.

So many years have passed….  Now, when the annual Saturnalia celebration rolls around, we, along with our grown children, take little notice.  The pain of separation is gone.  Not one of us believes we have sacrificed anything of significance. Instead, we feel as though we’ve been set free — free from the financial and emotional stress this season brings.  We are not burdened with unwanted and unneeded stuff nor are we in debt from purchasing things that others neither need nor want.  We experience no pre-season anxiety or post-season depression.

We have been freed from time constraints and societal pressure to do so much — sending myriads of cards, baking mounds of cookies, and wrapping endless presents — before the sun sets on Dec. 24.  We have no long lists of items to purchase, lights to put up and take down, ornaments to pack and unpack, tinsel to disperse and later vacuum up, or branches to decorate and dispose of when dehydrated — all in the name of a fallacy. The truth about X-mas has set us free.

by: Debbie Reed


Mommy’s Little Girl

She started out so very small, now look at my girl,

she’s getting so tall.

I remember the cute way she held onto her ear,

now look at her helping me, what a sweet little dear!

I used to pray, “Oh, Yahweh, please let her sleep through just one night,” now I can’t wake her up no matter how bright the light.

I remember taking lots of pictures of all her cute little faces, now it’s trips to the orthodontist to re-adjust those braces.

The day we brought her home was one of the best days of my life, but I know it won’t be long until someday she’s someone’s beautiful wife.

Everyone tells me to enjoy her while she’s still home

because before too long, she’ll be off and on her own.

When that day comes and it’s her turn to take flight, I’ll send her off knowing that with Yahweh she’ll know what’s wrong and what’s right.

But for now, I’m holding onto my little girl real tight.  She’s a gift from Yahweh that I love with all my might!

by: Jennifer Folliard

got flour

Clean Cuisine – Got Flour?

In Deuteronomy 8:8, Yahweh described the Promised Land as “a land of wheat and barley.”  In John 6, we see that Yahshua fed thousands with five loaves of barley.  The story of how a class of food long revered as the “staff of life” should suddenly become a toxic substance to large numbers of people is complex and controversial.  But it also provides revealing insights into modern agriculture and industrialized methods of food production.  Modern wheat varieties have a long history of hybridization to create a crop easier to process with machinery, from the field to the oven.  Commercial hybrid “dwarf” wheat contains a “super starch,” amylopectin-A, that is very fattening.  It also contains a “super gluten” that is inflammatory.  It even contains a “super drug” that is highly addictive, making you crave and eat more and more.

Problems occur when we are cruel to our grains – when we fractionate them into bran, germ and naked starch, when we mill them at high temperatures, when we extrude them to make them crunchy breakfast cereals, and when we consume them without careful preparation.  Proper preparation of grains is a kind of gentle process that imitates nature.  It involves soaking for a period in warm acidulated pure water in the preparation of porridge or long, slow sour dough fermentation in the making of delicious bread.  Such processes neutralize phytic acid, an enzyme inhibitor, which can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and, especially, zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. Vitamin content increases, particularly B vitamins, tannins, complex sugars, gluten and other difficult-to-digest substances are partially broken down into simpler components.

Gluten intolerance makes headlines a lot these days.  It has created a market for gluten free products using alternatives such as rice flour or coconut flour.  If you have not tried any of these products, I will tell you that they do not compare to wheat products.  While I am bothered by wheat, but not to the point of Celiac disease, I do just fine with the ancient grains:  spelt, barley and einkorn flours.  These three ancient grains are known as “the covered wheats,” since the kernels do not thresh free of their hard coverings, making them more labor intensive to mill.

Einkorn is known as the oldest variety of wheat and is my favorite.  It is thought to have originated in the upper area of the fertile crescent of the Near East (Tigris-Euphrates regions), and is quite probably the main grain recorded in biblical history.  It is a rich source of beta carotene lutein, a powerful antioxidant, and also both forms of vitamin E.  Compared to modern varieties, it has higher levels of protein, crude fat, phosphorus and potassium.

Emmer is similar to einkorn and probably an early hybrid of wild einkorn that is more suitable for a wider range of climates, particularly warmer climates.  The earliest civilizations initially ate emmer as a porridge.  Even today it remains an important crop in Ethiopia and a minor crop in Italy and India.

Spelt is probably the predecessor to modern wheat.  It is a hybrid of emmer with more adaptability.  Spelt produces a heavier product that commercial bakers avoid.  It fares much better in sourdough applications where its flavors can develop fully and long souring enhances its digestibility.  Commercially produced sourdough bread that contains yeast in the list of ingredients is not a true sourdough bread loaf.   Only three ingredients create a delicious, nutritious bread, but keep in mind that sourdough is a leavening agent we must avoid during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Due to difficulties in harvesting these ancient grains, only a few farmers in the U.S. grow them.  Lentz Spelt Farm in Marlin, Washington, is one of the few that produces einkorn, spelt, barley and emmer.  Contact Lentz Farm by phone at (509) 717-0015 or by mail at P.O. Box 2, Marlin, WA 98832.

I buy einkorn flour online at www.tropicaltraditions.com.  If you get on the email list you can get occasional special offers, such as free shipping.  Also check out www.store.jovialfoods.com for a variety of einkorn products, some of which I am blessed to have local access.

And remember in Matthew 4:4, Yahshua answered the Evil One with these words, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Yahweh.”


by: Lora Wilson

Clean Cuisine – Apples

Braeburn, Pippin, Gravenstein, Jonathan, Cortland …. names of cities or perhaps fictional characters?  No, these are only a few of the many varieties (over 7,000 in all) of that delicious fall fruit, the apple.  One of the most popular for eating out of hand is the Red Delicious, with Gala coming in close behind.  Baking aficionados tend to gravitate to the likes of Winesap,  Jonathan, or McIntosh  as these are more firm and will not get mushy with oven heat.  Whether you’re looking for a good baking apple or a juicy, scrumptious eating apple, or whether your taste runs the gamut from tart to sweet, know that this delicious fruit is very nutritious and versatile.

Apple Crisp

6-8 med. baking apples

2 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 c. brown sugar, packed

1/2 c. flour

1/4 c. butter, softened

1 tsp. cinnamon

Spread peeled, cored, and sliced apples into a lightly greased 8-inch baking pan.  Sprinkle with lemon juice.   In separate bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon; crumble over apples.  Bake in 375˚ oven for 25 minutes.   Makes six 1/2 cup servings.

by: Debbie Wirl


Proverbs 31

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.                                                 

Verse 1: “The words of King Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.”

You’ve likely read Proverbs 31 numerous times. But, have you ever read it from the perspective of the person who originally gave these instructions and told this story and who she was speaking to?

Verse 1 tells us that the instruction of Proverbs 31 was meant for King Lemuel. His mother was the person who gave the wise instruction, the prophecy, to guide him in finding a wife. It was not originally told to a woman, the way I typically receive and read the prophecy. She was telling her son, the king, what to look for in a wife. Considering we are speaking about a family of considerable wealth, I find it quite touching that his mother was guiding him in matters of the heart versus the kingdom’s treasury. She wasn’t seeking a wife for him that would create an alliance for the kingdom or increase political power, as was common practice for the benefit of the kingdom. She saw the value, the true riches, of her son marrying a virtuous woman. She measured a virtuous woman as having more worth than fine rubies. She desired his wife to be a woman who desired to look after her household, a woman who has a heart for the poor and needy, a woman who is trustworthy, a woman who is kind and wise, and a woman who above all fears Yahweh.

As a mom, I find it my spiritual responsibility to guide my children in the way they should go, ways that are pleasing to Yahweh. I can teach them through example as well as through the Word. I lean on this Scripture as a reminder of my duty to guide them in like matters of the heart. As a mom, I pray for my children, and I also pray for their future spouses. While I don’t know who their spouses will be, Yahweh does. I can use Proverbs 31 as a guide, an instruction manual of sorts, to help me steer my children in a way that is pleasing to Him, in a way that will bless my children in their lives to come as they seek to find that special someone Yahweh has set apart for them. The very thought of this fills my heart with such joy!

by: Amy Pletz