Powered by Blogger.

Why I can no longer support Scholastic

As a teacher, I have relied heavily on Scholastic for growing my classroom library and finding new, cheap and interesting books for my students to read.  We've found many fun books through Scholastic's Book Clubs and some of these books have helped my students develop a love of reading.

However, Scholastic is no longer a safe company for our children and families.  As much as this saddens me, I can no longer support a company who is pushing a worldly agenda and promoting false truth to our children today.  Unless they turn from their actions and pull these books from their shelves, I am going to have to search out new ways to grow my classroom library and find books for my students to read.

Thanks to a Facebook group and a Google search, I came across this article and this article yesterday. These articles are talking about how Scholastic is promoting the LGBT and transgenderism agenda.   They are selling a book about a boy who knows he is a girl.  They have sold and promoted books about gay parents.  They have shared a list of books on transgenderism on their Parent website as suggestions for books you should read with your children.  They have written an article with ways to discuss transgenderism in our classrooms and given suggestions on how teachers can create an inclusive classroom.  We can't let our children believe that it's okay to think this way.  We can't let them know that this is a "choice" in life.  Instead, we must teach them biblical Truth and encourage them to share the Truth when they meet people who are deceived.

In Genesis 1, we read about God's great and beautiful design for our world.  In Genesis 1:27 we are told that "God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."  Two genders.  Neither gender was given a choice of how they could live their lives.  Their gender was given to them by God.  Gender is one of the many good gifts of God.

In the past few years, we've seen a shift in society.  Gender has become fluid and we can all believe our own truth.  And those of us who believe in one Truth are 'required' to accept everyone's truth as okay.  This is a result of our fallen human nature.  Unfortunately, these actions are contrary to God's good design.  

I found this article on the Gospel Coalition's website and they do a great job of breaking down this debate and sharing biblical Truth.  Below, I have pulled the Bible verses from their article which give the Truth about this sinful, worldly way of thinking.  I encourage you to read their article in length.  They have some great thoughts on the issue and give ways we are to respond to this agenda.

  • Deuteronomy 22:5 condemns cross-dressing: "A women shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God."
  • Leviticus 20:13 condemns homosexuality: "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them."
  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 tells how those who practice homosexuality (among other sinful actions) will not live in God's eternal kingdom: "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, no thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."
  • 1 Corinthians 11:4-5, 13-15 explains that we must embrace the gender distinctions given to us by the ultimate Creator: "Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven...Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered?  Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?  For her hair is given to her for a covering."

If a boy suddenly decides he wants to live as a girl and claims that he was "born this way," he is a liar.  He was born as a boy.  And that is the gender he must live as and embrace.

This article has ways to take action.  If you wish to do so, there is a link to email Scholastic and there's even a pre-populated email you can use as the basis of your email.  I have already emailed them with my concerns, and I invite you to do the same!

blog signature photo Signature_zpsoxfummyt.png

From Good to Grace: Letting Go of the Goodness Gospel by Christine Hoover

by Christine Hoover

My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

God is calling you to something greater than good.
So many of us feel as if we do not do enough and, in fact, are not enough. We try hard to be good--a good friend, mom, wife, Christian, employee, or ministry leader--hoping for that "atta-girl" from God, some heavenly assertion that we matter. In the process, we find ourselves living by a lesser gospel: the gospel of goodness. It's a gospel without grace, and in the end, it's good for nothing.

With compelling illustrations from her own life and from Scripture, Christine Hoover helps you start asking, "What does God want for me?" before asking, "What does God want fromme?" You'll find yourself breathing a sigh of relief at this powerful message of freedom and hope. Rather than serving God out of obligation or duty, you'll be compelled to love and serve God with great joy.

This was the second book by Christine Hoover that I have read and it did not disappoint!  The world today tells us that we need to be and do "good" to earn favor with God.  This is simply not true.  Christine Hoover shares the truth of the grace of God and how we don't need to beat ourselves up to be "good enough."  We are not, nor will we ever be, perfect.  So we don't need to spend our lives trying to get there.  All we need is God's grace.  Even when we aren't trying to live the perfect life, we subconsciously seek perfection.  This is a great book that will cause you to take a step back and evaluate your life.  Do you seek perfectionism?  Or do you seek the only One who is?  

"At an early age, I fell for perfectionism’s lie that I could be good enough to win God’s heart and the approval of others. I sought joy, peace, and love through being good, and instead found myself miserably enslaved to my own unattainable standards."  - Christine Hoover, From Good to Grace

blog signature photo Signature_zpsoxfummyt.png

A Journey in Eschatology by Richard Belcher

by Richard Belcher

My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A theological novel, which examines in the course of the story, the various perspectives regarding the second coming of Jesus.

This book is the 7th book in the Journey Series by Richard Belcher.  All of the books in this series are theological journey books.  He weaves the story of Ira Pointer with various theological journeys that Ira takes.  The stories have all been interesting and relevant, and the theological notes have been well researched and informative.  This book, however, was a bit different for me.  I do not have much knowledge on eschatology (study of the end times) and I found the notes in this book to be rather confusing.  However, I don't attribute that to Belcher's writing - I think it's more based on my lack of knowledge on the topic!  I did enjoy the story line in this book, just like the previous 6 books.  There was a major plot twist at the end of this book that I was not expecting!  I do wish there was more of a resolve between some of the characters in the story that Belcher spent so much time building up throughout the book, but I can get past that.  Overall, I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next one in the series!

blog signature photo Signature_zpsoxfummyt.png

How Then Shall We Worship by R.C. Sproul

by R.C. Sproul

My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Dr. R.C. Sproul is one of today’s preeminent theologians. For more than fifty years his solid, practical messages have impacted and inspired generations of believers. The “Classic Theology Series” continues Dr. Sproul’s legacy.

How Then Shall We Worship? is a landmark look at God’s design for authentic worship. Today’s church cannot seem to agree on what corporate worship should look like. Some choose contemporary forms, others prefer traditional expressions. Yet pop culture or the status quo do not hold the answers. God’s Word does. Dr. Sproul digs deep into rich Scripture passages to provide a guide for worship today.

Readers will discover that God intends worship to be an unforgettable encounter between Himself and His people—a joyous experience engaging the worshiper’s entire being.

R.C. Sproul set out on a journey to tackle a very controversial issue in the church today.  He addresses various forms of worship in this book (communion, baptism, etc.).  He did a great job of tackling big issues and pulling the Bible verses that address each topic and making them reachable for the average reader.  He even address the issue of baptism from both perspectives, which was nice...especially being someone who disagrees with his stance on baptism.  Reading through this book, I sadly was made aware of so many areas of worship in the church today that aren't being doing the way God intended them to be done, which is very sad.  This book would be a great read for pastors, worship leaders, and the average Christian.  Anybody will be able to glean things from this book that will be important to their understanding of true worship.  At the end of the book, there was even a study guide that would be great for a small group study.  The only complaint I have is that I would have liked some of the aspects of worship to have been discussed a little more in depth.  But overall, this was a very concise and to the point book.  I highly recommend it to everyone!

blog signature photo Signature_zpsoxfummyt.png

Angels Walking by Karen Kingsbury

by Karen Kingsbury

My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

When former national baseball star Tyler Ames suffers a career-ending injury, all he can think about is putting his life back together the way it was before. He has lost everyone he loves on his way to the big leagues. Then just when things seem to be turning around, Tyler hits rock bottom. Across the country, Tyler’s one true love Sami Dawson has moved on. 

A series of small miracles leads Tyler to a maintenance job at a retirement home and a friendship with Virginia Hutcheson, an old woman with Alzheimer’s who strangely might have the answers he so desperately seeks.

A team of Angels Walking take on the mission to restore hope for Tyler, Sami, and Virginia. Can such small and seemingly insignificant actions of the unseen bring healing and redemption? And can the words of a stranger rekindle lost love? Every journey begins with a step.

It is time for the mission to begin…

Karen Kingsbury has been one of my favorite Christian fiction authors for a while.  She writes what she calls "Life Changing Fiction."  I've loved her stories and the characters within each story.  Her characters are always relatable and enjoyable to read about.  However, as much as I love her stories, I struggle with her theology throughout each book.  This book was no exception.  I don't necessarily agree with her view of angels throughout the book and she had some statements throughout the book that seemed off to me.  For example, at the end of the book, the angels talked about not wanting to take any glory from God, but all throughout the story, the angels were center stage.  God was mentioned, but was minimal.  That statement was right, but it wasn't backed up in the story.  But she writes fiction, so why does this matter, you ask?  Well, a lot of what we read and hear will stick with us easily.  When we hear a song we really like, we'll sing it over and over in our heads and it'll stick with us.  The same will happen in a book.  If you read a book that you loved, especially one where the emotional appeal jumps out and grabs you, then you'll be more likely to remember that book well.  And if what is in the book is not the 100% truth, then we are remembering wrong things.  Which is not good.  With some of the comments she makes and some of the positions she writes about, I just don't feel that these are what the everyday person should be reading.  Someone whose discernment is good should be able to get by reading this, because they'll be able to pick out the false things and discard those thoughts.  I'll continue to read her books because I love her stories, but I have to make sure I'm super careful not to read and accept false truth.

blog signature photo Signature_zpsoxfummyt.png

2018 Word of the Year

Each year, I like to choose a word that I'll try to live by throughout the whole year.  #onelittleword is a hashtag you can use on social media to find other people's word.

My word for last year was intentional.  My goal was to live life with intention.  I realized that I tend to waste a lot of time (on social media and spending time on the trivial things in life).  How did I do?  I started the year strong with my plans for being more intentional, but they started slacking half way through.  Once summer arrived, my intentions slipped.  I will say that I was more intentional about life than I have been in the past, so that was a good start.  This year, I'm going to continue to try and live more intentional.  But I have another word that I need to live by more.

My #onelittleword for 2018 is...

I tend to dwell in the things I don't have and live life envious of others for what they have.  I've been trying to break this cycle and it's been a slow process.  This year, I'm going to show gratitude for the things I do have.  The things I'm grateful for.  I truly feel blessed in life, even if I may never receive the things I desire so much.  

I can't speak for you, but I know that I take things for granted.  I don't always thank the One who gives us all we have.  We all have rough patches in life, and I know that I don't always come out of those times being the most grateful.  

I'd like to say that I plan to keep a gratitude journal to track all the things, both big and small, that I'm grateful for in my life.  But I'm the worst at tracking things, so I'm not even going to pretend that is something I'm going to do.  I will, however, spend my days, especially in the rough times, finding those small moments for which I'm grateful.  

I want to spend 2018 (and beyond) grateful for where God has placed me in life, grateful for the circumstances He has placed me in, and grateful for the people He has caused to come into my life.  

I graduated from high school 10 years ago.  When we graduate, I think it's normal to imagine where we'll end up 10 years down the road.  I had big dreams for my life.  I had a picture in my head of where I would be 10 years after high school.  I may not currently be living my '10 year dream,' but I'm grateful that God has placed me right where I am.

There are so many ways that I plan to show gratitude and find the things that I'm extremely grateful for.  Have you ever participated in the #onelittleword challenge?  What is your #onelittleword for 2018?
blog signature photo Signature_zpsoxfummyt.png

Sing by Keith & Kristyn Getty

by Keith & Kristyn Getty

My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Sing! has grown from Keith and Kristyn Getty’s passion for congregational singing; it’s been formed by their traveling and playing and listening and discussing and learning and teaching all over the world. 

And in writing it, they have five key aims: 

• to discover why we sing and the overwhelming joy and holy privilege that comes with singing
• to consider how singing impacts our hearts and minds and all of our lives
• to cultivate a culture of family singing in our daily home life
• to equip our churches for wholeheartedly singing to the Lord and one another as an expression of unity
• to inspire us to see congregational singing as a radical witness to the world

They have also added a few “bonus tracks” at the end with some more practical suggestions for different groups who are more deeply involved with church singing.

God intends for this compelling vision of His people singing—a people joyfully joining together in song with brothers and sisters around the world and around his heavenly throne—to include you. He wants you, he wants us, to sing.

This was probably one of my favorite books of the year. Keith and Kristyn Getty are my favorite hymn writers of the day and their music is a beautiful testimony to God's grace and forgiveness in a sin-cursed and broken world. I wasn't sure what this book was going to be like, and who the audience of the book was. But what I found was excellent theology wrapped up in how churches must spend time singing together. While this book was likely written with the pastor or worship leader in mind, the average person will glean so much from the pages of this book. We don't sing because we have to. We sing because we've been given that gift by God who we should want to thank with joyful praises of thankfulness. Many people think they "can't sing," and therefore don't. One of my favorite quotes from this book is, "The truth is that God designed you to sing and gave you everything you need to sing, as well as He wants you to. He's far less concerned with your tunefulness than your integrity. Christian singing begins with the heart, not the lips." This is a book that I will go back to constantly. I couldn't put it down the first time I read through the book, and I'm so excited to dive back in and really dig into the truths that they shared!

blog signature photo Signature_zpsoxfummyt.png