Archive for May, 2007

More on the case for homeschooling

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

“Top teacher arrested for criminal sexual conduct”

Top teacher means that this same teacher was selected as “Teacher of the Year” for 2007 by her peers at Westview Middle School in Goose Creek, SC. The teacher’s name is Kanesa Hopkins. Ms. Hopkins is charged with sexual misconduct that allegedly occurred back in 2003 and 2004 with a girl from her Sunday school class.

Goose Creek Teacher Kanesa HopkinsThe headline article on the front page of The Goose Creek Gazette adds support for local residents to consider alternatives to public school. This article hits the front page of the local paper on the same day that I write the following comment on a recent blog post on reasons to homeschool.

“…even those claiming to be Christian, may not be as aligned with your family values as you might think. Teachers are not given a morality and character test before being allowed to enter the classroom. And in most cases you do not get to choose your child’s teacher. So for 6-7 hours per day for 180 days out of a year, you get that one teacher’s moral and ethical values transferred into your child’s heart and soul no matter how much you agree or disagree with that teacher.”

When writing this comment I was focusing on my upcoming article on “worldview”. I had not even considered extreme issues like the ones being dealt with in this case against teacher Kanesa Hopkins.

Westview Middle School is were my children would have to attend based on our address.

Harry Potter’s Wizard World

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be coming to theme park capital of the world in 2009. Warner Bros Entertainment will join forces with Wizard World to build this park in Orlando to reach even farther into the hearts, minds, and wallets of America’s families.

In a statement rich in entertainment hyperbole, the builders of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” said they planned to “create the world’s first immersive Harry Potter themed environment.”

It will be interesting to see how the Christian supports of the J.K. Rowlings book series react to this theme park. It will be difficult to tie in the argument of how much children benefit from learning to read through the Harry Potter books. I believe that some like LaShawn Barber and the Christian Science Monitor have called it Reading Magic?

The full story can be found on Yahoo! News

Why Home School?

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

This is a valid question no matter how determined you are to homeschool your children. I am told that homeschooling is not easy. Since we have not technically begun homeschooling, I am only speaking from the limited experience of homeschooling a four and a half year old preschooler. We have received our share of questions from friends and family. They want to know why we are homeschooling. The answer to this question is more valuable to us than it is for our family and friends. The list of reasons why we have made this choice will server us best as encouragement when reviewed on the tough days that will come in the future. Below are a few my answers to the question.

  1. Best opportunity for moral training based on family values
  2. Best student to teacher ratio
  3. More opportunities to build family relationships
  4. Dynamic learning environment

Testimony

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

I don’t know why I have never posted my testimony, but it is about time.  I have also added a copy of my testimony in my “About Hank Osborne” page found in the sidebar of my blog’s main page.  I believe it is important to share this so that my readers can have a good ideas of where I am coming from, especially when writing on Christian subjects.  There are so many twists and spins that religion can put on Christianity.  Don’t leave your blog readers guessing where your beliefs come from.

I am a born again Christian!

“I attended a Southern Baptist Church every Sunday from birth for 14 years except for the Sunday when I got my tonsils taken out at 5 years of age.  Yes! I was counting Sundays back then because there was a competition between a few of us kids to see who could get the longest perfect attendance pen.  I still have mine.  The Babpist Church was serious about only giving these pins out to folks who actually can to Sunday School every single week.  The end result was that God made an impression on me by my early teen years.  I committed my life to Christ while attending a camp at Ridgecrest Baptist Assembly in Black Mountain, NC.

Shortly after accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior, my parents separated.  My mother, sister, and I left my dad after years of abuse.  Our departure, led to my father’s attempted murder of my grandfather.  My grandfather would not tell my dad where we went.  My mom completed the divorce which I supported, but then she went back to my dad within a year and remarried him.  That I did not approve of nor did I understand.  I found out many years later that my mom went back under direst.  My dad entered the ministry to become a Baptist preacher, but the abuse started back up almost immediately.  At 16, I ran from him and God at that point.  Eventually my dad committed suicide after I had been long gone for several years.

From the age of 16 forward, almost twenty years of backsliding ensued to what I thought was the point of no return.  There is no need to go into that list of sins, but it was bad.  Then I met a wonderful young lady.  My life had been a cakewalk compared to hers.  Her testimony still brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.  We fell in love.  We both had committed our lives to Christ at a young age, but had very bad experiences with “religion” and suffering at the hands of “men of God”.  Even with our experiences, we knew that we needed to bring our future children up in a Christian home.  We started looking for a church and ended up visiting the church where we have been attended since 2001.  On our first visit to our church (Seacoast Church), the pastor stood up in front of about a thousand folks on a Saturday night and taught on “Why God Allows Suffering”.  He did a great job and God spoke to both of us through that message.  In 2003 I attended a men’s encounter weekend (i.e., encounter with God).  It was the turning point in my life.  That weekend I was taught for the first time what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  At the end of the weekend I confessed and repented of years of sins and asked God to fill me with the Holy Spirit, and he did.  I have leaked and needed regular refills ever since, but the revelation that I got from that weekend was beyond what words can explain.  I began to seek God’s plan for my life and put a priority on growing my relationship with Jesus Christ.  Just a few months after the encounter weekend my wife and I both publicly recommitted our lives to Christ and were baptized again.  We both continue to strive to be fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.”

I frequently use this blog to write on subjects that I believe are relevant to those who are seeking to learn more about God or who have committed Christian lifestyles.  I continue to try and shine a light in the darkness that the Internet delivers to so many computer monitors.

I challenge all Christian bloggers to share their testimony, especially if your blog is listed in a Christian blogroll, webring, or a Christian directory.  Help your visitors understand where you are coming from as a Christian and how your life (and blog) relates to Jesus Christ.  I also challenge you to raise the standard of your posts so that the things you write about will glorify God.

Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo interview from down under

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Rodney Olsen has posted to his blog a copy of a live radio interview he recently did with my friends and fellow low country residents Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo.  Rodney is a radio announcer for Christian based 98.5 Sonshine FM in Perth, Western Australia.  This seventeen minute interview provides a great overview of the Growing Kids God’s Way curriculum.  You can listen to the MP3 copy of the radio interview by visiting Rodney Olsen’s blog The Journey.

New Spirit-Filled Life Bible

Friday, May 4th, 2007


I have been asked several times lately what I recommend for a study Bible. The answer is quick and simple. The New Spirit-Filled Life Bible New King James Version is the best study Bible I have ever used yet.

I have used many different study Bibles including the Schofield Study Bible and a couple of Life Application Study Bibles in both the New International Version (NIV) and the New Living Translation (NLT). The New Spirit-Filled Life Bible was my first copy of a NKJV of the Bible. I have not completed reading through it entirely yet, but it has already provided me with revelation on God’s word like I have never experienced. I am about halfway through my yearly reading plan using the New Spirit-Filled Life Bible and I usually don’t leave home without a copy this study Bible or the student version of it. I have purchased the Spirit-Filled Life Student Bible that usually stays in my car. This is a hardcover edition that is geared a little more to a new Christian. I like this edition because it contains most of the same reference tools like Kingdom Dynamics and Word Wealth. It also contains a section in the front called Life Lights that concludes with three different example plans for sharing Jesus with others. You simple go tot he first verse in one of the plans and there you will find a Life Lights box right next to that scripture to help you communicate what this verse is saying in reference to salvation. The informational box will leave you with instructions on where to go next in that particular plan. Once you complete one or more of the plans, you will find an example sinner’s prayer at the end of the Life Lights section at the end of this Bible’s introduction section.

Here is what Amazon has to say about the New Spirit-Filled Life Bible.

“Dr. Jack Hayford, founding pastor of The Church on the Way, has led a team of anointed leaders to produce the New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, which offers a fresh look at the Scriptures and the work of the Holy Spirit.”

This Study Bible is a must have for anyone seeking to know and understand what God is doing through the power of the Holy Spirit today.

Partial Birth Abortion

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

The hype on this story has settled in the mainstream media, but it has not left my mind in the past week. I am as knowledgeable as a man can be on abortion without being a physician. I wrote about my history and my personal position on abortion a little over a year ago.

My wife is now approximately 23 weeks pregnant with our third child. She is at about the same place in this pregnancy as she was when we learned about or son Caden’s life threatening heart defects. The heart defects (four of them) were so prominent that an amniocentesis has highly encouraged. I wrote about this experience in the draft for a book that I have been working on.

An amniocentesis is a procedure where they use a very large needle to collect fluid from the area around the baby. This fluid can be used to determine if the baby has a chromosome abnormality. We had but one question, “what is the benefit of gathering this information?” The answer was long and consisted of a lot of beating around the bush. Finally, the answer we got was that the amniocentesis results would empower us with information to help us make a “choice” on what to do next. We determined that what they really meant was that they wanted to know if we were interested in terminating the pregnancy.

Obviously we chose to move forward with the pregnancy. It is my understanding that many parents choose to end the life of their child if defects like these are found and often the decision is made as a result of pressure put on them by the prenatal clinics to consider the termination.

I really did not understand what a partial birth abortion was until a little over a week ago. What makes me sick to my stomach is that my wife and I were highly encouraged to consider our “options” in regards to her pregnancy with Caden. A choice to terminate at that late point in the pregnancy would have resulted in what I now understand to be a partial birth abortion.

Before you follow the links I am about to give you I want to give a firm WARNING that the information you will see and read is very graphic and it is very disturbing. It is all truth and I believe every parent who is considering an abortion should be required to see or read something like this at a minimum. La Shawn Barber has brought together a couple of the best posts on this subject that I have seen. The first post is titled ‘Intact’ Infanticide [WARNING, this is a very graphic description of late term abortion as witnessed by a nurse]. The other post provides a graphical representation of the procedure and is titled Supreme Court Upholds Ban On Partial Birth Abortion[Visual WARNING]. La Shawn has been one of the most faithful bloggers in producing dozens of sobering reports on abortion in a category she has named “child killing”.

It grieves me to think that children’s lives could be taken in this way. What grieves almost as much is the number of U.S. citizens who are sitting on the edge of the seat to cast a vote for a presidential candidate who criticizes the most recent Supreme Court Decision to stop partial birth abortions.

The Senator Hillary Clinton’s Response:

“This decision marks a dramatic departure from four decades of Supreme Court rulings that upheld a woman’s right to choose and recognized the importance of women’s health…”Source

From the Senator Barack Obama Camp.

“I strongly disagree with today’s Supreme Court ruling, which dramatically departs from previous precedents safeguarding the health of pregnant women…” Source

Did they get together for lunch to come up with matching opening sentences that read like they are in stereo surround sound?

Well Senators Obama and Clinton, our experience and many others is that many of the folks recommending this procedure have little if any concern for the woman’s health. The folks giving us the option to bow out of a late term pregnacy simply wanted us to consider reversing a CHOICE we made at conception.

A few months ago I was contacted by the founder of a great outreach project for those parents who face a difficult prenatal diagnosis like we faced with Caden. I almost forgot about this until Mrs. Ozz reminded as we were discussing this subject this past week. Please visit this site and pass it along to any parents who may be getting pressure to terminate a pregnacy as a result of prenatal screenings or tests.

BeNotAfraid.net

Benotafraid.net is an online outreach to parents who have received a poor or difficult prenatal diagnosis. The family stories, articles, and links within this site are presented as a resource for those who may have been asked to choose between terminating a pregnancy or continuing on despite the diagnosis. The benotafraid.net families faced the same decision and chose not to terminate. By sharing our experiences, we hope to offer encouragement to those who may be afraid to continue on. “

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