Category Archives: Homeschooling

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Announcing A New Homeschool Parenting Blog

mother and babyMy husband Paul and I homeschooled our children from the time they were born until they grew up — a total of 30 years. Although the girls are now grown, homeschooling is still dear to our hearts.

Recently, I felt that the Lord was giving me a renewed desire to write  for the homeschool community, specifically on character building and parenting topics.

of course I canI assure you that the Out of the Fire blog will continue on as it has in the past. But if you are interested in Christian parenting and character building issues, I invite you to check out my new Character Building for Families blog. (Even if you are not homeschooling your children, you might find some things to interest you!)

Thank you so much for reading my blogs! I’ve made so many friends across the world through Out of the Fire, and hope to make many more through the Character Building for Families blog.

Blessings in the Lord Jesus,
Lee Ann

Before Whom We Stand Is Here!

BeforeWhomWeStandbigElijah knew Him intimately as “The LORD … before Whom I stand.” 

Who is this mighty God Whom we love and serve? What does it mean that He is sovereign? Does He do miracles yet today? How can we be certain that He will do for us what the Bible says He will do?

In Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God, I present simple, foundational explanations of God’s nature, as revealed in the Bible. You will discover His impeccable character, how the Persons of the Trinity function together, and the particular roles of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You will also discover how God’s nature affects the way He interacts with people.

Whether you are established in your faith, a new believer, or someone seeking to know more about what Christians believe, this book is sure to increase your understanding of Who the God of the Bible is.

Before Whom We Stand can be used for individual study, discipleship classes, as an evangelism tool for reaching seeking nonbelievers, or as a supplemental Bible class text for the older homeschooler.

Available in print from Amazon and Full Gospel Family Publications.

Available as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo, and other ebook distributors.

Are Character Building Studies Necessary?

Nearly twenty years ago, I published my first book, Character Building for Families, Volume 1. I had originally written the materials for our family, simply because, at the time, no one else was writing such things, and we had a need that was not being met. By the time we made my book available for the world, two other homeschool families had also come up with similar ideas. We were pioneers, I guess. Now, there are hundreds of character education books to choose from — for both children and adults, from both secular and Christian viewpoints.

Let’s take a look at some of the questions people voice about  character education:

Why is  teaching character  with a book important? Won’t it just sink in naturally? You know, we teach by example more than by our words, don’t we? Well yes, and no. Being a great example is important. Speaking the right words, while not following through by living the way we speak, is not generally very productive.

But teaching by example alone can be rather hit-or-miss. We’re not going to have opportunity to thoroughly model everything our kids (or adult  believers we are discipling) need to know about integrity, based on isolated incidents that arise naturally.

Personally, I think it is important not only to show people how, but also to give them a “why” which is founded in the Word of God. Seeing a concept clearly laid out in the Bible, and taking the time to study that concept together, anchors its truth in our hearts. And, if we build a foundation one block at a time, “line upon line, precept upon precept,” the results are going to be more solid.

Isn’t character education just bringing about behavior modification? I’ve heard this criticism a few times, and my answer is, “Not if it is done right.” The goal should always be heart-change. Our aim should be for our children (or adult Christians we serve) to desire good character because they want to be like Jesus, not just so that they can avoid unpleasant consequences, impress other people, or be successful. Outward change without inward transformation is hypocritical, and it can rarely be upheld for any length of time. Somewhere along the way, the real person will leak out!

That is why, in our own character education materials, we focus on applying the presented concepts to the heart. We tell people using our Character Building for Families manuals that the parents are going to have their character built right along with their children — and we’ve had quite a few parents write to us, testifying to the truth of that statement!

River Life Adult and Teen Character Study

Tragically, the Church has often fallen into the mistake of telling our young people that if they will just “be good,” God will love them and take them to heaven.  That is behavior modification and a false gospel message.  True character education brings to the student an understanding of Who God is and how we should become like Him, coupled with the knowledge that we can only accomplish this through asking God to do it in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our goal should be to raise up disciples who have a passion for the Lord Jesus, not to merely make them valuable community citizens. The  outward good behavior will naturally come, as we address and repair the issues of the heart.

Will character training solve our home problems (or our church’s problems)? I’m sorry I can’t promise you that. It would be nice if it did, wouldn’t it? My children did not become perfect by repeatedly studying  our character materials. Neither did I. But we made some progress together. The Character Building for Families lady still messes up sometimes.

Every one of us is in a lifelong process of growing into the image of Christ. We learn to be kind, and somewhere down the road, God will take us into deeper levels of learning to be kind. Step #1 is to equip ourselves with the recognition of where the old, selfish nature is still at work in us and the knowledge of how to overcome it, but the walking-out process is challenging and ongoing. Character studies are a tool, but we must wield the tool we’ve been given.

Are you still interested in stepping into the journey? Please visit us at our Character Building for Families website. In addition to our books, we’ve got many free Christian and homeschooling helps there to serve you.

Tons of Used Christian Books

I have a LOT of used books to clear out — homeschool, prophetic, end times, financial, health, evangelism, Bible study helps (anyone need one of those huge Strong’s Exhaustive Concordances?), parenting, Bibles, etc.

Please take a look.  Prices are negotiable — especially if you buy several. Media Mail shipping is figured into the prices.

My Little Bookshelf 

Email me to inquire if your selections are still available or to ask more detailed questions about items.

The Truth About Character Building

Volume1So, I write character building resources for children and adults, for parents to help their children grow in godliness, for churches to instruct new believers in becoming Christlike, for individuals hungry for holiness.  Will studying character building books make you a model Christian?  Will they solve your integrity issues?  Here’s the truth: NO.

Christlike character is not something that can be gained from a book.  It is not something you can discipline yourself into achieving.  If we are not careful, we can become legalistic about good character in ourselves and in others.  You see, godly character cannot be applied from the outside-in.  It starts in the heart and spreads outward.

Volume2As I see it, Bible-based character building resources are meant to be tools to make us aware of Who God is and to spark a desire to be like Him as we see Him for Who He is.  They provide a framework, a guideline, to get us to think about His purity, to drive us to gaze at Him, so that as we gaze, we are transformed into His image.  They are not self-help materials that promise, “Do it this way and you will be perfect.”  They are not a set of rules.  They are not the answer.

Jesus is the answer.  True godly character comes from being with Him, in His Presence, spending time in love relationship with Him.  As we do that, Holy Spirit, Who dwells inside of all believers, begins to transform us into the image of Jesus.  He starts to nudge about this and that thing in our lives that He wants to make better.  Most of the time, when we are so close to Him, we don’t even notice the transformation taking place in us until after the fact.

RIver Life TeacherWhen I was first baptized in the Holy Spirit, I had a terrible temper.  But that melted away, because He was living in and through me, until one day, I discovered with shock, “I haven’t had a temper tantrum in the last six months! How or when did that happen?”  Today, it would be a totally foreign thing to me to blow up in anger.  Why?  He just did that in me.  It didn’t come by me striving for it.  Sure, there are times we must consciously exercise discipline over things we see in our lives that need to be different, but by and large, it is His transforming work from the inside-out that makes a genuine change.  We just cooperate with Him by staying attuned to Him and yielding ourselves — kind of like letting Him lead in the dance while we follow.

When we get hold of the truth of just letting Him re-form us, rather than striving to do it to ourselves (or to our children), we have freedom and joy in our Christian life.

So, how do you really come into having good character, excellent integrity?  Hunger after Jesus.  Listen for His whispers.  When He speaks, yield to Him.  He’ll get you where you need to be.  You are His workmanship, not your own. 

Full Gospel Family Publications