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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
Fax: 503-253-7345
Phone: 503-253-9633
  tth@teachinghome.com  

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"Want your homeschool kids to help change America?"
is the subject line of the e-mail accompanying and sponsoring this newsletter.

        You are welcome to forward this newsletter in its entirety.

        The Teaching Home E-Mail Newsletter #68
        Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement

        March 1, 2004  /  Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors

Table of Contents
Presidents' Day Field Trip
          Photo and Story of President Bush Greeting Home Schoolers
Government, Part 3: Our Responsibilities in Government
     The Spiritual Aspect of Political Action
     Political Action
     Guidelines for Any Lobbying Effort
Recommended Resources
          "The Times and the Scriptures" Curriculum
          Homeschool Diploma: Graduation Supplies
          Pilgrim Institute, "The Mighty Works of God"
          Foundation for American Christian Education
Sunnyside Up: Humorous Anecdote

Greetings,

     What a wonderful opportunity we have to influence the direction
of our nation!  And God's great resources are at our disposal as we
pray and work.
     During this election year, the topic of political action is not just
academic. There are issues involved that will affect our families in a
real and lasting way.  It is imparitive that we all become involed in the
political process in whatever way the Lord leads us.

Question of the Week
     Send us your answer in 50 words or less by return e-mail:
How has your family participated in political action?

Special Offer
     We would like to send you a back issue of The Teaching Home
magazine of your choice (see http://theteachinghomen.goemerchant7.com)
when you answer the Question of the Week or submit a note of
encouragement, teaching tip, family photo and brief story, or humorous
anecdote that we use in this newsletter.  We want to hear from you!

Cordially,
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
The Teaching Home is a 23-year-old, home-school family business.


"The Times and the Scriptures"
New Curriculum Integrates American History,
Government, Current Events and Bible
* Weekly Current Events e-mail update.
* Cutting-edge cultural and political news.
* Scripture-related discussion questions.
* Vocabulary development, writing topics.
* Unique curriculum for teens.
* Request Free current lesson packet at:
http://www.timesandscriptures.com


Andrews Airforce Base, Feb. 16, 2004

Presidents' Day Field Trip
Submitted by Sandy Cruise

     Our home-school field trip for Presidents' day turned out to
be more than we ever expected!
     We were very excited to have the opportunity to watch
Air Force One land, but we never imagined that the President
himself would come and greet us.
     The navigator for Air Force One is the father of one of our
homeschooling families that we co-op with. He told the President
that the group that came to watch the plane land were home
schoolers.
     The President obviously thought we were worth taking time
for. He shook the hand of every person there, big and small, and
even took time to read the Valentine's Day card that my daughter
Hannah made for him.
     He made sure he looked me right in the eye and thanked me
when I told him that we were praying for him. This family is very
thankful for the Godly leader we have, and we are even more
serious now about interceding for him.
     Home schooling can really be exciting!

Visit The Teaching Home's Website

* Buy Back Issues of The Teaching Home Magazine
   Search for specific topics in 51 printed magazine back issues
   for sale online.  http://theteachinghomen.goemerchant7.com/
* Find Quality Home-School Curriculum and Supplies
   Link to 182 home-school suppliers; view or order their products.
   http://www.teachinghome.com/resources/index.cfm
* Connect with Your State Home-School Organization
   Link to their website.  Plan to attend your state convention!
   http://www.teachinghome.com/states/index.cfm

Government: A 4-Part Series
Part 1.  Government: Introduction (Issue #66)
             What and How To Teach; Biblical Basis; Forms of Government
           http://www.teachinghome.com/newsletters/vol_2-no_66.cfm
Part 2.  United States Government (Issue #67)
           http://www.teachinghome.com/newsletters/vol_2-no_67.cfm
Part 4.  An Election-Year Unit Study (Issue #69)

Part 3.  Our Responsibilities in Government
             (Issue #68 -- This Issue)
     This series is intended to introduce the basics of government and
provide a general outline for your studies.  Children of all ages can
participate at their own levels.

The Spiritual Aspect of Political Action
     "I exhort therefore, first of all, that supplications,
prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all men; for
kings and all that are in high places; that we may lead a
tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity. This is
good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who would
have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth"
(1 Timothy 2:1-4).
     From this verse we see the primary method, purpose, and
perspective of a Christian's political action.

1.  The Primary Method: Prayer
     The primary method of effecting political change is through
"supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings" for
"kings and all that are in high places."
     It is ultimately God who can "remove kings and establish
kings" (Daniel 2:21) and influence their actions:  "The king's
heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns
it wherever He wishes." (Proverbs 21:1)
     All of our political action is in vain if we do not
recognize God's workings in the affairs of men and call upon Him
to help us and our nation.

Weekly Prayer List
     Throughout this article, mention will be made of a weekly
prayer list.  We encourage you to draw up such a list to help
your family be regular and faithful in your ministry of prayer.
     One way to make a prayer chart:
* Make a vertical column for each member of your family who
   prays.
* Then draw horizontal rows for each day of the week (or perhaps
   only five days).
* Fill in each square with one to three requests.
* Include political leaders, issues of concern, your family's
   goals, friends, unsaved people, items of thanksgiving, etc.
* Take turns praying for a different column each week so that
   each one in your family has a turn to pray for everyone on your
   list every few weeks.
     In this way, our family of five, praying for three requests
each for seven days, can cover 105 requests each week.  Even when
we miss a day or two, we are still able to pray for many more
people and concerns than we would be able to without the aid of
our weekly prayer chart.

Pray for Our Leaders
     Pray for officials by name, for their salvation, wisdom, and
integrity.
    Presidential Prayer Team.
    http://www.presidentialprayerteam.org
    Intercessors for America. http://www.ifa-usapray.org
     Identify and put on your weekly prayer list:
* Our President and his Cabinet.
* Your governor and mayor.
* Your representatives in national, state, and local government.
   Find state representatives, local officials, and election results at
   http://capwiz.com/hslda/home/

Pray Concerning Elections and Issues
* Pray for the election of our next President.  Pray that he will
   be a man that will honor and follow the Lord and lead this
   nation in His way.
* Pray that God's will be done regarding specific issues that
   face our nation at this time.

Pray for Revival Among Christians
     "If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble
themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their
wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their
sin, and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).
     There is no question that our land needs healing that can
only come from God, and He has prescribed revival as the means
to that end.
     According to the Barna Research Group's latest national
survey (http://www.barna.org), only nine percent of born-again
Christians hold a biblical worldview.  This has political as well
as spiritual ramifications.

Saturate your family in God's Word.
     "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will
of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect"
(Romans 12:2).

Add to your weekly prayer list:
* Your own family's spiritual growth.
* Your pastor, church, and church member families.
* Christians worldwide, that they will seek the Lord with all
   their hearts.
* For Christian home-school families that often experience
   hardships and trials as they seek to teach and train their
   children to love and follow our Lord.

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The Spiritual Aspect of Political Action (Cont.)

2.  The Purpose: Religious Freedom and Peace
     The purpose of our political action should be "that we may
lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity."
     We are blessed with the freedom to worship God, to spread
the Gospel, and to teach our children at home in godly ways.
     However, these freedoms are in jeopardy at all times, and we
must be constantly alert and do our part in defending and
maintaining our current freedoms or they will gradually be taken
away.

The Primary Goal
     The main benefit of political action is not the comfort of
our freedom to do as we choose during our brief life on earth,
but the ability to spread the Gospel for the eternal salvation of
others.

The Only Effectual Change
     The only way true and lasting change will be brought about
is when the people that make up the electorate and those that
govern both love and obey the Lord God.
 

3.  The Perspective: Eternal Salvation
     The proper perspective is that of eternity.  "God our Saviour
would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge
of the truth."

Spreading the Gospel
     "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the
whole creation" (Mark 16:15).  This is the Christian's great
commission and should take priority over any political action in
which we are involved.

* Discuss ways your family can become involved in personal
   evangelism.
* Examine different careers, including Christian service, and
   encourage your children to consider how the Lord would have them
   serve Him.
* Witness to neighbors, friends, and relatives.
* Take tracts with you to give to those you come in contact with.
   http://www.teachinghome.com/newsletters/vol_2-no_16.cfm
* Contribute to missions and encourage your missionaries.
* Consider a short-term mission trip with your family.

Our Duty To Obey
     God's Word makes it clear that we are to obey our government's
authorities.
* Pay taxes.  "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and
   to God the things that are God's" (see Matthew 22:17- 21).
* Obey the law.  "Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every
   human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to
   governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the
   praise of those who do right" (I Peter 2:13-14; see also Romans
   13:1-7).
* When obeying the government would actually cause you to disobey
   God, chose to obey God instead.  "But Peter and the apostles
   answered, 'We must obey God rather than men'" ( Acts 5:29).



   "The Mighty Works of God"
   A Providential History Series
   for Children

        The full-color, beautifully illustrated
   "Mighty Works of God" student books
   emphasize the influence of the Scriptures
   upon men and nations, and are enhanced
by Teacher's Guides with suggested lessons, student activities,
and a resource CD which generates student work pages.
Link to Pilgrim Institute
http://www.pilgriminstitute.org/elementaryhistory.html
Call (574) 277-1789 or email us at info@Pilgriminstitute.org

Political Action
Be Informed and Prepared
     Before you rush out in "righteous indignation" in your own
strength and understanding to correct injustice and evil, be sure you
are well informed and prepared, and have sought the Lord and His
Word.
     "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on
your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He
will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5, 6).

     Get information from reliable news sources with a Christian
or conservative perspective such as the political action organizations
listed under "Influencing Others" below.

World Magazine. http://www.worldmag.com/world/home.asp
CitizenLink e-mail. http://www.family.org/cforum/clinksignup.cfm
The Times and the Scriptures. http://www.timesandscriptures.com

* Research issues facing our nation today, gathering facts and
   analyzing solutions in light of Scripture, from these sources and
   the political action organizations listed under "Influencing Others"
   below.
      http://www.family.org/cforum/fosi
      http://www.christiananswers.net/menu-ag1.html
      http://nche.hslda.org/docs/default.asp

* Research information on political candidates.  Collect
   information about their opinions and especially their voting
   records from news reports, public records, or interviews.
   For voting records, see
   http://www.senate.gov/reference/common/faq/how_to_votes.htm

* Discuss political, social, and moral issues in the news with your
   children and teach them to evaluate everything according to
   God's Word.

* Keep a list of city, county, state, and national officials
   with their e-mail, phone, fax, and mail information to make it
   easier for you to contact them.
   http://capwiz.com/hslda/home
   Senators. http://www.senate.gov
   Members of the House. http://www.house.gov

Voting
     Voting is the process designed by our Constitution whereby
our government is directed by us, "the people."  Ultimately all
parts of our government are affected by our voting.  It is a privilege
and a responsibility of every citizen to participate in our
government on all levels and to take part in the direction our nation
is going.
     Yet a significant percent of Americans do not register or
vote!  This should not be true of Christians.
     Christians can impact our society and nation if we all make
a concerted effort to cast informed votes guided by biblical truths.
We chould also seek to influence others to do the same.

* Be sure you are registered to vote, especially after a change
   of address.
* Help your children register to vote as soon as they turn 18
    or if they will be 18 on the next election day.
* Encourage friends, support group or church members, and
   neighbors to register and vote.
* Help distribute Christian voting guides if they are available
   in your area.
* Vote in every election, great or small!

Register Online To Vote
   http://www.onlinedemocracy.com/vote/index.cfm

Your Premier Source for Christian
Educational and Homeschool Resources:
Foundation for American Christian Education
     We publish the Principle Approach, a complete educational
curriculum which builds a Biblical worldview through logic,
reasoning, and critical thinking.
     The Principle Approach uses the Noah Plan curriculum to
place God's Word at the heart of your teaching and learning!
800-352-3223  http:/www.face.net

Influencing Others
     There are many opportunities for you to influence others and
make a real difference in our government, which in turn affects
our lives and freedoms.

Coordinating Efforts
     Impact can be increased when many voices are heard.  The
following organizations can alert you to time-senstitive
situations, save you much time and effort in research, and
multiply effects by coordinating our efforts.
     However, you need to check facts and come to your own
conclusions even if they occasionally differ from the group --
that's the exercise of individual freedom that we defend.

     Political Action Organizations
     Concerned Women for America. http://www.cwfa.org
     Focus on the Family's Citizen Link.
     http://www.family.org/cforum
     Family Research Council. http://www.frc.org
     National Right to Life. http://www.nrlc.org
     Eagle Forum. http://www.eagleforum.org
     American Family Association. http://www.afa.net
     The Center for Reclaiming America.
     http://www.reclaimamerica.org
     Grassfire. http://www.grassfire.org

     Home-School Issues
     State Home-School Organizations.
     http://www.teachinghome.com/states/index.cfm
     Home School Legal Defense Association. http://www.hslda.org

* Sign up for newsletters and alerts.
* Participate in phone trees or other methods of spreading the
   word.

Your Own Family
* It is ideal for fathers to take the lead and oversight in teaching
   their family what God says about government and social issues,
   as well as providing an example of working to protect the
   family's freedoms.
* There are many ways that your family can work together in
   various political action efforts.
* Your children can make an impression all their own by writing
   neat, well-thought-out letters to the editor or government
   representatives in their own words and with their age given
   after their name.

The Media
     The media wields a great force in shaping our society.
Christians can be an influence for justice in righting the media's
distorted treatment of issues.  Experience has shown that the
media will respond if the outcry against their offenses is strong
enough.  Contact the following organizations:

* Federal Communications Commission
   http://www.fcc.gov
   You can contact your members of Congress and all five
   commissioners of the FCC and let them know that indecent
   broadcasting must be stopped and increased policing of
   programming and stiffer penalties are needed.  See
   http://www.family.org/cforum/fnif/news/a0030984.cfm
* Parents Television Council.  http://www.parentstv.org
* Your local newspaper.

The Public
     There are also opportunities for you to use the media as an
effective public forum.  You can present godly views and
suggested solutions to the public, who can in turn, exercise their
right to speak and to vote.
* Write a letter to the editor.
* Call a radio talk show host.

Elected Government Officials
     As your representatives, elected officials need to hear from
you and know how you wish to be represented on an issue.
* Visit your representatives with your neatly-groomed and well-
   behaved children, perhaps during your state home-school
   organization's Capitol Day.
* Lobby by letter (preferred) or by phone, fax, or e-mail on a
   time-sensitive issue.
* Attend state or local open meetings or hearings on issues of
   interest to you.
* Show support and thanks when an official has made a right
   decision, especially if it has taken courage to act contrary to
   strong opposition.

     For example, your family might want to write to President
Bush commending him for his support of the Federal Marriage
Amendment.  http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
     Let your congressman, and U.S. senators know that you
support the Federal Marriage Amendment. To compose one
e-mail you can send to all your elected federal officials, visit
the CitizenLink Action Center at
http://capwiz.com/fof/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=5185371

Other Opportunities
* Participate in a peaceful, legal demonstration at an abortion
   center or other event.
* Contribute money, time, or supplies to organizations that are
   seeking to effect change in an important area.
   Crisis Pregnancy Centers.  http://www.cpc.org

Guidelines for Any Lobbying Effort
     There are general principles that can guide all of your
political action -- letters, calls, or visits in person.
__ Always be totally respectful throughout your entire
     correspondence or presentation.
__ Be confident; you have a right and responsibility to be heard.
__ Respond quickly to issues that are time-sensitive.
__ Be well informed with verified facts.
__ Furnish information that pertains to the issue.
__ Be brief and to the point, staying on one issue at a time.
     For example:
     * Keep your letter to one page, referring to additional
        information that you might also enclose.
     * Follow guidelines for letters to the editor and keep the length
        to 200-500 words.
     * Announce the subject of your call when telephoning or
        calling a talk show.
__ Make sure your letter is neat and your thoughts are well
     organized with correct grammar and spelling.
__ Express your own personal concerns or opinions.  You might
     need to rewrite a suggested message in your own words.
__ Propose a specific solution or make an appeal for an alternative
     to an unacceptable situation.
__ Make your request for action clear and simple, e.g., "Please
     vote yes for the Federal Marriage Amendment."
__ Ask your representative what his position and intended actions
     are.
__ Be persistent; make sure your message has been received and
     that you are answered.
__ It is appropriate and appreciated to let your representatives
     know that your family is praying for them.

Entering the Political Process
* Volunteer to help get a candidate elected or a ballot measure
   passed.
* Join the local chapter of your political party and attend
   precinct, county, or senatorial district conventions or party
   caucus meetings.
* Consider running for a public office, or have your friends
   write in your name for your party's precinct committee person
   if that fits into your God-given priorities.
* Become acquainted with and participate in appropriate
   alternatives available to citizens such as the initiative,
   petition, referendum, and recall procedures.

     Please Thank and Support Our Sponsoring Advertisers!
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          Please remember those that have advertised in our
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Sunnyside Up: And at Such an Early Age
     While sitting on the couch reading with our 1st grader, Amy,
I noticed that all the chapter headings were in Roman numerals.
     Amy was curious, so we spent the next 20 minutes learning
numbers 1-39.
     When we finished, Amy looked up at me, took a deep breath,
and said, "Now I've seen everything!"
     Submitted by Jodi M., Massachusetts

God Loves You.
     Because we were separated from God by sin, Jesus Christ died
in our place, then rose to life again.  If we trust Jesus Christ
as our Savior and Lord, He will give us eternal life.
     "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that
not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of
works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
     http://www.TeachingHome.com/about/salvation.cfm

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