Excellent article by Ellen Densmore, Colorado Christian University student
“ 'Do you have any friends?' 'I wish I
could stay in my pajamas all day.' 'I couldn’t stand being around my
family all the time.' Those are just a few of the common questions and
assertions I’ve grown up hearing as a student who was homeschooled all
the way through 12th grade.
So, since you asked: Yes, I have friends; no, I don’t stay in my
pajamas all day long; and I rather like my family, thank you.
Homeschooling is an empowering institution—not a lazy one. It’s a system
that builds family devotion, personal initiative, and communication
skills, and allows individual passions and interests to drive each
student. There are a plethora of reasons I’m thankful I was homeschooled
from kindergarten through high school, and I’d like to share just 10 of
those with you.
#1. Christian Worldview
Instead of being subjected to indoctrination in the state’s public
school that have effectively eliminated God from the public square, I
was educated in an environment where God was a key part of every aspect
of life. The sciences are packed with evidence of His hand and design in
creation; geography and social sciences are studies of His people;
history is 'His-story,' and I grew up recognizing His divine plan for
Israel, the world, and America. Beyond textbook schooling, my parents
instilled me with what I like to call a 'worldview filter' through which
I examine every book, movie, and song lyric. My Christian worldview is
the foundation of my intellectual and spiritual identity.
Twenty five years ago I walked into the small town barber
shop of Jim Williams. It was like walking into Mayberry. The
interior was old-fashioned. Classical music lightly played through the
speaker. Theater seats, newspapers, and conversation welcomed
customers. Old and young men sat and shared recent news. Every Christmas he gave out black combs marked
with “Williams Barber Shop.” He would give me several saying, "Here, give some to your boys."
I was nineteen years old - a freshman at Presbyterian
College. Mr. Jim was in his sixties. We began a friendship that would
last a quarter of a century.
At our first meeting, we found common ground in our
faith. We both believed in Christ, read the Bible, and were
Baptists. I doubt if there was one time out of the several hundred I
visited his shop that we did not talk about God's Word in our conversations.
He cut my hair for much of those years, except for the four
years I was in seminary. He remained an encourager in my life, he often
wanted to talk about the Lord, and he shared many of the faithful qualities of
Jim opened his shop in 1952. When he celebrated his 60th
anniversary in the shop, he asked me to come and sing at a special
gathering. I was unavailable, but I
appreciated his thoughtfulness. I later
sang at his request at his brother’s funeral.
Jim was opinionated and didn't mind sharing those
thoughts. He had a "this is what I think, and you can take it or
leave it" mindset. He had the exterior of a stubborn old man who was
set in his ways. I would often come home and share with my family
something funny Jim said. But knowing him for many years, I knew that
there was depth and goodness beyond the outside. And I knew that he
sincerely wanted to please his Lord.
Jim always asked about my life. He showed interest in
my family, my education, my various pursuits, and in the churches I
served. Occasionally he would stop cutting, put his hand on my shoulder,
and offer unsolicited advice. I knew he genuinely cared about me and
hoped for my best. I think in some ways to him I was always that nineteen
year old college student who walked into his shop. When I gave him one of my business cards a
year ago, he looked at my picture and began laughing. He said, “I forget that you aren’t a freshman
in college anymore. You don’t look like
you did then!”
He was excited when my wife and I recorded our musical
CD's. I received a memorial from him when my father died. He even
assisted me during my doctoral research by allowing me to interview him.
In recent years as I became a published author, he took interest in hearing
about my writings and regularly asked where I was being published.
Jim taught a Sunday School class weekly. I could
expect an update from him regarding what book of the Bible he was currently
teaching to the Knights of the King class. He embodied
faithfulness. He was proud of his boys. He often talked of his late wife, what a wonderful woman she
was, and how he missed her. I remember his stopping cutting hair one time
and saying, "When she was here I had a home. Now I have a
The day I learned of his death, I told my wife, Jim is
one of those folks that you thought would always be around. You just
never thought he would be gone.
I will miss his steady hand on my shoulder.
God bless you, Jim, and goodbye old friend. You are now
with Christ and those who have gone before you.
The first days of January offer a great time for evaluation, reflection, and planning. The following is a helpful article by Donald Whitney.
"Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship
with Him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai. 'Consider
your ways!' (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of
the things happening to them, and to evaluate their slipshod
spirituality in light of what God had told them.
Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think
about the direction of their lives. It’s so easy to bump along from one
busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we’re going
and where we should be going.
The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get
our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in
the presence of God."