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FEAST Executive Director, Linda Whiten

As a kid, I always dreamed of being a gymnast. The girl who lived next-door took gymnastics, and when she would come home from her gymnastics practice I would go over and she would teach me everything she learned that day. It was so much fun to learn to do all the elements of gymnastics: handstands, handsprings, flips and everything she could learn, she would show me. We would work up routines on the balance beam (built by her father and installed in her back yard). We also had a routine for the floor mats (which was the beautiful carpet grass). Her backyard became our little gymnastics world. We had so much fun. One of the things that her mom was always insistent about was that one would spot the other. This meant whichever person was doing the routine, the other person would spot them or act as a protector to make sure that they did not fall or lose their balance or get hurt. Of course, I don’t think in the heat of the moment that we realized the importance or value of the spotter. Most likely we realized the worth of the spotter when trying a new maneuver. We would always crash to the ground and appreciate the fact that the crash landing would have been worse without the spotter.
As I grew up and maneuvered through life, I found that I was developing many spotters.
1. Some were in my personal life, helping me with the development of my personality, my character traits, and all the components that made me the person I was becoming.
2. Some were in my home school life, helping me to develop a good work ethic. As I began to teach my boys, instilling a love of learning and a love of the Father in them. I would rely on my spotter to ensure that I was on a path of not only educating my children but teaching them to have a heart for the things of the Lord.
3. Some were in my spiritual life, helping me to learn to have faith, to trust in the Lord and to share that faith with others.
Today, as we look forward to a new maneuver with FEAST, I realize more than ever, the importance and value of Christ as our spotter. He is there if we fall, lose our balance, or get hurt. He wants what is best for the FEAST Home School Families and His children. Just as there are many unknowns with the move, our home schooling, and life, we must first place our trust in Him.


How is Your VISION?
It Depends on
How You Look at it!

“The EYES OF THE LORD
are in every place,

BEHOLDING the evil & the good.” Proverbs 15:3

Generally speaking, I think that most people take their vision for granted. Even if you grew up wearing glasses or contacts, you probably had days where you took it for granted as you could see clearly with your prescription. I never had problems until I turned 48 and I had to get “readers”. After that, every 12- 18 months I had to get stronger glasses, yet, I still took my vision for granted. That changed this year as my sight has declined to the point where I can read hardly anything without glasses. So I find myself in the position of having the worst eyesight of my life, yet appreciating it more than I ever have before.

“…I still took my vision for granted.”

I also have had issues with my spiritual sight. The good news is that I don’t need contacts or glasses for this to be corrected. All it takes is a little time with my Lord and a little time in His Word. The more time I spend with Him, the closer my relationship becomes and the better my vision. Here are the ways that my spiritual aptitude can have a positive effect on my vision:

“All it takes is a little time with my Lord…”

• I can see things in myself that need to be corrected; impatience, misaligned priorities, mishandling money, etc.
• I can see others as Christ sees them so that I may interact with them in His love; God orchestrates our step and puts people in our lives daily to whom we can minister and be a blessing.
• It can prevent blind spots (where we don’t want to see things in our children and admit that the cause was because of their parents) Sometimes things are revealed in the actions of our children, and we can pin point it back to things we did not teach them well. The good news is: we are all a work in progress. Since we are still alive, we can still learn, which leaves time to correct.
• It can improve your home schooling vision (without pretenses, barriers and unreasonable expectations, we can educate our children in truth). Trusting God for the things we cannot see. We trusted God enough to make the decision to home school, and God will guide, sustain, and see us through.

“Since we are still alive, we can still learn, which leaves time to correct.”

So, consider your tool box equipped with the best glasses ever! They are God’s glasses. They will help us see and understand things. Use them to be all that God has designed you to be. Ask God to open your eyes and restore the vision that he has for your life. Be the salt and light, in your home, your neighborhood, your home school.


March

 

My family loves amusement parks. The parks usually have a line-up of rides that will thrill each member of our family. My husband likes the steel roller coasters, while my sons like all of them, including the traditional wooden roller coasters. My personal favorite is the suspended roller coaster. I remember one summer my family did the “roller coaster circuit”. We went to all the major theme parks in Texas and rode all the roller coasters. What a fun time!
The first time we would ride a particular roller coaster, there was an added level of excitement of conquering it for the first time. No matter how many times you would repeat the ride, it would never repeat the high thrill as you learned what to expect. This is the same with life.

“…or a marital problem, which can leave us feeling topsy-turvy…”

Life is like a roller coaster. As we go through things from day to day, we may experience the following:
• Dealing with vehicle troubles, home school detours or disciplinary issues with our child can leave us breathless, like the plunge of the roller coaster as you drop from great heights.
• Sometimes we are faced with a death in the family, legal issue or a marital problem, which can leave us feeling topsy-turvy as though we have been going forward, backwards and looping upside down.
• Yet other times we may endure trials which, by themselves don’t seem hard, but they are many and we seem to get overwhelmed and feel like life is speeding out of control.

“HE IS FAITHFUL!”

Remember, on the roller coaster, no matter which type, there is one common denominator. They all have seatbelts and/or restraints that will hold you in the car, until you get to the end of the ride. No matter how fast you have to go, how many steep drops there may be or how many times you are turned upside down, they restrain you. This is like our Lord. HE IS FAITHFUL! Whether you are speeding up, or coasting through, God is your security as He will restrain you.
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23


February LOVE LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God: and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God: for God is love.” I John 4:7-8
We live in an automated world. Daily, I enjoy modern conveniences that were not available for my grandmother to enjoy. I can wake up via my alarm clock on my cell phone, listen to God’s word and praise music on my electronic device, turn on my child’s electronic teacher, put the dirty dishes and clothes into machines that will clean them, drive-thru while in my car to get a wash, and then pick-up dinner at a drive through window.
So shouldn’t we get a day of free time at the end of the month for all the “time we saved”?
Unfortunately it does not work that way. Grandma worked from sunup to sundown, and so do we. We tend to just fill our time with extra tasks, intentional or not. “So shouldn’t we get a day of free time at the end of the month for all the ‘time we saved’?” Speaking of intentional, I always try to do things with purpose. Valentine’s Day makes me think of love and doing things for the ones you love. I try to show my husband that I love him in the things that I do for him. It’s not a big thing, but a million little things. It does not take a lot of money, but it does take planning and your execution. Things like packing his lunch, slipping love notes to him, or washing his truck when he’s pulled a long week at work are just the small ways that I try to show my love and affection. I do many of the same things for my sons, only the love letters are all “Rated G”. These personal touches should not end with your family, rather they should be practiced with all that you meet. You should take advantage of opportunities for others to see the love of Christ in you on a daily basis. Here is a list of some “intentional” ideas:
• Do you know your neighbors by their name? Bake some cookies and go introduce yourself.
• Maybe you have a heart to help new home school moms and would like to sign up to be a “Mentoring Mom”; email me for details.
• Take the family to volunteer at the Food Bank. It really helps your kids put the magnitude of hunger into perspective.
• Coordinate with a local nursing home for your family to go volunteer. It will be a great experience for both your family and the nursing home.
• Volunteer at FEAST! We have many ways you can reach out and bless other home schoolers.
• Become a Monthly Donor. What if you wanted and needed a better way to educate your child…but did not know about FEAST? We can reach more families with your help. CLICK HERE for more details.
“What if you wanted and needed a better way to educate your child…”
Make it a point to be “intentional”. Not just in your home, but everywhere you go! Think of things that would bless your heart, then go out and do it for others!


January – And so another year is over, completed, in the books…how did you finish? I used to struggle with organization and accountability. It was not until an older wiser woman (thank you Barbara Morse) shared with me that these qualities were teachable, that I realized that I could obtain the ability to conquer my domain. Don’t get me wrong, it is still work! I hope that I can share with you some of the helps I have picked up along the way. Creating this, my list of the Top 7 Areas of Accountability!

#7 Keep Your Children on Schedule. Like anything else, it is easier to stay on schedule than to have to play catch up. Build in a reward system, for example: if the children stay up with their class assignments and chores, there can be a weekly or monthly reward. The rewards don’t even have to cost money! They can be as simple as going to the park or on a hike. Just something fun and out of the ordinary. Deuteronomy 6:7 “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

#6 Clean Home and Yard. This is the area that seems to suffer most when life gets overwhelming. With a short list, household chores and yard work can be maintained. We found that if we had monthly, weekly and daily chores everything seemed to get done. Monthly would include: changing a/c filters, maintaining lawn equipment, cleaning the driveway, etc. Weekly would include: mopping, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, deep clean the kitchen, changing and washing linens, etc. Daily would include: making our beds, cleaning our bedrooms, picking up toys, etc. I found this to be a little less burdensome with a partner. One of my friends and I would report in weekly to encourage each other and try to help problem solve any issues that may have come up. Matthew 25:21 “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

#5 Healthy Eating for Each Family Member. This may seem easy enough, but if you have diverse issues with different family members it can become very challenging. The hardest obstacle for me was to find the time to shop for the right food items for all the dietary restrictions of the family. I have started using online services where I can pick up the groceries, but I do not let them select my meats or produce. (I am picky) Incorporate the entire family into this lifestyle and it will soon become habit. Avoid unhealthy foods. Assign the children to research healthy recipes. I Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

#4 Fitness for the Whole Family. You don’t have to look far to find help on maintaining fitness. Take my word for it, it is much harder to regain, than to maintain. Be active; go for walks, ride your bikes and play games with the whole family. I Corinthians 9:27a “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection…”

#3 Keep the Peace. It is important with life being fast paced on all fronts, to take some time for you! Learn to relax and unwind. It is in the quiet times that you can do your best planning and troubleshooting. Be consistent in making time each day for yourself. God still speaks, but sometimes we are so busy we do not hear Him. Psalm 46:10a “Be still, and know that I am God…”

#2 Continue the Courtship. Marriage is what you make of it. Keep the lines of communication open. Be mindful that neither one of you are perfect. Remember to put your spouse above all others, second only to God! Work as a team, in tandem. Rely on God and each other. If there is something that you don’t like about your marriage, work with your spouse to make it better. I Peter 4:8 “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”

#1 Personal relationship with Christ. If you don’t have one, get one! If you have one, it needs to be cultivated by prayer, worship and Bible reading. If you get this area of your life in order, all other areas will fall into place with the Lord’s help. Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

My prayer for you is that you will find the peace and balance for you and your family in 2018. If I could help you in any way, I would count it a privilege. May the Lord bless you with a prosperous New Year.

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December Winter Always Turns to Spring by Linda Whiten

With the onset of cooler temperatures, I find myself reflecting on the seasons of the year. Often when reference is made to the seasons, winter is the season that is usually referred to as a “hard” season. Depending on where you live, this could be due to extreme temperatures, ice, snow or other things that would inhibit the easier lifestyle experienced in other seasons.

“… Happiness is temporary, but joy is ETERNAL.”

Similarly, our life has seasons of change. We experience seasons where life is easy and fun and all seems to be happy with our world. Then a change comes, and things become hard and even the most insignificant tasks are a chore. I know for me, my “Winter” came in 2015 when I received a phone call from my doctor in which he informed me that I had cancer. I tried to stay positive and on my first visit to my surgeon, he was frustrated with me because I was jovial. He asked me, “Don’t you know that you can die from this?” I informed him that I had a great God who was bigger than this cancer. He expressed his disgust and became my former surgeon. Through this experience, I realized that I could not remain positive or hold it together. I became about as transparent as one can be, revealing that ALL of my trust was in my Savior. When you go through a cold harsh time, if you ask the Lord, He will help and carry you through. I also discovered the difference between happiness and joy; “Happiness is temporary, but joy is eternal. Happiness depends upon outward experiences, but joy comes from within.” This quote by Adrian Rogers has been forever etched in my mind. So, my joy, just like my salvation is of the Lord. This transference of responsibility was a tremendous comfort in my time of need knowing that “winter” would pass, and the Lord would reveal the “spring.”

“…don’t try to make it through the winter ALONE.”

What’s in your “Winter”? Marital problems, illness, rebellious child, home schooling demands, financial trouble… don’t try to make it through the winter alone. Christ is there for you; reach up to Him. I would be happy to help you in any way that I can. The Lord reminds us in Galatians 6:2a, “Bear ye one another’s burdens.” Trusting that the Lord does not want us to stay “out in the cold”, but rather to walk through it into the warmth of His Love. Find the escape that He has made for you today!

“There hath no TEMPTATION taken you but such as is common to man: but GOD is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to ESCAPE, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 

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November It’s All About Choices by Linda Whiten

How many subjects do you teach your children vs. how many life skills? It is one thing to be book smart, but where do they learn about the things that will make them a functioning member of society? Things like morals, respect, discipline, principles, ethics, love, charity and faith? One of the things that often melts into the background, and may not get emphasized, is the importance of making good choices. Teach your children to deliberately make good choices; and that taking a neutral position on something is still making a choice. Much to my chagrin, the issues that I was not strong in, are the issues my children struggle with as adults. Praise God we are all still a work in progress and are still able to learn and grow.


“The issues that I was not strong in teaching my children are the issues they struggle with as adults.”One of the choices I made years ago, was to always look on the bright side. Choosing to be happy and to find the good in everything, people, situations and the world around me! I’m sorry to say, but my optimistic outlook has sometimes resulted in a shirking of my duties. You see, as a follower of Christ, I am to share His love with all that I encounter. So if we met, and I did not share Christ with you, please forgive me for not making the right choice. 
I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about the greatest thing that ever happened to me. It was a Sunday at church, and the preacher spoke about a God of love. He proceeded to tell me how this same God loved me, just the way I was, unlovely, in all my sin. This same God had sent His son, Jesus to die on the cross so that I could have eternal life. Oh the joy that filled my soul the day that I choose Him to become the Lord of my life. Since that day, my life has been richer and sweeter.

“It was a Sunday at church, and the preacher spoke about a God of love.”
I choose to reflect the love of Christ in all that I do. Jesus is the Light of the world. My prayer is that I would be deliberate and bear witness of that Light. My mission is to be salt and light. Jesus was speaking to His followers in Matthew 5:13-16 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” 

“Ye are the light of the world.”
I hope that you and your family have made the right choice and have received the light of Christ, that He is Lord of your life and you share my mission. If you by chance don’t have the light, and are not sure how to teach this to your children, let’s get together, and I will show you how to get the glow! It will be the best choice you have ever made.

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 October Lessons from the Play Pen by Linda Whiten

As I have watched my boys grow up to be men, I think it is a fair assessment to say that we taught each other. From the moment they came into our lives, two bouncing baby boys, four years apart, the education began. I don’t mean books, I mean educating the whole child. Every day was an opportunity to teach them something and yet every day they taught me something. Through the many stages of their lives, there were times when I would become totally overwhelmed. There were just so many things that had to be done and not enough time to do them. It was in these stressful times that I realized I was simply not capable. I could not teach them. This thing called home schooling was apparently not for me, no matter how much I wanted it. Yet it was in this low time that I realized that with God’s help all things are possible. I could trust God to help me, one lesson at a time, one boy at a time.

Here are some things that helped me learn to trust in the Lord:
1. Recognizing that the Lord would give me strength for the day. Isaiah 40:28-29
2. Acknowledging that it would be the Lord working through me that would bring about success. Proverbs 3:5-6
3. Moving forward in the power of the Lord. II Timothy 1:7
4. Accomplishing a good work. Philippians 1:6

In my endeavor to educate my boys, I was the one who received the education; one that will serve me for a lifetime. Believe that you, with God’s help can educate your whole child. If He has called you to it, He will see you through it!

Don’t forget October 5, 2017 is World Teachers Day. This Day has been established to raise awareness of the importance of the role played by teachers all over the world. The responsibility for educating future generations is not an easy one. Show your support to the dedicated teachers in your child’s life by doing something special for them. So when you show your appreciation for your child’s teacher, make sure to include yourself. Maybe some fun indulgence; chocolate, coffee or mani-pedi? You deserve a break! Don’t want to celebrate alone? Meet me at FEAST on Thursday, October 5th at 2pm. We will serve coffee and something sweet! I will make the coffee, you bring the treats! Click here to RSVP. This will be a free time of fellowship to celebrate teachers!

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September If you only knew… by Linda Whiten

My routine is pretty mundane. At my age, there is never extra energy, so my actions need to be thoughtful and deliberate. In an effort to accomplish more, I start my day in the Word and with prayer. I ask the Lord to give me strength, discernment and wisdom; and to reveal to me how I can make your day easier. How can I help you? How can I enrich your home school journey? How can I help you overcome the obstacles that you are currently facing? How can I encourage you to reach out when you are weary or troubled?

It is my desire to help you, to bridge the gap between what you have and what you need. I am always looking for things with you in mind. Sometimes late at night I lay awake, thinking of you, praying for you. I petition the Lord to guide you, lift you up and orchestrate your home school day. Is there a class, or another way to get you together with other moms for the encouragement that you need? In the end, it isn’t about me. It’s about Christ and what HE wants to do through me, through FEAST, for you. I cannot express the deep desire my staff and I have for carrying out God’s will for the families that cross our paths.

If only you knew… that all that I do, I do for you out of love, fellow home school Mom! Please contact me at linda@homeschoolfeast.com or call me on my cell at 210-854-3178.

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by Linda Whiten

August brings the excitement of ramping up for another year of home schooling!  Lord willing, this will be my last as my youngest son will be a senior. What is on the schedule for my student? To be honest, I always get a little overwhelmed this time of year. I feel like I have to choose from a massive list of courses available and pick the limited number of courses that my son will take. If he could take all the ones I like, there would be so many that he would need to do school work 24/7. Unfortunately, he doesn’t want that schedule. So I try to focus on keeping the main thing, the main thing. This meansI must choose well, as there are only so many hours in the day. So although I may not get the plethora of courses on the schedule that I wanted, I will have done well if I accomplish the following:

Get the core classes required, along with electives he wants/needs, paired with training my son to be a man after God’s own heart. The older my son gets, the more emphasis I believe needs to be placed on shepherding his heart and forming his character. I want him to have character, not be one. So don’t be overwhelmed! We serve a God of order and we strive to find the balance. I love to watch as my son does his work, and God gives the increase.  

I would love to encourage you to make sure you plan some encouragement, relaxation and fun for your child’s teacher. You must stay on track and there is not time for discouragement. Find a support group, or arrange a home school moms get together. Remember that the FEAST Staff is always here to serve you in any way we can. Another way to stay the course is through books. Here are a few books I would like to recommend. We carry them in the FEAST Bookstore:

• “Educating the WholeHearted Child” by Clay Clarkson with Sally Clarkson
• “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp
• “Parenting Isn’t for Cowards” by Dr. James Dobson
• And one for your teens – “Do Hard Things” by Alex and Brett Harris

Above all, keep your relationship with Christ fresh. Spend time with Him every day in prayer, in His Word and worship. I pray that this will be the best home school year in your journey to date. Stay the course and trust in Him!

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by Linda Whiten

The 4th of July is always such a happy day! There are visions of our American Flag waving in the air, home town parades with marching bands, decorated cars, horseback riders and everyone dressed in as much red, white and blue as possible. Americans everywhere will celebrate with picnics and fireworks the adoption of the Declaration of Independence which established America as a country free from the rule of Great Britain.

I remember while growing up, we would always grill hot dogs and spend time together as a family celebrating the freedom that the 4th of July represents. Now, as a wife and mother, little has changed, and I still have grilled hot dogs with my family.

As Independence Day approaches, those thoughts of freedom always bring to mind a greater freedom that I can celebrate. The ultimate freedom brought by the One who died for us. For me, it was coming to the knowledge that I needed a Savior. It is clearly lined out in God’s Word that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. There was nothing that I could do on my own accord that would merit eternal life in Heaven. Then I realized there was indeed nothing “I” had to do, only accept the free gift of salvation. Christ had already done all the work on the cross. Once He became Lord of my life, all of His freedoms became mine:

• Jesus Christ brings true freedom – Ephesians 1:7
• Freedom from the bondage of sin – Romans 6:23
• Freedom through God’s truth – John 8:31-33

I pray that you have received your freedoms through Christ, if not, stop by the office. I would love to share Christ with you. It will change your life and your eternity! Now that is something to celebrate about this 4th of July!

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June – Top 10 Reasons to Attend the FEAST Convention by Linda Whiten

The month of June has arrived, and with it comes summertime fun and the FEAST Annual Home School Convention! This is the time of year that the entire FEAST board and staff work diligently with an awesome group of volunteers, to bring you an event that truly has something for everyone! This event is planned with you in mind, down to the last detail, with a line-up of great speakers, workshops, problem solving, curriculum options as well as mentoring. In the 18 years I have been home schooling, I have seen many trends. One that makes me sad is the trend for some to feel like they do not need to attend a convention. In an effort to bring to mind the reasons that one would attend, I have come up with my personal “Top 10 Reasons to Attend the FEAST Convention”.

I pray that I will see you there! June 8-10, 2017 at the FEAST Campus!

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Happy Memorial Day! by Linda Whiten

Since 1868, Memorial Day has been a time for us to pause and remember those who died while serving our country. When I grew up, I never really understood the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. To me, they were both a day set aside to honor our military. It was not until I married a Marine (who by the way is my favorite Veteran) that I was educated in the difference between the two holidays. They both are great holidays and each serves a different purpose. Veteran’s Day honors all those who served in the Armed Forces of the United States, while Memorial Day honors those who died while serving this great country. The freedom we know today came at a price: it was not free. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13


So this memorial day as you plan your family picnic or a trip to Grandma’s, make sure that you incorporate the history of this holiday with your children. Help them to understand that as Americans we did not get where we are today without sacrifice. Maybe you could have them research someone in your hometown who was honored as a hero. Maybe the hero was from your own family!

One thing I know for sure, is that the United States does not have a shortage of heroes. Were it not for those brave souls who signed that blank check to defend this nation, promising to pay up to and including their life, we would not live in the America we know today. All gave some, some gave all. May we never forget! God bless America! Happy Memorial Day!

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April Showers bring May Flowers by Linda Whiten

For as long as I can remember, I have heard this every spring. However, this is the first year I realized the philosophical value of that statement. It refers to going through a period of endurance in order to experience a time of blessing. Last month the tornados hit both my home and the FEAST Campus. As I toiled over the damage left in the destructive path of the storm, there was scattered debris, broken trees and limbs, roof damage, siding damage, mangled metal torn off of the buildings, and a general feeling of hopelessness. I was feeling somber and alone, but not for long. I began to feel God’s presence and notice His hand in every action. Vehicle after vehicle full of strangers who came up to our home and offered assistance after the storm reminded me that I am not alone.

Assessing the damage with the insurance adjusters, I began to feel optimistic that the only things lost were
“things”. There were no injuries or death. Both insurance companies worked swiftly and with compassion which
caused me to feel God’s strength and His love. As I began the arduous task of seeking repairs, I drove through the surrounding neighborhoods; only then did I realize God’s hand of protection.
No doubt, the storms will come. When you find yourself being tossed to and fro in the storms of life, will you
cling to the Rock? We must seek God so that we don’t become a casualty of the storm. For now, the storm is over,
and I am excited to see God’s blessing!

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March is here, and with it comes Spring by Linda Whiten

I don’t know about you, but I love to deep clean and declutter this time of year. Spring break allows me the time to go through things and “gift away” the items that are no longer needed. I call this “spring cleaning with a purpose”. ”Let all things be done decently and in order.” I Corinthians 14:40

Here are a couple of ideas to help get the creative juices flowing! As I go through things, I strive to consider items that could be repurposed instead of throwing out and buying new. We had a small computer desk that became obsolete. Simultaneously, we needed a small shelf to go by the bedside. We painted the computer desk and gave it a new purpose. This is just one example of a simple task that you could personalize while involving your children!
When my boys were young, we had a system. If they got 10 presents for their birthday, they had to pull out 10 things to gift to someone else. It helped my children to know that someone had a need for the very thing that they no longer needed.
So if you deep clean, declutter or just straighten up for spring, make sure that you incorporate the kids. They learn best by  your example. Once you are finished, it is time for a treat to celebrate your accomplishment.
God’s blessings on your Spring!

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It is February, and love is in the air! by Linda Whiten

All too often, we get caught up in the busy-ness of life, only to discover that we have missed opportunities to minister to others. I would like to share with you my renewed goal of loving others, even as Christ loves us. Everywhere you go, there are people who need something from you. As my pastor says, they need a word, a look or a touch!

WORDProverbs 25:11 Says “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” So imagine if you were the one who needed encouragement. How much would a word from a friendly face in a time of need mean to you?
LOOKPsalm 119:132 “Look Thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as Thou usest to do unto those that love Thy name.” Just as David wanted God to look upon him, as the body of Christ, we should look on others with the love and compassion of Christ.
TOUCHDaniel 10:18 “Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,” Scripture shows the power of a touch; may we use that power to strengthen others.

So go out in love and be a blessing today! “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

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New Year ~ New Challenge

I pray that your family is as excited about the upcoming New Year, as we are here at FEAST! You may have had a great 2016; even so, we hope you will begin 2017 with a renewed vigor and excitement for your journey of parent directed education! As you reflect on where you have been, January is a great time to discuss and give thanks on how God brought you into home schooling. Looking forward to the programs to come, and where you are headed, I want to remind you that FEAST has been with you all the way.

We will be here to help you make 2017 your strongest home school year ever. Whether you have been home schooling for a week or a decade, we have gathered ideas, tips and research to help encourage your children while home schooling. Come by and see our beautiful remodeled bookstore anytime, Monday through Thursday from 10am to 5pm and see how we can help! FEAST has a staff that is called to serve and we’ll be here to share a laugh with you, cheer you on when you need a good word, or even be the shoulder during those tough times. How do we keep doing what we do? The answer is simple: The prayers and financial support from people just like you. Every time you give a monthly donation, shop at the FEAST bookstore, take part in co-op or sports, or participate in fundraising events, you are helping FEAST serve others. We know that not everyone has the money to donate, but for those who do, it makes it possible for FEAST to operate efficiently and even offer new things to the home schooling community. Keeping FEAST sustainable through monthly donations of any size helps us continue to invest in the spiritual, emotional, and educational life of each family to whom we minister. If FEAST has been a blessing to your family, will you help by becoming a monthly donor?  CLICK HERE To partner with FEAST…

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By Linda Whiten / December 2016

Christmas time is upon us. What a lovely time to reflect on the babe in the manger who was born in the lowliest of places. He did not make a grand entrance as one would expect from the King of Kings. Instead He started His life on earth with His entrance in a stable, all because there was no room for Him in the inn. Do you have room for Him this Christmas Season? As you make preparations for all the festivities, make sure that you include that babe in the manger, who came to the world to die for us that we might live for Him.

As we look back at this year, we see a lot of crazed activity in the world. Many divisive events over the last few months that have pitted people against each other, and caused strife in this election year. I am sure you received many requests for donations and/or support for so many of these causes. I would encourage you to focus on the Lord and your family and not to be discouraged with so much of the turmoil that you are not able to change. I challenge you to ponder these decisions as a good steward of what God has given you and consider FEAST in your year-end giving, the same FEAST that has been there for you through the years, and Lord willing will be there for you and your family in the future.

I would like to remind you that 100% of the profits at FEAST are put right back into the home school community. Supporting events and services for home schoolers, by home schoolers, and about home schoolers. These are a few of the offerings at FEAST:

  • Bookstore providing educational and enrichment supplies including computer software
  • Online Bookstore
  • Orientation for new home schoolers
  • Legal information regarding home schooling in Texas
  • Educational Scholarships
  • Standardized Testing, ASVAB Testing and PSAT Testing
  • Annual Home School Convention
  • Co-op featuring full computer and science labs and Pre-K -12th grade classes offered
  • Apprentice opportunities and information
  • Competitive youth sports program and instructional camps
  • Used Books Swap & Used Book Room
  • Monthly MANNA Newsletter
  • Local support groups and tutor list
  • Patriot Pass Benefits
  • Workshops and Training Seminars
  • Youth Leadership Training
  • Summer Reading Program
  • Rentals: Courts, Field, Workshops, Banquet Hall, etc.
  • Science Fair, Geography, Bible and Spelling Bees, and Civics Class
  • Contests, Fine Arts Night, And Children’s Fair Program
  • College & Career Events, Information and College Fair
  • Consulting and Mentoring

Your suggestions and assistance in any area would be welcome. We are thankful for the families who continually support this organization financially and through volunteer work to help us improve our facility and make the above events possible. To see how FEAST got started, click here! Please be reminded that your donations are 100% tax deductible. Most importantly, please pray for us as we continue to promote and support the benefits of parent directed education.

Merry Christmas on behalf of the FEAST Board of Directors and Staff! May God pour out His blessings on you and your family in this New Year!

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