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Elijah Amos Waller!

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Son of Adam and Kalyn Waller

Born August 25

8lb 2oz - 20 inches long

Thank you for your prayers! He is doing extremely well after a report in his ultrasound that many of you were praying for! To God be the Glory!

Take note of his NAME......and then watch this short video that announces THE NEW PLAN!

We are very excited about our announcements! Take a look....and then email us back with your thoughts and responses. (Email lucas@FrontlineFamilies.com)

Doug, Lisa Hannah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doug and Lisa
Frontline Family Ministries

This is a letter I have written to any of our Frontline Moms subscribers who happen to be homeschool families.

Please share this with your homeschool friends.  Here is a print friendly version.

FLM Homeschool post open letterAn Open Letter to My Fellow Homeschool Parents

by Lisa Cherry

As a homeschool mom of 25 years with ten kids, I am writing today to express my concern for the safety of my fellow homeschooling families, the protection of our freedom to homeschool, and my own personal reputation as a homeschooler. Like many of you, I am both heartbroken and disturbed by the recent alleged sexual scandals involving Vision Forum and Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles.  I join with all those praying for the recovery of those who were affected.

As sexual abuse allegations within these ministries have attracted media attention, I am also greatly concerned about how these scandals could negatively impact all of us in the homeschool community. Please allow me to share with you seven vulnerabilities and nine suggestions for action in light of recent developments. (Since the nightmare of sexual abuse happened to our own family, it’s an issue that’s very close to my heart.)

 

 

 

Potential Vulnerabilities of Home School Families

1.  Misperception That Our Homes and Families Are Immune

After our own 15-year-old daughter was abused by a 46-year-old man in our congregation, we ended up in a jury trial. I still cringe when I remember how the prosecution portrayed our family and Kalyn as being "naive" about these issues. It also shook me to realize that, perhaps, in some ways he was right. We should have been aiming to be as "shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves" (Matthew 10:16, NASB). With one in four girls, and one in six boys, being sexually abused in America by the age of eighteen, it was naive to believe we were somehow immune to risk.

2.  Lack of Sexual Abuse Prevention Education

I am the first to admit that while Doug and I thought we had taken all the necessary steps to protect our family from sexual abuse, we were sadly misinformed. We were ignorant, before it happened to us, of the deceptive power of the grooming behaviors employed by abusers; and we believed that our family members—adults and kids alike—were too "smart" to be tricked. In researching how to help our wounded daughter, we discovered important keys that we now use to protect the rest of our kids.

3. Suspicious Behaviors

When people appear to be "hiding" or "protecting" known abusers, they bring suspicion upon themselves. No one wants to ever falsely accuse someone of sexual misconduct. However, once an accusation has been validated, we must establish an environment that encourages truth-telling, if victims are to heal and others are to be protected. If we silence or soften the truth, or  allow leaders  who have fallen into sexual sin to remain in their positions simply because they are good teachers, we contribute—either accidentally or intentionally—to the culture of grooming and lies.

4. Lax Attitudes and Systems

Mandatory reporting and sexual abuse prevention systems are the norm in schools and other institutions now, and rightly so. Because of some very public legal cases, and the increased liability of churches, schools and organizations, sexual abuse policies are much more strictly enforced nowadays. If we, as homeschoolers, do not also deal with this issue in a similarly forthright manner, we could appear to be negligent. This could attract further attention to us in two ways: (1) Child abusers will target our kids as easy marks, and (2) The homeschooling community will be under greater scrutiny in a way that invites regulation.

5. Public Perception

Homeschoolers are frequently viewed as a single group, implying that our community is ripe with such predators. In every article I have read on the ministries mentioned above, the media has emphasized that they are "homeschool leaders." In my experience, most people in education, media, government, and social services do not understand homeschoolers. Recently Michael Farris, president of HSLDA, issued a strong statement clarifying that we’re distinct individuals, and countering these misperceptions. While commenting on his recent interview in World News Daily condemning the actions of Doug Philips, Mr. Farris said on his Facebook page, "I have admitted my errors in failing to speak out....I am convinced that this [patriarchal] movement is harmful to people—children, women, and even men who buy into these deceptive ideas. The freedom of the homeschooling movement is threatened if this kind of dangerous legalism is allowed to become the dominant view. I have tried to distance myself quietly and imperfectly for a long time. I am now convinced that I need to be forthright and say out loud what I have thought for a long time....It would be easy to contend that Doug's sin was separate from his patriarchy views. I am saying the opposite. His views of women were integral to his actions." (April 15)

Mr. Farris's statements are strong and clear. But, sadly, it will be hard to counter the hostile public perceptions created by these scandals.

6.   Unnoticed Actions

The alleged immoral acts within these ministries appear to have gone unchecked for years. Surely someone saw something that caused concern.  But in their “trust” of the ministry leaders, most did what is all too common: they ignored or discounted what they saw. (Or perhaps they were ill-equipped to interpret what they observed.) This is truly unfortunate. The protective systems within these ministries were either inadequate, or they simply failed.

7.  Hostility toward the Homeschool Community Is Increasing

Online responses to these stories are flying—especially by those hostile to homeschooling. Honestly, I had not paid any attention to these anti-homeschooling voices until I saw them chiming in during the aftermath of these ministry scandals. But they are very real and very vocal. The implication that we, as homeschoolers, might need to be "watched more closely" is alarming. I do not want to dignify these comments further by providing a link, but I have seen them on several sites, and it is frightening. The hostile momentum that’s building—driven by those who would love to stop homeschooling or deeply regulate it—could be devastating to us all.

 

So what can we do, in the face of these challenges?

 

 

 

 

9 Suggestions that I Believe Are Critical

1.  Pull Our Heads Out of the Sand

We can’t ignore this issue any longer. We must address it, both personally and publicly. The problem of sexual abuse crosses all segments of society. We are not statistically at greater risk; but neither are we immune. (I have heard the stories from other affected homeschool families myself!) We must be willing to understand and confront our own unique set of risks.

2. Intentionally Include Sexual Abuse Training in Our Homeschools

The best abuse prevention for children is well-informed, alert adults. Parents must make the effort to study sexual issues that are prevalent in our society and dangerous to our kids. Read our story to see how we were tricked. Then do what it takes to launch your own protective strategy.  (Click here to find resources to help.)

3. Address the Issue of Sexual Abuse with Your Homeschool                   Co-op/Support Group

 

I suggest we launch a strategic effort to educate our families. It would not be that difficult. (Click here for recommended materials.) Homeschool group meetings on this topic could prevent a great deal of pain. At the same time, our homeschool co-ops need to review their own policies. Just as wise churches screen their own children's and youth workers, we should also. A good system of prevention is one of the best deterrents to abuse. Let's improve our own accountability so we are always above reproach.

4. Be Clear in Labeling Abuse as Abuse

We must call sexual abuse by its real name. Abuse is not limited to just rape or molestation. Here is an official definition from a reputable Christian book on the topic:

"Sexual abuse is any contact or interaction (visual, verbal, or psychological) between a child/adolescent and an adult (or older teen) when the child/adolescent is used for the sexual stimulation of the perpetrator or another person." (Dan Allender, The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse)

 

Let's face it: the term sexual abuse is loaded and ugly. So often people try to mislabel abuse as "inappropriate behavior" or an “indiscretion" or "immorality" to help remove its stigma.  But renaming something just confuses the issue at hand and prevents us from dealing with the reality of its dangers. Children and youth who have been damaged by abuse—even if the abuse seems "minor" to us—will often live their lives through the lens of that experience; and frequently make poor relationship and spiritual choices as they mature. They need our help for recovery.

5.  Support Organizations Fighting To Protect Us

We believe it is vital for homeschool families to stand together in this difficult hour, as we respond wisely to policies and laws that could challenge our freedoms. We must actively support those who stand up for our families. But while the legal teams have been wonderfully responsive to our homeschool community needs over the years, we must also recognize that they are only able to help us collectively when we choose to take personal responsibility. In other words, sometimes we need to take the initiative to police ourselves in private.....before they must represent us in public.

6. Permanently Remove from Your Group Or Sphere of Acquaintances Any Sexual Offenders

 

It seems like this would go without saying, but it does not. In the world's eyes, sexual offenders are considered "non-reformable," due to the nature of their problems. As believers in Jesus Christ, we know that God can deliver people from very complex problems. So, often, in our efforts to show mercy to these perpetrators, we give people the benefit of the doubt. We allow them second chances. Unfortunately, this has proven disastrous in many cases.

 

I propose that anyone who is truly repentant and reformed of sexually abusing a child should have no problem being under accountability, limits, and supervision. They would acknowledge their own risk for relapse, and not put themselves in a position where they could be even falsely accused.

 

Just as wise leaders would never send a former alcoholic into bars to do ministry, former abusers should never be entrusted with children alone. (This applies to families, as well as ministries.)

7.  Pray

The battle of sexual abuse is part of the spiritual warfare being waged against this generation. Pornography has simply taken that fight to a new level. As believers, we recognize that we are not wrestling with flesh and blood here, but with powers and principalities and rulers of wickedness in high places (see Ephesians 6:12). The battle over protecting our children, and leading them to purity amidst a perverse generation, will be won or lost on our knees. Pray for your kids. Pray for all our kids. Maintain holy alertness in accordance with Ephesians 6:18. Intercede for your leaders. Receive from the Lord the wisdom you will need in this hour. And most importantly, please pray for the healing of families who have already been affected by abuse.

8.  Support Your Local Church Leaders

It is amazing to me when I hear church members complaining about protection policies implemented by local church leaders. Sure, I long for the "good ole days" when we didn't have to be so careful. But those days are truly gone, and it is time we adapt. Extra staffing and volunteers will be needed. Are we willing to sacrifice our time to serve? Our pastors and leaders deserve our support as they do their best to protect our families.

9. Pass This Letter On to a Homeschooling Friend

Together, we can take the steps necessary to protect our families...but only if enough of us are on board. Would you consider forwarding this article to 10 of your homeschooling friends? Would you consider sharing it on your social media site, posting it on your blog (link available at www.FrontlineMoms.com) passing it on to your homeschool group? Let's stand together as a community and continue to make homeschooling the safest option for our kids!

Related post: Why We Called the Police and Why You Should Also

Update: Almost 30,000 homeschool families have seen An Open Letter to My Fellow Homeschooling Families: Sexual Predator Accusations Among Homeschoolers?  Lisa will be doing further updates on this topic.

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Click on the link on the side bar that says:

Get a free copy of my ebook: Straight Talk in a Sex-Saturated Culture.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cherry family ch_ 12

Lisa & Doug Cherry are speakers who travels across the nation addressing parents, teens, and Christian leaders on the growing spiritual culture war. They are the parents of ten, grandparents of four and have enjoyed homeschooling their family for the last twenty-six years. Lisa is also the author of Not Open: Win the Spiritual Culture War and Unmask the Predators.  Her articles have appeared in The Christian Post, World Net Daily, cbn.com, and more. For additional information about Lisa, go to www.frontlinefamilies.org; and find her on her Facebook page.

Lisa will be a featured speaker at the following upcoming events:

June 12-14
Alabama Homeschool Expo
Montgomery, Alabama
Toll-Free: 1-888-553-8914

July 24-26, 2014
Southeast Homeschool Expo
Cobb Galleria Centre
Roswell, Georgia
Atlanta Area: 770-594-1266
Toll-Free: 1-888-264-7763

 

 

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By Lisa Cherry Valentine’s Day is bittersweet for us this year.

We are celebrating the incredible gift of love in our home as we are also remembering where we were last year when our grandbaby, little pre-born Esther Kate, was born to live with Jesus.

So many of you have asked me over the months how Kalyn and Adam are doing. Your thoughtfulness and support are so appreciated. I believe our story is one of beauty for ashes. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Out of deep pain, my children have found their God in profound ways.  Kalyn is ministering her journey through grief on her blog that is healing hearts: Mommy’s Heavenly Dream.

Today, in honor of my grandbaby Esther, I want to share Kalyn's recent post that grabbed my heart. Esther... you will never be forgotten.

11 Things Esther Taught Me – A Reflection on the Last Eleven Months

by Kalyn from Mommy's Heavenly Dream

The last month has been very interesting in our family. I’ve had so many things on my mind, but haven’t gotten them all down in writing. Our first Christmas without Esther, entering a new year, and lots of other adjustments.

I can hardly believe that Esther’s first birthday in heaven is coming up in less than a month. It still seems like she was just here. But then, I realize just how long this year has been as we have walked through this grief.

The 15th marked eleven months since we met our tiny girl, and said goodbye until heaven. I’ve been reflecting a lot on these last months and how our family has changed – how I have changed. In light of the eleven months we have been on this journey, I wanted to share 11 things that I have learned from my second daughter’s life.

Through Esther, I have learned…

1. The absolute privilege it is to carry a child. To be pregnant, nurturing life within my own body. There is nothing like this incredible gift. It is so easy to take for granted. Esther taught me the reality of this miracle.  

2. How to be brave. Eleven months ago I walked through things I never thought I could live through. In so many ways, Esther made me brave. I had to rise up and be her mommy – even when it meant a silent birthing room and a funeral instead of a welcome home party. The strength I have gained walking through the last year sometimes surprises even me.

3. To hold both tightly and loosely to those I love. Tightly, because this life is temporary, and sometimes shorter than we think. And loosely, because our loved ones don’t really belong to us. We are not always in control. But God has an eternal plan that is far better than anything in this fragile life.

Click here to read more.

 

  Related Post What Esther Kate Taught Her Grammy

Linked to:
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Wednesday's Prayer Girls

 

Surgery on My Joy Boy

Lisa Cherry —  December 18, 2013 — 1 Comment

 Lucas surgery 1

By Lisa Cherry

My son Lucas needed surgery. The doctor had painted a pretty grim picture as he described the hip procedure.

Disassembling joints, shaving off bone, and reattaching ligaments… and all this would make Lucas not even think about coming home for Christmas, the doctor forewarned us.

So I braced myself for some active nursing duty and hand holding as I made substitute plans for our holiday celebrations.

But I failed to factor in my "Joy Boy."

Lucas surgery thumbs up stretcher image(Lucas is going to love this post where I reveal my secret nickname for him ever since he was born.)

He was born with a smile on his face....and it has never faded. And now I have witnessed for myself the incredible power of joy to bring supernatural strength and healing.

Take a look at all the pictures of his last five days. Notice anything?

Who wears a festive tie to the hospital with his pre-surgery athletic outfit?

Lucas surgery feetWho cracks jokes with the nurses and is obsessed with singing a happy song via FaceTime 30 minutes out of anesthesia?

Who declares his first day home from the hospital was one of "his best days ever" because I got to be here with him, cook his favorite foods, and watch some movies with him? (never mind the little details about the pain meds and ice bags and crutches!)

Who laughingly says the worst part of his hip discomfort is the feeling of "hot lava flowing down the inside of his leg?" (Uh, is that how he describes pain???)

lucas surgery in wheelchair with nurseThe guy with the revelation of joy. My "Joy Boy."

That's the same guy who reported to his post-op nurse who called him three days after surgery that he was "doing just great" and he was wondering if that was normal?

No, she said. That is definitely not normal. But very blessed.

So what did I learn from my week of "taking care of Lucas?"

Cancel worry and stress. It's not worth it.
Choose joy every day. Every circumstance. Every time.
Trust Jesus explicitly.
And rest in the truth that the joy of the Lord will be your strength!

Hmmmmm. Maybe Lucas helped me more that I helped him!

Thanks Luke! It was fun having surgery with you. :)

 Thanks, God, for healing my son!
Gratefully linked to:

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By Lisa Cherry

As I am watching my friends list their blessings on Facebook this week, I decided to make a list for myself. At first I thought of the good ole standbys.....health, peace, and provisions. But then I heard a challenge to go deeper. And this is what came to me....

I am thankful for......

1. A little boy who is fascinated with loud burping one minute, and is praying fervently for his nieces and nephews the next minute.

Testosterone in the raw makes me thankful for God's wisdom in designing the sexes.

2. A husband who closes down the family devotion time early, grabs the can of family loose coins, and leads us in a game of toss the quarter in the basket…

.....just so we will remember to laugh and play together.

Tara Rebekah Hannah Ozarks 547099_281835715292021_425745494_n (2)3. Teenage girls who take their mom to the store to help her update her wardrobe….

…and then don't laugh when she tries on the jeans that no one who is middle aged should ever wear.

4. A daughter-in-law who calls and asks my advice…

…when we both knew she could have consulted Google or the latest trendy expert.

5. Sons who play their worship music loudly from two different bedrooms at the same time.

Their passion for Jesus blesses me whichever style I want to tune into.

6. Adult children who still come to the sporting events of their younger brothers and sisters…

 …even when their world is filled with children of their own.

7. Teens who say emphatically that the best part of their Christmas tradition is Operation 350…

…the weekend in December that our church shares food, toys and the good news of the gospel with 350 families in our community.  (This will be our 15th year.)

As I look over my list, I am humbled. I surely am the most blessed of all women. For around me I see Jesus living in the individual lives of my family. Not just a creed or a belief, but the real Savior God.

Thank you, Lord, for hearing my most fervent prayers. God, please help me to wear a grateful spirit every day. I don't want to miss these incredible moments of seeing Your awesome presence in our lives as I rush toward something of lesser value.

Happy Thanksgiving Frontline Families!

So how about you? What unusual things are you thankful for????

 

Image: J. Mark Dodds “Ed Belching 'Excuse Me'” via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Gratefully linked to:

Making your Home Sing Monday
Tell Me a True Story

Modest Mondays