More adventuring…and Myth demolishing

As I write this, on the other side of our island, homes and businesses are being threatened by a steady flow of lava.  Some people have been calling for the government to take drastic measures to try to stop the flow but the response from government officials has been to let “Pele have her way”. “She (Pele) is just cleaning house and who are we to stand in her way?”  Over and over the mantra is repeated to the public to “respect Pele” and “stay out of Pele’s way.”  So much for separation of church and state.  The government can impose all kinds of religious jargon on the people as long as it’s a pagan religion they’re espousing.  Can you imagine the uproar that would ensue if the same officials claimed this lava flow to be the will of God and “who are we to stand in the Almighty’s way?”  Just a side note though, really.  What I really wanted to write about was this: 023_23 Those are our four older boys and Tom standing on British Soil!  And guess what?  They paddled all the way there! If you ever come to the Big Island, a must see sight (besides the active volcano and beautiful beaches) is the Captain Cook Monument which actually belongs by Hawaiian Royal Decree to Great Britain!  The only way to get there is via a really long hike (read about that adventure here) or by hiring one of several licensed kayak tours.  The parents of one of Tom’s students just happen to have said license and offered to take Tom and the boys across Kealakekua Bay on Saturday (Gideon and I opted for a walk to Farmers Market and a slice of quiche at a local coffee shop instead.  Poor us :)). Anyway, here are the boys paddling out on their Big Adventure:011_11  And here they are are enjoying the world-class snorkeling awaiting them on the other side of the bay: 025_25Here’s some more under-water pictures just because they’re fun and they happened to take about 100:

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When they got back home they were bursting with stories to tell of the amazing creatures they saw and all the interesting things they heard from their guide (he just happened to be a local private homeschooling tutor on the side and knew just how to talk to our boys in order to keep them completely enraptured throughout the entire excursion).  One of the stories he told them was how the Demi-god “Maui” had created Hawaii on a fishing trip with his brothers by getting a snag on the ocean floor and as his brothers rowed they pulled up this chain of islands!  “Isn’t that silly!”  My boys were quick to assure me of their own disbelief in such myths.  But actually, when I heard it, it sounded quite feasible.  At least a lot more feasible than the other explanations we’re inundated with about there being some “Big Bang” which accidentally resulted in this: 005_5 and this:004_4   and this: 020_20   and this:031_31 I could go on. But my point is:  That fish tail about the demigod, Maui, is a whole lot more believable than the one about you and I being the result of an accidental explosion of nothing. All of this was heavy on my mind as I headed off on my own Saturday adventure just hours after their return. Once a week I volunteer a couple hours at Mokuakaua Church and give tours and a history talk about the first missionaries bringing the gospel to this island in 1820.  Some guy named James Michener is responsible for profligating a whole bunch of myths about a truly miraculous story and I have to hear his version every Saturday as tourists step off the cruise ship and through the doors of our historic church.  My job is to dispel those myths with the true light of the gospel just as it was shown on this dark, death-filled land with the arrival of a few humble servants and a box full of Bibles two centuries ago.  Michener’s version reminds me a lot of that fish story of “Maui’s”.  And of a similar one by a guy named “Darwin.”  And the one about the volcano-god, Pele, that our local government officials are so fond of repeating.  It’s all the same story.  The one without Jesus in it.

Moms and Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas, we have one very important task.  It’s the same one Paul had in mind when he wrote these words to the Corinthians: “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).”  God has called us to rage war against the lies of our age, not to turn a blind eye to the Godless narratives of our time.  A story minus Christ, is a myth and a lie.  It’s not “History.”  And it’s not “Science.”  It’s a futile suppression of the one truth, The Author of Everything.  As Paul also says in Romans, “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.  So they are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened…they exchanged the truth about God for a lie (Rom.1:19-25).”  What’s even more pathetic, is that it’s not even a good lie!  Seriously.  Explosions of nothing and cosmic fishing mishaps?  And they think we’re crazy for believing in Jesus.  Get out there and shine the light people!  That’s the greatest adventure of all!


Where Love Is

Perfect way to start the day

Perfect way to start the day

This was how our first day of school started: with a rare chance for me to be alone with a cup of coffee and time in God’s Word.   And oh how I prayed.  And prayed.  The task that lies ahead can be overwhelming at times.  I desperately want what I’m doing to count for eternity.  More than schoolwork and housework, I want to do kingdom work.  I want that which will last.


Like the glitter to the right of my mug in this picture.  That smudge is left over from an art project we did at this table TWO YEARS ago.  I was so amazed at the resiliency of the stuff that I wrote this post about it (Click here for a step back in time).  Now every time I sit at this table I’m reminded of all the fun I get to have learning with my boys (they happened to be learning about galaxies, I was learning to hate glitter).

So as I was reviewing pictures of our first couple days of school I started asking myself,  “Which of these things is going to count for eternity?”  Will it be the stacks of new school supplies they found hidden in their new hockey lockers (another dumpster score!!!)?

Gotta love free storage!

Gotta love free storage!

The surprise field trip to the free zoo in Hilo?


The science lesson on Predators and Prey?

Thank you Apologia for the sweet little disclaimer warning more sensitive students about horrors of nature.  My boys laughed themselves silly through that part.

Thank you Apologia for the sweet little disclaimer warning more sensitive students about the horrors of nature. My boys laughed themselves silly through that part.

The special snack just to illustrate the point?

I'm thinking these guys are just a little too comfortable at the top of the food chain

I’m thinking these guys are just a little too comfortable at the top of the food chain

Sometimes it’s hard to see how ANY of it matters in the long run.  It’s like glitter in the wind.  A flash of shiny fun and then it’s gone.  Unless there’s glue around.  Then it’s stuck there forever.  Case in point again:  that glitter on the picnic table.  Wind, rain, blazing sun, and pounding ocean surf have done nothing to unstick those shiny little bits.

Colossians 3:14 tells us to above all, “put on love, which binds EVERYTHING together in perfect harmony.”  Love is the glue that makes all the glittery (and not-so-glittery) things we do for our kids really stick.   It’s what motivates, inspires, and sustains us to do this crazy 24/7 job.  It’s also what qualifies us to add the title “teacher” to the hundred other titles a mother wears.

1 Corinthians 13:1 says, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I … understand all mysteries and all knowledge … but have not love, I am nothing.”  A lecture by the most learned professor, the flashiest curriculum, the most extravagant field trips are all glitter in the wind if not bound by love.  Tongues will cease and knowledge will pass away but “love never ends (v.8).”

Please Lord, I pray, let all that I do “be done in love (1 Cor. 16:14).

This pillow belongs to Tom's Mom who really, truly lives out those words everyday.

This pillow belongs to Tom’s Mom who really, truly lives out those words everyday.