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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
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Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective of Home Education
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Co-Editors

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Prepare To Vote
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    Voter Guides and Congressional Scorecards can help you make informed decisions on Election Day based on where candidates stand on important issues.
    Share these guides with family, friends, or fellow church members and urge them to vote.
    Who is elected may determine what freedoms you will keep and what freedoms you will lose.
    Exercising your right to vote is crucial.
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    This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:1-3)



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Reformation Day:
October 31st



Unit Study on the Reformation

    Newsletter #53 contains a unit study on the Reformation that can lead up to Reformation Day and/or follow it.
    This unit study includes:
 •  Teaching Our Children the Whole Truth
 •  Bible study
 •  Internet links
 •  A timeline
 •  Suggestions for studies in writing, reading, history, geography, art, vocabulary, speech, music, science, and more.

    Also Read "The Faithful Few," tracing those who have remained faithful to God and His Word from Adam to today, and "Reform for Today."


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    Read the history of daylight- saving time in the U.S. on the Naval Observatory website.
    (Did you know that standard time in time zones was instituted by the railroads in 1883 and was not established in U.S. law until 1918? Or that daylight-saving time was not standardized until 1966 and will begin about one month earlier in 2007?)


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Free Typing Lessons Online
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    Because we have been separated from God by sin, Jesus Christ died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust Him 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." (Eph. 2:8, 9)

See a beautiful, expanded Plan of Salvation online, available in 18 languages.


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In This Issue: The Occult
1.  Warnings
2.  What Is the Occult?
3.  What Does God Say?
4.  Does It Affect My Family?
5.  What Should We Do?
6.  Helpful Resources
7.  Conclusion


Greetings,

     As our culture is bombarded with the celebration of Halloween, we have an appropriate and compelling opportunity to teach our children about the occult and its dangers.
     In most public schools a wide range of occultic practices are taught as harmless, as something to try out, or as something to tolerate. However, we need to teach our children what God says about the occult.
     The following thoughts are intended to raise your consciousness about the occult in our society and to suggest appropriate responses for Christian families.

     May the Lord bless your family for His glory.

Cordially,
The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian

The Teaching Home is a home-school, family-run business operated in our home since 1980.



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Warnings
     The study of the occult can become oppressive and should not be taken lightly.  Any contact with, even studying, the occult can progressively draw a person into a fascination with the occult and place him in a vulnerable position.
     God warns us of Satan's overt and covert attacks:
     "Satan disguises himself as an angel of light."  (2 Corinthians 11:14)
     "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."  (1 Peter 5:8)

     Because of this very real danger, we need to teach our children to keep their distance from anything remotely connected with Satan and his power.
     Instead we are told to "Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."  (James 4:7, 8)

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What Is the Occult?

     The occult is real, not imagined or made up.  We are in a spiritual battle "against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."  (Ephesians 6:12)

     The occult refers to secret knowledge and practices involving the supernatural.  Occultism has been rapidly growing in its influence and acceptability.  Read many informative articles on the Christian Answers and Spotlight Ministries websites.

     Wicca (another word for Witchcraft) and Paganism are now recognized "religions" listed and described in manuals for chaplains in the U.S. military and correctional services.

     The list of 78 occultic practices on Christian Answers' website will open your eyes to the many forms of the occult.  Some examples are astrology, magic, spells, enchantments, charms, sorcery, wizardry, witchcraft, divination, fortune-telling, mediums, spiritism, necromancy, familiar spirits, wizardry, seances, channeling, clairvoyance, and spirit-guides.

     The occult is also a part of yoga and transcendental meditation (a form of yoga).  In an online article about yoga, Dave Hunt says, "the greatest yoga teachers all declare that the repetition of a mantra is a call to that god (i.e., the demon it represents) to come and possess the meditator."

     Any time a person gives up control of himself, except for a deliberate yielding to the Lord, he opens himself to be taken over by the control of Satan.  This can include some martial arts, some "Christian" (non-biblical) forms of meditation, hypnotism, and Theosophy.

     Man seeks and hungers for a power higher than himself.  When he refuses to accept the true God, he is open to the alternative power of Satan.

     All real super-human power is either from God or Satan.  There is no neutral power, nor is there any good power that comes from Satan (e.g., there are no good witches).  This should be remembered when encountering attempts to call good "evil" and evil "good," to blur the lines between good and evil (the so-called gray areas), or to condone choosing a "lesser" evil as a way of avoiding something "worse."

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What Does God Say?
     God has zero tolerance for the occult and treats it very seriously.
     "There shall not be found among you anyone who . . . practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.  For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord."  (Deuteronomy 18: 10-12)
     "You shall not . . . practice divination or soothsaying.  Do not turn to mediums or spiritists."  (Leviticus 19:26, 31)


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Does It Affect My Family?
     Both children and adults are being constantly exposed to the pervading presence of the occult in books, movies, and games.
     Even the seemingly supernatural power in some religious experiences need to be identified.
     "But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons."  (1 Timothy 4:1)
     "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."  (1 John 4:1)

     When studying pagan cultures, be aware that many ethnic objects and practices are actually satanic.
     We must take the occult's presence in our homes and children's lives seriously.  It is not just innocent fun.  We never know where a very little influence or involvement can lead.

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Books To Encourage and Strengthen Your Family in Your Faith
     Teach and train godly character into your children with these time- and family-tested classics that are sure to become your family's favorites.
     Lamplighter Books are set in the early 1500-1900's and have been beautifully re-printed in the timeless style of the originals. Stories are based upon a character quality and how the main character grows in it.
1-847-526-3867.  www.faithandfamilybooks.com


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What Should We Do?

1.  Teach Your Children What God Says about the Occult (see above)
     Do a Bible study, reading and discussing the Scripture passages in this newsletter and others that are chain-linked in your Bible (or use a concordance).

2.  Identify the Occult in Your Home
     As an exercise, identify and list any occultic influences in your home.  They may come mainly through books, gaming, movies, and music.

 •   Fantasy in Books and Movies.  Writers such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, while accepted by many Christians (read online article), can provide an initiation into the genre of fantasy.  As the line between acceptable and unacceptable fantasy keeps being pushed further and further, this can lead to many works of dubious value and potential danger, still being rationalized by "good conquering evil."
     On their website, Spotlight Ministries points out "A big area where the occult realm is making headway these days is the whole realm of fiction and fantasy.  Young people, especially, are being drawn to witchcraft and other areas of the occult initially by becoming interested in fictional aspects of it.  From this, the jump into the real world of the occult is an easy, more familiar one to make."

 •   Gaming.  Many video games involve the occult, even though the "good" occult is fighting to conquer the "bad."  A good rule for games is that a child should not pretend to do something that would be wrong to do in real life.

3.  Guide and Supervise
     You may determine that some things are not really occultic, but need to be explained and controlled.
 •   Fairy Tales.  Provide parental guidance to your children when they encounter impossible or supernatural things in fairy tales.
 •   "Magic".  Explain the difference between "magic" tricks (illusions) and the supernatural power of either God or Satan.
 •   Limit Involvement.  It is important to limit the amount of time that a child is immersed in such questionable reading, watching, or playing.  He should not read only fantasy or spend hours playing a fantasy game.

4.  Remove Objectionable Material and Activities
     You may need to do a purge of over-the-line or too-close-to-the line items from your home.

 •   Discuss.  Talk about these items with your children, explain why you believe it would be better for them and please the Lord if they were removed from your home.

 •   Pray.  Pray together to ask for the Lord's wisdom and power to do His will.  If your children are unwilling to give up a questionable activity, that might be a sign that it needs more attention.

 •   Completely Remove.  The world derides "book burning," but the Lord records in His Word for our edification that after an evil spirit was sent out of a man in Ephesus, "Fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified.  Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices.  And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.  So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing."  (Acts 19:17-20)

 •   Of course, overtly satanic games such as the ouija board and tarot cards must be strictly forbidden.

5.  Fill Your Home with Godly Influences
     When we remove undesirable activities from our family's lives, we must fill the vacuum with Godly influences (see Christ's parable of the unclean spirit who was banished, then replaced with seven more wicked spirits in Matthew 12:43-45).  Fill your home and children's lives with:
 •   God's Word — reading, discussing, studying, memorizing
 •   Good Christian music, such as the old hymns of the faith. Check out music sold by Sound Forth or listen to Christian music online.
 •   Wholesome reading materials and images.  Everything in our lives should meet God's standards:
"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise,
dwell on these things."  (Philippians 4:8)


6.  Arm Your Children with God's Word
     Teach your children to resist Satan, his temptations, and his power as Christ did — with Scriptures that they have memorized.
     "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil . . . having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  And take the helmet of Salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God with all prayer and . . . be on the alert with all perseverance."  (Ephesians 6:10-18)

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AVKO Educational Research Foundation

AVKO ( Audio, Visual, Kinesthetic, and Oral)
Offers a Multi-Sensory Approach to Language Arts
through Phonics and Word Families.

 •   Individualized Keyboarding teaches reading and spelling skills as your child masters the keyboard.
 •   Let's Write Right teaches reading/spelling as the alphabet is learned.
 •   Sequential Spelling builds self-esteem.
     To try it before you buy it or for information on dyslexia, visit our website. Free samples and downloads. www.spelling.org/teachinghome.htm


____________________________________________

Helpful Resources

Online Information
     Read many articles about the occult at Christian Answers and Spotlight Ministries.

Halloween - Trick or Treat? DVD
     Informative DVD traces the pagan origins, history and rituals of Halloween, one of the highest holy days of the Pagan/Occult calendar of Druids, Witches, and Satanists.  The rituals seen in this documentary are real (too graphic for young children). Order online.

Good Book Alternatives
     Order good character-building books for your family to read alone or aloud together from the following publishers:
 •  Keepers of the Faith
 •  Faith and Family Books
 •  Jim Hodges Audio Books (Henty Books)
 •  Preston Speed (Henty Books in print)

Reviews from a Christian Worldview
You might not agree 100% with these reviews, but they are a place to start and to alert you to undesirable elements.
 •   Plugged-in Online. Reviews of movies, video/DVD, music, and television.
 •   Christian Spotlight on Entertainment. Reviews of movies, Christian films, television, and games.

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Conclusion
     We need to recognize, but not fear, the power of Satan and his demons, which is nothing compared to God's power.

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
"And though this world, with devils filled,
     should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
     His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him."

"At the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth."  (Philippians 2:10)

"And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world . . . Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, 'Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come . . . And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony.'"  (Revelation 12:9-11)




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