UPDATE!

You notice that many of my posts are theological, and biblical in nature. Although I am still a homeschooling mom and it is very much apart of our life, theology, and Christianity is my passion! Lately my posts have been theological in nature, you will see lots of posts about religion namely Christianity, and the bible. You can still search for homeschooling info in the linked key words on the right of the blog. My blog is very much a blog for home schooling of all kinds. It is my belief that home education is the starting point, and is one of the most important. As a homeschooling mom, I learn along side my kids, they ask questions, and we get the answers. We are also individuals with different interests. For my blog I want to write about what I have a passion for the most. I hope that you like what I post as much as I do. I have a passion for sharing what I have learned. Please don't forget to leave feedback in the comment section of each post. You can also visit me at facebook.com/joanneutke Thanks again :)

Oct 21, 2014

John 6 New World Translation

JW's Come Home to the Eucharist 

How to prove the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist using the New  World Translation Bible.

    It is a well known fact that many Jehovah's Witnesses are former Catholics. When I think about all of the many people who walk away from the Eucharist it really saddens me.

It saddens me because Christ wants us to follow him where ever he asks us to go and to believe in him no matter what, or how hard the saying, or teaching is.

This article is about the Gospel of John chapter 6 of sacred scripture. I will not quote the whole chapter here, but after you read this article please go back to your bible and read the chapter entirely.

At the end of this article there will also be a list of extra verses for you to reference, so please take a good look at those. The John 6 verses quoted here is from (John 6:48-69 of the NWT)

Let us begin :)

“I am the bread of life." says our Lord, but what does he mean by this? Bread is something that we eat, something that sustains our life. Yet, Christ is not talking about simple bread that merely sustains our life. He is talking about an imperishable bread that gives us eternal life!

"Your forefathers ate the manna in the wilderness and yet they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that anyone may eat of it and not die."

Jesus tells the people that the manna that their forefathers ate is inferior to the bread that he is talking about now. "Here I am raining down bread for you from the heavens..." (Ex 16:4)

In typology the manna is a type of the body and blood of Christ, his flesh, and is a sign that points to the true bread from heaven, the Eucharist!

Jesus explains, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever; and for a fact, the bread that I will give is my flesh in behalf of the life of the world.”

This bread from heaven not only is inferior to the manna that their forefathers ate and died, but this new life giving bread is in fact his flesh!

How did the people take this message?

They must have understood him figuratively, or symbolically right?

And, if they understood him figuratively there was no danger of Christ loosing true followers over it. Would Christ risk his entire economy of followers over one teaching?

And not just one teaching the apex of all his teachings and the last command given before his death. Or, did he save the best, most important, and most testing of his commandments for last?

"Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying: “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

Was Christ talking about cannibalism, was he really saying, "drink his blood?" is what they must have been thinking.

Notice that his language only intensifies, and gets more serious at there concerns.

"So Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I will resurrect him on the last day;"

The Jews doubted, and argued about what Jesus was saying to them, and rightly so since the Jews were forbidden to eat blood, and of course human flesh.

Christ knowing the law, and what the Jews were thinking continues even more intently...

"for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in union with me, and I in union with him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will live because of me."

This bread  that he is talking about truly is his flesh, his blood is truly a supernatural drink for us! Also "Feeds on me" implies a constant food source just like the manna was for the Israelites, a daily bread!

"This is the bread that came down from heaven. It is not as when your forefathers ate and yet died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” He said these things as he was teaching in a synagogue in Ca·per′na·um."

Unlike the manna which was only a type of the Eucharist/Christ's flesh is offered in thanksgiving to God and will allow us to live forever provided that we feed on it. Again this implies a constant food source, a continued food source that can be eaten daily.

"When they heard this, many of his disciples said: “This speech is shocking; who can listen to it?”

We could imagine here that Jesus knowing his disciples were having trouble with this new teaching would have to explain that he was only speaking figuratively. Like I said would he really jeopardize his entire economy of followers over one teaching?

"But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were murmuring about this, said to them: “Does this stumble you? What, therefore, if you should see the Son of man ascending to where he was before?"

In other words, "if you think this is hard to believe, you think this is shocking just wait until you see me ascend to the Father will you believe then?" Remember Christ wants belief without seeing, without fully understanding some things, he wants faith.

"Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe" (John 20:29) Saint Augustine says, "do not understand in order to believe, but believe in order to understand"

Out Lord continues...

"It is the spirit that is life-giving; the flesh is of no use at all. The sayings that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life."

Here it is you say! This is the part where Jesus is telling us what he really means. This is the part where he says that it is all spiritual, and not anything else, right?

He tells us that it is the spirit that gives life, this is true. Christ's body and blood is spiritual, super-substantial food from heaven, and it is the spirit that gives life, and realness to the Eucharist.

But, what about the next part? "the flesh is of no use all." I answer surely he is not talking about his own flesh, the same flesh that he was just saying is the food that gives us eternal life! Surely he is not talking about his flesh, the same flesh that availed forgiveness of our sins by dying for us!

What he is talking about here is our flesh which is of no use at all without his flesh, without his suffering for us, without the spirit! Our flesh can do nothing apart from Christ, and he said, "...apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5)

Paul states, "But a physical man does not accept the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know them, because they are examined spiritually. However, the spiritual man examines all things, but he himself is not examined by any man." (1 Corinthians 2:14-15)

If we remain in our flesh we will find it hard to understand spiritual things, and to be Christlike. In scripture "man is often called "flesh" to underline the weakness, fragility and transience of human nature, especially when contrasted with God and his Spirit which is strength." (Bible Dictionary Concordance to the NAB)

Christ wants us to believe as spiritual beings not as fleshy human beings!

"But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning those who did not believe and the one who would betray him. He went on to say: “This is why I have said to you, no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

Jesus knows that there are some that do not believe, and will not believe. Notice that after Christ's teaching about eating his body and blood is when he looses Judas "the one who would betray him."

Here Jesus gives us the answer to the question the Jews were arguing about, "how can this man give us his flesh to eat it?" Jesus tells us that belief in this teaching, in the Eucharist must be granted to us by the Father. We need God, and we need Jesus to help us understand divine and lofty matters like the Eucharist.

"Because of this, many of his disciples went off to the things behind and would no longer walk with him.  So Jesus said to the Twelve: “You do not want to go also, do you?” Simon Peter answered him: “Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life. We have believed and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Non Catholic Christian groups like to interpret John 6:63 as Christ speaking only figuratively, or spiritually. They deny the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and his Catholic Church who teach what Christ taught about his body and blood.

Notice that despite what Jesus says in verse 63 about "it is the spirit that gives life..." His disciples still go off and walk with him no more. They did not understand him to be speaking figuratively, or symbolically, even at this point.

They took him for what he was saying, they took him literally! They walked away from Christ anyway, because they could not understand, "how can this man give us his flesh to eat it?"

Will we be like the doubtful Jews who argued and could not understand? Or, like the disbelieving disciples who couldn't even listen to what Christ was saying? Or, will we stand with Peter, and the apostles who despite their lack of understanding took Christ on faith?

Do you stand with Peter? And say, “Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life. We have believed and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.

By Joanne 10-21-2014

Further Study:

John 6 The whole chapter this is a must! Pay special attention to verses 27, 32-40, 51, 55.

1 Corinthians 10:16 "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of the Christ? The loaf that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of the Christ?" 

1 Corinthians 2:14-3:4 (What the flesh means in John 6:63.)

Exodus 16 (The chapter about the manna.)

Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:19: In the NWT, the Society have these verses say "means my body" and "not is my body." When we compare these NWT verses with John chapter 6 NWT, and what I have shown you here. You should also look up these verses in your KJV and other translations of the bible. I have shown you here in John 6 that there is very little room for error to understand Christ as only figurative, or symbolic. He was speaking literally and the text shows this, 2,000 years of Christian history shows this. You should refer to the teaching of the early fathers of the Church especially on the teachings on the Eucharist.

"You must all follow the bishop as Jesus Christ follows the Father, and the presbytery as you would the Apostles. Reverence the deacons as you would the command of God. Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop, or by one whom he appoints. Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. Nor is it permitted without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate the agape; but whatever he approve, this too is pleasing to God, so that whatever is done will be secure and valid."  (LETTER TO THE SMYRNAEANS - ST. IGNATIUS BISHOP OF ANTIOCH, 110 A.D. 2nd century. The Faith of the early Fathers page 25, section 65.)

Please also refer to the Eucharist in Scripture Study that I have put together. Complete with verses about the Lamb of God, the Jewish roots of the Eucharist and much more!

Verses and references used in this article:

John 6:48-69
Exodus 16:4
John 20:29
John 15:5
1 Corinthians 2:14-15

Bible Dictionary Concordance to the New American Bible

Eucharist: Based on ecclesiastical Greek eukharistia which means thanksgiving, from Greek eukharistos meaning grateful. (New Oxford American Dictionary)

Oct 1, 2014

Evolution Human Origin

   Studying Ancient Civilization with my kids these days and been talking a lot about the origins of man reading a lot about it as well. It seems a hot topic no matter where you turn. This is what I believe about it! 

I am a Theistic-evolutionist meaning I believe God kick started the whole thing of course. I also take the same position on this issue as does the Catholic Church. Darwin's was a atheistic evolution theory and of course not true, in fact he did not invent it either this has been a hot topic for thousands of years before Darwin. 

I don't take Genesis literally as saying that it all happened that way exactly on a scientific level. I read it in an allegorical sense written from the point of view of the author who wrote it and the hidden messages that God wants to reveal through it. I do not dismiss evolution we can see it all around us and it exists in many forms. 

The Old Testament is a wonderful account of our salvation history with some historical events being touched on there all told to us by God so that we would see the fulfillment in Christ later on (Typology) it is all ment to point to Christ. 

Our first parents for one reason or another had a special roll for the beginning of our salvation history. The bible is a collection of books from history and not a history book, nor is it a science book. The bible is not the all knowing book either especially when it comes to our natural world (the bible along with sacred tradition is complete for our salvation) . 

Science and religion must compliment each other so we know what is true and this is beautiful! I find the explanations of the Catholic Church on the issue of human origin the most reasonable. 

Many Christians think that we must choose the bible or science, but I know we don't have to choose we can have both. 

Love learning thanks for reading! 

From Joanne

For more info on what the Church says about all of this please read this wonderful article for starters.

Adam, Eve, and Evolution 

Humani Generis (Human Origins)

Jul 22, 2014

Prayer Jesus Style

      We must pay attention to how Christ prays so that we can pray like him. He is the ultimate leader, the teacher who teaches us to pray. 

In (Luke 22:39-46) Jesus tells the disciples with him, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” I feel that this is very important to do, as Christ does. Pray daily on this, in the morning when you wake up, and all day! 

It is so important that in (Luke 22:46) Jesus even reprimands the disciples with him for not doing this, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”

In this world there are so many temptations, they are meant to lead you away from God! Do not fall into the world trap. "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 3:15)

All we need to be happy is God! Do God's Will and we can find truth, and true happiness. We will also be pleased that we are doing the right things for the right reasons. 

In Luke Christ then kneels down and prays,  “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Here Jesus is telling us what to pray for. 

We can learn further about the kinds of things Christ wants us to pray for in the Lords Prayer. This is a special most power prayer for one because it was given to us directly from Christ, and it contains all the things we need daily to live a holy life.

"Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we also have forgiven those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." (Matt 6:9-13)

We are to pray for our own intentions of course, "Ask and it will be given to you;..." (Matt 7:7) We then need to know that we are to seek Gods Will ultimately, and not our own. We must be holy in everything we do, and constantly work on doing this! 

Doing Gods will is a great way, the perfect way, to obtain holiness, and with God all things are possible. "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Matt 5:48)

In (Luke 22:44) "being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. " We can learn here about the power of earnest prayer, Websters defines this as "a serious and intent mental state"

We learn that our prayer must be focused, controlled, and contemplative. This is the recipe for prayer not said in vain, which is condemned by God. We must pray for our intentions, but also contemplate on God's Will, and how we can better conform to that Will.

When we pray like this we are stepping towards God, and away from our self, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matt 16:24) We then can pray like Christ!

On a final note we learn from Saint James, "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (or avails much)" (James 5:16)

When I think about all of the people that I pray for I also think of all the ways I fall short in righteousness, or holiness. I am reminded of this verse and how I need, how each one of us needs to be holy not only for ourselves, but for all of the people we love and care for who we pray for.

This may sound weird, but we owe it to God, and to those we love to be holy! These are just some of the things about prayer that I am learning these days, and I think about often. I want to strive daily to pray like this, and to pray more. I want to live my life in prayer this I think is beautiful, and befitting the beauty of God.

I hope you feel the same way too!

Everything we do can be a prayer, give all you have to God daily, even if it is doing the dishes, or taking care of your kids :) 

There is so much more I can say, and so many before me have already said. I want to encourage you to read, the bible daily, and also about the lives of the Saints, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church like Saint Augustine who is my favorite. 

If you want a list other good reads you can check out my recommended reading page, and hit me up on facebook I can direct you to some good stuff! When I get a chance I will add more to my list with links. Make sure to bookmark that page.

Thanks for reading :) Please share...

from Joanne

Jun 4, 2014

Home School Curriculum

        Many parents who are new to homeschooling wonder about curriculum, this may be one of your concerns. Like all parents you just want your child to have a great education. You want them to learn all the things they need to know to prepare for adulthood.

Choosing the curriculum you will use seems complicated but it doesn't have to be. It can be as easy as printing out a page here and there online. Or purchasing the curriculum of your choice online or else where. If you choose to home school through a Charter program whether online or offline the curriculum that you use will be given to you.

If you go the independent private school route then you will need to get the curriculum yourself. There are many free and payed sites to download curriculum. Many sites offer complete lesson plans, tutorial videos, tests, and work pages for any child! Thrift stores can also be a great place to get book on a budget. Not to mention that you can buy workbooks at just about any store like Target, Wal Mart, etc.

The main thing to remember is to listen to your child. Ask them what they want to learn and help them find appropriate books, work pages, etc.. to help them along the way. if you Tailor make your curriculum around your child's likes and interests it will be win, win.


If you use a Home Based Charter School, they will supply you with the curriculum required for your child's grade and you will have a Teacher to assist you. This may or may not cost you anything some home based private schools will have a charge but the charter is usual public by state, this is something you will have to look into.

Other Home School options will require you to provide all necessary curriculum to your child for their grade, you will have to purchase most of it and the Internet has many sites were you can get FREE lessons and curriculum ideas and worksheets.

Curriculum Sites: These may or may not be free sites. Although it seems that most offer some free worksheets, etc... Some require you to purchase a membership for full site capabilities.

www.softschools.com

www.superteacherworksheets.com

www.discoveryeducation.com

www.jumpstart.com/parents/worksheets

www.tlsbooks.com/

www.education.com/worksheets/

www.ezschool.com/

www.homeschoolmath.net/

www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/free-curriculum/

Primary Phonics and Explode the Code by www.epsbooks.com

There are many choices for curriculum. The info I provide is meant to be a guide for you, you still need to do your own research so you can make informed choices for your family.

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