Palm Trees and the Trinity

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“You know the palm tree in the fairy garden that has three trunks? It’s kind of like the Trinity. It’s one tree, but three.” – A4

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“Education is the Science of Relations”; that is, that a child has natural relations with a vast number of things and thoughts: so we train him upon physical exercises, nature lore, handicrafts, science and art, and upon many living books, for we know that our business is not to teach him all about anything, but to help him to make valid as many as may be of–

“Those first-born affinities
“That fit our new existence to existing things.”

Charlotte Mason

 

 

 

 

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In Remembrance of Sean Paddock

Sean Paddock, 2001 – 2006
Sean Paddock, 2001 – 2006

It’s hard to believe that a decade has passed since the news of Sean Paddock’s death rocked my world.

Ten years.

We had been back in the U.S. for just under a year. God had already worked on my heart in ways that changed my attitude and actions towards my children. I understood the conventional wisdom about the rightness of spanking was  a cultural value more than something mandated in the Bible.

And then Sean Paddock died.

Died of child abuse.  Died at the hands of his adoptive parents. Died a young four-year-old boy, acting simply as four-year-old boys act.

Why?

Why did his mother, who some say always wanted to do the “right” thing, abuse her child to death?  Part of the legal defense points to her own abuse as a child.  Part of the legal defense and the investigation point to the influence of Michael and Debi Pearl and their book, “To Train Up A Child.”

Within many churches and home school circles, copies of this self-published book was handed out to every new parent by others who bought it at great discount by the case. I read it in the early ’90s, while babysitting for a lovely family.  Just enough sounds good or Biblical–build relationships, “tie heart-strings,” nurture your children–and just enough Bible references are scattered throughout, that many parents have bought in to its harmful teachings.

Then Sean Paddock died.  Slowly the few voices that had warned about the extremism of the Pearls’ teachings grew.  I thought it would shock enough Christians that churches as a whole would stop promoting these teachings.  But not everyone was listening. . .

Then Lydia Schatz died.

Then Hana Williams died.

And, honestly, I know there are many hundreds or thousands more who have been abused at the hands of their well-intentioned, loving and Christian parents.  Perhaps others have died from the abuse, but the connection has not been made to TTUAC by the media.

Still some parents are lured by the promises of Michael and Debi Pearl of instant obedience and fewer spankings, charmed by their folksy common-sense stories, and deceived by their shiny website with faces of happy families.  Some are not only sucked into their false teachings, but promote them actively to others.

Stop a moment.

Digest that.

Three children died of abuse at the hands of their Christian, adoptive parents.

And people STILL defend “To Train Up a Child” and the Pearls.

 

God have mercy.

February will always be a month for me to remember. I believe we all need to mourn these little ones and warn other parents.

““Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.””

Mark 10:14-16

More about Sean:
TulipGirl.Com
ThatMom.Com
WhyNotTrain.Com
WorldMag.Com
Salon.Com
State vs. Paddock

More about the Pearls:
Spunky
Challies
Her.Meneutics
Heart of Wisdom
Why Not Train A Child?
#NoMoreDeadKids

In Remembrance of Lydia Schatz

Lydia Schatz MemorialWe remember Lydia Schatz today, February 6, 2016.

Six years ago today, Lydia died of abuse from her adoptive parents. I’m reposting this in memory of her and to protect other Lydias (and Seans and Hanas. . .)

_________

One year ago today, 7-year-old Lydia Schatz died after her adoptive parents disciplined her to the point of death.

Lydia was a vivacious little girl, adopted from Liberia. People who knew her say she had the most heart-warming smile.

Lydia Schatz
Lydia Schatz

I sit here crying. Heavy-hearted. February is a difficult month for me: mourning Lydia and Sean Paddock, facing the reality of abuse within the church and Christian families.

Lydia’s adoptive parents, Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz, are currently in jail in Butte County, California. They are awaiting trial. (See records here: case numbers CM032009 and CM032008.) Later this month are scheduled the trial readiness conference (2/17/11) and the jury trial (2/28/11). They each have been charged with murder, torture, and cruelty to child by inflicting injury. The murder charge is related to Lydia’s death, the torture charge is related to her sister (also adopted) who was hospitalized but recovered, and cruelty charge related to a biological son’s injuries.

Lydia died from rhabdomyolsis, a condition related to kidney and heart failure from toxins released when muscle tissue breaks down. Lydia’s muscles broke down as a result of repeated beatings over time, though her death was proceeded by an especially long “discipline” session.

Lydia’s parents used a plumbing supply line, which is recommended by Michael and Debi Pearlof No Greater Joy Ministries in their book “To Train Up A Child.” Both plumbing supply line and TTUAC were found in the Schatz home and the older children have attested to those methods being used in their home.

While death is not a common result from the implementation of TTUAC, this is not the first time that a child has died when parents have carefully and consistently applied the so-called “child training methods” espoused by the Pearls. In February 2006, 4-year-old Sean Paddockwas killed. How many other unreported cases of quiet abuse are happening under the influenced of these harmful, unBiblical teachings?

O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
you will( strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.

Psalm 10:18-19

Compounding the tragedy is the professed love of these parents for their children, the desire to nurture their children through homeschooling, the commitment to seek out help in parenting.

Further compounding the tragedy is that Lydia and her sister Zaraiah were adopted. Her parents needed to provide love, security, attachment. . . and instead beat them with a plumbing supply line. Sean was a foster son in the process of being adopted.

Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts;
his name is the LORD;
exult before him!
Father of the fatherless and
protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation.
God settles the solitary in a home;

Psalm 68:4-6

We need to remember Lydia. We need to remember Sean.

We need to remember the children who need families, who are in families.

We need to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

We need to open our eyes to the abuse within our own communities.

May God have mercy on us all.

Remembering Mike Riddering

Mike Riddering - Image Via Hollywood Community Church
Mike Riddering – Image Via Hollywood Community Church

 

It was just one week ago that missionary Mike Riddering left Les Ailes de Refuge Orphanage to travel to the capital of Burkina Faso to meet up with a visiting short term team. He was first having a meeting with a local pastor at the Cappuccino Café.

When we lived in Nairobi, Java House was where missionaries coming in from the bush would indulge in good coffee–their office in the city.

It’s easy for me to imagine… walking past sidewalk café tables, finding a seat near a businessman working on his Mac, waving at the waitress who knows that I like an extra large water with my latte.

I remember Hubby scanning the seating, looking for anything suspicious, choosing a seat away from the entrance, scoping out an escape route if necessary.  It wasn’t just his former Army hyper-vigilance kicking in — Nairobi is rated “critical crime, critical terrorism,” and the Westgate Mall terrorist attack sadly proved that valid.

Though Kenya has seen quite a bit of violence from Islamic terrorists, it seems like Burkina Faso was caught off guard by the attack from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).   Mike and Pastor Valentin wouldn’t have been scanning the crowd, wouldn’t have prepped their families on emergency protocols in case of attacks.

This has hit close to home to me, even though I didn’t know Mike and Amy Riddering.  I have been mourning for them. Praying for their four children. Imagining the shock of their community of orphans and vulnerable people with whom they work in Yako. What does the future hold?

Johann Esch and Heinrich Voes are often considered the first Evangelical martyrs, burned at the stake in 1523.  When he heard of their deaths for the cause of Christ, Martin Luther wrote what was possibly his first hymn.

Flung to the heedless winds,
Or on the waters cast,
The martyrs’ ashes, watched,
Shall gathered be at last.

And from that scattered dust,
Around us and abroad,
Shall spring a plenteous seed,
Of witnesses for God.

The Father hath received,
Their latest living breath,
And vain is Satan’s boast,
Of victory in their death.

Still, still, though dead, they speak,
And, trumpet tongued, proclaim,
To many a wakening land,
The one availing name.

 

I mourn the death of Mike and other Christians around the world, yet I maintain hope that “vain is Satan’s boast of victory in their death.”  

Jesus was crucified — yet he rose again.  In Him, we have life and will have life even after death. His Gospel of grace is truly good news, and continues to be carried around the world.

Please pray for the Riddering family–the immediate family, their orphanage community, and their church home.

Please pray for missionaries around the world who are serving in sensitive locations.

Please pray we each are ready to show God’s love where we are.

 

If you want to give to support Amy Riddering and their children, you can donate to the Michael Riddering Memorial Fund.  The memorial service will be held February 6, at Hollywood Community Church, Florida.

 

 

 

Tools I Gave My Children to Protect Them from Harm

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Matthew 19:14

93% of child sex abuse victims know their perpetrators. We need to destroy the myth that those who prey on children are strangers. Do the math, only 7% are strangers.

Who are perpetrators? They are usually friends, relatives, church leaders, coaches, people involved in the child’s life that the children know and trust.

There is a pedophile in my family. He was a missionary. Where did he prey on children? In his own home, in his backyard pool when his sons brought their friends over to play, in public parks, in church restrooms or any public restroom.

I tell my kids that we don’t know who pedophiles are, but they are usually people they know and trust.

Worth reading.

Happy Solstice!

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.

“I am Jesus… I am sending you
to open their eyes,
so that they may turn from darkness to light
and from the power of Satan to God,
that they may receive forgiveness of sins…”

“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will
not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”

(From Isaiah 9, Acts 26, John 8

Looking for an “Angel Donor”

I wrote about my visit to Logos Center last week.

The heating system is still not fully funded, and the winter is getting colder.

There are rolling blackouts in parts of Ukraine, including Kyiv. This is to conserve the state’s energy resources for the winter.

The Logos Center heating system will help them be more independent of the state heating system, and allow them to both keep the current residents warm and welcome more refugees/IDPs.

With the Fedoriw Family Foundation’s generous pledge to match all gifts to the heating system, JUST ONE ANGEL DONOR who can give $10,000 will result in full funding of the remaining budget for the heating system!

Is there an Angel Donor out there for Logos?

Give online via Logos Go Fund Me.
To have your gift doubled, please earmark it: Heating System Fund Doubled By Fedoriw Family Foundation