Thank you so much Merit! Here is the meta tag.
Back to School – Happiness or Blues?

Back to School – Happiness or Blues?

Back to Homeschool:  Happiness or Blues?

We at True North Homeschool Academy are looking forward to starting our classes this Fall.  

For many kids, the idea of going back to school is exciting – seeing old friends and meeting new ones, learning new things, and having new experiences!  For children who struggle, back to school can mean embarrassment, having to explain things AGAIN to new teachers, and anxiety about possibly being teased.

Here are some truths: 

  • 13% of children in public schools were reported to have a disability and need special education services. (The Condition of Education, 2016)
  • SPED Homeschool reports of up to 35% of students who are homeschooled have a special need or are struggling learners. (Global Trends in Special Education Homeschooling, 2018)
  • Parents who homeschool students who struggle need specialized education and support to help their children be successful.
  • This specialized support should look different from public school because homeschooling should not be public school at home.

How True North Struggling Learners Program can Help Make Back-to-School Blues Disappear

Special Needs and Struggling Learners will benefit from our small, therapeutically based program.  Our Teachers use cutting-edge techniques and tools to maximize your student’s growth and learning potential and classes are kept deliberately small to facilitate personalized attention. Smaller classes also decrease anxiety in students, allowing dynamic and educationally therapeutic interaction between parents and students. Our Bundles put you in control of your child’s education, but you’ll never be alone. We’ll support you. That’s what we do.

  • Executive Functioning Skills 

    • Providing a sensitive, nurturing learning environment for students who have had less academic success, this course will also work on skill-building.  We will be focusing on breaking down larger, everyday tasks to make them more manageable.  We will be discussing how to create their own personalized daily routine.  The students will also be able to improve their day-to-day school and family life as we work in the following areas:
      • making schedules
      • creating a personal calendar
      • creating short, effective lists
      • tips to help our memory
      • understanding how our actions affect others

      Executive Functioning Skills is designed to create a stress-free approach to academic learning.  Homework assignments will be brief, and they will mostly be about habits that they can create to make life easier.  There will be an emphasis on growth, not grades.  There will be no tests, no essays, and no memorization required.  This course is about self-improvement and growing as an individual.

  • History and Science

    • Adapted Science 
      • Adapted Science Skills for struggling learners is designed for unique children wanting to shine and explore the science of the everyday world while learning things like Kitchen Chemistry and Biology as well as Physical Science.  Each lesson will incorporate vocabulary introduced in an applicable and hands-on environment- while empowering students to learn differently.
    • World History
      • Adapted World History for Struggling Learners offers 100% supported learning for unique students. This World History course imparts high school level content at a lower reading level.  Using an adapted textbook, film, and other sources, the educator will read every page with your learner and encourage discussion, question your learner for comprehension, and offer explanations that will assist in the development of vocabulary and critical thinking.
    • U.S. History
      • Adapted US History for Struggling Learners offers 100% supported learning for unique students. This US History course imparts high school level content at a lower reading level.  Using an adapted textbook, film, and other sources, the educator will read every page with your learner and encourage discussion, question your learner for comprehension, and offer explanations that will assist in the development of vocabulary and critical thinking.
  • Language Arts

    • High School Spelling and Grammar

    • Organize Your Writing

      • Organizing Your Writing is a course for struggling learners that will focus on teaching students in high school who are struggling with organizing their thoughts and writing to complete academic papers. Students will learn the basics of simple essay writing in a non-stressful environment. Sometimes our struggling learners struggle to write a complete sentence.  Sometimes they can tell stories but not put them down on paper. Other times, they can write informally in journals and free-writes, but can’t organize an academic paper.  What is the solution? True North Homeschool Academy’s Struggling Learners Department is now offering a writing class to help students learn how to write academic papers.
    • Organize Your Writing II

      • Organizing Your Writing II will focus on teaching students in grades 6-12 to write with competence and ease. Different forms of writing can be a hard and frustrating task for struggling students. This course will help students approach their drafts and published writings with confidence. Students often need encouragement and guidance to articulate their thoughts while expressing ideas on paper. Students will learn the basics of simple essay writing in a non-stressful environment.
    • Adapted English I

      • Adapted English  provides 100% supported learning for unique students, this course will also provide grammar review, and paragraph writing development for real-world writing skills such as “How To” paragraphs and paragraphs that tell a story and will further strengthen reading comprehension and vocabulary development
    • Adapted English II

      • Adapted English 2 is for struggling learners and is designed with lower-level readers in mind. This class is a continuation of Adapted English I for students who are working through High School at a much slower pace and need additional instructional support. The textbook selected is respectful of the maturing mind and offers exposure to appropriate reading material at a 4th-5th grade level that nudges vocabulary higher, and touches on literary analysis with exposure to topics such as metaphors, imagery, plot development, and setting.
  • Special Needs Academic Advising

    • 1:1 Personal Zoom Meeting
    • Personalized IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) Goals
    • Personalized accommodations and modifications
    • Personalized Curriculum Help
    • Personalized recommendations for grading, instructional strategies, and visual aids (if needed)
    • Transcript Consultation as needed

Back-to-School does not have to be a time of pain and despair! We can equip you with the tools you need to succeed, starting with 5 Effective Communication Strategies to use with your special needs child or struggling student.

Additional support can be found in our Facebook Group for parents of struggling learners

 

 

Books that Every Homeschooler Should Read

Books that Every Homeschooler Should Read

Books that Every Homeschooler Should Read

Books that Every Homeschooler Should Read is an ongoing list because I am often what my favorite books on homeschooling are. Hard to pick, but my top favs are probably Jesse and Susan Wise Bauer’s The Well Trained Mind, Marva Collins, The Marva Collins Way, Rafe Esquith’s Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire but there are so many more.

Reading Log

So I did y’all the favor of making my comprehensive list of Books that every Homeschooler should read.

Most of the authors listed also have websites, resources, podcasts, and online stores. They all have something to add to your life as an educator.  Dig in. Enjoy!
A Child’s History of the World by Calvert. Christian culture despite personal beliefs. The timeline of history as a framework for life.

Home Education by Charlotte Mason – Home Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.
Summerhill  School, A New View of Childhood by A.S. Neill –  Freedom from coercion and repressive cultural ideas; free expression; believe in kids ability to want to learn.
How Children Learn by John Holt – Allow your child to follow their passions and develop their personhood. Life is learning, learning is life. Play is a child’s work.
Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn- Throw off the shackles.
Homeschooling for Excellence and Hard Times in Paradise by Colfax. We are shaped by the work that we do;  back to the land, live pro-actively, excellence in education.
The Successful Homeshcool Family Handbook and Better Late Than Early, Home Grown Kids by Raymond and Dorothy Moore– Delight directed education; lay a firm foundation, the importance of basics. Better late than early.
AlphaPhonics Crimes of the Educators by Blumenfeld–  Fundamentals of education, lay a firm foundation; don’t expect the government to truly educate our country’s youth.
Timeless Teaching Tips by Joyce Herzog – To really understand something, start your research in the children’s section of the library.
The Underground History of Education,  Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto – Be proactive. Craft something beautiful despite the norms that seek to entangle you.
The Joyful Homeschooler by Mary Hood – Learning centers, discovery learning.

No Regrets, How Homeschooling Earned me a Master’s Degree at 16  by Joyce Swann – Accelerated education.
Beautiful FeetTeaching Character through Literature Unit studies; the joy of connections.

Homeschool Design Form+u+la by Barb Shelton – Delight directed, vocationally oriented. Record-keeping and organization, how to create a course.
The Well Trained Mind Eat an elephant one bite at a time. Have a vision that incorporates depth and width. Expect more from your kids and from yourself.
Latin Centered Curriculum and LCC: A Homeschoolers guide to a Classical Curriculum Depth vs. Width; simplify, stick with the basics; go far.
The New Global Student the world is (or could be) your classroom.
The Marva Collins Way Ordinary Children, Extraordinary Teachers  Become the teacher you wished you’d had. Know your stuff. Know more. Classical ed, baby, by a class act.
Rafe Esquith Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire -LIghting Their Fires —Real Talk for Real Teachers The power of discipline, the arts and passion. Pursue sponsors for what you know to do.
University Model Schools– Combining the strength of homeschooling with the power of community. Win-win.
HSLDA– Strength in numbers- parental rights (vs. state rights).
G.H. Henty– Age of exploration. Find joy in history. Facts are dazzling diamonds, so it doesn’t matter if they are set into the same mold time and again.

Sonlight Curriculum– Literature and Bible-based teaching are a powerful combination.

Above Rubies– Establish a legacy.
Gentle Spirit– What do you have in your hand? Understand, establish and work with the seasons of life.

Sally Clarkson- Sympathize with the heart of your child.

Montessori– Kids are not mini-adults. Ages and stages, uninterrupted blocks of time to focus, discovery model
Mary Pride– The hand that rocks the cradle, rocks the world.
Hugh Ross– Science and Theology are beautiful bed-fellows. Intellect and faith go hand in hand.
Usborne books– The power of graphics; thinking skills made fun.
Marilyn Howshall–  Lifestyle of learning. Get one.
Classical Conversations– Train the brain to retain; grammar, dialectic and rhetoric stages.
Logos Academy/ Doug Wilson– The power of doctrine; living according to a clarion call; classical ed.
TeenPact– Age doesn’t matter in your ability to do great things for God. There is something unique about where you live right now. What/how does God want you to know/do about it?
Greg Harris– Establish your kids vocationally; do hard things; live out-loud.
Diana Waring– Joy in the journey, laugh out loud.
Greenleaf Press Press– 4 year history cycle, academic excellence.
Jim Weiss- The power of story-telling
Andrew Pudewa– Power of language; find the expert; give the kids as much help as they need; distill the difficult into simple. Master teachers and excellent curriculum rock.
Robinson Curriculum– Different seasons demand different methodologies; stick with the vision and make the curriculum work for you. The basics ware gonna get you through the night, baby.
Timberdoodle– Toys with a purpose; imaginative, active play; the discovery of the world through art, building, creation.
Cindy Rushon– Notebooking; journaling with an academic purpose.
Apologia– Textbook as lecture.

Who is on your list? Who did I miss?

*this post contains affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you purchase through my links.

Are you a new homeschooling mom? Or maybe you are just a seasoned homeschool mom looking for some encouragement. Check out our recommendations for books for homeschooling moms. Be encouraged today! #books #homeschooling #homeschoolmom

How to Homeschool Junior High – the Jr High Brain

How to Homeschool Junior High – the Jr High Brain

Homeschooling junior high isn’t for wimps. If you are raising a middle school student, you might have this strange sense of deja vu.  You feel like you’ve been through this stage before…but somehow a little different. They were shorter…less smelly (most of the time)…and talked less (or at least less clearly).  Ok, maybe not quite. However, there are a lot of physical and mental changes that take place in toddlerhood that occur again at a different level in Jr High.

Brain Pruning

One of the big things that changes in middle school and toddlerhood is brain pruning.  In this process, the brain “cleans out” extra connections that aren’t being used. This can cause some different behaviors to occur during this time.  Sometimes kids seem to “not be in control” and make “bad decisions.” Part of this is expressing their ability to make decisions for themselves, and establish independence.  Part of this is due to the brain pruning process going on in their brains (not an excuse for bad decisions by any means, but if we understand what is going on, as parents we can be better prepared for it).

What can we do to help our junior high child?

  1. Lend them part of our “decision making brain” meaning give choices, but only ones that are acceptable to you.
  2. Help keep sleep and meals as regular as possible.  Just like a toddler needed a schedule, so does your middle schooler.
  3. Pick your battles.  If your child does better with school in the afternoon and gets their work done, let them work in the afternoon.

Riding the Emotional Rollercoaster with Your Junior High Homeschooler

Emotions can be very powerful.  Naming emotions can be even more difficult, and yet give so much power to us.  As a toddler, our children begin to discover they have emotions, and they can choose emotions.  As middle schoolers, hormones begin to change how our emotions affect us. Being open to your middle schooler to come and talk to will help with this process.  These are the years when your kids will start to build a different relationship with you. Foster that relationship. You still have to “parent,” but work to listen too.

Relationships and Your Junior High Homeschooler

As 3-year-olds, children tend to be all about “me.” MY feelings, MY toys, MY mommy/daddy/sister.  They do not see the world outside of “ME.” As they mature into 4-year-olds, they begin to realize there are other people around them.  Mommy and Daddy (and eventually siblings) have feelings and wants/needs too. They begin to realize they can do things to “help” others.  They start wanting to do things to please others, and to receive praise and possibly rewards.
Middle schoolers go through this process again but on a bigger level.  Elementary years are a lot about acceptance and building community (or at least that is what most elementary level schools are trying to do).  Middle school changes a lot of that. Suddenly there is a world out there full of other people’s opinions about what you eat, wear, and how you wear your hair!  It can be difficult to find your “place” during this phase of life. I’m reminded of my sister who became an “opinion shopper.” She would ask everyone their opinion on a decision she needed to make.  Eventually, she would hear the opinion she wanted to hear and go with that one!

What can we do?

  1. Allow for some self-expression.
  2. Give choices that are acceptable to you and allow your child to become more independent.
  3. Be there to listen when needed – without judging.
  4. Still set boundaries and “parent” when necessary.
  5. Make mistakes in front of your kids – and OWN THEM!  Our kids need to know no one is perfect.  Especially in Jr High, when they are trying so hard to be “grown up” and independent!

Growing and Changing Bodies

I hear a lot about middle school students/high school students and SLEEP.  Up all night. Sleep all day. Don’t shower until noon. Eat everything in sight.  Sounds a lot like my toddler. As kids enter the Jr High years, they often enter into growth spurts.  The body needs sleep for growth, moving information from short-term to long-term memory, and for all the hormone changes.  Stress can bring about a lack of sleep. Stress from the changing social relationships and dynamics mentioned above can create a lack of sleep.
At two distinct times in our child’s lives, we feel like we go through clothing sizes like tissues.  When they are toddlers and when they are teens (especially boys). For me, personally, I stopped growing when I entered middle school, at least in height.  But I grew in other ways that made clothing more challenging. This German/Irish mama has always had curves, and in Jr High, this was a challenge!! (Especially when it seemed most other girls did not yet!)  Finding clothes that fit right, and fit in with the crowds can be challenging for middle school students.
Some suggestions:
  1. Even if you use “second hand” clothes, find a way for your child to be able to pick some key pieces of clothing that are “just theirs.”
  2. Find ways for your child to express themselves through clothing in appropriate ways if this is important to them.
  3. Purchase clothes that fit comfortably (consider body type and sensory issues).
  4. Find a schedule that works for them – and work to stick with it!
  5. Find time to talk and connect – this can help with the stress they are experiencing.
  6. Teach about changing hygiene needs, and be sensitive to when their bodies change.  Everyone changes on a different schedule.
  7. Look for “samples” to try out different hygiene products to find the one your child likes best.  Different products work better for certain body types, and sensitivities can arise over time.

Homeschooling

Homeschooling during the Jr. High years can be tricky, as you child questions your authority and understanding of my materials. Now is a perfect time to outsource some classes, resource your students growing interests and try new things together, be that food, places or experiences. The typical course of study is a great guide to begin with.
Though the Jr High years can be challenging, they too will pass. Your child is transitioning from dependency to mature interdependency, from little to big. As with all transitions, it can be a tricky time to navigate, but take heart! Like toddlerhood, the Jr High years don’t last forever!

Video: Homeschooling Junior High

Audio: Homeschooling Junior High

Typical Course of Study Jr High

Middle School success Challenge

Middle School Personalized Learning Plan

Updates and edits by Gina Glenn. Video, audio, and downloads by Lisa Nehring of True North Homeschool Academy.

Original article written by: 

Amy Vickrey, MSE  is a mother of a seven-year-old and almost three-year-old. Her homeschool journey began over 20 years ago when she saw how homeschooling enabled her sister who had memory issues and fell through the crack at school, to graduate and go to college. Amy knew then she wanted to implement what she saw – the love and individual attention – into her own teaching. She now homeschools her two boys and loves every minute of it! Having completed the second year of their homeschool journey, she is looking forward to many more to come!

Amy holds a Masters of Science in Education, Specializing in Curriculum and Instruction, from the University of Central Missouri and a Bachelors of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas State University-San Marcos.  Also, she spent 2 years of college studying Interpretation for the Deaf and Deaf Studies and knows American Sign Language. Her teaching certifications include Special Education, English as a Second Language and Generalist (early childhood through fourth). She is now part of the Struggling Learners Department of True North Homeschool Academy and loves the discovery approach to learning. Teaching children how to learn will help them reach their goals and dreams.

Amy Vickrey states, “My passion for learning and being a lifelong learner is something I want to pass on to the children I teach, as well as my own children.  Making learning fun and engaging is an important part of this process. My goal is to lift others up to help them achieve their own goals and dreams.”  Find out more about Amy and the classes she teaches here.

Dynamic, Virtual Online Clubs for Homeschool Kids

Dynamic, Virtual Online Clubs for Homeschool Kids

Let’s talk about Virtual Online Clubs for Homeschoolers

 

When I was growing up we were involved in clubs, it was just part of life.

We were Girl Scouts for years, part of a square dance club complete with crinoline poufed skirts. Wewere in Music Clubs and community service clubs. People just did clubs. It was a great way to learn new skills, meet new people, get out of the house and create amazing memories!

My kids have participated in a ton of clubs over the past twenty-five years. Including, Girl and Boy Scouts, Lego League, Music Clubs, Art Clubs, Horse Clubs, AYSO, Larping, Theater & Book clubs, Service clubs and more.

 The beauty of a club is that it is usually full of awesome learning and looks like fun!

Virtual, Dynamic Online Clubs are Academics Plus Fun!

 

Clubs can provide both academics and fun for our Jr. and Sr. Homeschool High School students. 

In my opinion and experience, clubs takes some of the pressure off of academics, allowing the kids to learn and experience rich and varied skills and opportunities.

As a Transcript Artist, I see a lot of homeschoolers selling themselves short on credits because they often forget to count clubs, service work, hobbies and areas of interest as “credit” on their High School Transcript.

For instance, my graduated son had a serious interest in history and weaponry for years. One Christmas he found himself the happy recipient of a few encyclopedias on the history of weapons. He Larps regularly with friends -an informal club of sorts -and he has spent countless hours creating armor, swords, distaffs and more out of foam noodles, duct tape, cardboard, plastic and even more duct tape. It’s not a “class” per se, however, the amount of time he has put into not only learning about weapons, but constructing and crafting them, could certainly count for credit.

Don’t think kids learn much through this type of activity? When watching movies, he can tell almost immediately if the armor is appropriate to the times. That’s history and craftsmanship, right there!

About True North Homeschool Academy Clubs

“What about socialization?” This common question directed at homeschooling families is often met with a strong response. We’re right to ask, “Who defines socialization?” and understand that socialization is more than peer-to-peer relating. We are constantly socializing. That’s just part of culture, right? 

Still, many homeschool parents often ask me about this question. And honestly, I think it comes from a place of needing support. We’re not trying to imitate the school culture and follow the pattern of the world when it comes to friendships. We’re too busy transmitting our faith culture to our kids!

And that’s the beautiful thing about what we do here at True North Homeschool Academy. We understand the importance of our common Christian culture. Our live online classes are born out of a desire to support homeschool families. And yes, even provide an avenue to socialize with your homeschool tribe. 

Wouldn’t it be a dream-come-true to find a safe place for your kids to make friends, interactive in a live setting, and learn some really cool stuff? We think so. That’s why we created Homeschool Clubs 

Each club will be worth at least a 1/4 credit per semester or 1/2 credit per year- so all of the fun of the a club, none of the pressure of a traditional course, and credit to boot! Of course, students and parents are welcomed and encouraged to add more to the club to make it full credit worthy (and we are happy to provide guidance on that, if you need it).

If you are looking for a Club that you don’t yet see, please let us know! We might just be able to make it happen!

10 Reasons to Join a Homeschool Club

Here are ten great reasons why your child should be in a homeschool club:

Homeschool Clubs offer accountability.

In a homeschool club, students meet regularly with others with similar interests and abilities, setting goals and report progress to their classmates and club mentors. Writing down and sharing goals is a sure-fire way to move ahead with them!

Homeschool Clubs provide a diverse learning environment.

Rubbing shoulders with those who know more than you allow students to have something to reach and strive for. In our Writing Club, we have students with a broad range of ability, experience, and passion. The older kids encourage younger students and provide amazing role-models.

Homeschool Clubs offer mentorships.

Being a mentor for those who don’t know as much as you do gives students a chance to hone their own abilities. The best way to learn something exceptionally well is to teach it. In writing club students with experience are reaching out to younger students to offer advice, encouragement and support, share contests, online resources, editing, and more!

Homeschool Clubs are skill building.

Clubs allow students to grow and develop their skills in ways that they possibly wouldn’t seek out on their own. Our writing club has delved into songwriting, comedic sketch writing, and more based on the interest of club members!

Homeschool Clubs are low stress but offer high rewards.

Clubs allow students to immerse oneself into an area of interest without a huge time or monetary investment. Jr and Sr high school is the perfect time for students to explore various areas of interest. Clubs give students support to explore and develop in areas that may lead to career interests, lifelong hobbies, friendships, and professional skills!

Homeschool Clubs are a great way to earn credits.

Clubs are a low-stress way to earn credits. Our writing club is automatically worth a half a credit a year but students can earn up to a full credit of writing, depending on their goals and commitment. This allows students to build their transcript in a low-stress fun way!

Clubs often offer side benefits.

Because our good writers are readers, our writing club does a weekly “Book-Share” too. Students learn about different genres, learn assessment tools and participate in co-authoring quarterly “Tweens and Teens Book Recommendations,” which are published on our blog. Also, students have the opportunity to write blog posts for our blog, allowing them to publish before a fairly wide audience while still in high school.

Homeschool Clubs offer more freedom than a traditional classroom.

For example, homeschool club members can socialize with people that they have things in common with. In our Writing Club, we often do break-out rooms with smaller groups. The kids work on projects together, like writing poems or songs and have a blast laughing, brainstorming, and coming up with amazing ideas together.

In a Homeschool Club, everyone is there because they want to be there.

They are already interested in the subject matter which makes it easier to make friends! People tend to be warmer and more engaged when it’s something they want to do versus something they have to do. In our Writing Club, kids are meeting and talking with kids from around the country both inside (and outside of class).

Homeschool Clubs allow students to have input!

On the suggestion of one of our Writing Club members, we have writing “buddies.” Kids were paired up randomly with someone else in the class. This is because kids wanted to be able to continue writing prompts, share ideas, and brainstorm outside of class. The enthusiasm is contagious and some writing buddies are even writing stories together!

Clubs. We LOVE them at True North Homeschool Academy because we LOVE watching students learn, grow and develop into people who are passionate and eager to engage in the world around them!

What are you waiting for? Join a Club – we have lots to choose from and you can get more information about how to join us at our homeschool clubs page.

 

 

 

The Thief

We only know about him because he held the unique and dishonorable distinction of being a thief, and one who was caught at that. He died in disgrace, poverty and agony. He was tortured, crucified and died.

Thieves often come under cover of darkness, in confusion, or perhaps on social media; places where they can easily hide and are rarely called out. And thieves- they can be so compelling. They are often masters of disguise, presenting themselves as one thing all the while working underhandedly to steal and destroy. Thieves are con artists- they are the masters at bait and switch. I would venture that many unwitting, well meaning people have handed over that which further damns the thief to their ultimate demise. Thieves are, by definition jealous people who are not content with their lot in life and perhaps even work to destroy that which they claim they now want or was taken from them.

The well known thief on the cross probably worked under cover of night, or in secrecy, or in a crowd, but died in broad daylight, exposed and disgraced. 

We’ve all done it. Shared that juicy tidbit, been outraged by accusations, shocked at what we’ve just heard. In fact, I would venture to say that a good thief- one has honed their craft- is subtle enough to tweak the facts just so, so that the we see a bit of truth in the claims, “Ah yes, I always knew he was demanding- I see how he’s a bully,”  But few – if any of us- actually go to the person who is the true victim of thief’s crime to seek truth. Reacting to a claim takes little from us. Acting as a Chrsitian takes everything.

But let’s be honest, we are all thieves. Each one of us. We’ve all claimed what wasn’t ours, been jealous and petty, said a little – or big lie- to justify our own sin. Projected onto others so that we are not discovered. We’ve all taken something precious and destroyed it. We’ve all defiled the purity and holiness of the Living God; stolen from others and bankrupt them; stolen from ourselves and defiled what and who are called to do and be. 

 We are all thieves, hanging on the cross- disgraced, found out, naked and exposed. 

Some of us proudly jut out our chins and die, sealing our fate. Others of us accept the free give of mercy and salvation and recognize that the man in the middle holds the power of life and death with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. His arms- stretched out on the cross- nailed there in humiliation – have the power of life and death, hell or resurrection.

We are all thieves. And we can all look to the  Man in the middle. It’s not too late- whether we are successful in our thieving or  exposed. Either way, the Living Christ is the truth holder and knows of our  disgrace, death, corruption,  jealousy, bitterness and hate. 

The one hanging there is the middle- HE is the Living Christ. He offers the free gift of salvation to all who believe. He has raised the dead to life- each one of us- dead in our transgressions, if you only look to Him and believe!  Alleluia!