In memory of my father

This is a portion of the eulogy I gave at my father’s funeral in January, 1999.

My father was a good provider for his family and a diligent worker. After working long hours at INCO, he would often busy himself with work around the house or in the garden. He was not afraid to work with his hands and was quite resourceful, preferring to reupholster a chair or build his own end table rather than buy a new one. He was faithful to his wife and protective of his children. Although he was not great at expressing it verbally, his concern was always for his family. He encouraged us to be thorough and strive for excellence in what we did, and he set the example by being meticulous in everything he did, from watering tomato plants to writing letters.

My father learned responsibility as a young boy of 12, having to take care of his mother and sisters when his father went to fight in WW2. He taught us by his example to be faithful to our God-given responsibilities regardless of the cost.

I thank the Lord for giving me just the right father that I needed to mature in character and I thank God also for his mercy in allowing my father to die without pain or suffering. And most of all, I’m thankful that I have a perfect, loving Heavenly Father that promises in Psalm 68:5 to be “a father to the fatherless and a defender of widows”. Earthly fathers are human, and they will fail us at times. But there is a heavenly Father, God himself, who is always loving, always good, always humble, always gentle, always understanding, and always trustworthy. He is the only one who can truly meet all our needs and satisfy our innermost longings for love, security and happiness.

Since I became his child 35 years ago by asking Him to come into my life, my heavenly Father has proven to be the most wonderful, faithful Father I could have hoped for. And he will be that to you, too, if you will only invite him into your life and ask Him to make you His child. He longs for his children to come to him and trust him as a baby trusts his parents. My prayer for you is that “the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Amen.

Great Review of my Book Stress-free Homeschooling by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine!

I received this very positive review of my devotional book Stress-Free Homeschooling: 31 Days to a Healthier Way of Thinking by Kelly Burgess of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine!! Thank you so much, Kelly and TOS Magazine! I wrote this devotional book specifically for homeschooling mothers, but any parent who struggles with negative thinking or discouragement could benefit. I pray that it will be a blessing to you! Stress-free Homeschooling: 31 Days to a Healthier Way of Thinking by Laura Hum is available in print at The Learning House, and as an e-book at Barnes and Noble Nook, Lulu, and the iTunes store.
Update: ebook now available at Amazon and kobo as well.

Stress-Free Homeschooling: 31 Days to a Healthier Way of Thinking Review by Kelly Burgess

This product is essentially a thirty-one-day devotional journal that helps the homeschooling mom regain positive thinking and thereby reboot what may otherwise be a stressful homeschooling environment. It’s printed in a compact, easy-to-carry, spiral-bound booklet that is easy to keep at hand for daily encouragement.

I’ve been homeschooling my children for fourteen years now, and I can honestly say that I’m feeling a bit weary and battle-scarred in this home stretch with five more years to go until the youngest child goes to public high school. Each of my three children are so different, and each one has presented their own set of challenges, both in their education and in their behavior. at home. Homeschooling is a full-time job, and full-time in this case means around the clock. It’s a lifestyle that requires an ongoing commitment that involves continuous self-sacrifice. There’s no escaping the fact that it can drain your reserves on the best of days.

Because of that, I’ve really been longing to find something that would recharge my batteries and help me have a more positive outlook on this monumental task of homeschooling. I don’t want to feel like giving up on this important commitment, and I can honestly say that this book has given me lots of positive messages to ponder and internalize. It has helped me see things in a new light.

Each day’s message begins with a concern or feeling of discouragement about which you might find yourself praying to the Lord. Then the author shares how that same negative thought has plagued her in her homeschooling journey, but she goes on to use scripture to explain how the Lord wants us to view the situation. She helps guide the reader into a more positive approach and helps you find ways to see the issue with fresh eyes and a biblical perspective. Then at the end of the explanation, she leaves the reader with a scripture reference for further study and blank lines to record your thoughts and reflections on the topic.

As I read through the book, I felt encouraged that the author has experienced the same frustrations and worries that I have experienced in my homeschool, which let me know that these negative thoughts and feelings of discouragement are not unique to me only. I’m not having them simply because I’m a bad mother or a poor instructor. Instead, she reminds me that Satan is always ready to use these down-times to bring about self-doubt and to try to lead me away from leaning on God for his mercy and direction. As I read each day’s message, I felt a sense of calm and was reminded that God has called me to this task and will see me through it. I learned how to take a negative situation and view it as a building block that can result in a positive learning and growing experience in both my life and the lives of my children.

I highly recommend this book to every mom who has let doubts, fears, and frustrations creep into her homeschool. The positive perspective and scripture references brought me to a place of peace for the first time in a long time. I can do this! In Him, all things are possible.

 

-Product review by Kelly Burgess, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine®, LLC, May, 2017

http://www.theoldschoolhouse.com/product-reviews/?rid=6233

When You’re Hurting on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the blessing of having or being a mother. It is a time to express and receive gratitude for the sacrificial love that mothers give to their children every day. This can bring much joy, but sometimes Mother’s Day brings out more negative emotions.

Grief: When your own mother is no longer alive, Mother’s Day can be a painful reminder that she is no longer with you, and that you will never have another opportunity to spend that day with her. You will never again be able to hug her or tell her that you love her. You miss her. Who can replace a mother’s love?

Perhaps you’re grieving over infertility, or a child that died too young. One that you miscarried, aborted, or that you gave birth to, but then eventually had to bury.  You grieve over lost experiences; memories that you could have had but didn’t; the future that your child could have had. This type of grief is sometimes more painful than grieving a parent, who lived a full life, and with whom you shared many memories.

Rejection: A strained relationship with one or more of your children can make Mother’s Day an unwanted occasion. It’s tempting to look at other families who “have it all together” and wonder why your relationship with that child is so painful. Perhaps that child that you loved now sees you as the enemy, and harbors bitterness towards you. Rejection is never fun, and on Mother’s Day is particularly hard to deal with.

Resentment: Perhaps your mother hurt you deeply. You resent how she treated you, and cannot seem to bring yourself to forgive her. You keep her at a distance and put walls around yourself, because you don’t want to be hurt again. Or perhaps you resent your child, who has rebelled against you and brought shame to the family, or who shows no appreciation for the sacrifices you’ve made for them.

Regret: Perhaps you’ve made some wrong choices along the way, and now you are living with regret and guilt over them. You’d like to go back in time and redo some things, but that is impossible. You may be living with heartbreaking consequences as a result of your choices. Perhaps you find it very difficult to forgive yourself.

Anxiety:  You see your loved one on a path to self-destruction. This makes you feel anxious. You want to protect them and see them turn from their lifestyle to one of wholeness and healing. Mother’s Day can be an unpleasant reminder that your child is broken. You want them to be whole but they are not. And their brokenness, in turn, breaks your heart and makes you feel anxious.

What words can I write to assuage your feelings? If you are feeling any of these negative emotions, you have the right to feel that way. I’m not going to try to talk you out of them. You have legitimate reasons for feeling that way. I wish I could wave my magic wand and make everything better, but I can’t. What I can do, however, is reassure you that there is comfort for your grief; unconditional love in place of rejection; healing in place of resentment; forgiveness for the things you regret; and peace to replace your anxiety. The Lord Jesus Christ loves you dearly, and knows what you are going through. He has promised never to leave you or forsake you. He can comfort you in a way that even a mother can’t, because he knows what it is to grieve and suffer. He offers you forgiveness for any wrongs that you have committed, and promises rest and peace to those who bring their burdens to him in prayer and trust him in their situation. He will even give you the grace to forgive those who have hurt you, so you can move on in your life and walk in healing and freedom.

Mother’s Day has a way of bringing out both the good and the bad in your relationships. I hope it is a good day for you, but if it isn’t, the Lord is there for you; he understands what you’re going through; and there is always hope in him. Just turn to him and ask for his help, and he will help you. You are his beloved!

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

On the Value of Questions

I was raised in an era where questioning things was not actively encouraged. In fact, it was sometimes perceived as being outright rebellious. Authority figures were to be obeyed; experts were to be trusted; scientific theories were to be believed; facts were to be learned. Yet as I get older, I realize how vitally important questions are to progressing in various spheres of life.

In education: Traditional learning methods have emphasized the memorization of facts and formulas. While this approach is certainly valuable in gaining a foundational understanding of some subject, it falls short in many ways. Sometimes the facts to learn seem irrelevant to the student, other than to solicit a good mark on the test. Yet when a child has a question, an inquiry, a real-life problem to solve, he is motivated to research, learn, and find the answer to his question. In the process, he gains independence and a feeling of accomplishment. This is far superior to simply memorizing some tidbit of knowledge that the teacher gave him.

In faith: It is through the preaching of the gospel that a hearer can understand that Jesus is the Savior and can then place their faith in Christ. It is through the teaching of biblical doctrine that a new believer can come to understand who God is, what he has done for them, and how to grow in their relationship with God. Both of these are essential to passing on the Christian faith to others. However, it is a healthy process to question what is being taught. If everything taught is blindly believed, how can one safeguard against false doctrine? Even if the teaching is biblically correct, there is great value in asking questions to discover what people have understood from the teaching, what they believe, and how to apply God’s word in their lives. It is often in discussion that beliefs are solidified, hearts are encouraged, misunderstandings corrected, and inspiration given. Preaching and teaching are wonderful gifts, but discussion enables people with different gifts to have a positive impact on one another as well.

In science: The very basis of scientific investigation is testing a hypothesis, or question. Scientific theories attempt to explain observable data, but a theory is not an irrefutable fact. Further questioning and research will bring us more reliable explanations of why things happen. We live in an era when honest questioning and independent research is sometimes suppressed and even punished by governmental agencies or large companies that don’t want some scientific studies to be made known. They prefer that people believe in their propaganda and policies instead. It appears that honest questioning of the safety of vaccines or the efficacy of traditional approaches to cancer, for example, are too much of a threat to allow. Much progress could be made in these fields if questioning and research were not ridiculed and opposed.

In relationships: Questions are of great benefit in relationships, as well. It is in asking questions of a person that we get to discover what they really think; how they feel; what their goals, joys, and sorrows are. It is in getting to know a person that we can develop a more loving, satisfying relationship with them. Here are some questions that can be asked with the goal of getting to know them better. Communication is a two-way street, and some people are more reluctant to express what is going on in their hearts. But an appropriate question could possibly open new avenues of understanding and intimacy.

So, don’t be afraid of questions. They are invaluable!  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

A Psalm for Easter

Where, O Lord, will I find security?

In government? In my bank account? In a job? In my relationships?

Governments fail; money flies away; layoffs happen; relationships break.

No; my security is in you and you alone, O my God.

You are the anchor of my soul,

The one who is holding me in the palm of your hand.

You will never forsake me.

Where, O Lord, will I find love?

In my family? Among my friends? In the arms of my lover? In my community?

Alas, their love is fickle. It is here one moment and gone the next.

When my heart is in pain, sometimes no one understands; and if they do,

They are powerless to heal my broken heart.

But you, O Lord, love me with an everlasting love;

A selfless, unconditional love that does not waver.

You accept me just as I am and nothing I do could add to or diminish your love for me.

Ah, that is true love.

I rest in your unfailing, transforming love for me, O Lord.

Where will I find significance, Lord?

In education? In success? In follows and likes? In pursuing a cause? In wealth?

You do not measure my worth by human standards.

No; in your eyes I am significant because I am yours.

You created me; you redeemed me with your own precious blood; you adopted me as your child.

You have raised me up and have placed your Spirit within me

so I can partner with you in bringing life and hope to others.

You are good, O Lord. You are good.

Shine your face upon me and help me to glorify you until I see you face to face.

Then I will rejoice and praise your name forever and ever.   © Laura Hum 2017

Part 4: After legalism, then what?

Perhaps you’ve read Parts 1-3 of Homeschooling and Legalism, and you’ve become aware of the damaging effect of legalism in your own life. Perhaps you’re a homeschooling mother, or one who was raised under legalism, or both! Where do you go from here? Is homeschooling still a viable option? Is Christianity really the truth? I can understand the many people who have been burned because of legalism, and it has made them skeptical and disillusioned. Sometimes that disillusionment has led them to reject Christianity altogether. I can understand that. Healing is a process that can take quite some time. Sometimes the pain is so great, you just can’t bring yourself to do anything that remotely reminds you of that other life, including reading the Bible, going to church, or believing in God. Something’s been taken from you; your trust has been violated; and you don’t want to get hurt again. While in the short term running away from the Lord seems to be the easiest option, true healing and peace will only come as you dare to draw near to God and learn who he really is.

I want to tell you that the abuse you suffered, the wrong teachings you received and lived by, grieve the heart of God. He feels your pain; he longs to show you his love, restore you, and replace those lies with truth, truth that will set you free. What you lived through was a distorted view of Christianity, a false gospel, that could not deliver on what it promised.

Under legalism, you were made to feel ashamed, condemned, inadequate. You were always striving, never attaining the goal. You were judged, not loved unconditionally. You were given a false hope: that if you strive hard to be righteous according to the rules of the organization you were with, you might be good enough to earn God’s love and acceptance. But if you fail, you will lose God’s protection and blessing, and Satan will destroy you. That is not biblical Christianity! The gospel is good news. Good news is something that has already happened; not something that you have to do. The good news is that Jesus has done it all for you. He has fulfilled the requirements of the law on your behalf; he has paid the penalty for your sin; God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21) You cannot become righteous by following the law. Jesus, having fulfilled the law, now offers you his righteousness as a free gift! Just by asking for it! No, we don’t deserve it, but’s that’s grace! You would have to obey every single bit of the law for your whole life to be considered righteous, but you can’t do that. In fact, no one can, except for Jesus! If you are a Christian, you are righteous in God’s sight, simply because you were given the righteousness of Christ when you believed in him. You did nothing to earn it, and you can do nothing to lose it. You can’t add to it, either! What can you add to perfect righteousness?

Furthermore, God’s love for you is not conditional upon your obedience or behaviour. His love, agape, is unconditional. The Bible says that God is love. [God] is patient, kind, doesn’t envy, doesn’t boast, isn’t proud, does not dishonour others, isn’t self-seeking; isn’t easily angered; keeps no record of wrongs; doesn’t delight in evil but rejoices with the truth; always protects; always trusts; always hopes; always perseveres; never fails. That’s the God of the Bible! He loves you not because you perform so well, but because he created every detail about you. You are his workmanship; you belong to him. His very essence is one of unfailing love. Nothing can ever separate you from his love, including anything that you do or don’t do! Rest in his love for you, and you will find emotional stability in your life.

Perhaps what drew you into a legalistic lifestyle was the need to be significant, to achieve something, to be important. Again, legalism cannot meet that need. The best it could do was give you a pharisaical sense of self-importance if you compared yourself with other “less godly” Christians, but that’s not the real deal. It falls so short of the humble confidence you can have when you are following the leading of the Holy Spirit in serving others with your God-given gifts. He has a plan and purpose for you, and he knows how to expertly weave together both the good and the bad experiences of your life to reveal his heart to you and make you a blessing to others. Serving God is not a burdensome, impossible obligation as portrayed by legalism; it is a joyful opportunity to participate with him in making a difference in someone’s life.

What about homeschooling? If you have homeschooled under legalism, should you put your children in public school instead? There is not one right answer to that question, other than to seek the Lord for his will for each of your children. Homeschooling is a very good option if it has a foundation of grace rather than legalism, but it is not an obligation. Perhaps that child will thrive in a different setting. If you do homeschool, don’t put your trust in it to achieve a certain outcome. Recognize it as an opportunity to love your child, help them to discover their God-given talents, and model faith in Christ. Learn to lean on the Lord’s direction rather than blindly following some homeschooling guru.

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13

Part 3: How we got into (and out of) legalistic homeschooling

In Part 1 and Part 2, I defined legalism and gave some history of its relation to homeschooling in North America. In this post, I’d like to share our journey into and out of the legalistic homeschooling program ATI (Advanced Training Institute).

When our eldest child was a preschooler, we started praying about where to send him for school. We had heard about homeschooling through a family that had spoken at our church, but I didn’t think I would ever be able to do it. At that time we were seriously considering a private Christian school, because we didn’t feel comfortable with sending him to public school. There were two families in our church that had begun homeschooling, and one of them was using the ATI curriculum. The father was very persuasive, telling us that this curriculum was the “cream of the crop”, and that homeschooling would be the best thing for our children. I was not convinced, but my husband felt that homeschooling would be an effective way to disciple our children in the Christian faith. One day as I read my Bible, I felt the Lord leading me to homeschool, and that he would give me the ability to do it. I told my husband, and we began the adventure. In those days, there was no internet to peruse for homeschool curriculum; everything was through word of mouth. Most homeschoolers were using Christian school curriculum such as A Beka or BJU, or following the Moore’s method. I believe it was around that time when the first homeschooling curriculum fair/conference was held in our city. We were encouraged by our friends to attend a Bill Gothard Basic Seminar, which we did. It was impressive. He was a charismatic teacher, who came across as well-studied, sincere, and having Biblical solutions to common conflicts. He was a visionary. There were tons of scripture quoted. Certainly, this man spoke for God! He told many stories about God’s supernatural provision for IBLP, thus validating his ministry. The Basic Seminar was enlightening, and sounded like solid Biblical teaching.

We had to attend an Advanced Seminar, then apply to be accepted into the ATI program. In the Advanced Seminar, some red flags went up. I took offense to some of what he taught, but still felt that there was enough good teaching to not dismiss the program altogether. In applying to ATI, you had to answer many personal questions and agree to a certain lifestyle. Men could not have beards; no rock music or alcohol was allowed in the home; television was a no-no as were movies; women were to dress modestly and in dresses, etc. We were keen to follow the Lord and took our responsibility as parents to raise our children in the Lord very seriously, so these commitments didn’t seem like a big sacrifice. In fact, we were already living by most of those standards anyway (not because they were required, mind you, but because of the changes God had wrought in our hearts.) We applied, and were thrilled to be accepted! When we attended our first ATI Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee, a few months before we began homeschooling, we were wowed. Coming from Canada, where homeschooling families were few and far between, it was overwhelming to see thousands of homeschool families gathered in one place. Everyone’s neat appearance, the visionary speakers, the bright-eyed students, the testimonies, the exceptional talents displayed: all left us with quite the impression. Surely the Lord’s blessing was on this ministry!

Actually implementing the program, however, was not quite as glorious as those annual conferences! I did my best, but it was hard work. As a young, inexperienced mother, my patience quickly wore thin. I felt the burden to do it right, to not ruin my children! The vision was to raise sons and daughters who were godly in spirit, warriors against the evils of our secular humanist culture. A big calling, indeed! Both the curriculum and the Christian culture of that day put a lot of emphasis on obedience on the part of children and submission on the part of wives. The “standards” that we were required to live by aimed to make us godly Christians, as opposed to carnal Christians. These were the measuring sticks given to us to evaluate ourselves, our children, and others. Everything was spelled out to us in black and white as to how to live a life pleasing to God, including what music to listen to, what to wear, courtship vs. dating, even what kind of feminine hygiene products to use and when it is best to have sex with your husband! Everything that proceeded out of Bill Gothard’s mouth was framed as a commandment of God. If you didn’t follow it, you were told that you’d be out from under God’s umbrella of protection, and Satan will wreak havoc on your family. There was much fear and control in this program, not to mention misuse of Scripture. There was a Pharisaical mentality that seemed to justify these ridiculous standards. If you were serious about following God and sparing your children the evils of this world, it would take a radical lifestyle, right?

As the years went on, I began to have some doubts about the theology presented in the Wisdom Booklets (the ATI curriculum). Verses were quoted out of context, and sometimes used to support conclusions that didn’t sound right. Every now and then I would get into a theological crisis, but I couldn’t imagine leaving the program. There was enough good in it to not justify throwing the baby out with the bathwater. After all, our children were learning and memorizing God’s word and learning to see life from a supposedly biblical worldview. They were learning life skills, my husband was having daily family devotions, and we got to spend much time together as a family when they were little.  The program was age-integrated, multidisciplinary, and didn’t require many hours of formal teaching like A Beka or BJU would. There was still plenty of room in the schedule for chores, leisure, and family time.

After 5 or 6 years in the program, however, I began to crack. Now with the increased responsibility of teaching 3 children and the daily indoctrination into a legalistic, condemning version of Christianity, my mental health began to suffer. My self-esteem was at an all-time low; I was battling depression and fatigue; my church was not particularly supportive of homeschooling; and we were really isolated. I knew that something had to change. The Lord led us to change churches at that point, to a grace-oriented church that taught us who we were in Christ and the value of the finished work of Christ. It was a lifesaver for me, and we began a process of discovering the true gospel and the grace of God, instead of being in bondage to legalism. It took some time, but the Lord began to heal me from depression and negative thinking as I was exposed to and meditated upon the freeing truths of God’s Word. My outlook began to change, as did my husband’s, and while we did not yet leave ATI, we adjusted our teaching to be more balanced. Sometimes we skipped sections of the Wisdom Booklet that we disagreed with, or as we read it, we would qualify what it said with a more balanced interpretation of scripture. Now the children were getting grace-oriented teaching in church, and we felt that it would balance out the more legalistic elements of our homeschooling program.

After being a few years in our new church, I had begun to understand the grace of God much more. The Lord had restored to me the joy of my salvation, and I wrote the devotional book Stress-free Homeschooling specifically for other homeschooling mothers to help them discover the truths that set me free from depression and negative thinking. They have continued to provide me with a solid foundation in the midst of trials since then. The Lord revealed to me wrong concepts that I had held onto and brought me to a place of peace and rest in Him. A few years later, we finally let go of ATI.

As I mentioned, there were times when I wrestled with the question whether or not we should leave ATI. There were a few incidents that confirmed the decision for me. One of the earliest ones was when I went to a women’s conference. (At the time, I was still wearing dresses every day.) The worship team, which was all-female, were obviously loving and worshipping the Lord, but in pants! I know that sounds ridiculous, and it was, but that’s where I was at the time. I couldn’t reconcile how these women seemed to love the Lord so much, and yet be wearing clothes that I was taught were not pleasing to God. This caused me to question what I had been taught in ATI. Another moment came when we were in a family crisis and everything I seemed to have built over the years came crashing down. The Lord used that time to reveal to me that the vision that Bill Gothard had given us, that we had been so dedicated to, was the wrong goal. The ATI program required us to commit ourselves to “train up sons and daughters who are mighty in spirit and able to impact the world for Jesus Christ”.  While on the surface this looks like a laudable goal, its pursuit takes the focus off the children’s needs and instead pressures them to be culture warriors. The last incident that clinched it for me had to do with the principle of authority that Bill Gothard taught. One day I asked myself, “Why are we following the leading of Bill Gothard and organizing our lives around his teaching, when he isn’t even our authority? He’s not our father, pastor, or government leader. Yet, he’s dictating everything about how we should live.” He usurped the authority that our leaders supposedly have over us! We finally said goodbye to ATI and began to follow a more grace-oriented approach to homeschooling and parenting.

When we finally left ATI, it was for theological reasons. We had no idea back then of the decades-long history of sex scandals, deception, and abuse that had plagued the IBLP ministry from its early days. Had we known what was really going on behind the scenes, we would have left much earlier. It was easier to cover up scandals back then because there was no internet. Furthermore, the support of prominent Christian leaders like Elizabeth Eliot, Gary Smalley, David Wilkerson, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, etc. validated his ministry. We heard many of these speakers at ATI conferences. Because of the millions of Christians that attended his seminars over the years, including annual pastors’ seminars, his teaching has been disseminated throughout North American churches and even worldwide. Many Christians and pastors probably don’t even realize that the origin of some of the concepts they are teaching is from Bill Gothard. In 2011, the website www.recoveringgrace.org was launched to help those who have been negatively impacted by his teachings. He is currently being sued by 10 women that claim he sexually abused and/or harassed them. May justice be done, and may the Lord restore the years that the locust has eaten for everyone who has been harmed by his false teachings.

Galatians 5:4-10 “You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.  “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty.”