• Seek God's Wisdom, grace and protection through His Word, fasting and prayer
• Train, nurture, minister and support our precious families
• Email bi-monthly newsletter containing CHEF activities and inspiring,encouraging, and equipping articles on covenantal families; discipleship of sons and daughters; marriage; self, family, church, and civil government; bible studies; providential history; book reviews; creative teaching ideas; family celebrations; gift ideas; decorating; cooking; gardening; healthy living; places to visit...
• Provide homeschooler's with an in-depth 285 page book on homeschooling entitled There's No Place Like Home.
• Maintain homeschooling attorney
• Maintain registered lobbyist and homeschool liaisons in Jefferson City
• Monitor federal & state legislation
• Alert families of detrimental legislation via email
• Work to elect godly candidates
• Promote homeschooling through literature, seminars and networking with national, state and community leaders
• Nationally Acclaimed State Christian Home Educator's Family Discipleship Conference and Curriculum Fair-considered to be one of the top three conferences in the country, drawing families from states all over America
• New Homeschooler's Seminar/Building For the Kingdom Highschool Seminar
• 12th Grade Graduation Ceremony
• Prayer & Praise Rally at State Capitol
• Mighty Men of God Father/Son Campout with National Speakers
• Heart-to-Heart Mother /Daughter Tea
• Family Christmas Ball
• Family Ice Skating
• Family Wallyball/Racquetball/Tennis Party
• Family Paintball Game
• Family Baseball Game and Picnic
• Used Curriculum/Book Sale
• Spelling Bee
• Fine Arts Festival and Photography Contest
• Math Olympics
• Science Fair
Activities Offered By CHEF Support Groups
Monthly Support Group Meetings
Tennis & Swimming
Concerts & Theatre
Choirs & Bands
President Physical Fitness Challenge
GRADUATION FOCUS and CHARGE-Destined to Make a Difference
In 2010, several homeschoolers expressed to Jon and I how ashamed they were of two other home educator’s graduation ceremonies, which espoused being Christian, but which were in fact, quite irreverent. A month later additional homeschoolers expressed their distress over still another irreverent graduation ceremony. With this grave concern over God’s honor and homeschoolers reputation, we want to assure you that CHEF is committed to conducting a formal graduation ceremony, which honors God and testifies to the excellence of the path that we have chosen for our children, Consequently each facet of the ceremony is coordinated with Christ’s honor and Christian Home Educator’s reputation in view, thereby clearly defining the consecrated course which God requires of us.
The main purpose of the CHEF Graduation is to give honor and glory to God, gratitude to parents for their faithful commitment to God in discipling their children, and to acknowledge and celebrate the graduate’s accomplishments. To help ensure this standard, CHEF clearly lays out these goals at the beginning, provides dress code and etiquette guidelines for the actual ceremony while also requiring submission of the graduate’s performances for approval, thus making certain that everything at our graduation ceremony honors God.
Recognized as Missouri’s State Home Educator’s Organization by Missouri’s universities, businesses, unions, and federally funded programs, our graduates are readily accepted on the diplomas CHEF issues at our graduation ceremony. However, throughout our years of leadership, we have been called upon by out of state universities, businesses, civil services, and unions to verify that their applicant actually graduated from CHEF- Missouri’s State Home Educator’s Organization. Thus many parents have expressed their deep appreciation knowing that their child’s participation in our graduation ceremony often expedites and eases the admission’s process because of CHEF’s reputation. Besides this, participation in our graduation shows support to CHEF, which has faithfully honored God and served homeschooling families full time for the past 28 years.
To give you an idea of the focus of our graduation you may read last year’s Godly and inspiring charge, Destined to Make a Difference which was presented by Bob Wells.
“DESTINED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE” Bob Wells charge address to our Christian Home Educator’s Fellowship Graduating Class of 2010 (This is undoubtedly the most important graduation charge Candy and I have ever heard and most certainly an essential message for all homeschoolers and potential homeschoolers.)
Recognize the name Shinichi Suzuki? Maybe. Maybe not. Suzuki’s purpose grew out of a vision that all children could learn to play the violin proficiently when taught creatively and with love. He realized his purpose through teaching 200,000 children to play the violin over a period of thirty years. His dogged determination resulted in some children, perceived as unteachable, mastering the violin. Suzuki’s name became synonymous with successful violin instruction. However, his deepest sense of gratification came from watching his vision become a reality (Speaker’s Sourcebook II, Glen Van Ekeren, Prentice Hall Press, 1994, pg. 310).
Nobel Prize winner Albert Schweitzer visited Africa and fell in love with the land and its people. Schweitzer, a renowned physician, respected philosopher, brilliant biblical scholar, prolific author, accomplished organist, and crusader for world peace, was touched by the astounding need the African people had for medical help. His purpose became a one-man lifetime crusade to improve the health conditions and quality of life of African people. This honorable obsession won him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 (Speaker’s Sourcebook II).
There are many stirring stories like these of determined people armed with a passion and purpose to make a difference in their life. And indeed many of these people had great impact upon our world. Most of us innately understand that we have been called to make a difference in this world. But the real question is: “What KIND of difference should we be looking to make?”
Some of you here in this class may go on to make great discoveries in science and technology; some will become great artists, singers, and performers; some will go on to break significant athletic records. But are these the sum total of our TRUE destiny – our true purpose for being placed on this earth? Is that where we will ultimately make the GREATEST difference?
The Uniqueness of the Home Education Movement
First, I would like to say a word about CHEF, Christian Home Educators Fellowship, and its leaders, Jon and Candy Summers. We have been substantially blessed by having an organization that has provided encouragement, guidance, education, training and support to literally thousands of families in the arena of opening the doors to home education from a Christian perspective. And we owe a great debt to Jon and Candy who have led CHEF for upwards of 17 years in helping us all keep a uniquely Christian perspective to our home-education efforts. We owe them a lot.
Secondly, we are now beginning to see the second or, perhaps, third generation of home-educated families who not only have received a good Christian education, but also have been taught to see the world in a completely different paradigm than their counterparts in government schooling and even in many good Christian schools.
They are starting to see a more fundamental structure of the basic institutions of human society – Family, Church and State. They have been taught that the Family as a civil unit is under tremendous attack in our society. They grasp that much of the Church has become a sanctified “bless-me club” with little “salt and light” distinctiveness of the early Christian church. And they see that the State has become fully entrenched with an almost Messiah-like grip of cradle-to-grave socialism with which it seeks to enslave its citizens with limitless entrapments of Caesar’s bountiful handouts and protections. There is also a refreshing sense that young people from these families are questioning the current paradigm of many young Christian people rushing out of high school and marching valiantly into the halls of the premier humanist institutions of higher learning only to lose their faith within 2 years of entry.
I believe that because of the unique training and understanding that you have received, you are all DESTINED to make a DIFFERENCE in this world!
So Where Is This New Understanding Leading Us?
Perhaps because of the unique and foundational training and discipleship that home-educated children have received, they are truly getting a clear, new vision of Family, Church and State as originally designed by their Author and Creator.
But today, I want to focus particularly on one of those institutions. To borrow a well-known phrase, today I wish to “Focus on the FAMILY.” The people in the stories that I read to you earlier, and many other similar success stories, had some purpose born out of an individual passion. Some of the results have had lasting effect but many are forgotten even before their creator passes into eternity. I would like to talk with you today about an eternal purpose that will NEVER pass away.
I have a question for all you Bible scholars. What is the most important commandment that God gave us? “Thou shall love the Lord your God will all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” And the second is like unto it: “Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.” These two commandments, according to our Lord Jesus, sum up the entire law. In the Decalogue, the first 4 commandments are concerned with how we love God directly. The second 6 commandments are concerned with how we love our neighbor. In fact, God is so serious about the application of these commandments that he gauges our very LOVE for Him by how well we keep His commandments. Jesus, in John’s gospel, Chapter 21, quizzed Peter: “Simon…do you love Me more than these?” Peter’s response was “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” Jesus replied, “Tend my Lambs.” Jesus proceeded to ask Peter this same question two more times and with each reply, He responded: “Shepherd My sheep”; “Tend my sheep.” Tend here means to “feed.”
The saying goes, “Lightning never strikes twice in the same place.” Why? Because it usually doesn’t have to! The same is true for Jesus’ words. He rarely repeated something even twice, but when He did, it was clear that He was making a significant point. But here, Jesus repeats a question and similar answer three times. Jesus was unquestionably trying to establish a principle for His followers through all time. What was the principle? If you want to prove your love for Jesus, you MUST obey His commands, especially as they relate to these first two as stated here!
The great commandment is summed up in Deuteronomy the 6th chapter:
“Hear, O Israel ! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
The greatest commandment is to love God. This is what we call orthodoxy (the doctrine). But God never stops with just the doctrine. He also gives us the application or practice of that doctrine (orthopraxy). And the application or practice of loving God is SHEEP FEEDING – the teaching of the Word of God to children. Jesus was saying to Peter: If you love Me, then you will do what I have commanded, which is to train up my people, especially my CHILDREN (Lambs) in the fear and admonition of the Lord through His Word! To simplify, the most basic and fundamental form of loving God with all your heart, soul and might is teaching your children to know, love and fear God. This is nothing more than family discipleship. In fact, this plan is so basic that it is the very plan for God’s restoration of the WHOLE EARTH. It has been from the very beginning!
You say this sounds way too simple. God is going to restore the whole earth by parents teaching their children to know Him? Search the scripture to see if this is true. God had been using this method for thousands of years, through hundreds of generations. He has been evaluating men to see if they would follow His promise to bless those who keep their families pure and holy by training and teaching them in the fear and knowledge of God.
Genesis 18:17 – (speaking of His intent to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah “…Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed? For I have chosen him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice; in order that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken of him.”) Why did he choose Abraham??
Job 1:5 – (speaking of the feast that his sons each had at their homes) “Now it came about, when the days of feasting had completed their cycle, that Job would send and consecrate them (his sons & daughters), rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said: ‘Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ Thus Job did continually.”
To fathers, everywhere
Psalm 78: 5-7 – “For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God..”
The idea is the perpetuation of His godly seed, which is the very foundation of Christian society. You teach and train your child for one primary reason – to teach them to love God and how to love and serve Him. And this same they must do with their children and on and on and on! This is multi-generational faithfulness and is the most important DIFFERENCE that you can make in this world.
So What’s the Point?
I want to ask you: What is the most important legacy that you could leave on this earth? Where is it that you can make the BIGGEST DIFFERENCE in the next several generations? It is an interesting observation, by the way, that many of the worthy projects that I mentioned in the success stories above like teaching children skills, improving people’s health and quality of life, etc. STEM FROM the very failure of parents to focus on loving, training and raising their children to fear and love God in the first place! Mankind causes most of his own problems by disobedience to the Chief Designer’s plans.
Am I saying that you should not pursue your God-given gifts and talents? Absolutely not! We MUST find those gifts that He has placed in us and develop and refine those to our best ability to His glory. But understand… without using those gifts in the PROPER CONTEXT, it’s like putting a bright gold ring in a pig’s nose. To get specific, here are my charges to you:
1. Consider MARRIAGE as one of your primary objectives early in your young lives. “Blessed is the wife of your youth” (Proverbs 5:18).
2. Seek to have as many CHILDREN as the Lord would allow you to be blessed with. “Happy is the man whose quiver is full of them” (Psalm 127:5).
3. Young men, focus your gift/profession such that it will allow you to maximize your ability to personally disciple your wife and your children. “Teach them diligently to your sons…when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:4-7). Doesn’t leave much room for long-distance discipleship, does it?
4. Young ladies, focus your gifts and talents such that they will ENHANCE and SUPPORT your husband’s (or future husband’s) mission or vision. Avoid at all costs the independent career mentality that the world has thrust upon women in current society. “…for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for man’s sake” (1 Corinthians 11:7-9). Adam was not created for Eve but Eve for Adam to be his helper in God’s dominion mission in the garden.
Many of us search our entire lives for our primary calling or purpose in life. The Bible gives us the answer in very clear terms:
Deuteronomy 32:46 – (Moses after reading the words of the law to all Israel , said to them): “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law.” For it is not a vain thing that you do, indeed, it is YOUR VERY LIFE!
The Lord is not a schizophrenic God who has carefully measured out gifts and talents for all His creatures and then not have them somehow benefit His overall plan of redemption and restoration of the whole earth. His gifts work in CONJUNCTION with His callings for each one of us.
And there is no greater calling that any of you have than to be a faithful husband, wife, father or mother. There is no greater accomplishment than to raise up a generation of faithful and obedient children who will carry this message onto the next generation that the name of the Lord will be carried into eternity.
May blessings and the Lord’s guidance and strength be with each of you as you endeavor to make the right choices to God’s glory, and not your own. Indeed, you are destined to make a difference!
Robert Wells has been graced in marriage for 27 years to his bride, Kim. Together they have eight delightful blessings ranging from 24 to 13 years of age. With a Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis , he has almost 40 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and is presently Director of Program Management at Worldwide Technology (an Internet technology firm in St. Louis ). Bob is in his second year as co-pastor of Family Community Church in Troy , Missouri . He has completed his first literary work: Train up a Child. In addition, Bob has developed and taught a course: “Constitutional History: A Christian Perspective.” With 24 years experience raising children and biblical teaching, we are pleased to have the opportunity to hear from Bob as he brings the charge to our 2010 graduates.