Warm is still the word on the weather. Though we’ve yet to see 100 degrees, the 90s have been a constant. But, with the start of a new school year, we know cooler weather is around the corner.
A couple of months ago I told you about the threat of SHA being kicked out of a national secular trade association. Though SHA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit ministry, we’ve always felt that being a part of this organization, which consists of many secular non profit and for profit schools and therapeutic programs, would be a win/win for all kinds of kids and families needing help. And we like that they are devoted to the positive development of the industry as a whole. And though we would certainly take issue with some of the positions and approaches that other schools and programs within this organization would take, we’ve always felt that there were more pluses than minuses by uniting together for a common good.
But, as members, we were recently threatened with expulsion; because, we couldn’t, in good faith, agree to their demand that we adhere to the American Psychological Association’s stance on homosexuality, which calls the practice “a normal and positive variation on human sexuality.” Conscience and biblical standards notwithstanding, the science, statistics, history, our experience and human testimonies to the contrary, wouldn’t allow us to capitulate to the same conclusions the APA had come to on issues of homosexuality. In fact, just this past month, another SHA student renounced any further pursuit of that lifestyle, making her the fourth student in two months to do so. There is plenty of secular science to back up our position on the issue; but, the APA has a lot of political clout. And we believe that politics and personal biases in this area have always been the agenda’s greatest ally—certainly not science, statistics, facts and Scripture.
So, after our counseling staff and I were questioned during a conference call by the governing board of this national trade association, we waited about two weeks to get their ruling as to what our status with them would be. To their credit, they contacted us, and not only retained SHA as members, but, they also removed the APA position as a membership requirement for any school or program they serve! It pays to stand for truth!
From satan worship to self-harm and cutting, we’ve been seeing kids delivered from some pretty serious problems lately. And though drugs, physical and sexual abuse and emotional disturbance of all kinds are all other common issues we deal with here at SHA, the Lord has, again, proved Himself faithful in the midst of things that would curl the hair of most.
Our faithful staff continues to sacrificially allow God to work through them as models of a biblical worldview and love with skin on. SHA kids continue to see biblical principles lived out before them in an environment free of the trash our culture’s spin on freedom has held them in bondage to for so long. Thank you Miley Cyrus and the like.
Tomorrow, I get the privilege of honoring another student’s request for a church baptism. It seems like yesterday when my first encounter with him was so disrespectful. Today, he’s a new creature in Christ and future U.S. Marine.
Ted Baehr is the founder of Movieguide.org and The Christian Film & Television Commission. His Annual Faith and Values Awards Gala—dubbed “The Christian Oscars”— has attracted some of the biggest studio executives in Hollywood over the years, as well as stars from Charlton Heston to Jennifer Lawrence.
Ted’s organization has helped bring family entertainment and Christian values back to Hollywood. One way he’s doing this is by showing studio executives the bottom line. Family friendly movies are, by far, the greatest money makers! Ted has also been a frequent guest on License to Parent and fully understands what we’re doing at SHA. So, he’s asked a group of folks who he feels “gets it”—including us at SHA—to review and critique the prototype of a a new informative video series he’s producing for parents, schools and churches called "The Culture-Wise Family." We will show it to our kids at SHA, critique it, and submit our critiques before it goes to market. This series will need to be in every church and family library. You can order it through the L2P website when it is released to the public.
By the way, L2P now plays on new stations in New York, NY; Dallas, TX; and Woombye, Qld. Australia, with more being added virtually everyday. Hear our one and thirty minute archives at licensetoparent.org.
MY KIND OF TOWN
Recently, Beth and I were able to get out of “Dodge” to celebrate both our 35th wedding anniversary and my 40 year high school reunion at the same time. After a 12 hour drive, we arrived in our home town of Schererville, IN on Friday afternoon 8-21-15 in time for a lake perch dinner at an old favorite restaurant of ours. It was Beth’s first bite of lake perch in over 13 years! If someone can tell us where to get lake perch in Georgia we will wash your car for you!
After dinner, we drove 15–20 miles to Lowell, IN just in time to see my nephew’s football game. His school beat my three niece’s school from a neighboring town as family members from both towns enjoyed a spirited time together. The next day we visited old Griffith High School classmates that I hadn’t seen in 40 years.
Saturday night Beth and I were served a delicious dinner at a friend's house from our church of origin (Living Hope Church in Merrillville, IN). The next morning, our anniversary found us worshipping with more old friends and family at LHC. It was so good to see these saints as they continue to faithfully worship God after all these years. It was 1991 when Beth and I left for Georgia.
After church, we took the 30 minute trip to Pizzeria Due in downtown Chicago where we met Beth’s brother and sister-in-law. There, we enjoyed another culinary delight we can’t get in Georgia—an authentic deep-dish Chicago Pizza! I would say, “It was worth dying for” until I realized that gluttony actually is one of the seven deadly sins. So, I’m sticking to the story that we were still a good bite or two away. If anyone knows where we can get a good deep-dish Chicago Pizza in Georgia, we’re willing to wax that same car! But, we get to be the judge.
For a while now, SHA has been managing a house and commercial-type building that is being donated to the ministry. The property is in the neighboring town of Toccoa. It is proving to be a tremendous asset to the Kingdom of God. About two thirds of the building space is occupied by men recovering from drug and alcohol addictions. Other non-resident clients come to the property regularly for private and group help with recovery, also, under the supervision of a certified therapist. The other third of the building space has been occupied by an artist who has been there for years; so, we didn’t want to just kick him out—especially since he had such a long-standing relationship with the previous landlord. But, recently, he has vacated.
This has given opportunity for the expansion of the mens’ ministry. But, it has also given us the opportunity to use part of that space for one of our SHA teachers to start a wood-working shop that will benefit both our SHA students and any of the men who might be interested in learning the trade also. In God’s amazing timing and providence, our teacher happens to live just a few doors down from the shop. We’re looking forward to seeing all that God will do with this property now that we have full occupancy. We will, however, need your prayers, again; because, the roof on the commercial building is going to need work sooner than later—an expense we’ll have to trust Him for also.
THE HIDING PLACE
Though one of our ministers at SHA has been working with us for about four years now, we never knew of her unique connection to some incredible history. Her grandfather was a close neighbor of Corrie ten Boom in Holland. And, like the ten Boom family, his family also hid Jews from the clutches of Adolph Hitler’s Nazis. John Schultz was a young teenager when he experienced the day and night fear and tribulation of Hitler’s Nazi army during WWII. Mr. Shultz knew the ten Boom family personally and actually spoke with Corrie herself. Corrie ten Boom’s story has been told and re-told in books and movies ever since. The Hollywood movie, “The Hiding Place” is perhaps the most notable.
Last Friday, John Schultz, now well into his 80s, visited SHA and shared his story with our kids and staff in SHA’s chapel. Though our kids watched “The Hiding Place” the night before Mr. Schultz spoke, I’m not sure they truly grasped the incredible privilege of hearing from this man—from the perspective of someone who wasn’t a soldier, but who lived in Europe during all the hellish activity that went on before, through and after the WWII years. After his ordeal in WWII, Mr. Shultz and his wife then served as missionaries to Indonesia for nearly 40 years. Needless to say, it was an incredible chapel that won’t be soon forgotten.
For days, Beth and the SHA girls and staff did all they could to nurse Caesar, our beloved llama, back to health; but, it became evident that it was his time. Calling our local veterinarian and a heavy equipment operator, Caesar was laid to rest next to his llama friend, Milo, who passed away a couple of years ago. Though our SHA girl’s cried, within 24 hours one of our parents came forward to offer help in getting another llama—maybe two. You wouldn’t believe the healing and life-lessons the girls glean taking care of the barnyard animals.
We ask that you pray it all comes together with respect to the right animals. Also, please be reminded that prayer is needed for favor with the jury as we diligently prepare our GDOT case for “Who-knows-when?” It was promised to be over in August. And, as always, please pray for our kids and families. Amen