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Tales of Fantasy, Mystery and Adventure Under the Influence of Christian Homeschooling

S. A. J. Lyttek, a multiple award-winning writer, always loved writing, but didn’t arrive at the profession in the typical manner. After college and graduate school, she plunged into government consulting. In this environment, she discovered a knack for writing tests, interviews and other measurements. That soon became the focus of her career—reigniting her love for the written word. Thus captivated, she spent evenings freelancing “fun” writing including short stories, poems, articles and cards. When her eldest was a toddler, she quit full-time work to stay home and write. Eager to spend more time with her children, homeschooling intrigued her. From preschool through high school, she homeschooled both sons while continuing to freelance. While an integral part of the homeschooling community, she developed and taught writing classes to a generation of homeschoolers. Married to her childhood sweetheart, Gary, Mrs. Lyttek loves to share her commitment to learners of all ages and her fascination with the written word.


Whatever... Part 2

9/20/2023 10:15:00 AM BY Susan Lyttek

Once again, I’m focusing on Philippians 4:8. I’m trying to keep my mind on God’s whatever, rather than the clutter and schmutz the world calls whatever.

I’ve gotten so obsessive about it, I bought two different things, a magnet and a tea towel, with the verse written upon them. The towel has cats, too, so a win-win. Currently, I only collect okapis and magnets. Maybe I’ll add Philippians 4:8 items to that mix. It is not a verse or a principle that I want to forget.

I need to see those words and remind myself that the brokenness around me is not what I should set my sights and thoughts upon.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything is worthy of praise, think about these things. (NASB)

The next whatever is Whatever is pure. For some reason, probably years of advertising exposure, I see streams off cool and bubbling water whenever I read the word pure. (Hence today’s art.) And yes, having pure water is a good thing. Because if it is pure, that means it is 100% as it should be. It is untainted.

Unfortunately, there’s precious little that is pure in our world. We get glimmers of what purity means: a child sharing a cookie with a new friend without being asked or told to; a volunteer treating a dying man like he’s the most precious being in the world; a teen giving all of his first paycheck to help a family enduring hard times. Pure actions, like humility, don’t think of themselves. Instead, they see opportunities to do what Jesus might have done.

Whatever is lovely. This one’s a bit easier to come by. Even in the broken creation that surrounds us, there’s much loveliness to be found. A few of my favorites include: sunrise on the beach, the scent of a carnation or lilacs in spring, a wild horse at full gallop, the purr of a cat, an eagle gliding through the clouds, the words of a favorite song or poem, the roar of a thunderstorm (when safely inside!)

Whatever is commendable. Network news on rare occasion has added a good news element. I really wish that was the primary focus instead of dwelling on what has gone wrong today and could go wrong soon. A couple of the magazines that I subscribe to take this tack—looking for people who have done something amazing for others and portraying them. These fellow citizens of our planet have ranged from 8 to 98 and the sole criteria for being labeled commendable is they have each seen a need and done what they could to fill it. Often, when these people begin, it looks impossible, but they begin anyway. Like the boy giving his lunch to Jesus, they start with what they have.

If there is any excellence. When the word excellence is mentioned in the U.S., it generally refers to achievement. We hear about academic excellence, corporate excellence, or athletic excellence. When I googled, not only were a couple private schools named ‘Excellence’, but a barbershop and an automotive repair shop. And yes, we should strive for excellence in any of those areas and more. But the dictionary says, “the quality of being extremely good.” When Paul mentions excellence as something to ponder, he’s referring to God and anyone who acts Christlike. Jesus himself had corrected someone who used the word “good” as a form of address by saying, “No one is good but One, that is, God.” Therefore, if only God is good, only God has excellence as well.

If anything is worthy of praise. Psalm 18 says, I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised. And Revelation 4 declares, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” At all times and in all places and all circumstances, the triune God is worthy of our praise. Whenever the evils of this world and the trials that ensue plague our minds and emotions, turning to praise the one who created all things will help us see things clearly.

Thus, whatever happens today, think on God’s whatever and rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, Rejoice!