I get many letters from listeners in Canada and today, I’ll be addressing two of them!
Do you have a question for Mailbox Monday? Shoot me an email and be sure to put Mailbox Monday in the subject line!
Transcribed version of the podcast is below
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Romans 12:3-8
Resources Mentioned In Podcast
- MomStrong International
- Scripture Writing Challenge
- Heidi St. John Conference in Lee’s Summit, MO
- My Events Calendar
- Evangelical Christian Credit Union
- Campaign Life Coalition
Join us at MomStrong International for our newest Bible Study and Scripture Writing!
This podcast is brought to you by our friends over at Evangelical Christian Credit Union.
Hey everybody, this is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the podcast. Today is Monday, August 12th — episode number 804. I am excited to be with you guys today. I’m going to be answering your questions. It’s Mailbox Monday.
Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
Welcome back to the show today. I have been so excited reading the reviews that y’all are leaving over at iTunes and we are going to be announcing on Friday, so this coming Friday, the winners of the 800th episode celebration bundles. Thanks to everybody who has entered—that contest is now officially closed and we’re just going through there and picking the winners. So I’ll announce your name and when you hear it let us know, and we are going to send this stuff right out to you. You guys are going to be really excited.
A couple of things coming up. First of all, August 24th I’ll be in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. That’s less than two weeks away. I’m going to be at Abundant Life Church and I hope you guys will come out. There’s a lot of stuff going on in Kansas City and I am thrilled to come there for such a time as this because God’s Word has encouragement for us. We can walk strong because of who we are in Christ. We can hold our head up high and keep our eyes on Jesus. And that’s going to be the theme of my women’s conference Faith That Speaks. This year’s theme is Miracle Worker: The Life Changing Power of Following Jesus. So sign up for your tickets right now. Next time I will be in Vancouver, Washington for October 12th and this is my women’s conference: Faith That Speaks. Early bird tickets are going to be ending for the Washington event on September 2nd—so if you’re anywhere in the Portland, Vancouver area, Washington, Oregon, Idaho—those tickets, early bird tickets, will end on September 2nd.
Also wanted to let you know that the October 12th event in Vancouver, which is my neck of the woods, we decided to go ahead and add an evening onto that and so that will happen October 11th and 12th. I’ve got some really special things we’re going to roll out for you. Just very excited about what God is doing in and through Faith That Speaks. So come on out on August 24th to Lee’s summit, September 14th to Fredericksburg, Virginia, and October 11th and 12th in Vancouver, Washington at the Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center. If you guys want more information on where I’m going to be go to HeidiStJohn.com/events.
I hope you guys are following me with this Scripture Writing Challenge. Today’s verse is found in Romans 12:3-8. If you haven’t written out, I want to just encourage you to do that. The Scripture Writing Challenge is free at MomStrong International.com. We do this every single day and it’s just a wonderful way to be in the Word and grow in the Word. I’m going to read it for you. This is out of the NLT:
3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. 6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. [Romans 12:3-8]
At MomStrong International we are studying the fruits of the Spirit. We are going to wrap that up this month. Then, next month in September, we’re going to be moving onto a new series called Ambassador. If you’re just thinking— man, I wonder if I should study the Word of God?, you guys are going to love this. We start the new study in September: Ambassador. You’re not gonna want to miss it. One of the things I love about this particular Scripture is it highlights what we’re studying this week at MomStrong International. We’re talking about kindness and how kindness is not just part of the fruit of the Spirit but it’s what allows us to be heard by other people. And I love that the Apostle Paul ends this verse in saying this: if you have a gift for showing kindness, do it gladly. We are learning through our study of the Word that God has given each of us a gift and He wants us to use it for His glory, and that brings me to Mailbox Monday.
So you guys know that I love doing Mailbox Monday. I love answering your questions. If you want to send a question into Mailbox Monday, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a team that goes through and categorizes those for us and helps me determine which ones we’re going to put on the air. So a lot of questions are coming into the podcast lately from my friends in Canada.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Canada over the last four years or so. I have such a heart for the Canadian people, particularly Canadian Christians. You guys are up against a lot, but you already know that. So I’m going to answer two questions from listeners in Canada today. First of all, this one comes from a mom named Chelsea. She says: I’m a longtime listener. Love your podcast and everything you stand for. I’m a homeschool mom with four boys from Ontario, Canada. I just listened to your interview with Dr. Pesta and have some questions for you. First of all, my husband is really into politics and so am I, but we’ve never heard of a solid Canadian Christian who is speaking out and educating fellow Canadians about politics here, not in the way a lot of Americans do in the United States. So where do we start to get off the bench and to get involved in Canadian politics? I’ll get back to that, Chelsea give me a minute. Secondly, how do we as Christians, especially homeschoolers, share with other Christians whose kids attend public school all that is really going on in the public school system? It’s getting out of control here too. And sadly it seems like everyone is just ignoring it or burying their head in the sand hoping it will resolve itself. How do we start the conversation in love and truth even if they aren’t asking questions?
So Chelsea, these are fantastic questions. Thank you so much for asking them. I’m going to do my best to help you. First of all, I’m going to answer your second question first. I started a homeschool co-op when I was a brand new homeschool mom. So in 2000, I started a homeschool co-op at our church. I didn’t know any other homeschoolers. Most of my friends had their kids in public school. And the way that we started was we went around to area coffee shops, to grocery stores, and I looked for the public bulletin boards and I put up flyers. I took my kids around and said— hey, would you be interested in starting a homeschool co-op? Are you interested in homeschooling your kids? I’m going to do an information meeting come on out, I’d love to meet you.
So this was in 2000. Obviously that was almost 20 years ago. But I still think that’s the way that you do it today. So what if you were to put something out on your Facebook page, what if you were to put something out at the bulletin board in your church, or at a local coffee shop where you knew you could do it and say— Hey, are you interested in homeschooling? I’d like to talk to you about it. Are you looking for a better educational alternative for your kids? Frame it in a way that would make a person who has been thinking about it, interested. Once you’ve got a support system going, you can do so much more than you could have ever done by yourself. It’s more important for us to get our ideas out there, to be talking about them in the public square. Particularly, this is important in Canada right now because lovely Trudeau is doing everything—he does not like Christians. This is what I am coming to observe. You have an opportunity to, right now, get off the bench and onto the battlefield. Part of the way that we do is we just put ourselves out there, just say— Hey, I’m going to have hor d’oeuvres at my house, or I’m going to serve brownies and coffee, so come on out. Let’s talk about education. And you can make yourself available to answer questions and just see who shows up.
I’ve done that several times and then bathe it in prayer. The Bible says that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God. This is in James 1— ask it of God and He will give it to us generously and without reproach. And so I want to just encourage you to ask the Lord because God will show you what it is that He needs you to do in this particular situation.
Your next question was around how to get off the bench in Canada. I spent about 45 minutes, which is a whole lot more time than I would ever spend looking something up from a podcast listener. I thought—oh, this will be really easy. And you know what Chelsea? I can see why you asked the question. There are not very many outspoken online places that I could find for Canadians to go and get off the bench. So I’m going to tell you what I had. For those of you who are in Canada and you’re listening, please let me know and I’d be happy to share that with my audience. You can shoot me an email email@example.com and just put it in the subject line and say—Canadian Action, or whatever. But I’ll tell you a couple of ones that I found Chelsea, and then I will link back to them in the show notes today. The one I really liked the most is called campaignlifecoalition.com. These guys are going to show you how to take action. They have an action center, a place for you to contact your MP, to contact the Prime Minister, and contact your senators. You can sign petitions, they can email you action alerts. This is very similar to many of the organizations that I work with here in the United States. And so I will link back to them. One of the things I loved right away. I went to their website and the very first thing I saw was an article called: Take Action Against “Gender Identity in Ontario Schools”, and they have a lot of articles on here that are very informative and instructive. But they are not just giving you articles that will frustrate you. They’re giving you the tools to come against it and to really get involved in what’s happening in the culture. So action alerts, petitions, letters to the editor, they will help you do all of those things.
It looks to me like these are really on the front lines of what’s happening in Canada as far as the pro-life movement is concerned — and really as far as just morality. The other one I found is the National Citizens Coalition. And you can find them on Facebook. They have the hashtag that is actually trending on Twitter right now. Hashtag #TrudeauMustGo. I love it. I like that. You can find them online at NationalCitizens.ca. They seem to be very interested in more freedom through less government. Probably a little less on the conservative Christian side, but definitely conservative.
Today’s podcast is brought to you by Evangelical Christian Credit Union. I want to thank them so much for their sponsorship. Summer is over and so it’s back to school time. And you guys know what happens when a kid start school again, right? It’s back to school shopping, clothes, books, pens, paper, that special little calculator that costs an arm and a leg. I’ll tell you what, you guys, with my busy schedule, we often divide and conquer when we do our shopping. Yep, even homeschoolers need new clothes. ECCU has made my divide and conquer easier by creating an account that actually allows me to transfer money directly into my kid’s account. So no more— hurry up, mom, I’m in line with the last pair of tennis shoes my size. That means that my daughter has a card with her and there’s already money preloaded on it. So if I’m on one side of the store getting pencils and erasers and she’s on the other side getting a new pair of tennis shoes, she can use the card that I’ve already preloaded for her because I can transfer money so easily. Even after school has started, your student can simply let you know how much their science fair project materials will be on the way to the checkout counter. So you’ve got to check them out. ECCU is a credit union that’s grounded in the Christian tradition. They support and serve homeschoolers, global missions, pastors, growing churches and Christian families. Learn more at ECCU.ORG/Heidi.
Alright, next question comes from another mom in Canada. I liked her question also and she said—Heidi, I’m a homeschooling mom of four from Canada and our extended family have announced that our eight year old nephew is transgender and we are now to refer to him as she. Our hearts are broken over this and I’m not sure how to explain to our kids that their cousin now believes that he is a girl at a family gathering. How do we handle this? We love our family, but we strongly believe in the Word of God and believe that this transgender agenda is far from God’s truth. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your ministry.
All right, concerned mom from Canada who wishes to remain anonymous. A couple of things I want to say right off the bat. The first thing is you are not alone in this. This is something that we are grappling with in the United States. Christian families are grappling with it. And so the first thing that we want to do is be known for our love. So what does the Bible say? The Bible says: they’ll know we are Christians by our love. The Bible says that we are also commanded to teach the truth as Jesus did, right? Jesus said— I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father, but by me. We know because Genesis teaches us that God made us male and female, in His image.
So no matter what side your family is on, you remain on the side of God. And God says that we are called to love each other. Now here comes the tricky part because— how do we love in this particular situation, what does that look like? Not that we don’t love—but how do we love? I think this is the bigger question. First of all, it’s so important that we not get caught up in the lies of the culture. So if it were me and I was in your position, I would probably be inclined to talk to the parents. So your eight year old nephew, I’m assuming this is either your brother and sister in law or vice versa, and I’d be going to them to saying—listen, we love you guys, this is so wrong what you’re doing to your child. This is so wrong.
An eight year old! I have an eight year old daughter and I cannot imagine something wounding her psyche so much that it is telling her that she was a boy. And we know that boys can never turn into girls and girls can never turn into boys. And so one of the things you need to do, parents, is you inoculate your own children against this lie because you’re gonna see it over and over and over again. So we tell our children the truth as God proclaims it in His Word. God said— I made them male and female. He did not say I made them male and female and other. He did not ever talk about how the sex is changed. And we’re not talking about intersex. We’re not talking about chromosomal abnormalities or chromosomes that are missing.
We’re talking about kids who are perfectly normal biologically. In many cases, and I think often in more cases than we are even hearing about, these kids are lied to, they’re indoctrinated in the schools. The parents are bullied into believing the indoctrination. Then pretty soon you’ve got kids who are confused and then you’ve got kids who are going in for medical treatment and are having their bodies surgically altered. It is devastating. We want you to inoculate your children. In other words, tell your children the truth about who they are and how God made them. We want to hold on tight to the authority of the Word of God. We read in the Bible— teach me your truth, guide me in your ways which are true. God’s ways are true and there is such a thing in the culture as good and evil. This has been around since the dawn of time and we want to be teaching our children to walk in truth.
All right, next question comes from my girl Katie in Alaska. Hey Katie girl! Katie says: Can you share with your podcast listeners about how you became an author? I have felt the tug on my heart to write for several years now, but I can’t find a flow with it. I blogged part time, and journal often. I feel like there are so many ideas rolling around in my head. I just don’t know which one to start with. So I’d love to learn how to get started on the path of becoming an author.
This is a great question and actually I am considering helping a friend of mine with a how-to, sort of writers seminar. I’m coming up on my seventh or eighth book, I think. I can’t remember. I’ve been writing for a long time. A couple of things about writing. When you have little kids at home, writing is something that you do when your kids are sleeping or when they’re napping. Do not let your desire to be a writer take you away from your kids. This is the hardest part for me. Now, I don’t have as many kids at home and I still have to be very, very careful. So right now I’m in the middle of a very, very big book project. I am writing a 365 day devotional for moms and this is the biggest writing project I’ve ever taken on. And I’m telling you, the tug now is even worse than it was years ago because this is such a big project. And because I have so many other things I’m doing. The main thing when you think— okay, this is what I want to do, whether it’s writing, or speaking, or maybe you’re going to start your own business, whatever it is because really writers are entrepreneurs in many aspects — we want to come before the Lord.
The Bible tells us that we should be in right relationship, in communion with, and talking with the Lord. So I’d encourage you to go before the Lord and then write down what you want to do and pray over it. Really pray over it. Lord, what do you, what would you have me do? What should I do about this desire that you’ve put into my heart to right the words that you’ve given me? Then God will show you.
I want to say too, there are so many options for self-publishing now. The first five or six books that I wrote were self-published. I’m working with Tyndale now, which I really love, but you don’t need an agent. You can self publish your books and Amazon has some fantastic ways to print. Just look up publishing through Amazon, you guys are going to be amazed at the things that you can do as a self published author. There are lots of different ways to write, but the main thing is we want to start with prayer and then very methodically work your way forward. So write down the things that are on your heart.
I put a big whiteboard in the school room and I just wrote down all kinds of things that I wanted to write about. Things I really wanted to study from the Word of God and hear what God had to say. And that’s the way you do it. Yu start there. And then that consistency is what’s necessary. So it’s one thing to start a book, it’s another thing to finish. Asked me how I learned :). So I love this question. There is a lot of room around the table. We need to hear godly voices in the culture today, reminding us of what it means to walk with God.
So I just encourage you to keep praying about it, keep moving forward. There are writer’s conferences, and lots of places that you can go for support and encouragement. But the main thing is come up with your ideas and flesh them out. And then if you’re blogging, keep doing that because that habit of blogging, even microblogging like on Facebook and things like that, those things help you as you’re building up a habit of writing often. And as with any other pursuit, I would just encourage you to keep your priorities in line with God’s priorities. In other words, we don’t want to let something like writing, or speaking, or maybe your passion is cooking, or maybe you love exercise— we don’t want any of those things to come in the way of God’s priorities. So your relationship with the Lord comes first and then out of an overflow of what you’re doing with the Lord, you pour into your spouse if you’re married. And then out of an overlay of that you pour into your children, then out of an overflow of that you pour into other people around you. So don’t get them backwards. Don’t mix them up and ask the Lord to bless what you’re doing. And I’m really excited for you. God is at work in so many places right now. So it’s exciting to hear other people who want to write and share the words that God gives them.
I want to thank you guys for listening to the podcast today. There are other questions that I wanted to get to. There are so many of them. Next week I’m going to come back and talk a little bit about how we can stay grounded in our faith in the temptations that we face, especially in light of Joshua Harris story that has broken over the last several weeks. Many of you have been writing to me asking me about that. A lot of people who feel disillusioned, a lot of people who are frightened for their own salvation.
I just want to encourage you that you are secure in the Lord. You’re secure in the Lord. And so I’m going to talk to you about overcoming temptation and what that looks like, and the potential power of temptation in the deceit that it carries with it. And really, that’s what we’re seeing playing out. It’s deceit, it’s buying the lie. We get tired of fighting our own flesh and we begin to become complacent. We begin to compromise and then—bam—we walk away. And the question keeps coming up is: are we really saved?
These are wonderful questions. We’re going to come back next Monday and we’re going to talk about those. Keep praying. Stay faithful and I will see you back here on Wednesday.
Write to Heidi:
Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
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