Story: The Football Player Who Didn’t Work Out

James wanted to be a great football player. He dreamed of making great plays and leading his team to victory.

With such a goal, you would think that James would be a frequent visitor to the gym. After all, all of the other athletes at his school were. They got up early, way before their classmates even thought about stirring, to work out. They jogged after school. Their entire lives revolved around staying in shape and preparing for the next football game.

But James didn’t do these things. He never seemed to have time to work out. When he showed up to practice, the drills completely exhausted him. Maybe he just wasn’t as talented as the others.

He kept telling everyone he knew that he wanted to get better. He was tired of not being able to keep up. Yet he didn’t really want to put in the effort…

“James, is football something worth pursuing?” his coach asked him one day.

“Of course!” James replied quickly.

“Then live like it,” the coach replied. Just like that, James realized that all his excuses were just that—excuses.

He slowly started to work out. But it wasn’t easy! Why did it seem like his muscles built themselves so slowly? And that if he missed a few days, it was even harder?

Yet slowly, imperceptibly sometimes, James’ muscles changed. And one day he surprised himself by being able to keep up on the football field.

Thought: What would it look like if we trained spiritually as seriously as athletes do physically by reading the Word, praying, trusting, praising and worshiping God, running to Jesus, etc.? He is worth it!

Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8 (ESV)

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (ESV)

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Math at the Aquarium

aquarium

My husband and I recently visited the Georgia Aquarium, and I was struck by how much math is used in caring for and describing the characteristics of sea creatures. Below are a couple of examples. I’ve tried to word them as actual problems for different ages. I hope you enjoy working through them with your students! (The answers are below.)

  • How Big Is That Tank? (All ages)
    • Elementary Problem: Let’s say there’s a tank that is approximately the size of a football field (which the biggest one at the Georgia Aquarium is nearly such a size). Football fields are about 100 yd long by about 50 yd. Let’s say this tank is 30 ft, or 10 yd, deep. Using these estimates of the size of the tank, find the approximate volume in cubic yards if it is a gigantic rectangular prism. (The volume is found by multiplying the length times the width times the depth.)
    • Junior High Problem: Given the information in the elementary problem, about how many gallons does the tank hold? 1 yd equals 36 in, and 231 cubic inches equals 1 gallon.
    • Algebra Problem: We found out online that a tank at the Georgia Aquarium holds about 6,300,000 gallons of water. Given that the volume of a rectangular prism is V = Bh, where B is the area of the rectangular base and h is the height, and that a tank is a rectangular prism, use algebra to find the area of the rectangular base (B) of the tank if the depth of the tank is 10 yd. Give your answer in square feet. What percentage of the area of a football field is this if the area of a football field is 45,000 ft2? Hint: You will need to first convert all the measurements to cubic inches. Then solve for B. 1 yd equals 36 in, 1 ft equals 12 in, and 231 cubic inches equals 1 gallon.
  • How Much Do Those Sea Lions Eat? (Upper Elementary and Above) – In the show, we were told that each sea lion eats a certain percentage of its body weight each day that is close to 5%.
    • If a sea lion weighs 500 lb, how many lb of food does it need each day?
    • What about if it grows to 800 lb?
    • If you were in charge of ordering the sea lion fish to eat, how many pounds would you need to order per day if you needed food for a 400 lb and a 750 lb sea lion?

Now, there’s a lot more math involved at the aquarium. (Measuring the temperature of the tanks to make sure it is what the animals need, figuring out how many fish can be in one tank, etc.) But hopefully you enjoyed that little glimpse into aquarium math.

Remember, math is much more than a textbook exercise—it is a real-life “tool”…and one that works because of God’s faithfulness.

Reminder: An Algebra 2 curriculum is in process! We just submitted the first half to the publisher for layout. My husband and I would appreciate your prayers for us as we write the remainder. And in the meantime, be sure to check out our junior high program and other math materials.


Answers

How Big Is That Tank?

  • Elementary Problem: (100 yd)(50 yd)(10 yd) = 50,000 yd3
  • Junior High Problem: Converting cubic yards to cubic feet: 50,000 yd3(36 in/1 yd)(36 in/1 yd)(36 in/1 yd) = 2,332,800,000 in3
    Converting cubic inches to gallons: 2,332,800,000 in3(1 gal/231 in3) = 10,098,701.3 gal
    Note: The 50,000 yd3 came from the answer to the elementary problem.
  • Algebra Problem: Converting the volume to cubic inches: 6,300,000 gal(231 in3/1 gal)=1.4553 x 109 in3
    Converting the depth to inches: 10 yd(36 in/1 yd) = 360 in
    Solving the formula for B: V = Bh
    Diving both sides by h -> B=V/h
    Plug in the values: B = 1.4553 x 109  in3/360 in = 4.0425 x 106  in2
    Convert the final answer to square feet: = 4.0425 x 106  in2(1 ft/12 in)(1 ft/12 in) = 28,072.91667 ft2
    The percentage of the area of a foot field is P = 100 % (28,072.91667 ft2/45,000 ft2) = 62.38 %

How Much Do Those Sea Lions Eat?

  • 0.05(500 lb) = 25 lb
  • 0.05(800 lb) = 40 lb
  • 0.05(400 lb) + 0.05(750 lb) = 20 lb + 37.50 lb = 57.50 lb per day

Story: Use Your Sword

sword

Why, oh why, weren’t more people using the Sword more?

That was Lucas’s cry as he surveyed the city of Bondage. As the name implies, all of the inhabitants of Bondage were in serious bondage. They were controlled by computer chips implanted in them before birth. These computer chips affected their vision, their thinking, and their actions.

Sadly, the people did not even realize they were in bondage. The evil dictator of the land filled their minds with lies. They thought they were free—and the more they acted out against the true King of the land, against whom the evil dictator was waging war, the more free they thought themselves to be. Little did they realize that they were just doing the evil dictator’s bidding. The implanted chips kept them from seeing the truth.

Lucas sighed. Such darkness and oppression nearly brought him to tears every time he thought about it. He remembered when he himself had been in bondage. But there was a way out!

You see, the townspeople’s implanted chips were each controlled by a box that they carried around in a backpack. If this box were destroyed, the townspeople could see the truth, at least for a moment. Then they could decide if they’d respond to it. And while the box was made with impenetrable material, the King’s Sword could pierce it.

Lucas felt the Sword at his side. He needed to learn to wield it more. Instead, he’d often fallen into using his own human reasoning to try to persuade people. He’d tried being nice to them…he’d tried yanking their boxes off. He’d tried shouting…and it felt like he’d tried standing on his head to get their attention. But it was the Sword that could help people see. I need to learn to rely on my Sword, he reminded himself as he headed down into the city as the King’s ambassador, pleading with people to leave their bondage behind.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16 (KJV)

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 (KJV)

Don’t Follow Your Heart

Don't Follow Your Heart

Watching a movie the other night reminded me of how we are bombarded by media with the message to “follow your heart.” For example, a popular Disney movie has the song that says “if only I knew what my heart was telling me,”[1] and portrays it as the basis on which decisions should be based.

On a more subtle level, here are some examples of ways this message sometimes comes across or gets adopted into our thinking:

  • You can rely solely on what you experience or feel to determine the validity of your spiritual condition. For example, you can rely on a warm feeling or experience of happiness for assurance of salvation instead of anchoring your assurance on what God says in His Word about salvation through repentance and belief in His Son. Or you can assume if you don’t “feel” close to God, you’re not.
  • You should make decisions based on how you feel–marry someone if you feel in love; divorce them if you don’t.

The problem with following our heart or feelings is that the Bible tells us our heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9)! It’s not an accurate gauge to follow.

We need to follow the Truth, which our Maker has shown us in His Word, instead, knowing that He is the One before whom we will have to give an account (Hebrews 4:13) and that His Word is right and true (Psalm 33:4).

The story below illustrates how silly it would be if we applied this same follow-your-heart thinking in ordinary life decisions. I hope you’ll smile, and that the story will help be a reminder to you to live life by God’s Word, not feelings.

Kate

P.S. For more on this topic, here’s an excellent podcast by Revive Our Hearts addressing this topic of living by the Truth, not our emotions.


Evelyn decided one morning to live life by following her heart. She woke up with her alarm, and turned it off. Her heart said she needed more sleep. Never mind the fact that she would miss work—she didn’t really feel like working anyway.

When she finally got up, she went to make herself a nutritious smoothie like normal, but then decided her heart longed for sugary cereal instead. So that’s what she had to eat.

After breakfast, she normally exercised, but not today! Her heart certainly said no to that! So she sat and watched TV all morning instead.

A few weeks later, her friend Amelia found her still sitting on the couch. She hardly recognized her dear friend. Evelyn had gained weight to the point that she no longer fit inside her clothes. She was crying when Amelia walked into the room, as she just found out she’d been fired from her job, as she had missed too many days at work.

Evelyn sobbed on her friend’s shoulders. “What will I do? How will I pay my bills?”

Amelia tried to comfort her friend. “What happened?” she asked. “Why didn’t you go to work?”

“I was just trying to follow my heart,” Evelyn sobbed.

Amelia shook her head. “Our hearts don’t make good guides. You have to live life by the truth, Evelyn.”

“I see that now,” Amelia sobbed. “Oh, what do I do?”

Amelia was firm, but kind. “You do what you should have done from the beginning: stop following your heart and live by the truth. Come on, let’s start by getting you cleaned up. It’s going to be a hard road of change, but there’s no time like the present to start.”

With that, Evelyn got up off the couch.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9 (kjv)

Hot Air Balloons, Algebra, & the Creator

hot air balloons

Hot air balloons have always fascinated me, and this last weekend I got a chance to see some up close. They’re huge—and it’s incredible to watch them float up and down by increasing or decreasing a flame of fire at the base.

But you know what’s even more amazing? The fact that day in and day out, the air in these balloons responds consistently to the heat from the flame used to control their movement. Let’s use math for a minute to look at some consistencies God both created and sustains in the atmosphere—consistencies that make hot air balloons possible.

Density & Temperature

For starters, there’s the Ideal Gas Law. This law is simply a way of describing the consistent relationship between the atmospheric pressure (P), the density of the air (ρ), the gas constant (R), and the temperature (T). Using letters to stand for each of these, we can describe the consistent relationship between them like this:*

P = ρRT

Now, using algebra (which is based on creation operating so consistently that we can multiply, divide, etc., by equal quantities on both sides of the equation, and know it will work even if we don’t know the actual values), we can rearrange this equation like this:

ρ=P/(RT)

Now we know that the density of air (ρ)—how tightly packed the molecules are—depends on the atmospheric pressure (P), the gas constant (R), and the temperature (T). Since the atmospheric pressure and gas constant are constant for a specific area on earth, we can view them as constant values and realize that as the temperature (T) changes, the density (ρ) will too!

In other words, if we change the temperature inside the hot air balloon, it will change the density of the air inside that balloon (increasing temperature decreases the density, and vice versa). Why do we care? Well, let’s look at another consistency…

Buoyancy, Density, & Volume

The buoyancy force (the force that makes the balloon float) changes as the density of the air inside the balloon changes…meaning that we can use temperature to change a balloon’s ability to float! The buoyancy force (FB) of a hot air balloon equals the difference between the density of the air outside of the balloon (ρa) and that inside (ρ), times the volume of the balloon (V), times the local acceleration due to gravity (g).

FB=(ρa – ρ)Vg

Look at that equation and think about what would get a higher buoyancy force. The lower the density inside the balloon (ρ), the greater the force will be, as when we subtract it from the outside density (where the air is not being heated but staying relatively the same temperature), we’ll get a greater number to multiply by the volume and the acceleration due to gravity. Thus getting a lower density (which we do by heating up the air inside the balloon) gives the balloon a greater buoyancy force (which helps it float).

Now, there’s another variable that affects the balloon’s ability to float.  Look back at the buoyancy equation and notice the V, which stands for volume.

FB=(ρa – ρ)Vg

The larger the volume (V), the greater the buoyancy force will be! So large balloons will float better than small ones (assuming you can evenly heat all the air inside to a temperature warmer than the outside air). And now you know why hot air balloons are so large!

(You might wonder how the g in the equation influences the buoyancy. The g in the equations depends on the consistent way God causes gravity to operate, so we can’t change it. It’s a fixed value—about 9 m/s^2 close to the surface of the earth.)

Getting the Balloon to Float

Besides the buoyancy force, the only other force acting on a balloon is the weight of the balloon, the basket, and anyone or anything in the basket. We can describe this force algebraically like this:

Fg=mg,
where m is the total mass of the balloon, basket, and everything in the basket and g is again the local gravitational constant.

Once the air in the balloon has reached a temperature such that the buoyancy force is greater than the gravitational force, or FB > Fg, the net force on the balloon will be upward and the balloon will start to rise. That’s why when we heat up the air in the balloon and it becomes less dense, making FB > F g, it rises in the air!

The Consistency of Creation & the Creator

Hot air balloons are one example of how men, using their God-given abilities to explore God’s creation—have utilized the consistencies God created and sustains around us to develop a useful device (in this case, a balloon that floats). But don’t miss the miracle of our ability to use hot air balloons. We can only get in a hot air balloon with confidence because atmospheric pressure and buoyancy operates in a consistent way, day after day, year after year. While individual balloons may have different volumes, densities, masses, and forces, the relationship between them stays the same no matter what the individual values. Without the consistencies of creation, we would be unable to use hot air balloons. It’s this consistency of creation that makes modern science (and hot air balloons)–as well as algebra–useful.

Yet why is creation so consistent that we can describe how it will operate with letters and know that relationship will hold true, no matter the actual values we plug in?

The Bible gives us an answer: because of the biblical, consistent, faithful God. Jesus is faithfully upholding all things. We have a faithful Creator God.

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” Hebrews 1:3 (esv)

Transform Your How Your Students See Pre-Algebra and Algebra!

Want to teach algebra from this perspective? Check out our pre-algebra curriculum, and stay tuned for Algebra 2 next year! In fact, Algebra 2 students will get to explore hot air balloons in more depth as they explore God’s creation using math.


*Note: You may have seen this equation before written PV=nRT, where V is volume and n the number or mass of gas molecules. Since ρ = n/V, they’re actually the same equation.

Math, Man on the Moon, & the Creator

Photo Credit: NASAThis Saturday, July 20, 2019, marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon.

This achievement would never have been possible apart from the Creator’s faithful sustaining hand, and men using the ability He gave them to use math to explore His creation.

  • Day after day, God holds creation together in such a consistent way that we can use math to describe that consistency. For example, we can describe the force due to gravity as gravitywhere G is a constant value, the ms are 2 masses, and the r is the distance between those masses. There are many, many formulas used in exploration of space—each one is a way of describing a consistency God created and faithfully sustains.
  • By describing the consistencies around us mathematically, we can use math to figure out how to send a spacecraft into space. For example, using algebra we can calculate the acceleration due to gravity that the spacecraft has to overcome. Using more math, we can figure out how fast the spacecraft has to go to escape from the pull of gravity into space, which can be described like this:Escape Velocity(see “Gravitational Escape Velocity with Saturn V Rocket” for more information). Then we can use math to figure out how to design that spacecraft to do that!

Whole books could be spent describing the math behind getting man to the moon. The point here is that modern science (including the space program) rests entirely on there being consistencies in creation (which enable us to design a spacecraft so it can escape the earth’s pull—if creation weren’t consistent, we wouldn’t know ahead of time if the spacecraft would really make it). And those consistencies in turn exist because a faithful, consistent Creator is holding all things together.

Jeremiah 33:25-26a (esv) says, “Thus says the Lord: If I have not established my covenant with day and night and the fixed order of heaven and earth, then I will reject the offspring of Jacob and David my servant.” God has established His covenant with the “fixed order” of heaven and earth—with the consistencies all around us. Here He points to that very consistency as a reminder that He is a God who keeps His covenants. He will do all He’s said in His Word—saving all who believe upon Jesus, and punishing those who reject His gift of salvation.

As you remember the landing on the moon, lift your eyes higher to the Creator of it all. Truly, creation declares His praises and reminds us to take head to His Word.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” Psalm 19:1–3 (kjv)

Note: Our upcoming Algebra 2 book will give students the opportunity to explore consistencies such as  and see more up closely how math helps us describe God’s creation, pointing us to the Creator. Be sure to check out the math curriculum we offer for other grades too!

Story: Why Did You Give Me This?

gift

Ryan looked up from the pages of the how-to-code book with a sigh. This was sooooo hard! His eyes wandered out the window to where his brothers were throwing a ball their father had given them. Why couldn’t his father have given him something easy to use too? He was frustrated…and afraid of failing.

“I gave you just what you need.” Ryan’s father’s voice startled him. Ryan had forgotten his father was sitting right there.

“It’s just so hard,” Ryan muttered.

His father smiled. “Of course it is. You know, I never expected you to do it alone. I’m right here and can help you.”

Ryan looked back at the frustrating coding pages. He would try again…this time, with his father’s help.

The book was still tough, but it made such a difference to do it with his father! A  strange thing began to happen. He began to actually enjoy his coding assignment and become thankful his father had given him it. Truly, his father had known what was best!

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17 (NASB)

“Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:11 (NASB)

 

Algebra, Giraffes, and God’s Handiwork

The following is adapted from the new Algebra 2 program we’re writing; check out our store for other math curriculum that will help math come alive for your students.

Ready for a glimpse of God’s handiwork as we apply algebra out of a textbook? Well, here we go! We’re going to look at how blood pressure relates to the distance from the heart.

heartFirst off, here’s a basic definition of blood pressure from Blood Pressure UK: “When your heart beats, it pumps blood round your body to give it the energy and oxygen it needs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure.”[1]

Have you ever noticed that when a nurse takes your blood pressure, they always do it on the top part of your arm? That’s because “[m]edical personnel are trained to measure blood pressure at heart level.”[2]The top of your arm is at the same level as your heart. This is important, as, because of gravity, the pressure changes throughout the body.

If a person’s blood pressure equaled a specific amount at heart level (which we’ll call P0), then the pressure at another part of the body (which we’ll represent with a P) could be approximately found by this formula, where h is the distance from the heart:

Blood pressure at another part of the body = Blood pressure at the heart + (density of the blood)(acceleration on the blood due to gravity)(height or distance from the heart)

Giraffe 1

blood pressureTo better understand this, know that if you were to take your blood pressure on your feet while standing, it would be higher than if you were to take the pressure on your arm. That makes sense, as gravity is pulling blood downwards, creating more pressure on your feet.

This also means that if you were to elevate your feet and take your blood pressure there, there’d be less pressure. BUT your heart would have to work harder to overcome gravity to get blood to your feet.

Stop and bend over for a second. You get a head rush, don’t you? That’s because of the extra blood pressure as your head gets lower.

Now think of a giraffe. Its head is waaaay above its heart. Does its heart have to pump extra to get blood there? And when it bends down to drink, how much pressure does its head have to be able to handle?

While there’s more to blood pressure than just the distance from the heart, we can temporarily ignore those other factors and just look at the change in pressure between what it would be at the heart and what it is at a different location. In the formula above, we used P0 to stand for the blood pressure at the heart. Let’s remove that and just look at the change in the pressure from the blood pressure at the heart.

equation

We’ll also assume that the acceleration due to gravity and density stay the same: 9.807 m/s2 (which is the approximate gravity on earth), and an approximate density of blood (ρ) of 1,060 kg/m3. If we substitute these values in for ρ and g, we get this:

Giraffe-2

Depending on what value we plug in for our height (h), we’ll get a different value. The product will show us the change in pressure from the heart due to the change in height.

Let’s start by looking at a human. The top of my head is about 0.508 meters above my heart (about 20 inches). What would the approximate blood pressure be due to the distance from my heart when I bend down and touch my head to the floor? To find that, I’ll replace the h in the formula with 0.508 meters.

Giraffe-equation-3We wrote the answer in both metric units and mmHg, which is the same units you’ve probably heard your blood pressure given at the doctor’s office when you go for a checkup. Normal blood pressure runs between 80 to 120 mmHg, so it makes sense that the change in pressure would be around 39.610 mmHg which is on the same order of magnitude with normal blood pressures but still less than the average.

In comparison, what would a giraffe’s blood pressure be at the top of its head due to the distance from the heart when it bends down for a drink if it’s head was 6 ft (1.829 m) above[3] its heart? We’ll plug 1.829 m into the same formula.

Giraffe-equation-4

Notice that the change in pressure due to the distance from the heart is 142.611 mmHg versus only 39.610 mmHg  for a human. That is more than 3.5 times as much!

When they bend, giraffes have a much higher blood pressure rushing to their heads due to their larger size! If God had not specially designed the giraffe to handle this pressure, giraffes would have died out from all the blood rushing to their head went they bend down. In a 2017 article published on the Answers in Genesis website[4], Karin Viet explains what a testimony to God’s design giraffe’s are:

Evolutionists also encounter a design dilemma for the evolution of a long neck. That six-foot neck requires an intricate blood vessel system to maintain proper blood pressure between the heart and brain. A giraffe bending its neck down to drink water is a marvelous display of design. The 25-pound heart that pumps blood way up that neck against gravity suddenly pumps down with gravity, which should cause the delicate brain to explode. But the blood vessels are uniquely designed with reinforced walls, bypass valves, a cushioning web, and sensor signals to moderate the pressure when the giraffe bends its neck down.

The reverse of this intricate system happens when the giraffe raises its head so that the pressure is regained and the giraffe doesn’t pass out. In addition, the tight skin on giraffe legs has been compared to an astronaut’s G-suit, because it prevents high blood pressure from pressing blood out of the capillaries.

Math CurriculumGiraffes were given just what they need—G-suit and all—to be able to handle the higher pressure caused by their long necks. And it’s math (including algebra!) that helps us understand how giraffes are a marvel of God’s grand design![5]

Don’t let your students miss out on seeing how math helps us explore God’s handiwork. Stay tuned for our Algebra 2 curriculum…and in the meantime, check out our other math resources and curriculum.


[1] “What is blood pressure?” Blood Pressure UK, (England, 2008), http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/BloodPressureandyou/Thebasics/Bloodpressure, s.v., “Blood Pressure.”

[2] Based on physics.wm.edu/~labs/107_manual/ch11.pdf

[3] Based on a neck of 6 ft, as shared by the San Diego Zoo https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/giraffe and the fact that its heart is located in the giraffe’s chest.

[4] https://answersingenesis.org/mammals/giraffes-towering-testimonies-to-gods-design/

[5]See also https://bpsfuelforthought.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/why-giraffes-dont-have-brain-damage/ for more details.

Exciting Announcement: Algebra 2 Is Coming!

algebra

Several years ago, I was asked to write an algebra program…and I said no. I wasn’t going to write a high school program unless the Lord sent me someone to coauthor it with me.

And then he sent me my husband, who has his doctorate in materials science and engineering, other degrees in physics and engineering, a job as a data scientist, and a passion for sharing God’s handiwork in math that mirrors my own. So…

We’re writing an Algebra 2 program! Principles of Applied Algebra 2 (working title) is well underway, with an anticipated release in the spring 2020, Lord willing. (We’re doing Algebra 2, as it was the more urgent need. Please see the Algebra 1 program we carry.)

Writing this program has been exciting. I was one of those students growing up who didn’t understand the purpose of algebra—I learned it, but didn’t see why I was learning it. Most algebra books come across as a whole bunch of meaningless, often hard-to-understand problems.

But algebra doesn’t have to be that way at all! I’ve been having loads of fun researching the different “tools” in algebra and seeing how they all really help us explore God’s creation and complete real-life tasks…and then conveying that in the program. We want students to leave their math lessons for the day understanding why they’re learning what they’re learning, equipped to really apply math, and awed at the Creator.

Ready for a sneak peek? Watch for an excerpt sometime next week!

We would cherish your prayers for us as we write.

– Kate [Loop] Hannon

Story: Forgetting

Jonathan could hardly believe the gifts he’d been given.

His father had sacrificed everything he had to not only ransom him from prison (which he was in due to his own fault–due in fact to crimes he’d committed against his father), but also buy him everything he would need for surviving in the wilderness in which they lived. He’d been given a flashlight to light up his path, access to food to sustain him in his father’s kitchen, a shelter to hide under during the scorching heat–the list could go on and on. Above all, his father had given him his word that he would meet all his needs forever.

Now, you would think Jonathan would have been incredibly grateful for all he’d been given. And he was–at first. He couldn’t believe that his father would have given him so much, especially when he knew how wrong he’d been and how much his actions had grieved his father.

Yet as the weeks and months went on, a strange thing began to happen. Jonathan began simply ignoring his father’s precious gifts. He got busy with life and found himself complaining more than giving thanks. He complained about how dark it got at night, forgetting about the flashlight his father had given him. He complained about how hungry he was, forgetting to go to his father for food.

Jonathan had been given everything–yet he was living as if he had nothing. He was tired and angry and fearful and frustrated–all because he’d forgotten his father’s gifts.

One day, he wad pouring out his frustrations to a friend. His friend shook his head. “If you’d just stop ignoring your father and instead remember all he’s done and given you, you could be walking in peace and joy. You’re all worried about how you’ll meet your needs, but didn’t your father promise to meet them? You’re all frustrated because of how dark the prairie gets at night, but didn’t your father give you a flashlight? You’re malnourished and exhausted, but have you been going to your father for food?” he admonished.

Jonathan shook his head, realizing how foolish he’d been. “I’m not sure my father will want to see me now,” he muttered.

His friend gently touched his shoulder. “You know that’s not true. Your father rescued you when you had nothing. He’s longing for you to run to him.”

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (KJV)

“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:” 1 Corinthians 1:30 (KJV)

“For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:1-3 (esv)

Jesus: The Life-Giver Easter DevotionalPrepare Your Hearts for Easter Now Just $3.99!

If you’re looking for a way to focus your children on the life Jesus came to bring this Easter season, check out our Easter devotional, Jesus: The Life-Giver. It includes a fun craft for children as they discover why Jesus came.

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“This is a wonderful product! It can be used for simple or in-depth conversations, depending upon the length of time you may have and the ages of your children. Our kids, ages 4 – 12, enjoyed it very much; my husband and I did too. Also, our boys liked designing their own flowers just as much as our girls. Each day we had great discussions, and we saved the flowers for a month or more! This was our best Easter week ever thanks to ‘The Life-Giver.’” – Stephanie Woole