Thursday, October 08, 2009


By Steve Lambert, Publisher of Five in a Row homeschool curriculum

It was on October 8, 1918 that Sergeant Alvin York attacked an enemy machine gun nest, eliminated 32 enemy machine guns, killed 28 enemy soldiers and captured an additional 132 enemy combatants. For his unparalleled heroism York received the Medal of Honor. The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration and is awarded to those members of the American military distinguishes himself “by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.” All too often the Medal of Honor is awarded posthumously.

York had been a hard-living man known for heavy drinking, fighting and brawling. But after a friend was killed in a bar fight, York became a Christian. Ironically, the man who would someday win America’s highest military honor tried to avoid military service as a conscientious objector. His claim was denied. You can read York’s appeal of the local draft board’s decision here:

Once in the army, serious heart-to-heart discussions with his commanding officers convinced York that war could be justified in certain situations. Once convinced, York fought in a selfless way that eventually won him worldwide recognition for his accomplishments.

Have you ever felt strongly about something? Have you ever been convinced that you would NEVER do something specific? Perhaps you were convinced you would NEVER homeschool. And perhaps a heart-to-heart discussion with your husband, a close friend, or with the Lord Himself convinced you that homeschooling could be justified in certain situations.

If that’s you- take a lesson from Alvin York and give it all you’ve got. Put your shoulder into the process and move ahead with courage and faith. Don’t be afraid to give it your all. It’s funny, isn’t it? Sometimes the very thing we swore we would never do ends up being very thing the Lord requires of us.

York could have “split the difference.” He could have given World War I a half-hearted effort, suspended between his heart-felt conviction as a pacifist and his logically thought out revelation that war might be justified in some circumstances. He could have gone through the motions without giving it all he had. But he didn’t.

Maybe there’s a part of you that still wonders if your kids wouldn’t be better off in a classroom somewhere. Maybe you agree “in principle” that homeschooling can be justified, but in reality you’ve got one foot in each camp. If you’ve made the commitment to give homeschooling a try then it deserves your very best. If that means charging a machine gun nest then so be it.

Tell your children the remarkable story of one of America’s greatest heroes: Alvin York. Consider buying or renting the wonderful story of Alvin C York starring Gary Cooper. Watch it with your children.

Then tell the Lord that you’re going to give homeschooling your very best effort from this day forward. I believe He will honor you for your decision.

For more of Steve Lambert's writings, visit his blog at:

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