Last Friday Cliff and Ann Notgrass gave us a surprise phone call. We met Cliff and Ann when our daughter and her husband lived in Texas. During a visit there, Ray followed his long-time practice of looking in the telephone book to see if there were any Notgrasses in town. He found Cliff and Ann. Ray called them, they invited us over, and we became friends with these distant relations.
To our amazement, Cliff looked like Ray’s father Wes. On the phone on Friday, I noticed how similar Cliff’s humor is to the humor we loved in Wes. The reason this is amazing to us is that Cliff’s branch of the Notgrass family left Tennessee before the Civil War.
Cliff and Ann simply wanted to catch up. We appreciated their reaching out to us. They talked about how the COVID-19 virus is affecting their daily lives. Cliff noted that he is now 90, so he definitely qualifies as elderly. Ann is 86. She said that her hands have never been so clean. They know that their ages mean they must be extra-careful.
We are concerned about cleanliness and being extra-careful at Notgrass History. Since last Monday everyone on the Notgrass team has been working at home. The only activities in our warehouse are shipping and receiving, which are completed with great care for health and safety.
Each morning we have an online meeting to touch base with each other. Again and again, we discuss ways to help homeschoolers and new “accidental” homeschoolers in this time of crisis. We want to help families fill their days with good resources. We want to offer new homeschoolers Bible study opportunities that they can use at home. For many, this may be the first time they have included Bible study in their children’s schooling. We also hope to encourage new homeschoolers (who didn’t intend to be homeschoolers) to continue homeschooling once the current crisis is over.
Below are some free digital downloads that you can use yourself and that you can share with other homeschooling families, whether they are veterans or whether they started this month when their children’s schools closed. We appreciate your reaching out to them for us.
Notgrass History publishes two series of Bible studies. We are now offering a free title from each of these series. We chose titles that are particularly appropriate right now.
Draw to Learn the Book of Psalms (all ages) — This is one of the first curriculum resources I ever wrote for homeschoolers. Our daughter used it herself the first year we made it available. Now two decades later, I cherish the drawings she created that school year. The concept is simple. Children (or adults) simply read a psalm and then follow the detailed instructions provided to illustrate one concept in that psalm. We now have five titles in this series, but we chose Draw to Learn the Book of Psalms for this free offer because the psalms are so comforting during troubled times. Get this download free here.
Walking in Peace (ages 7-12) — Our daughter Mary Evelyn (Notgrass) McCurdy began the Walking In series when a missionary mother we knew asked her to develop a Bible study for her children. The series includes Walking in Truth, Walking in Faith, and Walking in Peace. We chose Walking in Peace for this offer, knowing we all need God’s peace, especially right now. Get this download free here.
Please feel free to share these resources by email or Facebook or any other way you choose. We appreciate it.
We have to be creative these days to find ways to love our neighbors as ourselves. One way is to touch base with a surprise phone call. Another way is to be extra-clean and extra-careful.
Praise God that He offers to make us completely clean.
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence
to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,
by a new and living way
which He inaugurated for us through the veil,
that is, His flesh,
and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
let us draw near with a sincere heart
in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
and our bodies washed with pure water.