Freshwater Academy

Fresh Water Academy was founded in 2010. It is home to four lovely young ladies of learning and their dedicated teachers. Located in the wilds of Wyoming, the name Fresh Water Academy was chosen as a Western analogy to Christ. Just as He is the Living Water, and we must have Him to have eternal life, any desert dweller knows the importance of fresh water to life, both for self, and the nourishment of crops or livestock. By taking nourishment in God and His word, we strengthen our own relationship with Him, our faith, and the quality and abundance of our fruitfulness.

Our keystone verse is from Jeremiah, Chapter 17, Verse 8: "For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."

The fruit that we speak of is mentioned in Galatians 5:22
"22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

And the heat could be anything we experience that might test our faith in God; trials and tribulations, relationships, anything that focuses our love and attention anywhere but on Him...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Good morning everyone!  It is still morning here ;).  I meant to post over the weekend, but it was a tad busy, so I'll play-by-play our jam adventures later (after we eat the biscuits Hannah Banana just made with a new jar of jam), but right now I am so very excited to introduce our special guest!


Misty Gatlin is the author of two books that we have read and loved, The Real You, and her latest, A Princess Broken.  She is a mother, teacher, writer and speaker, whose  ministry is primarily with teen and college age girls, helping them to learn about and build confidence in who they are in Christ.


I read A Princess Broken as Misty was writing each week on her blog, eagerly awaiting the next installment.  When she put together all the pieces to form a comprehensive and complete story, I devoured the book as soon as it arrived, and absolutely loved it.  I have been reading it aloud to my girls, and at the end of each chapter they beg me to keep reading!  


If you want to learn more about Misty, the ministry God has called her to, or if you're interested in checking out her website, facebook, twitter or blog, here are the links:
http://mistygatlin.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MistyGatlinFearfullyMade
https://twitter.com/#!/mistygatlin
http://www.networkedblogs.com/blog/misty_gatlin?ahash=ce9164824096fc3c078f1fcfb6bd978c


Without further ado (or anymore delays), I'd like to introduce to you, Misty Gatlin!

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As a teacher, how do you walk the walk in your classroom and workplace each day without getting into trouble with administration? How do you stand up to all the bad stuff going on?

There are so many ways to answer this question.  One thing I was happy to learn in my educational law class for my master’s program a few years back is that I have a right to talk about God and the Bible with my students in the classroom.  Yes, you read that correctly.  As a teacher, I cannot be reprimanded for talking about such things in class as long as a student brings up the subject first, which happens often believe it or not.  I also learned the true purpose of Separation of Church and State, and it is not what our world has made it out to be.  Because I am protected by law, I can talk to my students about my beliefs as long as they bring up the subject first and as long as I don’t force my beliefs on them.

More than anything, though, I’m able to walk the walk in my classroom because that’s exactly what it is: walking the walk.  I don’t have to talk about my beliefs at all.  My students see how much care I have for them and how I treat them, which is typically different than the way many other teachers treat them.  It’s through my actions they know what I believe.  I don’t have to say a word.  However, after being in my class for a good amount of time, they begin asking questions because they notice a difference in the atmosphere in my classroom.  That’s when I can talk to them about my beliefs in whatever way is relevant to them. 

I actually had a conversation with a girl just last week about some things that have become more widely accepted in our world today versus what God says about those things.  After our conversation, she said, “I’m so glad you’re not a bible-thumper throwing in my face how wrong I am.”  She also went on to tell me she had never heard the specific scripture I showed her about the subject, and she liked the way I explained what it meant and what God says about sins.   
I refuse to force my beliefs on anyone because that’s not what I was called to do – that’s not what any of us were called to do.  We were called to love people where they are and introduce them to Jesus.  There should never be pressure involved.  This is what I take into my classroom.  I know my students have led extremely difficult lives and have made detrimental decisions, but I was placed there to love them and pray that I can lead them in the right direction.  I teach at an alternative high school, and I’ve learned that the majority of my students have never had anyone love them through their mistakes.  They don’t even know they can be loved during those moments, which makes my heart break for them.

I’m also open about things I’ve struggled with if it’s something that fits their situation.  I don’t pretend to be perfect, and I’m the first to admit when I mess up.  That used to be such a hard thing for me to do, but over the years it’s become easier because I’m more relatable to them when I let them know I have faults.  They’re more likely to talk to me when they walk through their own struggles.
My students come to class and talk to me.  I know things about these students – personal struggles and sometimes things no one else knows.  I remember questioning once why I was the “go to” teacher for these types of conversations, and finally this year a student answered that for me.  After he answered it for me, I heard many other students say the very same thing.  They told me that they don’t feel judged by me when they tell me some of the horrible things they’ve done.  They want my advice, and they don’t feel like I push them to follow it.  Somehow, though, they want to follow my advice and don’t want to disappoint me.  It’s the strangest thing, but I love that I’m a safe person for them.

The girl I spoke with last week has experienced Christians condemning her for her actions, so she hates church, which is true for many of my students.  They’ve made mistakes and have heard awful remarks about their lives from people who say they’re Christian, and they turn away from God.  Students have heard that they’re going to hell because of what they’re doing (and not in a loving, Biblical, directional way.   It’s been by pointing out their faults, yelling, and name-calling).  They’ve heard they’re hopeless and can’t be accepted by God because of what they’ve done; God doesn’t love them; God is angry with them; They don’t deserve a good life; They’re incapable of having a better life; They’re worthless; etc. 

No one should ever hear these words, most especially if they’re coming from the mouth of someone claiming to walk with Jesus.  This is not who Jesus is nor is it who He was when he walked the earth.  The bible says we are not to hold nonbelievers accountable for their sins because they don’t understand sins the way believers do, and they have not committed to live a life with Christ.

I wrote A Princess Broken because of the students who come in and out of my class every day.  To be honest, very few students have walked through my door over the past 2 years feeling full of hope.  Instead, they see the families they came from and the decisions they’ve made, and they see nothing but hopelessness.  A Princess Broken is what I would love to share with all of my students in hopes they walk away knowing their brokenness can be pieced together.  My heart is to take each broken teen in my arms and let them know they are so loved even though they can’t see how someone could possibly love them.  I created Kate to be that person for Sarah, and I believe God placed us here to do the same for those around us who are broken.

My heart is for teens.  I want to ask your readers, Where does your heart lie?  God gave you a desire for a specific group of people because he knows you would be great at loving on that group.  If you haven’t realized you have a desire, look at your life.  Where do you find yourself helping out, or who do you automatically gravitate toward?  Some choose missions, some hospice, some child care, some teach, and there are so many other areas where broken people can be found.  If you’re in a place where you can’t freely talk about your beliefs, don’t let it take your gift away from you.   It’s through your actions people are reached.  Your words are only secondary.  


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Tour Schedule for A Princess Broken Blog Tour



A Princess Broken Blog Tour Calendar:
June 20124-All Things About Books
6-My Home Away From Home
7-K. Avery Ellison
8-The Hard Way  (For those who read A Princess Broken already, this is the author whose synopsis is at the end)
11-Freshwater
13-Hedanicreations
14-The Girl That Sings
15-Diapers, Bookmarks, and Pipe Dreams
18-Leelee Writes
20-I Devour Books
21-GP Ching (Author of the Soulkeepers Series)
22-The Hush Project
25-Live to Read
27-Our Crowded Heart
29-Beyond Waiting

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