Testing, One….Two….Three…..


The number two pencils are sharpened. The Texas Instruments calculator is ready and in place. The practice tests have been taken and scored.

Now the big day is here.

This week, our 16-year-old Mackenzie will take her ACT test. My husband and I don’t recall stressing too much over our own ACT scores in the past. I do remember buying a practice book at the local bookstore to help me prepare. Todd barely remembers even taking the test. Today, however, so much emphasis is placed on this exam and what its results will or will not do for a student as far as college is concerned. In fact, a few weeks ago as Kenzie was once again bleary-eyed from staying up late to study, she commented how her whole future hinged on the score she received on this test. “I just have to do well.” she commented.

That got me thinking, aren’t you glad that God does not require excessive study, late night cramming and perfect scores in our behavior in order to secure a place in heaven? Why, He doesn’t dole out A’s and B’s. Nor does He give us a number score of 19 or 28. He doesn’t even grade on a curve. You know—all people this good or better get in. The rest of you? Oh, well! No, with our Lord it is simply pass or fail. Your spot in heaven all depends on one simple answer to one profound question. “What did you do with Jesus Christ while you were on earth?”

Did you smile at Him when you saw Him in the manger at Christmastime, but then went merrily on your way and left Him innocently in the stable? Did you hear about His teachings and His claims, but made no effort to discover for yourself whether they were true or not? Or were you a ‘box-checking’ Christian? This means that when presented with a form listing the major religions of the world, you glanced it over and then checked the box that says ‘Christian’ thinking that must somehow guarantee you a happily-ever-after in the afterlife.

Sorry. None of those will work. The only correct answer to “What did you do with Jesus Christ while you were on earth?” is “I believed Him. I obeyed Him. And I let Him take charge of my life.” This, dear ones, is the only test that the whole future of humanity depends on.

Pass or fail.

How will you do?



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  1. Hi Karen! I just finished my “Brain in a Binder” yesterday, and am feeling so encouraged. Thank you for your ministry at Hearts at Home, and for your wonderful writing! I was wondering… do you have any resources for organizing a homeschool day? I am homeschooling my Pre-K and 1st grader. I thought I was doing o.k., but now compared to the organization of the rest of my life (thanks to you!), my homeschool routine is looking really sloppy! =)

  2. What a great story! I don’t really remember taking the test either. And boy am I glad. There is too much stress on it now! I have one that will be taking it next year. She isn’t the best test taker so should be interesting!

  3. Karen Ehman! I just happened upon your blog and its been so fun to read!

    I love the pictures of “the sibling moment”. Evan and I are closer than ever now that we are older. Its fun!

    Hope all is well! It was good to see you at Hearts!

  4. Hi Karen! I listened to you speak at Hearts at Home this year! I loved the ideas you gave for organizing and I just went out and bought my “brain in a binder” to begin. Unfortunately, I do have a few “for now” piles sitting around my kitchen as I write but hey. :)

    My sister and I are coming to She Speaks in June and are EXCITED about that! I’ll see you there! :)



  5. I don’t know if this will help, but when I took it (I graduated in ’92), I got a 18 the first time and a 19 the second time. I went on to get my Bachelors of Arts in Math with a minor in Spanish and Psychology with Magna Cum Laude Honors, and the Lincoln Laureate award. I then went on to get my Masters in Mathematics. So, the ACT doesn’t measure your potential. I’m not the best test taker and don’t read very fast so did poorly on those parts. I’m sure she’ll do just fine.

    Melanie in Swansea, IL

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