What a gift!

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One of my dear friends has been going through a tragic health issue since March 2020. Today she told me that it has been a huge gift to see her faith, to see that her faith has been very small. It has grown through the trials and now she carries with her a beautiful treasure wherever she goes.

More to come soon…

He promises to enlarge me when I am in distress

Posted onCategoriesTerri's Thoughts, Uncategorized



In God’s economy things don’t work as you expect. Remember Jesus’ New Testament words, “the first shall be last?” It’s the same God of the Old Testament. He has not changed.

The principle of Psalm 4:1 is similarly unexpected. In the KJV translation it reads: Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness. Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress, have mercy upon me and hear my prayer.

Right now the world is distressed, groaning because of being hemmed in by the corona virus. This verse is quite promising in light of the distress so many are feeling.

Often our distress comes from feeling caged, penned in, cornered – out of control of our lives or circumstances. Whatever the pressure, in that pressure – enlargement. We may feel smaller and more confined right now, but He promises He is doing a work in people around the world and enlarging them, enlarging their capacity to endure, to think, to feel, to know.

As foreign as this concept sounds, it is my experience. In fact, I can tell you names of others who can testify to the same experience.

Talk to God about this promise. Challenge Him on it.

Writing more, citing examples, would be wasting my breath to try to convince you. Only God can bring this promise to life for you. He is listening closely right now. Give it a try to talk to Him.


Posted onCategoriesTerri's Thoughts, Uncategorized

Juxtaposition: The state of being close together, side-by-side, especially for contrast or comparison.

That word defines the human dilemma, or at least one of them.  Inside each soul is the truth that we are created in the image of God.  That is a ridiculous thought.  The Creator of the Universe, God Omnipotent and Omniscience, made man in His Image.

But our good and wise Creator put us in bodies created from …wait for it…from dust.  Psalm 103:14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.

We see both concepts out of control in humanity, in people. Some have the God complex, which  is based on one part of the truth.  Others struggle with self image and insecurity, feeling as if they have no value to anyone.  And who would feel valuable if we are merely formed of dust?

I can imagine the twinkle in His eye as He sets before each person ever conceived the juxtaposition of Imageo Deo in dust.


You can know…

Posted onCategoriesTerri's Thoughts, Uncategorized

Thank you Lord for this good word from you!  How can I know it is from Him? Read on…

It started by my turning to read Psalm 1, but I opened to the closing of the book of Job – the Epilogue 42:7-17.

After the Lord had spoken these things to Job, He said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My anger is stirred up against you and your two friends because you have not spoken about me what is right, as my servant Job has.”

God offers Job’s friends a plan for reconciliation, but Job receives blessings – double to what he had before.

Then Psalms 1…It is as if God writes it down right after Job 42 just in case you missed His point of what made Job different from his friends.

“How happy is the one who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand in the pathways of sinners or sit in the assembly of arrogant fools!  Instead he finds pleasure in obeying the Lord’s commands.  He intently studies His commands day and night.”

Hannah Whitall Smith (one of my favorite authors and followers of Jesus),says that ye may know.  She writes, “There is a great deal of longing and hoping among Christians, but there is not much knowing.  And yet the whole Bible  was written for the purpose of making us know.  The object of revelation is to reveal.  If nothing has been revealed to us by the Bible beyond longings and hopes it has failed it’s purpose.”

We can know God and learn to speak rightly about Him.

Jesus says, dare I say promises,  in John 7:37

Actually start at 7:36 b  – if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and

7:37 Let the one who believes in me drink, just as the scripture says, “from within him will flow rivers of living water.”

Which fits beautifully back with Psalm 1:3 “He is like a tree planted by flowing streams.  It yields its fruit at the proper time, and its leaves never fall off.  He succeeds at everything he attempts, (v4) not so with the wicked!”  This perfectly describes Job….and I hope one day it perfectly describes me.

Living this life of studying God’s Word day and night, in 2018, makes one look boring, outdated, prudish, out of touch and inefficient with time management.

But the reward is great.

It reminds me of Daniel.  Daniel 11:32 “the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits.”

So there is the contrast, the road less traveled, the choice, the fork in the road, the difference.

What do you choose?

It is never too late to get started on the journey of knowing our God.  He has gone and continues to go to great lengths to reveal Himself to us, to be known here, on planet earth, today!

Only God could link these verses together for me with the wise words of Hannah Whitall Smith.  And He did it all in a short time as He walked me from  one spot to the next on September 2, 2018.  He will do the same for you, but it starts with opening your Bible and reading, giving Him time to speak.

What do you want to try first?

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Ephesians 2:10 tells us that God created each of us for a purpose – good works.  “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

That Biblical concept can freeze some of the more literal thinkers among us; in fact, it probably freezes 99% of the Christian population at some point during their life.    “What if I miss the one thing, the one good work, God created me to do?”  Many students, even Bible illiterate students, are frozen in fear during their final years of high school or college unable to shake the idea that there is one special good work for which they were created.  Perhaps this fear explains, in part, the growing rates of depression among students?

To solve the problem of anxiety on college campuses (anxiety caused by pressure for students to find and understand themselves during college), a recent article in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, April 2, 2016 points students to “The College of Chinese Wisdom,” which suggests that we are all a mess as defined by the Chinese wisdom of Confucius, Mensius, Zhuangzi and other Chinese thinkers.  Compelling as the article was, it obviously lacked the Christian worldview, the very Christian worldview that has students and adults alike frozen in fear, that we are each specifically created for good works in mind.

Can the Christian worldview possibly add anything positive?

Christian thinkers and writers forget to remind students and adults alike that we all worship the Master Weaver, God Himself, who has a plan.  He is extraordinarily patient, far exceeding the talent of the master mystery writer who slowly unfolds his plot, story and characters on paper.  God, who knows the beginning from the end, does not rush us as He unfolds His plot, story and characters in real life.

And thankfully, during the process, He remembers that we are made of dust – Psalm 103:14 “For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.”

Psalm 139, the longest chapter in the Bible, goes on to tell us that He knit us together in our mother’s womb.  Psalm 139:14-18

“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;  And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.  How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.  When I awake, I am still with You.”

Knowing that God is superintending each individual story should give Christians a freedom that unbelievers can never understand but only envy in wonder.  It should give Christians a fire to know God better to recognize His voice in their lives, to develop the gift of discernment while walking out the opportunities He places before them.

So, the next time you hear that you were created for good works, please remember that God does not put the burden of those good works on your shoulders to find like a cosmic Easter egg hunt.  Look to Him, learn to recognize His voice, decide to obey His voice and do the next thing that faces you on the horizon.  Maybe it is learning a new language, maybe it is pursuing a business degree although you feel a strange call to minister to abused women and children, perhaps it is studying 20th century literature or history although you aren’t even gifted in the verbal fields.

God’s economy has no waste.  There are not any spare parts or spare experiences.  God can redeem them all as He weaves them together over the course of your life on this great planet earth.

Walk out your path.  Perhaps begin with a word study of “walk” in the Bible?

Psalm 119:35   Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.

Psalm 1:1  How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

Psalm 142:3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me,
You knew my pathIn the way where I walk
They have hidden a trap for me.

Those three are only the beginning.  Jump in and start the journey for yourself to discern what is the next thing you want to try.






They can’t hear you.

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They Can’t Hear You

My family is a big fan of the character Gibbs on the TV show NCIS; Gibbs with his list of rules.
His list caused me to develop my own.

Threadgill rule number 9: People cannot hear a large percentage of what you say—even if said directly to them, even if said multiple times, even if said at escalating volumes.
We held our annual THEO graduation on Saturday. Graduation was a success, which isn’t a surprise since preparations last nearly nine months. As always, it was shocking to hear the parents at rehearsal. “Oh, I am going to give the student their diploma?” “Oh, rehearsal started at 8:55?” “My husband and I are going to be on the stage?” It doesn’t matter how many times and ways I try to tell them, some of these parents cannot hear what our THEO graduation looks like until they experience it.
The parents paid money to join this event. It wasn’t forced upon any one of them. They choose to sign up, even filled out a special graduation application form.  Yet they didn’t know what they signed up for because their ears cannot hear.
How often do I do the same thing? Sign up for something without knowing what I have committed to because I cannot hear other people?
Working with teenagers every day, I am used to not being heard; nonetheless, it is always surprising when confronted with the fact adults cannot hear me either. Warning: They don’t hear you any better than me!
At Church on Sunday, one of my fellow volunteers was admonishing me to talk to one of my sons about a particular early adult issue. She looked quite surprised when I said I didn’t have any plans to, asking me exactly what I thought my role as parent was supposed to involve.
I started by saying that he is now an adult, in his early 20’s, in fact. It isn’t any of my business. She said yes, it is. Parents’ job is to warn. I agreed with her but said his mind is made up. My husband tried to talk to him; my mom tried to talk to him. He can’t hear us and I am not going to waste energy or breath. More importantly, the relationship is too precious to me to risk hurting it over something I know he isn’t going to listen to anyway.
Undaunted, she told me a bit of her story, and then again, encouraged me to visit with my son. She even went so far as to say, “I wish my parents had told me, talked to me more about what they saw as the warning signs in my life when I was in my early 20’s.” I said to her, gently, maybe they did. Maybe they tried, maybe you didn’t hear them. She was silent.
At certain points, we have made up our minds and nothing will penetrate our thoughts or plans . It is like our thoughts and plans are on one set of railroad tracks headed for a point in the distance. Nothing short of an atomic bomb can blast us off of those tracks. Additional facts are unable to enter the equation in our brain even though our ears work fine.
This spring God used our Bible Study of James to open my ears a bit, to help me unlock my brain and blast my thoughts onto a new set of railway tracks. My thought patterns are now on some new tracks headed to a new destination.
Countless times since January, I have been driving down the road, talking to God about my latest drama when He has broken into my head to connect the dots for me. Dots between Scripture such as James 1:2 “Consider it all joy my brethren when you encounter various trials….” and whatever I am rambling on about.

His interruption caused me to  physically turned my head upward, like a child to a parent, “Oh, you mean don’t grumble when the a/c begins to leak at my house on my newly textured and painted walls and ceiling?” “Oh, you mean don’t grumble when the THEO a/c breaks for the third time this spring?” Really Lord, this is how you want to spend Your money?
Yes Terri. This is exactly what that scripture means.
James 1:3
Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, and let endurance have its perfect result.
“Oh, you mean don’t whine aloud, or even inwardly, when situations do not resolve themselves immediately?”
The applications for Rule #9 are endless.  Since my conversation with the Lord that day in the car, I now have a fresh eyes and ears looking at new applications for His Word.  I can hear Him!  Already it has saved me a lot of time, and breath, not to mention my new destination. Since God has blasted my thoughts onto new train tracks, we all know new tracks lead to new places.
Have you ever noticed that some people (i.e. me but also others)  talk incessantly, only repeating themselves again and again like an old fashioned record with a scratch? My theory? At their core they know the truth: No one is listening, a frightening thought. No one is listening to me, my opinions, my ideas. If my ideas don’t count, then maybe I don’t count.
No, surely not. I should repeat myself. Maybe they were not listening because they didn’t hear me, because they were distracted. Let me repeat myself—again and again.
I now talk less.
But I also think I have gained a new appreciation for the first of the 12 steps of addiction. I am powerless over other people.  Maybe they cannot hear me.  Maybe in their eyes, I don’t count.
Funny, this sounds like a solid foundation for turning to God, the One who is not powerless. But that is a topic for another day of exploration…

IEW Intensive Overview – not offered in 2018

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Teacher:  Donna Cantu

Grades: 9 – 12

Meets:  Will not be offered in 2018

Class Description: Are you interested in the Institute of Excellence in Writing but don’t have time to fit it into your schedule? Are you ready to jump into the Intermediate or Advanced Level, but have never had an IEW class before? Do you feel like you need better writing skills to prepare you for the writing level World View demands. If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then this is the class for you. Over 4 days this summer, students will receive an intensive overview of the Excellence in Writing program.  Students will learn key-word outlining, the composition checklist, dress-ups and openers, and how to incorporate these into their own essays. They will discover ways to brainstorm and learn the best way to organize by using the specific outline models required for different types of writing. Although this does not cover as much as a full year, it does give students the basics which they can apply to a future writing class or add do their writing toolbox.

Homework: None – minimal

Cost:  $150

Students NOT registered for the _______________school year should forward THEO application paperwork, the $25 THEO processing fee and the reduced THEO Application fee of $50 per student to our THEO offices in addition to the class fee.

Supplies that the students should bring to class:

Materials: Notebook and Packet for Level C $19.00 OR  e-book for level C $10.00

Order through www.Instituteofexcellenceinwriting.com

3 ring binder and 5 tabbed dividers

Loose leaf paper and writing utensil

Algebra II – not offered summer 2016

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Teacher:  Christine Jimenez

Grades: 9 – 12

For non-THEO students, please include a new application and the summer application fee payable to THEO.  Tuition check should be made payable to Christine Jimenez.

Meets:  To be Considered and Determined for summer 2017

11:15 – 2:30  three days/week

Class Description: We will complete the textbook Algebra 2, by Saxon. Algebra 2 covers all topics that are traditionally covered in second year algebra, as well as a considerable amount of geometry. In fact, students completing Algebra 2 will have studied the equivalent of one semester of informal geometry. Ample time is spent developing geometric concepts. Real-world problems are included along with applications to other subjects such as physics and chemistry.  Five to six lessons will be covered in each class period in a discussion oriented method, working sample problems in class.   Because we must cover 16 to 17 lessons per week in order to finish the book in eight weeks, students must be able to handle the workload and pace of this class.  Some SAT problems will be included in the class discussion, time permitting. Also, time is allowed for questions from homework.  Quizzes will be given in class.  We will complete the entire text as well as some additional homework problems.  Tests for each module will be completed at home.

Prerequisites:  An understanding of the concepts of Saxon Algebra I or an equivalent.  Note:  If you are unsure of the level your student, please consider the online placement test by Saxon. Once on this website, find and click on the “Saxon Homeschool” link.  Find and click the  link for “Resources”. Find and click the link for “Placement Tests”.

Maximum number of students that you will allow to take this class: 12

Homework: The student will be required to complete five to six lessons of homework per class. This includes finding and correcting errors on their own homework.

Cost:  $400 which can be paid $200 at sign up and $200 before June 18th

Supplies that the students should bring to class:

  • Saxon Algebra 2 (Third Edition) textbook
  • Non-spiral Paper
  • Scientific Calculator (TI-84 Plus Silver Edition is used by instructor, but any scientific calculator is fine as long as student is familiar with its use)
  • Pencils
  • 2-pocket folders
  • student test booklet

Additional items needed at home:  Red pen for grading;  Solutions Manual or “homeschool packet”, which includes the text answers and may come as a set with the textbook.

Karrie Looney

Posted onCategoriesTeachers, Uncategorized



Bachelor of Science in Education; Baylor University, 2002

Master of Science in Middle Level Math Education; Stephen F. Austin, 2005

Master of Educational Administration; Lamar University, 2009

Teaching Experiences

Apollo Junior High Mathematics Teacher, Richardson ISD                                    2002 – 2009

7th grade, 8th grade, 7th grade Pre AP, and 7th grade block math

Math Support Specialist Richardson ISD                                                             2009 – 2015

Facility Teacher Training, Curriculum Writing, Teacher Coaching for 7th-8th grade teachers

Math Tutor                                                                                                       2015 – present

Working  with kids in 4th grade – Algebras II

Women’s Adult Bible Study Leader at Messiah Lutheran Church                          2015 – present



I am a wife to my wonderful husband Jason Looney since 2008. I have three wonderful children Emma(11), Avery(8) and Parker(5) and a sweet rescue dog named Whitney. In my free time I enjoy running and training for half marathons and watching my kids in their various activities.


This will be my first-year teaching at Theo and I am so excited to see what God has instore for me this coming school year.