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Well, certain Christians, anyway: Lyndsay Moseley was no longer inspired by the evangelical Christian faith of her youth. As an environmental activist, she believed that it offered little spiritual support for her work and was overly focused on opposing abortion and gay marriage. … and, you know, sin and all that stuff. Then the 27-year-old District resident discovered [...]
by Mimi Rothschild What are the experiences and opportunities that reallyÂ count in building Christlike character and at the same time, can serve individual personality? How can the homeschool curriculum and homeschool program provide for such experiences and opportunities? The Christian homeschooling teacher needs not only a clear-cut purpose, butÂ we also must know his own children very well [...]
Yellow Star: A cast of homeschooled students and graduates present a story of faith and courage set in France during World War II. It is an inspiring Christmas drama for the whole family. Performed by The Homeschool Dramatic Society, Cookeville, TN. Trailer for Yellow Star DVD "Maurice Beaumont and his sisters are living in their family’s large old house in a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II. In spite of the Nazi presence, the Beaumonts’ lives are calm and quiet. Things change, however, when they agree to take in several children from Paris who have been sent to the country to avoid the tension and fighting in the city." "Things change even more when four workers in the French Resistance ask the Beaumonts to take in several Jewish children who are being hidden from the Nazis. The Beaumonts recognize the danger to themselves and the children from Paris if they take in the Jews, but they also recognize the danger to the Jewish children if they do not take them in. If they agree, the identity of the Jewish children must be kept a secret from the other villagers and, most importantly, from the Nazis." "The children, the villagers, and the Nazis are all in desperate need of the peace that is found only in Jesus Christ. The star that shone above the Christ Child so long ago to point the way to Him is bright enough to illumine all of their war-torn hearts, but that light will not penetrate their darkness unless they let it shine through." "Traditional French songs and folk dances, as well as original musical numbers and choreography, bring this story to life for the entire family. This play was performed by the Homeschool Dramatic Society on September 11 and 12, 2008 at the Cookeville Drama Center in Cookeville, Tennessee." The production, written and directed by Mary Evelyn Notgrass, is available on DVD from the Notgrass Company. If you are considering homeschooling, realize the wealth of private music, drama, and sports training available to your family. There is no reason to be beholden to the state for your child's education.
I have never really identified much with my ancestry -- race and nationality are not things that matter much to me. I am proud of America, or more so its foundation of faith and history of sacrifice for liberty. (That's different than being proud to be an American, something which I did not choose, but nevertheless choose to remain.) However, these Ukrainian history markers catch my attention, perhaps because of my Ukrainian ancestry, but more likely because they are fascinating history. It is a region rich with history, but largely unknown in the west. Posted by Skanderbeg over on RedState: Today In History – 6 December 1240 With all my travel to and around Ukraine, I have indeed made it to Kyiv (that’s the Ukrainian version of “Kiev”). Kyiv is beyond beautiful. Kyiv is majestic. Kyiv began as a Norse outpost. As Viking traders began to make use of a fairly easy route to Constantinople (up the Narva River, a fairly easy portage across modest terrain, and then an easy journey down the Dniepro River to the Black Sea), around 800 they established a fortified post at about the only terrain feature along the Dniepro – some high bluffs along the western bank. Thus was born the city of Kyiv. The local Slavs realized quickly that these Viking traders, whom they called Varangians or Rus, knew what they were doing. Lacking leadership themselves, they came to the traders and made an offer. They offered the lead guy kingship, and the choice of any one of their many excellent-looking princesses to be his queen. With good leadership and a good position along a major trade route, Kyiv grew rapidly in strength, wealth, and importance. In 988, the Kyivan leader Prince Vladimir accepted Christianity from Byzantine missionaries – while one of those missionaries, Cyril, gave the Slavs a written alphabet for their language. Vladimir ordered all his subjects to convert with him; they were all herded along the main boulevard of Kyiv – called to this day “Christening Boulevard” – and into the shallows of the Dniepro for a mass baptism. Kyiv continued to grow and prosper as an eastern outpost of civilization. By the early 13th century, it was the second largest city in Europe – second only to Paris – with a population of 50,000. But all that came to an abrupt end on 6 December 1240. When dawn broke over Kyiv on 6 December 1240, the population was 50,000. By nightfall, the population had been effectively reduced to zero. After a brief siege, the Mongols, led by Genghis Khan’s grandson Batu, broke into the city. The city was quickly pillaged, burned, and demolished. Gone were the 400 churches. Gone were the monasteries. Gone was the legendary “Zoloti Varota,” the famous “Golden Gate” – known musically as “The Great Gate of Kiev.” And gone, mostly, were the 50,000 inhabitants – slaughtered or, for the few survivors, dragged off into slavery. Think you’re having a bad day? Methinks that 6 December 1240 qualifies as the ultimate “bad day.” "OK, I am considering homeschooling... what does this have to do with homeschooling?" you ask. Well nothing, except... tell me if you learned any of this in public school?!? Oh, the history of the Mongols and Vikings goes much deeper and has far more impact upon what you might consider "relevant" history. The shape of Christian Europe, your church, and religious practices might be significantly different without these two powerful forces in history. It's not just Ukraine; try England, France, Germany, and Italy... getting more "relevant"? Dig a little deeper... no dumbed down, politically correct, and State approved textbook is needed. That's the power of homeschooling.
Each week Considering Homeschooling recognizes the faithful service of someone getting the message out about homeschooling. This week we recognize Wayne Walker for his blog Hymn Studies, "studies of hymns that can be used in your homeschool as part of your devotions, Bible curriculum, or music study." "All the Heavens Adore Thee" Dec. 13, 2008 on Hymn Studies "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him" (Matt. 25.6) INTRO.: A hymn which aplies the thought of this parable to us is "All the Heavens Adore Thee." The text was written and the tune (Wachet Auf or Sleepers Awake) was composed both by Philipp Nicolai, who was born on Aug. 10, 1556, at Mengeringhausen in Waldeck, Germany, where his father, Dieterich Nicolai, was a Lutheran minister. After an early education at Mengeringhausen under Ludwig Helmbold and Joachim von Burgk, in 1575 Philip entered the University of Erfurt and in 1576 went to the University of Wittenberg, where he graduated in 1579. Living for some time at Volkhardinghausen neare Mengeringhausen, he frequently preached for his father. In 1583, he was appointed Lutheran preacher at Herdecke in Westphalia, where his father had been minister earlier, but found many difficulties there and resigned his post. In 1586 he became minister at Niederwildungen near Waldeck, and in 1588 moved to Altwildungen, where he also served as court preacher to the widowed Countess Margaretha of Waldeck and tutor to her son, Count Wilhelm Ernst. In 1596, he became minister at Unna in Westphalia. It is believed that he produced these words there in 1597 during a pestilence of bubonic plague which claimed some 1,400 victims. The song was first published, with the tune, along with two other hymns in the appendix to his devotional work Frewden-Spiegel dess ewigen Lebens, printed at Frankfurt-am-Main in 1599. In 1601, Nicolai was selected minister of St. Katherine's Church at Hamburg, where he married at age 44 in 1606 and died of a fever two years later on Oct. 26, 1608. It is possible that this hymn is based on the Wachter-Lieder (Watch Songs), a form of lyric poetry popular in the Middle Ages and introduced by Wolfram von Eschenbach (1170-1220). However, while in the Watch Songs the voice of the watchman summons the workers of darkness to flee from discovery, with Nicolai it is a summons to the children of light to awaken to their promised reward. The translation was made by Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878). It was first published in her 1858 Lyra Germanica, Second Series, and revised in 1863 for her Choral Book for England. Several alterations, especially in the third stanza, have been made to Miss Winkworth's original translation, various ones attributed to illiam Cooke, Edward A. Dayman, Philip Pusey, and Frances E. Cox, which appear in the 1872 edition of the 1871 Hymnary. It is possible that the melody is based on the "Silberweisse," c. 1513, by Hans Sachs (1494-1576). The tune was sometimes ascribed to Jacob Praetorius, the music director of the St. Katherine's Church in Hamburg where Nicolai was minister. However, it is now known that Nicolai was the composer and Praetorious only arranged it. The modern harmonization was made by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). It was done for the concluding chorale, "Gloria sei dir gesungen," in his Cantata 140, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme of 1731, based on this hymn. The hymn has been called "The King of Chorales" (chorale being the name for hymns used in the German Lutheran church of that day). John Julian calls the text, "A beautiful hymn, one of the first rank," and Winterfeld says, that the tune "is the greatest and most solemn melody of evangelical Christendom." Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord's church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the first one in which I have seen the song was the 1963 Christian Hymnal edited by J. Nelson Slater, where only the third stanza is used. The entire song appears in the 1986 Great Songs Revised edited by Forrest M. McCann, the only other book among us that I know of to use it. This is not an easy song to sing. Believe me, I know because we sang it when I was in high school chorus. However, it is an important hymn historically. The message is good and the tune, while difficult, is majestic and inspiring. The song encourages us to wake, to watch, and to worship. I. Stanza 1 is a call to awake "Wake, awake, for night is flying: The watchmen on the heights are crying, 'Awake, Jerusalem, arise!' Midnight's solemn hour is tolling; His chariot wheels are near rolling; He come! O church, lift up thine eyes! Rise up, with willing feet; Go forth, the Bridegroom meet: Hallelujah! Lo, great and small, We answer all; We follow where Thy voice shall call." A. Christians are to awake out of the sleep of darkness: Rom. 13.11-12 B. God's watchman, through the written word, is calling us to be alert: Isa. 52.8, Ezek. 3.17 C. Therefore, like the five wise virgins, we need to be vigilant: Matt. 26.7-13 II. Stanza 2 is a call to prepare "Zion hears the watchmen singing; Her heart with deep delight is springing; She wakes, she rises from her gloom. For her Lord comes down all glorious, In grace arrayed, by truth victorious; Her star is risen, her light is come! Ah, come Thou blessed One, God's own beloved Son, Hallelujah! We haste along, An eager throng, And gladsome join the advent song." A. We need to remember that someday the Lord will come down all glorious: Acts 1.11 B. He who will come is the bridegroom, God's own beloved Son, for whom we wait: Jn. 1.29, Phil. 3.20-21 C. And we must be prepared so that we can join Him in the marriage feast of heaven: Rev. 19.6-9 III. Stanza 3 is a call to praise "Now let all the heavens adore Thee! Let men and angels sing before Thee! All praise belongs to Thee alone! Heaven's gates with pearl are glorious; We there shall join the choir victorious Of angels circling round Thy throne. No mortal eye hath seen, Nor mortal ear hath heard The wonders there; But we rejoice and Thee adore, And sing Thy praise forevermore." A. All the heavens, both men and angels, will adore Christ: Rev. 5.8-14 (the original third line read, "With harp and cymbal's clearest tone," but Christian Hymnal uses a different version to eliminate the reference to instrumental music) B. This will be the primary activity in that eternal city where the gate is made of pearl: Rev. 21.1-21 C. As yet, no mortal eye or ear has experienced this: 1 Cor. 2.9 CONCL.: The latter passage is not talking about heaven, but the language can still be used in this regard to remind us that while we as yet have not been to heaven, it should be our desire, both here and in eternity, to let "All the Heavens Adore Thee."