Monthly Meditation for November, 2009

     (Taken from the upcoming November, 2009, issue of Biblical Homeschooling, a free e-mail newsletter for Christians who homeschool: biblicalhomeschooling-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or http://groups.yahoo.com/group/biblicalhomeschooling/ ).

Monthly Meditation

1. "LET ALL THOSE WHO SEEK YOU REJOICE"

by Wayne S. Walker

     "Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; and let those who love Your salvation say continually, ‘Let God be magnified!’" (Psalm 70:4).  The heading of this Psalm reads, "To the Chief Musician.  A Psalm of David.  To bring to remembrance."  In the first three verses, David asks God to make haste and deliver him from those who seek his life, causing them to be turned back because of their shame.  However, David is not content to pray only for his own needs.  He asks that all who seek God would rejoice and be glad.  Certainly, it should be our desire that all who are in sin would "seek the LORD while He may be found" (Isaiah 55:6).  And we can especially be thankful that He has promised His children, "Seek, and you will find" concerning their prayers (Matthew 6:7, 11).

     Theologians have defined what they call "common grace."  While the Bible does not use the term, it does express the idea in various places.  Jesus said that God "makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:45).  Paul, speaking to idol-worshipping pagans, said that God "did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness" (Acts 14:17).   The fact is that the more people seek to conform their lives to God’s ways, even if they do not fully obey the gospel and receive salvation from sin, the more God will bless them, at least in terms of the things of this life.

     Yes, like Paul, we pray for all who are lost "that they may be saved" (Romans 10:1).  Yet, we also pray "for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence" (1 Timothy 2:1-2).  And we may pray for friends and others who are not Christians that God will allow them to experience His "common grace" in hopes that His goodness would lead them to repentance (Romans 2:4).  A song that we have often sung asks that God will "Grant that ALL may seek and find Thee a God supremely kind; Heal the sick, the captive free, Let us all rejoice in Thee."  Again, the more people in general seek the Lord’s principles of righteousness and morality, the more those who love God’s salvation can magnify the Lord.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

one room schoolhouse, Adams County, Ohio

     This picture is of a one-room schoolhouse in Adams County, Ohio.  Adams County was established in 1799 and named for John Adams.  This was when Ohio was still part of the Northwest Territory even before it became a state in 1803.  So it was one of the original counties in Ohio.  It is the next county due south and east of Highland County, Ohio, where I grew up, and the seat of Adams County is West Union.  The county is situated on the Ohio River between Brown and Scioto Counties.  The photograph was evidently taken as part of a library project conducted by the Works Project Administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal during the Great Depression.  Unfortunately, the exact name, location, and current status of the school were not included with the photograph.

        Items in previous blogs told about a fossil nicknamed “Ida” which the popular press declared might prove to be the missing link.  Well, in an item headlined “Primate fossil called only a distant relative,” AP Science Writer Malcolm Ritter, on Wed. Oct. 21, wrote the following.  Remember Ida, the fossil discovery announced last May with its own book and TV documentary? A publicity blitz called it "the link" that would reveal the earliest evolutionary roots of monkeys, apes and humans. Experts protested that Ida wasn’t even a close relative. And now a new analysis supports their reaction.  In fact, Ida is as far removed from the monkey-ape-human ancestry as a primate could be, says Erik Seiffert of Stony Brook University in New York.  He and his colleagues compared 360 specific anatomical features of 117 living and extinct primate species to draw up a family tree. They report the results in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature.  Ida is a skeleton of a 47 million-year-old cat-sized creature found in Germany. It starred in a book, "The Link: Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor."  Ida represents a previously unknown primate species called Darwinius. The scientists who formally announced the finding said they weren’t claiming Darwinius was a direct ancestor of monkeys, apes and humans. But they did argue that it belongs in the same major evolutionary grouping, and that it showed what an actual ancestor of that era might have looked like.  The new analysis says Darwinius does not belong in the same primate category as monkeys, apes and humans. Instead, the analysis concluded, it falls into the other major grouping, which includes lemurs.  Experts agreed.  (And so did creationists!)  Just goes to show that you can’t believe everything that you read hyped up in the media.

The Health Care Bill and Abortion (again)

        On October 20, 2009, American Family Association reported that even the Associated Press (NOT an alleged "right-wing" news source like Fox News, World Net Daily, or One News Now) admits that the government takeover of health care will, despite what the president has told you, involve the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions.  The AP says flatly, "The proposed legislation would permit government-sponsored health plans, open to non-Medicaid patients, to cover abortions."  So when the president or members of Congress say abortions aren’t covered in health care reform, they aren’t telling you the truth. And when the president’s spokesman says that federal law would prevent taxpayer funding of abortions in the health care plan, he’s not telling you the truth either.  The Hyde Amendment prevents Medicaid funds – and Medicaid funds only – from being used for abortions, but that restriction wouldn’t apply to the government takeover of health care.  In fact, under the Capps Amendment in the House bill, the public option would be required to offer abortion services, and every American would have to have access to at least one health care plan that included abortion.  The full Senate will soon be debating its huge health care bill. AFA urges all people to contact both of theire senators and tell them firmly but politely that they can’t "Hyde" any longer, that abortion is not health care, and that they must remove abortion from any health care reform bill they consider.

     John Clayton of Does God Exist? reported the following.  “Pigs, chickens and fish have more signs of consciousness and rationality—and, consequently, a greater claim to rights—than do fetuses, newborn infants, and people with mental disabilities….The calf, pig, and the much derided chicken come out well ahead of the fetus at any stage of pregnancy.”  This statement by Peter Singer is typical of atheists minimizing the value of human life.  Singer builds on the work of the atheist philosopher [Friedrich] Nietzsche who coined the phrase “transvaluation of values.”  The argument is that we are not creations of God, but rather mere Darwinian primates.  Singer says, “We must remove Homo sapiens from his privileged position and restore the natural order.”  Singer would protect apes but allow unwanted children, people with mental disabilities, and noncontributing elderly to be euthanized.  Atheists will not like to see Singer’s atheist views presented as what all atheists believe, but in reality, if God is removed from the picture it is difficult to avoid the conclusion.  Dinesh D’Souza has more on this in his article “Staring into the Abyss” available online at www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/march/22.60.html .  [Shades of Nazi Germany!  WSW.]

What Our Kids Are Missing Out On Dept.

     Barb Frank of The Imperfect Homeschooler recently wrote, “We’ve always been happy to teach our son with Down syndrome at home because if he were in school and someone abused him, he might not be able to tell us what happened. It never occurred to us that the school nurse might steal his medications and replace them with vitamins, which happened to at least one special needs child at this school!”  She then cited an item headlined “School nurse accused of stealing student’s pills” by Cleve R. Wootson Jr. for WCNC-TV in Charlotte, NC, on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009, which reported that Teresa Sue Kennedy, 52, was arrested the previous Friday and charged with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or forgery and embezzlement by an employee. She had been employed by the district for 15 years and worked at the Metro School, which serves cognitively disabled students.  The victim is a 19-year-old handicapped student who attends Metro School. Kennedy was his school nurse, and was supposed to administer and keep track of his Adderall, a drug used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder.  Police said another nurse in the school noticed the medication didn’t resemble the pills the student should have been taking.  SBI agents and police worked on the case for months before charging Kennedy last Friday. The nursing board pulled her license in March.  (The Imperfect Homeschooler e-newsletter is published by Cardamom Publishers, PO Box 2146, Janesville, WI 53547. To learn more about homeschooling, or for homeschool encouragement, visit http://barbarafrankonline.com .)

More news about homeschooling in Germany

     In an item headlined “Judge leaves teen in parents’ custody:  Decision is temporary victory in homeschool battle on September 25, 2009, Bob Unruh of WorldNetDaily reported that a judge in Germany has left a teen in the custody of his parents – for now – in what homeschooling advocates are describing as a big win in their ongoing war with authorities over the legitimacy of home education practices.  The decision this week came in the case of Aaron Schmidt, the son of Hans and Petra Schmidt, who live in Southern Bavaria, according to a report from Joel Thornton of the International Human Rights Group.   Thornton has been working on the case and was in Germany for the hearing, even though he was banned from the courtroom because of objections from the local German Youth Welfare Office [editor’s note: sounds like a holdover from Nazi days, WSW].  The Schmidts have taught their children, Josua and Aaron, at home for nine years. Josua, 16, recently finished tests documenting his completion of all the requirements of the school system. But the fight remains over future schooling for Aaron, 14, who has been tested as performing at high academic levels.  Thornton reported the judge’s final decision "was that the local school should give Aaron a test to see if he is academically okay. Pending the results of that test all the attorneys agree that the court will leave custody with the parents – instead of transferring custody to the state."   "This is a big partial victory," Thornton told WND. "This is not the first time it has happened, but it is rare, that the court has not ruled that homeschooling is against the law and therefore nothing further needed to be done other than putting the child in school.  "This is one of the first times that a German court has intimated that they would not stop the homeschooling as long as the child was being educated properly," he explained. "This is a huge victory in the making. If we can get this court to continue and more courts to agree that homeschooling is not, in itself, harmful, then we can begin to make a dent in the legal system that is currently punishing parents for exercising their legal right to control the education of their children."