Biblical Homeschooling, 9/2014

September, 2014

Monthly Meditation
IS THE LORD BUILDING YOUR HOUSE?
by Wayne S. Walker

“Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1). Given the context of the succeeding verses (“children are a heritage from the LORD…,” v. 3), it seems to me that the “house” of this verse is not so much referring to a physical structure as it is to the family. The Lord wants to help us build our families so that they will be founded upon His will and thus accomplish His purposes. August 3, 2009, would have been my mother’s eightieth birthday had she been living. She died of cancer in 1994 just a few months shy of being 65, though my father continued to live until his death at 82 in September of 2010. I am not by nature a “brooding” type of person, but for some reason or other, the older I get the more I seem to spend time remembering things from the past, so I often stop and think a little bit about my mother and my growing up years on August 3. My mother was certainly not perfect, but she was not ashamed of being a child of God and tried to serve the Lord.

Both of my parents became Christians early in life. In fact, I still have the little New Testament that the preacher who baptized my mother gave her following her obedience to the gospel. I have been in the church building where my mother, her sisters, and my grandparents attended when she was young. After his family was grown, my Grandfather Workman later decided to become a gospel preacher and was an important influence on my life. On the other side, my Grandfather Walker, who died when I was just two years old, was apparently not a religious man and wanted to keep my grandmother and father from attending church services, but they managed to go anyway. I do not know exactly when my father was baptized into Christ, but I do remember that my grandmother told me that after my parents had married, my father was in charge of the Bible classes at the little country church where he had been baptized and where I remember first attending when we lived on the Walker family farm.

Unfortunately, after we moved off the farm closer to town when I was five and started attending the congregation there, my father became dissatisfied with something and quit attending. Many people, including myself, tried to talk with him through the years, but to no avail. Of course, he was still a good, moral man, and from him I learned such things as a proper work ethic and scrupulous honesty. However, it was my mother who had to take charge of our religious upbringing. She made sure that we attended church services, studied the Bible at home, and learned important spiritual principles. I remember one time saying something about how I hated my brother, and she made me write 1 John 4:20 one hundred times (look the passage up and you’ll see why). Godly parents want to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Unfortunately, there are other influences in this world that can sometimes draw them away, and we may not always be completely successful. But unless we first make the Lord the true builder of our homes, we shall surely fail.
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New Testament Stories My Daddy Told Me
THE MACEDONIAN CALL (Acts 16:1-10)
By Wayne S. Walker

As Paul and Silas continued on Paul’s second preaching trip, they came to Derbe and Lystra, cities which Paul had visited with Barnabas on his first preaching trip. Probably at Lystra they came across a certain young disciple named Timothy whose mother was a believer of Jewish background. However, Timothy’s father was a Greek, and this fact is the probable reason why the young man had not been circumcised according to the teaching of the Old Testament law.

Timothy was so well spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and nearby Iconium that Paul wanted him to go with them as they made their way preaching the gospel. Therefore, since they always went to the Jews first, Paul circumcised Timothy so that his uncircumcision would not be a hindrance in his proclaiming the message of salvation in Christ to the Jews. Then they went through the cities and delivered to the churches the letters containing the decrees which had been determined by the apostles and elders at the meeting in Jerusalem.

After passing through the regions of Phrygia and Galatia, the question undoubtedly arose as to where to go next. The Holy Spirit forbade them from preaching the word in the Roman province of Asia. When they came to Mysia, they thought about going into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not allow them to do that either. So they arrived at the port city of Troas in the northwest portion of Asia Minor, which is modern Turkey. While there, Paul received a vision in which a man of Macedonia, a region of northern Greece, asked him to come over into Macedonia. So Paul and his companions decided that the Lord was calling them to teach His word there.

Questions
1. When Paul and Silas came to Lystra, what young disciple did they meet?
2. What were the nationalities of this young man’s two parents?
3. What did Paul want this young man to do?
4. What did Paul to do the young man to increase his influence among the Jews?
5. Who forbade Paul and his company to go into either Asia or Bithynia?
6. From what place did a man in a vision ask Paul to come over and help them?

A result of the push for “sex education”?

According to an article in my hometown newspaper headlined “Hillsboro preteen admits to GSI, heading to treatment” on September 24, 2014 by Angela Shepherd:

A 12-year-old Hillsboro boy is heading to a sex offender treatment program in Troy after admitting to gross sexual imposition with a younger step-sibling.

Wayne here: I thought that the last 20 or 30 years of comprehensive “sex education” in the public schools was supposed to eliminate this kind of behavior–or so we were led by its advocates to believe. While I realize that other cultural factors may also be at work, it seems to me that this emphasis on “sex education” has actually only made the problem worse.

You can read the rest of the sad article at:

http://www.timesgazette.com/news/home_top-news/50754508/Hillsboro-preteen-admits-to-GSI-heading-to-treatment

Rodion Shchedrin and the Carmen Suite Ballet

shchedrin
Rodion Konstantinovich Shchedrin (born December 16, 1932) is a Russian composer and pianist, who was winner of the USSR State Prize (1972), the Lenin Prize (1984), and the State Prize of the Russian Federation (1992), and is a former member of the Interregional Deputy Group (1989–1991). Shchedrin was born on December 16, 1932, in Moscow, Russia (then the U. S. S. R.) into a musical family—his father was a composer and teacher of music theory. He began his musical career as a singer attending the Moscow Choral School of his native city. and subsequently studied at the Moscow Conservatory, with Yuri Shaporin for composition and Yakov Flier for piano, graduating in 1955. Despite his ability as a concert pianist, Shchedrin made the decision at an early stage to devote his career to composition and wrote his first ambitious works in his early twenties. Since 1958, he has been married to the great ballerina Maya Plisetskaya. He was professor for composition at the Moscow Conservatory between 1964 and 1969.

Shchedrin’s early music was tonal, colorfully orchestrated, and often including snatches of folk music, while some of his later pieces use aleatoric and serial techniques. In the west the music of Shchedrin has won popularity mainly through the work of Mstislav Rostropovich who has made several successful recordings. Among his works are the ballets The Little Hump-backed Horse (1955), Carmen Suite (1967, based on the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet; the project had been turned down by both Shostakovich and Khachaturian), Anna Karenina (1971, on the novel by Leo Tolstoy), and Lady with a Lapdog (1985). Also he composed the operas Not Only Love (1961), and Dead Souls (1976, after Nikolai Gogol’s novel); as well as concertos for piano and other instruments, three symphonies, chamber works, piano music, and vocal/choral pieces. His 24 Preludes and Fugues were composed after he heard those of Shostakovich. Also remarkable is his Polyphonic Notebook. He has even written a theatrical musical, Nina and the Twelve Months (1988), in two acts on a libretto by T. Futjita after Samuil Marshak’s story.

Shchedrin has written five concertos for orchestra. The first, variously translated as Naughty Limericks or Mischievous Folk Ditties, neither of which completely get the gist of the Russian which refers to an irreverent, satirical kind of folk song, is by far the best known, and was the work which first established him on the international stage. The second of the Concertos for Orchestra was subtitled Zvony (The Chimes), and was premiered by the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein as one of the many commissions in honor of the orchestra’s 125th anniversary. The third Concerto for Orchestra is based on old music of Russian provincial circuses. Concerto 4, Khorovody (round dances), was written in 1989, and Concerto 5, Four Russian Songs, was written in 1998.

As well as a distinguished compositional career, for which he was made a member of the Berlin Academy of Arts in 1989 and received the Russian State Prize from President Boris Yeltsin in 1992, Shchedrin is himself a virtuoso pianist and organist, taking the piano part in person for the premieres of the first three of his six piano concertos. At a remarkable concert on May 5, 1974, Shchedrin performed the feat of appearing as soloist in all three of his then-completed piano concertos, one after the other. The concert, with the USSR Symphony Orchestra under Evgeny Svetlanov was recorded and released on LP, then CD. Following the collapse of the Soviet regime, Shchedrin, who was never a member of the Communist Party, has taken advantage of the new opportunities for international travel and musical collaboration, and now largely divides his time between Munich and Moscow.

Shchedrin’s chamber music includes Ancient Melodies of Russian Folk Songs (2007) with the cellist Raphael Wallfisch and himself at the piano, and Meine Zeit, mein Raubtier with tenor Kenneth Tarver and pianist Roland Pontinen who performed it also at the Verbier Festival. On June 11–14, 2008, Shchedrin Days took place in Armenia with the participation of Shchedrin and Maya Plisetskaya as honorary guests. Invited by Walter Fink, he was the 19th composer featured in the annual Komponistenporträt of the Rheingau Musik Festival in 2009. He and his wife attended the concerts which included his Russian liturgy The Sealed Angel for choir and flute, performed in Eberbach Abbey. The premiere of a German version of his opera Lolita, based on the Russian novel of the same name by Vladimir Nabokov, was performed as the opening night of the Internationale Maifestspiele Wiesbaden in a production of the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden.

The following works by Rodion Shchedrin are contained in my collection:

Carmen-Suite, Ballet after Bizet’s Opera (1967).
Concerto No. 1 for Orchestra, Naughty Limericks (1963).

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources

“Banned Books Week”

Homeschoolers often rely on their local libraries for helpful resources. Our family has frequently used our library in Salem, and it has proven to be fairly conservative. This is not intended as a diatribe against all libraries and librarians but simply as a warning to be careful and alert.

An item entitled “Banned Books Week targets parental rights, not books” by Charlie Butts of OneNewsNow.com on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, began:

The American Library Association is again sponsoring Banned Books Week but a traditional values group complains it’s a phony campaign.

Banned Books Week is actually a protest by the library group against decent people who object to having their children exposed to filthy material – that’s how Linda Harvey of Mission America sees it. She also argues the truth is that many libraries are guilty of censorship because they refuse to include conservative or Christian materials in their collections.

You can read the entire article at:

http://onenewsnow.com/culture/2014/09/23/banned-books-week-targets-parental-rights-not-books#.VCG00pRdWSo

Preschool Is A Stupid, Boring Waste Of My Time!

Diane Flynn Keith’s “Preschool Is a Boring Waste of Time” is a hilarious look at more absurdity from the public school world.

The article begins:

Recently, a reporter from a parenting newsmagazine called me and requested an interview for an article to be titled, “Homepreschooling Preschool.” “Homeschooling preschool?” I asked in disbelief. The reporter assured me that I had heard correctly. She wanted to find out why some parents opt out of institutional preschools to teach their toddlers and little ones at home. I agreed to talk with her and was barraged with questions. Why should parents homepreschool instead of sending their kids to preschool? How do parents know if they are qualified to teach their preschooler? Wouldn’t a certified teacher be better qualified to teach a preschooler? Wouldn’t a school have better resources and more stimulating activities than a home? What can parents do to stimulate their preschooler’s learning at home? Where can parents get preschool curriculum? What are some of the drawbacks to homepreschool? Will a homepreschooled child be accepted to Kindergarten? What about socialization?

You can read the rest of the article at:

http://www.homeschoolnewslink.com/blog/?p=721

Diane is the Editor of Homefires, the Journal of Homeschooling Online, http://www.homefires.com

Mt. Hanley Schoolhouse Museum, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, Canada

Mt. Hanley Schoolhouse Museum, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, Canada

Mt._Hanley_Sch

Joshua Slocum was born at the family’s farm house on February 20, 1844, in Mount Hanley (officially recorded as Wilmot Station), Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, a community on the North Mountain within sight of the Bay of Fundy. The fifth of eleven children of John Slocombe and Sarah Jane Slocombe née Southern, Joshua descended, on his father’s side, from a Quaker, known as “John the Exile” who left the United States shortly after 1780 because of his opposition to the American War for Independence. Part of the Loyalist migration to Nova Scotia, the Slocombes were granted 500 acres of farmland in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis County. Joshua learned to read and write at the nearby Mount Hanley School. His childhood school is now the Mount Hanley Schoolhouse Museum. His earliest ventures on the water were made on coastal schooners operating out of the small ports such as Port George and Cottage Cove near Mount Hanley along the Bay of Fundy. When Joshua was eight years old, the Slocombe family moved from Mount Hanley to Brier Island in Digby County, at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. Slocum’s maternal grandfather was the keeper of the lighthouse at Southwest Point there. His father, a stern man and strict disciplinarian, took up making leather boots for the local fishermen, and Joshua helped in the shop. However, the boy found the scent of salt air much more alluring than the smell of shoe leather. He yearned for a life of adventure at sea, away from his demanding father and his increasingly chaotic life at home among so many brothers and sisters. He became the first man to sail single-handedly around the world and a noted writer. In 1900 he wrote a book about his journey Sailing Alone Around the World, which became an international best-seller. He disappeared on or shortly after November 14, 1909, while aboard his boat, the Spray.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Slocum

Is Thomas the Train racist?

Filed in “The lunatics are running the asylum” category:

We like the “Thomas the Train” books, and both our boys enjoyed watching the “Thomas the Train” television shows based on the books when they were little.

However, The Daily Caller provided the following information in an item entitled, “‘T’ Is For … Thomas The Tank Engine Is Also Racist,” on Sept. 12, 2014:

The TV show “Thomas and Friends” is racist, wrote Tracy van Syke for the Guardian in July, because good engines puff white smoke and bad engines puff black smoke. She is so relieved her son doesn’t have “a manic train fascination like so many other children,” because although the show “seems to impart good moral lessons about hard work and friendship,” it is in reality “concealing some pretty twisted, anachronistic messages” — it’s racist, classist, sexist and anti-environmentalist. The smoke is just one example. “I’d like to think there was a good environmental message in there,” she writes, “but when the good engines pump out white smoke and the bad engines pump out black smoke … it’s not hard to make the leap into the race territory.”

My comment: “It’s not hard to make the leap into the race territory,” but only for confirmed leftists who tend to see “racism” absolutely everywhere in everything. The loonies are loose!

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/09/12/t-is-for-thomas-the-tank-engine-is-also-racist/#ixzz3D9UWNq5y