12/14 Bible story

December, 2014

New Testament Stories My Daddy Told Me

PREACHING AT THESSALONICA (Acts 17:1-9)

By Wayne S. Walker

After Paul and Silas had been released from prison in Philippi, they and their company passed through the nearby cities of Amphipolis and Appolonia and finally stopped in Thessalonica where they found a synagogue of the Jews.  As was his custom, Paul went in and spoke to them from the Scriptures for three Sabbaths.  He talked about how it was predicted that the Messiah, or Christ, would suffer and rise again from the dead and then affirmed that since Jesus fulfilled these predictions, He is the Christ.

Some of the Jews were persuaded, along with a great multitude of the devout Greeks, including many prominent women, and a group began gathering with Paul and Silas.  However, the Jews who were not persuaded became envious and found some rabble-rousers in the marketplace who gathered a mob and set the city in an uproar.  They attacked the house of Jason, who was probably one of those who followed Paul, hoping to catch Paul and his company there.  When they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the rulers of the city.

The accusations made to the rulers were that Paul and Silas had turned the world upside down, that Jason was harboring them, and that the whole lot of these people were acting contrary to Caesar because they were saying that there is another king named Jesus.  When they heard these charges, both the rulers and the crowd were troubled, so they took security from Jason and the others, but let them all go.

Questions

  1. How many cities are named through which Paul passed on his journey from Philippi to Thessalonica?
  2. Where did Paul go when he came to Thessalonica?
  3. How many Sabbaths did He speak to the Jews there?
  4. Did anyone believe him?
  5. What was the reaction of the unbelieving Jews?
  6. Whose house did they attack?
  7. What did they accuse Paul and Silas of doing?
  8. Against what person did they charge the believers with acting?
  9. What was the reaction of both the rulers and the crowd to these things?

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12/14 Monthly Meditation

December, 2014

Monthly Meditation

THE FORGIVENESS OF GOD

by Wayne S. Walker

     “But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared” (Psalm 130:4).  Sometimes Bible critics claim to see a contradiction in the Bible between the pictures of God in the Old Testament and the New Testament.  They say that the God of the Old Testament was a wrathful God filled with vengeance, but the God of the New Testament is characterized by love, mercy, and grace.  However, this distinction is just a figment of someone’s imagination.  Even the New Testament reminds us that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).  And the passage quoted from Psalm 130 shows that in the Old Testament, God offered forgiveness, which is a result of love, mercy, and grace.

Some carry the idea of God’s love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness too far and conclude that no matter how they live, God will still love them, accept them as they are, and automatically forgive them even though they continue in sin.  Even in apostolic days there were those who would “turn the grace of our God into lewdness” (Jude v. 4).  It is true that God still loves all people, even those who rebel against Him (John 3:16).  However, He does not and will not accept those who disobey His will (Matthew 7:21-23).  And His forgiveness, while available to everyone, is received only by those who repent and obey Him (Acts 17:30-31, Romans 6:17-18).

At the same time, we can and should be extremely grateful that forgiveness of sin is possible, else we would have no hope.  All responsible human beings have sinned (Romans 3:23).  The wages of our sin is death—eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23).  Yet, in Christ “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).  Therefore, we can rejoice with Paul who said, “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15).  And with the Psalmist we can say, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).  What a blessing is ours in forgiveness!  Every homeschool will need plenty of it.

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Julius Fucik and Entry of the Gladiators

JuliusFucik

Julius Fučík (July 18, 1872–September 25, 1916) was a prolific Czech composer and conductor of military band, with over 400 marches, polkas, and waltzes to his name. As most of his work was for military bands, he is sometimes known as the “Bohemian Sousa.”  Fučík was born in Prague, Bohemia, now the Czech Republic, on July 18, 1872, when Prague was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  As a student from 1885 to 1891 at the Prague Conservatory, he learned to play the bassoon with Ludwig Milde, violin with Antonín Bennewitz, and various percussion instruments, later studying composition under Antonín Dvořák. Upon graduation in 1891, he joined the band of the 49th Austro-Hungarian Regiment as a military musician and played bassoon for three years. He initially played in Krems by the Danube under under famed band conductor/composer Josef F. Wagner.

Fucik’s fondness for his instrument later led to substantial bassoon solos in some compositions, notably the character piece The Old Grumbler.  After that initial band service, Fučík left the army in 1894 to take up a position as second bassoonist at the German Opera Theatre in Prague, also playing in the Czech Wind Trio and later moving on to a theater-orchestra position in Zagreb. A year later he became the conductor of the Danica Choir in the Croatian city of Sisak. During this time, Fučík wrote a number of chamber music pieces, mostly for clarinet and bassoon.   In 1897, he made yet another career move and rejoined the army as the bandmaster for the 86th Austro-Hungarian Infantry Regiment based in Sarajevo, which was ultimately stationed in Budapest.

Shortly after, Fucik wrote his most famous piece, the Einzug der Gladiatoren or “Entrance of the Gladiators.”  Fučík’s interest in Roman history led him to name the march as he did. In 1910 Canadian composer Louis-Phillipe Laurendeau arranged a grossly accelerated version of “Entrance of the Gladiators” for a small band under the title “Thunder and Blazes.” It is in this version that the piece is most familiar, universally associated with the appearance of the clowns in a circus performance. In 1900, Fučík’s band was moved to Budapest where Fučík found there were eight regimental bands ready to play his compositions, but he also faced more competition to get noticed. Having more musicians at his disposal, Fučík began to experiment with transcriptions of orchestral works.

In 1910, Fučík moved again, returning to Bohemia where he became the bandmaster of the 92nd Infantry Regiment in Theresienstadt, now Terezin. At the time, the band was one of the finest in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Fučík toured with them leading the band on summer trips to small Bohemian towns and giving a season of winter concerts in Prague and Berlin to audiences of over 10,000 people.  In 1913, Fučík retired, married, and settled in Berlin where he started his own Czech-flavored band, the Prager Tonkünstler-Orchester, and a music publishing company, Tempo Verlag, to market his compositions. His early, active retirement was abbreviated as his fortunes began to wane with the outbreak of the First World War. Under the privations of the war, Fučík’s business failed and his health began to suffer. On September 25, 1916, Fučík succumbed to cancer and died in Berlin at the age of 44 and was buried in Vinohrady Cemetery in Prague.

Today Fucik, who wrotet almost 400 marches, polkas, waltzes, and other dances for band, many of which were orchestrated, as well as chamber pieces and sacred music, including a Requiem, holds a position in Czech musical culture that is an analogous to that of Johann Strauss’s reputation in Austria, and his marches are still played as patriotic music in the Czech Republic. His worldwide reputation rests primarily on two works, “The Florentiner March” popular throughout much of Europe and the “Entrance of the Gladiators” (Vjezd gladiátorů), which is universally recognized, often under the title “Thunder and Blazes,” as one of the most popular theme tunes for circus clowns.  Fučík was the brother of opera singer and bass player Karel Fučík and uncle of the journalist Julius Fučík, who was executed by the Nazi regime.

The following work by Julius Fucik is contained in my collection:

Entry of the Gladiators (or Thunder and Blazes).

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

‘If You Like Your Stay-at-Home Mom, You May Keep Her!’

Though it is not true of all, most homeschool families involve a stay-at-home mom.  However, liberals, including feminists, don’t like the stay-at-home mom pattern, so they are trying to push for universal, government-run, and sometimes even mandatory preschool in an attempt to get moms out of the home.

In the December 2014 Education Reporter, Phyllis Schlafly wrote an article entitled, “If You Like Your Stay-at-Home Mom, You May Keep Her!”  It begins:

In his 2013 State of the Union Address, President Obama claimed, “In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children . . . studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, form more stable families of their own. We know this works.”

Obama called for a state and federal partnership to “provide all low- and moderate-income four-year old children with high-quality preschool, while also expanding these programs to reach additional children from middle class families and incentivizing full-day kindergarten policies.”

One problem with Obama’s plan is that we don’t “know this works.” In fact, the opposite is true. Numerous studies prove that children enrolled in so-called “quality programs” lose all benefit gained once they begin school, and, in fact, some children exhibit negative outcomes. Billions have been wasted on Head Start, a program which has failed students and the taxpayers who have funded it.

You can read the entire article at:

http://www.eagleforum.org/publications/educate/dec14/if-you-like-your-stay-at-home-mom-you-may-keep-her.html

Gail Kubik and Gerald McBoing Boing

kubik

Gail Thompson Kubik (September 5, 1914– July 20, 1984) was an American composer, music director, violinist, and teacher.  Born at South Coffeyville, OK, to a father of Bohemian descent and a mother who was a concert singer and student of Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Kubik and all his siblings were subjected to a musical grounding from earliest childhood. In 1930, the Kubiks formed a chamber ensemble that toured the American midwest until 1937.  In 1929, Kubik was awarded a scholarship to the Eastman School of Music. In addition, Kubik studied at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago with Leo Sowerby, and Harvard University with Walter Piston and Nadia Boulanger. Many college students of the 1930s endured the Depression by staying within the educational system, and Kubik likewise passed the entire decade either as a student or teacher. He taught violin and composition at Monmouth College and composition and music history at Columbia University Teachers College (1937). He took violin from Samuel Belov and Scott Willits, and premiered his First Violin Concerto in Chicago in 1938. Also in 1938, Kubik attracted attention through a work based on folklore, In Praise of Johnny Appleseed, for bass-baritone, chorus, and orchestra.

In 1940, Kubik left the teacher’s college at Columbia University in order to take a position as staff composer in New York City, NY, writing music for radio drama programs at the NBC Radio Studio.  In 1942, Kubik scored his first film, The World At War. This won an NAACC award, and Kubik was named musical director for the for the military film unit, the Motion Picture Bureau, at the Office of War Information, headed by Frank Capra, where, during World War II, he composed and conducted the music scores of motion pictures including the Why We Fight series.  One of them, The Memphis Belle, he turned into a concert work with narrator. During this time, Kubik’s Second Violin Concerto won a competition sponsored by Jascha Heifetz. Joining ASCAP in 1945, Kubik was discharged from the military in 1946 and from 1946 he was guest professor at USC.  Awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, he composed a folk opera, A Mirror for the Sky, and a ballet for dance band and singer, Frankie and Johnny.

The late 1940s were busy for Kubik, scoring films, writing his First Symphony and fulfilling commissions. In 1950, Kubik collaborated with Ted Geisel (also known as “Dr. Seuss”) on a project entitled Gerald McBoing Boing, the first fruit of which was a 78-rpm children’s record narrated by Harold Peary (The Great Gildersleeve). Geisel sold Gerald McBoing Boing to Steven Bosustow of UPA, who produced it as an animated cartoon directed by Bob Cannon. Gerald McBoing Boing won an Oscar in 1951 for best animated short; Kubik earned another for its music. In 1950-51 Kubik was the recipient of the Prix de Rome and served three years at the St. Cecilia Academy in Rome, Italy. In 1952, he composed his Sinfonia Concertante, which earned him the 1952 Pulitzer Prize in Music. In 1953, Kubik published a concert version of Gerald McBoing Boing, which has been a children’s concert staple ever since. In 1955, Kubik returned to the U.S. to write his final film score, The Desperate Hours, and responded with his Third Symphony to a commission from Dmitri Mitropoulos and the New York Philharmonic.

In 1959, Kubik returned to Europe, ostensibly to teach and compose, until 1967, but little was accomplished in this second European sojourn. From 1960 he was a lecturer under the auspices of UNESCO.  Returning to Kansas State University in 1967, Kubik was happy to accept a President’s commission for A Record of Our Time, set for narrator, vocal soloist, chorus, and orchestra. With a text compiled by Kubik and novelist Harvey Swados, this was premiered in Manhattan, KS, on November 11, 1970, with Ray Milland as narrator. That same year, Kubik accepted his final teaching post, composer-in-residence at Scripps College in Claremont, California, that he held until his retirement in 1980. Kubik’s last major work was Magic, Magic, Magic, composed in 1976 for the Texas Bicentennial, and premiered in San Antonio. Kubik, a National Patron of Delta Omicron which is an international professional music fraternity, died at age 69 in Covina, CA, on July 20, 1984.

The following work by Gail Kubik is contained in my collection:

Gerald McBoing Boing.

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

Terrible violation of homeschooling family’s rights

On December 19, 2014, Chris Neal, a freelance writer based in New York City, wrote an article on the Heartland Institute website entitled “Missouri Homeschool Family Sues After Home Raid.”

The article began:
In September 2011, a homeschool family in Missouri had a traumatic encounter with local law enforcement when a sheriff and his deputy entered their home without a warrant. The parents are now teaming up with the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) to press charges against the two officers involved, on the grounds the warrantless raid violated their Fourth Amendment rights.

A Child Protective Services (CPS) worker reportedly claimed that the home of Jason and Laura Hagan was “messy” and was denied access to the home on a second visit. This prompted CPS to call Nodaway Country Sheriff Darren White, who, along with another officer, Captain David Glidden, came to the Hagans’ house and demanded to be let in. When the Hagans refused to comply, the police responded with force.

You can read the entire article at:

http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2014/12/19/missouri-homeschool-family-sues-after-home-raid

Why do kids need algebra?

In The Way Home, Mike Maggart,a  former high school Algebra and Geometry teacher, presented an excellent article entitled “Why Should My Child Take Algebra, Other Than ‘Because It’s On The SAT?'” on why kids need Algebra which will shed light on a perennial worry that many parents face.
The article begins:

A homeschool parent recently asked me why her child should take Algebra, other than “because it’s on the SAT.” As a former math teacher and current developer of instructor-based math courses for homeschoolers, I get this question all the time. Parents understand why basic computational skills are helpful in everyday life, but they are skeptical about the value of learning to solve an equation, simplify a square root, or derive the quadratic formula.

A very simple answer for why a student should move a step beyond the basic computational skills and study Algebra is to develop a mastery of the basic skills. Algebra is like “boot camp” for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and understanding the relationships between numbers, because it requires extensive use of these skills throughout the course. For example, to solve a polynomial equation, a student may do twenty different calculations in the course of one problem, and on top of all that, they’ll need a strong understanding of the relationships between numbers to be able to determine if their answer makes sense.
You can read more at:
http://www.homeschoolnewslink.com/blog/?p=794