New Testament Stories My Daddy Told Me

December, 2015

New Testament Stories My Daddy Told Me


By Wayne S. Walker

After he had arrived in Jerusalem, Paul, beset by an unruly mob of Jews and rescued by the Roman commander, asked to speak to the people.  He addressed his audience as “Brethren and fathers” and asked them to listen to his defense.  When they heard that he spoke Hebrew, they quieted down.  He first told them about his past life as a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia but brought up in Jerusalem at the feet of Gamaliel.  He even had persecuted what he called “this Way.”  In fact, he had headed from Jerusalem to Damascus to do likewise.

Next, Paul spoke of his conversion.  As he neared Damascus about noon, a great light shone from heaven, and he heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”  Paul asked who it was, and the reply was, “I am Jesus of Nazareth.”  At this point, Paul accepted the obvious conclusion of the evidence plainly before him and asked, “What shall I do, Lord?”  He was ordered to go into the city where he would be told what to do.  Since he could not see, his companions led him into Damascus.  There a disciple named Ananias came to him, returned his sight, explained why Jesus had appeared to him, and commanded him to arise and be baptized and wash away his sins.

Finally, Paul mentioned his new life.  After spending some time in Damascus, during which period other accounts indicate that also went into Arabia a while, he returned to Jerusalem.  He was praying in the temple, and the Lord spoke to him, warning him to flee Jerusalem.  The earlier record in Acts says that some of the Hellenist Jews with whom he was disputing were plotting to kill him and that when the brethren found out, they took him to Caesarea and sent him to his hometown of Tarsus.  He said that the Lord told him that he would be sent to the Gentiles.  The prejudiced, nationalistic Jews listened until this point, but when he mentioned the Gentiles, they cried out, “Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he is not fit to live!”

At this time, another riot broke out, with various people saying different things, and the Roman commander had to snatch Paul away again.  He ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks and be examined by scourging.  However, Paul asked a centurion if it was lawful to beat a Roman citizen.  The centurion warned the commander to be careful.  The commander asked Paul if he were a Roman citizen.  When Paul answered yes, the commander said that he had purchased his citizenship with a large sum, but Paul responded that he had been born a citizen.  They left off examining Paul because the commander was afraid since he had bound a Roman citizen uncondemned.  But he still needed to find out why Paul was being accused, so the next day, he took Paul before the Jewish council.


  1. Where was Paul born?
  2. Who had been his teacher in Jerusalem?
  3. On the way to what city did the Lord appear to Paul?
  4. Who explained God’s plan to Paul and told him what to do to be saved?
  5. Why did Paul leave Jerusalem?
  6. Where did he go?
  7. To whom did God say that He would send Paul?
  8. How was the Roman commander planning to “examine” Paul?
  9. What made the commander change his mind?
  10. Where did the commander take Paul in an attempt to find out why he was accused?

Carmel School, Carmel, Highland County, OH

Carmel School (Medium)

Carmel School

State Route 753

Carmel, Ohio

Carmel is a small unincorporated community that is located in southeastern Highland County, OH, just north of the village of Sinking Spring.  It was never platted nor intended to be a town but just grew up around a log church named Mt. Carmel.  The two-room Carmel School was built in 1914.  After it was closed and the students moved to Sinking Spring, it was used as a private residence.

William Henry Fry and his Santa Claus Christmas Symphony


William Henry Fry (April 10, 1813- Dec. 21, 1864) was one of the first native-born American composers to achieve any fame in the realm of “classical” music was.  Fry was born in Philadelphia on April 10, though sources differ as to whether the date was 1813 or 1815, although 1813 is most likely. Fry’s father, William Fry, was the publisher of the National Gazette in Philadelphia, and instilled in his sons, Joseph, Edward, Charles, and William, abiding interests in the arts and politics. Educated at the schools of his native city and at what is now Mt. St. Mary’s University in Emmettsburg, MD, the fourteen-year old William Henry attended performances in 1827 at Philadelphia of the French Opera Company from New Orleans. This was probably his first exposure to opera, and it left a lasting impression.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1830, Fry was later admitted to the bar. He had begun composing in his early years and by the age of twenty he composed four overtures, the fourth of which was performed in 1833 by the Philadelphia Philharmonic Society. Soon afterward in 1835 he went through a course of musical study with Leopold Meignen, a former band leader in Napoleon Bonaparte’s army and the music director of the Musical Fund Society orchestra, among other local musicians. Fry became secretary of the Philharmonic Society in 1836 and would go on to compose four operas, beginning in 1838 with Christians and Pagans, which was never completed. In 1841 he composed Aurelia the Vestal to a libretto by his brother Joseph R. Fry, but it was never produced during his lifetime.

Fry is perhaps best remembered for his third opera, Leonora, which he composed in 1845 to a another libretto by Joseph based on The Lady of Lyons by Bulwer-Lytton. The opera received its premiere on June 4, 1845, at the Chestnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia in a performance by the Sequin opera troupe, conducted by Leopold Meignen. It was successful enough to receive a run of twelve performances and is often cited as being the first public performance of a grand opera by an American-born composer. Fry revised Leonora as Giulio e Leonora for performances by an Italian opera company at the Academy of Music in New York in March of 1858. The general public seemed to appreciate the opera, but the revision received mixed reviews from critics and was only performed two times. Fry’s final opera was Notre Dame de Paris, or Esmeralda, after the novel by Victor Hugo, completed in 1863, once again to a libretto supplied by his brother Joseph. It was performed seven times in May of 1864 at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, conducted by Theodore Thomas. After this it was also produced in New York but won no attention there.

Fry also composed music in other genres, including four programmatic symphonies with descriptive titles: Santa Claus: Christmas Symphony, Childe Harold, The Breaking Heart, and A Day in the Country, all four of which were performed by Louis Antoine Jullien and his orchestra during their tour of the United States in 1853 and 1854, and Eleven Violin Quartets. His 1854 Niagara Symphony, written for the orchestra of Louis Juillien, uses eleven tympani to create the roar of the waters, snare drums to reproduce the hiss of the spray, and a remarkable series of discordant chromatic descending scales to reproduce the chaos of the falling waters as they crash onto the rocks. Fry also wrote sacred choral works, including an oratorio, Stabat Mater in 1855, and Mass in E-flat, completed only nine days before his death. Conservatives tended to dislike Fry’s music, whereas political progressives highly enjoyed it.   As important as Fry was for his musical output, he was even more influential in his role as music critic. Because his father was the publisher of the National Gazette in Philadelphia, Fry covered theater, music, and art for the newspaper as a youth beginning in 1839. In 1844 he himself became an editor at the Philadelphia Ledger and, after going to Europe in 1846 for six years of study and observation, by 1849 was the European correspondent for the New York Tribune. He lived in Paris for three years where he was able to absorb the cultural life of that city.

Upon his return to New York in 1852, Fry became the music critic at the Tribune, which was the first such position at an American daily newspaper. Soon afterward he wrote the music to an ode for the opening of the New York industrial exhibition of 1853 and began a series of ten or eleven lectures that ran in New York’s Metropolitan Hall from 1852 to 1853 about the history and language of music, which included musical illustrations performed by assisting musicians, including the Philharmonic Orchestra and the Harmonic Society Chorus, conducted by George F. Bristow, and members of the Italian Opera Company. Fry lost money on this venture but found an additional podium from which to voice his views. One of the most important of Fry’s arguments was that American composers must find their own voice, free of European influences. In the final lecture in the series, Fry made the following statement:

“Until this Declaration in Art shall be made–until American composers shall discard their foreign liveries and found an American school–and until the American public shall learn to support American artists, Art will not become indigenous to this country, but will only exist as a feeble exotic, and we shall continue to be provincial in Art.  The American composer should not allow the name of Beethoven, or Handel, or Mozart to prove an eternal bugbear to him, nor should he pay them reverence; he should only reverence his Art, and strike out manfully and independently into untrodden realms, just as his nature and inspirations may invite him, else he can never achieve lasting renown.”

In addition, Fry was an occasional political speaker and a lecturer on various topics of the day. He published a volume entitled Artificial Fish Breeding in 1854. For several years he suffered from lingering consumption (tuberculosis). While lying bedridden in his house near the New York Academy of Music he asked permission to have a telephone-like device connected so that he could hear something of the music. During the last two years of his life, he was accustomed to sit propped up in bed while an opera was going on at the Academy, with his telephone in one hand and the libretto of the opera in the other. At the foot of the bed, standing against the footboard, were the photographs of the chief singers engaged in the performance. Unsuccessfully seeking relief in a milder climate, he died on Dec. 21, 1864, at Santa Cruz in the West Indies, now part of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Fry is often considered the father of American opera. His Leonora is sometimes performed today. Not much of his other music is remembered, although Naxos has an album of Fry’s orchestral music in their “American Classics” series that includes his Santa Clause–Christmas and Niagara Symphonies, Overture to Macbeth and The Breaking Heart. Some of these, or portions of them, are also used on a few other Naxos albums, such as American Classics–A Sampler, American Classics–Celebrate the American Spirit, and The Story of American Classical Music; and New World Records has an album of 19th Century Piano Music entitled The Wind Demon with Ivan Davis that includes a piece entitled “Adieu” by Fry.

The following works by William Henry Fry are contained in my collection:

The Breaking Heart, or Adagio Sostenuto

Niagara Symphony (1854)

Overture to Macbeth (1864)

Santa Claus, Christmas Symphony (1853)

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

12/2015 Monthly Meditation

December, 2015

Monthly Meditation


By Wayne S. Walker

     “I cried out to You, O LORD: I said, ‘You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living” (Psalm 142:5).  Psalm 142 is identified as “A Contemplation of David.  A Prayer when he was in the cave.”  There were several times while David was being hunted by Saul that he had to hide out in caves (1 Samuel 22:1, 24:3-10).  Most scholars seem to think that Psalm 142 was written on the occasion of 1 Samuel 22.  Imagine David’s situation.  He had lived a fairly well to do life as a shepherd in the house of his father Jesse.  He had served as Saul’s harp player and armor bearer.  He had even defeated the Philistine giant Goliath and become son-in-law of the king.  In fact, he had been anointed to become the next king of Israel.  Yet, because of Saul’s jealousy, here he was, running for his life.

These incidents taught David two things.  First, God was his refuge.  More than once, people whom David thought would protect him ended up planning to turn him over to Saul, either to gain a reward or to escape punishment.  David realized that he could not always trust in men, but he could always trust in God.  Sometimes during the trials and tribulations of life we may find ourselves in circumstances where those whom we expect to help us turn out to fail us.  But God will never fail us.  “In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.  Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:7-8).

David also learned that God was his portion.  We use the word “portion” to mean a part of something, but since the portion of a father’s inheritance received by each son was his share, in the scriptures the term is often used simply to refer to one’s share or allotment in life.  While fleeing from Saul, David seemed to have no portion or share of what was rightfully his.  He was cut off from his family.  He was being denied his destiny.  We often find ourselves in this life with less of a portion or share of things that others have and that we might think we should have.  But God will take care of and provide for us as best suits our needs.  “O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot” (Psalm 16:5).  Thus, if I trust Him, God will be my refuge and my portion.

Zoar First School Inn Bed & Breakfast


Historic Zoar Village

198 Main St.

Zoar, Ohio 44697

Zoar Village was founded as a communal society in 1817 by a group of 200 German religious dissenters called the Society of Separatists of Zoar seeking escape from religious persecution in their homeland. These Separatists thought that the church should be simple and bereft of all ceremony; they emphasized a mystical and direct relationship with God.  They thrived as a unique Society for more than 80 years, from 1819 to 1898, making Zoar Village one of the most successful communal settlements in American history.  Today, Zoar Village is made up of approximately 75 families living in homes built from 1817 to the present. Visitors can tour the museums, see early American architecture, including two schools, take a walk in Zoar’s big public garden, and enjoy the quaint village scenery.

The Zoar School Inn Bed & Breakfast, 160 3rd Street, Zoar, OH, located between Main and Foltz Streets, on the south side of Third St., was originally a one-story 2 room school house built in 1836.  At the age of six, children were sent to school where they were taught from texts of a religious nature, although later McGuffey Readers were used.  Both German and English were taught to the children.  German was their mother tongue, and they were not to forget it.  When a new brick school was built in 1868, the First School house become a family residence with the house number 13.  Years later an addition complete with rathskeller and a second floor were added.  It is now a privately owned bed and breakfast, consisting of four private bedrooms with bath in suite that have been decorated for patrons’ pleasure and comfort.

Stephen C. Foster and Beautiful Dreamer


Stephen Collins Foster (July 4, 1826-Jan. 13, 1864) was an American musician, song writer, and composer who was primarily known for his parlor and minstrel music, and is sometimes called the “father of American music.” Foster was born on July 4, 1826, at Lawrenceville, PA, now a part of Pittsburgh, and raised there. He was schooled at home and attended private academies.  While educated at Jefferson College (now Washington and Jefferson College), he was largely unschooled in music and basically taught himself; however, he seemed to have a natural talent for it and started writing songs as a young boy. His first published song was “Open the Lattice, Love” in 1844. In 1846, he moved to Cincinnati, OH, as a bookkeeper with his brother’s steamship company, and there he penned his earliest successful songs.  However, in 1850 he returned to Pittsburgh and married Jame McDowell, the daughter of a Pittsburgh physician.

One of Foster’s early songs, “Oh! Susanna” was published in 1848 in a collection entitled Songs of the Sable Harmonies for use by various minstrel troupes and became famous in the California gold rush of 1849.  Because of this, he was asked to produce songs in the manner of the southern Negroes for E. P. Christy’s minstrel show. The most famous of these, “Old Folks at Home” or “Swanee River,” was originally published in 1851 under Christy’s name, but Foster’s authorship was never questioned.  Although the vast majority of his songs were inspired by southern life and his ambition was to become “the best Ethiopian [meaning Negro minstrel] song writer,” he visited the south only once, in 1852 when he spent some time on a cousin’s plantation near Bardsville, KY, the result of which was “My Old Kentucky Home” of 1853.  Most of the best of his over 200 songs, to which he provided both words and music, came between 1850 and 1860.

These include “Massa’s in de Cold, Cold Ground” of 1852, and “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair” of 1854.  “Old Black Joe” dates from 1860. Such songs are among the most popular ever written by an American because, while concerning life on southern plantations before the American Civil War, they express universal human emotions. Foster signed a contract with the Christy Minstrels and attempted to earn a living as a professional songwriter but made very little money, so that despite the income from his royalties, Foster’s intemperate habits, especially alcoholism, kept him in poverty.  As a result, he moved to New York City, NY, in 1860, was separated from his wife in 1861, and spent the remainder of his life alone and in debt, dying penniless at the charity ward of Bellvue Hospital in New York on Jan. 13, 1864, only 37 years old.

While the United States was developing a fairly good group of serious composers during the 1800s, the most truly original voice in American music of the nineteenth century was Stephen Collins Foster.  Even those who know almost nothing about music instantly recognize such famous melodies as “Oh! Susanna,” “Old Folks at Home” beginning “Way down upon the Swanee River,” and especially “My Old Kentucky Home.”  The melody from “Old Black Joe” was arranged in 1909 for an anonymous hymn entitled “I Love Him” beginning “Gone from My Heart” by Daniel Brink Towner (1850-1919). Also, the melody from Foster’s “Massa’s in de Cold, Cold Ground” has been arranged for use with another hymn, “A Friend of Jesus,” by Joe C. Ludgate.

My collection includes the following works by Stephen C. Foster:

Ah! May the Red Rose Live Alway!

Beautiful Dreamer

Camptown Races

Come with Thy Sweet Voice Again

Gentle Annie

Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair

Linger in Blissful Repose

My Old Kentucky Home

Oh! Susanna

Old Black Joe

Old Folks at Home

Ring, Ring the Banjo!

Some Folks

Sweetly She Sleeps, My Alice Fair;

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

Parents, teach your little girls to do better than this

On July 29, 2011, an article by Mary Kassian, an author, speaker, and professor of women’s studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, appeared on

Katy Perry and the Sexualization of Girls
by Mary Kassian,

Katy Perry’s California Dreams Tour came to my home town last night. The sugar-laced extravaganza of candy canes, cupcakes, lollipops, cotton candy, and other sweet treats is an ode to childhood fantasy. The show features a mish-mash of references to the Brothers Grimm, Alice in Wonderland, the Wizard of Oz, and Rainbow Brite as it tells the story of a girl named Katy visiting a vibrant candy land in search for her pet cat, Kitty Purry, and the love of her life, the Baker Boy.

But the kid-themed bright colors, spinning peppermint forest, and wide-eyed kewpie-doll smiles belie Perry’s underlying raunchy adult-themed sexual message.

Read more at:

This column first appeared on the website,