James Sanderson and “Hail to the Chief”

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James Sanderson (1769–c.1841) was an English musician, now remembered as a songwriter whose tune for Hail to the Chief, presidential anthem of the United States, is taken from a Scottish Gaelic melody.  Sanderson was born in 1769 at Workington in Cumberland, England. He taught himself the violin, and at age 14 was taken on at the Sunderland Theatre. In 1784 he established himself at South Shields as a teacher, and in 1787 became leader at the Newcastle Theatre.

In 1788 Sanderson went to London and led the orchestra at Astley’s Theatre. He was engaged in 1793 by the Royal Circus as composer and musical director; he remained there many years, producing incidental music for dramas, and vocal and instrumental pieces. Sanderson worked closely with John Cartwright Cross, who usually provided words for a long series of burlettas, melodramas, and pantomimes. Cross devised a way for the Royal Circus, which became the Surrey Theatre, to get round restrictions on the classic plays they could show: it involved rendering the lines into rhymed couplets, and adding musical accompaniment.

Sanderson, who wrote many songs for local theatrical productions during the 1790s and the early years of the 19th century, began as a composer with instrumental accompaniment to William Collins’s Ode on the Passions, which George Frederick Cooke recited at his benefit in Chester. The accepted tune for the Robert Burns poem Comin’ Thro’ the Rye was composed by him. His ballad, Bound ‘Prentice to a Waterman, sung in the drama Sir Francis Drake (1800), was regularly introduced into nautical plays for half a century.

Verses from Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake, including “The Boat Song” (“Hail to the Chief”) with which the clan welcomes the arrival by boat of their chieftain Roderick Dhu, were set to music around 1812 by Sanderson.  A version of Lady of the Lake debuted in New York May 8, 1812, and “Hail to the Chief” was published in Philadelphia about the same time as ‘March and Chorus in the Dramatic Romance of the Lady of the Lake.’  Association with the President first occurred in 1815, when it was played to honor both George Washington and the end of the War of 1812 (under the name “Wreaths for the Chieftain”).  On July 4, 1828, the U.S. Marine Band performed the song at a ceremony for the formal opening of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which was attended by President John Quincy Adams.   Andrew Jackson was the first living President to have the song used to honor his position in 1829, and it was played at Martin Van Buren’s inauguration in 1837.

Sanderson died about 1841.  During the American Civil War (1861–1865) “Hail to the Chief” was also used to announce the arrival of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Two of Sanderson’s ballads were still reprinted in the Musical Bouquet of 1874.  President Chester A. Arthur did not like “Hail to the Chief” and asked John Philip Sousa to compose a new song, which was entitled “Presidential Polonaise”. After Arthur left office, the Marine Band resumed playing for public appearances by the President.  Under the term of Harry Truman the Department of Defense made it the official tribute to the President.  For major official occasions, the United States Marine Band and other military ensembles are generally the performers, so directives of the United States Department of Defense have, since 1954, been the main basis for according it official status.  The song’s playing accompanies the appearance of the President of the United States at many public events.  It is preceded by four ruffles and flourishes when played for the President. The song is also played during a former President’s state funeral.

The following work by James Sanderson is contained in my collection:

Hail to the Chief.

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A. C. Benson and “Land of Hope and Glory”

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Arthur Christopher Benson (April 24, 1862 –June 17, 1925) was an English essayist, poet, author and academic, the 28th Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, who is noted for writing the words of the song “Land of Hope and Glory.” Benson was born on April 24, 1862, at Wellington College, Berkshire, England, one of six children of Edward White Benson (1829-1896); Archbishop of Canterbury (1882–96) and the first headmaster of the college, and his wife Mary Sidgwick Benson, sister of the philosopher Henry Sidgwick.  Benson was born into a literary family.  From the ages of 10 to 21, he lived in cathedral closes, first at Lincoln where his father was Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral, and then at Truro where his father was the first Bishop of Truro. He retained a love of church music and ceremony.

In 1874 Benson won a scholarship to Eton from Temple Grove School, a preparatory school in East Sheen. In 1881 he went up to King’s College, Cambridge, where he was a scholar (King’s College had closed scholarships for which only Etonians were eligible) and achieved first class honors in the Classical tripos in 1884.  From 1885 to 1903 he taught at Eton, but returned to Cambridge in 1904 as a Fellow of Magdalene College to lecture in English Literature. He became president of the college (the Master’s deputy) in 1912, and he was Master of Magdalene (head of the college) from December 1915 until his death in 1925. From 1906, he was a governor of Gresham’s School

Benson was noted as an author of ghost stories. The bulk of his published ghost stories in the two volumes The Hill of Trouble and Other Stories (1903) and The Isles of Sunset (1904) were written for his pupils as moral allegories. Benson collaborated with Lord Esher in editing the correspondence of Queen Victoria (1907). His poems and volumes of essays, such as From a College Window and The Upton Letters (essays in the form of letters) were famous in his time; and he left one of the longest diaries ever written: some four million words. Paul the Minstrel and Other Stories (1911; reprint 1977) collects the contents of The Hill of Trouble and Other Stories and The Isles of Sunset.  Benson died on June 17, 1925, at the Master’s Lodge at Magdalene and was buried at St Giles’s Cemetery in Cambridge. A cousin, James Bethune-Baker, is also buried in the cemetery.

Land of Hope and Glory” is a British patriotic song, with lyrics by A. C. Benson, written in 1902, and music by Edward Elgar.  The music to which the words of the refrain “Land of Hope and Glory” are set is the “trio” theme from Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1. The words were fitted to the melody on the suggestion of King Edward VII who told Elgar he thought the melody would make a great song. When Elgar was requested to write a work for the King’s coronation, he worked the suggestion into his Coronation Ode, for which he asked the poet and essayist A. C. Benson to write the words.  The last section of the Ode uses the march’s melody.  Due to the King’s illness, the coronation was postponed. Elgar created a separate song, which was first performed by Madame Clara Butt in June 1902.

My collection includes the following work by A. C. Benson:

Land of Hope and Glory (based on Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1).

 

Cecil A. Spring Rice and “I Vow to Thee, My Country”

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Cecil Arthur Spring Rice (February 27, 1859 –February 14, 1918) was a British diplomat who served as British Ambassador to the United States from 1912 to 1918, when he was responsible for the organization of British efforts to end American neutrality during the First World Was, but is best known as the writer of the lyrics of the patriotic hymn, “I Vow to Thee, My Country..  Spring Rice was born on February 27, 1859, into an aristocratic and influential Anglo-Irish family. He was the son of the diplomat, Hon. Charles William Thomas Spring Rice, who was the second son of the prominent Whig politician and former cabinet minister Thomas Spring Rice, 1st Baron Monteagle of Brandon.  Spring Rice’s father died when he was eleven, and he was raised at his mother’s family’s house at Watermillock on the shore of Ullswater. During his childhood, he was often ill, and he later suffered from Graves’ disease, despite maintaining an active lifestyle.

Educated at Eton and at Balliol College, Oxford, Spring Rice was a contemporary and close friend of George Nathaniel Curzon, and studied under the direction of Benjamin Jowett. Spring Rice rowed for Balliol, and achieved a double first in Classical Moderations (1879) and Literae Humaniores (1881).  At Oxford, he was also a contemporary and close friend of John Strachey and Edward Grey. However, Spring Rice contributed, alongside John William Mackail, to the composition of a famous sardonic doggerel about Curzon that was published in The Balliol Masque.  After completing university, Spring Rice travelled in Europe, where he improved his French, at the time the language of diplomacy. Uncertain about which career to pursue, he took an examination for the Foreign Office and was accepted. Although brought up as an Englishman, Spring Rice maintained a close affinity with Ireland, and he later wrote a poem about his dual Rice (Irish) and Spring (English) roots.

Spring Rice began his career as a clerk in the Foreign Office in 1882. In 1886, he was appointed Assistant Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary, the Liberal politician Lord Rosebery  Spring Rice was known to be a supporter of the Liberal Party and was sympathetic to the Irish Home Rule movement so he was relieved of his post when the Conservatives came to power later that year. Spring Rice subsequently made the unusual move to the diplomatic service, where he remained for the rest of his life, starting with his first posting to the British legation in Washington, D.C. in 1887. In 1892 he was posted to Japan, and undertook a tour of Korea with Curzon later that year. He left Japan in October 1893 and was posted again to Washington until October 1895, when he was posted to the British embassy in Berlin.  During his time in Germany he fell in love with his future wife, Florence Lascelles, the daughter of the then British ambassador. He left Berlin in July 1898, and after spending several months with his family on Ullswater was posted to Constantinople.

In May 1899 Spring Rice was given his first posting to Persia as Secretary of Legation, and he became the British chargé d’affaires in Tehran in March 1900, when the Minister, Sir Mortimer Durand, left for London due to his wife’s health.  In 1901 Spring Rice was appointed Commissioner of Public Debt in Cairo, where he remained for two years. In November 1901, he was promoted to the rank of Secretary of Embassy.  He was made Chargé d’Affaires in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1903, and in June of that year began to warn the British government that war between Russia and Japan was becoming increasingly likely. He was still serving in Russia when the Russo-Japanese War began in January 1904.  In 1904, Spring Rice married Florence Caroline Lascelles, the daughter of Sir Frank Cavendish Lascelles and a cousin of the Duke of Devonshire.  He had two children with Florence:

In January 1905 Lord Lansdowne appointed Spring Rice as the Foreign Office’s special representative to the US president.  Spring Rice was carrying out the duties of the British ambassador to Russia, who was unwell, during the 1905 Russian Revolution and was involved in the early negotiations which resulted in the Anglo-Russian Entente of 1907.  In September 1906 Spring Rice undertook his first ambassadorial role when he was made British Minister to Persia, before becoming Ambassador to Sweden in 1908.  In November 1912, after four years in Sweden, it was announced that Spring Rice’s next diplomatic posting was to be as ambassador to the United States.  Spring Rice’s efforts to end U.S. neutrality eventually met with success when the U.S. entered the conflict on the side of the Allies in 1917. In mid-January 1918, following a disagreement with Lord Northcliffe, the head of the British war mission to America, he was abruptly recalled to London in a one-line telegram.

Spring Rice immediately travelled to Canada to begin his journey back to Britain. Spring Rice, who had been in reasonable health and was only 58, died while staying with his wife’s cousin at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, three weeks later on.   It is believed that his underlying health condition (Graves’ disease) had been exacerbated by exhaustion and stress.  He was buried in Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa.   “I Vow to Thee, My Country” is a British patriotic hymn created in 1921, when a poem by Cecil Spring Rice was set to music of Gustav Holst.  The origin of the hymn’s text is a poem by Spring Rice, written in 1908 or 1912, entitled Urbs Dei (“The City of God”) or The Two Fatherlands. The poem described how a Christian owes his loyalties to both his homeland and the heavenly kingdom.  The poem circulated privately for a few years, until it was set to a tune adapted from a section of Holst’s Jupiter from his suite The Planets to fit the words of the poem. It was performed as a unison song with orchestra in the early 1920s, and it was finally published as a hymn in 1925/6 in the Songs of Praise hymnal (no. 188).

The following work by Cecil A. Spring Rice is contained in my collection:

I Vow to Thee, My Country (with music by Holst).

John Dickinson and “The Liberty Song”

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John Dickinson (November 8, 1732 – February 14, 1808), a Founding Father of the United States, was a solicitor and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware known as the “Penman of the Revolution” for his twelve Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, published individually in 1767 and 1768.   Dickinson was born on November 8, 1732, at Croisadore, his family’s tobacco plantation near the village of Trappe in Talbot County, Province of Maryland.  He was the great-grandson of Walter Dickinson who emigrated from England to Virginia in 1654 and, having joined the Society of Friends, came with several co-religionists to Talbot County on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay in 1659. There, with 400 acres on the banks of the Choptank River, Walter began a plantation, Croisadore, meaning “cross of gold.”   Croisadore passed through Walter’s son, William, to his grandson, Samuel, the father of John Dickinson.   Samuel Dickinson first married Judith Troth. They had nine children. Widowed, Samuel married Mary Cadwalader, daughter of the prominent Quaker John Cadwalader and his wife Martha Jones (granddaughter of Dr. Thomas Wynne), in 1731. Their sons, John, Thomas, and Philemon were born in the next few years.

Leaving Croisadore to elder son Henry Dickinson, Samuel moved to Poplar Hall in Delaware, where he had already taken a leading role in the community as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Kent County.  His son John was educated at home, by his parents and by recent immigrants employed for that purpose. Among them was the Presbyterian minister Francis Alison, who later established New London Academy in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  Most important was his tutor, William Killen, who became a lifelong friend and who later became Delaware’s first Chief Justice and. Dickinson was precocious and energetic. In spite of his love of Poplar Hall and his family, was drawn to Philadelphia.  At 18 he began studying the law under John Moland in Philadelphia. There he made friends with fellow students George Read and Samuel Wharton, among others. By 1753, John went to London for three years of study at the Middle Temple. He spent those years studying the works of Edward Coke and Francis Bacon at the Inns of Court, following in the footsteps of his lifelong friend, Pennsylvania Attorney General Benjamin Chew, and in 1757 was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar beginning his career as barrister and solicitor.

Dickinson wrote “The Liberty Song,” beginning, “Come, join hand in hand, brave Americans all,  And rouse your bold hearts at fair Liberty’s call,” and published it in 1768.  For the music he adapted the English air, Heart of Oak, composed by Dr. William Boyce (1711-1779). The English words were by David Garrick, who is credited with the theatrical blessing, “Break a Leg” as he was reportedly so involved in his performance of Richard III that he did not notice the pain of a fracture he incurred.  Dr. Boyce was a songwriter in London, beginning around 1730. In 1757 he reached the peak of his career, being put in charge of the King’s Band of Musick, a position which Purcell held much earlier. He received a doctorate in 1749. In 1758 he was the organist at the Chapel Royal. His first compositions to appear in print were published in 1747. Boyce retired from music due to deafness and retired to Dorset.

In protest to the Townshend Acts, Dickinson wrote the Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania.  First published in the Pennsylvania Chronicle, Dickinson’s letters were re-printed by numerous other newspapers and became one of the most influential American political documents prior to the American Revolution. Dickinson argued that Parliament had the right to regulate commerce, but lacked the right to levy duties for revenue. Dickinson further warned that if the colonies acquiesced to the Townshend Acts, Parliament would lay further taxes on the colonies in the future.  On July 19, 1770, Dickinson married Mary Norris, known as Polly, a prominent and well educated thirty-year-old woman in Philadelphia. Dickinson and Norris had five children, but only two survived to adulthood.  Dickinson never formally joined the Quaker Meeting, because, as he explained, he believed in the “lawfulness of defensive war. He and Norris were married in a civil ceremony.  Dickinson was one of Pennsylvania delegates to the First Continental Congress in 1774 and the Second Continental Congress in 1775 and 1776. In support of the cause, he continued to contribute declarations in the name of the Congress. Dickinson prepared the first draft of the Articles of Confederation in 1776, serving in the Continental Congress as a delegate from Pennsylvania.  He also wrote the Olive Branch Petition as the Second Continental Congress’ last attempt for peace with Britain   Dickinson lived at Poplar Hall, for extended periods in 1776–77 and later 1781–82.

Following the Declaration of Independence, Dickinson was given the rank of brigadier general in the Pennsylvania militia, known as the Associators. He led 10,000 soldiers to Elizabeth, New Jersey, to protect that area against British attack from Staten Island.   In 1777, Dickinson, Delaware’s wealthiest farmer and largest slaveholder, decided to free his slaves.   On January 18, 1779, Dickinson was appointed to be a delegate for Delaware to the Continental Congress. During this term he signed the Articles of Confederation.  In October 1781, Dickinson was elected to represent Kent County in the State Senate, and shortly afterwards the Delaware General Assembly elected him the president of Delaware.  Dickinson took office on November 13, 1781 and served until November 7, 1782.   However, as before, the lure of Pennsylvania politics was too great. On October 10, 1782, Dickinson was elected to the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania. On November 7, 1782 a joint ballot by the Council and the Pennsylvania General Assembly elected him as president of the Council and thereby President of Pennsylvania.   Perhaps the most significant decision of his term was his patient, peaceful management of the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783.  In 1784, Dickinson and Mary Norris Dickinson bequeathed much of their combined library to John and Mary’s College, named in their honor by its founder Benjamin Rush and later renamed Dickinson College.

After his service in Pennsylvania, Dickinson returned to Delaware, and lived in Wilmington. He was quickly appointed to represent Delaware at the Annapolis Convention, where he served as its president. In 1787, Delaware sent him as one of its delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, along with Gunning Bedford, Jr., Richard Bassett, George Read, and Jacob Broom. There, he supported the effort to create a strong central government but only after the Great Compromise assured that each state, regardless of size, would have an equal vote in the future United States Senate.   In 1791, Delaware convened a convention to revise its existing Constitution, which had been hastily drafted in 1776. Dickinson was elected president of this convention, and although he resigned the chair after most of the work was complete, he remained highly influential in the content of the final document.   Once more Dickinson was returned to the State Senate for the 1793 session, but served for just one year before resigning due to his declining health. In his final years, he worked to further the abolition movement, and donated a considerable amount of his wealth to the “relief of the unhappy”. In 1801, Dickinson published two volumes of his collected works on politics.  Dickinson died on February 14, 1808, at Wilmington, Delaware, and was buried in the Friends Burial Ground.

The following work by John Dickinson is contained in my collection:

The Liberty Song.

Home School Students Take GIS Class

Two Area Home School Students Take Advantage of GIS Class Offered at Kaskaskia College

Salem Times-Commoner, September 19, 2018

Two area students who are being home-schooled, Caleb Fink and Josiah Thomas, both of Salem have taken advantage of learning about Geographic Information System (GIS) Mapping Technology at Kaskaskia College.

Both boys agree that they enrolled in the class because KC was close to home, was offering a class on a topic that they find very interesting, and gets them an early start on their college education.

Read more:

https://www.kaskaskia.edu/about-kc/news-events/news/2018/two-area-home-school-students-take-advantage-of-gis-class-offered-at-kaskaskia-college.html

Thomas a’Becket and “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean”

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Thomas a’Becket (or a’Beckett) Sr. (March 17, 1808-January 6, 1890) was an actor and musician credited with writing the music and the words, in 1843, to “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean,” an American patriotic song which was popular in the United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries.   A’Becket was born on March 17, 1808, in Chatham, England, came to the United States in 1837, and spent much of his life in Philadelphia, PA.   “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean” received an American copyright in 1843 and is credited to the name of David T. Shaw. Yet to understand the true origins of Shaw’s song one must follow two threads. One thread leads to a’Beckett who claimed to have rewritten Shaw’s lyrics before the song was copyrighted.  About 1843, Shaw, a Philadelphia singer, wrote a few patriotic lines and commissioned another performer, the actor and musician Thomas a’Becket, to put them to music for Shaw’s performance at a benefit concert, probably in the autumn of 1843.  A’Beckett, apparently not fond of Shaw’s lines, rewrote them as he composed the tune. Shaw performed the new piece to great acclaim, but when the music was first published he alone was credited as both composer and lyricist. A’Beckett, credited only as the arranger, contested authorship and subsequently published his own version of the song.

The other thread leads to Stephen Joseph Meany who wrote the poem “Britannia, the Pride of the Ocean,” from which, in turn, a’Becket may have taken his lyrics. A’Beckett may have authored the words to “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean,” but the matter soon became more complex when he, in turn, was accused of plagiarizing the words of a British song, “Britannia, The Pride of the Ocean.” There has been some controversy as to whether “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean” is an appropriation of a similar, British patriotic song, “Britannia, the Pride of the Ocean,” or whether the latter song is, in fact, an appropriation of “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.”  Both songs have occasionally been referred to by the alternate name “The Red, White and Blue”.  It has been documented that the British journalist, Meany, wrote the poem “Britannia, the Pride of the Ocean” in 1842 but a’Beckett claimed “Britannia” was plagiarized from his song. Either way, Meany’s lyrics and the Shaw/a’Beckett lyrics show a remarkable similarity.  It is true that a’Beckett’s song was very popular in London. But, as flag historian Rear Admiral George Preble noted, it would be quite odd for America, landlocked on two sides, to be termed a “gem of the ocean” when Britain was an island and commanded the world’s finest Navy. On the other hand, in the early 1800s there were few U.S. merchant ships as acclaimed as the Columbia out of Boston, the first to carry the U.S. flag around the globe.

In 1843, the copyright for the song was registered by the Philadelphia publishing house of George Willig under the name “Columbia, the Land of the Brave.”  The song invokes the historic informal name “Columbia” for the United States and borrows and modifies the phrase “land of the free and the home of the brave” from Francis Scott Key’s earlier “Star-Spangled Banner” as “the home of the brave and the free.”  Shaw subsequently published the song under his own name, though A’Becket later claimed sole authorship and presented an original handwritten composition as proof.  Sheet music from both 1843 and 1846 credited the American title as “Columbia, the Land of the Brave.” Yet between these two dates, in 1844, the song was also published under the title it subsequently retained, “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.” Extremely popular during Abraham Lincoln’s Civil War administration, the song became a standard tune in the U.S. Marine Corps Band’s repertoire

A’Becket, at one time, served as the stage manager of the actor Edwin Booth and for many years was the director of the Walnut Street Theatre, in Philadelphia, where he also had a long acting career. During his early years in America, he gave music lessons and sang in operas. His son, Thomas a’Becket, Jr. (1843-1918), was also a musician and, in his youth, worked with John Philip Sousa.  A’Becket Sr. died on January 6, 1890, in Philadelphia, PA, from heart failure and was buried in the Fernwood Cemetery, west of the city.  His diaries are in deposit at the New York Public Library.  Despite the great renown of “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean,” A’Becket never received any fame from having composed it. This is quite probably because of the confusion over the anthem’s authorship.  It was long used as an unofficial national anthem of the United States, in competition with other songs.

  1. H. Grattan Flood arrived at the conclusion of the British origiin of the song. He stated that Irish journalist Stephen Joseph Meany penned the lyrics to Britannia, the Pride of the Ocean in 1842 which he then showed to a friend in London, Thomas E. Williams, who composed the accompanying melody. In 1915 Flood recalled speaking to an elderly relative of his who claimed to have heard the song performed in Dublin in 1842 as a 12 year-old boy.  In a 1919 analysis of the song’s lyrics, Arthur Johnston stated that “Britannia, the Pride of the Ocean” had come first, “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean” being adapted from it. Johnston claimed that “the phrase, ‘the service united’ referred to the British United Service Club, for which the song was written, the members of which belong both to the army and the navy/”   Johnston also opines that, to refer to the United States as “the gem of the ocean” would be “an absurdity” and the phrase more likely was an original reference to Great Britain.   However, the earliest printed version of either song was the 1843 copyright version registered by American George Willig.  The first printed version of the song in the United Kingdom (“Brittania, the Pride of the Ocean”) did not appear until 1852, in a filing with the British Museum by T.E. Purday. Further, that version credits the song to David Shaw.  Citing the dates of printing, William Studwell concludes that “the song was probably created in the United States.”

My collection includes the following work by Thomas a’Becket:

Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean (The Red, White and Blue).

Challenges Facing Our Youth

CHALLENGES FACING OUR YOUTH
by Melba Edwards

As a mother and grandmother, I think we sometimes get wrapped up in our own world we don’t realize the things our sons, grandsons and even great grandsons deal with every day. I asked a few young people, male and female, teenagers to early twenty’s, to give me a list of challenges they deal with on a daily basis at school/work. Here’s what they had to say.

“Sure thing. Cussing, immodest dress, peer pressure to cuss, drink alcohol, the challenge to keep desires in check. That’s mainly what I can think of.”

“I think something most struggle with is trying so hard to fit in with the rest of the crowd which could hinder you from showing people where you truly stand and you may feel about certain things. It’s hard sometimes to go against the flow because for some reason you want everyone to like you. I also think a big one that goes with that is just standing up for yourself when everyone is saying one thing but you know how you really feel about that topic but you either just agree with everyone else or don’t say anything at all. Extra-curricular activities and just homework in general can sometimes lead to conflicts in your schedule especially with church so laying out your priorities would be another big one. Feeling too overwhelmed and stressed out even over things that there is no reason to be is definitely something I feel like everyone can relate to. “

“Well pretty much everything.. in just the short time ive been at school the language is terrible.. everyone uses bad language in every sentence they say.. i’ve seen transgender.. people smoking.. immodesty.. kids asking others to go out and drink.. any kind of worldliness.”

“Hey Melba! I apologize for taking so long, I kept getting distracted. But here’s a few issues I thought of. I hope it helps! Cursing is a big issue I think a lot of younger people deal with. Even in college, a lot of professors will curse a few times during class. I think it goes with evil company corrupts good habits. If you don’t make an effort the words can sneak into your mind without you consciously thinking about them. Another challenge is the amount of people that are opened about how much they drink. I know at my high school there was a lot of people that would go out drinking all weekend or even a few days during the week. And there was even a couple of people that would come to school after drinking. So I think that it could be very easy for someone to fall into temptation when they know several people who are constantly drinking and don’t seem to suffer from it. And then I think another issue that especially girls face is the expectation to always have a boyfriend. I’m not sure how to word it but it’s almost like you’re looked down upon by some people for not wanting to always have a boyfriend and for not having intercourse before marriage. I’m not sure if that made sense. Another major issue is with the LGBTQ community and not agreeing with it. When you’re open about why you don’t agree with it, there are some people that just want to argue about and be very hateful. I hope this helps and I hope it makes sense for the most part.”

“Hey sorry I’ve been crazy busy but my biggest 3 things that I can think of would be Cussing. People asking me to smoke weed. People asking me to drink alcohol. And these things are every single day. Just mainly peer pressure stuff.”

“Yeah sure. Since I am homeschooled I personally don’t face a lot of challenges daily but when I am out in the world and see other kids the hardest thing is probably just trying to do what’s right when everyone else isn’t. And every time you see a teenager they have a phone on or some gadget kids today don’t seem to go outside or do productive things anymore.”

I don’t know about you, but reading what young people face, brought tears to my eyes. This writing is to wake us up, mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and women professing godliness! Our youth are in a den of lions. Our youth have more than one Goliath. Some of our youth probably feel like Joseph and all the challenges he faced. Our youth try to flee like David when Saul tried to kill him. Our youth have been placed in a fiery furnace.

Youth have lusts. They are physically changing in every way: their bodies, their thinking, (no longer dolls and toy trucks), their emotions, hormones, just to list a few. With these changes, there are youthful lusts. You can read the lists above and see the lusts our youth are facing daily.

How do we help our youth? We teach them the holy scriptures, just like Lois and Eunice, (2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15). We pray for them, because, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” (James 5:16). We give them instruction and the fear of the Lord, (Proverbs 1:7-9). We warn them about the strange woman in Proverbs 5. We warn them about drinking and its consequences, (Proverbs 23:29-35). We stress how important it is to control their tongue, (James 3:3-12). We teach our young ladies to “adorn themselves in modest apparel,” (1 Timothy 2:9). We expound Hebrews 10:25 which reads, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (By the way, we need to read a few more verses to get the context of this verse.) Many more Scriptures we try to instill in our young.

But we need to put ourselves in their place. I wasn’t pressured with these things daily. When I was their age, what was transgender? Where were the homosexuals? (They were there, as it has been said, in the closet). Weeds were what I had to chop out of the corn field and garden. Our youth have tremendous pressures today. They need our years of strength to help them through this short time in their lives. We need to let them know we are there for them. We need to encourage them to keep the Lord right beside them. These youth are not just our own flesh and blood. They are our sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters in the Lord!

I also asked these youth to tell me what their spiritual family and their physical family can do or does to help them in these areas. Again, more tears!

“For me especially is presenting opportunities to see other teens who are Christians trying to do what’s right. It makes it a lot easier if you have a lot of friends who are your age trying to do what’s right.”

“I think just being around them especially on Wednesday’s because when you go to school for a few days you’re surrounded by that kind of bad stuff, but then there’s this spot right in the middle of the week that kind of reminds you what you should be doing and helps you push through the rest of the week. And it’s not only the study and worship, it’s what happens after the services, the personal conversations and talking, just knowing that you have people around you that really do care.”

“Hey Melba! It really helps to go through and search the scriptures for passages that help guide me if I’m particularly struggling with something. One verse I think about a lot is 1 Cor 10:13. It’s comforting to know that He will never allow something to be put in your way that He doesn’t think you can handle. He knows our strength more than we do. A lady gave me a basket of goodies before I left and something in there was a little sign that reads “verse of the week”. It’s been a great motivation to search the scriptures if I have been struggling with something or to just read further for the lessons for class. Also, going to services is a great strength builder. I love being around like minded people who genuinely care. And I’ve found that if I’ve been thinking about or struggling with something, there always seems to be something in Bible class or the lesson that can help. Again, I hope I made sense and that it helps!”

“They provide comfort and are people I know I can talk to and rely on when I may be struggling in these different situations and can help in guiding me into the right direction “

“For me, it just helps when people encourage me and remind me to stay strong. Just to think that we have a greater goal in mind as a spiritual family. And then just with your physical family obviously being there to talk and things like that”

“Well my spiritual family helps me by just being who they are. Obviously there is a big difference in the people at church opposed to the people of the world. I can go to church and not have any of those worldly distractions or pollution entering my brain. At church there are no temptations but instead everyone there encourages and stands behind you only wanting to help you get to Heaven. They have the same views and they see church and God as number 1. Opposed to the world who view them as fairy tales or not important. So they help me by their examples and encouragement and just by being Christians and helping me be a Christian if that makes sense. But of course my physical family do a lot. My family is who makes me who I am today.. I have the best parents and grandparents in the world because I know how much they love me and I know that they would do anything for me and they have already done everything for me and I don’t know what to do to repay them.. I just hope they know how much I appreciate them and how much I love them. Now, I dont know how to explain what they do for me because they do everything haha from supporting me and helping me with my homework to providing for me and giving me the best life I could imagine. I am so blessed to have such a great family who are not only perfect physically but are so great spiritually. Raising me up in the church is something I could never thank them enough for.. along with everything else. But they help me by supporting me, helping me, encouraging me, pushing me to do better, ultimately by loving me.. and doing everything that a perfect family should. And to me as long as your family loves you.. or you love someone.. that love causes everything else to fall into place. And I see that in my family. But more importantly when a family is all in unity spiritually and they all have the same love for God that too allows everything to fall into place. Without God at the forefront of our relationships it will not work.”

I think this says it all! May God bless our young Christians! May we do all we can for them on their road to heaven! May they continue to always, “…be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might,” (Ephesians 6:10).