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Teach Your Children to Put God First

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Commandment I:
You shall have no other gods before me.
Exodus 20:3

Understanding and obeying the Ten Commandments leads to a good life. This commandment tells us that first place must always be given to God and His Word to bring about that good.

Three important ideas to teach your children from the first commandment:

First:
God must not be displaced by anything else in life no matter how good because nothing is more good than God.

Second:
The One who created us is God and He is the One true God—any substitute is a ‘false god.'

Third:
The Ten Commandments are the moral standard for all people as the universal conscience for all time.

The first four of the Ten Commandments, commonly called the FIRST TABLE tell our duty to God. It was fit that those should be put first, because man had a Maker to love, before he had a neighbour to love. It cannot be expected that he should be true to his brother, who is false to his God.
Mathew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible
All Christian nations have accepted these Ten Commandments...as appealing to the universal conscience, —not a mere Jewish code, but primary law, susceptible of boundless obligation, never to be abrogated; a direct injunction of the Almighty to the end of time.
Nation Makers: the Art of Self-Government, 70

Consider and Ponder: How does identifying and avoiding false gods lead to a good world?

Excerpted from Nation Makers: the Art of Self-Government, by Verna M. Hall and Rosalie J. Slater, edited by Carole G. Adams. Previously published as Rudiments of America’s Christian History by the Foundation for American Christian History (FACE), page 70.

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Teach Your Children to Live Free

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Saturday, March 31, 2018

Commandment I:
I am the LORD your God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exodus 20:2

God speaks many ways to the children of men; by conscience, by providences, by his voice, to all which we ought carefully to attend; but he never spake at any time so as he spake the TEN COMMANDMENTS." Matthew Henry

Three important ideas to teach your children:

First:
God has the authority that must be obeyed. We can rest in His authority as absolute. All the issues of life rest on God’s authority asserted in the first commandment.

Second:
Obeying God keeps us from being a slave to anything or anyone else. The other nine Commandments protect us from slavery.

Third:
It is God’s will that we live free. God wants us to live in blessed liberty. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” II Cor 3:23

Consider and Ponder: The first commandment embodies the essential truths we must inculcate in our children from birth to equip them for the blessed life they were created to live.

Excerpted from Nation Makers: the Art of Self-Government, by Verna M. Hall and Rosalie J. Slater, edited by Carole G. Adams. Previously published as Rudiments of America’s Christian History by the Foundation for American Christian History (FACE), page 23.

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America: Fullest Expression of a Christian Nation

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The universe is regulated by natural, God-breathed laws and God in His loving Providential care revealed those laws through His written Word that we might study, learn and live in peace by them.

In The Marrow of Theology—a work which was taught at Yale and Harvard for 150 years and influences the thinking of the Founders—America’s theologian William Ames taught that theology is a dichotomy (a “whole” idea divided into two parts), Faith and Observance.

The Ten Commandments, the basis of our modern system of law, teaches us “Observance” and undergirds how we relate as a society in all aspects of governance from our places of worship, to our family life, to our commerce, and to foreign relations.

When we study the Law, we learn that there are two basic ideas—the first five commands instruct us in how to worship and love God; the second five commands teach us how to live in peace and harmony with our fellow humans. This is how we learn our moral and social duties.

The duties of men are summarily comprised in the ten commandments, consisting of two tables. One table comprehends the duties that we owe immediately to God—the other, the duties we owe to our fellow men. Christ himself has reduced these commandments under two general precepts, which enjoin upon us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength—and to love our neighbor as ourselves. On these Two Great Commandments hand all the law and the prophets—that is , they comprehend the substance of all the doctrines and precepts of the Bible, or the whole of religion.
Noah Webster

Consider and Ponder: The Ten Commandments that were posted in churches, public squares and school classrooms throughout our nation. They have been removed systemically, purging our citizens and youth of the very foundational truths that preserves our liberty. What has been the result?

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Ten Commandments Part I—The Law of Nature’s God

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Thursday, March 8, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, March 7, 2018

No enactment of man can be considered law unless it conforms to the law of God.” William Blackstone

“Revealed law is the written Word of God that came to us by God’s design to make clear His moral government of the world. It became necessary for the law to be given in written form…” (Nation Makers, p. 64)

Revealed law is found only in the Holy Scripture. Revealed Law is the most authoritative law as it is given directly by God. Today, the Ten Commandments are hardly considered. They are an abstract idea of right and wrong in our culture…”if you are able to keep to them”. Not considered here is the absolute authority of our Creator. Law is a “rule of action” nothing exists without a set of rules to govern. Law is basic to all of nature and therefore basic to all of life.

The Ten Commandments have been given to us to teach us two important things: how to the love the Lord and how to love others. They are our moral code teaching us how to live free and happy lives.

Consider and Ponder: Today, there are those who would remove The Ten Commandments as the basis of our modern law system. What will be the outcome?

Excerpted from Nation Makers: the Art of Self-Government, by Verna M. Hall and Rosalie J. Slater, edited by Carole G. Adams. Previously published as Rudiments of America’s Christian History by the Foundation for American Christian History (FACE), page 60-71.

Join us as Discerning Moment continues this series looking at each of the Ten Commandments over the next several issues.

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A Nation of Law—God’s Law Part II

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Ben Gilmore, American Christian History Study Groups co-founder has written:

“Natural law” is discovered by observation and reason.  “Revealed law” is learned by study and prayer….All authority begins with the Creator God.

Thus—any human law contrary to God’s law has no authority and is no law at all.

God established laws at Creation to govern His universe.

Man often neglects to reason out the law on his own, however it pleased God to step in and make it clear by direct revelation. This law is known as revealed or divine law and is only to be found in the Holy Scriptures.

We learn revealed law by study and prayer. The Bible has infinitely more authority than Natural Law because it comes directly from God by dictation. If our human observation was perfect, we wouldn’t need the Bible. God is revealed in His creation.

Ponder: Natural law and revealed law come from the same source and will never be in conflict. If they appear to be in conflict, trust the Bible and recheck your observation and reason.

Excerpted from Nation Makers: the Art of Self-Government, by Verna M. Hall and Rosalie J. Slater, edited by Carole G. Adams. Previously published as Rudiments of America’s Christian History by the Foundation for American Christian History (FACE), page 63.

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A Nation of Law—God’s Law

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, February 6, 2018

William Blackstone, “father of the legal profession”, said:

Thus when the Supreme Being formed the universe, and created matter out of nothing, He impressed certain principles upon that matter, from which it can never depart, and without which it would cease to be.

Blackstone noted that all creatures, even plants and animals, are governed by certain unerring principles, or laws. Man must be subject to these laws also, because he is entirely dependent upon his Creator for his very being.

Natural law—our dependence upon God for our being—is discovered by observation and reason. Our founders boldly stated in the Declaration of Independence that we are dependent on the "Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”

Ponder: We are entirely dependent upon God’s law as the heart of liberty and self-government that our nation was founded upon.

Excerpted from Nation Makers: the Art of Self-Government, by Verna M. Hall and Rosalie J. Slater, edited by Carole G. Adams. Previously published as Rudiments of America’s Christian History by the Foundation for American Christian History (FACE), pages 60-62.

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Words have consequences

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Words convey thoughts and words have consequences. We want to teach our children to use correct words, words that truly communicate a Biblical way of thinking.” Carole G. Adams, Ph.D., President of FACE

Join Gai Ferdon, Martha Shirley and Carole Adams on this short video to learn about the importance of words and tips on teaching language to your children. Learn why Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary is the “gold standard” for learning language and Biblical thinking.

We invite you to join us for our next Lessons in Liberty series featuring guest speaker Carole G. Adams, January 15 to learn more about the power of words and language in our culture today.

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The Idea of America: Education forms character

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, December 12, 2017


What did our founding father of American education, Noah Webster, say was the secret to “future happiness”?

Webster wanted to give young people help in creating an excellent life by explaining he made many mistakes in his early years that caused him to spend valuable time "correcting the errors of his early education."

Men and women are creatures of habit, he explained, and early behaviors are based on knowledge of tradition and modeling the example of parents and superiors. In Webster’s mind, this was a good thing and how education begins. Confidence in the opinions of those we respect is always a duty, and obedience to parents should be complete and unreserved.

As young people gain maturity, the intellectual faculties expand and reasoning power gains strength. Men are “furnished with the gift of reason by design of the Creator” and it should be used at every stage of life. However, Webster cautioned that reason can cause us to err because of ignorance and acting upon impulse. Reason should be tempered with cultivation, experience and revelation, “without which reason can be a miserable guide."

Revelation, that is, learning from the Scriptures the character and will of your Maker, and the guiding principles of life, are the keys to a “tranquil mind and future happiness." Education based upon Biblical truths—revelation—forms the character of those who are then able to be self-governed.

The first questions a rational person should ask himself, said Webster, are:

Who made me?
Why was I made?
What is my duty?

“The proper answers to these question, and the practical results, constitute, my dear friend, the whole business of life.”

Excerpted from Nation Makers: the Art of Self-Government, by Verna M. Hall and Rosalie J. Slater, edited by Carole G. Adams. Previously published as Rudiments of America’s Christian History by the Foundation for American Christian History (FACE), Pages 20-21.

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The True Story of the First Thanksgiving

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Updated: Friday, November 13, 2015


By Rosalie J. Slater

THE PILGRIMS BRING THE GOSPEL TO AMERICA
We remember the Pilgrims sailed across the Ocean on the little ship named The Mayflower. The first year at Plymouth was very hard for the Pilgrims. It was very cold—there was snow and ice on the ground. The Pilgrims built houses for shelter. But first, they built a house for the Lord, a church where they could gather to worship Him and to give thanks for their safe voyage across the ocean to America. The Pilgrims came to America to “propagate and advance the Gospel” of Jesus Christ in these “remote parts of the world.” They also wanted to educate their little children in the ways of the Lord.

GOD SENDS SQUANTO TO HELP THE PILGRIMS
After that first winter, the Pilgrims had a surprise. This is how Governor William Bradford described it in his history of the Pilgrims, Of Pilmoth Plantation:

But about the 16th of March, a certain Indian came boldly amongst them and spoke to them in broken English, which they could well understand but marveled at it… His name was Samoset. He told them also of another Indian whose was Squanto, a native of this place, who had been in England and could speak better English than himself.

A few day later Samoset returned with the great chief, Massasoit, and with Squanto. The Pilgrims and the Plymouth Indians made a Peace Treaty which they both kept for over fifty years.

Now that Spring had come it was time to begin to plant their crops so that they might have enough food for the winter. Squanto was a big help to the Pilgrims. He showed them how to plant corn and how to put a little fish in the ground with each grain of corn. With the little fish Squanto was providing fertilizer for the soil—he was feeding the ground with the fish to make the corn grow up big and tall. In many other ways Squanto was a big help to the Pilgrims. He was their guide when they went exploring in their little boat which they called a shallop. He was their interpreter when they wanted to trade with the other Indians because he could speak both Indian and English languages.

William Bradford, the Governor of Plymouth Plantation, from whose book we learn about the Pilgrims, wrote about Squanto, that he was “A special Instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation.”

A BETTER WAY TO RAISE CORN
When the first harvest was gathered the Pilgrims had enough to eat but not for long. Soon the corn crop was all eaten up. They were very hungry again. They gathered nuts and berries. They lived on fish and shell-fish, like lobsters. Sometimes they felt weak from lack of food. But the Lord gave them strength to go on. What could they do to raise more corn—enough to feed themselves, enough to feed the visitors that came to them—enough to trade with the Indians for beaver skins?

William Bradford wrote in his book, “So they began to think of how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery.”

All this time they had been going to work in the same big field. This was very confusing. Some men worked only a little. Other men and women worked very hard and their children, too. The result was that many of the lazy ones let the weeds kill their corn plants. The Pilgrims who worked diligently to keep the weeds out of the corn patch grew a big corn crop. Then they had to feed not only their own families, but also the lazy ones who had been careless. This made for injustice and hard feelings.

The Pilgrims talked these matters over with Governor William Bradford. They wanted him to divide up the land so that each family could have their own acres to work. In this way each one could work as hard as he wanted. Each one would be responsible for his plot of land. Some of the young boys had lost their parents the first hard winter. These were given to a family where they could help in the fields. In turn, the family would take care of the boy and feed him with their own. With this new plan there were many individual fields of corn planted. The Governor was pleased at the new attitude of diligence and industry on the part of those especially who were willing to work as hard as they could. Even the lazy ones began to work with new purpose.

THE THREAT OF A FAMINE
The corn was planted just as Squanto had taught them: each grain of corn was planted with a little fish. The families hoed and weeded. They were happy in the thought a good harvest. Soon the young corn shoots stuck their heads out of the soil and began to reach toward the sun. The fields were beautiful to see with the little green shoots.

But now came a great drought. No rain fell to give the young corn plants a needed drink. Every day the sun became hotter and hotter. The drought started in the third week of May and continued until the middle of July. The Pilgrims saw that unless they had some rain their young corn shoots would all wither and dry up. The sun would burn them up. What should they do?

THE PILGRIMS’ DAY OF PRAYER AND FASTING
Always the Pilgrims had turned to the Lord when they were in trouble or when they had problems. This time was no exception. They decided to set apart a whole day to pray to God for rain. They also fasted which means they did not eat any food all day. The Pilgrims humbled themselves before the Lord and asked forgiveness for their sins. How did God answer them? Let us look at the words of William Bradford:

All the morning, and the greatest part of the day, it was clear weather and very hot, and not a cloud or any sign of rain to be seen; yet toward evening it began to overcast, and shortly after to rain with such sweet and gentle showers as gave them cause of rejoicing and blessing God. It came without either wind or thunder or any violence, and by degrees in that abundance as that the earth was thoroughly wet and soaked therewith. Which did so apparently revive and quicken the decayed corn and other fruits, as was wonderful to see, and made the Indians astonished to behold.

One of the most remarkable results of their prayers was the “gracious and speedy answer” that the Lord gave in sending them such gentle showers. Had the rain been hard and the drops too big, the little green shoots would have flattened out. But “as the small rain upon the tender herb” the showers fell softly and gently. This gentle rain opened the hearts of the Indians to receive the Gospel message of Salvation through Jesus Christ. It was the beginning of the evangelistic efforts of the Pilgrims. The Indians felt the Pilgrims’ God was bigger than the God they prayed to, for when they had prayed for rain it had come with storms and tempests. Instead of doing good it had layed the corn flat on the ground. But this had not happened to the Pilgrims’ corn.

THE FIRST THANKSGIVING
Bradford tells us that “afterwards the Lord sent them such seasonable showers, with interchange of fair warm weather as, through His blessing, causes a fruitful and liberal harvest, to their no small comfort and rejoicing. For which mercy, in time convenient, they also set apart a day of Thanksgiving.” The year was 1623.

Setting apart a special day of Thanksgiving in America honors the Hand of God in our History. It especially honors the Pilgrims as a Christian people whom God sent to America to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ. On Thanksgiving Day, let us thank the Lord for what He has done for our Land and for us.

THE PILGRIM’S PRAYER FOR RAIN
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

Read more about the Pilgrim story in The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America: Christian Self-Government by Verna M. Hall. Visit FACEBookstore.net for more information.

STUDY GUIDE
Use this guide to help your students and children apply the Pilgrim story to their own lives.

Principles From God’s Word
• God loves humility and repentence for sin (see James 4:6)
• God answers the prayers of His people (see James 5:15–16)

Pilgrim Christian Character
• Diligence and Industry in working
• Faith and Steadfastness in prayer
• Humility in asking God’s forgiveness for sin
• Thankfulness to God for answered prayer

Questions for Reflection
• Does God answer your prayers?
• What does God require of us when we pray?
• What are some of the unexpected ways that God helps us in our lives? Who are our Samosets and Squantos?


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Character Forms a Free or Fettered Life

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Character is the substance on which self-government is built, and without it there is nothing to build on. What, then, is “character”? Noah Webster defines character as, “a mark made by engraving” and “the peculiar qualities, impressed by nature or habit on a person, which distinguish him from others.”

The definition of character implies that character is “cut” or “engraved”—formed, forged, and structured by “nature or habit.” Therefore, an instrument is required to do the cutting. That instrument might be family, church, and most certainly schooling.

America’s founding generation understood that godly character could only be formed when an individual conformed their life to the principles found in the Bible. Self-government could only be practiced and enjoyed when character was marked by faith, steadfastness, brotherly love and Christian care, diligence and industry, and liberty of conscience—that most sacred property. These qualities are the raw materials for building a “free and unfettered life” and a self-governed nation.

A new season of Thanksgiving is coming

Can you imagine what America would be like if we all committed to building our character on the “habits” of diligence, brotherly love and faith? Would many of our nation’s social, moral, financial and international problems be resolved?

Our Pilgrim forebears celebrated that first thanksgiving with joy because their character had been forged through perseverance and suffering to shape God-fearing, Christ-honoring, self-reliant Christians. Let’s recommit to forming our individual character as American Christians, just as the Pilgrims, to reflect Christ’s character, known by His teachings in order to produce a “free and unfettered life.” This will be the beginning of restoring our nation.

Excepted from Nation Makers: the Art of Self-Government, by Verna M. Hall and Rosalie J. Slater, edited by Carole G. Adams, and Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History: The Principle Approach, “America’s Heritage of Christian Character”, by Rosalie J. Slater. Published by Foundation for American Christian History (FACE).

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