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Christmas Comes

Posted By Connie Moody, Saturday, December 22, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Comes

By Mary Ann Matthews

(As printed in "Reflections of Christmas”, 28th Edition, © Wheelabrator Corp, 1970)

Christmas comes at different times for me every year. I never know precisely when it will arrive or what will produce its spirit, but I can always be sure that it will happen.

Last year Christmas happened while I was visiting my parents. The day was frightfully cold, with swirls of snow in the air, and I was looking out of the living room window of my parents’ home which faces the church. Workmen had just finished constructing the annual nativity scene in the churchyard when school let out for the day. Children gathered excitedly around the crèche, but they didn’t stay long; it was far too cold for lingering.

Finally I noticed that all the children had hurried away—except for a tiny six-year-old girl. The wind lashed at her coat and she hopped from foot to foot to keep warm, but she stayed nevertheless, and carefully studied the Baby, Joseph, Mary and the rest of the display. And then I saw her remove her green woolen head scarf. Lovingly, she wrapped it around the statue of Baby Jesus. She patted the statue, kissed the baby cheek, and scurried shiveringly down the street, her black curls frosted with tiny diamonds of ice.

Christmas had come once again.

There is no doubt that this Christmas season 2012 "the day is frightfully cold” and darkness shrouds our holiday cheer. This December will forever be marked with the heartache of death: for some of us, the passing of a loved one; for all of us, the tragic and senseless murder of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook. Yes, the winds lash at our lives and swirls of pain and sorrow discourage us from lingering at the manger.

But the secret to seeing through the storm is to stay and carefully study the Baby and offer ourselves.

Christmas comes.

This simple Christmas hymn (author unknown) provides a deep insight to this very truth if you will meditate on the words and allow Christmas to come by coming to Christ:

Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Come to the stall.
Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Come one and all.

Come to the manger, come to the manger,
By early morn
Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Jesus is born.

Peace on earth, good will toward men,
Sing alleluia, again and again.
Peace on earth, good will toward men,
Sing alleluia, again and again.

Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Come to the stall.
Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Come one and all.

Come to the manger, come to the manger,
By early morn
Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Jesus is born.

Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Come join all we
Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Jesus to see.

Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Come through the night
Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Dear morning bright.

Come to Bethlehem,
Come and kneel
Sing alleluia, again and again
Alleluia, alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Come to the manger, come to the manger,
By early morn
Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Jesus is born.

Come to the manger, come to the manger,
This to restore
Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Come and adore,
Come and adore.

Meeting you at the manger this Christmas,

The FACE Staff

Tags:  Baby Jesus  Christmas  Manger  Sandy Hook 

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Bill of Rights Day, December 15

Posted By Connie Moody, Tuesday, December 11, 2012

As a Virginian and an American Christian, I am proud that on December 15, 1791, Virginia became the tenth state to ratify the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, thus making it officially part of the United States Constitution and the law of the land.

Why is this so significant?

The Constitution, though brilliant in its own right, was contested by many because of what was not written—exact stipulations enumerating unalienable individual liberty and provisions for local self-government. It was feared that without this explicit definition in writing, generations would veer from the purpose of the new form of government and its Constitution—its covenant with the people—that is, the guaranteed security of the sovereignty of the individual to govern his own life and the states to govern their local affairs as the first spheres of civil government, a covenant to remain a limited national government with only expressed powers. The Federalists so embraced the ideals of personal freedom as basic to the principles of civil government that they presupposed their meaning to be inherent; the Anti-Federalist (a misnomer of their political position) too well understood human nature and knew that ideas out of sight would soon be out of mind, presenting a citizenry ripe for tyranny.

The Anti-Federalist were of sufficient number and power to derail the entire constitutional ratification process; they were men of conscience and character unwilling to concede this political absolute. Likewise, the Federalist held their convictions that listing rights would permit the abuse of anything not expressly noted. However, both groups came together in compromise [with promise, to send forth, a binding together for the benefit of another—for the benefit of generations of Americans yet unborn] as men of righteous vision, brilliance, and humility to craft a blueprint of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. This blueprint—our Constitution with the Bill of Rights—serves men and nations seeking liberty to this day as well as providing a plan for the constant rebuilding of our own great land. It is worthy our understanding of its virtues, celebration of its conception, and defense of its permanent integrity.

History reveals that the Constitution and Bill of Rights were broader in scope than the practice of the day; the rights were not applicable to all people in the new nation: to slaves, Native Americans, women, and most white males. However, as is always true with vision, the destiny and even the journey is farther and brighter than our current position. Over the 221 years since the ratification, we have gained a better understanding of the phrase, "We the People”; we have traveled some distance toward the vision. The language and intent of the original document needs no revision. It is our minds that require continual renewal by the Word of God, our character that needs continual refinement by trial and experience, and our conscience that must practice continual positive response to absolute truth as wrought out by our convictions and in our daily life of self-government.

So, we have a Constitution and Bill of Rights written to keep them in sight. Do you have them in mind today? The Anti-Federalist contended for this visible memorial for our benefit; it is our responsibility to look on it and ask, "What does this mean?” Dedicate December 15 as a day to revisit the Bill of Rights and thank God for the wisdom of our Founding Fathers and their deeply held convictions on our behalf.

Tags:  Bill of Rights  Constitution  liberty  limited government 

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A Thanksgiving Reflection: On Being Steadfast

Posted By Connie Moody, Thursday, November 22, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 16, 2012

Is your boat rocking these days—

As waves crash: election results, jobless rates, higher taxes, national debt, and fiscal cliffs;

Gales pierce: crime, war, and terrorism;

Rains soak: laws disregarded, marriage redefined, families disassembled, and national sovereignty dismantled

And storm clouds gather: separation, sickness, illness, and death?

It’s hard to keep our legs under us in times like these; it’s hard to be steadfast when the sea of troubles tosses our boat to and fro. But, steadfast we must be. It is our heritage from saints and martyrs through the ages; it is the quality of the Divine in Whose image we are created.

STEADFAST, a. [stead and fast (place and fixed)] Fast; fixed; firm; firmly fixed or established. 2. Constant; firm; resolute; not fickle or wavering.

STEADFASTNESS, n. Firmness of standing in place; fixedness in place. 2. Firmness of mind or purpose; fixedness in principle; constancy; resolution.

These definitions are inspiring enough, but consider these opposites of ‘steadfast’. If these describe our character and disposition, then we are living lives antonymous of the character of Christ:

Changeable, fickle, fluctuating, inconstant, unstable, wavering, retiring, uncertain, unsure, irresponsible, negligent, apathetic, untrustworthy, disloyal, indifferent, languid, lazy, irresolute, false, treacherous, untrue, cowardly, indulgent, moderate, tolerant, fatigued, weary, distracted, busy, surrendering, deceptive, careless, indolent, afraid, weak, undecided, shaky, undependable, complacent, laid-back, doubtful

 

Keep Thanksgiving, our American holiday, this year thanking God for His steadfastness. Thank Him also for the crashing waves of trial and stormy winds of tribulation that beset us as they give us "sea legs” and the opportunity to stand firmly in His power and strength. Read the stories of Job, Jesus, Paul, and others of our Christian history who have endured resolutely. Read Bradford’s firsthand account of our Pilgrim Fathers to be reminded of our heritage of Christian character, of steadfastness:

"I cannot but here take occasion, not only to mention, but greatly to admire the marvelous providence of God, that notwithstanding the many changes and hardships that these people went through, and the many enemies they had and difficulties they met with all, that so many of them should live to very old age!...[It] is found in experience that changing air, famine, or unwholesome food, much drinking of [tainted] water, sorrows & troubles, and etc., all of them are enemies to health, causes of many diseases, consumers of natural vigor and the bodies of men, and shorteners of life. And yet of all these things they had a large part, and suffered deeply in the same. They went from England to Holland, where they found both worse air and diet than that they came from; from thence (enduring a long imprisonment, as it were, in the ships at sea) into New England; and how it has been with them here has already been shown; and what crosses, troubles, fears, wants, and sorrows they had been liable unto, is easy to conjecture….What was it then that upheld them? It was God’s visitation that preserved their spirits….He that upheld the Apostle upheld them.

….

"God, it seems, would have all men to behold and observe such mercies
and works of his providence as these are towards his people,
that they in like cases might be encouraged to depend upon God in their trials, & also bless his name when they see his goodness towards others.

….

"God in such examples would have the world see & behold that he can do it without them; and if the world will shut their eyes, and take no notice thereof, yet he would have his people to see and consider it.”

 

Be Steadfast in Thankfulness!

Bless His Holy Name!

 

 

Tags:  Bradford  Pilgrims  steadfast  Thanksgiving 

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Trust and Thanksgiving

Posted By Connie Moody, Saturday, November 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 14, 2012

ANNIVERSARY SERMON,

preached at

PLYMOUTH,

DECEMBER 22nd, 1777.

In grateful Memory of the first Landing of

our pious

NEW-ENGLAND ANCESTERS

In that Place, A.D. 1620.


By Samuel West, A.M.

Pastor of the CHURCH in DARTMOUTH.


 

ISAIAH lxvi 5, 9.

Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word: your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my names sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified;  but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.  A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompense to his enemies.  Before she travailed she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.  Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such a thing?  Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day, or shall a nation be born at once?  For as soon as Zion travailed she brought forth her children.  Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? Saith the LORD; Shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? Saith thy God.

"A

s the end of our assembling together at time, is to commemorate the goodness of God towards our forefathers, in conducting them from their native land, into this American wilderness, and providing for them here a safe retreat from the rage and malice of prelatical bigotry;---and he has, by numerous train of surprising events, remarkably shown himself to be our God, as he was the God of our fathers....

....

"Being then, my hearers, animated with the glorious encouragement and promises set before us, let us with holy confidence look to him who has been both our God and our fathers God, and who will never leave nor forsake his covenant people while they put their trust in him: Our Fathers trusted in him, and were delivered; and will he not deliver us, if we like them firmly rely upon him in the faithful discharge of our duty?  With what chearfulness then may we endure our present calamities, when we have the word of a faithful God; that he will appear to our joy, and that our enemies shall be ashamed; and that he has caused our Zion to bring forth children for her defence, so he will continue to raise up sons for her protection, until her deliverance is compleated.  Let us then be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might, let us quit ourselves like men engaged in the most noble and glorious cause; let us behave like the true sons of freedom and the faithful sons of Zion; let us imitate the patience and fortitude of our pious fore-fathers, which they exhibited under all their hardships and terrible sufferings that they endured; and if at any time we feel depressed or discouraged with the prospect before us, let us for a moment consider their situation, and we shall find enough to stop our mouths, if not to make us ashamed;---let us behold them landing in an uncultivated wilderness, inhabited by savages, destitute of many of the comforts and even the necessaries of life, exposed to the inclemencies of the season, on half of them perishing in a few months through the hardships which they endured….A most deplorable situation indeed;---but through their patience and fortitude they were supported under all these sufferings; for they committed their cause to God, and were not forsaken.  Are there any among us that are ready to murmer because they are deprived of a few luxuries, or because they cannot have all the elegancies which they formerly enjoyed?  Let them consider, that when our fathers for want of the conveniences of life were obliged to live upon ground-nuts and shell fish, they did not murmer nor repine at their situation, but gratefully acknowledged the goodness of God towards them:…one of them having dined upon clams, very devoutly gave thanks to God, that he had fed him of the abundance of the seas, and with treasures hid in the sand.  What a truly christian temper, is here discovered?  They had learned the Apostle Paul’s lesson, Whatever state they were in, therewith to be content. And as they were resigned to the Divine Will, so he appeared to their safety and protection, and the heathen were cast our before them.  And as Divine Providence appeared for the protection of our fathers in the first settling of this land, so has he continued to protect both them and us their posterity unto the present day."

 

Note the date of this sermon, December 22, 1777; the same winter as Valley Forge.  Rev. West was preaching to a congregation embroiled in the travail and calamities of war, yet he was exhorting them to trust and thanksgiving—to lean into their heritage of Christian character from their Pilgrim Fathers.  His message speaks to us today to lean into our heritage of our Pilgrim and Founding Fathers—to be His people of Trust and Thanksgiving. Let us proclaim with William Bradford, Governor and Historian of the Plymouth Colony:

"May not & ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: Our faithers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this willderness; but they cried unto ye Lord, and he heard their voyce, and looked on their adversitie, &c.  Let them therfore praise ye Lord, because he is good, & his mercies endure for ever.  Yea, let them which have been redeemed of ye Lord, shew how he hath delivered them from ye hand of ye oppressour.  When they wandered in ye deserte willderness out of ye way, and found no citie to dwell in, both hungrie, & thirstie, their sowle was overwhelmed in them.  Let them confess before ye Lord his loving kindness, and his wonderfull works before ye sons of men."

Trust in the Lord and give Him thanks.

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Tags:  Pilgrims  sermon  Thanksgiving 

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Voting God's Values

Posted By Connie Moody, Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"The legacy we leave behind for our children, grandchildren, and this great nation is crucial.  As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election could be my last.  I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel.  I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman.  Vote for biblical values this November 6 [2012], and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God.”

Billy Graham, Montreat, NC, October 2012
(Text from full page ad by Mr. Graham to run in several news outlets
before the November 6, 2012 elections.  See the original ad. )  

Knowing God’s principles makes many decisions of life simple—not necessarily easy, but simple.  "Consenting to do that which is right or that which is wrong is basic to Christian self-government. . . My consent [my vote] is my title to keeping conscience in God’s will.” (Slater, T&L, p. 232)

The power of internal principles is the vital force for unity.  And unity is a vital force for influence and impact in this world for the glory of God.

KNOW God’s principles and VOTE your conscience on November 6.

Tags:  Billy Graham  conscience  consent  election  principles  unity  vote 

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How will you observe Constitution Week 2012?

Posted By Connie Moody, Friday, September 14, 2012

James Madison explained in a letter to W.T. Barry, August 4, 1822,

Knowledge will forever govern ignorance;
and a people who mean to be their own governors
must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.


James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, wrote this conviction with authority. He knew first-hand that it was the enlightened, intelligent understanding of Biblical principles that informed the public opinion of the founding generation to establish the world’s first constitutional Republic with the essential ingredients of the consent of the governed, the principle of representation, the checks and balances of branches and a dual form (state and national), and above all, the rule of law—of nature and nature’s God. He had worked and studied all of his life to know these truths.

Madison knew also that the principles that began, created, and established the American Republic are the necessary means of sustaining it. True knowledge is the power essential to keep a Republic. The principles must be founded in us and forged into the hearts of our children in order to sustain our American liberty and be a blessing to the world.

Many of us have been robbed of this truth—this powerful knowledge. Our educations were filled with facts and figures but devoid of principles. The methods of teaching we experienced cultivated the character of dependence and conformity, not the spirit of transforming Truth. We can fill-in blanks but we cannot think and reason from cause to effect. We can choose and circle one: A, B, or C, but we cannot identify and articulate principles and apply them to all areas of life. The inability to reason from principles threatens the Republic and fails to sustain American liberty secured in the Constitution.

How will you observe Constitution Week this year? Transforming or conforming?

We have a newly revised and most appropriate tool for observing Constitution Week: The Bible and the Constitution, 2nd Ed. This 2012 edition of the volume originally published as a collector’s edition to commemorate Ronald Reagan’s presidential proclamation making 1983 the Year of the Bible is available now in paperback with an integrated study guide. This mini-study provides the storytellers: parents, grandparents, teachers, pastors, and patriots with a simple account—a primer—of America’s Christian history and the Biblical principles of the U.S. Constitution. It outlines the story you must learn and then tell the children. Study questions throughout the text supply leading ideas to consider and ponder and help discern principles we must apply to our lives today.

You are invited to arm yourself and your family with the powerful knowledge contained in this slender but mighty volume. Begin your personal or family study or host a study group of friends, neighbors, co-workers, or Sunday school class members to mark the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States of America on September 17, 1787.

"We the people. . . do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”

AGAIN

this seventeenth day of September in the Year of our Lord two thousand twelve and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred thirty-sixth.


U.S. CODE     Title 36—Patriotic and National Observances, Ceremonies, and Organizations

§ 108. Constitution Week

The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation—

(1) designating September 17 through September 23 as Constitution Week; and

(2) inviting the people of the United States to observe Constitution Week, in schools, churches, and other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

(Pub. L. 105–225, Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1256.)

HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES: Revised Section 108 .............; Source (U.S. Code) 36:159. Source (Statutes at Large) Aug. 2, 1956, ch. 875, 70 Stat. 932.

Tags:  Bible and the Constitution  Constitution  Madison 

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Back-to-School, Part II

Posted By Connie Moody, Monday, August 20, 2012

In Back-to-School, Part I, we examined a principled definition of education and realized that most of us are not really equipped to teach our children due to our flawed education; we are likely, rather, to perpetuate that to which we are accustomed.  We were left with this thought:

 

So, am I hopelessly unable to truly educate my His children?

 

Absolutely not! 

 

God is in the business of renewal, restoration, and redemption, and He has given us His Spirit.  You are His child and He intends to enlighten your understanding, correct your temper, and form your manners and habits, and fit you for usefulness in the Divine mandate of educating of His children—of perfecting the saints, and He will re-educate you and allow you the blessing of hard work to do it!

 

Okay.  I get it.  What must I do for my own re-education?

 

You will begin a journey of three simple—but not easy—steps.  Here they are:

 

STEP ONE:     Learn the Methods of Christian Scholarship

STEP TWO:    Use the Methods to Establish a Basis—A Foundation of a Christian Philosophy

                            (Worldview) of Education

 

These two steps may take three years or even more.  But every step begins with just that, a step.  And every journey is accomplished one step at a time in the right direction— toward the goal.

 

STEP THREE:  Build Your Learning and Teaching of the School Subjects on this Firm  

                            Foundation.  Begin with Christian History and Government.

 

This step takes a lifetime, but you'll be able to begin even while moving forward in Steps 1 &2.  There are many publications available that provide models of research, reasoning, and relating that you'll be able to use for your own learning and with your children.  Don't worry. 
God will see to it that you and the children He has entrusted to you are provided for
and prepared for His purposes.

 

Like all of us, you must be intentional about your own re-education.  You must invest time, hard work, and resources for your own studies—to have your understanding enlightened, your mind transformed.  The principle is simple: You cannot give what you do not own; it is not yours to give.  And, remember, it is good that a student is as his teacher—that he become what you are! (Matthew 10:24, 25)

 

Wait a minute!  Three years . . . a Lifetime!

 "I have children to teach tomorrow!  I don’t have this kind of time!”

 

The one thing that God has given the same amount of to everyone is time, at least on a daily basis.  We all have twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, twelve months a year.  Granted the days of our lives are numbered.  What will you do with yours?

 

The tyranny of the urgent almost always tempts us to choose expediency over the excellence and right-away over just plain right.  Part of the agenda of progressive education has been rendering the family insufficient and inefficient in its ability to teach the next generation.  Reflect on Webster’s definition of ‘education’ and on Miss Slater’s challenge.  From what basis will you "teach” tomorrow?  If it is not from the firm foundation of God’s Word illuminating His principles, then it is progressive in nature—it is conformed to this world (even if Bible verses appear on the worksheets).

 

The Holy Scriptures caution us, "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3) And, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” (Psalm 127:1)  We are also supplied with this principle of cause to effect, "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) So, again, from what foundation will you teach tomorrow?  Anything ‘instructed’ and ‘constructed’ on a shaky foundation will eventually crumble and fall.  What do you truly understand about God’s purposes, ways, and means of education?  This must be your firm foundation.

 

We can suggest ways to "do” schooling with your children for a season while you are also learning and growing in His wisdom.  We can help you see ways to begin using what you are learning with your children.  But we cannot give you a pass on this essential FIRST STEP.  You must have a firm foundation that will endure through hardships, issues, feelings, and circumstances.  You must become the living textbook—the producer of a Christian curriculum.  Don’t worry.  It’s not about publishing textbooks.  It’s about the mastery you will gain and be able to give as you Research, Reason, Relate, and Record to see the very Hand and Heart of God in all subjects.

 

Okay.  I see that this will be a WORTHY INVESTMENT
of TIME, EFFORT, and RESOURCES.

How do I get started?

 

GET CONNECTED! (This is just another way of saying Relate as in Relationships)

 

Get connected to God.

Get connected to Others.

Get connected to Ideas of Consequence.

 

Get connected to God.  You probably already have a relationship with Christ and, hopefully, a steady life of feeding on His Word, prayer, fellowship, and devotion.  But if you’re still reading this, you’ve got the vision for the Principle Approach in your home education, and you see the reality of the good work ahead, and you’re very probably feeling overwhelmed.  Those are all indications that you need to plug in and supercharge!  You need to lean into your faith, dig into the Word—meditate on it, pray for enlightenment and endurance, and seek the fellowship of His people called according to His purpose.  This is where the next connection comes in:

 

Get connected to Others, not just any others, but others who share the vital force of internal principles and convictions.  This doesn’t mean you abandon the networks, community, and family God has provided, but it does mean expanding that sphere to include those who can walk with you and share with you in this mission of homeschooling using the Principle Approach.  Get connected to others by joining in The Principle Approach Commonwealth CommUNITY and participating in the exchange of ideas in the blogs and forums.  You can also connect to other members who share particular circumstances or situations and message them directly.

              

In addition, you can join a Lamad (Hebrew for ‘teach’) Guided Study Group to meet regularly (and perhaps virtually) with like-minded parents to learn under the direction of an experienced Principle Approach study leader.  Joining a study group is a great way to gain access to all online training along with the support needed to realize the most benefit from them.  You’ll also find that sharing testimonies will inspire you.  Contact Connie Moody at the Foundation for more information.

 

The fact is that the feeling of being overwhelmed will confront you daily (if not more frequently) like the waves of God’s ocean.  Getting connected to others will support and encourage you to not grow weary or faint but to wait on the Lord and persist in His power and strength.  

 

Get connected to Ideas of Consequence.  Hmmm, sounds impressive, but what does this mean?  Simply put, this means considering, pondering, and studying ideas (internal thoughts) that have consequence (external and eternal impact).  In this case, this means gaining a Biblical worldview (philosophy) of Christian scholarship and education and then applying this to your study of the school subjects first as a learner, then as a teacher guiding the next generation of learners (who will then become teachers).

 

We have developed and organized lots of resources, courses and study guides for enlightening your understanding, correcting your temper, forming your manners and habits, and fitting you to learn and teach using the Principle Approach.  These are available to you through the Principle Approach Commonwealth CommUNITY—the FREE online resource library and community of like-minded folks.  As a member of the CommUNITY, you can examine resources or enroll in courses independently or as part of a study group—whichever best suits your learning style and personal situation.  The imperative is to have your mind transformed by the renewing of your ideas about education, teaching and learning, and the principles of the school subjects at hand.

 

The essential beginning studies available through our online Training Series are The Noah Plan® Self-Directed Study (The SDS is available in soft-bound book, download, or online course format; see informational flyer attached) and The Philosophy and Methods of the Principle Approach: Foundations (click the course title for more information)You can pursue these studies independently or as part of a guided group study with other homeschooling parents.  Other courses and resources await in the Training Series for further studies after these first essentials.  For more information, contact Connie Moody.

 

Going Back-to-School in Three Simple, But Not Easy, Steps.

Let the Journey Begin!

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Tags:  re-education 

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Back-to-School, Part I

Posted By Connie Moody, Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Principle Approach® Commonwealth CommUNITY member recently gave new voice to the idea of Back-to-School when he said, "My venture began by looking for something to teach, and now I am looking at learning a new method of teaching.”

This person is not alone.  Most of the initial contacts to the Foundation are those shopping for curriculum—for something to teach.  Quite frankly, many are looking for something "easy” to do in lieu of true teaching; in which case, they do not pursue the Principle Approach.

The principle of a remnant holds that there are a few who are looking to learn and understand the narrow but better way of "a new method of teaching”; our friend above is one of the few.  If you are one of the few, too, then read on.


Take a moment and think about this question: How do you define ‘education’?

 

No, really, take a moment before reading further to reflect:  How do you define ‘education’?

 


 

Now consider this:

A Principled Definition of Education.

From Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language

   EDUCATION, n. [L. from e and duco, to lead (out).] The bringing up, as of a child; instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.

 

How Intentional and Equipped Are You for this Immense Responsibility?

 

How do you intend to enlighten the understanding of your children with the Word of God as the foundation for every subject?  How will you correct the temper of your sons and daughters, that is, cultivate Christian character instead of human nature by how you teach and what you teach (all that series of instruction and discipline)? How will you form the manners and habits of your children in their youth and fit them for usefulness—to be in favor with God and man and equipped for His purposes as kings and priests in His kingdom—with what you study and how you study it?  How will you give them an important and indispensable education—an education that perfects the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ? (Ephesians 4:12)

 

If it is good that a student is as his teacher (Matthew 10:25) then you must first be enlightened, corrected, tempered, formed, and fit with manners and habits in order for the children to become.  The principle of property reminds us that you cannot give your children what you do not have.  Therefore, you must have a true education in order to give them one.

 

You’re Not Alone; Most of Us are Not Intentional or Equipped.

Most of us are the product of the modern (or even postmodern) progressive philosophies that have dictated education for many generations in the United States.  Even most Christian schools and homeschools have, perhaps unknowingly, adopted vain philosophies of education and worldly practices of teaching and learning.  Most of us are trained to "do schooling" not to "be educated."  Most of us have not learned the Biblical foundations and principles of all subjects in the school curricula.  Most of us are not truly ‘e-duc-ated’—led out of darkness to enlightened understanding and in Christian character "till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13) 

 

We must be restored to God’s principles.  We must be re-educated, if we are to educate the next generation.  This is the ESSENTIAL first step.

 

Rosalie Slater, the founder of the Principle Approach, stated it this way, "Unless the Christian school [that is, schooling for Christ in any setting] in America separates itself from the evolutionary philosophy which has formed and shaped the character of atheism and socialism in our land—unless the Christian school [schooling] will teach from a basis of a Christian Philosophy of Education and through Christian Methods produce a Christian Curriculum—we shall soon be inundated in the flood-tides of federal secularism.” (1965, T&L, 56; bold emphasis and underlines added)  Unfortunately, Miss Slater, were she alive today, would see that the swirling flood-tides have engulfed our nation, our churches, our Christian schools, and our homes. 

 

We must rise above the flood and breathe in the inspired Word of God as our primary teaching and learning tool—our textbook of life and living—"and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning." (1623, New England's First Fruits)

 

Next Blog:  Back-to-School, Part II

So, Am I Hopelessly Unable to Educate My Children? 

Absolutely not!  Here's why and here's how.

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Scholarship & Strength: Preservatives of Independence

Posted By Connie Moody, Monday, July 2, 2012

I thought it would be inspiring to share a voice from our American history first spoken on July 4, 1794.  This comes from a published sermon by Mr. William Emerson, Minister of the First Christian Church in Harvard.  It was customary for ministers to speak to assemblies of soldiers and elected government officials on special days and election days to remind them of the principles that must guide them and the duties that must accompany them.  The custom was coupled with the request for a printing of the message for further study and contemplation.  This excerpt comes from an original copy that is one among many collected and studied by Verna Hall and Rosalie Slater.  It is part of the Hall-Slater Library Collection. 

I had intended to find a short passage to share in celebration of the 236th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, but I was taken with the message in its entirety.  I've noted a portion below and attached a copy of the nearly complete text for your consideration.  I hope you will read it with reason and reflection to mine it for the principles that still apply to us as "the scholars, and the soldiers of Jesus Christ"—as the modern-day stewards of His gift of liberty meant to flourish in the world's first Christian constitutional republic.

I hope you will also make it your annual habit to read the Declaration of Independence to share in its heritage and see to its legacy, that "ye may thus rationally hope, that the raptures of independence, which now thrill your veins, will circulate with the blood of all your descendents."


 

Christian friends and fellow citizens! It is beautiful to behold the mingled pleasure and devotions, with which ye honor this national festival. Would ye annually bring like offerings to liberty? Cultivate the means, by which she was first won. Unite in cherishing every species of useful and religious knowledge, and to their literary and humane acquirements, let your sons add hardihood and skill in the arts of war. Thus shall ye be properly prepared to defend your valuable soil. Thus shall ye justify your just attachment to the FEDERAL CONSTITUTION, that prodigy of human wisdom, and glory of your land; reward the services of your old and faithful rulers; keep inviolate the rights of conscience, and the voluntary worship of God; and, in fine, ye may thus rationally hope, that the raptures of independence, which now thrill your veins, will circulate with the blood of all your descendents.

In giving these mixed exhortations, let it not be thought, that I deviate from the path of a christian minister. Christianity is a religion full of truth, and full of reason. And the knowledge of truth, and the exercise of reason, as they constitute the greatest individual freedom, so they impel to the devising and recommending of all lawful means for the security of freedom among communities and nations.

Let it, nevertheless, be seriously remembered, that, apart from temporary and political considerations, we are, in a peculiar sense, the scholars, and the soldiers of Jesus Christ. We are taught in his school; we are enlisted under his banner. It is true, none of us has ever been entangled with the yoke of Jewish ordinances, nor been bound to the observance of mosaic rites. But we have all, alas! been too much enslaved by bad passions, too much under the dominion of evil habits. Let us break the yoke of this unnatural and worst kind of bondage from off us, and never again be entangled with it. Through the knowledge of our Lord and his gospel, let us conquer all our vices, and surrender ourselves to the possession of those virtues, which, it is designed, shall give the truest liberty to the human race. For, however numerous the present captives of sin, rejoice in this, ye followers of Jesus, christianity shall yet emancipate the world. It shall do more. It shall enfranchise the prisoners of the tomb. The time shall come, when, loosed from the bands of death and the grave, the disciples of virtue, universally, shall own your Master, as Captain of their redemption, who, putting palms of victory in their hands, and crowns of glory on their heads, shall lead them away into a land of everlasting freedom, and make them kings and priests unto God, even his father, to whom be the glory for every and ever. AMEN.

July 4, 1794

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Tags:  Delcaration of Independence  July 4  sermon 

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Fathers' Day Exhortation

Posted By Connie Moody, Friday, June 15, 2012

Fathers’ Day Exhortation,

Give your Sons Liberty—Give them the Ability to Reason and the Capacity for Self-Government; Command them to Keep the Way of the Lord

 

"So little Power does the bare act of begetting give a Man over his issue, if all his Care ends there, and this be all the Title he hath to the Name and Authority of a Father.

"The Power, then, that Parents have over their Children, arises from that Duty which is incumbent on them, to take care of their Off-spring, during the imperfect state of Childhood. To inform the Mind, and govern the Actions of their yet ignorant Nonage, till Reason shall take its Place, and ease them of that Trouble, is what the Children want, and the Parents are bound to. . . . But whilst he [the child] is in an Estate, wherein he has not Understanding of his own to direct his Will, he is not to have any Will of his own to follow: He that understands for him, must will for him too; he must prescribe to his Will, and regulate his Actions; but when he comes to the Estate that made his Father a Freeman, the Son is a Freeman too.

"The Freedom then of Man, and Liberty of acting according to his own Will, is grounded on his having Reason, which is able to instruct him in the Law he is to govern himself by, and make him know how far is left to the Freedom of his own Will. . . . This is that which puts the Authority into the Parents hands to govern the Minority of their Children. God hath made it their business to imploy this Care on their Off-spring, and hath placed in them suitable inclinations of Tenderness, and concern to temper this Power, to apply it, as his Wisdom designed it, to the Childrens good, as long as they should need to be under it.”

John Locke, "Of Paternal Power” in Of Civil Government,
Reprinted in CHOC I, p. 70-77

"John Adams was devoted to the education of his children. His thoughts were expressed many times in his correspondence to Mrs. Adams:

      Human nature, with all its infirmities and deprivation, is still capable of great things. It is capable of attaining to degrees of wisdom and of goodness which we have reason to believe appear respectable in the estimation of superior intelligences. Education makes a greater difference between man and man, than nature has made between man and brute. The virtues and powers to which men may be trained, by early education and constant discipline, are truly sublime and astonishing. Newton and Locke are examples of the deep sagacity which may be acquired by long habits of thinking and study. . . .

      It should be your care therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children, and exalt their courage, to accelerate and animate their industry and activity, to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel and creep all their lives.

      But their bodies must be hardened, as well as their souls exalted. Without strength, and activity and vigor of body, the brightest mental excellencies will be eclipsed and obscured."

Reprinted in "The Education of John Quincy Adams,”
The Christian History of the American Revolution: Consider and Ponder, p. 606

 

Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him; for I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.           Genesis 18:19

 

God bless and Godspeed to all Fathers
who exercise their Duty and Authority
to raise up their Sons and Daughters
to keep the Way of the Lord—

For where the Spirit of the Lord reigns,
there is Liberty.

Tags:  duty  fathers day  reason 

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