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How do “A Reading People become a Great People”?

How do “A Reading People become a Great People”?
Ruth J. Smith

How do a reading people become a great people

In the sermon at church yesterday, the Pastor used Philippians 4:7-8 as the text for his message. His message reminded me and inspired me of the importance of reading, first the Word of God and then other good writings.

As I considered this topic many questions came to mind:

  • Why is it so important that Christians be a reading people?
  • How does reading have an effect in a nation?
  • How do I choose what to read?
  • How do I teach someone to read?

There are probably more questions which could be added to this list, but these are a place of beginning.

Why is it so important that Christians be a reading people?

God, in His great wisdom, saw fit to give us the written word as a means of knowing His mind concerning all areas of life and living. How can I know God’s plan unless I read His word? The Bible contains the answer for every aspect and challenge of life – we simply need to learn to search the Scriptures to find those answers. My brother, Dr. Glen Jaspers, preaches a great message on “The Bible, God’s Mind Concerning Everything”. I would highly recommend this message to challenge your thinking.

How does reading have an effect in a nation?

“A reading people will soon become a thinking people and a thinking people must soon become a great people.”[i]

This always reminds me of the importance of reading. As we watch current events unfold in our nation, we often see those individuals who are not thinking for themselves but assuming an attitude or position based upon what someone else has reasoned. A thinking people will read and reason for themselves and, if they are reasoning from the Scripture and from accurate historical writings, their conclusions will be those that will restore and preserve the Biblical foundations of our nation.

How do I choose what to read?

Many different sources are available which include suggested books for individuals of different ages. Two lists which I like to use personally and recommend to others are A Family Program for Reading Aloud by Rosalie Slater. This volume includes suggestions for all ages and you are assured that the recommended books will meet the standard of Philippians 4:8, that which is true, honest, just, pure, lovely and virtuous. The other list, also written by Rosalie Slater, is in James Rose’s, A Guide to American Christian Education for the Home and School: The Principle Approach. The section on literature begins on page 327, and offers many wonderful suggestions.

My grandchildren know that they can anticipate receiving a book for birthdays and Christmas each year. This is a wonderful opportunity to add to their library. 

How do I teach someone to read?

If we desire to have our children and grandchildren read, they must be taught to become independent readers. There are many good phonics programs available. I highly recommend the method by which my children and grandchildren learned to read – originally this was the Little Patriot Series, but it is now offered as the American Language series. “Phonetic principles and concepts presented in this quality learn-to-read program allow students to learn quickly how to read any book.”

I have seen the outstanding fruit of this phonics program in producing great readers. One of the standards which I particularly like is that by the end of the Kindergarten level, the child is equipped to read from the Bible. This doesn’t need to be a simplified version of the Scripture, but can be an adult version – we recommend the King James Version, as it reflects English at the peak of the language, identifying the language of liberty.

Challenge for each of us 
How are we being a part of the process for becoming a “Great People”?

[i] Reverend S. Phillips, The Christian Home as it is in the Sphere of Nature and the Church   . ., 1861 in Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History: The Principle Approach (San Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education, 1965), page 21.



Leadership Demanded by a Republic

Leadership Demanded by a Republic

Leadership demanded by a Republic

As you watch the news, do you sometimes wonder, “Where is the leadership that is needed in our nation?”  Leadership has been defined as, “to follow in advance of others.”  Perhaps this definition raises questions in your mind.  If so, take some time to reflect upon what a leader must follow–principles? a goal or purpose? a philosophy?


James Rose, President of the American Christian History Institute, declared “A Constitutional Federal Republic demands, calls for, requires, American Christian leadership be taught, illustrated, and demonstrated on four levels/arenas, simultaneously, for the purpose of advancing individual liberty and self government. As parents, pastors, pedagogues, and producers lead (follow Christ, the Bible) in these four arenas, simultaneously, a Republic can be preserved and perpetuated.

“The four levels are:

“LOCAL SELF-GOVERNING HOME/FAMILY – What would parents – Dad and Mom – be found doing in a local self-governing home to Teach, Illustrate and Demonstrate self-government?

“LOCAL SELF GOVERNING CHURCH – What would the pastor and members be doing to Teach, Illustrate and Demonstrate local self-government?

“LOCAL CHRISTIAN HOME OR DAY SCHOOL – What would the “pedagogues” – administration and faculty – be doing to Teach, Illustration and emonstrate American Christian Education for the purpose of sustaining and advancing the capacity to reason from the Bible and practice self government?

“LOCAL BUSINESS – What could a local, self-governing producer – employers and employees – do to sustain and advance individual liberty and self government under a Constitutional Federal Republic?”

Hear a clip from his presentation “Leadership Demanded by a Republic”, presented at a Pilgrim Institute Conference. Enjoy the full presentation on CD or DVD.

Easter Remembrance

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” I Corinthians 15:3-4.

May this Easter season be a time of remembering the blessed gift God gave of His Son that we might have eternal life. When an individual receives this blessed gift of the Gospel, Christ dwells in his heart. This indwelling Christ is ready to direct and control each thought and action of our life. However, we must consent to this direction and control. This is Christian self government, the spirit of the law.

As we rejoice this Easter season in this wonderful gift, may we be reminded that this gift of self government is ours throughout our life. We simply must consent to God’s government in our lives. As we pass on to our children and grandchildren the good news of salvation, may we also share the good news that we can be governed by God on a daily basis.

Let us never forget that Christ and Christianity are the basis for self government and self government is the foundation upon which this nation was built and by which it must be restored.

Remembering the Price He Paid

Remembering the Price He Paid

CalvaryLast night I had the privilege of enjoying the Passion Play presented by Northside Baptist Church in Elkhart, Indiana. My heart was stirred with the beautiful music and retelling of the great sacrifice Christ made for each of us in His death on the cross, but then the glorious resurrection which completed the payment for our sins.

This wonderful presentation reminded me again of why Christ must be the focal point of all of our teaching. During His life on this earth, Christ’s followers thought he had come to set up an earthly kingdom, but He had come for something much greater.

Christ came to change the hearts of men and gave to each of us the means of His government in our lives and actions. This “internal” government brought changes which literally “turned the world upside down.” With Christ and Christianity, man could govern his own actions and have less need for external government.

This change took centuries to bring forth a nation which was built upon the idea that man could govern himself.

My prayer is that Christians will remember Christ’s great sacrifice and the wonderful liberty He gives to us first internally and then, as American Christians, the nation which was designed to protect that liberty. While bombarded on every side with “man’s ideas”, let’s remember Christ and not forget our heritage. Though men may deny Him, we must protect and preserve the Biblical principles of our land.

May God give each of you a blessed Easter season.

The Remarkable Gift of Liberty


The Remarkable Gift of Liberty

by Jeanette Whittaker

As the prophet Isaiah foretold the birth of Christ, he was divinely inspired to pen the words, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6.

Centuries would pass before the world would witness the promised Messiah. In the centuries that followed, the gospel message transformed the lives of believers.

Where would we be as individuals and as a nation without the transforming power of Christianity?

The remarkable gift of liberty has been entrusted to our care. How can we find a way to perpetuate that gift to our posterity?

The Christmas season is a time for so many things: rejoicing, remembering, renewing our commitment to follow our Lord and Savior.

As you gather with family, associates, friends, and fellow believers, we pray that like Mary you will ponder the meaning of the events which we celebrate, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11.

Photo credit: mad world news
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