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Summer Fact Box

Summer Learning

Fact Box

 

Summer Fact Box

How does your family make summer memorable and meaningful? To encourage summer learning, the following article comes to you from the Pilgrim Institute archives.

In the summer of 1984, Verna Hall and Rosalie Slater of the Foundation for American Christian Education gave children an opportunity to do special projects which would help form the same Pilgrim character traits that built Plymouth Plantation and strengthened the colony to “survive in the American Wilderness.”

More than just a suggestion for your family, this article brings to you a treasure—the words of Miss Hall and Miss Slater; words which will inspire you with a love for learning, recognition of divine Providence, and the beauty of the Principle Approach to American Christian Education.
Dear Children and Parents:

DEVELOPING A FACT BOX

          Noah Webster in his American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828, defines the word fact as follows:

FACT: (From the root of to make or do)

  1. Any thing done, or that comes to pass; an act; a deed; an effect produced or achieved; an event. Witnesses are introduced into court to prove a fact. Facts are stubborn things. To deny a fact is to lie.
  2. Reality; truth; as, in fact.

Recording Useful Knowledge

          When young Jules Verne was having a difficult time, he found the public libraries of Paris a warm place. Here he began his extensive reading in the natural sciences. In his lifetime, he wrote 20,000 data cards of facts. His excellent memory and imagination allowed him to make use of this knowledge in the writing of his many books of adventure. Because Jules Verne endeavored to be careful and accurate in his research, one hundred years later in America when the Apollo 9 Spacecraft for the manned space flight to the moon was built, it was the same weight and height as that used in Jules Verne’s novel Journey from the Earth to the Moon. Even more remarkable was the fact that the splashdown of Apollo 9 in the Pacific Ocean was about 2 ½ miles from the point which Jules Verne had calculated from his research one hundred years before!

Today we American Christians have become careless with our habits of learning. We live in an age when there is much to learn yet for the most part, we fail to organize our knowledge. That is the purpose for a Fact Box. Go to the stationery store and find a box—not smaller than one which could hold 4” by 6” cards. You may want a larger card to work with. You should also purchase a set of alphabet cards so that you can file and organize your facts alphabetically. Every time you learn some new and important fact, write it on a card with a brief line or two to indicate the source of your information. By filing it under a proper letter, you will be able to find your information and add to it. As you read about persons, places, things, which are important for you to remember, decide how you want to classify the information so that later you may refer to it quickly.

Biographies

Perhaps you have been reading a biography about Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross. Perhaps you have just learned about John Chapman, known as Johnny Appleseed and the beautiful Ohio country where he planted so many apple trees. You could classify him under the word apple, or Ohio, or under his own well-loved name of Jonny Appleseed. Plan to unify your knowledge so that as you learn more and more about America’s Christian History you can bring in many people, places and events that relate to the uniqueness of our country.

Creation

God’s Creation is an area which is so full of wonderful studies that, hopefully, you will be adding to your knowledge and appreciation all the time. Streams, ponds, rivers, and the Oceans afford many sources of learning. As students of the Principle Approach, we seek to find the unifying principles by which many diverse plants and animals are drawn together. This is certainly true of the life of a pond, or the tide-pools at the seashore. The more we can relate the facts we see before us to the unifying principles that govern, the more certain we will be able to learn God’s Laws governing the particular area. This is, of course, true of the forests and the desert lands, and tropical and arctic regions. The study of an area should bring us closer to the Nature and Character of God.

When Matthew Fontaine Maury, Christian founder of Oceanography, published his The Physical Geography of the Sea and its Meteorology in 1855, he caused many men who had spent their lives at sea “to look about us, and see by what wonderful manifestations of the wisdom and goodness of the great God we are continually surrounded.” As Captain Phinney of the American ship Gertrude continued to testify of his closer look into “the wonders of the great deep” as a result of studying Maury, we can see the relationship of his words to our own lives:

“For myself, I am free to confess that for many years I commanded a ship, and, although never insensible to the beauties of nature upon the sea or land, I yet feel that, until I took up your work, I had been traversing the ocean blindfolded. I did not know the amazing and beautiful combination of all the works of Him whom you so beautifully term ‘the Great First Thought.’

“I feel that, aside from the pecuniary profit to myself from your labors, you have done me good as a man. You have taught me to look above, around and beneath me, and recognize God’s Hand in every element by which I am surrounded. I am grateful for this personal benefit. Your remarks on this subject, so frequently made in your work, cause in me feelings of the greatest admiration, although my capacity to comprehend your beautiful theory is very limited.”

Places to Visit

There are also many places to visit—some probably quite close to where you live—which have some connection with our history, our literature or with our present life as a nation. These places can be entered into your Fact Box and can be helpful reminders of the history that unfolded in that particular spot of geography. Sometimes you can actually touch history. You can reach down and feel a wagon track imprinted on the land where the wheels of a prairie schooner carried a family westward and left its mark on history. Sometimes you can walk inside the decaying walls of an old adobe fort or house where some important act of history was lived out. Or you can see and touch and climb inside some old entrenchment or redoubt that served in the defense of liberty. All of these can be entered as facts into your record or box.

Eyewitnesses

The “eyewitnesses” of the nineteenth century events of history are almost all gone and we must look to books, and diaries, sermons and newspapers, to seek out our eighteenth century history. What can we record of today’s events that are taking place in our centuries—the twentieth and the twenty-first? Do we know of God’s Hand in preserving our nation in this century? Do we know of the many efforts for liberty taking place today in our nation, in our world? We should record carefully names, dates, places, important to the history of Constitutional Liberty.

Bible

The Bible is our written textbook of liberty and we can depend upon the facts of the Bible. Just as in Old Testament times there were efforts to preserve and record the Hand of God in His Story, so in the New Testament those who were “eyewitnesses” were careful to write down the important events in the Life of our Lord. Luke, who was not a disciple of our Lord, but a frequent companion of the Apostle Paul, began his Gospel with these significant words:

“Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou has been instructed.”  Luke 1:1-4

Let us be faithful stewards of what the Lord is teaching us in all fields—and let us seek His principles in each field we research. As we expand our awareness of God’s principles in all fields and record carefully the facts which can serve to prepare us—then we will be ready to be used of the Lord for His plan and purpose as a faithful instrument of His will in our lives—to His glory and for the benefit of the cause of Liberty.

Keep your Fact Box at home. Work at it and review what you are recording often to see whether you are learning the relationships which exist between all aspects of God’s world. From time to time when you have something of interest to report you may want to take your Fact Box to school to share with your teachers and classmates. Perhaps others, too, in your school will be working at building a Fact Box and you can exchange your knowledge and information and inspire each other to pursue the goal of godly approval.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”   2 Timothy 2:15

From the Editor — If the suggestion of a simple card file seems too old-fashioned to interest your technology-saturated children, consider the following suggestions:

  • Use lap-book style file folders and papers for your child’s recording.
  • Learn to do foldables, and encourage your child to record on them.
  • Purchase bright-colored cards to make the project appealing.
  • Supply your child with stickers to decorate the cards after they’ve recorded something new they learned.
  • Provide bright-colored pencils, pens or markers to make the writing special.
  • Create an individual Summer Learning computer file, and have your child create attractive documents.
  • Use a digital camera to capture interesting photos and use the internet or library to learn more about God’s marvelous Creation. Record what you’ve learned along with the digital picture.
  • Start a sketch book and make drawings about things of interest. Research more information and add written descriptions of what you’ve learned.
  • Purchase a Note Sketch Book from Miller Pads and Paper. Use the book to make sketches or collect photographs, postcards, etc. Using the pre-printed lines, write about what you learned visiting a park, walking in the neighborhood, or reading a book.

 

Wellesley, Scissors, and My Heavenly Father

Wellesley, Scissors, and My Heavenly Father
by Sharon Jaspers Caughill

Wellesley, Scissors, and My Heavenly Father

I often wonder at how God must view my daily silliness. He oversees my every moment, so how can He remain so incredibly patient with me? I know myself intimately and I am quite idiotic. Yet God loves me. And in Scripture He, with great compassion, warns me to be wise and careful and prudent. He instructs me desiring the best for me and wanting me to be safe. How do I respond? Sometimes I choose to be foolish and reckless and frivolous. And I question. Constantly question. In return He patiently guides and prods me along the path of life. I am always within the gaze of His eternal devotion. His eyes are specifically on me! His love is so vast. His love is so perfect.

Yesterday I was watching our grandson, Wellesley, who reminded me of this. Every time I turned around Welles was doing something dangerous or stupid. Now I think Welles is incredibly smart. He even looks smart – his eyes often peer back at me with a ‘wow you are silly Nana – I will pray for more intelligence to come your way’ eyes. But yesterday he was having a love affair with danger. I stopped him twice with scissors. The bright red-handled kitchen shears he removed from the lower rack of the dishwasher. For some reason their attractiveness is a constant draw. And tiny scissors he found rummaging through stuff his grandfather left strewn around which is another blog topic completely. I looked at him as he happily carried around danger and thought about myself – drawn to exactly what I should not be. With relish I carry peril in my heart and soul and body and mind. Because I love Wellesley a lot I chose to pry the scissors from his greedy little hands and as I did I thought about God ever so patiently taking things from mine.

A few minutes later he was at the top of the stairs shaking the protective gate hollering – desperately wanting to pull it away so he could have the freedom of the stairs. Why yes it would be fun to tumble down those hard wooden stairs and land on the basement cement. Nana is so cruel to put up that roadblock! And again I thought about the protectiveness of God for me – and how I stand pushing against that which He lovingly has in place for my protection. Do I appreciate it, thank Him for it? No I wrangle and shake and babble and whine. It seems so ‘in the way’! It seems so harsh! He guards me out of love. Why can’t I remember that? What a foolish little lamb I am. But oh my Shepherd!

The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23

Sharon Jaspers Caughill is the wife of Senior Pastor Paul Caughill, High Point Baptist Chapel, Geigertown, PA. Sharon loves her time as Pastor’s wife, but especially enjoys her time as grandmother and wrote this article about an experience with her grandson. We are sharing it with her permission.

Capturing the Heart for Learning

Capturing the Heart for Learning 

 

The youngest child is learning every day in each sphere of his life. These early years provide a wonderful opportunity to plant the seeds of a heart that will love to learn. How can this be done?

  • Consider the government of your home — how are you directing and controlling the home? What example are you setting for the youngest child, who learns more by what we do than what we say.
  • Do you spend time looking at God’s creation, enjoying the beauty and diversity?
  • Are you reading to your child, choosing books which plant the seeds for a desire to learn more and particularly a desire to read for themselves?

Find specially chosen resources for capturing the heart of learners HERE.

 

American Christian Home

Pilgrim Institute‘s Annual Conference centered upon the American Christian home. In a series of General Sessions, the audience was challenged to consider the home with reference to its mission, government, education, and influence. The following reflections concerning the home are presented to you in hopes that they will confirm, strengthen, and encourage you concerning the truly significant role of the home in an American Christian republic.

 Looking at the Christian home from a Biblical perspective, what can we discern concerning the responsibilities, importance, and influence of the family?

 The earliest chapters of Genesis identify the home as the first divine institution, with sacred and significant responsibilities. From the moment God placed a helpmeet next to Adam’s side, He planned for the home to be the strong foundation on which future divinely-ordained institutions would rest: civil government, established in the Old Testament, and the church, instituted in the New Testament.

 Scriptures clearly teach that the home is responsible for guiding each member to love and serve God. In Deuteronomy 5, Moses called the Israelite nation before him to reiterate God’s commandments and promises. The commandments had been given to the previous generation. Now it was time for another generation to be reminded of its responsibilities. Moses called to their remembrance the greatness, glory, and justice of God in their nation’s history. His example underscores the need for God’s truth to be passed on from one generation to the next.

 Deuteronomy 6 sets forth Moses’ direction that the adults fear, obey and love God with all their hearts. As they took God’s commandments to heart themselves, they must in turn take great pains to impress them upon the hearts of their children, in every activity of daily living turning their children’s attention to the application of God’s commandments and precepts.

 In Joshua’s lifetime, He was impressed to summon the Israelites together and call another generation to make a conscious choice, family by family, to serve, honor, and obey God’s commandments. Families must be obedient to God’s laws in order for God to place His blessing upon the nation.

 The examples given in the Old Testament were taken to heart by our American forefathers. They clearly understood that rightly governed families were necessary for the success of the nation. In 1851, Lydia Sigourney eloquently expressed this sentiment:For the strength of a nation, especially of a republican nation, is in the intelligent and well-ordered homes of the people. And in proportion as the discipline of families is relaxed, will the happy organization of communities be affected, and national character become vagrant, turbulent, or ripe for revolution.”

In our generation, it behooves us to ask, “If the principles, character, ideals and practices of the home are mirrored in the nation, what should the American Christian parent seek to instill in the hearts and minds of children and youth?”

A proper view of God is the cornerstone for all that takes place in home training. A correct view of the magnitude of God Himself requires that the pursuit of God’s truth must become a lifelong effort. Do our children have a reverence of God as the creator and maintainer of the physical universe? (Colossians 1:16) Does our family comprehend that God’s nature and His principles extend beyond the physical universe into every aspect of daily living? Are we turning to Scripture to find His truth for all things, Psalm 119:128, or have we attempted to limit the authority of God in our lives, allowing Him only to direct us in “spiritual things”?

 Do we, by instruction and example, demonstrate God’s view of direction and control for both individuals and institutions? Is the emphasis of the home placed upon the internal heart of the individual, or only upon the external appearance and actions?

 God rules in the heart and life of each individual, based upon voluntary consent. If I consent to the practical principles of God’s government, how could I be an influence in my place of business, my local community, or the civic organizations in which I am involved? In other words, how can God’s plan for proper direction and control enable me to be salt and light in a dark and drifting world?

 President Ronald Reagan took to heart a belief concerning the relationship between Scriptural principles and American liberty. He often quoted the sentiment that our light must shine not only for our own nation, but for the world to see: “Standing on the deck of the Arabella in 1630 off the Massachusetts coast, John Winthrop said ‘we shall be a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.'”

 May we once again heed the instruction and call of God upon our lives as parents, educators and Christian leaders, imparting principles of truth and liberty to our generation and to the next.

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