My journey in producing The Mighty Works of God series goes back many years. It begins first with a personal journey of internal heart change when, as a Christian, I realized the Providential Hand of God in history, past, present, and future.
I have partially told this story on our Pilgrim Institute blog and if you are interested you can go to the articles on An Individual’s Journey with the Principle Approach. There are five parts written so far, and I haven’t finished telling the story.
But, here, I want to share the story of these volumes. In 1973, when I began to teach at the Christian school in Iowa, we quickly realized that there were no history books available which taught a Providential view of history or the Biblical principles of government, which we desired the students to learn.
I was challenged to develop a plan for teaching these ideas to our students in the elementary school. To me, there were two over-arching themes which I knew must undergird each year’s teaching: 1) that God has a plan for all of History and He is working out His plan in each nation and uniquely in America to produce the first nation built upon Biblical principles and 2) that the Bible in the hands of the people is causative to the events of history.
Having studied the two big red books, The Christian History of the Constitution and Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History, I identified nine major links of history which were essential links on which all of history could be related. Week by week I studied and prepared materials which I could teach in the classroom, and then I would teach the other teachers, so they could teach their students. This was the first baby steps in developing the curriculum.
However, the same material couldn’t be taught each year. The next step was to expand those nine links. Miss Slater had taught the idea of expanding principles and from this was born the chart of the expanding nine links. Each year the main link would always be referred to, but it would be taught with different individuals or events, but always retaining the main ideas.
The chart was refined and shared with individuals such as James Rose, Verna Hall, and Rosalie Slater, who encouraged me in their development. It was expanded with further details and suggestions for how to teach this throughout the elementary grades.
In 1979, when we founded the Pilgrim Institute, I began to share this overview with teachers, administrators, and homeschoolers, in conferences and teaching sessions around the country. When James Rose published A Guide to American Christian Education in 1987, this work was published as a section American Christian History for the elementary school.
It wasn’t until a number of years later that the impetus came to expand the work into what is now The Mighty Works of God series. My daughter had just had her fourth child, was homeschooling, and was feeling very overwhelmed. I lived one hundred miles away, but I wanted to help, so I offered to help with her history for her daughter. I said, “Let me prepare history lessons for you,” and, so the series began. As you will note in the first volumes, they are dedicated to my grandchildren. All eight of them studied from the volumes before they were published. Also, all eight of their pictures have been included by the artist somewhere in the volumes.
The series title came from Psalm 78 where we are commanded to teach the generation to come his wonderful works that they might set their hope in God and not forget the works of God.
The Teacher’s Guides have been written with the particular purpose to guide you to not dwell upon the facts of history but to teach your student(s) ideas which will change their hearts and minds and help them to remember God’s mighty works. I want to express my particular appreciation to my daughters Jeanette Whittaker, Lynn Meier, and Charlene Trowbridge, who have given countless hours to make these volumes a reality.
If you find The Mighty Works of God series a blessing in your life, to God be the glory.