Who’s Bible Is It Anyway?

One of my favorite movies is the Bok of Eli (another favorite is Fight Club, but that’s literally and figuratively another story). It’s a graphic and gritty portrayal of good and bad vying for control of the Bible. The Good Guys want to preserve the last copy of Scripture and have it copied for all to read. The Bad Guys want to have the Bible for themselves so that they can misuse it for their own purposes. Whoever holds the power to interpret Scripture is in control- the GGs would put it in the hands of the people, the BGs would keep it to usurp authority.

Note Yahweh’s declaration in Genesis 2:18, 22: ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make him a helpmeet… And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.”

Notice cd (chief deity – lower case d, so as not to confuse him with someone who has real power) Kennedy’s opinion on same-sex “marriage” – “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.” (sniff, sniff) Sounds biblical so far. But this is, of course, not about biblical love and marriage – it’s about SSM. It’ s not about Adam and Eve, it’s about Adam and Steve (more specifically about John and Jim, but that’s not as poetic), which the Justices really found buried in the Constitution. It’s the kind of twisted interpretation that comes from “let the professionals handle this.” (Which stems from the belief that the average citizen is too stupid to interpret the Constitution and the Bible on their own, and people often believe that themselves.)

People wonder why Christians are up-in-arms about this SSM thing. It’s not about politics at all. The issue at hand is not the value of life, or that one side wants people to be lonely, or about hatred – the issue is “Who interprets Scripture?” The majority in SCOTUS see their role as being the gods who can determine what marriage is, and they see themselves as those who are in the position to provide spiritual direction to those seeking their favor. The plain meaning of Scripture is husband and wife; the plain meaning of the Constitution is, well, ummm…it’s not in there.

Kennedy’s opinion uses traditional and theological language. Reread the quote above and you’ll see that you’ll find his statement in any Christian, or any other religious, marriage book. What’s he doing? He’s usurping Scripture for his own purposes and to gain control.

Christendom is largely at fault – yes, the same people who blame SCOTUS for working against them. For too many years now the Church has upheld professional ministers and missionaries as the highest calling, when they’re not. The highest calling is being a Christian – period. A minister, a missionary, a businessman, a student, a factory worker, a judge – all are equal in standing if they’re in Christ. Christians need to continue training Christians to go into the political arena. It’s resurging, but it was left out for a long time and there’s a lot of building to do.

In time, we can have the likes of John Jay, who was the first Chief Justice of the US and (gasp!) a Christian. Not just some “I attend government church service when I can” Christian, but the president of the American Bible Society. He wrote, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” When we have a justice like John who believed that peace was through the spread of the gospel, instead of twisted devotional literature masquerading as legal opinion, things will be better.

30 Days of Homeschool: Day 26 – Public Speaking and Storytelling

(30 posts about free resources for homeschooling)

PREFACE/ENCOURAGEMENT/PONTIFICATION: Those who can speak in public and tell stories just simply get along better. I’m not talking about being a professional. I’m talking about the ability to be around other people and engage and lead in conversation. Digital storytelling is good if you have good to great ideas, but don’t know how to get them across with your facial and hand expressions. While we’re not all naturals at talking to and engaging other people, it’s a skill that everyone should learn to some extent. It becomes more important as we are often further removed from daily interaction with people. Society has moved more to emails, IMs, texting, social media, and staring at a computer all day, then going home to watch TV on the computer, and then playing games on the computer. Phone calls are rarer, so we’re getting away from knowing how our tone of voice affects people. Humans are still central to our existence, and we have to fight the tides that want us to isolate ourselves. What we say, what our body does, what our face shows, our tone of voice – they ALL affect people. It’s not to manipulate, but rather to inform, uplift, encourage, teach  — to engage other souls.

I’ve put the two topics of together because they go hand-in-hand – if you can do one, you really can do the other.

Storytelling Arts of Indiana – http://www.storytellingarts.org/
I was a storyteller at a children’s hospital for a year, and it was through this organization. It was free to join, but the “payment” was memorizing stories and telling them (no books allowed for us!) to the children. You may have something similar in your area. This is more for adults, but they offer all kinds of events for kids to hear stories told.

TED talks on Storytellinghttps://www.ted.com/topics/storytelling
Good points about the larger picture of storytelling. In addition, just watch any videos that you want. All the speakers practice, practice, practice, because speaking at TED is one of the highest achievements in many arenas. You get to see real people who have condensed their points into, on average, an 18-minute speech. They’re not all polished and professional, but are great examples of the heart and soul it takes to communicate. You don’t have to be them; watch them to know better how to be you.

Digital Storytellinghttp://elearningindustry.com/free-digital-storytelling-tools-for-teachers-and-students
This page has 21 links, most of them free. While it’s great to teach your kids to talk to other people, there’s a place for each of us, student and parents alike, to know how to get our point across through digital media.

This ancient art is the art of having a picture on the front of a large card that faces the audience, with the words of the story on the back that the storyteller reads. I’ve done something similar at home, and it 1. Takes the edge off of having to memorize, 2. Removes the distraction from the students of having to read the words, and 3. Helps them focus on their imaginations by just seeing the artwork.

Microsoft’s Educator Networkhttps://www.educatornetwork.com/Resources/Tools/Details/1ff33a3e-150e-4b52-8839-b8ab266c9fe1
This is a simple page about Windows Live Movie Maker and using it for digital storytelling. Sure, there are better options out there, but it’s free, and if you have a newer Windows computer it’s built-in to your OS.

Odds Bodkinhttp://www.oddsbodkin.net/Home.html
One of my favorite storytellers! The site doesn’t have a lot of free things, but there’s enough free stuff here to make your visit worthwhile. While his skill can leave one thinking, “I could NEVER do that!,” there are still great examples of how engaging and compelling storytelling can be.

Jim Weisshttp://www.greathall.com/storytelling.html
Jim is great at voices, and demonstrates very well how engaging a story told with just voices can be performed.

This page has links about brand storytelling and content strategy. I include this for those teachers and students who are more interested in telling stories in the corporate world.

Toastmasters (public speaking tips) – https://www.toastmasters.org/Resources/Public-Speaking-Tips
You may be in a position where you have more short speeches and introductions to give than actual stories to tell. This page has 11 tips for better speaking. And this page – https://www.toastmasters.org/Resources/Video-Library – shows videos of tips.

Teaching/speaking at home, co-op, or church, or camp, etc.
These are, of course, the best free places to try out what you’ve learned. One’s attitude and preparation are keys to pre-speech preparation, but the best preparation for speaking later is speaking now. Actually speaking in front of people is the best way to figure out what your style is.

Board games
While these aren’t necessarily free (you can certainly make your own for free), one of the things they teach is how to read people and influence them. When you’re competing while facing others, you get to see reactions and learn over time about that person. It’s not judgmental, but truly revealing. And over time, as you communicate with them, you get to know them better, they get to know you, and they can provide feedback on your habits and expressions.

Happy Homeschooling!

30 Days of Homeschool: Day 25 – Music Education

(30 posts about free resources for homeschooling)

“Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.” Martin Luther

“Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.” Ludwig van Beethoven

So you want your child to know more about music, and even play an instrument, but you’re stuck because you don’t have the wherewithal to get a tuba, or join a community band, or you don’t want to be on all of those band trips, etc. I hope the resources below will help. There’s nothing here to give you a free instrument, but there are resources that can help in your practice and study of them.

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30 Days of Homeschool: Day 23 – Freebies

I saw this yesterday and just had to pass it along. Many people are on a budget, so this applies to all. But it’s even more pertinent for many homeschoolers. We have both the normal monetary restraints PLUS the taxes that we pay for the education of others (50% of our local taxes go to public education). So any time that there’s a way to save money, you should be aware of it so that you can take advantage of the opportunity.


Best Freebies: 69 Awesome Things You Can Get for Free


These aren’t necessarily free, but here are ways to save money:
30 Things You Can Share to Save Money


30 Days of Homeschool – Day 22: Languages

(30 posts about free homeschool resources)

Maybe you want to talk to your other-language-speaking neighbors. Or you’re going to visit a country soon, or next semester. Or you’ve read about studies that show that learning a language keeps the brain nimble. Or you’re aware of the economic studies that detail how important it is to know any second language. Whatever the case, here are some free resources to help you along the way.

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30 Days of Homeschool: Day 21 – History

(30 posts about free resources for homeschooling)

“Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
Winston Churchill

“We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.”
George Bernard Shaw

“History doesn’t repeat itself; human nature repeats itself.”

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