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Every student that has passed through the educational system has been subjected to taking a biology class. If separated into its root and suffix, the literal translation of the word biology is the study of life, an examination of what makes a plant or creature grow, change, reproduce, and die.
Although primarily considered as a book of theology and philosophy, the Bible also contains information pertaining to history, literature, business, and even science. If readers fail to pay close attention to what they read, they will miss the specific details of how the human body works especially in the areas of birth and death.
God set specific rules to the biogenesis of not only people but plants and animals as well. In Genesis 1:11-12, 21, and 25, the Creator repeats Himself telling His creations to reproduce according to their own kind – flowers with flowers, dogs with dogs, and people with people. Although one would think that such a rule would be common sense, every stipulation has its reason. Every plant and creature has its own special genetic code which is designed to only reproduce with a similar genetic code. Therefore, even if for some strange reason a scientist decided to try to artificially create a cross-breed between a person and a mouse, it could not be done.
However, once two individual’s genetic codes have blended and the woman’s pregnancy comes to fruition, that mother then receives the joy of enduring the excruciating pain of childbirth. Mother everywhere may thank humanity’s common mother Eve for that blessing. Readers may safely assume that prior to the fall of humanity, the labor pains of childbirth were far less than what they are now, for in Genesis 3:16, God tells the woman that he will “greatly increase [her] pains in childbearing; with pain [she would] give birth to children.” To greatly increase pain means that there was some form of discomfort, but certainly not the agony women must now endure. In that same curse, just as He readjusted what would happen during birth, God stated what would happen in death.
In Genesis 3:19, He said that mankind would return to the ground “for dust [we] are and to dust [we] shall return” for that is the chemical nature of skin. Once an individual dies and the regeneration of cells stops, the body literally digests itself and melts itself into dirt. Adam and Eve had probably never seen a dead body before due to the newness and perfection of everything in the world at that point, so there was no way they could have known the decomposition processes of a cadaver or the multitude of diseases contained within a corpse.
Not knowing about the potentially dangerous viruses and bacteria on a decomposing body is probably why God told the Israelites that anyone who touches a dead body shall be unclean (NUM. 19:11).
David said it best in his 139th Psalm, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” The Bible leaves small but detailed clues as to how the body works, how it is knit together, and how it decays. All a reader needs to do is look closely in order to find those small gems that answer so many questions in only a few words.
by Laura Stringfellow
Originally printed in the Fall 2009 issue
I’m 22 years old and have two younger sisters, 13 and 15, whom I have tried to be as involved with as possible while they are growing up and during the junior high/high school years. However, I have absolutely no children of my own. I feel the need to add this disclaimer so that you may take my thoughts with whatever size grain of salt that you like.
I am a big believer in the public schooling. I went through the public school system and have many wonderful friends who did as well. I think that the best way to learn how to “be in the world, but not of the world” is to be in the world. It offers youth an opportunity of “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). I think children and young adults need to be prepared to stand up for themselves before being thrust out into the world on their own.
However, I think that, without exception, every single Christian parent should home school their children. That’s not to say that I think the home is where they necessarily need to learn their alphabet, geometry, science, history, and so on (although those who choose to take on the challenge deserve great respect for what they are doing for their children). Rather, every child need to learn from their parents what it means to be a Christian.
I’m not naïve to the dangers of public school. As I mentioned, I went through one. For the child that is interested and even sometimes to the one that isn’t, you can find anything you want related to sex, drugs and rock and roll. But we don’t want to send the children into that unprepared. Sooner or later that’s a battle they will have to face.
By Lauren Bookout
Originally printed in the Fall 2009 issue
I can remember when I was just a little girl, the wonderful swing that hung on the huge wraparound porch of my Maw Maw’s house. I would swing, sing and play in it for what seemed like hours each time we visited. It made the most comforting sound as it swung, back and forth. As I swung, the cool breeze that blew gently across that big old porch was like none other. I remember sometimes just lying there and counting the links in the chains that supported the swing. Though I thought about it sometimes, I never really worried about the chain breaking. I was too busy swinging my dolls and listening to all the different birds singing around me.
As my mother and I arrived for one of our visits to Maw Maw’s, I ran to her to get my usual hug and kiss. I snooped to see what she had good to eat and then ran straight to the front porch to swing. I was so disappointed when I rounded the corner and found one end of the swing lying on the porch floor. As I walked closer I could see that a link in the chain on that side had broken and let go. Because of the weakness, the broken connection of just one link, the entire chain had stopped functioning as it should, causing every link around it to let go as well. Each link depended on the strength of those before and after it. I’m reminded of the old saying “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link”.
The strength of Christianity passing on from generation to generation can in many ways be compared to a chain. The lack of Christian example and Godly training of our children can result in an entire generation breaking its connection with God. If parents today would have a zeal for the scriptures and train their children to know and love God as taught in the Bible, the church would be stronger and fewer children today would be involved in drugs, sex and crimes and suicide. They would not always be trying to “find themselves”. Instead, they would know the value of life and that they were made in the image of the almighty God who created them. They would know their purpose in life and would pass that knowledge of God and His will on to their children, not breaking the connection of spiritual responsibility. A faithful father and mother has always been God’s plan for a family. The Christian training and influence of a father and mother is priceless.
However, for various reasons, some children have to be raised in a single parent home or by grandparents. Does this mean that one parent or grandparent cannot keep the strength of the Christian chain going for and though their children? Certainly not! It may take more effort, but it can and must be the focus of every parent and grandparent. God will help if we trust in Him and obey Him. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me.”
The world today would have us believe that family and having God as the center of our family is not important. As a result, children are abused and even murdered (in and out of the womb) every day. Children are treated as burdens and instead of blessings in many families. Somewhere along the line a link in the spiritual training of these families was broken, leaving no regard for the souls of their children or themselves.
I and II Timothy tell us of two women that were great examples of being a Christian mother and grandmother. These women (Lois and Eunice) loved God with all their hearts. They knew the importance of passing the saving knowledge of God’s will on to each generation.
Lois was the mother of Eunice and the grandmother of Eunice’s son Timothy. Three generations of faithful obedience. The Christian examples of these women and the evidence of Timothy’s faithful life because of their efforts in teaching him, show us as grandmothers and mothers, the importance of planting God’s word deep in the hearts of our children.
Acts 16:2 tells us that Timothy was well-spoken-of even before he went with Paul. This was no accident. Lois trained her daughter Eunice and they both trained Timothy well. What a great influence they were.
Acts 16:1 tells us Eunice was a Jewish woman and a believer. However, she was married to a Greek (most likely a non-believer). Yet, II Timothy 3:15 says she trained her son from his childhood in the knowledge of the scriptures. Her maternal influence was strong and she used it for God. What an example and how encouraging this is for us as grandmothers, mothers and those that are wives of unbelieving husbands. These faithful women kept the truthful, spiritual links in their children and look at the results it had through the life of Timothy. Not only was he a faithful Christian, but he was a great preacher.
Are we as mothers and grandmothers fulfilling our roles as Christian teachers to our children and grandchildren? Is our faith strong? Do we pray for our children and families daily? Are we practicing the scriptures God has supplied for us as in Deuteronomy 6:5-7? “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. And you shall them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
To keep our families strong spiritually, we must each do our part in teaching our children and our children’s’ children the work of God. We must teach them God’s word morning, noon and night. A mother’s influence whether good (as in the example of Hannah in I Samuel chapters 1 and 2) or bad (as in the example of Rebekah in Genesis 27) is very powerful in the lives of her children!
Proverbs 22: 6 assures us that if we “train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” This is not a promise that our children will be faithful Christians when they grow up. This scripture is telling us that if you teach them God’s word from their childhood, they will always know the truth. Therefore, if they were to ever fall away they would remember what you taught them and have a better chance of being restored because of the that training.
Let us examine the links of our spiritual chains. Are we doing everything we can to keep them strong? The strength and faith of each link and person is so important. Let us never be the “weakest link” that causes the loss of love, respect and obedience that God deserves from our children. May we not be the link that breaks the connection with God: robbing our children of the blessings He has waiting for them.
by Pam Savage
One of the most amazing truths revealed by Jesus Christ and the Word of God, is that God wants us to be His children, and He is willing to even to adopt us. God invites us into His family through the gospel of His Son (Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 4:6) According to the Scriptures, not only can I know that God truly exists, but it can just as forcefully be known whether I am really His child or not.
We live in a day when it is not un-common for someone to demand a DNA test to either confirm that they are the parent or child of a certain person or sometimes it is to prove that they are not. When a person obeys the Gospel and is baptized for the remission of their sins, that person is baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In baptism, the forgiveness of sins is offered through the blood of Jesus Christ. One blood flows for all Christians (Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 6:1-3; Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16). So, in a spiritual sense, no wonder we are brothers and sisters and are all “one in Christ Jesus”. We have the same blood and the same spiritual DNA.
By Lynn Sasser
So what’s all the fuss about homeschooling these days? Pros, cons, pluses, minuses; it’s all so confusing! There are so many different opinions out there, how is one to know what to believe? Well, I’m here to tell you the homeschooler’s side of the issue – as well as the teacher’s side of the issue. I can do this because I am a homeschooler – and a teacher. That is to say, I was homeschooled from 1st grade through 12th grade and am now a licensed elementary teacher.
In grade school, I was grateful to be homeschooled, mostly because of the flexibility. I didn’t have to get up early; I could do school in my pajamas; we could go on lots of field trips; and when we did errands, we could do them during school hours before most people were out. But as I grew older, I began to appreciate the reason that caused my parents to homeschool in the first place. Because of the nature of homeschooling, I was never afraid to go to school: afraid of bullies, afraid of guns, afraid of sexual situations. I rarely had to deal with negative peer pressure and was not faced with the moral issues that are so prevalent in high schools. Drugs, alcohol, sex, filthy language, partying, cheating, and evolution are all things that, gratefully, were not in my school. Instead of being concerned with figuring out how I could sneak out to a party, I was able to focus on figuring out my own opinions on moral, political and spiritual issues.
As a teacher, I can see many more reasons for homeschooling. The biggest reason is the one-to-one teacher-student ratio. It is a proven fact that students who are tutored do better in school. Harry K. Wong, a renowned educator, stated that “the average tutored student outperformed 98 percent of the students taught under a conventional form.” (Wong, The First Days of School, p. 243) A homeschooled student essentially is a tutored student. The personal attention the student gets repeatedly shows in the student’s attitude and grades.
Another plus for homeschooling is that you can pull in subjects in which the student is already interested. For example, if a boy is having trouble reading but loves racecars, books about racecars can be used to encourage him to read. If a student has a question about a lesson, you don’t have to wait until you “get to that lesson,” but can go and find the answer right away while the student is still interested. Homeschoolers also have time to pursue personal interests because it doesn’t take as long to cover the same amount of material. In a public classroom, much time is spent in behavior discipline, quietening the class, passing out papers, etc., most of which is unnecessary in a homeschool classroom. This extra time can be used to get ahead in studies or for personal interests.
It also makes sense to homeschool, because who of all people should want the student’s best interest more than the parents? This means that the parents can focus on providing the student with what he or she needs to succeed. The parents do not have to worry about what 30 different students need to succeed, nor are they distracted by the behavior problems of 30 students. I’ve heard it said that a mother would do anything for her child. This can be applied to homeschooling in that a classroom teacher with 30 students will give up on one student more easily than a parent would. Not to say that a classroom teacher is always at fault – with all a public school teacher is required to do, it is easy, if not inevitable, for one or two students out of 30 to slip through the cracks.
Parents also have the opportunity to instill in their children the moral and spiritual lessons that they would not receive in public schools. As Christians, we are commanded to train our children (Prov. 22:6). It makes it more difficult to train them if our children spend most of their day away from us.
People object to homeschooling for many different reasons. However, I believe most to be completely irrelevant and insulting. The biggest claim against homeschooling is the social issue: that homeschoolers have no interaction with peers in school and thus will never know how to interact with peers. This is ridiculous! Being homeschooled doesn’t mean you are cut off from the world! I cannot count the number of friends I had by the time I graduated high school, including peers, children, young couples, elderly couples and my parents. I actually had a much wider variety of friends than I believe most students have in a standard public school setting. I am as comfortable playing with little kids as I am visiting with an elderly couple at church or having a heart-to-heart with my mom or watching a movie with a college buddy. True, I didn’t get to see my friends every day in school, but the rareness of our time together made it all the more special. I will admit that there are some homeschooled students who have social issues. However, every single person I’ve known who had problems, had worse problems before they started homeschooling; homeschooling actually helped their social problems.
Some also object to homeschooling on claims that the parents may not be licensed teachers or that they may miss teaching something important. You don’t have to have a college degree to teach someone to love to learn. It’s the attitude that is important and many public school teachers are majorly missing this point. Many focus on teaching to the test and covering the material rather than instilling the students with a love of learning. As to leaving something out? There are plenty of sources that parents can use as guides to ensure that the student covers the necessary materials. There is no reason why a homeschooler can’t cover the exact same material as a public school if desired. Most cover much more than public schools.
In closing, I will be eternally grateful to my parents for choosing to homeschool me. I plan to homeschool my children. Do I plan to continue working in the public school systems? Yes. There are children out there who need good teachers. Do I condemn others who attended or send their children to public schools? No. I realize that homeschooling takes dedication, patience and sacrifice and is not an option for some people. And for some parents, homeschooling would result in disaster. But if the parents are willing to take on the challenge, their children can have an excellent experience in school: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
by Beth Kee
Originally printed in the Fall 2009 issue
As Christian parents, we must teach and defend the truth of the Bible constantly with our children. Satan is hard at work in the world and in the schools to try to discount God through our children’s text books. Listed below are a few resources that might prove helpful for Christian parents striving to uphold their charge to teach their children the truth.
* www.apologeticspress.org – Apologetics Press has published materials for over 20 years that support the Christian Faith.
* www.icr.org – Institute for Creation Research’s mission is to “equip believers with evidence of the Bible’s accuracy and authority through scientific research, education programs, and media presentations, all conducted within in a thoroughly biblical framework.
* www.discoverymagazine.com – With a 1 year subscription ranging from $8—$12, this magazine makes the perfect gift for children of all ages. Discovery Magazine for Kids is ublished by Apologetics Press and is a “colorful monthly magazine on Scripture and science for kids”. This magazine is targeted to children between 2nd – 6th grade (ages 8 – 12).
* Digger Doug’s Underground - Digger Doug’s Underground “is a children’s program based on the characters from the Discovery Magazine for Kids” published by Apologetics Press. Your child can “explore basic Bible teachings about God, His Word, and His amazing creation” along with Digger Doug and his friends. DVD’s can be purchased at www.apologeticspress.org
* Reason and Revelation – Reason and Revelation is a magazine for adults that includes articles on Biblical inspiration, God’s existence, creation/evolution, the deity of Christ, an many other topics.” Subscribe to this publication by visiting www.apologeticspress.org/reasonrevelation.
* The Reality of God by Gus Nichols— This is an article originally published in Words of Truth on 8/25/1975. A reprint of the article can be found at Apologetics Press.
* Christianity – A Clear Case of History by Edward C Wharton – Discusses historical evidences of Jesus Christ using the inspired Word as well as testimonies of ancient historians such as Tacitus, Seutonius, and Josephus.
Contributed by Sandy Utley
Originally printed in the Fall 2009 issue
It is a startling reality for some, “A person cannot live wrong and die right.” The Bible does not say that the Judgment Day begins our period of probation, but instead that great day will conclude the only probationary period we get, period! Hebrews 9:27 tells us, “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
Hearing a doctor inform someone that she has cancer or some other terrible disease can be both terrifying and draining, even when there is hope for a cure. Following “doctors orders” isn’t always easy, but if one is blessed with to hear the word that their cancer is in remission is as reviving and joyful as the initial news was terrifying. What a wonderful message to hear.
You can hear “Good News” that even surpasses that of an earthly doctor. The news comes from the “great Physician,” Jesus Christ and it is only for the sin sick soul. Notice Acts 2:38—”… Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” That is the initial and important step of the treatment, but then one must continue to live a faithful and obedient life for the cure to keep the sickness of sin in remission.
I pray and hope you join me in praying for all those sin sick souls in the world that need to find “remission,” and as we do, I will invite you to continue to pray for my daughter and all others whose cancer is in remission, and those who hope for theirs soon to be.
By Lynn Sasser
Originally printed in the Fall 2009 issue
Did You Know: The Bible described the shape of the earth centuries before people learned that the earth was spherical?
Isaiah 40:22 - “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.”
Note: The book of Isaiah was written sometime between 740 and 680 BC. This is at least 300 years before Aristotle suggested that the earth might be a sphere in his book On the Heavens.
Did You Know: The Bible describes the suspension of Earth in space.
Job 26:7 - “He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.”
Did You Know: The Bible says that each star is unique.
1 Corinthians 15:41 - “There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.”
Note: All stars look alike to the naked eye.* Even when seen through a telescope, they seem to be just points of light. However, analysis of their light spectra reveals that each is unique and different from all others. (*Note: We understand that people can perceive some slight difference in color and apparent brightness when looking at stars with the naked eye, but we would not expect a person living in the first century A.D. to claim they differ from one another.)
Did You Know: The Bible described “paths of the seas”.
Psalm 8:8 - “The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas.”
Note: Matthew Fontaine Maury used the Bible to assist him in creating his famous wind and current charts of the major oceans in 1842 which earned him the title of “pathfinder of the seas”. He went on to say, “The Bible is authority for everything it touches”.
Sources: www.clarifyingchristianity.com/science; www.apologeticspress.org
Originally printed in the Fall
Today is the day to become a beautiful woman for God. Now is the time to prepare our “beauty box”…our hearts. We want to put in our boxes only the things that will make us truly beautiful.
“Let wisdom and the teaching of kindness beautify your lips”
“She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”