Tag: homeschool hymns

W is for…

This Week’s Memory Verse: W is for…
“When you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars –all the heavenly array– do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.” Deuteronomy 4:19
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This verse ties in perfectly with our current study of the sky. This week we are beginning a survey of the signs of the Zodiac and how the ancient Hebrews viewed them before their meaning became perverted through pagan astrology. From scripture we know that God created the stars “to be for signs [from the Hebrew “avah” or “a mark,” as in the signs Moses used before Pharaoh] and seasons [from the Hebrew “moed” or “a fixed or appointed time,” never seasons of the year] (Genesis 1:14).” We also know He set the stars in their appointed places rather than just scattering them randomly across the sky (Psalm 8:3). God also named the stars (Psalm 147:4). He didn’t delegate this job to Adam like He did the naming of the animals. “The grand truth is that God made the stars for a witness to mankind of a coming Redeemer who would save fallen man from the clutches of the enemy, destroy the enemy and his power, and finally establish a kingdom of righteousness and light (Fleming, 12).”
But God also warned man repeatedly, as in our memory verse above, not to be lured into a false reverence for these created things and ignore their true purpose, to bring glory to their Creator. Of course, that is exactly what happened to His story in the sky. The real hero, the coming Messiah, was replaced by pagan personas and the stars themselves became their own source of meaning and power. This is astrology as it was millennia ago and as it is today. Here are a few quick facts to introduce our study:
1. The term Zodiac is from the Greek and means “a circle.” It’s root is from the word “zoad” which means “a way or path or going by steps”
2. The Biblical term for the Zodiac is “Mazzaroth” which means “the separated, the divided, or the apportioned”
3. Looking at the stars themselves which make up the 12 signs of the Zodiac it is only with great difficulty that one can imagine them to make up the intricate pictures and stories associated with them. And yet, they are universally found across all cultures to possess nearly identical names and meanings. Clearly, there had to be a common knowledge and understanding of these signs prior to the great dispersion of people mentioned in scripture. It is this ancient understanding and interpretation that we will be exploring in the next few weeks.

Boys enjoying the sunshine with a buddy.
Boys enjoying the sunshine with a buddy.

Hymn of the Week: “There is Sunshine in My Soul” (Hewitt/Sweney)
There is sunshine in my soul today, more glorious and bright
Than glows in any earthly sky, for Jesus is my light.

O there’s sunshine, blessed sunshine, when the peaceful happy moments roll;
When Jesus shows His smiling face, there is sunshine in my soul.

There is music in my soul today, a carol to my King,
And Jesus, listening can hear, the songs I cannot sing.

O there’s sunshine, blessed sunshine, when the peaceful happy moments roll;
When Jesus shows His smiling face, there is sunshine in my soul.

Mom & Sam with Sunshine in our Souls
Mom & Sam with Sunshine in our Souls

U is for…

This Weeks Memory Verse: U is for…

“Until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.” Matthew 5:18

A Psalm 113:3 Moment
A Psalm 113:3 Moment

Hymn of the Week: “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go” (Matheson/Peace)

O Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give thee back the life I owe, That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O Light that followest all my way, I yield my flickering torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray, That in Thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain, And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head, I dare not ask to fly from Thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead, And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

T is for…

This week’s memory verse: T is for…
“Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above, and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” -Daniel 12:3

This verse reminds me of another part of the great missionary story I made mention of a couple weeks back. Over 10 years prior to the overthrow of the Kapu system, a young Hawaiian boy witnessed the awful slaying of his parents by an opposing tribe. He escaped with his baby brother on his back but they were overtaken, the baby was pierced fatally through with a spear while they were in flight, and the boy was captured and taken to be raised by the very man he saw murder his parents. Not a pleasant start to my story, is it! This boy’s name was Opukaha’ia and eventually he was found by an uncle who was a high priest, and taken to be raised by him into the priesthood. At the age of 16, Opukaha’ia offered himself as a servant to a ship’s captain that had harbored there and left Hawaii not caring where he went. In 1809 he arrived in New York and there Providence led him to the steps of Yale University where he was taken in by Timothy Dwight, the president of the school and a devout Christian. Under his care and that of many other educated Christians, Opukaha’ia, already a gifted scholar in his own right, received an education that today would be the equivalent of earning a Ph.D. More importantly he learned the Good News of Jesus Christ and set about immediately on translating the Book of Genesis from Hebrew into the Hawaiian language to take back to his people. Opukaha’ia, now called “Henry,” traveled throughout New England pleading with churches to send missionaries to his island home.

Henry Opukaha'ia portrait from wikipedia
Henry Opukaha’ia portrait from wikipedia

Sadly, Henry’s life was soon cut short from disease, which brings me to the part of the story that I was reminded of by this week’s memory verse. It is said that when Henry died there was such a radiant glow of joy on his face that they cut a window in the top of the casket so that the thousands and thousands that attended his funeral could see this evidence of Christ in him. His memoirs were published immediately after his death and became the most widely read book in New England. This proved not only to be a great inspiration to the Mission Board but the sales of the book were exactly what was needed to finance the first group of missionaries which left aboard the brig Thaddeus in October of 1819. You may remember from the previous post that at the very time of their departure the Hawaiian people were overthrowing their old religion and the Lord was preparing the way for His gospel to be sown among Henry’s people! Those island fields were indeed ripe for harvest!

Hymn of the Week: “Nearer, My God, to Thee” (Adams/Mason)

Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee!
Even though it be a cross that raiseth me;
Still all my song shall be, Nearer my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee.

Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs, Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee.

Or if on joyful wing, cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, Upward I fly,

Still all my song shall be Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee.

E pili i ou la wau,
E pili i ou la wau, E ku’u Iesu.