Tag: homeschool memory verses

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.

R is for…

This Week’s Memory Verse: R is for…
“Rejoice with him, O heavens;
bow down to him, all gods.” -Deuteronomy 32:43
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I wanted to share a little story with today’s verse. It has to do with this picture; not the water fight going on in front but the wooden statues surrounding the temple structure in the background. Here in Hawaii we are surrounded by the the culture of idol worship. They are systematically rebuilding the very temples that they tore down with their own hands less than 200 years ago. Literally yards from our house is a temple to a fish god, and between us and the heiau at the end of our beach where they offered human sacrifices is a compound dedicated to the rebuilding of these structures where you can watch with your own eyes men hard at work carving idols from wood. But this story is about the particular heiau in the picture which was the personal place of worship for Kamehameha the Great. Six months after his death the cruel kapu system of the Hawaiian people was overthrown by their rulers. The highest kahuna in the land, Hewahewa, was the first to set torch to the heiaus, saying “I knew the wooden images of deities, carved by our own hands, could not supply our wants…My thought has always been, there is one only great God, dwelling among the heavens.” This same priest knew a new and greater God was coming and even told the new king that the one true God would land on the very rock in Kailua Bay now known as “The Plymouth Rock of Hawaii.” And he was right! Missionaries from Boston carrying the gospel of Jesus Christ were at that very moment nearing Hawaiian shores. Upon their arrival another Hawaiian prophecy was fulfilled that the One True God would arrive in a small black box in a language they would not understand. Do you know that the very first thing those missionaries brought ashore was a black Bible box written in English! Within 20 years there were more Christians per capita in Hawaii than on the Mainland gathering together in what were the largest Christian churches in the world at that time, with a single church totaling 7000 members. The Light of World had truly shown on the Islands and heaven was indeed rejoicing!

Hymn of the the Week: “The Light of the World is Jesus” (Philip Bliss)

The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin; The Light of the world is Jesus;
Like sunshine at noon-day His glory shone in, The Light of the world is Jesus.

Come to the Light, ’tis shining for thee; Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me;
Once I was blind, but now I can see; The Light of the world is Jesus.

No darkness have we who in Jesus abide, The Light of the world is Jesus;
We walk in the Light when we follow our Guide, The Light of the world is Jesus.

Hele mai no, kou Lama no ne’i, Lama maika’i e ‘ike a’e ai,
Makapo au, ua ‘ike no na’e, Ka Lama one’i o Iesu.

No need of the sunlight in Heaven, we’re told, The Light of the world is Jesus;
The Lamb is the Light in the City of Gold, The Light of the world is Jesus.