Tag Archives: Learning

How Would You Describe Yourself?

Hi friends. I have a challenge for you. In a brief statement describe yourself any way you want so long as you do so thoughtfully and respectfully.  Can you do it?

 

As those of you who have known me for a long time know, I love Jesus Christ. He is my Lord and my Savior, and my King, and I don’t make any bones about it, either. 🙂 You should be who you are, and make no apologies for it IMO. I believe you should use your voice, say what you have to say, but do it respectfully and with love as much as you can, but never allow truth to be compromised in your presence. Be proud (but not arrogant) to be a Christian, and live your life with joy, and remember that your walk in Christ on a daily basis says more about you than any words you say. Actions count. If you don’t believe that read the book of James. it’s one of the best books for understanding Christian conduct, I think, though the whole Bible addresses it throughout.

 

I’m a patriot, and I don’t mind saying so, and when Hillary Clinton called me a “Deplorable” I swore to wear it like it’s a badge of honor! I’ve been called every hateful name in the book over the last eight years by people who know nothing about me, and tell me I’m a bigot because I believe in and worship God, freedom, carrying a gun, and in honoring our military, and believing that people, all people, should learn how and why someone should be responsible for themselves.

 

I admit that I have little to no patience with people who like to blame others for everything that goes wrong in their lives; who burn and trample the flag, who have no respect or consideration for the beliefs of others, and who think that they have the right to tell me what to think and how to live when they can’t even manage their own lives in a half-way decent and kind way.

 

I believe in the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and that keeping the Electoral College is crucial to keeping the integrity of our governmental system, and the elections we have. I hate what the liberal, cultural and progressive elites have done to our country and our system of education in which they’ve become propaganda merchants, instead of truth-tellers, and that the media (especially the liberal media) have become lap dogs for every lie, half-truth, and falsehood that’s put in front of them.

 

I’ll tell you that I’m far from perfect, and I’m prone to making mistakes and bad decisions, and I can be so stubborn, prideful, and self-righteous that I’m ashamed to call myself a Christian.  That’s when I’m so glad that I can go before God, confess my sins, and ask forgiveness.  The truth is that without Christ Jesus I’m not much, but with Him I have everything.

 

I don’t hate anyone.  I may not agree with some things people do, or with some things people think, because of my beliefs, but I couldn’t care less about what color skin people have, how they dress, where they come from, or what they practice, so long as they don’t try to push if off on me.  I think people, all people, should be held accountable for what they do, and that anybody that comes here should do so legally.  You want to come to America, then adopt our way of life, and assimilate and become an American.

 

That’s it.  Now how would you describe yourself?

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What I’ve Learned From the Book of Philippians #3

Last time, I told you I’d be writing about “Joy” in this post, but little did I realize how much there is to write about this uniquely Christian word.  I call it a Christian word, right or wrong, because it’s a word that I don’t find addressed much in any real way in the secular world, not by atheists, cultural elites, or all those people who seem to think it’s okay to tell me how to live and what to say, but can’t stand it when I have the nerve to smile at them, and simply say, “NO.”

To be honest, I don’t know a whole lot of people who live with a sense of joy, and, sad to say, this includes many people who call themselves Christians.  I can see and hear the protests right now, but don’t try to tell me that every Christian you know lives with joy because we all know at least one whose face would break into shards of glass were they to smile.  You know it’s true and so do I.  🙂

To me, there’s nothing sadder or more depressing than to be around someone who says they love Christ Jesus, and that He’s living in their heart, and yet, all you hear from the minute they start talking is all about their latest illness, ache, and pain.  Their discontent and unhappiness about this or that person, place, event, or idea.  Complaint about any and everything seems to be all they can talk about . . . even in church.

As an aside, I’ll tell you the easiest way to dissuade these people from trying to ruin your worship and the awesome experience of honoring and glorifying Jesus Christ is to wear them out, gently, by responding positively to every negative thing they say.  For example:

(I’ll call this woman, Gertrude, or if it’s a man, I’ll call him, Herman.  These are examples, folks, so please don’t take offense at my using a set of names that just came to me as I’m writing this.)

Gertrude: “I’ve been so sick this last week I just knew I was going to die (or something to that effect).”

You: “Praise the Lord He pulled you through.  Isn’t it wonderful how God can pull us through the worst of times, and look at how nice you look.  It truly is a time to be thankful to God, isn’t it?”

And so it goes . . .  The point being people who want to complain want someone who’s going to listen to their complaint, not someone who’s going to force them into thinking about how grateful they should be.   I’m not talking about the person who genuinely just needs to talk, but to those who are the habitual offenders.  The ones who constantly and consistently complain no matter what.  Call me mean, nasty, deceitful or a thousand other names, but when I go to church I want to worship God.  I want to honor and glorify Him, and isn’t that the reason why we’re going?

Now what has this to do with “Joy” you might be asking, and the answer is that “Joy” should be the expression of your heart to God for all that He is, and for all that He does in bestowing His many, many blessings upon us.  “Joy” is a far different thing than being happy because “Joy” is “in spite of” (Don’t ask me where I got that because I can’t remember, but I freely admit it’s not an original thought of mine.  I’ve read it somewhere before.)  It means that you choose “in spite of” rather than, “because of” and that’s a much greater thing, and I believe reveals something to the world and those around you that needs to be seen.

“Joy” is what the world needs to see, and what it should see when looking at the Christian life, and why shouldn’t they?  We have the most wonderful reason to be joyful, and to rejoice.  We have Jesus Christ.  We have the power of God living inside us, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the promise of eternal life.  If that’s not enough to give us “Joy” on a daily basis, and the desire to share that “Joy” with everyone we meet, then I have to wonder what it is that’s going on in your life that you don’t feel and live with that sense of “Joy” in living your life in Christ.

Even in the midst of much sorrow, suffering, and tribulation, Paul never failed to live with “Joy” because he had what the Holy Spirit has given to each of us, but which we seldom acknowledge and seek to live out.  The inner-knowledge, and hope that springs eternally in being able to see beyond the moment we’re living in, and see and experience the glory we’ll share in living our lives forever with Him.

“The German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, once scornfully said of Christians of his day, “I would believe in their salvation if they looked a little more like people who have been saved.  (The Speaker’s Quote Book by Roy B. Zuck, P. 215.)”  There’s a lot of truth in that, I believe, and sad, as I am to say it, I think the reason there aren’t more Christians is simply because of Christians who don’t live out their lives in a tangible and experiential way.  I believe another quote by Philip Brooks addresses this when he says, “The religion that makes a man look sick certainly won’t cure the world. (The Speaker’s Quote Book by Roy B. Zuck, P. 216.)”  Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not knocking Christianity, but rather our display of it, and our living it in front of other people.  Too many Christians are exhibiting the symptoms of hopelessness and despair and this brings me back to the issue of “Joy.”

Do you have “Joy?”  Are you experiencing the healing that comes from living joyfully?  Are you finding the strength, feeling the peace, that comes from knowing that the Holy Spirit gives knowing that your life is in Christ?

Well, I’ve said enough for the time being, but I’ll leave you with this last quote, and it’s one I’d like you to give some thought to.

“Joy is not a luxury or mere accessory in the Christian life.  It is the sign that we are really living in God’s wonderful love, and that love satisfies us ((The Speaker’s Quote Book by Roy B. Zuck, P. 216.)”

My question to you is does it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The First Amendment: Your Right to Burn the Flag

Okay, I have a thought I want to share.  President-elect Trump tweeted about burning the American flag, and those who do it, should be punished by either putting them in jail for a year or have their citizenship taken away.  Talk about setting people’s heads on fire!  LOL!  Yeah, I know some people are annoyed by the President tweeting, but at least it’s his voice, and not someone else’s (far as I know).  He didn’t say he was going to do it.  He was expressing his feeling, and to tell you the truth I feel the same way.  I know the U.S. Constitution guarantees our first amendment rights, and the U.S. Supreme court interpreted that flag burning is a freedom that’s guaranteed by it.  Okay.  I got it, and in truth, much as I hate it, I can accept it.  Doesn’t mean if I see you do it, I might not accidentally throw water on your sorry ungrateful butt (the way I see it), or maybe give you a disgusted look, but I won’t beat you up. 
 
I was watching “The Five” earlier this evening, and Greg Gutfield said something to the effect that being a flag burner was like wearing a tattoo that says, “I’m an ***hole.”  It identifies someone as what they are.  Those aren’t his exact words but it was something like that.  Still the point is a good one as far as I’m concerned.
 
I know that (some) people see flag burning as an expression of freedom, but I’ll tell you the way I see it is this: Just because I enjoy freedom doesn’t mean I have the right to walk around and use the F-word or use the Lord’s name in vain in public just because I can.  I’ve always thought and will always hold to the opinion that with freedom comes responsibility.  It’s a privilege to be free, not a right to abuse those who don’t see or share your view of the world.  We’re free to murder, commit adultery, support abortion, and finance Planned Parenthood.  We’re free to do all of that, and yet I’ll freeze in hell before anyone ever convinces me that it’s right or that you’re being responsible in doing so.
 
Still, I respect a person’s right to disagree with me, and even to express themselves.  I even encourage you to do it.  Use your voice, but as my Grandma said to me, “if you really want me to pay attention to you then use your inside voice. If I yelled, I only got a stern look and a firm, “be quiet or go outside” from her.  You know what I’m saying, and if you don’t then ask someone who’s over the age of 55 with gray or thinning hair, and has enough lines on their face to show that they’ve had plenty to laugh and cry about in their life.
 
Then there are the ones who, like me, see something completely different when they see someone burning the flag.  When I see someone doing this, you know what I see?  I see someone who has absolutely no respect or regard for anyone (not even themselves), and who have no knowledge  or appreciation for what others have done throughout the whole course of our country’s history, and all the men, women, and children, who have served it, and made sacrifices so that husbands, fathers, and sons could do so.
 
What’s worse is that they dishonor all those people who died, who gave up their right to live so that other people, like me, could be free.  When I see that kind of disrespect, when I see that lack of comprehension of duty and sacrifice to an ideal higher than any one person or thing it just makes my blood boil.  If they can’t appreciate someone dying so that they can have their precious right to protest and walk the streets then I’m fairly sure they don’t understand the sacrifice their parents have made on their behalf either, and if any of you have read any of my posts on my blog Wayne Augden, or on here then you know how I feel about people being ungrateful and who have no feeling of thankfulness for all that they have.
 
So though I respect people’s right to disagree with me, and to express their displeasure, don’t expect me to just sit back and take it without expressing to you how I feel about your doing it, and if judging by the American people’s last vote is any indication then there’s a whole lot more people who feel like me than you.  You might give that some thought.

What I Learned From the Book of Philippians #2

Well, at the end of the last post of “What I Learned From the Book of Philippians #1,” I wrote this, “A great memory of the important events in your life and the people who mattered most teaches you gratitude and gives you a feeling of thankfulness that never, and I mean never, goes away.”

I also said at the end, that, maybe, you’d enjoy the next blog I wrote.  I wish I hadn’t said that because I’ve been feeling under pressure ever since.  Not from anyone else, but from myself.  In case you haven’t guessed this about me yet, I tend to be much harder than anyone else can or ever would be on myself, and one of the life lessons I’ve learned from this is the always quotable advice from my beloved grandmother.  “When you’re extending a little kindness into the world be sure to include yourself.”  That’s good advice, too, by the way.  Something else I’ll add to this that I’ve learned from the Good Lord Jesus is that You do NOT have the right to judge how you will look at other people or YOURSELF.  Only God has the right to judge our hearts, minds, and souls because He’s the only One who can do it fairly, and trust me.  He will.  The rest of us are far too imperfect to penalize anyone or ourselves for being what we all are; sinful and very human beings.

Now getting back to the Apostle Paul, He not only knew and understand what being grateful meant, and what developing and having a feeling of thankfulness gives you in life, but he understood their obligation.  You mean that being grateful and feeling thankful for what one has carries an obligation?  In a word, Yes!  Paul even states it in the third verse of chapter One.  “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.”  If Paul could be thankful to God for every time he remembered someone in his life who loved and helped him, then I can, too, and what’s more I think all of us should be able to find it in our hearts to be able to do so, but then I realize we live in a world where not everyone does.  To me, that’s just a bit sad, but then it makes me grateful (and yes, even thankful) for all those people in my life who are.  See how that works? 🙂

Not only does Paul thank God for these wonderful people he has in his life, but he takes it to a place where a lot more of us need to follow.  Into action, and not just any sort of action, but the action that really is the most powerful thing we can do for anyone which is to call upon the Lord God Almighty and ask that He use His power and all of His resources to bear upon whom we request He use it.  Doesn’t mean He will or He won’t because we all know that God knows everything and all there is to know about the connections between our prayers, those we’re praying for, those who are connected to that prayer, and what the results of that prayer and its’ effect will be on everyone involved.  But, still, isn’t it wonderful to know that we have that right as His children.  What a privilege it is to know that we can come before Almighty God and petition Him, and that He listens to us.  If you can’t feel grateful for that, then what can you feel grateful for?  I mean really?

Well, I hope I’ve given you a little something to dwell upon in this latest blog.  Maybe something you can take and use for yourself.  I know it’s a little shorter than the last one, but this is a great place to stop and rest for a moment because in the next one I’m going to take a look at joy, and if you’re going to look at what joy is.  Well, having a little time to think about what I’ve already said for a bit won’t do any harm.

 

 

 

What the Book of Philippians has Taught Me. #1

As those of you who are familiar with me know from my blog and Facebook, I love the Bible; God’s Holy Word.  I believe it wholeheartedly, completely, that it is inerrant and infallible, and that not one word in it was put there apart from the leading and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  Some people teach that it’s either one or the other, but I’ve always wondered why it couldn’t have been both.  I think that the Holy Spirit is powerful enough to use any means He wishes to get His point across, but that’s just me.  I know what all the naysayers say, the irreligious, the religious studies professors, the Ph. D’s, all those in Academia who talk of theories, interpretations, and all the stuff they teach you in college courses to make you think and question things, including your beliefs, and everything you’ve been taught.  I also know the arrogance with which some of these scholars and highly educated people try to stuff all their knowledge and all their beliefs down some people’s throats without an acknowledgment that some people (even quite young people) have been able to come to their own conclusions from nothing more than their own personal experience and observation.

I’m not into that personal kind of haranguing people into believing what I believe.  (Well, that’s not exactly true.  There are some people like my lovely wife and wonderful daughter who would disagree enthusiastically with this statement, but since I’m writing this, and they’re not here, I’ll say that I’ve always tried to be fair, honest, and truthful in what I say to people, and I believe that’s accurate.)   I’ve never seen that trying to force someone to see your point of view works very well; especially, with those who aren’t inclined to agree with you anyway, and who have supposedly already come to their own conclusions (my daughter at 16).  I’ve always felt that one is more likely to catch more flies with sugar than actually kill with napalm.  Forgive the analogy, but I think you know what I mean, and if you don’t I’ll just put it out there.  I think you get a lot further with people when you speak to them with kindness and respect, and a willingness to listen without feeling that you have to make every point in your arsenal of knowledge.  Communication shouldn’t be a battle between people, but a sharing of ideas and viewpoints in which hopefully both people walk away thinking that just maybe they don’t have or know all the answers.  I’ve always thought that walking away from a conversation in which I’m left to dwell upon and question the things I think I know has always been good for me.  It made me think, and not just blindly accept what someone else says (even if I thought they knew more than me) it was still good to come to my own conclusions because it made me more certain in what I believed.  And to the chagrin of some people, there’s nothing wrong with having some confidence in yourself.   You do know that there is a difference between confidence and arrogance, don’t you?

Well, anyway, enough about me.  So what about what I’ve learned from the book of Philippians?  Let’s start with the basic idea that the book of Philippians has taught me more about a man, and how that man relates everything he knows to what he believes, and how that man lives his belief out in the daily living of his life.  That man is the Apostle Paul, and from him (whether you believe in God or the Bible or not) there is plenty to learn about life and how one should live.  More than one person has patterned their life by following his example, and have become highly successful because of it; not necessarily in achieving great wealth or fame (or what the world likes to view as success now) but more than successful just the same, and to be honest I would love to have his resume to present rather than my own feeble one.

Among a great many things I’ve learned from reading this book of the Bible and examining the life of this man, I’ve learned the following in no particular order.  First of all this man had a great memory.  I don’t mean a capacity for remembering facts and places though it’s certain he did, but rather that he had great memories of people who mattered to him, whom he loved and knew intimately, who he knew had helped him time and time again, and who had sacrificed (sometimes at great cost to themselves) for him.  A man who has those kinds of memories is never really alone or lonely.  Those kinds of memories stay with a person all their lives and bring joy even in the midst of trials and tribulations and grief.

And in that, there’s something else I’ve learned.  The Apostle Paul lived his life to the fullest in every imaginable, conceivable way, both in the good and the bad things he experienced.  I mean when you think of the range of his life from being blinded on the Damascus Road in his encounter with Jesus Christ to being stoned, whipped, and deserted at sea, I think it’s safe to say that the man lived a full life indeed, and to my amazement, did so joyfully.  Don’t you think that there’s something to be learned from a man like that?  If you’re not sure, I will give you an example of what kind of lesson this has for everyone, and it’s a lesson that sadly isn’t taught so much anymore, and it’s this.  A great memory of the important events in your life and the people who mattered most teaches you gratitude and gives you a feeling of thankfulness that never, and I mean never, goes away.  It’s a valuable thing to learn.

There’s more to come if you’re interested, so check back to see #2, and what else I may have picked up.  Who knows you might even enjoy it. 🙂

 

 

From “Light and Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes” by Horatius Bonar

The Better Choice Of Moses.

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.”- Heb_11:24-26.

Moses had everything to bind him to Egypt, to Pharaoh, to Pharaoh’s house: ties of silk, chains of gold; natural affection, gratitude, learning, pleasure, love of ease, pomp, splendor, riches; everything that the flesh desires, that the intellect covets, and that the world contains. For what was there of worldly glory, pleasure, learning, pomp, and power, that were not to be found in Egypt?

Yet he broke every tie; he came out; he separated himself; he ceased to touch the unclean thing; he flung aside the riches of Egypt, and trampled on the crown of Pharaoh.

What prompted this severance? Was he a disappointed man? Had his life been a failure? Had Egypt used him coldly? Was there no prospect of rising in it? Had its pleasures run dry, or its riches failed? No, these were not his reasons. But he had met with something better than all these. It was this which disentangled his feet, and which broke the bonds.

Yet that which had come across his path was not a new thing. As an Israelite he had known it long, but now his eyes had been opened to see it aright. Nor was it a noble thing or honourable in the eyes of men. It was known as a reproach, a matter of scorn. It is called the reproach of Christ, or the reproach attaching to all who held Israel’s hope of a coming Messiah. This hope was a mockery and derision to all in Egypt. Yet it was this decided hope which Moses took hold of, ‘preferring it to all the treasures of Egypt.’ This was, if not Moses’ conversion, at least the turning point in his life, when he was compelled to make an open choice. We know not what the occasion was, but it brought matters to a crisis. It compelled him to decide for Jehovah or for Osiris, for Christ or for the false worship of the Egyptian temples. It was faith that led him, and enabled him to make the choice; faith that saw through the falsehoods of heathen idolatry, and the vanities of human pleasure and learning; faith that saw the realities of divine truth and joy as centered in Him who, even when seen afar off, was the way, and the truth, and the life. What then does faith accomplish for us? and how? and when?

As to the when, we may answer, the moment that it comes into action by the power of the Holy Ghost. In its state of death or dormancy it effects nothing, whatever its words or professions may be. Has the when in your life come yet, O man? Or is it still a futurity, an uncertainty? When art thou to believe and to act upon what thou believest?

As to the how, we answer, it is the substance of things hoped for. It operates by giving to the future its proper magnitude, to the present its proper littleness; to the heavenly things their true fullness, to the earthly their true emptiness. It sets all things on their right basis, and represents everything in its true proportions. As to the what the answers are endless. What is there that faith cannot do? But the special thing noted in our text is Moses’ change of choice and estimate.

I. His change of choice-He chooses affliction and oppression, degradation and hardship. He chooses them deliberately, joyfully, and not by compulsion. He chooses his company, ‘the people of God,’ as distinguished from Egypt and from earth. With them he casts in his lot for better or for worse. In making this choice he rejects what the world calls pleasure,-the pleasures,-the short lived pleasures of sin. They are worthless and unenduring, as well as evil. He had once chosen them, now he chooses them not.

II. His change of estimate.-‘Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches.’ Faith alters the value of everything to us. That value in itself is incapable of change; but to us it is altered. What we once esteemed we esteem no more; what we disesteemed we now prize, and honour, and love. Faith applies new tests to everything, and finds dross in what we counted gold, and gold in what we counted dross. It changes our estimate, (1) Of sin; (2) of self; (3) of righteousness; (4) of Scripture; (5) of God; (6)of Christ; (7) of earth; (8) of heaven. The aspect of all these things is altered to us. They are not what they were to us, and we are not what we were to them.

Or, to use another figure, faith is the great unveiler. It takes off the mask, or veil, or covering from every object, and shows them to us as they are. There are two kinds of veils or masks on everything here,- bright and dark. The former hides deformity, and makes objects appear fairer than they are; the latter hides beauty, and makes objects appear uncomely. Faith removes both of these. It takes off the bright veil, (1) from earthly pleasure; (2) from worldly riches; (3) from human learning; (4)royal glory. It shows us the dark interior,-the hollowness of all these. It does not misrepresent them or belie them, but simply removes the unreal attractions which deceived and misled us. It does not underestimate, yet it does not over-estimate. It takes off the dark veil, (1) from Christ, and shows Him to us as altogether lovely; (2) from holiness, and shows us what a blessed thing it is to be holy; (3) from the kingdom to come, and shows us what a recompense of reward it is; (4) from the Church of God, showing us what a glory belongs to her, though it doth not now appear what she shall be; (5) from reproach and affliction, showing us how good it is to be afflicted, how honourable to be reproached for Christ, and as He was.

Thus faith works. It does wonders in us, and for us, and through us. It separates us from the world. It brings us out, of the haunts of vanity; it leads us out of the ballroom, and the theatre, and the gay party; it shows us better riches, better pleasures, and brighter glory than the world contains.

 

 

A Thought about Education in Answer to some Questions

  Fair warning, this is a long post.  I wrote it in answer to a young lady’s questions.  She’s very bright, and it’s good to know that there are young people like her around.  In case you’re interested, here’s her site  http://emmatzeng.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/hay-where-can-i-git-sum-edumacation/

Where did the American education system go wrong?

How can we reform the hiring process to ensure that teachers are well-trained, qualified, and prepared to enter the field?

And last but not least, how can we, as a society, reinvigorate our zeal to learn and rekindle our reverence for education?

Emma,

So great to see you! It’s been so long since I’ve seen you I almost ( as if) forgot about you, and how well you write. I’m going to take a stab at answering your questions, but please don’t expect the same sort of eloquence in my reply as you used in this carefully crafted and well thought out post. I’m going to take them in order, so here goes:

1. Where did the American education system go wrong?

Emma, as we all know, and inherit in your question, is the reasonable assumption that at one time the American education system was right. You can’t go off on the wrong path without being on the right one, can you? When we look at the beginning when our country was first founded, and our form of government was established we see that there was no Department of Education. Not until 1868 was it even conceived of, and then it wasn’t much, and only began to take the shape and form of what it is now in 1953, but didn’t get its final form until it became a cabinet level entity under President Jimmy Carter who made it so in 1979. Up until then, the education of children was primarily in the hands of their parents and through the local church, and it’s minister. Textbooks, in the way we know them-to my knowledge-had yet to be written. They had a textbook, but back then it was called “The Bible,” and it was the only thing used up until 1836 when “McGuffey’s Reader” came along and was used in conjunction with it. The education of our children up until the 20th century was primarily focused on religion and morality. That’s not to say that other subjects weren’t taught, but other than math, these subjects weren’t widely available, and were not really germane to the position most people found themselves in at the time. Children were taught the Bible, and thus were taught about God, the trinity, and Jesus Christ, but that wasn’t all. The Bible had much to teach about science, history, geography, and astrology, Yet, even more importantly the Bible taught them how to love their fellow-men and get along with others. The Bible was taught in that day in a way that would be completely unrecognizable by today’s standard. Discipline was taught and enforced. There was no such thing as teacher’s unions, or government interference. More importantly children were taught how to think, to analyze, and to create instead of how to conform to an ideal. Children were taught the importance of freedom, independence, patriotism, responsibility, and being self disciplined. Love of God and country were promoted and celebrated and it showed in people’s lives. Up until the early 1960’s this was the standard, and then a number of things happened which dramatically changed the landscape of education for all future generations to come. Among the things that happened were these:

Prayer was taken out of schools

Television became widely available

Rock & Roll

The Vietnam War

The Hippy generation

Illegal drug use greatly increased

The sexual revolution

The Women’s Liberation Movement

Discipline was abolished

Sex Education was mandated

Before the 1960’s, the line between childhood and adulthood was drawn pretty sharply. Children were somewhat sheltered and protected. Schools focused on education such as reading, writing, arithmetic, and other subjects. Another thing that schools did unobtrusively was to reenforce and encourage the identity and role of children in that boys were taught and encouraged to follow in the steps of their fathers and of men throughout history just as girls were. I realize that this probably sounds archaic and old-fashioned, but if you will look back through history you will see that people felt a stronger sense of contentment and satisfaction in their lives, and had a better self-image, than what people, both men and women have today. During the 60’s social issues were introduced into the schools, and instead of protecting and sheltering our children from these things we inundated them with even more. Emma, if you were to go back and look at the statistics, I believe, you would find a steady and consistent rise in almost every category measured in education today. In conclusion, in order for children to thrive in an educational system, we must take the view that every farmer has automatically in that he knows in order for his crops to grow he must provide the right conditions. He fertilizes and rotates his crops; he plants at the right time, and he plants the right crop. Some plants need sunshine in order to grow; some need shade; some need a lot of water; some need barely any. The truly successful farmer knows his land, knows his plants, and gives them all that he’s capable of giving in order to give them the best chance at coming to fruition.

2. How can we reform the hiring process to ensure that teachers are well-trained, qualified, and prepared to enter the field?

There are a number of things that need to happen in order to get the best quality teachers. For one thing, people in hiring positions have to understand that you get what you pay for. You want to know one of the reasons why some industries draw the most creative, intelligent, hard-working, and determined people, it’s because they pay well though money isn’t all of it. Another reason that some businesses draw those kinds of people is because they create a work environment that encourages creativity and outside-the-box thinking. You never get anywhere new by traveling the same road, do you? You want the best teachers then create an environment in which they compete with each other, and make the playing field equal across the board. How do you do that? You base their jobs on performance, on how well their students perform, and you pay them accordingly. If you’re smart, you’ll be loyal to those who deserve your loyalty because of what they achieve, and not just because they’ve sat at the same desk for the last fifteen years. You’ll make sure that your teachers have the ability and the access to continue their education so that they’ll be able to give their students the best instruction possible. You take the federal government out of education all together and give it back to the states, and let them set their own standards for excellence. You do that, you’ll force people to be responsible, to give their best effort, and prevent corruption and laziness on the part of state leaders by voting those out who fail to give our children the best education they can possibly afford. No state wants to lose money (taxpayers) to other states so you’ll give them incentive to work hard to keep them. You have to change the culture of education. You do that by withdrawing social issues out of the system. You put the responsibility for the teaching of values back on the parents where it belongs instead of mandating that students be forced to attend and perhaps go through things that their parents are against. You have to give schools the discretion and the ability to develop policies of discipline that have some teeth instead of just giving kids want they want which are days off and just making it harder on parents who are trying to make a living. You increase the opportunities for excellence in education by providing tax cuts to private schools, and state-supported funding for those who meet rigorous standards of excellence. Private schools competing with public schools forces both to be better, and thus gives every child a better opportunity for a quality education. Another advantage in private schools is that they can determine to teach and do those things which are denied to state schools; meaning that if they so chose they could teach those things that make for better citizens according to their own dictates. Increase funding for schools and teachers by putting a special tax on professional sports for education and nothing else. Do random audits on schools for financial accountability so that they are run well, and cut corruption and wasteful spending. See what happens to education when good people are encouraged to give their best, and those who are aren’t good are forced to go elsewhere because of their own failures and lack of will.

3. And last but not least, how can we, as a society, reinvigorate our zeal to learn and rekindle our reverence for education?

The first thing is to start showing that we value our children and that we value their education. We do that by creating an atmosphere in which we encourage their creative expression and individuality. We reward and encourage independent thinking, we take the time and provide the resources to give each child an avenue to success. We give them that avenue by having well-trained people who can help them assess their skills and abilities, and then provide them with opportunities to develop those skills and abilities. Every child has a talent, a gift, a skill, an ability to do something of worth. We have to make available to them those teachers who can and will help them find their place in the world. When people are excited about what they’re doing; when they’re rewarded for hard work, when they achieve success in their accomplishments then you’ll see the love for education that we all should have.

I don’t know if I’ve answered your questions well, but I tried. 🙂