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I have never really identified much with my ancestry -- race and nationality are not things that matter much to me. I am proud of America, or more so its foundation of faith and history of sacrifice for liberty. (That's different than being proud to be an American, something which I did not choose, but nevertheless choose to remain.) However, these Ukrainian history markers catch my attention, perhaps because of my Ukrainian ancestry, but more likely because they are fascinating history. It is a region rich with history, but largely unknown in the west. Posted by Skanderbeg over on RedState: Today In History – 6 December 1240 With all my travel to and around Ukraine, I have indeed made it to Kyiv (that’s the Ukrainian version of “Kiev”). Kyiv is beyond beautiful. Kyiv is majestic. Kyiv began as a Norse outpost. As Viking traders began to make use of a fairly easy route to Constantinople (up the Narva River, a fairly easy portage across modest terrain, and then an easy journey down the Dniepro River to the Black Sea), around 800 they established a fortified post at about the only terrain feature along the Dniepro – some high bluffs along the western bank. Thus was born the city of Kyiv. The local Slavs realized quickly that these Viking traders, whom they called Varangians or Rus, knew what they were doing. Lacking leadership themselves, they came to the traders and made an offer. They offered the lead guy kingship, and the choice of any one of their many excellent-looking princesses to be his queen. With good leadership and a good position along a major trade route, Kyiv grew rapidly in strength, wealth, and importance. In 988, the Kyivan leader Prince Vladimir accepted Christianity from Byzantine missionaries – while one of those missionaries, Cyril, gave the Slavs a written alphabet for their language. Vladimir ordered all his subjects to convert with him; they were all herded along the main boulevard of Kyiv – called to this day “Christening Boulevard” – and into the shallows of the Dniepro for a mass baptism. Kyiv continued to grow and prosper as an eastern outpost of civilization. By the early 13th century, it was the second largest city in Europe – second only to Paris – with a population of 50,000. But all that came to an abrupt end on 6 December 1240. When dawn broke over Kyiv on 6 December 1240, the population was 50,000. By nightfall, the population had been effectively reduced to zero. After a brief siege, the Mongols, led by Genghis Khan’s grandson Batu, broke into the city. The city was quickly pillaged, burned, and demolished. Gone were the 400 churches. Gone were the monasteries. Gone was the legendary “Zoloti Varota,” the famous “Golden Gate” – known musically as “The Great Gate of Kiev.” And gone, mostly, were the 50,000 inhabitants – slaughtered or, for the few survivors, dragged off into slavery. Think you’re having a bad day? Methinks that 6 December 1240 qualifies as the ultimate “bad day.” "OK, I am considering homeschooling... what does this have to do with homeschooling?" you ask. Well nothing, except... tell me if you learned any of this in public school?!? Oh, the history of the Mongols and Vikings goes much deeper and has far more impact upon what you might consider "relevant" history. The shape of Christian Europe, your church, and religious practices might be significantly different without these two powerful forces in history. It's not just Ukraine; try England, France, Germany, and Italy... getting more "relevant"? Dig a little deeper... no dumbed down, politically correct, and State approved textbook is needed. That's the power of homeschooling.
Each week Considering Homeschooling recognizes the faithful service of someone getting the message out about homeschooling. This week we recognize Wayne Walker for his blog Hymn Studies, "studies of hymns that can be used in your homeschool as part of your devotions, Bible curriculum, or music study." "All the Heavens Adore Thee" Dec. 13, 2008 on Hymn Studies "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him" (Matt. 25.6) INTRO.: A hymn which aplies the thought of this parable to us is "All the Heavens Adore Thee." The text was written and the tune (Wachet Auf or Sleepers Awake) was composed both by Philipp Nicolai, who was born on Aug. 10, 1556, at Mengeringhausen in Waldeck, Germany, where his father, Dieterich Nicolai, was a Lutheran minister. After an early education at Mengeringhausen under Ludwig Helmbold and Joachim von Burgk, in 1575 Philip entered the University of Erfurt and in 1576 went to the University of Wittenberg, where he graduated in 1579. Living for some time at Volkhardinghausen neare Mengeringhausen, he frequently preached for his father. In 1583, he was appointed Lutheran preacher at Herdecke in Westphalia, where his father had been minister earlier, but found many difficulties there and resigned his post. In 1586 he became minister at Niederwildungen near Waldeck, and in 1588 moved to Altwildungen, where he also served as court preacher to the widowed Countess Margaretha of Waldeck and tutor to her son, Count Wilhelm Ernst. In 1596, he became minister at Unna in Westphalia. It is believed that he produced these words there in 1597 during a pestilence of bubonic plague which claimed some 1,400 victims. The song was first published, with the tune, along with two other hymns in the appendix to his devotional work Frewden-Spiegel dess ewigen Lebens, printed at Frankfurt-am-Main in 1599. In 1601, Nicolai was selected minister of St. Katherine's Church at Hamburg, where he married at age 44 in 1606 and died of a fever two years later on Oct. 26, 1608. It is possible that this hymn is based on the Wachter-Lieder (Watch Songs), a form of lyric poetry popular in the Middle Ages and introduced by Wolfram von Eschenbach (1170-1220). However, while in the Watch Songs the voice of the watchman summons the workers of darkness to flee from discovery, with Nicolai it is a summons to the children of light to awaken to their promised reward. The translation was made by Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878). It was first published in her 1858 Lyra Germanica, Second Series, and revised in 1863 for her Choral Book for England. Several alterations, especially in the third stanza, have been made to Miss Winkworth's original translation, various ones attributed to illiam Cooke, Edward A. Dayman, Philip Pusey, and Frances E. Cox, which appear in the 1872 edition of the 1871 Hymnary. It is possible that the melody is based on the "Silberweisse," c. 1513, by Hans Sachs (1494-1576). The tune was sometimes ascribed to Jacob Praetorius, the music director of the St. Katherine's Church in Hamburg where Nicolai was minister. However, it is now known that Nicolai was the composer and Praetorious only arranged it. The modern harmonization was made by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). It was done for the concluding chorale, "Gloria sei dir gesungen," in his Cantata 140, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme of 1731, based on this hymn. The hymn has been called "The King of Chorales" (chorale being the name for hymns used in the German Lutheran church of that day). John Julian calls the text, "A beautiful hymn, one of the first rank," and Winterfeld says, that the tune "is the greatest and most solemn melody of evangelical Christendom." Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord's church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the first one in which I have seen the song was the 1963 Christian Hymnal edited by J. Nelson Slater, where only the third stanza is used. The entire song appears in the 1986 Great Songs Revised edited by Forrest M. McCann, the only other book among us that I know of to use it. This is not an easy song to sing. Believe me, I know because we sang it when I was in high school chorus. However, it is an important hymn historically. The message is good and the tune, while difficult, is majestic and inspiring. The song encourages us to wake, to watch, and to worship. I. Stanza 1 is a call to awake "Wake, awake, for night is flying: The watchmen on the heights are crying, 'Awake, Jerusalem, arise!' Midnight's solemn hour is tolling; His chariot wheels are near rolling; He come! O church, lift up thine eyes! Rise up, with willing feet; Go forth, the Bridegroom meet: Hallelujah! Lo, great and small, We answer all; We follow where Thy voice shall call." A. Christians are to awake out of the sleep of darkness: Rom. 13.11-12 B. God's watchman, through the written word, is calling us to be alert: Isa. 52.8, Ezek. 3.17 C. Therefore, like the five wise virgins, we need to be vigilant: Matt. 26.7-13 II. Stanza 2 is a call to prepare "Zion hears the watchmen singing; Her heart with deep delight is springing; She wakes, she rises from her gloom. For her Lord comes down all glorious, In grace arrayed, by truth victorious; Her star is risen, her light is come! Ah, come Thou blessed One, God's own beloved Son, Hallelujah! We haste along, An eager throng, And gladsome join the advent song." A. We need to remember that someday the Lord will come down all glorious: Acts 1.11 B. He who will come is the bridegroom, God's own beloved Son, for whom we wait: Jn. 1.29, Phil. 3.20-21 C. And we must be prepared so that we can join Him in the marriage feast of heaven: Rev. 19.6-9 III. Stanza 3 is a call to praise "Now let all the heavens adore Thee! Let men and angels sing before Thee! All praise belongs to Thee alone! Heaven's gates with pearl are glorious; We there shall join the choir victorious Of angels circling round Thy throne. No mortal eye hath seen, Nor mortal ear hath heard The wonders there; But we rejoice and Thee adore, And sing Thy praise forevermore." A. All the heavens, both men and angels, will adore Christ: Rev. 5.8-14 (the original third line read, "With harp and cymbal's clearest tone," but Christian Hymnal uses a different version to eliminate the reference to instrumental music) B. This will be the primary activity in that eternal city where the gate is made of pearl: Rev. 21.1-21 C. As yet, no mortal eye or ear has experienced this: 1 Cor. 2.9 CONCL.: The latter passage is not talking about heaven, but the language can still be used in this regard to remind us that while we as yet have not been to heaven, it should be our desire, both here and in eternity, to let "All the Heavens Adore Thee."
Most women believe that in order to lose weight the first thing they need to do is eat less and move more. In a way this is true, but there really is more science behind that. What typically happens is women eat maybe 1 or 2 meals a day, drastically reducing their caloric intake and then adding a walk in for exercise. They may see the scale move but what are they really losing? I bet youâ€™ll be surprised. Read onâ€¦ Your bodyâ€™s metabolism is the key to losing unwanted body fat. When working with women, I am not concerned about their weight as much as the level of body fat they are carrying around. A healthy bodyfat level to be at is between 19-25%. Most women who have dieted for years will find themselves at 30% or more. Those are dangerous levels that invite disease into their bodies. Although they may have lost 50 lbs. of body weight, they may still be at 30% body fat and at risk for heart disease, Type II diabetes and other ailments. How can they be at risk when they wear a size 8 dress pant? Because they never lost bodyfat while dieting. They lost body water and precious lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass is the main manipulator of your metabolism. The more lean muscle mass you have the more calories you burn at rest. When your metabolism is humming along at a strong rate, it does not need to use bodyfat for energy. Itâ€™s alive and functioning at optimum levels. Fat that is stored on your body for energy is not needed and your body lets it go. You continue to build strong, lean muscles and your metabolism gets stronger and faster, you indeed get leaner, stronger, toned and full of energy. This is the picture of health and vitality. Now take the woman who is dieting. She is eating 3 meals a day and not focused on the right type of exercises. Sheâ€™ll go for a walk around the block. It works for about 1 month. Sheâ€™s dropped 5 pounds. Sheâ€™s excited! Month 2 rolls around and the scale has stopped moving, she cuts her 3 meals into smaller portions and adds another block to her walk. The scale finally drops again. Sheâ€™s excited! Month 3 rolls around and the scale has not moved or has gone up. Yikes! She drops to 2 meals a day, adds another block to her walk and an exercise video. Month 4 comes too quickly. She sees the scale move again so she cuts calories even more and increases her walk for a full 2 hours every day. Sheâ€™s tired, frustrated and wondering why this is not working? I could go on, but I think you get the picture. The only way for her to keep the scale moving is to continue to decrease calories and increase the amount of time spent on low, steady state exercise. Is she really losing fat? No, she is losing water and precious metabolic boosting muscle that is why she has to continue decreasing calories to see change. If she continues on this path, she will lower her metabolic rate to such a level that her body will go into panic mode and begin conserving every morsel of food that enters as bodyfat so it will have the energy just to function. The result is a cranky, tired, moody, flabby, and frustrated woman. I know, Iâ€™ve been there. Ladies, I want you to know the truth. The scale is not your friend. You have been lied to for years. Thereâ€™s even a tv show dedicated to keeping these lies alive (Biggest Loser Challenge) where your worth is determined by a number on the scale! How have we as a society allowed this to happen? Satan has been at work! God made you in His image. You are a beautiful, strong, and vibrant woman. Donâ€™t allow Satan to get a foothold in your mind. Oh how I wish I could give you all hugs right now! Here is the picture of a woman on the right path: She determines why she wants to accomplish this goal of being healthy and full of energy. She enlists the help of her husband and children. She puts together a plan of action including how to deal with obstacles that will be thrown her way. Her plan does include strength and interval training as the core of the program. She also determines her caloric intake and creates meal plans for the week. She cleans out her cupboard of all manmade, adulterated foods and buys food in their original God created package. She gets connected with other women who are doing the same steps (this site of course!) and stays accountable no matter what happens to try and bump her off course. All her workouts are scheduled in for each week just like math and english class. She sticks to her workouts because she is full of determination. Each week she discovers how much better she feels. Her clothes are getting loser, she is getting more flexible and full of energy. She finds herself hungry more often because her metabolism is on fire. She has more lean mass so she can eat more food, quite the opposite of the dieting woman. She does not suffer from mood swings, turbulent hormone levels or bloating due to eating whole foods. Does she know how much she weighs? Does it really matter if she is feeling this strong and vibrant? This is what I want for you. I will elaborate more on how to stop dieting for life in another post. This one ended up way longer than I intended. Hugs~~ Post from: Homeschool Fitness Coach
It is a beautiful day in NW Indiana! The girls are all outside enjoying the sunshine while I attempt to get some work done. I just finished running around town looking for some businesses to do some cross promotions with my boot camps. Met a lot of interesting individuals. I was disappointed to find out that I am unable to put little yard signs up anywhere as it is a zone violation. Phooey! I am currently advertising on the local Christian radio station but it hasnâ€™t been very fruitful. I worked out with my 9 am boot camp class. The last day of camp in March we did a Meltdown 300 Challenge and I recorded everyoneâ€™s scores on our blog. So, today, being the last day of camp in April, we did the challenge again to see if they could beat their original time. It has been fun watching everyone push themselves and beat their scores. I took the challenge with them and really pushed them hard. We all had great finishing times. Here was the workout: 25 V-ups 50 1 arm swings (25 each arm) 25 Push Ups (manly style - no knees allowed!) 50 swings 50 Burpees 50 Clean and Presses (25 each arm) 50 Mountain Climbers Finish for time My time was 10:31 Can you beat that? I was really excited that this week my grocery bill was only $82.54. I get frustrated that a lot of the coupons and deals that I see posted on different blogs are for processed foods that I would never buy; however, I have found great deals on health and beauty products. I always believed that eating healthier cost more, but in reality, I am able to feed my family healthy meals without all the processed frankenfoods and do it cheaper. I am looking forward to the local Farmerâ€™s Market and food stands that will be opening up soon. Fruit and veggies galore out here in the Midwest. I still need to get into my garden and plant my Spring crops. Weâ€™ve had so much rain lately that the soil is soggy. Ugh! I want to plant my sugar snap peas, spinach and lettuce soon. I love getting my hands dirty. LOL Post from: Homeschool Fitness Coach