Feature Article—by Marlin Detweiler
Educational Helps – by Laurie Detweiler
Entitlement, Owning the Problem, and the Classically Educated
I’m like any other red-blooded American who wonders how we are going to pay for all of this. Our federal government has been on a spending spree to rival . . . well, this kind of spending actually has no rivals—ever. Recently, trillions of dollars have been (or will be) “invested,” spent, or otherwise disposed of in the name of getting our economy back on track. Consequently, we, the citizens, are the owners of a failing insurance agency and the largest lenders to two of the largest and unhealthiest auto companies.
Now I realize I’m being a bit sarcastic, maybe even cynical, here. I also realize you are as tired of hearing about this as I am, but that is partially my point, so hang in there for a minute. I also realize there is much that is hard for us, the average citizens, to understand. However, this is really quite a disturbing set of circumstances when all things are considered.
Coupled with all this spending is a new strain of entitlement—one that believes the federal government has both the obligation and the right to look into details of private transactions and make unilateral changes to contracts and existing agreements. Talks of even scarier intrusion are quite common.
It’s been said that America had better repent of such financial recklessness or we will receive the judgment of God. A pastor and friend had a different take. He indicated that this is the judgment of God. Is what we’ve done not a bit like the man who has lost his job and promptly goes out to buy a new $75,000 recreational vehicle with borrowed money to help the economy? Taking on more debt—a lot more debt—hardly seems a wise approach to getting out of debt.
Yet a bigger problem remains. It’s the problem of ownership. No one owns the national problems we face. I feel little ownership of the federal debt. I feel little ownership of the process that includes the foolishness that tacks on huge pork-barrel add-ons to popular congressional bills. Summarily speaking, I feel little ownership to community, cultural, or collective sin. I don’t have a clue as to how to repent of it, either. Do you?
We might bury our heads believing that these problems were not caused by us and can’t be fixed by us. And, at a micro level, we might be right. But who does own them? Who really takes responsibility? May God give us a clear sense of what it means to corporately confess our sins as so many of us pray every Sunday. And may God give us wisdom to carefully and collectively follow that repentance with godly actions—actions that include strategic efforts to bring concern for biblical wisdom and righteousness into the public square, actions that include an understanding of what God’s Word means when it says that judgment begins with the House of God.
Frankly, we need godly politicians. We need godly pastors, too—ones who won’t shrink from tackling the difficult or equivocate on complex matters such as these. Finally, we need godly, articulate, bold lovers of truth in the rising generation who will be not only the next politicians and pastors, but businessmen, parents, citizens, laborers, and friends of the lost.
Summarily, we need a people who know the facts, think well, and articulate their thoughts in such a winsome way that they are able to conceive what it means to own a corporate failing and know what to do about it. That is why I believe a classical Christian education is so important, because I believe that is exactly what it produces.
But we need more than that from these people. We need them “to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with their God.” May we become those people, and may we raise a generation of those people.
Summer is just around the corner. When my boys were younger I could not wait for those lazy days of summer to come, where we could get up everyday and explore the world around us. If you have been reading epistula for a while, you know that I love to find interesting things to do wherever we are. Summer was always a great opportunity for that. As I have been talking to customers recently, I know that this summer brings about some more challenging times than usual. Many of you may not be taking that summer vacation that you normally do, or if you are, you are looking at doing it differently. This very well could turn out to be the summer your children remember the most when they look back over their childhood. This is a wonderful opportunity to bring the family together to plan some fun things to do that maybe ”cost less and deliver more.”
I have always been one to look for free or inexpensive activities to do with my children, but as I began to write this article and did some research, I realized that with the age of the internet there are more things to do than you can even imagine. We all know how savvy children are with the internet, so don’t be shy to let them get involved. Whether it’s an activity for the day or planning a whole trip, there are lots of opportunities awaiting you.
Below are some ideas that we hope you will find helpful in planning your summer.
Supper clubs are a fun way for teenagers to interact with one another and their parents to create a social interaction that provides a great opportunity for fun and the perfect place to learn and practice etiquette. Find a few other families with teenage children and invite them to become part of a supper club. You may even want to name your Supper Club as a way to make the children feel more a part of something permanent.
There are a number of ways to do Supper Clubs. Some rotate houses each month, and the person whose home it is in does all the cooking for that month. Others do it more like a progressive dinner and move from one home to the next for each of the different courses. And there is always the covered dish where each member brings a particular dish to one person’s home. But one thing is for sure, this is a great opportunity for fellowship and can be a time to host a formal dinner, encouraging children to dress up and experience a more structured evening.
As I said earlier, finding fun and free (or at least inexpensive) things to do is not too hard. Below are several web sites that are very helpful in finding things to do or locating places to visit around the country that are free or inexpensive. I’m sure if you spend time looking yourself you would find even more.
You get the idea. Even if things are different for you this year, it may end up being the best summer of your life. Fortunately for us, God gave us the gift of his creation, and there are still lots of free places to walk on the beach or take a hike up a mountain trail. May you be blessed this year as you spend those precious days of summer with your children.
Free Shipping in April
FREE SHIPPING on all U.S. orders placed in April, 2009. When you place your order, simply ask for the April Shipping Special. Be encouraged to place orders in April, a slower month, and not wait until the busy summer months. Note, too, that price increases occur May 1. If you place your order on our web site, simply enter item number FS0409 on the Express Order page and click Add to Order. We will deduct the shipping amount from your order manually before we ship.
Q. Some of the books you have listed for a particular grade seem too old for that age compared to other curricula. Why?
A. First, it is not a mistake. We handpick the literature choices for each grade. One of the things we are working to recover in classical Christian education is a high educational standard. We've all heard about how education has been "dumbed down" for decades, and it's true. Raising the bar in education means asking more of our children. Kids are quite resilient to hard work and responsive to the challenge. One way to encourage them to reach higher is to place more difficult tasks before them. You’ll be amazed what they can do if they are given no indication that they can’t.
Q. I don't understand the difference between registering for online courses and enrolling in the Scholars Academy. I thought when I registered for courses I was enrolling in the Academy.
A. This confusion may be part of our growing pains. When we offered just a few courses we called those offerings the Veritas Press Scholars Online Academy. Now, we have launched our diploma program and are calling that the Veritas Press Scholars Academy. While you are welcome and encouraged to register for courses a la carte, signing up for the Academy diploma program is additional in process, benefits, and accountability. For more information, view the text and links on the blue side of this web page.
Please submit any questions you’d like answered here to email@example.com.
Veritas Press Scholars Academy Diploma Program
Are you looking for your child to go to college? Do you desire accountability and assistance in knowing that each year your students are accomplishing what they need to? We now offer year-by-year services culminating in a high school diploma. There are four different diploma levels, each addressing the varying levels of a student’s abilities and circumstances. Grade-by-grade certification services ensure you are on track for your objectives, meeting an outside standard, and, in many cases, satisfying state requirements. We’ve even made provision for qualifying courses completed elsewhere or using other curricula. For more information, click here.
Veritas Press Teacher Training and In-A-Week classes now Online Only
In an effort to save you the time, trouble, and money needed for travel and lodging in these trying economic times, we have decided to offer our teacher training and in-a-week classes online only this year. The online version worked quite well last year. This year’s Teacher Training Conference is scheduled online for July 29-31, 2009. Online In-A-Week classes are scattered throughout the summer. Here’s the entire schedule:
ONLINE EVENT DATE TEACHER
Teacher Training July 29–31 Gary DeMar, plenary, and various
Latin-In-A-Week June 8–12 Joanna Hensley
Latin-In-A-Week June 22–26 Joanna Hensley
Omnibus I-In-A-Week June 29-July 3 Bruce Etter
Omnibus I-In-A-Week July 20-24 Bruce Etter
Omnibus II-In-A-Week June 29-July 3 Graham Dennis
What better way to prepare yourself to teach these courses or just learn the material for your own improvement? Watch for future announcements and details on our web site. Please be encouraged to mark your calendar and join us for these wonderful opportunities.
Detweilers Taking on More Speaking Engagements
It’s hard to believe, but Marlin and Laurie Detweiler will be empty nesters come August. Consequently, they are willing and able to take on more speaking and consulting engagements. If we can be of service to you or your organization, feel free to call Marlin at 800-922-5082 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
17th Annual ACCS Conference: Building a Firm Foundation
The Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS) national conference will be held June 25–27, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. It is designed to provide the principles of a classical and Christian education and practical instruction in a broad range of subjects. Plenary sessions will feature Charles Colson, George Grant, Matt Whitling, and Douglas Wilson. Practical workshops will teach the implementation of classical Christian education. Click here for more information or contact the ACCS office at 208-882-6101.
Future Job Opening with Veritas Press Scholars Academy
Online Teachers—With the rapid growth of our online courses we continue to seek more teachers for the 2009–2010 school year and beyond. Experienced teachers can work from home, the beach, or anywhere high-speed internet is available. Send résumé to email@example.com. Current needs include Rhetoric II, German I, French I, Introduction to Philosophy, War Between the States, Art Appreciation, and Music Appreciation.
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