Christmas Gift Ideas: Young Adult Literature Relevant to Today, will Strengthen Faith and Family

Christmas Gift Ideas:

Young Adult Literature Relevant to Today, will Strengthen Faith and Family

“Ben, this is spiritual warfare—for the souls of those we love,” Rebekah said. “If we don’t teach you the truth, the world will teach you its lies. You must write about our way of life before it is lost.”

Novel Urges Parents, Youth to Value Religious Freedom

The story of a boy’s quest to reclaim faith and freedom for his people

Atlanta, Georgia. Young people who have grown up with freedom and convenience may take it for granted because they don’t know what it’s like to be without God and without freedom. In C.A. Davidson’s Escape to Faith and Freedom, teenager Benjamin Benamoz flees from tyranny. In the New World, he finds freedom and faith in Christ. But in his new homeland, faith and freedom are taken for granted.

Based on the biblical story of the birthright, the book is about two ways of life that sprang from the choices of two brothers. Ben learns that the birthright is a great blessing of peace and liberty that comes from keeping a covenant with God. When the court bans the Bible from schools, he realizes that the birthright blessing has been taken away. Ben’s epic quest is to reclaim the birthright for families and future generations.

Escape to Faith and Freedom is the first book in Davidson’s Birthright Covenant trilogy. This trilogy offers multigenerational relevance today. Parents concerned about dystopian worldly culture will find renewed courage in this timeless allegory of hope and deliverance.

Davidson’s goal is to help parents teach their children the vital truths of the Judeo-Christian heritage. “I believe a key point that makes this series unique is that it is educational in an engaging way, helping parents transmit Judeo-Christian values to their families as a way of life,” she says.

Praise from Readers:

This book has been nominated for the Eric Hoffer award.

A Need to Restore Christian Values

“A book that reflects our society today. As religion and faith are constantly attacked, we need to restore the values that Christ has taught us.” —Alfred L. Ly, Hartford, Connecticut

Great for Teens

“As a volunteer teacher in ministry, I find it hard to find a good Christian book that can excite my teenage students. I’m glad I found C. A. Davidson. Hopefully, she can release the second and third book soon.”—Lawrence J. Williams, Jackson, Mississippi

You can obtain a copy of the book at selected online bookstores. More about the author and her works at www.birthrightcovenant.com.

See more reader reviews at https://birthrightcovenantjourney.com.

Birthright Covenant Trilogy, Book 1:

Escape to Faith and Freedom

Written by C.A. Davidson

Kindle | $2.99

Paperback | $13.99     

Now available HERE

About the Author

C.A. Davidson has seen the deadly assault upon Judeo-Christian culture during the Cold War era. The Birthright Covenant trilogy was inspired by Davidson’s love of family, faith, and freedom. She wants to help parents restore the biblical values of Western Civilization.

 

 

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Stress Relief Tips: Gratitude Walk

Stress Relief Tips:

Gratitude Walk

An interesting idea from Jon Gordon is to take a daily
“thank-you” walk, which he says is a great way to feed yourself
with positivity.

How it works: You simply take a walk… outside, in a mall, on a
treadmill, or anywhere else you can think of, and think about all
the things, big and small, that you are grateful for.

Why it works: Research shows you can’t be stressed and thankful
at the same time. So when you combine gratitude with physical
exercise, you give yourself a double boost of positive energy.
You flood your brain and body with positive emotions and natural
antidepressants that uplift you rather than the stress hormones
that drain your energy and slowly kill you. By the time you get
to work you are ready for a great day.

Source: Jon Gordon Weekly Newsletter, 8/6/18. Via Bob Bly

YouTube Video, Classical Music, and Paderewski

Dinner Topics for Friday

 

key“Culture is defined as the way of life of a people. There is a unique gospel culture, a set of values and expectations and practices” common to all Christians. ~L. Tom Perry

YouTube Video: Paderewski Plays his Minuet in G, Op. 14, No 1; Recorded 1937: Listen Here

From Wikipedia

18 November [O.S. 6 November] 1860 – 29 June 1941) was a Polish pianist, composer, diplomat, politician, and the second Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland.

Ignacy Jan Paderewski was born in the village of Kurilovka, Litin uyezd in the Podolia Governorate, the Russian Empire. Today the village is part of the Khmilnyk raion of Vinnytsia Oblast, Ukraine. His father, Jan Paderewski, was an administrator of large estates. His mother, Poliksena (née Nowicka), died several months after Paderewski was born, and he was brought up by his distant relatives.

Initially he took piano lessons with a private tutor. At the age of 12, in 1872, he went to Warsaw and was admitted to the Warsaw Conservatorium. After graduating in 1878, he was asked to become a tutor of piano classes at his alma mater, which he accepted. In 1880 Paderewski married Antonina Korsakówna, and soon afterwards, their first child was born. The following year, they discovered that the son was handicapped; soon afterward, Antonina died. Paderewski decided to devote himself to music, and in 1881 he went to Berlin to study music composition with Friedrich Kiel[1] and Heinrich Urban. In 1884 he moved to Vienna, where he was a pupil of Theodor Leschetizky. It was in Vienna that he made his musical debut in 1887. He soon gained great popularity and his subsequent appearances (in Paris in 1889, and in London in 1890) were major successes. His brilliant playing created a furore which reached to almost extravagant lengths of admiration; and his triumphs were repeated in the United States in 1891. His name at once became synonymous with the highest level of piano virtuosity. However, not everyone was impressed. After hearing Paderewski for the first time, Moriz Rosenthal said: “Yes, he plays well, I suppose, but he’s no Paderewski”.[2]

From his early childhood, Paderewski was interested in music while living at the private estate near Zhytomyr where he moved with his father. However soon after his father’s arrest in connections with the January Uprising (1863), he was adopted by his aunt. After being released, Paderewski’s father married again and moved to the city of Sudylkov near Shepetovka.

He was extremely popular internationally, to such an extent that the music hall duo “The Two Bobs” had a hit song in 1916, in music halls across Britain, with the song “When Paderewski plays”.

During World War I, Paderewski became an active member of the Polish National Committee in Paris, which was soon accepted by the Entente as the representative of Poland. He became a spokesman of that organisation, and soon also formed other social and political organisations, among them the Polish Relief Fund in London. It was then that he met the English composer Edward Elgar, who used a theme from Paderewski’s Fantasie Polonaise[7] in his work Polonia written for the Polish Relief Fund concert in London on 6 July 1916.

In April 1918, he met in New York City with leaders of the American Jewish Committee, including Louis Marshall, in an unsuccessful attempt to broker a deal whereby organized Jewish groups would support Polish territorial ambitions in exchange for support for equal rights. However, it soon became clear that no plan would satisfy both Jewish leaders and Roman Dmowski, head of the Polish National Committee.[8]

At the end of the war, with the fate of the city of Poznań and the whole region of Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) still undecided, Paderewski visited Poznań. With his public speech on 27 December 1918, the Polish inhabitants of Poznań began a military uprising against Germany, called the Greater Poland Uprising.

In addition to his concert tours, Paderewski was a popular speaker who was renowned for his wit, and was often quoted. He was once introduced to a polo player with the words: “You are both leaders in your spheres, though the spheres are very different.” “Not so very different,” Paderewski replied. “You are a dear soul who plays polo, and I am a poor Pole who plays solo.”

In another incident, Paderewski once recalled, “I established a certain standard of behaviour, that, during my playing, there must be no talking. When they began to talk, I would stop. I would say, ‘I am sorry to interrupt your conversation. I deeply regret that I am obliged to disturb you, so I am going to stop for a while to allow you to continue talking.’ You can imagine the effect it had…”

Continued

Political Cartoon: California Fires, Forest Management Choices and Consequences

Political Cartoon:

California Fires, Forest Management Choices and Consequences

Fuel for Thought

Governor Jerry Brown would like to shift blame from faulty looney left-wing forest management policies to blaming global warming. Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2018.

More A.F. Branco cartoons at Constitution.com here.

Political Cartoon: More Democratic Party Election Fraud

Political Cartoon:

More Democratic Party Election Fraud

UPDATE: REPORT: Dirty Election Official to Get Bad News

A judge has found wrongdoing by the election supervisor in Broward County Florida and reports continue to surface about the suspicious actions of her office. According to reports, this will lead to her being removed from office as the recount battle continues in Florida.

According to The Daily Wire:

After a judge found her to have violated Florida elections law and amid reports of more highly suspicious actions by her office, the supervisor of elections for Broward County, Brenda Snipes, is expected to be “forced from office” by either Gov. Rick Scott or governor-elect Ron DeSantis, Politico reports.

“Counting unlawful votes. Destroying ballots. Sunshine Law violations. Busted deadlines,” Politico’s Marc Caputo writes. “So many controversies have bedeviled Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes — culminating in her office’s troubles in the aftermath of Florida’s chaotic 2018 elections — that her days in office are now numbered, insiders and lawmakers say.”

Democrats call for “every vote to be counted” is nothing but a dog whistle for We need to find more votes no matter how. Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2018.

See more Legal Insurrection Branco cartoons, click here.

Critical Thinking: Nationalist Definition vs. Media Bias News

Critical Thinking:

Nationalist Definition vs. Media Bias News

Donald Trump Defies Media: ‘Call Me a Nationalist if You’d Like’

President Donald Trump defied the establishment media’s negative coverage of his acceptance of the term “nationalist” to describe his political beliefs.

The president made his remarks on Tuesday at the White House State Leadership Day for leaders of California, Alaska, and Hawaii after highlighting his new and renegotiated trade deals.

“Call me a nationalist if you’d like,” he said. “But I don’t want companies leaving. I don’t want them firing all their people, going to another country, making a product, sending it into our country, tax-free, no charge, no tariff.”

Trump commented on the issue after he declared himself a “nationalist” when it comes to fighting for the United States of America first, rather than focusing its resources on the rest of the world.

“It sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist,” he said during a political rally in Texas. “And I say, really, we’re not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I’m a nationalist.”

 

Trump Defies Media: ‘Call Me a Nationalist if You’d Like’ 

 

Christian News: Pledge of Allegiance, In God We Trust restored; Homeschooling Victory

Christian News:

Pledge of Allegiance, In God We Trust restored; Homeschooling Victory

Parents’ pressure brings Pledge of Allegiance  back to school

November 2018 – Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School cut the Pledge of Allegiance from students’ daily routine. NCS president Lara Zelski claimed that abandoning the Pledge promoted “connectedness” among students.

However, the change was not a welcome one among parents in the community, and many voiced their concern to school officials, causing leadership to reevaluate the decision and eventually bring the Pledge back.

“It’s just fascinating,” culture analyst Janice Crouse observed, “to see how important it is – particularly for children – to have things that are routine rituals that they go through every day. And among these things is the Pledge of Allegiance.”

After the Pledge was taken out of the daily routine, parents spoke up and claimed the change was disrespectful to the nation and its history. Crouse agreed, also highlighting this as an example of how vociferous parents can exact change.

“I think parents can learn from this that they need to speak out, and they do need to know what’s going on so that they can speak out,” said Crouse, author of Children at Risk.

onenewsnow.com, 8/24/18

Alabama allows national motto, In God We Trust in schools

November 2018 – Alabama public schools now have the option to display the national motto in classrooms statewide. On July 1, Governor Kay Ivey (R) signed the legislation originally proposed by State Representative David Standridge (R-District 34).

Found on U.S. currency and posted in many government buildings, “In God We Trust” has been the national motto of the United States since 1956. This legislation did not make the display of the motto mandatory, but simply provides educators freedom to display the motto. (See AFA Journal, 10/18.)

Homeschooling victory: Homeschoolers get unlawful ‘rules’ overturned

November 2018 – New Mexico homeschoolers were surprised in July when they went online to the state’s Public Education Department to sign a required notice of intent to homeschool; they found an additional 11 “rules” to sign. Home School Legal Defense Association said the 11 new rules were not required by state law, and suggested that homeschoolers ignore them.

Families who followed that advice later had their notice of intent forms rejected. Homeschool families protested outside the Public Education Department in Santa Fe on August 15, and HSLDA sent a letter to PED.

“Because of our stance there and the attention it received, the Public Education Department relented and did begin [approving intent forms for] homeschool parents who had submitted notices,” said HSLDA attorney Thomas Schmidt.

State legislators are also taking up the issue with PED.

onenewsnow.com, 8/24/18

Indiana law restricts sex ed

November 2018 – As of July 1, Indiana Public Law 154 mandates that at least two written requests for parental consent must be issued before any type of human sexuality education takes place. Parents must give written permission for students to opt in to instruction. If no forms are returned, Indiana students should never be exposed to the school’s sex ed instruction.

Indiana PL 154 also gives parents the right to review curriculum content and request alternative academic instruction. Liberty Counsel, AFA of Indiana, and Indiana’s Advance America offer parents a downloadable non-consent form for PL 154 at advanceamerica.com.

The Republican National Committee passed a similar resolution during its summer meeting in Austin, Texas. The resolution supports parental rights to opt in to such instruction, rather than having to opt out.

lc.org, 7/17/17, 7/24/18; advanceamerica.com, 6/26/18;
truthinamericaneducation.com, 7/30/18

Town reverses church restriction

November 2018 – After renovating a rented property in Monroe, North Carolina, a church was prevented from occupying the space because of zoning restrictions. However, museums, libraries, and other nonprofits were allowed in the same area.

Alliance Defending Freedom filed suit on behalf of the church. In August, city officials voted to amend the zoning code to remove the restrictions.

ADF senior counsel Erik Stanley said, “The city has done the right thing … so that all religious congregations will benefit.”

adfmedia.org, 8/23/18

Political Cartoon: Democrat Blue Wave and Florida Election Fraud

Political Cartoon:

Democrat Blue Wave and Florida Election Fraud

Brace for Impact

Funny how recounts and last minute ballot discoveries always seem to benefit the Democrats. This isn’t the first time there have been election shenanigans by Brenda Snipes in Broward Co Florida. Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2018.

See more Conservative Daily News cartoons here

Judeo-Christian Culture: Free Will and Religious Freedom

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Free Will and Religious Freedom

Is religious liberty for everyone?

The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.

Ed Vitagliano

November 2018 – It has been observed that, in the Bill of Rights, religious liberty is literally the “first freedom.” Of the five rights listed in the First Amendment, religious liberty is listed first. The wording is simple, yet sublime: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. …”

With growing controversies over immigrants and refugees entering the U.S., both legally and illegally, Christians have struggled to answer this question: Does this first constitutional freedom apply to religions other than Christianity? There are good reasons to answer yes.

A right to disobey?


Most Christians are probably happy to include religious freedom among the collection of “natural” rights in the Declaration of Independence, rights that are according to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” In one of the most well known sentences in the English language, author Thomas Jefferson famously stated:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

Ironically, this creates something of a paradox for the Christian who is loyal to God. On the one hand, the believer sees religious liberty as something that allows the mission of the church to proceed unhindered by government opposition.

On the other hand, it would appear that the Christian is also saying the God of the Bible has granted to every person the “natural right” to worship a false god, a million gods, or even the devil himself.

Religious liberty for all?


However, the answer to the paradox explains why the founders instituted religious liberty in the first place. They understood religious liberty as something congruent to the biblical teaching of “free will.”*

That is to say:

(1) because God has granted people free will, they can decide for themselves what God, god, or gods they will serve;

(2) because they are free before God to worship whomever they choose, our Bill of Rights guarantees freedom safe from government coercion;

(3) because true Christian conversion requires a commitment of faith in Jesus Christ, allowing Christians to proselytize and allowing unbelievers to reject the gospel is actually the most biblical approach to take.

James Madison, one of the most influential Founding Fathers, said in his tract Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments (1785):

The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.

The trigger for Madison’s tract was a bill he opposed in the General Assembly of Virginia that would have created from the state treasury a subsidy for Christian preachers. At the time, many were warning that piety and religious observance in Virginia were waning. The solution: government should promote the gospel so the detrimental trends could be arrested.

Not only should government not prefer one religion over another, Madison argued. Religious freedom must be available to everyone. He said:

Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects?

It is reasonable to argue that a freedom which one Christian treasures for himself might also be a freedom that another Christian – or even a pagan – might equally treasure.

Coerced to become Christian?
It seems axiomatic for evangelicals today to assert that one can be forced to become a Christian. True, a person can be coerced to confess with his mouth that Jesus is Lord – or to demonstrate any number of outward signs of “conversion.” But Paul makes clear in Romans 10:10 that authentic outward expression must accompany faith in the heart for there to be true salvation.

Madison asserts that this is precisely why religious liberty must be granted to all:

James Madison

Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offence against God, not against man. …

Thus, the rebel who rejects the gospel is answerable to God; he is not and should not be answerable to the state for that rejection.

Moreover, the state cannot do what only the church, through Christ, can do – produce true converts. If the state attempts to empower government “magistrates” to coerce Christian conversion, Madison said, it becomes “an unhallowed perversion of the means of salvation.”

Against the darkness
It’s important to recognize that Madison is not arguing against Christians “voting their values.” Instead, he is declaring that government must not officially – and thus with coercive power – promote one religious view over another.

The Judeo-Christian worldview is part of the foundation of America. We should seek to convince our fellow citizens that the only way for our society to thrive is for Christian principles to be the bedrock of civic and cultural life.

In fact, it is quite biblical for Christians to warn non-believing Americans that God blesses nations for doing right in His sight and judges nations for committing evil (Jeremiah 18:7-10).

Followers of Christ are called to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16), and it is no exaggeration to state that, without that cultural influence, decay and darkness will ultimately triumph.

Nevertheless, while it is important for Christians to protect and promote religious liberty, both for themselves and for those with whom they disagree, it is equally important to remember that followers of Christ should not help false religions with their work. For example, they should not aid in the construction of Muslim mosques or otherwise contribute to the spread of Islam.

We believe that God has spoken through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2), and those who deny this are of “the spirit of error” and “the spirit of the antichrist” (1 John 4:1-6). New Testament writers were severe when warning against cooperating with false religions. In 2 John 10-11, the apostle emphasizes that false teachers should be neither welcomed nor aided:

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this [gospel] teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

Whether all earthly freedoms are granted to us or are denied, the Christian’s first allegiance is to Christ the King and His kingdom.

*For those who point to Scriptures such as John 3:1-8 and conclude that sinners are free to choose Christ only as the Holy Spirit changes their heart, this substitute might be preferable: For those who are granted the grace to become born again, religious liberty is a blessing that allows men and women to follow that conversion impulse with minimal hindrance from the government.

____________________
For more studies on freedom of religion in the U.S., consider The Bible: America’s Source of Law and Liberty, America’s Providential History, and other books and video resources by Stephen McDowell. Founder of Providence Foundation, McDowell is a highly esteemed historian who chronicles the nation’s Christian roots. Visit providencefoundation.com or call 434-978-4535 for more information.

Political Cartoon: White House Press Corps vs. Left Wing News

Political Cartoon:

White House Press Corps vs. Left Wing News

Radical left winger Jim Acosta of CNN loses his press hard pass to the White House over his abrasive unruly behavior at President Trumps press Conference. Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2018.

More A.F. Branco Cartoons at The Daily Torch.