Judeo-Christian Worldview: Time to be a Spiritual Warrior, Salt of the Earth

Judeo-Christian Worldview:

Time to be a Spiritual Warrior, Salt of the Earth

In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost. ~Russell M. Nelson

Spiritual warfare in the culture

Ed Vitagliano

American Family Association Journal

January-February 2019 – It is clear that America is in the midst of a moral, political, and cultural upheaval that rivals that of the 1960s – or perhaps even the Civil War era.

Furthermore, a Christian would have to be totally devoid of discernment to miss the clear signs of a devastating spiritual war engulfing our land and its people.

Here are seven principles outlining the reality of the spiritual warfare that exists behind the curtain of the culture chaos.

1. There is a spiritual reality behind earthly conflict.


Of course, the most obvious place to start is in Ephesians 6:10-18, arguably the most familiar spiritual warfare passage in the Bible. Paul teaches that Christians are enveloped in a “struggle.” However, the struggle appears to exist only in the realm of the physical world – i.e., people and circumstances. But our struggle is “not against flesh and blood.” It’s actually a much deeper battle.

When you consider the ongoing culture war in our nation, it’s not about what we might think it is. It seems as if the natural world is all that matters, but it’s not. It’s not simply the politics, the trash coming out of Hollywood, or the hundred other things that are convulsing our country.

There are evil powers assaulting the church and the truth. That’s what this is all about. They are enslaving millions in thick chains of darkness and dragging them away into ruin.

2. That spiritual conflict requires a heavenly perspective.


Notice that Paul says these demonic powers dwell “in the heavenly places.” Who else is in the heavenly places? Of course, Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of God – far above all wicked spiritual rulers (Ephesians 1:20-21).

The church is also seated “with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5-6). What is the church doing up there in the heavenlies? Positionally, we are seated in heavenly places because Christ is there, we are in Christ, and wherever He is, we are.

However, despite the fact that we live natural lives down here, we must view our battles from up there. In other words, we must have a heavenly perspective. We must have God’s perspective – an eternal perspective.

Psalm 2 offers a perfect example of that reality. The nations rage against the Lord and His Christ. They scheme and conspire to break away from
His restraints.

We might see that and get very, very angry. Like Jesus’s disciples, we might want to call fire down from heaven and devour sinners. We forget that we, like our spiritual enemies now, were once rebels and blasphemers.

But God sits in heaven and laughs at their strategies – because He knows the final outcome. In fact, God knows that some of those very same rebels will one day repent and join themselves to Him. In the midst of the battle, Christians should also be encouraged that our God is sovereign – and in control of history.

3. The coming of Jesus Christ brought light into darkness.


In Matthew 4:12-17, we see that those who dwelled in darkness and “the shadow of death” saw a “great Light” – the coming of the Son of God to earth. The core message of Jesus Christ was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

It is hard for us to comprehend the spiritual state of the world when Jesus came. Other than Israel – and a few scattered Jewish communities – everywhere one traveled, from one end of the earth to the other, there were only idolatry, false religion, and spiritual darkness. There was not a single lamp lit by biblical truth. There was no temple other than those occupied by demons. There were no priests or priestesses other than those who counseled people away from the One true God.

The oppressive grip of darkness was broken the moment Jesus was born. He was and is the Light of the world, and His coming, like the invasion of Normandy in 1944, was an invasion of occupied territory.

4. Christians carry on the work established by Christ.


We are the follow-up to this invasion – and we push ever forward into the darkness. Matthew 5:13-16 declares that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

For 2,000 years, a faithful portion of the church has taken seriously the words of Christ that we be salt (opposing decay and death) and light (opposing darkness and delusion).

Proof of this is found in a simple fact: The earth is no longer in complete and total darkness, as the light continues to blaze brightly!

5. The “empire always strikes back.”

 

by Carl Bloch

Wherever light goes, however, it immediately comes into conflict with darkness. Remember the core message of Jesus as He entered the world system? “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).

That is absolutely a challenge to the darkness. Jesus is announcing that the authority of heaven has come, and all people are commanded to cease their wicked ways.

In Acts 17:30, Paul says, “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent.”

However, the powers of darkness do not slink away, whipped, into the shadows. Those “spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” that Paul mentioned in Ephesians 6? They are ferocious and totally depraved demonic entities, with seething hatred for all things and all people that point to God.

This means we can always expect a satanic response as we move to shine the light of God’s truth in the darkness.

6. There are only two sides in this war.

He that is not with me is against me. ~ Jesus Christ, Matthew 12:30


Therefore, as we might expect, there’s no demilitarized zone. People must choose their side. There is no room for wimpy Christians who will not stand for the truth or who worry about offending people. We don’t have to be jerks, but we do have to be warriors.

This is one of the powerful messages of the book of Revelation, where we see but two choices – the Lamb of God and the beast from the sea; two women – the bride of Christ and the harlot of Babylon; and two cities – the New Jerusalem (the holy city) and Babylon (the great city).

As a result, there are only two destinies for the souls who inhabit this battlefield: those who have their names written in the Lamb’s book of life and those who do not. There is no middle ground.

7. We are an expression of that war – right now in America.


We are to resist the dark lies of this hierarchy of demonic leadership using every spiritual weapon at our disposal. However, “spiritual” doesn’t mean there is no accompanying natural effort.

We can stand for righteousness and God’s truth in a hundred different ways. Obviously we can pray, preach, and teach, but we can also write a letter to the editor, rebuild a flooded home, serve food in a soup kitchen, offer counsel in front of an abortion clinic – or vote!

If Christians can’t see that the culture war is a manifestation of a spiritual war, they’re blind. If Christians can’t see that this is a time to be salt and light, they’re disobedient.

This is a day when every soldier of light must put on the full armor of God and stand in the gap for America – because if she falls, all of Western Civilization falls with her.

Action Plan to Equip Your Family for Spiritual Warfare—START HERE

 

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Critical Thinking Topics: Judgment and Decision Making

Critical Thinking Topics:

Judgment and Decision Making

Discernment

Sometimes people feel that it is wrong to judge others in any way. While it is true that you should not condemn others or judge them unrighteously, you will need to make judgments of ideas, situations, and people throughout your life.

The Lord has given many commandments that you cannot keep without making judgments. For example, He has said: “Beware of false prophets. . . . Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15-16) and “Go ye out from among the wicked” (D&C 38:42). You need to make judgments of people in many of your important decisions, such as choosing friends, voting for government leaders, and choosing an eternal companion.

Judgment is an important use of your agency [free will] and requires great care, especially when you make judgments about other people. All your judgments must be guided by righteous standards.

Remember that only God, who knows each individual’s heart, can make final judgments of individuals. (Revelation 20:12; 3 Nephi 27:14; D&C 137:9)

How to Make Righteous Judgments

Your righteous judgments about others can provide needed guidance for them and, in some cases, protection for you and your family. Approach any such judgment with care and compassion.

As much as you can, judge people’s situations rather than judging the people themselves. Whenever possible, refrain from making judgments until you have an adequate knowledge of the facts. Always be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, who can guide your decisions. True to the Faith, 90-91

How Do We “Judge Righteous Judgment”?

By Tyler J. Griffin

Associate Professor of Ancient Scripture, Brigham Young University

Jesus is not telling us never to judge. He is commanding us to make sure the judgments we make are righteous.

Have you ever been in a situation where somebody tried to correct another person by saying, “Judge not, that ye be not judged”? (Matthew 7:1). Few of Jesus’s teachings are more widely known than this one. Unfortunately, this phrase is not always correctly understood or applied. Our ability to benefit from this command will increase as we examine how Jesus Christ used it in His teachings and how His prophets have reiterated it through time.

In the Joseph Smith Translation of Matthew 7, we read, “Judge not unrighteously, that ye be not judged; but judge righteous judgment” (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 7:2 [in Matthew 7:1, footnote a]).

According to Joseph Smith’s addition to this passage in Matthew, Jesus is not telling us never to judge. He is commanding us to make sure the judgments we make are righteous.

Our Judgments of People

Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught, “God cares a lot more about who we are and who we are becoming than about who we once were.”5

Our own sins and lack of perfect understanding disqualify us from being able to pass final judgments on anyone, including ourselves. We must, however, make constant intermediate judgments. We are to righteously judge actions, not condemn people.

 

Related post:

Critical Thinking Definition: Discernment and Judgment

Biblical Worldview News: Capitalism Benefits the Poor; Media Effects on Children; Trail Life USA succeeds

Biblical Worldview News:

Capitalism Benefits the Poor; Media Effects on Children; Trail Life USA succeeds

March 2019 – According to Star Parker (photo above), founder of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, President Donald Trump is using capitalism quite effectively to help America’s poorest citizens. Parker believes Trump’s policies are helping low-income Americans who have not previously been participating in the nation’s economic prosperity.

With unemployment at historic lows, Parker is excited over Trump’s executive order to establish the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council to implement Opportunity Zones previously created in the 2017 tax bill.

Opportunity Zones are designated areas within all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories where poverty often stands at twice the national average. Private investors in these zones will receive preferred tax treatment, thereby encouraging economic growth.

During remarks at the White House signing ceremony for this executive order, billionaire BET network founder Bob Johnson said the president’s new tax programs “will cause people to invest money where before they saw risk, now they will see opportunity. And that combination of putting money into communities will allow for those communities to become vibrant, to become safe, to create ownership, and, most important, to contribute to the well-being of this country.”

 

President Trump helps American poor through capitalism

 

Study examines  media effects on children

March 2019 –By the time a child is 17 years old, he or she will have been exposed to an average of 60,000 hours of media. In December 2018, the National Institutes of Health began a study to examine the impact of screen time using smartphones, tablets, and video games on 11,000 children ages 9 and 10. The study will follow them for 10 years to determine the long-term effect of media exposure.

The first round of MRIs conducted on subjects in this study found significant changes in the brains of kids who had more than seven hours of screen time daily. For example, researchers found a premature thinning of the outer cortex of the brain in these children, which may indicate earlier brain maturation. This early in the study, the impact of such changes is uncertain.

movieguide.org, 12/11/18

Issues@Hand

Scouts stumbling, Trail Life thriving

March 2019 – Boy Scouts of America is facing bankruptcy. BSA embarked on a downward spiral with its 2013 decision to welcome homosexual boys to its troops. Soon thereafter, it opened the door to homosexual leaders, and then quickly added girls to the mix.

In December 2018, BSA announced it would remove the word boy from its name and become Scouts BSA in February 2019.

Ironically, Girl Scouts of America has sued BSA for changing its name.

“Families have voted with their feet,” said Rob Swarzwalder, senior VP at Family Research Council. He said BSA membership dropped by almost one-third from 2014 to 2018.

In contrast, Trail Life USA (traillifeusa.com), a Christian scouting group for boys founded in 2013, is growing steadily, offering many of the same outdoor adventures and character development components once taught by BSA.

Trail Life CEO Mark Hancock ob-
served, “As organizations that help boys, we’re either going to bring clarity to that or we’re going to contribute to the moral confusion boys are experiencing.”

He attributes Trail Life’s 35% membership jump in 2018 to the group’s unapologetic Christ-centered mission.

onenewsnow, 12/28/18; stream.org, 12/16/18

Scouts stumbling, Trail Life thriving

Issues@Hand

AFR helps disciple kids, save unborn lives

March 2019 – Last fall, American Family Radio partnered with Samaritan’s Purse to urge listeners to send more than 6,200 Christmas Shoeboxes to needy children.

Furthermore, AFR listeners pledged funds to provide more than 11,000 copies of The Greatest Journey Bible and discipleship studies for children.

“Please pray that the children who participate in TGJ really will find Christ and begin their greatest journey,” said AFR general manager Jim Stanley.

Featuring Pre-Born Ministry, in mid-January, AFR listeners pledged to provide 2,949 ultrasounds for pro-life pregnancy resource centers. Pre-Born reports that 80% of the abortion-minded women decide to give their baby life after experiencing an ultrasound.

 

AFR helps disciple kids, save unborn lives

 

Biblical Worldview News: Pro-Life Views upward shift; Victory for Religious Freedom

Biblical Worldview News:

Pro-Life Views upward shift; Victory for Religious Freedom

Abortion Poll: 17-Point Shift Toward Pro-Life Views in Single Month

Dr. Susan Berry

A Marist poll released Monday reveals recent legislation to make abortion a fundamental right and allow the procedure even moments before birth has led to a “sudden and dramatic shift” toward the pro-life position.

 

Abortion Poll: 17-Point Shift Toward Pro-Life Stance in Single Month

 

Ohio pro-life legislation – pass and fail

March 2019 – Two important pieces of pro-life legislation passed both houses of Ohio’s legislature in December. But one was vetoed by then Governor John Kasich (R).

By a landslide vote, state legislators passed SB 145, a bill banning dilation and evacuation procedures – dismemberment abortions. Kasich signed that bill into law on December 21.

In 2017 alone, approximately 3,500 babies were killed through dismemberment abortions in Ohio.

“Essentially, the abortionist dilates the woman’s cervix and then rips the baby limb from limb using sterile instruments,” explained Jamieson Gordon of Ohio Right to Life.

Conversely, after both houses of the legislature passed HB 258, known as the “Heartbeat Bill,” Gov. Kasich vetoed it before his term ended in January. While the House successfully voted to override his veto, the Senate failed by one vote.

Janet Porter of Faith2Action said pro-lifers will work with Gov. Mike DeWine (R) who has stated that if HB 258 passes again, he will sign the bill banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected – usually after six weeks of pregnancy (four weeks gestation).

“[W]e believe that is a very strong line to draw for the first evidences of life,” said Barry Sheets, spokesperson for Right to Life Coalition of Ohio.

Victory for Religious Freedom: Obama recess appointee ousted

March 2019 – Chai Feldblum (photo above) was a 2010 Barack Obama recess appointment to serve on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency charged with protecting freedom of religious expression. Feldblum, however, was an outspoken opponent of religious freedom.

“Sexual liberty should win [over religious liberty] in most cases,” Feldblum has said.

Surprisingly, President Donald Trump renominated her to serve another term, but an uprising of conservative opposition moved him to reconsider.

AFA Action was among groups leading a campaign that moved the president to rescind the nomination.

“It’s a real victory for the U.S. Constitution and religious liberty in America!” exclaimed AFA Action director Rob Chambers.

Bible Stories: Enoch, Zion, Holy Spirit, and Journey of Faith

Bible Stories:

Dinner Topics for Monday

Enoch, Zion, Holy Spirit, and Journey of Faith

Walk with Me

Behold, my Spirit is upon you. (Moses 6:34)

And it came to pass that Enoch journeyed in the land, among the people; and as he journeyed, the Spirit of God descended out of heaven, and abode upon him.  And he heard a voice from heaven. (Moses 6:26-27)

What is it like to hear a voice from heaven? What is that voice like, and how can we hear it?  Elijah learned that the Lord was not in a great and strong wind, not in an earthquake, not in a fire, but in a still small voice.

So this still small voice said to Enoch, “Enoch, my son, prophesy unto this people, and say unto them—Repent, for thus saith the Lord: I am angry with this people, and my fierce anger is kindled against them; for their hearts have waxed hard, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes cannot see afar off.”(Moses 6:27)

The Lord spoke to Enoch, because Enoch heard Him, and the people did not.  What can cause people’s hearts to wax hard, and their ears to become dull of hearing, and their eyes unable to see?  The Lord is not in the shriek of cell phones, not in the din of TV, not in the fake social media, not in the roar of the crowd, but in a still small voice.

And the Lord told Enoch, “Say unto this people: Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you. Behold my Spirit is upon you . . . and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me.(Moses 6:33-34)

And Enoch walked with God, and built a great city, and it was called Zion.

And from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them; but the Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness.(Moses 7:16)

And all the days of Zion, in the days of Enoch, were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, ZION IS FLED. (Moses 7:68-69)

 

Dinner Talk Topic:

Enoch accepted the invitation to walk with God.  Will we?

 

Copyright © 2010 C.A. Davidson

 

Judeo-Christian Culture: Ode to the Epic Hero

Judeo-Christian Culture: Ode to the Epic Hero

Dinner Topics for Monday

Defining Moment: Epic Literary Definition

Critical Thinking Topics

Epic Literature— has the following features.

  • Broad scope in time, with nationalistic emphasis
  • Narrative motifs including warfare and rulership
  • Historical impulse, with allusions to key events in the life of a nation
  • Supernatural context
  • Plot with recurrent patterns or situations
  • Narrated in a ceremonial style or exalted diction which is deliberately distanced from ordinary  speech

~Richard Dilworth Rust, Feasting on the Word, pp. 49-51

Mayan hieroglyphic, and it came to pass

Mayan hieroglyphic, and it came to pass

To a child learning to read, at first, those symbols loom on the page, defying understanding.  If you have stood before rock monuments or stelas in Central America, gazing at the hieroglyphs, you know how it feels.  Now that the dense jungle has been cleared away to reveal the remains of the Mayan civilization, that is only the first step.  Men and women have since dedicated their lives to learning the meaning of those glyphs.

Sometimes we feel that way about the Bible and other epic literature.  It’s like a whole different language.  It’s true— the written word, or literature, is in a different realm from the spoken word of our day.  And epic literature has special characteristics that set it in a class all by itself.  The first feature that creates a barrier for most of us is the diction, or choice of words.  Richard D. Rust, in his book Feasting on the Word, tells us that epic literature is “narrated in a ceremonial style or exalted diction which is deliberately distanced from ordinary speech.”

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “epic” as “otherwise called heroic. . . which narrates a story. . . in an elevated style. . . usually the achievements of some distinguished hero, and intended to form the morals and affect the mind with the love of virtue.  The end [or purpose] is to improve morals, and inspire a love of virtue, bravery and illustrious actions.”

If we as parents wish to give our children a foundation as firm as Rock, that will be remembered in the hearts of our children, and their children, and so on, we must develop teachings with staying power.

ScripturePoetry After thousands of years, the Bible remains the chief and most widely read of classic literature. What makes it an enduring best seller, past the peak of three weeks, six months, or even a year?  Why is it never really obsolete? Its language remains untouched by the jungle of our modern day semantics.   As we leave the mundane behind, and lead the way through that straight and narrow passage, past the language barrier, we begin an epic adventure with our families.  We begin to. . .

Discover things that will be treasured,

Perhaps not always in money measured—

Gems of knowledge, virtue, truth,

Eternal standards for our family and youth.

Best of all, if we as parents faithfully train, or “direct the growth of” our children, we will watch them discover great truths and heaven-sent messages in the exalted diction of the word of God. Youth will rise to the noble standards in epic literature, and find the epic hero within themselves.

Epic Hero resize medThe following poem pays tribute to the hero of epic literature and presents a pattern for the successful quest to build good character. It invites the reader to discover the epic hero within you.

          Ode to the Epic Hero

Your epic quest begins at birth

To find your purpose here on earth.

Along the way your heart will learn

How good from evil to discern.

Moments in time will come to define

Trials of your soul, to test and refine.

Discover things that will be treasured,

Perhaps not always in money measured—

Gems of knowledge, virtue, truth,

Eternal standards for families and youth—

To strengthen, protect, and to prepare

A way to escape the enemy’s snare.

faithjourney2The journey of life demands your part—

Courage, faith, and a willing heart.

You need not fall, though you may stumble,

For angels fail not to help the humble.

Your lone small flame may not seem bright,

Yet it reveals the way to greater light.

Day by day, big and little—

Answers await life’s every riddle.

Just when you think you can’t continue,

You’ll find the epic hero within you.

Honor and virtue will be your choice.

Return home triumphant, and rejoice.

~C.A.Davidson

Copyright © 2010 by Christine A. Davidson

Stress Relief Ideas: Drug Abuse Prevention—Just say NO

Stress Relief Ideas:

Drug Abuse Prevention—Just say NO

Stay away from illegal drugs, right? Everyone knows that. What many may not know, unfortunately, is that some prescription drugs have serious side effects and can be devastating, as well. I have seen this firsthand. Someone I know took an anti-depressant, not because she had a chemical imbalance, but because she wanted a quick, easy way to be “happy,” and because her friends had been trying to get her to do it for years.

Ironically, the side effects of anti-depressants—suicidal thoughts, hostility—don’t sound like a good way to overcome depression to me. This person’s personality changed dramatically. Within four months of beginning that medication, she had divided and spiritually destroyed her family, and it’s irreversible, because she won’t stop taking the drug.

Beware! Just because a drug may be prescribed by a medical professional does not mean it is safe for you. Those who have chemical imbalances can be helped under the care of health professionals. However, professionals should clearly warn about the side effects of mind-altering drugs, and not blithely prescribe them without regard to deleterious consequences.

Now, if you simply are not happy, look first to yourself—true happiness is a matter of character, of taking responsibility for our own actions. Are you seeking happiness in the form of passing pleasures and self-gratification? Are you unhappy because you are offended?

If so, there is no chemical that will fix your problem, so just say No! to drugs, prescription or not. But you can rest assured that true happiness is well within your grasp. The solution is simple, but not easy. It’s called repentance. Have courage to face the truth about yourself. Don’t look to worldly soothsayers or “friends”—well-intentioned or not—to excuse you from doing the right thing. Turn to your Christian leader. He will help you strengthen your moral compass and access the mercy you need through the love of Christ.

Try it! I promise you it works miracles, for I’ve done it myself, countless times over the years, and sometimes daily. And I know many others who use this remedy constantly, with deeply satisfying results that no man-made, chemical formula can ever provide.

May you feel the great peace and joy that comes as the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ frees you from the bondage of sin.

Marijuana Facts Parents Need to Know: Mental Illness, Marijuana and Violence Part 1

Marijuana Facts Parents Need to Know: Mental Illness, Marijuana and Violence Part 2

YouTube Music: Classic Chopin

Dinner Topics for Friday

keyWhat we see depends mainly on what we look for.

Chopin: Krakowiak Grand Rondeau

Prelude in C Minor

Chopin 12 Etudes

Frédéric Chopin

From Wikipedia

Chopin,_by_WodzinskaFrédéric François Chopin or Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin[1] (1 March or 22 February 1810[2] – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist. He is widely considered one of the greatest Romantic composers.[3] Chopin was born in Żelazowa Wola, a village in the Duchy of Warsaw. A renowned child-prodigy pianist and composer, he grew up in Warsaw and completed his music education there; he composed many of his mature works in Warsaw before leaving Poland in 1830 at age 20, shortly before the November 1830 Uprising.

Following the Russian suppression of the Uprising, he settled in Paris as part of Poland’s Great Emigration. During the remaining 19 years of his life, Chopin gave only some 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon; he supported himself by selling his compositions and teaching piano. After some romantic dalliances with Polish women, including an abortive engagement, from 1837 to 1847 he carried on a relationship with the French writer Amantine Dupin, aka George Sand. For most of his life Chopin suffered from poor health; he died in Paris in 1849 at age 39.

The vast majority of Chopin’s works are for solo piano, though he also wrote two piano concertos, a few chamber pieces and some songs to Polish lyrics. His piano works are often technically demanding, with an emphasis on nuance and expressive depth. Chopin invented the instrumental ballade and made major innovations to the piano sonata, mazurka, waltz, nocturne, polonaise, étude, impromptu, scherzo and prélude.

The great majority of Chopin’s compositions were written for the piano as solo instrument; all of his extant works feature the piano in one way or another. Chopin, according to Arthur Hedley, “had the rare gift of a very personal melody, expressive of heart-felt emotion, and his music is penetrated by a poetic feeling that has an almost universal appeal…. Present-day evaluation places him among the immortals of music by reason of his insight into the secret places of the heart and because of his awareness of the magical new sonorities to be drawn from the piano.”[40]

The first systematic, if imperfect, study of Chopin’s style came in F. P. Laurencin’s 1861 Die Harmonik der Neuzeit. Laurencin concluded that “Chopin is one of the most brilliant exceptional natures that have ever stridden onto the stage of history and life, he is one who can never be exhausted nor stand before a void. Chopin is the musical progone[74] of all progones until now.”[75]

Robert Schumann, speaking of Chopin’s Sonata in B-flat minor, wrote that “he alone begins and ends a work like this: with dissonances, through dissonances, and in dissonances”, and in Chopin’s music he discerned “cannon concealed amid blossoms”.[75]

According to Tad Szulc, though technically demanding,[76] Chopin’s works emphasize nuance and expressive depth rather than sheer virtuosity. Vladimir Horowitz referred to Chopin as “the only truly great composer for the piano”.[77]

Chopin’s music for the piano combined a unique rhythmic sense (particularly his use of rubato), frequent use of chromaticism, and counterpoint. This mixture produces a particularly fragile sound in the melody and the harmony, which are nonetheless underpinned by solid and interesting harmonic techniques. He took the new salon genre of the nocturne, invented by Irish composer John Field, to a deeper level of sophistication. Three of Chopin’s twenty-one Nocturnes were published only after his death in 1849, contrary to his wishes.[78] He also endowed popular dance forms, such as the Polish mazurek and the Viennese Waltz, with a greater range of melody and expression.

Chopin’s mazurkas, while based somewhat on the traditional Polish dance (the mazurek), were different from the traditional variety in that they were suitable for concerts halls as well as dance settings. With his mazurkas, Chopin brought a new sense of nationalism, which was an idea that other composers writing both at the same time as, and after, Chopin would also incorporate into their compositions. Chopin’s nationalism was a great influence and inspiration for many other composers, especially Eastern Europeans, and he was one of the first composers to clearly express nationalism through his music. Furthermore, he was the first composer to take a national genre of music from his home country and transform it into a genre worthy of the general concert-going public, thereby creating an entirely new genre.

Chopin was the first to write ballades[79] and scherzi as individual pieces. He took the example of Bach’s preludes and fugues and essentially established a new genre with his own Préludes. He reinvented the étude,[80] expanding on the idea and making it into a gorgeous, eloquent and emotional showpiece, and he used his Études to teach his own revolutionary style[17] – for instance playing with the weak fingers (3, 4, and 5) in fast figures (Op. 10, No. 2), playing in octaves (Op. 25, No. 10), and playing black keys with the thumb (Op. 10, No. 5).

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Judeo-Christian Worldview: Armor of God

Judeo-Christian Worldview:

 Armor of God

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Epicworld Dinner Topics!

WE NEED TO TEACH AND HELP RAISE A SIN-RESISTANT GENERATION.[1] Never in history has it been more urgent to fulfill our responsibility to the rising generation, because this is …

stolen2A Battle We Must Win. “We are engaged in a battle with the world. In the past, the world competed for our children’s energy and time. Today, it fights for their identity and mind. Many loud and prominent voices are trying to define who our children are and what they should believe. We cannot let society give our family a makeover in the image of the world. We must win this battle. Everything depends on it.”[2]

How Do We Equip Our Families with the Armor of God?

By definition, a sin-resistant generation is not built in a day. Steel is refined in a fiery furnace, but we don’t have to wait until our teenagers “learn by burn.” The armor of God is built through a long- term process called Character Education—this is something all parents and grandparents can do. In fact, if we don’t, we are failing in our responsibility. If we don’t, you can be sure that no one else will.

judeo-christian2-10-commandments                In the Judeo-Christian ethics, we promise God that we will keep His commandments. If we are not answerable to a higher being, then we think we can do anything, and never face the consequences. Hence, the abyss of moral relativism we find ourselves, ever since the Supreme Court banned God from our schools in 1963.

The Covenant Path

These promises we make to God are called covenants. When we promise covenant2to keep His commandments, He, in turn, makes covenants with us. God keeps His promises. Do we keep ours?

One mother started her children early on the covenant path with her young son, Kevin, who had a propensity for Integrity6-cost-is-highteasing his little sister relentlessly. “Can you avoid teasing her for one whole day?” his mother asked.    Kevin said he thought he could, and he succeeded.

“Well, done, Kevin,” his mother praised. “Now do you think you can do that for two days?”

Kevin said he thought he could, and he again succeeded.

As this process continued, Kevin succeeded in keeping his promise for longer and longer periods of time.

Finally, one day, Kevin’s mother asked him how he was able to keep his word, time after time. His reply is a classic principle that is the foundation of Character Education: “Because I said I would.” Young Kevin kept his word because he said he would.

This is called INTEGRITY.

When we teach our young children to keep their promises, we are building a core within jesus-repentancethemstrengthening their moral compass, fortifying their armor. Integrity forms the powerful protective shield that our children desperately need. The armor of God is made of our covenants.          In a message to one of His prophets, the Lord reminds us of how we are blessed with divine protection when we keep our promises:

Keep all the commandments and covenants by which ye are bound; and I will cause the heavens to shake for your good, and Satan shall tremble and Zion shall rejoice upon the hills and flourish.[3]

The Lord Jesus Christ atoned for our sins because He said He would.

passing-torchI hope it can and will be said of us that we taught the rising generation to be covenant keepers, thus equipping them with the armor of God. It is the highest compliment anyone can receive.

             Keep the faith, but don’t keep it to yourself! Pass it on!

 

Protecting our Kids with the Covenant Path

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”–Ronald Reagan

Updated: The most powerful weapon in the world—work for victory for American liberty: how to fight evil effectively

Bringing History Lessons to Life

shooting-history

Unleash a love of learning in your child with hands-on history materials!
Featuring timelines, maps, Lap Books™, and history studies designed for your child to live the lessons!

http://homeschoolinthewoods.com/

Equip your family with the Armor of God

faith-and-freedomAction Plan—START HERE

 

[1] Russell M. Nelson

[2] Bradley D. Foster

[3] Doctrine and Covenants 35:24

YouTube Music: Classic Smetana

YouTube Music:

Classic Smetana

All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator. ~Alma 30:44

Smetana – Die Moldau (Karajan)

 

Comments:

 

Dear Viewers: Yes, these are not pictures from the moldau in Prague.

Jakub Valenta

This is not about the Moldau in Prague. The song is about all the river, from beginning to Prague. Every part of this classical song expresses part of the Moldau between headwater and Prague. Faster places, slower places, etc… This is how was the song composed.

Bedřich Smetana

Bedřich Smetana (Czech pronunciation: [ˈbɛdr̝ɪx ˈsmɛtana]  2 March 1824 – 12 May 1884) was a Czech composer who pioneered the development of a musical style which became closely identified with his country’s aspirations to independent statehood. He has been regarded in his homeland as the father of Czech music. Internationally he is best known for his opera The Bartered Bride and for the symphonic cycle Má vlast (“My Homeland”), which portrays the history, legends and landscape of the composer’s native land.

Smetana was naturally gifted as a composer, and gave his first public performance at the age of 6. After conventional schooling, he studied music under Josef Proksch in Prague. His first nationalistic music was written during the 1848 Prague uprising, in which he briefly participated. After failing to establish his career in Prague, he left for Sweden, where he set up as a teacher and choirmaster in Gothenburg, and began to write large-scale orchestral works. During this period of his life Smetana was twice married; of six daughters, three died in infancy.

In the early 1860s, a more liberal political climate in Bohemia encouraged Smetana to return permanently to Prague. He threw himself into the musical life of the city, primarily as a champion of the new genre of Czech opera. In 1866 his first two operas, The Brandenburgers in Bohemia and The Bartered Bride, were premiered at Prague’s new Provisional Theatre, the latter achieving great popularity. In that same year, Smetana became the theatre’s principal conductor, but the years of his conductorship were marked by controversy. Factions within the city’s musical establishment considered his identification with the progressive ideas of Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner inimical to the development of a distinctively Czech opera style. This opposition interfered with his creative work, and might have hastened a decline in health that precipitated his resignation from the theatre in 1874.

By the end of 1874, Smetana had become completely deaf but, freed from his theatre duties and the related controversies, he began a period of sustained composition that continued for almost the rest of his life. His contributions to Czech music were increasingly recognised and honoured, but a mental collapse early in 1884 led to his incarceration in an asylum and subsequent death. Smetana’s reputation as the founding father of Czech music has endured in his native country, where advocates have raised his status above that of his contemporaries and successors. However, relatively few of Smetana’s works are in the international repertory, and most foreign commentators tend to regard Antonín Dvořák as a more significant Czech composer.

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