Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving


Many of our schools are not giving the documented story of the pilgrims or separatist protestants who proclaimed a 3 day feast from which comes most of our thanksgiving traditions.

The well documented story of the Pilgrims tell us that they set out on the Mayflower with a type of land grant from England to a particular area named Virginia. However, they actually landed on November 11, 1620 about 200 miles north of Virginia in what we now know as Massachusetts.

It was already a severe winter when they arrived and they had no homes or shelter. Half of them died by spring, leaving around 50 alive. The native people in the area were peaceful and had learned some English from a former native American who had been taken to England several years before. They taught the Pilgrims how to plant different crops and what and how to hunt and fish in this new and rugged country.

Because of the friendship with that peaceful tribal group, their first harvest was bountiful and helped them get through the winter. They proclaimed a three-day celebration which included feasting, athletic competition and a lot of fun. There were ninety Indians invited to share with the remaining 53 Pilgrims.

Here is one of only a few surviving records of that first feast day.
"our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you (friends back home in Holland and England) partakers of our plenty."

It was in 1623, after a miraculous answer to fasting and prayer for rain that the group actually proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving. The Indians were so impressed that the God of the Pilgrims had given rain in the right manner at the right time that many were quite open to becoming believers in the one true God and his son, Jesus, the Anointed One.

I think it would be good for our school children to know more about the true and documented Thanksgiving days proclaimed and finally set into our national holiday calendar. Those early settlers and explorers had many threatening hardships and yet they were able to thank God and be thankful and happy for life itself in the midst of many challenges.

Americans have generally been a thankful people. If we ever allow that quality which is celebrated as a Thanksgiving Day to honor how God has blessed us and this nation, I fear we would have lost a part of the true character of this wonderful nation. That needs to be expressed, in my opinion, to our current educational system.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Seek professional help for Math and Reading Skills


There are many professional tutoring centers like Stilwell’s Learning Center across the
country. We are the only one in Southeast Arizona. Though each learning environment is different, a good learning center will always have personal face-to-face interaction between the tutor/teacher/coach and the student. The goal is not only to remedy the academic and learning difficulties and differences, but also to build confidence and retention. Math and reading areas appear to be the most crucial problems needing special help.

Stilwell’s Learning Center seeks to accomplish these goals by offering researched-based methods of tutoring while giving encouraging and personal attention to each student.

There appear to be 3 main requests for additional help from parents and students.

1.    Math help is requested by far greater numbers of students than any other subject. We suspect one reason is that Common Core has made it very difficult for both students and parents to understand simple math processes. Responsible learning centers continue to teach students how to easily memorize and mentally retain math tables so that no matter what types of teaching formulas are used in schools, the student will be able to do well.

2.    Homework help is the next issue parents and students face. Schools often offer afterschool homework sessions, usually for a fee. The most common problem with homework help at the school is the lack of enough personal help, since there are usually a large number of students needing help and only one person to help them and keep discipline and order at the same time. This problem is magnified when untrained aides are the ones monitoring the process. It also appears that most homework with Common Core doesn’t solve the majority of the learning difficulties the student has.

3.    Help for Reading Skills is the third most common request of learning centers in the United States. These concerns range from help for dyslexia, ADHD, Learning Disabilities to lack of confidence, reading accuracy, reading comprehension, test-taking skills, vocabulary and even reading rate of speed and speech concerns. It is suspected that since math seems to outweigh the reading concerns that many children and teens and even adults do not receive the help they really need when it comes to reading skills. Thus, they are not prepared or equipped to function skillfully in school or in job performance.

Consider these things when looking for a tutoring agency. Seek out professional help from learning centers with a positive philosophy as well as those learning centers where good results are prevalent. These are good reasons to choose Stilwell’s Learning Center, LLC in Sierra Vista, AZ. Stilwell also provides a unique distance learning opportunity. Every student is given an initial testing and evaluation session at no charge.

Monday, November 5, 2018

The Story Behind "Taps"


Recently I was reading the story of how we received “Taps” for honoring those who had died in the service of their country while in the armed forces of the United States. During the Civil War in the year 1862, Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe and his men were near Harrison’s Landing in Virginia and the Confederate army was within firing range across a narrow strip of land. During the night, the captain heard a soldier moaning out in the strip of land between the two armies. Not knowing if the soldier was one of his or was a confederate soldier, he decided to crawl out to the soldier and bring him back for medical attention, no matter which army claimed him.

Risking his own life in the dark with bullets flying past him, he grabbed the soldier and pulled him back behind the Union line. It was then he looked into the confederate soldier’s face and was shocked to recognize his own son, who now lay dead. The son had been in the South before the war, studying music. The captain had not known that his son had joined the confederates.

Heartbroken over his death, he asked his superiors if his son could have a full military burial, including a band to play a funeral dirge. They replied they could give him a burial, but because he was a confederate soldier they could not send him a band to play. His superiors did, however, grant him one musician for the burial.

Captain Ellicombe chose a trumpet player and asked him to play a series of notes found in his son’s pocket. Those notes are what we now know as Taps. Unfortunately, they were first played for their composer.

There are many such stories of sorrow and tremendous overcoming feats by our veterans. Thinking of the Thanksgiving week coming up, we have much for which to be thankful in this country. We are approaching the most important election, perhaps in the history of our country and we dare not forget our true historical and religious heritage and the lives that have been sacrificed to give us the greatest nation the world has ever witnessed. Surely, it is to a great degree because in God we trust!

Be sure to vote for life and liberty and prosperity on election day. Socialism and disrespect for life is an afront against God and our founding fathers. Be sure you know the difference between the Republican and Democratic platforms.

The Republican party has chosen life and honor for our country and a rebuilding of our national economy and national pride. The Democratic Party endorses a continuance of heavy tax burdens, some of which would continue to be used to kill babies at an alarming rate. Their platform honors sodomy and disrespects our national heritage. The Democrat’s platform dishonors and disrespects their Creator and sustainer of life. I am choosing life and have already voted by absentee ballot.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween


In my opinion, Halloween is not a very good thing for children. To offset the witchcraft and concentration on death, many of the churches in the Sierra Vista area are having the children come to the church or even to certain homes for a game and party and goodies. That is a much safer way to spend the evening. Shiloh Christian Ministries is hosting the Festival of the Father of Lights. There are at least 5 homes in the different areas of Sierra Vista where there will be games, and goodies and non-Halloween fun. No Halloween costumes are necessary, saving time and money. If you are interested you may call Pastor Atticus Register, who is the coordinator of the home parties, to see where you might want to take your children. His number is (425) 508-7634.

As an educator, I like to warn parents that the day after this particular holiday, it can be expected that children might be hyperactive, sick, unable to concentrate or stay as focused as they should. Be forewarned and limit the candy and sweets and be lenient on homework, if you are going to allow a lot of sugar and color-coated goodies.

Many decades ago, Halloween seemed to be a harmless time to “trick or treat”. Times have changed and with them we must also change. Yes, I even remember doing some humorous and harmless pranks. Today, even those harmless pranks could bring on a lawsuit.

On a more positive note, we are coming up to Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukah, which are very heart-warming holidays and can become very educational.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

What is more important? Grades or a Child's Life?


I own and direct Stilwell’s Learning Center. Prospective clients bring their children to me for an initial evaluation. This initial session is free. Here are some of the concerns I hear from parents:

He/she is falling behind or failing in school grades. 
Unable to concentrate in the classroom.
He has ADHD.
The teacher says he has dyslexia.
He is just lazy. 
He can’t get along with the teacher.
He is being bullied every day.
The teacher won’t listen to him.

All these and more complaints often boil down to only a few real problems.

1. I haven’t found a lazy kid, yet. Something else is in the mix, which is one of the reasons I give the child some diagnostic tests with the parents present.

2. The government school curricula does not usually include a real systematic and intensely rehearsed form of phonics. The reason this is important is that the brain performs best with systematic learning skills. The English language is very highly developed and yet approximately 97% of it can be understood and spelling and reading can become excellent by learning a systematic approach to it! 

3. The educational system in the United States has been “dumbed down” for decades. Now, we are paying the price.

4. Huge homework tasks, most of which are useless, are frustrating both to parents and children.

5. Basic math skills need not only a directional system of learning, but also a lot of rehearsal, as does any subject expected to be retained.

6. Learning good reading and math skills usually solves problems like, dyslexia, ADHD, focus concerns, work ethics, self-confidence and eliminating blames-shifting.

7. Oh! One more thing! The personal attention we give students in Stilwell’s Learning Center assures them of their personal value. We may have as many as 20 students, but each one of them is given personal attention and approval. They tend to thrive on hugs and encouragement. We value each one and attempt to have fun with them and they know we care.

A child’s life is not based upon grades, but in the process of helping a child gain a personal worth, the grades seem to rise and learning problems tend to disappear.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Your Voting Power


Recently, I was in Woodland Park, Colorado, where Pike’s Peak was the view outside the window of the conference which my granddaughter and I were attending. Near the large pond was a sign that stated, “20,000,000 years ago, on this spot,...absolutely nothing happened since the Lord had not created the Earth yet.” Andrew Wommach

According to NASA, that appears to be a true statement. They have determined the Earth to be quite young. Today, in our government schools, the theory of evolution is taught as if it scientific fact, which it is not. Evolution has been debunked by thousands of true scientists, many of whom had once been evolutionists. Our country was founded on the belief that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is diametrically opposed to socialism and its evolutionary politicized religion.

The same type of teaching in government schools across the country is true of the blatant misrepresentation of Islam and Christianity. Islam is not just a religion, it is a political system which espouses violence, though it is taught as a “peaceful religion”. Any who are not faithful to Islam are deemed those who are to be eliminated. In most government schools in the United States, the Christian faith is not even mentioned in a positive manner. Many believe the lie we can’t even mention the name of God or bow our heads in prayer. Muslims are given the opportunity to pray often.

It is interesting that militant Muslims partnered with Hitler to exterminate the Jews and Christians. Socialism, Communism, Islam, fascism, and Hitler’s Nazism all have evolution and the survival of the fittest as key points in their autocratic rule.

Why am I harping on these things? My reason is that our younger generations have been increasingly taught lies about our country’s beginning. They have been taught that Christianity is a hateful religion. However, those countries, including the United states, where the teachings and foundations have been Judeo-Christian have created hospitals, schools, orphanages and promoted prosperity. The Christian faith continues to lift the poor and the status of women.

The opposite is true of all of those based in evolutionary or Muslim political foundations. Beware! We are very close to having the United States being overrun in the same way with such dictatorial systems. It is time for us to stand up and vote in leaders who will not cower to leftist and socialist demands to change the foundations and freedoms so dearly purchased by our forefathers.

There is not a country on Earth, including America, which has not suffered or been a part of some horrific war “experiment”. However, in the final evaluation, only those nations based upon personal freedom and equality have been blessed by God to help lift the rest of humanity from the depths of immoral and chaotic and despotic rule.

Our declaration of Independence declared to the world that we were going to be a new breed of free citizenry, one that believed in God as our Creator and sustainer. The United States, Israel, Great Britain and most of our other allies have been blessed by God. Our motto, derived from a verse from the “Star Spangled Banner” is “In God we trust!”

We dare not let our school systems continue to teach children and young people to remain ignorant and “dumbed down”. Nor can we afford to ignorantly vote for those who espouse abortion killing of babies. We cannot continue to allow the teaching that the desert god, Allah, is the same as the God of all creation.

Why did I start this article with the falsehood of Evolution? To believe such a falsehood, requires that we do not believe in the God who sent Jesus of Nazareth to destroy the works of the Evil one. It was he who said to go into all the world under his authority and proclaim that all men and women can now be freed from the sin nature.

The inspired words of the Bible proclaim that we are spirit beings, capable of being newly created by our compassionate God; to be transformed by renewing our minds (learning) to serve mankind with goodness and mercy. That is almost too good to be true news,… and we want to stifle that in the schools?

Vote Life, not death. Vote freedom, not socialism. Vote Biblical world views of morality, not agreement Sodomy and immoral debasement.

Friday, August 3, 2018

The Value of Breaking Old Habits to Form New Ones


My wife passed away June 16, 2018, and I miss her very much, but life goes on. A few weeks ago, I set about clearing out our closets and bathrooms of items no longer being used. I was able to bless our grandchildren and nieces and give them everything from shoes and clothes to jewelry and bathroom items which had belonged to my wife.

I am alone now and have more space in both the closets and the master bathroom. The illustration I am about to give might seem a bit silly, but I think it carries with it a very good point. You see, I have been keeping my toothpaste and toothbrush in a drawer next to the sink. Well, I decided to place them, now, into a nice small vase, just the right size on top of the sink counter.

It has been at least 3 weeks since I made the change. I brush my teeth three times each day by habit. However, to date, every single time, I still forget and open the drawer to get the toothpaste and toothbrush which, of course, is no longer there. It has finally occurred to me that to form a new habit, I must focus on also breaking the old habit.

When children come to our learning center, most of them have incorrect or non-existent cursive handwriting. I have found that, generally, it takes two to three weeks to break their poor penmanship habits and build the new habit of excellence and correctness. Part of the problem is not having received the best training in the past, but it is also true that there needs to be a purposeful desire to break the old habit while building a new one. This thought process is true, no matter what type of habit needs to be reordered.

Focusing on old patterns will always keep us in that mold. Focusing on the new should carry with it the desire for advancement and improvement. It is illustrated often with bank tellers being trained to see the correct currency bills so that they will easily recognize the counterfeit. The apostle Paul in his letter to his friends in Philippi used this illustration:

“And now, brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.” Philippians 4:8
“Sow a thought, reap an act; Sow an act, reap a habit; Sow a habit, reap a character; Sow a character, reap a destiny.” Dr Anil Kumar Sinha