Sunday, September 30, 2007

George Washington--Visiting Mount Vernon

George Washington was a man of outstanding character. Many things are accredited to him, with one of the extremely famous ones being when he was able to give up power. Because of his exceptional character and wisdom during the French Indian War, he emerged as a leader in the eyes of the colonists. He was trusted by everyone because of his amazing integrity and the people were ready to make him king, yet he would have no part of that. He was one of the few people in all history humble enough to give up the power offered to him. Multiple times George Washington was able to witness God’s providential hand. Miraculously, in the battle of Monongahela during the French Indian War, Washington, who had two horses shot from under him and bullet holes throughout his coat, nevertheless escaped unharmed. He credited this, as well as many other things, to God’s providential hand. Although many historians try to make him out to be a Deist, his very own writings prove otherwise. Because of his extraordinary character, leadership, and integrity, it’s no wonder he was unanimously elected president in 1789.

It was incredible to be able to see this man’s home, property, and the museum dedicated to him. Mount Vernon is a 5,000 square foot home, and is as beautiful on the inside as the outside. This mansion had 9 furnished bedrooms! George Washington was known for loving agriculture, which is displayed in the massive farm, gardens and storerooms he owned. He was the only person to ever own an eight sided barn, in which he had his horses tread wheat. The back of his house overlooked the beautiful Potomac River. In season, it was known that he could catch 1.5 million herring, in 6 weeks! Around the house there were servants’ quarters, a laundry house, cooking house, carriage house, as well as others. The property around the house is stunning! In addition, the museum had on display items such as George Washington’s Bible, his wife Martha’s Bible, one of her gowns, and more. Included were wax figures of Washington, giving a picture of what he probably looked like at different ages of his life. The thing however, that stood out most of all, was the fact that he had great character. His courage, nobility, meekness, humility, integrity, trustworthiness, and other credible characteristics should always be remembered. As George Washington himself put it, “Good moral character is the first essential in a man.

The door handle of Washington's home (isn't it small?)
The Potomac River
George Washington's Bible

One of Martha Washington's gowns

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Washington D.C. & Colonial Williamsburg

My family went on a splendid trip to the Williamsburg area. I have, as well as my brother Luke, made posts about it on 4 homeschoolers. I thought I would make a special picture post with a few of the pictures from Washington, D.C. and Colonial Williamsburg. Here they are!

Shops in Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial House
Middle of Town
Militia Fife and Drum
Militia Drums
The Capitol
Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln Memorial
Washington Monument

Siblings in front of the nation's Capitol
Distant Washington Monument

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Imitating Christ's Humility

Serving should be a characteristic of every believer. However, teenagers especially need to be encouraged to use their time wisely, and serving is one way of doing that. Here is a definition that I think is appropriate—

Humility: Recognizing that God and others are actually responsible for the achievements in my life.

“Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of selfless humility.” –quoted from The MacArthur Bible Commentary.

Philippians 2:5-8 says this, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!

These verses give a beautiful picture of Christ’s selflessness. But wait; there’s even more to those verses! It continues in verses 9-11, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” You can see here the blessings Christ received for humbling obeying the Father. The Scripture also says in Matthew 20:28 that The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Wow! So if Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, demonstrated humility, shouldn’t we? “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' ” 1 Peter 5:5

Serving could be connected to numerous other virtues. In order to serve, you must love, first God and then others. Also, you must be humble and meek. You must be joyful in the tasks you are given and choose to do. These and others are all, in someway, connected to serving. Of course, the only example we need is Christ, as displayed in these verses: “When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. "You call me ‘Teacher’ and 'Lord’, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” John 13:12-17 (emphasis added)

So here’s what I think teenagers need to do: 1) conduct themselves in godly manner, imitating Christ’s example so that younger ones may find nothing bad to imitate in them; and 2) live lives of humble servant hood. Serve one another in love” Galatians 5:13

Here is a poem taken from Through Gates of Splendor, by Elisabeth Elliot,that rightly fits in with the subject of serving.

Do all the good you can,
By all means you can,

In all ways you can,
In all the places you can,
To all the people you can,

As long as ever you can.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Tea Party Wisdom

My mom has collected each letter I received from my birthday tea in a beautiful scrapbook. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the ladies’ letters:

“Time and experience will bring you wisdom; neither will teach you everything you need to know. Use your bible to find answers to your most difficult questions. Some require more search than others but the answers are always there!”

“We are to be led by the Spirit and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love perseverance and gentleness. We are to flee from sin. We are to set our mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”

“If we aren’t trusting totally in the Lord that he’s got everything under control, how then are we going to be good wives, mothers, etc? If you will just continue to trust in the Lord now while you are still young, I think it will be of the utmost benefit to you. I also feel that trusting in the Lord brings us the peace that passes all understanding.”

“The seeds that you plant today will be the harvest of your tomorrows. So plant seeds of purity, love, honesty, modesty, faithfulness, steadfastness, and knowledge. Most of all, seek humility. With a humble heart serve others. Always speak with humility. It is with a humble heart you are most like your Lord, who humbled himself for your sake.”

“Protecting the heart includes the protecting of your mind, they go hand in hand. Where your thought life goes, you heart will follow and likewise where you heart leads so your thoughts will follow. Be mindful of the meditations of your heart. In Psalm 19:14 David says: May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. The thoughts and emotions of a woman are strong and deep. It is crucial to guard your heart and mind against vain imaginations.”

“You are the Creator’s beautiful work of art (Psalm 139:13-14). You are to take care of His masterpiece as you grow and mature through each physical stage of life. However, it is not the beauty of your outward appearance that needs cultivating. It is your inner self. The Lord has given us instructions in the Scripture to guide us through every facet of life; beauty is no exception. The Lord clearly defines what makes a woman beautiful to Him. It is the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:3-5). The unfading inner beauty mentioned here stands in sharp contrast to the fleeting external beauty mentioned in Proverbs 31. For the same reason that we don’t want to store up for ourselves treasures on earth (Matthew 6:19), we also don’t want to focus all of our time and energy on temporary beauty; these things should be invested in the development of godly character.”

In addition, here is a little summary of what my mom said: One of the things she spoke on was the importance of submission. As females, we are to be in submission, whether as a daughter or a wife. This is God’s designated role, and an imperative one, as it affects how the husband/father leads. We are to also be adorning ourselves with godly virtues. My mother said it this way, “Don’t be content with outward virtue, one that looks good to others. Be ruthless with your heart, you motives and your thoughts. Let your virtue truly flow from the heart and a sincere love for the Lord.” In order to be able to adorn ourselves with godly virtues, we must have a genuine, vital relationship with God. This is an eternal thing, something that must be of great significance and value.