life adventure

A Challenge

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What follows is a sincere plea from my heart to yours.

Once we were a people who prided themselves upon being unique. Has it ever occurred to you that, nothing God creates is a duplicate? Further – nothing exists without a set of rules that limit and govern it.

Reason is a gift from God to humans. It is among the items in each life-adventure “tool chest.” Use it or lose it!

Let’s begin

God is the uncreated creator.

Have you ever paused to reason why that is a true statement? Once “We the people” understood and focused on that. If we are not to live in confusion, frustration, anger, and ultimate hopelessness – We MUST first apply our individual reason to the above statement. It is not enough to accept the word of a trusted parent, religious leader, or friend.

If you are to experience your life-adventure as you were placed here to do, you MUST think this through for yourself! God has no step-children! Such reasoning has been removed nibble by nibble, until we are no longer challenged to reason for ourselves. Others are happy to do it for us!

· Wisdom may be found in the Bible (biblically).

· Wisdom may be found in history (historically).

· Wisdom may be found through observation and reason (governmentally).

Why do you trust wisdom from the Bible? It is NOT enough to say, “I trust the one who told me the Bible is God’s word.” Have you observed the evidence and applied your own reason to draw a wise conclusion? Would your conclusion hold up under cross examination?

Are you prepared to illustrate wisdom in His-story? Discussing evidence of providential history has become rare these days. If we are to see our current situation as it truly is – We must see it in the context of God’s hand in human history.

Are you prepared to demonstrate wisdom through observation and reason? There is a cause and effect to everything. I label it, “Thinking governmentally.” Others might call it, “critical thinking.”

All three of these sources of wisdom are valid and useful – if – we will study them and use them. Things of value come with a price! That is one way of judging value!

It appears to me – American society in general, is ill-informed and almost illiterate in all three of these forms of wisdom. We have been lulled into our individual “comfort zones” and we will fight to defend them! In doing so – I guarantee – You will be missing the exciting adventures available to you! You may also be failing to fulfill your part in His-story.

A Challenge

On June 3rd, We will begin our next online course in PRINCIPLES OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT (PAG). This is NOT a course on the Constitution. This is a course in building wisdom –and understanding – upon a solid first cause.

I guarantee – This course is outside your “comfort zone.” That is the “challenge.”

Read the syllabus and student comments on our web site. Phone or e-mail to chat about it.

You are encouraged to forward this “challenge” to other adults and teens.

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Mt. Peaks of Nostalgia

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Each of us have major life-events that are significant in our life-adventure.

Last Thursday, I drove 700 miles (round trip) to attend the memorial service of a great man of God, Jim Dawson [11/21/1922 – 2/24/2013]. The nostalgia resulted from being immersed in a sea of giants, in the worldwide Christian missions family.

For the cynics who label this “The post-Christian era,” I suggest you Google “Jim and Joy Dawson and their association with world mission groups like YWAM (Youth With A Mission).

I chatted with people who are introducing Christ to people in hundreds of nations, including the most “anti-Christian.”

Among the hundreds of memorials I recommend that of YWAM founder, Loren Cunningham

Since I am an old geezer who still has trouble understanding telephones without wires that take pictures (!!), someone please send this along to the precious Dawson family members.

During our time in Southern California, it was my honor to be a prayer partner with Jim Dawson. Together, we started a “Friends of YWAM” group using a pamphlet Jim asked me to write, “Come and Die”. Jim Dawson’s stories have been shared with our Biblical Principles students for 3 decades now.

Easter week in 1975, Jim’s son, John Dawson, lead 185 college aged youngsters from all over the west to our small home-town, Morgan Hill. They stayed in 85 homes for the week and ministered to every church in town (save one). Each morning was a time of prayer and praise in a different sanctuary. Each afternoon two-by-two they took a religious survey of every home in town. Each evening they hosted a standing-room-only event.

One evening M.H.’s only theater hosted a worship service that prompted the (then) Mayor Daley, to label that week, “The most significant in the town’s history.” On another evening, they filled the Roman Catholic sanctuary (the largest room in town) with a service held in Spanish with an English interpreter! That service opened with the Baptist youth choir singing, “Sing Hallelujah To The Lord”. They were singing in Spanish!

Three generations of Jim and Joy Dawson’s family are in full time Christian missions activities. They have inspired thousands with their example and insight. Fran and I are part of that fruit.

The Memorial Service held in Jack Hayford’s “Church on the Way” in Van Nuys, was captured on TV. If the DVD or YouTube becomes available, I encourage every pastor and parent reading these words to view it.

“You will be missed, Jim!

We look forward to our next reunion!”

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The significance of insignificance

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Miss Verna Hall and Miss Rosalie Slater, were founders of FACE (Foundation for American Christian Education), precursor to most of today’s efforts to restore America’s heritage and founding principles. They were sticklers for details – the little things that seem insignificant.

Miss Hall (though a close friend, when in public, it was always “Miss Hall,” or “Mister. Gilmore” – never – “Verna, or Ben”!). I recall her standard response to “The study assignment is too hard!” She replied, “Don’t lower the bar, challenge the student to reach for it.” She shunned paraphrases, insisting that the student struggle to understand the original text – even with ancient fonts where the f’s look like s’s!

Unlike modern cyberspeak “the ladies” never seemed to use abbreviations, or improper grammar, when they wrote. They often spoke of “Dress to honor your subject.” Contrast that with the trend away from use of capital letters (unless to indicate shouting), and the shift from IBM’s norm of suit and tie, to Apple’s sport shirt and jeans.

The popular series, “Downton Abby” illustrates the passing of aristocratic norms, like dressing up for dinner. Granted: American culture shuns (or used to shun) “class distinctions.” Still, something of personal and cultural self-image is lost by lowering the bar.

FACE initiated a term, “The Principle Approach” which appears to me to be a philosophy of teaching, that challenges the student to “4-R” a subject (Research, Reason, Relate, Record). PA students are challenged to study a subject, think through its purpose and origin, relate it to their personal life adventure, then record their conclusions in some form. Such “critical thinking” appears to be a lost art in today’s culture.

Miss Slater encouraged us to home school our youngest daughter way back, before it was a common practice. Folks use to ask, “Is it legal?” Sally Thoman, one among many we have since introduced to home schooling, had these golden words, “My greatest fulfillment as a parent is when I am home schooling my child.

If it be true – “The fear (reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” [Proverbs 9:10] It follows that an irreverent teacher is incapable of producing a “wise” student! Our whole public school system has been made irreverent by fiat!

In the next generation, the pool of “wise” leaders will come from the knees of homeschool parents!

If it be true that no civil government rises without the hand of God. It should be possible to discover His “providence” in our states’ and national history [His-Story]!

My beloved wife, Fran, has been researching the “Christian history of our home state – Texas.” She came across a most interesting individual, Lorenzo de Zavala, a Mexican national, who was elected as the first Vice President of the Republic of Texas. A chapter of her research has been published as a text book in the “God & Texas Series.

Like Alexis de Tocqeuville, Zavala toured young America to discover its greatness. Zavala wrote back to his Mexican compatriots –

“Repair your roads; raise up houses in order to live like rational beings; dress your children and your wives with decency; don’t incite riots in order to take what belongs to somebody else. And finally, live on the fruit of your labors, and then you will be worthy of liberty and of the praises of sensible and impartial men.”

[Lorenzo de Zavala, Journey to the United States of North America. “Prologue.”]

As we seek to restore things of value – Let us not overlook the “insignificant.

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Ben Gilmore 1929-2023

On March 30, 2023 Ben Gilmore, the co-founder of ACHStudyGroups (co-founded with his wife Fran), went to be with the Lord in Glory.

A Memorial: