Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Education Run Awry

The following is written by Wanda Ulrey, a Texas Apostolic Prayer Network regional coordinator from Victoria, as a part of her class assignment for the Center for Self Governance (www.tncsg.org).

Education Run Awry
Wanda Ulrey
            There has always been a major emphasis on quality education in the United States of America.  Even before the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were written, education of children was of vital importance to most parents.  The educational system had standards to measure the content of student learning and how students were taught to think and process.  

            The founding fathers attended schools like Harvard and Yale.  These schools were initially set up to train ministers.  The Bible was the standard book of training.   In the homes of younger students, the Bible was used to teach reading. 

            The first settlers knew the importance of citizens being able to read and think in order to keep government from atrocities that had occurred in Great Britain.  Early education was remarkable using Biblical standards to educate citizens.

 In our nation today, mental exercises have deteriorated.  Questions on the constitution no longer apply in elementary education.  Self-governance has all but been eliminated in our high schools. 

            Abraham Lincoln stated, “The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.”

            America has the most successful government in the world, but we are losing the republic because of the current school system of today.  Many of the early founders were educated at Harvard which had two mottoes:  “for Christ and the Church” and “for the glory of Christ”.   Christ was the foundation of learning.   Yale was another educational institution of that era and admonished, “Above all, have an eye to the great end of all your studies which is to obtain the clearest conceptions of Divine things and to lead you to a saving knowledge of God in His Son, Jesus Christ.”

The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."   Since education is not mentioned in the Constitution, it is one of those powers reserved to the states. Of course, the United States Supreme Court can declare that something not mentioned in the Constitution is so closely related to something that is mentioned in the Constitution that the unmentioned power is a fundamental interest, which rises to constitutional protection.  

Even though each State had the constitutional right to education students in that State, because of biblical standards being removed by the court system, the push began toward a more socialistic educational system.

Thus there is currently a push toward a curriculum called “The Common Core State Standards Initiative” (the Common Core), which is a state-led effort (highly supported by the Federal Government) that establishes a single set of educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics. 

Common Core is intended to cover fewer topics in greater depth at each grade level.  The standards require certain content for all students.   There is a system to track information on all students involved, including personal data.   The federal government has had great influence over the program even though it was initiated by state governors and education commissioners. 

Not all states have adopted the Common Core standards.  Texas has chosen not to adopt the standards.   Many states adopted the program because it was not necessary to get direct approval from legislators and the process was not made public.  Many parents and teachers are only learning that it has been adopted in their states.

Based on the standards of the Constitution and the founding fathers of this nation, public education should be a promoter of America’s original culture and Christian values while respecting other cultures.  Education is the right and responsibility of the parents, the taxpayers and the educators who work in our schools.  Big government is a major impediment to quality education based on Christian values for our young people.

Going back to the United States Constitution, since education is not mentioned in the Constitution, it is one of those powers reserved to the states.  The education of our youth should stay with the States and local school boards. 

            Rather than a common standard curriculum, a public awareness program can educate parents on how students succeed.  Among these are student success happens when parents are aware and involved in their children’s education.   Parents should be educated and encouraged to establish a schedule and routine for their children.   They should regularly communicate with their children’s teachers throughout the year.   

As stated before, Texas has rejected Common Core.  I stand by this decision and hope our legislators will continue to do the same.   We have an opportunity to set a standard for the rest of the States.  Standards of education should stay locally, even to one day, returning to biblical standards. 

Citizens need to be educated in accountability for all.   It is not just our children who need education; it is a citizenry who have handed over their Constitutional rights to someone else and believed a lie.   This nation is a republic, if we can keep it.

Information on the educational standards from founding fathers was taken from “Four Centuries of American Education” by David Barton.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Like Lightning

There were some powerful storms moving through portions of Texas last night, and over the last few hours I have heard several testimonies regarding powerful displays of lightning.

For instance, Laura Mallory of Ballinger posted pictures of a tree, which was struck by lightning.  You can’t see the tree because it shattered.

Sharon Denney, one of our TXAPN coordinators from San Antonio told us during morning prayers that her dad’s garage burned to the ground after lightning struck it.  There were thousands of strikes in their area.

And then, Beverly Hill from DeWitt County wrote:
Hello Tom and Kay,

I didn't get this spoken out on this morning's call, but was about to say it when you started talking about double portion at the end of the call. I live in Dewitt County, Southeast of San Antonio. We had lots of lightning last night. The heaviest part of the storm hit here close to 1:30 a.m. My dog hid under the porch. She began giving birth to two puppies during the heaviest part of the lightning. I heard her urgently barking loudly twice, and instead of sounding like travail, it sounded more like announcement. At first I thought maybe she was having trouble, but then I began hearing puppy noises and knew all was well. I was awake and praying because there was no way to hear the loudness of everything that was going on. Then when you all started asking God about the significance of the lightning I felt I should share it, but didn't. Then you spoke about double portion and that was a picture of double portion.
The Lord declared that our prayers, especially the fifteen-minute conference call prayers every morning, are like lightning.  Our declarations, like a powerful strike of lightning or the shot of a rifle, hits the mark.  It brings forth God’s heart into action as we declare His purposes. Read Psalm 29. 

It causes life to be birthed.  It brings forth energy into the atmosphere.  It releases nutrients into the soil.  Yes, it can shatter and it can cause fire.  It is the lightning of God.  It is the declaratory prayers of His saints.

I encourage you to go before His throne in His courtroom.  Hear His heart.  Declare His purposes.  Release His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. 


Monday, June 9, 2014

Nehemiah's Repentance - Is it Yours as Well?

This is the second part of Nehemiah’s prayer.

It became a confession of sins.  And it came from a heart that knew God’s heart. Nehemiah pleaded with God to open His eyes and ears and to be attentive to the prayers that he was offering up to Him. Nehemiah’s relationship with God was being revealed. “Lord, would You please. I know that You are the mighty God of the entire universe, but for just a moment, would You put Your ear down to my heart?”  Here is a person with a personal relationship with God. He is not considering God to be a vague, powerful force out there that might hear us.  No! Nehemiah says, “Would You bring Your ear close to me?  I need to say something to You.  I need to talk to You person to person.  I need to speak into Your ear.  I need to look into Your eyes.” 

He was pleading day and night for Israel. He was pleading for the Jews, but most importantly, he was confessing their sins. If Nehemiah’s prayers, according to the text, lasted several days, just imagine him pondering over all the sins that his father or grandfather had relayed to him – the same sins that God Himself was now revealing to Nehemiah’s heart. 

  • When God gets close to you, He’s going to hear you, but, guess what – you are also going to hear Him.  You are going to hear God’s heart – His brokenness. 
  • Nehemiah heard the torn heart of God – the realization that His chosen people had not kept the covenant.  It was a covenant based on love and mercy, and they had abandoned it.  They had abandoned God.
  • This must have been a truly heart wrenching time for Nehemiah.  I know many of us have been in that same situation.  You can be praying and the Lord will begin to drop things on your heart that will just wrench your heart.  All you can do is cry, “Oh, God, I’m sorry I did that!” When God’s goodness starts coming upon us, there is a move of repentance that is heart wrenching.  This experience was excruciating for Nehemiah. 

Nehemiah may not have done any of those things.  He must have committed his own sins, but not those.  Yet, he confessed, “Both my father’s house and I have sinned.”What about your life?  What about your workplace? What about your family?  What about your city, state or nation?  Take a serious moment with the Lord - face to face - and declare from your heart: “Both my father’s house and I have sinned.”

Monday, June 2, 2014

My Dad's Name is "The Darkness of God."

Turn to Nehemiah 1:5-11
And I said: "I pray, LORD God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father's house and I have sinned.  We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.'   Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand. O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man."
Nehemiah is the son of Hachaliah.  This name is composed of two Hebrews word.  The last part of the name, Hachaliah, like Nehemiah, is “Yah” – The Lord God.  The first part of the name comes from “chakliyl” which means, “to be dark; darkly flashing (only of the eyes).” Hachaliah can literally mean “the darkness of God.”  Nehemiah was born of a father whose name meant “the darkness of God,” and Nehemiah’s name means “the comfort of God.”  

Just think on that for a while. I personally picture, whether it is historical or not, Hachaliah’s father and mother, as Hachaliah is born, weeping over the fact that they have left the City of God. All they could think of was, “We are in darkness.  We are experiencing the darkness of God.”  The Israelites literally felt that God had left them.  The Ark of the Covenant had been taken; the temple was destroyed and therefore God was also gone.  The word for this season, like the season of the Ark being captured during Eli’s time, was Ichabod. 
Then she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel!" because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband.  And she said, "The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured" (1 Samuel 4:21-22). 
The people believed that there was nothing but darkness and godlessness in their midst.  But something must have been placed in Hachaliah’s heart for him to name his son – the comfort of God.

Check out my messages on this at www.pophop.org