Tag Archives: homeschooling

Review of The British Josiah “Edward VI the Most Godly King of England” by N. A. Woychuck, M.A., Th.D.

As I have learned bits of British history as an adult I have found that truth can be just as exciting as fiction. In fact, I prefer non-fiction.Here is a book that is great for the homeschooling crowd. You can learn about how the Protestant Reformation began to change the nation of England. I wish I would have known about it when I was homeschooling my kids. It is the fascinating biography of the Protestant King Edward VI, son of Henry VIII, who lived from 1537 to 1553. In his short life, Edward took a stand for the truth of God’s Word, making it available to the people, and salvation by faith in Christ.

Edward did not live a long life, nor did he reign long as England’s monarch, but he was a child prodigy. He was compared to the Old Testament King Josiah, the boy from Judah who reigned hundreds of years earlier. Henry, his father, provided the best Protestant tutors for his son even though he was Catholic. Henry died when his young heir was just nine years old. Edward made a special request on the day of his coronation for an additional sword, representing the “Sword of the Spirit.” Edward soaked in the Bible teaching from his tutor and at age 11, wrote a “Treatise against the Primacy of the Pope.” The entire treatise is printed in the back of the book as an appendix. I was amazed at Edward’s reasoning and logic in writing this hefty pamphlet against the established religion of his day . Also included in an appendix are prayers from an excerpt from the Edward VI Primer.

The author of this biography viewed Edward in a favorable light, especially with regard to his faith, in comparison with secular biographers. Surrounding young Edward were those who decidedly took advantage of him and because of his age, Edward was limited in what he was able to accomplish in his reign.

I will not give away how Edward’s reign was cut short, but it has some mystery surrounding it.Upon Edward’s death, another (tragic) short-lived reign followed, by Edward’s Protestant cousin the Lady Jane Grey. (Lady Jane Grey’s story is also quite interesting to read.) Grey’s reign was brought to an abrupt end by Bloody Mary, Edward’s oldest half sister, who seized power. After Bloody Mary’s reign ended, Edward’s other half sister, Elizabeth, continued the reforms that Edward started. It is fascinating history.

This book could be read by junior high age students or be used as a read aloud. The author also includes an extensive bibliography at the end of the book. It was published in 2001 by SMF Press.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

George Mueller of Bristol: His Life of Prayer and Faith by A. T. Pierson

100_0711

If you want a challenge in your faith walk, I recommend reading the biography of a remarkable man, Mr. George Mueller, the founder of homes that housed thousands of orphans in the 1800s in Bristol, England. This book gives a detailed look at the life of Mr. Mueller from one who was greatly influenced by Mueller in his spiritual life. This pastor from America, Arthur. T. Pierson, was a personal friend of George Mueller.

The story is outstanding not because of George Mueller in and of himself, but that he proved in his life and ministry that God was a prayer hearing and answering God. He sought first of all that God might be glorified in answering his fervent prayers for the many needs of his ministry. In fact, everything Mueller accomplished for his ministry (which grew steadily from humble beginnings) was not from going to people as a source but instead was accomplished through fervent prayer.

Mueller chose never to broadcast a need for his orphanages to anyone, however, but only to God. Even all his helpers were not allowed to broadcast any need, but only to petition heaven for their needs. How different this is than the approach used today with ministries having telethons and begging for money. Many times Mueller, his wife and his helpers were sorely tested and lived in poverty themselves as they gave just about everything they had for the sake of the work. Reading these testimonies, it really put me to shame, to be honest. These workers sold all they had for the sake of the work and did not count their lives dear unto themselves,just like the Apostle Paul said of himself in the book of Acts.

After a youth filled with thievery and rebellion, George Mueller became a believer while studying Divinity at the University of Halle, without any interest in God. A friend invited him to a Bible study and the sight of people praying on their knees that night drew Mueller into seeking his own personal relationship with Christ. He functioned as a pastor for over sixty years. In his retirement years, he took on an evangelistic outreach that took him all over the world. Yet his principles remained the same: the needs were always placed before God and God alone to provide. Mueller kept a Narrative of the Lord’s dealings with him, after being influenced reading the autobiographical narrative of the Lord’s dealings with John Newton, a pastor he admired, who is famous for writing the hymn Amazing Grace. In Mueller’s own narrative, great detail is given to showing how the Lord answered specific prayers in His own timing, and by reading about the details of this Narrative, it imparted great incentive for me to continue in my prayers like the persistent widow in Luke 18. George Mueller prayed for two people’s conversions for over 60 years, and even did not see the answer before his death, but stated: “I have not a doubt that I shall meet them both in heaven; for my Heavenly Father would not lay upon my heart a burden of prayer for them for over threescore years, if He had not concerning them purposes of mercy.” (page 302)

Another important takeaway from this biography is to learn George Mueller’s Bible reading habit and of making himself happy in the Lord as the first order of each day. What a beautiful idea, to start each day making sure that one is happy and content in their relationship with Christ as the most important thing. He read the Bible through two hundred times during his lifetime.

This book is long, 375 pages, but is edifying and worth the read. I should not compare myself to George Mueller, for Scripture says that is unwise, and I fall way short. But, I can glean great encouragement to petition God like George Mueller did, for Mr. Pierson stated:

“While men are asking whether prayer can accomplish similar wonders as of old, here is a man who answers the question by the indisputable logic of facts. Powerlesssnes always means prayerlessness, It is not necessary for us to be sinlessly perfect … but it is necessary that we be men and women of prayer–habitual, believing, importunate prayer.” (pages 371-372)

George Mueller lived like the faith heroes of Hebrews 11, therefore his faith and life of prayer is worth imitating today.

This book was published by Kregel Publications in 1999.

Leave a comment

Filed under awareness of the poor, Bible, Bible instruction, character-building books, heroes of the faith, homeschooling, missionaries, simplicity, Uncategorized

A Review of Christian Heroes: Then and Now: George Muller by Janet and Geoff Benge

This book on George Muller is part of the Christian Heroes: Then and Now series by Janet and Geoff Benge

This book on George Muller is part of the Christian Heroes: Then and Now series by Janet and Geoff Benge

Reading the book: George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans was amazing. I don’t know how learning of this man escaped my notice until reaching my late thirties. Muller was an incredible man with incredible faith. I bought this book as part of my son’s home-school program. I was doing Sonlight Curriculum at the time. They have some wonderful books selected for each year and my kids were delighted by many of them. This book I read aloud to my son, and as we did so, I kept saying, “Wow!”

George Muller never asked anyone to meet his needs for the charity work he started. Instead, he told God and waited for the answer. He trusted God would provide at the perfect time. He is mainly known for the orphanages he started in Bristol, England in the 19th century. Many children were homeless and ragged. He had compassion on them and was moved to start an orphanage for them. This was only the beginning. By the time he died near 1900, over ten thousand orphans had been served by his ministry.

The thing I liked best about George was that he never complained to others of his lack. Amy Carmichael, another missionary during the time, was moved by his example and trusted God in this same way to be the One to provide for her Dohnavur orphanage in India.

The book is written for upper elementary age students, but I enjoyed it just as much as my son. Janet and Geoff Benge, the authors, have a whole series for kids on Christian heroes. Others include Gladys Aylward, Eric Liddell, Hudson Taylor and many more.

The pressure is on when it comes to being a school-aged kid these days. So many things in our world scream for us to deny our faith. Christian parents can encourage through reading to their children, whose faith is shaken by our culture and the world system on a daily basis. Kids need to know that Jesus Christ is faithful in every need of their life, and George Muller’s example of childlike faith demonstrates to them how it can be done. George had a huge Bible reading habit. He read the Word nearly 200 times in his life. Because he knew the Scriptures, he had no problem trusting God. Knowing the Scriptures also made him a happy man. It reminds me of one of my friends who reads like George did. She is the most carefree person I know, and has great faith not in her abilities, but in what God can do.

After reading this, I went on to purchase the Autobiography of George Muller, and his other book, Answers to Prayer. Seeing that God was faithful to Muller gave me the confidence to become bolder in my prayer habits, and also to be more serious in taking the time every day to read His Word. Reading this book started me on another quest as well: to learn about more heroes of the faith. I am continually in awe by learning of what our brethren during different eras were able to accomplish by grace and through faith.

Even if homeschooling parents are not doing the Sonlight Curriculum, I would definitely recommend including this book in your program. In the back of the book, there are listed other materials by the authors including Unit Study Curriculum Guides. It was an easy read with larger type. The upper elementary child could read on his own, but I recommend it as a read aloud so that the parents faith also can be encouraged. Also included in this book is a brief bibliography for those who want to find out more.

Leave a comment

Filed under book lovers, heroes of the faith, homeschooling, parenting