Ancient Greece, The Prophet Daniel, and Modern Christians_a cross over post

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I am posting this on both my blogs: my slice of life blog and homeschool blog because I think it matters to both.

I keep a journal with my homeschooling.

Mainly because I journal everything, and secondly because it allows me to look back and remember what we are doing: the last lesson in Math we covered, the name of that library book that I used last month, ect. Thirdly, it gives me the particulars as I send in my quarterly reports, and lastly it is a handy reference when I recommend ideas and texts.  And is so often the case with me, taking up my pen and putting it to lined paper is cathartic.  The type of self therapy that gives clarity, gives focus, and let’s me finally exhale, slowly and purposely, out.

Wednesday morning was another snow day, but I insisted that my big girls get into the classroom anyway, while the little ones lazed around in pjs.{after all nobody said life was fair}.  I started to journal as they started doing assignments, with the intent of jotting down nuts and bolts stuff from our Monday and Tuesday.  Almost immediately, my sterile recording turned into a trickle of my frustrated feelings, then into a full torrent of why I homeschool my big girls and how this organic {I know, I know! total over-used cliche word choice, but its the only word I got } process of teaching is nothing more than the organic process of my whole life being led not by methods and “conservative values” per se, but by the very Spirit of God.

So, here at this other, other space I have carved out in my life in the cyber world for a cathartic {it’s the word of the day apparently} writing practice I give you my straight, word-for-word-messy journal writing to you: {it’s a long ass post but stick with it, pretty please}.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

***********************************************************************************************************************************************************

Another monkey wrench thrown into our homeschool day. Caroline declared she “feels like I am gonna throw up” once I pulled into Diven School. Came home with her instead of getting groceries as planned. Upon arriving home Isabelle and Sophie are hopping up and down announcing Buttercup had bunnies…again! Within a half hour the news of these wee baby bunnies must of so lifted the spirits and rejuvenated the hitherto desperately sick Caroline that she made a full recovery.  She came bounding into the living room, chasing the cat, interrupting the girls’ and I’s prayer circle as we prayed “Lord would You help Buttercup to be a good mama, and take care of her bunnies, so they don’t all die this time”.  After our petition for rabbit health and life I announced to Caroline that she is going back to school, and I got groceries afterwards. I did not return from my second trip to town with groceries till after 11 am.  By the time the groceries were put away, the big girls of course needed lunch, which they made themselves. By 12:30 I am in a foul mood. Whenever I plan to get groceries after I drop their sisters off at school I always give them assignments for them to do.  Today’s was the next lesson in their Saxton math, and to type up their creative writing piece that ties in with our ancient Greek history.  At first Sophie claimed that she did not “get the math”, but either from sensing my mood getting blacker and blacker or she really did get it and was lying, she finished it up without me.  They finished typing their creative writing piece too.  I was planning to double check their math and writing later, but then forgot. I spend so much time doing one on one instruction time, that those few hours a week I get the relief of giving assignments, I instantly switch over my Mother brain  from “teacher” to “housewife” and lack the will to go pinging back.  Come 1pm I am still annoyed at how this day has played out.  Feeling guilty at the lack of work produced. So while the girls consume and kinda pick up lunch I went to preparing today’s history lesson that has been ruminating in my brain for a few days.  It’s a unique history lesson in that I plunged first into our big ole’ NIV Student Study {serious student that is} Bible, in the book of Daniel.  We are just to the part of our study of ancient Greece where the Persians are invading the Greek city-state colonies of Greece.  Looking over the rather dry textbook account of the ancient wars and battles that were only mildly interesting to me and would, I already was certain, bore my daughters to instant distraction.  When my girls are bored and distracted they start instantly getting “off track”.  Usually by constantly bringing up, suddenly, without any reference points, random TV show lines, or pop song snippets, or their favorite, “hey, remember when…” trips down pre-teen memory lane.  This annoys me beyond all self-control about the 6th or 7th time.  However, while dreading this next section I recalled a really interesting and amazing portion of scripture  found in the book of Daniel, dealing with ancient history of the Persian and Greek empires; the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and then confirmed vision given to Daniel.  Our study Bible has a great illustration that shows how the combined dreams and visions of both King and Prophet and the interpretation given to Daniel through the angel Michael then coincides with the rise and fall of the Babylonian, Persian, Greek {including an amazing detailed account of how Alexander the Great would rule and then have his kingdom fractured into four parts, hundreds of years after Daniel lived} to the Roman empire, to the final Messianic Kingdom brought in my Jesus Christ, The Prince of Peace.

Needless to say, this took some time for me to get my head around, and then explain to my girls.  We read directly from scripture,  and then they copied the illustration of the vision and prophesy illustrated in our Bible.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But before I launched into ALL THAT, I felt it was important to preface it with explaining to my children that yes, God does indeed speak in visions, gives dreams. And so, we as a society of modern evangelic Christians,  will nod our head in belief, when we read supernatural accounts in our well-known Bible stories.  We watch veggie tales along with our children, thankful for those entertainers who make Bible stories “come to life and be relevant” for our children.  And yet so often, when we hear of someone who has “had a vision” or has the audacity to declare an all altogether strange dream was prophetic, most “normal” American Christians {including myself at one time, not too long ago} become initially uncomfortable, then skeptical, and usually conclude with derogatory name calling, or the slightly nicer response of sympathetic  expression that the person is simply over-wrought, desperate, or been brainwashed unawares. Now, all of this is great theoretical fodder to chew on around a table with adults who were raised in church and culturally aware.  But my 5th and 6th grade daughters don’t care about that, would not understand.  So I simply gave my own testimony.  I told them, for the first time, of how God had given me, in the basement of a church, a specific vision that was a picture of the spiritual condition of the church we were a part of.  How I knew I then had to tell my Pastor exactly what was told me.  It was not a nice, warm fuzzy picture or description.  I told my daughters that a week later a good friend of mine, knowing nothing of this experience, since I told no one else, starting sobbing over coffee and bagels at Panera about a dream she had and can not forget and to quote her “I know I am probably a freak and you will forever think I am a weirdo, but I have to tell you anyway” and proceeded to tell me about her dream that was nearly identical to the word picture vision God had given me in the church basement.  

Visions, dream, confirmations. 

It still happens. 

I have experienced it.

Less than a month ago I had a dream, a dream that at first, as most dreams go, was strange and random; just non-sensible mis-firing of synapses in my brain right? But as the days unfolded it became obvious, as I was struggling terrible just to get through my day, that, that previous dream, the dream that would not leave my mind, involving an open window and a thief who stole nothing but disrupted our families lives none the less, was a way God was showing me a very real presence of a stronghold I myself was letting in through sin.  All sin, in short, always boils down to disobedience.

visions

dreams

prophetic symbolism 

these words that do not make up the normal typical Western Christian lingo.

They were never, until recently,  part of MY typical lingo. I am still getting used to the feel of these words around my lips.

And what I tried to get across to my girls is that millions upon millions believers who can spout off John 3:16, and attest to the sure belief of creation, the virgin birth, the crucifix, and resurrection, have gone their whole religiously trained lives in church or at home, never hearing a word spoken about visions, dreams, and prophesies. Never considered them as being an expected experience of the Christians life.

Why is that? I asked my girls.

They did not know.  I don’t really know if I do.

But, if the Bible goes on to state that evidence of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life and in the Church as whole, is manifested at times in visions, dreams, prophesies, why are these not part of our vernacular, or expectation, except in those weird charismatic fringe churches?  Of course this beefy and kinda confusing topic I sprang on my girls was stopped many times.  Getting side tracked by questions that brought on more questions till we forgot what we were talking about.  We did not cover a whole lot of specifics in ancient Greek history that afternoon.  But what I hope I got across to the impressionable and hungry minds of my daughters, minds that are still okay with, and seldom even give much thought to, that they still do not understand quite a lot about this world,  is that THE STORY IS STILL GOING ON.
Can we as adults, be okay with not understanding quite a lot about this world?

Can I get across to them, get across to myself, that history, like this world, is formed and held by God. That history, like this world, is not finished.  If it is not finished, if God is still working with it like an incomplete formed lump of clay, then why would God stop speaking, and revealing Himself, His plans, His will to His beloved people?

Food for thought: that is what this Mama-turned-teacher gave my students.

A challenge to the mind and a wonder: how God interacts with mankind.

Knowing the dates of the Peloponnesian War will not serve my daughters well in life.

It will give them a higher test score.

Considering, believing, that The Creator of the universe speaks directly to man, is involved, is at the heart of the affairs of men, will never, be on a test.

It will never be a benchmark achievement.

It will, however, make them an “over comer” as women, who are in the body of Christ. And this counts so much more than than a grade point average and college acceptance letters.

I still want them to know when that Peloponnesian War started though.

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************

Well if you stuck with me till the end, thanks.

And in case you were wondering:

The Peloponnesian War started in 500 B.C.

Cheers.

Advertisements

One thought on “Ancient Greece, The Prophet Daniel, and Modern Christians_a cross over post

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s