Archive for May, 2007

Homeschooling in the New Millenium

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

This generation is the first home schooling generation to graduate from high school in such large numbers and ability. You are the first–the first of many to follow. You are our hope. We parents have struggled, suffered, but, most of all, enjoyed every minute with you. You are our joy; our hope. You are the reason that we are full of joy today. Let me explain.

Admittedly, you are the first generation who grew up when murder was legal; the first generation to access 130 channels and at the same time access almost nothing of value; the first generation to see a nation and Congress accept a U.S. President for lying, infidelity, and perversion with no perceivable outrage. That is the challenge, the bad news as it were.

The good news is, at the end of this century, to a large degree the homeschooling movement has arrived. That is good news indeed to a nation that needs desperately what you offer.

1.7 million strong, homeschoolers are in almost every county in America. You, will, without a doubt, be the next successful business people, craftsmen, and professionals. Within a few years you will, I believe, become leaders in our society. Besides the fact that homeschoolers are scoring higher on almost all standardized tests, you are also better adjusted emotionally and spiritually than the general population. I believe that most of you will move to the head of graduating classes of the most prestigious Christian and secular universities in America. You will become leaders in government and industry. The Christian community has not had such an opportunity to influence civil society since the time of Constantine. This is a great opportunity and challenge!

Public Education: How the Mighty Have Fallen – Part 2

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

No, the real problem is not the schools. It is American secular society. And the absence of an extant, efficacious, functioning American family system.

I would love to teach grammar and so forth but the fact is classroom culture sabotages most pedagogy.

Public Education: How the Mighty Have Fallen

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

“Your glory, O Israel, lies slain on your heights.
How the mighty have fallen!
“Tell it not in Gath,
proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad,
lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.
“O mountains of Gilboa,
may you have neither dew nor rain,
nor fields that yield offerings of grain .
For there the shield of the mighty was defiled,
the shield of Saul?no longer rrubbed with oil.
2 Samuel 1: 19-21

From the landing at Plymouth Rock to today, communities tried to educate its members in a public forum. Public education began in earnest in the 20th century. Its dreams were worthy and laudable. They have not come to pass.

My Calling – Part 2

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Garner was, however, a greater threat to our fragile equilibrium.

Dwight Washington, a high school scholar and track star, had a conversion experience at one of our revival services. This was an aberration, to say the least.

There existed, however, in our church, a well defined, strongly held white Christian racial orthodoxy that supported racism.

My Calling

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

This year marks the 25th year that I felt called to the ministry. I am very grateful to one man in particular, for his witness to my life: my old pastor, Palmer Garner.

He was an ordinary pastor, Brother Garner, the sort of pastor you would expect a Methodist bishop to send to McGehee.

McGehee was unprepared to face the present, much less the future. The Civil War hung like a heavy shroud on this declining railroad town. Less than 100 years before, Yankee soldiers had unceremoniously marched through our swamps to Vicksburg. To our eternal shame, no significant resistance was offered, except a brief unsuccessful skirmish at Boggy Bayou.

Birthday Memories – Part 7

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

As I stepped into our yard I quietly moved toward my dad’s kennel. Dad’s prize winning bird dogs, Sandy and Jim (my namesake), were delighted to see me.

Jim was a pure bred boxy male setter with caramel colored spots on a short white hair base. His most distinguishing feature was his voice that sounded more like a bloodhound–than a prize winning quail dog.

Birthday Memories – Part 6

Friday, May 25th, 2007

In the summer of 1965 I was 12 years old. On this particular morning my family was asleep. It was 6:30 A.M. when I stepped into our back yard.

The doughty St. Augustine grass irritated my virgin feet too long the captive of black Keds. The uninvited crabgrass surreptitiously invading our lawn, unobserved by our 68 year old colored yard “boy” Aubry, vexing my feet reminded me that neither I nor the crab grass belonged here this morning. This lawn belonged to my paternal grandmother, whom I cautiously called Mammaw, for she resented being called anything that remotely betrayed her caducity. My cousins called her Granny, but this cognomen was even more unappreciated.

Birthday Memories – Part 5

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

In addition to our two motels, there was one drugstore that gave credit and dispensed viscous chocolate sundaes to waiting patrons. The great attraction of the drugstore was the proprietor’s daughter whose bosom was the lodestone for dozens of excessive testerone endowed McGehee male youth. There were two department stores: Wolchanskies and Martins.

Birthday Memories – Part 4

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

My mother’s father, James Jesse Bayne, I called him Big Daddy, had run away from his 2 room, Louisiana pine barren home when he was 14. For the next 3 years he lived in woods and swamps in the wild Delta bottoms. Living on the outskirts of early 20th century southern towns, he experienced poverty that was sublime in its intensity.

Birthday Memories – Part 3

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Mom knew it. She had literally moved into her living room. She did not want to die in the backwaters of a bedroom. She did not want to die on the bed she and my father had made love and dreamed dreams that neither lived. She did not want to die on the periphery of life. She wanted to be in the middle of the action. Her living room controlled all accesses to her house. She was the gatekeeper and planned to man her station until she literally dropped dead. A captain at her helm. With her CB radio scanning for police gossip, with practically every light burning, with her television running day and night, Mom wanted to feel the ebullience of life until the bitter end. She intended to watch Larry King Live until she took her last breath.