G.A. Henty (1832-1902) is known in the Homeschooling Movement as THE author of Historical Living Books. He wrote 122 works of fiction, some detailed by his own personal experiences in events of his day. This story is a “Tale of the Spanish Main”and Sir Francis Drake at the beginning of his adventures in the 16th century. The family at Henty Alive has done an exceptional job bringing this book alive in audio drama. Their goal for this project was:
“Give The Children In Your Life Timeless Stories Of Character, Courage And Commitment That Will Ignite A Lifetime Of Passion For Living Boldly In God’s World.”
In my opinion, they accomplished their goal. Once we started the audio, our children sat spellbound to the end of the story and then asked for more. In our visual household, that in itself is amazing! This audio drama of G.A. Henty's "Under Drake's Flag has enough swashbuckling adventure to keep the boys riveted and just enough romance to keep the girls curious. The dramatic voices and sounds in this audio are very well done. This would be an EXCELLENT holiday gift for Grandchildren. It would be a perfect weekend “movie night” substitute. Just gather the family around the hearth with blankets, sketchbooks, popcorn, & hot cocoa. If you homeschool, there is curriculum and a study guide. Why not spend a week in the Spanish Main, learning about life in the 16th century? Our whole family definitely recommends this audio. (You know, I think Grandpa would even like this story! Another gift idea… yeah!)
The book of Colossians has so many amazing lessons for such a short little book. I am always amazed at how God can open His Word with such awesome power and revelation. There are many admonitions in Colossians and we all know there are a lot of pitfalls in the holidayseason. Every year there are new temptations to overspend, overeat, and overdo. More and more, these stresses last all year round and by the time we hit the holidays, we are exhausted before we even get started. Thankfully God gives us solutions through His loving word.
Keeping Christ at the center of our everyday lives and especially at the center of our holidays is a very hard thing. Fortunately, it is a very simple thing as well. We actually make things harder on ourselves than we need to. We don’t have to do so much. Colossians 2:6-8 tells us, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Traditions are a wonderful thing, but beware. Traditions should be a tool for teaching our children, remembering the past, and making new memories for their future. Let us take the holidays one step at a time.
Step 1: We need to realize we are on the road to victory. Later in Colossians we are reminded that if we have repented and accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are complete. We are dead in our sins and triumphing over them. If we are walking in the faith, we aren’t just struggling with sin any longer. Now we are triumphing over them. Yeah!
Step 2: We are not to let people judge us especially in respect of holidays. We need to be especially careful not to judge ourselves or compare ourselves to others during the holidays. We shouldn’t worry about whether our home is decorated enough, about whether we cook enough food, or even celebrate on a particular day or in a particular way. If we are risen with Christ then we are to seek those things which are above. Our affections are on things above, not on things on the earth. Holidays are supposed to be Holy-Days for Him. What does He want us to do this year? He sure doesn’t want us to wear ourselves out, go into debt for gifts, or make our selves sick. (Colossians 2:16)
Step 3: We should remember others. We are to concentrate on being holy, loving, merciful, kind, humble, meek, and patient. It’s important, especially during the holidays to be enduring and forgiving to one another. Holiday stress tends to be trying on everyone. We need to remind ourselves that above all things; love is the bond of perfectness. Everything we do in word or deed should all be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God. Let us be an example of wisdom to those less fortunate, using our time wisely, and letting everything we say be always with grace. (Colossians 3:12-15)
Step 4: We must let the peace of God and thankfulness (Colossians 3:15-17) rule in our hearts by spending special time in prayer (Colossians 1:19-20) during theholiday season.
"Let us continue in the faith; approaching each day with prayer and thanksgiving, remembering to walk in love, and delighting the simple joys of this holiday season."(Colossians 4:2-6)