Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Jumping Through the HOPES...Together

Note: This post includes many common idioms explained by clickng on the orange bold text.

Idioms are expressions that lose their original, literal meanings and are used to convey a more figurative thought. The confusion of idioms becomes obvious when talking to a student unfamiliar with the language. Imagine a foreign student new to English who asks an American friend if it is hard to get a visa to study abroad. His friend replies, "It's really a piece of cake if you have friends in high places, but it will cost an arm and a leg if you can't jump through all the hoops." When the words of those four idioms are translated literally, the inquisitive young man may think that getting a visa could be a delicious hike up a mountain or a horrible fall through amputating swords and hula hoops. Sometimes idioms are like that.

Take that last one I mentioned: "Jumping through the hoops." Its origins are from the circus (and venues like SeaWorld) where dogs, horses, lions, tigers (and seals and dolpins) literally jumped through hoops to entertain an audience. Why were these acts impressive? Because there is no natural reason to do it, and sometimes the hoops were on fire, which meant the animal was trained to ignore its natural fears. All this to get something in return (e.g. a treat, sugar cube, chunk of meat or fish). Circuses and SeaWorld grew less popular in the 21st Century as people became more sensitive toward animals, but the notion of "jumping through hoops" as an indiom lives on for humans. 

This idiom typically means that "the party of the first part" is willing to perform tasks imposed by "the party of the second part" with the hopes of getting something in return (a bike, a car, a diploma, a job, a degree, a visa, etc.)  "Jumping through hoops" almost always has a "task master" who places higher value on the "hoops" than those jumping through them. For this reason, the idiom tends to sound like a complaint by the person saying it, as if they fail to see the purpose in all the rigamarole (an idiomatic word with a story of its own).

While "hoop jumping" does have a negative connotation--right up there with "red tape." There is usually a "method to the madness" that is not all bad. 

For instance, this principle is at work wherever there are rules to follow. It makes competition fair: Nearly all sports (not just basketball) are basically a test to see which team can "jump through the hoops" better or faster than the other. It also brings order to our world: whenever you drive a car with a license and insurance and you buckle up, obey the stop signs, follow speed limits, and drive correctly down a one-way streets, etc. you're "jumping through the hoops" of making our streets safer.

It is frustrating, however, when the objectives are more difficult for some than for others. We value "fairness"--it's why there are weight classes in wrestling, and yet sometimes unequal things are matched up to compete. Surprisingly, sometimes a tortoise may beat a hare depending on what "hoops" are involved. Sometimes competition is like that.

It's also frustrationg when if the rules for "hoop jumping" change on a whim (e.g. if  the goal posts move from game to game). It's especailly frustrating if those creating the rules for "hoop jumping" seem to give themselves a "home field advantage" where the rules affect them less than others. I get that, but sometimes rules and rulers are like that.

It's confusing when the data behind "hoop jumping" is in conflict with other known data or when numbers and statistics seem to make some hoops more important than others. When Hank Aaron beat Babe Ruth's home-run record in 1974, he had the advantage of many more games per season, and when Barry Bonds beat Hank Aaron's record in 2007, it was later learned that he used performance inhancing steroids. Sometimes statistics are like that.

Sometimes the media and politicians can take several hoops and connect them like a big chain that is used to block something or change the natural flow of events. It's especially discouraging when the reason behind the hoops or chains seem to favor one group over another, and when the less favored group seems silenced by the same media. Sometimes the media and politics are like that.

I confess, sometimes I'm not happy with the media or politicians or  "red tape" and  "hoop jumping" that impose things into my life. Do you ever feel that way?

"After all," we tell ourselves, "We are not trained seals needing fish from someone else's hand.  We are not going through the motions to please men like caged animals in some circus cage. We were meant to live freely and to weigh the risks and rewards of our own hoops." 

I get that, and it's true, but as believers we are more than "free indeed." We are image bearers of Creator God. Even those who do not acknowledge Him are His image bearers, but they are not the light of the world. We understand that since the fall when sin first entered the world, God has held out the promise of restoring His original intent. He will restore the original meaning to His creation in His time. God's plan is like that.

In the meantime, His Word tells us that the trials of this life purify us like gold ... that sometimes its by deferring to "hoops" without complaining" that we beam in the darkness around us and shine like stars... (Philippians 2:15). 

So from here in our corner of the world, perhaps this is our time to shine to more than 200 nations/territories attempting to mitigate a new virus that has spread around the world in nine months.

All things considered, we are doing a pretty good job of mitigating the risks without losing all of the rewards of freedom. Sure, it is an imperfect and sometimes frustrating process, but let's not lose HOPE as we jump through the hoops.  

This, too, shall pass, and as long as TEMPORARY HOOPS CAN REMIND US OF OUR ETERNAL HOPE... and of what we believe and why we are here on this earth... so long as this can be said of us in these times... let us jump through the HOPES together and do whatever it takes to be exemplary as we gather safely together for school in the fall. Better days are yet to come. Sometimes life is like that.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Do All Students Matter?

Secretary DeVos Issues Rule to Ensure CARES Act Funding Serves All Students--even in Faith-Based Schools

Gives districts options for determining the amount of CARES Act funding for equitable services to private school students    JUNE 25, 2020

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos issued a rule that would help to ensure all students whose learning was impacted by COVID-19 are served equitably by emergency funding authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, no matter where they attend school. The Interim Final Rule (IFR), which becomes effective immediately, outlines how local education agencies (LEAs) must calculate the emergency funds available for providing equitable services to students and teachers in private schools.
Providing equitable services is long-standing law under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). LEAs provide no money to private schools under these equitable services provisions. Instead, they provide secular, neutral, and nonideological services to nonpublic schools after consulting with private school leaders about the needs of students and teachers....it is expected that most of the emergency funding will go toward services like cleaning, equipment to protect student and teacher health, teacher training in remote instruction, and distance education tools.
Read full document here:

These intentions were reiterated by the Senate a few weeks later. The assumed premise of the federal government's action was to HELP ALL STUDENTS since ALL students in ALL districts are required to jump through the same "hoops" to reopen in the fall. In her cover letter for the "Michigan Safe Schools Roadmap for Reopening," Governor Whitmer expressed her responsibility to ALL students in the state, and since ALL taxpayers fund ALL the educational efforts of the state--including those tax payers whose taxes support public schools even as they choose to pay tuition for faith-based privates schools, it was assumed that the emergency funds provided by the federral government to ALL states to help ALL schools so ALL students could return to the safest possible settings in the fall, for a couple weeks, ALL schools, including CCS, thought we would be getting help to pay for hand sanitizers, PPE, disinfection of building, quarantine protocols, tools for electorinic learning options (we spent about $10,000 to achieve our "distance learning" plan last spring.

Then when the Governor released her "Roadmap" there was no mention of private schools, no mention of the distinctions between large districts and small systems like CCS. For instance, the small manageable "cohorts" of most small faith-based schools compared to the hundreds of students at each grade level in most large public schools is a distinct advantage. Did her failure to mention non-public schools mean that she learned from the law suit from last May and decided she should leave faith-based institutions alone? Or did it just mean that she had no intention of prorating the funds she mentioned to help ALL students?

For 40 years, CCS has not accepted state or federal funds, but in light of the "all inclusive" emergency funds intended to help schools pay for the needs being imposed upon them during this pandemic, it does seeem reasonable to help protect ALL STUDENTS. It is a myth that faith-based private schools are "rich" and don't need help. Roughly half of the students at CCS receive need-based financial aid. We go to great lengths to be a school for ALL homes that are active in a local Evangelical church and  interested in a Christian Worldview education. Sometimes families need financial help, and ALL of our homes understand and support that idea. The truth is the government only has "tax income" to use toward such efforts, and the parents of private school children pay those taxes. 

Read about Governor Whitmer's law suit to decline Covid-19 aid to private schools here:

Saturday, June 20, 2020

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Back to Normal"

Just four months ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) created a name for what most news outlets had been calling the “Wuhan Flu.”  Never has a new word been more widely used in so many languages around the world in so short a time.

The new term of course is “COVID-19,” and it was paired with a much older word: quarantine (derived from the Latin word for forty (i.e. 40 days). Unlike its historic use, however, this time quarantine applied to the healthy (not just the sick). Those not infected were asked to isolate themselves. They called it “socialdistancing.” 
  


In mid-March, all schools and businesses deemed “non-essential” were closed. (Churches were lumped into the non-essential group.)  We were told that a 3-week quarantine to “flatten the curve” would help hospitals face the coming onslaught of a global pandemic. We all did our part. Curve was flattened. Onslaught averted. And yet the 3 weeks became 3 months then four and counting. A funny thing happened on the way back to normal.


A Latin term for “normal” is status quo, which means “the way things have been for a long time.” There is typically good reason for the status quo. Some reasons are divine—like the Ten Commandments; most are less moral but still good—like expiration dates on milk cartons—but the stability of self-governance rests in whether changes to the status quo are proposed by or imposed on the people they affect. Imposed change happens quickly by those in power, but proposed change is a thoughtful process testing whether the good intentions of a proposal do not harbor unintended consequences (thus making the solution as hazardous as the problem).


In the case of America, our founders felt so strongly about changing the status quo of British rule that they risked life and limb to make it happen.  After winning their independence, they did not attempt to erase their history (the names of many east-coast cities and states confirm this).  Instead, they mapped out their future in a constitution outlining a path to “the way things ought to be.” It was a new status quo incorporating the best of past imperfect systems and thinly veiled principles of scripture. The goal was not perfection, but “…to form a more perfect union.”  


Because the founders understood human nature and how absolute power hastens corruption, they structured our self-governance so no one person or party could override the intentions of the constitution (or change the status quo) without first meeting the burden of proof.  This deliberative system allows the status quo to improve over time and has served America well for nearly 250 years (come 2026), but a funny thing happened on the way back to normal. 


By mid-April, it felt like the whole operation was in the hands of few “experts," and most of the media and some state governors were surprisingly open to staying “closed” at all cost. Even when the national economy was slipping into a coma, they spoke of staying closed through summer—possibly through the fall--and November's election. So just in case, Michigan sent out millions of unrequested "mail in" voting ballot applications that can be cast well before November. Hmmmm....


Is it cynical to notice that fostering the fog of continued fear has provided opportunity to impose changes without meeting the normal burden of proof? This may explain the contrast in protocols and reopening strategies from state to state and why some public protests were condemned as a violation of "social distancing" by leaders who weeks later joined shoulder to shoulder in much more reckless demonstrations. What else could explain why in May some business owners were arrested and jailed for opening their doors, but in June many rioters went unpunished for smashing them in? 


A funny thing happened on the way back to normal. Not funny “ha ha” but funny strange—funny like the smell under the floorboards when something has died. While we complied with a temporary change in the status quo, some opportunists shifted the burden of proof.  Rather than making a case to prolong the change; that burden of proof was now on returning to normal. “Can you prove that COVID cases won’t see an uptick if we reopen? Can you prove that not one life will be at risk because millions need to make a living?”


For centuries, the Church in America and faith-based schools like CCS have operated within the framework of a Constitutional government. Does our faith depend on these freedoms? No. Has the church flourished when it could not publicly meet? Yes—this was true many times through the centuries and remains true in places today. As Christians, however, we are called to be “wise as serpents and harmless of doves” (Matthew 10:16) as we interpret the world and times in which we live. So long as we have freedom, we should fully understand it.


Freedom and the “pursuit of happiness” has always come with risk and reward. This risk-reward equation stowed away on the Mayflower with the Pilgrims.; it put ink to the Declaration of Independence; it pointed Lewis and Clark WEST; it gave lift to the Wright brothers’wings and light to Edison’s bulb; it put Ford’s wheels in motion; sent man to the moon; and yes, it even launched Calvary Christian Schools forty years ago. You get the picture: an abundant life and profession of faith has never been risk free.


Our prayer is that followers of Christ will learn from history and not be given to hysteria. Both the history of the Church and this nation have produced a “cloud of witnesses” who were driven by faith not fear. 


We learned something on our way back to normal. It was an “awakening" of sorts. The same masks that made us feel like specks in a faceless ant farm—emotionless gatherers foraging for “essentials” avoiding the paths of others as we ventured from our homes. Those masks that muffled our greetings and muizzled our thoughts did something else. They reminded us we were image bearers of God, and that truth should not be hidden under a bushel or a mask. So may we never get used to them, and may God’s face shine upon us in the days ahead as our unmasked faces reflect Him to our fellow man. In the meantime, may our earnest eyes and actions show His love.

Likewise, our months of isolation taught us that gathering is an essential need. God said of individuals, “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) Of His church he said, “Forsake not the gathering of yourselves together.” (Hebrews 10:25) And of nations He said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” (Matthew 12:25) Heaven help us with that last one. Have these words ever been more true? 

COVID-19 is very real. You probably know someone who knows this firsthand. I do, but even that dear friend understands that as the improving “math” of this virus brings hope it is the aftermath that brings new concerns.

The extended closure of 2020 has been the longest experiment in social isolation in the history of the world. Yet through it all, we were never alone. (Joshua 1:9 and 1 Chronicles 28:20), and we were always free to shine. CCS has tried to be exemplary in its response to this emergency. We were ahead of the curve in home-to-home instruction; we conducted the first and only real cap-and-gown Commencement  in west Michigan for our Class of 2020; and we are planning to reopen with exemplary face-to-face classroom instruction in the fall. Rest assured that the emotional, social, academic, and spiritual needs of our students will be valued as highly as whatever other concerns may remain at that time. 

God be with you till we meet again. 
Tom Kapanka 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Kayliegh in the Lion's Den

Kayliegh McAnany is a remarkable person in a difficult position...

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

May 5 Update: "I Believe: The Risks and Rewards of Reality"

Some may find the video of this post naive or overly optimistic. I don't think so. I do not accept the notion that we have entered a "new reality" and that life as we knew it must conform to a "new normal" defined by others.  I choose to believe that words like recess, lunch-line, school play, student section, stadium, theme park, parade, and congregation will continue to have clear and functional meaning in the months and years to come. 

This video explains why I believe this and what CCS can expect as we close out this 2019-2020 school year.

Those living through the spring of 2020 will never forget it, but I believe we will someday have to tell the next generation what it was like.


Monday, April 27, 2020

Seeing Signs Along The Way...

When I was a little kid about three years old, my sister, and brothers and I would sometimes wander from our own yard, and Mom would come running from the house to call us back. Where do you think you're going?" she'd ask. And according to family legend, I would always say, "...on a bubenshur..." because evidently I could not say the word "adventure."

So for the rest of my life whenever returning from a trip with my mother, she would say, "Well, that was a 'bubenshur'..." and I would smile as if passing a pop-quiz on terms from our family lexicon.

My mom has been gone form many years, but Friday was her birthday and that quirky little word came back to me as Mrs. K and I returned home from a very pleasant trip to some of your front yards. We did it again on Saturday and it was again a wonderful "bubenshur."

We know west Michigan well, but finding some of your homes took us to beautiful places we had never seen before.We passed farms and orchards; fields and forests, rivers and lakes; closed malls and busy country stores. We even saw some of you along the way, and we've also seen dozens of you on social media beside Calvary signs that others delivered. Whereever we go, I'm seeing Calvary signs along the way.

This past week Brad and Joy Richards secretly put a sign in the yard of nearly all Muskegon area CCS families. Mrs. Sarah VanTine  also helped place several signs. By the end of this week, all of families in our directory should have one. (Please let us know if you don''t.) 

Through the years, Calvary has always had families from within a long tri-angle roughly from West Olive (south) to Ravena (east) and Freemont / Shelby area (north) wtih the Lake Michigan shoreline along the west. It's always a joy to go to the "Open Houses" of seniors from extremities, and after six weeks of quarantine, it was a special treat to take this 200-mile safe-social-distancing excursion this weekend making sure everyone got a sign. We hope this small gesture underscores the truth of each line on that sign because it is truer than ever.

Calvary is a very diverse school family. It is urban, suburban and rural in four counties. About half of our homes have only one student, but several have four or five.  If the family that lives furthest south of the school went to visit the family that lives furthest north, it would take roughly an hour to get there. (Having seen both of these large hard-working families from a distance this weekend, I can tell you that it it's well worth the trip.) If the family furthest east of the school traveled as many miles west, they would end up about 10-15 miles out in Lake Michigan.

The blue lines on this map lead to only a few of the homes Mrs. K and I went to on Friday and Saturday. More than 500 miles were traveled to deliver these and the 100+ other signs, but the five people involved gladly touched each yard as a thank you to the CCS families and staff who collectively travel more than 2,000 miles round trip each day to come to Calvary. (That does not factor in car-pooling but is based on round trips from each of our CCS homes to school and back.)

Until driving a fraction of those miles this weekend, I did not fully understand how remarkable a place Calvary is because of each of you. Thank you for being a vital part of Calvary Christian Schools.

We say it often, but in the context of these facts it bears repeating:

CCS builds an educational foundation based not on geography but on the "common ground" of shared values. We are defined not by the roads we take to gather but by the path we walk together.

Many thanks to the donors who made these yard signs possible.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

"Enoch Was No More": The Story of a Chinese CCS Senior Whose Father was Wrongfully Imprisoned for His Faith.

This is a story that could not be told to the CCS family until very recently. In late March, Enoch was granted political (religious) asylum by the U.S. State Department, and he is now free to speak openly of why he came to Calvary.

This past February, CCS friend and former banquet speaker, Dr. Bob Fu, was a guest speaker during the January Series at Calvin University. His presentation was live-streamed across the country and to different countries and the persecuted church in China. In that address he introduced Enoch to the large audience, saying that today with us is the oldest son of one of the most newsworthy examples of the persecuted church in China. That day we learned that Bob Fu’s financials legal assistance in Enoch's "back story" has been known by CCP since the first few weeks of his father's imprisonment.

That same week, Enoch's father also told his son, "You are safe. You are free. Speak up. Tell the truth about what has happened to us. God will protect you in America and us here in China." 

This past week, Enoch and I sat down in our living room to tell you, his friends and family at CCS, an abreviated version of how his father was imprisoned in China and how, upon his release after two and a half years, they determined to get their son Enoch safely out of communist-controled China to attend Calvary Christian Schools. This is that story. 


Part One: "What They Did to My Father"



Part Two: "Enoch Arrives in America"




NOTE: Numerous links to related news articles about Enoch's father may be found at the "Show More" prompt at the YouTube channel of these videos.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

A Thank You from Mr. Kapanka on his Birthday

Some of you will remember "The Waltons" from back in the 70's. This Zoom Birthday greeting reminded me of the way that TV show ended each week. "G'night, John Boy," etc.
Thank you to all who were able to make this time-slot. We are all blessed to be part of the Calvary family!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Mr. Kapanka's "Walking Stick Stories"

Don't let the title fool you. These object lessons serve a direct purpose during our Covid-19 isolation. The first story brings a bit of excitement and humor. Did you know that you can ride "bob-sled" down the mountain of the Great Wall of China. Yep. Crazy! Funny ending to that story.



Did you know that my shady street as a child was lined with beautiful Elm trees, but they all died from "Dutch Elm Disease" but there was one type of elm that resisted the disease. Yep. Did you know that trees have a "defense mechanism" very similar to human immune system that fights off infection from a wound or "virus"? Yep. Did you know Mrs. K's father was a pastor and her mother a church organist for over 50 years? Yep. You've heard that "God is the potter and we are the clay," but did you know that when Jesus says, "I am the vine; you are the branches" that that is also a formative statement? Yep. Did you know that Mr. Kapanka's favorite walking stick took 40 years to make? It illustrates what Virgil said more than 2,000 years ago: "As the twig is bent, so grows the tree." That is an important lesson.

Each stick tells a story that is fitting for this unprecedented weeks of isolation. This presentation was prompted by the "W" class of Mrs. Kapanka's "Cozy Little Cabin," but the stories are geared for children and adults of all ages. Tom Kapanka

Saturday, April 11, 2020

"The First Green Thing"

An Easter poem that might make you wonder...or think... and just maybe... worship...

Click arrow to view 4-minute video:

April is poetry month, and today is Easter. This particular Easter is unlike any Christian has seen in over a century. Please watch the video-poem above. It's only 2 minutes long with a 2-minute explanation to pique your interest. If you like riddles (or poetry or theology), you may want to explore further.
"The First Green Thing" (2010) is told by a old man walking an unfamiliar woods who comes across a discarded work of art. Is it a birdbath? It's clearly more than that, and seems like it would be in a magnificant garden, but now... it seems to have been discarded by its maker. The imagery of the work baffles the man. The a vertical part is a strong bronze arm that appears to reach right out of the earth as if the rest of the man is buried. It is holding a laurel wreath above the basin of water so that whoever looks in the reflection sees the wreath being place on his head as was the custom in the time of Christ. But a thorny vine has overtaken the wrought-copper laurel and it now looks more like a crown of thorns. Why was it "cast from the garden"? What is the meaning of the green things the man did not fine in the opening lines? Is "the fall" merely a season?

Watch it again and see if you can make sense of it. If you'd like to have some help, this poem is full of intentional symbols from beginning to end that are explained at the link below:

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Why We Sing of Calvary...

Today's thoughts are meant for people who know of churches, ministries, or schools that bear the name of "Calvary." It is for people who can think of songs new and old that sing of "Calvary" (like the sampling of songs at the bottom of the post). Knowing the horrible things that happened at that place, how can we sing of it? How can such hope and blessing come from such a cursed place referred to in the gospels as "the place of the skull"?

Now add this to the question: Since the word "Golgotha" appears three times more often than the word "Calvary" (which appears only once and only in the King James Version), why do we not instead sing of Golgotha? Why do we not see churches, ministries and schools bearing that name?
Perhaps you've never thought about this, but please take 20 minutes with me to learn why I think this is true. Twenty minutes? Couldn't you make it shorter, Mr. K? Please watch it from beginning to end. I think you'll find it interesting.

Since January of 2019, Enoch, a young man from China has lived with us. I'll  share more of his story another time, but in an interview with the Grand Haven Tribune a few months ago, he said to the reporter, "My life has been changed twice by Calvary: First by the Calvary in the Bible; and then by the Calvary in Fruitport."  Is a higher compliment possible?  The first Calvary is of utmost importance to mankind; the second only to those who have been a part of a small school. To whatever extent the latter reflects the life-changing power of the former, it too has significance.

(Double-click on video screen to enlarge.)


_________________________________________


Notes: Below is more information for those who like to read more about things they have learned:

To believers, the word Calvary has great significance, yet if you go biblegateway.com and do a word search for "Calvary," you will get zero results in all of the commonly used translations. Only in Luke 33:22 of the KJV  (King James Version) will you find it. And that lone citing is owed to two things: first, the fact that Luke, a doctor, used a specific Latin word (for cranium) where the other three gospel writers used the Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic word (for skull). And second, the fact that St. Jerome, while translating the New Testament into the Latin Vulgate in the 4th Century, saw the significance in Luke's word choice and preserved it. More than 1,200 years later the translators of the KJV did the same.

The Latin "Kranion" is often translated as Skull in English, but more accurately it means Cranium, the part of the skull enclosing the brain. In Latin Kraníon is rendered Calvariæ, from which the English word Calvary derives. Had Luke not used that Latin term, we would have no "Calvary" in the Bible.

Both words are clear in meaning and the word meaning "skull" is used three times more often by Matthew, Mark, and John than Luke's single use of the word meaning "cranium." So why is it that in the post-Reformation centuries of song-writing that the word Calvary and not Golgotha is used in lyrics? (The difference is about 100 to 1. Why?) 

I have have wondered about this question for years. Is Calvary simply a more pleasant word? Is the word Golgotha unpleasant?  I feel like that is true, but why?  I've created this comparitive outline to reflect what I think is the connotation of the two different words that refer to the same place.


Is it possible that the word “Golgotha” just sounds ominous because of the harsh "G" sound or due to negative associations with the root word, GOTH (meaning "skull")? Are the images evoked by all forms of that word imagined or are they at the heart of the very word itself? In my opinion, the obvious answer has gone unnoticed through 20 centuries.

While trying to confirm that the same root meaning has slithered through the centuries, I learned, for instance, that the origin of the name given the "Goths" in northern Europe is unknown. But this article "Who Were The Goths?" explains that they were barbarious tribes that dabbled in dark arts. It also mentions that even in real time "Gothic architecture (Notre Dame Cathedral) was described as Gothic due to its inclusion of barbaric images (gargoyles).

In this video, I did not mention a whole genere of gothic literarture because I used to teach literature and this would have added much more content, but for those who want to know more. The Gothic Literature movement came four centuries AFTER gothic architecture, but it deliberately played on the same dark themes abd introduced vampires and other monsters. Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, is an example of Gothic Literature.

So... whether or not others are willing to make the connection between the barbaric nature of the "Goths" and gothic architecture and the darkness of gothic literature the root word gal-GOTH-a meaning "skull," I have made that connection because that root word was nearly identical in Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic languages in use throughout the rise and fall of the Roman Empire (which overlaps with the time of the Goths).

Whether or not I can prove the connected dots touched on in this video is secondary to the fact that the conotation and sound of the word Golgotha has been clear from the time of Christ until now, and that alone makes a case for the answer to the title question.


Furthermore, the evidence that Christianity has been drawn to the more positive use of the word Calvary (over Golgotha) can be proven by thumbing through any church hymnal.

What do you think? Feel free to comment below.

I hope you were able to set aside 20 undisturbed minutes to watch the video and see if this short exploration does not bring clarity to why we say Calvary. And if, like Enoch, you happen to know the significance of both the Calvary of the Bible and the Calvary in Fruitport, MI, you will want to watch the video to the very end.


He is risen... He is risen indeed!

Tom Kapanka

Sample Calvary Songs:
Here are some wonderful examples of Calvary Songs (click the title to listen):

(According to this source, This 100-year-old hymn's musical theme comes from Handel's Sarabande .The text comes from Avis Christiansen and matches the tune well. The switch to D major permits a newly composed melody to emerge, one of assurance. Returning to Handel's strain, the piece ends in strength and praise.)

Lead Me to Calvary Jennie Hussey, 1921


"Calvary Covers It All" original hymn by E. R. Taylor (as churches sang it for 80+ years, 1934. Ethelwyn Robinson Taylor and her husband Walter ran the Pacific Garde Mission in Chicago, IL from 1918 to to 1936.)

"The God of Calvary " by Chris Tomlin

Through the centuries there has been little mention of Golgotha in the Hymns of the faith.  In fairness, I did find one new song about Golgotha by Crowder. See if you dont agree that it actually underscores the thoughts of this video. It chooses to focus on the place, the pain, the punishment of Golgotha, but it also gives one mention of the word Calvary which echos in the refrain: "You can't stop love." I can't imagine a congregation singing this song, but I include it only as further proof of the contrast between the two words: Calvary and Golgotha.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

"The Shadow Box": A Game For All to Play

Since "Mrs. K's Cozy Little Cabin" is not meeting this week due to Spring Break, Mr. Kapanka wanted to show her class and whoever else is interested something from of “the other corners of the cabin."

The objects in the Shadow Box are Circa 1963-83, and contain small objects from both Mr. and Mrs. Kapanka's childhood and their first five years of marriage. This particular project involves a rectangular piece of 1/4 plywood/mahagony and about 3 or 4 soft pine yardsticks (the kind hardware stores used to give away with the store name on it). This video was made during the national school closure of March-19, 2020, in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic. In the spirit of the "I Spy" books, see if you can find the following items in the shadow box. Viewing on a large screen (Ipad, Chromebook, laptop, or larger), It may help to take a picture of the list on a separate device or print the list on paper and check items as you go: Do You See....
Round one: Watch video once without pausing. See how many items you can find WITHOUT HITTING PAUSE. (If you find half without hitting pause, you're amazing.)


The Shadow Box Game

Round two: Pushing pause is allowed as needed to search in the nooks and crannies and shadows of the shadow box. Here is the list (92 items):
3 toy guns, tube of toothpaste, 1 small toy soldier,tin can, rocking horse, steel ball (marble), small piece of rusty barbed-wire, two dogs sitting side by side, large bolt, 2 bottle caps, 1 carnival prize clicker, rusty wrench, tiny silver wrench, steel whistle, old dump truck (missing wheel), oil lamp (red chimney), monopoly game piece, 2+shells, acorn, bulldog, 2 small bottles (no lids), Roosevelt pin, lock of hair, two tiny pad-locks, light bulb, business card, white feather, Statue of Liberty, die (1 "dice"), 3 rusty nails together, straight pin, Amoco pen, 1984 Detroit Tigers pocket schedule, 2 eagles, Saturday Evening Post, West Highland Terrier (white dog), Old "skeleton key," 1 pill bottle, Charlie Brown watch, U.S. brass button, jack knife (without picture on it that is no longer in its place by the last close-up shot), spent rifle cartridge, button from Levi Strauss jeans, 2 thimbles (one broken), corsage (pink flowers) Oil-o-sol medicine, brass token (Showbiz Pizza), 2 test tubes, 2 empty spools, 1 full spool, small girl with blue flowers, 2 girls riding old bike, silver tie clip (with sword), locket with baby picture, Bayer aspirin tin, round Silver Dollar City, Missouri sticker, air mail pin, drill bit (hidden), 3-4 track runners, 1 "I love you" coin, 1 "V" for Victory pin from WWII, 1 "Indian" chief, 1 Buckwheat badge (from "Little Rascals") , 1 cigar (gum), 1 penny, small gum-ball machine Now think outside the box: 1 Vernors bottle, 1 bow (no arrow), 1 "rug beater", 6 Michigan lighthouses, 2 wooden tennis rackets, 2 rag dolls, 1 school administrator passing time with dear friends.

Use the comment section to request hints if needed. After a few days, I will respond to requests for hints in the comments. "Contest" ends Easter Sunday at Midnight.