Trivium Pursuit

Martin Luther dies

October 20th, 2017


February 18, 1546 — Martin Luther dies in Eisleben of a heart attack.


The providence of God seemed to run quite contrary to his promise

October 20th, 2017

God is to be trusted when his providences seem to run contrary to his promises. God promised to give David the crown, to make him king; but providence ran contrary to his promise. David was pursued by Saul, and was in danger of his life, but all this while it was David’s duty to trust God. Pray observe, that the Lord by cross providences, often brings to pass his promise. God promised Paul the lives of all who were with him in the ship; but the providence of God seemed to run quite contrary to his promise, for the winds blew, the ship split and broke in pieces. Thus God fulfilled his promise —- upon the broken pieces of the ship they all came safe to shore. Trust God when providences seem to run quite contrary to promises. –Thomas Watson

A Body of Divinity


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Part 11 Pilgrim’s Progress — Timorous and Mistrust

October 19th, 2017

Part 11 — Timorous and Mistrust by John Bunyan audio

Timorous and Mistrust by John Bunyan read-along text

Now, when he reached the top of the hill, two men came running to meet him — the name of one was Timorous, and the other Mistrust.


Christian inquired of them, “Sirs, what is the matter? You are running the wrong way.”

Timorous answered, “We were going to the Celestial City, but, the further we go, the more dangers we meet with. Therefore we have turned around, and are going back.”


“Yes,” said Mistrust, “for there were lions just ahead of us on the path, and we did not know if they were asleep or awake. We were terrified that they would tear us to pieces.”


Then Christian said, “You frighten me, but where shall I flee to be safe? If I go back to my own country, which shall be destroyed by fire and brimstone, I will certainly perish there. I shall only be safe if I can reach the Celestial City. I must venture onward. To go back is nothing but death — to go forward is fear of death, and everlasting life beyond it. Therefore, I must surely go forward.”

So Mistrust and Timorous ran down the hill, and Christian continued on the difficult way.

Thinking of what he heard from the men, he felt in his bosom for his scroll, that he might read from it and be comforted; but he could not find it. Christian was then in great distress, and did not know what to do, for the scroll was his pass into the Celestial City.

Therefore, he was fearful and bewildered, not knowing what to do. At last, he remembered that he had slept at the arbor on the side of the steep hill. Falling down upon his knees, he asked God’s forgiveness for his foolish act, and then went back to look for his scroll. Who can sufficiently set forth the sorrow of Christian’s heart as he went back. Sometimes he sighed, sometimes he wept, and often he rebuked himself for being so foolish as to fall asleep in that arbor which was only erected for a little refreshment for weary Pilgrims.

Thus he went back, carefully looking on this side, and on that side, all the way as he went, hoping perhaps that he might find his scroll which had been his comfort so many times on his journey.

So he went on until he again came within sight of the arbor where he had rested and slept. But that sight only increased his sorrow, by bringing his folly of sleeping once again into his mind. Thus he bemoaned, “O what a wretched man I am that I should sleep in the day time, and in the midst of difficulty that I should so indulge my flesh. For the Lord of the hill has built this arbor only for the refreshment of Pilgrims.

“How many steps have I taken in vain. Thus it happened to Israel, for their sin — they were sent back again by the way of the Red Sea. Just so, I am made to retrace those steps with sorrow, which I might have trod with delight had it not been for my folly of sleeping. How much further along my way might I have been by this time, but I had to tread these steps three times, which I only needed to have trod but once. Yes, now I must journey in the dark of night, for the daylight is almost gone. O that I had not slept.”

Reaching the arbor, he sat down and wept. Then, looking around sorrowfully under the bench, he spotted his scroll. With trembling and haste, he snatched it up and put it into his bosom.


None can tell how joyful he then was, for this scroll was the assurance of his salvation and his pass to the Celestial City. Therefore he secured it in his bosom, gave thanks to God for directing his eye to the place where it had fallen, and with joy and tears resumed his journey.

O, how carefully now did he go up the rest of the hill. Yet, before he reached the top, the sun had gone down, and this made Christian again recall the folly of his sleeping in the arbor. Thus once more, he began to reprove himself, “O you sinful sleep! Now I must journey on in the dark and hear the frightful noises of the night creatures.”

Just then, he remembered the report that Mistrust and Timorous warned him of — how they were frightened with the sight of the lions. Then Christian thought to himself, “These beasts roam in the night for their prey; and if I should encounter them in the dark, how could I overcome them? How could I escape from being torn to pieces?”

Thus Christian went on his way. But while he was thus bemoaning his difficult situation, he lifted up his eyes, and behold, there was a very stately palace directly ahead. The name of the palace was Beautiful.


An unusual and curious children’s picture book

October 13th, 2017
Post may contain affiliate links to materials I recommend. Read my full disclosure statement.

This week’s Five in a Row book is Very Last First Time by Jan Andrews, illustrated by Ian Wallace.

This little children’s picture book is based on a subject so unusual and curious that it might spark a lengthy study for the entire family.

High-Risk Mussel Gathering

In Arctic Canada, every two weeks the pull of the moon combines with the geography of this region to create unusually large tides. In the coldest months, when the tides are extremely low and the ice that coats the Arctic sea is thickest, the water can fall as much as 55 feet in some places, emptying the bay under the ice along the shore for an hour or more. The frozen ice drops with the outgoing tide and rests on the ocean beach and rises again with the fast moving incoming tide. While resting on the bottom when the tide is out, the ice leaves large caves and tunnels under the ice and the seabed is exposed.

The Inuit, the people of that area, wait for the tide to go out, go out onto the bay, and dig a tunnel down through the ice to get to the sandy beach underneath. They quickly search with lights for food — fat and juicy mussels. They have to work very fast to avoid being trapped by the incoming water — the tide stays out less than an hour. The work is very dangerous.

Very Last First Time

Very Last First Time is about an Inuit girl’s first time under the ice alone.

Using the Story Disk to mark the setting of Very Last First Time


Illustrating Very Last First Time

Experimenting with ice

Grandpa helping

Grammy helping with one of the add-ons (books used to complement the primary book)


Building igloos

Add-Ons (books which you can read along with Very Last First Time)

Stone Fox Unabridged Audio Book by John Reynolds Gardiner

The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett

Children Just Like Me: A Unique Celebration of Children Around the World by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley

Arctic Son by Jean Craighead George

Snow Bear by Jean Craighead George

Ice Bear and Little Fox by Jonathan London

Welcome to Canada by Elma Schemenauer

Building an Igloo by Ulli Seltzer

The Inuit by Kevin Cunningham

Avati: Discovering Arctic Ecology by Mia Pelletier

Nature Cross-sections by Richard Orr

Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joose

Ice Bear: In the Steps of the Polar Bear by Nicola Davies

The Igloo by Charlotte Yue

Coastal Habitats by David Stephens

Welcome to the Icehouse by Jane Yolen

About Habitats: Polar Regions by Cathryn and John Sill


Part 10 Pilgrim’s Progress — The Hill Difficulty

October 12th, 2017

Part 10 — The Hill Difficulty by John Bunyan audio

The Hill Difficulty by John Bunyan read-along text

I beheld, then, that they all went on until they came to the foot of the Hill Difficulty, at the bottom of which was a spring. Here there also were two other ways besides that path which came straight from the narrow-gate — one turned to the left hand, and the other to the right; however the narrow way went straight up the Hill Difficulty.

Christian now went to the spring, and drank to refresh himself, and then began to go up the hill, saying,


“The hill, though high, I choose to ascend,
The difficulty will not me offend;
For I perceive the way to life lies here.
Come, take heart, let’s neither faint nor fear;
Better, though difficult, the right way to go,
Than wrong, though easy—where the end is woe.”

The other two men also came to the foot of the hill. When they saw that the hill was very steep and high, and that there were two other easier ways to go; and supposing that these two ways might meet again on the other side of the hill with the same hard way that Christian chose; they resolved to go in those easy paths.

Now the name of one of those ways was Danger — and the name of the other Destruction. So one took the way called Danger, which led him into an enormous bewildering forest — and the other took the way to Destruction, which led him into a wide field full of dark pits, where he stumbled and fell, and rose no more.


I then looked at Christian going up the hill, where, because of the steepness of the hill, I saw he went from running to walking, and from walking to crawling on his hands and knees. Now, about midway to the top of the hill was a pleasant arbor, made by the Lord of the hill for the refreshment of weary travelers. When Christian arrived there, he sat down to rest. He then pulled his scroll out of his bosom, and read to his comfort. He also began to examine the garment that was given him while at the Cross.

Thus refreshing himself for a while, he at last fell into a slumber, and thence into a sound sleep, which delayed him there until it was almost night. While asleep, his scroll fell out of his hand.


Now, as he was sleeping, one came and awakened him, saying, “Go to the ant, you sluggard — consider her ways, and be wise!”

With that, Christian suddenly jumped up, and hurried on his way until he came to the top of the hill.


Literature of Egypt — New Ebook from Trivium Pursuit

October 11th, 2017

Ancient History from Primary Sources Egypt final cover

Ancient History from Primary Sources: Literature of Egypt by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn

This ebook is an expanded excerpt from Ancient History from Primary Sources: A Literary Timeline by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn. We have selected seventeen pieces of Egyptian literature which are commonly considered to be culturally important, yet not inappropriate for students ages twelve and up. The entire text of most of the pieces is included. You can purchase this ebook on Amazon.


CT scan today

October 11th, 2017

One of two things could happen today during the CT scan: 1. Everything will go fine and I’ll have loads of fun; or 2. The dye they inject into my veins will ignite my white blood cells and there will be a large explosion in Aledo which means we won’t be going out for ice cream afterwards.



Happy is that Christian

October 11th, 2017

Our Lord has . . .
many weak children in his family,
many dull pupils in his school,
many raw soldiers in his army,
many lame sheep in his flock.

Yet He bears with them all, and casts none away.

Happy is that Christian who has learned to do likewise with his brethren. –J.C. Ryle

Our Lord has . . .many weak children


This is how you can wean your child off of too much screen time

October 11th, 2017
Post may contain affiliate links to materials I recommend. Read my full disclosure statement.

Gray Matters: Too Much Screen Time Damages the Brain — Neuroimaging research shows excessive screen time damages the brain

“Taken together, [studies show] internet addiction is associated with structural and functional changes in brain regions involving emotional processing, executive attention, decision making, and cognitive control.” Read the article here.

This is how you can wean your child off of too much screen time — get an Audible Membership.

In the comments, post your favorite Audible book. Here are some of mine:

The Matchlock Gun

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

The Swiss Family Robinson


Part 9 Pilgrim’s Progress — Formalist and Hypocrisy

October 11th, 2017

Part 9 — Formalist and Hypocrisy by John Bunyan audio

Formalist and Hypocrisy by John Bunyan read-along text

And as he was troubled about this — he spotted two men come tumbling over the wall on the left side of the narrow way. They soon caught up to Christian, and entered into conversation with him. The name of the one was Formalist, and the name of the other Hypocrisy.


Christian asked, “Gentlemen, where have you come from — and where are you going?”

Formalist and Hypocrisy answered, “We were born in the land of Vain-glory, and are going to the Celestial City for reward.”

Bunyan Formalist


Christian responded, “Why did you not enter in at the gate which stands at the beginning of the way? Do you not know that it is written that the one who does not enter by the gate, but climbs up some other way — that person is a thief and a robber?”

Formalist and Hypocrisy replied, “To journey to the gate for entrance, was considered too far away by all our countrymen. Besides that, our custom is to always make a short-cut, and climb over the wall.”

Christian questioned, “But will it not be counted a trespass against the Lord of the city where we are going — to thus violate His revealed will?”

Formalist and Hypocrisy told Christian that he need not trouble his head about this. For they had a tradition for what they were doing; and, if need be — they could produce witnesses to it — showing that this has been done for more than a thousand years!

“But,” Christian said, “will your practice stand a trial at law?”

They told him that their tradition — being more than a thousand years old, would doubtless be admitted as legal by any impartial judge.

“And besides,” they said, “if we get into the way — what does it matter how we got there? If we are in — we are in! You are in the way to the Celestial City — and you came in at the gate. And we are in the same way — and we came tumbling over the wall. So how is your condition any better than ours?”

Christian explained, “I walk by the rule of my Master; but you walk by the vain working of your imaginations. You are accounted as thieves already, by the Lord of the way! Therefore, you will not be found to be true Pilgrims at the end of the journey. You came in by your own way, without His direction; and you shall go out by yourselves, without His mercy!”

To this, they made but little answer; they only told Christian to pay attention to himself.

Then I saw that they went on in their own ways, without much conversation with one another; except that the two men told Christian, that as to laws and ordinances, they had no doubt but that they were as careful to do them as he was. “Therefore,” said they, “we do not see how you differ from us — except for that coat which is on your back, which probably was given to you by some of your neighbors — to hide the shame of your nakedness.”

Christian answered, “You cannot be saved by laws and ordinances — and you did not come in at the narrow-gate. And as for this coat which is on my back — it was given to me by the Lord of the place where I am going — and just as you say — to cover my nakedness. I take this as a token of His kindness to me — for I had nothing but rags before! With this, I comfort myself as I go: Surely, when I come to the gate of the Celestial City, the Lord will recognize me, since I have His coat on my back — a coat which He gave me on the day when He stripped me of my rags.

“I have, moreover, a mark on my forehead — which perhaps you have not noticed, which one of my Lord’s most intimate associates fixed there on the day that my burden fell off my shoulders! I tell you, furthermore, that I was then given a sealed scroll — to comfort me by reading it as I travel along the way. I was also told to turn it in at the Celestial Gate, as my authorization to enter. But you lack all of these things — since you did not enter in at the narrow-gate!”

To this, they gave him no answer. They only looked at each other and laughed.

Then I saw that they went on, and that Christian walked on ahead — no longer talking to Formalist and Hypocrisy. He would ponder to himself — sometimes sighing, and sometimes content. Also, he would be often reading in the scroll that one of the Shining Ones had given him — which gave him refreshment.