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Bernstein, Bizet, Bax – ABCs of composers

B is one of those letters that I had to make choices for. So many interesting composers to choose from.

Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein is known for a wide variety of musical styles in his composing but he is also known as a master conductor, a philanthropist, a pianist, a music educator, and more. I was able to play in the pit orchestra while in college for a production of his West Side Story musical. Such a fun and challenging piece to play. It was a great experience. This is a musical that our family enjoys but it was one we waited a bit to show the girls. It has some great musical complexity and variety, which is often evident in Bernstein’s music.

Bernstein’s family lived in the northeast. His family was not particularly musical but when the family was given a piano, Bernstein taught himself to play. He was 10. From there, his love and learning in music grew quickly. He attended university and studied music. When he was just 25 years old, he was made assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic. He spent much time traveling to conduct orchestras around the world.

He wrote pieces such as the operetta Candide, based on a libretto (lyrics) from Voltaire. He wrote symphonies, including Symphony No. 1: Jeremiah, in 1943 (some place this in 1942 and others in 1944). His symphonies were influenced by his Jewish heritage. He also worked with Jerome Robbins to create not only West Side Story but some ballets as well. His composing was prolific.

Bernstein was an advocate for American composers. He sought to help other composers, such as Copeland and Ives.

Probably one of the most important works he did was to embrace the Young People’s Concerts with the New York Philharmonic. These were live but also broadcast on television. This brought music to children and into homes, making it fun and accessible for everyone. Here is a sample of one of the Young People’s Concerts, introduced by Whoopi Goldberg.

Georges Bizet

This may be one you think you don’t recognize but I’ll bet you do. Take a listen to this piece.

This is Farandole from L’Arlésienne. This was dramatic music for a play. Very popular then and still well known today. I’ll bet you hummed along. 🙂

What about this piece?

This is the Overture to the opera Carmen, written by Bizet in 1875. It opened in Paris to terrible reviews. It was too real for too many of the critics. However, it was well accepted before too long. However, Bizet never knew it because he died shortly after the opening of the opera.

Bizet was another whose family encouraged him to pursue his musical ability. So much so that his family is said to have hidden his books so he would work more on music and less on reading stories. His musical ability brought some fabulous melodies to life for us.

Arnold Bax

These are two of my favorites to listen to and/or play from the letter B. I also looked at Bax. Sir Arnold Edward Trevor Bax, knighted in 1937, was a composer of symphonies but also an author, playwright, and poet. He was highly influenced by the sights, sounds, and culture of Ireland. The music of Russia and the music of English composer Ralph Vaughn Williams.

I didn’t know anything about this composer until my husband and I were putting the list of composers together to study. He had recently comes across a number of CDs of Bax’s music in the racks of Half Price Books, his favorite place to search out new music to explore. Bax’s music falls into the late Romantic/early 20th century realm. It is described as Romantic, for the most part. My husband really enjoyed the music and so now I am exploring this composer a bit, too. Here is a piece of his.

Thank you for joining me this week for Composer ABCs. Please visit the hosts to find the linky and other participants.

Desiree @ Our Homeschool Notebook and
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Composer ABCs in this series:
A – Leroy Anderson
B –

AIM from Math-U-See ~ a Crew review

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Our 6th grader enjoys math but has struggled with the multiplication facts. I felt fairly confident she understood the concept, since she was able to show that to me with manipulatives when she was 4, but she still counted a good number of the facts on her fingers. Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Multiplication with a Bridge to Division is a product from Math-U-See that is designed for students age 10 and up who struggle with multiplication. The struggle can be in the concept or it could be in just some of the memorization. This program helps you find out where the struggle is and gives specific teaching techniques and learning activities to help combat those struggles.

In more formal language, this is considered an intervention program and is designed for students who are struggling that you don’t expect to be doing so. It is instructor guided, meaning it is teacher prepped and teacher guided. The teacher is a part of every bit of this program. AIM for Multiplication comes with everything needed to teach the program. It includes:

  • AIM Multiplication Resource Guide
  • Math-U-See Integer Blocks (amount needed for these lessons)
  • Math Fact Strategy Posters
  • Fact Check Cards
  • Code for online access to the Digital Pack (required internet access)

I was not concerned about Miss J not having all of the facts memorized but we have seen how it is affecting her a small bit as she works on her math program. Mastering these would help her math be more efficient and enjoyable. The program is designed to work with the individual student where that student is and mastering, truly mastering, the facts before moving on. Thus, the 10 lessons may take a few days to a few month, depending on your student’s mastery.

There are 10 lessons for addressing the 2s to 10s and two addition lessons to teach the relationship of multiplication to division (the bridge to division part). We are in lesson 8. We spent about 10-15 minutes a day on the lessons while she continues to use her regular math curriculum. The program combines a hands-on component, a visual component, and an auditory component in the teaching of each fact family. From there, the program has teaching techniques to help the student “fade” the hands-on component into a mastery recall of 3 seconds or less. All of these techniques and lessons are shown step by step in the online Digital Pack and in the Resource Guide.

Each fact family lesson has four parts – A through D. A is the direct teaching with the hands-on component. B is applying the ideas to word problems to really understand the learning. C is working on the memory. D is fading to total recall. You can work on each of these steps as many times as needed before moving on to the next one. It is recommended to not work on these for more than 15 minutes at a time and have a break of at least 2 hours in between sessions.

Included with AIM are several activities that can be used with any of the fact families for practice. Miss J’s favorite of these is rock, paper, scissors. (She wins most of the time!) There are online manipulatives and activities that we have not explored as much since Miss J is a hands-on learner. They are available, as well as the practice activities, in the Digital Pack.

As each fact family is learned, Miss J is coloring those facts on a chart. This is a visual representation of what she has done.

I have been pleased with the simplicity of the program combined with the progress I have seen. After we finish the lessons, we will retake the facts test to see how Miss J does. We did a pre-assessment so we have something to compare it to. I cannot wait to see her improvement. After we get through the bridge to division, we will also use some of the printable worksheets to help her continue to keep those facts solidly in her mind.

If you have a struggling student, Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Multiplication with a Bridge to Division is something I would recommend. You can also visit the Homeschool Review Crew site to read about other families’ experiences using AIM for Multiplication from Math-U-See.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Springtime

For some Spring Break is here. For others, it was a month ago. We fall into the later category. We took our Spring Break at the beginning of March, when the local schools were on break. We have started following the local school calendar, for the biggest part of the year, since the dance studio schedule follows that. Also, the girls get so busy in the summer with trips and camps that we need that time off for those. I do still count them toward school but at the high school level, they don’t often correspond to a course credit.

Spring Break also means a variety of things for people, especially in the current climate with so much shut down or functioning differently. We just took the time off from regular school. Guess what, though. That doesn’t mean learning and school coursework didn’t happen. This is true because I have two high school students who were very interested in keeping up with things or working on projects that needed their attention. Having Spring Break meant they had some extra, undedicated time to spend on it. Debate and artwork for the Lads to Leaders entries got extra attention this week.

My middle school student spent some time on artwork but she spent a good deal of the week wanting to play games. So we played quite a few games during Spring Break. Some of our favorites can be found in this post from a couple of months ago about games for middle and high school. A couple of other posts about games that you might be interested in include 10 Wonderful Word Games and Game Ideas.

Spring Break has lots of options and lots of way to spend it. How did you spend yours? Or maybe you are Spring Breaking now, so what are you up to?

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Linking up with the challenge at Homeschool Review Crew https://schoolhousereviewcrew.com/spring-break-learning-fun/

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New Series of ABC Posts Coming

Next week will be the start of a new series of ABC posts. Come join in as we share something new each week corresponding to a letter of the alphabet.

I am still debating what my theme is going to be. Part of me wants to do a Bible based post. Another part of me wants to do a music related series. Who knows – maybe I’ll do two different posts each week since I am having a hard time deciding.

There are going to be a number of different themes so please do drop by each week and then hop over to the co-hosts and the link up to see what is being shared by all the bloggers.

Desiree @ Our Homeschool Notebook
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses

See you next week for the ABC post start.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

I Triumphed

Do you ever look at something and see “Triumph!” written all over it? I don’t mean literally, but in whatever it is you are viewing, you see that you overcame something? You triumphed? That is what this pile of clean dishes is to me. A small moment of triumph.

We were out running errands for a big part of the day and only headed home at dinner time, knowing it was going to be a time crunch to make dinner and get to church. I was so tempted to grab some fast food for the girls. It would be “easy” and I was tired so it made sense, right? I talked myself into and out of stopping several times on the drive.

I fought that temptation and drove home. There, I grabbed the frozen ground turkey that was already cooked, some crushed tomatoes, some frozen beans, and spices. And I made chili. And I had it ready in just a bit longer than we would have been sitting in the drive thru for that fast food. Yes, I still had to clean up dishes, but my girls and I ate a healthy, yummy meal that was better for us in all aspects than grabbing that fried chicken or burger. My girls all enjoyed it, complimented, and I got to spend time with Miss J in the kitchen making it because she came and helped me. She learned more about making and spicing chili.

And the follow up win? I had dinner for tonight, only needing to make rice. I put the rice and some chili in tortillas to make burritos to send with the older two girls to eat during the break in dance classes. My girl at home with me will put hers in the air fryer. (She loves air frying burritos!)

What helped me with this triumph were several things –
1) We determined long ago that we would not eat out all that often. We could allocate our money that way but we have made a conscious decision to not do it very much.
2) We are determined to help our girls eat as healthy as possible. Yes, one meal out is not that big a deal but choosing to eat at home, with a home cooked meal, is just another step in that process.
3) We want to set good examples in all things for our daughters. Last night, good stewardship of the things God has given us looked like choosing to drive on home and cook the meal, as simple as it was, and clean up the dishes. It also shows the girls service, even when tired and grumpy.
4) We also had plenty of time at home in which to relax and get ready for mid-week worship instead of rushing straight there from a restaurant or having a fast turn around at home after taking the food home to eat. Being ready and focused for worship is important.

So when you are feeling down, look around you. What can you see that you have accomplished? Did you read to that child or snuggle? Did you read your Bible or pray? Did you serve your family by doing some cleaning or cooking or yardwork that needed done? Make that your picture of triumph for today. And thank God.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Visit the Homeschool Review Crew Round Up for more great posts to read.

Music History with Byron’s Games ~ a Crew review

Disclosure: I received this product free through the Homeschool Review Crew.


Byron’s Games has brought us another fun learning game. This time it is an exploration of music history through composers with the game Maestro Mastery – Explore the Composers.

Whether your students are already familiar with many composers or are early on in their experiences with composers, this matching game will meet them where they are. Featuring 52 composers, the game comes with a set of matching cards for each composer. Both cards have matching pictures of the composer, the country of origin, the musical time period, and the composer’s birth and death dates. One of the cards also has a banner across it with a short, interesting biography of the composer. The basic idea of the game is to match cards and learn a bit about the composer in the process.

Also included in the game is a large poster with all of the composers on it it, a time line card, and instructions for play. The instructions also include information on how to access samples of the composers’ music on the Byron’s Games website. This all comes in a study box for storage.

My youngest just turned 12 and she has been enjoying this game. She adores playing games and learns quite a lot from games such as this. She has asked about once a week to play Maestro Mastery since we received it. I certainly don’t mind since music is such a part of our family life.

We played by picking one of the 2 decks of cards. Each deck has 26 composers in it so it is a large number of cards and each set has a good variety of composers, featuring at least one from each time period (the way the decks are sent – that would be different if you have mixed your decks up, which we have not yet). We lay them out face down and just do a simple matching game. We take turns and with each card we turn over, we look at it, read the composer’s name, nation of origin, and music time period. If it is a match, we keep the set and go again. If it is not a match, the other person gets a go at it.

As we get matches, we line them up according to music time period. We keep the musical period timeline visible between us so we can point out where the match is from on it. We also have the big poster close by so we can see what other composers are part of that time period.

To further the experience, it is a wonderful thing to listen to music from the composers. While 26 selections is a bit much for one game and it would prolong the game a lot, we pick one composer and put on a CD. (We have a large library of music and are excited to have another way to share our favorite composers with the girls.) You can also access samples of each composer’s music on the Byron’s Games website, using the information included on the instructions card.

As with all of the games we have seen from Byron’s Games, this is a very flexible game that can be modified to fit multiple age levels, interest levels, or ability levels. I could see using this matching game with a younger student by having one of each of the composer card sets already visible so they are just trying to find the one to match what is turned over. You could also make it more difficult by having all of the cards out. If you wanted to focus on listening, you could use a set of 4 or 5 composers, listen to their pieces, and then play what my college teacher would call “drop the needle” even though we weren’t using record players. (I’m not quite that old!) Have the student try to identify which composer wrote the piece of music that is played out of the 4 or 5 composers shown.

A variation we used was to combine this with the Continent Race game, also from Byron’s Games. After we had found our matches, we grabbed the continent maps and placed the composers on the correct continent. We then identified the countries for each of the composers on those maps. You could add yet another variation by each person trying to get matches for a certain continent or country.

One constant for us, though, was to listen to at least one piece of music by a composer from the game either while we played or after. A favorite way to choose was for Miss J to find a composer whose name sounded interesting. The website selections are easy to access by choosing the picture for the composer that aligns with the poster for the game. The play button is right on the card for each composer.

This is a wonderful game to add to our collection and I am thrilled that it is music related. We have enjoyed playing this game a good bit and will continue to play in the future. A definitely recommend.

Other Homeschool Review Crew families have been playing Maestro Mastery – Explore the Composers but other families received the The Family Journal. Visit the Crew blog page to read more reviews on both the game and the journal from Byron’s Games.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Indoor Games for middle and high school

Now that our girls are getting older, our games have changed. We still really like games but what the girls like to play has shifted to some more complicated and/or differently challenging activities. This past two weeks has really given us the opportunity to engage in some fun indoor games, as we were unable to leave our house for 12 days. (Thanking the winter storm and central Texas’ ability to handle it. 🙂 )

One of our newest favorites is from Finders Seekers. This is a subscription company with at-home, escape room style boxes each month. We received a 3 month subscription as a gift at Christmas and I just renewed it on a month to month basis. I don’t know if we’ll keep it very long but we’ll do at least one more. We have explored Toronto, looked into the fabled life of Anastasia Romanov, and dallied in the National Parks. Next one to come is supposed to Machu Pichu. Looking forward to it.

Forbidden Island is a cooperative game that we enjoy playing. It doesn’t take too long and it is fun working together to do gather the four statues and get off the island before we get stranded. It isn’t difficult and we enjoy it.

Haunted Mansion is one that Miss J loves to play but she has to get her dad to play with her because I don’t enjoy it at all. It is based on a choose your own adventure book and follows much the same format, choosing different actions from the cards and going where that choice takes you. It is a cooperative game, also.

Prime Climb is a math game that Miss J likes to get out. It works on math facts and prime numbers up through 101. You can use addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in all sorts of combinations to make your way to 101. We have a good time and I do feel like she is learning a lot each time we play. The strategy combined with working the equations to get the most out of each move can be a lot of fun.

Maestro Mastery is a new one that we have played a couple of times. It is a fun one and the full review is coming up soon.

Mancala is a fun marble game that we were told originated somewhere in Africa. A friend had her dad make us this game board when we got married and it has had a whole lot of use and laughter over the years.

Guess Who – this one came from a fast food restaurant years ago but we have kept them around and the girls enjoy playing with them. They are small and my “getting older” eyes definitely struggle with it sometimes but we still enjoy it.

Another strange one Miss J and I enjoy is a curling game. It’s little stones are plastic with a marble and they glide over a smooth plastic alley. Fun and simple.

We keep a lot of games around and we play them often. Other favorites include Go Fish, War, Slap Jack, Uno, puzzles of all sizes, Dixit, Connect Four Launchers, Scrabble, and Boggle. Miss J also loves to play her Bird Bingo game. There are tons of others, I am sure, but these are the ones that come to mind and we play most often. What are some of your favorite games for middle school and high school? We could always add to our collection. . .

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

This is being linked up at the Homeschool Review Crew as part of the weekly blogging and social media challenge. Head over to read about other families’ favorite indoor games. Find a new favorite!

Visit the Homeschool Review Crew Round Up for more great posts to read.

A Gift Idea for that Child who loves to bake and cook

My youngest just turned 12 and she has been baking and cooking for a good long while now. But I knew that something to encourage her baking and cooking was what I wanted to get her for her birthday. I looked and looked at subscription boxes for her, knowing she would love getting mail and getting to cook. But I just couldn’t justify it. The cost was high, HIGH! And, you had to buy the food to make it with. It might come with some of the spices but that was often all it had. Plus, she already knew how to cook the sorts of things that I saw in the examples. So, what to do?

I thought I would go buy her a bundle of good baking and cooking things. Then the winter storms hit and we have not left home since last Wednesday. (Her birthday was yesterday.) So, that left without a gift. Time for a brainstorm. . .

Birthday Baking Subscription to the rescue. I whipped out this simple tabbed card just for her.

And it was a hit. She spent some of her time that afternoon planning out her first bake. She scanned some of her cookbooks for a recipe and then decided what she wanted. Now, when it thaws out and it is safe for us to hit the grocery store and/or the craft/baking store, we are tackling hot cocoa bombs. Unless she changes her mind. 🙂

It spreads out the cost for something that she is excited about and it feeds her interests and curiosity. It is the gift of experience and time, both of which are invaluable for our children. She is so excited to have unlimited opportunity to explore recipes that may be technically out of her reach. But she can try!

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Visit the Homeschool Review Crew Round Up for more great posts to read.

Schedule Options (MS & HS) – a day in the life Crew challenge

How many different ways are there to schedule schooling options? As many as there are subject variations, I imagine. I thought I would share a couple that are working well for us. I have three children and each of them is working on a different schedule.

High School – 11th grade with dual credit for two classes a semester

This student is a slow-starter but a hard worker. She is forcing herself to get up to an alarm and get moving every weekday, even when she doesn’t have to. Last semester, she worked on a fairly traditional schedule. But this semester, she came to me and asked if she could work hard on one subject a day, planning to complete at least a week’s worth of work on the subject. She had a sound reasoning as to why she thought it would work for her. So, she scheduled math one day, biology one day, and literature one day. She is doing history and sign language through dual credit and so is working on those more than one day a week. She does her physical education daily (dance), also. But the beauty of this schedule is that it is what she sees as being a strong way to work on it for her and so she will work hard at it.

Block schedules are not a new thing. I remember as an elementary school teach using block schedules for math and language arts. The high schools have done this before also. Their schedule is not typically one subject a day but they block it into larger chunks of time, maybe 3 subjects a day, so that the students can get on a roll with an idea or concept and not have it cut off just as they start to understand. So, after listening to her reasons, I was thrilled to see her taking the time to consider, come up with a sound argument for her idea, and present it to me logically. Her ideas was granted permission so long as we see sound progress.

High School – 9th grade working with a boxed curriculum

This student is a go-getter to the max! She is one who embraces everything being done as well as possible. (I work really hard not use the word perfectionist with her!) She is working on a combo of daily work with a looping schedule. With a looping schedule, she is working for a set amount of time completing one lesson after another down the page of the curriculum guide. When she hits the end of the day, say Monday, she jumps to the top of Tuesday’s column and starts there, whether or not it is Tuesday. These are subjects like her history, writing, reading/literature, Bible, and science. Her math, Bible, physical education (dance), foreign language, and violin are daily work. She does each of these and then starts in on her loop for the day.

This has worked well for her. She makes continuous progress without getting overwhelmed at the sheer volume of materials. She will earn 11, yes 11, high school credits when she completes these courses. No wonder she felt overwhelmed trying to hit every subject every day and was spending hours and hours on it. She is not moving at one the pace of the curriculum guide – 1 calendar week = 1 curriculum guide week – but she is making strong and happy progress. It’ll take a bit longer than one year to get through the curriculum but that is okay. She’ll earn more than one year of credits for it.

I do probably need to address Bible for her since it is both in her loop and her daily schedule. For the loop schedule, it is whatever is assigned in the curriculum. They have several Bible items for the student to work on, earning a Bible credit with this curriculum. She also works on several projects and studies for church, as well as teaching one of the Sunday classes for preschool. So she works on Bible Bowl, Pearls (book study), debate, memorizing scripture, other Lads to Leaders materials, or Sunday school prep on a daily basis for a large part of the school year.

Middle School – 6th grader

This is one smart cookie who gets easily distracted. She finds things really interesting but can then get just as interested in something else. She is working on an eclectic curriculum. She is doing well with it. She works 4 days a week, doing each subject every day. She has a daily checklist in a spiral that she uses to help keep her on track. She has math (online), history (includes literature, vocabulary, and writing), science, Bible, sign language, and physical education (dance). She spends a good bit of time each day on her curriculum, often because she gets distracted or doesn’t concentrate. Hers is a “check everything off each day” schedule.

We also spend a good bit of time finding fun, short videos on things she is interested in to watch. She helps me cook and do laundry (sometimes on the laundry) and she loves to read (finally!!). She enjoys spending time with people and helping out. She has started spending quite a bit of time drawing for fun. All of these are learning opportunities, too. So, when I feel like this child isn’t spending enough time on “learning,” I remind myself of all these other things that she does that are also learning, just not out of a book.

Final Thoughts

My purpose in sharing this is to remind each of us that we are different. Even our children are different. As they get older, they can have more say in what works for them. Yes, I am still responsible in making sure that what needs to get done is getting done. I can, however, allow them the freedom to help decide how to tackle it. Just the other night (at 11:20 PM!), the two older girls were working together, evaluating each other’s Powerpoint presentations and teaching each other how to do some background work, edit and transition work, and copyright notifications for images used. I don’t have to worry about whether they are learning as I can see it, day in and day out. Or night in and night out as the case may be! 🙂

Go with your gut and find non-traditional ways of schedule so that your students are successful. After all, isn’t that what it is about?

The Homeschool Review Crew bloggers are writing about their take on a day in the life of a homeschooler. Head over to the post to find the links for the other bloggers additions. Linky is at the bottom of the post.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Two Covenants – and the Message of Hebrews ~ a guest post for a Lads to Leaders entry

When I was a small child, I was made to learn the first five books of the Bible, the Law. These books contain the Law of Moses: a collection of commands that set the terms by which the Israelites would live and worship God, defining the covenant between God and Israel. But soon came a different covenant. A better one. Using the theme “Better Than,” from Hebrews, we will be exploring the first and second covenants and why the second covenant is better, even leading up to the very message of the book of Hebrews itself. Let’s get started.

Our journey begins with the first covenant, and a verse from the New Testament. Hebrews 8:7 says, “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place should have been sought for the second.” Why was the first flawed? Because Israel was not faithful to their covenant with God. Many times they turned away, often swayed by the influence of the other nations around them. In fact, there’s a whole book about it: Judges.

Did you know that the Law of Moses contains 613 commandments?! Unfortunately, humans are not perfect (Romans 3:23). The Israelites, as flawed humans, could not uphold the previous covenant. Therefore, it was fragmented. Romans 4:25 says, “Because this covenant was broken, it was a necessity that a new and better covenant be instituted.”

So in the time of Jeremiah, God promised that he would soon establish a better covenant. Jeremiah prophecies in Jeremiah 31:31-32, “‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,’ declares the Lord.” 

The way He fulfilled this promise is extraordinary, and goes all the way back to the Old Testament. Then, sins were atoned for by animal sacrifices. The law says for the cleansing of sins, there must be bloodshed (Hebrews 9:22), and it is blood that makes atonement for one’s life (Leviticus 17:11). But, “It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). While sacrifices under the Law of Moses atoned for sins, the law could not remove them completely.

Today, Jesus takes the place of the sacrifices that were offered repeatedly in the Old Testament, instead having sacrificed His body for us (Romans 8:3). Jesus’ sacrifice does not have to be continually re-offered, but is eternal, offered once for all (Hebrews 9:12). God replaced the first covenant and established the second through this sacrifice (Hebrews 9:15).

We’ve covered the first covenant, and how the second, better covenant was established. Why is it better? Because it was established on better promises (Hebrews 8:6). In this new covenant have a better hope (Hebrews 7:19), a better possession (Hebrews 10:34) and a better salvation, even better than the salvation of the biblical heroes of the Old Testament (Hebrews 11:40). This is all possible through Jesus, the surety and mediator of a better covenant, who received a better ministry (Hebrews 7:22, Hebrews 8:6) and is a better High Priest, superior to the high priests of the old covenant and even to the angels, thanks to his status as God’s son (Hebrews 7:26-28 and Hebrews 1:4-5).

For our conclusion, consider this verse: “Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man” (Hebrews 8:1). This is the purpose of Hebrews. 13 chapters, 303 verses, and 6,897 words* for this message: A better salvation through a better high priest. But…better than what? Better than the Old Testament salvation, yes. But really? Better than anything else.

Hebrews 2:1-3 says, “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away…how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation…?” We have been given a great opportunity; a better salvation through our better high priest. We must not neglect this salvation. Are you?

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