American Heirlooms - September 2019




As a child, I remember the wonder and excitement of 1986, as Halley’s Comet shot past Earth for the first time in 75 years. It was a little cloudy that night, but we still managed to see the comet. Now that I have a family of my own, we’ve been expanding our fascination with the stars. We have found it handy to use star maps and pen-sized laser pointers to communicate and illustrate what is happening thousands of light-years away from Earth. Looking for constellations is another fun way to get the whole family involved in stargazing. These

darkness to get a full view of the heavens.

Of course, one of the biggest deterrents is the cost of the equipment. Good telescopes that offer a crystal-clear picture can carry a hefty price tag. It’s unfortunate you can’t pick up a decent telescope for a good bargain at your local department store because what they are selling usually doesn’t provide a good view. You have to get 6- to 10-inch telescopes to begin to pick up a quality view with accurate tracking, which is another important feature. That’s where you will see the real benefit from your investment.

connections were formed generations ago, and they can help stargazing novices find their way across the sky. It’s a vast landscape, and the Creator’s design is immaculate. Anything that makes it a little easier to understand is useful. Children are naturally curious, and, as I dug deeper into the beauty of the heavens, my children have taken an interest in the hobby as well. I notice that as I admire a star map, my children look over my shoulder, asking questions and pointing out what they find on the map. Bethany and I have also taken our children to the planetarium and provided

them with magazines on the heavens and the stars.

But, for all the downsides and reasons not to stargaze, there’s a powerful reason to keep doing it: the amazement of what you will see. The Creator’s design has helped slaves on their way to freedom and guided ships back to land. It has produced fantastic images of eclipses, comets, and precisely timed phenomena that are once-in-a-lifetime occurrences. My family and I will brave the cold, the bugs, and the bills for an opportunity to see a marvel of the heavens. Those are memories you can't put a price tag on.

To be fair, we understand why people wouldn’t want to go stargazing. Of course, there’s the struggle of having to stay up late when you have to get up in the morning for work, school, or church. Summertime brings out the bugs, dangerous weather, and heat, too. Then, in the winter, you’re dealing with cold temperatures and blustery winds. You’re always going to be helpless to the weather and cloudy nights when it comes to stargazing. On the East Coast, we struggle with light pollution as well. You need total

–Ethan Zimmerman

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There are many parenting books, but few evoke as much heart and compassion as Tedd Tripp’s “Shepherding a Child’s Heart.” Originally published in 1995 and updated in 2005, Tripp’s book has become a timeless favorite for both new and experienced parents who are looking for a parenting style that gets at the root of their child’s behavior and reinforces change through scripture. Tripp encourages parents to “shepherd” their children not by solely focusing on the behaviors children exhibit and punishing or encouraging said behavior. He empowers parents to strengthen their child’s development by focusing on the internal drives and desires that are pushing their behaviors and outbursts. Ultimately, the power to overcome daily struggle can be found in the gospel and Jesus, Tripp explains. I was given this book by my father, whose opinion and parenting style I highly respect and value. In the short time I’ve been reading the book, I have found its message to be very beneficial for me and my family. Tripp poses the book as a how-to guide for parents, but, throughout the chapters, readers are given opportunities for introspection into who they are as a person. Readers begin to understand the process needed in shepherding children, one that doesn’t involve Band-Aid fixes and instead targets the root and deception of the behavior. Is your calendar full of birthday parties this month? You’re not alone. In the United States, more people are born in September than in any other month, meaning Americans will sing many choruses of “Happy Birthday” this month. This popular tune has a surprisingly controversial history. First composed by sisters Mildred and Patty Hill in 1893, the familiar melody originally belonged to a song called “Good Morning to All,” a song the sisters sang to their students every morning. Over time, the word “birthday” entered variations of the song and became a popular party tune. By the 1930s, “Happy Birthday” appeared all over in films and on the radio, prompting Mildred and Patty’s sister, Jessica, to secure the copyright to “Happy Birthday” due to its similarity to “Good Morning to All.” In 1988, Warner Music acquired the copyright, and the song’s ingrained popularity ensured a profit. They reportedly made $2 million a year on royalty charges. The Walt Disney Company paid $5,000 to use the song in a parade, and many documentaries were also impacted by the copyright. The civil rights documentary “Eyes on the Prize” never made it to DVD because the royalties charge on a scene of Martin Luther King celebrating his birthday was so high.

Due to its age and popularity, many people have insisted “Happy Birthday” is, or at least should be, in the public domain. When Warner Music tried to charge filmmaker Jennifer Nelson royalties to make a film about the song, she filed a lawsuit. Her attorneys uncovered a 1922 songbook featuring “Happy Birthday” without any copyright notice. They even suggested Warner Music knowingly hid the songbook because it proved “Happy Birthday” had been in the public domain for decades. In 2015, a U.S. judge ruled that “Happy Birthday” is not under copyright. So, the next time you record guests singing “Happy Birthday” at a birthday party, you don’t have to worry about paying royalties if you upload it online.

For me, the most powerful points in the book have been the opportunities for reflection. The conclusion of every chapter includes questions for internal and external discussion. This, in turn, has helped me understand who I am as a parent and who I could become. It allows the reader to look inside his or her heart and use that truth to empower their children to seek strength through Christ. I know parents will find tremendous value in this book, and I recommend people in all stages of parenting consider picking up a copy. I hope you enjoy learning about shepherding your children to Christ

and becoming a better, more empowering parent as I have. You can learn more about this book on, purchase it from, or visit your local bookstore.

–Ethan Zimmerman


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George Washington Carver’s life story is as much about struggle as success. Though he’s known today as a famous 19th-century botanist who pioneered crop diversification in the American South and invented hundreds of plant-based products made with peanuts and sweet potatoes, Carver was born a slave in the midst of the Civil War. Sometime near 1864, the future scientist was born in Diamond, Missouri, on land belonging to Moses Carver. His troubles began early when, at a week old, he was kidnapped from the farm, ferried to Arkansas, and then sold in Kentucky with his family. In the end, Carver (who then had no last name) was found and returned to his master’s farm alone — his mother and sister weren’t recovered. Young Carver was freed when the Civil War ended, and his former master raised him as a son, but, because he was African-American, he had trouble getting an education. Missouri’s schools refused to take black students, so Carver was forced to get his high school diploma in Kansas. When he was admitted to college, his acceptance offer was rescinded when administrators realized his race.

Still, Carver persisted. Because he’d been barred from studying, he traveled to Simpson College in Iowa to learn about music and art, and it was his drawings of plants that spurred him to continue his education in botany and agriculture. From then on, this star quickly ascended. As a teacher, researcher, and prodigious inventor, Carver went on to work for Booker T. Washington and advise President Theodore Roosevelt. Throughout his work as a scientist, Carver remained a religious man with a strong belief in Creationism. He often mentioned God and the Bible in his lectures and credited the Creator with his many achievements. When an Atlanta Journal reporter asked him about one of his inventions, Carver said, “All I do is prepare what God has made for uses to which man can put it. It is God’s work — not mine.”

Today, Carver’s life and career remain monuments to what can be achieved when science and creation are considered as one.

Unlike standard ice cream recipes, this delicious sorbet doesn’t require fancy equipment or difficult prep. It’s also entirely dairy- free, making it the perfect vegan treat for the end of summer.


6 cups frozen mixed berries

• •

1 cup sugar

1 cup fresh basil leaves

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice


In a saucepan over high heat, combine sugar with 1 cup of water, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves, creating a syrup-like consistency. 2. Remove syrup from heat, add basil, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes. Strain syrup into bowl and refrigerate until cold. 3. In a blender, combine syrup with frozen berries and lemon juice. Purée until smooth. 4. Transfer to a square baking pan, cover in plastic wrap, and freeze until set, about 2 hours. 5. Scoop and serve.

Copyright Nature Friend Magazine Used By Permission

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Inside this Issue

Stargazing as a Family Page 1

Who Can Sing ‘Happy Birthday’? Teaching Children Through Their Hearts Page 2

George Washington Carver: The Creationist Scientist Basil Berry Sorbet Page 3 The Vibrant Colors of America’s National Parks Page 4

Have you ever wanted to experience the colors of a Boston fall while enjoying the peace and tranquility of the great outdoors? Autumn leaves are a universally appreciated sign of the changing seasons, and there’s no better place to see those vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds on display than in one of America’s national parks. So, if you’ve got some free time this autumn, here are some parks worth seeing. Acadia National Park, Maine While the maple, birch, and poplar trees of Acadia begin to change color in September, mid-October is the best time to witness autumn in full swing. The park is crisscrossed with unpaved trails that date back to a time of horse-drawn carriages, preserving an idyllic setting. If you want to see the colors in full effect, take a drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard, and watch the sun crest over the vibrant leaves. To fully experience fall in the Northeastern U.S., Acadia National Park is a must-see. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina Further south, the autumn colors of the Smoky Mountains are no less breathtaking than those in the Northeast. This park offers many scenic lookout points accessible by car, so don’t worry about hoofing it into the forest if that’s not your thing. Park wherever you like and

watch the warm colors of ancient maples, oaks, and cedars change before your eyes.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming While the West might typically be associated with evergreen pines, the deciduous trees of the relatively small Grand Teton National Park pack a colorful punch starting around the third week of September. It’s also breeding season for elk in the area, and their high, eerie whistles can be heard in the evenings. Popular destinations in the park include the Christian Pond Loop and String Lake. Just because the weather is cooling down doesn’t mean you have to abandon your favorite national parks until next summer. The natural beauty of America can be experienced at any time of the year, so start planning your next autumn outdoor excursion!


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