Friday, February 17, 2017

Prayer, Our President and Our Nation. Join me?


Going along with my call to prayer, I have decided to write a prayer to begin my day with. I have had some excellent instruction in prayer beginning with my sweet grandmother, Eunice Jernigan Gillis of Brewton, Alabama. Whenever she came to visit she slept with my sister and me in our big king-sized bed. After we all bathed together (a joyous time with lots of laughter and giggles), we climbed into the bed and waited for her to rub down with Ben Gay and take her teeth out and put them into the little container I had given her personalized with "MUDDIN'S LITTLE CHOMPERS." And then she would begin to pray.

She always began with the President, something I wondered about then, but appreciate now. The security of our country was important to her. My grandfather was killed when the chains on a log truck broke leaving her with five children 13 (my mother) to 6 months old. Those were depression years and times were hard. He had served in the Mexican conflict and then later in World War I. The President was Commander in Chief, one who needed our prayers, and she certainly did so. The prayers continued for those in his service, but more of a blanket covering, and then down to the state. Our governor was prayed for. Then came every child, grandchild, niece and nephew, followed by friends, the sick and suffering.

I must admit that I did not stay awake for the whole thing. And that may have been a part of the method. You must stay still and quiet during prayer and before long we were sound asleep.

My mother had us kneel beside the bed to say our prayers. I did the same with my own children. We sat on the floor beside the bed first. There we would read a book (Berenstein Bears were a favorite, Miss Twiggly's Tree, The Muffin Twins, another, and I read the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to them as well). Then we said our prayers. That was our nightly ritual. The girls sat quietly. Our son, the middle child, climbed over my shoulders onto the bed, down on the other side, up and down throughout the entire process, listening all the time.

Perhaps the most memorable prayer I ever heard was at a prayer breakfast at a black church that I attended when running for the school board. An old gentleman, bent and grey-headed, prayed:
Lord thank you that I woke up this morning
That I had eyes to see,
That I sat up on the bed and could put my feets to the floor,
That I had shoes to put on my feets,
That I had strength to stand
That I had a church to come to
That I had friends
That I could eat breakfast here with those friends
And make new friends.

He went on thanking God for the things we most often take for granted. My husband and I were moved and constantly remind ourselves not to forget to be grateful for ALL of our blessings.

I also had a wonderful Sunday School Teacher (many, truly wonderful Sunday School teachers, but one in particular) in Pat McClendon at First Baptist in Dothan. She was a true prayer warrior. She taught us how to pray. "Imagine," she said, "that Jesus is sitting in the chair opposite you and you are talking directly to Him."

Sarah Gene Johnston was another prayer warrior God granted to me as a friend. She wrote the names of those she prayed for on index cards that she stacked next to her chair. Every day she prayed for those people and marked them when the prayers were answered. Not everyone in that hefty pile got prayed for every day, but by the end of the week, I am assured everyone did get prayed for.

She also had the gift of hospitality, inviting people in for lunch at her very modest little home. And there, together, they would also pray. I am reminded of the Clapham Sect I told you about in one of my previous posts. The world needs more of this.

Jesus instructed us to pray:

Matthew 6:1-13

1  Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2  Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3  But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4  That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
5  ¶And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
9  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11  Give us this day our daily bread.
12  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

This has been our warm up for the rest of our praying. Our eyes are focused and our senses centered on our Lord and Savior.

I learned from the most ardent of prayer warriors that we should be specific in what we pray for, that the prayers of the righteous will be heard and answered, and that it is our obligation to our Lord to pray because he longs to have a relationship with us. 

So, I will continue my prayer and hope you will share this part with me   ....

Father God, our nation is under assault by the enemy. We need your presence in our lives and your mantle of protection over our leaders. Grant our President wisdom, guide him with your presence, please set your angels about him and his family to shield and protect him, his wife, his children, and his grandchildren. Grant him advisors who are loyal to him and guided by You. Please set Your angels about them and their families. Thank you, Lord for his godly Vice President who has given our president his uplifting prayers and advice as they work together with our Congress to do Your will in our land. I ask for angels wings to cover them and protect them from the assault of the enemy. Give them spiritual advisors to encourage and exhort them. Grant our Congress a spirit of purpose and co-operation so that our people in our land can prosper. Open the hearts and minds of world leaders and fellow Americans to Your Words and Your Guidance. 
Set your angels about the schools of our lands that have been so seriously under assault. Grant our little children opportunities to learn outside of the indoctrination of agnostics, mystics, revolutionaries and spiritualists who have gained access through our schools and its curriculum to the hearts and minds of our children. Protect Betsy Devos as she battles not only establishment education but those of the spiritual realm who want to defeat her in freeing our children. Please send her an army of supporters and cast the blinders from the eyes who have refused to see. Guard her family. 
Give us all the courage to do what is right and to seek your Will and your Presence in our lives. 

From here I will go on to my own family and friends in my own life as I urge you to do with yours. 

I pray that God will set his angels about all who heed this call, because whenever you step out to fight for what is right, you will come under assault. So, "take heed where ye stand, lest ye fall."

God bless you all, my friends. Remember: "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world."

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Whole Language Catalog: Teachers as Liberators Produce Students as Revolutionaries: Clippings from the Whole Language Catalog

 "Education is Politics!" So saith Paolo Freire father of Liberation Theology and later Liberation Pedagogy. He is a hero to the Progressive Education movement.
Whole Language Catalog, p. 222
Whole Language Catalo, p. 346

I post here portions of the Whole Language Catalog with which I became acquainted in the early 1990s when I sought to bring our schools back to the basics so my students black and white might have a real opportunity to read, write and do arithmetic.

I challenge you to read clippings from this manifesto from the educators in charge of teaching our teachers how to teach and tell me that you are in accord. I actually bought Human Capital and The Whole Language Catalogreluctantly because I hate to empower them with my money, just so I could show you the roots of our problems.

Unfortunately some of this nonsense has taken root.

Do I think the teachers in our elementary schools who taught this method are revolutionaries?


They were dupes, just as I once was, thinking that what they were receiving from their colleges of education was supported by empirical studies to be the best methods of teaching children. Then they got caught up in the peer pressure of education and administration and dared not speak out.

Ira Shor on Paulo Freire in the Whole Language Catalog, p. 223
"... we reinvent classroom discourse with the students in the hope of reinventing society as well."

Ira Shor on Paulo Freire, Whole Language Catalog, p. 223

This is a Whole Language Classroom. Remember Behavior modifies Attitudes and Beliefs. See the children facing one another. Peer Tutoring and Group Learning do not enhance learning, they do enhance the group being Alpha and the engineer the "democratic" classroom. Please note that some children are playing Dungeons and Dragons, a game some parents might object to. What attitudes and beliefs might the teacher in this classroom be modeling? Direct instruction? NO. Respect for a disciplined environment?
Whole Language Catalog, p. 237

John Dewey's Pedagogical Creed
John Dewey's Pedagogica Creed, Whole Language, p. 245
Austrian scientist/philosopher as well as a mystic, Steiner believed "academic skills are not taught as isolated subjects, but are integrated into a comprehensive curriculum (thematic learning) grounded in the great myths and legends of human history and in the creative arts, it is a curriculum meant to spark the child's imagination and appreciation for the whole scope of human endeavor.
Rudolph Steiner, Whole Language Catalog p. 243


"No longer was it necessary for the literate to read accurately or to write clearly and expressively..." Patrick Shannon

Patrick Shannon, Whole Language Catalog, p. 222

Ira Shor

"Transforming teachers into dialogic educators preoccupies Paolo Freire, for whom dialog means cultural empowerment, not merely conversation in the Classroom." 

"...Leading the dialogue forward into consciousness change with value judgement and some expert knowledge, opening the classroom to students speech while integrating a critical study of standard usage (the language of power). "
Ira Shor, Whole Language Catalog, p. 223.

You need to see that Progressive teachers do not see their mission as teaching reading, writing, arithmetic, History, Science but as dialoguing toward social change. 
Ira Shor

More Behavior modifying Attitudes and Beliefs

Whole Language Catalog, p. 224

Maria Montesorri

Abraham Maslow later repudiated what he had loosed in the classroom. Secular Humanism is now the religion of our schools. Values clarification is its methodology. Our classrooms are now "therapeutic classrooms" producing what these new world order folks hoped to create. 
Whole Language Catalog, p. 223

Impressed by Marx and Engels? Vogotsky regarded education as not only central to cognitive development, but as the quintessential sociocultural activity. 

"Whole Language Teachers do not teach phonics..." And so they raised a generation of functional illiterates that raised the alarm to what was going on in the classroom. Phonics won out and Whole Language Classrooms now admit to an "eclectic approach" still using other Whole Language "best practices." Many parents came to see the true difference between the WL classroom and the traditional type of education and removed their children from these public schools bound by dollars from the Department of Education to continue on with this Progressive agenda. 
The uproar you hear from the Unions to Betsy Devos is over their fear of losing control of your children's minds and therefore the socialist revolution their philosophers envision, the credentialing of teachers and government dollars. 

We become literate to reclaim our voices,  experiences, and histories to interpret the world and change it." Giroux
Henry Giroux, Whole Language, p. 417. 

"Risk taking is not simply tolerated, it is celebrated."

"They must see learning, including literacy and language development, a part of the process of liberation."

"Cutting themselves loose from the bonds of tests, texts and mandates, teachers can utilize their professional knowledge, their personal strengths and their inventive intuitions to create exciting and inviting situations and contexts for their pupil's growth. This may take the form of stimulating interest in a thematic unit that has its roots in a current news event or a well chosen field trip. 
... It may show in the wisdom of the teacher bringing pupils together in social groups for particular purpose. 

Ken Goodman, editor of Whole Language Catalog, p. 207.


Patrick Shannon "no longer was it sufficient for the literate to read accurately or to write clearly and expressively, what was needed to reconstruct society was the ability to read beyond the text to understand how the author and the ideas connected with the various political, economic and social arguments concerning the future of America. In short, community centered educators (or social deconstructionists as they were called) were less concerned with how students learned to be literate than they were concerned with how citizens used their literacy after they learned to read and write." ..

Patrick Shannon, Whole Language Catalog, p. 222

Whole Language teachers do not teach phonics per se ..... and now we know why we have so many functional illiterates in America.

Bess Altwerger, Whole Language Catalog, p.

Bess Altwerger, Whole Language Catalog, p. 407.

So now you know what produced this...

And why teachers want to block Betsy DeVos from the schools. Our children need an education not an indoctrination!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Education Today: Politics, Profits, Position, Power, and Prejudice published 1995

Published also at:

Education Today: Politics, Profits,
Position, Power, and Prejudice

by Sharman Burson Ramsey

The time has passed when rhetoric and "current wisdom" will suffice for research and results in judging the validity of an educational program. Too many Alabama school children have fallen victim to the tragedy of compassionate child-centered education and the agendas of high-priced consultants with costly solutions for the problems produced by the last wave of high-priced consultants. We are now beset with a new batch of consultants riding the high tech wave into those states with large numbers of disadvantaged children who translate into more federal dollars.

One such high tech panacea is the IBM Writing to Read programs that Dr. Robert Slavin of Johns Hopkins University reviewed in an article for Phi Delta Kappan entitled "IBM's Writing to Read: Is it Right for Reading?"(1) Slavin reports that the first year cost is between $20,000 and $24,000 per lab. This does not include aides to manage the lab, or costs of maintenance, security, insurance, or consumable materials. Despite the cost, the program is being adopted by those that seem least able to afford the program, such as: Atlanta, Baltimore, Tulsa, Nashville, Dallas, Fort Worth, Washington, D.C., Mississippi, and now Alabama.

Unfortunately, the test results continue to prove that high expenditures do not translate into high academic performance. There has not been a perceptible increase in the reading scores of those localities since publication of the article in 1990. My own school district, Dothan City Schools, installed IBM computers two years ago when 27 percent of second graders could make only a minimal or no measurable response on the Reading Comprehension portion of the Alabama Integrated Reading and Writing Assessment. Now after two years using the IBM Writing to Read, 30 percent can make only a minimal or no measurable response, a continuing increase in illiteracy and an expensive mistake as our board now faces over a $1 million expected shortfall in funds.

While the IBM Writing to Read program claims to be a phonics program, its lack of direct, systematic instruction in phonics and follow-up of the rules of our language, as well as its use of inventive spelling betray its Whole Language reality. The teacher's instructional manual for the IBM Writing to Read program dispels any doubt as to its being Whole Language. Blatantly spouting the Whole Language philosophy, it reads: "The transition to standard spelling does not need to be specifically 'taught.' Rather, it is a natural process similar to the speech refinement we observe in children as they progress from babbling to speaking with correct pronunciation."(2)

With IBM's Writing to Read, children are encouraged to spell the word "face" as "fas." Children are not taught that the "e" at the end of the word turns on the long sound of the "a," and the c uses its second sound (s) because when "c" comes before e, i, or y it sounds like an "s." Rather, the IBM manual states, "Premature insistence that students use standard or correct spelling inhibits their desires and abilities to write."(3) Contrary to that assumption, when Dr. Sylvia Farnham-Diggory reviewed direct instructional, phonics intensive Spalding Writing Road to Reading, she found eager students who developed early analytical skills through phonetic analysis. She discovered they applied those skills to math and scored higher in math as well as reading.(4)

California has acknowledged the devastating effects of Whole Language on their state. They recently tied for last in the nation in reading on the NAEP. "And the NAEP found that at least 30% of students who have spent from four to 13 years in school aren't even semiliterate."(5) Yet, Alabama continues to use its own scarce education dollars for another expensive educational gadget based on failed theory.

Slavin's evaluation of the IBM program states that while an effect size of .25 is considered significant, the IBM Writing to Read produces only a .00 effect. The same study shows the systematic, intensive, and direct phonics program, Alphaphonics (now Kite), scoring consistently with a .89 effect and costing only $130 per classroom to train the teacher and equip the class. One wonders at administrators' eagerness to spend great sums on an ineffective gimmick. But, grants and federal funding make this tempting technology accessible to impoverished school districts. Then, in spite of gleaming new computer labs, they are no better off academically than before. In fact, with the high cost of upkeep putting demands on scarce local funds, the new technology actually prevents districts from contracting with those companies with successful methods to produce literate children. As one principal put it, "We've got too much invested in this to change."

The tragedy is we have known for years what works. While Secretary of Education, William Bennett reported on a comprehensive study of what works in elementary education in the government publication, First Lessons. But, as John Stossel reported recently on "20/20," only one percent of America's schools use the method supported by research.(6)
Slavin's exposition of the IBM Writing to Read program reinforces the research findings of Project Follow Through, a competition of methodologies involving 70,000 low IQ, disadvantaged children over a four year period. The results are reported in Making Schools More Effective: New Directions from Follow Through(7) The most effective program entered in the competition by far is Distar, developed by Siegfried Englemann, who was featured in the "20/20" segment done by John Stossel.(8)

Ironically, as we face skyrocketing juvenile crime, Distar is reported in Advances in Clinical Child Psychology to be "distinctively prevention oriented." Its authors go on to report that it "minimizes the possibility of individual problems arising in the first place"(9) by displacing "the reading performance of disadvantaged children from the lowest percentiles to the norm on standardized reading test."(10)This is confirmed by studies conducted by the Justice Department.(11)

"60 Minutes" revisited Marva Collins' West End Preparatory School after 16 years to follow up on the 34 students they had originally featured.(12) Those methods considered preventive for potential psychological problems in Distar have brought Marva Collins' "at risk," "disadvantaged" students academic success and personal fulfillment. . .and have confirmed their usefulness as a preventive for juvenile crime. Her students score consistently in the 99th percentile, police have never been called to her school, and there has not been one teenage pregnancy.(13) The Justice Department acknowledges the effectiveness of this type of education as a deterrent to crime by supporting Marva Collins' School.

Yet, in spite of the amazing results of Distar in Project Follow Through, in 1984 the Department of Education ignored its own study and gave sociologist William Spady a mandate to put Outcome Based Education in schools across the nation. Since that time our colleges of education have promoted self-directed learning, individualized instruction, and social intervention, building blocks of Outcome Based Education. These concepts are the basis for the current politically correct, but factually incorrect, assumption that children are illiterate because they are victims of society and therefore society must be fixed so that "all children can begin school ready to learn," a basic premise of Goals 2000. In fact, Project Follow Through proved that "good will, people, material, the Hawthorne effect, health programs, dental programs, and hot lunch programs do not cause gains in achievement. All Follow Through sponsored programs had these components, but all models did not achieve similar levels of success in basic instruction."(14)

It is little wonder the results of Project Follow Through have been ignored by the NEA and its alter ego, the Department of Education. It does not fit their agenda as set forth in the 1995 NEA Resolutions.

Sharman Burson Ramsey has been a teacher in public and private schools.

  1. Robert Slavin. "IBM's Writing to Read: Is It Right for Reading?" Phi Delta Kappan. November, 1990. Vol. 72, No. 3. Pp. 214-216.
  2. The Writing to Read Teacher's Manual, 1986, p. 11-8.
  3. Id. at p. 1-4.
  4. Dr. S. Farnham-Diggory is H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Educational Studies and Psychology, and Director of the Reading Study Center, and of the Academic Study and Assistance Program, University of Delaware.
  5. Mathew Robinson. "Last Rites for an Education Fad? California Blasts Progressive Reading Methods. Is Whole Language Dead?" Investor's Business Daily. Vol. 12, No. 119, September, 28, 1995.
  6. "20/20". An ABC presentation. October 13, 1995.
  7. W.C. Becker, S. Englemann, D.W. Carnine, and W. R. Rhine. Direct Instruction Model". Making Schools More Effective: New Directions from Follow Through. W. Ray Rhine (Ed.). Academe Press: New York. 1981.
  8. "20/20." An ABC presentation. October 13, 1995.
  9. Benjamin B. Lahey and Alan E. Kazdin. Advances in Child Psychology. Plenum Press: New York. Vol. 4, p. 271.

Let's Go to Prayer

"Let's go to prayer. I think we're going to have a real mountain of things to do, and all kinds of battles to fight on the natural level; we'll be fighting against the schemes of men, against all the curveballs hiding in the law courts, against the financial challenge this is going to be. But none of the battle is going to succeed if we don't fight first of all where the real battle is taking place, and that's in the spiritual realm."

I did not realize it until I presented the program to my Sunday School Class (my last post) that God had something more in mind than just a Sunday School Lesson. He had arranged an epiphany for me.

That Clapham Group, a small group of believers, had changed the world. God showed me the interior of that little church and brought to my attention the power of the prayers of those church members.


I think of John Newton who realized his sin in the midst of a storm and felt God's moving hand upon him, yet it took 38 years for that conversion to turn into action. He became the center of a movement that changed history.

Why him?

He became the mentor of a sickly young man, Wilber Wilberforce, playful, witty, companionable always ready for a prank. He was a man whose future was questionable.

Why him?

Hannah More, a jilted woman set to find her way in a world without a companion. But she had some talent, an education and connections. Yet she wrote a poem that changed the world, started Sunday schools, wrote plays and used social conversations to influence others.

Why her?

Men of letters joined with men of finance and politics in a church with a connection to one man, John Newton.

Why them?

Yes, God put His hand upon the most unlikely of individuals to bring about the end of a moral atrocity -- the Slave Trade.

That was nearly 300 years ago, but is there work for today?

The preparation for a New World Order has been in the works for a long time. Who will stand in the gap?

Perhaps you? Perhaps me?

1. The Department of Education was created after the approval of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was passed empowering leftists determined to change society by using our schools as their laboratories. By claiming they "had a heart" for children and were determined to bring equality to classrooms they also undermined a true education that brings about real freedom.

2. The Bible and prayer was removed from our schools while Secular Humanism became the religion of the schools. (See "

Values clarification became their methodology (See also

3. Participants in the National Center of Education and the Economy set forth their agenda in  their manifesto, Human Capital. (See "

 Hillary Clinton wrote in her letter to Marc Tucker on their "cradle to grave" agenda, the pieces were in place. (I also wrote about this in conspiracy of the left on my website ( listing the different Non Governmental Agencies on which the major players of this agenda serve -- including George Soros, major donor to Hillary Clinton, who now funds these "grassroots protests" through his Open Society.)

It was all over but the fireworks!

But God had a different idea. Prayers across America went up (See "My Prayer for America") and Donald Trump (why him?) got elected thwarting their celebration of the New World Order -- one government, one religion (Gaia).

Their preparations had begun years before.

A large group of dedicated visionaries had all the building blocks in place. The agenda was revealed in Human Capital, the manifesto of this leftist group proclaiming their vision for America, had been set in place. They had used the courts to create the "sense of crisis" necessary to instill their agenda. The Progressive activists had infiltrated our schools producing little agitators throughout the public schools across the country. While we were concerned with teaching them to read so they could know for themselves, these activist teachers were busy determining that the "dialogue" (Their definition of dialog is cultural empowerment.) control the reading classes and in the process instilling their sociopolitical world view rather than real literacy. (See excerpts from Human Capital included below and study the excerpts from the Whole Language Catalog on this blog.)

Schools across this country had been infiltrated by a group of revolutionaries seeking to undermine our country through the education of our children, shifting from academic excellence to political activism. (You doubt it? Watch this:

While most of us were focused on the failure of our schools to produce literacy, these activists had achieved their goals of producing young people whose education had been limited by their word list and their ability to decode to a vocabulary of their vision of "social justice" through Whole Language reading instruction, Radical Math and a shift to multicultural literacy and a degradation of patriotism and nationalism. 

All cultures are equal, you see.

And then came the presidential election of 2016.

Vulgar language and profanities, violence in protests and riots vomited forth with a primal scream straight from the gates of Hell. 

There is much more behind this reaction than the mere response to an election.

The New World Order Crowd thought it was all over but the celebration.

God reminded me of books I had read,  Windswept House: A Vatican Novel by Malachi Martin, Piercing the Darkness and This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti and the power of the prayers of a handful of people against the onslaught of evil. Martin said 85% was reality in his book. (

The enemy had prepared ahead, but so had God. In, once again, an unlikely direction.

We got our champion elected, but he and his family and associates are under attack on every level. Governmental agencies infiltrated by the opposition counter the efforts of our duly elected president seeking to undermine the will of those who elected him.

Listen to the language of those who oppose him. Look at the licentiousness they endorse. Is there any doubt who is truly guiding this?

And then I wrote the Sunday School Lesson I gave February 12th, 2017. God placed those people who lived nearly 300 years ago, derogatorily labeled the Clapham Sect, and that church in my mind and on my heart. I am convinced that the prayers of those believers and the congregation that supported them loosed them to do the work God had set before them.

God now expects us to do our part.

So this is a call to prayer warriors across this land ...

That means you. That means me.

The Slave Act of 1807: Power Point on the Clapham Sect and How Believers Changed the World

Last Sunday (February 12) I was the teacher for the Asbury Sunday School class at First Methodist Panama City. I had for a long time wanted to share with my class and others information about the Clapham Sect, a group of individuals who brought about the Slave Act of 1807. They are credited with being a major reason England did not succumb to the same fate of France with the French Revolution.
These men and women lived their religion -- and changed the world.

We began with a prayer. And then I started on the Power Point. The program was well-received. You are welcome to use this lesson if you feel so led.

I ended the lesson here with this song and the admonition, "Go ye therefore and do likewise." 
 The program was 45 minutes long. 

There is more to the story that may be of interest to scholars, but not necessary for the Sunday School class.

God bless you as you read this. God bless our wonderful country. I pray we become aware of our flaws.  Like John Newton, we need to recognize our sins and then dedicate our lives to rectifying the wrongs we have committed rather than attempting to justify our sin. Open our eyes, O Lord. Give us strength to live a life pleasing to You.