Monthly Archives: March 2009

16 posts

Comments and Questions

Readers, your comments are a major part of this blog. We are grateful for your interaction and the opportunity to address questions and concerns that interest you. Just one disclaimer – the answers that we give here can only be principial in nature. Without being able to sit down with you face to face and carefully collect data, specific application is unwise. So please remember that as you read posts and responses to comments. However, there is great value in considering possible responses to questions that you raise. Here is one such recent comment and question: Question: We struggle with a child who constantly corrects the other siblings, and often with a tone of voice that is harsh. We have […]

Healthy People Don’t Need Satan

The ABC News program Nightline is running a series of programs entitled “Face-Off.” Particular ideas or points of view are debated by proponents and detractors of the topic in question. The topic for discussion on the March 26th program was “Does Satan Exist?” One of the experts on the panel that night was New Age guru Deepak Chopra. Chopra is a best-selling author and favorite speaker on public television. In his opening comments he forcefully stated that healthy people don’t need Satan. He went on to claim that Satan is a mythical figure. Chopra spoke with confidence, and with disdain towards those who believe Satan is real. His words, that  healthy people don’t need Satan, bring to mind the words […]

Incident-to-Incident Parenting

In the last post in this series, Joshua’s mom responded to his complaining attitude with a careful, thoughtful response that seems almost unrealistic. How could a mother respond this carefully in the middle of a busy afternoon? Obviously, this was a response that she had planned for. The communication between Mom and Dad was good. He was the one who remembered how hard it had been for him when one of his good friends moved away, when he was about the same age as Joshua. They had both noticed Joshua being more moody and complaining. The parents had been talking about this for a few days. They planned ahead to have family worship that focused on Philippians 2:14-16. They agreed […]

Talking to Joshua

In a recent post I described a stressed mom talking to her son, Joshua. This mother was correcting Joshua for complaining. And it was essential that his mom give him both correction and direction. Let's take another look at that example and consider in detail how a mom could respond more helpfully. For this illustration we will assume that remedial verbal discipline was the appropriate response. Just saying that phrase–remedial verbal discipline–sounds heavy and confrontational, invoking memories of lectures and sharp tones. Correcting Joshua about complaining was not a pleasant task, but one of heaviness and duty. Complaining is not good; it is not trusting God, and it is not making Mom’s life any easier. The other siblings heard Josh’s […]

What Do You Deserve?

The news is filled with outrage about bonuses paid to employees of the government-bailed -out insurance giant AIG. Every day we hear cries of unfairness, greed and shock. Even the President has said that he is stunned by these bonuses. We seem to be caught in an unending series of outrageous events. Have you noticed the underlying conviction that is driving the outrage? This conviction has to do with fairness and what we deserve. We don’t deserve to have out of control spending and increased taxes. We don’t deserve to have business executives who are greedy. We don’t deserve to have government leaders who are incompetent. We don’t deserve to have a bad economy and its resulting complications. And the […]

Christ the Light of Men

John begins his gospel with two striking descriptions of Jesus. John says Jesus is the word and then he says Jesus is the light of men. This interwoven imagery describing Christ as Word and Light permeates the Bible. This imagery of Word and Light is unique to the Bible. Moses says over and over to the Israelites that the Word of God is life itself. The psalms frequently refer to the Word as light ("Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path," Psalm 119:105). In Psalm 19:8, the Holy Spirit was not just employing nice sounding metaphors:  "The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes."  He was anticipating the person […]

Light to the Eyes

How important is the Bible to you? I don’t mean how important would you like it to be to you or to your children. What I mean is—how important is the Bible to you and the way you live?  You want your children to follow the ways of Scripture. You want them to know its content.   You want them to know its Author. You know that what the Holy Spirit has written in his Word is essential for life.  But allow me to ask again, how important is the Bible to you? Is there a chance that you love what the Bible will do for you, but you struggle with actually loving it? "Okay," someone is asking, "where are you […]

The Bible and Your Children

Familiarity breeds contempt. This saying has been around since the days of the early Greeks, some 2,600 years ago.  In a similar vein Jesus observed that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown (John 4:44 ESV ).  What about the Bible? As a reader of this blog, the Bible is no doubt a familiar subject in your home.  But how is the Bible viewed by your children? Before you answer this question, take a moment to think carefully about this verse in Psalm 19:   8 The precepts of the LORD are right,        giving joy to the heart.        The commands of the LORD are radiant,        giving light to the eyes. What is the reaction that the […]

Parenting, Ideology & Stem Cells

This past Monday, March 9, 2009, President Obama reversed George W. Bush’s executive order regarding human embryonic stem cell research. In supporting his decision President Obama used extraordinary reasoning. He stated that scientific decisions should be based upon facts, not ideology. The President’s new executive order will have a major impact on your parenting. What does this have to do with parenting? That’s the critical question, but we need a little more information before giving the answer. First, here is the President’s quote in context:  "Our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values," Obama declared, as he signed documents changing U.S. science policy and removing what some researchers have said were […]

A Word to Grandparents

If you are a grandparent and have been following this series of posts, perhaps you have wondered if we were ever going to talk to you rather than about you. Well, your time has come. Psalm 78 addresses grandparents directly. In is a powerful and dynamic passage, the first seven verses of the psalm envision passing the Word of God from generation to generation. The psalm speaks to parents when their children are young. It speaks to parents when their children grow up, and it speaks to parents when their children have children. This section culminates in verse 7 with both a plea and a proclamation that grandchildren should trust in God and not forget his deeds and commands.  1 […]