Shaping Influences

125 posts

Perspective – Talking to Your Children about the Midwest Floods

Your path led through the sea,   your way through the mighty waters,   though your footprints were not seen. Psalm 77:19 Last month I did a series of posts about the Asian floods and earthquakes and how the news media reported these events. Because these events happened on the other side of the world, they may not have seemed to be of immediate concern. It’s too bad, but life goes on. But now floods have come to the Midwest, the heartland of America. Many readers of this blog live in that area. Here is a quick survey of this morning’s headlines: Flood Waters Keep Rising Floods hit food prices Cities of Sorrow Another Levee Breaks in Western Illinois, threatening […]

He has been good

I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.  —Psalm 13:6 Summer officially arrives 10 days from now. As the sun begins its six-month march southward amid days that relentlessly shorten, it seems that summer will be almost over before it even began. My wife and I used to look forward to summer as a time to get things done. We would plan ambitious projects for ourselves and our 5 children. Then, before we knew it, the leaves began to turn, signaling the approach of fall. Where did summer go?  (For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere I realize that winter is just beginning for you, so you have a six month head start to […]

God, Cyclones, Earthquakes and the News

For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17 In the latest mini-post I referenced the death and destruction that have occurred in Burma and China in the last few days. As of this date the AP reports that in Myanmar as many as 128,000 have died and over 2 ½ million have been severely impacted by the cyclone which devastated that region on May 3rd of this year. In China, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck the  central part of that […]

The Day After

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 Modern culture has developed a curious practice for giving appreciation to others. It is a mixture of style and substance, with the emphasis on style. This practice is called Day. Day is an extremely flexible and adaptable concept. While Day has no particular religious significance, it is nonetheless observed with ritual and sacrifice. […]

Shaping Influences & Parental Legacy

2008 is a leap year. The Summer Olympic Games will be held. Who knows what memorable events from 2008 will go down in history? In America  there will be a presidential election.  That election also marks the end of a president’s term in office. As that term draws to a close much is made of the legacy of that president. Political observers ponder how history will view the legacy of a president. Some presidents become obsessed with their legacy—their place in history. Decisions are made with an eye towards protecting and enhancing the elusive prize of a favorable legacy. In the end, a president’s legacy is determined by what was done, not by how he wanted others to think of […]