Boys and Puppies

Mike Stoops, my next door neighbor, had a beautiful cocker spaniel named Sally. When Sally had a litter of pups, Mike and I could not wait to hold them and play with them. I remember lying on the ground with those puppies jumping all over us, yapping and yipping, licking and nibbling our ears and faces as our giggles bubbled uncontrollably from way down deep in our carefree childhood hearts. There is something almost magical about eight-year-old boys and puppies. Continue Reading…

Buckeye Blues

When I was in third grade, my best friend “borrowed some buckeyes” from the science cabinet in the back of our classroom. Because we were best friends, he shared them with me. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t look at the teacher. I couldn’t face my parents because they had taught me not to steal. I ended up confessing that I had some of the buckeyes because someone had given them to me. It was a pretty lame story, but the teacher didn’t press it. I didn’t care; my conscience was clear.

As parents one of our goals is that our children will make right decisions when we are not present. The key to this Continue Reading…

There’s no future in the middle of the road!

Do you ever feel like the danger and evil in our high pressure, in-your-face world will just run us and our children over? Does our next generation have a chance? What can we do?

The National Study on Youth and Religion (2002 to 2005) may have pinpointed the problem. We parents will have to live out the answer. In her book Almost Christian, Kenda Creasy Dean summarizes the results of the NSYR project.
Some results are encouraging: Teens are much more interested in God and religion than we have assumed. And they are 80% influenced by the faith of their parents. That’s encouraging.

Some results are troubling: The faith that the parents are passing on to their children is not quite Christian. Almost Christian. Middle of the road. Continue Reading…

Active Dads, Effective Dads

Not long ago, I sat in church and noticed a young visiting couple having difficulty with their little one. As I watched, the young mother got up once during the worship, once during the announcements, and once during the message—three times— to take her little troublemaker out. Meanwhile, the dad sat there and did nothing. He was passive.

It reminded me of Adam in the garden when Eve was being tempted by the serpent. Eve discussed, listened, and ate. Then she gave the fruit to Adam “who was with her.” He had been there the whole time and done nothing. He had been passive. His passivity did not benefit his offspring. Continue Reading…

Is it Easier to Discipline Ugly Kids?

“She’s  too cute.” Reason number one that we often do not discipline a little guy or girl is just cuteness. Apparently we must think that discipline will “uncute” them. Continue Reading…

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