Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Monday Links and Bullets 4.29.13

Final Monday post in April. What is happening to the time? Each week I love to share articles that challenge me (links) followed by a loosely organized collection of thoughts (bullets). Friday I feature the article that received the most clicks. Enjoy!

WEEKLY LINKS

Link of the Week

Here’s a helpful article on discussing and dealing with pornography. Something to keep in mind as crazy as our world is becoming.

The Christian Faith

I was challenged by this short piece on using Scripture in worship.

Your job is not just a filler for your time.

Here are 12 benefits of affliction. Good to do some thinking on suffering and how it can actually be helpful.

PARENTING: Here are 10 ways to ruin your child’s imagination. Also, stop negotiating so much with your kids! The bottom line of this article: your kids should be comfortable with what you say, not try to negotiate every time you do something.

Sports

Was it staged? Was one of the funniest things ever seen on a stupid sports talk show staged to launch the career of the interviewer? My take after thinking through and watching the footage again: it was.

BULLET THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK

PARENTING

  • I am working on cultivating relationships with our children where we can talk about difficult things. I figure if we start now it will be easier to keep communicating as they get older. Example: I had to talk with our son about an incident where he was doing something inappropriate. He learned it at school and we had a good conversation, man to boy, about why that was a boundary that shouldn’t be crossed.
  • I guess I am unafraid to talk to our kids about difficult things they may be aware of. Bombings happen. Life can often get difficult. Adults face consequences of their behavior. So on and so on. As much as is appropriate, we will explain difficult situations in ways that help them understand their environment.

FAITH

  • Don’t expect an easy way to grow in faith in Jesus Christ. There isn’t one.
  • Mother’s Day is a week from Sunday. How will your family honor mom?

RANDOM

  • I have really come to enjoy a good meal. Not to say we don’t have excellent cooking (overall I am extremely satisfied), but I really do enjoy that special meal from time to time.
  • I enjoyed a great birthday. Time with family, bought a couple new things I needed, enjoyed some outstanding food (and didn’t pay the price in my digestive system) – all in all a good one.

SPORTS

  • The NBA playoffs are so boring in the early rounds. It’s hardly captivating. Someone wake me up when it’s the conference finals or something.
  • Surprise! There’s plenty going on in baseball that the prognosticators didn’t expect. I think baseball, of any sport, is so difficult to predict. I know it’s a long season, but I am fascinated by some of the early trends.
  • The NFL draft. Seems like the Browns did okay. Overall, I’m happy with their thinking. I think this team wins eight games this year.

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Friday Link Highlight 4.26.13 – Think about when it is okay to kill a baby.

I urge you to read this article linked below. It gained the most clicks from Monday’s post. It’s about Kermit Gosnell.  You can Google his name and read lots of articles.  I wouldn’t suggest doing so with a full stomach.  This commentary about his trial specifically challenges us with the timing of killing babies.  It is something you MUST think through as you think about abortion.

http://www.dougwils.com/Sex-and-Culture/our-gosnell-gulag.html

Two very brief comments. In many ways, the article speaks for itself.

1.  Spot on.

What is illegal seconds after a baby is born is somehow legal when the baby is still inside the mother.  I’m only arguing concept here.  I agree with Wilson, I think it’s absurd that our laws are like this.

2. This is really hard to stomach.

The Gosnell case is very hard to stomach.  It is horrifying to think about, but in many ways it is needed for our conscience.  It’s sad that this case is needed for our conscience as a nation, but at this point, let it be a crying out.

On My Mind #59: A challenging article about a parenting mistake.

This article isn’t necessarily a Christian article, but it’s challenging and it contains Scriptural principles. Read the article:

Don’t over-negotiate with your children.

A few thoughts:

1. Every parent faces this. It’s important to stay consistent.

Raise your hand if you’ve never had this problem. Okay, I don’t see any hands. The bottom line is we all face it and when both parents are present, consistency is important. Julie and I have talked several times about differing ways we noticed each other handling situations. The kids should get the same messages as much as possible. If the kids perceive gaps, they will definitely exploit them until consistency is achieved.

2. Try not to ask when telling should be enough.

“Do you want to pick up the toys and go home?” No child is going to say “Sure!”, unless of course they really don’t like their friends. But most kids are going to answer in the negative. They’re doing something they enjoy and don’t want to stop. What the parent wants to accomplish is going home. “We’re leaving in 10 minutes” (then five) gives the child ample warning you’re leaving. The second scenario has the parent in charge, not the child. But, it gives the child a healthy way to prepare to leave that honors the parent’s authority.

This is one example. Others can include activities, food, clothing, etc. Providing a couple choices is way better than an endless negotiation with a little lawyer, as the article called them.

3. Biblically, parents are in authority and children aren’t wise. Don’t give your child the impression they are wise.

If children were wise, Proverbs wouldn’t be filled with evidence otherwise. I love my children but they are not wise. Our son rode his bike around the block with his friend without telling us. We did not congratulate him for exercising his wisdom and independence. He needed to think through why we weren’t comfortable with that. There was no negotiation.

That’s kind of a big thing. It’s the same for schedule and bed time, though. When we need to leave to get somewhere, time is not a negotiation – we need the kids to do their part to be ready.

It’s okay to teach kids life isn’t fair or sometimes the answer is no. It’s hard to be mean, but at the same time I know I’m not called to be my kids’ friends.

In sum, I hope I’m providing a glimpse into things we wrestle with. Further, consider this your invitation to join! Be challenged by the article and take whatever is helpful. God is glorified when family structures seek to mirror those found in His Word! It can be hard work, but rewarding as well.

Monday Links and Bullets 4.23.13

It’s been quite a week.  Here’s what I’ve found interesting as I’ve read (links).  Below, find a few of my own thoughts (bullets). Hope your Monday is great.

WEEKLY LINKS

Links of the Week – Articles About Boston

What causes terrorism? It’s not likely it’s one thing.  READ this article and THINK about it.  It should be no surprise I’m encouraging you to think.

Let not your heart be troubled.  This is an AMAZING idea of what it takes to stay the course in difficulty.

I found this piece of technology used in the manhunt to be stunning.  Maybe I’m behind the times?

Speaking of thinking, here is a youth worker’s take (a veteran youth worker) on media and the response they encouraged to Boston.  I believe it is very much worth thinking about, even if you don’t agree with everything he says.

These people witnessed one of the gunfights from their home.  Remember, there are REAL PEOPLE involved in tragedies.  This is an excellent read that gives great insight into how two committed Christian people responded to being in the action.

Gosnell

This article helps frame our thinking.  What do you think is true about abortion?

Bible and Life

Here is a site that has updated daily readings about the Bible and life. Today’s is about divorce.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

Christian Faith

  • It’s good to see and hear encouraging things.  It’s not a secret to me why Hebrews 3 encourages believers to encourage one another daily (pun intended).
  • Heard Jason Meyer say that we are not about self esteem, we’re about Christ esteem.

Boston

  • I agree with those saying it’s not productive to watch hours of tragedies unfold.  What’s the point?  And, be sure, the media have choices regarding how they present the details.  For example: how much have you heard about the victims since the suspects were announced/manhunted/killed/captured?
  • So David Ortiz dropped the F bomb in his “emotional” speech on Saturday at Fenway Park.  Emotional? No one can blame him.  I think the FCC is making things gray by giving him a pass saying he was “emotional”.  But, alas, there are LOTS of gray lines the FCC doesn’t seem too concerned about.

Baseball

  • Hey Dodgers, your offense is struggling.  There is a guy in your system who it .500 in spring training showing a lot of power.  You might think about calling Mr. Puig to get some at bats with the big club.
  • Hey Tigers, you just got swept by the Angels.  Ouch.
  • Hey everyone, the Rockies have the best record in baseball.  What?!
  • Hey Indians, way to save face in Houston.  You’re going to have to pitch (and likely pick up a pitcher) in order to stay near the coveted .500 mark.
  • Hey Yankees, keep pitching and you’ll stay in it!

Random

  • I hate going to the license bureau.
  • I am looking forward to trying a 5K. Less than two weeks – we’ll see what happens.
  • I find airfare reward deals on credit cards to be very complicated. I think I found a good one.
  • Look, if social media brings you down, stop using it.  People are negative a lot, and that spills over to use of social media.  If others are making you negative, make better choices regarding who you allow in your sphere of influence.