Creation, the Incarnation, and Christmas

Creation, the Incarnation, and Christmas

Among all the other wonderful blessings of Christmas, at its core, this season is a celebration of the gift of life through the birth of a baby. Of course, any time a baby is born it’s a glorious event worthy of a decent party. My wife and I have 4 children, and our friends and family have greeted each birth with joy and excitement, and rightly so. ..

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What’s the Impact on Families and Kids If Schools Stay Closed?

What’s the Impact on Families and Kids If Schools Stay Closed?

What's the Impact on Families and Kids If Schools Stay Closed?

By Rachel del Guidice

Jonathan Butcher, senior policy analyst for the Center for Education Policy at The Heritage Foundation, discusses the impact on families and children when schools remain closed during COVID-19.

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Devotional Thought for Today – 9/25/20

1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous 1 John 2:1

AMP and RVR 1960

John here is speaking to believers referring to them as Children, inferring father ship not unlike Christ in John 13:33. I unlike many modern commentaries which skip this part, I find this significant for two reasons:

    • John is obviously advanced in his years at this point but is taking responsibility for the church and its people by calling them his own. 
    • We are all (that is True born again converts) Children of God, and as such must fight for others to come to Christ in that same manner.
      • Abortion, 
SO GOD IS SAYING BRING ME CHILDREN!
YET EVEY YEAR WE MURDER
42 MILLION BABIES WORLD WIDE.

I have but one thought for today, what are you doing about it?


Related Posts: #Diaper Run – Mission Complete

 

New Netflix Film Sexualizes Children

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Video streaming giant Netflix is drawing criticism once again, this time for hosting and promoting the film “Cuties,” which sexualizes 11-year-old girls. Having failed to learn its lesson after the trailer generated outrage last month, Netflix has gone ahead and made the movie available on its platform, despite many critics describing it as “child pornography.”

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Rather Than Reopen, It’s Time to Rethink Government Education

Finally, every church should start a school. Family Research Council scholar Joseph Backholm argues that the education and formation of Christian children has been outsourced for so many decades that it should surprise no one when Christian children abandon their faith and family values. If neighbors can start education pods, churches can and must start small Christian schools to meet the most important need for families: saving the souls of their children…

 

NR National Review

By 
(GlobalStock)
There is no better time to make a change than right now, when public education is in chaos.

What’s that popping sound? Could it be a million figurative light bulbs clicking on above public-school parents’ heads?

The vast majority of American families send their children to public schools. Only 11 percent of children attend private schools, and fewer than 5 percent are homeschooled. And as one school board after another gives the no go signal for the coming school year, families are being thrown into crisis. And yet, the great American entrepreneurial spirit is awakening as parents are forced to rethink education for their children. And that is to the benefit of children and the nation…

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Pastors: You Can Help Parents Educate Children During the Pandemic

Pandemic Places Educational Responsibility on Parents; Allows Pastors to Offer Vital Support

Sex Education in Public Schools:

If you have a child in Public Schools this is a MUST READ article

Sex Education in Public Schools:

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Sexualization of Children and LGBT Indoctrination

By Cathy Ruse Senior Fellow and Director of Human Dignity

**DISCLAIMER: This brochure includes some graphic descriptions of sex education class content.

Not so long ago, sex education in public schools involved a couple of uncomfortable hours looking at simple line drawings showing human growth and development and listening to advice on how to be careful, respect others, and save sex for marriage.

Things are very different today. The “facts of life” have not changed, but “inclusivity” and “sex positivity” and other popular buzz-word concepts have changed sex education.

Despite studies showing that modern sex education fails to achieve its stated goals and results in increased student sexual activity, school systems are devoting up to 70 hours of classroom time per child to sex education.

Well-funded international pressure groups have been extraordinarily successful in pushing what they call “Comprehensive Sexuality Education” (CSE) into American public schools, an agenda-driven curriculum that sexualizes children. In CSE, youth sex is normalized, and the concept of “sexual rights” and radical sexual ideology for youth is advanced.

Education has given way to indoctrination. Consider the emergence of no-opt-out laws and policies that revoke the right of parents to opt their children out of sexuality-based lessons in some states.

Parents have two main concerns about sex ed today: That it sexualizes children and that it is loaded with LGBTQ indoctrination. This pamphlet will reveal troubling examples of each problem, will discuss the powerful organizations behind it all, and then will offer some action steps for parents to consider in their fight to protect the health and innocence of their children.

Read the full PDF Publication:  Here

 

 

Harvard Law Prof Wants to Ban Homeschooling

BreakPoint Daily

Harvard Law Prof Wants to Ban Homeschooling

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Why She Is Wrong

JOHN STONESTREET  WITH SHANE MORRIS

In a drawing that illustrates an article in the most recent Harvard Magazine, a sad homeschooled girl sits imprisoned in a house made of books labeled “reading,” “writing,” “arithmatic,” and “Bible.” Outside, children happily play, skip rope, and run races. The image must have seemed strange to the many homeschool families who, unlike the editors, know how to spell “arithmetic and who, unlike many educational professionals, tend not to separate out-of-class activities from learning.

The article, on the other hand, in which Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Bartholet calls for a presumptive national ban on homeschooling, should be alarming.

The article summarized the arguments from a recent Arizona Law Review paper in which Bartholet argues that homeschooling not only violates children’s rights to a ‘meaningful education’ and their right to be protected from potential child abuse, but may keep them from contributing positively to a democratic society.”

To argue her first point, Bartholet must (and indeed does) reject studies, such as the 2010 study published in the Widener Law Review, that conclude homeschooled children reach “levels of academic achievement similar to or higher than their publicly schooled peers.” She singles out the research of Dr. Brian Ray, who’s conducted some of the most extensive studies on homeschooling to date.

Ray’s 2009 survey of standardized test results from more than 11,000 homeschooled students over 25 years from all 50 states, led him to conclude that, on average, “Homeschoolers are still achieving well beyond their public school counterparts—no matter what their family background, socioeconomic level, or style of homeschooling.”

Bartholet dismisses Ray’s research as “advocacy dressed up by science.”

In response to the Harvard article, recent Harvard grads Melba Pearson and Christian author Alex Harris wrote articles dismissing Bartholet’s claims as ideology dressed up as advocacy, pointing out how growing up homeschooled prepared them not only to attend Harvard, but to excel there.

What of Bartholet’s argument that the lack of oversight of homeschooling families can conceal child abuse? Nowhere does Bartholet mention that according to the most widely-cited research, nearly 1 in 10 public school students in the U.S. will be subjected to sexual misconduct by school employees. Of course, public schools are filled with many good and dedicated teachers and workers, but homeschool families are filled with good and dedicated parents.

Let me be clear: Every single case of abuse is horrific, and anyone anywhere who perpetuates such abuse should be stopped and prosecuted. What’s unclear is why, for Bartholet and Harvard Magazine, the outliers in one arena disqualify it, but not in the other.

The reasons behind Bartholet’s highly selective criticism are laid bare when she admits what she thinks to be the real bogeyman of many homeschool families: “a majority of are driven by conservative Christian beliefs, and seek to remove their children from mainstream culture.” Well, there you have it.

Our response to such “extreme religious ideologues,” she suggests, should mirror Germany, where homeschooling is illegal. And, apparently unable to hear herself talk, Bartholet concludes “I think it’s always dangerous to put powerful people in charge of the powerless, and to give the powerful ones total authority.” So, giving the powerful government authority over the education of children will solve the problem of powerful parents having authority over children?

And therein lies the fundamental confusion, one that’s been debated in various cultural contexts throughout history and, that, when gotten wrong has destroyed lives and human flourishing. Does government have unlimited authority, or does it function best by preserving the inherent authorities possessed by other institutions throughout society, especially the authority of the family?

As Princeton professor Robert George pointed out, this article isn’t so much an argument against homeschooling as it for the compulsory secularization of America’s children. This kind of power grab, for which Bartholet advocates and against which George warns, is only made easier when parents surrender their God-given authority and responsibilities to the state. Outsource is one thing. Surrender is another.

This article is just one indication of growing challenges to parental rights everywhere. There are others, including the Summit on homeschooling to be held at Harvard this summer, where Bartholet will be a featured speaker, as well as William and Mary Law professor James Dwyer who once said, “…the reason parent-child relationships exist is because the State confers legal parenthood.”

At root, this isn’t a debate about better or best educational environments or practices. It’s a debate about where our most fundamental rights come from. Those who think the State grants rights seek a legal monopoly on the minds of the next generation. Those who think the State’s job is to recognize rights and protect them look elsewhere for the source of those rights. Who are the real ideologues again?

Resources:

The Risks of Homeschooling

Erin O’Donnell | Harvard Magazine | May-June 2020

Homeschooling: Parent Rights Absolutism vs. Child Rights to Education & Protection

Elizabeth Bartholet | Arizona Law Review | 2020

How to (and How Not to) Homeschool During COVID-19

John Stonestreet & Ashlee Cowles | BreakPoint | April 8, 2020

 

How to Teach Your Kids the Ten Commandments

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Although my ministry primarily sees that I work with adults, I recently had the opportunity to teach a one-hour class on the ten commandments to young teenagers. I provided a handout and back and forth commentary on the subject. Below you will find part of my teaching approach. Feel free to use it and adapt it to your audience.

How to Teach Your Kids the Ten Commandments

1. Read the Ten Commandments Aloud

The ten commandments will be found in Ex. 20:1-21 and Deut. 5:1-21. The first thing to do is to open up your Bible and read the ten commandments aloud. You read from Exodus and let your kids read from Deuteronomy (or the other way around). Either way, it’s important to start by actually reading the commandments.

You could also consider providing literary context for the ten commandments. Explain why God gave them to the Israelites, why the ten commandments are in the part of the Bible that they are in and not in another place, what happened before and after the giving of the ten commandments, and so on.

You can mention that God rescues the Israelites from Egypt first, then he provides the ten commandments. You can say that they are meant as a guide to show the Israelites how to live, that they reveal one’s need for a Savior, and that they all apply today in equal measure. This will bridge into an overview of our subject.

CONTINUED AT: SOURCE ARTICLE

 

Your Kids Need You to Talk to Them

I have not read the book that is referenced here, but as a parent and grandfather I can tell you that in this age of social media, peer pressure and poorly balanced education in public schools; talking with, not to, our children daily, is more important than ever. – Mike

Your Kids Need You to Talk to Them

January 21, 2020
Your Kids Mature through Conversations

In a perfect universe, God’s conversations with Adam and Eve were necessary so that humanity could find their place in his world. After sin ruined everything, such conversations remain foundational. Sin, however, complicates matters. We don’t always communicate well with our children, and our children are not always prepared to embrace the process that God designed to serve them best.

One afternoon my elementary-aged son, without a moment’s hesitation, shot back at me, “I’m already doing that.” I had just tried to offer him a better way to respond to his brother, but he wasn’t having it. His response to me came after a weekend of verbal tennis: every time I tried to tell him something about life, he immediately volleyed the ball back with a reason for why he didn’t need to hear what I was saying.

Parenting with Words of Grace

Parenting with Words of Grace

How you speak to your kids today will impact your relationship with them tomorrow. As a parent, your words are powerful. What you say and how you say it has the potential to either invite your children into deeper relationship with you or push them away. What’s more, in a very real sense, your words represent—or misrepresent—God’s words to his children— meaning they have the power to shape how your children view their heavenly Father. Offering practical guidance for grace-filled communication in the midst of the craziness of everyday life, this accessible guide will help you speak in ways that reflect the grace God has shown to you in the gospel.

So I said, “Wait a minute. Just now there was a conversation that took place inside your head that went something like this: ‘Wow! My dad just interrupted what he was doing to speak into my life because he thought there was something I needed to hear, and I am so excited to hear it that I’m going to put all other thoughts out of my head so that I can concentrate on his words. Even if there’s only 5 percent of what he says that I don’t know, I want to drink it in.’ That’s what you were thinking just now, right?” “No,” he frowned as he sensed where this was going.

Switching subjects abruptly I asked him, “How long do kittens stay with their moms?”

He shrugged and said, “I don’t know, two to three months?”

“Close enough,” I thought, so I said, “Okay, but you’re here with me and Mom a whole lot longer. Why is that?”

He looked down at the floor and said softly, “Because God thinks I have things to learn.”

I nodded my agreement and added, “But you don’t want to be here. You’re interacting with us assuming you have nothing to learn from us. Each time you do that, you’re telling me, ‘Dad, I really shouldn’t be here right now. I should be out on my own.’ You’ve forgotten why you’re here.”

They Need Your Help to Grow

Even when he forgets, I have to remember. By God’s intent, we enter life knowing nothing, then are slowly brought to understand our world and our place within it through the very ordinary medium of people talking to us. With their help, over time, we mature into contributing, responsible members of society who in turn can support and nurture others. Oddly enough God entrusts our development to people who once were more ignorant than they are now, which in my son’s case means me for the foreseeable future.

That process is so commonplace that it is often used to drive the narrative arc of popular literature. A novice—the children of Narnia, the Hobbits of Middle Earth, Harry Potter, Bella the vampire—is plunged into a world that is so unfamiliar that she finds herself floundering in it, not knowing how to respond. Dangers lurk, and her future happiness hangs in the balance with each decision. Then slowly she learns how to navigate and master her new experience because other people talk to her.

They tell her stories that give the world depth and feeling. They instruct her. They correct her. They give her new lenses through which she can see the world and herself more clearly while catching a glimpse of what she and the future might be. She grows impassioned and tries living out what she’s been taught. She grows up into more than she ever hoped she could be, all through the ordinariness of talk.

Such coming-of-age stories touch us in part by drawing on the way God has structured his world. We see ourselves in them. We develop our understandings of the world and our place in it by learning from those who already know its ins and outs. At birth we are all novices encountering an alien world that we learn piecemeal, one conversation at a time.

We Never Outgrow Our Need for Transformational Conversations

The book of Proverbs is dedicated to this notion that living well within God’s world requires conversation. It takes the form of a father personally addressing his son, passionately pleading with him to gain wisdom and understanding (Prov. 1:8–9). If the son listens, then the father promises that he will escape being a fool and won’t ruin his life (Prov. 1:32–33). That transformation from fool to wise man takes place as one person talks to another about who God is and how he affects all of life.

As you read, however, you realize this isn’t simply a book for children, despite addressing “my son” multiple times, because a wise person develops a taste for transforming conversations that continue his entire lifetime. He surrounds himself with a steady rhythmic beat of God-oriented conversations. He welcomes people who will talk to him about himself and about his life and how every part of life relates to God (e.g., Prov. 1:5; 12:5; 15:22).

More than that, he commits himself not simply to hearing from others, but to joining the discussion, speaking to others who want to hear so that their lives will be enriched (e.g., Prov. 12:18; 15:7; 16:23). The book of Proverbs pictures the person who grows wise as someone who swims in a sea of words without drowning.

It’s worth noting that even after Jesus pours out his Holy Spirit on his people, he remains committed to maturing his people, in part, through their conversations with each other (e.g., Rom. 15:14Eph. 5:18–20Col. 3:161 Thess. 5:14; 2 Tim. 2:2, 24–26; 4:2; Titus 1:9Heb. 3:13). He expects you to participate in an ongoing, never-ending conversation with his people that links Christ and faith in him to life, because every one of God’s people shares in his ministry of words (1 Pet. 4:10–11).

Even after Jesus pours out his Holy Spirit on his people, he remains committed to maturing his people, in part, through their conversations with each other

If you reflect just a little on Jesus’s life, you realize it’s hardly surprising that the church is to have continuous conversations. After all, he talked constantly. He did many good works, but much of his life was devoted to speaking—formal teaching, small group discussions, one-on-one conversations, or just talking with his friends. He was not a man of few words.

And since he unites you to himself and pours his Spirit into you, it only makes sense that you will learn to speak like he does. He makes godly conversations possible, and he expects you to give yourself to them because the people around you—your children—need them.

In other words, the dynamic set in motion by hearing and then responding to the message of the cross preached is still in motion. We enter into God’s family through words, and we grow up in his family through words. We come to understand him, ourselves, others, and our world—and how we fit with him and with others in his world—all through tirelessly conversing with each other.

This article is adapted from Parenting with Words of Grace: Building Relationships with Your Children One Conversation at a Time by William P. Smith.