Thursday, April 28, 2005
As a result, I need all the help I can get when it comes to being an efficient reader. Greg Koukl from Stand to Reason wrote a great article entitled "Why Settle for Merely Reading a Book When You Can Master It?" that provides some practical tools for becoming a more efficient reader. Thanks to Stacy Harp at Mind and Media for pointing out this article.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
While I believe it's important for mothers to instruct girls on how to dress modestly (and the reasons why modesty is so critical) it's not an issue that fathers can afford to ignore. Our daughters need to understand from us that there is more to the issue that simply what they should and should not wear.
The dilemma for parents is how to provide practical instruction on this issue without coming across as controlling or legalistic. The problem with taking the legalistic approach is that we end up sowing seeds of rebellion rather than seeds of obedience. If we don't give them the ability to make wise judgements while they are still under our roof then it's a sure bet they won't make wise judgements when they are on their own. It's important that we provide our children with the tools to make the right judgements about what they wear. It's also important that they understand it's not just about what they wear but why they are wearing what they wear.
Before focusing on specific do's and don'ts in dress, we need to make sure our daughters understand that what they wear says a lot about them. A woman who is dressed immodestly may be trying to call attention to herself or may be saying things like "I'm easy" or "I'm desperate". These are messages we don't want our daughters to be sending. Instead, we want their dress to reflect their both their beauty as women and their hearts towards God.
It's also important that they understand the effect that their dress can have on men. This is where fathers can play an especially important role. Within the larger context of male/female relationships, we can address issues regarding the effects of visual stimuli on men. Ultimately the man must decide how to respond to visual stimuli and deal with it in a healthy manner but women do bear a responsibility to not be a stumbling block for men.
We also need to make sure our daughters have practical tools that help them make wise decisions in what they wear. This brochure from Sovereign Grace Ministries is an example of a great teaching tool. (Hat tip: Proverbial Wife)
One of the tools I've given my daughters is what I call the "touchdown test". It's a simple way to show whether a shirt is long enough for them to wear. You raise your arms over your head. If any part of your belly shows then the shirt is too short. Just the other day my youngest daughter (who is 7) came to my wife and said "I did the touchdown test and the shirt I have on is too short so I'm going to have to go change".
My daughter is already taking the initiative to determine whether what she wears is appropriate rather than having to have me approve her apparel. That needs to be our goal in the instruction to our children.
This is cross-posted at Two or Three.Net.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Perhaps what's more striking, however, is this comment the President made during the interview that was cited in Bodley's next column:
It's really cool to see that the President puts the fans ahead of his own interests. I really respect that a lot.
There's nothing President Bush would like better than taking in an occasional Nationals game at Washington's RFK Stadium, but it's not likely to happen.
The question was asked during our interview in the Oval Office last week.
"I'm mindful of the inconvenience a president causes when he goes to a game," he said. "I mean, we're talking magnetometers, and traffic jams. If I'm able to do so without being disruptive, I'd like to.
"There's nothing better than going to the game in person. On the other hand, I do have the tube, so I can watch. I truly am concerned about making it inconvenient for fans. When we shut down the traffic it's really a pain for the president to go blowing through."
Monday, April 25, 2005
"Established in 1995 by the power of God."
She came up with this entirely on her own.
God uses the sweet moments from our children as a gentle reminder of when we're raising them up in a way that is pleasing to Him.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Hat tip: Wittingshire
Friday, April 22, 2005
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Set in the small town of California, Missouri in 1968, The Jordan Tracks tells the story of the Bates family: Ernie, Christa, and their son Aaron. Ernie works in the local turkey processing plant, Christa is the faithful wife, and Aaron is a Marine serving in the combat zone of Viet Nam. The book does not dwell much on the politics of the day. However, the citizens respect for those in the military is healthy and is something that even today seems all too rare.
The main focus of the book is how each of the Bates as well as those who cross their path deal with daily life - especially when tragedy strikes. For Christa and Aaron, both see events as the working of God's hand in their lives. Though they do not always understand why things happen the way they do they know that God is sovreign and that sometimes things happen for reasons beyond our ability to understand. Ernie, on the other hand, carries the scars from a tragic and abusive childhood. He must deal with that emotional baggage as the story unfolds.
There is a sharp distinction drawn between the Christians and non-Christians in this book. The one thing they hold in common is that neither is invincible. Tragedy strikes everyone regardless of their faith or lack of it. However, their faith shapes how they respond to life's events.
The characters in this book are vivid and real as they should be. Mr. Wise drew extenstively from his own experiences and people that he knew in sketching the characters of this book. He even worked in a turkey processing plant as a young man. As he explains in an audio interview with Stacy Harp of Mind and Media, it was these experiences that helped shaped this book.
I'm also glad to see that Mr. Wise was able to incorporate the presentation of the Gospel into the book without it seeming awkward or forced. In fact, the Gospel is presented in a very natural fashion and within context of the events taking place in the book. Too often I find that Christian novelists are working so hard to communicate the Gospel that they sacrifice the overarching story of the novel in the process.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand more about how Christian faith operates in the ups and downs of daily life.
I do not receive any consideration for this review other than a copy of the book which has been provided to me through Mind and Media by a generous gift from Authorhouse, publisher of the book.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Personally, I think moving the Expos to Washington was a brilliant move for baseball. The Metro D. C. area is more than capable of having two teams in close proximity to one another. Just imagine how interleague play will be with the Nationals and the Orioles facing each other?
Baseball's return to Washington has even caused non-sports writers such as Cal Thomas and Charles Krauthammer to return to the ballpark and pledge their allegiance to the Nats.
As Harry Caray was once said "Who'd of thunk it?" Let's hope the Nats continue to do well. It can only mean great things for baseball.
Friday, April 15, 2005
Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
One of the arguments that I hear against having children in worship is their inability to understand fully what is being taught. I've even wondered sometimes whether my children are really grasping what is being preached. Yesterday I was reminded that my children (and children in general) absorb a lot more than adults often give them credit for absorbing.
Not long ago we had a lengthy sermon series in our church on Creation vs. Evolution. We were blessed to have some men come in to speak who were very knowledgeable on the subject and provided a lot of good information to us. Several folks said they didn't need to hear the series because they had heard it before. Some of the information shared was very scientific and technical. My wife referred to it as an "eat your spinach" series. It wasn't necessarily enjoyable but something everyone needed to hear.
Yesterday, my 9 year old daughter was reading a book that we have on mammals. She asked me if she could write a letter to the publisher and send them a Bible because of all the evolution that was in the book. Based on what she had heard in church she had been able to discern that the information presented in her book (which was written specifically for her age group) was full of errors.
This episode only reaffirms for me the importance of our children to be participating in our corporate worship. The Christian faith is "caught" as much as it is "taught". If we expect our children to become believers then they need to be where they can "catch" the faith as well as having it "taught" to them.
Monday, April 11, 2005
Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post (free registration required) has more on what may be remembered as Tiger Woods' greatest major tournament of his career. It was certainly one of the gutsiest performances in a long time.
Saturday, April 09, 2005
My question to The Anchoress is when we can start talkin' baseball?
Ms. Preskar does an excellent job in researching the history of the homosexual movement and its profound influence throughout history. She obviously put a great deal of time and effort into fully understanding the techniques that programs such as SEED utilize in order to accomplish their goals.
This book is not a book that you go into thinking that you will enjoy it. There is a lot of worthwhile material contained within the book. Parents may wish to consult this book to get a better understanding of the types of techniques both subtle and not-so-subtle that are being used to influence (brainwash, according to Ms. Preskar) America's children.
The message of this book is simple: parents need to be fully aware of what is being taught in our schools. If SEED is any example of what is being forced onto children by public educators then there is reason to be very afraid. Parents need to be willing to step up and take a stand against programs such as SEED.
This book was provided by Authorhouse through Mind and Media. I do not receive any consideration for this review other than the book.
Thursday, April 07, 2005
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Thanks to Rob and Mark's essays I'm going to be rethinking prayer and how I pray.
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
The North Carolina Tar Heels triumphed 75-70 over the Illinois Fighting Illini with superior teamwork. There were moments throughout the game when one might have thought North Carolina was going to run away with it building a 13 point lead at halftime that would stretch to 15 early in the second half before Illinois stormed back the same way they had overcome the same deficit against Arizona nine days earlier to earn a berth in the Final Four.
Carolina's junior center Sean May, who was celebrating his 21st birthday yesterday, willed his team to winning this game.
Perhaps sweetest was the fact that this was Coach Roy Williams first National Championship. Of course, any Carolina fan would tell you that all Coach Williams had to do was come back to Carolina to be able to win it all.
Congratulations to the Tar Heels for a fantastic win. It truly was one for the ages.
Saturday, April 02, 2005
I've been fortunate enough to visit five major league parks thus far (although 2 are gone): Memorial Stadium in Baltimore (gone), Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta (gone), Busch Stadium in St. Louis (a very intimate park despite it's cookie-cutter design), Comiskey Park in Chicago (now known as U. S. Cellular Field), and, of course, Wrigley Field in Chicago (my favorite).