Thursday, April 05, 2012

Parenting By the Book--A Book Review

For a while, maybe beginning in the mid-1990s, my wife and I did not spend as much time reading books about parenting as we had previous the decade or two, because our girls were grown. But recently circumstances have caused us to return to old reading patterns, as we are now raising two grandsons. And we've discovered is that boys are different from girls. So we thought we might need a few pointers on parenting them.

We re-read of our old favorite authors like Gary Smalley and James Dobson. Mpt long ago we read a book by an author we did not know until the book was recommended by a youth minister and father of two little ones. The author is John Rosemond, and apparently he has been well-respected for quite a number of years by some of those that we've held in high esteem. The title of the book is Parenting by the Book.

Dr. Rosemond is very adamant in his position that the best approach to raising children, boys or girls, is to raise them using the wisdom of Scripture. Rosemond was trained in what he now calls postmodern psychological parenting. His book vividly points out the damage that has been done to our culture by those methods and ideologies. I found a few of his points enlightening. It is very easy to see some of his conclusions all around us today, even among Christian parents.

Rosemond also gives some recommendations about the ways to glean biblical wisdom and then implement that wisdom to our parenting techniquess. He is very certain that biblical wisdom cannot be surpassed for successful child rearing. It is a very practical book.

I was so impressed with this book that, even before I finished it, I had ordered several copies. I believe it is the kind of book that I will want to share with others in the days to come. I have donated one to our church library in the name of my paternal grandmother, Marie Bryant. I believe she would approve of the common sense that Rosemond expounds. She would never have written it in a book, but I believe her methods exemplify exactly what Rosemond wishes all of us would use to bring up our children.

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Monday, March 05, 2012

Something More Series

When we started the series of lessons promoting, "Something More" I was hopeful that the congregation would understand the aims of our elders. I was given permission to invite four different men to follow up on the messages from the elders by giving their take on successive Sunday nights. Patrick Marrie spoke last night, and if Patrick's thoughts are any indication of what the congregation has perceived, the elders must be happy! I can hardly wait to hear what Jim Hicks, Dave Lewis, and Cecil Bonham have to say.

I was especially touched a Patrick's description of his new life as a married man and father of daughters, in comparison with his old life as a single man. And the way he compared that to Galatians 2:20 was exquisite. The thought may have crossed your mind, "How does a tennis coach present such a wonderful message?" But of course the answer is not about his coaching ability, it is about the fact that his life has been shaped by the story of the cross. If you did not get a chance to hear Patrick's message, I would suggest you copy from Linda and listen to it. It will be a blessing to you.

Now, we have another Friend's Day planned for the 25th of this month. Please mark that on your calendar and begin to pray about who you'd like to invite you share with us in and day of worship and fellowship. We will have a meal together after services that morning, and we will plan some activities to help us let our visitors know a little bit about who we are and how we love each other. There will be invitation materials available in the next few days, but the most important element of whether or not we have lots of visitors is whether or not we invite them to share the day with us.


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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ask The Candidate Yourself!!!

There is a very crucial election on the horizon in 2012. Campaigning for the presidency is intensifying and voters are trying to determine which candidate best represents what they want for the country. Super Tuesday is not very far away so there is a need to gather as much information as possible in order to make an informed vote . Some of the candidates, especially on the Republican side, are not as widely known as perhaps they need to be in order to garner the votes they want and need in order to become President.

Those voters are seriously researching the positions of the various candidates have a new tool available to them. Using the website “askthecandidates2012.com”, they can conduct a virtual interview
of the individuals running for the office. It is a simple website to use. Pictures of the various candidates appear on the page, waiting to be asked what they propose on a wide range of issues. So a user can go and click on a picture, and then type in a question and get the answer from the candidate themselves.

Once the question has been asked, the website draws from its artificial intelligence program direct quotes from the various candidates to answer the question that has been typed. So the voter gets to hear in the very words of the candidate what he or she has to say on a given subject or issue. So an interested voter can take his or her time in evaluating positions of all the candidates, and then going to the voting booth confident that he or she is making a good choice.



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Don't Stop Too Soon!

I wonder how many potentially great projects do not become great simply because those involved give up on the idea because initial results were not very impressive. Many years ago a friend and brother in Christ suggested that we (the congregation where we both worshiped) host an International Students Luncheon on the campus of the community college where he taught and coached. He proposed we do this near Thanksgiving, since those students would not have a family nearby with whom to share the holiday.

We made some plans and recruited some others to assist. We promoted it on the campus. We had lots of food. We were excited. But that first event had only eleven students attend. They were grateful and we made a few friends. But it was not nearly the kind of result we had envisioned.

But being stubborn men, we decided that we could do better the second year, if we took better measures to spread the news and let others know what we had to offer. And we were right. We had about 20! Again we were disappointed.

I moved away from that town a few months before attempt number three, but my friend continued. I was aware that the name of the event was changed. Eventually it was moved to a time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And a component to feed those in need was added. But still there were not a great number of participants, for a while.

I got to visit with my friend today. And I was overjoyed to hear of developments over the past few years. A teacher in an elementary school initiated a food drive in her class, and the food was donated to the project on the community college campus. That has grown to include food drives in seven other elementary and high schools in the district. And another congregation has come into work with the original one.

Last year the event fed over 500 people, and 125 families were assisted with Christmas needs.

Think about that. What would those folks have done if the project had been shelved because we only had eleven folks attend the first luncheon? It surely makes me appreciate those folks who keep doing what they can. And it makes me want to keep doing what I can.


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Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Steam Team

In recent weeks I was privileged to be part of a group of people who volunteered to do cleanup after the wildfires that destroyed so many homes just south of Austin, Texas. The paradox was that one felt great heartache at seeing so much devastation while at the same time feeling gratification for the opportunity to help people in need.

One of the surprising things, to me at least, was that there were homes spared destruction, despite being in the middle of the fire zone. We worked at one home that had water and smoke damage, but that had not burned while the neighbors on either side had had their homes burned to the ground. And I can tell no rhyme or reason why one burned and the other did not.

The people we helped were very grateful for the assistance they received, in part at least because the water & fire damage restoration Austin services and county agencies were inundated with requests that had backlogged. It seems things are getting back to normal, but it is a time I will never forget.



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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Old Dog

Guest post by Gerard Mcdaniel

Today I talked to my sweet little grandpa on the phone. I try and touch base with him every week or so since my grandma passed. Even though they were both very old when she died, he still took it really hard. I remember he told me that she almost “took him down with her.” It broke my heart to see him lonely for the first time in 60-something years. We got him signed up for Meals on Wheels, so two meals a day are taken care of for him. We also got a housekeeper to come by and clean once a week (because judging based on the state of his house, he had no big plans for cleaning in the final years of his life). We had the supports in place to keep him alive, but Grandpa really needed a reason to live. It came to me one day while at work. I decided that I’d Get Wild Blue for Grandpa, so he’d have a way to keep in touch with all of his grandchildren and great grandchildren, even while up there in the hills of Tennessee. I can’t describe what a difference it has made for him. Today he told me he’s been reading recipes online and that he’s about ready to try one. Seems as though you can teach an old dog new tricks.



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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Beach House

Thanks to Wm Rowe

My parents let me have their old house on the beach a few years back mostly because they just didn’t want to have to deal with keeping it up. There was a lot of maintenance involved and when I took over the place it needed a lot of work so I spent the first few months just getting it up to code, literally. I then started adding stuff like ceiling fans on the porch and a expertsatellite.com satellite system and it’s slowly been getting better and better ever since. My husband and I have been talking about renting it out to beachgoers but we’re not sure we want the added responsibility of being landlords on top of already owning a second home. There are a lot of things you don’t think about like hiring a cleaning service or taking the time to go and replace lightbulbs and all that and really it all adds up when the whole reason you want to be there is to be on vacation! I guess we’ll see what we decide.



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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Owning Your Own Place

Contribution by Saul Martin

What is it about owning your own home that makes you feel like a totally capable adult? I mean, I rented places for years, and I even got a child of my own, but when I bought my first house I really felt like I had made it big. Now that I'm married, I'm really glad we own the property together, but that doesn't mean there are times I wish we had money to upgrade. For example, the neighborhood I originally bought in hasn't appreciated quite as much as I would've liked, but that was a quick fix as we went to www.ATLantahomesecurity.com and have ourselves a shiny new alarm system. Now I feel much safer staying in the house alone when my husband is here. I would also like to totally redo the front yard, but that's going to take money and time that we don't have right now, so I guess that will have to wait for another month or even another year. We'll get to it sometime!




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