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

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 30, 2010

Better Bathrooms!

My wife and I began some months ago to be concerned about having to bring our aging parents to stay with us in their waning days, not that not to mention the fact that we are approaching retirement age ourselves. Our ranch-style home that was built in the 1960s is spacious enough and would be comfortable for them, but it was not designed to be easily accessed by those who might be in a wheelchair or motorized scooter. That was especially true of our bathroom.

We knew that we needed to remodel, but were unsure of what really could and should be done. So we went online to sites like There we found a multitude of ideas and products that would meet our needs. Not only did they have standard bathroom fixtures and accessories, but they also showed possible bathroom suites and ways to arrange the facility for better accessibility for those with limited mobility.

We were able to transform our bathtub into a handicap accessible shower facility with safety features, and comfort features, that will be able to accommodate our parents if they indeed do have to come and stay in our home, and will certainly make things easier for us as we get older.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hope For Haiti's Children

Yesterday at the preachers’ luncheon we learned about the work of a faith based group called Hope for Haiti’s Children. This group feeds, educates, and for some orphans, houses children in the outskirts of Port Au Prince. They can fully fund that work for about $40 per month per child. They were already in Haiti before the earthquake and their students were among the top in standardized testing for the whole country. In the aftermath of the quake they have been distributing food and supplies to other organizations—no strings attached.

One of the things that really caught my attention is that the folks who set the ministry up established a separate fund for administrative costs. It is supported by folks who want to assure the work will continue. And that allows that every donation that is made for the children goes, 100 cents of every dollar, directly to the needs of those being helped! Rainy season began about two weeks ago, with most folks living in tent cities with little or no sanitation facilities. To take a look or to donate, go to

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Filthy Thirteen

I just read a book called, The Filthy Thirteen, about the WW2 paratroopers that were loosely portrayed in the movie, The Dirty Dozen. The author was one of the original group of demolition specialists who had combat jumps behind enemy lines at Normandy, in Holland, at Bastogne, and in Germany. They were recalcitrant soldiers who did not polish and shine and did not salute officers, but they were not criminals--as they were portrayed in the movie.

The book is graphic in its description of the war, but it is a good read. If you would like to see videos online about the group, here is a url that will help you find them:

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Evacuate or Else

I just heard an announcement that the State of Texas will implement a new law effective September 1. It provides authority to arrest any citizen who refuses a mandatory evactuation notice, such as the ones issued last fall when Hurricane Ike was about to hit our area.

There are always some people who ignore the warnings, at their own peril. There are still some bodies missing from the storm surge Ike brought. The proponents of the law point to the dangers to rescue people in the midst of the storms when the stragglers change their minds. No doubt there is a danger. And perhaps arrest might save lives of those so foolish as to stay in the face of danger.

Still I wonder about such a law. What do you thinK?

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Reflections on Contentment

Reflections on Contentment
Current mood: content
Category: Life
Sometime back I read a blog on Happiness and its relationship to money. I would like to affirm the idea that contentment is in reality a state of mind over which individuals should have at least some measure of control. We should determine that we will not let anyone else dictate the way respond to any situation, no matter how distasteful. Like the Apostle Paul, we should strive to be content in whatever state we find ourselves.

That being said, there are some things that I find it much easier to be content in doing! I enjoy being with my family for a meal, especially if afterward we can play a game together. I like listening to an acapella choral group or a little child's prayer. I love a pitcher's duel, or an overtime basketball game. I like warm weather and warm smiles. I like to pick up pecans in the fall, and I like writing short, reflective articles about things that bring me joy!

I am sure you have some favorite activities as well, how about sharing them? I would enjoy that too.

Philippians 4:11 "for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content."

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