Thursday, August 27, 2009

School's Back in Session-Post #1

...or will be soon enough (shout out to all those who don't start school until after Labor Day)!! I hear conversations all over the place about what kids and parents are excited about this upcoming school year. I hear conversations about the different between public school, christian/private school and home school. I hear about parent meetings and student orientations taking place. I even hear and see comments from parents (usually *moms*) about sending their young kids to school for the first time.

I went to public school nearly my entire life (1/2 semester in private, Catholic school that I cannot even remember), and I remember thinking often about why I need to learn to read, write, do math, understand science, etc. As an adult, being WAY more sophisticated (*cough, cough*), that question has morphed into "What exactly is the purpose of education?"

Just doing a Google search on that question brings about 161,000,000 hits!!! Here is how a few of them answer that question:
  • "The purpose of education is to make the world a better place!"
  • "The purpose of education is mental, moral, and aesthetic development, the unfolding of each person's personal best."
  • The only purpose of education is to teach a student how to live his life-by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality."
  • The central task of education is to implant a will and facility for learning; it should produce not learned but learning people. "
  • "The true purpose of education is to bring about profoundness to one's emotions, to broaden one's perspectives and to lead to a healthier approach of looking at life."
Such a myriad of answers to a seemingly simple question!!! It appears that these definitions and others seem to have 2 things in common: 1) Education is something we receive or do, so that 2) we can give it away or go out and make a difference. Sound familiar???

As believers, we are to RECEIVE the Grace and Love of God through acceptance (the doing) of His Gift, then GO and make a differnece in the world. Education is about Knowing and Growing in Christ to then share that love with others. The goal of education for our children is for them to know God personally and then share it to others.

I'm gonna post some more on this topic over the coming week or so, but feel free to leave some thoughts and comments on this train of thought so far.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Repost: Why we homeschool?

It is a fact that, in America anyway, we live in a money driven society that requires people to work to make money in order to survive. A long way off are the days of Star Trek in which things can be replicated by a computer and consumed (a little shout out to my fellow Trekies). So how do families balance it all?

Should both husband and wife work? Can we make it on one salary? What if the two of you are at odds about this issue? It is an ever brewing and controversial topic in society and even more so in the church. As you may have guessed, or just know about us, my wife is a stay at home mom (SAHM).
Before our 1st child was born, we made the decision for her to stay at home, which has now turned into homeschooling (or will as my other three kids get older). We had to make tough financial choices along the way, some of which are not popular either; but we feel that this is God's design for our family (Deut. 6:4-9, 1 Timothy 5:14, Titus 2:4-5, Acts 20:28-29, Proverbs 27:23).

For us, the bigger issue is about Discipleship - something as believer's in Christ we are ALL called to be part of (Matt. 28:16-20). The more time I have with them, especially when they are young, the more likely it is that my faith will become their faith and will stick as they get older. (Of couse, it will change, but the roots of the faith start with our parents and childhood experiences.)

What are some of your thoughts?


Should Christians Support THIS Health Reform?

A lot of dialogue, some louder than others, is taking place on the issue of Health Care reform given how the current political administration is striving to make it happen. So, perhaps you've asked yourself if we, as Christians, should support it. Well, I began to look around what other believers were saying and I ran across this site. I began to listen to the Teleconference call from supposed Christians and believers of other faiths that took place in showing "Unified support of the faith community" for this health care reform bill.

Take a listen for yourself, if you can stand it:

I've got several thoughts on this issue:
  • If these are the folks speaking for the rest of us, then I do not wish to be part of this so-called Unified Faith Community. They claim the people talking show just how unified we are on this issue, when clearly we ARE NOT!
  • It's not a far jump to understand that government run health care will provide coverage for abortions, since it is currently LEGAL in the US. Of course, they already provide our tax money to Planned Parenthood - which encourage abortion as a viable option of dealing with "Un-Planned" pregnancy
I could go on, but there is too much to list; so let me direct you to a another blog entry that has some great information and Biblically-based (I know, a shocker, right?) thoughts on this issue.

Socialized, Universal health care is NOT the answer to the very real issues we have (high costs that continue to increase, insurance companies willy nilly denying coverage, etc.). There are other ways to accomplish it:
  • Increase Medical Co-ops where members share the cost of the needs of each other.
  • Limit the cost of medicine when the research used to create the medicine is funded (in whole or in part) by our tax dollars.
  • Tax credits to families to help them afford health care
  • Expanding Medicare for better or earlier coverage or lowering out of pocket costs for those on Medicare. Doing the same for Medicaid.
There are other options for, what I can see, is a REAL need for Healthcare reform. Universal healthcare is NOT it!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Safe Web Browsing for Kids

I've ran across a few sites recently that can help you as parents feel safer in having your kids on the internet. (I mean OTHER than not allowing them on it at all.) Here they are:

Safe Web Browsers - This one looks VERY kid friendly.


Microsoft's Informational page on how to set up your computer with safety controls.

If you know someone who could use this information, spread the word.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Indiscretion of Sports Figures

I'm a sports fan - BIG SHOCKER I know. So sports stories intrigued me. This month alone, in the world of sports:
  • we have made a convicted felon trying to find his way back onto a NFL Team (likely the Buffalo Bills);
  • a prominent Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver plead guiltily to killing a man while driving under the influence and get suspended for one full year from the NFL; and
  • a well-known and talented NCAA Men's college basketball coach get caught having had an affair and possibly paying her to get an abortion.
Why do I bring all these up? Not because of the publicity they get in the media and not because I'm sooooo concerned about the reputation of sports or sports figures. No, I bring it up because the standard statement when these guys were confronted, at least initially, is "I had a moment of indiscretion, and I'm sorry." Sounds sincere, right?

Let me define indiscretion: the trait of being injudicious. [Don't you love it when they do that?]

Let me define injudicious: lacking or showing lack of judgment or discretion; unwise.

Huh? Does that sound like admitting to doing anything wrong? Let me paraphrase, "I'm sorry I was unwise and apparently did not do a good enough job to hide it." The things these gentlemen did were wrong, they are sin! But instead they say "I'm sorry I got caught." Culture today, and possibly even the Church, barely sees this! We need to wake up and despite living in this Postmodern age, where objective truth does not exist, we should own up to the mistakes we make and expect others to do the same.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

How Early is too Early?

I read a recent article on Christianity Today's website spelling out one Christian professor's case for early marriage. (I find it intriguing that he works for a secular school in Texas...) The author does not give a specific age he has in mind, but one can figure he is talking about after HS from around 18-22 years of age; and he is definetly speaking about relationships and marriage in America and/or western culture - not of middle eastern or Indian arranged marriages of children as young as 8!!! If you haven't done so already, read through that article first.

Now, first off, I have not typically been a form of the group that publishes CT as I believe that have purposefully pushed a liberal agenda in the Church. So I was actually shocked, but pleasantly so, to see this article on the website (not sure if it is included in their print magazine). With that said, I believe this article makes some excellent points! I'm not going to get into the biological issues (since I am not a biologist or psychologist, nor have any interest to be so), but I do want to address one issue that I know will come up for most people reading the article.

Here is the question: "Don't young people need to get a college education so they can support themselves and any family? Doesn't that need to happen before they get tied down into a marriage and/or family?" Um, well, NO! I'm pretty sure that's not included as an 11th Commandment or anything.

So what's wrong for young persons to get married providing they show appropriate signs of faith, maturity and responsibility (which is key)? Yes, God has put some guidelines in place for our benefit, but not sure what those would entail in terms of early marriage??? Yes, sex and intimacy should be reserved until one is married (perhaps this should include even kissing - duh, duh, duh). For me, this hark ens back to a different discussion about the culture of college aged kids going off to school after HS rather than sticking around and starting to earn an income and attend a local community coll. or tech school. I think we perpetuate the problem by forcing kids to NOT take responsibility after HS by sending them to a school in which virtually all their expenses are paid for (tuition, R & B, books, etc.) b-4 entering the so call "real world."

OK, I'm not a crazy anti-education uber-conservative (I have both a Bachlor's and Master's Degree from fully accredited schools). But I think we have not only not listened to biology, but also to God's Word - "He who finds a wife (hear spouse), finds what is good."

I'm interested to "hear" what you have to say, so leave a comment or two.