Search

TruthNotes

Timeless truth in a changing world

Category

Society

How to Raise Kids Who Care

image

People lament that kids in America are selfish, irresponsible, and entitled; that a day without video games is unthinkable to most American children. So how can you raise kids who defy those odds? who care about others and want to help? who put others before themselves? By modeling this behavior yourself.

If you’ve ever wondered these things about your own kids, here’s an article I wrote for the website Raising Godly Children. It is possible to raise kids who care. It just takes some work on your part, and the article is full of suggestions to get you started.

Advertisements

When You Aren’t as Generous as You Think

image

“Over half of the members in this congregation give less than the price of a Happy Meal every week.”

These words were spoken in a sermon about stewardship, and they’ve stuck with me ever since. Churches seem to be perpetually behind budget, nearly always in debt, and is it any wonder? If half of the members are giving $5 or less, how can we expect to sustain our congregations? Granted, this includes all those members “on the rolls” who don’t actually come, but let’s face it––tithing is not a common practice in our culture today. Sure, people can spend money on cable and Internet and cars and sports and lessons and… But church? Tithing is foreign to many people. So as I sat in church that Stewardship Sunday while the pastor discussed giving, I admit I felt a little swell of pride. Ah, I thought to myself smugly, but I DO tithe. I’m a faithful giver. But upon further reflection, I came to a startling revelation. I’m not nearly as generous as I’d like to think I am.

Continue reading “When You Aren’t as Generous as You Think”

Intentional Living

image

If you give a mom a free day, she’ll drop her kids off at school and come home to enjoy a cup of coffee. While she’s drinking the coffee, she’ll start to unload the dishwasher. As she’s putting away the glasses, she’ll remember that the dog needs food and water. She’ll fill his dish. While she’s outside, she’ll realize it’s a beautiful day. She’ll take the dog for a walk. When she comes home, she’ll take a long shower. As she’s getting dressed, she’ll discover she has no clean socks and get a load ready to throw in the washing machine. She’ll take out the clothes that have been in the dryer for three days and start to fold them. Halfway through, she’ll hear her phone ding. She’ll need to catch up on texts and emails. Then she’ll move to Facebook. A comment on Facebook will remind her of her favorite movie so she’ll decide to watch it. When the movie is over, her stomach will remind her that she hasn’t eaten yet. She’ll go to the kitchen to make a sandwich only to realize there are no clean plates in the cupboard. She’ll remember she still hasn’t unloaded the dishwasher. Instead she’ll take a swallow of her now-cold coffee as she glances at the clock to realize it’s time to pick up her kids from school. And chances are, when she gets the kids from school, she’s going to wish for another free day.

Continue reading “Intentional Living”

Surviving in a Hostile Environment

image

I like to joke that I live in a hostile environment. As a Michigan transplant to Texas, I’m not at all used to the climate down here. It’s much hotter here, and the sun is a lot more intense. Some days I can’t get enough water. When the heat index is over 100 and the AC runs almost constantly just to keep it at 80, even being inside is dehydrating, and I drink water all day long. Summertime is downright miserable. My poor blonde-haired children are no match for the sun, so I need to be extra vigilant about protecting them, lest they burn or get dehydrated or get heatstroke. Like I said, we’re in a hostile environment.

Continue reading “Surviving in a Hostile Environment”

Give Your Kids the Gift of Boredom

image

At what age do kids learn to be bored? Is it something they develop on their own, or do we inadvertently teach it to them? I explore those questions in this article for Raising Godly Children, and although I didn’t plan it this way, it’s a great follow-up to my post from yesterday about going tech free.

The Tech Free Challenge

image

Only in America would someone go for a week without technology and then blog about it. Last week my kids and I challenged each other to go the entire week without our phones, tablets, computers, and TVs. (Okay, I issued the challenge. They went along with it very grudgingly.) It was a perfect time to do this, since school isn’t in session and relatively few people need to get in contact with any of us. I did allow phone calls, but that was it. So what would we, a typical modern family, do without our screens for an entire week? I envisioned dramatic changes and unintended consequences, but to be honest, the whole thing was pretty anticlimactic. I guess you could say the experiment was a failure.

Continue reading “The Tech Free Challenge”

Toning Up

image

I used to have toned muscles. Many moons ago when we lived in a bigger city and had two less children, I belonged to a gym, where I split my time between the elliptical and the resistance machines. I went three or four times a week, and with regular use, my muscles got stronger and more toned. But when we moved I didn’t have a gym available, and with the addition of another baby, it was too hard to coordinate anyhow. So my muscles weren’t being used in the same ways, and therefore lost their nice toned look. Recently I noticed just how un-toned they are, so I determined to strengthen them again. I found an app that led me through various exercises, and I felt great doing them––wall push ups, overhead presses, triceps dips. Ah, it was good to be working the various muscle groups. But the next day, those same muscles were pretty sore, and I had to admit a harsh truth––I’m not as in shape as I used to be.

Continue reading “Toning Up”

Taking the Gospel for Granted

image

Familiarity breeds contempt.

So goes the old expression. And we get the basic premise; At first, everything is new and exciting, but over time that excitement fades and one tends to take for granted what once was  an amazing blessing. Whether this plays out in a marriage, a job, or even possessions, we can all think of examples. But what happens when you find yourself feeling this way about the Gospel?

Continue reading “Taking the Gospel for Granted”

One Big Happy Family


This weekend was bittersweet for our family. My father, a pastor, retired after forty years in the ministry. The last twenty-eight of those years he spent at the same church in Michigan. He took a call there when I was in the fifth grade. I consider it my home church. It’s strange to think of my parents going anywhere else. But retiring is different for a pastor than for other vocations. If someone retires from an office job, say, there’s no need to switch churches as well. However, when a pastor retires, in most cases he leaves his church as well. This is difficult, because often that’s their support network and social circle. These are the people who have celebrated together in good times and pulled together in difficult times; people who worship together every week. Indeed, they are a church family. And it’s hard to say goodbye to such a family. Continue reading “One Big Happy Family”

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑