When a Child Connects the Dots

maxresdefaultWe recently took a vacation trip to Kentucky to visit several sights. We had an enjoyable time with my wife’s side of the family and enjoyed some incredible places. We adventured to the Cincinnati Zoo, the Newport Aquarium, the Creation Museum, and the Ark Encounter. The youngest children enjoyed the zoo and aquarium the most, and Aric and Alex enjoyed the Ark the most.

We as a family have been to the Creation Museum several times, the earliest being when Aric and Alex were 1 & 2, but this time as we went, they have gained a little more grasp and understanding on what the Museum was all about. Their favorite things to see were the dinosaur fossils, planetarium, and the insectitorium (there were some pretty cool bugs in there too.) After watching the planetarium presentation about just how amazing our universe is, it was fun listening to Aric and Alex talk about the things that they learned and saw and how God had created it all.

The following day we made our way to the Ark Encounter, a full scale replica of Noah’s Ark. This is where I could see the dots begin to connect in Aric’s mind. We had spent a good amount of time on the ark. It is an incredible museum that really brought the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark to life. There were three stories of artifacts and displays.

The bottom story mainly had examples of what the “kinds” of animals may have looked like, how Noah would have been able to fit all the “kinds” animals into the ark, and scaled model of what the layout of the rooms in the ark may have looked like.

The second story had some more animal examples, a video, and some other articles. We took a break before heading back to the last floor on the ark.

On the third floor, we came to two section that just fascinated Aric. One was a section of fossils and the second was a section about the ice age. Aric had studied about fossils this year in school, so because of that, he started reading a creation science approach about how fossils were formed. After reading it he turned around and told me “this makes much more sense then fossils being ‘millions’ of years old”, he wanted to stay and continue to read about fossils, but the rest of the family had moved on to the next section. The next section we came to talked about the ice age. It compared the creation science ideal of a single short ice age to that of the evolutionary ideal of many long ice ages, the ice age was another subject they had studied about in school. The dot was connected here when he was reading the story of “The Lost Squadron of WWII” and how a 2 B-17 bombers were buried in 250 ft of ice in less than 40 years and how that presents a problem for the ideal of slow ice ages that lasted hundreds of thousands or millions of years. Finally when we got done with our whole tour of the Ark, Aric piped up and said, “boy all this stuff we looked at today was great and makes me know the Bible is true. I know the flood really happened and it is clear to see.”

I loved seeing all this working in Aric’s and Alex’s minds and them learning to connect the dots of science and the Bible. They are learning to listen with discretion and look at things through Biblical glasses and know that science absolutely fits with the Bible without having to believe in millions of years.

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Guest Post: America’s Greatest Mission Field

In the fall of 2016, it was reported by the National Center for Education Statistics that approximately 50.4 million students attended public elementary and secondary schools.  About 35.4 million were in prekindergarten through the eighth grade, and 15 million ninth through twelfth graders (https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372).  This is astounding because it’s about 16% of the United States’ population.  In fact, if you were to start a brand new country with those students it would rank in the top 30 most populated countries in the world.  It is my firm belief this is the greatest mission field in the United States of America.

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Youth: Not the Leaders of Tomorrow

I’ve heard it said “Youth are the leaders of tomorrow”. I’ve heard this said by teachers, preachers, and politicians, and I would contend they are wrong. Youth are not the leaders of tomorrow, they are the leaders of today!

Teens are amazing people! Teens have the ability to lead and to be strong leaders at that. Teens are inventive, ingenious, and innovative.

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End of 2016-2017 School Year

The end of another school year and what a wonderful year it was too! It seems like just yesterday that the boys started the school year and then I blinked and it was over.

Two things that stood out the first few weeks of school that made me really appreciate the school system we are in and the teachers at our school. I felt from the beginning of the school year that it was going to be a really good school year and that the teachers my boys were blessed with would show great love and care, while also being a great example of Christ. Here are the two things that lead me to feel this way:

  1. The day we met Alex’s teacher, she unashamedly had Christian music playing in her classroom. This spoke volumes of her testimony and her love for Christ.
  2. At a youth gathering of students from the local churches coming to pray together, Aric’s teacher was there as a sponsor from her church and prayed along with the students from her church.

To see our teachers being unashamed of their Christianity and being open about it makes me realize that those years of worrying what people thought of public school or my presupposed ideals were in vain, and that God knew perfectly what He was doing when He guided us to the area we are in and to put our children in the Public school system.

Aric and Alex both had excellent years academically, and they are looking forward to Alto starting Pre-K next school year and being able to go to school with them.

This year Aric (3rd Grade) was one of a few 3rd graders to be selected to be part of our school robotics program (Our school is one of a few elementary schools in Georgia to have a robotics program). Aric loved this and enjoyed building a robot the 1st half of the year and displaying it with his partner at the Fall Festival in November. In the Spring he was able to participate in a rocket challenge he decorated his with Mario and one 1st place for best in show!

Alex (2nd Grade) was able to perform in this years Christmas Play, he was a reindeer, unfortunately he got a little stage fright and forgot his one line he got to say “Generous, and don’t forget generous!”, But he insists he still would love to act. He also had perfect attendance this year! He has really improved in his reading. (remember my Something Clicked article)

I was able to participate in the S.T.E.A.M. day again at school in May and teach about graphic design. Every year I have done this I have given out information about our church including a Gospel tract. I was able to do this once again this year and also offer an audio Bible to the student who could answer a question at the end correctly. The students LOVED getting the prize (I designed the packaging for the audio Bible).

I look forward to what the 2017-2018 school year has in store for us!

 

Society and the Christian Influence.

What I am about to write, will probably ruffle some feathers and that’s okay, sometimes we need our feathers ruffled. It goes back to my Real or Not Real post in some ways because it is another mind set that has effected us as a nation. This post will not be completely about “Facing the Public” in the sense of public school, however that is part of the equation.

As we enter the voting season (just 7 days from now) we are faced with a very divided nation, both conservatives and liberals are divided about “their” presidential candidates. Christians are divided about who to vote for, many say you have to vote for Trump, others say vote for a relatively unknown person like McMullen because he is a more “moral” person. I have personally seen people attack one another in a rash series of posts on facebook about their said candidate that they prefer, and while this isn’t unusual during any election year, it has been far worse this year seeing conservatives fighting other conservatives and liberal fighting other liberals over the selections of candidates.

I will make no bones about it, I am both conservative and a Christian. I won’t post who I plan to vote for, because frankly it isn’t important to the article and it isn’t any of your business anyways. But as a conservative and a Christian seeing other conservatives and Christians complain about our presidential candidates, I have one thing to say, our nation is in the state it is politically and morally because of the failure of Christians to influence society as a whole. Don’t blame it on liberal agenda. Don’t blame it on President Obama. Don’t blame it on Hillary Clinton. Don’t blame it on Congress or the House. It is the fault of Christians who have chosen to remove themselves from the sphere of influence and have therefor failed to reach into society and make a difference.

As you know I am a big supporter of Christian students and teachers in the public school. I don’t believe it is for every family, but I think there needs to be far more than their currently are. You see when prayer (BTW it wasn’t a ban on all prayer) was removed from school, Christians left, and left all influence they had. How can you expect public schools to be any different than they are, if the influence of Christianity has been removed, not by laws, but by Christians themselves? This is an opportunity to reach society that we need to be a part of.

But it isn’t just the realm of Public Schools that Christians have removed themselves from. I can remember one time while in college we had several politicians visit the school. One of them was running for a local office, and was also a local Pastor. After their visit, I can remember several students talking in the dorm how impossible it could be for someone to be a good Pastor while being a politician as well. This shows that there is an underlying ideal that you can not be a good Christian while also being a good politician, so Christians remove themselves from the ideal of being in Politics, when what we need is to have more people like Andrew Hemingway who ran for governor of New Hampshire, in 2014. He is a strong Christian but is also very influential on the political front. These are people who influence society.

What about Lawyers? I hear people all the time “all lawyers are liars”, if it is said often enough, people begin to believe it. So why would a Christian want to be a lawyer, when everyone thinks that all lawyers are liars! Grant it some lawyers are liars, but you can’t judge all lawyers by a few bad lawyers, just as you can’t judge all Christians by a bad experience with other Christians! We need more Christian lawyers, and not just those who are going to work for a Christian Firm, we need Christians working in secular firms as well! These are people who influence society.

So when you look at the state of our nation and how far we have come, when Christians remove themselves from the positions to influence society, it isn’t right to blame society for going in the direction that the sinful nature of people is going to take them, it is the fault of the Christian for refusing to do his duty and reach the World.

So when a Christian family feels that Public School is God’s leading for their children, don’t criticize them, but encourage them and their children to go out and influence other students. When a Christian feels called to be a Public School teacher, let them know you will pray for them daily and for the students that they have an opportunity to influence for good. When a person who is a Christian feels called to run for a public office encourage them and let them know you will stand with them and behind them as they face an ever changing society. When a Christian feels called to be a lawyer or judge, hold them high, pray for them that God would help them discern what is right, true, and just. Don’t discourage these people from influencing society, encourage them to follow God’s calling no matter what it is!

Real or Not Real

In the recently popular book The Mockingjay (book 3 of the Hunger Games) Katniss and Peeta go through an exercise to bring a sense of trust with each other. Peeta would ask a question and then ask Katniss “Real or not real”, to try to return to that trust Peeta once had with Katniss before the capital hijacked (brainwashed) him.

What does this have to do with anything about raising children in the Public school? I’m Glad you asked.

School for our children starts next week (ugh it is the first week of August and already back in school). I have been praying not only for my own children but also for the teens in our church as they start back to the school year. My own children and most of the youth group kids are in the public school system and I am praying for them to have a wonderful year with many opportunities to share Christ with their friends.

The other day as I was listening to the radio and a song came on about “Prayer”, as it came to the second verse the words were “Well they tell our children not to pray  when they walk through the school-house door, according to the Constitution, you can’t do that anymore.” Honestly when I heard these words I though “That is an outright LIE”. REAL or NOT REAL? NOT REAL.

For years I heard it said from respected Christian leaders that the public schools were evil, that children could no longer pray, that students could no longer share their faith, that no Christian had business sending their children to the public school because God was not in any way, shape, or form allowed to be mentioned or talked about. REAL or NOT REAL? NOT REAL.

I am sure there are a minority of schools (especially in more urban areas) that would try to put a stop to the Christian influence in school, however in the majority of schools today students still have every opportunity to share their faith with others.

Children are not usually told they can’t pray when the enter the school.

The Constitution doesn’t say that students can’t pray.

In fact here is a reminder to our students of what the LAW DOES SAY about Christian Students and their rights. REAL OR NOT REAL? REAL.

  1. A student may wear a T-shirt or Use a pencil with a religious message, Bible verse, or Christian slogan printed on it.
  2. Christian students are also able to pass out Gospel tracts to classmates during non-instructional time in the same way they are allowed to pass out non-religious materials. This should be done in a way that doesn’t disrupt the normal events of a school day.
  3. Students can discuss religious matters or pray at any time when they are permitted to interact with other students- before and after school, during lunch, between classes – as long as the discussions don’t constitute harassment of a particular person or group. Any time a student is permitted to discuss non-instruction matters, he may also discuss religious matters, which includes witnessing and praying with others.
  4. Prayer is protected under the first amendment. A student may pray before eating lunch or silently before taking a test… as long as there are tests, there will be prayer in school.
  5. Christians are able to read the Bible in school whenever other non-instructional books are permitted to be read – at lunch or during study hall for example.
  6. Christians may express their religious beliefs in any written or oral assignment. If the views of all other students are allowed, the teacher may permit a Christian to share his views, as well.
  7. Public secondary schools must give Bible clubs the same privileges as any other school club, as long as the club is led by a student and not by a faculty sponsor. Bible club meetings may include prayer, Bible reading, and singing.
  8. Christian students may be excluded from a lesson or activity which would “substantially burden a student’s free exercise of religion, and if the school cannot prove a compelling interest in requiring attendance, the school is legally required to excuse the student from that lesson or activity”.

 

The principle of all these guidelines is that you can not disrupt classroom or school order. It’s not illegal to talk about God or the Bible in public schools. The more you know about your rights as a public school students, the more you will be able to exercise those rights in witnessing to non-Christians and fellowshipping with other believers.

So STUDENTS you have a REAL opportunity to share Christ this year at school. Are you going to make your faith REAL or NOT REAL?

BirchBox Review: January 2016

So I really didn’t have any friends who had ever to my knowledge use the subscription service with BirchBox. But as I was looking at subscriptions for clothing, BirchBox was one that kept on coming up as a suggested box subscription for men. So I bit the bullet and decided to try it out. It took just about 1 week from my setting up my subscription to get my first box in the mail. I will share my review below: Continue reading

Christian Kids in Public School at Today’s Christian Woman

This was a great read. When I read it a few months ago, I was able to read the whole article, now you can only read part of it, but still the part that you are able to read was very good. The author was kind enough to give us open access to the entire article! At some point of time I will have Kim Harms write a guest post for us.

Source: Christian Kids in Public School at Today’s Christian Woman

Turning the World Upside Down!

the-world-upside-down-wallpaperIn today’s changing world it is easy to get discouraged as it seems the next generation of Christians are falling away faster then any other generation before them. Statistics tell us that an alarming 70% of young people are leaving or don’t attend church regularly after age 18-22. But I believe that this up and coming generation has a great opportunity to “Turn the world upside down”. Continue reading