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.

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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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

How We Handle Santa

UPDATE: 11/16/15 I know some of my readers were wondering how Alex (our 2nd child) was going to do with our handling of Santa. When I wrote the original article Alex hadn’t even started school and he was very outspoken about how he felt. I can say with gladness, that the approach we took with Santa has been successful with both of our oldest children! I can say with a certain amount of confidence that even when our youngest 2 that this approach should work for them as well. (Maybe in 3-4 years when they start school I will update this with how they did with this approach as well)

Originally Posted 2/5/14

So I understand that there are good families who allow their children to believe in Santa, and I am not here to tell them that they are wrong for doing so. To be honest this is an issue that some people at times go overboard with one way or the other. Some will say that Santa is evil, others will almost swear that he is absolutely necessary in order to celebrate Christmas. Whatever the case is, we choose not to teach our children that Santa brings them their gifts at Christmas time. But how can we do this when they are surrounded by friends, teachers, and family that choose to “believe” in Santa? We really handled this in a three fold manner.

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The Value of a Good Teacher

This post was supposed to have posted automatically during the first week of June, but for some reason it didn’t. Better late than never 🙂

Three years of substitute teaching at school has taught me a lot about the value of good teachers. Completing the first year of being a parent with a child in school has also taught me a lot about good teachers. The job of being a teacher is hard work and many times unappreciated.

The value of a good teacher can not be measured by the amount of money they make, as they are worth far more than they could ever be paid. The time they sacrifice in order to ensure that your child is not only succeeding in school, but in life, is something that is a rare find, but something a truly grateful parent with thank the Lord for every day. This is true of teachers in every type of school and every level of school; Public or Private, Elementary School, Middle School, High School, or College.

Aric has just completed his first year of school. As a parent I have to say that we were not only blessed with a great teacher but also an awesome paraprofessional. We have seen Aric grow leaps and bounds in not only his education, but in his social skills as well as his walk with God. Some would question how Aric could possibly grow in his walk with God while attending a public school, but I assure you a large part of it has been his teachers’ reinforcement of the principles he has been taught at home and their godly living. They may not have been able to speak freely about their beliefs but his teachers lived by example in front of their classroom.

Words could never express how truly thankful I am for the teachers God placed in Aric’s life this year. Mrs Beele and Mrs. Milford were a shining example of how valuable a good teacher is, and if they by chance read this blog, all we can say is, “Thank you for all you do as teachers, we have been blessed beyond measure to have you in our child’s life”.

To the Christian Teacher in a Public School

Excellent article from a Christian Teacher in a Public School. Let our Light shine!

My Story, My Song

How many times have you heard the term (or one similar) “They’ve taken God out of public schools!”? I’ve heard it many, many times but so far it has failed to worry me.

Don’t get me wrong, it saddens me that a teacher can actually get fired if he or she offends someone by praying aloud or teaching scripture in a public school. It sickens me that some school systems (not mine) have taken the phrase “under God” out of their daily Pledge of Allegiance. It frustrates and sometimes angers me that other religions seem to be tolerated so quickly, yet Christianity simply will not be tolerated in some public school systems. It makes me want to cry out “What are we doing?”

But when I get completely worked up over laws and rights, I feel the gentle push of the Holy Spirit saying this to me: “When was the last…

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1st Year Comes to An End

In just two short weeks, we will finish the first year of public school as a family. While only one of our children were in school this year, we have learned a lot through this 1st year. Next year we will have two children in school; Aric will be in 1st Grade and Alex will begin Kindergarten. My hope is to give a few end of year wrap up posts to share the incredible journey this year has been. This post I just want to give a few quick points that we learned this year.

1) A great first teacher makes a big difference in how you  and your child views a school (Aric had awesome teachers this year. Thanks Mrs. Beele and Mrs Milford!)

2) Teachers need positive reinforcement from parents (most teachers are faced more often with negative attitudes and comments toward them then they are encouraged at a job well done)

3) Parapros are just as important as teachers.

4) Despite all the horror stories of public schooling, the majority of teachers really do care about your children and really do care about how you feel about your child’s education.

5) Schools really do want parents to be involved

6) Spending extra time with your child is key to reinforcing their education.

7) Children, no matter how well behaved they are, will still at times get in trouble.

8) School teaches you a lot about whether your child is a leader or a follower.

9) School helps you see character traits in your child that you may otherwise overlook.

10) School teaches you a lot about yourself as a parent.

I am sure the list could be built upon, but these are just some general observations from this year in review.