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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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

An Honest Review of the Book: How To Stay A Christian in High School

HB03-lI just finished a book entitled How to Stay Christian in High School by Steven P Gerali a book written to encourage teens that they do not have to give into the pressures from the world. I kind of had mixed emotions about the book. But here is the good and bad of the book:

The Good

The book was a fresh look at teenagers in the Bible and their ability to overcome great obstacles. I never really thought about how many people in the Bible that we call “Men of God” were really teenagers when their testimony of trust in God was tested. This book really got me to think about other characters outside of the book that faced great testing as a young adult.

As a youth pastor I will adapt some things from this book to encourage my youth group. Two specific teens that the author looks at, Daniel and Joseph, were thrust into pagan societies as teenagers but by the grace of God were able to resist the temptations of the world around them. While they were able to be raised in the early part of their lives in “Christian” homes, as teenagers they were completely separated from the godly influences of their family, but were able to find the strength through God to face their difficult situations. These two were a specific encouragement to me because I know that teens so many times feel like it is impossible to live godly with the seemingly overwhelming ungodly influence around them. This isn’t just how a teen going to public school feels, it is the way teenagers in any type of schooling feels. Even though as I spent my entire teenage years either in a Christian school or homeschooled, I still felt overwhelmed at times with the amount of effort it took to keep a right relationship with God. So there are going to be some good lessons I can adapt from this book.

The Bad

There is a reason that I am going to adapt lessons from this book, rather than use this book as written to use as a Sunday School curriculum. I feel like while trying to make the book feel relevant today, that they over killed it, and at times seemed irreverent to the Scriptures. This isn’t to say that they did it on purpose, but it still struck me in a negative way at times.

I also feel like the author had to assume a lot with some of the points he made, or ways he brought a story together. If I did not already have a keen knowledge of the Bible and the characters that the author presented in the book, it could have possibly come across as more than just creative liberties, but could have made me think that it must really be what the Bible says.

Conclusion

Overall if I were to give this book a rating it would be a 2.5 out of 5 stars. Not a book that I would scream from the rooftops for people to read, but a good one to read like you eat a fish, eating the good parts and spitting out the bones. Looking forward to using some of the thoughts from this book, to teach and preach to my teens.

Pieces from the Pickup Lines #6

I recently picked up a book called How to Stay Christian in High School by Steven P Gerali a book written to encourage teens that they do not have to give into the pressures from the world. He takes several “Teen” Bible characters to give examples of how they can stand for Christ. Here is our “Pieces from the Pickup Line”  from my reading on September 11, 2013.