Friday, September 20, 2019

Do You Know What the Democrats Said at Their Debate?

"The last debate among 10 Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for president set a new low for demagoguery, contempt for America and just plain foolishness.  

Here are some examples:

Andrew Yang: 'In America today, everything revolves around the almighty dollar — our schools, our hospitals, our media, even our government.'

It is difficult to imagine a more contemptuous, not to mention erroneous, view of America."

Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

The Kavanaugh Reboot

"When the U.S. Supreme Court, under a previous ideological majority, was handing down decisions favorable to the left, Democrats were fine with deferring to that third branch of government to achieve what they declined to produce in legislation. Some Democrats in conservative states took the position that it wasn’t their fault that cases voters regarded as constitutionally wrong and morally unprincipled were being decided. Blame the justices, not them.

The assault on the court has become worse now that Democrats see their primary avenue to legal and cultural change slipping away. The latest is the post-confirmation assault on Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Opponents failed to deny him a seat on the court with testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, who couldn’t remember important details of a sexual assault she claimed Justice Kavanaugh perpetrated on her.

But frustrated Democrats at The New York Times keep trying. The Times published a story last Sunday that alleged Justice Kavanaugh, while at Yale, “exposed himself and friends pushed his penis into the hands of a female student.” The incident was supposedly witnessed by a classmate, Max Stier, who went on to become a lawyer for Bill Clinton (oh, the irony), who supposedly communicated the story to the FBI and senators at the time of Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination."

Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Intentions, Wisdom, and Evil

"Our age loves scientific equations. Here’s one you weren’t taught at college but which affects you as much as the law of gravity:

GI – W = E

Good Intentions (GI) minus Wisdom (W) leads to Evil (E).

You weren’t taught this rule at college because the modern university believes only science has rules. 'Rules of life' is another term for wisdom, and there is no wisdom — or even pursuit of wisdom — at our universities."

Picture used by permission from Wikipedia Commons.

Intentional Parenting

Famous baseball catcher Yogi Berra played against slugger Hank Aaron in the 1957 World Series. An on-plate exchange occurred between the two when Aaron prepared to bat. Berra chided, “Henry, you need to hold the bat so you can read the label. You're gonna break that bat. You've got to be able to read the label." 

Aaron remained silent, but he knocked the ball out of the park on his next hit. After running the bases and touching home plate, he responded to Berra, “"I didn't come up here to read." 
In a word, Aaron exuded intentionality. Merriam-Webster defines intentionality as “done by design.”  It speaks of the quality of being purposeful and deliberate.
We can approach parenting purposefully and deliberately. First, we can be intentional with time. When my daughter was four, we began going out on dates. Our first one included dressing in our “Sunday best” one afternoon and eating lunch at Dempsey’s Pizza. Now that she is a teenager, I still look for times and ways to spend time one-one-one.
Building the relationship with our children requires time. Don’t swallow the old lie that only quality time matters. In reality, quality time cannot be manufactured. It occurs in the middle of quantity time.
As our children grew into pre-teens, we began taking them on summer overnight father-son and mother-daughter excursions. Last fall my youngest son and I enjoyed an overnight excursion kayaking on the French Broad River.
I know life is busy. I know the months and years clip at a fast pace. So let’s take out our calendars now to plan quantity time.
Second, be intentional with reading. The importance of reading in raising wise, productive children cannot be overstated. Mark Hamby of Lamplighter Books shares that only two natural factors determine how different you are five years from now: the people you meet and the books you read.
We can expose our children to great books from history, great stories from literature, and great attributes from people’s lives. Be careful to not let your children’s repertoire consist only of the latest superhero or potty-humored popular series.
Child-appropriate series abound retelling classic stories like Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island, and Little Women. As your children mature, guide them toward good, positive literature that is well-written, thought-provoking, and teaches life lessons.  One man said, "The only natural things that will make you different five years from now than who you are today are the books you read and the people you meet."
We can be intentional with boundaries. Remember, we are not primarily our children’s friends. We are their parents. One seminary professor said leadership means you get far enough ahead of people so they can spot you are the leader – but not so far ahead that they mistake you for the enemy and shoot you in the bottom!
Intentional parenting requires making hard and sometimes unpopular decisions. We set boundaries for our children for their best interest.
Last summer, my wife birthed a marvelous plan. She created a chore chart for electronic time. In order for our children to use their phones, video games, and devices, they had to earn time-based on household chores. I’ve never seen them so motivated to clean the house!
And be intentional with family devotions. Raising Christ-followers in our homes necessitates time spent at the family altar. Various methods and catechisms abound. However, I found the most effective approach is to simply open the Bible and authentically share what is on my heart from God’s Word. The genuineness of Dad and Mom sharing from God’s Word out of the overflow of our personal relationship with Jesus Christ leaves an indelible – and intentional - print on the souls of our children.
 This article first appeared in HomeLife magazine in January 2019.

Pictures used by permission from Pixabay.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Think Rightly

“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.”  Philippians 4:8

A person with a clear spiritual mind wants to pursue the Lord’s will, plan, and purpose for his life.  – Charles Stanley

The world’s most popular pornographic internet site released a statistic in January 2016 regarding the hours that viewers watched porn in 2015.  On their site alone, viewers watched over 4 billion hours of videos.  That means they saw over 450,000 years worth of pornography in terms of hours.

Wickedness has always been around.  But wickedness has never been as accessible as it is today.  The digital age brings with it an abundance of evil.  I heard Christian apologist Josh McDowell say that internet pornography is the single greatest threat to Christian morality that the church has faced in 2000 years.

The apostle Paul reminds us in these verses to fix our minds on godly matters.  Verse eight can serve as a filter for our thoughts – if we will train ourselves to use it.  We should learn to frisk our thoughts when they appear in our brains.  Embrace truth in a world that loves falsehood.   Ask, “Is this an honorable or dishonorable line of thinking?”  Choose justice and purity for the internet sites we frequent.  Ask, “Would my family or friends think it is commendable to look at and think on such things?”  Choose to dwell on thoughts that are excellent and that are worthy of praise.

The battle for the successful, obedient Christian life begins in the mind.  The war is won or lost on that battlefield.  We can memorize Scripture, say no to inappropriate or questionable material, and ask the Spirit of God to serve as our guard and umpire.

Picture used by permission from Pixabay.