Category Archives: Child Training

A Sad Fact About Kansas  

We like our state. It is small-business friendly, politically conservative (currently), and the moderate weather is never boring. Locals, however, do not ever sit in the grass in the country in summertime because they know that those who do will regret it. On occasion we will notice broken down travelers sitting in the tall grass alongside the Interstate and shake our heads. Why is that not a good idea?

Because in the grass live tiny, almost invisible creatures, trombiculidae (smaller than a pencil point), that search out innocent victims they can climb aboard. Then they will crawl on your skin to find some comfy, dark, warm place that is safe and protected. They will then inject digestive enzymes into you that break down your skins cells so they can feast on the small pieces. When they are finished, they will drop off of you, leaving you itching and scratching like crazy.    

Chiggers, we call them. They won’t kill you, but they can make you miserable for up to two weeks. What may seem like a reasonable decision at the moment – sit a while in the lush green grass of summer – can yield miserable consequences. 

Satan, like a chigger of the mind and soul, wants your children. He will take advantage of any opportunity you give him. What bad decisions have you handed him lately? 

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) 

Life Isn’t Easy

“And he killed James the brother of John with the sword” (Acts 12:2). 

These eleven words represent a lot of pain. Physical pain for James and emotional pain for those who knew and loved him. Life involves pain, and some have more than others. Do we follow the Lord Jesus so that He gives us good things or because He is “the way, the truth, and the life”?

As we follow Christ, there will be pain. That is as certain as taxes and death. Expect it, and embrace it when it comes. Then let God pour out His grace and love in your life so that you are prepared to help others.

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)


No Worries

Growing up, I often had to cross the old concrete Third Street Bridge. To a young guy, it was as tall as a mountain, and if you should fall off of it death was certain. Would you believe that there was no placard on the guardrail warning people not to walk on it? No one ever fell because no one was stupid enough to walk on the guardrail even though it was quite wide.

I wonder how people lived through those years gone by before we had the countless warnings labels, placards, stickers, and barriers. Even the Internet weather sites have warnings. Do not burn leaves and such or drive high-profile vehicles because it is windy today. Do not drive through flowing water because it is raining. Do not drive unless necessary because it is snowing and the roads are icy.

With so many looking to others for direction, how can the greatest source of wisdom, exhortation, and warning be ignored, even among believers? So here is a label for you. Warning: To avoid stumbling, you must be reading and obeying God’s Word daily.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)


Forget Self-Discipline

Who wants to read about self-discipline these days? Where’s the grace in self-discipline? What a restricting way to live – right? It is okay to live without boundaries since we are free in Christ. Let’s talk about grace – only grace – and forget obedience and self-control.

Isn’t that what most want to read and the way they want to be encouraged? Yet, all we have to do is look around and observe the “fruit” of that sort of life: diabetes, divorce, obesity, spiritual bankruptcy, heart disease, out-of-control children, and nothing accomplished at the end of a day or of a life. 

Recall the last time you heard someone complain because they had too much temperance (self-discipline)? What – you never heard anyone complain about having too much self-disciple? Neither have I. Make your “best friend” a disciplined life under the control of the Holy Spirit. Learn to make difficult decisions and then execute them. Have consistent daily Bible times, bedtime, wakeup time, study, exercise, and say “No” to temptations. Don’t be like the guy who could say “No” to everything but, temptation. There are lots of “reasons” why most choose to be average – not one of them is good.  Be a great example for your children.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)


Run-Up on a Stump

Whenever we traveled in a bus, we were extremely careful when crossing railroad tracks. Crossings are often higher than the approach and exit of the road, and since the bus had a low clearance, there was significant risk of “high-centering.” The modern-day equivalent of the saying “run-up-on-a-stump” is to be high-centered on a railroad track crossing. It is to be avoided at all costs.

If you picture a bus stuck on a crossing, you are picturing the danger some families may be headed toward. I wonder how many families are “cruising” along in life and are not careful of high-centering on a crossing. They do not think it could happen to them because, after all, they homeschool and they are Christians.

The world expects their children to go the way of the world, but believing families have higher hopes for a better future—and rightfully so. We must be constantly on guard.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)


Approved Containers?

Do you comply with the new mandated safety standards for gasoline? My understanding is that the mandated containers are more for the protection of the environment than for the protection of people. Common sense and caution are still required because gasoline is flammable and poisonous.

Lye, a chemical (sodium hydroxide) used in making soap, is found in many homes. Lye is possibly even more dangerous to people than gasoline. I know two families in which children added water to a dry, empty cup that had previously been used to transfer lye and took a drink. Immediately upon drinking the water, they began screaming in pain as their throats were “burned.” Though both children lived, they had serious health challenges for years afterward.

Tragically, many families today often ignore an even greater danger. A child’s mind is a container that deserves the greatest care as to what is put into it, because what goes into a mind can NEVER be removed. Although it may be difficult at times to find something you might want to retrieve from your mind, you cannot remove what is there. 🙂

What you put into a child’s mind can be either tremendously beneficial or disastrous to the child’s future. Are we being responsible parents by regulating what goes into our children’s minds? Are we instilling in them the need for great caution in what they allow in?

“For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.” (Romans 16:19)


What Time Is on Time?

I could not find the person to credit with this saying, but I love the quote: “If you’re on time, you’re late, and if you are five minutes early, you are on time.” Implementing this shows love and respect for others.

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Galatians 5:14)


“R” Your Kids Missing the Boat?

Praise God, we still have the right to homeschool our children. I’ve met homeschooling parents who are very committed to having their children finish their schooling with mastery of the four R’s. In the current “feel good,” “learning must be fun,” “we don’t want anyone to feel bad” educational mentalities of today, solid preparation is sorely needed, and many homeschooling parents are rising to the call. Some, however, may have forgotten the value of the four R’s.

“Reading” —whatever happened to it? It seems like reading has been replaced with videos. Sit back, take it easy, and your children will be entertained and spoon-fed. Reading is the key that unlocks unlimited resources. Always be careful about what is being read. Lord have mercy on the children whose parents let them read all sorts of evil books.

“Riting” is a key medium of communication. More than just penmanship, emphasis on grammar and spelling is necessary. In addition to writing, learning to carry on an intelligent conversation is vital. Teri and I visited a woman on hospice and her daughter recently. They spoke so highly of the time Mary and Anna visited previously. They loved how the girls were such great conversationalists.

“Rithmetic” is thought of as less important these days with the availability of calculators. When is the last time you checked out somewhere and the cashier counted back your change to you? As long as we have money, we will need to know how to add and subtract.

Yes, I said four “R’s.” The fourth “R” is Responsibility. Often the most neglected “R,” responsibility is foundational for preparing a child for life. Every person needs to take responsibility for his choices. We as parents need to teach our children responsibility. Sadly, we are seeing the consequences of a society where irresponsibility reigns.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Galatians 6:7-8)


Ever Make a One?

When was the last time you made a bad decision? I mean one that was really dumb? I’ve made many, but the one that stands out in my mind was the time I decided to “help” the crockpot get a bit hotter because we needed it to cook the family’s favorite stew in a short period of time. I almost burned up our counter top in the process. Pretty dumb.

Some decisions, such as my crockpot fiasco, are correctable. Others have eternal consequences such as the “moms” who choose to get an abortion. Are you praying that this modern-day holocaust would stop? Every time you pray, would you pray that God would intervene in these “moms’” lives and convict them so they might not kill their babies?

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)


Inward or Outward?

Where is your focus? Our minds are amazing in that they are always busy thinking about something. The question is, what are you primarily focused on? Just like driving a car, you will steer toward what you focus on. Colossians 3 tells us to set our hearts and minds on things above. Obviously, every thought cannot be on things above, but what is the driving desire of your heart; money, pleasure, entertainment, a hobby, your job, your family’s growth in Christ?

Now what is scary is that the desire of our hearts will become the desire of our children’s hearts. Jesus said, “the lusts of your father you will do.” Even if we do not live out the desire of our hearts but have a degree of outward conformity to “religious stuff,” our children will embrace what goes on in our mind. Look around you; we see it all the time. Andrew Murray said it plainly, “Be what you want your children to be.” (What a guy!)

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)