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Archive for August, 2011

Carl Trueman made several excellent points in a post about “Teaching the Trinity to Kids.” His comments about teaching theology to children also apply in a broader sense to teaching children the truths of God’s general revelation.

I have simply observed that words put to music stick in young minds more easily than words on their own.

This is why we, at JECA, intentionally use chants, and rhymes, and songs. They help our children absorb information, facts, and details. And as we all know, songs and rhymes stick in our memory. We don’t want our students to train their short-term memories, but to cultivate learning for the long-term.

Young children do not generally think in abstractions; thus a lot of theological content simply passes them by; but the teacher can instill in them knowledge of a form of sound words which subsequent intellectual growth under the preaching of the word will flesh out.

What is true of our children’s growth in understanding theology holds true as well in other spheres of knowledge. Why should our children not learn big words or old languages or new skills, like Logic? Initially, they may only learn them to wow their parents. Eventually, they learn the meaning, and they acquire understanding, and they develop wisdom.

And here is the glory of the vision of the parents and teachers at JECA and other classical Christian schools: we understand that this learning and acquiring and developing is life-long. We want to launch our children into a life of exploring truth and taking dominion over understanding. Our job is not to churn out diploma-receivers. Our role is to train these young minds to live live all of life with curiosity and wonder and worship.

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Birthday Girl!

This was your seventh year:

August: Your 6th birthday came all too close to the beginning of the school year.

September: You finally got your favorite birthday present: riding Tuff!

October-you visited your favorite soccer player. "Go Whit!"

November: we visited an Arabian horse farm where you got to sit on a beautiful Arabian mare.

December: Christmas smiles.

January: the first of several good snowfalls this winter.

February: trying on the dress that a Junior bridesmaid wore in our wedding.

March: cold and rainy days are great dress up days

April: you learned to ride your bike in just 2 days!

May: the tree ate Zaccheus! We know you didn't do it!

June-wildflowers for Mom.

July-wind, sun, and waves=ocean vacation

Losin' teeth, left...

...and right!

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Having been a teacher for ten years before having a family of my own, you would think I would have learned something.

I should have known that there is “never a good time” to discipline my children. I was a teacher after all and it was “never the best time” to properly correct a student.

I should have known that I would look at my children with a completely bewildered what-were-you-thinking look. I am a teacher after all and have taught this student, and that one, and him, and her, and…

I should have known that my biggest problem as a husband and father would be me. I was a teacher after all and was all too selfish and sarcastic.

I should have known that God would do a whole lot of work in my family despite my mistakes. I was a teacher after all and saw too many situations when kids learned in spite of me.

I should have known that I would learn more by being a husband and dad than I would teach my family. I am a teacher after all and learn many of my best lessons from my students.

I should have known that jokes at the expense of others too often doesn’t feel like a joke to them. I was a teacher after all whose humor was often not very funny.

I should have known that my wife and children would quickly forgive. I am a teacher after all who was quickly forgiven by students.

I should have known how much it would hurt to see my kids hurt, or be hurt, or fail, or be left out. I was a teacher after all and talked with weeping parents.

I should have known that my best teaching would come when I least expected it. I am a teacher after all and have had too many God-sent opportunities outside of class.

I should have known how much being a husband and dad would drive me to my knees admitting my utter inability to do anything of eternal value. I am a teacher after all and observe God doing too many God-things in which I am just a bystander.

I should have known how much fun it was to live each moment with my children. I was a teacher after all who has had students who lived vibrantly and enthusiastically.

I should have known how eager I would be to see the next step of my children’s lives. I am a teacher after all who rejoices as his former students keep walking in truth.

I should have known the enormous power and sheer joy of words of encouragement and genuine praise. I am a teacher after all and have seen faces light up and confidence build.

I should have known how incredibly satisfying it is to give of myself for the growth of my children. I am a teacher after all and revel in the sanctification of my students and former students.

I should have known that I would learn so much from Jill. I was a teacher after all who was learned from numerous gifted teachers.

I should have known the exponential power of partnering with my wife. I am a teacher after all who co-labored with outstanding colleagues.

I should have known how necessary this partnership is. I am a teacher after all who has needed the wise perspective of fellow teachers.

I should have known that being a dad would be so thrilling and delightful and challenging. I am a teacher after all and God has blessed me with great students.

I am a teacher, and a dad, and a husband. And I would not change these for the world.

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The NFL has built a multi-billion dollar industry on a morally bankrupt foundation. As much as I enjoy watching football and remain in an abusive relationship as a Cleveland Browns fan, I cannot help but believe that the ethically corrupt practices will cause the Shield to crumble at some point.

The lack of integrity is highlighted most recently by Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown comments about his quarterback Carson Palmer.

Here is the background: Palmer has been the Bengals quarterback for 9 years. Mostly good, occasionally really good, Palmer has been the face of the franchise for a decade. However, the Bengals aren’t nicknamed the Bungles for nothin’, and Palmer finally had enough after last season. He told the front office he would retire if he wasn’t traded, and then sold his Cincinnati home.

That led to owner Mike Browns’ comment the other day: “Carson signed a contract, he made a commitment. He gave us his word. We relied on his word and his commitment. We expected him to perform here. If he is going to walk away from his commitment we aren’t going to reward him for doing it.”

This from an owner (just like all the other owners) who has built a financial model on the foundation of releasing players who have years left on their contract, cutting players who are hurt but can somehow be cleared by the team’s physicians, and tearing up contracts if salary cap considerations ‘require it.’

Listening to an NFL owner talk about trust and commitment is like listening to a politician talk about fiscal responsibility, or some Hollywood celeb talk about marital faithfulness, or like listening to Charlie Sheen talk about…well, anything. It swerves into the surreal faster than the Twilight Zone (just to mix in even more metaphors).

But some truth did leak out. Look at Brown’s last statement, “If he is going to walk away from his commitment we aren’t going to reward him for doing it.”

What would be the “reward” for Palmer? Escaping the Bungles. The penalty would be having to stay put. Even retiring is apparently better than being a member of the team from southern Ohio. To paraphrase the infamous words of Sam Wyche, “Hey Carson, you don’t play for Cincinnati!”

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