Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

“If evangelical Christianity is to stay alive it must have men again—the right kind of men. It must repudiate the weaklings who dare not speak out, and it must seek in prayer and much humility the coming again of men of the stuff of which prophets and martyrs are made.” —A.W. Tozer

“Heaven will solve our problems, but not, I think, by showing us subtle reconciliations between all our apparently contradictory notions. The notions will all be knocked from under our feet. We shall see that there never was any problem.” —C.S. Lewis

I believe the biggest reason why families are being redefined today is not because of liberal vs. conservative ideology. It’s because we had to embrace a new ‘community’ when the nuclear family exploded. Traditional families have been broken, yet people still want to be in a ‘family,’ even if it’s temporary. Sadly, this family thing often fails. Whether in a home, a team, a dorm, a company, a gym or a church, we tend to walk away rather than work at difficult relationships. We’re like porcupines—we tend to hurt each other when we get close.” Read more of the outstanding post from Tim Elmore: How Eating Alone Costs More Than You Think.

A great post to cut through the mis-information: Myths About Roe v. Wade.

According to some research, over half of women who have abortions do so under pressure, while those who resist can face violence and death. …The Center for Disease Control lists homicide as a leading cause of death among pregnant women.” Here are more facts contradicting the pro-abortion crowd’s rhetoric.

Good stuff: 8 Things Every Healthy Marriage Has.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Ten Evidences For Creation.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Facts on illegal immigrants.

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

“One doesn’t realize in early life that the price of freedom is loneliness. To be happy one must be tied.” —C.S. Lewis

“The Savior looks at sin through the glass of compassion; we often look upon it through the lens of Pharisaic pride.” —Charles Spurgeon

The longer the answer is delayed and the more effectually you pray, the more important He becomes and the less important the answer becomes.” Read more from David Wilkerson in his post Power In Prayer.

I always enjoy Tim Elmore’s insights into the youth mindset. Check out his post 4 Meta-Beliefs of Generation iY.

I think it is quite comical that so-called serious scientist says that a certain level of CO2 gas is “symbolic,” and how they extrapolate data with no regard to past data nor any mitigating future events. All in all, “climate change” proponents are more philosopher than they are scientist.

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

“The book of Acts is the account of holy men and women seeking the Lord’s face. From beginning to end, it tells of how prayer moves God. Whether in the Upper Room, in prisons, in some secret house hiding from authorities, or in Simon’s house on a street called Straight— they prayed! In the morning and sometimes all night, they prayed without ceasing. Cornelius prayed always and Peter prayed on rooftops. By the seashore, in the temple, or in the desert, they called upon the Lord continually. They spent hours and days shut in with God, until they received dear, detailed guidance. And what incredible specifics God gave them.”  Read more of David Wilkerson’s post Seeking The Face Of The Lord.

Chuck Colson on the value and testimony in doing good work.

“For of Him, besides these benefits whereof we have spoken partly such as are left to the administration of nature and bestowed both upon good and bad, we have a particular bounty of His love peculiar only to the good. For although we can never yield Him sufficient thanks for our being, life, sense, and understanding of Him, yet for that He has not forsaken us when we were involved in sin, when we turned away from His contemplation, and were blinded with love of black iniquity; for that He has sent us His Word, His only Son, by whose incarnation and passion for us we might conceive how dearly God esteemed us, and by that singular sacrifice be purged from our guilt, and by the illumination of His Holy Spirit in our hearts, tread down all difficulties, and ascend to that eternal rest, and ineffable sweetness of His contemplation—what heart, how many tongues, can suffice to return sufficient thanks for this last benefit.” —Augustine

“Self-righteousness is terrible among God’s people. If we feel that we are what we ought to be, then we will remain what we are. We will not look for any change or improvement in our lives. This will quite naturally lead us to judge everyone by what we are. This is the judgment of which we must be careful. To judge others by ourselves is to create havoc in the local assembly.” —A.W. Tozer

Tim Elmore on this generation’s Nomophobia. And check out his newest book 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid.

Read this (even if you don’t think you need to): 4 Signs You May Be Addicted To Busyness.

15 Tips To Give Healthy Praise To Our Kids

12 Huge MistakesOne of the parental mistakes Tim Elmore highlights in his newest book 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid is praising the wrong things. He writes—

“We live in a world of hyperbole. We think we must exaggerate to be heard. So we use words like awesome or excellent when our kids have done merely what is expected of them. We offer huge praise for minimal effort. As our children grow older, matching the affirmation with the effort becomes especially important. Not too little, but not too much. This is how trust is built, and it’s why kids continue to listen to their parents during teen years.” 

Dr. Elmore is not saying that we shouldn’t praise our kids, but that we should do it more intelligently, by making sure we are praising the right things. He offers this list for healthy, profitable praise for kids:

  1. Praise them for effort, not for their intelligence or beauty. 
  2. Reward character virtues (such as honesty) more than performance. 
  3. Teach them to enjoy the process as much as the product. 
  4. Make sure the size and content of your praise matches their effort. 
  5. Be sure your affirmation is sincere, thoughtful, and genuine. 
  6. Empower them by helping them own a personal set of values to live by. 
  7. Identify and affirm unique features that differentiate your kids. 
  8. Provide experiences for them to discover and build their primary strengths. 
  9. Furnish a platform for them to serve others using their strengths and gifts. 
  10. Tell them you enjoy watching them perform regardless of the outcome. 
  11. The younger they are, the more immediate your feedback for them must be. 
  12. Equip them to take risks and learned that failure is okay as long as they tried. 
  13. Build a secure home for them but one that does not revolve around them. 
  14. When in doubt, always praise what is in their control. 
  15. Clarify your unconditional love for them regardless of their performance.

If you would like to read my full book review of 12 Huge Mistakes, click here.

To read some other quotes I shared from this book, click here.

12 Quotes From “12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid”

12 Huge MistakesI highlighted a lot in Tim Elmore’s newest book 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid … a lot! This is book that every parent (or grandparent) should read because it’s never too late to invest the best in our (grand)children. You can read my full book review of this must-read book by clicking here. Below are just a few of the quotes I highlighted in this book.

“I believe we have under-challenged kids with meaningful work to accomplish. We have overwhelmed them with tests, recitals, and practices, and kids report being stressed-out by these activities. But they are essentially virtual activities. Adults often don’t give significant work to students—work that is relevant to life and could actually improve the world if the kids rose to the challenge. We just don’t have many expectations of our kids today.” 

“Every parent and teacher wants to see their kids succeed in school, in sports, and in life, but making it impossible to fail isn’t the answer. Removing failure, in fact, is a terrific way to stunt maturity. … As parents, we’ve given them lots of possessions but not much perspective. As educators, we’ve given them plenty of schools but not plenty of skills. As coaches, we’ve taught them how to win games but not how to win in life. As youth workers, we provide lots of explanations but not enough experiences. As employers, we’ve mentored them in profit and loss but haven’t shown them how to profit from loss.”

“Truth be told, when kids have heard they are excellent without working hard or truly adding value to a team, the praise rings hollow to them. Our affirmation must match their performance.”  

“When people—especially young people—know they are free to try something and fail, their performance usually improves. It brings out the best in them. But if they are preoccupied with trying not to fail, they become paralyzed:

  • Failure can create resilience.
  • Failure can force us to evaluate.
  • Failure can motivate us to better performance.
  • Failure prompts creativity and discovery.
  • Failure can develop maturity.”

“Our constant caving begins to foster a constant craving in them. They want clarity. With boundaries unclear, they need more direct attention from Mom or Dad. Unwittingly, we actually breed insecurity and instability in our kids. This may sound strange, but consistency may be your best friend as a parent because it aids in your authority and in your child’s development.” 

“Removing the consequences takes one of two roads. We either excuse their behavior and remove negative outcomes, or we actually step in and pay the consequence for them. When we do this, we frequently relieve the stress. We bring immediate peace to the situation, so we get addicted to this pattern. Unfortunately, we don’t see the long-term problems we are causing. Removing the consequences from our children’s lives brings short-term tranquility but long-term trouble.”

“‘You can do anything you want.’ I recognize why we say this, but as our kids grow older, we must help them to see what we really meant. … We really meant, if they set their mind to do something, they’ll be amazed at what they can pull off. The catch is, it needs to be something with in their gift area. They cannot simply make up a dream or copy a friend’s dream and call it theirs. Dreams should be attached to strengths.” 

“We have created a world of conveniences, filled with smart phones, microwaves, Internet shopping, and online banking. The subtle message is that struggles are to be avoided. We want as much convenience as possible. In fact, we feel entitled to it. But we failed to see that when we remove the struggles from our children’s lives, we begin to render them helpless. They don’t have the opportunity to develop the life skills they’ll need later on. Further, when we step in to control their levels of struggle, they don’t learn how to be in control or under control themselves. In fact, all they learn is how to be controlled.”

“Ironically, the things young people want to avoid are necessary for them to mature authentically. Slow, hard, boring, risky, laborious… these are the very challenges that prepare me to become a good man, a good husband, a good father, a good employee, a good employer. Many life skills that once naturally developed in us now atrophy in today’s culture. So we must be far more intentional about leading our kids into opportunities to build these skills.” 

“When we affirm looks or clothing—external matters instead of internal virtues—kids values become skewed. Remember, what gets rewarded gets repeated. Without realizing it, we are reinforcing cosmetic features—usually features that are not in their control. … We should be doing just the opposite. We must affirm effort and behavior, which are in their control, instead of characteristics that are out of their control. If we do this, we begin to foster a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset.”

“We mistake hurtful with harmful. Many times, hurting helps us. In fact, removing the hurt may be harmful. … When we hurt, we can learn important truths about ourselves and about others, truth that will be beneficial later in our lives. … We confuse disturbance with damage. We hate being disturbed. Our days are so full, we often hope and pray we won’t face any unexpected disturbances as we pursue our goals. The fact is, however, that on our way to those goals, we fall into unhealthy ruts. Interruptions force us out of those ruts. Interruptions are not damaging at all. They are the very items that save us from our tunnel vision. We need to be disturbed from time to time. Interruptions are wake-up calls that rouse us from our apathy or complacency.” 

“I know you think kids are tired of you talking about the good old days. But I’ve found most kids love hearing stories of how we adults struggled to learn the same life skills when we were young. It’s all part of growing up.”

12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid (book review)

12 Huge MistakesI read a lot of books, but very few of them get a “must read” designation from me. For parents and teachers, 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid by Dr. Tim Elmore fully earns my must-read label.

The future of our schools, our businesses, our communities and our country is being determined right now in our homes and in our schools. The way we raise our kids now will have far-reaching implications for all of us. Dr. Elmore has such a great way of speaking to the leadership issues of our young people, that I cannot urge you strongly enough to read this book.

Real quickly, the 12 huge mistakes that parents and teachers need to avoid are:

  • We Won’t Let Them Fail
  • We Project Our Lives On Them
  • We Prioritize Being Happy
  • We Are Inconsistent
  • We Remove The Consequences
  • We Lie About Their Potential And Don’t Explore Their True Potential
  • We Won’t Let Them Struggle Or Fight
  • We Give Them What They Should Earn
  • We Praise The Wrong Things
  • We Value Removing All Pain
  • We Do It For Them
  • We Prepare The Path For The Child Instead Of The Child For The Path

The book opens with a simple parenting quiz that will allow assess where you are in these 12 areas. Then you can turn to the chapter on which you scored the highest in the “overfunctioning parent” scale, and deal with that issue first. Each chapter is jam-packed with practical tips to correct that particular mistake.

Dr. Elmore describes the purpose behind his book this way—“Here’s the bottom line. I believe we need to face some new issues as parents. We must define what kids need from us to mature in a healthy way. We must figure out what hinders their growth and what equips them to be great adults. We must become both nurturers and trainers, knowing that we are not raising children, but future adults. I offer this book as a reference guide as you face your toughest challenges and attempt to get kids ready for life as they leave your home or school. Here’s to correcting our mistakes along the way—for their sake.”

Parents and teachers, go get this book!

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

“There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.” —Wendell Berry

“It may be that when we no longer know which way to go that we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.” —Wendell Berry

“Wherefore seeing that all Christians know that the death of the religious beggar amongst the dogs, licking his sores, was better than the death of the wicked rich man in all his silks and purples, what power hath the horror of any kind of death to affright their souls that have led a virtuous life?” —Augustine

Parents & teachers should especially check out Tim Elmore’s post: 5 Ways To Cure The “Cool Kid” Curse. In this post he mentions his book Artificial Maturity; click here to read my review of this outstanding resource.

“We have thus plainly before us the principle, that our Lord in His infinite wisdom and superabundant love, sets so high a value upon His people’s faith, that He will not screen them from those trials by which faith is strengthened.” —Charles Spurgeon

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