Links & Quotes

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“Only the mediocre are always at their best. If your standards are low, it is easy to meet those standards every single day, every single year. But if your standard is to be the best, there will be days when you fall short of that goal. It is okay to not win every game. The only problem would be if you allow a loss or a failure to change your standards. Keep your standards intact, keep the bar set high, and continue to try your very best every day to meet those standards. If you do that, you can always be proud of the work that you do.” —Mike Krzyzewski

“Spectacular achievements are always preceded by unspectacular preparation.” —Roger Staubach

“Christians who serve in ‘secular’ vocations are the ones who do most of the ministry and kingdom-expansion work that happens in the world. It’s the job of vocational ministers [pastors] to equip these folks so they can do their various ministries effectively.” Read more from Jon Bloom in his post Christian, Your Job Is A Ministry Job.

“One of the most important decisions we make is almost always made without thought, without discussion: ‘How big do you want this to be?’ It’s a question that always gets in the way of, ‘How good do you want this to be?’” —Seth Godin

Scientism keeps trying to find evidence to fit their theories (like this latest one to explain the absence of global warming), but few seldom recognize the genius of Our Creator. Sad…

Dr. Tim Elmore always has amazing insights into the youth mindset. Check out this article: Does A Loaded Childhood Delay Healthy Adulthood? (If you haven’t read any of Dr. Elmore’s books, please type his name in the search box, and check out the book reviews I have posted.)

[VIDEO] Check out Frank Turek’s answer to the question, “Will God send me to hell for not believing in Jesus?”—

Links & Quotes

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Some things I was reading today…

“Adolescence is an attempt to grab the privileges of adulthood while still clinging to the privileges of childhood” —Rabbi Daniel Lapin. This got me thinking: How am I preparing my kids for adulthood?

Charles Darwin said his pursuit of knowledge diminished his joy of discovery. Read this: Let Darwin Teach You.

“To know nothing but Christ, there must be a continual flow of revelation from the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit knows the mind of God, if He searches the deep and hidden things of the Father, and if He is to be a well of living water springing up, then that well of flowing water must be a continual, never-ending revelation of Christ. It awaits every servant of the Lord who is willing to wait on the Lord—quietly, in faith believing, trusting the Holy Spirit to manifest the mind of God.” —David Wilkerson

As he does so well, Ken Davis uses his hilarious adventures on the golf course to teach us about Golf And Repentance.

[WARNING] There is some fairly graphic language in this post, but it serves to illustrate how profane the pro-abortion movement is Sarah Silverman: The Abortion Movement’s Nutty Professor.

10 Quotes From “Artificial Maturity”

The other day when I posted my review of Artificial Maturity by Dr. Tim Elmore, I said that for anyone working with children, tweens, teens, or young adults this book is a must read. I don’t say that about very many books, but it is definitely true of this one (you can read my full review here).

Dr. Elmore’s team at Growing Leaders has graciously provided me with two copies of Artificial Maturity to give away free! I will tell you how you can have a chance to snag a copy. But first let me share with you ten of my favorite quotes from this book. Unless otherwise noted, all of the quotes are from Dr. Elmore…

“In short, the artificial maturity dilemma can be described this way: (1) Children are overexposed to information, far earlier than they’re ready. (2) Children are underexposed to real-life experiences far later than they’re ready.”

“Steps to take to build authentic maturity:

  1. Provide autonomy and responsibility simultaneously.
  2. Provide information and accountability simultaneously.
  3. Provide experiences to accompany their technology-savvy lifestyles.
  4. Provide community service opportunities to balance their self-service time.”

“For the most part, adults have failed to build true ‘life skills’ in kids. We haven’t helped them self-regulate and make decisions about concerns that matter. Students’ busy schedules often aren’t all than meaningful, and young people spiral downward into despair over relatively trivial issues. Their days are full of artificial activities with artificial consequences, resulting in artificial maturity. The stress is real, but it is often over things that don’t really matter, and it isn’t building mature people.”

“We must be parents, not pals. We must be coaches, not coddlers. And we must lead them, not just lecture them.”

“Analysts say there are increasing signs that a lack of independence fuels stress, anxiety, and depression among young people. …Kids’ early lives today are too full of information and structure, and too empty of innocence and the freedom to play and explore. But by adolescence, it’s almost the opposite. It’s as though they experience a flip-flop. Their lives are too full of freedom, and too empty of accountability.”

“This appears to be a paradoxical trend—[adolescents] expressing a decline in readiness to actually ‘be’ adults that is proportionate to their desire to leave home. …They want to be consumers but not necessarily contributors. …Our job is to prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child.”

“The fact is, kids—all kids—need adults to lead them well. In our mad obsession to remain cool and on the cutting edge of everything, adults have surrendered what may be their most important responsibility: to provide role models to the next generation. We might win at the game of being liked, but we lose at the game of leading well.”

“For our teens, we’ve defined nurturance largely in terms of the things we can do for them, the stuff we can buy them, and the experiences and opportunities we can provide. In reality, what most teens need is neither more stuff, nor more lessons, nor do most teens even need more tender, loving care or quality time. While young children need a great deal of parental nurturance in the form or direct assistance geared toward meeting their needs, adolescents need something different. Unlike children, teens’ bodies and brains most need us to nurture and develop capacities to function on their own in this world. This means expecting things of them, not just giving things to them.” —Drs. Joseph & Claudia Worrell

“Five parental decisions:

  • Decide that you will build a bridge of relationship that can bear the weight of hard truth.
  • Decide that it’s more important for you to have their respect than for them to like you.
  • Decide that it’s more important for you to pass on essential values than to just have fun.
  • Decide that it’s more important for them to be ready for the future than to be comfortable.
  • Decide to pass on the principles (values) you wish you’d known earlier in life.”

“As adults, we have done a poor job in getting this generation of kids ready for life. If they flounder, it is because we’ve focused on preparing the path for the children instead of the children for the path. I believe in this next generation. These kids are great, and they’re capable of much more than we’ve expected. We have not led them well. We’ve allowed them to mature artificially by default. We’re protected them instead of preparing them for life as adults. It’s time we get them ready to lead the way into the future.”

To win a free copy of Artificial Maturity, you must do two things:

  1. Leave a comment below on which quote you liked, and why you liked it.
  2. Post the following message on Facebook and/or Twitter: You can win a FREE copy of “Artificial Maturity” by @TimElmore from @craigtowens http://wp.me/pmy10-1QP

I’ll be drawing two winners next weekend. Good luck!

UPDATE: The winners have been selected and notified. I still call this book a must read for anyone who works with youth. If that is you, purchase a copy today!

Quotes From “From Santa To Sexting”

If you are parent of children middle school age or younger, or if you are a teacher or youth pastor that works with this age group, I cannot urge you strongly enough to read From Santa To Sexting (you can read my review here).

These are some quotes from this book that really got me thinking…

Sexual Activity & Sexual Roles

“What helps young adolescents accept a heterosexual sex role identity? Psychiatrist David P. Ausubel, the author of Theory And Problems of Adolescent Development, writes that accepting a heterosexual sex role is aided by the following: 1) witnessing a happy marriage between parents; 2) having positive experiences with the opposite sex; and 3) possessing a strong, positive identification with the parent of the same sex. …In addition, Ausubel believes that parents exert a strong influence on their adolescent’s adoption of a particular biological sex role. For example, if the parent of the opposite sex is negative about the sex role of his child, the child will find it difficult to identify with that role. Suppose a father, for example, put his wife down and is negative about women. Then his impressionable young daughter will find it hard to embrace her femininity and identify with her own sex. The converse is true for boys. According to Ausubel, the preadolescent, depending on the ‘psychological climate’ of his home, may adopt one of three attitudes toward gender: 1) acceptance, leading to heterosexuality; 2) rejection, leading to homosexuality or asexuality (the renunciation of all sexual expression); and 3) ambivalence, resulting in bisexuality, perversion, or sexual delinquency.”

“The evidence is that early sexual experience has consequences for both boys and girls. Joe McIlhaney, MD, an obstetrician and coauthor of the book Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children, told us that ‘sex is a primary stimulator and molder of the brain. When we have sex, the body secrets the hormone dopamine, and that makes us want to do it again and again. That’s one of the primary reasons to abstain from sex when you’re young, because it becomes addictive.’ He adds, ‘The body also secrets the hormone oxytocin, that some label the love hormone—a hormone that seems to contribute to a girl’s trusting a man she is intimate with and also bonding to him emotionally.’ Then comes the breakup. McIlhaney continues, ‘When young people break up, MRIs show that the pain center of the brain lights up. Emotional and physical pain are felt in the same brain center.’ McIlhaney believes that when kids have multiple breakups, they seem to contribute to their losing their ability to forge lasting connections or attachments with the opposite sex. In addition, they sometimes become depressed and some become suicidal.”

Empathy 

“Sensing what others feel without their saying so captures the essence of empathy. Others rarely tell us in words what they feel; instead, they tell us in their tone of voice, facial expressions, or other nonverbal ways. The ability to sense these subtle communications builds on more basic competencies, particularly self-awareness and self-control. Without the ability to sense our own feelings—to keep them from swamping us—we would be hopelessly out of touch with the moods of others.” —Daniel Goleman 

“Empathy has twin components—one in the affective or emotional area and the other in the cognitive. On other words, we feel the distress of others from birth, but as we grow and our brain develops, we begin to think about what they are feeling and can decide how to help the poor, the distressed, and the handicapped.” 

“If you’re in a relationship, the relationship is a part of you, there’s no way around it. You get an empathetic child not by trying to teach the child and admonish the child to be empathetic; you get an empathetic child by being empathetic with the child. The child’s understanding of relationship can only be from the relationships he has experienced.” —Alan Sroufe 

“If empathy is caught, not taught, then the effect of training students to be empathetic is only skin-deep. The training is focused on a cognitive-behavioral approach; it does not take into account the emotional aspect of empathy and the fact that empathy emerges from an intimate relationship or emotional bond.”

School

“Dr. Robert Balfanz, a research scientist at Johns Hopkins University who studies risk factors for dropping out of school, has found that future dropouts can be identified as early as sixth grade. …Dr. Balfanz’s study of fourteen thousand students in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, found that sixth grader with just one of the following distress signals had ‘at least a three in four chance’ of dropping out when they reached high school. Here are the four areas he says parents and teachers should monitor:

  • A final grade of F in mathematics;
  • A final grade of F in English;
  • Attendance below 80 percent for the year;
  • A final ‘unsatisfactory’ behavior mark in at least one class.”

“Parents are the first and best anti-bullying program around.”

Video Games & Media

“Scientifically speaking, the notion that media violence harms kids is an open-and-shut case; research has found that violent video games increase levels of aggression hormones in teen players. While their onscreen personas kicked, punched, cut, and shot their way through enemies, testosterone and adrenaline levels rose significantly in the bodies of the players behind the controls…. The strength of the evidence linking media violence to youth aggression is stronger than the evidence linking lead poisoning with mental retardation and more definitive than the case linking secondhand smoke with cancer.” —Dr. David Walsh, Why Do They Act That Way? 

Home Life

“We found that we could actually measure how parents were getting along in two ways. We could either ask them how happy they were—how much conflict they were having—or we could take a 24-hour urine sample from their kids and measure how many stress hormones, particularly adrenaline, were getting secreted in the children’s bodies. So if you’re fighting, your kids are secreting adrenaline. And if they’re secreting adrenaline because they’re stressed out, one of the things that happens to them is that the first and most sensitive system to reflect this stress is the attentional system—the kid’s ability to focus attention, the kid’s ability to shift attention when they want to, and the kid’s ability to sustain attention. And part of what we’re seeing in all of this diagnosis of hyperactivity is, in part, a reflection of increased family stress, increased stress between parents. So the attentional system is really a very sensitive indicator of whether kids are stressed out.” —Dr. John Gottman

“People who become Christians before their teen years are more likely than those who are converted when older to remain ‘absolutely committed’ to Christianity.” —Barna Group

“Revolutionary parenting, which is based on one’s faith in God, makes parenting a priority. Those who engage in revolutionary parenting define success as intentionally facilitating faith-based transformation in the lives of their children, rather than simply accepting the aging and survival of the child as a satisfactory result.” —George Barna

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