MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Daddy’s Little Girl

January 27th, 2007 Viewed 3511 times

baby.jpg“Daddy,” she asked me, one sparkling snowy day

“How do you grow your girls?”

I grinned and chucked her ‘neath her chin

She ducked and tossed blond curls

~~~

Had she really been an infant, hands fisted in my chest

Late nights in the rocker so mom could get her rest?

Rosebud lips part open, nostrils perfect ohs

Hard to believe she’d grow so fast, that many years ago

~~~

She danced through life in dresses, piggy tails and pearls

Fathers are especially blessed when God gives them little girls

“Baked your favorite cookies,” she’d giggle on the phone

At my side when possible, best part of coming home

~~~

Today she’s much the same as then, same curls, same quirks, same smile

I pull her close and kiss her hair, and make it last awhile

Growing girls up right takes patience, prayer and joy

And Lord willing, other parents out there are raising the perfect boy

I couldn’t resist writing this for MInTheGap and his wife the minute I heard their news. Congratulations on the birth of your very first baby girl…Mary from Home-steeped Hope

Homeschooling and the Internet

November 17th, 2006 Viewed 2629 times

Reading

For anyone– homeschoolers especially– the Internet is a massive library. Its bookshelves are endless and full—not only with books, but with magazines and research papers. And it’s a library teeming with experts anticipating every need.

Homeschoolers and Fourth Amendment Rights

October 25th, 2006 Viewed 4799 times

Reading

The other day, acting on a strange impulse, I hurriedly wrote the following on my calendar: “Ran to town over the LUNCH HOUR to pick up prescription for 6 yo, ran by library, dump and grocery store.” Why did I do this? Documentation.

Our home state is reasonably relaxed when it comes to homeschoolers, but no state is safe. Did you know that based on an anonymous tip alone, you can be falsely accused of child abuse and have your children taken from you? Don’t tick anyone off that resents your choice to homeschool.

Here’s what you need to know. The Fourth Amendment protects you. No matter where in the USA you live, a social worker does not have permission to enter your home unless they have a signed warrant from a judge. Some social workers don’t even know that they lack the right to forcibly enter your home, they’ll bully and intimidate. Call their bluff. The Fourth Amendment right to freedom protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures.

They’ll try the courteous route, assuring you that all will be solved (whatever alleged abuse you’re accused of) if you’ll just let them in to discuss it. Huh-uh. Let them in without an official warrant and they’ll find something to pin on you. A messy house, ‘mal-nourished’ child—yes, these are real accusations against homeschoolers. Worse, your children will be traumatized.

If a suspicious neighbor was the one to “anonymously” tip the authorities that she saw a bruise on your child, the social worker may insist on strip-searching all your children. Don’t let them through the door. They can’t get a warrant—even from an anonymous tip or simply suspicion of abuse. But once you let them in your house, you’ve waived your rights and they can get a warrant to take your children away…because they’ll invent “probable cause” by observing your surroundings.

So if one comes to your door? Get their business card. Find out the allegations. Ignore all attempts at intimidation. Calmly tell them that you have nothing to hide, but in the best interests of your children you’ll get in touch with them after you speak with your attorney.

Lack of supervision and having your children outside during school hours are the two most common allegations of educational neglect against homeschoolers. Thus my hastily jotted note to myself on the calendar. At the dump, I got the third degree for having my children out and about. I admit, it rattled me.

Nothing like homeschooling to keep this sahm home. :O)

Innocent Victims of the Fashion Industry

September 13th, 2006 Viewed 3578 times

B/W FashionI couldn’t wear black as a child. It was too sophisticated.

As a mother raising three daughters in today’s culture, I wish all I had to worry about was the color of their clothing. My poor sisters remember when all their friends were wearing pants with zippers while they were condemned to polyester and elasticized waist bands.

Zippers were masculine!

I first started thinking about modesty in regards to my children when my oldest, just shy of four, pointed out that the women on my aerobics video were practically naked. In between step-touches my mind exploded. I’m desensitizing my children in my own living room! Forget my little girls, I’m the innocent victim of the fashion industry! And I’m the mom!

Let’s face it, we are surrounded. We live in a sexualized culture. Forget the swimming pool. It’s in the mall at the lingerie stores, on posters, in music and MTV, on the DVD covers at the video store, magazine covers at the grocery store and even in our churches.

Teach It To the Children

September 12th, 2006 Viewed 5267 times

The far-reaching power of a Godly heritage; do we fully appreciate the potential impact of our daily testimony on future generations?

Psalm 78:5-6, expands brilliantly,

For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children…”

ReadingEssentially, a godly marriage of two ordinary individuals who want to obey God in the matter of child-discipleship will have an effect even to the fourth generation! Humbling, isn’t it. The future depends on our obedience. Makes marrying the right one take on a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?

But let’s explore this a bit more, using history as our teacher. You could look at the descendants of Abraham and Lot, and how the nature of both men’s choices impacted their offspring. However, the state of New York did a *study years ago on the five generations descending from both Jonathan Edwards (the evangelist who had such great impact during the Great Awakening) and Max Juke (moral degenerate).

Here’s just a few stats concerning the legacy Jonathan and Sarah Edwards left:

12 college presidents, 65 college professors, 100 clergymen, 75 army officers, 60 prominent authors, 30 judges, 80 public officers, 3 congressmen, 2 senators and 1 vice president. A few of the more famous of their descendents include: Mrs. Eli Whitney, Winston Churchill, VP Aaron Burr, Robert Treat Paine (one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence), Grover Cleveland, Ulysses S. Grant, and Edith Carow (widow to Theodore Roosevelt and mother to his 5 sons).

By contrast, the five generations of Max Juke included:

300 died in infancy, 310 were professional paupers, 440 wrecked by disease, 50 were prostitutes, 60 were thieves, 7 were murderers, 53 were criminals of some other kind. Many were alcoholics.

So teach it to your children. Who knows, the next revival may hinge upon it.

*the first site I linked recommends sterilization of individuals such as Max Jukes, a sentiment I do not agree with. However, I thought the stats were worth the link.

Celebrating Children

September 8th, 2006 Viewed 1901 times

Father and Son

Something inside me shrivels up when the Christians around me start talking about big families. It’s rarely good, what they’re saying, thus the recoil spirit-wise. Shouldn’t we Christians be more Biblical in our child-bearing viewpoints?

So what if the world tells us children are burdensome, and that some people aren’t cut out to raise them. Talk about limiting God. Job 39:13-16 talks about how God had purpose in creating the ostrich, even though she leaves her eggs in the dust, forgetting that a foot could crush them or a wild beast destroy them. Obviously, not a great candidate for motherhood. Yet, God in His sovereignty, created the ostrich that way.

My husband and I only have three children. Yet, some in the extended family consider us to have tipped the scales. They would not be excited if we announced a fourth pregnancy.

Instead of getting hurt feelings over this, I rebel against it. I celebrate children. Here’s how:

  • Send a card of congratulations to every couple in your family/friend circle who announces a new pregnancy.
  • Take “expectant” family members out to dinner to celebrate the announcement. It’s worth celebrating!
  • Every child deserves a baby shower and most churches stop throwing showers after the arrival of the firstborn. If you can’t start a new tradition, at least give a small token of happy acknowledgement (card or gift) to this family’s special new member.
  • Live in such a way that people can’t help but see your heart for kids. For instance, if you’re frustrated over the baby’s interruptions during homeschool time, your older kids are watching how an adult views a precious child. Teaching the 3 R’s is all well and good, but we that homeschool want to also instill God’s values, right?

After all, Jesus said in Luke 9:48,

Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.”

Any other ideas on how to Celebrate Children?

The Feminization of Boys

September 5th, 2006 Viewed 34926 times, 6 so far today

Boy and a girl

It’s a bad time to be a boy in America.

Feminism says, “Raise boys like you raise girls.” In other words, diminish their masculinity. What are parents of boys to do in this gender-neutral world? Let’s take a look at three ways these hearts are being eroded: education, society’s expectations, and home life.

In How the Schools Shortchange Boys, public school teacher Gerry Garibaldi writes:

Christina Hoff Sommers was absolutely accurate in describing, in her 2000 bestseller, The War Against Boys, how feminist complaints that girls were ‘losing their voice’ in a male-oriented classroom have prompted the educational establishment to turn the schools upside down to make them more girl-friendly, to the detriment of males.

As Sommers understood, it is boys’ aggressive and rationalist nature—redefined by educators as a behavioral disorder—that’s getting so many of them in trouble in the feminized schools. Their problem: they don’t want to be girls” (emphasis mine)

We’ve effectively switched the inferiority complex from the girls to the boys. First off, what are boys to think when the majority of teachers in grade school are women with an agenda? Secondly, being classed “ADHD” or “behaviorally challenged” doesn’t especially lend itself to one feeling good about their educational experience. The numbers prove my point. Fewer boys pursue further education than their female counterparts.

As for society’s expectations, we’re a unisex culture. Boys used to be boys, now they’re encouraged to play with Barbie’s and paint their toenails if they want. God created male and female to be different, their differences complement. Yet the push for equality has erased many of these differences. Rowdy boys become sullen teens and eventually, men. Men who are passive, quiet, and unsure of what their role really is.

Christina Hoff Sommers shared a story of a debate she once had with feminist lawyer, Gloria Allred. The two women disagreed over male and female differences. Christina shared the following in hopes that Gloria would admit that boys and girls are innately different:

Hasbro Toys, a major toy company, tested a play house they were considering marketing to both boys and girls. They soon discovered that girls and boys did not interact with the structure in the same way. The girls dressed the dolls, talked to them, kissed them and played house; the boys catapulted the baby carriage from the roof.

Gloria Allred was horrified. She took the catapulting behavior as a sign of propensity for violence.

On the home front, many women have had to take on greater responsibility, often filling the role of both father and mother to their children. Many boys in the formative years are missing that vital link to manhood. How can their single mothers teach them what they need to know? Even if Dad is around, many times he’s unavailable. A study was done once of men in prison. On Mother’s Day, men stood in lines all day to take advantage of free cards given to them to be sent to their moms. On Father’s Day, only a handful of men made the effort. It makes you wonder what role (or lack thereof) their fathers played in their lives…to promote this life of criminal activity.

The pressures on kids today are tremendous. Fathers, especially, need to be involved in their son’s lives to counteract that stress. A father’s understanding and acceptance is critical, not to mention his wisdom and guidance.

In 1997, a typical year, 4,483 young people aged five to twenty-four committed suicide: 701 females and 3,782 males.

America’s future is in the hearts of these little boys. It’s time to stop others from neutering them and start nurturing their God-given masculine attributes. What are you going to do before it’s too late?

Life in the Fishbowl

September 3rd, 2006 Viewed 3326 times

fishbowl.jpgYes, life in a fishbowl, a phrase often used when describing life in a pastor’s family. Displayed to be admired or found wanting, high expectations can drain even the most eager of God’s servants.

Actually, times have changed. Used to be, a congregation expected the pastor’s wife to fulfill most of the roles now covered by the education and hospitality committees. In many cases, she taught Sunday school, organized VBS, played the piano at all the services and was expected to entertain company at the drop of a hat. Oh, and her children’s attitudes/behaviors directly reflected her level of spirituality. Many pastor’s wives have decided that’s not such a great side job.

When candidating, they answer the famous ‘What role will you play as Pastor’s wife?’ question with aplomb. Proudly they might announce that they’ll support their husband in his career but they have a career of their own which keeps their schedule packed. Or they gulp and stammer that they’ll serve wherever needed, while on the inside they wonder how they’ll ever ‘do it all’.

Should we be surprised that pastor’s wives burn out, or that preacher’s kids have such bad reputations? After all, they’re a part of the congregation themselves, one of the flock. Their priorities should be the same as ours: God, spouse, children, ministry/job, self. Being a helpmeet, raising Godly children, and simply being available to volunteer or mentor is a full-time job!

Letting Kids Be Kids

August 25th, 2006 Viewed 1899 times

SwingRecess. Every school kid’s favorite time of day… Long lines and heat are no deterrent to a good game of foursquare! Or Dodgeball, or whatever else has now been banned from playgrounds.

A first grade teacher and I were visiting the other day before the youth rodeo about all the changes our local school system is implementing this year. Some have merit. Taking away recess privileges is no longer an acceptable punishment for bad behavior. Sweets aren’t recommended for rewards. These make perfect sense. Take the young boy with ADD, for instance. His only outlet for nervous energy is recess, and bad behavior will only get worse when sitting on the sidelines day after day.

But banning the best loved games of yesteryear, in the name of prevention? I understand concerns about safety and injuries. But what’s really behind these new regulations? Could it be bullying/intended violence, worry over potential lawsuits? Maybe schoolyard “picks” are too much for fragile self-esteem? Something drastic must be behind Las Vegas’ implementing “no touching” and “no running” rules. Students can’t even push a fellow student on the swings!

Apparently Blogging says it best:

“So let me get this straight. Kids can’t run around and play games because the activity might hurt them – but they CAN sit and stare at a computer game and play violent video games all day and that’s just fine. I’m glad my kids played tag.”

And I say it’s just another good reason to homeschool.

Music: Its Effect on the Church

August 11th, 2006 Viewed 10928 times

Piano KeysPerhaps the title to this post should be: Culture: Its Effect on the Church. If one was to question which was more influential–the culture on Christians, or Christianity on the culture, arguably, we’d have to admit that the church has bent over backwards to accommodate today’s values. Who’s salting who?

We’re dressing down, inviting Christian rock into our services, raising our tolerance toward sin, and calling it progressive. Is it?

You don’t have to sacrifice anything to “become a Christian” these days. Really, what do Christian Americans give up in order to take up the cross and follow Him?

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.