December 26, 2008

"Christmas Bells"

I know I'm a bit late for Christmas with this but I've been enjoying family and friends and hope that you have too. Here is Longfellow's poem, "Christmas Bells." It's over 150 years old, but speaks as well in these times as it did then.

"Christmas Bells"
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said:
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

December 14, 2008

Parenting Conference Videos Online

I just watched the first of five videos from a Ted Tripp parenting conference and I can't wait to watch the other four. Tripp is a parenting expert and the author of Shepherding a Child's Heart, which has just shot up high on my to-read list. In the first video, he gives an overview of parenting that focuses on "formative instruction," based on Deuteronomy 6. Discipline during crisis times is no replacement for formative instruction, both planned and spontaneous times of imparting our "culture" to the next generation. What you see below is cut and pasted from this page. There are lots of other good resources to be found there so click over and have a look.

Media from the Conference

Session 1: The Call to Formative Instruction

Session 2: Giving Kids a Vision for God's Glory

Session 3: Helping Kids Understand Authority

  • Session 4: Helping Kids Understand the Heart

    Session 5: Overview of Corrective Discipline

    Everyone wants to be a great parent—the biggest responsibility of parenthood is teaching your children to love Jesus with all of their heart, soul, and strength. For parents with children of any age, Dr. Tripp's insightful, biblical teaching provides perspectives and procedures for shepherding your child's heart into the paths of life.

    "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates."
    Deuteronomy 6:5-9

    About Dr. Tripp

    In writing Shepherding A Child's Heart, Dr. Tripp drew on his 30+ years of experience as a pastor, counselor, school administrator, and father. He now also includes 10 years of insights from teaching this material in his conferences offered around the world. In addition to speaking at conferences, Dr. Tripp is the pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Hazleton, PA.
    The things your child does and says flow from the heart, and Dr. Tripp's Shepherding A Child's Heart conference is about how to speak to and engage with the heart of children.

    "God is concerned with the heart - the well-spring of life"
    Proverbs 4:23

    "Parents tend to focus on the externals of behavior rather than the internal overflow of the heart. We tend to worry more about the "what" of behavior than the "why." Accordingly, most of us spend an enormous amount of energy in controlling and constraining behavior. To the degree and extent to which our focus is on behavior, we miss the heart."
    Tedd Tripp, Senior Pastor
    Grace Fellowship Church, Hazelton, PA

  • December 10, 2008

    Aussie Educational Online Games

    I just came across an Australian web site with lots of educational flash games for children. On the "Early Years" page, linked to here, there are games that teach math, business, Australian history, civics (by solving common playground problems), and science. There are several other games for different age groups and subjects. Use the sidebar on the left to navigate. The games seem to be just a few of many more that are available only to schools in Australia and New Zealand.