iParent-December 19

Watch this segment of the Christmas Classic, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

This story is a great reminder of how something small made a huge difference. Just like the tiny tree didn’t look like much to Charlie’s pals, the tiny baby, the Christ child, didn’t look like the Savior of the world. Who could know from that humble beginning that this precious, little baby boy, would grow to become the bridge for all of humanity to join God. Jesus’ humble beginning and Charlie’s tree will help teach your children about how all things are possible with God, even something as small as a baby. Once children understand the true meaning of they can begin to grasp what Christmas should look like in THEIR everyday lives, just like Charlie’s friends who finally understood and decorated the little tree.

Your children need to be reminded that they were born just like Jesus was, and that they can make a difference in the world too. When Jesus lives inside of them, they can perform great acts of service that the Bible tells us in James are literally from God. When we act in a way that Jesus would, we are literally the hands and feet of Jesus. That’s why the Spend Less, Give More Christmas offering will be so exciting for our families. The memory of giving up something so that someone else in the world will have a chance to live a healthier, longer life will be a milestone for your children to use a big foundation for serving God in the future.

God bless you and your family today and everyday as you remember the birth of Jesus Christ and honor Him with some special offering.

iParent-November 21

Today, Thursday, November 20th is the birthday of a very important person. This lady wasn’t some super famous national figure, responsible for new policies that helped the poor and helpless, or some world renowned opera singer, capable of breaking a glass with her high C (that’s a note, not a juice can), or a top quality athlete competing in the Olympics for great glory.

The lady I speak of is like so many of you out there trying to parent their kids the best they know how. She may not have done every single thing right, but she worked to make sure that her kids were taken to church and that we were involved in many different church activities. She involved herself in church activities too, being active in the women’s group and teaching preschoolers about Jesus. She set an example for her kids to find time for God each day by reading her Bible at the kitchen table with the morning sun streaming in through yellow curtains.

That lady is Ida Mae Greenwood, my mom. She is a champion for God for the ways she and my dad raised me and my sisters to love God. When I was young I didn’t understand the “urgency” my mom used at times. I can’t tell you how many times I was “urged” with my mom’s right hand to do the right thing. Now, I understand that she knew she only had one chance to teach us and that we were growing up too fast. She understood the importance of correcting bad behavior and encouraging and modeling good behavior. My mom raised a wild and crazy guy to love God and to love people (especially kids).

No matter what age your kids are today, one day they’ll be remembering you as a parent one day. Will they think, “my mom or dad was my best friend?” They might, but our goal as parents can’t be to be their best friend. That doesn’t give you a leg to discipline from. My mom was my friend, but she was my parent first, and understood that parents had to train their kids to do right.

In the end, hopefully, your kids will remember you as a great parent that helped them become the follower of God and champion for Him that they were designed to be. Don’t give up trying to do the right things. They will eventually take root in the lives of your children.

It worked for my mom and I know it will work for you!

Happy Birthday mom!

iParent-November 13

Click Here:iParentNovember13.mp3

This time of year, as it begins to get colder and the leaves are mostly on the ground, I start thinking of Christmas. Jesus’ birthday! The most amazing event in the history of the world was the birth of this tiny baby. This tiny baby was the son of God, God in human form. Fast forward 2000 years and we can see that the celebration of his birth has been polluted by the world and commercialized for the benefit of every business interest creative enough to come up with some catchy Christmasy item.

Did you know that Americans spent over $450,000,000 on Christmas last year? Here’s the deal; not only the world has done this to Christmas. We, as Christians have been part of the problem, too. Every year, we look for ways to buy more and more for our kids. They deserve all those things, right? Well, maybe so, but since Christmas is about God giving something of eternal value to all of mankind, and since Jesus’ very life on earth was about giving to and helping the poor in physical and spiritual ways, why don’t we take some of what we’ve always done for ourselves and give it away to those who truly “need” this Christmas. I might want the latest, greatest techie item (and I do), but I DON’T need it.

How could we go about doing this you ask? Two simple things:
1. Spend less
2. Give it away

Here’s a video that I think you’ll love that speaks to this problem in our society and has challenged me to do something different this year called Advent Conspiracy.

Let me know if you’ll join our family in bringing the true meaning of Christmas back to the forefront this year.

Here’s today’s version of the iParent podcast.

iParent Podcast Available Here!

A new feature of the iParent blog is launching this week! Previously, the only way for a parent to hear the iParent audio message was to receive it in your email inbox or by searching for and downloading the podcast from iTunes. That day is done. Each Thursdays iParent podcast will now be placed inside of a weekly iParent blog post here on the iParent blog. To hear the podcast (3-4 minutes only), simply click here.

High School Musical 3–Updated!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, we did go to see the movie and it was well done I would say.  For me, a father of three girls, it was a little bit like torture to watch because it is so CHEESY.  If Velveeta was a product produced by movies, HSM 3 would have produced a year’s supply.  Seriously….cheesy.  There were some good moments in it, but not good enough to mention here and maybe ruin the viewing for some one else. 

Okay, the children’s pastor in me watched this movie with a different eye than the dad did.  I was watching for messages or mindsets that the movie presented, so that I can point them out to you and help keep you informed.  I want to try to equip with everything I can as a parent.   

My overall impression of this movie is that first of all, it was NOT a kid’s movie.  The movie revolves around the senior year of the cast, and there are many references to graduation and a lot of the plot is about the future plans for college for the students.  For some reason, HSM was easy to see as a kid’s movie when they were portraying 10th graders, but now they just seemed older.  There was also a bigger emphasis than I remember from the previous two editions on the physical attributes of the characters, particularly Troy and Sharpay.  There were several shots that I felt like were done specifically to cause a “he’s hot or she’s hot” reaction in people.  

There was one scene when Troy snuck into Gabriella’s bedroom after dark.  We don’t see him asking permission of her mom to climb the tree and go into her bedroom, so I am assuming he didn’t ask.  This scene didn’t show anything physically inappropriate, but it gave off an attitude of “hey, this behavior is not a problem” that I found disturbing.  Considering the ages of the students and children who will view this film, it concerned me some.  As a dad of three daughters, I definitely would never allow that kind of activity to take place and I hope you wouldn’t either.  Two teenagers, in love, in a bedroom, without supervision in many cases will equal a level of intimacy that we need to teach our kids is unacceptable for them before marriage.  Call me old-fashioned, but that’s what I feel God’s Word teaches us.  

All in all, it was entertaining and I didn’t slip into a coma during the viewing.  If and when you go in to watch the movie, just be prepared to discuss some of these more mature situations with your kids.

Are You Interested in a Parents Day Out Program?

We’re looking at the possibility of launching a Parent’s Day Out program at The Donelson Fellowship in the fall of 2009. We have a beautiful facility and just want to make as much use of it as we can. A Parent’s Day Out could be a really great ministry tool for the Adventureland Kids Ministry and the church as a whole.

Would you and your family be interested in PDO? In order to make it work financially, we obviously need to have a certain number of likely students in mind. If you would be interested in a two day a week program, would please indicate your interest by leaving a comment on this post?

Election 2008-Teaching Kids That Truth Matters

As the election draws ever nearer, I felt it might be helpful to address the whole concept of truthfulness. It is my firmly held belief that one of the foundations of our children’s lives ought to be a commitment to truth and honesty. This belief comes from what the Bible teaches us about how we should live. The Bible tells in the Ten Commandments to not “bear false witness” which is church-ese for “don’t lie”. The Bible also tells us in the Gospels to “let our yes be yes, and our no be no.” I believe the Bible teaches that truth is not negotiable, or flexible depending on the situation. What is true for one group of people is true for all groups of people

No where in public life is the concept of consistent truth telling attacked more than during a presidential election, and this drives me crazy. To a certain degree, both candidates are not totally truthful. They both will declare all of the things that they will do for the country, knowing full well, they have no intention of seriously doing everything they say. This is not optimism on there part, but I think a lack of truthfulness.

I believe that parents can make a difference in future generations by never straying from the biblical teaching about truth and honesty. We need to be prepared to explain to them that the candidates are making a bad choice when they tell something that isn’t true about the other one. It’s up to us to correct the bad stories when we hear them, and not just the ones that are against our preferred candidate. Our kids will be voting someday, maybe even in the next presidential election. We owe it to them and our founding fathers to help them abide by the truth and to demand a society of truthfulness.

Does Your Family Need a Bailout Plan?

All the world is in an uproar today as people debate whether our economy is going to fail or not.  In Washington, a bunch of men and women who got us into this mess are having meetings to help figure out how to get us out of the problem we’re facing without losing votes from their respective congressional districts or states.  Everyone is clamoring for some type of plan to get us out of this mess of a financial nature.  

Everyone is so wrapped up in the financial world right now, but I want to turn your attention to your family. How is your family doing?  Are transitions from baby to preschooler, or elementary to teenager more difficult that you thought they’d be?  Are you frustrated by your realization that you need to adjust your family’s priorities to promote spiritual growth, but seem to lack the ability to make those changes? Continue reading