Saturday, December 02, 2006

A New Creation Project

Check out my new blog (more features, cleaner, slightly different audience) creation project

The World is Getting Younger

BBC has presented a Fascinating Study on Global Population trends which indicates that the world is getting younger. In all, there are about one billion 12 to 18-year-olds, and almost 9 out of 10 live in the developing world. A quarter of young people live on less than US$1 a day. The study includes data on economic, education, and sexual activity among the world's youth.

Owen is Already Driving

Monday, November 27, 2006

How Children Raise Parents

Dan Allender's book, How Children Raise Parents, has been really helpful, personally and parentally, in connecting fatherhood/motherhood with the gospel. Here are a few thoughts distilled from the first two chapters of his book:

Good Parenting is…
Dan Allender debunks popular notions of good parenting—“provide the right influences and/or principles and your children will succeed”—by unpacking the way God parents humanity, offering his children the opportunity to become fully and truly human. In order to parent as God parents us, we must recognize two fundamental questions asked by all children: 1) Am I loved? 2) Can I get my own way?

The way we parent depends on how we answer these questions. If we answer yes to both questions, we must stay discipline and, in turn, rob our children of knowing God’s strength. We cheapen love. If we answer no to the first question and yes to the second, we give them license but no love, we spoil (=ruin) our children from knowing God’s mercy and care in the midst of our failures to keep his way. You get the idea. God parents us by telling us he loves us, but that we cannot get our own way. His love is communicated in and through his way, a way that is better than any other. God’s way, his rules, provides confidence for our children that security and strength can be found outside of themselves. There is someone bigger and better who cares for them.

Know Thy Children
However, answering these questions for our children will not work. We must know our children. When they refuse to do their homework or share with another friend when we have told them to do so, is it because they are seeking our attention which is rarely gained or is it because they simply want their own way? Moreover, parenting well requires wisdom, a knowing of our children’s bent. Allender defines “bent” as something that is beyond personality, it “is the manner in which God has uniquely written a person’s life story to reveal God’s character.

Allender goes on to explain that child-oriented wisdom includes the understanding that your child is meant to be in, but not of, the world. Every child will bend one of two ways, “of” the world or “not of” the world, saddling up to the values of the world or secluding themselves from the difficulty of living in the world. From an early age, they will ten towards secularism or sectarianism, unthinking digestion of worldly values or unthinking embrace of religious values. Rebels or rule-keepers. At times God calls us to be rebels, and at others, he calls us to be rule-keepers, but never in our own strength. Knowing the sufficiency of the gospel for living and parenting in these tenuous times is key.
In order to respond to our child’s need for love and correction, affection and truth, we must know our own bent as well. Knowing where we lean under life’s pressures will reveal how we tend to push our children. If we tend towards pleasing others for approval, the example we set is “of the world.” If we tend to rely on ourselves to get through life, the example we set is “not of the world.” Knowing our bent, whether towards license or legalism, rebellion or religion, will enable us to mature as people and as parents, setting our hope not on parenting skill, but the wisdom of God. This wisdom is displayed in the gospel, sufficient for our victories and our defeats. Jesus death secures our forgiveness and his life our faith.

New U2 Single, Window in the Skies

In the recent release of U218, U2 includes two new singles: "Windows in the Sky" and "The Saints Come Marching" (w/ Greenday). The spiritual tenor of both songs is unmistakeable.

In Window in the Skies, Bono exults in God's love and mercy at the "grave" (cross) and the "stone gone" (resurrection), through which "all debts are removed," opening a window to God in the sky.

Here is the first stanza and chorus:

Window In The Skies
The shackles are undone
The bullets quit the gun
The heat that’s in the sun
Will keep us when there’s none
The rule has been disproved
The stone it has been moved
The grave is now a groove
All debts are removed

Oh can’t you see what love has done?
Oh can’t you see what love has done?
Oh can’t you see what love has done?
What it’s done to me?


In recent weeks there have been quite a few people who have told me that they read this blog. I am glad to hear that what is written is of interest and, hopefully, beneficial. By all means, read on, but consider one request.

Comment occasionally. I would benefit greatly from your comments on various entries. As you may have noticed, many of my blogs pose questions, which implies that I do not have answers. Perhpas a conversation through your comments will produce greater understanding for all, facilitating redemptive engagement with peoples and cultures through Christ for the glory of God.

Please feel no pressure here. Comment as led.

The Pill...for Men

Scientists at King's College, London have developed a hormone-free pill for males as a form of birth control. Read all about it here.

When Will the Madness in Burma Stop?

Burma has now pulled another stunt affecting its prisoners, political and criminal. The junta issued a dismissal of the Red Cross humanitarian activity in tending to prisoners. See the brief article here.

The military dictatorship of Burma is one of the worst in the world. Numerous minorites are oppressed by teh government, including the millions of indigenous Shan-Dai. When will the madness stop? When will the U.S. consider applying its world policing of terror in Burma?

We can't wait for the governments to cooperate. Pray for Burma, the peoples of Burma today, that God would empower social, economic, political and spiritual transformation. Pray for the missionaries working in those countries to be given vision, resources, and power to effect this change.