Category Archives: books

Self-Discipline: As a Little Child?

SYTN book goodI attended a parenting class last week. Self-conscious as I was going into it, I was not the oldest person in the room. There was a fair amount of graying hair–various educators, as well as other grandparents, were in attendance. We were drawn to the free two-hour session by its title:  “Say Yes to No: Teaching Kids Self-Discipline.”  (It was based on the book to the right, which you can learn more about here.)

Our Lucy, bright and funny and energetic, is still a typical three-year-old: willful, testing her limits, testing our limits, asserting her own will. I know we need to get a handle on that, but instead I have found myself having PTSD (preschool temper & sassing days) flashbacks, along with the feeling that I never did know quite how to handle this stage.

My epiphany–although I couldn’t articulate it until just now–has been the realization that while self-discipline and self-control are largely the same, disciplining a child is not at all the same thing as controlling her.

And therein lay my greatest parenting failures. Continue reading

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#HarryPotter’s newest adventure…., sorta

harry-potter_55555

It’s only 1,500 words, but still: it’s something.

From the Associate Press, via Canada’s National Post:

“…Harry Potter is back — mysterious, married, and going grey.

J.K. Rowling has given fans a glimpse of the grown-up boy wizard in a new story posted Tuesday on her Pottermore website. It’s the first update since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published in 2007, but Rowling spokesman Mark Hutchinson said there are “no plans” for a new Potter novel.

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Why I’m buying Ben Shapiro’s new book, ‘The People Vs. Barack Obama’…

The People vs the Obama Admin

Ben Shapiro is currently making the rounds as he promotes his new book, “The People Vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against the Obama Administration“. Having already read (and enjoyed) his last two books, I’m inclined to not only buy this one too, but suggest you grab it, as well.

Why? Because he’s unusually bright, he’s entertaining, …and he’s right most of the time.

Shapiro has been awfully busy since we covered his complete and utter evisceration of Piers Morgan on CNN last year. He’s launched the website for TruthRevolt.org in October of 2013 with David Horowitz, and successfully drafted some top-tier talent over there, as well. And he did all this while carrying-out his duties as Editor-At-Large of Breitbart.com.

Personally, in addition to reading his last couple of books, I’ve heard him (thanks to podcasting) fill-in for Jerry Doyle on Doyle’s radio show, be interviewed by Hugh Hewitt, and seen him appear on various cable news shows. In every case, Ben’s solid: often funny, always informed, and lightning quick. What comes across most clearly in these settings is just how thoroughly he’s chased-down his own ideology, and it’s why I’m highlighting a couple of examples below.

This first clip is quite recent, and has Shapiro commenting on (what else?) the Obama Administration and its chronic criminality:

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Existential conversations with my three-year-old

Lucy with Husky the dog, her current inseparable companion

Lucy with Husky the dog, her current inseparable companion

Lucy still spends much of her time either being an animal (favorites right now: wolf cub, tiger or puppy) or talking to her army of stuffed animals. But more and more she also takes time to ponder her own history.  Many of her sentences begin, “When I was little…” or “When I was a baby…”.

Since I will sometimes tell her a story from my own childhood, she recently was trying to grasp how she fit into that scenario: “When you were a little girl, did you know me?”  No, Lucy, when I was a little girl, you were not alive yet. Your daddy was not alive yet.

(silence for a moment)

“When you were a little girl, I was pretendin’ to be dead?!”

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The Hollow World of “1984”

1984 posterOur theater company, all for One productions, is entering tech week for our upcoming stage production adapted from George Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four…so naturally it’s the subject uppermost in my mind, even on a Sunday.

We’ve had some great conversations as a cast while working on this script. One thing we’ve wrestled with is the hopelessness in the story. all for One does not typically choose to tell hopeless stories. So why are we doing this one?

We’ve identified several aspects of the story which audiences today may relate to:  loss of privacy; the narrowing of language; and revisionist history.  We’ve talked about the fact that other countries–notably North Korea–are already experiencing a hell on earth which is quite similar to the world described in Orwell’s book.  Continue reading

“Didn’t we feel on fire?” (Easter Morning on the Emmaus Road)

[From Eugene Peterson’s The Message]

That same day [the morning of the Resurrection] two of them were walking to the village of Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.

 He asked, “What’s this you’re discussing so intently as you walk along?”

They just stood there, long-faced, like they had lost their best friend. Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard what’s happened during the last few days?”

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Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 7: Bible Gateway

BibleIf this were a count-down list of the top resources for spiritual growth, I would certainly have to say, “And…the number one resource guaranteed to assist you in growing more Christ-like IS…God’s Word.”

Rather obvious, right? I guess that’s why I left it for last. What more can I possibly say about something so blatantly apparent? You have a Bible? Read it. You don’t have a Bible? Get one. Read it.

biblesBut I recognize that it isn’t always quite that easy. Choosing a Bible can be overwhelming today. With dozens of translations, plus many study bibles,  as well as different formats like a 365-Day Bible, (divided up into readings for every day of the year)…a newbie may well give up in despair before (s)he ever settles on “the perfect Bible for me.”

The good news about the Good News is that a practical resource for all of us exists, which is also a great way to preview all those other resources: BibleGateway. com. Continue reading

Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 6: Fixed-Hour Prayer

godsbooklover-gravatar991Prayer means many different things to different people, and there are many kinds of prayer. Let us say, for our purposes, that to pray is to address oneself to Deity. For most Christians, this is a practice in which they engage at least occasionally; for many, it is part of their daily routine.

Praying Hands statueAt times, prayer may flow out of what one is reading, or out of one’s life circumstances. At times, our hearts are beyond the ability to form our own words. At such times it is good to have the words of others as a guide, as we discussed in Week 2, Puritan Prayers. We are exhorted to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17) and many of us find that very hard at the best of times.

How might we better incorporate prayer into our daily routine?

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