Category Archives: Parenting

Episode 79: 100 Verses Resource, Expenses Parents Don’t Need, Surprising Parenting Statistics, and More! [Podcast]

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On our latest podcast, Adam and Leah spend some time sharing family updates, then discuss a great article about how parents can cut expenses by thinking about what is most important. Finally, they discuss some research from the Kaiser Family group that is a bit surprising (and sad). Find the links below.

Resources

100 Verses to Know from 1st and 2nd Corinthians [pdf from A Legacy of Faith]

8 Kid Expenses that Are Not Worth the Money, According to Real Parents [Healthy Way]

Sex on TV 4 [pdf from Kaiser Family Foundation]

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Why We Like Year-Round Lads to Leaders Events

The national Lads to Leaders convention has just been completed. Countless hours were spent preparing for this big weekend, and our kids had a blast! We came home excited…but also exhausted.

So why am I already writing about preparing for the 2018 convention?

Because we love the year-round events, and today I want to encourage you to be involved in them (even if you are not involved with Lads to Leaders!).

What are Year-Round Events?

When most people think of Lads to Leaders, all they consider is the convention that is held annually on Easter weekend. At that convention, young people are involved in speech, debate, song leading, oral Bible reading, art, Bible bowl, and puppet theater. These events gain a lot of attention, of course, because they happen at the convention itself and so much work has been put into preparing for these.

However, there are many other events that young people work on throughout the year at home. Personally, we like these events a lot. They can be done on your own time, at your own pace, and you can start working on them right now.

Some of them take a long time to complete, while others can be done in just a few hours’ time. Thus, they are “year-round,” because they are not done at the convention, but at home throughout the year.

What Can We Do?

Our family tries to emphasize several of these events with our kids each year. Sometimes we complete them; sometimes we don’t. Either way, they show our kids that Lads to Leaders is more than just “a trip,” and it also is teaching them to be involved in growing in their faith 12 months out of the year; not just in preparation for one weekend event.

Here are some of the events we have tried, with a short explanation of each. [For a complete explanation, you can download the pdf of the Lads to Leaders rulebook here.]

Centurion of Scripture. This is my favorite event for the kids to do. In Centurion, students memorize 100 verses of Scripture. They can even do this one verse at a time! This is perfect for family Bible time, and it is a joy to watch your children meet this challenge.

Good Samaritan. We have done this event off and on, but the students earn “points” for doing acts of service throughout the year.

Junior Leaders. This event for K-5 is one that was new to us this past year, and I was honored to teach our congregation’s Junior Leaders. Students meet for a class on leadership four times during the year, learning about a different Bible leader. Then, they also complete at least four service projects as a group. I loved meeting with our leaders!

Keepers. Based on Proverbs 31, Keepers helps young ladies prepare to be able to do certain things in their homes in the future, such as table setting, sewing, gardening, and more. This is a wonderful event to have mentors for, so there is intergenerational interaction in the congregation.

Providers. This event is the same as Keepers, but is for young men, and emphasizes some skills they will need in their adult years, such as basic plumbing, financial basics, and more. Make note of the fact that boys can do one Keepers event each year, and girls can do one Providers event each year. For example, this past year, all our Keepers and Providers learned about First Aid kits.

Know the Books. Starting with learning how to sing either the Old Testament books or New Testament books, students grow by being able to say the books without singing them, then learn a theme for each book. We have worked on this in our Pew Packers at 9th Avenue throughout the years, and it is amazing to see the kids learn these long lists!

Read the Word. The event is just what it sounds like. Students are challenged to read the Old Testament, New Testament, or both during the year. I’m proud that our two have both done the New Testament the last two years! This year, Turner is trying to read the Old Testament, and Mary Carol is making a run at the whole Bible!!!

Teach to Teach. Technically, Mary Carol was too young to be involved this past year, but we let her try it, and she will be involved this year. In this event, students learn how to teach a Bible class by sitting in with a teacher, then helping, then (eventually) teaching a lesson. A great mentor event!

Year Round Bible Reading/Study. We started this for last year’s convention, but did not finish. Students read the Bible to others, but must complete a certain number of readings by the deadline. This event’s highest level also incorporates the Advanced Bible Reader from Apologetics Press, which we wrote about in this article.

Year Round Bulletin Board. Students change their congregation’s bulletin boards a certain number of times each year. We have a zillion bulletin boards in our church building, so several of our Lads to Leaders participants have been “assigned” a board. Mary Carol and Turner both try to change their board about once each quarter.

Year Round Song LeadingTurner completed this event this year and was so proud. Students simply lead a few different songs throughout the year to different audiences. There is also an event for young ladies, and we hope Mary Carol will do that this year.

Bible Bowl Test. In addition to the Bible Bowl team event at convention, there is an individual test given in February over the same material. We also have our kids take this test as a way to see where they stand in preparation for the test at convention.

Mass Media. This has many different categories, and both Mary Carol and Turner wrote an article/editorial this past year. (Mary Carol’s won 3rd place!) We hope they will want to do an audio presentation this year, too. This is a great event for students who want to expand their knowledge of ways to present the Gospel.

There are other events that are also year-round that we have not yet done. Here they are:

GIFTS is an event for girls in grades 6-12, where they study a book together and complete projects. Mary Carol wants to do this this year.

GUARD is a similar event, but is for young men, grades 6-12.

Headed to the Office is for young men and is meant to prepare them for, one day, desiring to be an elder.

Second Langauge helps students learn to use a second language to speak simple phrases, as well as to teach the Gospel. (One of the coolest things I’ve seen was a couple of years ago where a student earned an award in Second Language, and her “second language” was English!)

Year Round PowerPoint Presentation lets students help in making presentations for sermons or classes at various times throughout the year.

Year Round Speech lets students present various speeches at different times during the year.

Pearls is a classbook that is based upon the Bible Bowl books for the year, but is more of a “topical” study, and a test is given in February on the book’s material.

Why Should We Try These?

That list can seem overwhelming, no doubt, but we love emphasizing these year round events. Picking even one or two can be of great benefit, even if your family is not involved in Lads to Leaders.

Why? Because they are organized, and provide you something to shoot for!

For example, if you choose to work on Centurion of Scripture, instead of just saying, “We’ll memorize some verses together,” you now have the challenge of memorizing 100 verses during the course of a year.

But if you are involved in Lads to Leaders, let me challenge you to pick a few of these events and get started! They help instill in your children the need to grow daily, and they continue to be thinking about Lads to Leaders throughout the year!


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Episode 78: Lads to Leaders 2017 [Podcast]

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On this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah are joined by some very special guests to talk about Lads to Leaders and why we are looking forward to going in a few days.

Below, you will find several resources about Lads to Leaders to help you think about this good program for your family or the congregation where you worship.

Resources

Lads to Leaders [homepage]

Lads to Leaders Facebook Page

How Lads to Leaders Can Help Families” [A Legacy of Faith; May 15, 2015]

A Tool for Growing Families” [The Colley House; April 9, 2010]

Five Minutes with Bartimaeus” [blog post about “Bartimaeus” event at Lads to Leaders; A Legacy of Faith; April 6, 2016]

Resource: Advanced Bible Reader from Apologetics Press” [Advanced Bible Reader can be done as a Lads to Leaders event; A Legacy of Faith; June 29, 2016]

A Family Challenge: Memorize and Entire Book of the Bible” [Podcast]

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[Quote] Parents Need to Step Up with Their Sons

Source: Dr. Meg Meeker, Boys Should be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons, page 224

A Poem Every Parent Needs to Remember

Today’s post is very simple. It is a poem that you have probably heard before, but that every parent needs to keep in mind as we seek to raise those precious treasures God has given to us.

The poem is called “When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking,” and the author is Mary Rita Schlike Korazan. We hope it encourages us all.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator,
and I wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you feed a stray cat,
and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you make my favorite cake for me,
and I knew that little things are special things.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I heard you say a prayer,
and I believed that there was a God to talk to.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I felt you kiss me goodnight,
and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw tears come from your eyes,
and I learned that sometimes things hurt,
but it’s alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw that you cared,
and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I looked….
and I wanted to say thanks for all the things
I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.


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Yes, Our Kids Are Sheltered in Their Entertainment. Yes, We Want It That Way.

Our family loves movie night! On Friday nights when we are at home, odds are we will have a simple supper and sit down in our living room to watch a movie. It’s been a tradition now for 4 or 5 years, and we love it.

We also enjoy going to movies sometimes. While it is expensive, we enjoy making it a special outing. We don’t go see every “kids’ movie” that is produced, because we want a trip to the movies to be special.

Though we watch quite a few movies, have a couple of favorite TV shows on DVD, and enjoy listening to the radio at times, we are very selective in what we let our kids see and hear through the entertainment media.

Very selective.

If they take the Lord’s name in vain? We don’t watch it.

If there is cursing..at all? We don’t watch it.

If there is homosexuality? We don’t watch it.

If there is immodesty? We don’t watch it.

And, yes, there is more on our “don’t watch” list, but I figured you didn’t want to read every possible thing we will not watch.

I sometimes hear parents talk about choosing movies and TV shows and they have very low standards for their children (sometimes, even small children). One reason they often give is this: “I don’t want my kids to be sheltered as to what is really out there.”

Really? That’s our logic?

Now, let me say this: I fully understand that we cannot keep our kids as “kids” forever. Virtually every day I am struck by how quickly they are growing. In fact, as I write this, my “little” boy will be 10 in just a few days, so both of my children will be in double-digits for their ages. They will not be kids forever.

And I want them to know that sin is real and it is out there in the world. We are not trying to hide the fact that people do bad and sinful things. We are not trying to make them think that everyone on the planet goes to church and always speaks properly and always dresses in modest apparel (a trip to a shopping center or high school football game will teach them that that’s not the case).

Two Reasons Why I Feel This Way

But, when it comes to entertainment? Yes, I want to shelter my children. Yes, I like it that way. And here are two reasons why.

First, I want to teach them that just because it is produced for entertainment does not mean that we have to consume it. It is remarkable how many children in Christian homes are experts on virtually every entertainment option that is produced. They have seen all the movies. They watch a constant stream of TV shows. They can name music artists and songs…

…just like people in the world can.

We are not required to be entertained in order to survive! I want to teach them discernment in their entertainment. (By the way, that means I must model that in my own entertainment choices, as well.) Instead of just vegging out in front of whatever is on, I want them to see that there is more to life than just mindlessly consuming whatever is put out there in the world of entertainment.

Second, I want to shelter them because I do not want Hollywood opening the eyes of my children. It is not up to Hollywood to educate my kids. It’s not up to record producers, radio stations, iTunes, DirecTV, or Google, either. It’s up to me!

Christian parents, we have got to quit just giving lip service to saying our children need to be morally pure. We cannot say that and then let the entertainment industry teach them their version of morality. Hollywood’s morals are going to slide further downward over time. We know this.

But since we know that, how can we just let them feed our children more and more rude, crude, vile, and immodest material? Our children, literally, are not ready for what Hollywood feeds them, yet we let them have the minds of our children.

Not this parent! I want to show them what sin is from the Bible, and show them how to stay away from it. I want to be the one to help them begin to think through how to face temptation, not let them see Hollywood’s “just do what feels good” message.

So, yes, they are sheltered when it comes to entertainment. And, yes, I like it that way.

Because it is one way in which I, as a parent, am refusing to abdicate my responsibility to parent.

I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.

I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. (Psalm 101:3)


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Episode 76: Reflections on Louisville, Dealing with Entertainment Choices, You Can Get Your Family to Worship on Time, and More! [Podcast]

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On this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah talk about some recent goings-on, they discuss how Christians can deal with entertainment choices, and encourage families with tips to get ready for worship.

Plus, they talk a little college basketball. It is March, after all!

Resources below.

Links

Is Genesis History? [Homepage]

To Go or Not to Go…” [Amber Tatum; A Legacy of Faith]

6 Tips for Getting to Church On Time” [Of the Hearth]

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[Quote] For All You Busy Parents Who are Struggling

SOURCE: For Better or For Kids by Patrick & Ruth Schwenk. (Page 220)

Episode 75: Leah Goes to Louisville, 3 Things We Put on Every Month’s Calendar, Parents: Don’t be Fearful, and More! [Podcast]

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In episode 75 of the podcast, Adam and Leah talk about an upcoming homeschool retreat Leah will be speaking at. They also talk about three things they put on every month’s calendar. For quite awhile, they talk about a great article (link below) that helps parents see that do not need to fear; they just need to parent.

Oh, and both Adam and Leah forget what the capital of Kentucky is. We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.

Resource

Print-A-Calendar (for March 2017)

Dear Younger Me: About All Those Things You Fear [Hip Homeschool Moms]

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Praying With Your Family

Yesterday something happened that gave my wife and children cause to celebrate. We had a late day – two hours late to school due to bad weather. I decided to take advantage of the extra hours in the morning.

We went out to breakfast together. It was a prayer breakfast. We used the time we never have on a Monday in which we are usually in a rush to get ready. We talked. We ate a sit-down meal together. We discussed the week ahead. Then I asked them all to tell me something specifically they wanted to pray about. It was a great morning for our family. It was also a very humbling moment for me as a father.

How often do you pray together as a family? I am not talking about a quick prayer before a meal or a brief nighttime prayer you may have with your spouse or your kids. I am talking about an organized gathering where you share your thoughts and anxieties and spend some quality time together with every member of the family present in unified supplication to Jehovah God.

We need to pray more together. The family at home needs to communicate and then pray. The local congregation that constitutes your spiritual family needs to communicate and then pray. But we don’t! We are in too much of a hurry!

And just as we go too fast in praying before a meal at home, we often rush through every instance in prayer with the church. There seems to be a time limit on the Lord’s Supper.  I mean, after all, we have got to get the preacher up there ASAP so we don’t go over! If old man Jones leads the closing prayer and he gets long winded the people begin to fidget! And when is the last time you heard a prayer in the assembly that was more than five minutes long?

Slow down to pray. Whatever is going on can wait. Your work for the day will hang out and still be ready for you until you are done praying.

We need to repent about our prayer lives! We have robbed ourselves, our families, and our Father from prayer time by simply not making it a priority. We think we are doing a great job as parents because we are making every practice, getting all the homework done, and being on task for each and every responsibility. I would rather have a child who wasn’t as good at basketball as the other kids, if my child knew how to pray. I would rather have a child that gets B’s than a kid who gets A’s if my child was one who walked and talked with God. I’d rather have the laundry backed up and the kitchen not as tidy as long as I had a spouse who was allowed the time to have a healthy prayer life with me and my children.

It just hit me yesterday. In doing the right thing about prayer for once I realized I had been doing the wrong thing most of the time. Families MUST share quality spiritual time together and pray. This is true for the church and it’s true for the home.

If you are an elder and you are reading this I ask that you consider making 2017 a year of prayer for your church family. If you are a parent I suggest you to the same thing for your home. You will not regret it. I left breakfast for once feeling like a pretty good husband and father. Not because I am good, but because my family had together just talked to the One who alone IS good, and that is God. We left everything at His feet. We trusted Him and His will and it gave us peace. We came together in love and care for one another in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And it was wonderful.

“Father, forgive me for not praying as I should. Forgive me for not leading my family in prayer as I should. Forgive me for all the times I didn’t make time for a conversation with You. Because You are what I need the most. And You are who I love the most. I am looking forward to talking to You more. Thank You for always being there to listen and help me. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Whatever you are doing, you have not done as much as you can do…until at first you have prayed.

“I desire then that in every place the men should pray…” – 1 Timothy 2:8


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AUTHOR: Jeremiah Tatum

Photo background credit: BillAC on Creative Commons