So nerdy, but so true. Well written story on one warriors battle against the WiFi beast:
“Lo, in the twilight days of the second year of the second decade of the third millennium did a great darkness descend over the wireless internet connectivity of the people of 276 Ferndale Street in the North-Central lands of Iowa. For many years, the gentlefolk of these lands basked in a wireless network overflowing with speed and ample internet, flowing like a river into their Compaq Presario. Many happy days did the people spend checking Hotmail and reading USAToday.com.
But then one gray morning did Internet Explorer 6 no longer load The Google. Refresh was clicked, again and again, but still did Internet Explorer 6 not load The Google. Perhaps The Google was broken, the people thought, but then The Yahoo too did not load. Nor did Hotmail. Nor USAToday.com. The land was thrown into panic. Internet Explorer 6 was minimized then maximized. The Compaq Presario was unplugged then plugged back in. The old mouse was brought out and plugged in beside the new mouse. Still, The Google did not load.”
Dr. Christine Hoff Somers is the author of a new book called, “The War Against Boys.” While interviewing her on my weekly radio program, Generations, she told the listening audience that the modern school is dangerous for boys. It is producing boys that are feminized, awkward, rebellious, or otherwise ill-prepared for life. Only 43% of students attending college today are boys, and that number continues to drop. Schools are increasingly designed for girls. Meanwhile, boys are disenfranchised and disinterested. Removing a boy’s unique purpose and preparation in life, setting him in a girl’s world, and then putting him in competition with girls will only produce devastating consequences for our social and economic systems. Actually, it’s already happening. The number of children born without fathers, where the father is nowhere to be found, has risen from 5% to 35% just in the last 30 years.
“All the world’s a screen”. At least that’s what my prof from college argues page after page in his book Meaning At The Movies. He also writes, “God made us in his image, and we make movies in ours”. So true. Sometimes the reason why movies (or television shows) are so entertaining to us is because it’s like looking in a mirror. We see our lives, emotions, thoughts, feelings played out before us and it’s very attractive and revealing about our own hearts. For more on this idea, pick up a copy of Meaning At The Movies, but in the meantime I wanted to show you this clip from a recent episode of The Middle that Bethany and I watched with great laughter and appreciation as it revealed a little bit about the human heart and parenting. If you’ve never seen this show, it’s about a “middle” class family in “middle” America. It’s a classic family sitcom, but it’s narrated from the viewpoint of the mom Franki (Patricia Heaton) to give us an insight in to her feelings and thoughts about being a mom and having a family in “the middle”. Here’s the clip:
The rest of the episode goes on to show just how the parents “take back their lives” in a pretty amusing fashion. The furniture in the living room is rearranged just the way mom wants it. The dad and mom are high-fiving every time they “take back” another portion of their lives, be it the kind of pizza they order, taking a parent’s night out with friends, not dropping everything to cater to any one of their kids specific/immediate needs, etc. Bethany and I were just laughing in agreement as the parents actually start to rule the home and not let the kids run the place. The kids of course are completely taken back that their parents are now saying “no” and their efforts to plead with the parents to go back to the way things were before simply creates hilarity throughout.
It all reminded me of a blog I read just this week from Jay Younts of the Shepherd’s Press blog titled “Go to Sleep!”. It’s a critique of a new book that tries to humorously discuss why kids just won’t “go to sleep” and are annoying their tired and frustrated parents. The problem is, as Jay Younts argues, “Children were never intended to be installed as rulers of the universe…“. And often this is exactly what they are in families today, rulers of their own schedules, bed times, toy selection, and the like. But there’s already a ruler of the universe–his name is Jesus. And when children begin to rule their own universe (e.g. parents, household, etc.), and when parents reinforce this sense of dominion in the child it will only frustrate everyone involved. That’s why we need the Gospel. Without the Gospel, Jesus doesn’t rule in our hearts and stake the claim He rightfully owns (paid for by His shed blood) in our homes, children, and families. What we end up with is a war for authority of which each little battle is often won by the children who finally win the war.
By the end of the episode both parents finally “give in” to one of their child’s needs and basically go back to their old ways. The furniture is rearranged to the way it was, the parents drop everything to meet their children’s needs, etc. Honestly, they needed balance in their approach, but it’s still sad that they couldn’t stay committed to ruling their home as the authority in the kid’s lives. In the final scene, Franki (the mom) goes outside to get the mail and another mom with a toddler in a stroller are walking by. The child is obviously not happy about something and you hear the other mom saying “What is it honey? Whatever you need I’ll get it for you.” Franki quickly approaches the mom and says, “Don’t do it! Don’t give him everything he wants!” It was a last ditch effort to keep her dream alive of helping another mom change her ways before it’s too late! The concerned mom just gives Franki an odd look, helps her child, and keeps walking down the sidewalk. As Franki stands there watching them walk away we hear her say “She won’t listen”, as if to say “It’s a lost cause. In the end, the kids win. Parents lose.” You’re right, Franki. If parents keep letting their kids rule the universe, it’ll be a lost cause to try and rule your home. It’s only when parents see that their children were designed for authority and limits that blessing will come.
“On Dec. 7 each year, Americans commemorate Pearl Harbor Day in memory of the thousands who were killed or injured when the Japanese attacked an American naval base in Hawaii that day in 1941.”
A few facts about the attacks on Pearl Harbor: 2,388 Americans died in the attack
1,178 Americans were wounded
21 American ships were sunk or damaged
323 American aircraft were destroyed or damaged
1,177 Americans involved in the attack were serving on the USS Arizona
333 servicemen serving on the USS Arizona survived the attack
Below is the famous video of FDR following the attacks on Pearl Harbor:
Just a little reading from our 16th President about Thanksgiving, 1864:
Date: October 20, 1864
By: Abraham Lincoln
It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with his guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad, and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their campus, and our sailors on the rivers and seas, with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while he has opened to us new sources of wealth, and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant rewards
. Moreover, he has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions.
Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may be then, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid, that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust, and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the great Disposer of events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased him to assign as a dwelling-place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.
In testimony where of, I have here unto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this twentieth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.
If you Google “medal of honor” you’re confronted with some very interesting results. The first two (three if you count the “sponsored link”) are links to a popular video game with the same name, and the third result is for the “Congressional Medal of Honor Society” which was created by the U.S. Congress to remember the recipients of the highest award given to U.S. military personnel–that is, the literal Medal of Honor. This might be confusing to some, but not to Google. Google is just returning back what it thinks are the best results of what people are searching for. But Google’s results illustrate this reality: we live in a confused culture. Confused over what? The simple answer: everything. We are a culture that doesn’t understand parenting, gender, race, sex, death, development, God, religion, and many others. But in the case of the medal of honor, we are confused over reality, or said another way, we’re confused over what’s real and what isn’t.
Staff Sargent Sal Guinta is the first living person since Vietnam to awarded the Nation’s highest medal, the medal of honor (you can watch his personal account of the story in this video). Three years ago he bravely fought off the enemy in Afghanistan and his story, though heart-breaking, will give encouragement and hope to many Americans. It’s the story of a real young man, with real strength and valor, doing something that few would ever do. He stared down certain death and risked his own life for his fellow soldiers and his country. Even in his own words, he believed he didn’t deserve the medal, but wanted it to represent the many other who fought along side him and those who are still fighting today. He sounds like a humble and self-sacrificing man, and I personally want to thank him for his service to the United States. But as I listened and read his story, I couldn’t help but think that so many other young men are out there right now, sitting behind a screen playing a video game that, though entertaining, doesn’t teach them anything about life in the real world, with real pain, and real risks. I like the way one former Marine officer Benjamin Busch put it in his article “Why A Video Game Does Not A Soldier Make“, he says
“Playing and risking your life are different things. In the video war, there may be some manipulation of anxiety, some adrenaline to the heart, but absolutely nothing is at stake…A video game can produce no wounds and take no friends away.”
Some young men probably stood in long lines back in October waiting for the release of the latest “Medal of Honor” video game. Many of them probably didn’t even hear about President Obama awarding the actual Medal of Honor just a month later. But then again, there’s really nothing exciting about an old guy giving some young guy a little necklace, right? Wrong. My concern is that young men today don’t know anything of the bravery, valor, or even honor displayed by Sal Guinta. And what they do know of it is probably highly distorted. While they sit at home in their bedrooms playing video games created by companies that spend millions of dollars to create reality, there are real men and women risking their lives every day, many of whom have left their friends and family here and aren’t guaranteed a return ticket home. Again, officer Busch’s comments are relevant,
“And for those who truly want to play for a Medal of Honor, recruiters are standing by. Only eight have been awarded since we invaded Afghanistan. All but one have been posthumous.”
It’s easy to live in a confused culture and not see the weird dichotomy it creates at times, or the blurred lines of reality and fantasty. As I look forward to training and educating my own son about the world around him I would do well to see the problem here and make the necessary adjustments. I hope and pray that he would grow to understand that there’s more to life than entertainment and that he would always separate what’s real from what isn’t, even when the lines look blurred. More than that, I pray he would be a man of great courage, valor, and honor–not just for his country, but for his God who deserves far greater allegiance.
Watch President Obama reward Sal Giunta with the Medal of Honor:
I got married at 21. Next month my wife and I will celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary–I couldn’t be happier. But apparently I’m not the norm. At least that’s what the Associated Press is saying in a new article out today with the tagline “Is marriage becoming obsolete?” I offer you this snippet for your own discernment:
As families gather for Thanksgiving this year, nearly one in three American children is living with a parent who is divorced, separated or never-married. More people are accepting the view that wedding bells aren’t needed to have a family.
About 29 percent of children under 18 now live with a parent or parents who are unwed or no longer married, a fivefold increase from 1960, according to the Pew report being released Thursday. Broken down further, about 15 percent have parents who are divorced or separated and 14 percent who were never married. Within those two groups, a sizable chunk — 6 percent — have parents who are live-in couples who opted to raise kids together without getting married.
Then there’s this gem just in the middle of the article:
The changing views of family are being driven largely by young adults 18-29, who are more likely than older generations to have an unmarried or divorced parent or have friends who do. Young adults also tend to have more liberal attitudes when it comes to spousal roles and living together before marriage, the survey found.
Yes, I misspelled the word “privacy” in the title–it was intentional.
I wouldn’t share this if I didn’t think it was relevant, and if you use airplanes to travel for any reason this information is crucial. I’m not sure if you’ve been keeping your eyes on the latest procedures that are being considered for flight security, but let’s just say it’s pretty revealing–that is, revealing of your body, your wife’s body, and even your kids’ bodies.
After reading Ed Stezter’s post “Four Reasons You Should Resist the New TSA Security Procedures (and How You Can)“, I feel violated and I haven’t even had these procedures done to me. But I do spend time in airports every year, and the last thing I want are naked images of my family to be seen by strangers and/or to be groped in any way. I know these things sound terrible to even mention, but they are becoming a reality. And as so boldly stated by one congressman, “You don’t have to look at my wife and 8-year-old daughter naked to secure an airplane.”
I highly suggested reading all of Ed Stetzer’s four reasons why you should resist these new procedures. Here’s just a sample of his first point:
1. It is wrong.
Yes, I will say it that bluntly. It is wrong to take naked pictures of people as a requirement for them to travel across a free country. And, it is wrong to grope their genitals as a requirement of travel.
Now, honestly, I don’t care if they want to look at my lumpy physique all day. In one sense, you would have to consider that a painful sacrifice on the TSA agent’s part.
But, I have a wife and three daughters. I teach my children that only their parents or their doctor should see or touch certain places on their bodies. And, I do not think I should add, “Oh, and strangers in the airport.”
I’ve been seriously contemplating a major swing in the content of my blog. Mainly due to convictions in my heart in regards to narcissism and pride, I want to continue to post and re-post helpful and encouraging reading when I can.
“Not thinking is one simple reason why thousands of souls are thrown away forever into the Lake of Fire. Men will not consider, will not look ahead, will not look around them, will not reflect on the end of their present course, and the sure consequences of their present days, and wake up to find they are damned for a lack of thinking. Young men, none are in more danger of this than yourselves. You know little of the perils around you, and so you are careless how you walk. You hate the trouble of serious, quiet thinking, and so you make wrong decisions and bring upon yourselves much sorrow.” – J.C. Ryle
*Correction: An earlier version of this post had a photo of my friends doing silly things. This image has been replaced with the photo of J.C. Ryle to protect the innocent and hopefully not lead people to think I’m bashing my friends, which was never my intention. I too am quite thoughtless at times.
I forget sometimes things I’ve come across or read that I want to share with people, but today I remembered a fantastic resource that you need to be aware of. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) has a great, updated website with some wonderful resources for Christians. Specifically they have put together digital booklets for free download which I highly recommend. Though I haven’t read them all, I have read the “From Boy To Man: The Marks of Manhood” and thought it was a very helpful resource on the topic of Biblical manhood. Obviously I have a vested interest in the topic as a man myself and with a son that is quickly growing, but I’m sure the other topics (counseling, modesty, homosexuality, and pastoral ministry) would be of interest to you.