school front old

It is pretty easy to collect theology.
It is a bit more difficult to apply it.

Tuesday was one of those days when I had to remember what I say I believe. Tuesday was my son’s first day of school. Sure, he has been in pre-school for a dozen hours a week, but this is big time: Kindergarten for 35 hours a week! I was looking forward to this day, until I Monday when a few thoughts sobered my excitement.

“We will not be able to see him as often as we have in the past.” “He will be under the nurture and teaching of other people for much of his time. What if it is wrong?” “What if other kids are mean to him and I can’t protect him?” 

I spent a lot of time expressing my emotions and concerns to God.

I also spent time thinking about the situation through the general Christian worldview. Here are some of my thoughts on the first day of school in light of the biblical themes of creation, fall, and redemption. 

Creation: (Genesis 1 & 2) God created everything. God called it good, and excellent in every way. Education is about observing the world that God created. All truth that is expressed there is God’s truth. There is no topic that will be covered that God did not create. It is good to explore God’s world. Beyond the content, God’s presence will be there.

Fall: (Genesis 3, continuing today) Human rebellion disrupted the peace and harmony of creation. Things are not as they were intended to be. There is still goodness, but it is not excellent in every way. This brokenness will display itself at school. There will be pain, conflict, and untruth. We need to be prepared for that. However, this brokenness has had an impact on every area of life, not just his neighborhood school.

Redemption: (The rest of history. Highlights: Resurection of Jesus, Today, Rev 21&22) God continues to love creation. God is in the process of healing all things in this fallen world. He invites humanity in this journey. Education then has a goal of being equipped to join the work of healing the broken world. My son is in preparing for that in his vocational life. He also gets to do that in the present. He can be a force for good in his school.

Remembering these truths helped me to relax more, and regain some excitement and even a sense of worship about the first day of school. Of course, seeing my son beaming with excitement also helped!

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obama_family_2006_xmas_card

Regardless of what you think of politics, all of us can appreciate what President Obama is doing for fatherhood in America.

Social conservatives have long advised (I think correctly.) that fathers in America need to step it up and be more engaged in their families. They note the important roles that fathers play in the development of their sons and daughters. When a father is checked out, physically or emotionally, the family suffers.

“Pro-family” conservatives have a strong ally in the fight to improve fatherhood in the Democrat Obama.

This is an issue where there should be common ground between parties. Better fathers would help make better families, which would make better neighborhoods, which would make a better nation and world.

Obama is using his rhetoric (perhaps his greatest gift) to call us to be better fathers. He calls us to act like men not boys. Obama points out that manhood is not required to make a child, but it is proven in having the courage to raise a child. He calls dads to turn off the TV and tune into their children.

I do not question that others believed those things, but I do not remember hearing fatherhood emphasized by any other president.

More striking to me than Obama’s great speeches about being a father, is his example of being a father. I like seeing him with his children. I can not imagine his work load or stress, but I like that he still chooses to do fun things with his kids. While cynics say it is just for photo ops, I think it is crucial for our nation to see the president spending time with his children.

It is important for America to see the importance of being a dad.

Here is an AP story: http://tinyurl.com/mglmmj

Jim Jackson Laughing

“I need to see that movie. It will make me laugh!” shouted my 5 year old son as we drove past a local movie theater.

My first thought, “Wow, he is a great reader!”

My second thought, “Wow, the advertisers already have him.”

I knew that it was time to act. It was time to defend my children from being told what they needed to buy in order to be happy.

Then I remembered a trick that I learned from a Tony Campolo talk on Greed. It was time to start teaching my children to laugh at commercials.

Our first adventure in laughing at advertisements was simply perfect.

Our children were watching Veggie Tales on live TV, when a commercial for a “Prayer Cross” began to play. This product was an overpriced piece of cheap jewelry with the words of the Lords Prayer on it. Yet this product claimed to “help you pray to God” and to “bring you peace and hope.”

It was time to pull out the laughter (Profanity was my first reaction, but not as helpful.).

“Kids that is so funny! Do we need to buy jewelry to talk to God? No way!” “Ha, Ha, Ha!”

“We do not need that ‘prayer cross’ to get peace and hope from God!” “Ha, Ha, Ha!” “That is SO SILLY!”

The kids quickly joined in on the fun at laughing at the commercial!

We proceeded to expand the game to commercials for breakfast cereals, toys, and movies.

We now enjoy a lot of laughter at the expense of ridiculous advertisements.