Supernews continues it’s hilarious commentary on Twitter. This made me laugh really hard (watch for the Fail Whale).
You want to invest in the lives of others, but… how? That is the question at the center of The Heart of Mentoring by David A. Stoddard (with Robert J. Tamasy).
In ten fast-paced chapters, Stoddard makes it clear that mentoring is not about technique, goals or curriculum. It is about relationship and a passion for developing others on a professional and personal level, as illustrated in ten principles for effective mentoring.
According to Stoddard, effective mentors…
1. …understand that living is about giving
2. …see mentoring as a process that requires perseverance
3. …open their world to their mentoring partners
4. …help mentoring partners find their passion
5. …are comforters who share the load
6. …help turn personal values into practice
7. …model character
8. …affirm the value of spirituality
9. …recognize that Mentoring + Reproduction = Legacy
10. …go for it!
With insight from his own experiences as both a mentor and mentoring partner, Stoddard explains each principle, letting readers into his world as he shares his successes and failures as a mentor. [Read more…]
Continuing to look at some of the more common ideas we have about, or relating to in some way, God, we get to this saying:
“Spare the rod, spoil the child.”
The saying, a common one used in arguments surrounding corporal punishment of children, is an adaptation of several of the sayings in the book of Proverbs, notably:
Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die (Prov. 23:13)
Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him (Prov. 13:24)
From Reacting to Overreacting
Frequently, this adage is used to advocate for corporal punishment, in the form of spanking. However, there are some that would suggest that it advocates for the abuse of children. To use this saying, or any other, as justification for child abuse goes far beyond the bounds of its original meaning, and is a notion that must be rejected, whether you are for or against spanking as a parent.
It is never acceptable for any parent to shame, berate, or belittle their child.
For the Christian, we are never given permission to punish our children. You will not find an example of this for us to follow anywhere in the Bible.
The example and command we are given is to constantly and consistently discipline our children, just as God disciplines His. [Read more…]
Pretty much since the moment I became a Christian, I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly it means to “blaspheme the Holy Spirit.” How does that happen?
A few days back, I was once again reading Matthew 12:22-32, which deals with this issue. Here’s the story so you have some context:
Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” Knowing their thoughts, a he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can someoneenter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. Whoever is not withme is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man l will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come (emphasis mine).
Jesus casts out a demon, and the people begin asking if He is the Messiah. The Pharisees say that Jesus performs miracles by the power of Satan, rather than by the power of God the Holy Spirit. Essentially, they say that he’s practicing witchcraft (something punishable by death according to Old Testament law).
I’ve read this story probably a couple dozen times at this point, but when I read it this time, it was like a light was turned on in a dark room. To blaspheme the Holy Spirit is to continually and stubbornly reject His work and testimony concerning the identity of Jesus. To reject His work as that of Satan’s, and to unrepentantly reject God and His commands is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. And those who persistently & unrepentantly resist the Spirit and salvation through faith in Christ, will not be saved. A troubling thought, to be sure.
So, can a Christian blaspheme the Spirit?
The testimony of John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, sheds some light on why this is so. [Read more…]
I ended up doing something really stupid tonight while I was attempting to clean up my post tags. I deleted the review of Just Do Something from about a month ago.
However! I was able to recover the post… and even the comments! Thank goodness Google had cached the page, because there was some really great and helpful interaction with a fairly regular commenter. The only down side is I can’t recover the avatars, so mine is the only one that appears.
So, if you ever do something stupid, like I just did, remember: You might be able to recover through Google. You won’t get your stats back, but, not much you can do about that, right?
Recommended: A solid exploration of the need for balance in how humanity lives.
For a while now, I have held a conviction that a Jeremiah 29 lifestyle is important: to live in the city, know your neighbors, be involved in local organizations, buy from local businesses, and generally seek the welfare and prosperity of those around you. God promises that if you do this, you too will prosper. And so, while visiting our local library, Bill McKibben’s Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future caught my eye.
The premise of the book is simple – the while “more” may equal “better” up to a certain point, there is a threshold after which “more” ceases to be “better” and is just plain burdensome. As the parent of a toddler, I can attest to this truth: I am constantly thinning the herd of stuffed animals that enter the home by way of extended family. I’m sure she’d have over 100 by now if we weren’t actively giving them away (and if you don’t think that sounds like a lot, you haven’t seen 100 stuffed animals in one place – it’s terrifying). We’ve given some to the Women’s Shelter, where there are children who don’t have many toys of their own, and we’ve also sent some down to the Dominican Republic with a friend, where they’re used at a medical center to distract children as they’re immunized. Both are much preferable to collecting dust under the crib.
But back to the book. McKibben is an engaging writer, and takes the reader on some memorable journeys: The miracle that is fossil fuel and how its use accelerated growth in the 20th century. What it’s like to engage in the 100-mile diet (conclusion: you’d better like turnips!). Visits to far-flung villages that make their own hydro power and grow all their own food. A Chinese shower curtain factory where twenty-something Chinese youth can make enough to send their siblings to school, as long as they resist the temptation to spend all their money on Coca-Cola. [Read more…]