Friday, January 28, 2011

I mentioned the article on the AOL news Rethinking The Bible As A Social Book (Jan 26, 2011). I mentioned all the comments and then I went back to really read (instead of skim) the article.

I find it interesting that so many people pounced on the word "modify". I agree whole-heartedly that we have no right to tamper with God's word. Maybe I'm just weird but it was all the other possibilities that caught my attention: "The apps makes it possible for readers to share their highlighted text from a book on Twitter or Facebook, along with their comments, related photos and videos. Private groups can also be created for more of a book-club feel" or on-line Bible study? What a wonderful opportunity to interact with and share the scriptures socially for kids in today's world. Should it take the place of face to face, no. It's something different ...

Like anything new, it's scary, yes, but also full of possibilities to be used or abused. Think about the good and the bad possibilities available to man when someone developed the wheel (before & after). Some of the grown-ups were early adopters, some not. Maybe the kids and teenagers had a riotous time. We don't know.  I bet the apostle Paul would have a field day today with a social Bible app . . . for better or for worse. I wonder if he'd condemn it or use it to great advantage... 

That was the part that jumped out at me -  potential for personal and social options for discussions, sharing, pondering the Word of God with personal visual and audio options for worship that you can share.  (my own interpretation) even with unbelievers. Maybe more appealing to, maybe common ground with unbelievers.

Having a tool out there with the capability to "modify" the scriptures is scary for sure. That particular possibility should give us that much more incentive to make sure our kids really know God's Word "as written" - what's there and what isn't...

Take a passage. Take a story. Change something. Start with the obvious and move to the more subtle. Change something and see if your kids catch it...Make it a game. How do you teach them to tactfully say to someone they love, "I don't think that's what the scriptures really say. Let's go look."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"...stories in the scriptures about temptation. . ."

Stories where God told someone to do something and they didn't or where God told someone not to do something and they did would count as stories about giving in to temptation.

Choosing to do (or not to do) what God told them, even when it was hard, would be a story about resisting temptation:

Here are a few of those stories:

Adam & Eve
Cain & Abel
Joseph & the guy's  wife (I've forgotten his name)
The Golden Calf
(Maybe) Lot
Lot's wife
David & Bathsheba
Jesus and Satan
Jesus in the Garden

See if you can think of more...not what you would call "sin" by our traditional religious church standards...look at "God said do..." and someone didn't or "God said don't..." and someone did. Or they were tempted to disobey God but they didn't.  Maybe they made a choice to honor God and do something that was very hard. Job's wife wanted him to deny God. Daniel chose not to eat the rich food offered at the king's table. You could probably count breaking one of the 10 commandments if you look at the stories that took place after God gave the commandments to Moses. See what you can find...

You could also do a word study. If you use "tempt," I think "tempted" and "temptation" will show up too.

I'm guessing you'll see things you didn't see before.
I might be wrong but I don't think I'd bother worrying about "character studies for toddlers".

Last thing I knew toddlers are learning  through their senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch), their environment ("I feel safe", "I feel safe enough to explore this world", or "something scares me"), and maybe more than any of us dare to admit, their relationships with the people and the living things around them. That's where they'll learn about character  -  hands-on, sensory, environmental, relational. And I think you'll see their young spirits respond to and imitate what they see and experience in the people who surround them day in and day out.

Something to explore: At what age would you start focusing on character? At what age do children differentiate between good, bad, and just different? What makes something good? What makes it bad? I don't think we talk about it. I think we take whatever those words mean for granted.

Children begin to imitate those around them at a very young age. Who and what they're encouraged to imitate will definitely impact their character. Use it to your advantage and the glory of God.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Have you seen this? When I opened up AOL to chat, this was in the news. AND as of this post, there are 207 comments. :-)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lots to ponder at the Cory Center website.

But let's take it a step farther. Here's a challenge for you...

Did you ever search the scriptures for stories or passages about people who got mad at God? Who were they? Why were they mad at God? Did God respond? If so, how?

Did you ever search the scriptures for stories about people who were grieving? Can you think of stories or passages in the scriptures about people who were very very sad? Why were they sad? What happened? Did God respond? If so, how?

Today we have sports. Are there sports in the scriptures? If so, what? If not, what did people do to stay "fit"? What was fitness all about? How did they balance and fill up their lives? What would a typical day or week or year look like?

Not looking for right or wrong answers here. Looking for observations. Read and search God's stories for the obvious, not for some deep dark secret. Use your eyes and ears, your mind and your heart. See what God will show you...Do it with your church leadership. Do it with grown-ups or parents. Do it with teens. Do it with children.  See what God will show you...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

some of us have a love/hate relationship with technology...

that being'll see... has some interesting discussions. I'm especially impressed with what appears to be a growing desire among these particular youth pastors to collaborate and learn from and grow with other people and other ministries. Check it out. You'll find some interesting discussions.

The church of England has a new site & newsletter called Going 4 Growth. Check that out, too.

ponder with me

I'd like to propose that as the Virtual becomes more and more the world that children become most familiar with that sensory, tactile, kinesthetic learning and association, human interaction with the natural world and healthy relationships will become that much more important for a child's whole wellness.

I'd like to propose that as more and more kids spend more and more time away from their nuclear family that exploring the relationships between child, family, care-givers, and community with all the "socialization" pluses and minuses will be worth exploring...

Many cultural elements over the last quarter century are new and a bit daunting...but if there's "nothing new under the sun" how do the scriptures lead and guide us through?

What if the images of the scriptures that we take for granted (and generations before have taken for granted) disappear from our culture over time? . . .  father, mother, sparrow, bread, lily, grain, sheep, grass, water, stings, horns, many things we take for granted in a God-created world that may or may not survive as our man-created world continues to grow...what do you think?

Are we obligated to keep all the things that God created and those things referenced in the scriptures alive in our world? If people stop eating bread or stop eating meat will that make those passages of scripture irrelevant? If farms disappear will that make the agricultural images of scripture irrelevant? What about commercial fishing? What about time spent outside observing something like a sparrow?

I'm just asking ... I suggest we think about it now instead of turning around later, wishing we had...

Saturday, January 01, 2011

New Year's

Ecclesiastes 3 is one of my favorites. Do we teach this to kids? How do we do it? Probably mostly by example. There are parts of this passage that it's easy to have issues with ... even parts that break the commandments but we don't think of it that way. Take the 10 commandments and go through the stories of scripture and see how often the rules were broken and ponder. Who decides whether it's time for this or time for that? How do you decide?

Psalm 8 

Revelation 21:1-6a
So much of Revelation is worship!! That was once a revelation to me! This is a neat picture of Immanuel "God with us." Every time you wipe away tears remember His promise.

Matthew 25:31-46
Another powerful picture. Perhaps a picture of the kingdom of God coming to earth...perhaps a picture of the Holy City descending, the Bride, the New Heaven, the New Earth . . .God with us. . .  My husband is very very good at this kind of giving so the kids grew up seeing this modeled often. Challenging to our faith and risky when kids want to do it, too...