Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The other day, I passed the 40,000 word mark on my book! That means either I’m terribly verbose, or it’s just loaded with good stuff! I prefer to think the latter, but I suspect I have some whittling to do before this hits the press.
For those of you who don’t know, I am working on a book about Second Generation Christians, interviewing those that are living for God to discover what their parents did right. This is the main reason why I’ve not been blogging much within the past six to eight months.
Sometimes, however, I find some nuggets that simply will not fit in the book. After all, it’s at least 40,000 words long already, and it’s not done yet. So, this blog is going to get some of the spillovers, the things that can’t fit, but are still really good.
Thank you for your patience, and please continue to pray that the Lord will give me wisdom. I feel that the information I’ve been finding is extremely vital for our day, and can help a LOT of young families who want to raise their children to serve the Lord.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Ever feel old? I know I’m only forty--not-going-to-tell-you years old, but sometime I feel as if age is catching up with me. Actually, not sometimes…more often than not! Sometimes it's hard to believe that I actually have three adult children and two grandchildren! All of my family are the joy of my heart.
Being older (notice I said oldER) means that I have many years to reflect on. The formative year of my family were highly influenced by many good books, and I thank God for them!
Monday, February 7, 2011
“Not Uncle Olav!” the children screamed. And with that, the young people were plunged into one disaster after another. All Uncle Olav wanted was their money, and not long after they went to live with their nice cousin Boris, he died in a car accident. Living with Aunt Sylvia became almost like home, until she committed suicide. Each time the kids had a good situation, it seemed that something awful happened.
Now, how would you like to read a story like that? How would you like your children to read a story like that?
That is the story line of the very popular eight-book series “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” It is what people read nowadays. But I wonder…Why do all the parents in these stories die, anyway? And the ones that survive seem to act like ignorant morons, always getting in the way.
If someone came up to me and slapped me across the face, I don’t think I would have been more shocked than I was the other day. What I read in the current issue of a major writer’s magazine came as a complete surprise.
There is an article in the magazine about writing stories for children. In this article, they give tips and tricks to develop vivid characters, an unforgettable plot, and a riveting climax. It really has some good ideas. But in the article titled, “How to Avoid Parenting Your Characters,” I find several disturbing things. The first bold heading under the title is, “LOSE THE PARENTS TO ADVANCE THE PLOT.” Then it goes on to say,
The No. 1 parenting problem that characters face is adults, usually parents, who stop the fun and solve all of the problems instead of letting the characters get into trouble and then get back out again. The solution is obvious: Get mom and dad out of the way.”
And then a bit further, we read,
From the Boxcar Children to Harry Potter, there is a long tradition of killing off mom and dad to get the story underway….If burying mom and dad doesn’t work for your story, there are other ways to get them out of the way. Adults, both real and imagined, are wonderfully self-absorbed and don’t always notice what is going on under their own noses.”
In other words, keep mom and dad so busy with their own lives that the children are on their own. Does this remind anyone else of a Scripture? “A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”
But wait! This gets better…or worse! The next bold heading is, "USE ADULT CHARACTERS AS OBSTACLES." The article continues:
If you simply cannot get the parents out of your story, then make good use of them… adults can be a great device to mix up the lives of young characters. [A juvenile fiction writer says,] “I do sometimes have older characters give misguided advice to younger characters,” she says. “That way rather than solving problems, the adults complicate them.”
How about the attitudes of the young people themselves?
“Allowing my characters to do a little bit of rebellious sneaking around helps me keep parents out of the way,” [the writer is quoted].
Folks, this is from the current issue of a major writer’s magazine. It is how we writers are taught to create compelling fiction for young people in our modern society.
I used to think that it just happened to be that children ran about by themselves all the time in juvenile fiction, but now I see that it’s a purposeful effort on the behalf of publishers (and writers) to literally get adults out of the way or use them as obstacles in the young people’s lives!
Here are just a few of the Scriptures that come to mind:
Ephesians 6:1-2a “Children, obey your parents, for this is right. Honor thy father and thy mother…”
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 5:1 My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:
Proverbs 4:20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
Does this bother anyone else, or am I the only one this raises a red flag with?! Think twice before you allow your child to bring home from the library some juvenile fiction that is written by an unsaved author. They might wish you would jump out the window someday! :/
Thursday, February 3, 2011
I’ve always wanted to do something to help people.
Sensing I lacked confidence as a young child, my older sister went to great - and quite comical, I might add - lengths to help bolster my self-assurance. I didn’t realize it at the time, but she planned a number of strange “accidents” so that I could rescue her from certain doom.
One time, we were riding our bikes through the neighborhood, when she slowed down, pulled closer to the curb, and then suddenly flung herself off her bike and into the grass! Rolling a few times, she yelled, “Oh! Lis! Help! Help!”
Instantly becoming the paramedic, I swung the bike around, raced to her side and quickly examined her for broken bones. Within a few minutes, I had my patient up and about, and carefully helped her back home, where I got her all comfortable on the couch. Her gratefulness was almost without bounds, and later, she rewarded me with one of the most precious awards I ever got: a foil-covered cardboard trophy! It gave me the confidence I
needed throughout the years ahead.
Throughout the years, the Lord has enabled me to meet many, many people. Lots of the folks I have met are very precious believers who have successfully trained their children to serve the Lord. These people are now grandparents, and today their children are training their own children in the way of the Lord.
Now, I’ve heard it said that the greatest proof of your parenting is not how your children turn out, but how your children are training their own children! In other words, we know we have passed on our godly values only inasmuch as our children have embraced them and are passing them on to the next generation.
My desire is to help young parents have concrete methods based on the evidence of the scriptures and proof of experience. The positive experiences of those that have successfully trained godly young people holds more weight than any opinion in the world. You may have your opinion; I’ll take the proven method.
I’ve always wanted to do something to help people. But instead of being a bike-riding paramedic, the Lord has given me many stories of godly parents to tell.
So, young parents, fear not! The older generation will tell their godly parenting secrets.