Spider Women at Midnight

We just concluded our 35th Yarbrough family reunion at Fall Creek Falls Tennessee. My mom, her two sisters and her brother were all there, average age 87. The next generation consisting of all of their children were also present except one. Pretty amazing! Then the younger generations were there hiking, eating, laughing, and enjoying the mountain top in spite of the summer heat. Past, present, and future were all discussed with gusto.

In addition, an unrelated granddaddy made an appearance. Granddaddy long-leg spiders showed up in excess. These granddaddies were quite numerous and ever-present especially outside the cabins. We consoled ourselves that they were harmless; (more…)

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Questions That Win

Smitty Johnson plays golf with his young son. And he is serious about teaching his son how to play the game well. Johnny Smith also plays golf with his young son, and he is equally serious about teaching his son to play well.

As you might imagine, they each have a different style in teaching. Mr. Johnson is a hindsight teacher. As he plays a round of golf with his son, he watches silently, sees the results, and then asks questions: What club did you use on that shot? Where were you trying to hit the ball? How far away from the green did you think you were? Did it turn out like you wanted? Then he encourages his son, “Hey, you’ll do better next time.”

Mr. Smith approaches his son a little differently. He is a foresight teacher. (more…)

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Five Tips to Raise a Pharisee

image of rule book

A little known rabbi named Phacesius the Pharisee, occasionally furnished facts of Pharisaic fare to his followers. Fortunately, one of those followers Gulibal had enough foresight to write down these reflections for future generations.

Although it is not certain, Gulibal believed that Phacesius played a key role in the argument when Jesus spoke to the Pharisees in Matthew 23.

Knowing that you desire to train your children to live well, I am passing on these five tips from Phacesius. (more…)

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Can our kids hear God?

pic of talking donkey

 

There is the story in Numbers 22 where Balaam heard God speak to him through a donkey. He actually heard a voice with his ears.  He did not hear God with his heart, and he ended up causing a stumbling block to God’s people.

Most of us don’t hear God speak “out loud” to us, nor will our children. We must learn to hear God with our hearts, and we must train our kids to hear God with their hearts. How do we do that and what does it look like? (more…)

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Manage better; punish less.

Happy or sad? photo

Last year, we were fortunate to see Will marry Maria. At their wedding the photographer looked around for fitting backgrounds for the bride and groom pictures. In the chapel, outside, near the door, in front of trees, in front of fountains, and on and on. He took a lot of time on the background, but when the pictures came, we didn’t really notice the backgrounds. We noticed the couple.

Here’s the point: the background supported and focused on the real object of the picture, the bride and groom.

As Patricia and I grew and matured as parents, we realized that certain structures supported our relationships in the home. Order enhanced our lives together. We choose to call these background disciplines. These background disciplines are the unnoticed sentinels that maintain the peace and harmony within a home. The better you manage, the less you punish. (more…)

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