Archive for September 2012

Teachable Moment: …Pants on Fire?

What to do when you catch your child as a liar, liar, pants on fire?

Here’s a real-life example –

Wendy caught her daughter, Jessica, in a lie and was deciding how to approach the situation.  Jessica burst into tears and cried, “You’ll never trust me again!”

“Ah ha!  That’s getting to the heart of things,” Wendy thought!  She grabbed Parenting with Scripture, went to the topic of honesty, and found Luke 16:10.  “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”  This turned into a wonderfully positive discussion about how Jessica could regain trust.  What a great snapshot of positive parenting through a teachable moment!

pant on fire

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Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit – Ft. Worth, TX

For those of you are close enough to make a trip to Ft. Worth, TX between now and January 13, I highly recommend the Dead Sea Scroll exhibit!

In past blogs, I’ve mentioned the Seeds music with Scripture set to song.  While watching the informational video at the exhibit, I was almost brought to tears as the following verse that we learned this summer through one of the CDs was referenced…

For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” 1 Peter 1:24-25

What an incredibly moving experience for our family to see tangible evidence of that truth through the faithful passing on of God’s Word through the centuries!

For what ages is the exhibit appropriate?
I’d say it depends on the child.  It took about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to go through the exhibit and our 2nd and 4th graders enjoyed it.  One caution is that they discourage touching any of the display cases because of the need to maintain climate control of these precious artifacts.  However, there are many ways they have made the exhibit child-friendly.  The area where you wait for the tour to start has several hands-on experiences to help kids understand the painstaking process of piecing together archeological finds.  The experience ends with a visit to a replica of a dig site from Qumran.  Kids get to dig for artifacts (all sorts of fun things are buried) using real tools and can keep a piece of genuine 2000 year old pottery when they find one (they are abundant!) that the Smithsonian Institute donated!  To help our children get more into the experience, we read the book recommended below the week prior to the visit.  Also, we made a binder with some of the fun and educational resources from the exhibit website.  My 4th grade daughter even thought of adding notebook paper and a pencil to her binder so that she could take notes and draw sketches during the tour.

Official website:

Educational resources including a word find and maze:

This is a book that our family found helpful for giving background in a child-friendly way (and to help us parents who didn’t know much about this subject either!).  Be aware that the book is written from the Jewish standpoint.  However, it was a great basis of knowledge and then the exhibit perfectly filled in the Christian perspective.  (Click book to be linked to Amazon for more information.)

Replica of Qumran dig site…kid-friendly archeological digging experience!


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What My Kids Hear a Lot…”It’s a privilege.”

“It’s a privilege.”

A while back at Life Group, a couple of the moms were sharing how their young girls (Kinder and 1st Grade) agreed to request needed items for a children’s hospital in lieu of birthday presents.  We all enjoyed hearing how the birthday girls delivered the collected items to the hospital, took a tour, and learned about the needs they were meeting with their gifts.  We moms discussed how our children already have so much and how birthday parties seem to just add to the excess.  The question was posed about how to “encourage” this generous aspect of a birthday party.  Ok, I’ll fess up…I was the one that asked that.  I’ve tried to nudge my children in this direction in the past.  However, they are stuck on the tradition of how b-day parties “are supposed to be.”  So, what tips did these two moms have for moms like me?  One mom pointed out that the birthday girls still received surprises and items from their personal wish list as gifts from family members.  But then she took it deeper.  She added that on a regular basis, even with the basics, she and her husband remind their children that “it’s a privilege” to have these things.  “It’s a privilege to have these shoes, toys, this car, etc.”

The principle of “it’s a privilege” stuck in my mind.  How aware were my children that even the basics are privileges, let alone the extras?  Soon after was back-to-school shopping and that particular day we bought some necessities as well as a few fluff things because of a sale and coupon.  As we were heading out the door of the store, the kids were complaining about shopping.  Ah ha!  A teachable moment!  We got to the car and I reminded them that some families don’t have the money to do back to school shopping.  Here we were able to buy the things they truly needed as well as some fun things…and they were complaining?!   That was the beginning of my children hearing “it’s a privilege” in varying circumstances.

Later the same day, it came to my attention one of my children wasn’t taking care of a certain daily responsibility even though I had been reminding the child.  What a great opportunity to reinforce the earlier lesson of “it’s a privilege” with the idea that if we can’t take care of what we have, we certainly don’t need more!  Back into the bag went one of those “fluff” items to be returned to the store.  The child’s eyes got wide.  Nothing like an example that hits home to make the point and help the concept stick!

Understanding that the blessings in our lives are privileges can’t help but be tied to the topics of thankfulness and contentment.  So when I use the phrase, “It’s a privilege” I try to pull in one of those topical verses to the teachable moment.  Here are a few that are helpful…

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Hebrews 13:5a  – “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.”

1 Timothy 6:6-8 – “But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”


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What My Kids Hear a Lot…”We don’t say that!”

I began thinking about this blog a couple of weeks ago as we were watching tv and a character used a phrase that my children aren’t allowed to say. Even though my kids know what words/phrases are wrong by this point, I still feel compelled to say, “We don’t say that!” whenever I hear them used on tv, movies, radio, etc.

Last Sunday, our pastor preached on the power of our words.  I realized that the next time I found myself using that phrase, it could be a “teachable moment” for deeper discussion regarding our mouths.

These are the nuggets from the sermon that I found helpful:

*Rather than always listing what we can’t say, let’s focus on what we can say!
*Words can be life-giving or death-like.  Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
*Particularly for my son, I like the imagery of wielding our words like a sword.  We can either cut with them or fight the good fight with them.   “Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” – Proverbs 12:18
*Our tongues are not tamable, but they are transformable.  See James 3:1-12.
*God made our mouths and He gave them power. Again, Proverbs 18:21 – “The tongue has the power of life and death.”
*”Because words have power, you reset the climate every time you speak.” – Gary Thomas from The Beautiful Fight.  Ephesians 4:29 sums this up well…”Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”


More helpful passages on the power of words:
Proverbs 16:23-24 – A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.  Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 12:25 – An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.
Proverbs 21:23 – He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.

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