"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16

Friday, September 24, 2010

What I want from my local public school?

As many of you know, Aimee and I have sent Noah to Kitty Stone Elementary School. This is the local public school where we live. Some of you have asked what our philosophy is when we are sending one child to school and home schooling another. I will tell you what our philosophy is with our family. We follow three principles that we believe are ultimately biblical.

1. We are responsible to teach, train, and pass on a love of Jesus Christ to our children. This is basically discipleship. It is our responsibility to disciple our children. We do not depend on teachers, pastors, community leaders, coaches, or others to train our children in the life of loving Christ. Here are the two passages we draw this principle from.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

Matthew 22:37-40: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

It is our responsibility as parents to train our children in love of God with heart, soul, mind, and strength. We do this day in and day out as we go through life together. Parenthood is the ultimate life on life discipleship relationship.

2. We are to teach, train, and pass on a love of other people. This is the second of the great commandments (royal law). It is not enough to train our children to love God in a vacuum! We must train our children to love God in the real life situations in the community, and this will lead them to love their neighbor, enemy, and all men as they love themselves. Aimee and I value having our children around people of all ethnic groups, socio-economic groups, religions/non religions, and other categories. Hannah Grace, Noah, Lily, and Hope will by God's grace grow up to love God passionately and love all men with the love of Christ.

3. We are to press our children to attain the highest level of God given ability so that they can be used in His kingdom. This final point is drawn from texts all over the Bible and from God given common sense. We are pushing all of our children to be leaders, intelligent workers, and godly people.

What do I want from my public school? I want my children to be challenged in academics, disciplined to maximize their God given ability, and an opportunity to live a diverse life among all the people in our community.

So, that is why one child stays home and another goes to school. That's why the child at school can come home and the one at school can come home. The point is that we are flexible when it comes to the education of our little ones. We work to disciple them every day. We pray that God grants us wisdom in these days as we try to raise missionaries for his glory!!! Talk to you soon...CW

Monday, September 20, 2010

"This was a God thing!"

I want to admit up front that I am and always will be a die-hard Alabama fan, but I also really enjoy watching college football no matter who is playing. Saturday night I got to watch the fourth quarter and the overtime period between Auburn and Clemson. This was a fantastic game between two teams with a little history between them. Auburn made the plays necessary to come back from a 17-0 deficit at halftime and they won the game 27-24 in extra time. It was a well played, hard hitting, southern style football game. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat played out in a truly classic fashion. At the end of the game the head coach at Auburn University was interviewed. Coach Gene Chizik seems to be an admirable man. He has every right to express his joy over a thrilling victory, and as a fellow Christian it is exciting to see a believer have success. But I was sad to hear the response of this man in front of a national audience.

When asked about the game he responded, "This was a God thing. I told our guys that they had to keep the faith and they kept the faith the whole game." This was what he said on the field to the reporter immediately after the game. So he got emotional and said something he probably would have rephrased given another opportunity, right? Wrong! After speaking with his team, he conducted his post game press conference. These were his opening words, "I told our kids this was a God thing. They kept the faith the whole game..." Wow. I am hurt to see and hear this type of confused statement.

It would be much better to have a coach who never mentioned God, than to have a coach who abuses the name of the Lord in this fashion. There are 105 Auburn football players who have been told by their head coach that God beat Clemson for them. They are now left to believe that God is for them because of their "faith." So what about all the Christians on Clemson's sidelines. Are they to believe that their faith is not good enough? Is Dabo Swinney not as holy and faithful as Gene Chizik? Did Clemson lose "the faith?" This is the type of abuse that cause non believers to scoff at Christianity. No, it would have been better if coach had simply said, "I am so proud of the way our guys kept fighting tonight. They played with great character, and they displayed mental toughness when the going got tough. Clemson is a great team and we are glad to get out of here with the 'W'." That is a great after the game response from a classy coach. Now he can preach the gospel and live the gospel for his players Sunday - Saturday and they are not confused about what "the faith" is and who God is!

Yes, I would rather have an atheist coaching my children than a man who seems to confuse the gospel with winning a football game in overtime. And it would be better for all of us trying to preach and live the gospel in Alabama if the coaches at our Universities stayed away from such grand standing in the future. Maybe he will get it right next time but for now we will have to deal with the fall out from a ridiculously sad comment.

P.S.- Before you say I am making a big deal out of nothing, it is already making the media rounds. Last night about 10 minutes of a 30 minute show on ABC 33/40 was dedicated to this comment. It was not positive in any shape or fashion. The media members of "The Zone" were mocking Chizik and Christianity. It was heart breaking. Talk to you later...CW