Ankle Sprain

Tonight at youth group I decided to just take one more shot before putting the basketballs away, and sure enough, I rolled my ankle really good. Check out the swelling on the outside of the right ankle as compared to the left. No fun! Praying for a quick recovery and no serious damage. It’s the same ankle I’ve broken in the past, and the same one I tore a ligament in two years ago. Thanks for your prayers!

Superior Parenting? What do you think?

I recently read an article entitled “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” by Amy Chua. Give it a read and I would love to hear some thoughts.

“A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it’s like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I’ve done it. Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do:

Amy Chua with her daughters, Louisa and Sophia, at their home in New Haven, Conn.

• attend a sleepover
• have a playdate
• be in a school play
• complain about not being in a school play
• watch TV or play computer games
• choose their own extracurricular activities
• get any grade less than an A
• not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama
• play any instrument other than the piano or violin
• not play the piano or violin.
I’m using the term “Chinese mother” loosely. I know some Korean, Indian, Jamaican, Irish and Ghanaian parents who qualify too. Conversely, I know some mothers of Chinese heritage, almost always born in the West, who are not Chinese mothers, by choice or otherwise. I’m also using the term “Western parents” loosely. Western parents come in all varieties.
All the same, even when Western parents think they’re being strict, they usually don’t come close to being Chinese mothers. For example, my Western friends who consider themselves strict make their children practice their instruments 30 minutes every day. An hour at most. For a Chinese mother, the first hour is the easy part. It’s hours two and three that get tough.
Despite our squeamishness about cultural stereotypes … READ the FULL article

Doug Fields on PAID vs. VOLUNTEER Youth Ministry

I worked in paid youth ministry position within the church for 29 years. The last year I’ve been a volunteer youth worker and have absolutely loved it! My volunteer role is to lead a “small group” of 9th grade boys (who meet at my home on Wednesday nights) and I occasionally teach the entire high school ministry when Josh Griffin (the HS pastor needs/wants a break). It’s a really good season of youth ministry for me!

It seems that every time I’m with a veteran youth worker they ask me, “What’s it like on the ‘other’ side? How is it being a volunteer?”

Obviously, there’s pros/cons to every major decision, but I thought I’d occasionally post on the topic of paid vs. volunteer. Here’s one pro to being a volunteer: … Click here to read the full article.

"The Stranger"

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small Texas town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger…he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn’t seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home… Not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad didn’t permit the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished.
He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked… And NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents’ den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.
His name?…. .. .

We just call him ‘TV.’

He has a wife now…We call her ‘Computer.’

– Author Unknown