Hack-Proofing Children’s Brains

9 10 2018

We all know the panic and fear that strikes when we suddenly realize our computer has been hacked.

computerconfusion

The first indication might be when we notice important documents are missing. That’s when we discover a hidden virus has been corrupting our files. Someone has gained control of our operating system! We worry about personal information being stolen and immediately take action to stop the attack.

But what about protecting young minds as vigorously as we protect our technology?

The alarming truth is that children’s brains can and are being hacked by social media, music, and TV.

Society is teaching children how to view the world. Computer games, commercials, and movies infiltrate young minds, creating an unbiblical worldview. An overemphasis is placed on self and self-gratification. Valued above all else are things like fame and popularity, outer beauty, and material possessions.

Society is relentless in preaching its worldview—how people should think about and respond to their world.

Even five- and six-year-olds will develop a worldview. It is critical for us to provide them with a biblical viewpoint—a viewpoint based on Truths contained in Scripture. Such a viewpoint will provide a set of beliefs that will enable young children to make sense of themselves and the world around them.

Protecting young minds demands a strong offense. We need to be proactive in training children how to think biblically—to make sense of their world by using Truths contained in the Bible. Helping children build a biblical worldview teaches them to perceive the world through Scripture. But can this be done in the context of running errands, checking homework, mediating disputes, serving meals, cleaning clutter, and—well, in the context of life?

Yes! We can begin by helping young children understand that God is real and He cares about them.

Sing the song “My God is So Big” with your child and try doing the sign language in this Youtube I posted.

“My God is So big.” Youtube link:

https://youtu.be/e3hiqzck60w

Questions: Has God revealed Himself to your young child? Has He helped your child with a big problem?

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Creation reminds children of God’s love.

28 10 2014

IMG_5054 adj

Go on a love hunt with your young child. What’s a love hunt? It’s kinda like the games I Spy and Hide and Seek. Only you’re searching for God’s love.

Invite your youngster to join you by saying, “Let’s go outside for a love hunt. We’ll search for messages from God.”

Use the script below as you stroll outside hand-in-hand. On a rainy day, watch the video I created for an indoor adventure.

http://youtu.be/WS2hoyCxX7A

Note: All Bible verses are from the Easy-to-Read Version.


 

See that sky?

God created that sky. His power is amazing! You draw pretty pictures for people you love. God paints the sky for you! Each day He gives you a new beautiful picture.

“Long ago, you made the world. You made the sky with your own hands!” Psalm 102:25

You can’t see an end of the sky. That’s just like God’s love. His love to you will never end.

“Lord, your faithful love reaches to the sky. Your faithfulness is as high as the clouds.” Psalm 36:5

“Your faithful love is higher than the highest clouds in the sky!” Psalm 108:4

See that cloud?

God made the clouds. Every day we see clouds in different shapes and colors. That’s another amazing thing about God.

“Do you know how the clouds hang in the sky? This is just one of the amazing works of the one who knows everything.”  Job 37:16

That cloud reminds us of His love.

“Your faithful love is higher than the highest clouds in the sky!” Psalm 57:10

It reminds us that God provides what we need to eat and drink.

God sent food to drop from the clouds when His people were wandering around the desert and hungry.

“But then God opened the clouds above, and manna rained down on them for food.” Psalm 78:23

He sends rain so we can drink water and so plants will grow.

“He fills the sky with clouds. He sends rain to the earth. He makes the grass grow on the mountains.” Psalm 147:8

Christ went up into heaven on a cloud and will come again on a cloud. When that happens, it will be the end of all hurts and problems.

“After Jesus said this, he was lifted up into the sky. While they were watching, he went into a cloud, and they could not see him. They were staring into the sky where he had gone. Suddenly two men wearing white clothes were standing beside them. They said, “‘Men from Galilee, why are you standing here looking into the sky? You saw Jesus carried away from you into heaven. He will come back in the same way you saw him go.’” Acts 1:9-11

See that bird?

God loves you more than any bird in the sky.

“So don’t be afraid. You are worth more than a whole flock of birds.”  Matthew 10:31

Birds don’t worry. God takes care of them. So don’t worry about what you will eat. You’re even more important to God than the birds. He will take care of you and make sure you have food.

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant, harvest, or save food in barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them. Don’t you know you are worth much more than they are?”  Matthew 6:26

See this tree?

God made it to give us shade. He made other trees to give us fruit. We can hang swings on trees or climb small ones. Adults use trees to make things like furniture and paper.

A tree reminds us not to worry. The tree doesn’t worry. Its roots always find water. When we trust in the Lord, we’ll find blessings. God will always do what He says.

“But those who trust in the Lord will be blessed. They know that the Lord will do what he says. They will be strong like trees planted near a stream that send out roots to the water. They have nothing to fear when the days get hot. Their leaves are always green. They never worry, even in a year that has no rain. They always produce fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:7-8

See those flowers?

Don’t worry about what you will wear. God made the flowers look even more beautiful that the richest king. He can surely make sure you have clothes to wear.

“But I tell you that even Solomon, the great and rich king, was not dressed as beautifully as one of these flowers.”  Matthew 6:29

See the water?

God has power to open the sea. He has power to help you with any problem.

“Moses raised his hand over the Red Sea, and the Lord caused a strong wind to blow from the east. The wind blew all night long. The sea split, and the wind made the ground dry.”  Exodus 14:21

Christ walked on TOP of the water. He will do amazing things in your life.

“Between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus’ followers were still in the boat. Jesus came to them. He was walking on the water.”  Matthew 14:25

Christ’s followers were afraid of the storm. Jesus used His power to stop the waves. He can keep you from being afraid, just like He calmed the waves.

“The followers went to Jesus and woke him. They said, ‘Master! Master! We will drown!’ Jesus got up. He gave a command to the wind and the waves. The wind stopped, and the lake became calm.”  Luke 8:24

See that rock?

God is like that. He’s my sturdy Protector.

The Lord is my Rock, my fortress, my place of safety. He is my God, the Rock I run to for protection.”  Psalm 18:2

See the lamb?

A tiny lamb needs a shepherd to take care of it. Just like we all need Someone to take care of us. The Lord is our good Shepherd. He has power to take good care of us.

“Like a good shepherd, he takes care of his people. He gathers them like lambs in his arms. He holds them close, while their mothers walk beside him.”  Isaiah 40:11

“The Lord is my shepherd. I will always have everything I need. He gives me green pastures to lie in. He leads me by calm pools of water. He restores my strength. He leads me on right paths to show that he is good. Even if I walk through a valley as dark as the grave, I will not be afraid of any danger, because you are with me. Your rod and staff comfort me. You prepared a meal for me in front of my enemies. You welcomed me as an honored guest. My cup is full and spilling over. Your goodness and mercy will be with me all my life, and I will live in the Lord’s house a long, long time.”  Psalm 23

See the path?

God wants you to follow Him and do what He has planned for you. Find His path and stay on it.

“I have followed your way. My feet never left your path.”  Psalm 17:5

“God is the one who gives me strength. He clears the path I need to take.”  Psalm 18:32

“He restores my strength. He leads me on right paths to show that he is good.”  Psalm 23:3

“Make sure that I am not going the wrong way. Lead me on the path that has always been right.”  Psalm 139:24

Reading the Bible will help you follow His path.

“Your word is like a lamp that guides my steps, a light that shows the path I should take.”  Psalm 119:105

See that sand?

It reminds you that God is always thinking about you. It would be too hard to count each grain of sand. There are so many! That’s how many thoughts God has for you. He’s ALWAYS thinking about you. He knows all about you. It’s wonderful to think that the Creator of the whole world thinks about you all the time.

“Your thoughts are beyond my understanding. They cannot be measured! If I could count them, they would be more than all the grains of sand. But when I finished, I would have just begun.”  Psalm 139:17-18

See that shade?

God protects you all day and all night.

“The Lord is your Protector. The Lord stands by your side, shading and protecting you. The sun cannot harm you during the day, and the moon cannot harm you at night.”  Psalm 121:5-6

See that moon?

God made them.

“Look up to the skies. Who created all those stars? Who created all those ‘armies’ in the sky? Who knows every star by name? He is very strong and powerful, so not one of these stars is lost.” Isaiah 40:26

Even the moon praises God. The sun, moon, and stars praise God. Let’s join them.

“Sun and moon, praise him! Stars and lights in the sky, praise him!” Psalm 148:3

See the sunset?

God never sleeps. He watches over you when you’re sleeping.

“He will not let you fall. Your Protector will not fall asleep. Israel’s Protector does not get tired. He never sleeps.”  Psalm 121:3-4

 

 





Boston Marathon

16 04 2013

marathon runner
“I can’t sleep.”
What’s the solution? It depends on who’s got the problem.

Adults battle sleepless nights. Young parents literally can’t get any sleep.

Hospital noises may prevent a patient from sleep. Snoring may be the culprit in a marriage.

But, if your child said it the night of the bombing in Boston, you know exactly what that meant. Your child was really saying, “I’m scared. I’m worried it could happen here.”

Parents once again are struggling with what to say to their young children. How can we calm their fears when our own sense of security has been rocked?

Worry consumes our thoughts.
Why did this happen? HOW could it happen? Can we prevent it from happening again?

Experts are saying there’s really no way they could ever guarantee complete safety for an event such as the Boston Marathon. There’s a limit to what can be done.

Likewise, there’s a limit to what we can do to ease the fears of a child. We can assure them adults are working to keep them safe. But, we can’t give them what they desperately need: complete peace.

When our son, Chris, was in elementary school, I felt similar helplessness. I couldn’t guarantee his safety when he went off to school. He often got bullied (as many children with ADHD did). I reassured him that adults were there to help. And I prayed with him.

In high school, Chris suffered a break from reality. He received help from a psychiatrist and entered a psychiatric unit. After his release from the hospital, he received homebound instruction.

When he returned to school, I worried he might be too mentally and emotionally fragile.
What if he becomes fearful or gets distressed? What will he do? Where will he go? Who will help him there?

I gave him a Pass It On® Message Card to keep in his pocket. He could pull it out anytime he needed reassurance from his heavenly Father. The card reminded him God was with him. Each message would restore perfect peace.

Chris learned that the Bible truly is the best weapon for worry. God’s sword can battle fears. There is power in the Word.
passitoncard
The bombing in Boston may have ripped through your child’s peaceful thoughts. In addition to what you’re doing and saying, pass along a scripture message. Your child can cling to God’s strong hand whenever or wherever you’re not there. By reading the powerful message of hope you lovingly tuck inside the pocket of his pants.
Godshandholdingchildshand'





Colorful Leaves Made Simple

7 10 2012

Young toddlers barrage us with their favorite question, “Why?”

Rebellious teens debate us with their challenging word, “Why?”

No wonder we cringe when we hear it.

When released from the mouth of an inquiring young mind, it’s a word to be celebrated. The child hasn’t ceased from wondering.

Robert Fulghum wrote the bestselling book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. In it, he included this important piece of advice: Be aware of wonder.

It’s a challenge to us when life is so busy. There’s too much to do to stop and wonder…must go shopping, must get to sports, must make dinner, must get homework done…

I loved when my second graders inquired, “Why do leaves change color?”

Answering that simple question challenged me to explain it in the simplest terms.

Here’s what I taught them. We practiced saying it over and over so they could tell their parents.

Warm sun + less light + cooler temperatures = no more chlorophyll

No more chlorophyll – no more green color = hidden colors (there all the time)  

                                               

Click on the link below to see a 51-slide PowerPoint slide show I created using the advice from Robert Fulghum’s book. The Bible verses were added by me (not included in Fulghum’s book).

Learned All in Kindergarten with verses





What’s so exciting about Christmas?

18 12 2011

Knock, knock, knock.

The loud knocking interrupted the Bible instruction. The startled campers were learning about Jesus. I ignored the knocking, for good reason. The children all had intellectual disabilities. The visitor was part of the lesson, arranged ahead of time by me.

The knocking continued.

“Who is it?” I called through the door.

“Miss Barbara.”

Turning to the students, I reported matter-of-factly, “It’s Miss Barbara.”

KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK pounded Barbara.

Calling through the door I asked, “What do you want?”

“I want to come in.”

Returning to my seat, I resumed the lesson.

The campers looked bewildered.

“What’s wrong? Is something the matter?” I asked.

“Miss Barbara.”

“Yes, Miss Barbara is at the door.”

KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK. “Please let me in,” pleaded Barbara.

This time I remained in my seat.

The campers begged me to let her in.

Barbara’s cries became more emphatic. She started shouting, “I – want – to – come – in – now!!!”

The campers yelled, “Open the door!”

Refusing their requests, I explained my reason for ignoring her pleas.

“Why should I open the door? We don’t need to let her in. We know all about her. She lives up on the hill. She has short hair and a very nice smile. She sings our special song before meals.”

“But she wants to come in,” explained one camper.

“Yeah, and we want her to be with us. Let her in.” urged another boy.

They became adamant and shouted, “Open the door! Let – her – in!”

Finally, I relented. Once the door was opened, the children engulfed Miss Barbara like a coat. Clinging to her.

It was time to explain the object lesson.

“You know all about Miss Barbara. But that wasn’t enough. You wanted to spend time with her. She wanted to join us. It seemed very wrong of me not to let her in. Friends want to spend time with each other.

“That’s how it is with Jesus. You know a lot about Jesus. But that’s not enough. Knowing about Him isn’t as special as knowing Him as your special Friend. Friends spend time with one another. Friends do nice things for each other. Jesus loved you so much He died so you could go to heaven someday. You can spend time with Him, just like you can with Miss Barbara. You can talk to Him.

“Let Him come into your heart. Let Him be a part of your life. That’s so much better than just knowing about Him.”

*******

Christmas commemorates the birth of Christ. Historians will acknowledge that fact. The true celebration swells in the hearts of those who know Him – who have a relationship with Him.

Jesus stands at the door and knocks. How He longs for us to welcome Him into our lives! How He wants to fellowship with us!

He waits for each blood-bought soul to receive His gift of eternal life. Knowing the facts of His life pales in comparison to knowing Him in a personal way. Having a relationship with Him throughout the year enriches our celebration of His birth.

Jesus entered this world. The thought of God sending His only Son to die for my sin – my sin – is awesome to contemplate. The deeper my relationship is with Christ, the more Christmas means to me. God’s only Son left heaven to die for my sin, stepped into my life and fellowships with me. That thrills my heart.

What’s so exciting about Christmas? He did that for everyone. No wonder all the angels rejoiced.

“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’”  Luke 2:13-14





Combating a Materialized Christmas

6 12 2011

When our sons 3 and 5 yrs. old people would ask them, “What do you want for Christmas?”

I found a way to teach them the Biblical meaning of the holiday and at the same time share God’s Word with unsuspecting strangers.

I taught them the entire Christmas passage in Luke. If young children can learn all the words to a song, they can learn Luke 2:8-14. Using lots of expression in my tone of voice coupled with hand motions, I taught our boys the passage.

When someone asked them, “What do you want for Christmas?” they responded, “Well that’s not what Christmas is all about.” They would go on to share the true meaning of Christmas by reciting the passage.  “And there were in the same country shepherds…”

Listen to our son, Bobby reciting that passage. He was 4 yrs. old at the time. Now he’s 29.

YouTube: Five year old recites Christmas passage

What do you do to help your children focus on the real meaning of Christmas?





Year-long Thanksgiving

30 11 2011

Each Thanksgiving, I used to teach my second grade students this poem (below).

Feel free to share it with your children as a way of celebrating a year-long Thanksgiving. Perhaps it’s timelier to teach this poem during the weeks leading up to Christmas. It may help to shift the focus from the materialism of the holiday to the reason for the season: Christ’s birth.

A Talk with Jesus

Thank you, Heavenly Father,

For blessings great and small

But more so for my Savior

The greatest of them all.

 

There are so many blessings

I often fail to see

Many times they’re in disguise

Yet mean so much to me.

 

Thank You, blessed Son of God,

For loving me so much.

It does not take Thanksgiving Day

For me to keep in touch.

 

But I admit it’s mighty nice

To have a special day

For all the faithful to unite

In gratitude to pray.