We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine


Train Up

I have a test for you today. Take a few seconds to read the following lists. Try to spend the same amount of time on each one—focus…ready, set, go!

A B
ocean/breeze bread/b_tter
leaf/tree music/l_rics
sweet/sour sh_e/sock
move/actress phone/b_ok
gasoline/engine chi_s/salsa
high school/college pen_il/paper
turkey/stuffing river/b-at
fruit/vegetable s_lt/pepper
computer/chip television/rad_o
chair/couch l_nch/dinner

Now, close your eyes and try to remember as many pairs or single words as you can.

From which column did you recall the most? In all probability you remembered more words or pairs of words from column B. Correct? Research demonstrates that you’ll remember three times as many from the column that contained fragments. Why? Because the fragments required you, in those few seconds, to concentrate. The blank space required you to exercise a minimal amount of focused effort that resulted in sharpened memory retention.

Education today, for the most part, involves passive learning. What you just experienced was active learning that required focused attention. In Proverbs 22:6 we have that so oft quoted Bible verse: “Train up a child in the way he should go . . . .” Actually, the word “train” is insufficient to understand the full significance of this word. The Hebrew word חנך—or its expanded English form “Hanukkah”— carries the idea of “dedication,” which describes the feast of Hanukkah or the feast of dedication. Perhaps this means that we as parents are to “dedicate” our children to the Lord (whether they pursue a career as a carpenter or a theologian) and when they are old, they will not depart from it. But even this definition falls short.

The root word for “train, instruct, initiate” (חנך) also carries the idea in Arabic of “palate,” referring to “rubbing the palate of a child.” The Hebrews and Egyptians rubbed the palate of a newborn child with dates or figs. It is not known exactly why, but it would appear that they were creating a sucking reflex for the child so that he would begin nursing.

“Training” our children requires much more than providing an education. It requires the creation of appetizing learning environments and experiences so that our children will passionately pursue worthy goals that are based on truths not easily forgotten—like the words that were etched in your memory because you gave a little more effort and focus. It’s time to turn passivity into passion by initiating experiences that cultivate our children’s tastes for what is great and glorious.

Published in: on November 11, 2011 at 1:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson Weigh In on our Government today

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
– George Washington
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroy ourselves.”
– Abraham Lincoln
When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe
-Thomas Jefferson
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
-Thomas Jefferson
It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
-Thomas Jefferson
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
-Thomas Jefferson
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
-Thomas Jefferson

Published in: on September 14, 2011 at 3:26 am  Comments (2)  
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Called to glory and excellence – 2nd Peter 1:3

“Everyday you are becoming who you will be forever.” (John Luhmann)
I love this quote!

Published in: on April 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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