Archive for February, 2007

Extracurricular Activities – An Expert Speaks Out

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

One resource I learned about while taking classes in para education at Bellingham Technical College is a program called Love and Logic. In Love and Logic Journal, Vol. 22, No.4, Dr. Charles Fay wrote an article entitled Extracurricular Activities for Kids; How Much of a Good Thing is Still Good?

Dr. Fay lists some of the benefits usually attributed to extracurricular activities, such as young people being less likely to get involved with drugs, drinking and gangs. He cautions that extracurricular activities become harmful, however, when they undermine the child’s involvement with his or her family.

In general, Dr. Fay gives the following guidelines:

  1. If there is no longer time for family dinners, time spent on extracurricular activities is inordinate.
  2. If children have no time or energy left to do chores and contribute to the family, they are too busy.
  3. Children need some down time to think, relax, and learn how to handle boredom. If every moment is organized into one activity or another, the child may learn to expect constant entertainment.
  4. If parents are burdened with all the demands of the child’s extracurricular activities, this is harmful. Dr. Fay states, “Healthy parents don’t allow themselves to feel guilty when they take good care of themselves by setting limits on activities that run them ragged. They know that having rested and relaxed parents is more important to kids than doing everything they want. Involvement in extracurricular activities is a poor substitute for quality family time.”
  5. If the child is highly stressed by all his or her extra activities, parents need to clue-in to help the child set priorities.

I highly recommend the Love and Logic publications. They are well thought-out and teach concepts which have been successfully tested in homes and schools.

A Young Firefighter Taking a Break

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

When Rick was 18 years old, he started working for the California Division of Forestry as a firefighter. As a college student he continued working for the Forest Service during the summers, fighting forest fires.

Last year on our vacation we visited the fire station in Weott, CA, one place where he was stationed. The crew there kindly gave the children a tour of the facilities and trucks while Rick visited with the captain.

In this photo (circa 1971) the young fireman is relaxing , strumming his guitar.

In college, Rick majored in Natural Resources Management, thinking to become a Forest Ranger. As he grew as a Christian, he realized that this would necessitate routinely working on Sundays merely to aid others in recreation, so he sought for another career. Still, he couldn’t seem to get away from those mighty trees, and for many years built log homes. Now, he designs log homes. He’s not exactly managing those natural resources, but is helping others use them for beauty and functionality.


Another Silly (but fun) Quiz

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

I followed Laura’s lead in taking another quiz:

Your Sloth Quotient: 19%

You’re certainly not lazy. If anything, you’re super charged, hyper, and always going.

Slow down a little. You can enjoy a slow afternoon without becoming a total couch potato.

How Much Sloth Do You Have?

What Does Your Candy Heart Say?

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Thanks, Heather, for the fun link. 😀

Your Candy Heart Says “Hug Me”

A total sweetheart, you always have a lot of love to give out.
Your heart is open to where ever love takes you!

Your ideal Valentine’s Day date: a surprise romantic evening that you’ve planned out

Your flirting style: lots of listening and talking

What turns you off: fighting and conflict

Why you’re hot: you’re fearless about falling in love

What Does Your Candy Heart Say?

A Current Photo of Philip

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007


Well, after the toddler photo, I thought I should put up something current of Philip.

I love you, Philip! I’m so glad you enjoy coming home to visit with us, now that you’re grown up, working, and living elsewhere.

Recently, Philip brought home the board game Carcassonne by Klaus-Jurgen Wrede. It’s a strategy game, and a great deal of fun. The old mama has a favorite game now. Thank you, Philip!

Laura and Philip – Long, long ago :)

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007


I believe this photo was taken in the Double Ditch house when Laura was about a year and a half old and Philip was about three years old. Aren’t you both sweet? I kept you children pretty bundled up in that drafty old house. When the wind was blowing, you could feel it draft through the house, and the single-pane windows would rattle. The only heating was an old wood stove. I got really good at starting that thing and keeping it going, though most mornings your dad would start it before heading off to work at True Log Homes.

You older children (Philip, Laura and Sarah) certainly formed fond memories of your time at Double Ditch House. I remember that once we moved to our current location, I would often receive requests to “Drive by Double Ditch house, please Mama!” if we were in Lynden running errands. You would gaze at the old house fondly as I slowly drove by it. 🙂

Michael was born in Double Ditch house in June of 1986, and Kayla also was born while we lived there, in February of 1988. We moved to our Everson home when Kayla was ten months old, in December of 1988. That would mean Philip was five years old, Laura and Sarah were three years old, and Michael was two years old. Dad had been working hard after work to build us a new house. We moved into the basement of the new house, where we would remain for two more years while Dad finished off the upper two stories. But that’s another story. 🙂

Looking Back, Counting Blessings

Sunday, February 11th, 2007


I believe this photo is from 1990. Sarah, Michael and Kayla (and a puppy named Pepper) are in our current backyard when it was much wilder and untamed. In this picture, I estimate that Sarah is five, Michael is four, and Kayla is two. For a while we tried raised bed gardening. I see one of those frames in the corner of the photo.

So much work was involved by both the daddy and the mommy in developing the land, finishing the house, and caring for the family, yet the Lord gave the wisdom, the daily strength, and the necessary financial means. The Lord blessed the efforts of father and mother to train up the little ones in His ways. We have truly found that a wise son (or daughter) maketh a glad father (and mother). (Proverbs 15:20a)
PSALM 128 A Song of degrees

Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.

For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.

Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.

Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.

The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.

Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel.

A Post by Rick Phillips from the Reformation 21 Blog

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

The Uncharitable Jesus

I have been preaching through the Gospel of John for the last couple of years, and this Sunday I complete John chapter 10. This also concludes my study of the long confrontation between Jesus and the false teachers of Israel that runs from John 8:13-10:39. While studying this portion of Scripture, I have often thought of some of the debates raging in the Reformed world today and the frequent call for charity towards opposing doctrines. Well, charity is not a word you would use to describe Jesus’ attitude towards the false teachers of Israel! Scornful would be more accurate. Jesus’ example in handling doctrinal error is quite instructive — and surely his example is to be followed here as elsewhere. Our Lord was usually mild when dealing with the errors of simple folks. But when it came to false teachers he was anything but mild. He used the sharpest of language and cut them no slack at all. Perhaps the Book of James provides an explanation: “Those who are teachers will be held to a higher standard” (Ja. 3:1). The fact is that Jesus manfully and vigorously attacked the false teaching that opposed his gospel.

This needs to be qualified, of course. Jesus was never rude in his personal dealings or unfair in characterizing the views of his opponents. Always, his actions and speech were ultimately motivated by love. Moreover, in following Jesus’ example we must note the difference between him and us. Jesus is possessed of divine perfections and knowledge. Since none of us is, we should be more hesitant and careful in denouncing error. Therefore, the Christian approach to matters of doctrinal division should always involve a humble awareness of our own limitations.

But these motives of honesty, love, and humility should not be equated to uncertainty in matters of doctrine. To do so undermines our commitment to the essential clarity of God’s revealed Word, an important atttribute of the Bible that is frequently downplayed today. Moreover, Christ-like motives should not lead to tolerance of false teaching, especially in matters of great importance. Such tolerance violates another of Christ’s motives, namely, zeal for God, his Word, and his people. The fact is that Jesus sharply confronted false teaching and strongly rebuked recalcitrant false teachers. His church must be willing to do so today.

We often are reminded today of the phrase “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” I’m not sure how well this describes the approach of the Lord Jesus (not to mention the apostles). This especially depends on what we mean by “charity.” If we mean, “in all things, Christ-like love,” then amen. And this includes the kind of “love” Jesus gave to Jerusalem’s false teachers in John 8-10. But if by charity, we mean tolerance of important doctrinal errors, then the well-worn phrase, “in all things, charity,” simply cannot be applied to the example of our Lord.

Deeder’s Admirers

Friday, February 9th, 2007


Baby Diederick receiving loving glances from his GrammaMomma (me), his Auntie Cadet, and his Auntie Teesie. This is another photo from mid-November, when Laura came for a visit. For current pictures of the cute little boy, check out Laura’s blog.

This is Right On! Shout It Out, Brother!

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

Here is another post by Rick Phillips of Reformation 21, who is doing a series on Biblical Masculinity:

Understandably Feminist


Thanks, Phil, for your helpful comments regarding feminism. In light of this, I would like to say that I am sympathetic to the reasons why women are drawn in a feminist direction. While I do not believe that patriarchy (biblically defined) is a sin, as Stackhouse claims, I do believe that many women have never experienced biblical patriarchy but only a mockery of it. In other words, however big the feminist problem is in America and in the church, I believe there is a masculinity problem that is just as big, if not bigger. Given the attitude of many men towards their wives and daughters, and given the actual behavior of many men (in and out of the church), it is no wonder that women fear male authority structures.

Therefore, while I firmly believe that we have to speak out against the kinds of hermeneutical arguments used to deflect the Bible’s insistence on male authority in the church, the far better solution is for men to exercise the kind of self-sacrificing, nurturing authority to which the Bible calls us. We will really have solved this problem when women delight to find themselves under nurturing, spiritual, male authority. Likewise, it is far from the case that women lack opportunities to exercise their gifts under a complementarian view of the church. In my view, it boils down to a trust issue, and the best remedy is for men to be trustworthy with the authority granted to them by God.

My disclaimer:  My husband and I have observed, down through the years, an almost abusive type of male behavior put forth as being biblical headship. I am glad to read cogent criticism of this mind-set. I am not complaining about my own husband!