Dec 13, 2014

Do All Dogs Go To Heaven?

His Holiness, Pope Francis, allegedly comforted a child whose pet had died, by assuring him he'd see his pet again. After some fact checking, maybe that's not what he said.

Pets in Heaven (or not) is an idea that causes divisiveness in communities worldwide. However, I have the answer. Pardon me for being so bold as to say it, but here is the definitive answer.

This post is for believers. Therefore, it is based on common assumptions.

Assumption One: Heaven is a happy place. Can we agree on this?

Assumption Two: God is omniscient. He knows me better than I know myself. He knows what it takes to make me happy.

Therefore, if seeing my beloved pets is what it takes to make me happy, they will be there. I leave it to His judgment to know what I will need and to provide it.

What decisions will you leave up to the Almighty today?

Nov 23, 2014

Mission Trip to Walmart

If you've been longing to go on a Mission Trip, I have good news for you! You need travel no further than your local Walmart.

There, you will find many ministry opportunities. For instance:

You may have an opportunity to allow an elderly driver to have the better parking spot. You may learn patience while waiting for pedestrians to cross. You might give a kind smile and greeting to the kid collecting shopping carts in the parking lot. (Never pass up an opportunity to be kind - you don't know if you are the only kind person he has met all day!)

You might notice the shopper looking for something, and give them directions to the item they seek. You might greet strangers. You might pick up the shopping list that the elderly shopper dropped accidentally.

You might find yourself in the checkout line before someone who is buying only a few things, and let him go ahead of you. You might be in front of someone who is buying lunch, and tell the cashier that you're paying for his purchase, too. You might be behind someone who is short of money, and help them buy the things they need.

And you might tell your church secretary that you brought her a souvenir from your mission trip, as you hand her a gift card from Walmart.

What ministry opportunities will be sent your way today?

Feb 23, 2014

Pick the Right Parents

The popular myth is that any kid can grow up to be President. Sadly, this is not the case. At the time I became politically aware of issues, legislation and candidates, I prayed that my children would *not* want to be President. There were so many compromises made just to get to the House, the Senate, or the Governor's Mansion, that it occurred to me "any kid" cannot afford just waltz in there. Even when we elected "someone good" to the House, they always ended up voting for stupid bills and I found myself wanting to get rid of them once more! They have to make alliances with PACs and special interest groups to get the funding to advertise and run an effective campaign.

Even being rich on your own doesn't do it. Ross Perot is proof of that.

Recently, I read that Barack Obama is related to every President except Martin Van Buren. Why does this not surprise me? How does an allegedly foreign-born "outsider" waltz into the White House? It wasn't just the political compromises and financial alliances. The same way the peanut farmer from Georgia did it in the 1970s. Like royalty, he was born into it, groomed since birth. says this:

BridgeAnne d'Avignon, who attends Monte Vista Christian School in Watsonville, traced that Obama, and all other U.S. presidents except Martin Van Buren, are related to John "Lackland" Plantagenet, a king of England and signer of the Magna Carta.

The student and her grandfather, who is a genealogist, spent this past summer designing the first known family tree chart in history that shows the presidents' direct relationship. BridgeAnne's grandfather has researched president genealogy for 60 years.
So there you have it. If you want to be President, it's very simple.

Pick the right parents.

What are the *realistic* career choices you would like for your kids?

Jan 30, 2014

The Trouble With "Gifted"

Most public schools have a program, some enrichment classes, or something for those students identified as "gifted."It sounds great, but really provides more flash than substance.

If a child has a high IQ, or is otherwise unchallenged by his regular classes, how is one class a week going to fix that? A lot of parents complain that their son or daughter is getting into trouble at school because they are done with their work, waiting for the rest of the class to catch up, and are just bored sitting there.

 Teachers complain because they have enough special ed kids, each with his own IEP, and enough "differentiated instruction" going on. How many jobs can one person do, after all? Common Core complicates teaching to a new dimension! (That's a topic for another day.)

Kids who are labeled "gifted" put undo pressure on themselves to maintain good grades. They can become anxious if they're not the "best" in all their classes. They may be smart, but they often don't know the difference between knowledge and wisdom.

The better fix might be to track kids into learning abilities. Stop worrying about hurting their feelings. Everyone can't be in 1st place. Everyone isn't in the "top" reading group. It's ok. All the tomatoes on the vine ripen eventually. Let's group them by progress so that kid who needs more time gets it, and the kid who moves faster can keep on learning.

Learning is better than waiting - if indeed the goal is education.

Homeschooling is gaining popularity. I can understand why.

What goal do you (and the federal lawmakers, and State BOE) have for YOUR children today?