Using Spring to Help Your Kids See God

Using Spring to Teach Your Kids About God - Parenting Like HannahIn Atlanta, we have had Spring for a few weeks now. Flowers and trees are beginning to bloom. It’s a beautiful time of year, but also a great time to help your kids learn about God.

I love the following verses. It’s easy to see the beauty in Spring and God’s Creation and be overwhelmed. That feeling is not because we are to worship the Creation itself or some imaginary “Mother Nature”. We feel that way, because God’s Creation is pointing us to God and all of His glory with all of its might.

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7-10)

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Christian Parenting and Special Needs

Christian Parenting and Special Needs - Parenting Like HannahOne of my loves in education is working with children who have special needs. To me, it is pure joy to help these children find ways to reach their godly potential. In fact, one of my personal challenges is finding ways to help parents and churches not underestimate what children and adults with special needs are capable of spiritually. I also want to find more ways to help them share their gifts with the church.

Needless to say, I was interested when offered an opportunity to review the book No Greatness Without Goodness by Randy Lewis. Lewis is a retired Senior Vice President for the drugstore chain Walgreens. His middle child, a son, was diagnosed with autism as a toddler.

The book is about Lewis’ journey as a parent of a child with special needs, but more importantly how he was able to open his own eyes and those of an entire corporation. Lewis pioneered a program at Walgreen’s to hire a significant number of people with special needs – at first in Walgreen’s distribution centers and later throughout the company.

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Will Your Child Leave God?

Will Your Child Leave God - Parenting Like HannahLet’s be honest. There are a lot of terrifying things about being a parent. Just the whole keeping them alive and relatively healthy thing can be a challenge at times. Yet, I think the thing that has always terrified me the most is some day my daughter might reject God. In fact, if I even let the thought enter my brain as a remote possibility for more than a few seconds, I get weepy.

I always get angry when preachers and youth minsters make it sound as if it is a given young people will turn their backs on God when they are young adults. According to them, the only hope is that your children will return once they marry and have kids. Yet, I have known plenty of young adults, who not only stayed faithful, but lived their faith, served others and shared their faith in their teens and 20’s. Unfortunately though, those ministers are right more than they are wrong. Studies show most kids will leave God when they leave home… and both for the rest of their lives.

What can you do to prevent your child from leaving God? There are no insurance policies, because your child has free choice and so do all of the people with whom they come in contact. You can greatly improve the odds your child will not only stay faithful, but grow to become a godly, servant leader in the church. You just need to remember this one tip.

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How “See Something, Say Something” Parenting Could Revolutionize Your Christian Parenting

How See Something Say Something Could Revolutionize Your Christian Parenting - Parenting Like HannahIf you have lived in or visited a major urban area recently, you may have noticed a sign that read “See Something, Say Something”. Designed to encourage citizens to report information that could help authorities prevent a terrorist attack, the phrase could also be the best Christian parenting advice I can give you.

Years ago when I was a child, we knew without a doubt that if just about any adult saw us doing something we weren’t supposed to do, they would correct us or worse yet, tell our parents. In fact, it wasn’t always misbehavior.

I had gotten carsick on a school field trip four states away. When we stopped for dinner hundreds of miles from home, by coincidence a family from our village had also stopped to eat there. We drove all night, but by the time our bus pulled into the school parking lot, my parents greeted me with “Why didn’t you tell us you got sick?!”

Oh, how times have changed. Most of us are terribly afraid of correcting a child who isn’t ours – even if their life is in danger. We would never think of allowing anyone to tell us anything about our kids – except on a rare occasion their school teachers. In fact, we were in a situation where a teen was making some scary choices and we were honestly afraid of being sued or worse if we let the parents know what was happening.

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Can One Day of Kindness Really Change Everything?

Can One Day of Kindness Really Change Everything? - Parenting Like HannahRecently, I was asked to review a new book, Your Next 24 Hours: One Day of Kindness Can Change Everything by Hal Donaldson and Kirk Noonan (Sorry, but I believe ghost writers should get equal billing.) Social justice has taken front stage in our world lately and I was interested in reading what was billed as a Christian book on the subject.

Before I share some of the very serious issues I have with this book from a Christian perspective, let me say I don’t actually have many problems with this book if it were marketed as a secular book. Ultimately, that’s what this book really is – a secular book on social justice – with the lightest coat of Jesus varnish on it.

The subjects covered range from serving others to showing kindness and more. The discussions include a wide range of topics on a rather basic level. Each of the 22 chapters ends with several ideas of concrete ways to implement the concepts in that chapter. Most are what you would find on any list of service project ideas for kids and honestly, a couple of them sounded almost trite, or at least forced.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)