newthingsold

The wise man is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things both new and old.

Month: October, 2016

My iPhone told me my daughter is getting bigger.

For those who are not a member of Team iPhone, I do not know if your phones do this. With some of the most recent iOS updates, a new feature has shown up on my phone which will identify the people in photos and sort them into a category called “People”. According to my iPhone, there are seven people pictured in my “Photos”.

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Three of those people happen to be my daughter. I guess over the course of time I have had my iPhone- five months- Kizzy’s growth has been quite fast; although, I have not been quite aware of how drastic the growth has been in one year. Crazy.

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Job.

This trimester I am teaching a Biblical literature course at the high school. A couple weeks ago we finished Job. The discussions were enlightening and has led me to determine that I should reduce the amount we are reading for the course, and increase the amount of discussion. But that’s not the point of this post.

This is.

Over the weekend, our senior class lost one of its own. And I couldn’t help but think about how timely Job’s coverage was. Because we didn’t talk about it necessarily in the way one traditionally thinks about Job.

We didn’t talk about patience in suffering- the dude got pretty heated. We also didn’t talk about the (weak) explanation for why suffering happens. Instead, we talked about how to respond appropriately when others are suffering.

If you have never read Job, please do. But to catch you up, this guy named Job has the perfect life, loses everything as a result of a cosmic bet between God and satan, and then Job’s friends comfort Job by telling him this happened because he probably secretly sinned and this is karma coming back to get him. They would have been better to have showed support silently by simply being there.

It will be interesting to watch my students this week to see how any of them act out their support for suffering classmates this week.

I read a book for moms of teenagers.

This post is a review of the book With All Due Respect by Nina Roesner and Debbie Hitchcock.

I’m a teacher and I frequently joke that being teacher is a lot like being a parent. I also have an infant daughter. When I saw the book With All Due Respect and saw that it is geared towards raising teenagers, I figured it would be a worthwhile read. While I did find some useful material in the book, its cover and description are a little misleading. The book is described to be aimed at parents, but as a dad and teacher of high school students, the key thought I had at the end of the book was, “I think I would have been able to get more out of this if I was a woman.”

The book is laid out to present a different relationship establishing/building/developing strategy which a parent- mom, specifically- can implement per day over a course of forty days. And from a man’s perspective, the main ideas of each chapter are valid and worth it. It is a helpful reminder to have someone else emphasize the important of authenticity, honesty, open communication, helping guide teens through interpersonal relationships, etc. This is all great and the practical way in which the authors treat the subjects is helpful and thoughtful. Where I got hung up throughout the book was the emotional level with which I think a mom would connect that I just can’t.

In one of the chapters, the story is told about one of the writers at a women’s morning gathering during a weekday at church, receiving a call from the daughter’s boyfriend’ mother that both her son and the writer’s daughter were both home sick from school, and then the chapter goes into the psychological worry game about whether the kids were being honest or not. ***I am not going to spoil that chapter.*** All that stated, I kept thinking, “Really? Worked up over that? Wait until you get home, talk to your daughter, and if she was full of it, give appropriate consequences. Game over.” Moments throughout this book distracted me.

With All Due Respect is a book full of practical pointers for parents, predominantly of the mother persuasion. If you know me and would like to borrow my copy of the book, please let me know. I’ll be happy to loan it out until Kizzy is a teenager and Sarah will want to read it.

I received my copy of this book for free through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for writing a review on the book. I was not obligated to write a positive review; the opinions expressed are my own.

Review: “We Alphas”

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My hobby as a book reviewer keeps me limited typically to books on faith and the occasional celebrity memoir. Having established my usual reading assortments, I cannot describe how much fun it was to look through the 26 We Alphas post card activities.

I have an eight-month-old daughter, and the whole time I was looking through these, I couldn’t help but think about all the fun we’ll be having with these. I already know I am going to need to get a second set so that one can be laminated and written all over with dry-erase marker and a second set which can be filled out and mailed to the intended recipients.

The images are colorful and eye-catching to younger children. Each letter is cleverly hidden in the general shape of an animal. The back of each card has a special “task” or message to be filled out before the card is placed in the mail. There are so many fun things that can be done with this.

Any parent with young kids (or soon-to-be-parent) should totally consider picking up a set of the Wee Alpha cards. Do it and thank me later.

I received my Wee Aplhas set for free through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for reviewing the product. I was not obligated to post a positive review; the opinions expressed are absolutely and totally mine!

“Row, Row, Row Your Boat” may be one of my new favorite songs.

Kizzy and I were sitting in the living room earlier this evening. It was nearing time for her pajamas, bottle, and bed time. This means of course that she was beginning to get fussy. So in a fit of boredom…or desperation…I dropped “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” on her.

And she loved it.

The giggles started. And as soon as I stopped, she started reaching for one of my hands and grunting, which I am assuming for infant communication to “Sing the song and row with me again, Daddy!”

It’s times like these that make being a dad much more enjoyable than the times when I join the pillow club (the term used for taking a pillow into the next room over and giving it a couple good frustrated slaps because of the frustrations of a cranky baby).

Review: Outlaw Christian

This is a review of the book Outlaw Christian by Jacqueline Bussie.

The ideal relationship is the one where neither person ever tells how they really feel, ensuring to repress all thoughts and emotions. Said no one ever. And it has been my experience that an unhealthy church or faith community is one where no one is allowed to express his or her thoughts, fears, or doubts. I was raised in a church like that. So it is a book like Jacqueline Bussie’s Outlaw Christian for which I can see a need. I just wonder how prevalent the unhealthy mindset of not being allowed to doubt or question is today?

Bussie takes the more raw themes of the life of faith- anger at God, doubt, opening up about fears, etc.- and confronts them head on. She does not shy away from the topics and is candid and transparent enough to walk the reader through her own personal stories of how she finds herself in each of the subjects.

The most useful part of the book, I feel, is the last chapter on the seven ways to find hope in one’s own seemingly hopeless situation. Her solutions are pragmatic and give the reader a sense of how to take steps towards getting past (or simply coping) with each of his struggles.

Bussie rings the victory bell of the Outlaw Christian. And by the way the material is presented in a straightforward manner, it becomes clear that practically all Christians in one sense or another are or should be outlaw Christians. This book would be a good one to use in a small group, being sure to take plenty of time to dialog over the content.

I received my copy of this book for free through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for reviewing it. I was not obligated to post a positive review; the opinions expressed are my own.