Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lies Children Believe-Be proactive

Taking some time to explain one of my Facebook (FB) post. I updated my status with this:

A question I ask myself before I respond to my child's issue, "what lies are they believing about themselves?" Then I pro-act vs. re-act.

I am glad my friend Jennifer Markey asked me to clarify. The best way to clarify is with an example. One of my sons looked completely defeated and upset. I noticed he just got his math quiz and test scores back. My wife and I were previously concerned about his lack of effort with math and told him that he needed to do better. The issue that came up was that he received a low score on his test and quiz.

A reactive approach would of consisted of the following:
1)Taking the test and putting it between us
2)Expressing my disgust for the low score
3)In many ways expressing how he has to do better.

A proactive approach consist of the following:
1) Not reacting to the issue (low test score)
2) Recognizing that the low test score is only a symptom
3) Setting the test aside and asking myself "what lies is he believing about himself?"
4) Take a proactive approach at attacking the lies by building him up with the truth
5) Identify with his struggle
6) Present some solutions to help with math.

If I would not have paused and took a proactive approach, I would have ended up reinforcing the negative thoughts that my son was believing about himself. Setting the issue aside helps me to first focus on the heart. I asked my son how he felt. He said, "Upset". I dug deeper to ask him what does the test score make him feel about himself. He told me that he would never be good at math and probably won't be able to go to college because it will be too hard and he's not smart enough. BINGO! I found the lies.

I proceeded to debunk the lies one by one. Then I shared with him some of my struggles with math and how God carried me through them. I gave him one of my old engineering cards and asked him to set it by his math book as a reminder of this fact: if God was faithful to help me take math up to Calculus III and then become an engineer, he is no respector of persons and will surely help him. By the time we were done talking his confidence had returned and his entire countenance changed. After that, dealing with the actual problems he missed and showing him how he can bring his grades up were easy. I talked with him before he went to bed and he was still full of courage and ready for the next math challenge. Praise God for His wisdom!

So what are some other lies children believe about themselves? What has been your experience with this subject of being reactive vs. proactive?

If you would like to receive email updates of my new post click below:
Subscribe to Jonathan's Blog by Email
Don't forget to check your email for confirmation

Friday, July 15, 2011

Homeschooling-How we started

Homeschooling is not for everybody, but it is the right fit for some. Since the video below came out, more people ask us how we started homeschooling. I can still remember back in 1998 when my wife mentioned homeschooling to me. My response was, "What is that?". The first thing I pictured was a bunch of people dressed in old clothes sharing tattered text books between each other. Seriously, I had never heard of the concept nor knew anyone that did it. Needless to say, we started exploring it.

I was skeptical, but it all began to turn around when we met a nice family from Texas. We were visiting their church and they were our host home for the week. We entered their kitchen and began to talk for about thirty minutes. At this point, I didn't even know they had children. Then a young boy came from around the corner and sat in the family room, then a young girl came in the room and sat down to read a book, then two more children came from around the corner and didn't say a peep.

Ok, I have to pause here and give you the backdrop of mine and Lisa's experience with parents and children to this point. We had just graduated from college, so we didn't know many married families with children. The parents we did see always looked stressed out, broke, busted, and disgusted. When we went out to public places we seemed to always run into "Bebe's Kids" (Watch this trailer if you never heard of them.) These are kids that flip you off in stores, smack their parents, and demand candy to the extent of tantrums in the check out lane. Most of our classmates that we graduated with were telling us how they were going to delay having children and how it was going to be hard once they took the plunge. One thing was common, most people only wanted one or at most two children, because it would be entirely too expensive to have more. It was repeated to us, that children could hinder our new careers that we were starting with our hard earned degrees. We were told we didn't spend four-six years in college just to have children. Yes, we had some intruding in-laws, out-laws, aunts, and grandmothers. It seems that when people reach a certain age they will just tell you anything that's on their mind. After we conceived our first child eight months into marriage we heard, "Tell Jonathan to slow down", "You're not going to have anymore are you?", "I mistakenly had children too young you should of waited!". People talked about raising children as if it they had been through eighteen years of a concentration camp. All of this, with a few experiences from our own upbringing, was our early view of children.

Well, back to my story. I saw all four of their children come from the back of the home and sit in the family room. I was amazed! I didn't hear any screaming, fighting, or crashing before they came out. I was doubly amazed to see one of them come out reading a book. I mentally left our conversation for a minute as I looked at the kids, then I interrupted the dad and asked him, "Did you just give those kids a whoopin' right before we came, what's wrong with them?" Everyone burst out in laughter (except my wife, she cringed).

From then on they began to explain about parenting, home education and the Bible. They were our first impressions of a home schooling family and what I saw was impressive. It really blew all my misconceptions about homeschooling out of the water. I will explain more in future post. As the video shows below, we ended up homeschooling and we still do to this day. This is a preview video to a cover story published by Home Educating Family. We are so grateful that our friends Gus and Shirley Solis introduced us to Scot and Becky Keliher who own the magazine. We are grateful to God how he orders our steps. Click here if video is not below:

If you would like to receive email updates of my new post click below:
Subscribe to Jonathan's Blog by Email
Don't forget to check your email for confirmation

Monday, July 11, 2011

S.P.A.R.K. your World-Servant Evangelism

We started an exciting campaign at Church Ablaze back in June. It is called S.P.A.R.K.-Spontaneous, Purposeful, Acts of Random Kindness. We are asking everybody in our church and all other believers we know to go out and S.P.A.R.K. your world with acts of kindness that reflect the love of Jesus. Practical things done with great love can have an eternal impact.
Every Sunday we have been taking a part of our service and celebrating all of the ways that people are spreading the love of Jesus to others. In Acts 14:27 it says, "And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles." The sharing time is so powerful. We have called the reports that people give, "Ablaze Reports". An ablaze report is a short description of how they shared the love of Jesus with another individual or group. There are five ways you can submit an ablaze report:
1) Text it: 405-633-2636.
2) Email it:
3) Tweet it: @churchablaze #ablazereport or #SPARK
4) Facebook it:
5) Write it: Come and visit us on Sundays at 11:00am and fill out the report. It will be displayed on our bulletin board. They are all anonymous.

You can listen to the message and get a pdf of the ablaze reports here: Click here

It is so inspiring to hear the simple ways that people are sharing God's love. Here are a few that have been submitted so far:
1) A man, after seeing four garbage truck drivers stranded on the side of the road, went to 7-11 and purchased four ice cold drinks and gave them to the drivers along with a pass it on card.
2) Every Wednesday a team of four families have been serving free meals to the apartment complex next door to the church (over 200 served so far).
3) Every Friday a family has been giving cold bottled waters to 300 children and parents at a local youth summer camp.
4) A man took time to sit on the porch and encourage his elderly neighbor during a tough time.
5)A child took time to share the gospel with his salvation bracelet to his neighbor.

The list goes on and on. Will you join us? It's simple. Small Groups can do it. Families can do it. It is not limited to age, experience, or knowledge. Just simple, practical acts that can open up doors to people's heart. Some people don't care what you know until they know that you care.

GO and SPARK your world!

If you would like to receive email updates of my new post click below:
Subscribe to Jonathan's Blog by Email
Don't forget to check your email for confirmation