Two Berryton Buffaloes

On Monday, we enrolled our children in First and Second Grade at Berryton Elementary School. While we have driven by the building, this was our very first time inside. We filled out all the papers, received a quick tour of the building and found their classrooms. It was another milestone in our season of transition and putting down roots in the community.

I am looking forward to being close to their school. The property of Berryton United Methodist Church and Berryton Elementary are adjoining and the building and playground are clearly visible from my office window. Also, the congregation has developed a partnership of support and care over the years. I am looking forward to the year ahead!

The Biggest Bulldozer in the World (or I Can Do All Things)

At a recent bedtime, I read Bulldozers (Mighty Machines) to our children as one of our stories. After reading, my son stood up and said excitedly,

“One day, I going to drive the biggest bulldozer in the world!”

I replied with a smile, “You sure could.”

In those brief moments, I was struck at how wide the possibilities are for him at three years old. He really could drive the biggest bulldozer in the world one day. Then I considered this possibility for myself. Would I ever drive the biggest bulldozer in the world? It seems a bit little less likely that I would ever would. The reality is that the choices that we make open some possibilities in the future and close others.

Part of the amazing power of the gospel is that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Even, one day, drive the biggest bulldozer in the world.

Screen Time for Children

Sesame Workshop
Image via Wikipedia

With a son who is 12 days aways from being 6 months old, I read with interest this article from MashableChildren’s Consumption of Digital Media On The Rise [STATS]. This connected me with the original study from The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, which you can find in PDF form with this link. Straight from this document are some of their findings:

  • Children have more access to all kinds of digital media, and are spending more time during the day with them than ever before.
  • Television continues to exert a strong hold over young children, who spend more time with this medium than any other.
  • Not all children have access to newer digital technologies, nor do all children use media in the same ways once they do own them. Family income continues to be a barrier to some children owning technology, even as the price of devices falls.
  • Lower-income, Hispanic, and African American children consume far more media than their middle-class and white counterparts.
  • Children appear to shift their digital media habits around age 8, when they increasingly open their eyes to the wide world of media beyond television.
  • Mobile media appears to be the next “it” technology, from handheld video games to portable music players to cell phones. Kids like to use their media on the go.

The official recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics is as follows:

“The first two years of your child’s life are especially important in the growth and development of her brain. During this time, children need positive interaction with other children and adults. This is especially true at younger ages, when learning to talk and play with others is so important.

Until more research is done about the effects of screen time on very young children, the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly discourages television viewing for children ages two years old or younger, and encourages interactive play.

For older children, the Academy advises no more than one to two hours per day of educational, nonviolent programs, which should be supervised by parents or other responsible adults in the home.”

Our son has had his eye caught by screens from time to time. We are definitely going to stay away from intentional screen time of any kind for him until at least two years old.

My Advice on Cohabitation

I recently read an update from The Methodist Church of Great Britain in which it reports: “The Methodist Church will look at cohabitation, at the urging of the Youth Assembly. The annual report from the Youth Assembly, which was received by the Conference, requires the Methodist Council to work with young Methodists to produce advice on cohabitation “in a 21st century context”.”

So the youth of Great Britain are looking for guidance on cohabitation in a 21st century context…

Last week I listened to, Kids First, Marriage Later — If Ever, a story on NPR summed up as: “Federal data from 2007 says 40 percent of births in America are to unwed mothers, a trend experts say is especially common in middle-class America. In one St. Louis community, the notion of getting married and having children — in that order — seems quaint.”

I found the story to be fascinating and commend it to you…

Here is my simple guidance for all you couples out there:

  • Do not live together before you get married.
  • If you are living together before you are married, do not have sex.
  • If you are engaged and having sex, I challenge you to abstain until your marriage night as a way of setting aside the time for preparation.

It is pretty simple.

Speedlinking – August 19, 2009

–  from From my Dad’s trip to Africa

Speedlinking – January 19, 2009

LifeChurch.tv Internet Campus – Not (3 of 8)

Over the life of the internet campus at LifeChurch.tv there are several things that it has not done.

  • No children
  • No youth
  • No funerals
  • No weddings

Resources provided at Open | LifeChurch.tv have and are being used for children and youth programming for groups that gather to worship on the internet campus together. Brandon, Internet Campus Pastor, said that he had never received a request for a funeral or a wedding.