Transitions in Ministry (Audio Re-post)

To everything there is a season, says the book of Ecclesiastes, and a time for every purpose under the heaven. Most leaders agree that there are seasons in life when serious change occurs, change that can result in significant spiritual growth.

Join H.B. London Jr. and his guests on this edition of Pastor to Pastor® as they discuss the timing and purpose of transitions within the ministry. You’ll hear Brady Boyd, Wade Brown and Dan Chaverin.

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Interview with Brady Boyd

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Interview with Wade Brown

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Interview with Dan Chaverin

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Healthy Church (Audio Re-post)

Every pastor wants a healthy church and family. But, what does healthy look like? Smaller ministry settings may require a uniquely gifted individual to lead the flock. Is healthy defined by the size of the congregation or the well-being and spiritual growth of each who attends?

Join H.B. London Jr. and his guests on this edition of Pastor to Pastor® as they discuss the characteristics and ministry opportunities unique to a small healthy church. You’ll hear Gregory A. Wiens, Randy Popineau, Ron Klassen and Bob Russell.

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Interview with Gregory Wiens

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Interview with Randy Popineau

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Interview with Ron Klassen

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Interview with Bob Russell

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Conflict (Audio Re-post)

Sometimes—no matter how hard you try— conflict is inevitable. The fact is, conflict is all around us. But, when it knocks on the door of your church or your home, the consequences can be particularly painful. Can it ever be prevented?

Join H.B. London Jr. and his guests on this edition of Pastor to Pastor® as they discuss the dynamics surrounding conflict—some causes and insightful remedies. You’ll hear Ken Sande, Jack Graham and a classic interview with Marshall Shelley.

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Interview with Ken Sande

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Interview with Jack Graham

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Interview with Marshall Shelley

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Balance (Audio Re-post)

Managing time between church-related and family activities can test the best of marriages. And the scenario can be further compounded in a smaller church setting where a pastor’s time and attention is always in demand. How do you choose the needs of one over the other when your goal is to be faithful to both? Is it possible to please everyone?

Join H.B. London Jr. and his guests on this edition of Pastor to Pastor® as they discuss this all too common balancing act facing ministry families. You’ll hear Greg and Erin Smalley and a pastoral panel comprised of Wade and Deb Brown, Michael and Angela Henderson and Bob and Lisa Huisman.

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Interview with Greg Smalley

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Interview with Pastoral Panel

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Burnout (Audio Re-Post)

Are you numb . . . with absolutely no emotional or physical energy left for your congregation or even your own family? Trying to live at a frantic pace with too little time left to nurture your own well-being can result in a long-term stress. It’s called burnout.

Join H.B. London Jr. and his guests on this edition of Pastor to Pastor® as they find proactive ways to address the very real possibility of burnout in your life. You’ll hear from Daniel Spaite, Walt and Fran Becker and a classic interview with Archibald Hart.

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Interview with Daniel Spaite

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Interview with Fran Becker

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Interview with Archibald Hart

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A smart way to teach good manners

by Sarah Kohrs

When it comes to teaching manners to our young kids, our biggest success has been in encouraging “do-overs” of bad behavior. At first, we had to remind our children what the good-mannered alternative to their impolite action was. “I want water!” Joey might say, and I reminded him how to ask nicely. After establishing the pattern, we use code words such as operation second chance or replay to prompt a do-over. The results have been fantastic! And we encourage our kids to use the code words if Mommy and Daddy aren’t using good manners, either.

This article appeared in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of Thriving Family magazine and was titled “Operation Second Chance.” Copyright © 2014 by Sarah Kohrs. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.

Your Kids Are Watching

by Sarah Hilgendorf

I watch Holland, my 9-year-old daughter, take tentative steps around the house in my high heels, a favorite scarf of mine draped around her neck in a loose approximation of how I’d worn it earlier that day. Later, she helps her dad, Nick, in the kitchen, observing as he swishes sliced leeks in a bowl of water to remove the grit. Then she assumes the task.

Our every move seems to be an unintentional lesson in how to do things. This is also true when it comes to relationships, and no relationship influences Holland’s estimation of how humans should behave toward one another more than my marriage. She watches how Nick and I interact, discerns what defines our relationship, and again and again notes, So that’s how it’s done.

Someday, she’ll be walking in my shoes. Not just literally, but figuratively, in her role as an adult, perhaps a wife, a mom. Your kids will follow in your footsteps, too.

So how are our marriages equipping our kids with the skills they need? What are those relationship lessons we’re teaching? I’ll go first.

Disagreement is OK — even productive. Disrespect is not.

In my home, some of the most heated arguments happen during the news. Reports spark lively conversation and, sometimes, more lively arguments. Holland observes, and I don’t think that’s bad. Someday, perhaps most days, she’ll find herself disagreeing with someone. I want her to do this with respect and confidence. So we show her how it’s done.

We let Holland witness conflict to send the message that conflict is normal — it means that both people are human. What helps?

• Don’t let your child pick a side.

• Stay out of kid earshot when disagreements involve money, parenting or sex.

• Avoid moralizing arguments that have nothing to do with morality. Kids see in black and white, so help them recognize that not every disagreement stems from right vs. wrong.

• Don’t let your child equate resolution with one particular parent always getting his or her way. You wouldn’t want to send the message that one of you is a pushover and the other is a bully, right?

We all make mistakes and need forgiveness.

There are times when Nick and I are something less than respectful toward each other. For instance, we can occasionally be heard telling each other, “That is the worst idea I’ve ever heard.” When we rashly say whatever comes to mind, our unfiltered comments aren’t always pretty. And when they’re not, our daughter sees us model how to acknowledge we’ve crossed the line — and how to apologize. What helps?

• When an argument disintegrates, heading out of earshot is wise. But reappear for the resolution — model asking for and granting forgiveness.

• Be sincere. If you sulk and avoid eye contact after “making up,” what message does that send about the hollow nature of apologies and forgiveness?

• Tempting as it is to point fingers, focus on your own part in the argument, rather than your spouse’s.

Commitment means being there for each other, even when you’d rather be somewhere (or anywhere) else.

Once a year, my husband travels 800 miles to go camping in the dead of winter with a group of his buddies. One year, this trip coincided with my getting the type of flu that renders otherwise-competent parents completely useless. He stayed home. And he didn’t make me feel terrible about it.

Sometimes relationships require that of us — to be disappointed that the task in front of us is ours, but to do it anyway. What helps?

• It’s good for kids to see that problems happen and you’re committed to solving them together.

• Avoid keeping score: “I covered for you last week, so I expect you to _____ .” This kind of record keeping makes being there for each other look more like indebtedness than commitment.

• Acknowledge your spouse’s commitment in front of the kids: “I know things have been rough at work lately, and I really appreciate the way you provide for us.”

Marriage is worth pursuing!

We don’t go out on leave-the-house dates often, but we enjoy date nights at home, which frequently involve cheese fondue. Holland likes cheese and recognizes these cheesy after-her-bedtime dates are something good she’s not included in. More important, she sees us making time, space and grocery lists to nurture our relationship.

We’re showing our daughter that marriage is worth aspiring to. She notices that we enjoy spending time together, have someone to talk to and hug — and we get to have nightly slumber parties in a bed much bigger than hers, which is almost as appealing to her as cheese. What helps?

• It’s easy to misplace the fun aspects of marriage and send the message that marriage is dullsville. Occasionally, ditch responsibilities and go out for ice cream to say, Yes, marriage is chores and bill paying … but it’s also a hot-fudge sundae!

• You’ve heard it before: Don’t bad-mouth your spouse. This conveys little respect for your spouse or your marriage.

At this point, I’d like to say, “Nothing more to see here, folks. Move along and quit being so nosy.” But I know it’s time to come clean, so here are the negative lessons I’ve realized I’m teaching our daughter about relationships.

Community only matters when it’s convenient.

Although I never intended for Holland to infer this, she has. Recently she asked, “Mom, who are your best friends … besides Dad?” She doesn’t always see me making relationships outside of my marriage a priority. Yet I know we need the support of a larger community to thrive as a couple and a family, and I want our daughter to witness us investing in the lives of others, even when it feels inconvenient. We need to make some changes, and this suggestion from Erin Smalley and Carrie Oliver’s Grown-Up Girlfriends seems like a good place to start: “Leave room in your schedule for friends. It is so easy to make the blanket statement that ‘I’m just too busy.’ Sure, you’re busy, but what are some creative ways you could make space in your schedule for friends?”

We are responsible for each other’s emotions.

You know those days when your spouse comes home cranky, then in response, you become a ray of sunshine, maintain your good mood and cheer him or her up? Uh-huh.

More often, if my husband comes home prickly, not only do I end up in the dumps, but I’m also perturbed at him for taking me there. This teaches my child that someone other than me is responsible for my happiness. As Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott write in Making Happy, “It’s not his or her job to make you happy. Happiness is an inside job.”

Going forward, we’ll try this emotional redirect from relational expert Ken Sande:

  • Recognize your emotions.
  • Evaluate their source.
  • Anticipate the consequences of following them.
  • Direct them on a constructive course.

Parents, our kids are watching. Along with our shoes, they’re picking up our attitudes and behaviors and trying them on for size. Consider what relationship lessons — good and bad — your kids are learning from your marriage.

Want more? Download the free resource “Teach Children About Marriage.”

This article appeared in the February/March 2015 issue of Thriving Family magazine and was titled “Our Kids Are Watching.” Copyright © 2015 Focus on the Family. ThrivingFamily.com.
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Screen time for kids

The other day I came across this article after reading an interview Dr Dobson had with Joshua Straug, I hope you will find this helpful as I did.(Brad)

The impact technology is having on our relationships, brain wiring, and kids remains a topic I’m asked to write about and speak on quite often. The consequence of this is that many people wrongly assume I’m against technology.

I actually use it quite often. In fact, the Straub household consists of three flat-screen TV’s, two laptop computers, a desktop, two iPhones, an iPad, an iPod, and a drone in a pear tree. Okay, so the latter is an exaggeration—for now. Experts tell me it’s best to wait until spring to plant a pear tree.

You get the point. We have it and we use it. I don’t believe technology is bad. I believe technology without limits is bad. And that’s why there’s such a demand for people of all ages, particularly parents, to learn how to set limits on technology. Families are learning firsthand what happens when they don’t set limits.

[su_quote]That’s why I’m an advocate for screen-balanced families. Not because I’m against screens, but because I’m for raising emotionally and spiritually healthy children.[/su_quote]

And in some, perhaps many cases, it’s not that we need to turn off the screens, it’s that we need to change the content on them.

With school back in full swing, and our kids using all kinds of technology, I want to briefly summarize some of the most recent scientific findings on screen time and how you can use this data to your kids’ advantage, giving them the best possible opportunity for success.

1. In 1970, the average age of first screen exposure was 4 years old.
Today it is 4 months old. Research clearly and consistently shows that TV is not good for young kids, but at least most kids “back in the day” were already past their most critical years of brain development before even being first exposed to a screen.

Giving your kids an advantage: If you’re like us and need to use screens to sometimes maintain your sanity, cut your kids’ fingernails, or get ready in the morning, use the screen wisely and sparingly. Screens used to be in houses only. Now we can take them everywhere. For ideas on content, you may want to check out a blog I wrote called Why Mister Rogers is Smarter than Baby Einstein, a post that hones in on one of the most significant reasons we need to pay attention to what our children under age 7 are exposed to.

2. Children under 5 get 4 ½ hours of screen time per day; that is 40% of their waking hours.
Kids and teens 8-18 year-olds spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day on screens, not including homework. Parents, on average, spend 2-3 hours a day with their kids. Research clearly shows a negative correlation between parental involvement and screen time. The more screen time, the less parental warmth and attachment.

Giving your kids an advantage: My recommendation is to keep your kids’ screen time under age 8 to less than one hour a day and age 8-18 to two hours a day. Invite your kids in the evening to help you cook dinner, do yard work, or even discuss appropriate parts of your workday with you. Having them help you problem solve some of your difficult situations not only builds their brain, but they’re also invited into your inner world.

3. Too much screen time, or the wrong kind of content can be harmful.
Violent video games and TV shows lead to much higher rates of aggression in adulthood, and even criminal conviction, than kids exposed to more neutral content. The same is true for sexual content and earlier sexual involvement.

Giving your kids an advantage: If you keep the TV on in your house as background noise, pay attention to what’s on it. Kids not only pick up on images, but they pick up on verbal content. If you’re not going to turn off the TV, at least change the channel.

4. What about iPads?
85 percent of iPad apps for children are just “drill and practice” apps that ask kids to repeat an action and recall simple facts. These entertainment-based apps do not make your child smarter and can actually have deleterious effects on their impulse control and attention.

Giving your kids an advantage: Research again clearly shows that playing with dolls, blocks, going to the park, and reading together do more for child outcomes than iPad apps. On the contrary, if you want to find helpful apps, use ones like Beck and Bo (age 3-5), Explain Everything (age 12-16), Toca Builders (age 5-12), Toontastic (age 5-9), My Story, and Art Maker, apps that require input from your child.

To summarize one researcher, “We need more real time play; less fast paced media. Change the beginning and you change the whole story.”

Joshua Straub, Ph.D. is an advocate for families and parenting in the 21st century. He loves coming alongside families to provide encouragement, support and practical counsel. Josh loves combining scientific research with biblical wisdom to provide the best-of-all-worlds perspective on raising stellar kids, having an awesome marriage and enjoying life while doing it.
Tantrum

Temper Tantrums Book review

Does it sometimes feel like your child’s moods are controlling you? Have you ever been embarrassed in public by your kids’ behavior, but weren’t sure how to handle it?

Do you long for a more calm and peaceful home, without yelling and fighting? This is the book for you! In “Temper Your Child’s Tantrums,” parenting expert Dr. James Dobson offers the essential keys to correcting a child in a firm, loving, and understanding way.

Price : R104 (subject to change)
Author: James Dobson
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Media : Book