Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spare The Rod, Spoil The Child

"He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently." -Proverbs 13:24

This world is one upside down place.

My role is pastor to students and parents. I was talking with a parent about measures to correct the direction a child was going. This young one is now a teenager and has never really had any discipline in his life. Most of my suggestions were rather simple things a parent can do to partner with teachers and/or other parents to help young ones develop good habits.

But the question was asked, "what do I do when they rebel against these things"? Every situation of when a child does something wrong needs its own kind of punishment, but a time comes when spanking the child is the proper course of action. Well this brought up something shocking!

Florida's Child Abuse Law is worded like this:
"Harm" to a child occurs when the parent or other person responsible for the child's welfare inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical, mental, or emotional injury. The following factors must be considered in evaluating any injury: prior injuries; location; multiplicity; and type of trauma. Such injury include, but are not limited to willful acts that produce the following specific injuries: sprains, dislocations, or cartilage damage; bone or skull fractures; brain or spinal cord damage; intracranial hemorrhage or injury to other internal organs; asphyxiation, suffocation, or drowning; injury resulting from the use of a deadly weapon; burns or scalding; cuts, lacerations, punctures, or bites; permanent or temporary disfigurement; or permanent or temporary loss or impairment of a body part or function. "Willful" refers to the intent to perform an action, not to achieve a particular result or an intent to cause an injury.
Sec. 415.503. [Civil Code]

I placed certain parts in bold to make the problem clear. But the problem is not the law, but rather, how it is apparently being enforced. A case was cited to me where a child received a spanking. The child then called social services (which he learned to do from a teacher) and without any validity to the child's claim they responded with force making threats that if this happens again they will remove the child from that home. Who do you think is in control of that household now?

I understand that we need laws to protect our children from harmful and dangerous parents, but this is ridiculous. The way social services enforces the law in Florida (at least in Indian River County; and this was quote to me from more than one person as I talked with them separately) is that if any indication of a spanking that can be seen 20 minutes after the incident then it is child abuse. Also, if the child is unable to use their butt to sit (notice "impairment of a body part or function") then it is child abuse.

There were a few spankings I got as a child that when I look back I remember them being pretty rough, mostly because I squirmed so much that my mom or dad missed their target (my bottom), but I now look back on the spankings I got with some fondness. Not that I enjoyed the pain, but rather, those disciplinary actions impacted me greatly. For one, it told me to shut up and listen to my dad. It helped me understand consequences for my actions (something most of today's youth really don't understand). I know my spankings didn't come from a mother or father who lashed out at me because they were tired of whatever I was doing wrong. I had a mother and father who feared what would happen to me and who I would become if spankings were absent from my life.

North Carolina, where I recently moved from, words their child abuse laws this way:
Abuse includes infliction of a serious physical injury by other than accidental means; creating a substantial risk of such injury by other than accidental means; and using cruel or grossly inappropriate procedures or devices to modify behavior. Juvenile Sec. 7B-101(1). [Civil Code]

I'm sure there are cases where this law is being abused in North Carolina as well. But I've never been introduced to areas that handle spanking like where I am now, but I've heard that many states are just as bad.

When it comes to writing and enforcing laws I would say this would be a tough one. I mean, you don't want to see a child beaten to near death before someone jumps in to stop it. You want to catch it before it even starts. But how to do enforce laws meant to protect our children without removing proper ways to raise a child.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Why? Vision Casting, Part 2

Why? Vision-casting continues with asking the question why? You will not know why you should do something until you know:

  1. Why is what we're going to do important?
  2. Why does what we're going to do matters?
  3. Why is what we're going to do worth the effort?
Knowing the answers to "why" exceeds the simple answer of "because God says so". Yes, what God commands is important but passion is understanding God-given desires. These unique God-given passions influence how we view our purpose.

When looking at your ministry team knowing people's passions is essential on multiple levels. For one, people are more effective when they're excited about what they're doing and people are more excited about what they're doing when they know why they're doing it, why it matters, and why it's worth the effort. Also, our passions often expose our strengths and weaknesses. Where one person might be weak on your team hopefully someone else is strong.

Also see:
What? Vision-Casting, Part 1
Youth Ministry Vision-Casting, Part 1
Youth Ministry Vision-Casting, Part 2
Youth Ministry Vision-Casting, Part 3

Monday, April 7, 2008

Top Posts: 2008 First Quarter

These are the most viewed posts:
  1. Please Pray For The Life Of Tricia, Her Huband Nathan, And Their Unborn Baby
  2. Elders & Deacons
  3. Skillet, Chris Tomlin, Toby Mac, KJ-52, Barlow Girl, Todd Agnew, and Lifehouse
  4. The Golden Compass Review
  5. Sunday Review
  6. Once Upon A Time I Could Draw
  7. Youth Ministry Vision Casting, Part 3
  8. Elders & Deacons, Part 2
  9. The Golden Compass Review, Part 2
  10. A Roller Coaster With A Lot Of 200ft. Drops
  11. Business Cards
  12. Google Analytics
  13. Resigning & Moving
  14. Can’t There Be More Than One Way To Heaven?
  15. The Roller Coaster Continues
  16. Tricia Is Listed!
  17. Elders & Deacons, Part 3
  18. Lilly & Frodo
  19. Youth Ministry Vision Casting, Part 2
  20. 7 Things

It's Over Before It Begun!

I love the Rocky movies, all of them!

In Rocky 3, Rock is the champ. He's the best in the world and he's not just sitting on it; he's had 10 title defenses and smoked every one of them. As he's making his announcement that it's time to retire he hears a voice from the crowd, Clubber Lang. Clubber demands that Rocky fights him and gives him a shot at the title. Rocky agrees but his trainer/manager, Mickey, argues that he shouldn't take the challenge. In fact, Mickey tries so hard to discourage Rock from fighting that he says he won't train/manage him anymore.

Later Rock is talking with Mickey trying to understand why he won't train and manage him anymore and he tells Rock something that hits Rocky hard: all of his title defenses were fakes. They were set ups! They were good fighters but they had no chance of ever beating Rocky. Suddenly Rocky is crushed.

The day comes to fight Clubber Lang and Rocky is beaten badly! As Apollo Creed tries to train Rocky for a rematch with Clubber, Rocky begins to give up. The reality that his previous title defenses were set ups sinks home! Apollo exclaims, "it's over!". Rocky's wife tries to talk with him about but all Rocky says is, "I don't know who I am anymore; I don't know the truth." Rocky had lost his confidence as a fighter.

I believe Christianity is in the same boat today. My fear is that Christians have been going through life without real challenges and without real victories, giving us a weak and false depiction of faith in Christ and robbing us of who we truly are in Christ. When our Clubber Lang comes along what will happen? Rocky ended up getting the "eye of the tiger", his passion. But will Christians do the same or will many who we thought were Christians just walk away from the church?

I believe many non-Christians are currently going through real struggles and real difficulties and Church people are trying to pull them into a world with fake challenges and fake victories and they can see through it. They don't want that. Those that are hungry for God want real victories. Could it be that the church is busy playing the role of Mickey, giving it's people a weak and false depiction of faith in Christ, never putting its partners (members) to the test. Never challenging them? What happens to the so-called-Christian who doesn't know who he/she really is in Christ? When Clubber Lang comes a knocking won't they respond too, "I don't know who I am anymore; I don't know the truth!"

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Life Of The Moores Update

Back in March Sarah and I attended the Youth Pastor Summit, which was really good! We also were able to enjoy Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure for a few hours.

Frodo has entered our world and Sarah really loves having him around. His personality is nothing like Lilly's. Lilly won't leave him alone and unless she's sleeping she wants to know what he's doing at all times and irritates him non-stop. Here's Frodo getting a bath!

We received a gift from my grandma late March. My mom told me it was originally intended to be a wedding present but it took a lot longer than expected to make. Sarah and I love it. It's on our bed at night. The cool thing is it's light weight which is perfect for Florida! It's a beautiful quilt!

On April 1st Sarah and I took two youth to Busch Gardens: Tampa (it was their Spring Break). Harry hadn't been on a roller coaster in over 3 years because of a fear of heights. We got him on 2 coasters. Nick had never been to Busch Gardens before; now he has a one year pass and we're going back! We got rained out about an hour before we had to leave. It was an experience just getting out of Busch Gardens; the rain was coming down tropical storm style. After waiting about 30 minutes we all bought ponchos and made a run for it. We had a blast! Oh, and check out the video of Harry making friends with a flamingo.

I've been working on the back yard for about a week. I should have took some before and after pictures. It's been a lot of work for how little of a backyard we have. It was full of weeds, sandspurs, bark, and a few large rocks. 8 trash bags of weeds and bark later and this is where I'm at so far.

Visit my FaceBook page to see more pictures (I'm pretty sure you have to register an account to see these, but it's so worth it for keeping up with people).

Friday, April 4, 2008

Not Of This World

Christians are called to be aliens/foreigners to this world. We're called to be citizens of another kingdom, God's Kingdom.

How much of us, culturally speaking, is supposed to be different? Media, books, music, TV, movies, etc.? How much of our enjoyment of these is supposed to be different from the type of enjoyment non-Christians get? What should we view as entertainment along with non-Christians? What should we be shocked and sadden by while non-Christians find it entertaining?

"God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it,
but to save it." -John 3:17

Can't defining these things without caution lead to legalism, and going too far? We shouldn't be Amish, separating ourselves from society in order to create our own culture, then we never reach anyone. We shouldn't be indistinguishable from the rest of society either. Something should stand out about us. Something should proclaim we are citizens of a different kingdom!

I very much believe it's important to know what Christ expect of us in relationship to the world.

This is a debate that is kicking up a lot of dirt in Christian circles. Churches are being called liberal because they have made use of technology and their music has a sound similar to what you would hear on the radio.

I find that extremely interesting because while many are standing on a side that says "we must look nothing like the world in any shape, form, or way" yet I can't help but look at how Jesus talked, who He associated with, and how He interacted with others and think they have really missed the meaning of what Christ meant when He commanded us to not desire the things of the world.

Jesus talked to the people in their language. (Well, most of the time. He did speak in parables and I believe He did so to sort out who thought He was a cool speaker verses those who were deeply hungry for the things of God.) He talked about things that were familiar to them and their culture. He used examples of people everyone hated (prostitutes, Samaritans, etc.), people that were leaders (Sadducees and Pharisees), the language of working people that probably everyone of the time understood.

Jesus was a guy who did what was culturally wrong among the "GOOD" people.

You know. . .

I don't think the answer to this puzzle lies in what music can we listen to or not listen to. Or what movies we should condone or not. Or anything else that is cultural.

The answer is changing our view of Christianity into something that is less about what we're against and more about what we're for. At that point we will begin to understand how God desires for us to interact with culture. We need to remember that Christ came to save the world, not condemn it. And we need to carry the same attitude.

I Hate Christian Music

At least I hate the term Christian music. I also hate the term secular music, which just means non-Christian. But what in the world makes them Christian or non-Christian? It's usually whether or not they're on a "Christian" label.

Did you hear about how Evanescence, this has been a few years now, was on a Christian label and in the middle of their concert the lead singer exclaimed that she didn't know why they were on a Christian label (of course this is a paraphrase without all the cursing)? How many other bands are on Christian labels that don't belong there? Who should belong on a Christian label?

I really don't think there is a such thing as Christian and secular music. There's the music that glorifies God and the music that doesn't!

For the exception of music that is design for praise and worship, I'm learning more and more that I can find God in all kinds of music, including what is considered "secular". You might think, well that's not right. It needs to mention God or Jesus somewhere. Most of our old hymn don't. Do you want to get rid of those? Nearly all of the more modern and contemporary worship music doesn't use "God" or "Jesus" in its lyrics. Even the book of Ester lacks mentioning God. Yet in all these we see God throughout them.

What are your thoughts? Are there dangers to us having our own "Christian" music that is really just "clean" music that never mentions God (and could be just another Evanescence)? Could we be loosing something if we exclude secular music from our listening selection? Should Christians only be listening to "praise and worship"?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tricia's Lungs

So it's Nathan's birthday and Tricia got the present. . .a new pair of lungs!

Brief summary, the Duke team went to another state to look at a pair of lungs for Tricia. They were notified that the lungs were being brought to Duke and Tricia was going to be prepped for the surgery.

Last I heard was about 3 hours ago. Roughly 7-ish PM EST Tricia was taken into the operating room. The process usually takes 7-9 hours.

Check out the details here:
It's A Go!!!
In The OR
And look for more updates at