“Then Elihu said: ‘Hear my words, you wise men;  listen to me, you men of learning. For the ear tests words as the tongue tastes food. Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good” (Job 34). (NIV)

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NEW!! Starting April 15, 2017 this blog will no longer have entries. I’ve opened a new stand-alone blog, Gods Path for Kids, that will carry the same types of news items but will be more easily accessible. You can also see links to the new blogs pushed through to my Facebook page. A click on that will take you to the www.GodsPathForKids.com website. See you there!

These blogs will serve as updates to my book Who’s Got Dibs on Your Kids? As soon as I get new information on either the new problems facing your kids, or the battles being fought against them, I’ll post them here. If you know of something that I haven’t posted, please share it with all of us. Use the Contact form at the top of every page to get in touch.

Standing Firm Blog

Using the Legal System

Often people who do not have children wonder what, if anything, they can do to stop the Pied Pipers. One way is to enact laws that promote Bible literacy in public schools.

Can that be done? Yes! And a number of states are working on it. The latest I read about is Kentucky where, according to the Courier-Journal, “the crucifixion of Jesus, the trials of Job and the Ten Commandments could land on high school syllabuses.”

The bill, which was introduced in January 2017, has already passed the House. Rep. Johnson (R) said, “The Bible is the single most impactful literary work that we have in Western Civilization. It affects our culture, our laws.”

The course would be an elective in social studies, and religious neutrality would be required. The goal of the course would be Bible literacy and not as “straightforward history.”

If you want some help in how to approach your representative or senator in your state to introduce such a bill, you can read and download a copy of the Kentucky initial bill under consideration.

A Summary reads:

Create a new section of KRS Chapter 156 to require the Kentucky Board of Education to promulgate administrative regulations to establish an elective social studies course on the Hebrew Scriptures, Old Testament of the Bible, the New Testament, or a combination of the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament of the Bible; require that the course provide to students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratory, and public policy; permit students to use various translations of the Bible for the course; amend KRS 158.197 to permit a school council to offer an elective social studies course on the Hebrew Scriptures, Old Testament of the Bible, the New Testament, or a combination of the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament of the Bible.

Section 1 (3) of this bill states:

A student shall not be required to use a specific translation as the sole text of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament and may use as the basic textbook a different translation of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament from that chosen by the school council.

A law of this type does not teach religion, or proselytize for either Judaism or Christianity. However, I believe it will introduce the Bible to some students who have never opened its pages before. From there, we can pray that the Holy Spirit will work on their hearts.

Let me know what you think.

Making Memorizing Fun

I grew up memorizing Bible passages and hymns. I have fond memories of singing hymns with my mother as she washed the dishes and I dried (no dishwashers back then). As a result, I can still sing many hymns today in our worship services without using the hymnal, except for the first word of the verse to make sure I get them in the right order. Better yet, I can sing them to myself when I need their comfort, strengthening, hope.

Remembering Bible verses helps in the same way, but also lets me remember them in Bible study. When we are in one section I can refer back to another similar passage that confirms what the one we are studying says. Our pastor calls it “pinging.”

It seems like that kind of memorization has fallen out of fashion in many churches and homes. Let’s not deprive our kids of this valuable resource. I just ran across a webpage that gives some great ideas of how to make memorizing both easy and fun. You can download them by clicking here.

Here are a couple of  (NIV) passages for your own personal consideration:

“Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees. (Job 4:4).

“. . . then I can answer anyone who taunts me, for I trust in your word (Psalm 119:42).

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path (Psalm 119:107).

Ingrained in many a believer’s mind and heart is:

Jesus loves me, this I know,

For the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to him belong;

They are weak, but he is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!

Yes, Jesus loves me! For the Bible tells me so.

Pass it on!

Christians “Won” - North Carolina State University “0”

When is a policy not a policy? When it’s not enforced equally.

And that’s just what was happening at North Carolina State University (NC State). NC State had a policy that prohibited groups from going up to talk to students, uninvited, without a permit. Okay, everyone has to get a permit. Well . . . not so much.

Apparently other groups didn’t have to mess with that pesky permit, but when Grace Christian Life wanted to hand out fliers and invite students to upcoming events, by George, they’d better be able to show their permit. NC State said the permit process was necessary to maintain safety and order on campus.

Grace Christian Life decided to use the services of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and take it to court. According to the ADF website: “The university only selectively enforced its permit policy and did so against Grace Christian Life, a registered student organization, when officials told members of the group that they needed a permit to speak with other students in the student union.” Three months later NC State decided to settle the matter by changing the speech policy to eliminate the permit requirement for non-commercial speech.

In the ADF article “NC State revises speech policy after losing court battle with student group,” ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer said following the settlement: “Students of any religious, political, or ideological persuasion should be able to freely and peacefully speak with their fellow students about their views without interference from university officials who may prefer one view over another. NC State did the right thing in revising its policy to reflect this instead of continuing to defend its previous policy, which was not constitutionally defensible.”

This is a good example of how and why Christians should take heart. This country declares “the Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;” Stand firm in your rights. If you don’t, they will erode until it will be as though they never existed.

Do You Have A Destination?

Most of us need a destination . . . a purpose. There are some who, because of physical or mental frailty just “make it from one day to the next” (I’m sure you’ve heard that expression) but most of us need a purpose. We need a purpose not only longer term—for our lives—but short term as well. Did you ever stand in front of the open refrigerator, hanging on to the door and saying aloud or to yourself, “What did I come in here for?” Even opening the refrigerator door has a purpose behind it.

We all have different personalities, and our actions reflect that. For instance, some can wander aimlessly for hours. I cannot walk for exercise because it seems so purposeless to me to walk a mile and turn around and walk back. Or walk in a two mile circle. Or even taking a different one mile path daily. Yes, I know the purpose can be improving my health and/or losing weight, but my nature says that the act of, and time used,  just walking is so “purposeless.” I get impatient with the whole process. There’s no destination other than ending up back where I started.

Do you need a destination? Do you have a destination? I’m talking now about your life. When it’s all over, and you take your last breath and your eyes close for the last time, where do you want to be? It’s important to know where you’re going because you have to know how to get there. In my book Who’s Got Dibs on Your Kids? I devote the first chapter to trust. If you decide you want your final destination to be everlasting life in heaven, first you have to trust that there is such a heavenly home waiting for you. Then you have to trust something or someone to tell you how to reach that destination. This is one trip where the wrong directions could prove disastrous. There are many Pied Pipers in the world spending their lives and fortunes to lead us on paths away from God. So take some time to give serious thought to where you can put your trust and never doubt the directions.

I just read a great article in Forward in Christ magazine titled, “Finding my destination” by Eric Hartzell. Pastor Hartzell uses the analogy of driving with the aid of GPS. Most of the time our GPS units work beautifully, but not always. I don’t think there is anyone using such a device who has never been given wrong directions. And in that case, the wrong directions aren’t even given with malice. Your silky-voiced friend simply made a mistake. Ooops. That was not where you intended to be! https://wels.net/finding-my-destination/

Some people, organizations, books, entertainment, school lessons, have a determined intent to make certain you and your kids don’t end up in the loving arms of Jesus.

There is one GPS that never takes us down the wrong path. Of course I’m referring to God’s Path to Salvation as we find in His Word, the Bible. The only problem is that His directions don’t always lead us on the fastest, smoothest highways. Sometime the directions don’t lead us the way we want to go—this other path seems a lot easier and more fun. God’s path may be difficult. That’s where your trust comes in.

What do you want your destination to be, and who do you trust to get you there? Give it some thought.

Law Professor Bans Laptops from Classroom

In my book Who’s Got Dibs on Your Kids? I tell about studies that demonstrate the importance of learning and using cursive handwriting. Many schools no longer teach this skill as it is often regarded as no longer necessary – anachronistic.

You might have already bought into the theory that cursive writing is no longer important. Others strongly disagree. William Klemm, D.V.M., Ph.D., says learning cursive enhances cognitive development, and trains a child’s brain to develop “functional specialization.” Cursive writing affects sensation, movement control, and thinking. Studies show it activates parts of the brain that using a keyboard doesn’t stimulate. . . .

If you don’t think those results are enough to jump-start your kids’ future, when students took longhand notes during lectures, they remembered more of the lecture than the ones who entered their notes digitally on tablets or laptops.

Now a law professor at Rutgers University believes the results of studies regarding the benefits of cursive enough to forbid students to bring laptop computers into his classroom. He is convinced they harm the learning process. In The Report Card article, Professor Stuart Green states:


Even when multitasking is blocked, students who take notes on a computer tend to perform worse than students who take notes by hand, according to a 2014 study by Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer. They found that laptop users were basically creating a transcript of the lecture, while those taking notes by hand were synthesizing the information. This confirms my own experience when meeting with students who appear to have a nearly verbatim record of what I said in class but fail to grasp what I was trying to convey. It’s like making a cake recipe from scratch, measuring out all the ingredients perfectly, but forgetting to put the concoction in the oven.

Professor Green also emphasizes that students use their laptops to access social media sites, play games, or look for jobs. This practice even influences the learning ability of others students sitting behind the mental/technological wanderer because they can see the screen and are distracted by it. Read Professor Greens’ full article “Law Professor Bans Laptops From Classroom,” and then determine that your kids will learn both cursive and how to take notes in class.

Federal Court Tells School District to Drop Anti-Christian Bias

It’s been going on for three years now, but persistence paid off. The Christian ministry, The Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) of Ohio, sued the Cleveland Metropolitan School District because it was denied the right to use school facilities after school for its after-school Good News Clubs, although other non-religious groups like the Boy Scouts were granted access. The school district said they’d allow CEF to use the facilities, but for a price. The price was so high CEF couldn’t afford it, and had to end the meetings. At one time, CEF was permitted to use the premises after school at no charge, just as other groups did. Then a new administrator came along and imposed the changes, somehow not understanding the law of “equal access.” Liberty Counsel represented the Child Evangelism Fellowship in their pursuit of equal treatment without consideration of their Christian viewpoint and goals.

CEF conducted a survey of principals in April 2013, and the responses indicated that 87% of principals felt after-school Good News Clubs were a positive experience for their schools, and 52% said they helped improve the behavior of the students who participated. Read more about this struggle for constitutional rights in the Liberty Counsel press release, “Child Evangelism Fellowship Wins Major Victory in Cleveland.”

This was a matter of one after-school group, in one school district, in one state—was it worth the three-year battle? Liberty Counsel and CEF felt it was. They decided they had to stand firm.

Abstinence Works!

Many agree that the Common Core State Standards are a disaster in a number of ways. One of those “disasters” is the sex education provided to kids in public school. Fortunately a school boards in Florida has found a curriculum that fits with Common Core, but advocates abstinence. Collier County has been using this program for eight years, and in that time “births to unwed teen mothers, ages 15 to 19, have fallen an amazing 50 percent, and cases of STDs among girls in the same age group have also dropped from 29th to the third lowest among Florida’s 67 counties.”

The Collier County Abstinence Program (CCAP) was begun in grades seven and eight, and has expanded to include grades six and nine. This program is used in all seventeen middle schools and all eight high schools throughout the county.

What makes this program not only effective, but simply possible in Collier County? “Florida state law requires public schools to ‘teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school-age students while teaching the benefits of monogamous heterosexual marriage.’ The same law also requires schools to ‘teach that each student has the power to control personal behavior.’

“The other key factor is that Florida allows public schools to accept donations of supplementary materials and use those materials in the classroom to fulfill any required curricular objective. The 6th-, 7th-, 8th-, and 9th-grade course books provided without charge by the nonprofit Collier County Abstinence Program were welcomed by classroom teachers who saw how beneficial it is to have healthy kids.”

This is an example of how you can effect change in your kids’ schools. What are your state’s laws concerning the teaching of abstinence? Click here to read the verbiage of the Florida Statute 1003.46. See if you can get something similar passed in your state. Click here to read about 2016 Sex Education Legislation in your state.

Who Has Responsibility for Your Kids?

In December 2015 the United States Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services put forth a draft of a policy document that spoke to their view of how the federal government can come into your home and family life to “help” you raise your family. Of course, they are certain they can do it better than you, and are ready and willing to share the job with you, the parents! This was made clear on page one of  the draft document, the government stated:

It is the position of the Departments that all early childhood programs and schools recognize families as equal partners in improving children’s development, learning and wellness across all settings, and over the course of their children’s developmental and educational experiences. (Emphasis added.)

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) took note of the government’s willingness to let parents participate in raising their own kids. HSLDA said:

Not only does this draft document expose the federal government’s breathtaking arrogance, a footnote at the bottom of page one goes so far as to redefine the family:

The term “family” is used to include all the people who play a role in a child’s life and interact with a child’s early childhood program or school. This may include fathers, mothers, grandparents, foster parents, formal and informal guardians, and siblings, among others.

“All the people who play a role in a child’s life.” All those who “interact with a child’s early childhood program or school.” “Informal guardians.” According to this footnote, a close family friend (an “informal guardian”) could be considered part of a child’s family. This could include a parent’s boyfriend or girlfriend, even if the relationship is temporary or uncommitted. There have already been cases in which custody of a child was granted to the parent’s former lover, against the parent’s wishes. And a child’s siblings are also important to family, but siblings shouldn’t have the legal authority to make parenting decisions.

William A. Estrada, the director of federal relations policy for HSLDA, was incensed. He said that sentence (above) “unmasks the federal government’s true philosophy behind decades of federal involvement in welfare, kindergarten through 12th grade education spending and policies, programs like Head Start, and now the push to create universal early education for young children from birth through age 5: the federal government believes that its role is equal with the role of parents.” Estrada then met with senior officials from the U.S. Department of Education, pointing out the problems with the document. It has since been significantly revised to read:

Families are children’s first and most important teachers, advocates, and nurturers. Strong family engagement in early childhood systems and programs is central – not supplemental – to promoting children’s healthy intellectual, physical, and social-emotional development; preparing children for school; and supporting academic achievement in elementary school and beyond. Research indicates that families’ involvement in children’s learning and development impacts lifelong health, developmental, and academic outcomes.

There remain problems that HSLDA will continue to pursue, but their prompt attendance to this matter has at least resulted in letting the federal government know that parents are not willing and ready to turn over the responsibility of raising their kids to them, and simply being partners in that effort. Read the article “Feds Abandon 'Equal Rights' Claim to Raise Your Kids” and the HSLDA article “Federal Government Tells Parents: ‘We Are Your Equals’” for additional information about this important victory.

Still Looking for a Good Science Camp for Christians?

It may be too late for this year, I don’t know if there are any spaces left, but you might want to consider Camp Infinity. I just learned about this Christianity-based camp and wanted to pass the information along to you. I know nothing personally about it; I know no one who has attended; all my information is based on the camp’s own publicity. Still, I found it intriguing enough to share it with you. If any of you know about Camp Infinity, please send along your comments.

I copied below two paragraphs from their Camp Infinity website, which you can visit yourself if you want more information.

If you have a science-minded young person in grades 7-12, consider sending them to Camp Infinity’s 5-day overnight camp this summer, July 11-15. Not only will they learn through hands-on science activities and counselors who are all pursuing science degrees, but they will receive solid biblical teaching that will strengthen their faith and equip them to think biblically.

Each camper will participate in practical, hands-on STEM activities (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) that change every year, bringing campers back again and again for more. They will tour both the world-class Creation Museum and a secular science museum to compare the two worldviews side-by-side, attend a Stargazer’s Night at the well-equipped Johnson’s Observatory with PhD astronomer Dr. Danny Faulkner of Answers in Genesis as well as a Stargazer’s Planetarium show, hear from Answers in Genesis creation apologetics speakers including a special Q&A lunch, and even get to work building and programming a robot.

Finally, A Judge with Some Sense

Did you know the battle over whether boys should be able to change in girls’ locker rooms, or shower with girls, has been going on for years? We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the North Carolina law suits, but a judge in California recently ruled in a case that’s been bouncing around the halls of various courts since a law was signed by the governor in 2013 that allows public school students to use restrooms and shower rooms based on the “gender identity.”

Opposing that law was the organization Privacy For All Students (PFAS). That group collected over 620,000 signatures to qualify for a referendum seeking to overturn the law. Election officials rejected more than twenty percent. That left the struggle a little over 17,000 signatures short of what they needed to get on the ballot. PFAS has been fighting the court battle for over two years because the government attorneys would not provide them with the disqualified names and the reason they were rejected.

Finally, a Superior Court judge with some sense granted a motion to compel the production of the documents. In a WND article, Gina Gleason, a member of the PFAS executive committee was quoted as saying, “It is difficult to miss the irony of elections officials using privacy as grounds for opposing production of evidence to back their claims. Privacy For All Students sought to qualify this referendum to protect the privacy of school children threatened with unwanted exposure under the new law.”

It is worth fighting the battle. It is worth standing firm.

Go to my Pipers’ Paths blog to read other California laws that, if passed, may well find their way to the doors of your state’s legislature.

Worshiping the “Gold”

In the days of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (see Daniel 3) worshiping the “gold” meant giving up their allegiance to their one true God, and worshiping the gold image of King Nebuchadnezzar and serving his gods. The decree read that “everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace.” When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused and were threatened, they told the king, “We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.” A bold statement to make to the king! Facing extermination in a furnace ramped up seven times its usual heat, they declared, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” A firm statement of purpose and conviction, wouldn’t you say?

I see an analogy in that piece of history to what we are facing in many areas today. Last week President Obama issued the now-infamous Guidelines for public schools regarding the use of restrooms, locker rooms, and showers by anyone identifying himself or herself as the opposite of their biologically determined sex. “Guidelines” is a euphemism for “directive.” If public schools do not comply, they will lose federal funding—the “gold.” Read “everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold” as President Obama saying, “Do as I say, and do it NOW!—or you will regret it.”

Two problems face us: the rationalization that homosexuality is normal and must be accepted as such by all, even though it stands definitively against God’s commands, and that such acceptance has now morphed into transgenders’ use of bathrooms by order of the president (king) without any such law being established by Congress. All right, there is another problem—the “gold.” Can our schools afford to stand up against the edict and lose the money?

What would Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego do?

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