Friday, August 30, 2013

Putting Baby to Sleep

My friend Ron asked for advice on how to help their infant sleep better.  Here are a few of my thoughts.

We tried not to stress too much about making our kids sleep through the night.  Here are a few things we tried with moderate off-and-on success, and that seems to be about the best results out there.  Anyone who argues with that is probably just lucky or trying to sell something.  Every kid is different.  Our daughter slept WAY better than our son.  At two, he still gets up once about half the time now.
  • Take it slow.  Go for incremental changes.  Do whatever she likes best, minus a half step that makes it easier on you.  And slowly ease back.  For example, you might try laying down with her on the floor or on a twin bed, and then getting up (and packing pillows around to protect her from rolling off if you're on the bed).  That way she gets to fall asleep with you, but you don't have to stay there all night.
  • Try putting her down in a car seat or stroller.  Our son was a bear to get to sleep from about 3 months to 9 months.  Often, I would take him on late night walks in the stroller.  As a newborn, Our girl actually slept way better in her car seat.  We would just put that in her crib or on the floor in her room and strap her down.  I guess she felt secure, or maybe she didn't wake herself up by flailing around.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Writing Class Philosophies

I'm teaching writing this fall at Olivet Nazarene University.  Here are the basic philosophies I'll be working with.

  1. Writing is a critical form of self-expression.
  2. Writing is critical for self-knowledge.
  3. Writing is meant to be read.  Therefore, we will often share our writings in small groups and with the class.
  4. The world needs your voice.  We all have a voice.  We come from different places, different backgrounds, and different schools.  That diversity increases the importance of individual voices.
  5. We can all grow as writers.  We all have different strengths and weaknesses.  But we can all improve our skill as writers.  
  6. Writing flourishes in an environment of acceptance, encouragement, and challenge.
  7. Learning is fun, and fun facilitates learning.
  8. Learning is hard work.
  9. Writing grows through practice.  We’ll spend a lot of time in class practicing our writing.  This is not busy work.  This is practice to improve our skill at writing.
  10. Writing is increasingly important in our world.  Contrary to popular opinion, social media makes writing MORE important not less important.  Emails, tweets, posts, and blogs are increasingly common.
Help me out.  Share your thoughts and feedback on this before class starts.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

How to Be a Superhero

Ephesians 6:10-18

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

A few weeks ago Pastor Greg talked about how lots of movies try to destroy the world.   In most of these movies usually a hero or superhero steps up to save the day. 
What’s going on?  Why do we keep telling stories about destroying and saving the world?
Even if we don’t define it in spiritual terms, we know that there is a battle of good versus evil in our world.  We know that we are part of this battle.   Somehow, deep inside, we know that there are forces of darkness and evil in this world that are stronger than us, bigger than us. 
We know that we need help from someone bigger, someone stronger, someone more awesome than we could ever be.  We know we need a hero.  And so we have a whole genre of fiction and movies with superheroes.  
Today, as we continue our Family Movie Series in the month of August, we’re looking at the movie THE AVENGERS.