All posts in family

Musings on Family Vacations

I can’t believe how quickly decades pass! As I write, I’m sitting on a red-eye flight, starting our 20th family vacation—our first without Lance. My mind goes back to what seems like a moment ago. I’ve been here before. It was in a hotel room in Palm Desert, California about 13 years ago—our last night…

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Get a Bike…

If you and your family haven’t gotten into taking bike rides yet, be sure to get it done before your kids get too big! I confess—I waited too long. A few years ago I bought myself a bike and had a grand vision of getting all five of us cruising around Lancaster’s “beautiful” east side…

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Three Lost Boys and a Local Church

A Story of the Power of Local Church Ministry Opening scene—a young family of five is running late to church on a Sunday morning. Three lost, long-haired, little boys (all younger than seven years) sit quietly in the back seat of the car, while a frustrated mom and dad debate over “why” they are late….

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The Precious Pauses of Parenthood…

Learning to seize the teaching moments that may never return… On a breakfast date this past week, Haylee asked me, “Why did you choose to like Mommy instead of another girl?” Wow! What a cool question! And what a wide open door. That’s like someone asking a Christian “Why did you choose Christianity over all…

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Why Young People Stay Faithful

Have you ever wondered what contributes to young people staying faithful to the things of God, while others wander away? What contributes to two kids in the same local church, hearing the same preaching, ultimately going dramatically different directions? Ultimately, it’s free will—everybody makes their own decisions. But what influences those decisions? One of our…

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To TV or Not To TV?

To TV or not to TV? Many Christians wrestle with this question. Many choose to not have a TV at all. Others choose to have limited TV and tight controls. Yet others open the floodgates completely. Regardless of where you are on the TV decision, this experience was too powerful not to share. For several years…

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Five Values of Successful Homeschooling

Educating Your Children with a Winning Philosophy Recently I had the privilege of meeting with a wonderful group of families in our church that homeschool their children. I fully believe in the value of traditional, Christian education and schooling, but I also have respect for Christian parents who, out of necessity or by preference, choose…

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Great Books for Christian Parents

Frequently someone asks what books I would recommend on youth ministry or parenting. They are generally the same books. While there are some good books on youth ministry, the most helpful to youth ministry are those on the family. Whether you are a parent, a youth pastor, or a pastor, I would urge you to…

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10 Things Your Teen Won’t Tell You (Part 3)

This is the third and final part in this series of articles. Click here to read part one or part two. 7. I’m as confused as you are about my problems. The truth—when you, in frustration, ask—“What wrong with you!?” They honestly don’t know the answer. If you feel like you are confused about what’s…

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10 Things Your Teen Won’t Tell You (Part 2)

This is part two of a three part series. Click here to read the first part of this article. 4. My deepest need is a sincere relationship with you. (I need time with parents.) Not only will they not say this—they won’t even admit to it or understand it. This one resides so deep in our…

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Before You Discipline Your Child…

Discipline is a sacred thing. Too often we parents take discipline too lightly or treat it too flippantly. In the big picture, all discipline is about bringing our children into a right relationship with their Heavenly Father, that He might bless their lives. It’s not about controlling behavior, modifying behavior, or minimizing embarrassment. Pure and…

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Thankful for Christian Education

This past Saturday we had some family time and decided to drive over to the coast for the afternoon. It was one of the most beautiful coastal days I’ve ever seen—the sun was warm, the waves were huge, and it seemed that we had several miles of beach to ourselves. One of the highlights was…

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10 Things Teens Won’t Tell You (Part 1)

Have you noticed that teens are tight lipped? For a myriad of reasons—usually intimidation being the biggest—they really find it difficult to talk to adults at times. This is especially true with parents. In every home, there is a spiritual battle against authentic communication. Let’s face it—the devil doesn’t want parents and teens to truly…

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A New Report on Spanking

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported on a recent study that validated (not that it needed to be) the biblical model of child-rearing—spankings combined with balanced love, forgiveness, and nurture. The study showed that kids who were spanked actually did better in many areas of life, including academically, than those who were not spanked….

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New Data about Kids and Media

Several days ago the LA Times reported on a Kaiser Family Foundation study that showed kids are now averaging 53 hours per week in digital media, including TV, video games, cell phone, computer, etc. This does not include when kids are multitasking—perhaps using their phone and watching TV at the same time. When factoring those…

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Making Marriage a Priority

A month ago, Dana and I crossed our 20-year anniversary together. With the busyness of the Christmas season, we waited until this past week to get some time away. The Lord allowed us to spend five days on the central California coast (an area we haven’t visited much in the last decade). I had forgotten…

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My Day With Haylee

Note to Readers: Indulge me—if you’re not up for a syrupy “daddy story”—feel free to move on to something more interesting. I wouldn’t blame you. 🙂 Last Thursday I was privileged to spend the whole day with Haylee. Just for fun, I thought I’d share the memory. We call these days “Girls’ Day Out with…

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Survey for Reality-Parenting

Several weeks ago I shared a post called “Reality Parenting—Making the Grade.” This post is a follow-up. A primary goal of every parent should be to model a right relationship with the Heavenly Father, and ultimately to see our children embrace that same relationship. Seeing a father or mother live in love with the Lord—happily…

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Making the Busiest Time of Year the Best!

No doubt, this is the best time of the year! And in many ways, it’s also the busiest. There’s a simple, effective way to make the Christmas season balanced and Christ-honoring. On this first day of December I challenge you to do the following exercise. It will spare you a lot of frustration in the…

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7 Big Parenting Mistakes

Here’s a short list of mistakes that all parents can make when it comes to seeing, understanding, and biblically responding to the spiritual growing pains of life. (This is as much to myself as to others.) Stop and think about it—and pray for godly wisdom in responding to the issues of your children’s hearts with…

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