Monthly Archives: July 2013


Preparing Children with the Art of Conversation

conversationThe skilled art of conversation is rare in today's culture. Families stare blankly into flickering screens. Teens and toddlers grunt. Spouses “download” information to each other before falling asleep. Yet relationships are, most would agree, what life is about, and conversation is a primary relationship-building tool. Skilled conversation reaches above the day's business and banalities to reveal and nurture matters of the heart. When your child masters the art of conversation, he becomes an effective ambassador for you and for God.

The Rise of Incivility

How do children learn conversation skills? Now, be honest. If, like most children, yours learn conversation skills from peers and siblings, parents and extended family, is it likely your child will become an outstanding conversationalist? To those who can answer, “Yes,” we offer our admiration. For the rest of us, developing a child's conversation skills requires training.

Have you listened to the rant on talk radio or the brutal verbal exchanges on TV when partisans discuss hot topics? Do we want children emulating that combative style in day-to-day conversation or projecting an “all-seeing, all-knowing” attitude? (more…)

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by BlogManager12
July 22, 2013
History
 

When a Nation Forgets God

A Radio Interview with Erwin Lutzer

The Colors Emerge

Kevin Swanson: We are going to be looking at the pattern of Nazi Germany today on this edition of the Generations Radio broadcast, because there are some similarities between the rise of the Third Reich and what is going on in our country today. To talk about this very important subject I have Erwin Lutzer on the line with me. He is the author of many wonderful books including a new book called, When a Nation Forgets God: Seven Lessons We Must Learn from Nazi Germany. He has been Senior Pastor of The Moody Church since 1980. Erwin Lutzer, welcome to the Generations broadcast.

Erwin Lutzer: I’m so glad to be with you today, Kevin.

Kevin Swanson: It’s good to have you with us. And you are coming to Denver, Colorado for our Christian Home Educators of Colorado Conference in June of 2013. Folks can schedule that into their calendars right now. We are looking forward to you coming out to Denver.

Erwin Lutzer: Well I’m looking forward to it too.

Kevin Swanson: You compare America to 1920s and 1930s Germany. Are there clear comparisons?

Erwin Lutzer: Oh yes, there are. I point out in my book that it would be very dangerous for us to make the parallels too strict because America isn’t Nazi Germany. But what I talk about in my book are cultural streams. That is to say, cultural streams that formed the “Nazi river.” For example, when God is separated from government, there is judgement. What Hitler tried to do is to scrub the state clean of any Christian influence. He never discouraged people from going to church. He couldn’t have cared less if they went to church, just as long as it didn’t mean anything.

Kevin Swanson: As long as it didn’t affect the culture. It seems like that’s happening here too.

Erwin Lutzer: And then of course he had certain rules. One of our heroes is Niemoller. Niemoller was tried for “abuse of pulpit.” That was the charge against him. Abuse of pulpit is something like hate-speech laws today. Niemoller was accused of saying things in the pulpit that were contrary to the Reich, and you weren’t supposed to do that. And today you can see that; you can see the alienation of the Christian worldview. Now, I’m from the city of Chicago, and I think of our own mayor who made the statement that Chick-fil-A was not welcome in the city because the [restaurant’s] owner made a statement that he was in favor of traditional marriage. What our mayor said was that these are not Chicago values. Can you even imagine that? What’s next? Christian bookstores sell books that are opposed to same-sex marriage. So you can see that we are in a period of transition where Christianity is being marginalized and pushed into a private life-style within the walls of the church, which is another way to say, into irrelevancy.

Kevin Swanson: What was the moral condition of Germany in the 1920s just prior to the Nazis taking over? Does that have any bearing on this?

Erwin Lutzer: I’ll tell you what the real moral condition was: namely, there was a tremendous amount of anger because World War I ended and Germany had signed the Treaty of Versailles, and so what you had then was the collapse of the economy. There’s no way that Hitler could have risen to power apart from an economy that had gone to seed and where you had this rampant inflation. When people are starving, when they’re lining up in soup lines in the cities, they are willing to follow anybody who has a plan, who is a good leader, who uses propaganda well. Hitler was able to do mighty miracles in stimulating the German economy. I remember a German who told me that there was such a sense of euphoria regarding Hitler that people were willing to override their conscience. And those who stood against it lost their lives.

Kevin Swanson: It sounds to me like people started seeing the state as the savior and Adolf Hitler as the messiah, as though he would step in and save them from the economic turmoil and trials of the day.

Erwin Lutzer: And you know, at first it appeared as if he had. In other words, he stimulated the economy. People were willing to work fifteen and twenty hours a day for the sake of the state. In fact, in my book I have a quote from a pastor who said, “Let us no longer speak about the miracles of Jesus in the New Testament, let us speak of the miracles of a revived Germany.” There was such nationalism in Germany, such a commitment to the state. And unfortunately they followed the state right over the cliff.

Kevin Swanson: Do you think Americans today look to the state as their savior as those at the time of the Nazis did?

Erwin Lutzer: Well, I wouldn’t put it in the same category, but the answer is yes because what you have is more and more reliance upon government funding. Dependence upon the state is very important in America and of growing importance. And so what you have is a society where the government begins to limit freedom because the government does all of these things for you.

Kevin Swanson: In your book you talk about two kinds of churches in Germany at that time: the liberal churches and the pietistic churches. You find problems with both of them.

Erwin Lutzer: The liberal churches had given up the gospel, and they were so nationalistic that they actually began to promote Hitler. The pietists were very interesting. They held on to the gospel and they wanted to have warm hearts of obedience to Christ—which they did—and they are to be commended. But they also believed that the church should not get involved in all of these political issues. So in my book I tell the story, which is true, of a train that ran close to one of these pietistic churches. They knew when the train was coming, so they made sure that they were singing songs when the train rumbled by so as to not think about it, because they knew those trains were filled with Jews on their way to a concentration camp. Now here’s the point: we can be very critical of them, but what would we have done? We think that the church failed and we would have done something different. I don’t think we would have. We have also become paralyzed in our churches.

Kevin Swanson: I guess we should take opportunities to intervene, whether that be from the pulpit or through politics, when we have those opportunities. Can you think of ways that Christians might act right now while they yet have the opportunity?

Erwin Lutzer: I think first in the area of education. We need to find out what’s going on here. We need to instruct our children and combat the indoctrination that is happening in the schools. And then let’s not forget the power of the gospel. We have to remember we have a very precious treasure, the fact that Jesus died for us as sinners. We need to give that message of hope, forgiveness, cleansing, and deliverance to a nation that is confused and has lost its way. And I think we have an obligation to instruct our people both biblically as to what the Bible says and, wherever possible, to prescribe a course of action. I don’t think that’s contrary to the gospel, I think it’s living out the gospel.

Kevin Swanson: Well, ladies and gentlemen, I recommend the book to you, When a Nation Forgets God, by Erwin Lutzer. Thank you so much, Erwin Lutzer, for joining us on Generations. We appreciate you.

Erwin Lutzer: Thank you and God bless you.


 

Kevin Swanson

Homeschooled himself in the 1960′s and 70′s, Kevin Swanson and his wife, Brenda, are now homeschooling their five children. Kevin has 35 years of experience in the homeschooling movement and serves as the Director of Generations with Vision – a ministry he founded to strengthen homeschool families around the country. As a father who wants to leave a godly heritage for his own five children, Kevin’s passion is to strengthen and encourage the homeschooling movement all over the world, and to cast a vision for generations to come.

For the complete version of this interview go to GenerationsRadio.com. Generations Radio is a daily radio broadcast covering many everyday issues from the perspective of a biblical worldview and within the framework of a relational model of living: worldview and relationships. This article originally appeared in Generations Magazine, © 2012 by Generations with Vision. Generations with Vision is a registered DBA of Christian Home Educators of Colorado. This publication is free to any who request it. Donations are gladly accepted. To add or remove your name from this mailing list, please do so by emailing mail@generationswithvision.com. Generations is published by Generations with Vision. P.O. Box 1398, Elizabeth, CO80107-1398. Volume 3. Used by permission of Kevin Swanson.

“Army Photography Contest - 2007 - FMWRC - Arts and Crafts - The Colors Emerge," © 2007 SPC Aristide Lavey. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/.

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Make Your Own Rockets!

rocket

In this article, we’re going to learn how to build a simple “matchstick rocket” right at home!

If you already know how rockets work, you can skip the next two paragraphs and get right to the project. Otherwise, read on to learn the basic principles behind the rockets we’ll build.

To begin with, a rocket is a craft powered by thrust generated by the expulsion of matter. A rocket differs from a propeller-driven airplane in that it is powered, not by a propeller pulling it through the air, but by the ejection of spent fuel. It is also different than an object launched from a catapult. Whereas a catapult sends an object flying by means of a single impetus, a rocket achieves flight by constant thrust.

Normally, rockets burn some sort of fuel in order to generate the necessary thrust. Solid fuels were normally used until Dr. Robert Goddard and Dr. Wernher von Braun popularized using liquid fuels. Today, most model rockets still use solid fuel, which is what our rocket experiment will use.

And now, on to the project! (more…)

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Webinar Recording: 4 Steps to a Life-changing Mentorship

CHOA Monday Morning (1)

Have you ever wondered if college will fully prepare your children for the next stage of life? Will it actually equip them to pursue their God-given calling? And with the skyrocketing costs, will it really pay off in the long run like you hoped it would?

Perhaps you've heard of mentorship - but you're not really sure how it works, or even "what it's good for." But, you're pretty sure your 16 year-old son isn't going to initiate a mentoring relationship on his own. So what do you do?

Listen to this exciting interview with Steve Riddell, COO of Blinds.com, the world’s largest online custom blinds retailer, and Daniel Craig as they discuss practical steps to a successful mentorship in light of their 3-year mentoring relationship. (Note: Mentorship is the method Jesus used to train 11 men who changed the world...so it's a concept worth considering!)

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Family-Based Economies: The Time for Reform is Now

If the following article by Kevin Swanson inspires you to take economics back to the family, then make sure you register for the Family Economics and Mentorship Conference! You'll be challenged by Kevin Swanson and many others to think biblically about Biblical economics!

 

The family has disintegrated in the 21st century. This is the inescapable conclusion of many of today’s social indicators. With 41% of children born into homes without fathers, half of marriages ending in divorce, and the shack-up rate seven times what it was in 1970, the nuclear family now makes up less than half of American households. Most of us are past the denial stage on this point.

This said, Americans on the whole are apathetic toward the crisis. Some say the family is irrelevant to society anyway, while others suggest that an occasional family game night will solve the problem. Few are really taking this social trend seriously.

Today, most twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings see no need for the nuclear family. We all know these people. They are our neighbors, our extended family members, and people who attend church with us.

Each generation is successively worse than the previous, and the problem is getting harder to ignore. In 1960, 70% of young men showed maturity by age 30, while, today, the opposite is true: 70% of young men are not “grown up” by 30 years of age. Today, 70% of children will not grow up with their mothers and fathers at home, and the trend is only growing more bleak. In twenty years, there will be very few young men who are grown up enough to provide for their wives and children. (more…)

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by BlogManager12
July 1, 2013
History, Resources
 

The Man of His Day

4 of JulyAre your children passionate about history?  Passionate about discovering the unknown patriots to whom we owe our very lives?  This Independence Day, read on to discover one unknown patriot who just might inspire some passion for history you never knew you or your children possessed!

I'm passionate about the unknown--for the possibilites behind it intrigue and excite me. The possibility of finding the book in the ceiling-high shelves of dusty paperbacks. The possibility of meeting a kindred spirit in a room full of strangers. The possibility of discovering someone—my own private hero—whom history has forgotten and libraries ignore--someone you have never heard of and only Google seems to remember anymore.

Sadly, the selective memory of history makes for so many more unknowns than there should be. Everyone can rhyme “1492” with “ocean blue” in their sleep, and Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and Daniel Webster deserve every bit of respect and fame and paragraphs in history books that they receive. But what about the others? What about the ones you have to read between the lines of the books to discover? What about the passionate patriots who died in the Boston Massacre, and what of the women who were forced to house British soldiers against their will? And what of the man—described as attractive, tall, handsome, elegant, with piercing dark eyes—who is my private hero? (more…)

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