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Maybe this phrase rings a bell. It was the tag line of a long running program called “The Wide World of Sports.” And it is still referenced today to describe what happens in all sorts of life events.
Having a winner and others who do not win is part of life. And it is a difficult lesson for young people to learn.
The Harvard Grant Study is the longest longitudinal study in history. It was a study of 268 mentally healthy college sophomores at Harvard, between 1939-1944. It was done alongside the Glueck Study (1940-1945) of 456 disadvantaged youths in Boston. The studies tracked the lives of these students over the decades and continues to this day, although few are still alive. The goal was to discover patterns for what fostered
Sometimes we get the order of things mixed up.
Recently someone contended to me that if Adam and Eve had not sinned, then they would have never had children. This seemed to imply that children were a punishment for sinful behavior. While it may seem like that some mornings before school, that would not be accurate.
The fact is that God’s command to Adam and Eve to be “fruitful and multiply” was part of God’s perfect plan before a serpent and piece of fruit contributed to messing things up.
After student-led advent services and SPLS school musical performances, one comment from observers is very common. People are amazed at children who are so confident in front of a large group of people. They sing with confidence. They speak with confidence. They act with confidence.
Where does this confidence come from? In most cases, we just expect children to do hard things like speaking in front of people. It is really not treated as a big deal. It is just what we do at SPLS.
Second, I think we give kids the opportunity early and often. Kids lead chapel worship. Kids present plays in class. Kids sing and play solos in music class. Kids read aloud to peers, to younger students, and even to therapy dogs! They lead prayers and present classroom devotions.
Have you ever wondered, “Oh, great. What do I do with this kid now?”
A dad shared his story. His simple rule about driving was: “Feel free to drive as long as it doesn’t cause a problem for anyone on the planet.”
His son, Justin, missed curfew.
That is the inside joke about the 2017-2018 school year. And it has nothing to do with catchy tunes, baggy pants, or dance moves.
It does have to do with a lowly German monk nailing (Get it? Nailing? Hammer time?) some questions and concerns to the door of the church in Wittenberg. I guess the bulletin board was full.
It happened in 1517. Yes, that was five hundred years ago. Kind of a big anniversary.
What those questions started changed the face of the Christian faith and Western civilization. And it still changes things for people seeking the truth about God, about the work of His Son Jesus Christ, and about the Holy Spirit. It still changes things for those simply seeking a way to be right with God while they are fully aware of their personal shortcomings.
Kids coming in through the middle school gate probably cringe on Monday mornings. They know I might ask them what they did on the weekend. As you might imagine, they often shrug and say “nothing.” That’s a common middle school response. I will then mime the actions of someone using a video game controller. More often than not they sheepishly nod, confirming what I suspected.
Seeing that pattern, the following article, from leadership development expert Time Elmore, struck home. (And, of course, I am glad he was not talking about school as a prison.)
And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit. Joel 2
Do you see it? Do you see it in your child? Do you see evidence of faith in Jesus? Do you see awe in their eyes as they consider their powerful God?
Do you hear it? Do you hear it from your child? Do you hear them speak of God’s great love? Do you hear them speak truths from the scriptures?
A fictional being with superpowers? An athlete, musician or actress? Maybe a grandpa, or aunt or even you?
That is all great.
Do they have the chance to hear about ordinary, everyday people who make a difference? Regular Joes and Janes who impact people’s lives by their words, their actions, or their love?
A longtime St. Paul Lutheran Church member passed away this week. But he was no Easter, Christmas, wedding, and funeral member. He was faithful and committed and involved. Numerous folks have told me that this man was the very first to greet them when they visited St. Paul Lutheran for the first time. Others recall his genuine care for them, or his generosity, or his sense of humor, or his deep love for the Lord and the Lord’s work. They would recall his joy in life, his pride in his family, his deep love and respect for his dear wife. Others would report on his leadership in the congregation, in the community and in our Florida-Georgia District.