Pam sent us this adorable story about her son:
One communion Sunday my 3 boys were getting restless as they waited to be dismissed to their Sunday School. Eventually, one of the rascally 4-year old twins decided to take matters into his own hands. He angrily looked up at us with his arms crossed over his chest and exclaimed: “God said, let my people go!” Thankfully the rest of the congregation was singing a hymn but his dad and I had a good chuckle over that. I suppose he did retain something from family devotions.
We’ll see you all next week!
Nicole for the girltalkers
Lindsay wrote in with a question:
I have an 8-year-old son who LOVES computer and video games (pretty much anything audio-visual). He’s very young and we have very strict guidelines on what and how much he takes part in these things. But I feel like I am battling for my son’s heart in this matter. I (and my husband) am looking for some encouragement and guidance in how to turn his HEART from loving and longing for worldly things, to loving and longing for the Lord.
Many parents of young (and not-so-young!) children are confronted with the challenge of “shepherding a child’s heart” when it comes to video games.
As it happens, my dad answered a similar question awhile back, and my brother, Chad, posted his answer on the Sovereign Grace blog last week.
When it comes to idolatry of video games, Dad explains, you want to combine guidelines and restrictions with purposeful study of Scripture and a heart softened by your own sinful tendencies:
I want to try to introduce my son to a study that isn’t correction specific to an occasion. I want to study the heart, I want to study anger, I want to study idolatry, unrelated to an occasion where I am bringing discipline, so that the study hopefully can have the most effect. I want to engage in a study from Scripture. I want to choose age-appropriate material. I want to choose appropriate passages.
And then my study with my son is supplemented by stories from my life, because I do the same thing. I don’t cry anymore like a child but I know how to cry in adult ways. I want my child to know that no matter what the category, I can identify…
By humbling myself, I hope I make it easier for him to receive from me, so that when I say “Listen,” it’s not “Listen to your self-righteous father who is angry at you because he doesn’t understand why it requires this kind of attention to help you to see how stupid a video game is.”
It is too easy for me to view my son’s form of idolatry as childish, but in essence, at root, there is no difference between our idolatries. His expression is consistent with a 12 year old, mine is consistent with a 56 year old, but in essence it’s no different. Therefore I must make sure my heart is softened by my own sinful tendencies.
Children are the hardest subjects to capture with your camera. They don’t typically sit still (at least mine don’t—please write me with instructions if yours do) and they normally don’t smile on command.
But for most of you, children are probably your primary subject! So here are a few pointers for taking pics of kids:
To begin with, don’t ask them to say “cheese” (or any of those other annoying little words) In fact, I wouldn’t recommend asking kids to sit still or stop wiggling. This almost always results in an unnatural looking shot or, in my case, kids having a bad attitude.
Kiddos are the most photogenic when they are simply enjoying themselves. So rethink your tactics for taking their picture. Interact with them as you are shooting. Ask them questions that will make them laugh or smile. Have them play games or look at something that will capture their attention.
A photographer friend of mine took pictures for our little fam last year. Caly was three and MJ was not even one—tough ages for shooting. But she was fabulous! She had these little toy people (or maybe they were animals) that she would stick on her head. The kids loved looking at them and watching them fall off. She would snap away as they were completely engaged with the toy. Brilliant!
If I really want a child to look at the camera, I ask them to see if they can see my eye through the lens. This recent image of Tori (after some ice cream!) was taken while she was trying very hard to find Auntie Na-Na’s eye. They won’t be able to find it so you can usually get a few shots in before they give up.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. But try and think of ways to get your children (or others you are shooting) to enjoy an activity and forget about the camera and then start your picture-taking. Your images will improve, I promise. And you will never ask anyone to say “cheese” again.
The latest 9Marks e-journal is entitled “Pastoring Women: Understanding and Honoring Distinctiness.” If your pastor doesn’t already know about this resource, send him the link! But we hope every woman will read this issue, and two articles in particular. First up is Susan Hunt, who once again casts the Titus 2 vision for women training women in biblical womanhood. Her article, “Wanted: More Women Discipling Younger Women” opens with this compelling illustration:
“I had spoken on the topic of biblical womanhood and a college-age woman asked me a thoughtful question: How can I think biblically about my womanhood when I am constantly told that independence is power and that I should seek my own fulfillment and determine my own destiny? My answer: “Go to godly women in your church and ask them to speak the truth of biblical womanhood into your life. Ask them to show you how to live for God’s glory as a woman.” And moms with young kids, you won’t want to miss Jani Ortlund’s article “For the Young Mother: Ministry, Guilt, and Seasons of Life.” Right from the outset, Mrs. Ortlund identifies with the unique challenges facing young moms, and she goes on to offer wise counsel and biblical encouragement. We hope every young mom will take these words to heart:
“Ministry means being “all there.” It means rejoicing that you get to show your children how to peddle a tricycle, make their bed, build good memories, and share their toys with others. You serve your family, and ultimately your heavenly Father, by helping your child do that puzzle for the seventeenth time, by washing those sticky fingers, by planting a little garden, by acting out Bible stories and praying together, and by preparing for their daddy’s return as the highlight of your day!” Thanks to the folks at 9Marks for serving us with this oustanding journal!
I had the privilege of meeting Sono Harris many years ago when she stayed in my home during a women’s conference at our church. I enjoyed getting to know this godly woman. She was vibrant, witty, quick to smile.
After the conference was over, I fell on the couch, exhausted from leading such a large event. This kind woman—a guest in my home, no less—offered to give me a foot massage. I remember how humbling it was to let her serve me like this, to, in effect, wash my feet.
Sono was a servant. She followed in the footsteps of her Savior. She poured her life into her family, and the church is richer, stronger because of her.
Now she is with Jesus. Our prayers are with the Harris family today. May the God of all comfort fill your hearts with His love, peace, and resurrection hope.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15