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Fox News Op-Ed: What the First Thanksgiving Can Teach a Divided America

Fox News Op-Ed: What the First Thanksgiving Can Teach a Divided America

AS PUBLISHED IN FOX NEWS, NOVEMBER 18, 2017: In November 1621, the American holiday we now know as Thanksgiving began with an unprecedented cornucopia of food and fellowship marked by genuine . . . thanksgiving. And for good reason.

About 102 Pilgrims had endured a 66-day voyage from England across the Atlantic to Massachusetts aboard the Mayflower the year before. They were guided by a God-given appetite for unhindered religious freedom.

Roughly half the Pilgrims had died of disease and malnutrition by the time the survivors sat down for the meal to give thanksgiving with Native Americans. The gathering was more than unlikely. It was a genuine miracle – a miracle that Americans would benefit to remember on Thanksgiving this year and beyond.

America’s current course – marked by division, hatred and selfishness – is completely out of alignment with the brick and mortar set by the Pilgrims and Native Americans. Today we need a modern miracle – a miracle that requires the seemingly contradictory component of human intentionality.

CLICK HERE TO READ IT ON FOX NEWS

The Native Americans and Pilgrims had their share of huge challenges to overcome. But overcome them they did – setting an example for Americans today.

If these two groups were able to sit down together at a table – despite differences in language, culture, beliefs, appearance and even basic tastes in food – then we can certainly do the same today with friends and family, and with those who may have different beliefs than we do.

The unlikely unity between the Native Americans and the Pilgrims seems sadly bizarre to so many of us today. But if we are willing, there are lessons here for us.

The quest for freedom and fellowship is part of human DNA. A re-embracing of this truth with a commitment to celebrating it could be the very thing that truly makes America stronger together and great.

This Thanksgiving, we have a chance to resurrect the spirit of the first celebration, not just during the meal, but far beyond. The meal can be the symbolic launching pad for a perpetual repeat of the miracle that took place almost 400 years ago.

What if we did more on this Thanksgiving than merely thank God for the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberries? What if we made this Thanksgiving a national reset and returned to the spirit of the first feast?

What if we each looked for ways to get America back on track, to restore her to her long-lost luster that emulated thankfulness, generosity and diversity? Why, we’d have the kind of America that each of us, deep down, truly longs for. In the end, it’s also the only America that really works.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick,” says Proverbs 13:12. Regardless of your belief in the Bible, a soul would be hard-pressed to prove that our nation is whole and healthy. The hope for American unity, which is deferred at this juncture, has indeed weakened our national heart.

Each of us longs for the miraculous in the everyday grind of life. It’s time to bring the miraculous back as America’s new normal. If that seems puzzling, think more deeply and the fog will lift.

This Thanksgiving is our chance. It’s America’s chance to rediscover that strength is possible through diversity – if we each come to the table with a trait that seems so foreign to America these days, but is far from impossible to muster.

This was the trait that brought people of different ethnicities and backgrounds together for an unforgettable meal that did far more than fill bellies. It forged the fabric that became America.

The trait is humility, and it’s what brings people together. It’s the essential ingredient that makes unity possible. If you don’t believe this, you just may be among the many who think Thanksgiving is simply about eating until we have to unbuckle our belts. 

What can you do to make the spirit of Thanksgiving a growing trait of your life every day of the year? You can start by considering this coming Thanksgiving as the re-launch of you. You can begin to look for common ground between you and others, rather than the differences

Look for things you can compliment rather than criticize. Recognize that there is a God-given reason why each of us has two ears and one mouth – to listen, at a heart level, twice as much as we speak.

Will listening make our differences go away? Of course not – but you just may find that all of life will begin to be more harmonious and enjoyable.

An attitude of gratitude, and some humility, goes a long, long way to making all of life much, much better. If you begin to incorporate these simple things into your life, this Thanksgiving will be the start of the miracle you’ve been searching for.

Red, yellow, black, brown and white, we are all precious in God’s sight. This Thanksgiving is a chance for each of us to be part of a fresh miracle – one that our nation needs, big time, and which each of us can fire up the spark. We really can sit down at a table, together – this Thanksgiving and beyond – if only we are humble enough to do so.

Michael Anthony, CourageMatters.comABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I publish my blogs here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy, chime in.

My first book, to be published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March 13, 2018. If you want to learn more about me, just click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or click here to explore the potential of having me speak to your group.

If you like solid Bible teaching, and want to enjoy God fully, you’ll appreciate Godfactor.com, where you can download my Bible teaching and more. If you’re near York, Pa, come visit us on a Sunday at GraceYork.com — and be sure to introduce yourself.

Leadership Lessons: Why You MUST Address Your Weakest Link

Leadership Lessons: Why You MUST Address Your Weakest Link

If you’ve been on a team, whether at work or in a service organization like a church, you’ve seen it. And if your leaders don’t address it, you’re going to continue to see it. I’d like to help you consider why you must address your team’s weakest link. If you don’t, the weakest link will address your team.

When a team is first assembled, and the tasks initially discussed, people are excited and there is lots of positive energy eminating from nearly everyone. Unity seems evident as you discuss goals and the advancement of the company/church vision. But as time passes, it becomes clear that one or more team members aren’t giving it their all — and the entire team begins to suffer. The organization’s goals may be met — but at a significantly slower pace and with much less positive impact than they would have otherwise. The company/church vision will suffer (it may even end up being something that is only written on paper and discussed in meetings, not fulfilled). 

ARE YOU ALLOWING ONE PERSON ON YOUR TEAM TO WEAKEN EVERYTHING?

All of this can be for no other reason than one or two members of a team not giving their all. What’s a leader to do? Your decision will determine the success of the team — and if your team fails, your organization will suffer. 

NON PROFIT NONSENSE
Before we move on, let me say this about church leadership and teams before I type another period: There is this unwritten assumption that churches and other non-profit organizations should accept lower standards than for-profit organizations because so much of what they do depends upon volunteers. People who aren’t paid, it’s thought, can’t possibly be as motivated as those who get a paycheck for their efforts. In reality, the exact opposite should be considered: until someone, whether a volunteer or employee, is motivated by more than mere money, they haven’t begun to give their very best.

Is mere money your greatest motivation? Do you, and the people on your team, understand that work is actually worship?

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Money cannot rightly be our highest motivation for anything because it is temporal. Utlimately, what we do is an act of worship that reflects our attitude toward God — for better or worse. What’s your worship looking like these days? Do the people on your team(s) know that they aren’t merely working, but worshipping? It simply comes down to the quality and passion of our worship. If that’s addressed, the work will take care of itself.

What is your work ethic telling others about your attitude toward God? Is he worthy of your best? Does he motivate you, and if so, to what extent? Are you merely working for money, or is honoring God in all you do the bedrock of whatever you set out to achieve? Do the people on your team understand that work is, ultimately, worship?

TIME TO TAKE ACTION
What’s a leader to do? What are team players to do? Here are a few things to ponder and implement so that your team(s) thrive:

IS MERE MONEY YOUR GREATEST MOTIVATION ON HOW YOU WORK? IF SO, YOU’RE MISSING THE POINT.

1. Exchange a work mentality for a worship mentality. If money is your greatest motivation, you haven’t begun to reach your greatest potential. If you’re the leader, help the people on your team(s) understand this. It should inspire them. But don’t think that giving them a rousing pep talk once will solve the motivation issue. This is something you’ll have to revisit with them again and again and again. Focus on grasping this yourself, often, first. Then, teach it to your team(s). 

2. Help those who are not giving their all, but are capable of doing better, realize that they are holding everyone else back. It’s outright wrong for someone who can do better

DO ALL YOU CAN TO INSPIRE PEOPLE TO GIVE THEIR ALL. THE SUCCESS OF YOUR TEAM AND ORGANIZATION DEPENDS ON EVERY INDIVIDUAL SUCCEEDING.

to be allowed to function at a sub-par level when their performance is hindering everyone else. God has called you to make the most of your life — the only life you’ll get this side of eternity. We need to help people who don’t understand that laziness and sub-par performance is not just a personal issue for them. It’s an issue that affects the ability of others to reach their God-given potential.

 

One day, we’re all going to give an account of ourselves before God — but have you ever stopped to think that the failure to give God your best could actually be hindering others from reaching their greatest potential for God? (I feel convicted even writing that, but it’s true and it’s motivating).

You and your people need to understand that the person who isn’t giving their all is hindering the strength, productivity, positivity and success of everyone else on the team and organization. Allowing that to continue is nothing other than irresponsible, poor leadership.

ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM? JUST BECAUSE OTHERS WON’T SAY SOMETHING DOESN’T MEAN THEY DON’T SEE IT. IT’S THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE LEADER TO ADDRESS THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.

3. Stop pretending other people on the team (and in the organization) don’t see the weakest link. In truth, they often do, but won’t always say so. If you’re a leader, one of your responsibilities is to address the elephant in the room that everyone sees but won’t acknowledge. When a leader is mum about a team member’s poor performance, he or she invites and nurtures team and organizational dysfunction. You’re allowing your team or organization to be undermined from the inside out.

The failure of a leader to address poor performance ends up sending the message, “It’s alright. What we do isn’t really important after all. That talk about giving our best? Well, we didn’t really mean it. Our vision? It’s not as vital as we’ve all been kidding ourselves.” It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But leadership that settled for mediocrity (or worse) is leadership that invites and nurtures missed potential as a matter of habit.

Get your head out of your bucket. Address poor performance in team members so they rise to their greatest potential. When they rise, the whole team will move forward. If they don’t, the whole team will suffer.

ARE YOU LEADING AS YOU SHOULD? HAVE YOU BECOME THE WEAKEST LINK ON YOUR TEAM, HOLDING BACK YOUR COMPANY, CHURCH OR GROUP? WHAT CAN YOU DO TO GIVE YOUR ALL SO THAT YOU AND YOUR TEAM(S) SUCCEED?

Lost your motivation to give your all? Consider Colossians 3:17 (NIV): “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Michael Anthony, CourageMatters.comABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I publish my blogs here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy, chime in.

My first book, to be published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March 13, 2018. If you want to learn more about me, just click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or click here to explore the potential of having me speak to your group.

If you like solid Bible teaching, and want to enjoy God fully, you’ll appreciate Godfactor.com, where you can download my Bible teaching and more. If you’re near York, Pa, come visit us on a Sunday at GraceYork.com — and be sure to introduce yourself.

How To Get & Keep More Friends: Give Up Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

How To Get & Keep More Friends: Give Up Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

We all want real friends and lasting friendships. But how do we get them? One of the most popular Bible verses dealing with a universal truth about relationships is also one that is most often misapplied — and the misapplication drives me nuts. Luke 6:38 is the verse popularized by preachers when petitioning parishioners for money — but when Jesus spoke those words he had relationships, not money, in mind:

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (NIV).

How we treat people is akin to tossing a boomerang, so be careful how you toss. Whatever you do will come back to you. We have Jesus’ word on it.

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Michael Anthony's Courage Matters Blog

RELATIONSHIP BOOMERANG: How we treat others is like a boomerang — so be mindful of how you “throw.”

With the growth of social media, our already innate desire to be liked can morph into becoming imbalanced and unhealthy. We are continually tempted to do and say things merely for the sake of getting attention — but getting attention is not the same as gaining friends and developing friendships.

Couple what’s taking place on social media with the constant bombardment to buy products that promise to make us look, feel and smell more attractive to others, and we are in a perfect environment where almost all we do is think about me, myself and I. We live in a gimme, gimme, gimme culture. If you buy into that approach, you’re going to be a very lonely person.

Give up the gimme, gimme, gimme approach to friendship and you’ll find that you will begin to attract and keep more and more genuine friends. Think about the other person, their likes and interests, and try to find common ground within.

In a day and age of selfish ambition, your selflessness will be incredibly attractive to others. Try out Jesus’ words for yourself. After all, he’s never been wrong about a single thing . . .

HOW MIGHT THINKING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE TRANSFORM EVERY ONE OF YOUR RELATIONSHIPS FOR THE BEST? HAVE YOU MADE THE MISTAKE OF THINKING FRIENDSHIPS CAN BE BUILT PRIMARILY UPON GETTING YOUR NEEDS MET?

 

Michael Anthony, CourageMatters.comABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I publish my blogs here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy, chime in.

My first book, to be published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March 13, 2018. If you want to learn more about me, just click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or click here to explore the potential of having me speak to your group.

If you like solid Bible teaching, and want to enjoy God fully, you’ll appreciate Godfactor.com, where you can download my Bible teaching and more. If you’re near York, Pa, come visit us on a Sunday at GraceYork.com — and be sure to introduce yourself.

Suicide By Smartphone: Is Using Your Smartphone Making Your Child Stupid?

Suicide By Smartphone: Is Using Your Smartphone Making Your Child Stupid?

Now that I have your attention . . .

If you’ve given your child — or teenager — a smartphone or tablet without constant, close supervision, you could be asking for trouble. Big trouble. Yet another study was just released, disclosing the harmful effects of giving regular smart device access to a child or teen. In some ways, you might as well give them a loaded gun, without teaching them how to handle it. Is using your smartphone making your child — or teenager — stupid?

I’m not using the word “stupid” in a derogatory way. I mean it in the classic sense that you could be diminishing your child’s ability to reach his or her greatest social, emotional and spiritual potential — or worse — without realizing it. It’s time to really, really think about this before it’s too late, and make adjustments so you are using your smart devices wisely.

BLESS YOUR FRIENDS BY THEM SHARING THIS
ON FACEBOOK, BY EMAIL OR TEXT.

Research is emerging, again, to suggest that children who use a smart device often, without constant, direct adult supervision, will suffer in many, many ways. Is your lax attitude toward a smart device hurting your child? It could be — and you are responsible to stop the nonsense — now.

 

“Between 2010 and 2016, the number of adolescents who experienced at least one major depressive episode leapt by 60%, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 2016 survey of 17,000 kids found that about 13% of them had a major depressive episode, compared to 8% of the kids surveyed in 2010. Suicide deaths among people age 10 to 19 have also risen sharply, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Young women are suffering most; a CDC report released earlier this year showed suicide among teen girls has reached 40-year highs. All this followed a period during the late-1990s and early 2000s when rates of adolescent depression and suicide mostly held steady or declined.”

‘These increases are huge—possibly unprecedented,’ says Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University and author of iGen, which examines how today’s super-connected teens may be less happy and less prepared for adulthood than past generations. In a peer-reviewed study that will appear later this year in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, Twenge shows that, after 2010, teens who spent more time on new media were more likely to report mental health issues than those who spent time on non-screen activities.” — TIME HEALTH

UNINTENTIONAL DESTRUCTION:
DON’T DUMB DOWN YOUR CHILD

Your smart phone is not a baby sitting device or a good role model. As a pastor, I see so many parents who hand their child a smart phone when interacting with others, as a means of enabling the parent to interact with another person. STOP IT! My pastor friends and I counsel parents and guardians all the time, and have to comfort them and their children for the consequences of using smart technology foolishly.

Suicide by Smartphone - Michael Anthony's Courage Matters Blog

HOW YOU USE A SMART PHONE OR TABLET WITH YOUR CHILD, TODAY, COULD SET THEM UP FOR A LIFETIME OF FAILURE. NOW IS THE TIME TO BE SMART ABOUT SMART TECHNOLOGY.

Your child or teenager should not have unmonitored used of a smart phone or tablet, especially if it has internet access. If you allow this, you are . . .  stupid. There, I said it. To be clear, I mean “stupid” with all due respect, in the sense that the way you are dispensing a smart device to your child could very well be hindering his or her best chances of being emotionally, spiritually and socially healthy.

I’d rather be the brunt of your angst for a moment, by speaking frankly, than say nothing and have you learn the hard way and suffer long-term consequences. I can tell you from the people we pastors are counseling: there will be hell to pay if you are unwise in how you use smart devices with your child or teen. It’s time to wise up — starting right now. Don’t let another day pass without making changes!

 

A smart device is no substitute for real human interaction, a book, or a game played without an electronic device. In fact, it may be far worse. You may be using your smartphone or tablet in ways that will negatively, permanently, damage the most precious gift ever given you: your child.

If you’ve given your teenager a smart phone, and think they know how to handle it and don’t closely monitor their use — daily — you’re out of your mind.

Keep in mind that many teens can start off with a good moral compass, but can easily be led astray with the passage of time. That time may pass more quickly than you realize. A teenager can be led astray in a very short time. Shame on the parent or guardian who is the source of the wandering. If that’s you, it’s time to ask God for forgiveness and change your ways.

WHAT ABOUT PUSHBACK?

Never mind the pushback you may get from your teen by imposing new, appropriate oversight. They may think you’re being too strict — but research is on your side. It proves that oversight is not just important; it’s imperative.

Your teen may grumble now, but they’ll thank you later. Moreover, God sees what you’re doing to your teen for better or worse, and will hold each of us accountable for how we parent. (Consider 2 Corinthians 10:5).

“Smart technology” can be used foolishly. It is no substitute for real human interaction, a book, or a game played without an electronic device. And, do you realize that internet access gives your child or teen UNHINDERED access to a universe of smut that could lead them into a cesspool, creating deep addictions that will haunt them for the rest of their lives? Is it time for you to wake up?

There, I said it, and it needed to be said. You probably know someone who needs to think long and hard about this, and make changes in their parenting. Janet and I encourage you to share this, so you can spare a parent or child a life of remorse they could easily, and totally avoid — if only you took heed.

HAVE YOU BEEN USING SMART TECHNOLOGY IN DUMB WAYS? IS YOUR USE OF YOUR SMARTPHONE OR TABLET HINDERING YOUR CHILD? THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR WAYS AND SPARE YOUR CHILD OR TEEN A LIFETIME OF UNNECESSARY HARDSHIP. IT REALLY IS UP TO YOU . . .

 

Michael Anthony, CourageMatters.comABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I publish my blogs here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.

My first book, to be published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March 13, 2018. If you want to learn more about me, just click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or click here to explore the potential of having me speak to your group.

If you like solid Bible teaching, and want to enjoy God fully, you’ll appreciate Godfactor.com, where you can download my Bible teaching and more. If you’re near York, Pa, come visit us on a Sunday at GraceYork.com — and be sure to introduce yourself.

 

What Happened In Vegas Won’t Stay In Vegas: How To Talk With Your Child When Tragedy Strikes

What Happened In Vegas Won’t Stay In Vegas: How To Talk With Your Child When Tragedy Strikes

What happened in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas. As details emerge from the Las Vegas shooting, your child will have questions and fears. He or she will want to know why this sort of thing happens — and, he or she will need to know how to mature into a healthy, engaged adult in a world where darkness is on the rise. The Las Vegas tragedy presents significant opportunities for you, a parent or guardian, to help your child process the emotional, spiritual and practical aspects of what went down in Las Vegas. You need to know how to talk with your child when tragedy strikes. Here are some suggestions on how you can — and should — help your children process the worst shooting in United States history.

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1. REMEMBER THAT IF YOU DON’T PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR CHILD, SOMEONE ELSE WILL. If you aren’t the go-to source of information for your children, someone else will be. Are you okay with that? No, you can’t be an expert on everything you child needs

PAY ATTENTION: THIS IS A CHANCE TO COMMUNICATE AND BOND. IT’S ALSO A CHANCE TO HELP YOUR CHILD MATURE IN HEALTHY WAYS.

to learn — but you can, and should, be the first source they consult before going elsewhere. It’s a blessing, not a burden, to be the person your child looks up to for credible, timely information on anything they need to know in life. It’s no less true when it comes to processing tragedy.

 

 

2. PRAY FOR WISDOM; YOU CAN DO IT. Helping your child process tragedy is not as difficult as it may, at first, seem. Don’t let yourself be intimidated unnecessarily. If you follow the next few steps — and stick to them — you’ll find that you really can help your child process, and this will actually strengthen the bond between you. James 1:5 (NIV) says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

Don’t forget to share your comments, below!

ASSERT YOURSELF. BE THE PARENT/GUARDIAN YOU’RE MEANT TO BE.

3. ASSERT YOURSELF — BE THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN YOU ARE MEANT TO BE. A good parent doesn’t wait for his or her child to always bring up issues. Of course, there are times when a child has an issue you can’t anticipate — but when you know an issue is real, and your child will be thinking about it, you need to be proactive, assert yourself, and bring the topic up so they know it’s important to process things, not sweep them under the carpet.

 

Sit down with your child and tell them, “I want to talk with you about something bad that has happened.” Then, ask them if they are familiar with whatever tragedy it is that needs to be addressed. (In this case, it’s the Las Vegas shooting). If they say they know about it, ask them what they know — and listen. Don’t assume they have accurate or complete information. And, don’t assume they need to have complete information, which brings us to the next point . . .

LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN. BY LISTENING, YOU WILL KNOW THE CONCERNS YOUR CHILD HAS — AND BE ABLE TO ADDRESS THEM. YOUR CHILD’S BIGGEST NEED IS TO KNOW YOU HEAR THEM AND UNDERSTAND.

4. SHARE WHAT THEY NEED TO KNOW, NOT NECESSARILY ALL THE DETAILS. I can’t stress it enough that too much information can be harmful information. In the case of the Las Vegas shooting, your children simply need to be told something like this: “A man with mental problems and a very bad temper used rifles to harm people in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, he took the lives of many people, and wounded many others.” That’s your foray into the subject. Ask your child if they understand what you said, and if they have any questions. Patiently wait for them to respond.

Remember to “K.I.S.S.” your child when answering a question: KEEP IT SUPER SIMPLE for starters. A good thing to practice is to answer the question as briefly as possible; stick to the realm of what your child asks. Short answers that stick to the question are the most helpful, and will prevent you from making your answer(s) too complex.

Remember that the purpose of answering their questions is to help them process what they need to know. Too much information can provide information they don’t really need, or what will plague them thereafter if they know. They don’t need to seek photos or video of the event, nor do they need to know, as children, the destructive power of high-powered rifles and ballistic bullets. They simply need to know the facts: people were killed and wounded and that a sick individual committed the crimes.

DON’T LEAVE PRAYER UP TO YOUR CHILD TO DO ALONE. PRAY WITH YOUR CHILD.

5. ASK YOUR CHILD IF YOUR ANSWERS SATISFIES THEIR CURIOSITY. HELP THEM STAY AWAY FROM SEEKING UNHEALTHY, DAMAGING INFORMATION . This approach helps children process what they know, and will help you know whether they are having a hard time digesting what has transpired. If your child demonstrates a curiosity toward the gruesome details, help them be compassionate, instead, and focus on how the victims and survivors need compassion and love.

6. HELP YOUR CHILD UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE LIVING OUTSIDE OF EDEN, IN A FALLEN WORLD. We’re not in Kansas anymore (i.e. The Garden of Eden). Bad things happen to good people. Sin is the reason for all hardship, pain, suffering and, ultimately, death. We are spiritually separated from God because of sin, and physical death is a consequence of sin, evidence that it is the real, fundamental problem for humanity. Help your child understand these truths as you put the tragedy into the bigger picture of the fallen world in which we live.

7. PRAY WITH YOUR CHILD, SO HE OR SHE LEARNS HOW TO PRAY FOR THE SURVIVORS AND FAMILIES AFFECTED. Children need to learn how to pray, how to develop empathy, and how to process tragedy in ways that are healthy. Your prayer does not need to be lengthy, but it does need to be sincere, engaged and heartfelt. Be real with your child

BE YOUR CHILD’S SHIELD. TV AND RADIO SHOULD NOT BE THEIR UNSUPERVISED SOURCE OF INFORMATION. THAT SOURCE SHOULD BE YOU.

and real in your praying, and you’ll teach your child that being real with God, and people, is normal, healthy and helpful.

8. DO SOMETHING POSITIVE AND UNIFYING. In the aftermath of tragedy, children need comfort and reassurance. Spend time with your child doing something that will bring you

closer together and help him or her know they are safe at a time when their world (which is much smaller than an adult’s world) is a place where they are cherished and sheltered, thanks to your engagement with them.

9. BE THEIR SHIELD — MONITOR WHAT THEY WATCH OR HEAR FROM THE MEDIA. Radio and television can be graphic, blunt and disturbing — especially in times of tragedy. Your child does not need to watch videos of the tragedy, or have a television or radio personality describe the situation. That’s where you need to be their shield, protecting them from the blunt force trauma of hearing or seeing things from unfiltered sources.

BE AVAILABLE AND APPROACHABLE. BE THE SHELTER YOUR CHILD NEEDS, AND CAN TRUST.

10. BE AVAILABLE AND APPROACHABLE. Your child will potentially have additional questions. Repeat the above steps and you’ll be well on your way toward helping your child process tragedy — and grow into being a positive factor of influence in a day and age when it’s needed most.

 

 

 

ARE YOU HELPING YOUR CHILD PROCESS THE LAS VEGAS TRAGEDY? BY DOING SO, YOU WILL HELP HIM OR HER GROW UP TO BECOME A LOVING, ENGAGED ADULT IN AN AGE OF APATHY AND FEAR.

 

ABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I publish my blogs here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.

My first book, to be published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March 13, 2018. If you want to learn more about me, just click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or click here to explore the potential of having me speak to your group.

If you like solid Bible teaching, and want to enjoy God fully, you’ll appreciate Godfactor.com, where you can download my Bible teaching and more. If you’re near York, Pa, come visit us on a Sunday at GraceYork.com — and be sure to introduce yourself.

 

BULLET BLOG: Time to THRIVE In An Angry, Arrogant Nation

BULLET BLOG: Time to THRIVE In An Angry, Arrogant Nation

Arrogance is bad enough on its own. Couple it with anger, and you have a fight brewing. Arrogance and anger have become the new norm in America — but they don’t have to be for you. It’s time to start learning how to thrive in a society that’s lost its way. You can — if you make a genuine effort. No, our whole nation isn’t angry and arrogant, but there are enough people who are who are spoiling it for the rest of us. Here are a few tips on how to combat the combatants.

“When you talk, you are only repeating what you know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”* A smart person is always interested in learning more. If you learn to listen more, you’ll become smarter. Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) reminds us that “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Your words are actually boomerangs. They will come back to you one way or another. 

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When, and why, did being right become the most important thing in life? People are bent on being right — even if it costs them friendships. Guess what? If your goal in life is to always be right, you’re going to end up all alone. You’ll end up with mere acquaintances, and could even mistake them for “friends.” If you want real friends, you have to put aside your anger and arrogance. You need to embrace the things that make all of life much better. It’s time for a refresher.

REFRESH YOURSELF
If you practice the following things this week, the real American revolution we need will be underway — and you will be among those who helped spark it:

  • Instead of being rude, be polite. Rememer that anyone can be rude, but it takes strenght of character to be nice, kind, gentle and loving.
  • Instead of being angry, quiet yourself, settle down and take a deep breath. Step away from yourself and seek peace.
  • Instead of being full of yourself, be selfless, where you practice the once golden, now tarnished, rule: treat others as you want to be treated (Mark 12:30-31).
  • Instead of being demanding, be diplomatic.
  • Instead of always seeking to make your point, try listening twice as hard, to understand someone else’s point of view.

Don’t leave your legacy to chance. Be intentional about who you are, what you say to people, and how you live the only life you’ll ever live. Someday, you’ll be glad you did — and you’ll have helped many, many people in wonderful ways, throughout the course of your life.

*Dalai Lama XIV is credited as saying this, though others have popularized it as well.

WHAT ARE YOU SEEING IN SOCIETY THAT NEEDS TO CHANGE? WHAT KIND OF LEGACY ARE YOU LEAVING? WHY SETTLE FOR BEING A BRUTE?

Michael Anthony and Family

Simeon, Janet, yours truly, and Titus

ABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I publish my blogs here and on Facebook. My “Bullet Blogs” are especially brief, designed to help you quickly apply what you read. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.

My first book, to be published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March 13, 2018. If you want to learn more about me, just click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or click here to explore the potential of having me speak to your group.

If you like solid Bible teaching, and want to enjoy God fully, you’ll appreciate Godfactor.com, where you can download my Bible teaching and more. If you’re near York, Pa, come visit us on a Sunday at GraceYork.com — and be sure to introduce yourself.

 

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