Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Developing Faith in Teens

Youth are an exciting group to work with. Helping them to mature in faith and to make faith their own is a real challenge. Teens are moving from family-based to peer-based influences and need careful guidance to make good choices. On the other hand, their growing ability to use good judgement must be respected. How do we go about teaching them while keeping this balance?

I asked members of the Christian Youth Conference at Ocean Park (CYC) about their favorite devotions. Their answers showed some common threads.

Teens, it seems, like to have their imaginations engaged. Many enjoy visualizing things as they learn. Tell a Bible story slowly, asking them to close their eyes and imagine they are an onlooker. The story of the woman caught in adultery works well as do the feeding of the five thousand or any other miracle story. As you tell the story, add in descriptions of the setting -- sights, sounds, smells. Describe what an onlooker may be doing. After, hold an open discussion of their thoughts and feelings during the story. This works best in small groups. In larger groups the Dean of CYC has very successfully used "Obscure Bible Stories." He chooses a less well known passage of scripture and has students act it out. This requires a a charismatic leader with a sense of humor to work best. Plus, you need to know your audience somewhat so you can pick students who will fill roles well and enjoy the attention.

Another memorable large group activity engaged imaginations in a different way. A bowl of clear water was placed on an overhead projector. Students were asked to call out things that were mucking up their lives. Some of these were sins or internal struggles. Some were family, school or work situations. Health problems and disabilities were also listed. For each thing stated, a drop of food coloring was put into the water. Different colors were used and the water soon turned murky. When the kids were done, inspirational music was played and a drop of glycerin was put into the water. The colors slowly disappeared and the water became clear again. This can be used to show how Jesus can work in our lives. Though it was used many years ago, one of our alumna still remembers it as being "beautiful and touching."

Kids like hands on stuff, too. One of our counselors uses a devotion in which she teaches her cabin to turn broken glass into cement art. She talks to the campers about how God can take our brokeness and turn it into art.

Of course we use all the traditional stuff, too. Discussions and sermons and skits They work well with some kids, especially if order is kept. One of the alumni remembers his favorite devotions as being "All of the ones that the 'PAY ATTENTION' rule was in effect for." Don't forget, too, that teens can lead. We encourage students to lead devotions in cabins and classes and to help up front. One of the responses I got on favorite devotions, from a current student, was: "The one I lead my second year. About God's promises to us. For example Jeremiah 29:11." What they teach, they remember.

One of our Chaplains also constantly reminded us, "Don't coddle teenagers." It's good to challenge youth. They can do so much! They can also handle tough topics in a mature way. Some of them have first hand experience with topics such as life-threatening illness and abuse. Don't shy away, but do be sensitive and supportive. And remember, if you love and respect the youth you work with your genuine faith will shine through, whatever methods you use. God bless your ministry!

What have you found effective in working with teenagers?

Christian Youth Conference at Ocean Park is a two week ecumenical conference for high school students held in August on the beautiful southern coast of Maine. The theme for the 2011 conference is "Face to Face" and will look at restoring relationships between God and individuals, and amongst people. Click here for more information.

Teaching Teens to Grow Closer to God

Sunday, May 29, 2011


We are commiting Mom's ashes in a private ceremony today. Here is a poem, by an unknown author, for those who grieve.

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free,
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard his call,
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I've found that peace at the end of the day.
If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah, yes, these things too I will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My Life's been full, I savoured much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one' touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me,
God wanted me now, He set me free.

It's a bit sentimental, but it touches on something real.

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kirill's Adoption Approved!!

A while back I posted Kirill's Story. Kirill is a young Russian orphan who had been denied the chance to be adopted by an American family because the judge felt that his Down Syndrome would make it too difficult for him to adjust. Many people have prayed and, finally, Tesney was able to post this:




To read more of the story, scroll through Tesney's blog "Our Eyes Opened"

And praise God for such a happy ending!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Separation Plan

We used to call it the “Lost Mommy Plan” but Jordan grew out of that so now we call it the “Separation Plan”. It spells out what Jordan should do if he can’t find Mom. Wherever we go, we have one. Like at the Red Sox game the other night. The biggest Separation Plan there was actually for the ride in. If you can’t see Mom, get off at the next stop and wait. If you need help while you are waiting, ask someone who works for the T or a woman with children. Jordan doesn’t like being reminded of the plan, but we go over it anyway. It’s necessary. He has to know the plan before he needs it, just in case.

I’m sure you can handle the T on your own, but what about those times when you lose sight of God? When you feel like he’s not there, what will you do?

Each and every believer will have slumps in their spiritual life. It is best to be prepared for such events. Figure out how you feel closest to God and make a plan to do those things when God feels far away.

Here are a few suggestions:

*Post scripture verses that remind you of God’s faithfulness, around the house.

*Play your favorite worship music and sing along.


*Ask someone to hold you accountable for continuing with spiritual disciplines and attending church.

*Talk with a friend or pastor whose faith is strong.

Two of the most common elements in the separation plans I make with Jordan are “Stay where you are” and “Call for help”. The second is especially useful out in the woods. “We’ll find you.” I assure him.

Sometimes, in our spiritual lives, the best we can do is sit tight and cry out to God. It’s ok. Don’t worry. God will find you.

So, what’s your separation plan?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Red Sox Game

We were at the Red Sox game last night. It was such a fun time. Thanks, Auntie Pam!!!

Jordan had a blast. He had made a big sign saying “GO SOX,” complete with Red Sox symbols in the Os and the center of the X. We held it up during “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and when Ortiz hit his home run. Then the Tigers tied it up and had runners in scoring position. Jordan and his friend held the sign up to encourage the pitcher. They were convinced by a group of elderly fans to stand on the ledge in front of the seating for the disabled which was where they were sitting. A couple of times that group even held the sign up higher than the boys could reach. The Sox got out of the jam. The woman seated in front of the kids told them to stay there because the sign was working. They did, shaking the sign and lifting it over their heads. The bases were loaded. Every pitch had everyone on the edge of their seats. Crawford gets up to bat….WALK OFF DOUBLE!!! Yay!!!

The woman in front of them tells the boys, “Keep that sign. It works!!” The elderly folks said, “See, you did it. They won.” Everyone was making a big deal of the enthusiastic young fans.

All the way home, when Jordan was asked, “Did you go to the game?” he would say “ “Yeah, we won it. We made them win.” People would smile indulgently.

Hey, who knows, maybe he was right. Encouragement has done greater things than that.

Who have you been encouraging lately?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Teaching Teens to Grow Closer to God.

The faith development of their students is something every yourh minister thinks about and works on. When I recently asked people from the ministry I work for what signicant things they had learned at Christian Youth Conference at Ocean Park had taught them, growing their relationship with God was a top theme:

One response:

CYC taught me to make my faith my own, to make it deep and personal.

This reminds me of the idea that God has no grandchildren. Each new generation must be won for Christ if they are to know Him. But it also speaks to the differences between a parent's faith and the child's or a teacher's and a student's. Each young person must appropriate the faith for himself. They may have new methods of worshipping, new styles of music. They may walk a different path in terms of how they relate to God. But as long as Who they are putting there trust in is the same, it's all good. Teens who simply replicate the faith of others may end up simply going through the motions. That type of faith may not last.

Deep, personal does last. Through such a faith God is understood to be able to see a person through anything.

Another answer:
After a ruff year my freshman year of high school I learned how to rebuild my relationship with GOD. It made my life whole again.

God is always ready to receive us, to welcome us or to welcome us back. His love is so great that He will never abandon us. So many teens are hurting! So many are going through difficult times! Leading them to the Source of All Healing is a great privilege. Teaching them to rely on God, to put there trust in Him is important work and requires both intentional teaching and constant example. It is so amazing to help them to identify and use tools to strengthen there relationship with God.

It's not always easy to find engaging and effective ways to work with teens. Soon, I will blog about the how of leading teens.

In the meantime, have a great day!

Christian Youth Conference at Ocean Park is a two week ecumenical conference for high school students held in August on the beautiful southern coast of Maine. The theme for the 2011 conference is "Face to Face" and will look at restoring relationships between God and individuals, and amongst people. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Our Collaborative Blog on the King James Bible

(This is a collaborative post, written by Jordan and Melinda together.)

The King James Bible is 400 years old this year. To celebrate that, our Bible study watched a movie about the making of the KJV. It was a good movie. It was called KJV: The Making of the King James Bible

Here are some interesting facts about the King James Bible from the movie and other places.

* It is considered one of the greatest works of prose in the English language.

* The first one was entirely handwritten.

* It was based on a lot of different Bibles, such as William Tyndale's English translation and various Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic texts.

* One of the first printed editions missed out the word "not" in the seventh commandment, making it "Thou shalt commit adultery." Only 11 copies of that edition remain and they are priceless collector's items.

* It was authorized by King James I, who wanted a newer, more accurate translation to replace all the other English versions available at the time. Puritans however stuck with the Geneva translation. Actually, the KJV was mostly despised by everyone early on.

* Common phrases such as "salt of the earth," "a man after his own heart," "broken heart," "a drop in the bucket" and "a labor of love" were coined in the King James Bible.

* It's still a best seller after 400 years

I love the language of the KJV for devotional reading although I prefer a more modern translation for study. The KJV with it's "thees" and "thous" makes Bible reading feel special to me. --Melinda

I liked learning about the KJV. -- Jordan


Jordan and Melinda

Field Trip

When people who love something so much that they just have to share it with others get together with children who are eager to learn, real education happens.

We were part of a great example of that today. We went on a homeschool group field trip to Saugus Iron Works, and the rangers were brimming with enthusiasm about history, especially the start of the American iron industry. The day included planned activities These included a "role-play" of a conversation between Puritans, Native Americans, ironworkers and Scot prisoners of war, demonstrations of the forge and blacksmith shop, and discussions. These were great, though my son was quick to notice that the "role-play" was really a scripted reenactment. Still, he had fun with it.

But the rangers were also very willing to engage in conversation and answer questions. This added immeasurably to the learning taking place. Their contagious enthusiasm sparked the kids' interest and made our day very worthwhile.

What are you passionate about? How can you share it?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Heading to a Game.

I am not much of a sports fan, although I root for the Red Sox on principle and I love Super Bowl parties. Still, the excitement of going to a game is real. I went to a Red Sox game at Fenway as a child and we took Jordan to see a Lowell Spinners game a couple of years ago. That's about it for my professional sports attendance, but those games were FUN!

Tonight, due to the generosity of the New England Revolution and a referral from the Child Life Program at Children's Hospital Boston (thank you Brianna and Jill!!) Jordan and I will be attending a professional soccer game. It will be the New England Revolution vs. the Vancouver White Caps.

We're excited!! We've never had VIP parking, met professional players or sat in a luxury box. We are really thrilled for this opportunity.

Maybe it will even spike Jordan's interest in his own soccer playing. He loves to play with Dad, but as of now he's a bit of a lazy player on the field. Not that it matters much really. He goes to learn teamwork. His talents lie in other areas.

He'll be putting one of those talents to use tonight. I'll bet he gets some great photos of the players and the game. (I'll get one or two of him as well, but they'll just be your basic snapshot.)

Any way, we are going to have fun!!

You have a great Saturday night, too.

P.S. We are on a roll. Auntie Pam got us Red Sox tickets for Thursday (thanks, Sis!). More on that later in the week.


Friday, May 13, 2011

What I am Reading Now

Every once in a while, I describe what fiction I am reading. Now is one of those times, so here goes.

War in Heaven by Charles Williams

I enjoyed this supernatural thriller. My favorite character is the Archdeacon, a protagonist of joyous and impertubable faith in God, who lives a quiet life until caught up in the events surrounding the Holy Grail. Other characters are memorable, with the evil ones being truly siniser. Prester John is an intregal part of the story and around him people are more fully themselves, so it seems that he is of Heaven. The central idea of this good vs evil story is that evil destroys, annihilates, makes things nothing. We must, therefore, pray against nothing. It also explores what happens to those who defy God. A great, albeit somewhat frightening, book.

The Mongoliad Subutai Corporation http://www.mongoliad.com/

I am still following this internet novel and really enjoying the development of the characters. The plot is exciting, too. The Mongoliad is released chapter by chapter on a more or less weekly basis. When I first started reading it, several chapters had already been released and I had to play catch-up. Now, I am reading it as it was intended to be read and need to make use of the links the authors have helpfully provided to explain characters and locations. My memory isn't as good as it once was, I guess. Still, I am going forward. If The Mongoliad is ever published as a print book, I would like to try it in that format, too.

Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan

I just picked this up again. I am rereading the series. In December, I was back up to Book 8, now I am well into Book 9. It was hard going for a while, but after a break I am enjoying it again. It's a great series for lovers of fantasy, but the plot can be hard to follow and the characters difficult to keep straight. I am looking forward to Books 12 and 13, which I am told, wrap things up.

Tale Spinning by Stuart Nager http://stuartnager.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/little-animal/

This is a blog, which the author calls "an open experiment in writing styles". There are original short stories from a variety of genres mixed in with posts on writing and teaching writing. The writing is really good and I would recommend this blog for people who like quick but thought -provoking reads. My favorite story so far is Materfamilias, a sad piece about Mother's Day.

Well, that's it. What are you reading?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

What I'm Reading Now

Every once in a while, I describe what fiction I am reading. This is one of those times, so here goes.

War in Heaven by Charles Williams

I enjoyed this supernatural thriller. My favorite character is the Archdeacon, a protagonist of joyous and impertubable faith in God, who lives a quiet life until caught up in the events surrounding the Holy Grail. Other characters are memorable, with the evil ones being truly siniser. Prester John is an intregal part of the story and around him people are more fully themselves, so it seems that he is of Heaven. The central idea of the book is that evil destroys, annihilates, makes things nothing. We must, therefore, pray against nothing.

The Mongoliad Subutai Corporation, http://mongoliad.com/welcome
I am continuing to read this internet novel. It is written in installments, similar to the serial stories that were released in newspapers in small portions in the 19th century. When I first began reading The Mongoliad, several chapters had already been released, so I was playing catch-up. Now I am reading it more as it is intended to be read. Perhaps because of my memory, I am finding the plot difficult to follow and the characters hard to remember. However, the story is both absorbing and exciting and the characters well drawn. Plus, I am learning a lot about the 13th century, the Mongol invasion of Europe and the Catholic Church of the time. I would like to read this straight through if it is ever published in print form.

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

I just picked this up again. For a while, I was finding it hard to plow through. However, after a break I am enjoying it again. It's a good story, but very complicated. It's hard to follow the plot and keep the characters straight. This series is a reread for me, and I am looking forward to getting to the last two books which I haven't read yet.

Tale Spinning Stuart Nager


This is actually a blog which the author describes as an "open experiment in writing styles". There are several short stories mixed in with posts on writing and teaching writing. The writing is always good. My favorite story is Materfamilias, a sad piece about Mother's Day. I learned of this blog while participating in The Ultimate Blog Challenge and recommend it to anyone who enjoys short stories.

Well, that's it. What are you reading?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Took a walk

We took a walk with the homeschoolers today. A very nice ranger conducted us around and showed us trees, vernal pools, a stone tower and a treasure cave.

From burned out trees, we learned that forest fires are needed once about every 50 years to keep forests healthy. They clear out the junk and open up places for wild life to live.

We discovered that vernal pools are fun to look at. We caught polliwogs and misquito larvae in nets. Kids climbed on logs going over the pools.

We found out that the stone tower has no purpose. The fire lookout tower was built on the next hill. This tower was built in the Great Depression, just to give people work. Part of the WPA program.

The cave we explored was dug out by people who thought there was treasure in there. They were spiritualists who contacted (or thought thay contacted) the ghosts of dead pirates who had buried their treasure there. No treasure was ever found. But one digger who lived on site was killed in an earthquake when a rock overhang fell on him.

All in all, a pretty cool walk. The kids loved it.

Have a great day.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

For Mom on Mother's Day

I am reprinting this anonymous poem in honor of my Mom who passed away in March and of all Mothers who are in Heaven. May God bring comfort to those who loved them.

Mothers Who are No Longer Among Us

In tears we saw you sinking,
And watched you pass away.
Our hearts were almost broken,
We wanted you to stay.
But when we saw you sleeping,
So peaceful, free from pain,
How could we wish you back with us,
To suffer that again.
It broke our hearts to lose you,
But you did not go alone,
For part of us went with you,
The day God took you home.

If Roses grow in Heaven,
Lord please pick a bunch for me,
Place them in my Mother's arms
and tell her they're from me.
Tell her I love her and miss her,
and when she turns to smile,
place a kiss upon her cheek
and hold her for awhile.
Because remembering her is easy,
I do it every day,
but there's an ache within my heart
that will never go away.

Don't think of her as gone away
Her journey's just begun
Life holds so many facets
This earth is only one
Just think of her as resting
From the sorrows and the tears
In a place of warmth and comfort
Where there are no days and years
Think how she must be wishing
That we could know, today
Now nothing but our sadness
Can really pass away
And think of her as living
In the hearts of those she touched
For nothing loved is ever lost
And she is loved so very much.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Water, Clean Water

My shower was too cold last night. Well, it took a while to warm up. As I tried to push my self to get under the water I was feeling rather annoyed. Then I thought to myself. "Melinda, really? I mean come on, this is nothing."

There are places in the world where clean water, never mind hot water, is hard to come by. I know. I've been to some of them. I have been in a place where, after a long, hot, dirty day on a construction site there was no running water in the guest house. None. To get clean enough to want to eat or get in bed we had to shower from our canteens. We got so good we could manage with only a quarter of the water in there.

I've been to places where you had to boil and filter your water before you drank it. It would take hours. And I am complaining about my shower being cool? Maybe it's time for a trip to Haiti.

I have heard of places where you have to walk miles to get clean water -- or walk miles to get water so you can make it clean. Some places I have heard of you have to buy clean water. Well, you buy it if you can afford it. Some people can't. Like orphans. My friend Keri is right now trying to raise money to provide clean water dispensers -- and water to put in them -- for one orphanage. Those kids don't have any water to drink. Pop over to her blog Creating my Own Little Nirvana to find out how you can help. If you want to go further, look into hosting an orphan from Russia this summer. You can learn about that on Keri's blog, too.

Please pray for people around the world who don't have access to clean water. And while your at it, pray for me that I will remember to be grateful that water comes out of my showerhead, regardless of it's temperature.


And have a blessed day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

What teens think about serving

Following on from yesterday's post, I have a few quotes from some of our students at CYC who participated in Ventures service projects. They were asked, "What's good about Ventures?"

The first two comments:
"We get to spend time helping the community."

"Helping others."

This, of course, is the essence of serving. It is, ultimately, why we should do it. Jesus told us to serve, to help.

Another person said:

"Knowing the caring presence of Conference would linger in OP [the town] after our two weeks were over."

Building bridges between people, between our teens and the community, is part of our purpose. Service is a good way to do this. It also helps the community at large to gain a postive impression of youth and their potential.

"Finding out what kind of missions you have a passion for; exploring the possibilities for service in the future."

This is an awesome outcome of service. Helping kids to find their gifts and how they can use them for God should be a real focus of youth ministry. Providing opportunities to serve is a great way to accomplish this.

All of the above are true. As a leader I am glad that students are thinking about their service's effect on others. Or about the ways that serving will help them to minister in the future. This is why Ventures is such an important part of our program...and will be for years to come.

Blessings on your day!

Christian youth Conference at Ocean Park is a two week ecumenical conference for high school students held in August on the beautiful southern coast of Maine. The theme for the 2011 conference is "Face to Face" and will look at restoring relationships between God and individuals, and amongst people. Click here for more information.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Love is a Verb!

Defining love can be a tough thing, but assigning it a part of speech is big step in the right direction. I don’t know who first came up with the phrase “Love is a Verb” but I do know that we used it as a theme at CYC one year. When asked about a significant thing they had learned at CYC, one of our people answered with that theme.

When love is a verb, service becomes very important. Teaching teens to serve is both exciting and rewarding. That is why at CYC we spend one morning on Ventures, going out to serve the community. As the kids work together in groups to help others they create an energy that is palpable. Sure those others benefit, but quite often the teens reap even more positive results. Teamwork, responsibility and putting the needs of others before your own are all important lessons than can be part of a volunteer effort.

Often, serving is a positive experience. The teens have fun. Perhaps they work with children who are cute and enjoy having them around. Perhaps an elderly woman thanks them for stacking her firewood. Perhaps after hours of clearing trails, they plunge into a river and splash each other for a while. At CYC, kids have known these experiences and as a leader I have been thrilled to see their excitement.

But, sometimes, it’s not like that. Maybe a group with Alzheimer’s was tough to deal with. Or people at the soup kitchen made nasty comments. Our teens have had those experiences, too. In one case that I remember, we sent a Ventures to clean the dunes along the town’s beach. The dunes were fenced in at that time and the townies did – and still do feel very protective of them. After all they are an important part of the town’s defense against flooding and beautiful besides. Town officials had asked us to go inside the fence and pick up trash so we sent a group to do just that. And people yelled at them. “You shouldn’t be in there.” Repeatedly, the team leaders explained who they were and what they were doing, but many people up and down the beach expressed displeasure. The townies are actually a nice lot, generally speaking, but protecting those dunes was high on their priority list and they didn’t know who the kids were. Our students were a bit discouraged when they got back. Still, they stuck with it, finished the job and grew through the experience. We tried to help them learn that serving is not for a reward or praise. It’s to help.

We teach that “Love is a Verb” through this hands –on experience every year. We also talk about it, conduct classes on it and model it. We hold up two exceptional servants of God, Adoniram Judson and Ann Hasseltine Judson, as examples. Their lives, dedicated to serving the Burmese people even in very adverse circumstances, have a lot to teach us. So we tell their story each year and commemorate their lives with awards at graduation.

Service is part of the Christian life. It is a high calling and should be undertaken with prayer and careful consideration of our gifts. It’s good to remember that there is no harm in having fun while doing it. Laughter is good in many places.

How are you serving?

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10: 23-25

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] .
Galatians 5:13-14

Christian youth Conference at Ocean Park is a two week ecumenical conference for high school students held in August on the beautiful southern coast of Maine. The theme for the 2011 conference is "Face to Face" and will look at restoring relationships between God and individuals, and amongst people. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Reflections on the Death of Bin Laden

Now I lay me down to sleep, one less terrorist this world does keep. With all my heart I give my thanks, to those in uniform regardless of ranks. You serve our country and serve it well, with humble hearts your stories tell. So as I rest my weary eyes, while freedom rings our flag still flies. You give your all, do what you must. With God we live and God we trust. God Bless America!

That's going around Facebook and it's a good thing, right, that "one less terrorist the world does keep?" Of course it is. And it's a proud moment for the Navy SEALs and others in uniform. I hope the team that went into that compound in Pakistan has good support. Once the spotlight is off and people aren't publicly congratulating them, it could get tough for them emotionally. But they are military, they did a military job and they did it well.

So how do we respond?

College students are celebrating in the streets. Maybe they should. A shadow is lifted from the world. This shadow has dogged them since elementary school. I remember reading "The Lord of the Rings" in Modern Mythology class. We talked about the part of the War of the Ring in which the Ents destroyed many goblins. The professor told us that we could be pacifists, but there was something wrong with us if we didn't want to cheer for the Ents at that point in the story. So maybe there should be a certain amount of rejoicing.

Then, again, the families of the victims of 9/11 aren't rejoicing. They are talking about there still being a void and grief though Bin Laden's death did bring a measure of comfort to some. Some would have preferred a different ending, feeling that a capture and trial would have brought more closure, allowed more of a confrontation.

Something tells me, though, that Osama bin Laden would not have allowed himself to be captured alive.

Here are a couple of other thoughts going around Facebook:

"Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of everyone before God and man, and hopes and pledges that every event is not an opportunity for a further growth of hatred, but of peace." Pope Benedict XVI/Vatican

"I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." ~Anonymous

I resonate with these. It's true that bin Laden needed to go, but we don't need to be gleeful about it. A more measured response is appropriate.

When I told my son about this event his response was. "Yay. Sort of." My sentiments exactly.

I'll give the last word to a couple of Bible verses posted and reposted by some of my friends. God's words will guide us as we seek for peace, if we let them. God bless.

“For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord GOD. Turn, then, and live” (Ezekiel 18:32—NRSV)

"Do not rejoice when your enemies fall, and do not let your heart be glad when they stumble" (Proverbs 24:17)

My Son is Starting a Blog

My eleven year old boy has decided to write a blog.

He saw mine and liked my fish gadget. Then he heard that you can make money writing a blog and decided he wanted to try it. (Please, no one tell him how little it is. He needs to practice his writing.) He's going to start tomorrow.

Jordan has decided his first post will be a book review. I won't tell you what book it is, but he was quite surprised to learn that many kids today would not know to be interested in it. He has decided to let them know that it is a really great book. Read his blog to find out why. In future posts he plans to talk about his life as a homeschooler, his photography and more books, DVDs and CDs. He's discovered that sometimes you can use quotes or invite guests to write on your blog, so he'll be doing some of that, too.

I am excited about this new venture of Jordan's. I hope he sticks with it for a while. Besides being good writing practice, it will give him a new creative outlet and a chance to interact with more people in a different way. It should be a marvelous learning experience.

Jordan is too young to have a Facebook page, but I'll post his blog on mine and also post links to it here. If anyone is willing to encourage a little boy in a new project, we'd both be grateful.

Have a wonderful day!