Archives For May 2013

Zoo Adam Kyla I goBy Lisa Cherry

 I get such a kick out of reliving some of my kids’ childhoods through the sweet faces of my grandbabies.

Kyla, Kalyn and Adam's little girl, is so much like Kalyn, I find it to be humorous. Spunky, feisty, smart, and opinionated.....I love that little cutie!

 Daddy Adam sent me this text from the zoo.....

 

 At the zoo. Every exhibit she sees, she says, "I go!" and whines that she can't get in with the animals! Here she is begging to go into the bear cage!

 Awwww.

And when Kalyn asks me if she was like this, I just smile and nod. (and chuckle to myself!)

Operation_Castle_-_Romeo_001By Lisa Cherry

My daughter was in a tinderbox. I wanted to step in to help, but if I did, would it explode and destroy her chances of passing her first college class?

Hannah had been working overtime to try and make the grade on her English paper in which she was arguing against the acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage.

It was not going well with her in her class, and I was watching her put in exorbitant amounts of time. 

The teacher did not agree with Hannah.  I was not sure she would ever give my daughter a good grade on a paper she clearly did not agree with.

I was in Michigan for an Acquire the Fire speaking engagement when the challenging month of paper writing came to a climactic finish. I was at the Ford Museum with my traveling buddies, Lydia and Josiah, when I realized my phone was almost out of battery power. That's when I received Hannah's desperate call.

"Mom, I just got the final suggestions from my teacher. I only have a few hours to submit the final draft and she is still saying my logic is falling apart! What am I going to do? Should I just scrap the paper? But how can I do that when I only have a few hours? Mom, I don't want to fail!!!!!"

I calmed her down the best I could and asked her to forward me the comments. I said I would take a look and call her back.

Now remember, she had already gone waaaaay beyond the amount of effort I was certain anyone else had done for this assignment and the teacher was well aware of Hannah's views. As I read her final comments, my temperature began to rise.

I had no idea what else one would argue IF one was to argue that the book should be banned except for Hannah's arguments. Her logic looked solid to me. And her documentation was in line. Even as someone with graduate level experience and publishing documentation experience, I couldn't figure how Hannah could be much clearer!

Ford museum josiah under carSo.....with my last little bit of battery power, I decided to try a new tactic while I watched the kids play at the car museum.

Maybe it was time for her teacher to hear from mom. I had to send a first draft if I was to send one at all. See what you think of my note......

 

Dear ______,

I so appreciate your class that my junior in high school student is allowed to enroll in. Thank you for your thoughtful feedback that is making her a stronger writer.

I am writing you to ask clarification of her current writing assignment. She came to me today concerned that she is not able to complete the assignment in a satisfactory manner. I've been watching the progress and work on this paper for the last couple of weeks. I was pleased that she chose the topic from the list that you suggested. This is of course a very controversial and heated issue.

As I understand it, the topic she chose was on a list of suggestions you provided. I am assuming that your students are free to choose either opposing viewpoint in their papers.

As I've watched Hannah shore up her research, I think you've made some very viable suggestions for her. However I'm confused as to what further evidence you would be asking her to provide related to the issue of homosexuality. The nature of the suggested topic will, of course, involve fundamental differences of view that will cause the issue itself to seem inflammatory. As I have looked with her at the issues of the origin of homosexuality, the research is definitely divided. Are you wanting her to state the research on both sides? Both the research that suggests a genetic origin which of course does not line up with the argumentation of her paper, and the research that says that it is environmental? If so (which I have not personally done in an argumentative assignment) where would that be placed properly?

She's now down to a few hours to make the deadline. And I'm not sure that she is clear as to how to pass the assignment correctly. I feel that she's gone way above the minimal requirements for the number of citations indicated so I would like to help her be able to succeed.

Thanks for your help.
Lisa Cherry

I thought it was time for the teacher to know someone was behind this student watching the saga.

But would my involvement backfire? Tune in next time for the results!

Image source:  United States Department of Energy

Gratefully linked to   Soli Deo Gloria  Faith Filled Friday  The Better Mom

You can find the other parts of this series here:

What to Do if Your Christian Child is Persecuted Part 1

What Would You Have Done? Part 2: What to do if Your Christian Child is Persecuted

How Much Should we Intervene? Part 3: What to Do If Your Christian Child is Persecuted

217297_10151616961099449_38297634_nBy Nathan Cherry

Help us choose a cover for Lisa Cherry's latest book, NOT OPEN

The book is in the editing phase right now and we need help narrowing down a cover choice. 

Would you give us your feedback on these five options? 

Please provide your age and gender in your response so we can learn which cover jumps out to different age groups.

Leave a comment here, or email me at nathan@victorydreamcenter.org

Thanks!

Studying 2302027163_675bfed1a6By Lisa Cherry

How much should we as parents intervene if our children are suffering persecution for their faith? When our daughter Hannah faced pressure in school from a teacher who disapproved of Hannah's Biblical views on homosexuality and gay marriage, that question came to center stage in our home.

Click here to catch up on the story line.... 

Well, here is what I chose to do for Hannah initially....

I encouraged her to stay in the battle, honor her teacher, and work even harder to fulfill the teacher's requirements. As I listened to the wisdom of the Lord, I sensed this would be a significant faith event that would test our daughter's ability to stand.

In fact, of all my children, Hannah is one of the most impassioned to stand for Biblical values in the midst of a hostile culture. This was, in essence, a test of the multi-year training she had received from the dynamic programs called Lightbearers and Understanding the Times from Summit Ministries.  I posted on these here, and  now count them  as essential for kids of today.

Now as sure as I share with you what I did when Hannah faced this kind of teacher challenge, I must caution you that my answer may not be the right answer for every teen and every family.

The stakes are high when our kids are exposed to teachers and authorities who seem intent on winning a convert to their political/moral/ethical/faith point of view. That is why over 80% of our young people walk away from their faith as they leave our homes!

So, it is right that I was not happy that this teacher seemed more concerned with changing Hannah's views than lining up her grammar! And it could have been right for me to remove her from that pressure if I thought it could crush her or damage her.

But Hannah needed to fight this battle herself, I figured. However, I became keenly aware that without me standing behind her, she could have had a disaster. She was in such a vulnerable spot looking for affirmation from her first college experience. I was sobered.  

She had practiced the reasoning and worked with opposing worldviews and still this was very hard. So she added more and more and more research going way beyond the minimum requirements of the assignment and taking extra submissions to attempt to fix the "problems."

Here is a sample of the teacher's comments (some of which were genuinely helpful) that tipped me over to consider a new action. Hannah received this AFTER she had already made many changes to satisfy the paper requirements. Take a look.

What do you see here? And what would you do next?

Hannah,

You clearly introduce the topic, but the introduction lacks an attention getter.  Your thesis is clear and specific. You make clear points, but the paper lacks actual evidence to support some of those points. You provide one quote about the impact of gender confusion but do not provide any evidence from research to connect reading a book about homosexual characters to gender confusion.  You make some pretty inflammatory claims. For example, you equate a book about a homosexual couple to books about making bombs and taking drugs. A book about a homosexual couple is more like a book about a couple of different races.   Your paper ignores the evidence of the opposing viewpoint.  You cannot simply ignore the evidence and pretend it does not exist. For example, a preponderance of scientific research has found that homosexuality is an inherent trait, not a choice. How will you respond to that evidence.  Teachers introduce and assign books every day that contain ideas that conflict with the personal views or beliefs of parents. For example my son was forced to read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, which justifies greed and selfishness. It didn't make him selfish or greedy. Exposure to ideas in a classroom do not generally undermine the values one is taught at home. Where is the evidence that it does?  Your paper suggests that teaching tolerance is a bad thing. Why would it be bad for a kindergarten or first grade teacher who has a student who has two dads or two moms in her room to bring this book in to teach tolerance? Tolerance is different from acceptance.  You also cite three different sources that are pretty old (2001, 2005, 2008).  Is the information still relevant and accurate?  These are just some things for you to think about as you make revisions. Essentially, you need to remember you are not preaching to the choir. You are trying to convince an audience that includes people who disagree with you and people who have yet to form an opinion of your viewpoint. Therefore, you must consider their views and beliefs in forming your argument. You have chosen a challenging topic and I commend you for taking on the challenge. I think you have made improvements to the paper, but at points your logic falls apart.

Photo courtesy of MC Quinn

Gratefully linked to Works for Me Wednesday   Encourage One Another   Titus 2sdays

You can find the first two posts in this series here:

What to Do if Your Christian Child is Persecuted Part 1

What Would You Have Done? Part 2: What to do if Your Christian Child is Persecuted

swings ben and ryanBy Lisa Cherry

Tara sent me this great picture of her two youngest, Ben and Ryan, enjoying their new swings.

My grandmamma-heart swelled with joy to see them having fun! And I needed that chuckle right then as the weights and pressures of my day were squashing me down.

As I enjoyed their smiles, I was immediately reminded by the Lord of the picture I have hanging strategically on my bedroom wall. It’s called “Will You Trust Me?” and the artist is Cliff Hawley.

Lisa, you can have as much fun as they do. Every day! ...if you will trust Me!
swing -photo of painting 2

AHHHH! Thanks, Tara.

And thanks, God, for that reminder.

Gratefully linked to:     Tell Me a Story    Faith Filled Friday