Don’t give Trump so much credit, America

“Your success as a family . . . our success as a nation . . . depends not on what happens inside the White House, but on what happens inside your house.” Barbara Bush. This is a blog worth reading!

Purpose on the Prairie

In less than 24 hours since Donald Trump has been named the President-elect of the greatest nation on this earth, it’s become apparent he’s being given far more credit than he’s due.  There’s anguished cries of, ‘How will my children grow up knowing not to discriminate?’ or, ‘How can I look my daughter in the eye and tell her she has purpose?’  Really?  Really, America?  You have given Donald Trump, a mere mortal man, far more credit than he deserves, especially considering the man hasn’t even taken office yet.  Trump does not have the power to mold our families, that is our flat-out our responsibility.

Your children will learn to love or hate, be respectful or disrespectful, wise or foolish, not by the character of the family in the White House, but by the family in their house.  May I submit to you that your sons and daughters will be…

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The Fir Tree: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

fir-tree-01By Hans Christian Anderson

Illustrated by Sanna Annukka

The Good: It’s awesome — if you don’t mind a depressing Christmas. It is Hans Christian Anderson, after all. The illustrations, the gold foil on green cover, the cool classic Christmas tale – it all works together to make this a keeper. We will be setting it out with our Christmas decorations, for older kids and adults to pick up and read. I’m not sure younger kids would connect with the geometric artwork or story as well as older ones.

The Bad: We tend to read and watch stuff with our kids where everything turns out alright, despite our actions. As a result, we can inadvertently teach that regardless of how we live, everything will be OK. Anderson is much more real, but prepare yourself – and if reading to a young child it might be best to prepare them – for an unhappy ending. The benefit of this type of writing is that it encourages some deep thinking when reading alone, and discussion when reading to others. I think it’s better to prepare for reality than to ignore it. This story is a classic for a reason.

The Ugly: Not the book – it’s gorgeous. Not the story – it’s classic. It’s the truth being told that is ugly – to look at life now and enjoy what is beautiful about it, because in the end we will all be ash. It’s a good thought to remember at Christmas, to enjoy life now, but a bummer to remember we only have so many Christmases left. On the positive side, as a Christian, I figure this life is as bad as it gets, and the day I’m burnt up I’ll see my first Real Christmas.

I received a free copy of this book from blogging for books for an honest review. I chose it because of the cool looking cover, and am glad I did.


Thriving Trough Ministry Conflict – The Good, the Trump, and the Ugly

thrivingThe Good: I absolutely loved this prayer quoted in the book. It is by monk and writer Thomas Merton.

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils along.

Oh – the rest of the book is good too.

The Bad: Had this book had been loaned to Donald Trump in early 2016, and had he applied it, this election would have been way more boring. More successful for Donald, certainly, but boring. I couldn’t read about the “red and blue zones” and not think that had he read and applied this book – for good or ill – Hillary would have been history. I suppose I was supposed to apply it to myself – my bad.

The Ugly: This little book reflects its teaching back on the reader. I find it much easier to read about how others are my problem. Wanting to be liked, I abhor conflict, have avoided it, and created more ugly as a result. Thriving Thru Ministry Conflict convicted me – it would have been much easier to stay ignorant. More painful, and less profitable for myself and my church, true, but easier.

This is one of my favorite books on church conflict, and easily the most helpful at getting me to deal with my part of the mess. I’ll be loaning it out and recommending it to others. Wonder of Donald reads book reviews?