As the clock runs out on 2008, just about everyone is assembling a Top Ten list featuring the most popular movies, CDs, books, restaurants, and news stories of the year. You name it, there seems to be a list for it. I figured it might be fun to put together a list of my Top Ten blog posts of the year, based upon the number of comments they generated. Here’s what I found, with No. 1 being the most popular post of 2008:
I love hearing from constituents like you. Today, I thought I’d invite you to read three playful letters that brightened my day. This first gem is from a mother whose son was in kindergarten where he was just learning to read. Here’s what happened:
“I remember picking-up my son from school one day. I had been reading one of Dr. Dobson’s books at the time and had it on the car seat next to me. My precocious youngster carefully sounded out the title.
Author, speaker, and parenting coach, Tedd Tripp, is perhaps best known for his book, Shepherding a Child’s Heart. In chapter eight of his latest book, Instructing a Child’s Heart, I love the emphasis that Tedd places on helping our children to be dazzled by God. He believes all of us have been uniquely created for worship, and worship of God occurs almost as a reflex whenever we’re dazzled by His glory.
Personally, I’m dazzled whenever I witness an awesome sunset, one of God’s colorful creatures, or when I’m standing in the presence of a massive waterfall.
You don’t need me to tell you that the temperatures are dropping and the sun setting earlier now that Daylight Savings time has kicked in. And, I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that with colder temps and darkness settling much earlier, our kids have less incentive to remain outdoors to play. Which, of course, means they’re now spending more time in the house.
Why, then, am I stating the obvious?
Because as we head into the winter, house-bound kids will spend more time watching television than engaging in outdoor activities.
October 14, 1978 is a date forever etched upon my mind. I was seventeen at the time living in Yucca Valley, California. The Village People had just burst onto the music scene with their hit single “Y.M.C.A.” while the Bee Gees were topping the charts with “Stayin’ Alive.” That, of course, is not why this date stands out in my memory after thirty years.
This particular morning I was relaxing at home watching a major league playoff game on television when a loud racket outside of the window caught my attention.
Ever since Sarah Palin was picked as John McCain’s running mate, babies with “special needs” suddenly took center stage in the headlines. Much has been written about her decision not to abort a baby with Down syndrome. Some believe she shouldn’t have brought a special needs child into the world. Others believe she and husband Todd made the right choice. Regardless of your political leanings, I thought I’d add some perspective on the value of every human life.
Labor Day traditionally marks the end of summer. I, for one, am not quite ready to say goodbye to the sights and sounds of the baseball games, backyard cookouts, and camping trips I’ve enjoyed under the watchful eye of the hot summer sun. I know, I know. The kids are settling back into the routine of school while the retailers around here are ramping up for Halloween. Still, a part of me is in no hurry to close the books on summer.
Those who knew Chandler Grafner described him as a sweet and thoughtful little guy. He was shy, yet tender in spirit. The kind of boy who would pick flowers for his babysitter.
Which is amazing considering how Chandler’s brief life was nothing short of a living hell. By the time he reached age seven, Chandler’s home life was nothing more than a revolving door of unconventional living situations. His mother, Christina, bounced around between a number of men, including a stint with boyfriend Jon Phillips with whom she bore another son, Dominick.
I heard a story that still breaks my heart. Joann Condie is a state-licensed counselor and member of our staff who speaks with those who call us with various needs. She shared the story of a mother whose eleven-year-old boy had been using porn on the home internet for quite some time. When this mom found out, she wisely and carefully dug a little deeper.
That’s when she learned that an eleven-year-old neighbor friend had introduced her boy to pornography on the computer.
If you’re familiar with my story as told in FINDING HOME, you know my dad did a lot of things wrong. Dad had an ongoing struggle with alcohol, gambling and horse betting. His poor choices damaged my parents’ marriage to the point where he and Mom divorced when I was five. After the divorce, he didn’t provide any child support so Mom had to work three jobs just to keep the lights on and food on the table.