Loving Our Kids On Purpose

loving our kids lg

A couple months ago Jon and I were looking to join a small group through our church.  Our church has small groups that go in semesters and that are topical.  So after browsing through the available groups online we decided to check out a group that was for parents of young children.  The group would be reading through a book called Loving Your Kids On Purpose by Danny Silk of Bethel Church and childcare would be provided; which may have been the selling point for us.

The book and coinciding DVDs that we’ve watched have been great so far and the people in the group have become fast friends that we’ve been very thankful to know.

To summarize the book:

-The idea that we can control our children is a lie
-If we spend our time dictating to our children, they become dependent on being told what to do rather than developing the ability to make good choices on their own
-The Bible says “there is no fear in love,” so how do we parent in love instead of instilling fear of punishment in our children?
-Parents need not be afraid of their children’s sin.  God is not afraid of our sin.  He deals with it and loves us through it.
-God does not control us.  He gives us choices and employs us to make the right ones.
-Parents need to allow their children to make mistakes and handle their own mistakes (with some guidance of course), without jumping in to rescue the children from natural consequences
-Children need the opportunity to make choices.  “Would you like to eat your carrots or broccoli first?  Do you want to drink water from the red cup or from the green cup?  Do you want to wear this shirt or that one?  Do you want to climb off the table yourself or would you like me to help you?”  These kinds of everyday choices empower your child to make decisions and grow in confidence.
-Nobody likes to be told what to do, even small children.  So framing things in a way that give the child ability to feel in control and exercise their freedom keeps your child from wanting to overpower you.
-Children who are dictated to and controlled often rebel later on.  Once they get a taste of freedom go crazy because they were never trained how to properly handle their freedom.
-Parents need to first learn to control themselves and not let themselves get so wrapped up in their children’s problems that they take on anxiety and anger.
Main Point of the book: It’s all about maintaining an intimate relationship with your children.  Relationship is the basis for parenting, discipline and training…not to just get your kid to do what you want them to do.  This is also how God relates to us.

That is just my loose summary of the book so far.  The DVD is great because Danny Silk gives lots of entertaining examples from life with his own kids about what it looks like to actually carry this out.



The Prosperity Gospel

I am so glad that someone finally shared something about this which makes sense.  For years now, every time someone has recommended that I read a book by Joel Osteen or Joyce Meyer I have politely smiled, but not known what to say.

During my senior year of high school I had Viral Menengitis.  I was sick for about eight months, two of which I spent in a dark basement because I was too sensitive to light and sound to be upstairs.  Once I was able to tolerate small amounts of light and sound, early in the morning I would turn on some Christian TV channel to hear sermons.  One of the preachers I listened to during this time was Joel Osteen.

I’ll admit that during this season of life I enjoyed turning on the TV to hear his sermons.  Really, I just enjoyed any form of human contact or something that made me feel connected to the outside world.  I liked hearing a positive message.  He seemed very friendly.  But even then, I knew that this guy’s preaching was not legit.  Every message was the same and every message was so surfacey that he might as well just call himself a Motivational Speaker, not a pastor.

Anyway, I share this story because this morning I read something and saw a video that explained some things about Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer (among others) that finally made sense.  This was not some kind of whiny article or anything meant to bash or attack them.  The truth is, what they teach is a lot easier to stomach than much of what is in the Bible, except that it’s not true.

This topic of the prosperity gospel has been something I have mowed over time and time again in my own personal experience.  Why is it that respected Christian theologians from the past few hundred years talk of a Christianity that is so different than much of the Christianity that is preached in the pulpits today?  This has always confused me.  The perspective on money and suffering seems to have changed so much just recently…

I remember hearing somewhere that if you can’t preach the same message to someone who is dirt poor in India as you do here in America, then it is not the gospel that you are preaching.  

The gospel is for everyone.  All peoples.  Period.

I’m certain I’m getting in a bit over my head, trying to share about this topic.  I am not a theologian by any means.  I struggle just to be a Bible reader at times.

But I felt this was important to share as best I could.  Really, you should just read the article that I read for yourself, since the writers are more credible than me and since most American Christians are affected by the prosperity gospel in one way or another.  And made sure to watch the John Piper video that is included too.


M Is For Materialism

In the past three days I’ve stumbled across the same theme three times. I think God is trying to get through to me.

First, I watched this movie on Saturday night with my husband. (Netflix)

Then, on Sunday I randomly read this article.

Finally, tonight I watched this documentary. (Netflix)

I suppose it’s fitting that the Lord keeps leading me, maybe not so subtly, to examine the topic of materialism in my own life, as we enter into the Christmas season. There have been a few times lately where I swear I’ve felt my soul rotting as I’ve shopped impulsively and acted out on greedy desires.

Family members: don’t worry, I am still buying presents this year!

But I have been very challenged in my own heart over the past few days. And it’s not just because I watched some movies and read an article. It’s because when I saw and heard these things it felt like God took a socket wrench to my heart. He made it all come alive and now I feel uncomfortable.

It’s like with anything, I know I could choose to tune out and distract myself and not really lean in and ask God to whisper a little bit louder to me. But what’s the point in following Jesus if I only listen to him when he tells me lovely, wonderful things?


*Documentary: Beware Of Christians. Highly recommend it, especially for young people.
*Article: A Word To The Young, by Paul Washer.
*Movie: The Joneses (R)

How Stories Intertwine

It’s funny how stories intertwine.  People’s stories that is.  Life stories.

When I was in college two 20-something guys moved to town – Pullman, Washington that is.  They came from Texas and they definitely had the accents so nobody was mistaken.  Josh and Drew.  They were really cool in my opinion and they came to town to start a church.



At the time, Pullman had a lot of churches, but not any that really felt like home (to me at least).  As a college kid I visited a lot of churches in Pullman and the surrounding area.  All great churches, but it was really easy to church hop throughout college based on where my current friends or dorm-mates were going because I never stuck to any particular church.  Probably because while I always felt welcome in the churches, I always walked away from a Sunday morning feeling like a visitor – never like I was a part of something.

So anyway, Josh and Drew showed up and they started talking about starting a church.  “But there are a lot of churches around here…so why start another one?” my brain asked.  They said they wanted to start a different kind of church.  I still wasn’t sure what that meant.

They spent their first year in Pullman talking to a lot of people.  Sharing their vision and hoping that people would align with that vision and want to join the team, so to speak.

At the time, I was already heavily invested in a campus ministry called CRU (formerly known as Campus Crusade For Christ).  So while I appreciated what they were trying to do, I guess I never really joined the team myself.

But a lot of people did.  Just a few at first, but more came later.

I did attend the church’s first ever service, in a nice modern event center.  The service was different than I’d experienced before.  It was artsy and maybe even a little bit hipster, years before anybody knew what hispter was.

Josh and his wife Amy.

See what I mean???

Josh played his guitar to lead worship and a guy named Keith shared a message.  It was good, but like I said, I never really got too involved during my time in Pullman.

I probably visited Resonate, that’s the name of the church, a few more times before I graduated, but really that was it.  Mostly, it’s been since I left Pullman that this church’s story has really caught my attention.  Because I left Pullman, but Resonate didn’t and it seems like many college students continue to find a home and find Jesus in this church and with these people.  I love that.  I’ve seen videos of baptism services online via social media and updates about things they’re doing and it’s amazing.  Because I remember when all of that was just an idea that two Texans came to town talking about.

Anyway, by now you might be asking, “Erin, how does this all relate to you?”  Well, two things:

One: It just so happened that Drew was the person who convinced me to buy a one-way ticket to California the day before I graduated.  Or I guess it was God through Drew, who convinced me to take that giant leap of faith, but you get what I’m saying.

It was the day before I graduated and I was working out on the main level of the student REC center when I ran into Drew.  I’d never bumped into him at the gym before, but that day I did.

Drew asked me if I had made a decision about California yet.  I regretfully told him that I had.  I told him that although the opportunity I had in California sounded great, I was going to be moving back home to Spokane and if somehow I got a job in California over the coarse of the next year, then maybe I would consider moving then.

Drew read my face and then said, “You don’t seem very excited about that,” (or maybe he said something else along those lines, but it’s been a few years so I don’t remember his exact quote there).

I told him I wasn’t, but that it’s what I needed to do for now.  Then Drew asked me two questions that literally changed my life.

He said, “Erin, if you take this big chance and move to California, do you think a few years from now you’d ever wake up and wish you hadn’t gone?

“No,” I said.  “I suppose if it didn’t work out I could always move back home.”

Okay,” he said, “Then what about this: If you move back home to Spokane, would you ever wake up one day and wonder what could have happened if you would have just taken this leap of faith?  Would you ever wonder what God could have done in your life if you would have just trusted him on this.”

I paused.

And then after inhaling a big breath I sighed and replied, “Every day of my life…”

“Well I think you have your answer then,” he said.

Shortly following that I began to cry and it probably appeared to those standing by that some guy was breaking up with me in the middle of the gym.  That felt awkward, but I didn’t care because God had just done something in my heart and I was still processing it.

So that was that.  I thanked Drew for his time and I walked up the stairs and pedaled on the elliptical machine for thirty minutes while I daydreamed about what California would be like now that I had decided I would go.

The rest is history.  It’s a long story, actually too.  But through this decision to move to California and follow’s God’s leading a lot of crazy things happened in my life.  The day after I moved to San Luis Obispo I met my husband and as soon as I arrived the Lord started healing all the deep places in my life that I had needed him to for so long.

Secondly: the reason for me sharing this story?  It just so happens that one of the guys I mentioned, Josh, just wrote and published his first book!  It’s called Saturday Nothing: The Words I Wrote While Waiting On Jesus.  If 3,095 people buy this book tomorrow it would make his self-published, Kickstarter funded book by a no-name author a best-seller… and that would be a cool story too!

I pre-ordered my copy months ago when Josh started his Kickstarter campaign.  Basically he wanted to reach his financial goal of $4,000 to fund his book over the coarse of five months or so.  But there was a huge response, he raised more than his goal in only 24 hours.  Then, the financial support kept pouring in and he ended up raising over $10,000.

Anyway, it’s a great story and you can read about his Kickstarter campaign here or check out his blog if you want to check out more of his writing.

But mostly why I’m sharing this is so you have the chance to hear about Josh’s book and can purchase it tomorrow on November 1st on Amazon and help make history.

I don’t know about you, but I love grass roots projects and it’s fun to see people’s dreams come true in bigger ways than they even imagined.  I think the heart of God is like that too.  Anyway, you should buy his book.

In some roundabout way, Josh and Drew’s decision to move to Pullman, Washington to start a church resulted in my decision to move to California.  Wow.  It’s amazing how stories intertwine.

Perfection Kills Intimacy

There is a lie that creeps into churches and isolates people.  It creates a chasm between relationships that would otherwise be a lot more real and authentic.  It hinders intimacy with other people and with God.


It exists everywhere, but I think it’s especially tragic when we find ourselves struggling to achieve it within the context of church, because when we’re focused on our own perfection, it means we are not focused on God’s.

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, specifically on the eastern side of the state.  Last time I visited my hometown I was reminded of two things:

1- Everyone in the state owns a pair of TEVAS.

2- There are some phrases and keywords among Washingtonians that are common to church culture.  Words like genuine, real and authentic community are important things to many Christians.

I love this.

I’ve been thinking about the topic of perfectionism for a while because it’s one of my familiar falling points.  My perfectionism spurs from insecurity, which spurs from comparison, which spurs from doubt, which spurs from lack of intimacy, which spurs from lack of genuineness, which spurs from a lack of trust, which spurs from a lack of love.  Still with me?

Perfectionism, at it’s core, is religious.

We attempt to hide our flaws and failures in order to showcase our best attributes.

We pretend to be people that we are not.

We try to make up for the bad, by trying to be really, really good.

And in the process we kill the opportunity to be close to people and to God.

That is the sad part.

That by trying to be perfect, we actually repel authentic and genuine intimacy with other people and with God.

It’s ironic, isn’t it?

Because the lie that creeps into our hearts and our minds is that if we can just be a little bit more perfect and have it all together, we will be more acceptable and therefore we will have closer relationships with people and with God.

I’m not suggesting that it’s helpful for us all to act awful and puke our problems or negativity all over unsuspecting passerbyers.  That’s not a  magnet for intimacy either.  However, my favorite people tend to be the ones that I actually know.

There are plenty of people that I admire, respect or even envy.  But my favorite people are the ones that I know, personally and deeply – not the ones who have it all together all the time.

REPOST: My Heart Screams Evangelism

A year and a half ago I wrote a blog about something very important to me and since it’s back-to-school time for lots of people, I figured it was a good time to share this again.

My Heart Screams Evangelism

The most exhilarating thing I ever did in college was to share the gospel. While many people find their excitement in the parties and the thrill of escaping responsibility and reality a few nights a week, I’m happy to say that the most adventurous, thrilling, heart thumping, living on the edge experiences I had during my college career, were the times when I swallowed the lump of fear in my throat and dared to share the truth about God with someone around me. This isn’t to say that I never found myself held hostage by sin and wrong choices during those four years of intense identity formation, but those reckless choices proved to be dulling dead ends compared the the elation of being used by God.

I’ve been thinking a lot about student evangelism and the college campus lately. Daydreaming, actually, is a more accurate depiction of what’s really been going on. You see, for the past two years I have been working at a small, local non-profit Christian radio station on the Central Coast. I work with seven other Christians and we hear testimonies all the time from our listeners telling us how much the music we play helps them through their days and in their walks with God. And that’s pretty cool, I must agree. I have my own desk, with my own computer and from there I create all sorts of different newsletters and emails, I answer phone calls and attend meetings, I plan upcoming events and offer new ideas for growth. And I daydream. I sit at my desk and I daydream about the college campus just a couple miles down the road.

During my four years at Washington State University I was involved with an organization called Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU). And they, along with the Lord of  course, are the ones to blame for my daydreaming. The things that I learned and experienced and were challenged to adopt into my style of living are as much a part of me still as my left foot is. And over the past couple years since college, God’s plan for my life has moved me from Washington to California, it’s found me a dreamy husband, and it’s introduced me to some incredible people all while my life has continued to transform more and more into the character and life of Christ.

So, while by God’s grace my life has continued to progress, there’s still something about being on a college campus that gets me high so to speak.

In an article by Campus Crusade that I read during my freshman year of college I learned that, “Most people who become Christians do so before the age of 22. College students are at a crossroads, and many belief systems are competing for their allegiance. While they’re in this stage of life, we need to make Jesus Christ an option for them.” And in another paragraph of the article I learned that, “As you begin a ministry on campus, evangelism is what will set it apart. It will make the difference between a maintenance ministry and a thriving one like we see in the Book of Acts. It would be tempting to build a ministry solely through the gathering of Christians. While fellowship is vital, it does not encompass everything Jesus cam to do: to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).”

Evangelism does something to a person. It doesn’t matter your default personality setting, whether you’re naturally loud or shy. Whether you like public speaking or hate it. Evangelism, for every Christian, is the key to being unlocked from a boring, middle of the road Christianity, and into an exciting adventure of trusting God and living out His purposes in our lives. I’m convinced of it now more than ever as I sit at my cubicle, with only Christians in the building and with my little bamboo plant as my sole source of company and the object of my preaching. It’s boring.

The opportunities that Christian students have on their campuses is a once-in-a-lifetime golden window. After college, former students may have the opportunity to help lead or support a college ministry, but if you’re fortunate enough to go to college, you only get one shot at influencing other college students with the gospel from that angle, on the ground level, in the thick of a very important time in people’s lives.

Even now, drawing closer to three years since I graduated, the challenge I received as a college freshman is still ringing true to my ears and begging me to rearrange my life:  “Build now, so as to leave a legacy.”

So as of late, in my prayers I’ve begun to ask my Heavenly Father for  new opportunities in evangelism. I want to spend my days at the heart of one of the most influential centers of the world once again, the college campus.

 Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.”

Better Wives Club

Don’t you love the name?  Better Wives Club.  It sounds so official and fun – like something from a chick flick.

Last night was the first meeting of the Better Wives Club.  There were snacks.  There probably should have been wine.  (Next time).  There were only three of us, but probably more by next month’s meeting.

I wish I could say that we did all sorts of secretive stuff as the word “club” suggests, but really we just hung out and talked about marriage and about the book that we will be reading together.  The book is What’s It Like To Be Married To Me? by Linda Dillow.  I haven’t started reading it yet, but the title sure is intriguing.  I’m hoping to dive in this weekend.

My friend came up with the idea to meet up as a group of married ladies once a month and talk about things that married ladies deal with.  Actually, to me, this little group came at the perfect, opportune time.  With so much change happening in my life I’ve definitely been feeling the need for a little outlet like this.

So I’ll let you know how the book goes.

Holding Out For A Hero

Today I wanted to write something deep.  You know, something that made myself, along with everyone else go, “Wow, that’s deep.”

Well, as I was contemplating what to write about I ended up reading my friend Rachelle’s blog.  Rachelle and I graduated with good ‘ol PR degrees from WSU’s School of Communication a few years back and she is currently back in Pullman, Washington on Staff with CRU.

Anyway, when I read her blog today all I could think was, “Wow, that’s deep,” and I could totally relate.  So instead of regurgitating what she said, I just thought you might like to read it for yourself.

I think you’ll be encouraged as well.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters

Today Jon and I signed up for the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program!  Last week at the Global Leadership Summit, one of the speakers mentioned how thousands of children remain on the waiting list – some for up to two years – waiting for someone to be willing to spend four hours a month with them.  That broke my heart.

Actually, my step dad, Jerome, has been a big brother to the same boy (now almost man) for many years and I know that Jerome’s influence in his life has meant a lot.  His “little” was even standing next to me and my sister when Jerome married my mom.  So I’ve been hearing about the program for years through Jerome, and I’ve seen advertisements here and there, but for some reason I never thought to sign up.

On the Big Brothers, Big Sisters website today I saw some really impressive statistics about the program.  Not only is it a good thing to do, but apparently it actually works in terms of making a difference in kid’s lives.

67% of former Littles surveyed agree that their Big played a role in their decision to attend college.

81% of former Littles surveyed agree their Big gave them hope & changed their perspective of what they thought possible.

84% of former Littles surveyed agree their experience influenced them in showing understanding to those less fortunate.

85% of former Littles surveyed agree their experience influenced them in overcoming adversity or problems with courage.

84% of former Littles surveyed agree that their Big taught them the importance of helping others.

83% of former Littles surveyed agree that their Big instilled values and principles that have guided them through life.

By participating in our programs, Little Brothers and Sisters are:

  • more confident in their schoolwork performance
  • able to get along better with their families
  • 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
  • 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
  • 52% less likely to skip school
So we still have to wait for a call from the program so that we can be matched up with someone.  Hopefully there are some Littles in our area that we’ll get to meet soon!  Can’t wait!

Global Leadership Summit 2011

On Thursday and Friday this week I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Global Leadership Summit at a satellite site in Santa Maria, California.  The radio station I work for  has the benefit of trading some advertising for tickets to cover our staff team each year.  So we get to spend a couple days away from the busyness of the office to just learn from God and from the speakers.

Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois,  founded the Global Leadership Summit in 1995. The purpose of the GLS is to train and equip leaders around the world to lead where they are in the specific ways God has called them to.

Last year was my first time attending the GLS and after two years of going I can say that this is such a quality conference.  Getting to hear from some of the most influential pastors, business leaders, forward thinkers and difference-makers from around the world is such an honor, really.

My favorite thing about this conference is that you not only get moving spiritual messages on topics like faith and humility, but you get trained in a variety of things like leadership, conflict resolution, business strategies, church dynamics, personal growth, technology advancement and more.

The conference is on the bit of the pricey side, but for a lot of people I think the cost might be worth it.  Registration for students is $80 and then it goes up from there.

I’d like to share a little about what God did and is still doing in my life through this conference, but to be honest, I’m still processing everything.  The Summit leaves you feeling like you’ve been drinking from a fire hydrant – but in a good way.  So instead of sharing about what I learned, I figured I would just share some bits and pieces from my notes.  I think even the notes might inspire or move you in some way.


Bill Hybels

If you find yourself (or your org.) stuck, you can either come up with excuses for why you must stay stuck, OR, you can come up with bold, new solutions. Defeatedness vs. Boldness.

How you finish is always how you’ll be remembered. Don’t end it with a wimper.

Challenge scale – performance depends on the level of challenge

1. D.O.C. (Dangerously Over Challenged)

– we do our best work HERE (just into low D.O.C.)

2. Appropriately Challenged

3. Under Challenged

Leaders have to take responsibility for replenishing their “bucket”


Len Schlesinger  – “Action Trumps Everything”
President, Babson College; Harvard Professor; Former Vice Chair, Limited Brands

Entrepreneurship is the solution for many of the world’s dire problems.

Entrepreneurs are not born with a special gene that makes them entrepreneurs.  Anyone can become an entrepreneur.

If you can figure out how to do something better – and do it – you can be successful as an ent.  You don’t have to come up with a brand new idea that’s never been done before.

Find opportunities to create social and economic value everywhere.

Ent. is a discipline.  And it can be learned.

If you can’t predict the future, create it.

Don’t do nothing because you can’t completely solve the problem (EX: global hunger).  Take a step with what you have.

Stop worrying about what you want to do.  Start worrying about what to do NEXT.


Honorable Cory A. Booker – “Stand Up”
Mayor of Newark, New Jersey; Urban Reformer

When I look out over a neighborhood (or my apartment complex, dorm, work place, etc.) what do I see?  If I see problems and bad stuff…that’s all I’m ever going to see.  OR, do I see opportunity and hope?


Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter NcNeil – “Courageous Leadership for Catalytic Times”
Speaker; Thought Leader, Founder and President, Salter McNeil & Associates Chicago, Illinois

If you want to break through cultural barriers:

1. Pray for a divine mandate/ a catalytic event

2. Name your catalytic events.  View shifts in the world (EX: economic crisis in the U.S.) as catalytic events, not catastrophes.  Find what God is doing in something.  He IS in control.

3. Mobilize people to go

*When crossing cultural barriers: go not to help, but to learn.


Seth Godin – “Poke The Box”
Bestselling Author; Squido Founder; Renowned Marketing Blogger New York, New York

Don’t wait to be picked, pick yourself.

The internet has given you a platform that people have never had in the past.  Use it to your advantage.  If you want to sing, sing and put it on You Tube.  If you want to write, write and start a blog.

Do art.  Don’t just follow the rules.

We are constantly being told to fit in and conform.  Don’t.  Times are changing and the innovative, the creative and the cutting edge are the future.

The challenge, it turns out, isn’t perfecting your ability to know when to start and when to stand by.  The challenge is getting into the habit of starting.


Steven Furtick – “Audacious Faith
Lead Pastor, Elevation Church Charlotte, North Carolina

God doesn’t call you to have the faith to finish what he calls us to.  He only calls us to have the faith to start.

If you will dig the ditches, God will send the rain.  (Elisha story)


Bill Hybels – “Tough Callings”

“I wonder if people understand how precious callings really are.  How much thought God goes through before He taps a person on the shoulder and says,

Here’s an assignment.  I’ve crafted it for you.  It might be a difficult one but I want you to do it.  I’m going to grow you up through it and I want you to be faithful to it.

I fear that people take these callings far too lightly, and they bail far too quickly.


As leaders we are addicted to the narcotic of growth and success.

What if God called you to lead something that never amounted to any kind of earthly success?

Often we enjoy leading things that get us perks like visibility, higher pay, recognition and success.  But what if God calls us to spend a season or a lifetime leading a church, organization or group of people that never experiences explosive growth?


Mama Maggie Gobran – “Tough Callings”
Founder & CEO, Stephen’s Children Ministry; Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Cairo, Egypt

A Coptic Christian from Egypt’s middle class, Maggie Gobran was teaching computer science at American University in Cairo when she first visited the Zabbaleen – an impoverished and despised minority community of Coptic Christians who live and work among the garbage slums of Cairo.

Sensing God’s calling to serve the children of the Zabbaleen, she founded Stephen’s Children, a ministry that matches home mentors with children, supports 80 preschools with medical clinics, and serves children from more than 25,000 families, all in the neighborhoods of the garbage collectors or urban poor.

A Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Mama Maggie has spent more than 20 years serving the poorest of the poor for Jesus’ sake.

“In silence you leave the many and be with the One.”


Michelle Rhee – “Students First”
Founder and CEO, StudentsFirst.org; Former Chancellor, D.C. Public Schools Washington, D.C.

From the documentary: Waiting For Superman

Children don’t have the ability to stand up for themselves and their education.  We fight so much for the rights of teachers, but what about the rights of the children and their right to a learn and to a good education no matter their socioeconomic status?

How can we have an education system where 95% of the adults think we’re doing an excellent job, when, in reality, we are only producing an 8% proficiency in math?


Dr. Henry Cloud – “The Evil, The Foolish, The Wise”
Clinical Psychologist; Best-Selling Author; Leadership Consultant
Los Angeles, California

The Wise

When confronted with light/truth these people adjust themselves.  They change.

When you confront them they smile and thank you for the constructive feedback.

The Fool

When confronted with light/truth these people try to adjust the light.  They attempt to change the truth (excuses) and they oftentimes shoot the messenger.

They develop a pattern of excuses and therefore do not grow and improve.  They don’t own the problems.

Fools only change when the pain of not changing becomes greater than the pain of changing.

The Evil

People who have destruction in their hearts.  They want pain for other people.  Don’t attempt to help grow these people.  They are bad for an organization and will divide your staff.


John Dickson – “Humilitas”
Director, Centre for Public Christianity; Senior Minister, St. Andrews Anglican Church Sydney, Australia

Humility.  Latin: humilitas: The ability to hold one’s power for the good of others, not personal gain.

Humility is common sense.  What we don’t know far outweighs what we do know or can do in any specific field.

Historically, humility being viewed as beautiful and desirable can be attributed to the person of Jesus Christ.  The ancient Greeks and Romans used to word as an insult and they valued building one’s honor.  In the ancient world, pride trumped over humility.

However, Jesus preached a different message.  He claimed that we should be humble and consider others before ourselves.  This was a new message to the people of that time.  It wasn’t until his crucifixion that his followers finally understood what he meant.  They saw him use his power for the good of others, not himself.

Jesus’ teachings and example changed the entire world’s culture to where we now value and respect people who are great, yet humble.