Who Are the Real Experts?

File this in the Are You Kidding Me? or the No Wonder the World is in Such a Mess! folder. Your choice. April 30, 2010 was SpankOut Day USA … and I missed it!

Clearing off my desk this week, I ran across a pamphlet from the National Child Protection Training Center (NCPTC). Headquartered at Winona State University in Minnesota, they also have a regional center partnership with the Northwest Arkansas Community College (near my corner of the world).

The pamphlet’s description of SpankOut Day USA informs the reader this day was established “… in 1998 to give widespread attention to the need to end corporal punishment of children and to promote non-violent ways of teaching children appropriate behavior.” Who knew? I still had children living at home in 1998.

Certainly, child abuse is a despicable thing. (Is there anyone in the civilized world suggesting child abuse is okay?!!!)

But I think it’s fair to ask:  when did we establish a consensus spanking equals violence? Let’s go back to the word’s origin. In the 13th century violence was defined as:  “physical force used to inflict injury or damage.” I’ll say it emphatically — a loving parent who employs spanking exercises measured physical force, and never to the extent nor for the purpose of inflicting injury or damage! Continue reading “Who Are the Real Experts?”


The More We Know . . .

Before purging a stack of unread magazines recently, I took up the mid-August issue of World. The Disappointment of the Double Helix by James LeFanu drew my attention. Bear in mind, I’m the last person to speak authoritatively on science and the first to disappear into a black hole when others broach any subject remotely scientific.

Nevertheless, avoiding the usual lab-rat jargon, LeFanu (in a mere ten paragraphs) ably unpacks the conundrum:  within the “elegant simplicity” of the cell, scientists inevitably face “inscrutable profundity.” He notes, “… it forcefully brings to our attention what we can never know.”

Fast forward a couple days. I’m sitting with my community group watching part 5b of a video series produced by The Truth Project. (In a series of “tours,” The Truth Project explores various worldviews, weighing the truth claims of each.) On this tour, our subject is Science:  What is True? Continue reading “The More We Know . . .”

The Breath of Life

Life is like the sweet aroma of a flower. (Does that sound like something Forrest Gump would say?)  As with the most fragrant of flowers, life may vanish before we have the sense to breathe it in!

Still, if you knew that sweetness could disappear so quickly, wouldn’t you savor the aroma for as long as possible? Wouldn’t you want to jealously press the sensual pleasure of it deep into the recesses of your brain?

In yesterday’s post, I juxtaposed the wonder of new life (my baby grandson) with the untimely death of a young woman. Each time I gaze into my grandson’s bright blue eyes, I’m struck by the same realization:  life goes by too fast!

When a young person dies, my mind bubbles over with questions. If I could see into the future, would that awareness change my life? What if I knew the baby in my arms:

  • Would never live to celebrate his or her eighteenth birthday?
  • Might grow to adulthood but reject the foundational things I’d taught him or her?
  • Might grow to adulthood and live wisely and well? Continue reading “The Breath of Life”

Displaying God’s Handiwork

Over the last month or so, I’ve had the privilege of being one member of the tag-team who cares for my four-month-old grandson, HSO. cropped picWhen his mama and daddy resumed their jobs, they knew there would be a handful of days each month when their schedules would necessitate outside help. Sure, they could’ve exiled the little guy to Miss Marple’s, impersonal but handy, wipe-and-dipe corner day-care pen. (The truth is, I’d never let that happen to one of my grandchildren!)

So the other day I’m ensconced in an easy chair with this delightful little Creature in my lap. He’s drinking milk from his bottle, pausing momentarily to smile and flirt with me. And I’m reflecting on how amazing and precious and innocent he is. I’m contemplating all the similar thoughts that filled my head when my own four children were this age. While the Babe blissfully enjoys his meal, I’m quietly thanking God for this Gift and praying for the man he is to become. Continue reading “Displaying God’s Handiwork”