Favorite Tweets for September

Follow me on Twitter: @EspinosaJoey
  1. "I can only be right with God if I accept the atonement of Jesus as an absolute gift. Am I humble enough to accept it?" Oswald Chambers
  2. Dinner at IHOP! 
  3. Our family brought Popsicles to the football players and coaches after their practice. For $10, we can be .
  4. "There is never going to come a day when I stand before God and he says, 'I wish you would have kept more for yourself.'"
  5. Breakfast at Flavor with Elijah. Homecooking, and with a name like "Flavor" how could you go wrong?
  6. Every time Sender says he wants a bacon & egg cheeseBURGER from Hardee's, I feel nauseated.
  7. And in today's news for , Joanna and kids rode the golf cart to the library, & the Hardee's drive-thru.
  8. Joanna just headed out to register to vote, and to sign up to be a poll worker in .  
  9. After I listened to this wk's sermon by , the family had a great breakfast table discussion about being "in the world."  
  10. Snack at Club today was cucumber & carrots. One little girl said, "Yuck. That's white people food."

Do you have a favorite?

7 Differences Between Galilee and Judea

My kids have been studying ancient Rome in school. This has led to some discussions about the nation of Israel around the time of Jesus. Additionally, my reading through the New Testament brought up some questions about the context of many events.

So I am glad I came across this resource, 7 Differences Between Galilee and Judea in the Time of Jesus. In a commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, R.T. France notes that we must remember that "the Jews" cannot be lumped in a single category, any more than Irish and English can be lumped as "British," or how a Texan and New Yorker would share "American" customs.

After understanding seven key differences between Jews from Galilee and those from Judea, one will have a greater appreciation for the prejudice Jesus the Nazarene (from Galilee) faced when He encountered the religious Jews from Judea, who considered themselves spiritually superior.

Follow the Rabbit Trail: Planes, Baptizing, Following

Image courtesy of Kenneth Russell via Picasa
With bedtime conversations with kids, you just never know where the rabbit trail may lead.

The Conversation
A few weeks ago, Sender and I were laying in his bed talking about flying in a plane. He is the only one in our family that has never done so, but I was telling him that one day he will.

Suddenly, he said, "What if we fly in a plane, and we crash, and I die, and I haven't been baptized?" Wow. Flying, crashing, dying, baptizing. What a loaded sentence! (The crashing and dying probably has to do with our recent discussions about 9-11.)

He was a little concerned and even distressed, and I asked why it bothered him that he wasn't baptized. "Because then I won't go to heaven." I explained that he doesn't have to be baptized in order to go to heaven. And this led to a talk about who has been baptized in our family -- Mommy, me, and Hannah.

Then, I asked him, "What do you have to do to go to heaven?" and he answered, "Believe in Jesus." That's right. We were on the right track. But then he added this:

"Satan doesn't believe in Jesus."

Oh, interesting point. But I explained that Satan and his bad angels (demons) actually do believe in Jesus, in a sense. The Bible (James 2:19) is clear that they believe that Jesus is God. The difference is that they don't follow and obey God.

So, as I explained to Sender, maybe we should say that we need to believe in and follow Jesus.

The Conclusion
What a great conversation. We went from talking about planes to crashing to baptizing to salvation to believing to Satan to following. I got to help make theology practical for him.

You can't script moments like this. But I don't take advantage of the precious time I have with my kids like this as much as I should.

Related Links:

Favorite Blog Post Winner

Thanks for everyone who voted (and shared posts, and commented) in this giveaway.

The favorite post was determined to be: Biblical Parenting vs Gospel Parenting 

    And the winner of the $40 of merchandise from Amazon.com is: Barbara! Congrats!! (Send me an email or FB message to discuss how to claim your prize.)

    Our Dancing Sender

    Sender, who will be 5 at the end of the year, is always up for entertaining others. Sometimes, a dance just breaks out after breakfast.

    And sometimes the dance includes "The Worm" and the melody from "Pharaoh, Pharaoh."

    If Sender took dancing lessons -- and if he lived in Moldova -- this video shows what he would look like (Thanks, Ashley).

    Related Links:

    Hannah's Birthday

    Accessorized: Braces & Clip-On Earrings
    Our "little girl" is 10 today. She was actually due on September 16th, but came 9 days late. I lost a bet on that, having to buy someone lunch. See? She was costing me right off the bat.

    That she was late seems to fit her personality. I bet she was busy talking, or day-dreaming. At least, that's why she is so pokey now.

    Tasks? Who's got time and focus for them, when there is so much to dream about and create!

    That's what we love about her. She loves to make things beautiful, like outfits with as many different bright colors as possible.

    Over the next few years, she will be entering into a new phase. She will go through changes and challenges -- physically, socially, emotionally, and even spiritually. And our role is to be there ahead of her (proactive leadership) and with her (encouraging her in Christ).

    Last weekend, Hannah and Joanna went away for a 1-night girls-only trip to Charleston. Besides just having fun, they also talked about some of these upcoming changes.

    A great resource that my wife used is called The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls. Created by American Girl (which already has a huge fan in Hannah), this book facilitated discussion between my wife and daughter. Health topics are covered without reference to sexuality. It's a great resource for parents of young (preteen) girls.

    Related Links:

    Saturday Round-Up (September 24)

    It was a good week. Maybe that's because I only had to work 4 days. Maybe that's because my in-laws are in town (free meals!). And maybe it's because it's my daughter's birthday weekend (see tomorrow's post). And there were a slew of good articles (and 2 videos) I came across. Here they are, this time in order of how much I liked them. I think you'll like one or more, too.

    The Difference Between Parenting and Making Disciples. Since I've read this, I've been thinking about my kids not in the context of "parenting," but in the perspective of "making disciples." The same holds true for how we can equip other parents to make disciples of their kids.

    Bikers and Innocent Couples. I showed this video to my kids, to illustrate the principle of "don't judge a book by its cover." This has become more real to them, since (by their skin tone) in the vast minority in Allendale.

    Did You Marry the Wrong Person? Yes, and you should thank God for that.

    Power Corrupts, Especially When It Lacks Status.  "The experience of having power without status, whether as a member of the military or a college student participating in an experiment, may be a catalyst for producing demeaning behaviors that can destroy relationships and impede goodwill."

    How Devoted Moms Buffer Kids in Poverty.  A good mom can make all the difference.

    I Used to Think (Rap). "I was a wealthy man if I had one or two bucks."

    Vote, Share, and Comment: Last Week

    Only a few more days for your chance to win! See this week's match-up.

    If you need some help thinking which posts to share, here are a couple of suggestions:
    1. Club Update: Why We Do This
    2. 6 Truths About Parenting That You Never Believed, Until You Had Your Own Kids  
    3. 10 Reasons Allendale Is Better Than Where You Live 
    4. Frustrated With School Work 

    What Is Church About?

    Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical TruthMore thoughts from Basic Theology, chapter 75. What content should be included in church worship?
      1. Reading and teaching of the Bible
      2. Prayer (corporate and individual)
      3. Singing (there were no preferred forms in the New Testament)
      4. Giving (in New Testament, this was a primary topic written for church life)
      5. Fellowship, which increases church health and commitment

    We all need to be a part of a local church that incorporates these aspects.

    Related Links:

    Is My Child a Christian?

    How do we know if a child, who has "all the right answers," is a Christian? Where does it move from him being able to recite the truth of the gospel, to him being truly regenerate?

    There is no simple answer to these questions. It is a matter that we struggled with for years with our daughter, and which we are still praying about with our older son. How I wish there was a simple formula!

    The matter came to a conclusion in the fall of 2008, when she came to us every night for a week in tears, confessing something she had done wrong. Each incident was unsolicited by us (and her actions were mostly unknown to us, until she spoke up). We believed that it was the Holy Spirit's work on her heart.

    Watch a short segment from this video, from 18:20 - 20:15 --

    I like the idea of asking, "What has God told you?" If there is a true relationship, there will be conversation. God will speak, and we will hear.

    Here are some other good resources to check out.
    1. 10 Principles for Shepherding My Child Through Salvation and Baptism  From a parent equipping event several years ago.
    2. Is My Child Ready for Baptism? Theology Is Needed  A regenerate person will have knowledge of the truth, trust that is fleshed out in actions, and a conscience the cries out for cleansing.
    3. Is My Child Ready to Take Communion?  It is the role of parents to determine when the child is ready, but they should seek counsel from others.
    4. Q&A: How Do You Know When a Young Child Is Ready to Accept Christ?  From the Grace Children's Ministry Parenting Blog. Pastor Bill White gives four suggestions for parents who are struggling with this question.
    5. Passing on Your Faith.  What really matters is that we (as parents) are pursuing Christ. 
    6. Is It OK to "Accept Jesus in Your Heart"?  Some thoughts on this controversial phrase.
    7. How Do I Know If My Child Is a Christian?  Helpful guidelines from Brian Croft. 
    8. My Son Is Not Ready to Become a Christian.  My son didn't respond to the "altar call." And I was happy about that.

    When Other People Mistreat You

    Have you ever be looked down on, made fun of, slandered, or otherwise treated badly? Then you should read this article from The Cripplegate.

    No matter who mistreats us, or what they do, here are the three things we need to remember:
    1. God is in control, and these people are merely His instruments.
    2. Your abusers actions should move us to love them, not to complain.
    3. God acts in goodness and righteousness towards me.
    Read the full article here.

    Related Link:

    Blog Playoffs - Final Round

    This is the final round. Remember the rules to follow if you want to win $40:
    1. Vote (poll to the right).
    2. Share another post (not what you've done already).
    3. Leave another comment.

    Even if you voted, shared, commented in a previous week, you can do it again for another chance to win.

    Here is the final match-up. Which is your favorite?

    Poll closes on this coming Sunday at 9PM (EST). I'll announce the winner next week.

    Disney vs Six Flags

    My family has been to Disney World twice (each one just for a day or two in the parks). And we had the opportunity to go to Six Flags for the first time this past summer.

    While we love any kind of vacation together -- whether it's driving a thousand miles to visit family, or going to a park -- I noticed that Disney created a better experience than Six Flags. Here is what stood out to me about what Disney does best:
    1. Communicate well.  Disney's "Have a magical day" is cheesy, but at least it makes sense and fits the theme. But on this past summer's trip, we heard "Have a Six Flags day." I'm not sure what that means.
    2. Have vision buy-in.  At Disney, smiles appear genuine from everyone, even for the poor lady dressed up as Ariel, who has to take pictures for hours as she sits in her mermaid tail and clam-shell bathing suit. Everyone greets you warmly. But not at Six Flags. Sure some of the people wave and smile. But most don't even try to fake it. Maybe "Having a Six Flags day" means being grumpy and being half-hearted.
    3. Do the little things with passion. My last experience at Six Flags was waiting 30 minutes for vomit to be cleaned off a ride. The worker was obviously disgusted, and he let it be known. And they didn't even have the proper materials on-hand to clean it up; someone was gone for 10 minutes getting the materials needed. I have a feeling that at Disney, no one would have even known about the incident. They're magical like that.

    Let me know in the comments: Which are your favorite amusement parks? Why?

    Related Links:

    Saturday Round-Up (September 17)

    Some more great articles. But first, since I'm an good at math and a I'm a strong analyzer, what does this comic say about my creativity level? Beh, I don't care.


    Engaging Muslims.  “We need an accurate and discerning look at the Muslim world,” Boyd said. “One size does not fit all.”

    The Gateway Gospel vs. the Pathway Gospel.  Too often, I think that the gospel-centered life is about having to jump through hoops. I need to remember that it's more about the path of life. 

    Fun time at the beach last month
    50 Rules for Dads of Daughters.  Great tips. 

    Homeschool Blindspots.  Stern warnings for homeschoolers like me. I can see myself already having falling prey to several of these errors. 

    Is Spanking Your Child Ultimately Unbiblical?  Amazing things can happen when you abuse and misapply inductive Bible study. Like you equate the same context for punishing lawbreakers and disciplining children.

    Children Are a Blessing from God -- All Children.  A good word concerning for how we need to perceive children that are disabled.

    Fathers' Testosterone Drops Steeply After Baby Arrives.  The human male's biology is hardwired to change in order to meet the demands of having a newborn.

    Reminder: Pick Your Favorite Post and Win!

    Don't forget to vote, share, and comment for your chance to win. Each week you do this is one entry.

    See this round's match-ups.

    David Platt on the Gospel

    Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American DreamFrom Radical (which I've finally gotten around to reading), chapter 2:
    The modern-day gospel says, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. Therefore, follow these steps, and you can be saved." Meanwhile, the biblical gospel says, "You are an enemy of God, dead in your sin, and in your present state of rebellion, you are not even ale to see that you need life, much less to cause yourself to come to life. Therefore, you are radically dependent on God to do something in your life that you could never do."
    The former sells books and draws crowds. The latter saves lives.

    Platt goes on to define the gospel:
    The just and loving Creator of the universe has looked upon hopelessly sinful people and sent his Son, God in the flesh, to bear his wrath against sin on the cross and to show his power over sin in the Resurrection so that all who trust in him will be reconciled to God forever.

    Related Links:

    Blogging Mojo

    Since my Love Language is "words of affirmation" (and since I am a proud, self-focused person), I love hearing people tell me how much they enjoy my blogs, of which I have written on three:
    I have found that writing has been a good outlet for me. It forces me to process, organize, and express the thoughts that are constantly bouncing around in my skull. I'd like to think that my style as improved over the past few years, as I've been finding my "voice." But I still have a lot to learn.

    That's why I have benefited from learning from other bloggers. Most experienced bloggers. More popular bloggers. More wealthy bloggers (I'm assuming this one, but pretty sure it's true).

    I had the pleasure of reviewing Bryan Allain's 31 Days to Finding Your Blogging Mojo, and I've already benefited from it. And not just the benefit of being able to smugly point out the typo he had. Finding typos during a book review earns you eternal rewards in blogger heaven. Except if you brag about it, like I just did. So maybe I just earned eternal punishment in blogger hell. Either way, my ego is satisfied.

    In easy-to-read and humorous style, Allain helps bloggers like me focus, with the aim of capturing the audience that needs to hear the thoughts that are in my head. After all, everyone has a unique combination of passions, skills, and experiences, but unless I can effectively communicate those ideas, they remain with me.

    That's why I am thankful for experts like Allain, and I highly recommend his book 31 Days to Finding Your Blogging Mojo for anyone who wants to grow and improve their blog.

    (You can also check out 31daystomojo.com.)

    6 Truths About Parenting That You Never Believed, Until You Had Your Own Kids

    Context is everything, even for what we believe in.
    1. Birth order makes a difference. (And maybe if they were born early, on-time, or late?)
    2. You will parent exactly like you were parented.
    3. You will parent exactly opposite of how you were parented.
    4. TV is a valid babysitter. (Yes, I know this is a dangerous trend.)
    5. How physically exhausting it is when your kids are young.
    6. How emotionally exhausting it is when your kids are older.

    Anything else you can add? What didn't you believe was true about parenting until you became a parent?

    Related Links:

    Blog Playoffs - Round 2

    Here is Round 2. You can read the introductory post, and see last week's match-ups.

    Same rules apply, if you want to win $40 of stuff from Amazon.
    1. Vote on your favorite post in each pair, using the poll to the right. If you need to, you can click the links to read (or re-read) that article.
    2. Share any post (not just the ones listed here), whether on this blog or on Mission: Allendale.
    3. Leave a comment here explaining which post your shared and how you shared it. Be sure I have your full name and/or contact info! If I can't contact you, you can't win. (Remember, you can just leave a comment as "Anonymous" and put your full name, as long as I have your contact info.)

    Even if you participated last week, be sure to vote, share, and comment again, as this will give you another chance to win. Since we only had a handful of commenter last week, your comment this week gives you a great chance to win!

      Semifinal Game 1: Theology vs Parenting

      Semifinal Game 2: Education & Culture vs Parenting

      As with last week, voting will end on Sunday at 9PM (EST).

      By the way, we have now passed 20,000 visits on this blog! Thanks for being a part of this community!

      9-11 and My Daughter

      I'm sure much will be said and written today about the 10-year anniversary of 9-11, by people who are much smarter than I.

      From a personal note, one thing I remember about September 11, 2001 was that it all happened just 5 days before our first child was supposed to be born (although she finally came nine days after her due date).

      I remember thinking, "What an interesting world our child will grow up in."

      But God does not rest; He is at work.
      • He creates life, and sustains it.
      • He redeems the brokenness in the world.
      • He draws us to Himself, even as we resist Him.

      I asked my kids last night, "What can we remember whenever something bad happens in our lives?" Here's what we came up with:
      • God loves us.
      • God is with us. The #1 command in the Bible is "Do not fear," and it's usually coupled with, "For I am with you."
      • God is in control.
      • Jesus gives us life.
      • Be thankful for the good things we do have.
      • Believers in Jesus go to heaven (including any who died on 9/11/01).
      • God will make things right, and turn evil into good.

      Related Links:

        Saturday Round-Up (September 10)

        Hope you have a great weekend. It was a great week for good articles; I think you'll find one or more that will help you.

        from The Art of Manliness
        Bookend Your Day: The Power of Morning and Evening Routines.  I'm definitely a creature of habit, but I could probably use a little more consistency, and a lot more effective use of my time. Here's a quote from William Blake, "Think in the morning, act in the noon, read in the evening, and sleep at night."  

        Spurgeon on a Stupid Way to Read the Scriptures.  "It is always better to read a little and digest it, than it is to read much and then think you have done a good thing by merely reading the letter of the word."

        A Year of Biblical Womanhood. "When the term 'Biblical' can mean anything, it means nothing." True, but where Rachel Evans errs is by not considering context. Still, an interesting and thought-provoking project.

        The Perks of the Job Are Not the Job Itself.  Thoughts from a stay-at-home dad. Apparently, there are a lot of these type dads in the blogging world.

        How to Comfort a Bereaved Child.  Nine principles (plus one more by yours truly in the comments).

        The Duel. I haven't done well keeping up with the Republican candidates for the 2012 Presidential campaign. This article is a good overview. Or, if you only have 47 seconds, watch this video for a recap.

        Structured Homeschooling Gets an A+. You know that I don't make a case that home schooling is the only or "Biblical" method for childhood education. But this small Canadian study showed some interesting data, such as home schooled children having advantages over children in public school in math (by a half grade level) in reading (over 2 grade levels). Small class size and individualized attention go a long way.

        Family Meals May Encourage Children to Try New Types of Food. Not only are family meal times great for conversation and connection, but they can encourage healthier eating habits.
        One Way to Serve Families with Disabled Children. Don't forget about the children in those families who are not disabled.

        Take Your Small Groups Off Life Support.  Watch this compelling video. "For every 10 minutes of commute, we are 10% less likely to have meaningful relationships. The average commute for America today? 30 minutes, each way. . . . We weren't built for isolation. We weren't meant to live lives disconnected from one another. We are created in the image of a God who exists in community. We are created for community."

        "Did You Have Fun" Is the Wrong Question

        Great article by Laura Parker, a must-read and think-about for all parents.

        "Shouldn’t our default be more about what we gave, than what we got?"

        Give-Away Reminder

        Don't forget to vote, share, and comment. That is, if you want to win $40 of merchandise (your choice) from Amazon.

        Not sure why, but we've had several votes, but far fewer comments. Well, someone is going to win.

        Want to participate and have a chance to win? Go to the First Round's selections.

        8 Leadership Principles from McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner

        I have to be honest. McDonald’s is not my favorite fast food restaurant. And yet I still go there a lot. Why am I drawn back again and again? Is it my kids’ insistent cries for Happy Meals, or my love for salty fries?

        And I’m not alone. Since Jim Skinner became CEO in 2004, McDonald’s has pleased both customers (5% annual growth rate) and shareholders (the stock return has been over 15 times more than the S&P 500). 

        In Why McDonald’s Wins in Any Economy, Skinner reveals some principles that have helped him lead with an attention to detail, but without micromanaging.
        1. Keep the base happy.  Some folks simply want their hot cakes and hash browns, or Big Mac and French fries. Give them what they want.
        2. Attract new customers.  As wraps, smoothies, and specialty coffees have become popular in other establishments, McDonald’s adopted them into its own menu.
        3. Execute well to satisfy customers.  There are many people involved in delivering quality food to customers, from test chefs to local crews, and from suppliers to managers. Each step of the process must be continually evaluated, and improved as needed. For example, while a deli sandwich would please some customers, the crews could not serve it in less than a minute, and Skinner knows that speed matters to most McDonald’s drive-through customers.
        4. Support your staff publicly.  The article's author gives an example of how he managed a tension between an executive and a manager below her. He backed the executive’s decision in front of others, but questioned her later in private.
        5. Your strengths must be your foundation.  McDonald’s was founded on hamburgers, not pizza or hotels. Everything  must support the core business. Once you have a solid foundation, you have the freedom to expand into new opportunities (think: oatmeal).
        6. New products can widen your reach.  The process of introducing the snack wrap (which required a quick 18 months from concept-to-delivery) forced the development team to perfect the tortilla, which allowed them to also produce a breakfast burrito. Also, the wraps increased sales by luring in customers for between-meal snacks.
        7. Don’t be fooled by false-success.  When a new product is launched, measures are taken to ensure that the sales do not merely steal revenue from another platform.
        8. Have a leadership pipeline.  Skinner himself was a right-hand-man for years. He insists that all executives be training two potential successors. 
        If you follow these leadership principles, your customers will also be able to say, "I'm lovin' it."

        Related Links:

        Flashback: Frustrated with School Work

        I wrote a post a few months ago, about children being Frustrated with School Work. Since we've started a new school year, I figured it was worth a reminder to check it out.

        Here's an excerpt:
        "My child's grades, efforts, and behaviors are visible, so it's easy for me to focus on those. However, what's more important is her heart. There is a spiritual battle for her heart and soul. The external behaviors are merely tools that help me discern what's in her heart.

        We need to remind our kids (and remember for ourselves) that our purpose must be to honor God in all that we do. The goal is not perfection. The goal is to find rest in Jesus (Matthew 11:28). Since we have peace with God through Jesus (Romans 5:1-2), why should we strive for worldly perfection?"

        Anyone else have a child who struggles in this area?

        Blog Playoffs - Round 1

        As I explained in the last post, here's your chance to let me know your favorite blog post and to win $40 of stuff from Amazon.com. Here's what you need to do:
        1. Vote on your favorite post in each pair, using the poll to the right. If you need to, you can click the links to read (or re-read) that article. You vote on each match-up.
        2. Share any post (not just the ones listed here), whether on this blog or on Mission: Allendale.
        3. Leave a comment here explaining which post your shared and how you shared it. (Be sure I have your full name and/or contact info! If I can't contact you, you can't win.) 
        **Note: If you don't want (or don't know how) to log in, just leave your full name in the comments, and post it as "Anonymous." If I don't have your contact info you can email it to me.

        Every week you do this is one entry for the drawing. On with the games!

          Game 1: Practical Theology

          Game 2: Education & Culture

          Game 3: Gospel Parenting

          Game 4: Parenting Struggles

          Thanks for taking part! Voting will end on Sunday at 9PM (EST).

          BCS: Blog Championship Series

          Every year, college football fans debate the merits of the current bowl system, versus playoffs.

          Though not nearly on the same scale of popularity (though we will reach 20,000 visits on this blog since I launched it last fall), we could have the same debate about this blog. So, we are going to determine which is the favorite blog post.

          With the help of my analytics software, I've determined the top 8 posts (not counting the About Me and Mission: Allendale pages, which were in the top 5 for hits).

          I'll pair them off over the next three weeks, and you get to vote on your favorite.

          And there will be a prize! No, not the $18 million payout for the BCS bowl games. I will be giving away $40 worth of merchandise (your choice) from Amazon.com. (The $40 includes shipping costs, if any.) Here's how you can win:
          1. Vote on your favorite posts for that week.
          2. Share any post on this blog or Mission: Allendale. The buttons under each post make it easy to share by email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. It could be a post in these playoffs, or any one of your choosing.
          3. Leave a comment saying which post you shared and how you shared it. For example, you could write "Shared Biblical Parenting vs Gospel Parenting on Facebook" or "Tweeted the post on 10 Reasons Allendale is Better Than Where You Live." 
          4. Be sure I have your name/and or contact info. If I don't have it, you can email it to me. If I don't have this, you can't win.
          It's that simple. Just vote, share, and comment. Each week that you do this over the next three gives you once entry to the final drawing.

          Let me know if you have any questions.

          Let the games begin!
          1. Round 1 
          2. Round 2: Semifinals 
          3. Round 3: Finals 
          4. And the Winner Is . . . 

          What Is a Leader?

          The other day, I asked my older 2 kids (separately), “What makes someone a leader?”

          I was very happy with their answer, which was almost exactly the same wording, “Helping others.”

          Leadership is about making other people's lives better, and making them better, too.

          There are other definitions of leaders, but these two guys echo the same idea:
          • Jon Acuff:  "Leaders ask: 'What can I give to this person?'"
          • Jonathan Pearson:  Leaders show vision, self-control, and loyalty.

          How would you define a leader?

          My Son Representing God

          Here's what I wrote about my son Elijah having a chance to live out his faith, and the discussion we had.

          It was an opportunity for him to:
          • glorify God
          • testify about God
          • represent God
          • live out his faith in God.

          Read the full post on the Mission: Allendale blog.

          Related Links:

          Saturday Round-Up (September 3)

          Had a bunch of great articles I read this week. Whittled it down to these few:

          Raising Writers in Four Simple Steps.  Use personal experience. Keep it focused. Be specific. Teach revision.

          How Dutch Women Got to Be the Happiest in the World.  Around 75% of women in Holland work part-time, whether married or single, kids or no kids. The desire for a fulfilling life doesn't not mean you have to climb the corporate latter.

          Kids with Tourette Syndrome.  An excellent overview of this disorder.

          Parents' Stress Leaves Lasting Marks on Children's Genes.  I linked to an article last week how stress affects your DNA. Turns out it can affect the DNA of your kids, too, and not in a good way.

          The 6 Ways You'll See Your Dad.  Will my kids view me this way?

          Developing Healthy Body Image.  Parents play a big role in how their daughters view their bodies. We have to be mindful of the attitudes that we portray.

          Studies Question Effectiveness of Sex Offender Laws.  I, too, have lots of problems with these laws. But that's another discussion.

          7 Sure-Fire Way to Make Kids Feel Welcome in Church.  Very handy tips from Sam Luce.

          Favorite Tweets for August

          Here we go again!
          1. Yesterday at church, I noticed that Hannah has the same hair style as Jesus in the stained glass windows.
          2. Why do I like Jews for Jesus. Because they sold me a shirt that says, "Jesus Made Me Kosher." Read more...
          3. Eating cake with a former Harlem Globetrotter, in Barnwell, SC.
          4. RT : The luckiest times if your life are as a baby or in a nursing home b/c you get your own room // You also poop in a diaper 
          5. Best part of having a cash budget - just paid $220 for auto maintenance, and won't ever see it on credit card bill.
          6. Pastor Larry Sizemore giving major props to the ministry and outreach of and .
          7. Half the principals in are new, and 1/2 the middle school teachers. Glad we're back in the kids' lives.
          8. Watching the Allendale-Fairfax Tigers practice. Also have an open invitation to stand on the sidelines for every game. http://twitpic.com/66pk83
          9. Handy tip: do NOT try to cut open a fish oil pill.
          10. I love it when the kids at the Club describe a relative, and the first thing they say is, "She's black." Really?
          11. Oh yeah, ? Here was OUR in : Baptist Hymns 217, 329, 320.
          12. It only took about 8 years, but and his family have made it to PNG.

          Which do you like best? I'll go first in the comments.

          Don't forget to follow me @EspinosaJoey.