How Do You Talk to Your kids About Tragedy? By Ron Brooks

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Thank you, Ron Brooks, for permission to re-post this helpful article on my blog. How to Talk to Kids About Tragedy. By Ron Brooks The largest massacre in US history in Las Vegas. The shooting at Columbine. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Irma and Harvey. The Tornadoes of Moore, Oklahoma. The school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  The terrorist attack on 911. The terrorist attack in Paris, France. The mass shooting in Orlando.  All terrible tragedies, and if your child has heard about these events, you may be wondering how to talk to your kids about tragedy. With social media such a huge part of our life now, events like this are widely publicized. You are hardly able to turn on the TV or read through a Facebook feed without seeing reports. Many of our kids will see photos or hear about all the people that lost their homes or their lives in the storm. While we may do our best to shield our kids from horrible events, the truth is, many will find out. We homeschool our daughter, so it may be easier for me to keep bad news like this from her, but for others it is …

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Connecting Digitally with Your Kids

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For Father’s Day my son cracked me up when he wrote in my card, “I love you more than the games on my ipad! :)” So touching. But the reality is, my son is growing up in an age where he plays on an ipad as much as he does with physical toys and games. I’m delighted that Lego still captures his imagination as much as Minecraft, and that he’d still rather play outside than on his X-box, but at the same time I have a love-hate relationship with iPad games. There are times I wish he didn’t have one – but I also realize that touch-tablet technology is the world he is growing up in. While he can use the family iMac with ease, it is very likely that by the time he is a teenager, the computers we use will be the technological dinosaurs of a past age. I enjoyed growing up using the very first personal computers and leaping on each advancement as they came out. Even waiting in line for a new Apple OS to be released instead of the free downloads of today. But this ‘Old Dog’ has to recognize that both the reality of …

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Taking the Path Less Traveled

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You’d miss it completely if you weren’t looking for it. Most walked right past it. But we enjoyed a rare treat because we were looking for the path less traveled. I kicked off 2017 with a week of hiking in Yosemite National Park with a good friend. I lead the Yosemite Summit retreat for pastors every May, but we were eager to see this incredible place in winter. God blessed us with both fresh snow and temperatures that made hiking surprisingly easy as we stuffed hats, gloves and jackets into our backpacks… not needed! Ahead of time we did some research on the best spots to see in winter. We discovered a secret spot off the Upper Yosemite Falls trail that afforded an amazing view of the middle falls that otherwise are impossible to see from any other location. It was amazing! We marveled that the slight detour leading to this spot was missed by most, but at the same time enjoyed that the secret was ours alone as other hikers walked on by, just a few feet away and missed it completely. I won’t even name it here, its worthy of secrecy – but if you ask me in …

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Dad, I Need to Talk

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For my birthday I got this cool home marquee sign so I can put light up signs in my office. I had a message that said, “WELCOME TO THE KIDOLOGY HQ.” My son came down yesterday while I was busy working and asked if I minded if he played with it and changed the message. I said, “Go for it!” and showed him where all the letters were. A few minutes later he says it is ready for viewing. This is what I saw: Wow! Kids have a way of getting our attention. So I sat down, put my arm around him and asked, “Well, what do you want to talk about?” (Wondering if it was serious or something had happened at school.) He answered, “I need to tell you in a note. I’ll be right back!” and he ran upstairs. I thought perhaps he didn’t want to say what was on his mind with house guests around. He soon returned back downstairs with the following note. I was relieved it was nothing serious. (I can post-pone “the Talk” another day!) You are going to have to come with me out frint there is something I want to do with …

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What Words Define You?

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Facebook asked me yesterday if I’d like to know what words I use the most when I post to my wall. It seemed like a fun activity. After clicking my approval, some software somewhere read my wall, compiled words, and sorted them by frequency. The result was the word cloud you see here. I was happy to see “kids” front and center and my son’s name as well. It was no surprise to see “church” or “Yosemite” – though my wife teased me that my friend Brett bumped her off the list, which does cast a little doubt on the accuracy, but at least Brent affirmed that I made his list too! Of course, Facebook only provides a glimpse into our lives, and the parts of our lives that we choose to share – but it’s worth some reflection to ask ourselves, What am I about? What drives me? What do I talk about? What do I think about? Life is made up of words and words reflect the heart. (Luke 6:45 and Matthew 15:18 discuss this.) Whether or not you allow Facebook to count your words, consider if God counted our words and made a list of what typically …

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