Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dinner Topics FAQ

Dear Readers, I have been perusing your comments. Thank you for your kind words. I see that many of your questions center on a few common questions, so I will try to answer them in this post. If you have

Saturday, December 15, 2012

School Shooting: a Bible Study Perspective

A Bible Study Perspective from Commentary Magazine **Also see added note by C.A. Davidson at the end of this article Gehenna in Connecticut John Podhoretz Gehenna, a synonym for Hell, is a real place, or so the Bible tells us.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Compare: Christian Traditions and Kwanzaa

How does Kwanzaa compare to Christmas? Gary DeMar Coulter gets to the heart of the distinction between Kwanzaa and Christmas: “Kwanzaa liberates no one; Christianity liberates everyone, proclaiming that we are all equal before God. ‘There is neither Jew nor

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Music, Joy, and Tchaikovsky

Dinner Topics for Thursday Watch and Listen to Christmas Music and the Nutcracker Experience variety of Tchaikovsky’s enormous talent in the 1812 Overture from Wikipedia Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky  Pyotr Ilyich Chaykovsky; 7 May 1840 – 6 November 1893),[a 2] anglicised as

Christmas Music and the Nutcracker

Dinner Topics for Thursday

Russian Dance from the Nutcracker

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy 


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Nativity, Dr Seuss, and the Meaning of Christmas Story

Dinner Topics for Wednesday Nativity Christmas Story Video “Maybe Christmas Doesn’t Come from a Store” Jeffrey R. Holland, “Maybe Christmas Doesn’t Come from a Store,” Ensign, Dec. 1977, 63 You will recall from Dr. Suess’s holiday “horror” story, How the

Nativity: Christmas Story

Christian Dinner Topics for  Wednesday

Nativity Christmas Story Video

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christians, Jews, and Christmas Trees

Christmas Trees Ben Stein: On God, Christmas Trees and symbols I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish.� And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up,

Saturday, December 8, 2012

President Obama, Vacations, and Your Taxes

People homeless and hungry in Staten Island for Christmas, and the Obamas take extravagant vacations, during the last year alone, at taxpayers expense, that make the royal family of England look like paupers. News item from Glenn Beck Another vacation

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Stress Management, Classical Music, and Sebelius

Dinner Topics for Friday Be Still My Soul Listen to this Lovely Hymn, Be Still My Soul, music by Sibelius (text by Katherine von Schlegel b. 1697) From Wikipedia Jean Sibelius 8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957) was a Finnish

Stress Management and Music for the Soul

Dinner Topics for Friday

Hear this lovely hymn, Be still my soul, music by Sibelius,
 text by Katherine von Schlegel,b. 1697 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Parenting: Teaching Chastity and Fidelity

Parenting Value: Chastity and Fidelity

Dinner Topics for Thursday

Parenting Value for December: Fidelity and Chastity

Fidelity and Chastity

The value and security of fidelity within marriage and of restraint and limits before marriage. The commitment that go with marriage and that should go with sex. A grasp of the long-range (and widespread) consequences that can result from sexual amorality and infidelity

In the age of AIDS it is easier than it has been for many decades to agree as a society on the desirability of fidelity in marriage and the good sense of abstinence before marriage. Those who now agree practically are added to those who have always agreed philosophically. 

Whether or not you agree morally with this value, you do, as a parent, have the responsibility to deal in your own way with these critical issues. 

Many parents who did not practice chastity or abstinence in their own youth are nonetheless hopeful and even anxious that their children will. This is not hypocrisy and shouldn't cause guilt. Today is its own time - with its own concerns and its own reminders. And the fact that some of us have learned from our mistakes ought to be the best reason why our kids do not have to do likewise. 

It is hard to argue against the mental logic and the emotional benefits of fidelity within marriage. And positive commitments toward it can start to form in very small children. 

I sat in the library one day, researching some quotations for a manuscript I was working on. I was having a hard time keeping my mind on my work because I was thinking about one of my adolescent daughters and about my efforts to help her understand why chastity and sexual morality was something to be sought or valued. She was not rebelling against the notion or even disagreeing with it. But she was at the age where any restriction bothered here. She had asked, the night before, why there were so many limits on so many things. 

And I had wanted to tell her that chastity, like any true value or virtue, is a positive thing that you gain, not something you give up. 

I was looking through some G. K. Chesterton essays and I literally fell onto the words I was wishing for. They were in an essay called "A Piece of Chalk," in which Chesterton uses the metaphor of an artist who was sitting on an English hillside drawing on brown paper. He had all his chalk except white; he had forgotten to bring the white. Could he do without it? No, because white is not the absence of color. White spaces are not blank, they are put on by the artist and can be the most important element in his canvas. Should he return home for a piece of white chalk? Then he realized that he is sitting on chalk - England is made of chalk, he said. He broke off a piece from a white chalk rock and completed the drawing. 

Virtue, in Chesterton's mind, was not a void or the absence of a wrong. It was the presence of a right. And he felt that values or virtues are the light and the key to putting beauty into the rest of life. In Chesterton's words: 

The chief assertion of religious morality is that white is a color. Virtue is not absence of vices or the avoidance of moral danger, virtue is a vivid and separate thing. . . . Mercy does not mean not being cruel or sparing people revenge of punishment; it means a plain and positive thing like the sun, which one has either seen or not seen. Chastity does not mean abstention from sexual wrong, it means something flaming, like Joan of Arc.

- Richard

The two most important reasons that parents should be the ones to teach children about sex and sexual morality are: (a) parents can teach in a warm and loving way that avoids the sterile, factual, academic tone that predominates in school discussions and the silly or "dirty" connotation that often accompanies peer discussions; (b) when a parent teaches a child about sex, the intimate and personal nature of the subject creates a mutual sharing of trust and forms an emotional bond between parent and child.


Review the activities and stories that go along with this months value. Make sure everyone in your family understands the value so they can see how they can apply it in their own lives and situations.

Talk about the Monthly Value every morning and remind your family to look for opportunities to use the value throughout the day. They may also observe how others don't understand the value. Get your children to share their experience with the value each day at the dinner table or before you go to bed. Be sure to share your experience each day as well. It will help your children know that you are thinking about the value too.

Action Big Alert: Last Chance for Liberty?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Israel News: United Nations Recognizes Palestine

Israel Right to Downplay UN Vote Commentary Magazine After more than a year of campaigning for it, the Palestinian Authority will have its moment tomorrow when the General Assembly of the United Nations will vote to upgrade the PA’s status