Teaching an "I Love Problems" Mindset

"Mindsets toward learning
could matter more
than anything else we teach."

I recently read an article by Salman Khan, "The Learning Myth: Why I'll Never Tell My Son He's Smart." As we kick off our Fall semester of school, I found the simple ideas he present to be encouraging and challenging.

Researchers have known for some time that the brain is like a muscle; that the more you use it, the more it grows. They’ve found that neural connections form and deepen most when we make mistakes doing difficult tasks rather than repeatedly having success with easy ones. . . .

What this means is that our intelligence is not fixed, and the best way that we can grow our intelligence is to embrace tasks where we might struggle and fail. . . .

The good news is that mindsets can be taught; they’re malleable.
— Salman Khan
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
— James 1:2-4 ESV

While this article is worth sharing for its simple application to teaching our children, I also see a deeper spiritual parallel.

The idea of growth through trial is not new, of course (James 1:2-4).

Just as Khan has encouraged us, are teaching our children a mindset that embraces difficulties as an opportunity to grow in faith and maturity?

Now, let's bring it all the way home:

Are we exemplifying faith to our children
as respond to our problems in front of them?

Change Your Marriage in One Weekend?

If you could change your marriage in ONE weekend, would you do it? God can do it if you will seek him and apply these biblical principles for your life. In addition to great food and time alone together, we will be discussing how to have a PEACE and PURPOSE in your marriage.

The following topics will be explored:

  • What is God’s purpose for marriage?
  • Why are there so many broken marriages?
  • What are the roles of husbands and wives?
  • What do I do if my spouse is doing something wrong?
  • How do we have a peaceful, productive conversation?
  • How do we build a fulfilling marriage?

Here is a description of the accommodations at Cherokee Cove in Mountain City, TN:

"The lodging will be in the newly built Evergreen Village. These cozy log cabins are privately situated amidst wooded and long range views.  Each uniquely decorated cabin has it’s own front porch and is equipped with a queen sized bed with fine linens; a full bath with lush towels; coffee maker and coffee, cream, sugar and tea bags; and a welcome basket.  Meals include “welcome snacks” and dinner on Friday, Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Sunday brunch.  Hot and cold beverages are available from 7 am until 10 pm daily.

Total cost is $250 per couple. The menu will include fresh, locally grown produce, organic, home baked breads, wild caught fish, and beef and/or pork and chicken.  All meals are prepared fresh daily and that are “catered” to the needs of the guests, so feel free to inform us of any food allergies and special requests.

How to Create a Weekly Prayer List on Your iPhone

I used to have a "Quiet Time Notebook" for years. A real notebook with real paper in it. In my notebook,  I would journal, take sermon notes, make prayer lists, and keep up with Scripture memory. While there is nothing wrong with doing it that way, I have found digital ways of keeping up with these disciplines that ensure the safety of the data and are more convenient and efficient for me.

I recently bought an iPhone and created a daily and weekly prayer list system using the Reminders app. Here's how you do it.

Select the Reminders app that comes on the iPhone. Select "New List" at the top. Name the list whatever you want and make as many prayer lists as you want. The part that I like the best is the ability to create weekly reminders. For example, if there are certain items or people I would like to pray for every Monday, I can create a recurring reminder. After you have populated your list, select an item on the list and a blue "i" in a circle will appear on the right. Select the "i" and you will be able to set the date, time, and recurrence of the reminder for that item.

Here is the result: I can drag from the top of the iPhone screen at any time (even without unlocking my phone) and I get a summary of my day: weather, calendar items, and reminders (awesome feature). So each day, whatever prayer reminders I have set for the day appear in this view. As I pray through them, I can select each item and they will disappear until the set day next week! This makes it very convenient to pray through my list as I go through the day.

Paul wrote to the Ephesians, "I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers" (Eph 1:16). He also exhorted them to pray "at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints" (Eph 6:18).

Like Paul, we don't really NEED an iPhone to pray for the saints without ceasing. But for now I am finding it a very helpful tool!

Whatever tool you use, the important questions are these:

  • Are you enjoying a daily love relationship with Christ?
  • Are you spending significant time with him in prayer?
  • Are you praying for the saints?

How to Solve Problems in Your Relationships [Podcast #17]

This podcast episode is the third and final part of the session I taught at the North Carolinians for Home Education Conference, "How to Stop the Fighting in Your Home." You can view the prezi for this session here.

It is a brief explanation of the 9 Steps for Conflict Resolution I have already blogged about in several posts that starts here, or I have consolidated into one article.

Teach your children biblical conflict resolution. 

  • Give space (James 1:19).
  • Check yourself  (Matt 7:3-5).
  • Let go of anger (Eph 4:26-27; Matt 18:21-35).
  • Love (Mark 12:30; Gal 5:14).
  • Pray (Matt 5:44; James 1:5-8).
  • Talk about it (Prov 18:13;15:1).
  • Discern the issue (Rom 14:1-12).
  • Speak the truth (Matt 18:15; Eph 4:15; Gal 6:1).
  • Give space

One Habit to Change Your Life

What one activity would change your life if you turned it into a habit?

I was recently challenged to reflect on this as I read the book The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan.

Not everything matters equally; some things matter more than others—a lot more. . . . Go extreme. Once you’ve figured out what actually matters, keep asking what matters most until there is only one thing left. That core activity goes at the top of your success list.
— Gary Keller, The One Thing

From a biblical perspective, our ONE Thing is very clear!

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.
Psalm 27:4

My ONE Thing is to have a real, intimate relationship with Christ, to love God with all (Mark 12:30).

So, the answer to my first question is this: PRAY.

[I think that Scripture reading and meditation is just as important. but I already have made that a habit. It is my prayer life that is weak.]

I want to learn to pray. What am I doing to accomplish this? I have committed to significant amount of time in prayer everyday. I am also training my mind to return to the Lord often throughout the day in prayer.

I am reading these two books to help me grow in these areas. I highly recommend them both.

How to Develop a Powerful Prayer Life:
The Biblical Path to Holiness and Relationship with God
by Dr. Gregory R Frizzell

The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan.

The Practice of the Presence of God
by Brother Lawrence

How to Help Your Children Stop Fighting [Podcast #16]

This podcast episode is the second part of the session I taught at the North Carolinians for Home Education Conference, "How to Stop the Fighting in Your Home." You can view the prezi for this session here.


2.        Set basic rules of engagement.

  • No yelling
  • No violence.
  • No manipulation

3.        Teach your children to speak truth to one another (Eph 4:15; Matt 18:15-17).

Teach them the Matt 18 process:

  • Speak to the other person privately.
  • Ask another person to help verify problem (I don’t require this step).
  • Go to those in authority to handle the situation.

Did God Really Create the Universe in Six 24 Hour Days?

Unless you are willing to break some of the most basic rules for biblical interpretation, then yes, God really did create the universe in six 24 hour days.


The Hebrew word translated "day" can refer to a 24 hour day, a period of time, or be translated idiomatically as "when." Which meaning is intended for a particular passage is determined by the context of the word in the passage and comparing usage with other Scriptures. Here are 10 Reasons “Day” means a 24-hour day in Gen 1.

[Immediate Context]

1) The mention of “evening and morning” points to a 24-hour day.

2) The lights given for signs and seasons and days and years (Gen 1:14) indicate that the normal system for time is in place.

3) Gen 2:2 (as well as the 10 Commandments) declares the Sabbath (the seventh day of the week) as holy based on the days and week of creation.

4) “Day” in Gen 2:4 means “when” based on the immediate context. It is important to note that Gen 2:4 is in a different discourse unit than Gen 1:1-2:3. See also how this translation fits comparison with other Scriptures below.

5) Some do not think that Adam could have named the animals in one day (which he did on day six). It may be pointed out that Adam was perfect, with no degeneration due to sin. It also seems that he did not have to name the sea creatures. In the end, God could certainly have empowered Adam to do whatever he desired him to do.

[Other Scripture}

6) Every other time “day” appears with a number in the OT, it means 24-hour day.

7) Everywhere else in the OT that “evening” or “morning” appear with “day,” or “evening” and “morning” appear together, it refers to a 24-hour day.

8) Jesus said humans were made “in the beginning” (Matt 19:14; Mark 10:6).

9) If not literal days (and thus some long periods of time), then death would have come before sin (Rom 5:12; 1 Cor 15:21).


10) Throughout Jewish and Church history, God’s people have understood these to be 24-hour days. It is not until the last couple hundred years that it has been questioned by many scholars.

If we believe in God's "eternal power and divine nature" (Rom 1:20), then it is certainly not difficult to believe that God could have created the world in six day. And since this is the obvious, natural reading of the text, then the only reason it would be questioned is in order to make Scripture fit apparently contradictory scientific conclusions.