Raising Children In a Godless Age

In this message from August 1955, Billy Graham describes problems that seem hauntingly similar to those of today. And the answer to every one of those problems is still the same—Jesus Christ. This message is even more needed today than it was in 1955.

Many Christian parents are becoming fearful that they cannot properly train their children in this lawless and wicked age. We have received scores of letters in our office asking, “What is the answer? What can I do with my son? My daughter?”

We are beginning to reap what has been sown for the past generation. We have taught the philosophy of the devil, who says, “Do as you please.” Behaviorism has been the moral philosophy of much of our education in the past few years. Psychiatrists have told parents to let their children do as they please, lest in restraining them they may warp the children’s personalities.

We have taken God out of our educational systems and thought we could get away with it. We have sown the wind, and we are now reaping the whirlwind. We have laughed at God, religion and the Bible.

Many of our educational leaders sneer at the old-fashioned idea of God and a moral code. Movies feature sex, sin, crime and alcohol. Teenagers see these things portrayed alluringly on the screen and decide to go and try them. Newspapers have played up crime and sex until they seem glamorous to our young people.

Instead of publicizing the good and constructive things that teenagers do, we have played up the sensational lawbreaker. We have taught our young people that morals are relative and not absolute.

At the heart of the problem is the failure of parents in the home. Evangelist Billy Sunday once said, “If you want to lick the devil, hit him over the head with a cradle.” Parents today are not interested, apparently, in defeating the devil in the home. There seems to be little parental responsibility for discipline. Children are allowed to go wild.

One parent said, “I pay for my boy’s clothes, I feed him. I give him an allowance; what more do you expect of me?” Many parents do not realize that they are responsible for their children’s mental and spiritual growth and character building, as well as for feeding and clothing them. If parents fail, God is going to hold them responsible.

I want to give a few suggestions to Christian parents. First, take time with your children. Your children not only require a great deal of your time, but they long and hunger for it. Perhaps they do not express it, but the hunger and longing are there just the same. Love them; spend hours with them. Cut out some of your so-called “important social engagements” and make your home the center of your social life. God will honor you, and your children will grow up to call you blessed (see Proverbs 31:28).

Second, give your children ideals for living. Teach them moral and spiritual principles of life. Show them that only the morally and spiritually right attain genuine satisfaction in life.

Third, set your children a good example. A well-known story illustrates this point. It was the usual custom for a lawyer who walked to his office every morning to stop at the corner tavern for a drink. One morning when the snow had fallen, he heard a sound behind him. Turning, he saw his 7-year-old son stepping as far as he could in his father’s tracks in the new-fallen snow.

The father turned around and said, “Son, what are you doing?” The son replied, “I’m stepping in your tracks.” The father sent his son back home, but that morning he couldn’t go to the tavern; all he could think of was a boy stepping in his father’s tracks.

When he was studying for his law case that day the boy’s words kept returning, “I’m stepping in your tracks.” About noon the father got down on his knees and accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior and said, “From now on I want my son to step in the tracks of a Christian father.”

Fourth, plan activities for your children. Plan things together as a family. Make the home so interesting and delightful that your children will want to stay home; then they will never miss the things that so many young people are engaged in for thrills.

Fifth, discipline your children. The devil’s philosophy is: “Do as you please.” Children are going to be in society what they are in the home. The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, teaches that parents ought to lovingly discipline their children.

Ephesians 6:4 says, “You, fathers … bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” In Proverbs 13:24 the Bible says, “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” And in Proverbs 19:18, “Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction.”

If you fail to discipline your children, you are breaking the laws, commandments and statutes of God. You are guilty not only of injuring the moral, spiritual and physical lives of your children, but of sinning against God. The Bible says that if you fail to discipline your children, you actually hate them.

The best way to influence your children is to set an example before them. Remember, the majority of children acquire the characteristics and habits of their parents.

The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Now, some parents carry discipline too far, continually harassing their children. The Bible also says, “Do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged” (Colossians 3:21). Parents should never give unreasonable commands. Nor should they ever give a command that they do not mean to be carried out.

Sixth, teach your children to know God, and bring them up in the church. Very seldom do parents have trouble with children when the Bible is read regularly in the home, grace is said at the table and family prayers take place daily. Most trouble with teenagers comes from children reared in homes where prayer is neglected, the Bible is never opened and church attendance is spasmodic. Christ gives the moral stability, understanding, wisdom and patience needed to rear children.

Many parents are not Christians. They have never received Christ as their Lord and Savior. Church attendance, if any, has been no more than a duty and a ritual. Their children have seen the insincerity in the lives of their parents. They have watched their parents go to church on a Sunday and live like the devil during the week. So the children have rebelled against religion as a whole; they have turned away from moral restraint. Many parents are only reaping what they have sown.

Christ is the answer to teenage delinquency. Christ in the home, in the lives of the parents, is the only permanent solution to the menacing teenage social problems in America.

If you are a parent, Christ can help you to rear your children in the fear and nurture and admonition of the Lord. If I were not a Christian, I would despair of my children in the moral climate in which we have to rear them.

Get the Scripture and its principles ingrained into their souls—“precept upon precept; line upon line;” teach them “here a little, and there a little” from the Word of God (Isaiah 28:13). Get them into the habit of going to church every Sunday, of praying daily and of saying grace at the table.

That will solve 90 percent of the problems you have with your children.

If you are a young person seeking thrills, happiness and joy in some of these questionable avenues of pleasure, I beg you to come to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ can give you the greatest happiness, the greatest adventure and the greatest thrills that you have ever known.

If you will take Jesus Christ into your heart, He will put a spring in your step, joy in your soul and a thrill in your heart. Come to Christ! Jesus Christ is the one who can be joy and happiness and peace to all of you young people. I beg of you to surrender your life to Christ.

But there are many of you who will say, “I would like to give my life to Christ, but I cannot live the Christian life. I have tried before but have failed.” Ah, yes, but when you receive Christ, He comes into your heart. He gives you supernatural power to live the Christian life.

You do not struggle alone, by yourself. He lives in your heart to give you power and strength to live the Christian life. You, today, can give your heart to Christ. In Romans 10:13 we read, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

On Time Travel and Furniture Making

I got the chance to play-test a wonderful new game last night. It is called Cabriole. The designer is Doug Bass, who previously designed and published Garden Dice. Players take on the role of 17th century furniture manufacturers in London. The game tasks you with gathering resources and hiring tradesmen to get furniture pieces made. It is a worker placement / card drafting / resource management game. I very much enjoyed it, and while none of the mechanics are new, they are arranged in a very interesting way.

The game is set up with the main board in the center of the table, rows of cards (the number of which varies by player count) beside it, and player boards for each player. The main board contains the spots to collect resources, the trade guilds where players place to hire or promote tradesmen, a store front where players can make a sell for some quick cash, three tracks that keep up with how many of each furniture type players have sold (bonuses at the end), and the victory point track. The player board is where players keep up with their tradesmen, which types they have hired and what levels they are.

Placement happens by placing at the end of one row of cards or by placing at the spots on the board. The cards are furniture designs players can complete or special bonus cards that allow players to collect a resource for free or hire/promote a tradesmen for a discounted price. All of the placement spots are limited and there is a timing aspect to how all of the placements are resolved that I really enjoyed. When you place at the end of a row you are queuing to select something from that row, not placing on the specific card you want. The first person in a row will obviously get what they want, but second on has some deduction to do to try and guess what those ahead of them intend to take and whether that conflicts with what they want. They may risk being later in queue or they may need to find an alternative action.

This timing mechanism extends to the way actions on the board resolve. There are four resources and each has four stacks available, each containing a different amount of resources for a different amount of money. Players select the stack they want in the order that they placed meaning, if you need three ebony to complete the projects you are working on, but are the third to place in the ebony spot, you may be in trouble. Again, you need to keep an eye on the projects your opponents have in front of them, and even the rows they are placing on to see what they may possibly be working on when it comes time to resolves resources, before you commit somewhere.

At the end of the turn players are automatically allowed to complete any projects they have the resources and correct tradesmen for, choosing to take either money or victory points for each piece they sell. The game forces you to plan your next turn out in advance, making sure you have enough money on hand to buy the resources you need and pay your tradesmen, before you decide whether you need the money or it is ok to bank to victory points.

I really enjoyed it. The mechanics are simple but the planning it asks you to do is not. Planning out your turns ahead of time, calculating exactly how much money you will need to get everything done, while also trying to bank as many victory points as possible, is interesting. Trying to read what your opponents are doing so you don’t end up in the middle of a round with your plans shot, scrambling to figure out a new direction, is fun. But it can also be mean. If you can figure out what opponents are doing, you have the opportunity to screw them out of it. The game can be kind of easy going or players can get in each other’s faces, and that is one of the more interesting aspects of the game for me.

With a few rule tweaks the game has the ability to go from a fun, relaxed Takenoko or Fresco level game where money comes pretty easily, there are ample places to place, and people are required to do much less planning, to a much heavier and tighter game where money is scarce and planning is paramount. If you calculate your money, or your opponents’ moves, wrong you could be left very short at the end of a round, unable to complete the furniture you had intended to, which will leave you without the money you need to pay tradesmen or get anything done in the next round. There are no loans, and the store front gives a very small return for a placement. You may end up having to sell some of the resources you had gathered to build furniture, meaning you’ll have to regather them before said furniture can be completed.

We actually discussed the possibility of the game shipping with the ability to play both ways: two different sides to the player boards, one family and one advanced, two different decks of cards, one that loosens up money, and one that makes it very tight, and a few rules tweaks that forces players to rub more and makes decisions/planning more difficult. I am very excited about the possibility. I really like the theme and think it could appeal to a broad range of players. He got the idea after attending a lecture at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts at Old Salem and the historic flair really comes through. The art is also fabulous. So far only the cards have been done, but they are beautiful and charming. Lamberto Azzariti, the artist from Upon a Salty Ocean, De Vulgari Eloquentia, Rio de la Plata, and Romolo o Remo, is doing it and hist style is perfect for the subject.

I could see using a family version of this game as a gateway/second tier game, depending on the player. I think the theme really is interesting and charming enough, and the mechanics simple enough, to get casual players interested. But the game can also be tough enough to appeal to serious gamers. I could see playing the family version with my kids and other family members at get-togethers. But I can also envision sitting down for an evening and playing the advanced version with my brother and wife, or a game group, trying to outthink and outmaneuver them. The system really is that flexible with just a few simple changes. There were a few rough spots on the board that need to be worked on, and a few things (like a round tracker) that need to be implemented, but, all-in-all, I was really impressed. I am already looking forward to it being released.

The Lies People Believe

From a post by Rachel Maddow:

David Letterman’s monologue last night included some observations that stood out for me:
“This is what happens when we have the midterm elections. The Republicans, of course, have turned against Obama, and the Democrats have also turned against Obama. That’s a lonely, lonely gig being president, ladies and gentlemen.
“Take a look at this: gas under $3 a gallon – under $3 a gallon. Unemployment under 6%, whoever thought? Stock market breaking records every day. No wonder the guy is so unpopular.”
As the saying goes, it’s funny because it’s true.

Seriously? Rachel Maddow is too intelligent to believe this, which makes it a lie. I waded into the comments briefly, but the ignorance was too rampant to make a coherent conversation possible. Anyway, none of these things are due to Obama, nor are they indicative of the job he is doing.

Gas is under $3 a gallon: Because OPEC is purposely pushing down the cost of gas right now. They do not like America’s new source of oil so they are looking eliminate it through price controls. Shale oil is expensive to procure, and anything below $85 a barrel makes it unattractive. OPEC doesn’t like America being energy independent, they do not like the US getting our shale oil and cutting them out of the picture, so they are trying to push oil prices down to the point that shale oil is unattractive.

USAToday – Why OPEC is fine with falling oil prices

Unemployment is under 6%: Because the number is made up. They are pretty much just pulling the number out of thin air at this time. They are not counting the people who have dropped out of the job market and are no longer looking for work at all. It is a complete fiction.

Making 9 Million Jobless “Vanish”: How The Government Manipulates Unemployment Statistics

Obama’s “Doctored” Jobless Rate Masks Danger

Stock market breaking records every day: The stock market is not the economy. In fact, the stock market has often historically run contrary to the economy at large. While the stock market may respond to economic indicators or news, it doesn’t always respond in the manner that makes sense. The economy and the stock market have a lot in common, however the stock market is not the economy and the economy is not the stock market.This makes perfect sense to some people, however others find it confusing and misleading. The economy is a way of defining all we make, buy, sell and consume. The stock market is part of the economy, however its focus is very narrow, confined to securities that represent, for the most part, the largest and most robust companies.

Anyone Who Thinks Stocks Will Go Up If The Economy Grows Should Read This Quote From Warren Buffett

A quote from this article:

Now, to get some historical perspective, let’s look back at the 34 years before this one–and here we are going to see an almost Biblical kind of symmetry, in the sense of lean years and fat years–to observe what happened in the stock market. Take, to begin with, the first 17 years of the period, from the end of 1964 through 1981. Here’s what took place in that interval:

Dec. 31, 1964: 874.12
Dec. 31, 1981: 875.00

Now I’m known as a long-term investor and a patient guy, but that is not my idea of a big move.

And here’s a major and very opposite fact: During that same 17 years, the GDP of the U.S.–that is, the business being done in this country–almost quintupled, rising by 370%. Or, if we look at another measure, the sales of the FORTUNE 500 (a changing mix of companies, of course) more than sextupled. And yet the Dow went exactly nowhere.

The Stock Market Is Not the Economy 

Anyway, stick your head in the sand and believe this kind of garbage if you want to, or you could, you know, do a little research and see it for the falsehood it clearly is. The information is out there and not very difficult to find. As far as why Obama is unpopular, Obama is unpopular because he is a statist and there are a number of people in this country who are starting to see statism for the evil that it is.