Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The *Updated* New Year

A New Year Cometh

This article originally appeared in the Pitter Patter newsletter of my MOPS group in January 2000. We were facing a new year, a new decade, a new millennium. A few things have changed over the the last 11 years, so I have updated a few spots in [brackets] and in color{Oh boy, now it is 2015 - and times - they are a-changin' again.  I'll note the newest additions in other other {brackets} and another new color.}

It is strange to think that not only were we raised in a different century from our children, but a different millennium. And certainly this is a different “age.” {My kids told me this weekend that they are striving to reach the ages of 104 and 102 so that they can live in 3 different centuries. I think maybe Jesus will come to get us before then, but otherwise, I hope they do it!}

The age of technology is upon us. My three year old has already mastered her “preschool” computer program. She can click her way through the screens as well as mom. Mom never touched a computer before junior high and then it was the one computer in the whole school for “kid use” – a TRS-80. It worked off of cassette tapes somehow. Sounds like ancient history.  [Okay, so this really is ancient history, my now-teenagers are playing games over the internet with friends in other neighborhoods, took their driving test online, use Google instead of a dictionary or an encyclopedia, and rapidly assimilate new physics apps on the iPad.]  {Sometimes I wish we had never introduced the computer, my son has to fight the addiction and, probably, so do I. We've got iPads and smartphones and Kindle and GPS and all that jazz. In our plans for heading to the Grand Canyon, my husband said we could bring the iPad so we can identify the stars. I say, "No way! No electronic devices in the canyon! Let's enjoy God's creation the way He intended!" I really hope I get my way!}

In the “good old days” my brother and I spent Saturday mornings glued to the TV set with such questionable fare as Bugs Bunny, Road Runner and Pepe LePew. They [child psychologists and parents] worried at the time about us not understanding why the coyote did not get hurt when he fell into the canyon. My children are not allowed to watch Saturday morning cartoons due to violence, bad language, bad attitudes, poor adult role models, and new age doctrines that are not hidden, but openly displayed. And forget regular daytime/ nighttime TV too. The coarse humor, overt sexual relations, and the “selling” of the homosexual lifestyle have made this hobby a thing of the past for my family. [The main TV show my children have grown up with is Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition which is now about to go off the air!  We were pretty good about keeping TV limited to that one hour a week, with "safe" videos thrown in here and there.  With some new digital TV stations, this year my kids have branched out to Batman (Adam West), Get Smart and Hogan's Heroes.  It has been fun watching them get a kick out of all the oldie goldies.]  {TV is only getting worse, and we don't even own cable! I'm seeing commercials for explicit homosexual movies, cursing is at an all-time high and many things are just not safe. I am so glad that TV has always been restricted in our house! There is only one TV and it is plain view. We sometimes enjoy the new movies when the newness has worn off and we can stream them through VidAngel which bleeps out curse words, gore and even (at times) immodesty. But, even at ages 19 and 17, our kids still love the oldies and I'm grateful!}

School was a safe place for children to go and learn when I was growing up. Our children will find that a laughable statement. A teacher could hug you and love you like a surrogate parent. Now they are afraid to brush against a child for fear of lawsuits.  [This year alone, I have heard of 8 kids hit by cars at their bus stops, 2 bus drivers who went to battle with students on their buses, a bus driver that wouldn't let a parent board, teachers and principal who fell into the pits of pornography, sexual abuse, and cheating with and for their students.  Bullying continues to sky-rocket even with all this "tolerance training."  We opted instead for the last 10 years to homeschool.  Our homeschool isn't perfect:  we are behind in some things.  But, my children know the Lord, they tend toward kind and respectful, and we know each other.]  {The last two years have seen the rise of Common Core in the classroom, as well as indoctrination into Islam, many more teachers-turned-criminals, and more removal of God, even from football games. In the meantime, our homeschool has churned out its first graduate; Holly walked across the stage with honors at the 2015 FPEA ceremony. She has collected 27 college credits and is working on 6 more without leaving the house, saving us about a ton of money. Elijah is starting to receive his first wave of college letters (thanks PSAT)!  Homeschool continues to be a blessing. Strange to think it will be ending so soon -- graduation seemed so far away when I originally wrote this article.}

[I wrote this article BEFORE the events of 9/11...just think of how that one event affected our lives. Airport security; field trip tours to the dairy, the newspaper, and other interesting places; bag checks at theme parks, and so much more!]  {Now, ISIS is threatening lives right here in America and the presidential race (Trump v. them all) is the most heated I've known. The economy changes up and down.}  

Doctors used to know you and your family and your history. [Uh, let me know if you can find one of those near me.] {Oh my, my oldest is now an adult and needs to find an "adult" doctor soon. Thankfully, we're all pretty healthy and haven't had to worry about it. My son recently visited the asthma doctor and we were chastised for not coming in for 2 1/2 years. But, he has been symptom free for over 3 years! He only went because we want a "just in case" rescue inhaler for the Grand Canyon trip.} Restaurant and grocery store employees used to be friendly and competent.  [Not to be rude, but if the power goes out, nobody knows what to do.  There is no way for a cashier to tally up your groceries (they are not visibly marked anymore) even if she is able to do the math.  I have noticed with the recent recession that workers are tending to be happier in having a job and working harder to keep them.] {I've seen a pleasant upswing here. I think employees are more friendly. I think the economy downturn has made people more grateful just to have a job and their service is better because of it.}

This new society begs the question, “How can a young man keep his way pure?” The answer, however old-fashioned, is still “By keeping it according to Thy word.” (Psalm 119:9)

{I've been teaching 5th to 8th grade Sunday school classes off and on since I was 17 years old. The last 2 years, I have seen a huge swing downward in the number of kids who know their Bible. The noteable exceptions are usually homeschoolers. Kids who go to public school often have no idea what I'm talking about or only have a little bit of knowledge in this area. They are kept so busy that they feel too tied up or stressed to even read for pleasure, let alone read God's Word. This is a sad state of affairs. If they way to keep pure is keeping it according to God's Word, and they don't know the Word...}

How can we best help our children in the New Millennium? By teaching them God’s Word from the Bible and giving them God’s standards for living. Maybe they won’t fit in with their generation. I pray they will not.