My 2017 Reading List: May

manreadingabookby John Ellis

Ok, having read thirteen books in May, my pace has picked back up a bit. Not enough, mind you, to reach my goal of reading two-hundred books in 2017, but that’s alright, I think. As long as I read between twelve to seventeen books a month the rest of the year, I won’t be too disappointed to not reach two-hundred books this year. There’s always 2018, right? I’d also like to point out that we are in the midst of the NBA Playoffs. This means that I’ve watched more TV this past month than I normally watch.

My eleven-year old daughter, however, is on pace to read just over three-hundred books this year (our contest started in February, so the total numbers below reflect four months of reading, not five). Not only is she going to beat me, but she’s going to put my goal to shame. I keep telling her that she needs to remember who controls her allowance. I’m also considering allowing her unlimited technology time. If I do, maybe that will help me close the gap.

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The War on Mother’s Day

Mother-with-baby

by John Ellis

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and I’m taking my wife to Six Flags. Mainly because we’re assuming that very few people are going to take their mom to Six Flags on Mother’s Day, making the park far less crowded than usual. That, and tomorrow is “Bring a Friend Day,” which means that season pass holders (us) are allowed to bring a friend into the park for free for each season pass. My point, we don’t make a big deal out of Mother’s Day, nor our anniversary, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, whatever. We also don’t begrudge those who do. I think that Mother’s Day is a fine holiday, and I applaud those who take it seriously and enjoy it to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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Parents, Don’t Be Afraid to Bore Your Kids

yawning

by John Ellis

When we were expecting our first child, people with raised eyebrows and a condescending tone would warn, “Oh, your lives are going to change!” Well, duh. Of course, lives are going to change when a new baby is born. Change is a natural state of life. No offense if you’ve said or say this to new parents, but advising that, “Your life is going to change!” is almost nonsensical in its obviousness and unhelpfully wrong in some of its underlying implications.

Yes, as stated, life is going to change, but life would’ve changed without the baby. However, even with a new baby, life doesn’t need to change as much as some new parents assume and some old parents believe.

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Imperfect Fathers Point to the Perfect Father

parent-holding-childs-hand

by John Ellis

Our daughter was just a week old when my wife and I ventured to the Super Wal-Mart with our new baby in tow. Her car seat fit snugly in the shopping cart, but I was still tense and wary as I pushed my precious cargo down the wide aisles. If anyone got too close, I squinted my eyes in disproval and stared them down. Items put in the cart had to be placed with the utmost tenderness and care so as not to disturb my sleeping, infant daughter. I was determined to protect my new daughter from all dangers; real, perceived, or plain made-up danger, it didn’t matter. In my new-daddy brain, my one and only job during that shopping trip was to make sure that nothing, and I mean nothing, bothered the new love of my life.

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After Bad Things Happen, How Do You Talk to Children About God?

scared-child

by John Ellis

If we live long enough and King Jesus doesn’t return, we will all face hard providences. Sadly, even children face hard providences. When that happens, parents are often at a loss as to how to discuss the event with their child, and understandably so. Often, though, that inability stems from an anemic doctrines of God, sin, and/or suffering. Without a robust understanding of who God is, the awfulness of sin, and the overall purpose of suffering, adults are going to miss out on an opportunity to preach the gospel when bad things happen to children.

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Music to Play for Your Baby While She Naps

sleeping-baby-girl

by John Ellis

If you are a new parent, you should be terrified! Raising your new baby is a one-shot deal, and, statistically speaking, you are going to mess that one shot up. Every choice you make from here on out is going to help determine whether your cute baby will end up as a CEO of a Fortune 500 Company or sporting a face tattoo while doing time in a federal penitentiary. Considering that there are far more people sporting face tattoos inside of federal penitentiaries than there are who are CEO’s of Fortune 500 Companies, there is a much, much greater likelihood that your new baby is going to end up a felon rather than a CEO. Thankfully, I’m here to help.

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