Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A 'Fight Club' Letter to My Kids by Lindsey Murphy

Some of the best writing you'll ever read comes from an author who writes for his (or her) own children.

William Paul Young wrote The Shack as Christmas gift for his kids. He intended nobody else to read it, but a friend found it on the Young's kitchen countertop and picked it up to read. The rest is history.

Whitaker Chambers wrote the classic work Witness for his own children, but the entire western world has benefited from it.

Great literature springs from the heart of a parent who desires the best for his (or her) kids. 

Lindsey Murphy is a writer, educator, and musician who loves to explore the outworking of her faith through the creative arts. She was a contributor to the book Same Here, Sisterfriend and has written for the Engaging Motherhood and StoryWarren websites. 

Lindsey lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and though she writes letters to her four children on her blog Life Abundantly, the wisdom and wit through her writing is classic. I would encourage all my readers to subscribe to her blog. 

Lindsey's parents, Dale and Debbie Denton, are members of Emmanuel Enid, Oklahoma, where I serve. Debbie sent me Lindsey's most letter to her children, an engaging post designed to show her kids "how to engage this world in a winsome, powerful, and most of all, Christ-like way." 

Read on for some superb advice from a mom to her kids with a great deal of wisdom for all us adults in 2020. 


Dear children,

Y’all fight. A LOT. I feel like I need a referee’s uniform and a whistle just to make it past breakfast most days. But I also know that this is good and appropriate for you to be wrestling with at home. See, I can’t in good conscience teach you NOT to fight. This world is scary and broken and confusing, and you’re going to have to throw some punches. So I want you to know how to engage this world in a winsome, powerful, and most of all, Christ-like way. There’s a lot of junk in our world right now that a few of you are just now waking up to. Sadly, there’s not many adults even who know how to engage it well. So as you lean into the yuck of this world and try to find your voice in it, here are my 10 commandments on how to argue well.

10. Know the differences between a fight, an argument, and a debate.

A fight is simply when people throw their feelings at each other. There’s no interest in understanding, compromising, or listening. Walk away from a fight. Every time. There are never any winners in this situation. Even if you “win” a fight, it’s likely the damage you have caused to the other person, and thus to your own personhood, has caused you loss. Walk away.

An argument is a disagreement that is hoping to reach a conclusion. I will say this loudly and repeatedly. Argue to resolve, not to win. RESOLUTION not VICTORY is your goal in an argument. A good argument requires a lot of listening, which we’ll cover in the 9th commandment.

A debate is more of a banter of ideas and is less personal than the first two. A debate is not necessarily seeking a conclusion or resolution, and is often for the benefit of the audience more than the debaters. A debate is an airing of ideas, and exploration of thoughts and logic. Think of it as a persuasive essay in speech form. Emotion, insults, and negativity have no room in a mature, responsible discourse.

9. Listen louder than you speak.

You’ve heard this already, yes? Add it to the throw pillow collection you’re going to curate for me in my old age. The Proverbs are full of references to listening. “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” “Make your ear attentive to wisdom and incline your heart to understanding.” Make sure you are truly listening and not just planning your response. Mirror back what you have heard the other person say. “I hear that you are frustrated because…” “I understand that you are fearful of…” Even if you don’t agree or understand, this practice will make the other person feel heard and validated, and will make them more receptive to what you have to say as well.

8. Avoid the use of “always” and “never.”

It’s simply not fair and usually not true. Also, love hopes all things, and giving such definite limits to a person’s behavior or character leaves you both bereft of hope that things can change.

7. Know when to walk away.

It’s ok to set boundaries. You see me do this a lot, don’t you? I’ll storm in a room and break up a fight, then go hide out for a while. This is my boundary saying that I’m not emotionally capable of engaging well right now. You have the right to say, “I can’t do this well right now, can we revisit this later?” or even “I don’t think I’m the person that needs to handle this with you right now.” It’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of love to that other person. Want to know why your daddy and I don’t fight? It’s simple: because he won’t. It’s not because we’re both such super patient people (at least I’m not…). It’s because your daddy will not engage my emotion and angst until I am calm and until he’s prepared. I don’t know how many storms have blown over that man’s head, but he is wise not to throw lightning bolts into the mix. Make sure you hear and respect someone else’s boundaries. If someone says they need space, give it. Come together when you’re both ready to resolve (not win).

6. Stupid is as Stupid Does

Just because you don’t understand or agree, doesn’t mean the other person or idea is “stupid.” If your college roommate is passionate about underwater basket weaving, good for them. Move on. If someone else’s religion, politics, music choices, or lifestyle seems crazy to you, know that they arrived there through a complicated series of choices and influences. Each person you meet is a complicated, intricate Image of God. You don’t get to write them off as “stupid,” no matter how much you disagree.

5. Know the difference between thought and truth.

I will never ask you to bend the truth. I am raising you to believe in absolute truth in a post-postmodern age where everything is relative. There are absolutes woven into the very fabric of our beings, and I want you to recognize and be able to respectfully stick to them. That said, there are so.many.things. that we accept as “truth” that are simply cultural, experiential, and temporal thoughts. I loathe the phrases “know your truth” or “living my truth.” That is thinly veiled narcissism in which a person’s experiences become an absolute for their lives. If you want to be a vegetarian because you think eating meat is cruel, that is a choice that comes from a thought, not a truth. And you can disagree with people’s thoughts, and others can disagree with yours. It’s ok. Just remember Who ultimate truth is rooted in, and go back to the Source of His character and His Word. They never change. And as a wise man once said, “The truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself.”

4. Be known by what you’re for, not against.

You’ll hear it said that good news doesn’t sell. That’s why the media is always showing us the worst of the world. That’s why scary, upsetting misfortunes are shared more rapidly than funny, happy stories. Similarly, so many people fly their flag over what they’re against, or overwhat they hate. But as believers, we need to be known as champions of goodness- as people who are “for” the good in the world. We can’t fight darkness if we’re not filled with light. For example, I love Classical Education. I love the Timeline approach. I love the literature. I love the learning style, the emphasis on rhetoric, and the inclusion of Latin. But this does not mean that I am against Public Education. (Praise the Lord that we live in a nation where education is accessible to anyone. Praise the Lord for the robotics labs, the chemistry rooms, and the band programs that add to our community.) But If I want to convince someone that they should give Classical Education a try, it would be far better to regale them with all the reasons I love it rather than shredding apart someone or something else. Being “for” something is much more winsome than constantly crashing down on someone else’s party. Are we to confront evil? Yes. But let us be known by our love. Love the good things, shine your light on a hill, and people will be much more drawn to what you admire than repulsed by what you despise.

3. War against Thoughts, not People.

First of all, be so careful not to put people in boxes or groups. Attacking a group of people will always cause defensiveness and is simply unkind and unfair. Don’t go spouting off about “The Democrats,” “The Republicans, “ The Catholics,” “The Feminists,” or “The Under-Water-Basket Weavers.” If you want to address something that represents a group of thought, keep your language impersonal. “I disagree with the Democrat’s policy on…” “I’m concerned with the Republican response to…” “I don’t understand the Catholic church’s stance on…” “I don’t support the Feminist movement to...” Know that each “group” or “body” in our culture, whether it’s a denomination, religion, political party, or movement is made up of complex and intricate image bearers. When you can, engage individuals and hear them thoughtfully. When you can’t, address the rhetoric, thoughts, policies, etc. of a group. Not the people.

2. Be kind or be quiet.

Again, another throw pillow in my future.

We don’t watch the news in the house for several reasons. First of all, because there’s content I don’t want you to be exposed to. But also, because I don’t want you watching grown adults rip each other apart just to prove who’s smarter, more informed, etc. Scripture tells us to speak the truth in love. I’m not asking you to cower or compromise, but you do need to check your motivations before you enter an argument. Are you wanting resolution? Do you have the other person’s best interest at heart (and not in a savior-complex way…)? I ask you children when you challenge me “do you want to help or do you just want to win?” Usually the answer you give is “I just want to win.” (Y’all are still so honest and haven’t learned how to be manipulative yet. Be still my soul.) Truth can be hard. Truth can be painful. But your job is not to convince or change. Your job is to hold a thought/action/attitude up to the light and let the Spirit do the rest.

1. There’s only one hill you need to die on.

I say it all the time: The Cross of Christ is the only line in the sand I will draw between myself and another person. It is the only line I will never step over. When Christ died for me, I died to myself, my own agendas, and my own opinions. My life is his, and my thoughts, will, and heart, should reflect his as well. My politics have changed, my tastes have evolved, and my theology has refocused and reformed. But the fact that He is who he says he is, and the beloved truth that I am his and he is mine is the one thing I will never step over. And in him, there is room to dance, to grow, to change. He is The Word made flesh, the real 10 Commandments fleshed out for us. He has won the final argument and is our advocate now and forevermore. Throw that grace wildly into the world. Fight with strength, with truth, and with love. But fight knowing that the Kingdom is secure and that life abundantly, that sweet gift, is ours to share.



Read more Letters to My Children from Lindsey Murphy at Life Abundantly


Rex Ray said...
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RB Kuter said...

Sorry to bring politics into this right off, but speaking of young people "fighting" for what is right, there were several amazing testimonies from young people during the Phoenix Rally tonight, about 1 hour and 27 minutes into it.

Whether you are for one side or the other, it would be difficult not to admire the courage of these folks. Yes, indeed. the other side has some very fine people who are also courageous and sacrifice for what they believe. This was just one occasion that inspired me and I thought perhaps some others would appreciate it and perhaps have spirits lifted in seeing fine, Godly, young Americans contributing.

Rex Ray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

Hello WADE,

this 'letter' by Lindsey Murphy to her children is a beautiful thing to read. Thank you for sharing this. I'm thinking Lindsey might be a writer but that she would have made an excellent teacher for what we called 'character formation' in middle school, a city-wide project that highlighted emphasis on good character traits and asked our students to do writing projects about them. :) I wish more parents would understand that 'discipline' doesn't mean 'punishment' so much as it means to take the time to teach what is 'right' from what is not the way to treat one another. I think Lindsey could develop this theme into a book for parents and I would encourage her to continue writing as she has a gift that might be shared more widely. How proud her own parents must be to share this with you and permit it to be shared here on this post.

REX RAY, honestly, the more I read about the Ray Family, the more I get it that you all have had God's protection in the provision of more guardian angels than is the norm for a child of God. :)
News is much worse about the virus in Texas, so please take all reasonable precautions and you and Judy have my prayers to remain safe from it.

Christiane said...

Hello Mr.Kuter,

politics will have its day, no doubt, but I can celebrate that in this post by Mrs. Murphy to her children, we see more advice to the young that speaks to them of following leaders who give evidence of 'the fruit of the Holy Spirit',
and I find some comfort in her words to her beloved young because of that.

I expect that many on the right and on the left bear conflicted 'choices', but I can affirm that most moms usually want only the best for their children and would far rather have them look up to those who bore the evidence of the strength and power of the 'fruit of the Spirit'. Would you not agree with me here?

"22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

(from the Book of Galatians, chapter 5)

Rex Ray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Cleveland said...

Wade: WOW ... how on earth did I not know this?!?!

Christiane said...

those were great comments, especially the one about the skunk. Skunk spray is a powerful deterrent for MOST people, but you hung around and got sprayed full in the face, in your EYES, no less!

We used to have skunks up in the mountains by the lake, trying to get into trash cans. Occasionally, you could smell one of them and you never forgot that smell. Whoah!

RB Kuter said...

Yes, Christiane, the desire of all Godly parents are to see their children seek out and discern those who portray an underlying presence of God's Holy Spirit that is revealed by their "works", or "fruits" displayed in their actions. We pray that our children will be themselves be equipped with the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit that facilitates their own ability to have the "mind of Christ" so as to desire to be associated with such Godly people.

RB Kuter said...

Christiane, one caveat I intended to include on my last comment was to say: Unfortunately, not all parents are "Godly" parents. They are instead determined to rebel against God and be driven by their own desire while refusing to submit to God's direction. That is what is so sad. That becomes a difficult situation for their children who do not have that guiding "Godly" influence while growing up which they deserve to have from their parents. That's why we see the continued cycle of generations whose lives and actions are absent of those fruits of the Holy Spirit. If the trend is not jolted back into God's path, the decadence of society results.

CM said...

Minor bit of chemistry trivia:

The 2 ingredients responsible for the strong smell of skunk spray are as follows:

2-butene-1-thiol (aka crotyl mercaptan)
3-methyl-1-butanethiol (aka isoamyl mercaptan)

These are in the same family (thiols) as methanethiol (aka methyl mercaptan). Methanethiol is used as an additive to natural gas as an odorant for the purposes of gas leak detection. It is also the byproduct of the metabolism of asparagus, which is responsible for the aromatic side effect of its consumption.

Rex Ray said...


I think many may not have read this comment by Lissa on your 5-17-20 post. I believe it’s great enough to reprint here.

“REX RAY, I wonder whether or not your uncle is one of the "cowboy" missionaries that figured in the salvation of my house-helper's mother.

At the age of 85 she heard the rest of the story that was told to her when she was a young girl. It goes like this. Some foreigners came through her village in Kwangsi, telling the villagers about the Most High God that created the heavens and the earth.

These foreigners came a second time to continue the story. The world had grown corrupt, so the Most High sent a flood that covered the whole earth, starting all over again with one righteous man and his family.

These storytellers never made it back to the village because national upheaval hit, and foreigners were expelled from the country.

Fast forward 75 years or so. Our house helper, Sister Hu whom we led to faith, was taking care of her mother on the weekends. Sister Hu sat her mother down with a DVD that told the Bible story from Creation to Christ, and went on taking care of her mother's house chores.

Awhile later she heard a commotion coming from the living room, and when she went to check, her mother was pointing at the TV screen and exclaiming "I know this story! I've heard it before!" Sister Hu, incredulous, said to her mother, "You never told me any of this; I heard it from the Americans."

Her mother then related the story of what happened in her childhood, and then with tears in her eyes, said, "The foreigners told me about the Most High God...but I never knew He had a Son!" She was led to faith right then and there by her daughter.

This experience is probably the most joyous in my missionary career that involved leading a Chinese to Christ. It happened because of missionaries like your uncle who pioneered the wilds of Kwangsi, aspiring to "preach the Gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man's foundation" (Rom. 15:20).

Rex, I hope there are scores of others like Sister Hu's mother that heard from your uncle during that time period, that later heard "the rest of the story" and were brought to faith. What joy awaits!

And in the meantime, I will have to get my hands on this book. It will be both an exciting and a nostalgic read. Blessings! ~Lissa Sun Jun 21, 11:29:00 PM 2020

Christiane said...

Hello Mr. Kuter,
thanks for responding. I have thought much about how parents and the Church help the young to understand the Mind and Heart of Our Lord, and in truth, I think we sometimes fail our young without realizing it when we teach them that it is preferable to be associated with 'Godly people' rather than with 'the others'. It occurred to me that maybe Christians are at a disadvantage when they are feeling daunted by the 'culture(s)' of this world, and that maybe it might be worthwhile to pursue some idea of Christianity as a 'transcendent' force in this world and that people who followed Christ might be more able to be of service if they did two seemingly paradoxical things at the SAME TIME:

First, that Christians went forward out into 'this world' as if they had just gone through Pentecost and were somewhat fearless and intent on serving others in Christ's Name, coming from a position of positive encouragement and strength and GOOD WILL


Secondly, that Christians remained internally calmed and at peace so that 'this world' was not so 'fearful' and 'offensive' to them that they lost track of who they were as being sent out 'to serve' and not to judge'
and that Christians did not feel so easily 'slighted' and could carry within themselves the peace of Christ that leads to a calm spirit of equanimity . . . not so much 're-acting' as 'acting' positively to instead 'come along side' troubled people and take time to patiently listen to them . . . it is said that 'God is present in the listening' and it is His Presence that Christians want to carry with them out into the world

in short, I don't think Christians SHOULD feel so 'threatened' and 'offended' as some have portray themselves to be;
but instead 'go forth' with good will in order to serve others in ways that 'point to Christ' and be something of a calm voice in the midst of the chaos that is 'this world' with all of its wounded. . . . and then for Christians to USE the forces that are needed in order to serve troubled people: patience, kindness, etc. (the fruit of the Holy Spirit)

I doubt such Christians would need to use 'manipulative' or 'controlling' tactics or attempting to shame a troubled person, but to instead use some form, in some way, whatever is best at the time, of HUMILITY in service . . . as One Who showed how it is best done when He knelt and washed the feet of those He was serving and dried them gently with a towel . . . .

yeah, I wonder if we know anything better to do than how Christ modeled for us Himself when He was here among us, with the heart of a Shepherd, He looked out on the multitudes of 'harassed and helpless people' and felt for them an age-old Kindness ?

All I know is that we will answer to God for how we tried (and/or failed) to help our children, and that we do realize what a sacred obligation it is to point them to the Good Way. :) Thanks again for responding.

Wade Burleson said...


I read every single comment you, Christiane, and Lissa right! I may not always comment in response, but consider all three of you mentors to me.

Lissa is a rock star. She's a professional editor and has a great deal of experience on the mission field. I met her and her husband for the first time when visiting China.

I was impressed then.

More impressed even today.


Rex Ray said...


I don’t know about you, but I was so proud of what Wade wrote about us that I printed 20 copies of what Lissa said and he said. Then I threw them away, and printed 20 more. Do you want to know why? He’s must still be writing fast by talking into that ‘machine’ of his. :)

Christiane said...

Good Morning, REX RAY

yes, I think you and Lissa are remarkable people, and I remember you both offering to pray for me after my husband's passing, for which I remain grateful to you and Lissa and to Wade, as I felt supported by those prayers. I can see why Wade sees you both as mentors. Yes, you can be proud!

I can't imagine coming here to this blog and not finding a great story written by you from time to time which I have always appreciated reading.

The news from Texas about the virus is very bad now. I hope you and Judy take all reasonable precautions for your protection. So important. So take care, and be safe. More later.

RB Kuter said...

Christiane, sounds like you're talking about being "salt and light" in a decadent society. Unfortunately, we Jesus followers do tend to quarantine ourselves from the "world" by finding ourselves exposed to only those who are "safe" and who have exited the world order themselves. I know we are more comfortable in that sort of environment, but as you propose, we sure don't have much of an impact on the world we're charged with saving.

My lifestyle choices seldom inject me into the world of non-believers. Formerly, when I served as a missionary in the international arena, I was constantly immersed in "the world" while striving to maintain my identity as a follower, even when socializing with my non-believing friends. Sure had a lot more opportunities to share the Gospel through strong trust relationships developed then. But since returning to this land I find myself almost totally involved with other believers and do miss those former opportunities for interaction with those who desperately need Jesus.

Too many of us seem to only live out our faith as foreigners from another realm when we go on mission trips to un-Godly environments.

Rex Ray said...

RB Kuter,

We don’t want our young children to ‘run’ with the wrong crowd. Below is how I learned this song.


I was brought up by kind parents.
I once was their pride and joy;
but I took to drinking and gambling.
Wild life got the best of their boy.

Some pals took me out on a robbery.
I thought just once would be fun;
But one crime led to another,
Till it came to the use of a gun.

In my pocket I carry a pistol,
It's never away from my side;
The notches that's carved on its handle,
Tells how more than one man has died.

I'm leading a life that is crooked.
My foes are round every bend;
And I know someday they will get me,
But I dread to think of that end.

It seems there's no hope for a gangster;
Not a moment of peace can be found.
Wherever I go I am hunted,
Like a fox that is chased by a hound.

It's true I’d like to be honest,
But I know it's too late to begin;
For when you join with gangsters
It's a game you must play to the end.

I wish I had listened to mother.
She said there'd be days like this.
I lost my true friends and sweetheart;
No more will I know of love and sweet bliss.

So boys stay away from bad company,
That's how I started in wrong;
And if your friends try to tempt you,
Just remember the words of this song.

Christiane said...

Hello Mr. Kuter and REX RAY

It is very human to want to see safe harbor, sanctuary, and to be with the like-minded, yes. But IF we are to be called 'Christ-followers', and we dwell here on the Earth in His service, then we will find our safety only in Him, so we pray 'Come Holy Spirit' as in the Day of Pentecost when the fires of the Holy Spirit descended and it was with this Power of the Holy Spirit that the Apostles went forth into the world 'to renew the face of the Earth'

It was no longer a time of 'hiding in the Upper Room', it was a time of 'going forth' to love and serve the Lord, of reaching out without contempt or fearfulness, to point to Christ. There can be no room for contempt of 'the others' as the mission is not to 'judge' but to serve, IF we want to be called the followers of Christ.

And what of those who say 'Lord, Lord' and hold 'those other sinners' in contempt? Is that the way of Christian people? Or is it something 'else'. The writer Anne LaMott has said, this:
“You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
(Anne Lamott)

So how then do we raise our young to follow Christ? In pride and hubris? Or in humility before the Lord, acknowledging that they also are sinners in need of the mercy of God? I suggest the latter way might be the better choice, but it is taught to the young more by example as those who raise and teach them model for them 'the humility that was in Christ':

"Philippians 2:5-8
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

All that 'hubris' and contempt for those other sinners?
I would not teach the young to see themselves as 'above' the wounded of this Earth, unless they are called to remember that when Our Lord was raised up above the sinners of this world, it was on a cross.
It is that image of Our Lord that is known to bring sinners to their knees before Him.

Rex Ray said...


You said, “I would not teach the young to see themselves as 'above' the wounded of this Earth, unless they are called to remember that when Our Lord was raised up above the sinners of this world, it was on a cross.”

Those are lofty words, but our father had a saying: “You can’t teach honesty; you have to catch it.”


1. We left the grocery store, but found candy in the sack that we didn’t buy. We made our young son apologize to the ‘store’ for stealing.

2. Many years later his older brother.
My wife and I were going to be gone two days, but came home the next night to find the house dark with many young boys and girls having a beer party. Our oldest son was the only one old enough to buy beer.

Christiane said...


we've all got 'kid' stories :)

But I hold to the belief that the young learn 'by example' and sometimes we help them and sometimes we fail them. I believe in this because I had one of those fathers that I am to say was 'the finest man I ever knew'. Pop came from Canada and worked not two, but THREE JOBS after he retired from the Navy, and even found time to have a huge compost heap (covered in grass clippings) and a large organic vegetable garden. He took us to mass every Sunday morning and I never heard him complain about anything. But I tell you, the way he 'modeled' the Good Way was such that if you were his kid, you didn't want to disappoint him and you KNEW that giving 'excuses' for failures was not the thing in OUR family, so whoah, we were wanting to make our Pop proud of us. The 'discipline' in our home was seeing our beloved Pop work himself that hard for our sake and never complain or give any excuse for ceasing from his work.

They don't make them like my Pop much anymore. We lived plainly but when the time came, the money for university was 'in the bank'. We revered my father, you bet. It went beyond 'respect' as we held him in awe.

So if I think about 'influence', and 'discipline' and 'Christian formation', sure the nuns did help a lot, but the main influence would always be the one who we saw as the strongest person we knew, my father.

My brother at age nine had an 'incident' at a store, and my father also made him apologize and face the music personally, which was a great lesson, as it never happened again. So even with the best of parents, a child needs to be carefully and thoughtfully disciplined.
My brother? He works one job, but gets up at five to make hospital visits before his office opens and will stay and work on paperwork after the patients are seen, so I figure he puts over twelve hours in every day, but he loves his work. No complaints. :)

Your son and the beer. That is a classic parent story. Coming home early and oh boy, yep, when the cats away, etc, etc. :) It's a wonder we all survived and these days, REX RAY, a beer party seems harmless compared to what some young folk get up to behind their parents' backs, sad to say. These modern times are so much worse for the young, and so much more difficult for parents to 'parent' appropriately. . . . but it is a sacred obligation, this raising of children to be honest and honorable, yes. No excuses, none.

Rex Ray said...


Our ‘beer’ son grew up to be a Southern Baptist Missionary in Israel for seven years until the BF&M 2000 CREED of Paige Patterson required signing.

You’d think since Patterson has been ‘dethroned’ years ago, his ‘glorious CREED would be also. (20 years)

Christiane said...

You know, REX RAY, I think that the 1963 BF&M is still preferred by many Southern Baptists over Patterson's creed. The 1963 version is certainly more Christ-centered, of that there is no doubt. Yes, I agree with your point here. I wonder if the 1963 version will ever be reprised as THE BF&M of the SBC? Must it always be about the politics? If so, that is sad.

Rex Ray said...


The ‘old convention of Virginia’ adheres to the BF&M 1963.


The ‘old convention of Texas’ adheres to the BF&M 1963, and won’t add “The Family” that the BF&M 2000 has. “The Family has several things wrong including: A wife must submit to her husband.

Our church adheres to the BF&M 1963. There are MANY things wrong with the BF&M 2000.

Rex Ray said...


Your post states: “This world is scary and confusing, and you’re going to have to throw
some punches.”

My nephew, Danny, was 17 when he started having car trouble. He managed to make it to a place where he used a telephone to call his father. It was a “Biker’s bar”. (Where macho motorcycle riders hung out.)

While waiting, a big ‘biker’ took out a long knife and told him, “I’m going to cut your hair!”

Danny, took after his father in being strong. He hit the guy and knocked him half-way across the room. Danny said, “Does anyone else want to cut my hair!” (There was no reply.)

Anonymous said...

how long o Lord
til Trump punches Putin in the nose for offering the taliban cash bounties for the heads of our soldiers in Afghanistan


Rex Ray said...

Are you from ‘fake news’?


Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

Jun 28, 2020
Nobody briefed or told me, @VP Pence, or Chief of Staff @MarkMeadows about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians, as reported through an “anonymous source” by the Fake News @nytimes. Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us.....

Anonymous said...


CM said...


Except in various European countries it has been corroborated by their news organization. Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and SKy News have also confirmed it. So I guess in the alternate reality Trump-world, everybody is wrong except him and everything else besides what he says is fake news.

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray, cool song. Reminds me of "Don't take your gun to town, son" sung by Johnny Cash.

“You can’t teach honesty; you have to catch it.”

That's a great phrase. But as you portray with your son as an example, if honey is spread on the table you're more likely to catch an ant. Sorry, poor attempt for an analogy. Point being, bring em' up in the Bible and eventually they're more likely to come home to roost in it. My son did too. Come to think of it, so did I.

Rex Ray said...

RB Kuter,

I think we agree with Psalm 22:6. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

The question is: How is a child trained? “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is not in the Bible, but the Bible states: “Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those that love their children care enough to discipline them.” (Proverbs13:24 NLT)

Someone added more light on the subject by suggesting replacing the word “discipline” with accountability.

I’m reminded of the time my cousin and dad were standing and talking. The third time her young son kicked her in the leg to get attention and the third time she said, “Don’t do that”, my dad put him across his lap and spanked him. Afterwards her son followed my dad around like a puppy dog. (He respected someone that made him behave.)

My dad taught school many years. He said the first aim of education was not ‘book smart’ but honesty. He learned of an “Honest Test” from EXPERTS. The test consisted of trying to put dots with a pencil in ten circles the size of a penny on an 8 X11 sheet of paper with eyes closed. They spent many years in research before publishing three findings:

1. Anyone that got more than three dots correct: cheated.
2. Some will lie they didn’t cheat.
3. A small percent of the liars under certain circumstances will kill.

Our dad learned more would cheat if the ‘winner’ got money.

He gave the test to a boatload of school teachers on the way to Germany after World War II. One person that was going to be superintendent of a large school, threw his test overboard.

Christiane said...


After many years working in the inner city schools, I have come to believe that the word 'discipline' has a connection to the word 'disciple' as in one who learns from a teacher who models 'the better way'. :)

A story:
my first week at a new school after having worked in a parochial school where the students BEHAVED (or the nuns dealt with it);
I came home and sat down in the family room and ranted about the condition of the students who didn't know how to behave appropriately on so many levels, and I guess I carried on loudly because in comes my little son (the future USCG officer) who listens for a while and then he did something unusual:
he put up his little hand to stop me for a moment and he said, 'Mom, Mom, TEACH them'

Well, I stopped ranting. And I looked at my boy and I thought 'he's right', they may not know what I expect from them and maybe no one ever took the time to teach them patiently and carefully. My little boy's wisdom got through.

So, I TAUGHT them. With respect, with kindness, with firmness, giving 'boundaries', and offering help with opportunities to re-inforce good behaviors positively. I stopped judging and starting to 'teach them'. It worked. I had to be long-suffering in some cases, but it worked.

I don't know if Providence sent my son to listen to my rant that day, or gave him the wisdom to say what he did, but I took it to heart and I learned a great lesson from a small boy and never forgot it. 'Teach them' . . . don't 'assume' they 'know'. Because when people 'know not what they do', they need special care in this world and they will never find it with the back of the hand or a sharp remark or any kind of a 'put down' comment, no.

Out of the mouths of babes . . .

Rex Ray said...


Yes, your young son knew those kids needed to be taught like you had taught him.

At an early age, our father taught my twin brother and I a poem I still remember:
Let me tell you something John before you make the start
There’s twice more being honest, John
Yes, twice more than being smart.

But not all he tried to teach us was a success:
“Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears, or tomorrow the Tiber will run red with your blood.”

We’ve been told that at the age of three, all he got out of us was: “Runny ears.”

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray and Christiane, you both make some great points of truth and provide awesome examples. I believe that in both of your illustrations it comes down to you and Rex Ray's Dad, providing the model for the young ones to follow. You, and RR's Dad, didn't just "talk" about they should do, you lived it and that sort of genuineness is what all young students are searching to find.