Sweet Rewards

by Hal and Melanie Young | 3/5/2016 | 6 comments

The other day, a college president called our boy. That boy. The one I wondered if I’d ever be able to teach him enough to fill out an application to work in fast food. It all started when he was small. I was pretty confident when we started teaching him. His older brothers all learned…
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March 2nd, 2016

Six Ways to Raise Kids Who Love to Read

by Hal and Melanie Young | 2 comments

We were just talking the other night about how much we love to read. Want to know what makes us feel rich? A stack of new books from a favorite author and time to dive in. Our kids love books as much as we do. It didn’t come naturally to all of them, though. Here are the ways we encouraged them to love reading just like their parents:

Read aloud. There’s just no substitute for pulling a child into your lap and reading them picture books. Those early experiences connect reading with love and attention.

RRM Six Ways to Raise a Reader

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March 1st, 2016

Voting When There’s Not Much Choice

by Hal | 1 comment

The presidential primary season is bursting into flame today with the “Super Tuesday” primaries in 11 states, followed by 14 more in the next two weeks. With 16 of the original 23 candidates out of the race, you might be looking at your second or third choice already! So what’s a Christian citizen to do? 

MBFLP 120 - Voting V

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February 26th, 2016

Five Reasons (Besides Porn) That Teens Need Accountability on Their Devices

by Hal | 1 comment

For most of us, the primary reason we install accountability and filtering software on our computer and devices is pornography – how can we protect our kids from it? What can we do to keep ourselves out of trouble? Is there someone in the family with an undetected problem?

But not every device problem deals with dirty pictures. A lot of times, our particular problem may be totally innocent under different circumstances. Yet, in the wrong time or place, we or our kids might be misusing our technology.

RRM Five Reasons Teens Need Internet Accountability

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February 24th, 2016

Simple, Practical Ways to Get Rid of Whining

by Hal | 3 comments

We all love our kids but there’s something that nearly every parent struggles with, something nearly every child does sometimes, and something which some kids do all the time.

WHINING. Oh, that awful sound.

MBFLP 119 - Whining V - pouting-boy-1434753 by Rachel Kirk on FreeImages

It’s no surprise when a baby cries, and it shouldn’t surprise us that a young child whines. A baby has to communicate its needs somehow, and if we’re paying attention—and willing to respond when the first warning signs appear—many babies can be nurtured and comforted quickly, without a stressful contest of who can cry the longest. We really don’t think a 6-month-old is being manipulative or malicious when they cry for nourishment, comfort, or even attention; they have needs and not much way to ask politely … or to exercise patience and self-denial.

Toddlers, well, that’s a different story. Little kids have very short attention spans—except for the ability to whine. That can go on forever.

Two observations that helped us

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February 22nd, 2016

Movie Review: Risen

by Hal | 0 comments

Clavius is a veteran soldier, tribune of the Tenth Legion, serving as Pontius Pilate’s fixer and go-to man. The announcement, “Tribune, Pilate summons you,” starts many interviews that end with the dismissal, “Take care of it.” The prefect is beset by zealots during the Passover festivities, and the Emperor expects to find order—“Or—der…” he warns Clavius—during his upcoming visit.

But a religious controversy between the Jewish leaders and a small band they call “heretics” has led to a politically expeditious crucifixion—and now Pilate needs his fixer to take charge of the mob that’s collecting at the cluster of crosses at Golgotha.

Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) is a lonely man who seeks the Roman equivalent of the American dream – political advancement, an honorable family, wealth, and a villa in the countryside. Yet he sees Pilate possesses these things and is burdened with more cares, not fewer. What else does this tired soldier seek? “Peace. … A day without death,” he says, soaking the grime and blood of the day from his battered frame.

He doesn’t realize he just helped kill the One who could give him that.

Risen Review

Clavius finds himself struggling with a conflict he can’t understand, with people unafraid of death—not like the martyr-complex Zealots, but with a calm assurance. “I’m not afraid … I’m already free,” one prisoner responds when Clavius threatens. “I can’t reconcile this … with the world I know,” he tells Jesus. Continue reading »

February 17th, 2016

Books We Read To Pieces

by Hal | 8 comments



We’re a family of readers. One of our boys’ first word was “book.”

I remember watching our first son when he was 18 months old. He was obviously play-acting something: standing beside a box and carrying on a babbling conversation, then turning away briefly, then coming back. Storekeeper? No, we realized; he was playing “circulation desk” like he’d seen at the library.

Meme - Collecting Books

Occasionally I realize it’s time to replace a book, again. There are certain books which we simply wear out. I’m not talking about damage and destruction due to accident or mishandling — we have plenty of that, too — but legitimate cases of books we’ve read to pieces:

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February 15th, 2016

Teen Romance: Reality Check! (2)

by Hal | 0 comments

When a 5-year-old announces he wants to marry the little girl next door, you might say (sweetly), “Well, maybe one day, Sport, but you’ve got to grow up and get a job first.” Ditto for your pre-teen.

But when Sport is 17 and he can smell legal adulthood just a few calendar pages away, a romantic interest has to be taken a lot more seriously by parents who love him.

MBFLP 118 - Teen Romance - Support - V

Photo Credit: heavy-934552_1280 / gentlegiant27153 on pixabay.com

One of the expectations he’ll need to meet, if he’s serious about pursuing a young lady, is the matter of supporting a family. The Bible says that the man who doesn’t provide for his household “is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). That’s not to say a wife should never work or contribute to the family’s finances, but the burden here seems to rest on the husband as the primary provider. Continue reading »

February 11th, 2016

Teen Romance: This Could Get Serious (1)

by Hal | 3 comments

Recently we wrote about how to effectively parent a pre-teen son with a crush. It’s not a real, mature sort of Christian love, but a 11- or 12-year-old doesn’t realize that … it’s feels real to him! So we recommend you take it seriously enough to talk about relationships, not just laugh him off.

An older teenager with a romantic interest is a different matter, though. How do you deal with that?


When your son is interested in a young woman, your counsel is going to be different when he’s 13 compared to when he’s 19. Clearly a thirteen year old is not ready to pursue a wife! Your nineteen year old, however, may be there – or will be soon.

Whatever the age, though, we’d recommend three things:

  1. Listen sympathetically to his feelings, then
  2. Take him back to the Word of God for direction, and
  3. Walk him through the realities involved  

… because no matter what age, he needs to realize this is a serious thing he’s dealing with.

RRM Teen Romance Whats a Parent to Do

It’s different with a teenager because of two things.

First, we have to recognize that our teens are moving rapidly from childhood to full adulthood. The apostle Paul wrote that he was a child, and then he became a man – he doesn’t talk about parking in an adolescent holding pattern. Since our child is making this huge transition, then our approach to parenting has to transition as well. We shouldn’t treat our 17-year-old as if he were 7. And we have to advise our 14-year-olds differently than our 19-year-olds, too.

We have to recognize as well that the older our son is, the higher the stakes become.

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February 8th, 2016

Titus 2 Lessons from a Friend’s Funeral

by Hal and Melanie Young | 2 comments

Last week, one of my friends lost her battle with cancer and went home to be with the Lord. Monday afternoon, while I was sitting at her funeral, the Lord gripped my heart hard.

My friend Cathy was a true Titus 2 woman.

You couldn’t know Cathy without knowing she was a Christian. She loves Jesus and it shined all over her. It was clearly the most important thing in her life. That love made her love for her husband and four boys even stronger.

Cathy was one of the founders of our local homeschool support group. We served there together for many years. Over those twenty years of leadership, she counseled young mothers not just about homeschooling, but about marriage, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and parenting. She was the wise older woman for hundreds of young families in our county. She could hardly go to the store without meeting someone whose life she had spoken into.


RRM Titus 2 Lessons from a Funeral


It was heart-wrenching to look up front to see her husband and boys lined up on the front row, to see the grandbaby she would never see grow up, her son and his fiance that would miss her at their wedding.

What wrenched me even more, though, was to look around the congregation. There were only about a dozen of us from our homeschool group there. A dozen, not hundreds.

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