Monday, August 3, 2015

10 Awesome Review Games

We're about to start another year of homeschooling here at the Dietz Den, and as I'm gearing up I've taken some time to compile a collection of my favorite fast-paced review games. These are best-suited for small classes of 8-12 year olds. In Classical Conversations, this would be the Journeymen or Masters classes.

One attribute of our review games I've grown to love is Collaboration. In the Collaborative Model, struggling students are never left out or left behind. Instead, they hear the review topic extra times and receive extra encouragement and attention from their teammates. In the Collaborative Model, it's everybody's turn, every time (or it could be!), so every student stays engaged.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

My Planned Parenthood Story

I was 18. It was Mother's Day. And I was staring at two pink lines on a pregnancy test. Up until this moment I had thought I was invulnerable--that teen pregnancies only happen to other girls. I was wrong.

If I have this baby, my life will revolve around it for the rest of my life; I'm too young for my life to be over.

A million thoughts flew through my head. What would the church think, or my parents who had homeschooled me? What about my five younger siblings who all looked up to me? I felt dizzy. My boyfriend would know what to do. Just wait til morning and tell him in person. Yeah. He'll get us through this.

Sitting on the curb outside our community college the next morning, I told him the news.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Teach these Things to Your Children

An Open Letter to Elizabeth Esther
in response to her article, "Teach Your Children They are Whole"

Dear Mrs. Esther,

First, thank you for sharing the obstacles you faced before finding Jesus. Your honesty and vulnerability are admirable, and I wish to take nothing away from the validity of your experience. I'm sorry the gospel was not presented clearly to you as a child--particularly as a child growing up in the Church. I appreciate the opportunity to engage in discussion on how to better our ministry to our children.

I, like you, believe that the most important task God has given us as mothers is to disciple our children. I, like you, eat and sleep and breathe motherhood; at times I don't eat or sleep or breathe--on account of mothering. Like you, I believe that above everything we do, the chores, the disciplining, the cheering, the loving... the most valuable gift we can give our children is a right view of who God is.

The foundation of a right view of God, of course, must begin with a high view of Scripture. That is, assuming we are talking about Yahweh, the God of the Israelites, Jesus, the Messiah and Head of the Church, and His Holy Spirit, we must accept the Bible as authoritative. So, while our experiences certainly account for some authority in our lives, they are not the final word. Scripture is.

It is under this appeal to Scripture, then, that I feel compelled to challenge your charge that we teach our children that they are whole, rather than broken.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Silver Lining in the Destruction of DOMA

A few months ago, when the Supreme Court first revisited Proposition 8, I wrote that the battle over legalizing homosexual marriage was not as much about civil rights as it was about moral rights. Today, Justice Anthony Kennedy confirmed my suspicion in his majority opinion overturning the Defense of Marriage Act. Citing a document from the 1996 enactment of DOMA, he made the case that DOMA was created to express “both moral disapproval of homosexuality, and a moral conviction that heterosexuality better comports with traditional (especially Judeo-Christian) morality.”

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why the Church Can't Support Gay Marriage (even though we want to)

As a Christian living in San Francisco, the LGBT capitol of the United States, possibly of the world, I love the gays. I smile when I see a family with two dads or two moms thriving and enjoying life. As the Holy Spirit regenerates my heart, everything in me wants to fight for the oppressed, stand up for the rejected, and speak out for the outcast. So today as the red equal sign goes viral on the internet, I want to change my profile picture; I want to stand with my friends who are earnestly hoping for marriage equality.

From where I stand, there are a lot of reasons why the gays should be allowed to marry. There are plenty of good political, economical, and sociological reasons, but there are zero theological ones. Since this blog (and my life, for that matter) is devoted to representing and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, I need to explain why I cannot support gay marriage.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In the Posture of Advent

I just realized that today, 12.12.12, is the last of the repetitive dates we'll see in our lifetime... I've taken them for granted these last 11 years; have you? 

On 01.01.01 I was a freshman in high school, Clinton was still president, no one thought about terrorism or knew where Iraq was. No one I knew had a cell phone.

By 06.06.06 I was a mother, Bush had been re-elected and we were going on our seventh year of the war on terrorism. The twin towers had fallen, killing almost 3,000. We had seen Anthrax scares, transit bombings all over the world, and terrorism threats abound. We grieved with Indonesia as the most deadly tsunami in recorded history killed over 230,000 people. The lesser known Darfur Genocide had already taken up to 450,000 lives and displaced 3 million.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

When Heaven Breaks Through

I often marvel at how anyone living during the first century could have missed that Jesus was the Messiah. (In fact, I have some friends who converted backwards from Christianity to Judaism: Blows my mind.) The Gospel writers saw Jesus' miracles--the signs and wonders that accompanied His teaching--as evidence that He was the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy. The healings and the casting out of demons weren't just a big show to draw a crowd; Jesus' miracles demonstrated a specific characteristic the Chosen One must possess: the ability to "undo" pain and evil. (Ps 22.24-27; 146.7-8; Is 11.4; 29.18; 35.5; 42.1-7; 49.9; Lk 7.22; Acts 10.38; Heb 2.14-15)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Beyond Me

"Poets don’t go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom... Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so make it finite. The result is mental exhaustion... To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything is a strain. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.” --G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
I'm definitely of the latter type: the logician whose head splits, um, daily. I get lost in things like God's holiness (Is 6.1-7), the preeminence of Christ (Heb 1.1-9), substitutionary atonement (Col 2.13-15) glory in wrath (Rom 9.22-23) and divine emotion (Gen 6.6 etc) every single day. So I fix my eyes on the horizon of my understanding and determine to get there, not just before I die, but before I go to sleep tonight; before I close my Bible... And thus I attempt to make the infinite finite.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

On Children and Crumbs

It had been a long day, and Jesus needed a moment alone. But news of His arrival in Tyre had already spread and the first to find Him was a woman--a Gentile woman. Her daughter was possessed by a demon; she was desperate. She had heard her Jewish neighbors discussing ancient prophecies of a Savior, a "Messiah" in their language: a Christ."Anointed One." If the prophecies were true--and if Jesus was this Christ--she knew He could help her daughter. 

She fell to the ground, pressing her forehead to the ground, and begged Jesus for mercy. His answer shouldn't have come as a surprise to her, but for some reason it did. "Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." Only then did it dawn on her that the Jews worshipped only one God. Of course. She should have assumed such a lone God would only have one people, as well. She rose to her feet and slowly turned to leave. Emotions washed through her heart like a thousand rivers. Stories from her childhood raced through her memory...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Euthyphro Dilemma

"How can God be both good and sovereign?" 
 "If God is love, why is there so much suffering in the world?" 
 "How can a merciful God send people to hell?"
"Does God demand what is right because He loves righteousness, or is it righteous because He demands it?"
We've all had to wrestle with these questions at some point. Maybe you're wrestling with them now. With such terrible tragedies plaguing the news on any given day -- let alone throughout history -- the evidence seems to declare, "Aha! Either God is not sovereign, or He is not good."

Let me assure you, you're not the first to face this dilema. In fact, Plato posed the last of the questions above over 2,400 years ago! In his dialogue, Euthyphro, Socrates turns to Euthyphro and presents the challenge: