15 people with Down syndrome address future mom in powerful must-watch video

15 people with Down syndrome address future mom in powerful must-watch videoCan a 150-second video change our society’s perspective on life – specifically, the life of people with Down syndrome?

If so, we now have that video.

Called “Dear Future Mom,” the now viral video shows 15 people of various languages with Down syndrome speaking into the camera, addressing a pregnant mom who is carrying a Down syndrome baby. The mom, we are told at the beginning, is scared and wondering, “What kind of life will my child have?”

So these 15 unique individuals – each created in God’s image – tell her.

“He’ll be able to speak and tell you he loves you,” one smiling girl tells the camera.

“He’ll be able to go to school, like everybody,” another one says. Continue reading

7 tricks to get your children loving books

7 tricks to get your children loving booksWhat’s your favorite picture of you as a child? Is it the black-and-white picture of you in 1970s plaid pants, or the ’80s snapshot with you and a big head of hair? (I’m guilty of both.)

I’m not entirely sure what picture of my own children is my favorite, but the leading contender likely is one I snapped several months back, with all three of them—ages 5, 2 and 2—on the couch, each of them looking at a different book.

As a parent, those moments when you see the fruit of your labor are precious, aren’t they? You spend hours and hours teaching them something and think it’s never going to sink in, and then all of a sudden, God gives you a gift that makes it all worthwhile. It’s as if He was telling me, “Keep giving books to your kids.”

Reading, though, isn’t as popular in the U.S. as it once was. The latest data from 2013 shows American teens rank 17th in the world in reading—a tragic stat because reading forms the core of nearly every other type of learning. Perhaps that failure begins at home: Only one in three parents of children 8 and under read to their kids each night, according to a 2013 survey by Reading is Fundamental and Macy’s.

Looking back on the past few years, I can see what my wife and I did right in raising children who like books—and what we could have done better. Of course, children learn to read at different paces, but even kids who can’t read can enjoy books. Here are seven tips to raising kids who like books: Continue reading

4 great winter science experiments for awesome family fun (with videos)

4 great winter science experiments for awesome family fun (with videos)

Scripture tells us that all of creation declares the glory of God, but many of us scratch our head and wonder, “Does that mean, winter, too?”

Of course it does. God was wise to give us variety in creation because it helps in our worship of Him.

For instance, we all enjoy scenic pictures of mountains and beaches, but what if the entire world was one big beach or one huge mountain range? As much as we think we’d enjoy it, we really wouldn’t. We’d soon grow bored and our sinful nature would lead us to say, “Is this all there really is in the world – one monotonous stretch of white sand?”

Consider the 24-hour day cycle. What if that wondrous starry night never ended or that beautiful sunny day went on and on? We’d rebel and start pouting, “God, I can’t sleep with all that sunshine!”

It would be the same with a week’s worth of steak suppers or lobster meals, and it’s the same with the seasons. Variety in creation is good for us. We see God’s glory on display in different ways, and about the time we grow tired of beautiful buttercups or red maple tree leaves or a stellar snowy landscape, God changes the scene and gives us a different reminder of His greatness. Winter makes us long for spring, and summer makes us long for fall, and on and on. Continue reading