Author: Reggie Joiner

A Gratitude Adjustment

Of all the qualities God tries to build into our character, gratitude seems to be one of the most obvious. It doesn’t take long to tell if someone is thankful or not. It’s the kind of quality that sets a pattern for the rest of an individual’s personality. “Gratitude,” “gratis” and “grace” come from the same Latin word. So do “ungrateful” and “ingratiating.” No one straddles a middle line when it comes to gratitude. Either you’re thankful, or you’re not, and everyone usually knows which one you are (or aren’t). Why do you suppose God has so much to...

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Shattered Family Pictures

When it comes to parenting, how are you feeling? Is your family the picture you had in mind? The truth is, we are all holding pictures of what we think a family is supposed to be. Everywhere you go, you are reminded of how ideal families dress and act. For just a moment, take a closer look at one of the model families that some of us aspire to become. They’re the Stock family: Rob and Allison Stock and their two children, Tyler and Emma. He’s clean-cut, wearing a name-brand shirt and expensive jeans. Her hair is long, her...

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Catch Them Doing It Right

Several years ago, our team was asked to design a program to help public schools teach kids character. One of the tools we provided was a “Value-able” card to award a child with free ice cream when they did something that demonstrated respect, responsibility, or kindness. We gave out enough cards so teachers could catch every kid doing something right at least once a month. But at the end of the first month, 90% of the cards had not been given out. We realized that a lot of teachers, much like many parents, were so programmed to correct kids behavior...

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The Secret of Superman

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with Superman. Seriously! I still remember the day my parents handed me a box from Sears and Roebuck that contained a red cape, blue tights with a red-and-yellow “S” shield on the chest. When I put it on, something magical happened. It transformed me from a shy six-year-old to a super hero with unique powers. I was more powerful than my dad’s parked car. I could leap tall fences with a single bound. I was faster than our speeding fox terrier. Looking back, I am absolutely positive that I could jump higher,...

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Growing Knowledge

Every year, two professors from a small college in Wisconsin publish a “Mindset” list to remind us that every freshman has a completely different knowledge base than previous generations. Maybe you’ve seen the list. For example, this year, the class of 2017 has. . . never had the chicken pox never needed directions, just an address, always known there are “five hundred, twenty five thousand, six hundred minutes” in a year. The Mindset List reminds us that knowledge is always changing. When we narrowly define knowledge as the dictionary does, we forget that facts and information can only take...

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