Picking Up the Pieces of Broken Trust

Written by Mark Gregston.

Motorcycle WreckI remember the day my dad brought home that shiny new motorcycle.  My brother and I couldn’t wait to hop on that hog and careen down the streets of our town.  But wisely, our father put the motorcycle in the garage and told us boys not to ride it unless he was there.  Well if you’re the parent of a teenage boy, you might see where this story is headed.  When my dad left one day, his car wasn’t halfway down the street before we pulled the forbidden vehicle out for a spin.  The result of our ill-conceived joy ride was my brother breaking his jaw, a friend breaking his ankle, and a busted air conditioning unit.  While a friend’s dad took the necessary people to hospital, I was given the unwelcome job of trying to smooth things over with my father.  It did not go well.  I had broken the trust my dad had given me.  After meting out the consequences, my dad sold the motorcycle and did not talk to my brother and I for close to three months.

Dealing with Tragedy

Written by Mark Gregston.

Dealing with TragedyIt was a beautiful day for a run.  Though the Boston Marathon is by invitation only, the runners assembled were not your superstar athletes, but rather your typical moms, dads, accountants, firemen, grandpas, grandmas, students and scholars.  They were average people who, through hard work and dedication, had earned the opportunity to run through the streets of the city.  But before many of them made it to the finish line, the goal that these runners had spent years preparing for, the bombs went off and a senseless and mindless tragedy changed the course of the race forever.

Are You Teaching a Child Or Training a Teen?

Written by Mark Gregston.

Training Your ChildProverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”  For many of us this verse is overly familiar.  But I’d like you to take a step back and look at this passage with a fresh pair of eyes.  I know that many of us may have unconsciously read Proverbs 22:6 as saying “teach a child” or “instruct a child.”

But that’s not what the verse says.

The Hebrew word chanokh, which is translated in this verse as “train,” is used as a verb in only three other passages in the Bible and describes either dedicating, consecrating, or equipping.  In each place this word is used, its meaning goes far beyond simply gaining knowledge or learning discipline.  Chanokh conveys more the idea of encouraging, preparing, and guiding children on the path to adulthood.  It’s the difference between “teaching” a child and “training” a man or woman of God.

Getting Teens to Grow Up

Written by Mark Gregston.

Teens Growing UpRemember Alice in Wonderland?  There’s one part of the story that finds a diminutive Alice trapped in a room where everything is bigger and taller than she is.  But there, at her feet, she finds a piece of cake labeled “Eat Me.”  After one bite from that questionable dessert, Alice grows exponentially, transforming into a full-fledged adult in the space of a few seconds.

I know many parents who would love to feed a bit of that kind of “maturity cake” to their own kids!  It seems that more and more teenagers in this generation are becoming stuck in a perpetual state of adolescence.  Instead of growing into healthy adults, a rising number of young people are prolonging their childhood.  In fact, the American Medical Association has recently increased the age of adolescence to 27.  That means we have a bunch of twenty-somethings running around behaving like kids!

Teaching Your Teenager How to Handle Money

Written by Mark Gregston.

Teens and Money“Make all you can.  Save all you can.  Give all you can.” ~ John Wesley

In order to figure out the wisdom God really wants us to remember, a good rule of thumb is to pay attention to how many times that issue is mentioned in Scripture.  And when it comes to handling finances, there are 2,350 verses in the Bible on the topic!  Discussions about money and possessions comprised close to 15 percent of what Jesus taught.  Obviously, the proper handling of money is a big deal.

Hope For Battle-Weary Parents

Written by Mark Gregston.

Don't Give UpOn October 29, 1941, Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited his old alma mater, The Harrow School for Boys, to address to the student body.  The United Kingdom was in the throes of World War II, and the hope of the citizens was beginning to falter.  Standing before frightened students, distraught parents and a weary nation, Winston Churchill spoke these memorable words: “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up.  Never give up.  Never give up.  Never give up.

Bullying 101

Written by Mark Gregston.

BullyingI remember it clearly.  A kid at school (lets call him Ryan) had been antagonizing me all year.  One afternoon, I was sitting down, minding my own business, when suddenly he came over and spit right in my ear!  I was too dumbfounded to do anything, and Ryan went away laughing.  I stewed over the humiliating experience all day and all night.  The next day, when I bumped into Ryan, I unleashed a torrent of verbal punches that visibly cut him down and hurt him immensely.  It was way too much.

Events/Retreats/Mark’s Schedule

Date Event Location
July 29 An Evening with Mark Gregston Augusta, GA
August 14-16 Families in Crisis Conference Longview, TX
September 6-7 Tough Guys and Drama Queens Parent Seminar Monroe, LA
September 10th Evening with Mark Gregston San Antonio, TX
September 11th Special Morning Event with Mark Gregston San Antonio, TX
September 18-19th Tough Guys and Drama Queens Parent Seminar Eau Claire, WI
Parenting Today's Teens is produced and sponsored by the Heartlight Ministries Foundation. You can visit our family of websites below.