Rohan’s School Prayer


Dear God,
I want to have a great day.
Watch over me as I learn and play.
Help me to listen and obey
my teachers, my parents, and you.

Remind me to always be a knight
Show me how to do what’s right
And walk away from every fight.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Matthew 6:9-13 (CEV)
Our Father in heaven,
 help us to honor
 your name.
Come and set up
 your kingdom,
 so that everyone on earth

will obey you, 
as you are obeyed
 in heaven.
Give us our food for today.
Forgive us for doing wrong,
 as we forgive others.
Keep us from being tempted
 and protect us from evil.

Christian Elementary Schools in the South Bay – 2013 Open Houses


My son Rohan is now “4 and 3/5ths” and will be graduating from Hearts and Hands Christian Preschool in the fall.  We are wrestling with which school he should attend next.  The primary criteria are:

  1. Christian formation
  2. Academic challenge
  3. Convenient location

This appears to be Open House season, so I need to compile a list of candidates to start scheduling and ranking them.  I figured I might as well do it online in case others find it useful or have suggestions.
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The Virtue and Emotion Pride


One of the most controversial aspects of Knight Club is that it treats pride (“By Myself”) like anger (“Not Fair”): an emotion which is prone to sin, but is not necessarily a sin — and can even be a virtue.

While it is true that the vast majority of Bible verses mention pride in the context of sin, a number acknowledge its positive role. Here are some that are often translated using the word “pride.”
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Superhero Workout


Here is the SUPERHERO WORKOUT we did for the last few Knight’s Club meetings.

  • THOR- Arm Circles
  • FLASH- Run in place
  • SUPERMAN- Super Jumps
  • SPIDERMAN- Spider Walks
  • WOLVERINE- Scissor Jump Claws
  • HULK- Wall Smash
  • IRON MAN BLASTS- Side Lunge and Punch
  • CAPTAIN AMERICA- Duck, Step, Dodge

Meet the Dragons of Knight Club


The great challenge of manhood is learning to harness our emotions to serve a good purpose. As I mentioned earlier, I believe we need to harness (not slay) these Four Dragons of Manhood: Desire, Fear, Anger & Pride.  Here’s a more comprehensive summary of my current understanding:

Dragons The Green Dragon of Desire The Yellow Dragon of Fear The Red Dragon of Anger The Blue Dragon of Pride
Color Green Yellow Red Blue
Emotion Desire Fear Anger Pride/Glory
Breathes Vines Light Fire Water
Says “Mine!” “I’m Scared” “Not Fair!” “By Myself!”
Verse: Psalm 37:4 1 Peter 1:17 Ephesians 4:26 Galatians 6:4
Nurtured By: Hope Wisdom Love Faith
Reined In By: Patience Responsibility Gentleness Obedience
Experience God’s: Generosity Justice Mercy Predictability

Therefore I urge you who have been chosen by God to live up to the life to which God called you. Always be humble, gentle, and patient, accepting each other in love. — Ephesians 4:1a-2

Knight Club #1: 4 PM, Sat June 16 at Newhall Park, San Jose


Calling all Fathers and Sons:

Rohan and Davey invite you to join us in a couple weeks for “Knight Club” – a time of physical and spiritual exercise for boys and dads*

4 PM to 5:30 PM Saturday, June 16th
Newhall Park, San Jose (the corner of Newhall Street and Campbell Avenue)

We will sweat. We will pray. We will grow stronger — together!

Join us!
*Feel free to invite any man you know who might be interested, inside or outside the church — even if they don’t have sons of their own to bring. God needs men, and so do we.

The Knight’s Chant: The Promise of Holiness


I AM A KNIGHT (fist straight up in the air)

KNIGHTS DO WHAT’S RIGHT (pound fist in hand)


I WANT WHAT’S RIGHT (fist over heart)

I CAN DO WHAT’S RIGHT (fist forward)

WE ARE STRONG (make muscles)

WE USE OUR STRENGTH (hands on waist)

TO PROTECT THE WEAK (hands reaching down)

TO HELP OUR FRIENDS (hands straight out to the side)

TO SERVE THE CHURCH (hands forward, palms up)

TO HONOR GOD (hands up to heaven)

AMEN! (hands clasped together overhead)

[YELL] (clap)

Knight Club: How to Ride a Dragon


Yesterday I gave my son Rohan (age 3 and 5/6ths) a set of colored dragons and attempted to explain my four-dimensional system for emotional maturity.  He grasped the basic idea quite quickly, though I had to modify some of the terms (e.g., “Obedience” instead of “Humility”).

Dragon Spurs Reins
Fear Safety Bravery
Anger Caring Thoughtfulness
Desire Hope Patience
Pride Honor Obedience

What’s interesting about this list is that the “Spurs” column is more maternal/feminine, while the “Reins” are more paternal/masculine.

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Knight Club: Moral Authority and the Fourth Dragon


One of the ways I tackle “wicked problems” is by exploring different possible answers in order to help clarify the essential question. My posts on flying and mastering the dragons of manhood have been useful in helping me recognize that the two main questions Knight Club is trying to answer are:

  • What does it mean to be a man?
  • What can we do to help our sons become those kind of men?

I believe the most critical aspect of authentic manhood is “moral authority,” where people trust you will do the right thing.

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Knight Club: Mastering the Three Dragons of Manhood


In Sheila Walsh’s Will, God’s Mighty Warrior, there’s a scene where Will and his buddy Josh are pretending to be on a quest against monstrous beasts. They run into Will’s large English sheepdog. Josh is starting to defend himself, but Will assures his friend that “I have tamed this wild creature, and now use it to serve me.”

One of the hot trends in education these days is Mastery Learning: students are expected to master a concept before they move on, not just fill their seats until the class moves on.  It is similar to Ranks in the Boy Scouts of America, where you need a certain number and type of accomplishments to move from Tenderfoot up through Eagle.

So what is the analogue in Knight Club? What are we mastering?

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Knight Club: The Vicious Virtues


I often feel I owe my success more to my “vices” than to my “virtues.”

What is a virtue? What is a vice?

  • Impatience
  • Anger
  • Rebelliousness
  • Restlessness
  • Infatuation
  • Daydreaming
  • Desire
  • Goofing Off
  • Subversive Activity
  • Laziness
  • Quitting
  • Boredom
  • Fighting
  • Delusions of Grandeur

Society — especially school, but the church is arguably worse — tells us these are crimes to be stamped out.

They’re half-right.  I call them the vicious virtues.  When misdirected, they can easily destroy both self and society.

But if you can master them — and through them master yourself — you can fix the world.

How do we create an alternative form of learning that embraces creative chaos and harnesses the vicious virtues, rather than fighting them?

Knight Club: Levels of Love


The first rule of Knight Club: you must talk about Knight Club.

In the comments on my first Knight Club post, my friend Jor Bratko talks about “raising adults”, and points out that:

the legitimacy of my authority like all legitimate authority comes from love: the care of the other

He is absolutely correct.  I actually knew this, but I didn’t understand how it applied to fatherhood. Part of the problem is that the English word “love” refers to (at least) three different phenomena, which in this context I call Baby Love, Bro Love, and Boss Love — loosely inspired by the four loves described by C.S. Lewis.

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Knight Club: The Knight’s Code


The following is based on 1 – Introduction – The Training of a Knight – Age of Chivalry – Thomas Bulfinch, adapted surprisingly little to match the challenges of a preschool boy in modern America.


  1. Respect their elders
  2. Serve the church
  3. Help their friends
  4. Protect the weak

I added the converse, to help clarify appropriate versus inappropriate behavior.


  1. Disobey their elders
  2. Disrupt the church
  3. Fight their friends
  4. Take from the weak


Knight Club: Where Fathers and Sons Learn to Win Life’s Most Important Battles


Recently our church has been wrestling with what it means to be “missional” — a family on mission together.  My wife and I have been struggling with the same question, particularly with regards to raising our precocious (and sometimes rebellious) 3-and-5/6ths year-old son Rohan.  I knew he needed to be more respectful and obedient, but (for whatever reason) I didn’t feel comfortable simply demanding that by fiat. As a result, we’d been more-or-less stuck on this issue for many months. For Lent, Respectful Obedience has become one of my top four requests (along with Emotional Connection, Sustainable Integration, and Viral Transformation).

Thursday night, I decided to pray about it while putting Rohan back to sleep after he woke me up at 1 AM.  I felt God say I should look at how He dealt with his children: Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham, David, etc.  In most of those cases, God chooses someone, gives them an assignment, and then — after they’ve taken a leap of faith — He makes a covenant with them.  In short, I need to start thinking in terms of discipling Rohan (teaching him to obey God) — rather than merely parenting Rohan (teaching him to obey me).

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