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Archive for Do the Dad Thing

Oct
31

When in Rome – Dads Celebrate Halloween

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Photo Credit: Brad Washburn

Photo Credit: Brad Washburn

Brad Washburn, Do the Dad Thing bloggerIn the world of expressions people use, “When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do.” is one that you might hear, even in our contemporary society distanced from ancient Rome.

The expression has roots in the Bible, to the Apostle Paul expressing how to reach your community:

1 Corinthians 9:20-22

20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

So, if the Romans . . . or your neighbors, celebrate Halloween, don’t let this Holiday pass without using it as an opportunity to be a witness.  This Halloween, the teaming unwashed ‘lost’ are coming to your door OR you might be taking your youngsters out to mingle with the costumed masses.  People are wandering around looking, even asking, for you to give them something.  How about a witness, a window into how God overcame the world?

How Dads can Do the Halloween thing:

First, don’t believe all the religious hype.  Legalistic religions will spout all kinds of nonsense about it being the Devil’s holiday.  I have all kinds of Scriptural arguments against this idea, but it boils down to one of my favorite verses in the Do the Dad Thing series:

Romans 12:21

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Once legalistic guilt is absolved, you can start being your authentic Christian self and celebrating Halloween with your neighbors . . . do it with the intent to be a living example for Christ.  Here are just a few thoughts on how to rock Halloween as a dad.

Watch your kids:  This goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway.  The later evening can be dark and in some neighborhoods there are a mass of people walking around, all in costumes that look similar.  Make the rule that younger kids have to stay with you.  Also, I’ve noticed over the years that there might be 50 fairies or Iron Men that all look like your kids in costume – make sure you don’t lose track of them in the hustle and bustle.

Have your kids be polite:  We all hate the people that grab handfuls of candy out of the “Take One” bucket.  Don’t let your kids be those kids.  Also, teach your kids to say “thank you,” and “please” when they trick or treat the houses.

Scooters:  Trust me, if your kids are little, have them go house to house on their Razor scooters.  You might be able to hike a few blocks with your long dad-like legs, but your kids will start whining “carry me” after a few blocks.

Take extra bags:  If your kids have trick or treat bags, they can bring them back to you to dump into a bigger bag.  That way, little kids won’t start complaining that their bag is too heavy AND it won’t look like your kids are hauling away tons of candy.

Elderly person giving out candy:  “Oh little princess, your bucket is almost empty.  Here, have 50 Butterfingers.”

Talk to people:  This goes along with being a witness to your neighbors.  Meet people.  If the opportunity comes up, tell them where you live.  Share an interest.  You never know where it might lead. Read More→

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Oct
18

Knock Knock Knockin’ on Friend’s Doors

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Img Src: Brad Washburn

Img Src: Brad Washburn

Quick Preamble:  The organic flow of kids

I didn’t have personal experience with social interaction much as a kid.  I grew up in an Amish area, and the nearest neighbor with a child my age was miles away (several cornfields at least).  So, I had to learn much of the information on dealing with neighborhood kids, visiting friends, having ‘play-dates’ through my kids and trying to navigate the experience as a parent.  The good thing, is that our family will routinely have ‘pow-wows’ to discuss how to handle social issues.   Much of the ideas in this article and others in this series involving ‘other people’ were developed from meeting as a family and discussing how best to handle each experience.

Ok, back to our previously scheduled blog article . . .

Knocking:  Essential to relationships.  And just like other activities that involve others, there are some manners and ethics to knocking.  I’ll cover just a few in this article:

  • Don’t be afraid to knock
  • Be safe to knock
  • Don’t knock at 7am
  • Jesus knocks

 

Don’t be afraid to knock.  Sometimes my kids would want to fill out a street-kickball game, but they needed a few more players.

Me:  Why don’t you ask Kyle?

Kids:  He’s usually playing x-box

Me:  Did you actually ask him?

Kids:  But there are no cars in his drive.

Me:  [leveled stare]

Kids:  Fine, we’ll ask him.

 

Minutes later Kyle has been shooed out by his parents to get some sunshine and he is standing on second base (which happens to be a pile of leaves they put in the road).

Sometimes people need to be asked.  Some people even need to be approached and asked to be involved.  Our world is full of loneliness and people that are disconnected.  Knocking on a door to ‘hang out’ and/or ‘play’ isn’t that tough – the worst someone could say is, “no.” Read More→

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Sep
20

Grocery Store etiquette

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shopping cartBrad, you gave us some great ideas for dads to teach kids good behavior in a waiting room situation.  But what about the grocery store?  My kids are unholy terrors when I take them shopping.

Ok, so in actuality no one really asked that question.  But they should have!  Because the grocery store is one of the greatest trials to kids and behavior.  The few times I was threatened with “Wait until your dad gets home . . .” were uttered by my mother at the grocery store.  I don’t remember much of how I misbehaved (especially after the beating I received from my dad for misbehaving– just kidding), but I’m sure I was fighting with my sister, asking for things, and touching everything.  My mom would probably remember more because memory is augmented by trauma.  I probably need to call my mom someday and apologize for every grocery and department store trip I ruined.  However, if Karma is a concept God allows, I am definitely getting my due share of payback.  I have a flexible schedule, so I have been harnessed with doing a lot of the shopping over the years.  It’s not so bad now, but when our kids were little my wife signed us up for some sort of shopping-rating survey system, so shopping was complicated and already felt like it took FOREVER, even without the kids.

Now my boys are almost to the age where I can tell them, “Hey, would you run up to the store and pick us up some bread for dinner?”  Almost.  So I still do the shopping and I frequently view other poor adults struggling to manage kids while they are shopping.

Since I’m a Christ follower, I need to first direct focus on the Bible and see how other people of faith managed the grocery store experience successfully:

They didn’t.

Grocery Stores and Department Stores didn’t exist in Biblical times, so it’s more difficult to get a grip on any of the great Dad-ing techniques of the Bible.  However, I think the entire book of proverbs could be retitled “How to instruct your kids to behave at Walmart.” . . .  Maybe I’ll suggest that to Zondervan.

In all seriousness though, in ‘Biblical times’ kids, even little kids, had some big responsibilities.

“You want to eat dinner tonight toddler?  Good, pull up this row of leeks.”

“You are a preteen Israelite boy, get out there and kill us a goat for dinner.”

“You’d like new socks?  Here, let me show you how to knit.”

Times have changed, but kids are still kids.  They can accept and rise to many challenges and responsibilities.  It does take more time on the front end to teach them.  The typical Israelite dad would have to show his kids the correct way to plant, harvest, thresh . . . but after a few times of instruction, the kids are helping with the ‘grocery shopping’ for the rest of their lives.  That’s worth it.

So, technique #1 to thrive at store shopping with your kids is to….

Give them Responsibilities and teach them how to succeed.  This might require some short, ‘practice,’ trips to the grocery or department store, but it will be worth it.

Speaking of training, I developed a technique to train your kids that could almost be considered sadistic torture.  Take your kids to Toys R Us (or any toy store) and park in the parking lot.  Tell your kids that you are going to go inside with them to look at cool stuff.  But also tell them that you are NOT going to buy anything today.

Then, stick to it. Read More→

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Sep
01

Last Comic Sitting . . . in the Waiting Room.

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kids healthMy wife has white coat syndrome.  She grew up in a military family where she was taught to respect people in authority, especially if they are wearing a uniform.  Doctors wear a uniform and are in authority at their office so they benefit from the double-whammy of respect from her.  So my wife gets pretty stressed when she goes to the Dr. and sometimes needs someone to advocate for her.

I suffer from the opposite malady of “white coat syndrome.”  I have the, as yet to be diagnosed, Rebel Syndrome.  I think people in authority are not to be trusted and uniforms only serve to identify the people to people to mistrust.

So I go with her to doctor appointments.  Sometimes I try to be comedy relief for these appointments, but most of the time my attempts fall short.  As it turns out, my wife doesn’t think joking with the doctor is a good thing.  I think she’s afraid they will take revenge on her somehow medically if I am not funny.  And, I should probably add, that my wife rarely thinks I am funny.

One time when we were dating, she was trying to run away from me (it’s a loooong story that does NOT involve creepy stalking . . . unless you count throwing pebbles at her dorm room window trying to get her to come down and neglect studying and hang out with me).  I had some flowers for her, but she did not want to hang out; she wanted to study. So I brought the flowers to the bottom of the stairs at her dorm and she came and got them, then started sprinting up the stairs before I could get kissy.

. . . So, we were at the emergency room with her having a broken leg.  I was there to be supportive, it was probably one of my first stints as “doctor companion,” plus, she was blaming me for her leg being broken.  We had another friend with us also; one of Giselle’s girlfriends named Jennifer.

So, I’m doing my ‘thing’ and trying to keep Giselle entertained and her mind off of her leg.  It was all falling flat.  In the hazy memory of my mind, I think I might have been making the doctors, staff, and the whole waiting room laugh, but not Giselle.

Our friend Jennifer picks up a pamphlet for STDs . . . and asks Giselle if she needs to read it.  And, that cracks her up. She just wanted to know if testing for chlamydia was possible when there were no symptoms.

I can’t win.

Anyway, I go to waiting rooms with Giselle a lot.  As you might guess, a lot of women also go to some of these appointments and many times I see them toting their kids along because they are too young to stay by themselves.  So, I’ve had a good vantage point to observe how kids take advantage of moms when they are involved in something that my wife would say is quite stressful. Read More→

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Aug
18

That’s racist!

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Author’s Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of CWAHM, the spectacular editor and counselor Jill Hart, or evangelical Christians.  As always, I encourage/invite you to appropriately comment or start a dialog if you are offended by this topic or by the opinions contained within . . .

globeRecently I’ve noticed that the teenage kids in our neighborhood have started joking about being racist.

At first I was shocked to hear, “that’s racist” used in conversation.  Then, to hear the context, made me laugh.  Everything involving color, or shade, is ‘racist.’  You have a black (that’s racist) dog?  I got some new black shoes – that’s racist.  My oatmeal turned a dark color – don’t be racist.  It is the natural result of their public school education and having the focus be on a hyper-awareness to being racially appropriate to people of Negroid decent.

It probably sounds awkward (even . . . “racist?”) for me to say ‘Negroid,’ but I actually have to differentiate between the group of United States citizens coming from African lineage with dark pigment when it comes to this trend in school.  There are all kinds of ‘color’ pigment and racial background at my kid’s school.   We live in Florida, so there are a LOT of ethnicities represented.

The idea of ‘multicultural’ (many cultures) is much different than my small town where I grew up in Indiana; there were maybe . . . 3 . . . ethnicities represented in the school I attended; and that’s counting Amish.  But Florida aside, we live in a much smaller world than I did growing up in the 80’s.  People would have to live under a rock, or, in certain areas of Tennessee or South Carolina to never see a person of non-white color.  And that was only said in humor, I’m sure people in Tennessee and South Carolina get internet and TV.  The point is, that the Unites States is OBVIOUSLY diverse and truly a ‘melting pot’ of different ethnicities.

Back to my kids.  They have black kids at their school, but a high percentage of students are Hispanic, or from the Caribbean, or Asian.  Florida is a melting pot of racial backgrounds.  There is a percentage of dark skinned kids that don’t consider themselves black.  Kids from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Trinidad or other nearby islands don’t want to be considered part of ‘black culture.’  One of the students that has ‘hung out’ at our house, is from England, and he doesn’t like to be called black; it makes him angry, even though his skin is darker than most of the kids I see with African descent.

But there is a hyper focus on race in the media, and kids pay attention to media.  Combine that, with the hyper sensitivity to racial issues taught in school, and you get everything being ‘racist.’

So, what is a dad to do about this issue?  We may not be able to solve racism for the world, but being grounded in multicultural diversity is definitely within our grasp.

Don’t condone racism:  Neo-Nazis, the KKK, Beyoncé’s pro Black Panther tributes, telling racist jokes, riots, racial slurs in song lyrics,  — all need to be called out to your kids, exposed, and condemned as a sinful act.  By the way, jokes that disparage another race = bad.  Jokes that point out the difference in racial culture = ok.  For instance, did you know that if you look in the bathroom mirror and say “Pumpkin Spice Latte” three times, a white girl in yoga pants will appear and offer you a Starbucks coffee?

It’s a fine line, but basically anything that puts down another person’s race . . is racist.

Celebrate Diversity! – God made all the people and races of the world.  Everyone is unique and special on purpose.  The fact that some of my friends look different than I do; is good.  Learn about other cultures and share those experiences with your kids.  Ask appropriate questions.   Experience different languages.  It’s a great way to promote racial understanding, and it really helps them as they grow to participate in global understanding since our world is becoming more and more digitally connected.

Don’t lock-step to “African American History Month.” It really seems unfair to focus on one racial background and neglect the rainbow of other ethnicities represented in the U.S.  The result seems to be that black ethnicity then becomes a joke.  Racism then becomes a disrespect for ethnicities; exactly the opposite of what the forefathers of racial equality envisioned.

As a dad, I suggest augmenting the school curriculum that only focuses on one ethnic group, with some information on other ethnic groups.  Or possibly highlighting the times African Americans were included and treated equally in history.  However, don’t forget to learn about Harriet Tubman; she was pretty amazing…

Know the Biblical background on racial diversity.  When I was a kid, no joke; I would hear people try to use Biblical justification for racism and bigotry.  I once heard an adult point to Scripture where Cain was “marked” for killing his brother (Genesis 4:15) and supposedly fathered all dark skinned people of the world. (And, of course, the mark had to be black, right?  Dark skinned people of Mesopotamia wouldn’t get a ‘white’ mark . . )  Or, possibly even worse was the time I heard an adult use Ham being a “slave” for looking at his naked father (Genesis 9) as a justification for slavery (and, to make that ridiculousness work, Ham also had to have dark skin . . . as opposed to his brothers).  I’ve also heard adults justify prejudice against mixed marriages or people using Old Testament references to associating with foreign nations (passages that were taken waaaaaay out of context).

Biblically, God spread out people by making them different so that they wouldn’t be so prideful to think they could compete with God.

Genesis 11: So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.

And in the Gospels, God seriously smacks down prejudice by the well-known story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37.  There are others, but those are the ones you should know to be able to share with your kids.

Don’t buy into the media.  I met with a guy not very long ago that was very incensed with how police were mistreating the residents of Ferguson, MO and the resulting riots there.  The media sure made it seem like racial minorities of that area were rising up en masse to protest the police.  However, a little research behind the news shows that rioters were bussed in from other areas and that the whole fiasco was financed by a European . . .  yes, a ‘white’ European.

Lately the news outlets are full of situations like these.  People don’t realize that murders and violence statistically are less than they were in subsequent years.  However the media makes the most money when there is controversy and tragedy.   Teach your kids to look behind the “news” into the truth.

Look to your leaders.  I pointed out earlier that Jesus was a champion of diversity, and he struck an eternal blow to prejudice by just telling a story.  He didn’t revolt, riot, burn down buildings, and the only thing he disparaged, was pride.  I have a great respect for other leaders that enact great change while following in the example of Christ.  Martin Luther King Jr is one such leader.  Nelson Mandela is another.  Gandhi is another.  Chief Joseph is another.  The world needs more leaders who embody the Scripture “overcome evil with good.”  People you see in the news recently do not follow such principles.

Don’t try to solve society.  It’s easy to get angry and take a global view of racial issues.  But very few of us are in positions to change the mindset of city officials or correct all the ills of society.  What we can do is to vote our beliefs.  We can teach our kids to be aware of the world, pursuing truth, and to be loving of all races.  And, of course, we can set the example as leaders in the world for following the leadership of Christ.

I invite you again to comment or e-mail if you agree/disagree.  That’s another thing that makes the U.S. great: freedom of speech.

Also, I saw someone post a little snippet from an interview with Morgan Freeman the other day.  It echoes much of what I wrote above, and, it’s Morgan Freeman!  Here it is:  https://youtu.be/GeixtYS-P3s

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brad Washburn is a father, husband, and Director of a Christian counseling center in Tampa, Florida. He has helped hundreds of people over the last 15 years. In particular, he desires to see fathers be “men after God’s own heart” — a description of King David in the Bible who was a lover, fighter, sheep herder, and harp player . . .

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Jul
28

Name that . . .

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Image Credit: Brad Washburn

Image Credit: Brad Washburn

I think it is a guy’s job to name things of importance.

Good thing that this blog column is for Dads and females aren’t reading it . . . right? Right?

Oh man, I think I’m in dangerous waters.

First, let me start with the Bible. In the Beginning account in Genesis, Adam’s job was to name the animals. In the Old Testament, men were responsible to name places, and put names to events where God did something amazing.
As you continue throughout Scripture, guys put names to things of importance. Read about Zechariah in Luke 1; even when he was mute, he wrote down on a slip of paper that his newborn son was to be named John (the Baptist).

I can hear legions of women picking up pitchforks and heating up cauldrons of tar. Let me expound on this a little more before the mob arrives.

In the history of culture described in the Bible, guys had a significant role as leaders and God-followers. So, much of the “important” details of naming things fell to them. There are, of course, very clear accounts of women also naming things. For instance, the plethora of kids named in the ‘son making war’ in Genesis 30.

There are other examples of women in the Bible naming things, but I’m risking provoking a
feminist mob to say this: Dads, we need to take the responsibility to name things.

I’m not talking about kids or pets. Although, as a side note, most of my awesome name suggestions for our kids were somehow relegated to our pets. Our turtle got the name Quinn. Our Dog, the PH.D. in Phrenology, got the name (Dr.) Bohdi. We had a snake once named Martok, and in each of these cases I think you will agree that these are EXCELLENT names.
I think my wife was agreeing to me using some of my best name suggestions for the pets, so that I wouldn’t try to use them for our kids. She’s devious. And, she’s obviously never seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade . . .

Anyway, sometimes Dads need to be the one to name, or label, what is really happening.

For instance, let’s say that it’s the week before school starts. The family has been doing all the usual roles of a family preparing for this event. Parents are quietly rejoicing and shopping for school supplies. Kids are trying to ignore the fact that schools starting. Many families try to squeeze in a vacation. Schedules begin to be disrupted. . . . and suddenly there is the presence of a high amount of stress.
This is where a Dad steps in and names the situation. “We are all stressed because school is going to start.”
It seems like a miniscule thing, but naming a situation like this helps everyone understand how they are feeling and gives them insight on how to cope. Once such back-to-school stress is named, then everyone can take measures to deal with it. Read More→

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Jul
14

Anime PSA

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bradYou’ve probably figured out by reading my other articles that I have boys.  And I, myself, am a dude.

But,

I think this article will apply to dudes that are dads of both genders of offspring.  Because Anime is popular and rising in popularity AND it’s prevalent in your everyday life.  I was in the Barnes and Nobelyesterday and there were two aisles dedicated to Manga.  Two aisles!  You might not even know what Manga is, and that’s ok.  This article with contain some basics about Anime, and some application on how it might affect your son or daughter.

I think we probably should start with some of the vocabulary involved with Anime just so everyone can be on the proverbial “same page.”

Anime:  Short for ‘animation’ (actually based on the Japanese pronunciation of the American word ‘animation.’)– It’s animated stories, usually from Japan.  They are not “cartoons” (Anime fans would scoff at that term), the content is usually along the line of stuff you would view on Cartoon Network in the U.S.; probably leaning more toward “Adult Swim” in content (adult themes are prevalent).  ‘Cool’ kids watch the Anime in Japanese with subtitles.  Not-so-cool kids watch versions dubbed into English

Manga:  Japanese comic books.  You read them backwards.

Otaku:  People that really love Anime.

Cosplay:  Dressing up in a costume of a character from TV, Anime, or Movies.  Literally means “Costume Play”

Hentai:  Japanese animated pornography — usually involving really bizarre stuff, like alien squids raping school girls.  This, is a good example of why we Dads need to have a good knowledge-base of this stuff.

After I defined Hentai you are probably ready to steer clear of all Anime.  You could do that.  But Anime is pretty prevalent in our culture and it’s hard to totally avoid; plus, it’s entertaining.  Like most media, there is a good and bad.  Our job as Christians is to:

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21) Read More→

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Jun
29

Be a Desert Daddy

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desertSometimes I hang out with Pastors.  This is a confession.

Because pastors are human, and they are involved in a difficult role; ergo they are not always the easiest people to “hang out” with.  Pastors are burdened with their service to their ministry, and with their relationship to their spouse, and many of them are Dads . . . and none of them want their kids to turn into the infamous “preacher kid.”  But pastors are also wary of relationships, because they’ve been hurt many times, and so their conversations are usually very “shallow” at first.  Pastors are good at talking about sports.  They are good with talking about the weather or current events (although most are timid about talking about politics), and definitely good at talking about movies.  Most Pastors, however, are hesitant to talk about the ‘real’ topics important to them: their personal struggles or family issues.

Back to my confession.  I talk to pastors.  And one of the stops on the progression toward “real” talk with a pastor involves Theology.  It usually goes something like this:

Sports/Movies talk >>>>> Theological/Doctrine Talk >>>>> Real Talk

Theological talk is an important step for pastors because it’s a screening process.  If a pastor says that they are a “neo-Calvinist” or listen to John Piper . . . then they are searching to see if you can connect at their theological level of understanding.  If you say, “huh?” to the neo-Calvinist remark; then you might be safe, but, you clearly don’t know about “their world.  However, if you say, “Oh, I’m an Arminian” . . . then you are also not on the safe list for open conversation about their personal beliefs – because Arminian and Calvinist are opposing viewpoints.

Yeah, pastors are weird.

I counsel pastors and consult with pastors and lead a couple of local ministeriums, so periodically I get the ‘theological’ talk from one of the local pastors screening me to see if I’m safe.

Pastor:  So, I’m a Reformed Dutch Lutheran . . .

Me:  I’m a bit of a Christian Mystic, like the Desert Fathers . . .

Pastor:  [uncomfortable silence]

Yes, I am also a pastor; and, as a pastor, I also am a weird one.   Because the Desert Fathers are a relatively obscure Christian sect from the 3rd Century.  You can google/Wikipedia them, but I’m warning you right now; it’s boring. Read More→

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Jun
08

Teach Them How to Beat You

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Brad Washburn, Do the Dad Thing bloggerTeach Them How to Beat You, by Brad WashburnPeriodically, I get a brave teenager who wants to befriend me on Facebook.  I say ‘brave’ because they first will have to put up with my frequent uncool posts.  The ones where I take a picture of the lava lamp by my desk and speak in terms of “groovy.”  Or the ones where I post pictures of my Sugar Gliders doing cute things.  Sugar Gliders are cute, but definitely not cool.

The worst is where I make some sort of dorky crack on their posts.  Recently, a FB friend, whom shall remain nameless, posted that she was having an argument with her mom.  First came the cracks:

Facebook Snippet

But then, other people were posting some serious stuff and I felt guilty having sooo much wisdom to share and only making jokes, so I posted the following: Read More→

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Apr
21

Fight the Power!

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257ccfee-9f13-477b-bd93-913671833bcfI have a wonderful niece that I love dearly. And I hope she doesn’t read this blog. She’s not a dude, so that narrows my chances of her finding it online. She probably doesn’t search out excellent ways on how to be a Work at Home Mom either (she’s still a teen). She’s also not interested in God . . . so I pray for her because she is ‘lost.’ Not only is she lost, she also is a college student at a big, and secular, university.

She’s the springboard for talking about this topic that I foreshadowed near the end of my Dino War! series. Because to be a good Dad, you have to model and teach your kids how to think. Not what to think, but rather TO think. — to participate in the act of thinking.

It seems like, not very long ago, thinking happened in college. College was for thinking. Kids that came out of elementary and secondary education with the ‘basics’ were then challenged with different opinions, and philosophies and other students from differing backgrounds. College students were thinkers, and activists, and explorers.

But it seems like today, college students are expected to lock-step with the same opinion, and not question, and not search.

Wow, I sound like one of those crotchety ‘old fellers’ longing for the old days.

I’m a rebel though. And a conspiracy theorist. I am going so far as to say that ALL dads and Christians need to be rebels and conspiracy theorists. Here’s why this concept (and my college rant) applies to Dads:

The Bible is pretty clear that Christianity involves a struggle between good and evil. They are not evenly matched, but evil still tries to destroy people from having hope and faith in God. Everyone is on one side or the other of this struggle.

Consider for a moment that you are a guard at the gate for a TOP SECRET research facility. One day a car pulls up to the gate. The driver is wearing sunglasses and a fake mustache. You ask for their id, and they hand you a crayon drawing of a picture with the inscription ‘Official Person.’

Do you:

A: Let them in; seems legit

B: Question them . . . with many questions . . . and only let them in when you are sure.

This analogy is what it’s like to be a Dad in the world today. Maybe not as extreme as fake mustaches and crayon IDs, but evil is trying to come into the lives of our kids every day. And evil doesn’t really play by the rules, sometimes evil looks pretty normal; even nice.

The Bible rips the disguise off of evil in Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Read More→

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