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The Complaints of Christmas

Posted by on Nov 29, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

It is mid-November and I already hear Christmas music in the stores. There are Christmas decorations on my street. I have Christmas special events on my calendar already. And last Sunday morning, as my family gathered in church, I heard the complaints of Christmas. I love Christmas for many reasons. I loathe winter so Christmas is a bright spot. For years, Christmas has been an opportunity for my family to use our talents. We used to produce an annual Living Christmas Tree and arrange the church Christmas Eve service. I like the music. I like the lights. I like giving gifts. And I like the global party because the majority of the world celebrates Christmas in some way. Above all, I love the reverence many of us give to the birth of Jesus. However, it can be a hectic...

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Don’t Read This

Posted by on Oct 20, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

Don’t read this because I have no clue what I’m doing! There are some who look surprised when they hear I write a monthly article on fathering. I am honored and humbled to write for Just 18 Summers. However, I easily confess, there are times when I think I am an utter failure at fathering. When my bride and I knew parenting was approaching, I read parenting books and my wife and I attended seminars. Upon reflection some of them were helpful, others were foolish and destructive. Now, after eighteen years of fatherhood, I often receive compliments about my sons.  “Well done,” folks say, “They are fine young men.” Although I freely give most of the credit to their mother, I am asked by younger fathers, “What is/was the secret of your success?” Allow me to assume I have...

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A Cast and Larry-Boy

Posted by on Sep 16, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

There was a time when God used an accident to create a situation for father-son bonding. When my oldest son was five he had an innocent-looking fall at the playground that resulted in a cast on his right arm from his elbow down. As his father, even though I wasn’t there when it happened, I felt a certain level of shame when folks saw my little boy with a cast on his arm. Although it’s impossible to prevent these things, I thought I’d been remiss in my role as protector. Eventually I made peace with the realization that kids will be kids and accidents happen. When I leapt that hurdle my attitude turned to gratitude because I live in a culture where doctors are nearby to correct the break and apply a cast to help the healing. I’m grateful...

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My Last of Eighteen Summers

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

I miss the little hand reaching up. The hand reaching up from the little boy who wanted my protection as we crossed the street, or a sense of security when a stranger talked to him, or often, just wanted Daddy to hold his hand. This has been a summer of transitions. In late spring I sat through my eldest son’s high school graduation. I knew it was coming; it wasn’t a surprise. But a transformation was continuing – a part of him was leaving me. The graduation ceremony was a pivotal point in a transition that was already underway. In March he visited the college campus he will join in the fall. All of him left for the trip but not all of him came back home. It was clear after the visit that a portion of his mind...

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What Ducks Teach Us About Raising Children

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

Did you know that ducks can teach us about raising children? It’s an important lesson! In 1992, Disney released a hockey film called The Mighty Ducks. A number of years later, Disney decided they would fund a National Hockey League team based in Anaheim, California (near Disneyland). They made the obvious choice of calling their new team “The Mighty Ducks” and they later shortened it to simply “The Anaheim Ducks.” One of the biggest challenges with a new sports team is building a solid fan base. This is even more challenging in the California market because so many of the state’s citizens moved there from all over the United States. And even though they relocated to the Golden State, their allegiances are still with the teams from the state they vacated. Disney made a decision that displays why they...

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Serving is Belonging

Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

In the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 12, God tells us we are one body. He tells us we all have a role and we all belong. Since we all belong and we all have a role, once my children entered their teen years, I tried to be pro-active in helping them embrace those roles. I knew personal and spiritual fulfillment was easier to achieve if they knew they had a purpose.   Little did I know this investment would pay off in high dividends. The past few years we have attended a church with some issues. From week to week my sons have witnessed “Christians” being very un-Christian. We seem to be sailing calmer waters now, but we have had some rough seas to navigate. It was hard to motivate ourselves to attend every Sunday morning. A challenged...

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