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Don't forget to make some memories!

Pay it Forward

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

Have you ever thought about ways that you can be a blessing to other parents? Way back in 317 BC a poet named Menander wrote a comedy called “The Grouch” (translated from the Greek). A major element of the plot was the concept of “pay it forward.”  It was an idea Benjamin Franklin promoted as well (as per a letter discovered from 1784): “I do not pretend to give such a deed; I only lend it to you. When you […] meet with another honest Man in similar distress, you must pay me by lending this sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro’ many hands, before it meets with a knave that will stop its...

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Writing the Christmas Letter

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

I love to get Christmas letters. I get them from people I care about, but with whom I’m not in close, regular contact. The letters fill me in on the important details that I need to know in order to pick up where things left off the next time I see that person. They tell me things like “my father died last August,” or “my daughter is expecting a baby,” or “we finally took that trip to China we’ve been dreaming about for years.” Getting such letters is one of the things I look forward to about the holidays.” As a boy I witnessed my parents writing and mailing an annual Christmas letter. Now that I am a parent I carry on the tradition. I consider it one of the responsibilities of maintaining a friendship. An annual letter is...

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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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