Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009

Shouldn't we all be using Tummy Tubs?

Wouldn't life be easier if we all used Tummy Tubs? The tagline for these ads is, "Nearly as nice as mommies tummy!"
Order yours today here:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sad, sad story from Indiana

Police: Dad leaves boy and goes into strip club

Tue Nov 24, 9:24 PM EST

A man was arrested after police said he left his 5-year-old son in a tractor-trailer while he ducked into an Indianapolis strip club to drink. The 39-year-old was arrested at 1:15 a.m. Tuesday on child neglect and public intoxication charges after calling police to report his truck stolen and his child missing. Police said the man was too drunk to remember where he had parked.

They found the boy inside watching cartoons on a television inside the cab. The keys were in the ignition, and the doors were unlocked.

Police said the suspect put his son in jeopardy by leaving him exposed in a high crime area.

The man was taken to the Marion County jail, where his wife picked up him and the child.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

GPS tracking device for your kids

'Little Buddy' GPS device keeps tabs on your child


Best Buy is selling a transmitting device that lets parents keep track of their children. Parents can place the device in a child's backpack or lunch box, for example.
The "Little Buddy Child Tracker" retails for $100 (far less than other devices that sell for $200 to $500). It combines global satellite positioning and cellular technology to signal the child's whereabouts to a computer or smartphone.
Parents can program the device to set up specific times and locations where the child is supposed to be -- in school or at home, for example -- and the device sends a text message if the child leaves the site in that time.
The device immediately drew angry writeups from some techies, who called it a reason for children to run away from home.

Hat tip: Sandra Guy

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Inspiration for the Audio Drama Screwtape

I encourage all fathers to listen to this amazing audio drama on Halloween night with their children or family.

See here for more info:

Inspiration for the Audio Drama

The British author/theologian C.S. Lewis was a brilliant thinker and writer, your family will love it!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A forgiving dad

Everyone's talking about Phillies fan Steve Monforto who was patient and kind with his little daughter, Emily. Watch the video by clicking on the link below to see how this Dynamic Dad reacts to his young daughter's impulsive act...that's one forgiving father!

Here's how the AP wrote up the story:

Dad could not believe his good luck. Steve Monforto made a great grab, catching his first foul ball after years of going to Phillies games. He fist-bumped his buddies, high-fived his 3-year-old daughter and then handed her the prize. Big mistake. Little Emily threw the ball over the railing.
Stunned by his toddler's toss this week, all Pop could do was hug her.
"I didn't want her to think she did anything wrong," Monforto said on WIP-AM radio.
Philly crowds are known for being a tough bunch, but everyone at Citizens Bank Park cheered - first his catch, then his cuddle.
"This was the true reflection of what Philly fans are like," Bonnie Clark, the team's vice president of communications, said.
Cameras captured the scene of Monforto reaching over the railing and snagging Jayson Werth's foul in the fifth inning against Washington.
The video was displayed at the top of the Yahoo! Web page and made the NBC national news. The entire family is scheduled to appear on the "Today" show tomorrow.
Monforto and his daughter still went home with a baseball. A few of them, actually.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and three team employees saw what happened and each grabbed a ball and went up to the stands.
"He was very appreciative," Phillies executive Mike Stiles said.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fathers who are also inmates

Program helps inmates be fathers inside and out
BY JoANNE YOUNG / Lincoln Journal Star |

The trainers got their own chance in February to talk to each other about their fathers.

The men and women who would guide Nebraska inmates through classes in becoming better fathers twisted pipe cleaners to illustrate their father-son, father-daughter relationships.

They described fathers who hid their emotions in beer cans, who did the best they could but often failed, who worked dawn to dusk and met their children on their own terms.

One described his dad as a looming presence, and very unpredictable.

"He loved me, but often it was hard to tell," the man said. "It was always hard to tell which dad I was going to see."

A woman said her dad was a leaning post, who would listen to her concerns and embrace her issues without judgment.

Another man showed with his pipe cleaners how his relationship with his dad was tightly woven in his early years, but came unraveled when the child turned 13, after his mother died.

One by one, they pulled their words from bottomless places.

"This is stuff that goes deep," said Greg Austen, director of corrections programming with the National Fatherhood Initiative.

Austen was in Lincoln in February to lead training on the InsideOut Dad program for fathers in prison. Having trainers share their own stories was part of that.

"God doesn't waste pain," Austen said.

There is redemption in these stories.

Christian Heritage worked with the Nebraska Department of Corrections to offer the InsideOut Dad programs. Classes have been held now at five prisons in Lincoln, Omaha and Tecumseh. Another is scheduled for the Work Ethic Camp in McCook.

"It's been really exciting to have so many classes going," said Gregg Nicklas, co-CEO at Christian Heritage, "and to be able to attend some of the graduations and hear men talk about reconnecting with their families and the successes they're having, and how InsideOut Dad has helped."

InsideOut Dad, developed by the National Fatherhood Initiative, connects inmates to their families and prepares them for release. With that, they are more likely to embrace freedom and not return to prison, program officials say.

The program is open to any inmate, said Mary Alley, parenting program coordinator, but priority is given to fathers who have the potential to reunite with their families. Most will get out; the average length of time served in Nebraska prisons is two to three years.

InsideOut Dad helps inmates deal with their own father-son past. The 12-class program also covers fatherhood roles, masculinity, physical and mental health, spirituality, emotions, relationships, discipline and child development.

Inmates create a plan on fathering from inside prison and to reestablish ties to their children.

About half of the more than 4,000 males in the prison system are dads, Alley said. The hope is to offer the program this year to about 840 inmates, with connections to around 2,000 children.

Lester Wagner is father to two of those kids.

Wagner, 38, has been in prison 10 years and has another five to serve for manslaughter and use of a weapon to commit a felony.

He took the classes at the Nebraska State Penitentiary.

His two girls were 6 and 2 when he came to prison. Both live out of state now. He talks to the oldest, a teenager, regularly on the phone, but has had only the briefest of contact with the youngest.

The oldest has told her father she wants to visit him at the pen. He tells her to put that money toward her education instead.

Wagner learned from the class how powerful a father is in a child's life - good or bad. It taught him to open up to his daughter, to let her know he wanted her in his life. He talks to her a lot about school, he said.

Robert Brown has two sons and a daughter, is 26, and has been at the penitentiary two years for possessing a stolen gun. He is scheduled to get out in 2012.

One son is in Nebraska; the other two children live out of state.

Brown remembers being in and out of jail since he was 11 or 12. No one seemed to be around much to provide discipline when he was young, he said, and he did pretty much whatever he wanted.

It's hard now, he said, not to be around his own kids, to teach them not to make the mistakes he did, to show them he loves them.

"The hardest thing for me is to express my feelings," he said.

Recent statistics show 24 million children are growing up without their biological fathers. That's up from 8 million in 1960.

The absence of fathers shows up starkly in prisons.

Seven of 10 inmates grew up with abusive fathers, or didn't know their fathers.

A lot of single moms do an admirable job, Austen said, but there's no mistaking the positive influence of a good father.

A child needs to feel cared about, even by a dad who is locked away, he said.

"By and large," Austen said, "we want to send the message to dads about their irreplaceable role."

They often think a mother, a grandparent or a stepparent can replace them. But kids who grow up without their biological dads grow up with significant baggage, he said.

"There's a hole in their heart in the shape of dad."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fathers, sons, and homosexuality

Very interesting article from Warren Throckmorton, who teaches at Grove City College.

Fathers, sons and homosexuality

The causes of homosexuality continue to both fascinate and divide people. Recently, in London, a conservative group of Anglicans, called the Anglican Mainstream hosted a conference to discuss the causes of homosexuality and promote change from gay to straight. Featured at the conference was American psychologist, Joseph Nicolosi. Dr. Nicolosi stirred much controversy when he said, without research support, that most of his clients show some degree of change in their sexual orientation.

Nicolosi's views regarding causes of homosexuality are also controversial. In response to a question about the existence of a gay gene, Nicolosi said:

In other words, that fact remains that if you traumatize a child in a particular way you will create a homosexual condition. If you do not traumatize a child, he will be heterosexual. If you do not traumatize a child in a particular way, he will be heterosexual. The nature of that trauma is an early attachment break during the bonding phase with the father.

In a popular book written with his wife, A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, Nicolosi pegs the "crucial period" for bonding between father and son at "between one and a half to three years." Elsewhere, Nicolosi argues that fathers of homosexual sons are unavailable, detached and/or hostile. To fathers in London, he advised, "If you don't hug your sons, some other man will," suggesting that male homosexual attraction is a search for a father's love.

The father-deficit theory is considered outdated by mainstream sexuality researchers, but is popular among conservative Christians. This evangelical acceptance has always puzzled me because Nicolosi's statements regarding the origins of homosexuality can be discounted not only by research but by common experience. His theory is contradicted in at least two ways. The first way should be quite obvious to Nicolosi's audiences: there are many men who experienced poor fathering not only during the first six years of life but throughout childhood and are nonetheless, exclusively heterosexual.

Since many in Nicolosi's audiences are either unhappy with their homosexual attractions or do not know many secure gay people, the second problem might not be so clear. In contrast to Nicolosi's depictions of the typical family of gay males, many such men experienced loving, close relationships with their fathers throughout childhood with no break in attachment. Listen to one such father who spoke to me recently about his gay son.

When my son was 18 months to 3 years old (and on into childhood), we enjoyed a wonderfully close relationship. We explored the world behind the YMCA and called it travelling, looking for creatures in nooks and crannies. When it would snow, we bundled up and follow the same path. We hunted for snakes together in the creek, built a swamp world for various amphibians and generally loved each others' company. Wherever I was, there was my son; as my wife would say, we were like "Peel and Stick."

As he got older our relationship changed, but in a way that it should change. It matured into a friendship as father and son. After our son came out to us, our relationship did not change.

Does this sound like an uninvolved, detached father? This man's son concurs with his dad's assessment of the relationship. They were and are close, with no breaks during the period Nicolosi theorizes should cause homosexuality.

Devout Christians, the family attended conferences put on by conservative Christians who believed parental deficits were responsible for homosexuality. The answers they heard were very much like what Dr. Nicolosi promotes. These parents also took their son to a reparative therapist (i.e., counselor who holds to Nicolosi's theory) who evaluated the potential for sexual orientation change. The father reported that it wasn't helpful.

Not understanding the nature of his condition, we did take our son to a counselor. After several weeks of "therapy," our counselor told our son that he didn't know what to do. None of the stereotypes fit. Our son told his counselor that he had a wonderful and close relationship with his father and mom.

Although the parents maintain the traditional Christian, non-affirming view of homosexual behavior, parents and son have maintained their relationship. What they all do much less often now is become preoccupied over causes and self-blame. The father sees a bigger picture.

Dr. Nicolosi gets it wrong to reduce the thorns in our sides/lives to a human event where we have but one chance to get it right. Does that sound like the relationship we have with our heavenly Father? God has allowed all of us to experience thorns, some painfully obvious, others less so. No doubt the thorns God allows are refining our character and leading us back to Him.

In fact, sexual orientation is quite complex. Most likely, multiple pre-and post-natal factors are involved in different ways for different people. One size does not fit all. What this means for Christian groups, however, is the stuff of controversy. For some, it means that homosexuality should be affirmed and Scripture reframed. For others, it does not lead to a change of orthodoxy, but rather to greater humility regarding the need for spiritual support to live a different and often difficult calling. What is not needed is adoption of simple, but misleading, answers.


Warren Throckmorton, PhD is Associate Professor of Psychology and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at Grove City College (PA). He can be contacted through his blog at www.wthrockmorton.com.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Daisy Chain

Patrick DeMuth is a friend from seminary and church. His wife, Mary is a prolific author and writes about parenting and family issues. Recently, Chuck Colson highlighted Mary's new book entitled Daisy Chain.

Protecting the 'Least of These' from Abuse

By: Chuck Colson

Recently, I discussed the very disturbing topic of abuse in Christian homes. Overall, the feedback I received from listeners was very positive—many expressed their gratitude that we would speak about such a difficult but important issue. Others, however, were distinctly uncomfortable that we aired two commentaries on the subject.

I certainly didn’t set out to make anyone uncomfortable, and I definitely don’t want to sensationalize what is a painful subject. But at the same time, I believe we Christians do neither ourselves nor the cause of Christ any favors when we try to sweep bad behavior under the rug.

Every time we do this, the truth tends to come out anyway, and we always look worse for having tried to hide it. And, worst of all, in the process, we often fail to protect the “least of these”—the innocent victims who need our help.

Still, some ways of dealing with tough topics can be easier to handle than others. Sometimes we can learn as much about a topic through the arts—movies or theater or a good novel—as we can by reading a study or a newspaper. Mary DeMuth’s new novel, Daisy Chain, which is published by Zondervan, is a good example.

DeMuth is a Christian and an award-nominated novelist whose books often deal with issues of abuse. Yet at the same time, they intertwine themes of grace and hope. Daisy Chain tells the story of a young boy named Jed who’s struggling with both his best friend’s disappearance and his father’s abuse. On the surface, Jed’s father looks like the model pastor and family man. Only his wife and children know what happens at home when his rage spirals out of control.

DeMuth herself is a survivor of a different kind of abuse, having been molested as a child. Her goal in writing about abuse, she once said in an interview, is “to show folks two things: That God can heal even the most horrific abuse. And to educate parents and professionals about abuse.”

I’m not a big fan of “message” books, where the writer neglects his or her craft and just concentrates on pushing an agenda. But Mary DeMuth is not that kind of writer. Her books are beautifully and sensitively written, and her characters are realistic and well-developed. She has a true gift for showing how God’s light can penetrate even the darkest of situations, and start to turn lives around. Even her villains are not beyond the reach of God’s grace.

Perhaps one of the characters in Daisy Chain puts it best when she tells Jed, “Sometimes parents don’t act right. Sometimes . . . they flat-out do the wrong thing. If you let them wallow in that sin, don’t oppose it, you’re not really loving them, are you?”

I feel the same way. Ignoring the problem of abuse in Christian homes is failing to show God’s love to both abusers and victims.

If you want to learn more about a Christian perspective on the subject, visit BreakPoint.org and click on this commentary to find out how you can buy your own copy of Daisy Chain.

It may not be your typical light summer reading, but it might help change your whole perspective on Christians’ responsibility to the silent sufferers among us.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The effects of irresponsible fatherhood

Deadbeat dads leave moms,

children scrambling for shelter

Sunday, April 19, 2009
Shelbyville, Tennessee
Shelbyville Times-Gazette
Hat tip: Brian Mosely

Since the beginning of the year, the county's CROSS shelter has been taking in folks that don't have a roof over their heads and is currently at full capacity.

But two incidents over the past week have organizer Dr. Carl Bailey looking at getting with authorities about cracking down on deadbeat dads -- because their irresponsibility has resulted in three children sleeping at the shelter just in the past week.

"We are anticipating encouraging local authorities to work with us to determine where these fathers are that are just not helping out," he said.

Bailey said one woman had come to them several nights ago with a 11-year-old daughter and another woman had no choice but to stay at the shelter with two girls -- ages 3 and 6.

The woman with the pre-teen receives "everything they can" from public assistance, Bailey said, but the ex-husband "is apparently not in the picture at all."

"We're hoping to work with the right agencies in town to locate them and hold them accountable," Bailey said. He's hoping to help authorities with location information so that the fathers can be found and hopefully made to pay up.

"These men are fathering children and not taking care of them," Bailey said.

Lack of help

Bailey explained that the woman with the two youngsters has a husband in Murfreesboro who has made "several promises to help, but he never comes through."

For the past year, this family's landlord has come through for them instead, by allowing them to fall a year behind on their rent.

However, the senior citizen who allowed the family a place to stay at no cost is unable to do so any longer, and the three were forced to come to the CROSS shelter this past week.

The husband had promised to being the family a check so they could stay in their home a while longer, but he didn't, Bailey said.

"We're not trying to chase these guys down to pay us, we're trying to get them to take care of their kids," he said. "God knows what would have happened if there was no shelter to come to."

The three kids have been sleeping on mattresses on the floor of the shelter, Bailey said.

Needs more space

Even though the shelter has been open for just less than four months, Bailey is seeing more and more of these type situations with mothers left out in the cold with their young children, which creates another dilemma -- the shelter has a limited capability to take a family in.

"Right now, to put a family in a room in the small shelter we have, I have to put out six men or women," Bailey said. "And that just doesn't work for me."

As a result, CROSS is already looking for a larger place so family rooms can be designated.

"As the economy deteriorates ... we're going to see more and more of these families," Bailey explained. A main reason this happens is utility costs, which he says is the number two reason for losing your home nationwide.

Going to the mattresses

The shelter now has 24 bunks, doubling its previous capacity, and due to the contributions of "a very Christian business in town" the shelter will be getting mattresses to fit the bunks.

Bailey credits local dentist Dr. Jay Davis, former president of the men's club at First United Methodist Church, with asking that club to cover the costs of the mattresses.

Also, a local motel has donated sheets for the beds that had to be discarded due to company policy, but are still usable.

Group home needed

The shelter currently has a program that consists of training to help get people back on their feet and be able to support themselves again, but Bailey is now beginning to see that there are some that can not be helped by this program.

"There are many, many people that should not be outside of a group setting," he said.

One example is a boy and his sister that have come to stay at the shelter. While the brother is a fully functioning young adult, his sister, who is a year older, is the mental and emotional equivalent of a 10 year-old girl, "making her the perfect prey for other men" that may be in the shelter.

The parents are fugitives and the pair were put out in the street because the parents are running from the law, Bailey explained.

CROSS is hoping to find a larger piece of property so that a group home can be opened -- a permanent home for people "who really are not capable of dealing with the stresses of modern day living ... people that can lean on each other."

The most important thing is to find a couple "to be a mom and a dad," Bailey said.

Bailey has a strong faith, repeatedly saying that "God will provide," and in nearly all of the cases since the shelter has opened, that has apparently happened.

But the things that are provided must be undertaken by the hands of mortals, and each week beings new people to the shelter and a new challenge for CROSS.

"These stories just go on and on," Bailey said of the shelter residents.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Raising boys...

There really are significant differences between raising sons and daughters.

Wonderful advice from our colleagues over at Fathers.com...

Countless studies have shown that growing up with a father increases boys' school performance and decreases their risk of committing a crime and abusing drugs and alcohol. Here are eight more ways dads influence boys—whether they live in the home or stay involved on a regular basis.

  1. Shape their identity. Boys look to fathers in their search for self. Without a father, boys have a harder time defining who they are and who they want to be. A boy's search for self starts with his father.
  2. ImageHelp them belong. The need to belong to a family or tribe is a powerful force in boys. Having a father in the picture gives them this sense of alliance. Studies show that boys without fathers are more likely to join gangs—because they have to look outside the family for social acceptance.
  3. Influence their values. Boys with fathers are more likely than their fatherless peers to have economic stability in the household. This gives them a sense of self-worth. There are other values fathers shape: work ethic, having a healthy relationship, and persevering.
  4. Demonstrate character. Boys look up to their fathers and imitate what they see. Fathers can model good character traits like integrity, honesty, courage, restraint, fairness, foresight, and citizenship. When fathers are absent, boys look to celebrities, popular musicians, or sports figures for character cues.
  5. Teach respect. A father who does not show up for his boy epitomizes disrespect. Present fathers, on the other hand, can actively teach respectful behaviors such as listening, trust, tolerance, politeness, and understanding limits.
  6. Fill the void. Boys without fathers often feel as though there's something missing, which is why some fatherless boys turn to sex, pornography, violence, drugs, alcohol, or other self-destructive behaviors. Having a father helps boys feel complete.
  7. Balance ideas about sex. Boys without fathers have a lot of unanswered questions about sex. A side effect is that they don't talk about sex and get the practical advice that would carry them into healthy, fulfilling relationships as men. Fathers can give practical advice about girls, sex, wet dreams, contraceptives, pregnancy, and other topics they are not likely to discuss with their moms.
  8. Give them love. Boys who don't have involved fathers often view love as vulnerability, and trust as a bad thing. Fathers show boys that love means satisfaction and completeness.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Christian Book Expo in Dallas, Texas

MARCH 19-22, 2009
Dallas Convention Center Texas

17th Annual GPA Invitational Golf Tournament
a day of golf at a world-class
course with authors, colleagues and Dallas leaders.

Tour 18 Dallas
Considered American’s Greatest 18 holes!

Max Lucado Thursday, March 19, 2009

7:30 am Registration
7:55 am Devotions with Max Lucado
8:30 am Shotgun start

Awards Luncheon to follow with lots of great prizes.

$300 individual; $1200 foursome

Monday, February 09, 2009

Horn Creek in Westcliffe, CO

Maroon Peak - July 11-18, 2009

Join like-minded Dynamic Dads and families
in Westcliffe, Colorado!! There are only two open
family spots left. Call Amanda Ware today:
(719) 783 2205

Click here for more info:


Speaker: Paul Pettit

Mountain Meadows