In Dr. Dobson’s original film series Where’s Dad? he made a point that struck a chord with me all of these years, probably because I’m a father of two young boys. Specifically, Dr. Dobson described the difference between spending quantity time and quality time with our children. More often than not, Dr. Dobson heard parents make the comment that they just want to give their son or daughter quality time–when in reality our kids want quantity time.
I love hearing from constituents like you. Today, I thought I’d invite you to read three playful letters that brightened my day. This first gem is from a mother whose son was in kindergarten where he was just learning to read. Here’s what happened:
“I remember picking-up my son from school one day. I had been reading one of Dr. Dobson’s books at the time and had it on the car seat next to me. My precocious youngster carefully sounded out the title.
What if I were to tell you that 7 out of 10 students got an “F” when taking a basic civic literacy test? That’s the finding of Jim Tonkowich, president of Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI). Jim has a passion for American history and civic education which is why he’s alarmed by a disturbing trend in education today, namely, that our high schools and colleges are failing to provide students with a clear understanding of their American heritage.
Cecile Richards is president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. I’ve not met her. Perhaps one day I’ll have that opportunity. If given the chance to sit across the table from her, there’s no doubt that we’d have our share of differences. For instance, here are just three of what she views as “a year full of noteworthy achievements” as summarized in Planned Parenthood’s Annual Report to Stakeholders:
We provided medical services to more than three million people and helped prevent an estimated 621,000 unintended pregnancies in the U.S.
At age 29, Blake Mycoskie was burning out in the business world. Having started four successful businesses, often clocking 80 hours a week, Blake decided to clear his schedule–and his head–for a month. He flew to Argentina hoping to recharge his batteries with a little sailing and polo. Off he went unaware that he was about to stumble onto a life-changing idea.
While visiting a number of impoverished villages, Blake was startled to see how many children were barefoot.
Author, speaker, and parenting coach, Tedd Tripp, is perhaps best known for his book, Shepherding a Child’s Heart. In chapter eight of his latest book, Instructing a Child’s Heart, I love the emphasis that Tedd places on helping our children to be dazzled by God. He believes all of us have been uniquely created for worship, and worship of God occurs almost as a reflex whenever we’re dazzled by His glory.
Personally, I’m dazzled whenever I witness an awesome sunset, one of God’s colorful creatures, or when I’m standing in the presence of a massive waterfall.
You don’t need me to tell you that the temperatures are dropping and the sun setting earlier now that Daylight Savings time has kicked in. And, I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that with colder temps and darkness settling much earlier, our kids have less incentive to remain outdoors to play. Which, of course, means they’re now spending more time in the house.
Why, then, am I stating the obvious?
Because as we head into the winter, house-bound kids will spend more time watching television than engaging in outdoor activities.
Yesterday, I began to share with you the dramatic story of baby Ethan, the son of our niece Cassandra. From the moment Ethan was born, his life hung in the balance. As promised, here’s the rest of what happened.
Fifteen minutes outside of Vero, Florida, Cassandra and Shawn received much needed good news: Ethan survived the trip to Miami’s Children’s Hospital and was in the operating room. A fresh wave of tears hit them as they reflected on the goodness of God.
Ever since Sarah Palin was picked as John McCain’s running mate, babies with “special needs” suddenly took center stage in the headlines. Much has been written about her decision not to abort a baby with Down syndrome. Some believe she shouldn’t have brought a special needs child into the world. Others believe she and husband Todd made the right choice. Regardless of your political leanings, I thought I’d add some perspective on the value of every human life.
In 1988, Jonas and Anne Beiler were living in Texas. Having suffered a number of personal tragedies, they decided it was time to pack their bags and return to the place they knew and the people they loved back home in Pennsylvania. They arrived with just $25 in their pockets. Anne’s first move was to land a job at a local farmers market selling pizza, pasta, and pretzels. Business was brisk, but they hungered to go out on their own.