About a year ago the Lord impressed upon my heart the need to pray more often with my boys. That’s when I got the idea to start a family tradition called The Prayer Road. When Jean or I drive the boys to their charter school in the morning, we follow a road that cuts through a somewhat rural neighborhood. That’s our “prayer road.” As we drive, we intentionally don’t turn on Adventures in Odyssey, the radio, or listen to music.
I just read that a condom manufacturer is marketing a new line of smaller condoms to 12-year-old boys called the “Hotshot.” Swiss condom maker Lamprecht AG decided to produce the prophylactic in response to a study by Switzerland’s Federal Commission for Children and Youth which noted a sharp increase in unprotected sex among youth. They hope the use of these kid-sized condoms will reduce teen pregnancy and the spread of STDs.
To me, the ad slogan, “It fits when passion hits,” is about as crass as is the whole idea of targeting young boys with condoms.
Jean and I were big fans of Dr. Dobson and the Focus on the Family broadcast long before I came to work at the ministry. And while we didn’t have kids at the time, I personally benefited from Dr. Dobson’s insights into marriage—especially since I came from such a dysfunctional home. Considering the fact that my father was a gambler and an alcoholic who walked out on our family when I was six, I had no idea what a “healthy” husband and wife dynamic should look like.
I just read a letter from the Focus mailbag that convicted me of sometimes being shortsighted. It was written in response to a recent Focus broadcast by a woman I’ll call Maria.
About thirty years ago, Maria and her husband relocated to California with their one-year-old child. Not long after the boxes were unpacked, Maria decided to get plugged into her new community by volunteering with a number of Christian ministries. She was enjoying her new life and friends when a rather unexpected turn-of-events occurred: Maria discovered she was pregnant .
I’ve been fascinated by the power of phrases known as “performatives.” In brief, performative phrases actually change reality when uttered by the right person. Let me illustrate with a couple of examples. Take the home plate umpire in baseball who says, “You’re out!” His saying the words actually makes the batter out. If, by contrast, someone in the stands were to yell, “You’re out!” or if the catcher yelled the phrase, the batter wouldn’t be out.
I’ve just reviewed the final numbers from last Saturday’s Focus on ParentingTM simulcast and I must say I’m very encouraged by the turnout and impact. Some 31,000 attendees carved out the time for the day-long seminar. Although assembled in 270 different host churches spread across 44 states and 8 Canadian Provinces, these parents were united in their desire to help their families thrive.
So far, one of the big “take away” messages was the idea of intentionally giving each child the blessing before they go to bed at night.
New England Patriots head football coach Bill Belichick is the popular topic of discussion up and down the sports-talk radio dial this week. That’s because on Sunday, the three-time Super Bowl winner ordered his team to go-for-it late in the fourth quarter on a fourth-and-two at the Patriots 28 yard line.
At the time, the Patriots were leading 34-28 with just over two minutes to go in the game. Conventional wisdom dictated that Belichick’s team play it safe and punt the ball away.
Fans of comedian Jerry Seinfeld might remember his humorous recollection of Halloween. Growing up in Massapequa, Long Island, he remembers being admonished to never accept candy from a stranger. Although contrary to the “Get candy! Get Candy!” mantra running through his little brain, the warnings made sense, he said, until he was suddenly introduced to the October 31st holiday.
“You mean everyone we know is just giving away candy?” he asked incredulously. “What’s wrong with them?”
Many Christians, maybe even some of my readers, might ask the same question.
Last Tuesday, Jean and I attended a special dinner engagement here in Colorado Springs. It was one of those gala events that required us to leave our boys with a sitter for the evening. Like most parents, we have a touch of apprehension about leaving our high-energy boys for several hours in the care of another person. And yet, taking comfort from the fact they were in good hands with this particular sitter, we kissed them goodbye and headed out the door.
Boomers and fans of the classic 1970’s television family sitcom, The Brady Bunch, might still laugh at memories of the show’s corny but wholesome themes. In one particular episode, a pig-tailed Cindy, lisping because of a lost tooth, is mercilessly lampooned by the school bully, tough guy Buddy Hinton. “Baby talk, baby talk,” he croons, “it’s a wonder you can walk.” In a shining example of sweet and ironic fictional justice, Cindy’s good-natured brother, Peter, winds up slugging old Buddy.