Tag Archives: Family

Practical and important ways to show love to your family. Even when you are dead.

I recently suggested that the two best ways to love your family and save a ton of money are to keep yourself fit and work on your marriage.

There are a couple other simple ways you can show love to your family, especially in a time of grief: Have your will, medical directives and financial records in order and ensure you have money or insurance for your funeral and burial.

As Pastor D.L. Foster asked:

If you were to die today, would your family, loved ones go into debt attempting to funeralize and bury you? Would they have to get on TV and beg strangers for money? Would they have to delay grieving because they have no money to handle the business of your death? If yes, why haven’t you gotten an insurance plan so that they can grieve without the extra heavy burden of money issues?

It doesn’t take that much to get organized.  If you won’t be leaving enough cash for a funeral, then get some insurance.  You can get a simple will done online.  Same thing for power of attorney forms and medical directives.  Make a list of your accounts, insurance policies, etc. then put it with any notes you want for your loved ones.  Then put a reminder on your calendar to update it once a year.  Don’t hold to silly superstitions. Your are going to die whether or not you prepare.

Will you be there to get kudos from your family for helping them out?  No, but getting credit isn’t what love is about.  With just a few hours time you will have made the life of your loved ones much, much easier.

Oh, and be sure to repent and believe in Jesus if you haven’t already.  He is the only way to salvation, and eternity is a mighty long time.

From the flying pigs category, I sort of agree with Maureen Dowd

Maureen Dowd wrote Their Dangerous Swagger about some reprehensible behavior by some high school boys.

It was set up like a fantasy football league draft. The height, weight and performance statistics of the draftees were offered to decide who would make the cut and who would emerge as the No. 1 pick.

But the players in this predatory game were not famous N.F.L. stars. They were unwitting girls about to start high school.

A group of soon-to-be freshmen boys at Landon, an elite private grade school and high school for boys in the wealthy Washington suburb of Montgomery County, Md., was drafting local girls.

One team was called “The Southside Slampigs,” and one boy dubbed his team with crude street slang for drug-addicted prostitutes.

. . .

Before they got caught last summer, the boys had planned an “opening day party,” complete with T-shirts, where the mission was to invite the drafted girls and, unbeknownst to them, score points by trying to rack up as many sexual encounters with the young women as possible.

“They evidently got points for first, second and third base,” said one outraged father of a drafted girl. “They were going to have parties and tally up the points, and money was going to be exchanged at the end of the season.” He said that the boys would also have earned points for “schmoozing with the parents.”

. . .

Another parent was equally appalled: “I think the girls felt like they were getting targeted, that this was some big game. Talk about using people. It doesn’t get much worse than that.”

Landon is where the sons of many prominent members of the community are sent to learn “the code of character,” where “a Landon man” is part of a “true Brotherhood” and is known for his good word, respect and honesty. The school’s Web site boasts about the Landon Civility Code; boys are expected to “work together to eliminate all forms of disrespect” and “respect one another and our surroundings in our decorum, appearance, and interactions.”

. . .

Time for a curriculum overhaul. Young men everywhere must be taught, beyond platitudes, that young women are not prey.

I completely agree with the problems she identified and that women — young or old — should not be considered prey.

But where is Ms. Dowd’s grounding for such complaints?  How can a pro-Planned Parenthood person be surprised at such coarse behavior?  They have spent decades and millions of dollars teaching our youth that you can have sex without consequences if you are careful enough, that you can hide the evidence (i.e., abortion) if something goes wrong and that even if you end up HIV positive you don’t have to tell your sex partners.  They tell kids to ignore their parents and their religion and just have sex when they think they are ready — which, not surprisingly, is the same time as when they want to have sex.

It is extremely well documented that Planned Parenthood hides statutory rape, so if Dowd really cares about these teenage girls she might want to speak up about that as well.

Dowd is correct to point out the despicable behavior of the boys.  What she misses is that she has been part of the problem.  She and all the Planned Parenthood-types successfully taught kids that sex is a recreational activity and that any relation to marriage or creating new life is purely coincidental.  Looks like these boys were listening.


Adultery = destruction — another great post by MomLovesBeingAtHome — hope she doesn’t mind all the links this week!

The insanity of same sex parenting — so non-PC, but so true. 

In such a debate, evidence from social science has only a secondary role. Certainly the best-designed studies confirm the obvious — that a child does best in every respect when raised by his or her own parents, or in the nearest equivalent context of an adopting mother and father. In the light of this research, the American College of Pediatricians in 2004 concludes: “The environment in which children are reared is absolutely critical to their development. Given the current body of research, the American College of Pediatricians believes it is inappropriate, potentially hazardous to children, and dangerously irresponsible to change the age-old prohibition on homosexual parenting, whether by adoption, foster care, or by reproductive manipulation. This position is rooted in the best available science.”

However, nobody needs to resort to “the best available science” to defend the obvious insight that a little child needs both a mother and a father. The judgment of anyone who cannot see this as a self-evident fact of life, as the most commonsense and necessary condition of a child’s wellbeing, is suspect.

Hat tip: Duane’s Mind

Obama’s naive trade policy — it is hard to believe, but this may be his worst idea of all.  I can’t believe that he thinks that import duties are a solution at any time and especially now.  But hey, they worked so well just before the Great Depression.

Iran and Honduras: Inconsistencies in U.S. Foreign Policy — I know what they mean by the title, but I wouldn’t say they are inconsistent.  I think they are consistently wrong.  The inconsistency they refer to is not acting where we should and acting where we shouldn’t.  Sadly, there are large consequences from this.  Ministries like Hope for Honduras really suffer because mission teams can’t come to help (not that I’m bitter about my November trip being cancelled).

There is a consistent lack of principle in the Obama Administration’s refusal to recognize a legal government in Honduras while recognizing an illegal one in Iran. What is most troublesome in the case of Honduras is the State Department’s announcement that the United States will not recognize the outcome of the Honduran election now scheduled for November 2009.

ACORN video number five — and does anyone really think that is the last?  Does anyone believe the head of ACORN when she talks about all the offices that threw the investigators out?  If that was true, do you think they just might notified other offices?

This is one of those amazing issues in American political history.  A couple young no-names repeatedly and thoroughly embarrass not just a major partner of the government but the whole mainstream media as well.  These folks just need to read conservative blogs more.  What the MSM consider breaking news, such as the ACORN and Van Jones stories, we’ve known about for a relatively long time. 

And even when the MSM finally addresses it they have tried to spin it negatively against Republicans.  Good analysis of it all here.

I would like to conclude by saying that these two brave kids Giles & O’Keefe are indeed the Woodward & Bernstein of this current generation. They are probably deserving of a Pulitzer Prize award for Investigative Reporting but don’t look forward to that since the vast majority of the 18 Board Members are from Liberal Mainstream Publications or Liberal Academic Institutions and these are the same crowd that selectively has chosen to ignore this story since it didn’t follow their own story line and bias. 

Yeah, somehow I don’t see Hollywood making movies about the heroics of these two, even though it would be so much more fitting than any of the journalism movies they’ve done the last few decades.

This audio of Charlie Gibson is a must listen.  Absolute stunning that he didn’t know about ACORN. Hard to believe he said to just leave it to “the cables.”

My #1 productivity tool

no tvI get a fair amount of “Where do you find the time to ____?” comments from people.

Here’s where I get the time: I don’t watch much TV.   I watch 30 min. per day or less, and usually only 10-15 minutes.

That doesn’t make me better or more spiritual or anything else.  I can certainly waste many hours on line, which is just as bad.  But it does explain where I “find” time to do more important things: Bible study, prayer, service, exercise, family time, etc.

OK, I watch some TV, but I am deliberate about what I watch and when I watch it.  I don’t just sit down to watch whatever is on.  I’m glad to see that my daughters picked up on the habits of my wife and me.  They have their favorite shows but are surgical in their viewing habits and don’t waste endless time watching TV.

The average person watches four hours of TV per day.  Four hours per day!  That’s 28 hours per week.  So when I hear that I have no sympathy for people claiming to want to do more things for their faith (again, Bible reading, service, prayer) or their health if they can’t find a way to just cut back 10% of their TV watching.

If people could just skip one half hour show three times a week and go for a walk it would do wonders for their health and well being.  In fact, that would do more to improve the average health of the nation than any politically driven reforms by either party.

Sorry for the sermon, but if people would take an eternal perspective and realize just how much they are missing out on participating in God’s kingdom it would do great things for their lives.  I’m not saying you have to watch zero TV, or even a certain amount.  Just decide to control it and not let it control you.  Not only can it waste your time, but the shows and commercials are almost universally designed to make you covetous and lustful. 

Map out what is truly important to you then estimate where you spend your time, then be intentional about getting the two in sync.

God’s view of marriage and parenting

The last post talked about religion in the public square.  This one is for those within the church.  Non-believers are welcome to comment, but please stay on topic.

As I addressed in Problems with pro-gay theology, there are many false teachers and/or confused people in the church who hold one or more of the following erroneous beliefs:

  • The Bible is either not the Word of God, or most parts of it aren’t.  This view claims that we can ignore the prohibitions against homosexual behavior because they were written by homophobic Jews.
  • The Bible is the Word of God, but it doesn’t really say homosexual behavior is wrong.  This view holds that people just aren’t reading the Bible properly, and that God’s Word is actually affirming of gay relationships.
  • The Bible is the Word of God and does clearly and emphatically describes gay behavior as sinful.  However, the Holy Spirit has given additional revelations such that this behavior is now acceptable.  This view holds that God has changed his mind on this moral issue and not only is it now acceptable, but it is sinful if you don’t affirm this behavior and same-sex relationships. 
  • But as I’ve mentioned many time, the Bible couldn’t be more clear:

    1. 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.
    2. 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
    3. 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
    4. 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

    Item 1 gets talked about the most, but I encourage people to search for the passages that relate to items 2 and 3 and then honestly ask themselves if they think the Bible even hints at oxymoronic “same sex unions” as being part of God’s plan.  I was reading this passage yesterday and this idea really stood out:

    1 Corinthians 7:1-10 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion. To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband.

    There is not even a hint that God has any plan for marriage other than one man and one woman.  Really, read the whole book and see.  I find the arguments from silence (i.e., “But the Bible never specifically says “same sex marriage” or gay parenting is wrong”) to be ridiculous and a sure sign that you are talking to person who is deceived and/or a deceiver. 

    P.S. If a professing Christian wants to claim that Paul was backwards or confused, then I offer this:

    • Paul was a really cerebral guy.  Read all his letters and see.
    • You should know that the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit.
    • Are you claiming that Paul was wrong and you are not and that I should trust your revelation over his?  I’m skeptical of that.

    It’s a Cinderella story, Part II


    Hey friends and family in NW Houston — I’m re-running this as a reminder that the shows are May 16-17 and some good seats are still available.  It is your best local fine arts value.  I’ll have pictures and a little video from dress rehearsal up next week.  It is looking good!


    I’m enjoying listening to Steven Curtis Chapman’s song Cinderella.  It is fun to play on the guitar as well.  It was popular on Christian radio and again when the daughter he wrote about was killed in a horrible accident. 

    I have to confess that I changed the station the first time I heard this song.  Not that it was bad, just that I wasn’t in the mood for that kind of song.  I’m the guy who thought the DJ was being sarcastic when she went on and on about how great she thought the “Christmas Shoes” song was (turns out she was serious).  I’m not without sentiment, but it isn’t my first reaction.

    But my wife pointed out just how much this song applies to us.  My oldest is currently Cinderella both literally (in the ballet) and figuratively (about to leave home as the “clock strikes midnight”).  And I’ll be dancing with her onstage!  (See Part I.)  She is ready to be on her own at college and dancing.  In fact, she’s been mature enough for some time. 

    I love the song’s theme that we need to make time for our kids.  I frequently tell my employees and anyone else who will listen that while delivering results at work is very important, all our money and all our success can’t buy our kids a second childhood.  I’ve made my share of parenting mistakes and could use some do-overs, but one thing I’ve been very intentional about from day one is being there for them.  It isn’t like I never worked late, but I was very disciplined about getting out of work at a reasonable and predictable time, especially when they were younger.  Now they are so busy with dance that it is pretty easy to be surgical and schedule volunteer and other activities while they are in classes.

    Here are some of the lyrics (see the YouTube post below if you want to hear it).  The picture in the slideshow above of her in the pink outfit reminds me of the first part of the song (more pictures to come, of course!). 

    She spins and she sways to whatever song plays, without a care in the world.

    . . .

    So I’ll dance with Cinderella, while she is here in my arms.

    ‘Cause I know something the Prince never knew.

    Oh I’ll dance with Cinderella, I don’t want to miss even one song.

    ‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight, and she’ll be gone.

    So I get to dance with Cinderella right before the “clock strikes midnight!”  God is so very, very good.

    Just for the record, one part of the song that does not apply to us is where the girl goes to her Dad to practice dancing.  Let’s just say that conversations about dance tips are one-way streets in my house, and it doesn’t start with me!

    All the sentiments apply to my younger daughter as well!

    Here’s the video and the story behind the song. 

    Dates & times for the Houston Repertoire Ballet presentation of Cinderella:

    • Sat. 5/16/2009 at 2:00 PM
    • Sat. 5/16/2009 at 7:30 PM
    • Sun. 5/17/2009 at 3:00 PM

    If you are interested you can order tickets here.


    Should Michael Vick be reinstated?  Yes. He has paid dearly for his serious crimes – many millions of dollars, a big chunk of his career, prison time, reputation, etc.What he did was awful, yet think of how many pro-choice people dare to criticize Vick. They think crushing and dismembering innocent human beings is fine as long as they are in the womb, but cruelty to animals is unforgivable.

    The Hand of God?  Excellent analysis by the Raving Theist (formerly the Raving Atheist) about the plane crash and deaths of the children of a mega-abortionist. 

    Just when you think the media bias couldn’t get any more extreme or bizarre, a CNN journalist spends 700 words explaining why he asked Obama a “tough” question.  The Lefties were apparently aghast that someone would dare ask a real question, so Ed Henry felt that he must not just communicate the news but become the news and offer an apology / explanation.

    Former Homosexual Comments on George Weber Sex-Murder by Young ‘Sadomasochist’  Another sad story.  Sin has consequences. 

    Some unintended consequences of Episcopal abandonment of the authority of scripture — I’m sure these Islamists could come up with lots of reasons for their violence, but still . . .

    In fact, one church’s human-rights issue is creating another church’s human-rights crisis. “”Islamists had slaughtered thousands of Christians in [Bishop Josiah] Idowu-Fearon’s diocese, and Christians in Nigeria are willing to die for their faith, he said. But to be undermined by Western abandonment of biblical authority is a crushing blow.

    Sudanese Anglican Archbishop Daniel “Deng Bul said Christians in Sudan ‘are called infidels by the Islamic world when they hear our brothers and sisters from the Christian world talking about same-sex [relationships] to be blessed.’ When Muslims link the churches in Sudan with the churches that have left biblical teaching on homosexuality, this gives them a way to say that Christians are evil: ‘It will give them the upper hand to kill our people,’ the archbishop warned. “

    I talked with  . . . is an interesting blog site set up by Justin

    If you are a Christian who regularly witnesses to people, you might be like me and want a way to follow up with those people.  That is why I have started a new website at iTalkedWith.com.  Say your name is Jeff and you want a webpage you can give to people you witness to so that they can read your testimony, hear the message of the gospel again, and email you questions.  You could sign up for a webpage with me and your web address could be ITalkedWith.com/jeff  Cool huh?

    Family & friends update

    The girls left for their 5 weeks of ballet workshops.  We’ve halfway through our mini-empty nest phase (it has become an annual thing).  Kim just left for her parents for a week so it is just the dogs and me for now.  I plan to get tons of chores, blogging and guitar playing done in addition to my regular routine.

    This was taken at the airport.  Sadly, it came out better than our last church directory picture.  We really need a new family portrait!

    Both girls had fabulous years academically and with ballet.  I never get tired of watching them dance.  

    They are both working at a local ice cream shop that serves the high fat stuff.  Mercifully, there is a magic button on the cash register that gives us a 50% family price break.  Mmmmm . . . discounted ice cream.

    Daughter 1 is going to be a senior so we’re starting to look at colleges.  She is hoping to get on with a professional ballet company at the same time and it looks like she has a good shot at it.  Many years of hard work and dedication are paying off.  It is hard to believe this will be her last year at home!  We really have a lot of fun together (well, at least I know I enjoy it!).

    Daughter 2 and I will be going to Honduras fairly soon on a mission trip.  I am seriously looking forward to that.  We’ll be building a house, distributing food, helping with Vacation Bible school, and just interacting with the people.  I’ve been learning some basic Spanish.  I got 500 Gospel of Juan (John) tracts from the Pocket Testament League that we’re going to distribute.  We were hoping to meet our World Vision sponsor child there but the logistics didn’t work out.  Hopefully we’ll go again and can spend a couple extra days and make it happen.  We’re going with a different church so we don’t know the team members that well, but they seem terrific.  I am taking my travel guitar to help with the music so I need to practice more. 

    The Kenya trip with Daughter 1 got cancelled due to the political instability.  I’m prayerfully hoping that we can make that happen next year. 

    Kim finished her first year as an elementary school librarian and loved it.  She is really, really good at what she does – the kids, teachers and administrators couldn’t believe how much she improved things (she doesn’t read my blog, so no, I’m not trying to score any points with her!).  Between getting out of the classroom (no parents and no grading!), finishing grad school and Daughter 1 starting to drive it has saved a ton of time.

    Work is going well.  We went from public to private and then got a new CEO who has really impressed me (no one above me at work reads my blog, so no, I’m not apple polishing).  He figures things out rapidly, listens well, treats people at every level with respect and is really bright.  I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with him outside my normal job on a strategy process so it has been encouraging to see him in action.  Other than my long commute this is an unbelievably good job for me.  Career development tip: Succeed someone who was a bad manager.  You’ll look great by comparison.

    Everything else is pretty normal – exercise, volunteer activities, etc.  I’m working another Kairos Prison Ministry weekend in the Fall and am looking forward to that.

    Blessings to you all and stay in touch!

    Happy Father’s Day!

    It’s the 17th most important holiday of the year.   

    Seriously, I love being a dad.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    Here’s some great advice on fatherhood by Randy Alcorn.

    Josh McDowell did some research and found that it is extremely rare for people to remember what commencement speakers said (even very famous ones, and even just a year after the event).  So he gave the following address, merely saying it twice before sitting down.  I think the graduates were mostly guys.

    If you want your life to count for Christ then never stop loving your wife and spending time with your children.

    People remembered this one.