Posts Tagged ‘parenting’


June 18, 2010 1 comment

I’ve been thinking quite a bit this week about what makes a man a good dad. I’ve boiled my thoughts down to eight qualities that I hope will describe me as a father. Hanging next to the computer screen in my office are these eight personal expectations. Above this list is this statement: The father I will to be determines the father I will be. In the coming days, weeks, months, years, and decades I hope these eight qualities will find their way into my relationship with Haven and Pierce. Here they are…

1. Be a good Christian and a good husband.

2. Provide for my family’s physical and emotional needs.

3. Be silly and serious.

4. Praise and discipline.

5. Spend quantity time and quality time.

6. Prepare them for life and eternity.

7. Do and teach.

8. Pray for them and for myself.

I’d like to know what qualities you think are most important in a dad…

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April 17, 2010 1 comment

Okay, so it’s been a while since my last post. Well, I’m back…at least for today.

The other night I was reflecting on the sort of parent I am and noticed some areas that need improvement. This was not the first time I noticed these deficiencies; it was just the first time I made a real, verbal commitment to begin working to resolve them. Out of this process came three new rules I have for myself and one question I have for those of you reading this.

First the rules:

  1. NO RAISING MY VOICE. I will talk quietly and calmly no matter how frustrated (or infuriated) I am on the inside.
  2. NO DISCIPLINING WHEN ANGRY. I will send Haven to her room or, if we are out, count to 10 (or 100, as the case may be) before carrying out the appropriate discipline.
  3. GET IN SHAPE. My kids are just one more reason to get serious about eating less and exercising more. I want to be actively involved in their lives (and maybe the lives of grandkids one day).

Now for the question: Do you know of any good books on parenting that you’d recommend?

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December 1, 2009 Leave a comment

ME: Is daddy upset with you?


ME: Does daddy love you?


Every time I hear Haven’s responses to those two questions I think of my Heavenly Father, who continues to love me even when my sin angers him.

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November 25, 2009 2 comments

Why do we let so many days pass without telling our loved ones how much they mean to us? Allow 6 year old Elena to inspire you to write a note today to someone you love.
Warning: There is a 99.99% chance you will cry when you watch the video.

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November 16, 2009 1 comment

I do not want Haven to pray to God. I want her to talk to God. Praying often means employing strange words, a fake voice, and worn out phrases. Talking, on the other hand, means telling God in your own words with your regular voice what’s really on your heart.

prayer hands

So when it’s time to pray, I ask Haven, “Want to talk to God?” And I encourage her to say three things to God.

  1. Thank you.
  2. I’m sorry.
  3. I love you.

After the first time I urged Haven in this direction, I wanted to be sure they were representative of a good theology of prayer. I think they are. ACTS is a familiar device used to help remember four key elements of prayer: adoration (I love you), confession (I’m sorry), thanksgiving (thank you), and supplication.

The only thing I left out with Haven was supplication, but I’m okay with that for now. She’ll pick up on the God-please-give-me prayers soon enough on her own, if she’s anything like most of us.

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November 13, 2009 4 comments

You get two for one this week. That is because my person of the week is a pair of wonderful persons–Ken and Julie Hope (my mom and dad). A lot of you reading this post know my parents and already know what special people they are. But for those who don’t know them, it is my pleasure to introduce them to you.


My dad was a record-setting All-American pitcher for Oklahoma Christian back in the day and is now a father of four, grandfather of four (and husband of one, of course). He’s preached for the same church in Garland, Texas, for over 25 years, which is no small feat in itself. What I admire most about my dad is his consistency. He’s anything but wishy-washy. He’s steady, not prone to extreme emotional highs and lows. He doesn’t make rash decisions or do things on a whim that he’ll regret the next day. He’s strong, dependable, and wise. And for that I admire him. But here’s why I love him: because he has been more than a consistent example throughout my life; he’s been a consistent presence in my life…catching me when I jumped off the diving board into the deep end, holding the seat of my oversized bike when I was learning to balance, insisting that I extend my arm when I threw a baseball, baptizing me into Christ after delivering an emotional speech, and spending countless hours coaching my summer league basketball teams. As I told him recently in a birthday card, I only hope I can come somewhere near living up to the high standard of fatherhood that he has set for me.


And my mom. When we kids were growing up she was a stay-at-home mom, but now she works as an Administrative Assistant at a Garland elementary school. Of the many wonderful traits she possesses, there is one that outshines them all. She’s gonna kill me for divulging this, but she has fulfilled her suppressed childhood dream of becoming a cheerleader. (No, she never wore a skirt and jumped around on the sidelines at my ball games.) But she was and still is a cheerful, supportive, energetic, bubbly presence in my life. Like an unfiltered ray of sunshine, she has always been eager to laugh, eager to put people at ease, quick to get over frustration, and quick to share others’ excitement. Even though it’s been 13 years since I graduated high school and left for Tennessee, she still is the one person I want to call first when anything good happens to me. Because I know when I share my good news she’ll share my excitement and intensify my joy. Like a superhero who never shows her suit, my mom (though having never been seen with a megaphone and pom-poms) is the best cheerleader in the word. And that’s why she’s my hero.


November 7, 2009 1 comment


This week’s Person of the Week is a lady I know particularly well–my wife, Heather. Besides being a preacher’s wife (yippee!), she’s the mother of our two young kids, an actual board certified doctor (optometrist), and a committed Bible class teacher at church. Of the many admirable qualities she possesses, there are three that top the list.

  1. Heather is incredibly forgiving. In the spirit of 1 Corinthians 13:5, she keeps no record of wrongs. Whether she’s suffered a minor slight or endured a major offense, when she gets over it, she’s over it. No hanging it over a person’s head (namely mine). No using it for ammunition in a future argument. You’ll likely never hear her bring it up again. In fact, even when you jog her memory she sometimes can’t even remember being wronged.
  2. Heather is a wonderful mother. She wants so badly to always have a close relationship with Haven and Pierce. She thinks a lot about what sorts of things she can do both now (while they’re still young) and later (as they grow older) to be involved in their lives and be their biggest supporter. She’s aware of the little amount of fleeting time we have to raise our children, and she’s determined to make the most of it.
  3. Heather is unassuming in a most beautiful way. This quality manifests itself in her unpretentious interactions, her openness to differing opinions, but most noticeably in her commitment to dependability. She gets this quality–I might add–from her dad, who is a humble and faithful and responsible servant himself. Like her father Lyle, if Heather agrees to do something, the last thing she’ll do is shirk her responsibility and leave others scrambling to pick up the slack. She doesn’t think she’s an exception to any rule. Part of what makes her so special is that she doesn’t realize just how special she is. Her true beauty is the hidden person of her heart–the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4).

I could say more, but you get the idea.

Shortly after Heather and I started dating, my grandfather asked me if I thought I’d end up marrying her. My response was, If I don’t marry Heather, I’ll marry someone just like her. Fortunately, I didn’t have to settle for an imitation. I got the real thing–the woman of my dreams.