Tag Archives: children

Fred Rogers, the patron Saint of being a neighbor.

I am not a fan of the item known as the “Google Doodle.” Far too often, as many have noted, they are extremely one sided, indeed, the charge can be made that they show explicit bias in who and what they choose to celebrate. This once, however, I believe they got it right, and a duly-approved tip of the hat is hereby given to them as they celebrate Fred Rogers and his legacy.

51 years ago today, the first episode of what would become an American institution, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, was filmed. It did not air until the following February, but it was filmed on September 21, 1967.

Whether you grew up watching him or not, love him or hate him one thing can be said about Fred Rogers: he truly exemplified what it meant to be a neighbor and to love others as Christ loved them. No, he didn’t use his show to explicitly preach the Christian ethics that he believed. No, he didn’t thunder and bellow Hellfire and damnation to those he met whom, I am sure, he knew were living a life that did not hold with the morals he ascribed to. (Many have said he should have, which is a sentiment that I disagree with. That wasn’t his calling.) What he did do was remind everyone who watched his show, and everyone who met him that they were special. They were unique. In all this universe and beyond, there was no one just like them. No one was MORE special, no one was LESS special. We were ALL special in our own, unique ways.

That’s worth celebrating.

Here’s an article from Forbes on the Doodle itself, and his legacy.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/adriennegibbs/2018/09/21/google-honors-mister-rogers-with-stop-motion-doodle/#39a05655388c

God bless, my friends.

 

“Words have no power other than what we give them” – or – “A good reason to keep involved in your children’s schooling”

Friends, there are whole pages I could type on this subject, but I do believe that this article, versions of which I found in many sources, says it better than I could. All I will add is this:

If you have children, whatever grade or level of education that may be in, PLEASE – for their sake and for yours, PLEASE stay involved in what they are doing, what they are learning, and what they are being taught as opposed to what you THINK they are being taught. I vividly remember an episode not too long ago when a lesson on “religions of the world” was shelved in my son’s 6th grade class because, upon doing some research on it, it turned out to be not a study on the religions in the world, but instead a class on moral equivalence; one designed to teach that all religions are the same, all religions are just as good, and all religions teach the same thing. Whatever your personal views may be on religion itself, it is safe to say that that description was not only disingenuous, but also a downright falsehood. When confronted, they hemmed and hawed and dropped the class under whatever pretenses they could come up with. 

I have linked the article below. Please read it, and then stay involved. Too many people in positions of power over children use their position as a way not to teach and instruct but instead to push their own views and agendas on those children – and that’s not their job. Your rights don’t end where the school doors begin. 

God bless, my friends – and tell your children that best friends are still ok, and still a natural part of life.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/best-friend-ban-school-pentucket-workshop-preschool-georgetown-massachusetts-a8318356.html

“And the children shall lead – ” and this one DID!

Sometimes you come across a story in the news that ISN’T one of gloom, doom, hate and anger; a story like this one. The link here is from Breitbart, but I have verified the story on other news sources as well. This one made my day, and may it make yours as well!

http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/02/23/seven-year-old-left-line-for-red-sox-autographs-to-ask-army-reserve-for-one/

Young lady, all I can say is WELL DONE.  To her parents, I say, WELL DONE!

To the U.S. Army Reservist, and to ALL of our veterans and active duty personnel, I say – THANK YOU!

What more needs to be said?

God bless today, my friends!

 

In remembrance of a true hero

I felt it appropriate to take a moment and link this news story in remembrance of the sacrifice made by this 11 year old man.

I say man because what he did was, indeed, the mark of a man.

God bless your family, son, and thank you for reminding us of what John 15:13 is all about.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/11/05/heroic-boy-sacrifices-save-little-sister/

God bless you all today, my friends.

An adventurous start to my day, and a good laugh for you!

Ahh yes, this morning I rolled out of bed a bit after 0600, as usual. I pulled on my robe (A Father’s Day gift – it has the red loops and yellow “belt” for a sash, as well as the Superman logo on the chest), and wandered out into the kitchen to get some coffee going. As is the norm, I looked out our kitchen window to look at the lake near our apartment. (By way of info, it used to be the local reservoir, but when a new one was chosen, this one was fenced off and is now a haven for fish and wildlife) As I did, however, I noticed that something seemed to be wrong….

Something was floating on the surface of the lake.

I didn’t panic, but my heartbeat kicked up a notch as I realized that it looked just about the right size and shape to be a body. A small one. That may sound silly, to you, but there’s a large hole in the fence that I cannot seem to get our maintenance department to understand is dangerous, and so it isn’t closed. That would have given access to the lake, should someone decide to try….

I grabbed my tactical flashlight and told my oldest son to stand by as I headed outside. (He’s an early riser like me) I went down the hill to the fence line and shined my light out on to the surface of the lake as I did two other things:

  1. Prayed VERY fervently that what I was afraid had happened had not, in fact, happened
  2. Got ready to either go over or under the fence to hit the water in case it WAS a body, after I had activated EMS

As my light played over the figure on the surface, I suddenly felt a large wave of relief as I realized what it was; a large Mickey Mouse doll that had, somehow, ended up in the water and was floating, face up. I clicked off my light and then stood there and laughed the adrenaline out of my system as a sense of great relief flooded over me.

The crowning moment of it all came later, however, when I was relaying the story to my sister via text and she said two things:
“You know things are getting bad when Mickey Mouse jumps!”

“That really took the zippety out of his doo da day!”

I hope you got a good chuckle out of the story, too, and are as glad as I am that it turned out to be nothing! I promptly put a call in to our maintenance department as a follow up and suggested they get it OUT of there before some kid DOES go in after it!

More posts as time warrants – my First Responder course is going well, but it’s taking up a good deal of time. God bless, my friends!

An interesting PoV (Point of View) on the movie “Maleficent,” and the themes of movies in general

Not too long ago, I ran across this review of the movie Maleficent. Now I will say right up front I have never seen the movie for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that I have an inherent dislike of movies that take characters who are EE-VIL and try to make them “not really evil – just misunderstood.” I didn’t like the premise of Wicked for the same reason. I think it’s a very subtle way of downplaying the fact (or in a worst case scenario, putting on rose colored glasses to ignore the fact) that there ARE people in this world who have chosen – that’s right – chosen to live a life that is harmful and detrimental to others. You can see this same mindset in a lot of other areas of life as well, but I digress. I believe that the reviewer has some pretty valid points, and he makes them well. Before I go on, I’ll link to the review here. If nothing else, it’s highly entertaining to watch, I think:

http://www.avoiceformen.com/gynocentrism/the-truth-about-maleficent/

Hopefully you watched it, because if you didn’t, you may miss out on what I’m about to bring up here; namely that his closing statements are what really drove a point home to me, as a father, and one that is valid given that Father’s Day is right around the corner. He makes the following statement:

“It is not healthy to tell women that ‘men are bad.’ It is not healthy to tell daughters that ‘fathers are bad. It is not healthy to tell wives that ‘husbands are bad’ – because the absence of fathers is killing the world!” He then goes on to post a list of statistics regarding crime rates, etc. of children coming from fatherless homes. (Those statistics, incidentally, do not have sources listed, most likely for brevity. They CAN, however, be verified from other sources, by simply doing an internet search of fatherless homes crimes statistics.  Some links include:

http://www.fathers.com/statistics-and-research/the-consequences-of-fatherlessness/

https://thefatherlessgeneration.wordpress.com/statistics/

Now, is the author saying that there are NO bad men, bad fathers, bad husbands? Absolutely not. Is he saying that a single mom can’t raise her children? Again, no way. I’d venture that if that’s what you got out of this, then that’s what you were listening for and wanted to hear because it’s simply not there. What he IS bringing out is that this movie, like so many coming out today – especially from Disney – have ingrained into them messages that are not only anti-male, but anti-masculine, and that those messages are both subtle and blatant. Further, he’s bringing forth the idea that were these same ideas reversed – applied to women instead of men – the outrage would be deafening; but that somehow it’s ok so long as it’s men that are being made to appear inept, moronic, or downright horrible.

Is that really the kind of “fantasy” we want to feed our kids? Is that the kind of world we want to keep letting them believe exists? If so, is it any wonder that we have the societal issues we do? The broken homes, the ruined lives, the shattered relationships?

Friends, it is not – NOT – NOT all ONE gender or the other. It’s both. Promoting anything that pushes the idea that men are bad/inept/stupid/evil is no better than the reverse. There is nothing inherently vile and evil in males any more than there is anything inherently beautiful, magical, and wonderful in little girls. Both of them share the same good and bad traits that all humans do. The influences they have, good and bad, as they grow make all the difference.

Friends, please – make a stand. Don’t endorse and promote misandry any more than you would endorse and promote misogyny. They’re two sides of the same coin, and both are as dark, as black, and as deadly as the other. Unless we stand up and say something, the hate will just continue, and will never fix itself, because it feeds on itself.

God bless today, my friends.

A great compliment paid to me by my son

The picture accompanying this blog post is that of Roger Moore in his role as Simon Templar, a.k.a. “The Saint.” In every episode, when he is either introduced to someone or is named by someone else, a little theme plays and a halo appears above his head. (I’ll digress for a moment and say that if you ever have the chance to watch the series or to read the original books by Leslie Charteris, I heartily recommend you do so. They are good, clean, imaginative fun and are very enjoyable, in my opinion.)

I have developed the habit of watching the series with my sons and, one day, said, “Wouldn’t that be a neat thing, if God did that when you met someone who was a good guy or was on the side of Good; if a halo appeared above their head?” My wife and I chuckled, and my youngest son said something like “Yeah! That would be cool.”

Then my oldest son, who is autistic, looked at me for a second and in a voice that oozed a guileless sincerity that only a person like him can achieve, said, “Well, that would definitely happen to you, Daddy, because you’re one of the good guys. You always try to do good.” 

Dear old Dad had a long moment when he had a lot of trouble trying to say anything after he said that. To say I was touched would be selling it short, as would a lot of other descriptions that I could put into words, so I won’t try. I will say that, as a Dad, I often question what kind of job I’ve done; what kind of example I’ve been or what kind of lessons I have taught my sons or things I have passed on to them. I tend to doubt myself, many times.

Sometimes, the Good Lord sees to it that I get reminded that I haven’t done so badly, after all.

Friends, don’t ever sell yourselves short as to the kind of example you may be to someone else. Whether that example is one of good or ill, you can be assured that someone notices, and someone is watching. I hope this story encourages you to go out and do all you can to be an example of good, of mercy, of kindness to others around you, every chance you get because it DOES make a difference. I was grateful that I had the chance to find out, because many don’t – but don’t let that stop you from trying.

Do good and stand for it. Someone will notice and take heart from it, even if you never know that they do.

God bless today, my friend.

The Return of The Raccoon! -or- a lesson in living with nature

Well, this morning I received a rather nasty surprise when I opened the curtains on the glass doors that we have in our apartment. The surprise was that, during the night a raccoon had apparently come up on our porch and found the bag of bird feed that I thought I had secured under the lid of our propane grill. I say thought because, as I look back on it now, I realize that the lid hadn’t closed all the way when I put it there, yesterday, and was probably what gave access to the feed in the first place.

My youngest son, noticing the seed all over, said something like “Wow, Dad – it’s too bad you couldn’t rig up some kind of trap to catch that raccoon when it comes up on the porch, so it wouldn’t do stuff like that.” Suddenly, though, I saw what happened in a different light. Maybe it was watching The Rifleman with him in the mornings before he goes to school, or maybe I was remembering growing up in the country, but I channeled my inner Lucas McCain and said, “Well son, see, we can’t rightly do that. That raccoon is just doing what it knows to do. It’s my fault the feed was left out there, not his. He found it and got into it, like any animal would. I’m a human – I’m supposed to be smarter than that.” 

He just looked at me, but I think he got the point. What was the point, you ask? Well, it was twofold, by my way of thinking. For one, we share this planet with animals. I’m no Gaea-worshipping tree-hugger, but I have a respect for the animals that God created and put here, and I’m working to instill that same respect in my sons. Those animals still live here, even when we build homes and cities on areas that used to be their home. I screwed up and left the feed out where the raccoon could get into it. That was my fault, not its fault. The second lesson, which I think was even more important, was to show that we need to own up to mistakes that we make. Even as an adult, I still screw up, still make mistakes, and still do things wrong. It would have been easy to rant about it, blame the raccoon, curse my “bad luck,” and a whole bunch of other things that would, at the end of the day, avoid taking responsibility for what happened. Instead, I am grateful that I had the presence of mind to own up to it, as a man, and set an example for my son. I showed him that it’s not only o.k. to admit having done something wrong, but also to make it right and not make a bunch of excuses for it. It may sound old fashioned, but to me, that’s one of the marks of being a man.

I pray he’ll remember it as he grows and, someday, if he has sons, pass it on to them as well. Responsibility seems to be a fading light in today’s world – it’s up to each of us to keep it alive, and pass that light on to those who come after us.

God bless today, my friend!

A story to start the day

I am not one to read the news, as a general rule, and even less so to pass stories on, but this one made me smile when I ran across it this morning. 🙂

Do yourself a favor, however, if you DO read it – DON’T read the comments afterward. Even glancing over them, it amazed and disgusted me to think either (a) how bitter some people must be, (b) how little they must have to do with their time, if they troll comment boards, or (c) all of the above must be true, given some of the comments. Unreal.

Read the story, enjoy, and I hope it brightens your day!

God bless, my friend.

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2015/03/03/nhl-player-traded-closer-to-home-after-11-year-old-daughter-letter-goes-viral/