Friday, June 17, 2011

EXIT: Father's Day Weekend

(taken from Focus on the Family Newsletter):
5 THINGS fathers do best

1.  Fathers teach us empathy
A study by the American Psychological Association found that children with very involved fathers are more likely to be sensitive to the needs of others.  Effective dads also helped their children become more generous and thoughtful too.
2.  Fathers give us confidence
Fathers are more likely to challenge their children to try difficult things by taking safe and measured risks.  Research shows that a man's more physical style play and slower response to help his children through frustrating situations encourages problem-solving and self-confidence in both boys and girls.
3.  Fathers increase our vocabulary
Children who spend lots of time with Dad are more likely to have larger and more complex vocabularies.  That's because fathers are more likely to speak to their children as they would an adult.  This often initiates a vocabulary lesson.
4.  Fathers protect us from crime and violence
You are not likely to find well fathered boys in gangs.  A father's affirmation fulfills the need that makes gang life attractive.  Likewise, girls with good fathers are not likely to be sexually active, having already experienced the wholesome, fatherly love of a good dad.
5.  Fathers promote better treatment of women
Find a young woman who won't be victimized sexually, emotionally or financially, and we'll show you a woman who most likely had a good dad.  Even when a good dad stumbles, if Mom calls him on it and he responds like a gentleman, the kids take note.

As we celebrate Father's Day, we should recognize that fatherhood is not merely a sentimental role, but a profoundly important one too.

Dearest Thunder and Lightning,

  He's the BIG Cheese, the Head of the Household, King Kahuna...he's your daddy and this weekend we will be celebrating Father's Day 2011.
  A famous poet who lived a long time ago, Johann Schiller, said, "it is not flesh and blood, but the heart which makes us fathers and sons."  It's not flesh and blood, but heart that makes you part of our family.  Heart will make you your father's sons...and what lucky sons you will be.
  I call your daddy Knight-in-Shining-Armor for several reasons.  First of all, he is always there when you need him.  Next, he doesn't back down.  He will always fight for what is right whether it is the popular choice or not.  And lastly, he has surrendered his life to Jesus.  That's where he gets his armor, from God (Ephesians 6:10-18).  Someday we will read those verses from the Bible together and you'll understand exactly what I am talking about.
  My favorite thing about this man, your daddy, is that he's funny...not just funny looking!...but really funny.  Even on those days when you have a really big case of the grumpies, he can make you smile.  It's CrAzY, but true!  Sometimes he'll talk to you in a silly accent.  Sometimes he'll wrap a towel around his waist like it is a hula skirt then dance around the house shaking his hips til you just bust out laughing.  He even makes up funny rhyming songs with totally wacky words in hopes of turning that frown upside down.  If all else fails, he'll make funny faces or attack you with tickle bugs.  Whatever it takes, he will keep you in stitches.
  Everyone in the family likes to sit and snuggle with daddy on the sofa.  His shoulders are broad and his arms are strong.  Next to him, you feel safe.  He is a great protector.
  Your daddy loves to fish.  He likes the water and the breeze and the sun.  He says it's peaceful on the lake and every man needs some peace.  Patient is not the first word that comes to my mind when describing your daddy...that is until I start thinking about his fishing excursions.  That's when I realize that he must actually be a very patient man because he keeps fishing and fishing even though the live well is always empty at the end of the day.  But no matter what, he comes home with a story to tell...they all end the same way, "...and then the big one got away!".
  He knows how to use power tools and drive big equipment.  He can change the oil in a car and hang a ceiling fan.  He grills a delicious burger and makes a sweet fluff and fruit dessert that makes you hold your bowl up and ask for more.  He likes his coffee black and his oatmeal extra sweet.
  Daddy's favorite thing is not his job or a particular sport or a fancy car.  His favorite thing, hands down, is his family.  Though his job is not his favorite thing, he IS a very hard worker and you will be too.  Our family works hard and plays hard and follows hard after Jesus.  Around here teamwork is the name of the game...all for one and one for all.  Daddy believes in giving your hands to work and your heart to God.  I think that's what makes him REMARKABLE!...EXTRAORDINARY!...T-TOTALLY COOL!  I even called him Mr. Cool once.  He blushed and said, "Just call me Gary."  So I did.
  Your daddy is generous...and funny.  He's gentle...and humorous.  He is lovable...and witty.  He is real.
  Daddy will teach you how to be real men...the kind of men who pray and work hard and serve their families.  Real men know about runny noses and monsters under the bed; pillow fights and riding a bike without training wheels; tackle football and always wearing big boy underwear; bullies on the playground and shifting into third gear.  Real men know how to treasure mommies.  They know how to say, "I'm sorry.  Please forgive me."  Real men know that God is in control.
  Your daddy is a real man in every sense of the word.  He is a knight-in-shining-armor waiting to hear the sound of thunder and looking for lightning to strike.  He can't wait to hold you in his arms, bait your hook, teach you how to hammer a nail, coach your team, and tuck you into bed.  Not flesh and blood, but HEART...that is what makes you your father's sons.

Much love, my sweets...

"Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!" 
 Lydia M. Child



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