Posts Tagged ‘father’

Fathers Day 2017: My Wish For Fathers Day

June 18, 2017

happy_fathers_day_image

D-Day, also called the Battle of Normandy, was fought on June 6, 1944, between the Allied nations and German forces occupying Western Europe. To this day, 70 years later, it  still remains the largest seaborne invasion in history. Almost three million troops crossed the English Channel from England to Normandy to be used as human cannon fodder in an invasion of occupied France.

Among the young men who stepped off those boats, in a hail of gunfire, was a fellow named Edward, whom everyone called Ned, from the small town of Helena, Arkansas.  Already in his young life, Ned had been forced to drop out of school in the sixth grade, in order to work at the local movie theatre to help support his mother, brother, and sister, faced with the ravages of the Great Depression.

He later went on to help build the US Highway 49 Helena Bridge across the Mississippi River.

He was a gentle man who loved to laugh and sing, having recorded several 78 rpm records in the do-it-yourself booths of the day. And now, he found himself, a Master Sergeant in an Army Engineering Unit, stepping off a boat into the unknown, watching his comrades being mercilessly gunned down around him.

Ned, along with the rest of his unit who survived the initial assault, would go on to assist in the cleaning out of the Concentration Camps, bearing witness to man’s inhumanity to man.

The horrors he saw had a profound effect on Ned.  One which he would keep to himself for the remainder of his life.  While his children knew that he served with an Engineering Unit in World War II, they did not know the full extent of his service, until they found his medal, honoring his participation in the Invasion of Normandy, going through his belongings, after he passed away on December 29, 1997.

He was my Daddy.

Today, all across the world, Fathers will be honored by their children, natural, adopted, foster, and those that they took in as one of their own.

Did you ever wonder how this Global Remembrance got started?

There are two stories which are attributed as being the origin of Father’s Day.

According to the first tale, it all began in 1910, when Sonora Smart-Dodd of Spokane, Washington, tried to figure out a way in which to honor her dad, a remarkable man, who had single-handedly raised six children. Sonora, naturally, loved her dad with all her heart, and wanted everyone to recognize him for what he had done for her entire family. She made the decision to declare day of tribute, a Father’s Day, if you will, on her father’s birthday – June 19.

The next year, Sonora contacted the local churches in an attempt to get them to throw their support behind the celebration, but they simply laughed her off. After that setback, it took a while before Sonora’s proposal once again started gaining attention.

A bill in support of a national remembrance of Father’s Day was introduced in 1913. The bill was approved by US President Woodrow Wilson three years later. The bill received further support from President Calvin Coolidge in 1924.

This brought about the formation of a National Father’s Day Committee in New York within the next two years. However, our Federal Government, not exactly being strong in the pursuit alacrity, took another 30 years before a Joint Resolution of Congress officially recognized Father’s Day. Then, implementation of the bill was postponed another 16 years until President Richard Nixon declared third Sunday of June as Father’s Day in 1972.

The second story of the origin of Father’s Day involves Dr. Robert Webb of West Virginia. According to this version, the first Father’s Day service was conducted by Webb at the Central Church of Fairmont in 1908.

Around my house, we always thought that Hallmark and Walmart invented it.

Like you other fathers out there, I was asked what I want for my Father’s Day Gift, today.

The one present I want…I can’t have.

I wish that I had one more day with my Daddy.

My Daddy was the most important man in my life, and remains so to this day.

He taught me how to love others, through his actions, every day of his life. He was a wonderful Christian man, who led me to Christ.

He was also the bravest man I have ever known, landing at Normandy Beach on D-Day.

My Daddy worked hard all of his life. He worked for Sears for 20 years. He taught me what hard work was, and yet, he always had time for me.

I wish that I had one more day to walk through Court Square Park in Memphis, Tennessee feeding the pigeons and the squirrels with my Daddy.

I wish that I had another opportunity to sit on the living room floor at Christmas and play Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots with him.

I wish that I had another chance to stand over to the side on Thanksgiving Afternoon and watch him, as he played Penny-ante Poker, “cutting up” with my mother and my aunts and uncles.

I wish that I could hear him singing “The Old Rugged Cross” in the kitchen again, with his beautiful tenor voice.

I wish that I could watch him again, sitting at the breakfast table simultaneously looking through his old Cokesbury Hymnbook and his Book on Hymnology, researching those great old hymns and making notes, so that he could tell his 150 member Sunday School Class about the hymn, which he was going to lead them in singing that Sunday Morning.

I wish that I could watch my Daddy playing with my little daughter again, sticking out the lower plate of his dentures, as she tried to grab it.

I wish that I could see them again out in the driveway, sitting in his 1978 Chevrolet Caprice Classic, with her in the driver’s seat, as they waited for the school bus to pick her up for pre-school.

I wish that I could spend another Christmas Morning with him, to watch the fun, as he gave my sister her yearly “gag gift”, just to watch her jump and squeal as the “snake” or “mouse” jumped out of the box.

I wish that I could sit and watch Saturday Morning Memphis Wrestling and then, another Johnny Weissmuller “Tarzan” movie with him on a Saturday afternoon…or, maybe a Three Stooges Short, just to hear him laugh.

It’s funny, y’know.

I look in the mirror at 58 years old…and, I see him.

I look back over the years at the things that I did with the children that God brought into my life to care for, and then, I see the things that I’m doing now with my 9-year-old grandson, and I see my Daddy in myself.

Right now, in America, it is harder than ever to be a Dad.  Any male, who is not impotent, can sire a child…as is being proven daily across our country.

However, it takes a man to be a Daddy, a Papa, a Pop, a Pops, somebody’s Old Man, or, simply, a Father.

I’ve had the privilege of having a hand in raising three step-sons, one nephew, and one very special daughter.  I would not give back one moment of those experiences for anything that this world can offer.

I was not a perfect role model.  I made mistakes…a lot of them.  But, looking back, I know, in my heart, that I’ve made a difference in their lives. And, I thank the One Who Made Me for that opportunity.

I pray that I was able to pass along at least some of my Daddy’s Legacy of Christian Love to those I have had a hand in raising.

Dads…it costs nothing to pay attention….and give love.

Train up a child in the way he should go,

And when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6

Daddy, I wish you were here so I could tell you how much I love you and miss you.

I hope you’re proud of me.

Every good thing that I am, came from the life lessons which I learned from you, and the Love and Amazing Grace of my Heavenly Father.

Today, while you’re up in Heaven, I hope you hug Mother and tell her,

That’s “Baby Brother”!

I love you very much, Daddy.

Happy Fathers Day.

Love,

“Brother”

Until He Comes,

KJ

 

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Fathers Day 2016: My Wish For Fathers Day

June 19, 2016

 

fathersdayD-Day, also called the Battle of Normandy, was fought on June 6, 1944, between the Allied nations and German forces occupying Western Europe. To this day, 70 years later, it  still remains the largest seaborne invasion in history. Almost three million troops crossed the English Channel from England to Normandy to be used as human cannon fodder in an invasion of occupied France.

Among the young men who stepped off those boats, in a hail of gunfire, was a fellow named Edward, whom everyone called Ned, from the small town of Helena, Arkansas.  Already in his young life, Ned had been forced to drop out of school in the sixth grade, in order to work at the local movie theatre to help support his mother, brother, and sister, faced with the ravages of the Great Depression.

He later went on to help build the US Highway 49 Helena Bridge across the Mississippi River.

He was a gentle man who loved to laugh and sing, having recorded several 78 rpm records in the do-it-yourself booths of the day. And now, he found himself, a Master Sergeant in an Army Engineering Unit, stepping off a boat into the unknown, watching his comrades being mercilessly gunned down around him.

Ned, along with the rest of his unit who survived the initial assault, would go on to assist in the cleaning out of the Concentration Camps, bearing witness to man’s inhumanity to man.

The horrors he saw had a profound effect on Ned.  One which he would keep to himself for the remainder of his life.  While his children knew that he served with an Engineering Unit in World War II, they did not know the full extent of his service, until they found his medal, honoring his participation in the Invasion of Normandy, going through his belongings, after he passed away on December 29, 1997.

He was my Daddy.

Today, all across the world, Fathers will be honored by their children, natural, adopted, foster, and those that they took in as one of their own.

Did you ever wonder how this Global Remembrance got started?

There are two stories which are attributed as being the origin of Father’s Day.

According to the first tale, it all began in 1910, when Sonora Smart-Dodd of Spokane, Washington, tried to figure out a way in which to honor her dad, a remarkable man, who had single-handedly raised six children. Sonora, naturally, loved her dad with all her heart, and wanted everyone to recognize him for what he had done for her entire family. She made the decision to declare day of tribute, a Father’s Day, if you will, on her father’s birthday – June 19.

The next year, Sonora contacted the local churches in an attempt to get them to throw their support behind the celebration, but they simply laughed her off. After that setback, it took a while before Sonora’s proposal once again started gaining attention.

A bill in support of a national remembrance of Father’s Day was introduced in 1913. The bill was approved by US President Woodrow Wilson three years later. The bill received further support from President Calvin Coolidge in 1924.

This brought about the formation of a National Father’s Day Committee in New York within the next two years. However, our Federal Government, not exactly being strong in the pursuit alacrity, took another 30 years before a Joint Resolution of Congress officially recognized Father’s Day. Then, implementation of the bill was postponed another 16 years until President Richard Nixon declared third Sunday of June as Father’s Day in 1972.

The second story of the origin of Father’s Day involves Dr. Robert Webb of West Virginia. According to this version, the first Father’s Day service was conducted by Webb at the Central Church of Fairmont in 1908.

Around my house, we always thought that Hallmark and Walmart invented it.

Like you other fathers out there, I was asked what I want for my Father’s Day Gift, today.

The one present I want…I can’t have.

I wish that I had one more day with my Daddy.

My Daddy was the most important man in my life, and remains so to this day.

He taught me how to love others, through his actions, every day of his life. He was a wonderful Christian man, who led me to Christ.

He was also the bravest man I have ever known, landing at Normandy Beach on D-Day.

My Daddy worked hard all of his life. He worked for Sears for 20 years. He taught me what hard work was, and yet, he always had time for me.

I wish that I had one more day to walk through Court Square Park in Memphis, Tennessee feeding the pigeons and the squirrels with my Daddy.

I wish that I had another opportunity to sit on the living room floor at Christmas and play Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots with him.

I wish that I had another chance to stand over to the side on Thanksgiving Afternoon and watch him, as he played Penny-ante Poker, “cutting up” with my mother and my aunts and uncles.

I wish that I could hear him singing “The Old Rugged Cross” in the kitchen again, with his beautiful tenor voice.

I wish that I could watch him again, sitting at the breakfast table simultaneously looking through his old Cokesbury Hymnbook and his Book on Hymnology, researching those great old hymns and making notes, so that he could tell his 150 member Sunday School Class about the hymn, which he was going to lead them in singing that Sunday Morning.

I wish that I could watch my Daddy playing with my little daughter again, sticking out the lower plate of his dentures, as she tried to grab it.

I wish that I could see them again out in the driveway, sitting in his 1978 Chevrolet Caprice Classic, with her in the driver’s seat, as they waited for the school bus to pick her up for pre-school.

I wish that I could spend another Christmas Morning with him, to watch the fun, as he gave my sister her yearly “gag gift”, just to watch her jump and squeal as the “snake” or “mouse” jumped out of the box.

I wish that I could sit and watch Saturday Morning Memphis Wrestling and then, another Johnny Weissmuller “Tarzan” movie with him on a Saturday afternoon…or, maybe a Three Stooges Short, just to hear him laugh.

It’s funny, y’know.

I look in the mirror at 57 years old…and, I see him.

I look back over the years at the things that I did with the children that God brought into my life to care for, and then, I see the things that I’m doing now with my 8-year-old grandson, and I see my Daddy in myself.

Right now, in America, it is harder than ever to be a Dad.  Any male, who is not impotent, can sire a child…as is being proven daily across our country.

However, it takes a man to be a Daddy, a Papa, a Pop, a Pops, somebody’s Old Man, or, simply, a Father.

I’ve had the privilege of having a hand in raising three step-sons, one nephew, and one very special daughter.  I would not give back one moment of those experiences for anything that this world can offer.

I was not a perfect role model.  I made mistakes…a lot of them.  But, looking back, I know, in my heart, that I’ve made a difference in their lives. And, I thank the One Who Made Me for that opportunity.

I pray that I was able to pass along at least some of my Daddy’s Legacy of Christian Love to those I have had a hand in raising.

Dads…it costs nothing to pay attention….and give love.

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6

Daddy, I wish you were here so I could tell you how much I love you and miss you.

I hope you’re proud of me.

Every good thing that I am, came from the life lessons which I learned from you, and the Love and Amazing Grace of my Heavenly Father.

Today, while you’re up in Heaven, I hope you hug Mother and tell her,

That’s “Baby Brother”!

I love you very much, Daddy.

Happy Fathers Day.

Love,

“Brother”

Until He Comes,

KJ

 

The War Against Christianity: “With This Ring I Promise…”

July 13, 2014

christian marriageFriday, my bride and I celebrated our Fifth Anniversary as husband and wife. To say that the God of Abraham has blessed me abundantly would be an understatement.

However, to say that we have not faced challenges during our life together, would be just plain silly.

Today, while we do not face the challenges to life and limb, which our ancestors faced in claiming this Sacred Land for theirs as Americans, now, more than ever, we face a changing society which has decided that “Traditional Marriage” should go the way of the dinosaur. And, the purveyors of America’s “popular culture” are using every method they can think of to make the dissolution of “one man plus one woman equals a marriage” happen.

For example, while watching one of our favorite shows on the USA Network the other night, “Royal Pains”, concerning a Concierge Doctor who treats wealthy patients in the Hamptons Resort Area in New York, I saw a commercial for a new show they will be premiering on the network.

Variety.com has the story:

The storyline of USA’s new drama “Satisfaction” sounds compelling: Upon discovering his wife is seeing a male escort, her husband tests the occupation as well. But the NBCUniversal-owned network will rely on much more than the program’s premise to garner viewer attention.

USA hopes to create, in a sense, a series of “trending topics” around the show, and will partner will unconventional media outlets like Vice and the HowAboutWe dating site to stir up chatter and debate around some of the issues that stand at the center of the new series.

“We have to be smarter about how we create intrigue and the desire to sample,”said Alexandra Shapiro, USA’s executive vice president of marketing and digital.

USA has commissioned a three-part docu-series with Vice, the rebellious journalism outfit that is not shy about putting its video to work for sponsors. In the series, real people will talk about how technology has changed the pursuit of romance and how the definition of commitment is changing. The series will premiere on Vice’s web site as well as on USA’s, with a new webisode set to launch with each of the first three weeks of the series. “Satisfaction” debuts Thursday, July 17 at 10 p.m. eastern on USA.

USA will in the same time span roll out a series of advertorials on dating site HowAboutWe that will tackle topics around the idea of modern love. USA will set up screening premieres with the site in Chicago, San Francisco and New York, each featuring a panel opining on the subject of modern relationships.

In addition, the network has placed billboards and ad signs in certain cities that aim to stir conversation around taboo subjects such as “Is Monogamy Realistic?”and “Is There Such A Thing As Happily Ever After?”

While USA will still run traditional promos for the new series, Shapiro cautioned that relying solely on old-school methods to try to get millions of potential viewers to tune in would be foolish.

“You want to be able to give as many people as many entry points into your franchise as possible and that’s what we are trying to do,” she said. “People are consuming media on so many platforms that if you just rely on traditional media, you are missing out on a huge population that does not consumer content in that way anymore.”

“Satisfaction” itself represents something of a break with tradition at USA. It is not a procedural drama along the lines of such popular USA fare as “Covert Affairs,” “Burn Notice” or “In Plain Sight.” And its themes are decidedly edgier and darker than previous series that embodied a sort of “blue sky” sensibility and embraced optimism and humor.

I am not naive. Far from it. For the past couple of decades, television programing has been a harbinger of American Popular Culture, providing us with programs such as “Will and Grace”, “Modern Family”, and the recently-cancelled “Two and A Half Men”.

Have you heard the expression the “one-eyed monster”? Yep. Our indoctrination by the Progressives has taken  place through our wide-screen televisions every evening and on the weekends.

However, it’s not just sexual immortality that we are being bombarded with on a daily basis. It’s the acceptance of situational ethics and sexual immorality, as well.

There is a lot of pressure being put on traditional marriage nowadays. Not just from popular culture, but from the United States Government, as well, through their support of the changing of the definition of a word that has meant one thing since Genesis.

Back on June 16th, Former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, even attempted to persuade a Catholic Bishop not to march in a parade supporting “Traditional Marriage”.

Can you imagine?

Traditional Marriage remains the Bedrock of our society. Without a man and a woman creating and raising children in “the way in which they should go”, a society quickly crumbles.

Thankfully, the majority of Americans still feel this way. Otherwise, why would the Obama Administration and the small vocal minority of Homosexual Marriage Supports be forced to rely on “Push Polls, political pressure, and judicial activism to overturn the decisions reached through popular vote in state after state?

Thomas Jefferson, signer of the Declaration of Independence and Third President of the United States, said…

Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give the earth itself and all it contains rather than do an immoral act. And never suppose that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly so it may appear to you. Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly. Encourage all your virtuous dispositions, and exercise them whenever an opportunity arises, being assured that they will gain strength by exercise, as a limb of the body does, and that exercise will make them habitual. From the practice of the purest virtue, you may be assured you will derive the most sublime comforts in every moment of life, and in the moment of death.

So, how did we get to where we are?

Today 76% of Americans still believe that Jesus Christ is their personal Savior. You wouldn’t know that fact from exposure to our American Media, nor from following the anti-Christian actions of our present Administration.

The problem is….man is a fallen creature. There was only one Perfect Man. We all fall short of the Glory of God.

There will be no escape for America from this downward spiral we find ourselves in, without Revival in the Land.

Just as addicts, going through the 12-step program, are told to reach out for spiritual help, so should we, as a sovereign nation, bought with the sweat and blood of our fallen, who fought for an ideal much greater than themselves, so that this Blessed Land, UNDER GOD, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, should not perish from the face of God’s green Earth, seek the help of the God of our Fathers, to reclaim The Promise that is America.

Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.- Ronald Reagan

And, just as Our Creator gave us our Sacred Land, so did he give us the Sacred Bond of Marriage.

I know, as surely as I am sitting here, breathing in and out, that our marriage would not still be intact through all the challenges we have faced, and are currently facing together, if it were not for God’s Love, Grace, and Providence.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 reminds us that

And if one prevail against him (Satan), two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

And, what God has joined together, let no man (or woman) tear asunder.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Gang-Related Violence: It Doesn’t Take a Village. It Takes a Dad.

April 21, 2014

Father and SonOn Resurrection Sunday afternoon, I was sitting beside my 30 year old step son watching Avatar, as my 6 year old grandson came over and crawled up between us, putting his head on his Daddy’s chest. He was worn out from attending church with us that morning, followed by a lunch of ham, au gratin potatoes, and deviled eggs, which Grandma cooked, finished off by a dessert of all the chocolate that the Easter Bunny brought. Of course, that darn rabbit had made a stop over here.

As I watched my grandson laying there, I thought about what a difference having a father makes in a boy’s life.

My father certainly made an everlasting difference in mine. He is the one who led me to Christ, counseling and supporting me, and loving me until he passed away after Christmas in 1997.

I think of him and thank God for him often.

I have had the privilege of being the step-father of 3 very different boys, now grown into young men. The first one works as an account executive with a major company. The second one is a seminary student who is planting a church in Midtown Memphis. And the last one, who I mentioned earlier, is an over the road truck driver, who is home every weekend.

I think often about all three of these young men often and pray that I have made a difference in their lives.

What got me thinking about the role that fathers play in the lives of young men, is all of the gang-related violence that is going on in our American Cities, like Chicago, Illinois.

In today’s modern culture, the stigma of having a baby out of wedlock is quite frankly no longer a stigma. In some corners, especially the Liberal ones, It is actually considered a sign of Feminine Independence.

Among a lot of the young black male population, it is a sign of prestige to be a player, or, as we used to call it, to be a ladies man.

This practice has become so popular, that now over 75 percent of America’s black population is being born out of wedlock and being raised without a father.

Grandfathers, uncles, clergy, and school coaches and principals try to fill in the gap and help these boys as they grow up, but a boy needs a man around every day of their life.

They need a consistent role model to teach them right from wrong, how to treat women, and how to be a man.

Regardless of what all of the Liberal experts say, a male father figure is essential in building a young man’s self- image.

The gang problem that the nation is facing… or ignoring… depending on your point of view, is a direct result of this lack of traditional role models in young men’s lives.

Governments, both municipal and federal, have been throwing money at the “Gang problem” for years..that is,when cities even acknowledge that they have one.

The problem is that the desire for cities to become a tourist attraction, usually outweighs their desire to acknowledge that they do have a Gang Problem.

Look at Chicago, for example. It just came out yesterday that “the Godfather”, Rahm Emmanuel, the mayor of Chicago, and his Police Superintendent, are cooking the books to make it look like the Windy City is not as violent as it actually is.

Warner Todd Huston reports for Breitbart.com that

A loud debate about crime statistics is taking place in Chicago as 2014 gets underway. The Police Department is claiming that it has helped lower crime, as statistics are down all across the board over last year. But others claim that the ultra cold and snowy Winter weather Chicago just experienced is what held crime down, not any particular efforts by the Chicago PD. More ominously, others say the police are actually cooking the stats.

Last week, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy claimed that his department was “making progress” on defeating crime and pointed to the lower rates as proof.

Not everyone is accepting McCarthy’s claims as given.

Many say the weather was the main factor, not the police. Their case is bolstered by the fact that during the first weekend of the year favored by moderate weather, violence in Chicago exploded with 35 shootings in only 36 hours.

But others see something more nefarious in the falling crime rates than just an oppressive Winter. A new investigative report by Chicago Magazine claims that Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent McCarthy are cooking the stats to make it appear that crime is falling when in fact it is not.

The magazine says that murders and violent crimes are being reported in ways that hide them from accumulated statistics.

In one case, for instance, a woman was murdered but because her corpse had so many different injuries the coroner couldn’t determine exactly which one killed her. But instead of classifying the death as a murder, the Chicago police classified the death as a “noncriminal death.” How could a clear murder be called a “noncriminal death”? According to police, it was because they coroner didn’t specify what injury killed her.

“With the stroke of a computer key, she was airbrushed out of Chicago’s homicide statistics,” Chicago Magazine notes.

In another case a man was found severely beaten. He died a few days after being taken to the hospital. Instead of classifying his death as a result of a criminal act, police classified the cause of his death as “diabetes.”

These weren’t the only cases the magazine found, either.

“We identified 10 people… who were beaten, burned, suffocated, or shot to death in 2013 and whose cases were reclassified as death investigations, downgraded to more minor crimes, or even closed as noncriminal incidents—all for illogical or, at best, unclear reasons,” the article says.

The authors also found the same “troubling practice” in the reporting of other crimes, “including serious felonies such as robberies, burglaries, and assaults, that were misclassified, downgraded to wrist-slap offenses, or made to vanish altogether.”

It was all a “betrayal of public trust,” the authors wrote.

Superintendent McCarthy called the article “patently false” and he said the reliance on anonymous sources discredits the findings. “I’m troubled by it because it hurts our credibility while we’re trying to build our credibility,” Chicago’s top cop said.

So, what’s the answer?

A song that Elton John came out with during his comeback in the 1980s goes,

Mama don’t want you
Daddy don’t want you
Give it up baby, baby
Mama can’t buy you love

Municipal and Federal Governments can throw as much money at the problem of gang-related violence as they want to, but, until this Cycle of Irresponsibility, i.e., irresponsible parents creating irresponsible kids, somehow gets broken, through prayer, education, and community/church involvement, crime will continue to escalate in America’s Cities.

Because, if the parents do not want to love, care for, and raise their children in the way that they should go, the gangs sure will.

Until He Comes,

KJ