Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How does a good dad do it?

As of March 20, 2009, I am officially a dad. It hasn't completely hit me yet, mainly because my son is on the other side of the world. I'm sure it will all sink in once the first diaper needs to be changed by daddy. Meanwhile, I can't help but wonder if I will be a good dad. I know it's customary to tell the new father "you're gonna be a great dad". And of course I've heard it many times already. But seriously, what makes a good dad?
One thing that usually helps is having a good dad. It's a lot easier to do the right thing when you've seen it done by someone else all your life. Unfortunately I haven't had that priviledge. My dad was for the most part out of the picture by the time I was about 8. I did however have a great mom. Still I know I missed out on those very valuable principles you can only learn from a good dad.
I've really tried hard to keep track of those things I wish I had, so I can make sure I provide those things for my son, and future children. For instance, one thing I know I missed out on was Fatherly Affirmation. There's something very empowering about hearing your dad tell you you can do it. It is a natural confidence-builder. I'm going to make every effort every day to tell my son that he can do it, whatever it is. I can tell by the look in his eyes that he is already a confident little guy, but he still needs to hear it from me.
There are many other things I want to be sure to teach my son - the power of prayer, the truth of God's Word, the love of Jesus, but honestly, I'm totally reliant on the Lord to show me the right way. Growing up without a dad, I struggled through life and made a lot of mistakes. I was stubborn, hard-headed and foolish, and I take full responsibility for my actions. But not having a dad in my life clearly had a negative effect on me. When I got things right with God though, one of the unexpected consequences was that I had a Father. And He's the best Father. Now, it's His voice I hear telling me I can do it, He believes in me, and I'm special.
So, to answer my own question, will I be a good dad? The answer is, I will do my best. And if I truly do my best, then yes.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Yes, that is Microsoft Paint. Moral of the story...

Anyone can do anything if they have enough determination.

By the way, if you think this was easy, here are a few of this guys earlier attempts at the Mona Lisa...

Just kidding, but seriously, anybody can do anything if they have enough determination.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'm a Proud Native American!

My mom is 100% Lumbee Indian. My dad is 100% white. So as a kid, I got to choose whichever race I wanted. It was a very easy decision for me. I can remember as a small child proudly telling people, "I'm Indian". I loved bow and arrows, horses, trees, running around in the woods barefooted, and anything else that made me feel like an Indian.

I think that virtually every group of people on the planet takes some degree of pride in their race. Mexicans have viva la raza! (Long live the race!), African-Americans have the godfather of soul James Brown with Say it loud...I'm black and proud! And rightly so! I think we should be proud of our heritage. By pride, I don't mean I think I'm better than you. I just mean I'm very glad that I'm me.

But this morning I was thinking, I don't know if I've ever heard anyone say "I'm proud to be white." I'm sure white people are proud of their race, after all, they've made tremendous contributions to society throughout history. But why aren't they allowed to say it? Why, even to this day, am I more proud of my Native American 50% than my white 50%? In our efforts to overcome racism and bigotry in this country, is it possible that we've just created a different form of racism? I personally think a lot of our efforts against racism tend to use negative, rather than positive, reinforcement. In other words, we use negativity to try to bring about something positive. From my perspective, I don't think it's worked out so well. There are so many positive things we could emphasize and encourage that I think would nurture more unity in our society. Maybe we're heading in that direction. I sure hope so.

I guess all of this is coming to the surface for me, because we're adopting an Ethiopian child. So then, our family will be 33.3333% African-American. I'm very proud of that. We plan to make every effort to keep Ethiopia a huge part of his life and ours. I know we'll have to deal with some racism as he grows up, but with God's help, we will teach him to honor and respect all people...even those that are different from him.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Forgive me if I violate any of the rules of blogger etiquette here, it's my first time.

I basically just wanted to chime in on the election and all that good stuff. First of all I have to give props to Barack Obama for being the first African-American president of the US. I was kind of hoping my son could eventually fill that position, but it's all good anyway.

That being said, I wasn't an Obama supporter. Wasn't much of a Mccain supporter either, but I voted for Mccain. No need for me to get into all the reasons why I was for or against either guy, since the election is over and all.

The main reason I started blogging is because I'm noticing that a lot of Christians are kind of bummed right now. And when I say "Christians", I'm talking about Socially Conservative Christians. I mean, for a while now, Christians have kind of been on a politically motivated high, because in recent years, we've had a stronger voice and we've become more of a force for "liberals" to reckon with. And for most Christians that has seemed like a good thing. I mean, for me it seemed like a good thing. But really I'm not so sure anymore. I'm not so sure that this hasn't been kind of a false security, or a crutch for us. It's like there's a part of our faith that we haven't had to use for a while.

So what do we do, when we don't have that crutch anymore? We have a democrat president, an overwhelming majority democrat house and senate, and probably before the end of the next 4 years, a majority democrat supreme court. That means there's a pretty good chance that democrats could soon have comfortable control of all 3 branches of the US government.

For Socially Conservative Christians, that's downright scary. But the more I think about it, the absolute worst that could happen is that this country will go in a completely opposite direction than we think it should go. Abortion, gay marriage, high taxes, big government, etc.

I love this country, I really do. But the Bible's pretty clear that things won't stay peachey forever. Is now the time that things start to become less peachey? I don't know. I just know the sooner we get rid of all our crutches the sooner we'll be ready when that time comes.