Sunday, December 30, 2007

Parents - Tell the Truth!

After my post about Santa Claus, I have been more sensitive to parental truth issues. This morning, I read the following article on - Click Here

Of course, I found it appalling. A mother helped her daughter win two highly coveted tickets by inventing a tragic event in order to gain sympathy. The following quote was very telling:
"We did the essay and that's what we did to win," Priscilla Ceballos, the mother, said in an interview with Dallas TV station KDFW. "We did whatever we could do to win."
It seems that the mother concocted the story that the girl's father was killed in Iraq, so they wrote about his death in the girl's essay, part of the procedure to win the tickets. Now the sponsor of the contest is "considering taking away the girl's tickets."

Of course they should take away the tickets. That's a no-brainer. But will they?

There was a day that hardly anyone would question that decision, but now the fact that they are only "considering" it reminds me of the hand-wringers out there who would wail about the girl's hurt feelings and her lost opportunity for fun, or that it was her mother's fault so the girl shouldn't be punished. What rubbish! If they let her go, they will forever imprint on the little girl's mind that the lie worked, and that she had the time of her life because of deceitfulness.

Did I mention that the girl is only six years old? I think the mother's lying amounts to child abuse. But, from what I can gather, the lying stands to reason. I have never seen the Hannah Montana show, and I likely never will, but isn't it about a girl who lives a double-life? Isn't she deceiving a lot of people as a plot device? I guess it's no wonder that some Hannah Montana fans have no problem with using deception. (Please don't post comments defending Hannah Montana. If they aren't relevant, I will probably delete them.)

On to another example. I was reading a book yesterday that gives parents advice regarding how to handle bad media influences. Part of it included interviews with parents asking how they instructed their children when they are at a friend's house and the friend suggests watching an inappropriate movie. One father said that he instructs his child to call him using a code phrase that lets him know the situation without the child having to tell him directly. Then he would go and pick up his child, telling the host family that he forgot about an important family issue, so the child would have to come home.

In other words, he would lie. And this was supposed to be a Christian father.

Why not say, "I'm taking my child home, because your child suggested watching a movie that we think is inappropriate. I don't want by child being exposed to influences like that. Yes, I know you can find an alternative, but the fact that your child would suggest this movie at all lets me know that my child shouldn't be over here."

Would I say that? If you doubt that I would, you don't know me very well. Would my child be embarrassed? Maybe. But he would never forget that his father tells the truth and protects his mind.

The father in the book I mentioned will teach his children that it's okay to lie as a way to avoid embarrassment, that it's fine to deceive in order to avoid watching a bad movie. Yet, this father would be filling his child's mind with something more dangerous than a video with some bad words or violence. He would plant in his mind a license to lie, and that will prove to be a far worse influence than the movie would have infused.

Do you ask someone to say you're not home in order to avoid a phone call? Do you call in sick when you're not? Do you tell someone you loved a Christmas gift when you didn't? These are all lies, and there is no good reason to tell them.

Parents, tell the truth. At the very least, say nothing. Just don't lie. Whether it's telling kids to believe in Santa Claus, or approving Hannah Montana's deceptions, or telling a "white lie" to avoid a difficult situation, you are not only corrupting yourselves, you are corrupting your children. They are watching, and they will learn to follow your lead.

******Added Section******

I'm adding to my post, because one anonymous commenter tried to defend the Hannah Montana show. I researched the show further, and it is certainly something I would never let my kids watch. I have read song lyrics. Some are unacceptable. I watched a couple of Youtube excerpts of the show and concerts. She shakes her hips and struts in sexually provocative ways. She kisses boys on the lips, is obsessed with romance, and wears immodest clothing. How old is she? 13? 14? What a horrible role model!

When I see little girls screaming for a glimpse of their heroine, or parents standing in line in freezing weather to snatch up a ticket, I can tell what's going on--glorification of stardom. Fame for fame's sake. Idol worship.

Why would parents allow kids to watch programs with harmful content like this? Do they want their girls to become sexually provocative, hip-shaking harlots? I don't get it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Amazing Grace - The Movie

I watched the Amazing Grace movie with my family yesterday. That was a fun and meaningful way to spend our Christmas evening.

I enjoyed the portrayal of William Wilberforce. The actor and screenwriter captured the spirit of a man who could not let go of a godly obsession, or perhaps it would not let him go. I understand this spirit well. It is the same kind of passion that has guided and empowered me through the past twenty-five years of my life.

The knowledge that something is desperately wrong burns within. It must be voiced until that wrong is made right. It keeps a man awake at night weeping for those being destroyed be the wrong, not allowing him to enjoy any worldly pleasures while others suffer. It causes him to become a "fool" for Christ, acting and speaking in ways that most professing Christians don't understand. In his zeal to destroy the bastions of apathetic religion and powers-that-be, he carries the whip of Jesus and overturns the money-changers' tables and upsets the religious hypocrites of the day.

Yes, I know that spirit well, and I expect the enslavers of today who oppose what I am doing to become louder and more venomous as the days pass. Instead of sneering cries of "seditionist,"as William Wilberforce heard, I expect to hear more cries of "heretic" as I try to break the chains of those enslaved by the church doctrines of today, the falsehoods that keep believers bound in sin. May God help me as I teach Jesus words, "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Celebrating Oneness

I neglected to mention our annual celebration of wedded oneness yesterday. Our daughter had surgery to take the screws out of her knee, so we delayed our observance until today.

Susie and I have been married twenty-seven years now, and we want to publicly give thanks to God for giving us this life together. By His grace and power, we trust that the next twenty-seven years will be even better than the paradise we have already lived in.

Thank you, Susie, for being faithful, godly, loving, and sacrificial. You are a living expression of Christ on earth.

By the way, our daughter is doing fine. Surgery was successful, and full recovery is expected.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Specialize in Turning Off

I have decided to accept my station in life, as well as the fact that others are born for a different task. I am a turner-offer. As I walk through my house, I always find many lights turned on with no one in the room, so I turn the lights off.

It is such a common practice now, I find that I'm surprised to see a light actually in the off state as I go by. I just naturally reach for the switch, so if it's already off, I have to stop myself before I accidentally turn it on. Please don't advise me to get a clapper. My family would think I've gone crazy walking around giving a standing ovation to an empty room.

What I couldn't understand is why all these lights would always be on. Why didn't everyone else turn lights off? Did gremlins break into the house? Did the switches spontaneously flip to the on position?

As I meditated on this, the answer finally dawned on me. When I turn of a light, the very act brings me pleasure. I have done a good thing. I have saved money. I have singlehandedly rescued our fragile environment. I'm a hero!

That means, I assume, that my wonderful children have graciously gone around and turned lights on in order to make me feel good. They have noticed that I'm in a great mood after turning a light off, in spite of my never-ending question, "Who left this light on?" Since I always end up with a smile, they probably thought the question was asked so that I could thank whoever left it on. But since my kids are so humble, they would never volunteer the information. Far be it from them to seek a reward for their kind and noble acts.

After all this soul-searching, I now realize that there are turner-onner people running around doing kind deeds for the turner-offer in the house. We turner-offers need turner-onners in order to make us happy, fulfilled, and content. In my mind, instead of being an annoyance, they are now people to whom I am indebted.

So, I hereby thank you turner-onners. You turn me on!

Christmas Peace

Ever since we as a family stepped out of the mad holiday rush, we have been able to watch the game from the sidelines. It's a lot more entertaining from the bleachers than down in the scrum.

No presents. No Santa. No tree. No decorations. Not even a can of Who Hash. And I don't miss it, not even a tinsel of a bit.

We don't have to fight the crowds at the shopping malls, worry about what we're going to get for Aunt What's-her-name, find just the right tree, fuss over how presents are opened, make sure everyone poses for the camera, clean up the mess, etc, etc.

On Christmas morning, we awake without an alarm, having rested well after suffering no last-minute-preparation anxieties. While the kids roll out of bed, we make cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate and serve them piping hot. With everyone gathered around, maybe with a fire crackling, we read Luke chapter two and talk about the coming of Jesus, our Savior.

No one is sad about not getting that special gift, because no one expected anything. Every child is warm, filled, and happy, even without the latest XBox game, the newest IPod, or the right label on their sweatshirts or the back pockets of their jeans. They have everything they need.

Call me a Scrooge or a Grinch, but we love it this way. And don't tell me that I'm missing out on the fun, because I understand the Christmas game very well. After all, I played it for years. I even carved the roast beast.

But now that I'm sitting back with my mug of hot chocolate, I'll just watch everyone else go crazy. The view is very interesting here on the sidelines. The madness is ... well ... enlightening.

Now if I can just find a radio station that plays something other than "Jingle Bell Rock"!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Gift for your Husband or Father

With Christmas coming, what do you get for that special man on your list? If he doesn't absolutely despise reading, may I offer a suggestion? If he is a dad, yours or someone else's, maybe he would like my book The Image of a Father. I don't talk about my men's books very much, but I'm going to try to highlight them a bit more. This is my first book, and it comes from my heart as a father of seven children. I look at twelve of God's fathering attributes and how men can reflect those attributes for their children. That way they can see God the Father through their own father. And it's not just for me. I have had many women say that this book helped them to see God as Father for the first time or perhaps see Him more clearly than ever before.

A great way to give this book is to say, "This book reminds me of you and what a great father you are." That way, the man in your life won't think you're giving him the book because he needs help.

My other men's book is called Spit and Polish for Husbands. I think it's important for men to treat their wives like treasures, and this book gives practical tips, sometimes in a humorous way, as well as the spiritual reasons for being a knight in shining armor. Many men have told me that this book has radically changed their lives, and their wives are ecstatic with the changes. As before, a great way to give this book is to say something like, "This book makes me think of you, my knight in shining armor."

I believe that all men can be everything God wants them to be--virtuous heroes for their wives and children. These books will inspire and motivate. They will tell Christian men that they are saints, holy warriors for truth and righteousness, and they are gentlemen who are tender with their lambs.

If you're interested in getting an autographed copy, here is a link for my ordering page: Click Here

Or you can order on Amazon at these links: The Image of a Father or Spit and Polish

Monday, December 10, 2007

An Amazing Review of Enoch's Ghost!

Today I saw a review of Enoch's Ghost on that truly blew me away. I was so overwhelmed, words cannot describe the feeling.

Here is one excerpt that gave me chills (good ones!):
Bryan Davis is on par with fantasy greats J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams. In some ways, I think he goes beyond these prolific writers when he blends legendary literature and world history.
Then this conclusion:
On a literary level, Enoch’s Ghost along with the other installments, includes enough literary elements to make devout English teachers drool all over themselves. As a teacher by profession, I believe entire curriculums can be constructed around this comprehensive tale. For those interested, Davis’s website does have a link for teachers on how to incorporate his fiction in the classroom.

Parents, just go out and buy the whole lot. Harry Potter doesn’t stand a chance against Dragons and Oracles. Not only is the writing and construction superior, the lessons and values are fully in line with the Bible. As a parent, this is a series of books I want my son to read over and over again.

I am so thankful for this amazing review. It comes at a time when I am in the middle of writing the sequel to this very book. What a way to stoke my creative fire!

To see the entire review, Click here and then thank the Lord with me for how He is working through these books.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Day Santa Claus Died

Do you remember when Santa Claus died? For many of us, the tragic day when we learned that Santa Claus wasn't real was a day of deep wounds. Innocence was lost. Trust was shattered. Everything our parents told us later forever became suspect.

Those of you who have read my book The Image of a Father know that I advise parents not to teach their children to believe that Santa Claus will visit on Christmas and give them presents. The simple reason is that it's a lie, and any lie can create a shadow of distrust that will hurt your credibility. If you are willing to lie about this, what else are you lying about? Why should they ever believe you again?

I would like to support that teaching with anecdotes. Did your parents tell you that Santa Claus was real? If so, when you learned the truth, did it hurt you emotionally? Did it harm your trust in your parents? If you have a story like that, please post it or send me an email. Thank you.