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Posted on May 23, 2017 in Blog, Fathering, Generosity

Regifting God (From The Cutting Room Floor)

Regifting God (From The Cutting Room Floor)

Have you ever re-gifted something? Have you ever received something that was a re-gift? It’s one thing when it ends up being something you like or even want. But, most of the time, it’s the stuff that nobody wants that ends up being re-gifted.

From my intense research, this is what I found to be the origin of the term ReGifting. I can’t verify this for sure, but here’s where the idea came from.

Okay, I don’t really know for sure if that’s where the term started. Maybe. I also don’t know where the phrase Time, Talent and Treasure originated. From my research, it appears to be something that came from way before me, appearing in print for the first time in 1852.

On Sunday, we talked about living a generous life. Not just when it comes to finances, though, that’s a part of it. We were more dealing with the idea of having generous hearts. Why? Because God is generous. He is abundantly generous. God is rich in mercy and abounding in love. He sent His one and only son to pay for the sins of the whole world. God created this world for us to enjoy and then put us in charge of it all. God is a radically generous God.

The New Testament Church was a radically generous community. The shared all their possessions. They shared their meals. No one had a need that wasn’t met. They even sold their land to care for the least among them. There was no upper class or lower class, only brothers and sisters. There was a church who actually fought for the chance to give an offering – when, by all accounts they should have been counted out because they were so poor, but they gave out of their poverty and even more than that.

Fast forward to today, and what does the church look like? Sure, there are many among us who are generous. But, they are generally the exception.

2 Cor. 9:6-7 says: “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

What keeps us from being cheerful givers? What keeps us from finding joy in giving away what God has entrusted us? Well, I think it’s a false belief. We think it’s our money.

Psalm 24 tells us: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
    and established it on the waters.”

Everything we have is already God’s, but we get misled and confused. We think that because we worked for it, it belongs to us. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. It belongs to God. You may work and receive a paycheck, but God put you in a place where you could make as much as you do. What about those around the world in third world countries who work much harder than we do and receive much less? What about those whose work never results in a paycheck? God is the grand designer of our lives, whatever we have is because He has given it to us.

And he wants us to be generous with it, giving it back to Him for building His kingdom…giving it to others in the community of faith to meet there needs and being generous in many other ways as God creates the opportunity for us to do so. God doesn’t need or want our money. With God, the point is never about money or whatever it is God is asking for. God is after our hearts. He wants complete ownership of our heart. For that to happen, there can’t be anything our lives that is more important to us than God. We think the church is just after “our” money, when the reality is God is working through the church to reach the deepest parts of your heart. The church isn’t after your money, God isn’t after your money. God wants all of you.

This is what God says:

I have no need of a bull from your stall
    or of goats from your pens,
10 for every animal of the forest is mine,
    and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird in the mountains,
    and the insects in the fields are mine.
12 If I were hungry I would not tell you,
    for the world is mine, and all that is in it. (Psalm 50:9-12)

God doesn’t need “our” money, because it’s already His. Everything we have is His. And He wants us to regift it. But not in the same way we normally think of. Regifting is usually that thing nobody wants.

Unfortunately, that’s how most of us give to God. We give him the time, but only when there isn’t anything else better we could do with our time. I’ll go to church unless so and so asks me to do this or that. I’ll go to church as long as I get this done first. I’ll spend some time with my community of believers unless something more fun presents itself as an option. I’m okay to use the talents God has given me for the kingdom, but I ought to get paid too. I could help my neighbor with this skill God has given me, but my time is worth something, I can’t just work for free all the time. I’ll give God money after I get enough in savings. I’ll start tithing once I get a raise and have a little more cushion.

Basically, we take the very best of everything we have for ourselves and give the leftovers to God. For many of us, we don’t even do that.

I think this is something we need to address in the church. We’ve started the conversation at our church. It’s important. Why? Well, I think this is one of the primary reasons the church exploded onto the scene. This is why so many people wanted to be a part of this radical community – because they saw how they loved one another. Most of us in this era have never been a part of a community that loves each other in this way.

But, can you imagine if we started? If we just started sacrificing for the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you know what would happen, those that are the recipients of our generosity will go and tell people about this awesome community that takes care of us. The unbelieving world around us would see us reflecting to one another the radical generosity we have received from our heavenly father. And that would draw them to their creator and savior.

I think it would be awesome.

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Posted on Jan 10, 2015 in Fathering, Football, For Fun

Behind Enemy Lines: An Ohio State Buckeyes Fan in Oregon Ducks Territory – CFP National Chapmionship

Behind Enemy Lines: An Ohio State Buckeyes Fan in Oregon Ducks Territory – CFP National Chapmionship

Behind-enemy-linesThis is a big week for College Football! If you’re hiding in a cave somewhere, you may not know. So let me inform you. This coming Monday, January 12th is the first College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship game.

If you don’t know me, you may not know that I’m a big fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes. I grew up in Ohio. And it’s pretty much a given that if you grow up in Ohio, you’re going to be a Buckeyes fan.

And it just so happens that the Buckeyes made it into the very first CFP National Championship Game.

But so did another team.

The Oregon Ducks.

One other detail you may need to know. I live in Southwest Washington. We’re often considered a suburb of Portland, OR. We are about 2 hours away from Eugene, OR, where the Ducks play.

That means I am literally surrounded by Ducks fans. They are everywhere. All the time. And now that they’re in the National Championship game, they are multiplying at a rabbitesque pace.

My Facebook newsfeed is covered in so much Duck news that it looks like I’m a Duck fan.

But I’m not.

Really, really not.

In fact, one of the reasons I am writing this post is so that I can encourage my Ohio friends to post more Buckeyes stuff so there will be a little more balance in my news feed. I need you to step it up guys! help a brother out!

I’m also a pastor. Which means I can’t really talk about my favorite team right now. I’m hamstrung. I’m surrounded by the Ducks, and I’m rooting for the other team. I could talk about them, but it could be seen as an abuse of power. And if the Bucks lose, I’ll never hear the end of it.

I’m literally living in enemy territory. I’m behind enemy lines, and my only hope is a victory. Not so I can be braggadocios (after all, I like my home and would like it to not be burned down or painted by green and yellow paintballs), but just so I don’t have to endure years of put downs.

So on one hand, this is a plea to my favorite team. Please don’t let me down. Not this time. Not this game. Not against this team!

But, it got me thinking. There has to be a way for me to engage in conversation about this game without it ending in an all out brawl.

And I think I’ve got it figured out. It actually stems from a very biblical concept of humility and honest. You might say, authenticity.

If I talk about the weaknesses of my team and their vulnerabilities, it opens up the discussion to talk about the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the Ducks. And if I talk about the strengths of my team with humility, I can talk about what I think they need to do to win.

But I have do it within the guardrails of humility, honesty and authenticity. If I get proud, even if I’m doing so with a playful attitude, I’m called out as a hypocrite. You have to remember, I’m living in enemy territory. I’m behind enemy lines. You can’t even pretend to be proud when you’re rooting for the other team. You just can’t.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t talk about something as important as this game.

And the hope is that I’ll also not be the recipient of a mountain of trash talk the size of Mt. Hood if the Buckeyes lose. My hopes aren’t up, but at least I’ve tried.

My point is this: no matter where you find yourself, you can have important conversations. Even if it feels like your living in enemy territory. (Not that I would ever classify those who disagree with me about much bigger issues than football enemies. But, this is a metaphor, so just roll with it if you will.)

In fact, this is the example that Jesus rolled out for us. He was humble, honest and authentic with those whom he interacted. The only people he was harsh with were the religious leaders who should have known who he was, but couldn’t see the Messiah because of their religion.

And it’s not just the CFP National Championship game driving this post. There is a conference going on in Portland, OR today. The Gay Christian Network Conference. Unfortunately some Buffoons from Westboro baptist showed up to protest. (I’m convinced Jesus would speak rather harshly to the leaders of this organization.) But, a ton of Christians from the area showed up to build a wall of love to separate the conference attendees from the idiots who have no perception of the Gospel Jesus preached.

This is my point, we can disagree. It’s Okay. We can be surrounded by people who disagree with us. And if we approach our discussions with humility, honesty and authenticity, we can talk about anything. But, we gain nothing by being silent. We gain nothing by withholding our voice from the discussion.

I don’t agree with Duck fans. Never will. I don’t agree with Westboro Baptist. I also don’t agree with Vicky Beeching who spoke today at the conference. But despite our disagreements, we can have a discussion. We can. If we can’t, we never really understood the Gospel to begin with.

In the meantime. Since this is my blog. And I can say whatever I want.

Go Bucks!

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Posted on Oct 23, 2014 in Blog, Church, Creativity, Culture, Encouragement, Fathering, Leadership, Pain and Suffering, repost

No More Cookie Cutter Pastors, No More Cookie Cutter Churches. (Why you’re not a failure even though it feels like it.)

No More Cookie Cutter Pastors, No More Cookie Cutter Churches. (Why you’re not a failure even though it feels like it.)

(Intro: This is a post I wrote in Sept of 2012, when I was fairly upset about some stuff, so I wrote this article and never published it. I just reread it and wanted to share it with you.)

Sometimes when it feels like we’ve failed at something, I think the basis of what we’re feeling is based on someone else’s imposed definition of who they think you should be – and you’re not living up to it.

You know what I’m talking about. People see a pastor at another church while they’re visiting on a weekend, and they instantly start comparing you (their pastor) to them. They notice all the little things they do that you don’t do. They notice their style and their voice. They notice all the things that make them who they are, and compare them to you.

What they don’t realize is that, they are experiencing them in a vacuum. For one, it’s not a fair, side by side comparison. It’s not like they’re in a Best Buy, looking at the TV’s where they can see the same movie on a hundred TV’s. Can you imagine that store? A hundred different worship leaders singing the same song or a hundred different pastors preaching the same sermon so you can pick the one you like best?

When they take the TV home, they begin to notice the flaws.

You’ve been there. You buy the TV, get home and realize it doesn’t have enough connections, or doesn’t look as big as you thought it did, or it looks bigger. You buy a used car, and on the way home you hear a noise you didn’t hear. You go to a new church, and then the pastor says something you don’t think is funny, he’s kind of a nerd, the worship leader is a little pitchy or sings a song you don’t like every weekend. Then they start to remember all the things they liked about their old pastor, forget all the things they didn’t like and long for the days when they were at their previous church.

I know I’ve been there before. I’ve had, in my life and ministry on a regular basis, people who judge me and how I do ministry against how they think I should be doing ministry. They have an image of what they think I should be in their head, and when I don’t live up to it, I am failing.

I’ve had people judge me against a flawed perception of themselves. They believe they are great at my job (even though they may have no training or experience) and that I should be doing my job as good as they think they could do my job.

Maybe they can do my job better, but the bottom line is, we shouldn’t judge anyone based on what we think they should be. But, you know how you work at a job for 40+ hours a week? You do this thing for 40+ hours a week that I don’t claim to know all about. There are things about your job that I don’t understand. Things that can’t be understood unless you’re in it all the time. The reverse is also true, but it’s not real PC to say. But I will. Unless you are a Pastor and you make your living pastoring a church and work in the church 7 days a week, you just don’t have an understanding of what it really means to lead a church.

The other bottom line, you shouldn’t let people judge you based on who they think you should be.

I know you can’t control them, but you can control how much you let them in your head. Don’t let their judgement of you drive you to try to be someone you’re not.

You are awesome just how God created you. The other guy they are comparing you to is awesome how God created him. When you try to be like him, you are being an imitation of a creation, not being the creation God created. When you’re trying to be someone else, that’s idolatry. We are made in God’s image, and our only pursuit can be the image the designer put in us since before we were born.

One thing I’m not saying is that we shouldn’t try to improve ourselves. But only if that improvement is based on principle and truth, not comparison. If the improvement is to keep up with someone else, or because we are under pressure from people around us to be something we’re not, we shouldn’t do it.

As we shape who we are and the people we lead, we need to build into them the ability to think and appreciate people for who they are. Don’t let your people get caught up in the comparison game. Don’t let them talk negatively about your pastor, don’t let them talk negatively about your subordinates. Teach them to learn to appreciate the good things and find ways they can step in and fill in the perceived gaps.

One final note: with the highly connected world we live in, it’s very easy to see what every other church on the planet is doing. Whether it’s worship styles or songs, programs or ministries, videos, graphics, stage designs or sermons. We need to be careful to be sure that we aren’t comparing what we do to what the rest of the world is doing. God has a plan and design for your church body, just as he as a plan and design for you.

Just as God created you uniquely, he created your church body uniquely. If he wanted us to all be the same and act the same, he would have prescribed it for us. And in the areas we do have such prescriptions, I do think we should strive to live up that prescription. However, just as each of us are unique, he wants your church body to represent him uniquely.

So, no more cookie cutter pastors, no more cookie cutter churches.

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Posted on Oct 22, 2014 in Blog, Creativity, Fathering, Leadership, Worship

Creativity the Missing Piece(s) – Part 4

Creativity the Missing Piece(s) – Part 4

Slowly, but surely, this series is going to get finished! I started the series in 2009! What the heck Lindner! Get it together, it’s 2014!

So, since the chances are astronomical that you’ve never even heard of this series, therefore you’ve never read the first three articles, you might want to go check them out. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

In Part 4 of the series, I want to talk about setting the ground rules for the team & the meetings.

There are probably a hundred rules you could make up for a team like this. Maybe you want everyone to wear skinny jeans and a scarf. So you make a rule that no baggy pants are allowed.

But that’s not really what I’m thinking of. I’m looking more at those rules that keep the team functioning in a healthy manner. These rules are blunt and straightforward by design. It is better to be clear at the beginning with expectations. It’s easier to hold people to something they are aware of. If they don’t know a rule exists, they’ll break it every time.

So, what are they?

Team Rules

1.) Everyone is committed. 

If you’re on the team, you are an owner. You’re self-employed. You are not a road construction employee. We can’t have 5 guys watching one guy work. Everyone is committed. It needs to be made clear to those coming onto the team for the first time, that this is a Getting Stuff Done team. We don’t just talk, we do. For every meeting, we have a series we are executing, a series we are planning and a series we are brainstorming. We model the way by working the hardest. If you commit to this team, you’re committing to diligence.

2.) If you miss the meeting, it’s your responsibility to find out what you missed. 

Because we are committed to the team, we don’t wait until the next meeting to get caught up on what we missed. We get in touch with the leader or someone else who was there to find out what happened. It’s not the leaders’ responsibility to call me, it’s my responsibility to call my leader. I realize that I may have been assigned some tasks based on the strengths my team knows about me, and if I wait to find out what they are until the next meeting I might miss something that needs to be done this week. It’s not someone else’s responsibility, it’s mine.

3.) Everyone Follows Through

We don’t drop the ball. Period. If we drop the ball, it’s not just a loss of a service element. It’s the loss of an experience for hundreds if not thousands of people. It’s not just me who loses out, it’s the whole body. Every minute of the worship service is multiplied by the number of people in attendance. If 100 people come to church, a 60 minute service accounts for 6,000 minutes. If I don’t follow through, my 3 minute responsibility costs the church 300 minutes of potentially life-changing experience.

4.) Not meetings after the meeting

We are committed to being united as a team. If there is a problem between members of the team, we don’t engage in gossip about them outside the meeting, we encourage them and possibly force them to work it out with the other person. We confront ideas in the meeting because we are trying to get the best idea to the church. So, we don’t have meetings after the meeting about how this person just doesn’t get it. Or how that person isn’t very creative. Every person on the team is there for a reason. We confront and keep short accounts, because we are too busy with the big idea to get bogged down with drama.

5.) A God-honoring experience is primary, personal feelings are secondary. 

We don’t allow our personal feelings to be attached to an idea. My feelings aren’t important – Jesus is. We are here to create the most creative experience and expression of our collective bodies adoration of Jesus. We aren’t here to get credit. We aren’t here to prove that we are the most creative, crazy person in the church. We aren’t here to get our immature ego’s an extra stroke on the back. We are here to be a part of a team creating a God-honoring experience. My personal feelings cannot get in the way of that. That’s idolatry.

Meeting Rules

1.) Everyone is on time. 

We start our meetings on time. To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late. We don’t show up 15 minutes after the meeting starts, even if we are musicians. We respect the time of everyone on the team, and we understand that when we are late, we are disrespecting the time of those who cared enough about me to be there on time. That makes me an egotistical hypocrite who expect people to serve me, but I’m not willing to serve them in the same way.

2.) More from the thinkers less from the talkers. 

Just because you can talk a lot doesn’t mean you have the best idea. Often times those who have the most words need to shut their pie hole so someone who thinks can process the ideas on there and come up with a better idea. We don’t need you to prove how smart you are, how creative you are, how in touch with culture you are or anything of the like. We get the hint by your beard. You’re cooler than us. We get it. Now, please be quiet so I can come up with an idea that will make you cry.

3.) Only the team leader gets to cut someone off. 

We aren’t afraid to confront ideas that come to the table. But we also don’t get to be jerks. We are respectful of the people on the team. So we let them finish their idea before we jump in and change the subject. And just because the person takes a breath doesn’t mean they are finished. It is the responsibility of the leader to know the people on the team so they can silence the ones who talk too much and pull in the ones who talk too little.

4.) During brainstorming times, completion is not the goal – initiation of an idea is the goal. 

We aren’t trying to finish an idea during brainstorming. We are trying to find the best idea. My idea might initiate a better idea in your head. And your idea might initiate an even better idea in someone else’s head. So, we don’t stop and try to complete my idea. We don’t try to begin to implement my idea because I want my idea to win. When we are brainstorming, we are flooding the board with ideas in the hope that our idea might implement a coalition of creativity that truly expressed the creativity of the collected body of Christ.

5.) During implementation times of the meeting, financially responsible execution is the goal. It’s time to shut off the new ideas and implement the best idea you have. 

When you’re being creative, it’s hard to stop coming up with new ideas and get to work. This is a problem for creatives around the world. They never get started doing anything because as soon as they start, they have a newer and better idea. Creatives are awful for completing things.

Given the magnitude of the role of this team, (preparing experiences that prepare people), we don’t have the luxury of waiting until the absolute best idea comes along. Instead, we have the responsibility of implementing and executing the best idea we have. It’s not fair to those showing up on Sunday to drop the ball because we thought we had a better idea, and if we just had another week, we could make it happen.

Brainstorming Rules: If you need some good rules for brainstorming, make sure to check out the 10 commandments of brainstorming. 

 

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Posted on Feb 18, 2014 in Blog, Fathering, Humility, repost, Truth

The issue doesn’t matter, it’s the starting point.

The issue doesn’t matter, it’s the starting point.

There are a thousand different hot-button topics in the world today. You name the issue and there is someone who is all worked up for it and against it. Whether it’s GMO, Government Healthcare, Global warming or climate change, Recycling, Abortion, Homosexuality or CHEMTRAILS (which for some reason is always in all caps…). There is no shortage of causes to take up, there is no shortage of defenses and arguments and there is no no shortage of guilt being dished out from each side to the other.

But, really, none of that matters.

It really doesn’t.

What matters is where we start.

What I mean by that is the beginning motivation that drives us to take a stance for or against something is what really matters. And if we fail to recognize that, we will never understand or be understood. (I’ll write more on this later.)

For now, I want to focus in on one simple idea. It’s my issue. For some reason, I feel compelled to take a stand on this issue. What’s that, you ask?

Selflessness as opposed to selfishness.

And I think this is the one reason there are so many issues with so many people making strong statements on so many different sides of so many arguments.

I think it’s our selfishness that is driving us to take a stand on these issues. And once we decide where we are going to take the stand, we go out in search of “data” to defend our stance. But, as long as we’re trying to defend something we’ve decided for ulterior motives, we never really land on the truth.

We can’t. Because we didn’t start with the truth. We started with ourselves. And I don’t know about you, but I know myself. And I know that I am not a reliable source of steadfast truth. I’m too unpredictable, and too fallible. I make too many mistakes and wrong decisions to be able to start with myself.

And yet, that’s the starting point for almost every issue.

All For Tupperware Sippy Cups. 

Tupperware Sippy Cups

Let’s make up an issue so I don’t offend you or the issue you’re attached to. Let’s say that I have a firm belief that every person on the planet should use the old school, tupperware kids cups instead of the new sippy cups. The reason I think this is because I have an emotional attachment to the cups from my own childhood.

Because of my strong personal feelings about these cups, I go in search of a defense for them. It’s not hard to come up with reasons, even for a fake issue like this. (However, I wouldn’t be surprised if this as a real issue for some people.) For starters, these cups are environmentally friendly, and were designed with kids in mind. They have a small enough size that kids can hold them without any trouble, instead of the fatter cups that are being made today. Also, they don’t have a fancy anti-drip device on the inside that only retains moisture and inevitably leads to mildew – and no child should have to drink mildew flavored apple juice.

Sure, those are good arguments and good reasons. And I could undoubtedly find some people to support my movement. But, the facts the movement will be built on aren’t the real genesis for the movement. The real beginning is because of my strong personal attachment to the cups. And I’m creating a movement to meet my own selfish agenda.

As long as we’re starting with self, we will always land on a foundation made of jello. Because we aren’t a big enough of a foundation to build our lives on. When we start with self, we make all of life’s decisions based on how it affects us and how we are going to get more out of this side of the argument or that. We aren’t deciding based on the merit of either side of the argument. We’re deciding based on our own selfish agenda and how whichever side of the argument is going to benefit us the most.

What is your motive for making decisions about work? Do you make the decision based on what’s best for the company or what’s best for you? Do you decided to quit in the middle of an email because the clock hit 5 and you’re not going to get paid to finish it or do you finish it because it’s best for the company that you do?

What is your motive for making decisions about your family? Do you think about what’s best for the family and then make your decision, or do you decide based on what’s going to better benefit you personally?

What is your motive for fighting for whatever issue you fight for? Is it because you want to stand up for what’s right, and you’ve stopped to actually come up with the facts about what’s right? Or is it for a selfish reason that you’re taking this stand? Were you offended by someone in the past who held this view, so now you hold the opposite view?

Second Tier Selfishness

Are you standing up for someone who was hurt because of their view on Tupperware cups? And your motive is to make it right for them? While this is a little bit better of a stance, it’s still not the best. It’s what I call second tier selfishness. Just because someone was hurt for their stance on Tupperware cups, doesn’t mean they held the right view on Tupperware cups (let alone whether or not anyone should even have a view on tupperware cups).

Is it good to stand up for people? Absolutely. It is good to blindly stand for an issue because you’re trying to defend someone? No.

What Do We Do?

Well, first we have to be aware of our selfish motives and be on the lookout for how we are making decisions based on our desire to make the universe revolve around us. This means we have to humble ourselves. We have to walk humbly.

We start by Loving God and Loving others. We let that be what guides how we make decisions. Not ourselves, not our own desires and agendas – but God and others.

Then, we make our decisions based fighting for the inherent dignity of others. That doesn’t mean we stand up for the issue or believe in it. What it means is we believe that every person is made in God’s image. And since they are made in that image, the bear within their very nature – dignity.

And we take stances for issues based on truth, not based on selfishness and ulterior motives. We take a stand because it actually is the right thing to stand for. We don’t take a stand because it benefits us or even because it benefits a friend. We take a stand on an issue because it’s right.

And I think we could even argue that the stands we take should be limited to the dignity of the people at risk. If we fight for the dignity of people, we never find ourselves walking the line of a fragile issue. We may not agree with what someone is doing, but we can agree that they should be treated with dignity because they are made in God’s image.

That’s why I say…

…the issue doesn’t matter. It’s the people that matter. The issue doesn’t matter, what matters is where we start. Are we starting with truth and dignity or with selfishness and ulterior motives.

 

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Posted on Dec 29, 2012 in Fathering, Parenting

We Need Dads! (Stand up for Dads – Stand up for Family!)

I saw this headline today, and it broke my heart. This is the headline: “One In Ten Children Asked for a Daddy For Christmas.”

The facts are depressing. 15 million kids grow up in a house without a dad, 5 million without a mom. The number has risen from 11% in the 1960’s to 30+% today. No wonder there are so many confused young men out there! They didn’t have a dad to love them, so they don’t know how to love as a man. The same is true for our young women, they didn’t have a dad to love them so they seek to fill that void in very shallow and unfulfilling ways.

It should come as no surprise. Dad’s have been under attack for decades. Your normal, average, providing for his family dad has been ripped apart in the media for quite a while. According to them, we’re a bunch of bumbling idiots who like to wear ugly sweaters and risk injuring ourselves with amped up power tools. No average dad could handle the task of parenting if he had to, he’s not smart enough.

Today it’s just an accepted fact that dads are dumb. It’s not even questioned anymore. I’m sure this is being driven by some agenda somewhere, but I’m not going to get into conspiracy theories here.

Instead of wasting time blaming the losers who control the media, how about a new proposal. Stand up for dads! What we shouldn’t do – blame the dads. Sure, there are dads who have been idiots and created many problems for their families. And, yes I’m also sure that a lot of the kids who don’t have dads are the product of a dad who left when he found out his girlfriend was pregnant.

But continuing to blame men and dads will do nothing but sustain the agenda driven crisis in our country. What we need is people to start defending dads and the need for dads in our families.

We need men and women who will take a stand and say, I can’t be both parents. We need women who will stop taking all the credit for all the good things in the family and give the dad some credit. Part of the reason it takes two people to make a human is that it takes two people to raise a human. It takes a lot to raise a mature adult, even many households with two parents struggle with this. Imagine the challenge it is to do it with just one parent who has to be both parents. The nourisher, punisher, and provider.

I’m lucky, as I have a wonderful wife who is also a wonderful mother. And she also freely admits that it takes two of us to raise our kids. But if you’re a wife who takes all the credit for raising your kids, please don’t. Even if it’s in good humor. You have no idea how much damage you could be doing. And you may find yourself discouraging your husband to the point that you will be raising the kids all on your own.

Husbands, don’t discourage your wives by belittling the work they do at home. It’s hard work, and you don’t want to do it. We need our wives.

In fact, we need the whole family. It’s the unit that provides the strength.

Will you join me in taking a stand for dads? We need see a shift in our culture, or there may perhaps be no hope.

Don’t stand for jokes about lazy, good-for-nothing dads any more. If you know a dad who is thinking about leaving, try to talk him out of it. If you know a young man who has gotten his girlfriend pregnant, encourage him not to run. Be bold. Nothing will change if we don’t start making the change.

I believe we can make a difference. I believe we can turn the tide on this storm. Perhaps we just need to try.

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