That NEW Adage

A pressure-relief valve about God, and just about everything else.

Kid Slaps Mother. When is the Funeral?

Okay, by now, you’ve probably either seen or heard of this… This kid slaps his MOTHER!!!

The first thing I did when I saw this was blame the mother — that’s right, the mother — for creating an environment where her kid THOUGHT that he could slap Mommy and survive. I could rant on all night about this, but perhaps I won’t…

This is another problem with the Oprahfication of America. We have to tell ourselves that the best way to raise children (whose brains don’t even function fully properly until well past puberty) is to REASON with them!! Adults reason. And even then, not always successfully!

This mother is being all nice and calm while the offspring of her body is flying apart.

I’ll tell you what — if any of my children (or anybody else’s) swing at me on camera, I’ll erase them and start drawing new ones!

There’s an analogy I heard a long time ago that I apply in rearing my kids: A man was at the circus and noticed that the elephants  — full-grown behemoths — were chained to wooden stakes that were hammered into the dirt. They could have easily pulled them up, but the slightest tension made them give in and stay put.

The visitor asked their trainer how this was possible.

“Simple,” he replied. “When the elephants are babies, we chain them to stakes that are embedded in the ground too deep for them to pull up. By the time they are strong enough, their memory of not being able to pull them up supersedes their knowledge of their abilities.”

One day my sons will be bigger and stronger than I. So I have to be invincible in their eyes in order that they don’t try me. There has to be fear until there is respect.

I thought my father would literally beat me to death if I challenged him. I thought he was crazy. (he was.) When I grew up and mentioned that to him, he laughed and told me that that was exactly the objective. I had to think that if I exceeded his boundaries, the price to pay would be final. That kept me away from drugs, theft, cutting classes, sneaking the car keys, drinking, sex… All the egregious sins, until my sense of not wanting to disappoint my parents was all I needed to basically keep me in line.

They reasoned with me only to the point that I was able to understand. I was not allowed to ask them where they were going when they left the house, or why I had to eat certain detestable foods, or “why” anything else they chose to have me do. I was allowed to voice my concerns and speak my mind, though, within certain limits.

I could not interrupt them when in conversation, and I could not join in adult tete a’ tetes. But they engaged me and respected my personhood — within limits.

Kids have a place. That is a dead notion, I know, but it is alive in my household, and never will a child of mine even bring to mind the idea of hitting ME! And my WIFE is the crazy one!!

There are worse things in the world than a butt-whupping, and this kid is going to experience a lot of them.

Raise your kids, folks! They are not born grown, and you do a disservice to them to treat them as though they are. Would you fly in a plane piloted by a person who only watched instructional films to learn how? Why, then, do you let Oprah tell you how to bring up children?

You watched that video and got mad at the boy. Well, I submit that he is only a product of his environment, and is functioning as designed.

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April 13, 2010 Posted by | Children, Christian Life, Christianity, Discipline, Kids, Oprah, Oprah Winfrey, Parenthood, Parenting, Spanking | 7 Comments

God… One Egg. Three Yolks.

The past few months saw God step into my life and circumstances in tangible ways which amazed and humbled me. I have written about some of it… my horn situation comes immediately to mind.

He has provided me with gigs just when I needed them, He worked me through that nasty KWEST (jazz band) thing, He has counseled me in marital situations (more people oughta try this!), and He gave me another SON(!!!!) — about which I will post separately.

All of that set the stage for what happened to my family and me Tuesday.

Generally speaking, everybody loves their kids. No need to go on about who I’d kill and what fast-moving vehicles I would jump in front of about mine.

Max has this thing about coughing and throwing up. He gets it from his mother. He has a hair-trigger uvula. Mopping up his meals has become routine for ME. Kathy won’t do it, or else the house’ll turn into the theater scene from “The Goonies!” But he does not have any asthma or any other diagnosed health problem. He just can’t overeat. And sinus drainage sets him off after time.

Monday night/Tuesday morning I couldn’t sleep. (God) I usually turn in at about 4 AM. I was awake to hear that familiar sound coming from Max’s room. I could tell he was in the launch sequence.

I went in to get him, and as soon as I got him to the bathroom, he let loose.

It tears me up to see him like that and be so helpless. I just pray.

I put him back in the bed and he was fine.

Later that day, Kathy — who didn’t go to work because SHE was sick from being pregnant — was sitting on the couch with him and noticed him wheezing. And the space at the bottom of his throat was sinking in with each breath. (I have two nephews with asthma, so I knew the signs)

She sent him to me to have a look, and what I feared was coming to pass.

Normally, Kathy would have been dozing, but since she was off, she was rested. Usually, Max would have been taking a nap, but for some reason (GOD) I put Diana down and left Max awake. We would never have known!

I would have been gone to work by the time he woke up, but God orchestrated it all so that we would see what was happening.

Let me tell you… when I saw my little boy… wheezing and still smiling… out of breath but playing… I was like cornbread with no eggs in it!! Kathy was tearing up as I made the arrangements for us to take him to a doctor. I had to lie to Max while I got him dressed and while Kathy got Diana together. My son. So little, and such an overwhelmingly big part of my whole world. My son. My SON. Understand?

I had to push all the horrible possibilities out of my mind. No luxury to marinate in what-could-be.

I just prayed. And I told Kathy what I wrote earlier — that all His tangible blessings in the past weeks put Faith in our accounts for withdrawal now. We had seen Him be so true to us, so hands-on, so REAL! And NOW, in the midst of terror, we had to tell Him — and ourselves — that He was the same Person. That He would not operate so clearly in the verses and disappear in the hook!

The end of it is that Max is fine. He has one more day of taking medicines to return his little bronchial tubes and lungs to normal.

MY_boy!

We suspect that he picked up something from a child at church (which irritates me to NO END!!! Don’t take your sick kids to church! They can miss a Sunday!), or else dust or some other allergen in the house set him off.

God is going to HAVE to drive this vehicle for us! As hard as we try to protect our little people from life, we simply can’t. And we cannot live every day in fear of what MIGHT happen to them.

He is faithful!

August 28, 2009 Posted by | Babies, Children, Christ, Christian Life, Christianity, Faith, Family, Fatherhood, Fathers and Sons, God, Kids, Love, Parenthood, Parenting | 1 Comment

Low Commotion

My two- and one-year-olds running around the house tearing up stuff and making a bunch of noise.

Always into something!

Always into something!

July 9, 2009 Posted by | Babies, Childhood, Children, Family, Home Life, Humor, Kids, Parenthood, Parenting | 6 Comments

Max’s First Story

“Daddy brushed your teeth?” Kathy asked Max, 2 1/2.

“Yeah!” he answered quickly.
Derrick, did you brush his teeth yet?”

“Hunh?” I asked, perturbed at being disturbed from watching “PTI.”

“Did you brush Max’s teeth already?” she repeated.

“Naw.”

“Max,” she scolded him, “You told a story. You have to tell the truth, okay? No stories.”

“Daddy brushed dee teeth! The END!!”

True story.

My boy!  I’m still laughing.

February 3, 2009 Posted by | Babies, Children, Fatherhood, Humor, Kids, Kids say the Darndest Things, Laughter, Life, Max, Motherhood, Parenthood, Parenting | 3 Comments

How I Learned the Bible

“How you gone just sit there and let all them people in front of you? I got somewhere to be! D&%n Good Samaritan! If you ain’t gone drive it, park it!” exclaimed my father, stuck in traffic behind a courteous slow driver.

“Ohhh.” I thought, putting two and two together… “A ‘good Samaritan’ is someone who helps someone else for no apparent reason.” My parents used to use that one a lot.

“G@d! Je$us! Man, PASS the ball! Quit being so d&%n selfish!!” Shouted my father at Andrew Toney, who played for the Sixers back in the day.

“Ohhh!” I realized, “Jesus is God in the flesh, and He committed the most unselfish act of all. I get it now.”

“If I come in this house and these dishes ain’t washed, It’s gone be Armageddon up in here when I get back!” Said my mother upon reaching the end of the rope.

“Ohhh! Armageddon is the battle that occurs at the end of the world!” I discovered after a few times of failing to meet a deadline due to procrastination…

“I don’t know why you askin’ ME for no money! I’m poor as Job’s turkey!”

“Ohhh!” I gathered. “Job was a man, like Daddy, who had had a lot of kids, and was incredibly poor at some point. And if HE didn’t have nothing, you KNOW his turkey was broke! Sorry for asking, Dad.”

Great teachers I had.

(How I learned Civics) “Bring less than a ‘B’ in here if you want to! It’s gone take a act of Congress to pull me off you!!”

(How I learned what color rice was)“Boy! If you don’t turn off that TV and do your homework, I’mma be on you like white on rice!!”

January 14, 2009 Posted by | Bible, Childhood, Children, Christ, Christian Life, Christianity, Family, God, Humor, Life, Life Lessons, Parenthood, Parenting | 2 Comments

45 Years and Counting…

Happy Anniversary, guys! Thank you for sticking it out when so many don’t. When marriage is seen as something to do, or not do, you have persevered.

Thank you for thinking enough of us to insulate us and to give us two parents who think more of us than of periodic pain. Thank you for being mature and true to your vows to God.

My kids will know that love is more than hugging and kissing — that love is staying and working — and hugging and kissing. They will know because I know because YOU knew. Your children love you, and their children love you.

 

23 Dec 63

23 Dec 63

 about-twelve-years-in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

seventies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ma-and-aunt-odessa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

her-favorite-picture

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coarch

 

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And Now...

And Now...

December 25, 2008 Posted by | Anniversary, Children, Christian Life, Fatherhood, Life, Life Lessons, Marriage, Motherhood, Parenthood, Parenting | 7 Comments

Work and Family: All I Do

Max, Diana, and Ryan   Max       Diana  Work

Sundays @ Neil's  Gotta Be Somebody's Baby!

  I'll Kill a Brick!

                 On the Job

 

KWEST   I've got a better son than my parents have!

Rich, Ryan, DJ, Allissa, Max, and Diana  

Election night. 

December 12, 2008 Posted by | Babies, Childhood, Children, Christian Life, Christianity, Daughters, Family, Fatherhood, Fathers and Daughters, Fathers and Sons, Home Life, Kids, Life, Marriage, Music, Parenthood, Parenting, Parents | 6 Comments

‘Res’dent Obama

I just thought this was funny, so I put it on YouTube so I could put it on the blog. This is Max showing me he knows who the new president is. (McCain was, “BoCain”) Kathy and I laughed and laughed!

The last word is not necessarily a commentary on his views, he is just in perpetual potty training mode.

December 3, 2008 Posted by | Boys, Childhood, Children, Humor, Kids, Kids say the Darndest Things, Laughter, Obama, Parenthood, Parenting, Political Humor, Politicians, Politics, Potty Training | 4 Comments

The Truth Fairy

You can tell how old you are by how much you used to get from the tooth fairy. Kind of like gauging the age of a tree by counting the rings.

“Shoot! We’re gonna have to give Max and Diana a dollar a tooth for it to mean anything!” I told Kathy.

I used to get a dime…

October 14, 2008 Posted by | Humor, Kids, Life, Parenthood, Parenting, Tooth Fairy | 5 Comments

What They Taught Me

Boys love their fathers. I am no exception. No one loves his father more than I love mine.

But my mother is equally as excellent in my eyes. They taught me so much — they still do — and now that I am a parent, I want to be the same thing and show the same things to mine.

I know that in this age, it is not as vogue or common to have parents or be parents. If that is you, feel free to change the trend and use my example. There are many more, but these are the ones I can recall.

1 Tough it out. My folks never quit anything. They got up and went to work well or sick every day. I didn’t miss more than a dozen days of school in twelve years.

2 “Don’t let nobody hit you and you not hit ’em back!” My MOTHER told me that before my father got the chance to! Life doesn’t put up with cowards.

3 “Burn the midnight oil.” Ma drilled this into my head. And I saw her raise four kids five and a half years apart from top to bottom while teaching school in the daytime, night school at night, and getting her Master’s degree!

4 Share. Daddy was tight with his Tang (remember Tang?), but to this day, I can’t say, “Ma! That waffle iron is great!” without her trying to give it to me! And when I needed eye surgery in my late twenties and didn’t have the money (I was just starting out as a road musician), my pop paid for it out of his pocket.

5 Know how to fix stuff. My daddy showed me how to work with tools, fix faucets and change alternators. Even though he didn’t have a father to show HIM.

6 Don’t procrastinate. My mother would scold me to death on those perpetual Sunday nights as I wrote my term papers and handed the pages to her to type at three and four in the morning.

7 Be helpful. Be willing to give until it hurts.See number six.

8 Don’t ever hit a girl. I had three big-mouthed sisters. I failed at times, but I got it before it became crucial.

9 Know the answers. My folks stressed education. Bad grades were met with pain, and later with disappointment.

10 Sit up front and shut up unless you have a question. “I’m sendin’ you to school to learn, not to be no clown!” The night before my first day of school.

11 Read. Read everything.

12 Do YOUR job. No matter if no one is looking. Don’t let the next man have to carry your load. Got that from Ma.

13 The worst thing in the world is a thief, and a liar is the second. Ma.

14 Don’t kiss behinds. (I cleaned that one up) Yep. Ma.

15 Family sticks together. If your family member is in a fight, I don’t care if he’s winnin’, you pick up the biggest stick you can find a knock the…Nosy neighbor, Mrs. Burrell to my mother: “Allie, high come I jus’ saw yo’ kids walkin’ up tha street carr’n sticks an’ thangs’?”  I was in a fight up the street.

16 Stay married. No matter what. December 23, 1963 and counting…

17 Don’t argue in front of the kids. Don’t yell. They never did.

18 Don’t be weak. Don’t show fear.

19 Speak up! I still hear my father saying this in my ear!

20 If something’s on your mind, get it off. And be through with it. I get this from my mother. It kills Kathy, but she knows it is a good thing.

21 Nobody’s better than you. But treat them like they are.

22 Don’t half-do a job. (Cleaned that one up, too.)

23 God knows your max. “The Lord doesn’t put more on us than we can bear.” Ma says this to me every time something bad happens. I can’t stand to hear it, but I know she is right.

24 Choose wisely. There was a family that lived on the corner when I was a kid. The husband was always beating his wife up. He would beat her, she would leave him, and every time, she would return. He shot her. She left him, and returned. I remember overhearing the grown folk saying that he was going to kill her one day.

One summer day — I was watching my sisters since my folks were at work on their summer jobs — I was outside on the driveway when I saw the oldest daughter, Cynthia, run out of the house in her night clothes shouting, “He killin’ her! He killin’ her!” She ran across the street to her best friend, Bridget’s house.

Sure enough, there he was, in the living room (the front door was open) stabbing her to death. I was about eleven. I saw it happen. When the police came and got him — he didn’t try to run — he had on white painter’s overalls that were now more red than white.

When my folks got home, my father sat us all down and told us to choose our mates and our friends wisely or else the same thing could happen to us. It’s a cold, hard world.

25 Be loyal, even if they are not. My folks seem to go to a funeral a month now. And when my mother’s rather, I’ll say… “elitist” co-worker got sick, my mother went and served her like a slave, only to have her continue to treat Mom like she was less-than. Ma was confident that SHE did the right thing.

26 Don’t raise brats. My father saw a young child acting bratty and resolved to not let that be the way his kids would act! I can’t stand a brat!!

27 Dance. Be social. If you’re shy, fake it.

28 Don’t let an unlearned lesson come around and hit you in the back of the head. Learn from the past. My mother was abused as a child. She vowed not to treat her children that way, even though that is how the pattern regenerates itself.

29 Fat meat is greazy! Ask your black friends.

30 If you’re gonna fight, don’t talk about it. Do it. In my ninth grade summer, my sisters and I were made to walk, every day, to the park that my father oversaw as his summer job. It was in the serious hood! Kids from all around went there in order to stay out of trouble. My sisters and I were Fauntleroys compared to these kids! It was ROUGH!

In me, they smelled raw meat! I was bullied every day in front of my own father. Being who he was, he must have been thoroughly ashamed of me. It wasn’t that I was scared, I just hated to fight. One kid in particular, Tyrone (his name WOULD be Tyrone, hunh?), made it his mission to build a reputation off of me.

Nothing he did got me to fight. (He never hit me) One day, though, my baby sister was riding a skateboard down a steep hill, and purely to provoke me, he pushed Kim off the board.

Every kid in the park ran up the hill to tell me what happened and to see the fight they knew was coming.

My pops, whose JOB was to keep order, leaned calmly on the monkey bars and watched…

“Yeah, I did it!” Tyrone proudly proclaimed. This was it. Everybody was looking, and I was nearly blind with rage. I put up my guard as daddy had shown me years ago.

Tyrone started swaying confidently, back and forth. “You ain’ gone do nuthin’, punk,” smiling.

Left hook — POW! The world seemed to stop. Tyrone was in the dirt, getting up.

Left hook — POW! He went down again, rubbing his right jaw and blinking back tears. He got up slower this time. He wouldn’t swing. He just stood there with his hands up.

From behind me, I heard a familiar adult voice, “HIT him again! H*ll, HIT him. If you gone fight da**it FIGHT!” His exact words. I turned and looked at my father, the keeper of the peace, urging me on to beat this kid up. “Aw, h*ll! He waved his hand and walked away in disgust.

My heart wasn’t in it, and Tyrone’s heart was in my pocket. It was over. I had won, and hadn’t even taken a lick! I heard the kids who had taunted me all summer consoling Tyrone, ” Man, he didn’t even wanna fight you.”

I thought they would hate me, but they didn’t.

Talking to my father years later revealed that he, in all his ruthlessness, wanted me to beat the brakes off that kid to make up for all that stuff I took all summer. He was proud of me, though.

I had learned: Keep your mouth shut, and don’t put your dukes up until you know you gotta fight. And those who do the most talking often have to eat the most words.

31 Protect your home. I was never more secure than when at home because I knew Daddy was the baddest beast in the forest.

32 Work hard. Don’t make yourself look bad.

33 “Keep your name clean like it was when you got it!” Ma PREACHED that!

34 Don’t bring home no dumb girls. First thing they ever told me about girls.

34 Show love. That’s all they did, and all I try to do.

September 12, 2008 Posted by | Adage, Advice, Boys, Christianity, Family, Fatherhood, Fathers and Sons, Kids, Life, Life Lessons, Motherhood, Parenthood, Parenting, Parents, Proverbs, Quips | 4 Comments

Why Ya Think They Call ‘Em “Happy Meals?”

Max bows his head sorrowfully, as if about to pray, “Daddy?” soft as a whisper.
“What?!” I answer, sharply.
“Paw Paw… Richie-Ryan… Chic-kan nug-gets,” referring to my father and two young nephews and a food he likes.
I cover my face so he can’t see me smile.
 
Okay, imagine John Edwards saying to his wife: “Hey, Honey, did you lose weight or do something to your hair? You look GREAT!!”


Or Senator Craig saying to the arresting officer: “Wow, they sure keep these airport bathrooms spotless!”

 

Max, two years old now, has just gotten caught doing one of his list of a thousand daily things he knows not to do, and is trying to soften up the wrath.
“Paw Paw… Richie-Ryan… Chic-kan nug-gets.” I hear it twenty times a day.
But what can ya do?
 

August 14, 2008 Posted by | Boys, Children, Christian Life, Discipline, Fatherhood, Fathers and Sons, Home Life, Humor, John Edwards, Kids, Larry Craig, Life, Max, Parenthood, Parenting | 6 Comments

Home Trainin’

“Hey, Max!”

“What, Daddy?” Smiling.

“Max, don’t say ‘what’ when I call you, okay? Say, ‘Yes, Daddy?’.”

“Okay, Daddy.”

He walks away. Five seconds later…

“Hey, Max?”

“What, Daddy?”

This is gonna take some time.

July 21, 2008 Posted by | Childhood, Children, Christian Life, Family, Fatherhood, Fathers and Sons, Home Training, Humor, Kids, Motherhood, Parenthood, Parenting | 5 Comments

Babee Tawk

“Jlknsphote giso dnb tjiom rhsdder!” Max said to me, dead serious.

“What?!?” I thought.

So, I repeated what he said, word for word: “Jlknsphote giso dnb tjiom rhsdder?”

He frowned and looked at me out the side of his eye as if to say, “Man, what’s da mattah witchou? Speak Englitch!”

Then he said, “No, Dah! Sefcka tehpmfn hse SOAVEX!”

“Oh. Okay. MY bad.”

It was so funny! What he said to me — he always has these extended conversations with us — made perfect sense to him on the inside of his head. Everything makes sense in there! Including putting cell phones and dead leaves in his mouth, using a sharpie on my desk and the washing machine, and pushing and pulling the keys on my horn while I’m playing it. Oh… and getting his big head stuck under the couch!

Whatever he said, it sure wasn’t what I said. What I said was just gibberish, I guess.

June 17, 2008 Posted by | Babies, Baby Talk, Childhood, Children, Christian Life, Family, Fatherhood, Fathers and Sons, Humor, Kids, Life, Motherhood, Parenthood, Parenting | 2 Comments

Son, Don’t Point it Till You’re Ready to Shoot!

We can leave Max alone to watch educational television on the Sprout, or Noggin networks, but we cannot leave him alone for a second on his potty.

We’re training him to go on his own, and it is proving to be the hardest thing yet about child-rearing! Kathy and I have dealt with colic, wildfires of diaper rash, mounds of “butt mustard”, gallons of re-gurj, waterfallian sinus infections, cuts, all-night feedings, soap tasting and ant eating, penny sucking, picky eating, and nap refusing, but this potty training is kickin’ us in da collective butt!

Put him on the pot and go right down the hall, “Son, don’t move!” and the next thing you know, Max is spraying the bath mats like he’s a hose-fed weed killer and they’re crabgrass, or he’s triumphantly swirling his hands around in you-ryne like he’s filming a Palmolive commercial! “You’re soaking in it!”

 Now, I have to watch out for shiny spots on the floor when I go back in to get him, or I’ll have a disgusting slip-and-fall incident. 

He’s 100% boy, and I just LOVE it! Every exasperating moment! My son!

Kathy’s gonna deevorce me for this!

 

May 29, 2008 Posted by | Children, Christian Life, Family, Fatherhood, Fathers and Sons, Humor, Kids, Life, Motherhood, Parenthood, Parenting, Pictures | 7 Comments

Max’s Mother’s Day Sentiment

This is the card Max “wrote”* to Kathy yesterday:

This is Max

*Actually I wrote it (he dictated…) with my off hand. It took almost an HOUR! My hand is still hurting! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 12, 2008 Posted by | Childhood, Children, Christian Life, Christianity, Family, Fatherhood, Humor, Kids, Life, Mother's Day, Parenthood, Parenting, Parents | 2 Comments

No, No, No Ya Don’t…

I had to change the words to that familiar children’s song, ’cause every time I turned around, Max was getting into something else he shouldn’t have.

Like just today, he pulled ALL the clothes out of Kathy’s bottom drawer, threw them onto the floor, and put his toy remote control in it. And when he was supposed to be taking a nap, he instead threw all the blankets out of the bed, and was sitting upright with the liner from his dirty clothes hamper on his head. Smiling at me.

Last night, he came into the living room with the vaseline jar on his hand like a glove, and a jar full of vaseline in his hair. He has broken tusks from elephant statues at my folks’ house, phones, and computer keypads, and he has eaten a Christmas light. He tried to climb up into the automatic swing that Diana was sleeping in. He mistimed it, fell, and the swing began mindlessly hitting him until he could get up and out of the way.

Monday, when he was supposed to be taking a nap, I heard him in his room talking. (He knows not to do that) When I burst into his room, I saw him sitting, still as a mailbox with his blanket over his body. “Max! Lie down and go to sleep!” No movement. I walked closer: “Max! YOU know you’re not supposed ta be in here talking! Lie down!” No movement. I pulled the blanket off of him, ready to chastise him for not doing what I told him to do. He was just smiling up at me , all sixteen teeth showing.

In a hurry, I put the blanket up to my face so he couldn’t see me laughing. I laid him back down. See, HE thought that, even though he was sitting up, I couldn’t see him sitting up! His little child’s mind told him that to be very still under that blanket made it impossible for him to be seen. It was sooo funny! That’s my boy!

My mother and sister bought him one of those motorized trucks that you can sit in and drive for Christmas. Now, he is only one year old, and I tried to tell them not to do it, but it was no use. He can’t even associate pressing the gas pedal with making the truck go yet. Well, the other day, I brought it home from my folks’ house (it was too big to fit in the car, I thought…), and when I took it out, Max jumped in it and proceeded to slam it into the car repeatedly. “No, no, no, Max! Stop! Wait! Don’t…!” We just laughed

So in that spirit, and for that reason, I have changed the words and the meaning to that singalong:

No, no, no ya don’t

Don’t you mess with that.

Don’t put that upon your head,

A shoe is not a hat!

No, no, no ya don’t

Don’t you eat the keys.

When Daddy has to go to work,

He’ll be needing these.

No, no, no ya don’t

Poke your sister’s eye.

She needs that to watch for you

You’re a dang’rous guy.

And so on…

April 3, 2008 Posted by | Childhood, Children, Christian Life, Family, Fathers and Sons, Humor, Kids, Nursery Rhymes, Parenthood, Parenting, Parents, Uncategorized, Writing | 2 Comments

The Rest of the Story

I said that when I got more time, I would write more on what happened when Diana was born. Seeing how things have been this last week, I know now that I’ll NEVER have any more time!

Kathy began having real contractions Wednesday night. By Thursday, they were coming steadily enough so that our friend, Megan who is trained as a labor and delivery nurse, took basically her whole day — Excuse me. Both babies just woke up yelling and crying from different rooms at the SAME time!!!— to walk Kathy through a nearby park in order to bring on the true labor Kathy wanted. (Our last birth was a c-section, and Kathy really wanted to have a conventional birth!) Megan homeschools her kids, one of whom was sick, and she forsook that all to spend hours helping my wife!

Thursday night/Friday morning at around three, She started to have strong contractions at from six or seven minutes apart to four or five. Even though I’m a night owl, going to sleep at around three or four every morning, I was really sleepy. Kathy was taking one of thee thousands of showers she had been taking all day to soothe her pain when I finally fell off to sleep. As soon as I did, she came into the room and said that she was ready to go. Wishful thinking made me stay in the bed.

“When I get dressed, I’m goin’ to tha hospital, whether you’re ready or not!” she said, rummaging through her drawers. It took her forty minutes to put some clothes on. It takes longer when you have to stop and pray to Jeessussss every four minutes…

“Oh,” I croaked, “You were serious?”

“Yeah! This is IT! The contractions have been four minutes apart for an hour.”

We got to the hospital at 4:45 AM. Megan, the angel, had met us at the house and followed us. My parents, who were going to keep Max for us, were waiting for us when we got there. They took him home with them shortly after Kathy was admitted.

Kathy was scheduled to have a c-section on Saturday, but she and her doctor wanted her to try to have her “the regular way.” Max was a c-section baby, and weighed in at nine pounds, six ounces! She was more than a week past the due date and the baby was only getting bigger. We felt now that the Lord had answered Kathy’s fervent prayer in the affirmative with all these labor pains and stuff.

Kathy’s friends, Heather, and Lisa, who took all those pictures, arrived at between 6 and 8 am. They both have families, and left them to stay with Kathy. Her mother came to town to stay with us for a week, and got to the hospital at around 9 am. We all thought that, at this rate, she would be having the baby by no later than twelve noon or one at the latest. HA!

I had a gig that night which Kathy had no problem with me making, and since it started at 10:30 that night, we both knew I would make it ok. HA!

Her contractions were coming steadily (every two or four minutes) for hours, and she took them like a champ until around 10 am or so when she asked for an epidural. This involves injecting an anesthetic through a catheter inserted into a canal in the doggone spine! And how is this better, I wonder…?

To make a long story long, Kathy endured the process of physical and mental stress (which was probably worse) until 7:30 pm. The doctors and she were trying to wait for her cervix to dilate to the point where Diana could pass naturally. “I don’t want to be gutted like a fish!” Kathy would repeatedly say, only partly in jest.

Just as with Max, it would never happen.

Through all of this, Heather and Lisa stayed! Hour upon hour of stress, tedium, pain, and varying opinions on what to do and they just called husbands, arranged for kids to be picked up, and stayed right there with her. Never had we experienced such friendship and dedication. Even after I left to work, (musicians don’t have workman’s compensation! No play, no pay! Kathy’s maternity pay is a little bit less than her regular pay, so I had to go get it!) Megan returned, and Lisa and Heather stayed into Saturday morning until I told Kathy to have them go home!

I am so blessed (Kathy, too…) to have people who love my wife so much. She is not from Memphis, and used to fret about not having ties here. This is an answer to that prayer, because she has friends now from all strata who love her like family!

Yes, they attend that church I rave about. (And Heather wants me to tell you that in spite of the name, she IS black! 🙂 )

It was obvious after all these hours that Diana was not going to push her way out. There was a lot of back and forth about what should happen, so the nurse — at Kathy’s request — cleared the room. Kathy, now crying,  called me back, and while I had a whole line prepared — excuse me, Diana just started to wail again — about how God knows better than we do what is best, and that this is His will, and that we have to get in line with that will… But she wasn’t crying about having to have another c-section. Suffice it to say that she was worried that her friends’ feelings would be hurt through all of this.

So, after much travail, much of which would be politically and socially improper for me to tell, Diana was pulled into this world at exactly eight o’clock looking just like her brother did, and suspiciously like a little Eskimo lady. (Kathy spent four years living in Alaska…) Actually, my grandfather had a white father and a Cherokee mother, so that is why they come out looking so U.N.

I spent an hour or so with them and left for my gig with my wife’s blessing. They started late waiting for me.

For the next two weeks in what is apparently a tradition in many churches (NOT the one I attended!), we will be receiving meals cooked by different women in the church. When this happened with Max, we were blown away! It is a wonderful thing to see the Body of Christ work in such fluid and effective fashion.

And just as we cannot do anything to warrant God’s Sacrifice and favor, we have not done anything to deserve being loved in so great a way by so many!

April 1, 2008 Posted by | Birth, Children, Christian Life, Christianity, Church Life, Family, Fatherhood, Kids, Life, Love, Marriage, Motherhood, Parenthood, Parenting, Pregnancy | 4 Comments

For Unto US (Kathy and Me) a Child is Born

Diana, our new daughter, was born on Good Friday! She weighed nine pounds and one ounce, and was 21 1/2 inches long. Even though she was in pickle juice for nine months, she is beautiful. (She looks like the little “Ice Age” baby) Kathy was basically in labor from Wednesday on, and we went to the hospital at 4:45 AM. Diana was born by c-section at eight PM!

Many beautiful things happened, but as I am just getting home and getting adjusted to the exponential increase in work and DEcrease in sleep, I will have to write about it all in detail in a day or so.

You can see pictures of the process at  http://kiralisa.wordpress.com/2008/03/22/a-precious-baby-is-born/where my friend and churchmember, the great photographer Lisa Thomas, has chronicled our experience.

March 24, 2008 Posted by | Birth, Children, Christian Life, Christianity, Family, Fatherhood, Kids, Life, Motherhood, Parenthood, Parenting, Parents | 16 Comments

It Takes a Village to SPOIL a Child!

“Max just put a battery in the toilet upstairs,” young Demetrius calmly said to the adults who were downstairs watching the game and having adult conversation.

Exasperated, Kathy looked at me and sighed, “Go up there and get it out.”

“There’re some yellow gloves under the sink you can put on to get it out,” Daddy said, laughing.

As I made my way through the kitchen to the stairs — about eight boys were having a sleepover/party for my nephew, Ryan, who just turned ten — I heard a yell from up in the gameroom, “THASS OKAAAY. MAX GOT IT OUUUT!”

What? As if THAT’S better! So I get upstairs just in time to snatch the wet battery from the soaked hands (and arms) of my boy an inch before he put it in his mouth! I couldn’t be angry at him. I had to shake my head and laugh. He’s incredibly curious, and I know this curiosity will pay off for him in the future.

We were at my folks’ house tonight since I didn’t have to work.

My parents were the most no nonsense parents in the world when they were raising my sisters and me. I said “WERE.” I get most of my parenting techniques from them — with a few modifications. They did not stand for spoiled behavior in us. They spanked WAY more than we do. We didn’t drink Kool-Aid with meals — only water. We did as we were told with no backtalk, no “whys” and no stomping off into another room. We toed the line, no exceptions.

Now, as grandparents, they are doggone marshmallows! You know what I mean…

At home, and in stores, and at church, etc., we have Max pretty much locked down, behavior-wise. He does as he is generally told the very first time. If I say, “Max don’t go in that room,” he turns right around with no whining. We don’t have to get after him that much.

On most Sundays, our family gathers at my folks’ house for dinner, and as soon as we get there, Max, somehow sensing the change in the rules, does what HE wants to do.

Tonight, as every time we visit, he wanted to go upstairs and play with the teen-agers, who were playing video games, pool, and wrestling. Kathy — rightly — felt that those boys shouldn’t have the responsibility of watching a nineteen-month-old Super Ball bounce from one new discovery to the next! It was their time to play and have fun, so we, to the great chagrin of the former wicked witch (NOT in an evil way!!!) of MY childhood and the current jellyfish of my adulthood (Ma) declined to let him go upstairs. He whined and cried all night. To the guests who had never seen him, I’m sure he looked like a brat.

Max is a LOT of work at my parents’ house. There is so much more room, so many more things to get into. Rather than acquiesce to our commands, he chooses to pout, and we — to our fault — sometimes give in to the peer-pressure and the possibility of being seen as mean parents and don’t cut the bad behavior off quickly like we do at home.

My parents have spoiled that boy and he knows it and they won’t admit it. If I did to Max what they did to us, they would probably cut me out of the will like a cancerous tumor!

So, Kathy and I went to the store, and asked Ma to watch Max for us. “Yeah,” I said resigned, “You can go ahead and let him go upstairs, but I’m gonna make him come back down when I get back.”

That’s how he ended up being up there. Kathy and I were only proven right. And as further confirmation, there’s this:

After I took off his shirt and washed all tha HEPATITIS off his hands and arms(!), Ma took him with her into her bathroom while she put up some towels. “Come on, Max! You can stay with me!”  As soon as I got back to the adult conversation and to my four years pregnant wife (that’s why I was doing everything… She can’t MOVE!), I heard Ma in the back; “No Max! No. NO! When I got back there to to see what cat as trophy he had wrought, I saw my mother laughing and wringing water out of the silk-lined shower cap that she hangs on the faucet of her jacuzzi which just happens to be just the right height for a nineteen-month-old baby to reach!

All the adults in the living room, even Daddy, chuckled and agreed: “Thass what she GIT!”

March 15, 2008 Posted by | Childhood, Children, Christian Life, Family, Fatherhood, Grandparents, Humor, Kids, Life, Life Lessons, Parenthood, Parenting, Parents | 2 Comments

The Night the Lights Went Out

Never in my life. Never has this happened to me.

Kathy and I were watching tivo, and Max was playing destructively, as is his bent. “Bent” being anything he has touched.

Karen from the church gave us one of those easels with the chalkboard on it, for the kids to write on. There is a tray under the board that goes from front to back which is to hold supplies — crayons, pencils, etc. The tray also serves to support and strengthen the easel. Its base is pressboard. Not very sturdy at all.

Max likes to crawl inside of stuff… When Kathy had a contraction last week and slightly panicked and started packing hospital bags and asked me to quickly put the bassinet together, Max crawled into the little space at the bottom where the baby supplies are kept.
Well, we were watching tivo, and Kathy tapped me on the leg and whispered, “Look at that li’l boy!”

He was crawling, legs sticking out, hanging down, onto the tray part of the easel. It was about two feet off the floor. I forgot to tell you that of the four butterfly wingnuts that hold up the tray, only three were actually in service. One being unfindable.
Max is nineteen months old, but he is as big as some three-year-olds. He weighs about thirty-five pounds. I know he will bump his head in life, and I don’t generally rush to save him from every skinned knee and fat lip. I didn’t move. Just watched him…

He pulled himself up into the tiny space, and as soon as he tucked his legs in, in slow motion, the tray began to break apart and collapse. Verrrry slowly. You could hear the pressboard crackling like giant graham crackers. Max, who is MOSTLY head, rolled head-first onto the floor amid a pile of what was now kindling! (I’m laughing now. But I’m scared to laugh anymore…)

Kathy and I howled like two wolves. More like two hyenas.
I laughed so hard. So hard that I couldn’t breathe. My eyes began to roll back, and my head felt like it was floating…This has happened before when I have laughed really hard, but what (apparently) happened next never has.

I was frozen. All I remember is that I was holding my glasses limply in the crook of my thumb and forefinger. I remember that when we started to laugh, we both lifted up the blanket that covered us to hide our faces. And our shame at laughing so hard at our boy.

Now, though, my fingers were curled as though I were still holding it, but it had dropped.
“What happened?” I asked. “What’s going on?” I didn’t feel any pain, but I felt as though I had just awakened. It felt as though days had passed but the same tv show was on.

Kathy was crying, but I couldn’t remember if she was crying from laughing, or crying from crying. So many unformed questions swirled, alphabet soupy, in my head. The fog began to clear when I saw Max walking around swinging a stick that looked like it came from a tray that attached to an easel.

Kathy was leaning over me, scared to death, and now crying from crying. “What’s wrong?!? Don’t play with me like this! You can’t leave me now! We got too much goin’ on!” (I wasn’t dying or anything. She was just scared.)

I was still trying to get it together. “A B C D E F G… Now, smile… okay, I can smile. Move your left arm… okay. So I didn’t just have a doggone stroke!” I knew what had happened… I laughed so hard that I lost oxygen and freekin’ blacked out! (It’s called “hypoxia.” I looked it up online as soon as I got up!) I have gotten that light-headed feeling a lot of times in the past when something reeeeeally funny has happened, but I have never gotten to the point where I lost consciousness!

I asked Kathy what let her know something was off since Max was on her side of the room and she was looking away from me. She said that she knew something was wrong because I had suddenly stopped laughing and it wasn’t time for it to stop being funny yet. She said that when she saw me, I was staring up into space, “What’s goin’ on? What’s happ’nin’?”, as though I had just seen Jesus or an alien. Seriously, I wondered if I had just gotten back from a summit meeting with God.

I guess this is what they mean when they say, “I fell out laughing!”

Folks, don’t laugh at your kids. It could kill you..

March 13, 2008 Posted by | Childhood, Children, Family, Fatherhood, Humor, Kids, Life, Parenthood, Parenting, Parents, Writing | 4 Comments

Two Bears and a Cub

The Parents were both sleeping soundly when out of the silence, a horrified — and horrifying — cry shot like lightning through the dying darkness. The Mother immediately leapt into action, while the Father lay there not moving, thinking he was dreaming and praying it was not the Baby.

The Mother returned to the bed with the Baby in her arms. The Baby, wide awake now, and smiling, was unconcerned with the fact that the Father had only just two hours ago gone to sleep, and had to get right back up in two more small hours.

The Baby was talking to the Mother in a cute, nineteen-month-old kind of way and the Mother, unaware that the Father could hear it all, whispered back to him in an effort to soothe and drowse him.

“O-Mommee!” he said, as though he just realized she was there.

“Go to sleep, Baby.”

“Ohh Kayyy,” he whispered, resigned. This went on for minutes, as it does when he has a nightmare and the Parents go get him to put him back to sleep.

The Father was desperately trying to hold on to the greasy rope of sleep that slid, ever more rapidly through the fingers of his mind. His head was facing away from the Action and towards the clock, whose ten-foot-tall numbers screeched in neon, “5:38 am.”

“Well,” said the Father to himself, “Almost two hours… That’s a LOT of time left to sleep.” As though he would drop to sleep that very moment. The thing about sleep, though, is that you don’t get to experience all that good time when you are asleep. You go to sleep, and the next second, the alarm goes off. It doesn’t FEEL like eight or ten hours just went by.

In the waning darkness, the Baby realized that the Father was right there. “O-Daddee!” he said, elated.

Something that felt like a little Baby arm smacked the Father on the back of the neck.

“Don’t hit the Daddy, Baby. He has to get up in a little while.” It was a little Baby arm, then.

“Ohh Kayyy.”

They went back to their back-and-forth.

“5:47 AM!”

“I know, “ the Father retorted sharply, on the inside.

Something that felt like little Baby fingers began to wrestle through the tangle that is Sleeping Black Father Hair. “Aaa Da-Dee!”

“Leave your daddy alone, Baby,” said the Mother in a vain effort to forestall the inevitable. “You suuure love your daddy, don’t you?” she whispered rhetorically, as much to the air as to the Baby. The Father heard this and thanked God for giving him stewardship of a son who thought absolutely the world of someone so unworthy as he.

The Father, like the rolling of a tidal wave, at the rising of some leviathan, gave up on sleep and turned over and took in his arms this thirty-five pound wriggling onesie full of all that the Parents hold dear. “Come on, Baby. Time to go to sleep.”

Ohh Kayy!” smiling.

The Father began what was known as “The Kansas City Shake” which no baby could resist.

“Go to sleeping, Baby,” he said, in a lilting,  nonspecific, somewhat French, somewhat German accent.

His eyes soon began to slide closed. The Baby’s eyes did, as well.

In the bluing light of the morning, something like a little Baby arm reached up and lay on the Father’s neck. The Father looked and noticed that it was, in fact, a little Baby arm. And the Baby was asleep.

“6:24 AM!”

“Da-Dee…”
 

March 3, 2008 Posted by | Childhood, Christian Life, Christianity, Family, Fatherhood, Fathers and Sons, God, Kids, Parenthood, Parenting, Parents | 10 Comments

A Few More Licks…

Okay, I spent yesterday and today dealing with the spanking issue. I post all of this material on another site of the same name, and someone challenged me there. It gave me a chance to be more specific, and so I wanted to post the interaction here. I know that there are varying opinions, and I am not afraid to deal with them. The italics in Don’s portion of the post are mine… Here we go.
Don Pratt said…

I’m confused by your comparison. Those are two separate issues and people DO NOT fall on the same side of both issues. It does not follow that those who are pro-choice are against spanking. There ‘pro-choicer’s’ who spank, and some who don’t. There are right-to-lifers who spank, and some who don’t.

And regarding spanking: the studies conclusively prove that spanking causes harm. I find it puzzling that there’s even a debate.

May the peace of Christ be with you!

November 29, 2007 7:06 PM

 

 

MaxDaddy said…
Thanks for the comment, Don.
I am making what I feel is a valid generalization.

My point is this: generally speaking, liberals are the ones who don’t like spanking. Generally speaking, liberals are the ones who are in favor of abortion.

I find it odd that, generally speaking, those who say that spanking causes harm — Oprah, and the like — are the ones in favor of the ULTIMATE harm of killing a baby.

I know that there are opinions on both sides. I am speaking in general.

The word “liberal” (not as in “Democrat”) in itself defines the behavior that would allow kids to have more liberty in terms of being disrespectful, and disobedient, etc.

The same word defines the type behavior that would think that killing an unborn baby is a better solution than celibacy or sexual responsibility.

It is a liberal mindset that says to abort a fetus when it is inconvenient to carry it to term for whatever reason. The majority of abortions are NOT because of rape or incest, by the way. (And how is it the baby’s fault how it was conceived? Why do ignominious circumstances warrant the death penalty for the innocent?)

Of COURSE there are studies that prove spanking causes harm! There are studies that prove that NOT spanking causes harm, that spanking does good, that two parents are better than one, that two women make just as good parents, that gayness is unchangeable and genetic, that gays CAN change,  that aspirin does good, that aspirin harms, that heat is good for sprains, and that ICE is good for sprains! Global Warming studies go both ways, too.

Heck, the TOBACCO industry can put up studies that show that smoking is not harmful!

Studies have shown that there is a study to prove both sides of every issue in existence!

I submit that YOU probably adhered to the study that fell in line with your notion.

My personal study is like the scientific method of observation! I have seen where whacks on the butt, in proper administration, have been extremely effective. I have seen “time out” and the like fail miserably.

Practically every human being I have ever met, White, Black, Asian, Native American, etc. was spanked as a child! The number of them that turned out productive is in the upper nintieth percentile! Yeah, there are a few drug addicts in there, a couple who did time, but my (non-scientific) research has shown that usually the reason they turned out bad was because of other factors like being spanked out of anger or abuse, parental neglect, or some like reason.

I have seen spanking without love, restraint, and other proper measures fail horribly, and I have seen “reasoning” ridiculed by children who know that they are dealing with saps, wimps, and suckers!What do you do with the brute or the bully who refuses reasoning or time out? What do you do with little Billy who refuses to stay grounded, or refuses to not sneak and do what you told him not to do?

Spanking is a stopgap measure that plugs the dike until such time as little Billy develops the reasoning abilities to adhere to more mature methods.

BIBLE studies have conclusively proved that spanking, not abuse, is a Godly method of correction for a disobedient child.

“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, and the rod of correction will drive it far from him.”

“If you whip a child, he will not die.” There are others. Different children require different degrees of discipline, and for some, spanking is a valid alternative.

God Himself spanks us in MUCH more painful ways than with a belt, and no one could accurately make the claim that HE causes us harm.

He took the life of David’s child because of David’s adultery and murder. How’s THAT for a whupping?!

Like you, I too find it puzzling that there is a debate. But the good thing right now is that You can raise YOUR kids the way you see fit, and I can do the same!

Please accept my words and be blessed!

Derrick.

November 30, 2007 Posted by | Abortion, Christianity, Common Sense, Corporal Punishment, Discipline, Liberals, Oprah, Oprah Winfrey, Parenting, Planned Parenthood, Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, Spanking | 5 Comments

“Thou Shalt Not Spank Thy Fetus.”

While I’m on the subject… 

Why is it that the very same people who cry about spanking are the ones who are okay with stabbing a LIVING fetus in the back of the head with a pair of scissors?

Why is it okay to kill a living, feeling human being, and not spank a disobedient child? Is it because there is no “hitting” involved in abortion?

These people act so tender and loving and caring and sensitive to the well-being of the most vulnerable among us. Why do they not react with outrage at the killing of an unBORN baby? Why are they so quick to make abortion about the woman and not the child? This is the Mount Everest of hypocrisy! Is a plane crash more about the plane, or the occupants?

If you truly care about the the littlest of us, show it by helping to make sure they at least GET here first without having someone vacuum out their brains while they wait innocently in line to simply be born!

“Love doesn’t hit!” they spout.

Well I doubt if love squashes out the life of a fetus because it interferes with the ability of the mother to “have it all,” or because she can’t afford it, or because the babyDaddy left, or because it would be embarrassing.

“Violence is not the answer,” they preach.

How doggone violent is an abortion? Pleeeze!

God told me to spank a foolish child and not to murder an innocent one. Case closed.

Will the passing of the proposed Massachussetts law mean that doctors who swat newborns will be arrested? I’m just asking…

You tell me to stay out of your bedroom. I suggest that you stay out of MY woodshed!

Some grown folk need to be whupped!

November 29, 2007 Posted by | Abortion, Christianity, Discipline, Parenthood, Parenting, Spanking | 4 Comments

Butts Are For More Than Just Shaking In Videos!

Spanking is NOT violence. Why should I even have to SAY that?! This is just a clever argument designed to cancel any potential disagreement. It is fallacious, though. Is ”violence” simply the act of one person physically inflicting pain on another? What about a car accident? Is that an act of violence? What about hernia surgery? Or a hernia EXAM for that matter! (Nawww, THAT’S some violence!)

A spanking is no more an act of violence than these occurrences.

And frankly, I don’t appreciate a shackin’, no-children-havin’, feminist, Universalist, New Age, talk show host tellin’ me how to raise my children in my Christian household!

Raise YOUR kids as you see fit. I will do the same. If YOU want kids who defy you, yell at you, disobey you, that’s fine. Mine won’t do those things. Not twice. I will not accept the label of ”abuser” because I choose to use a perfectly Godly method of discipline when necessary. Doing too little is as bad as doing too much. I suggest that one who is excessively liberal in dealing with his children is just as much an abuser as the parent who truly DOES beat his offspring. One who lets his kids run around doing what they please and talk back will unleash a complete terror on society. Those kids make teachers’ lives miserable, as well as shoppers, and co-workers later in life. They grow up to be awful friends, selfish paramours, and EX-husbands and wives. Check the divorce stats, if you think I’m lying! I propose that there are as many divorces, if not more, that had NO physical abuse but occurred because one or both parties had no willingness to tough out a rough situation selfishly choosing to ruin lives rather than live up to a commitment.See: Irreconcilable differences.

There are things that damage society just as much as child abuse– WHICH SPANKING IS NOT! Ask ENRON investors. Ask anyone who has suffered at the cloven hooves of a crooked politician.

Don’t try to trivialize a good point by saying that I think that the ills of the world will be solved with a belt. I am not ridiculous, so don’t you be. What I AM saying is that if you prune a shrub early, you stand a better chance of controlling and shaping its development.

Spanking is no more necessary in every situation as is the emergency brake in a car or a fire extinguisher– it is there for use in extreme cases. And different kids need different levels of discipline. My mother got only one spanking from her father, but some of her siblings got probably dozens. Oh, yeah, I just thought about it; the only sibling of hers to go bad was the one my grandmother wouldn’t let anybody touch! But THAT was just a coincidence, hunh experts?

When there was more discipline, there was less crime. There were fewer unwed mothers and fatherless children. Old people were respected, and children didn’t curse in front of grown-ups like they do now. The more lenient and ”progressive” we have become, the more incivil our world is. Whooh!! We really have evolved!

Gangs are RUN by kids. Kids with NO parental guidance. We are the first generation who are actually AFRAID of our children! Ask their innocent victims which is worse– a whipping or a bullet in the head.

”Nip it, nip it, nip it,” Barney Fife used to say. And I agree. My great-grandmother used to tell my father, ”Um gone git MY hands on you before the po-leece do, cuz they don’t care nudd’n ’bout cha! They’ll knock ya in na head an’ KILL ya!”  That is the truth. This world loves no one. It is hard and harsh, and will do whatever it can to take what you have. Including your life. A parent’s measured, Godly discipline is not harmful and will help a child avoid — or cope with– life’s potholes.

Christians have an ETERNAL perspective that allows us to see the tremendous difference between a whupping and death. We know that there are worse things in life than a child crying. We serve a God who tells us that whipping a child will not kill him. It is a temporary pain. God disciplines us in sometimes painful ways. We ALL will lose our lives. I am not angry with the Lord because I will die, or because my folks won’t live forever, and even if I did get angry, He is God enough to not let that make Him soft. He will hurt our feelings when and if necessary.

We, however, ARE soft. Rather than have our kids angry with us, we try to become their pals. A bunch of spineless yes-men! We try to reeezon with them. How can we reason with a person who doesn’t possess the judgment to drive a car or marry or drink alcohol or buy a gun or rent an apartment or share a toy or eat vegetables or stay out of mud puddles or come in when the street lights come on or not eat the Christmas lights!!! “STOP, MAX!!!”

I don’t necessarily have the time to explain the properties of alternating current and conductive metals to a doggone baby. I don’t necessarily have the time to explain how boiling water makes baby’s skin slide off. A sharp smack on the hand saves time, words, and LIFE!!!

We opened the gate wide and let them run around in traffic. So that WE could feel better about our compassionate selves. I say that a child getting hit by a metaphoric car out in that street is a DIRECT act of violence!

I’ll stop spanking my kids when Oprah starts spanking hers!

November 27, 2007 Posted by | Childhood, Christianity, Discipline, Family, Fatherhood, Liberals, Oprah, Oprah Winfrey, Parenthood, Parenting, Spanking | 18 Comments

Swimming Lessons.

My good-hearted 16-month-old son, Max, stands tottering on the shore of an ocean of sorrows. He has what appears to be the most friendly personality of any child in the world. He beams at the sight of other kids, never fights over toys, and when he smiles, he does so with his whole body! He loves to have fun, and possesses a wide-open heart. Life and this World are gonna KILL him!  Beat him to oatmeal! Waiting for him is a sea of sharks, jellyfish, and other predators seeking to drag him under and rip from him all the innocent, uncorrupted joy he now possesses.

Though I could bail him out and be a vessel by which he could navigate this ocean, I can only guide him while he swims alongside. It is with great sadness that I realize this. I have swum this way before, only barely making it without being consumed by rage, hatred, and selfishness. I didn’t know if I would make it, and I don’t know if Max will.

But God knows.

It is He who has given me the map by which I will lead my son. It is He who will instruct me as to what to say when the waves roll high and threaten to swallow him.

”Don’t let Life win, Son.

“Don’t let situations cause you to give up and become that which seeks to destroy you. Don’t be led by those unworthy. Make God your conscience. Know the right answers. USE them. 

“Every girl won’t like you. Some will hurt you. On purpose. Be nice anyway. Don’t let matters of the heart submerge you.

“Pain passes. Laugh when you need to. Cry when you have to. Keep swimming!

“Don’t let people be the riptide, the undertow that pulls you in an unGodly direction.

“Sit up front. Don’t back down. Don’t sell your friend out. You won’t have many.

“Life is hard. Often unfair. God is the prize. Know Him truly.

“Have your fun, but put in your work first. Stand flat-footed on your word.

“When you get tired, God will buoy you by the Spirit-shaped float inside you. 

“Keep this joy you have, only coat it with a veneer of strength with which to defend yourself. With this, you will be able to brush off the arrows hurled by those who will hate your love.” Daddy.

November 19, 2007 Posted by | Advice, Childhood, Christian Life, Faith, Family, Fatherhood, Fathers and Sons, God, Life, Life Lessons, Parenthood, Parenting, Parents, Words of Wisdom | 2 Comments

Parentnoia!

That’s what popped into my head when my wife said I was being excessively worrisome about having a daughter. Oh, yeah… We’re having a GIRL!!! Just found out.

I got the shotgun on layaway.

How am I going to raise a girl? I’m not even talking about combing hair and buying baby dolls! I’m talking about BOYS! I have to teach her what the boys really mean. When they try to “just be friends.” I’ve got to show her how to recognize “game” when they shoot it at her. She has to know how to conduct herself. She can’t be flighty, and I don’t want any stuck-up queens in my house! I have to tell her about what is love and what is simply lust. I have to let her know not to flirt and lead them on. I have to teach her self-respect and purity. I’ve got to keep her out of the videos!

I’ve got to show her what to look for in a man, and how to treat a husband. I’m looking waaaay down the line. She’s not even here yet, and I’m thinking that if she wants to be a nun, that’s cool, too! Are there any protestant nuns…?

I’m thinking about boys coming to my door like crocodiles on a riverbank in Africa, trying to devour my baby like a wildebeest. I’m thinking about hurtin’ ’em! Shoot, every time you look around, some fool has bumped off his wife, or killed his girlfriend, and I’m thinking, “If you touch mine, I’m gonna clock you out!” I know that’s not exactly Christian. But mine ain’t the one to be messed with! I promise you that! I think that, as far as my daughter is concerned, domestic violence warrants the death penalty!

So, in order for me to keep from sinning against God by prematurely sending somebody’s son His way, I’m worrying about how to keep my daughter from swinging around on stripper poles!

I work in nightclubs. I see it all! I do sorority parties, and I see Daddy’s little girl making a drunken slut of herself on a regular basis. Daddy has no idea. I would think to myself, “Man! I’m glad I got a boy!” And look at me now. How am I gonna stop THAT from happening to mine?

I know the answers to these questions. But the reality is that even well-raised kids often go astray, and nowadays, with all the wanton immorality out there, one dalliance can spell a lifetime of disaster! I know about the prodigal son, but I don’t know if prodigal daughters come back.

I don’t want my daughter desensitized to the stigma of premarital sex and single motherhood. I don’t want her to think it’s cool to shack up, that that’s how you know if you’re compatible. I don’t want her to think that marriage is just a piece of paper. I don’t want my daughter to have given little pieces of herself away to the point where by the time she does meet her husband, there will be nothing left but a hollow shell. I don’t want a Paris Hilton, or a Li’l Kim, or a video rumpshaker.

I know, I know. If I set the right example, she will not fall for the”okey doke.” She will not let herself be mistreated.

But still… There is a lot more to deal with with a girl. There IS a double standard, and like it or not, it’s not going to change. No matter how hard the feminists try.

So yeah, I may be a little parentnoid, but that will keep me on my toes! And if any of you young boys out there think my daughter is a grape for you to pick from the vine, remember this:

By the time you get to my door, that shotgun will be out of layaway and in my lap. I will usher you directly into the Lord’s presence! My girl ain’t gonna be the lead story on “Unsolved Mysteries”!

November 13, 2007 Posted by | Fatherhood, Life, Morality, Parenthood, Parenting, Pregnancy | 7 Comments

Pregnant Pause

My wife, Kathy, is not ditzy. She is not an airhead. She is not goofy. She would want me to let you know this.

She IS pregnant, however, (Diana Elise. Baking rightly at 98.6 degrees!) and it is to THAT that I will attribute her latest expectant escapade:

“Oh LAWD!” she exclaims inside her head, “I can’t find the carkeys!” She had just walked out of her office building, having just gotten off.

“What am I gonna do?” she thought frantically, mind racing. She searched her purse. Nothing. Her coat pockets. Nope.

“I’mma hafta go all the way back in the building and retrace all my steps! Oh, LAWD!”

She’s trying to focus, but she can’t because the radio is up too loud. As she throws her head back into the  headrest and looks up through the sunroof at the rapidly purpling sky, Kathy begins to howl, laughing…

She is IN the CAR! It is RUNNING! She has unlocked the car door, gotten inside, closed the door, put the keys into the ignition, started it, buckled up,         and forgotten all of that!

Now, I know we all have looked for a set of keys that were in our hands, but I don’t think ANYone has ever sat inside of a running automobile and fretted over lost carkeys!

The Lord takes care of babies and fools, the saying goes… He got two for one in this case!

Part of the reason I married her is because of how funny she is, but she is USUALLY funny on purpose. I’m worried about her now, though. “For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, for smarter or absent-mindeder?” I don’t know…

November 10, 2007 Posted by | Humor, Life, Marriage, Parenthood, Parenting, Pregnancy | 7 Comments

“This is Gonna Sting a Little…”

They Don’t Hate You.Coaches.Fathers.

Teachers.

Drill Instructors.

I used to think they hated me. They were so mean. Making me do stuff I couldn’t do. Didn’t want to do. Pushing me. Frowning. Yelling.

They never told me they were trying to make me better, stronger, smarter, tougher. They never said that the purpose was to make a man out of me. I didn’t know the true purpose until years later. I just thought at the time that they wanted to win at whatever the game was, and that I was simultaneously failing and causing them to fail. I thought they were trying to live through me, or to get a raise or promotion.

Had I known, I might have tried harder at more things and not given up a little inside. Maybe then, it wouldn’t have taken me so long to realize I wasn’t a loser that nobody liked. I wouldn’t have had to find out for myself.

This, however, is not about self-pity.

It is about my son. My children.

And perhaps yours.

“Max, the world is hard, and soft things get crushed. Those who can’t take it get taken.

This world sniffs out weakness and devours it, and you will be strong. Some people will try to take advantage of you. I will try to teach you to discern friends from abusers. But learning takes effort. Soft muscles become hard under pressure.

The first time you try to throw a ball, shoot a basketball, or ride a bike you will fail. No athletic endeavor is perfected without hours of dedicated practice.

You will have to wash dishes, wash cars, cut yards, mop floors, learn manners, eat things you don’t like, and not ask ‘why.’ You will at times think me mean, but I will not be swayed by that. It is not my first desire to be your friend, but your parent. You will be a citizen. You will improve this world, not burden it. We can be friends when YOU have kids and understand why I did what I did.

The first, even the tenth, math problem you encounter will be difficult to solve. Your first sentence will sound funny. Repetition is what will bring you understanding. You don’t get to give up. You will learn.

You will learn when to laugh, when to cry, when to fight, and when to listen. You will know when to comfort, how to be loyal, how to treat a woman, and how to pick a friend. You will know the Lord, and show the Lord. Above all else.

We will have a lot of fun in life, but I’m going to push you sometimes. There will be things that I will make you do that you will not want to do. You will fail a little now so as not to become a failure. Just understand that I do it- they do it- not out of hatred, but out of a desire, a responsibility, to make you more than you can become on your own. A knife needs a stone to become sharp. A sword needs fire to be shaped.

Daddy loves you.”

September 6, 2007 Posted by | Advice, Childhood, Discipline, Fathers and Sons, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Parenthood, Parenting, Parents, Personal Responsibility | 1 Comment

Words. They make a STATEMENT!

“Words are the most powerful human force in the universe.”I know that that is not a statement dripping in profundity, but sometimes the most powerful Truths are the most simple. A genius in a wheelchair can cripple a strongman with a well-turned insult.A word as simple as ”What,” can cut a parent, husband, or wife swiftly and cleanly through sinew and bone straight to the heart easily enough to make a scalpel seem like a wet sock.

Had I, as a child, uttered that word in response to a summons from either of my parents, I truly would not be here to write this blog. At best, I would not be a whole man. (Words are so strong that my critics will feel justified in completely ignoring the hyperbole implicit in that statement and accusing my parents of murder or, at least, assault and battery)

In that way, and NOT the magical, mystical misinterpreted sense of some popular preachers (Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen, Oral Roberts, Juanita Bynum), ”There is life and death in the power of the tongue!”

If my wife innocently calls my name while I’m watching a game and I reply with a sharp, ”What!?,” the bells I’ll hear ringing in my head won’t be from the sublime soundtrack of my life! I’m only joking, but I know that that is probably the reality of some of you readers. For you, the ringing will mean that it is next week and you can go ahead and get up off the floor.

Kids, in only four or five years of study– less time than it takes one to get through medical school or seminary training– can become expert enough at the use of words to scar their little playmates forever. They are cruel urchins unencumbered by the burdens of tactfulness and decorum. Who among you doesn’t still feel the slightest twinge of anguish at the memory of that cute girl telling you, from above her nose ,

“Uhhh! Naw, I don’t wanna GO wit chu!!!” Or of a kid in your neighborhood telling you,

”Those shoes outta style, an’ you wore that shirt yesterday. You can’t afford no new stuff, ‘cuz yo daddy ain’t got no job, an’ y’all on food stamps, an’ y’all lights always gittin’ cut off!”

And Lord help the one who had the nerve or dubious judgment to say, ”Thass ya MAMA!”

 At least, that’s the way it was for Black folk! SOMEbody was gonna catch a mouth full of folded up fingers!

In all of those cases, the proper choice of words would have wrought a different outcome. Words have gotten me into fights and arguments, and they have saved me from getting stabbed or fired.

A well-placed, unsolicited, ”I love you” can carry a person through a lifetime. It doesn’t cost a thing to tell someone ”Thank you.” Call a friend or relative out of the blue and say some nice things about them- genuinely- and watch the blessing that follows. Don’t use harsh words with your spouse, use EFFECTIVE words. There is a difference.

Stop your kids from ”talking crazy” to you, for they WILL carry that behavior with them elsewhere.

This country, America, has a history which is stained indelibly by the fact that some people chose -choose- to believe that they were- are- intrinsically superior to any others. See how I used words to dance deftly around the word, ”racism”? There are many words used in our language to slur, slander, demean and diminish those of other races. We all know them, and many of us use them. (The funny thing is that all who do still consider themselves “good people”) These words, uttered by the wrong person at the wrong time, will drag the needle across the record and stop the party!

I have been victimized in often subtle ways by the negative application of words of this fashion. It is a strange feeling to go through life knowing that a group of people with the most power often use that power to press into the mud the faces of those who look different. Words are usually the conveyance of that action.

While nowadays overt gestures are frowned upon, the words are still alive:

“He is so articulate.”

”He is a naturally gifted athlete.”

”We have already rented that property.”

”Blacks were the first here, in an evolutionary sense. 

And as the species developed, intelligence increased.”

“Yes, Mr. Williams, let me show you the radio in this new Cadillac!” I could, of course, go on and on…

Language. A beautiful, ingenious concept. The ability to do more than make indecipherable gestures and grunts to communicate with each other, and we choose to use it to attempt to crush the esteem and Godly image of those with whom we live. Simple words. A collection of letters and a group of sounds combined to either uplift or enrage. They can bring unexpressable joy, or unbearable despair.

The engine of politics and international diplomacy is the spoken word. Every single letter is parsed with achingly tedious detail. Words determine war or peace, amity or enmity. Tone and context are only of minor import when held up next to what was SPOKEN. They won’t care what you meant, only what you said.

Athletes, often unaware of the dangers inherent in public speaking, fall prey to unscrupulous reporters (the new ”lawyers”?) itching only to stoke the embers of controversy. They wind up with a twisted quote attached to them for life.

Said Charles Barkley; “I am NOT a role model.”

What I heard was, ”Parents, be your kids’ role models. Don’t let them admire some athlete or musician more than they do you! Teach them the value of hard work and education.”

What every sports reporter (Jay Marriotti, Skip Bayless, Jim Gray, etc.) heard Barkley say was, ”I will do WHATEVER I wanna do, and I don’t care about what no KIDS think about it!”

What l’m saying is; Think long and hard about what you say before you say it, and make sure that you can convey EXACTLY what you mean to. Don’t give anyone the power to twist your words into something else. Don’t say what you don’t mean to say.

Learn to use language, like currency, to your advantage. Learn to turn a phrase, or cleverly construct an argument.  To young , Black kids I would say, “There is no shame in being well-read.” I would love to get to the point where I don’t hide all my pin numbers and money in books when I leave the house, because the OLD adage no longer applies!”*

As I said to my wife once upon having used a word the meaning of which she did not know, “You gotta go where the WORDS are!” She laughed. I hope you did, too.

Words are free but valuable. They flow like rivers, fluidly, endlessly. Sometimes safe to use, sometimes not. But never to be wasted. They are to be saved and calculated. Prudently utilized. God will check our accounts when we meet Him. Shall we pour them all out carelessly in caustic showers upon the heads and hearts of those with whom we share this existence?

Words can be chosen like clothes from a closet, and the more of them you know, the more options you have at your command. The more of them you know, the more hues and shades you can use to color your conversation. The more wisely you choose them the more accurate impression you can make. Choose your words as though they were the shirt, jacket, and tie you wear at a job interview or on a date. Clothes don’t make the man, WORDS make the man.

* That adage being that Black folk won’t ever crack open a book.

July 19, 2007 Posted by | Charles Barkley, Creflo Dollar, Encouragement, Humor, Joel Osteen, Juanita Bynum, Language, Parenting, Political Correctness, Politics, Race, Racism, Respect, Semantics, Word of Faith, Words | Leave a comment

God: The Ultimate Indulgent Parent

Good parents try to give their kids (Yes! l said ”kids”) everything they need and most of what they want. It is common knowledge, however, that over-indulgent parents give their children all of what they want and little of what they actually need, like discipline and home-training (Yes! l said ”training”). Some young-uns get cars(!) as gifts while still in school, others get to talk back to their parents (WAY worse), and yet others can commit crimes and have their mothers defend their abhorrent behavior on the news.

 
What does that have to do with God? Is He over-indulgent? Of course not. God is the perfect Parent. He gives us what we need even when it is the LAST thing we want. But in the ultimate sense He indulges our want ( our will, if you will) even when He knows it is not what we need.

 
A lot of us have a serious problem with the concept of Hell. To the extent that we mis-characterize what it actually is, calling it torture (rather than torMENT– big difference), and accusing God of roasting us on a never-ending rotisserie (a lie). l believe l understand why people do this.

 
l remember an incident when l was a boy and was playing the brat. My mother had told me “no” to some request or other (Oh, my goodness! Call the ‘thorities! Thass aBUSE!), and l said something –not disrespectful — but stupid. I knew it then as now. She said, “Don’t make stupid remarks.” l immediately jumped on the victim wagon:

 
“You called me STUPID!”, trying to make her feel sorry and apologize. She didn’t take the bait.
“Boy, you KNOW l didn’t call you ‘stupid’!” (Yes, she called me “Boy”)

 
That was that. I never forgot it. And l never had the chance to, because l witnessed hundreds of incidences of the same tactic being used on teachers, boyfriends, wives, Bill O’Reilly, basketball players, and friends from that moment to this. We love to play the injured party, the awfully wronged individual, and those of us who accuse God of running a Cosmic abattoir are simply attempting to label Him as unfair. They are setting the table for that moment when, after having lived a life in willful ignorance of His precepts, offended by His commands, they enter into His presence with their homework left undone. (“Your hell hounds ATE my homework!”)

 
He has made it clear; Hell is a ”place” intended for those who foolishly tried to overthrow Him, not for we humans. Hell is a ”place” of torment, of symbolic fire, not literal (note: it is also called ”outer darkness” What fire is dark?) flames, kind of like eternal heartburn at the loss of so much. When seeing what is missed, there will be no shortage of SELF-torment! God doesn’t ENJOY this. What kind of God would? That is just more chaff.

 
He is, however, firm and just enough to stick to His guns and not be swayed from Perfectness by poor approval ratings. God won’t be sweet talked or suckered by childish tactics employed by folks who never showed a true desire for a relationship with Him. He stands at the door and knocks, all the while strong enough to kick it in. But since when is coerced love true? We are not SENT to Hell, God merely steps aside and lets us go our way. We have two things; free will, and the facts. God will neither violate our will nor hide the truth. He is the perfect Parent, and ultimately indulgent in this sense; Whether we want Heaven with Him, or Hell without Him, we will get OUR way.

July 3, 2007 Posted by | Christian Life, Christianity, God, Hell, Parenting, Religion | Leave a comment

Is The Arm Bone Connected to the Heart Bone?

In terms of the sliding scale of morality, there once was a line that was NOT to be crossed without consequence.

Fornication was wrong, homosexuality was wrong, talking back was wrong, “shackin’ up” was shameful, cursing on TV was a no-no. Spanking was okay.

Now, one by one, every “sin” is being purged from the book and made acceptable, and every former means of dealing with it has become some sort of crime.

People have to hold press conferences now to apologize for yelling at a kid. (Or for even calling a precious child a kid! “MY chile ain’t no baby GOAT!!”)

They now have to go to rehab for mind reprogramming at the slightest slip of the tongue, when we all know that you cannot twist an arm to change a heart.

Do we get rid of bleach because someone drank it and died?
But we now have to discard corporal punishment and verbal rebuke because some abused it. This is absurd. This mindset has us careening over the falls while we sing our own praises!

We get gentler while the world gets harsher.
We treat kids like menageries, and they grow hearts of stone.
Where we should use hammers, we instead use feather-dusters!

It’s as though we adults are all moistening our shorts hoping Billy Mumy doesn’t see our true thoughts and wish us into the corn field!

When some girlfriend gets pregnant, we are now forced to throw baby showers. When the Jolie-Pitt’s are expecting, we must all sing in unison how great and wonderful it is rather than lament the fact that in four or five years, they will be splitting millions of dollars and a child’s heart in half!

When someone “comes out,” rather than discuss the glaring physical incompatibilities, and give a truly biblical opinion, we must all march lock-step into the SAME closet just emptied!

And when two people enter into an agreement to steal second with one foot on first in the form of co-habitation, we appear as a family quietly eating Thanksgiving dinner with a big, muddy, honking hog sitting at the head! As my folks used to say, “And you BETT’ not say nuthin’!”

So are we to, in the interest of appeasing every group of people, keep redrawing the line in order to not damage someone’s tender sensibilities by–just once– saying ‘no’?! The world now looks like a giant, pinstriped cantaloupe!

June 28, 2007 Posted by | Christianity, Immorality, Marriage, Morality, Parenting, Political Correctness, Shackin'!, Sin, Spanking | 3 Comments

FOR THE RECORD

Let me say this For The Record: I completely disagree with mistreatment of anyone based on a belief or way of living. If my opinion differs with yours on a subject, don’t falsely label me as a basher, or a hater, or a ‘phobe. My beliefs prohibit me from any prejudice or hatred or such. My beliefs, however, absolutely REQUIRE me to not fall in line with behaviors antithetical to those beliefs, and if something you read here offends you, understand that my words do not stem from hatred and are not designed to communicate such. I am allowed to agree or disagree with whatever I choose to, and to express said opinion. At times, maybe at all times, it will appear as though I am pointing my finger and lecturing. The way I feel is that one can only be a passive passenger for so long, and this vehicle is to the left of the double yellow line and headed for a semi. Urgency requires that I speak up. If someone told me the things I will tell you (and someone has), I would listen. So, please listen. That being said, those inclined to contort the context of these opinions for whatever reason are requested to REFER TO THIS ENTRY before doing so.
I Believe;

The Bible is inerrant AND infallible. Read those words CLOSELY! I did NOT say there are not bad translations.

Homosexuality is STILL a sin, but not the unforgivable sin. I neither hate nor fear you. But l won’t lie to you.

Sex outside of marriage is wrong.

Spanking (whuppin’) kids is not, in itself, abuse. Neither is saying ‘no’.

“Timeout” is a joke.

Abortion is the killing of a baby, and not about the woman, but the baby. It is a human rights issue, not a woman’s rights issue.

I didn’t evolve from a single-celled organism.

God made me Black, so I love it, just as much as the Dutch or the Italians love their heritage and culture. No sin in that.

Our ice is just as cold as White folks’ ice.

Even though there are Whites in this country who want nothing more than our destruction, we Black folk are often our worst enemy. No one gets a free pass.

Christianity is the Christians FIRST loyalty, therefore mine.

Racism and racial prejudice are wrong, and still exist.

I think our history is largely responsible for the plight of the Black poor, BUT we have no right to marinate in that reality and be socially irresponsible on so many distressing levels.

The ”Christian Right” don’t do much, if anything, to heal racial wounds.
Neither do ”Black Leaders.”

Homosexuality and Blackness are not equal. Race is not a way of behaving. It can AT LEAST be argued that homosexuality is a way of thinking, feeling, or acting. The act is a sin. And I don’t hate you in saying this, so don’t shout at me.

Democrats AND Republicans make me equally sick. Really.

Just as all photography isn’t pornography, all hip-hop isn’t trash. But probably most of it is now. Rap, in and of itself, is no more insidious than singing. What is being done with it? Does a thing get to be art just because someone calls it art? Is my son’s dirty diaper art when I frame it? The beats are funky, though. So don’t kill me…
Messengers should not be shot. Or stabbed, or kicked, or shunned. Those who would do so will be exposed as simply trying to suppress dissenting opinion through intimidation. I love you all. MaxDaddy

June 27, 2007 Posted by | Abortion, Art, Christianity, evolution, FOR OPENERS, Hip-Hop, Homosexuality, Immorality, Marriage, Morality, Music, Parenting, Politics, Race, Racism, Religion, Respect, Sexuality, Spanking, The Bible | 1 Comment