cairo-tunnel.jpgDr. Del Tackett was in Egypt recently. Considering Truth in Cairo — remarkable!

Practicing Silence, I

As a parent of six children, I experience quite a bit of conversation in my home. The talking, yelling, arguing, and (this is the good part) laughter seem unending. There are times when I wonder what quiet is really like, or if I will ever experience silence in the house before 11:30 p.m. There is simply little time of quiet in the home, but that is to be expected with a larger family.

I am grateful for our children and their desire to share about their lives with me. When I walk in through the front door, I’m glad they want to fill me on their day, on the news of the home, of whatever they are feeling. That is a rewarding exchange, and in listening I learn a lot about my kids. I also show them love when I truly listen.

Professionally, I am in the business of communication. I often joke that I get paid to talk for a living – and there is some truth to that! It is a wonderful thing, and I enjoy what I do. There is a danger in this line of work, though, and that is in talking too much.

At times I feel compelled to fill every empty moment in a conversation with talk, because, after all, I fancy myself a good talker! The problem is that too much of a good thing is bad. And in speaking too freely or frequently, I am in danger of making my own thoughts and ideas somehow become less meaningful.

Personally, I struggle at times with being fast and loose with my words. I tend to speak first and then think about what to say. This happens at work and in discussions with friends. Most frequently, though, I do this at home. I’ve got to change that habit!

This concept of using words well – and speaking less – is something I want my children to learn. Too often I fail at modeling this more “thoughtful” approach to conversation for them. More often than I care to admit here, I find myself apologizing to them – and to my dear wife – for saying things I shouldn’t have, or for using an improper tone as I speak, or for not listening better.

Parenting is hard, and this is probably one of the more difficult aspects of raising kids that I’ve dealt with. May the Lord help me “hold my tongue” with my family this week. More on this in a day or two.

Second Best So Far: Fireproof

The film, Fireproof, debuted Friday and it earned enough to rank fourth for the weekend. For movies opening on fewer-than-usual screens, it is the second-best grossing film of the year — and you might be surprised by what it follows: a Miley Cyrus concert film.

Kudos to the folks who produced Fireproof! More to listen and see here.

Friday Five: Taking The Financial Hit

While the U. S. banking bailout is not affecting our family directly, we have noticed resources don’t go as far as they used to. While there’s nothing startling new here, I offer a list of five ways we’re adjusting to the high prices and financial uncertainty of the times:

  1. Clothesline: Hang wet clothes instead of using the dryer. My kids don’t like this one – too much work. Oh well.
  2. Reduce unnecessary food expenses: Our grocery bill was already high, and rose dramatically over the summer. We’re cutting everything from parmasean cheese to desserts. Draconian!
  3. Drive a smaller car: With five kids still at home, we need larger vehicles to get the crew around from Point A to Point B. However, a few months ago we bought a little – little! – car which gives very god mileage on those occasions we don’t have everyone piled into a Suburban. Suburbans aren’t known for their fuel efficiency…
  4. Carpooling: We cooperate with friends and neighbors whenever possible for school and church-related activities.  Sometimes that means we drive the Suburban, though. Puteight or nine people in there and you’ll get pretty good miles-per-passenger!
  5. Eliminating the annual Christmas letter. We’ve got a lot of folks on our mailing list, and can certainly take a break from that annual expensive mailing. Oh, wait – we haven’t sent a Christmas letter in three years. Never mind!

And you? Tell us your money-saving tips.

Coming To Your Church?

This story is gaining national attention, and I think it’ll cause quite a stir among some. Pretty bold!

Kirk Cameron: When Hope Seemed Lost

kirkcameron.jpgAt the pinnacle of his television success, Kirk Cameron went through a time of soul-searching. In this exclusive audio clip he tells of a change that brought him hope. Maybe you know someone who should hear this?

Webcast With Dr. Leman: Thanks For Watching!

Last Friday Dr. Kevin Leman and I hosted a webcast about parenting a first-born child. We had a great time interacting with you, and appreciated the questions and comments that so many of our friends submitted.

Look for more webcasts in the future. Meantime, you’ll find superb advice – and a caring community – for Moms and Dads at our online parenting forum.

A Child’s Prayer Gives Perspective

From a journal entry a while back, something other dads might relate to in some way…


It is now nearly 10 p.m. The day has been full, and the evening activities have been non-stop. Musings on a busy day…

I was tired from the wildness of my day at the office. So, as I retired to my castle, ready for some respite and quiet, I probably had some unreasonable expectations. It is foolish to expect any semblance of quiet when I come home to this beloved bunch. Can they possibly be any more expressive and dramatic – and loud?

Sensing chaos and desiring order,  I pull on the gloves and start to be the heavyweight champion of the dad-world. My wife is tired, and so am I, but I am up to the challenge! I will bring these kids into compliance, I will help them behave like little adults. I will prove the victor in getting some control of our – my – house and our – my – children.

Oh foolishness, indeed! I do not succeed in helping the kids calm down.  No, I instead lose control and become an Ogre (hear me roar), I’m Mr. Bad-Guy. I morph into Mr. “Don’t Break The Rules Or Else” man. And in the process I yell, I lose it, I say stupid things. Drat!

So now my wife is in bed, the children are drifting off and here am I thinking about what went wrong. The kids and I did “make up,” for which I am glad. That happened as we prayed. Those times together of petitioning God often serve as reminders that I love them, and that God is in control – even when Daddy isn’t.

Prayer is how I will survive and succeed as a parent. And one of my daughters had treasure of a prayer tonight. She was priceless in asking God to touch some sick relatives, to bring glory to Himself in the midst of the recent tragedies of the world, to help us know Him better. Beautiful prayer.  A reminder, perhaps, that we are making some progress, even when external behaviors don’t necessarily look encouraging?

As I think through the eve, I believe I can do better. I must bring my expectations and my words and attitudes into line with what God has for me. I can set a better tone. Not on my own., however!

Lord help me?  And thanks, God, for that child’s wonderful prayer tonight. Hear her heart cries for others, I pray. Amen.

Fireproof In Theaters Friday

Dr. Dobson and I really enjoyed our conversation with the producers of the new film, “Fireproof.” They had some fantastic stories about the production of this new movie, which is about a broken marriage that was restored. They also shared a wonderfully “God-sized” vision for the impact they desire to see from this motion picture!

fireproof.jpgSee the film trailer, find out what our Plugged In Movie Review folks think of it, and find resources here.

Here’s one comment we received about how this broadcast touched a life (as relayed to us by our phone department folks):

He’s never really had anything to do with God, but his wife called him yesterday and asked him to listen to our broadcast. As a result, he is not only looking at God in a different way but also determined to make his marriage work at all costs. He said that was the biggest stumbling block in his life and now he has hope.

May God bring a message of hope like this one to millions through the film! We trust you’ll see it in theaters this weekend. After you do, come back here and tell me what you thought!

When You’ve Found Life

Dr. Dobson has often made it clear that Focus on the Family isn’t just about good family advice.  In fact, our main purpose is to introduce people to the God who made families and who wants you to know Him.

If our broadcasts have been instrumental in introducing you to Jesus Christ, we’d love to know about it! Tell us your story by posting a comment below.

And, if you have spiritual questions, here’s an article to explain more about finding life.

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