“Daddy NO! DADDY NO !!!! “

“Daddy No! Daddy No!” is the new favorite phrase of our 3 yr old daughter Hannah. “Hacropped-dsc_001151.jpgnnah it’s time to get up” Daddy No!” HAnnah you need to sit up at the table it’s breakfast time” “Daddy No!'” Hannah you need to put the cell phone away we don’t have cell phones at the table” you guessed it “Daddy No!” in succession comes another phrase she is just learning  from Jerome “Daddy wait”.

When I was growing up you didn’t say No to your parents, you don’t tell them to wait, and you didn’t talk back, get sarcastic, raise your voice, or do or say anything that was disrespectful. I was not in the generation where they took us out to the woodshed to use a switch on us, but certainly we got spankings. Wooden spoons, spatulas, hands, were the common tools used and we learned really fast. If it was something that was serious it was the leather belt to our buttocks.

As a Dad, I try, really try to keep the kids under control, respectful and God-fearing and yes, I spank my kids when they need it. I was better off for for it, It didn’t kill me, but it taught me that there are consequences to our actions, and our words, just as there are in life. Sure it is hard to spank your child and yes one needs to get emotions in check and not do it in anger. But my intentions are good, in that I desire that my children are not only good, kind and respectful, but are obedient, and that they fear and obey God.

As is often the case with things that I observe with my children, I often see an application for me. I find it is so easy to say God No. Daddy No, Daddy wait. I am doing this at the moment, I cant pay attention to you right now, I am too busy to do my devotions now, Daddy I can’t go out and spend time with someone, minister to them and meet their needs, Im too busy now, and the one that really gets me No Daddy, Im too busy with ministry now I don’t have time to spend talking and building bonds and doing things with my family. IM DOING MINISTRY! Of course the funny thing about that is our families are our ministries first and foremost. Without our families, We can not show other families what a strong family is. Without a strong marriage, we cant help others who are hurting or struggling with their marriage. God intends to use us, but he uses us as a family, not just as an individual. As fathers we have an obligation to see what it is that the Heavenly Father is trying to do and follow his lead. When we say “Daddy No!” we are saying that we hold our opinions higher than his, and lovingly the father says ” No I am your Father and know what’s best for you. I will discipline you so that you learn to follow and obey me and become more like myself. Something to think about and consider. pb

 

 

 

TO BE THE VERY BEST

My son Jerome, he loves swimming. We’re not just talking playing in a pool but competitiimagesve swimming for his school. He is good at it and he is dreaming big.  He wants to earn a lot of medals winning at swim meets and he could do it too as he has the determination the skills and the drive to do it. I don’t want to discourage him; i want him to set his goals high and keep striving to get better and better all the time. It reminds me of how the Bible describes our spiritual race and the mindset we are to have for it in this life.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb 12:1-2. Now that’s something to strive for.

Copy Cat Gamer

Ever since Hannah was a baby she had an affinity for cell phones. She learned really early that she could swipe with her fingers left and right and that could make new pictures, Then, She learned whatDSC00172 button to push to get into the photos.  Next, she learned how to get into the music and go from song to song. Now she is into games, on Kids Utube, and so many other things. Oh, did I mention she can go into Messenger or into Skype, choose who she wants to message or do video call to and call or send jibberish messages (she can’t write yet)  send emoticons (she loves that) or do other things with/to the person she is calling, and do it all by herself? She is now 3 and can get around on a cell phone or tablet just as well as I can.

I say all this not to brag but to give a little preface to the story I am about to tell. As of late, she has really been into this virtual reality game “Moy” ( I recommend it as it is quite innocent) where you take care of this baby/child-like creature, making sure it get’s fed, plays, gets cleaned up and so many other things. There are approx 30 or more games attached to this all of which test one’s hand-eye skills among other things. I find it quite addicting although the music has a lot to be desired as it is just plain annoying. Anyhow, I downloaded the latest version on my phone and was playing it. I was playing the various skill games (My hand-eye coordination ain’t that great) only to find seconds later Hannah right beside me with the other phone, playing Moy and on the exact same game as I was. I would switch and immediately she would copy me and go to that game.  This repeated game, by game, over a period of about 45 minutes. There was no hesitation, no delay, she was right there switching games to that which I just switched to.

in Philippians 4:9 it says the following:

Php 4:9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—put these things into practice, and the God of shalom will be with you.

Here is the context:

Php 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any virtue and if there is anything worthy of praise—dwell on these things.
Php 4:9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—put these things into practice, and the God of shalom will be with you.

Wow, I have heard these verses many times, but it gave a new emphasis as a father of two children. Not only for myself, do I need to be really careful of the things that I out into my head and dwell on, but also for the sake of my kids, who are watching and copying me constantly.

Mat 18:6 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who trust in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck and to be sunk in the depth of the sea!

It is a very solemn warning but something we all need to think about.

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 A Millstone around  the neck 

 

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A Millstone

 

 

Clothes Lines and Common Sense

1950s-photo-clotheslines-LA-TimesI was walking along the side of the house while sweeping all the leaves in the front yard with my son Jerome, when my neck found one of the very low hanging clothes lines my wife uses to hang clothes.  This is not a pleasant feeling. No not in the least. It might be a thin clothes line but it felt as though a huge tree trunk was being smashed into my neck while being choked at the same time. Just the wake-up one needs at 830 in the morning.

So I do what most any man would do;: I yell out in pain and frustration ” I really don’t know why Bing you have to have the clothes lines so low!” (of course, I really do. She is only a hair over 5 foot, and couldn’t reach the line otherwise. I love her to death but am always being garroted by them clothes lines.  they just do not like us taller Canadians.

What I wasn’t aware of was that both my kids were watching. Jerome was in the yard by the not so roaring fire of burning mango, and avocado tree leaves. Hannah was by the front door steps playing with a mountain of toys. Without hesitation, in her comical fashion, she with full animated arms and voice, gets my attention and shows me this throw pillow, with some figure on the front of it. She is saying No daddy no and making huge chopping motions into the neck of the figure on the pillow and she is repeating this over and over. As if that wasn’t enough to make me understand, (You know because us Daddy’s can be a little dense sometimes) she is then putting the pillow up to her neck and making the same chopping motions again at her neck showing that the pillow will protect me from getting hurt. Oh, the common sense of kids.

It reminds me of how we have God’s Word loaded; packed full of instructions and wisdom about how to avoid the pitfalls of life and make good and wise, godly decisions on how we should live, talk and be. Of course, If we don’t use it then we are walking into a clothesline without a pillow and we will get hurt. Just something to think about.

WHO IS TELLING WHO WHAT TO DO

WIN_20170422_03_28_12_ProMy Daughter Hannah is three years old and Bing and I love her to death. She is such a character. She is cute and she knows it. She has over the last year, been told by so many people, that she is pretty and cute and they make comments and get her to pose for pictures as though she were a model. We then are having to take some countermeasure to remind them and her that beauty is all fine and good,  but it doesn’t last and we are trying to instill values in her like godly Christian character that are so much more important than inward beauty.

I have to admit however she is talented. She is so animated with her voice, her hand gestures and body language that we cannot help but laugh (though most of the time we try and do it without her seeing we are laughing at her.) She is just a riot. SWhat I haven’t mentioned, however, is that even at 3 her language has really not developed as it should for a 3-year-old. She does these long animated stories, or is complaining to us about Jerome, or is trying to get us to understand something she says with long animated and often hilarious speeches.   She will also go into these animated long stories that she tries to relate to us;  though most of it is just babble

Well, today was no exception.  We had a bad thunderstorm with heavier rains, thunder, lightning, and as is normal here the streets and the yards flood for a bit and leave pools of water. Because we often lose both power and water often with thunderstorms, I put out some buckets to catch rain water. Well after the storm she and I were out on the front step and she started aggressively trying to convey to me what I could only assume has something to do with emptying the buckets or cleaning up the yard. I told her not to worry about it and to let mommy worry about it. I had told her that she is not to tell daddy what to do, and reiterated again that she didn’t have to worry about it, that we would take care of it. She just continued to go on with this comedic animated (but not angry) rant. If it wasn’t so hilariously funny I would have been perhaps a little more upset with her. I at one point, however, had to walk away from her because I was starting to laugh so hard. It wasn’t jus a snicker or a mild laugh but an all-out gut wrenching laugh and I didn’t want her to see me laughing at her.

It was a little while later while I was resting in the early evening, that It occurred to me.  Aren’t we sometimes like that ourselves with God? We Get all worked up and animated trying to tell God our problems or what we want. God is saying to us ” Hey I’ve got it covered, everything is worked out just let me handle it” and yet we go on and on with our rant despite God reassuring us again that he has everything under control, and that we only need to trust him and let Him deal with the problems or needs. Other times we babble on and on talking incessantly without even listening to the reply that God has for us. Sometimes we need to stop all the drama and put it before the Lord God and then leave it for him. Really, there are only two options: 1. We can take it back, animate it, get all emotional, and make the problem so much bigger than it really is, or 2.we leave it at his feet and give all the worry and stress to Him. It’s amazing some of the lessons that children can teach us even if much of it is in “Babbel” and outrageous comedic antics. Blessings

kids they grow up so fast

It seemed like only yesterday when Bing and I went to the hospital and Bing had Hannah Pauline Belcher. It was very special to both of us because it appeared that we were unable to have chreceived_1144753675613205ildren.We had been trying to have a child for over a year and had not been successful. So When She at a Bible study just prior to giving her devotional announced to everyone that she was pregnant and then presented to me a pregnancy test strip that was really big news. Hannah was our miracle baby. Hannah is my first child (Jerome is a stepson but I love him as my own) and will likely short of another miracle be our last. But God has blessed us, and we are both grateful for the kids even if my level of patience is not necessarily and always were it ought to be. I can’t speak for Bing but I find that for myself I learn lots of life lessons through my children and through that am developing character. Hannah has so many characteristics and features from me it is entertaining to watch. I am constantly seeing things in her that are so much like me including her tendencies in things to be a perfectionist like me. Jerome is coming more and more out of his shell and developing his character. As he is discovering the things he enjoys doing and is good at, we find ourselves constantly giving direction and guidance so as to keep him from pitfalls and avoid things that and people that will pull him away in his relationship with the Lord. It is a fine line that has to be walked I find.  All in all, It is a blessing to see them all growing up so fast but also a responsibility that I’m finding that we have to take seriously so that they grow up, follow and serve the Lord all the days of their lives.  All prayers are appreciated and certainly, anyone that is experienced we trust that you will share with us here your experiences and ho you dealt with everything that goes part and parcel with parenting.

TOYS

TOYS, TOYS AND MORE TOYS. Toys are constantly being left on the floor despite mt repeated caTOYS1lls for her to pick up her toys. There is, in fact, nothing worse than walking on the floor to go to the CR (what we call the bathroom in Canada, and you step on a sharp toy. that urge comes upon you to scream out and say something one would regret saying but yelling out in extreme pain will have to suffice. ” I  know she is only 3 years old but could she not learn to put her toys away when she’s done with them.” I think to myself. I brew in my thoughts thinking about all the reasons and arguments why she should be cleaning up after herself at her age.  Then as if I had some mind blowing awakening I look to see all my computer, cell phone and other gadgets besides and on couches  tables and the like only to realize that I’m like the man in Matthew that Jesus was talking about in that I had a beam in my eye while trying to get splinter out of my daughter’s eye. In humbleness, I realized that I wasn’t being, and still am on occasion, not a real good role model. And though my wife has not ever said anything to me It likely isn’t pleasing her much either. As a father and husband, I am learning that I really have to watch what I say, because they pick up on not JUST what I say but what I do. It’s a full-time job with life-long consequences. share with me your experiences and how you dealt with this if you are a parent.

Daddy Daddy Daddy

It is amazing what we learn from our children, and how the Lord can use the simplicity of Children to speak to our hearts.  I was in the Philippines where when I’m taking time off work I live, alongside my Filipina wife Bing and two kids Jerome and Hannah-Pauline.

I was out watching and taking pictures of all the Catholic Easter Festivities here in our Barangay (village/suburb) and when done I returned home my daughter Hannah comes running out of the house ” Daddy, Daddy, Daddy” and comes open arms, quickly giving me a hug and just holding me. Despite it only being a short time away from her, she missed her father and was excited to see me again.

I got to thinking about this and about how our relationship with Christ should be just like this.  Everyday in prayer we ought to be going to him a like a childlike faith and attitude and  Someday, we will be going to be with our Lord.  I hope to be running into my father God’s arms saying”Daddy, Daddy Daddy” and giving Him a big hug and just holding Him tight as we are finally home, and we missed our daddy

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