vision casting that makes you want to paint your face blue

vision casting is essential for any leader of any movement.

vision casters have this crazy burning passion for the world to be different and they actually have a clear picture of how the world could be and should be... and they paint this picture for others to see & invite them to be a part of.

every time i watch Braveheart i am blown away by the vision casting skill of William Wallace. there are tons of examples throughout the movie, but here's a brief one:

every single time i hear his vision casting speeches like this one it makes me wanna stand up, pump my fist, & sign up to go fight in the Scottish army.

and i'm not even Scottish.

but i'm like "Give me a sword and some blue face paint and let's go!"

that's what a powerful vision caster can do. they can spark something in the hearts of people. they can paint a picture of a preferred reality that's so clear it compels people to rise up for the cause.

i want to be a vision caster half as good as William Wallace.

Dissecting the Liberal Talking Points: If Obamacare is Overrulled, it WILL NOT Help Obama

Now that Obamacare's Supreme Court oral arguments are concluded, liberal journalists are already telegraphed their next talking point. Their newest claim? If Obamacare is overturned, it will help Obama's reelection campaign.

Before I start telling you WHY this claim is false, I'd like to point out that the Left is already setting up for precisely what I predicted yesterday: Obamacare will be declared Unconstitutional. They're expecting it, which is why they're now trying to preemptively spin the story. The person I saw make it most recently was liberal Fox News contributor Juan Williams.

Williams is the quintisential Neighborhood Liberal, friends. He tries to talk like an Activist Liberal, but he's basically regurgitating what genuine Activist Liberals like Bob Beckel are saying.  And today he's saying that Obamacare's overturn is good for Obama.

Williams is claiming that essentially if Obamacare is gone, the GOP has to go from simply being opposed to Obamacare and actually have to bring up solutions. It's a common talking point. It's also, like most liberal talking points, centered on a highly eroneous premise.

Conservatives and Republicans DO have solutions to the Health Care problems we see in our country.  Here's the thing, friends: They aren't centered on government. Unfortunately, that means ignoring the liberal solution to every problem (do one or more of the following: Pass a law, form a committee, spend more money, problem solved).

The GOP solution is far more centered on removing government barriers and free market solutions. Such things has true health savings accounts, making it possible for individuals to buy insurance across state lines, and allowing smaller groups and individuals to bond together into a large group to buy insurance at a larger group rate. In other words, remove the government barriers and let people solve their own problems.

Of course, it doesn't involve big press conferences and monumental laws being passed, because common sense is rarely trumpeted by the Drive-By Media like passing a law or spending more money.  But it does involve actually solving the problem.

Now as to this being good for Obama: To use an old-man word, hogwash. It requires a complete absence of logic to claim that a President seeing his signature legislation declared Unconstitutional is good for that President. Do you think Lincoln was dying to see the Emancipation Proclamation declared unconstitutional?  Do you think Jefferson was dying to have the Louisiana Purchase struck down?  If Reagan's 1981 Tax Cuts were struck down, how do you think that'd have looked?  FDR was so afraid his New Deal would be struck down, so much so he had to stack the court and create new justices just to avoid it.

No, friends, Obamacare being declared unconstitutional isn't bad for Obama. It's just another spin job of falsehood from the Left.  Don't buy it.

Obamacare in Trouble at the Supreme Court

As all people who don't live under rocks, the President's signature Obamacare legislation is before the Supreme Court this week. The Drive-By Media has spent the preceeding weeks trying to essentially convince justices like Scalia and Roberts to go against their personal judgement and history and consider this law Constitutional. So far, oral arguments and the questions posed by the justices are not backing this theory.  Thank you, God.

All people living in the Real World are pretty much penciling Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts under the Unconstitutional side and similarly penciling Ginsberg, Kegan, Breyer and Sotomeyer under the Constitutional side. Anthony Kennedy is presumed the swing vote, but his questions thus far do not back that claim.  The Drive-Bys have told you otherwise, but their track record of being right is pretty sad.

Yesterday, CNN claimed that the court seemed to be willing to let the law stand. This shows the level of dellusion of the Drive-By Media in a nutshell. Read the article, friends, you'll find they quote Ginsberg, Kegan, and also throw-away lines from Alito and Kennedy.  They're deliberately obfuscating, friends, to try to make their case seem plausible.

But when you read quotes from Justice Kennedy, it becoems clear that he's incredibly skeptical about the authority of the government to create commerce. When you read the transcript from the Oral Arguments, you see Kennedy asking questions like:

"Can you create commerce in order to regulate it?"

 And here:
"The reason this is concerning is because it requires the individual to do an affirmative act. In the law of torts, our tradition, our law has been that you don't have the duty to rescue someone if that person is in danger. The blind man is walking in front of a car and you do not have a duty to stop him, absent some relation between you. And there is some severe moral criticisms of that rule, but that's generally the rule.

"And here the government is saying that the Federal Government has a duty to tell the individual citizen that it must act, and that is different from what we have in previous cases, and that changes the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in a very fundamental way."

The most telling statement from Chief Justice Roberts is this:

"Can the government require you to buy a cell phone because that would facilitate responding when you need emergency services? You can just dial 911 no matter where you are?

The reason this is concerning is because it requires the individual to do an affirmative act. In the law of torts, our tradition, our law has been that you don't have the duty to rescue someone if that person is in danger. The 

And here the government is saying that the Federal Government has a duty to tell the individual citizen that it must act, and that is different from what we have in previous cases, and that changes the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in a very fundamental way.

"It seems to me that's the same as in my hypothetical. You don't know when you're going to need police assistance. You can't predict the extent to emergency response that you'll need, but when you do -- and the government provides it. I thought that was an important part of your argument, that when you need health care, the government will make sure you get it.

Irregardless of what the Drive-By Media is telling you and dreaming of conservative justices floating over to support Obamacare while wearing their Happy Imagination Hats, the evidence is against them. I have about as much fear of Chief Justice Roberts supporting this bill as I have expectations of the Mets winning the World Series this year. (So basically none.)

As far as Justice Kennedy, it seems like he's falling on the side of freedom and the Constitution in this case. The left can dream, of course, but the truth is his questions do not sound like someone who believes it's okay to force people to purchase any product.

Friends, the more I read these transcripts the more confident I am that, at the very least, the Individual Mandate will be going bye-bye; and likely the entire law on the grounds that government may not force people to purchase anything and the rest on the backs of defense of the 10th Amendment and of the rights of the individual states.  And by the way, the law barely matters minus the mandate and the forced expansion of Medicare.  I still have a problem with legally requiring insurance companies to insure 27 year old adults, but it's small potatoes in the scheme of things.

I'll make it an official prediction. Obamacare struck down, 5-4. We'll find out this summer if I'm correct.

"God, Whoever You are..."

maybe when we talk to God we should start by addressing Him -
"God, Whoever You actually are..." & then continue...

just as a "footnote" to denote we really don't know who God is... we're just fumbling for different representations in our minds of Who He is.
the name "God" is of course inadequate for Who He actually is. it's just the best we have (for now).

This was actually C.S. Lewis' footnote to all prayers:
"He whom I bow to ONLY knows to whom I bow"
[wow. He is the ONLY one who knows WHO He is... none of us truly do. how could we?]

so since we don't know exactly who "He" is, we...
"embrace in heart Symbols (I know) which cannot be the thing Thou art."
– C.S. Lewis, “Footnote to All Prayers” (a very short poem you can read HERE.)

yes, pray in confidence and talk to God as if He is sitting next to you on the couch. because He is. & that's how i talk to Him.
as long as we realize this is an appropriate footnote (to keep in the back of our minds) to every prayer.

i can remember in 1 of my 1st theology classes in seminary, my prof said something like this the very 1st day... "remember - theology is just our best attempt to say something about God. it's not really who God is... it's just our educated guess."

i loved David Crowder's analogy for his album a while back A Collision. Sixsteps sent me some promo stuff back then and part of it was an explanation of the discography that you see pictured to the left. Crowder talked about that diagram of the atom. it's just a diagram. that's not REALLY what an atom looks like. it's just our best idea. our best representation.
& that's exactly what our worship is doing. it's our best effort to lift up who God is. Who we think He is at least. 

theology is our best representation too. even the name "God".

it's the best we can do.

so, when we pray we use familiar symbols (like Lewis and Crowder mentioned) - like Father, God, King, Lord, and so on. 
but we must be careful with this because, we may falsely assume that our idea of God is identical to God. 
that the real God ‘out there’ is no bigger and no different from the idea we have ‘in here’ in our heads.

so, our symbols & familiar language carry with them our own distortions—concepts of God that are partial at best, misleading at worst.

we have to remember that our best symbolic representations [just like the atom] are in the end merely "frail images" of God, images that "cannot be the thing" that God is.

[but we still desperately need these images. and we need LOTS of different ones. but more on that another time.]

(thanks to Brian McLaren for giving me better articulation for this idea i've felt in my heart for a long time.)

“Whatever the reality actually is to which the word or name ‘God’ points, we know that God’s reality must always be far higher and greater and other than our concepts and images of God—even our best concepts and images.” 
- Brian McLaren

yes. YES. YES! that sums it up perfectly.

and that makes us feel really good.

because it puts us in our place.

it makes us feel so small as we realize our best efforts to understand who God is are simply cracking the tip of the iceberg.

and that realization will do wonders in your soul.

it has in mine.

cut my hair off (repost)

(This was originally posted to renown February 25, 2010 - just a little over 2 years ago. i stumbled onto this post and was remembering that day. i wonder if it's almost time to grow it long again? get my power back?)
There's a story in the Bible about a guy named Samson who has awesome power from God... as long as he doesn't cut his hair! When his hair was cut off he lost his strength.

I hope I'm not like Samson because I didn't have any power or strength to begin with! And now I got my hair cut short!
I think it's been a couple years since it was short.

Here's what I looked like when Amy started cutting:

& here we are after most of it was cut off!

I don't have a pic handy of the final product, but I think my wife does. I'm sure you'll see me soon enough.

I definitely look pretty different. Almost weird. it will just take some time to get used to. Right now I look like a little kid.

& while we're making changes, I took the piercing out of my eyebrow + I'm thinking about shaving off my chin!
(But whenever I take stuff away like that you know there has to be some additions, right!?)

"Flexible" with Arms Negotiations, Mr. President?

It's all over the news...even the Drive-By Media is committing random acts of journalism and reporting it (albeit trying to smooth over the flub for the President)....the President said to the President of Russia that he would be able to be "more flexible after his election." To see the entire exchange click here.

Here it is in writing, by the way:

President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.

President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

Translation: After I don't have to face angry voters, I'll have the ability to sell out my nation's defense systems and weaken my country.

Before I continue, I'd like to state for the record that I don't trust Vladmir Putin as far as I can throw him. I know history too well, including Mr. Putin's personal history as KGB Chief in the Soviet Union. He's similarly pragmatic when it comes to the west as Mikhail Gorbachov...but hardly the peacemaker he (or Gorby for that matter) is presented to be in the Drive-By Media.

It's been a Left Wing fantasy for decades to put on their Happy Imagination Hats and pretend that the best way to deal with a nuclear threat is to get rid of nukes, because if we're just nice enough then evil people in the world will also give up their power to destroy others. The reality is the only way to deal with a bully is to be the good guy who is strong enough to beat the snot out of the bully so the bully doesn't try anything. It's called Peace Through Strength.

But aside from that, I think it is both a travesty and absolutely ridiculous for a President to essentially announce to a negotiating partner that he'll wimp out after the election. Might as well stand up at a poker game after going all in and announce "hey everybody, I'm bluffing!"

This is yet another reason we must elect a new President in November, friends. We need a President who doesn't put his rigid ideology in front of the safety of our nation...and if he actually believes this baloney he's spewing that's even worse, friends...sometimes I'd rather a liar than an honest fool. We need a President who isn't going ignore our security to protect his rigid ideology.

crystal quotes of the day (pregnancy edition)

my wife is straight up, no doubt about it, flipping hilarious.

daily she says stuff that cracks me up so hard i have to stop whatever i'm doing just to laugh. she's just being raw & real... usually not necessarily trying to be funny... she's just funny.

so, lately i've been trying to write that kind of stuff down. if i can, i've actually been trying to Tweet it or post it to Facebook or something, but that's only 1% of the time... maybe.

And half of the funny stuff would just be inappropriate to put out there on the world wide web. not bad by any means... just not appropriate, although i WISH i could blog about it because it is so funny.

for the other 50% of the funny stuff, i'm gonna give it a go to post it here regularly. i'm introducing a new segment on the ol' blog called "Crystal Quotes of the Day". it may not be something she said that particular day, but it's the funny quote or quotes i'm choosing to share that day.

and of course, sense of humor is always relative. we say to each other all the time "at least we make each other laugh". and i'm thankful for that. but what i think is funny, others may not find all that funny. oh well.

i actually started writing the quotes down when Crystal was pregnant... something with pregnancy made her say more funny stuff :)  BUT i couldn't Tweet it at the time because we still hadn't told anyone we were pregnant yet. so FINALLY i get to share some of this stuff.

without further adieu, i give you the very 1st Crystal quotes of the day... all from when she was pregnant:

*after eating at Olive Garden i turned around for 2 seconds and when i looked back my mint on the table was gone:
me:         "Did you eat my mint?"
Crystal:  "I mean, I ate a mint and the baby had one, so I guess the waiter just didn't bring you one."

*David Beckham was on TV & Crystal made some comment about his hotness:
me:         "You think he would make a better Baby Daddy than me, don't you?"
Crystal:   (reassuringly) "He wouldn't make a better Baby Daddy. He would make a better story."

*Last St. Patrick's Day:
Crystal:   "Let's go to a pub crawl. The baby wants beer."

*1 day when the pregnancy was having some ill effects on Crystal:
Crystal:   "After all this, this baby better be frickin' cute!"

*1 conversation when she was about 7-8 months pregnant & it ("pregnancy") had really taken full control of her emotions:
me:         "Why don't you leave and come back when you have a better attitude?"
Crystal:  "Why don't YOU leave and come back when I have a better attitude?"

not the same reading them as hearing them, but i hope they make you laugh like they did me!

Mitt's Not Inevitable, But He's Getting There

The Romney campaign has spent most of the Republican Primary campaign telling us Mittens is inevitably going to be the nominee. He's not inevitable, yet...but he's getting there.

Some Tea Partiers have flown into a state of complete panic, others have actually come around to the idea and are accepting the idea of a Romney candidacy. Those who are in complete panic need to step back and breath for a moment. They need to stop with the claims that Romney is worse than Obama. It's a ridiculous point. Mittens may not be as conservatives as we hoped, but he's not a radical socialist, either.

Then there are those who believe Mittens is the only candidate who can beat Obama.  There's also those who believe Mittens couldn't beat Obama.  I've stated more times than I can enumerate that Mittens would beat Obama, as would Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and a radish.

But Mittens isn't yet the inevitable nominee. I know he's saying that Senator Santorum can't mathematically beat him, same for Gingrich. This isn't QUITE true, but it is unlikely. It's also rather possible that Mittens can't get the magic number of 1,140 delegates. With the large number of conservative delegates that will be in Tampa, it's very possible Newt or Santorum to be the choice of a brokered convention.

Ultimately the game isn't over. It might not be over until the convention. Either way, let the fur fly now, but friends, we must back the GOP nominee once all is said and done. Even if it's a stopgap candidate like Mittens.  Especially because Mittens is going to need to take a dyed in the wool conservative for his running mate. So even if Mittens is a stopgap, his VP would be next in line. It's better to stop Obama, even if we can't fully implement the level of conservative policies we need. So let's back up the GOP nominee, even if it's Mittens. Either way, remember, the Democrats are going to run Obama.

Reactions to the Louisiana Primary

Saturday night, Rick Santorum handily won the Louisiana Primary. It was a nice win for the Senator.  Further, it showed the weakness of Mitt Romney as a Republican nominee. Once again, Mittens has failed to win a Southern state. Finally, it showed that Newt is pretty much out of lives in this game. The only way Newt is the nominee from where I sit is if he somehow ends up as the choice of a brokered convention. (Which isn’t a likely scenario in my opinion.)
It’s not surprising the South is consolidating behind the conservatives. So far, Speaker Gingrich has won Georgia and South Carolina. Senator Santorum has won Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, and now Louisiana.  Mittens has only taken Florida, which, given that half of the state is New Yorkers, hardly qualifies as Southern; and Virginia, which he can’t really claim victory because both Gingrich and Santorum weren’t on the ballot.
Now I do want to correct a major misconception amongst many conservatives whose zeal outweighs their logic sometimes.  If Romney is the nominee I flat out guarantee he will win Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Louisiana in the general election.  A liberal Democrat has about as much chance to win those states as a trout has living in a pond in a grizzly bear’s cave.  (And no, before somebody trying to sound smart brings it up, it’s because Obama’s a liberal. His skin tone doesn’t have anything to do with it.  John Kerry and Al Gore lost in those states…must be because Kerry and Gore are black men, right?)
However, our chances to have a candidate more conservative than Romney are shrinking by the day. I know some of you are big Newt fans…I am too, remember…but I also would rather my second choice than Mittens. Senator Santorum has shown he can win this thing if we consolidate behind him. If we don’t, our only chance of better than Romney is a brokered convention…and that brokered convention also comes with the potential to do worse than Romney.  The choice is ours.

church was yesterday - here's what 1 pastor said

yesterday was Sunday & Sunday means "church", eh? lots of different stuff was going on in lots of different churches. Lots of stuff was said & taught in the name of Jesus.

of course, probably lots of stuff was said in the name of Jesus that pissed Jesus off.
For example, here's what 1 Protestant Pastor from Macon, GA had to say:

"African Americans are exceptions to the common brotherhood of man and are sensual and stupid, lazy, improvident, and vicious... an ignorant, degraded, indolent people... who could never be equal with the white man. The inferiority of the negroes was designed by their creator."

yeah, go ahead and blurt some expletives. i'm guessing God is right there with ya.

in case my intro was misleading, these words weren't preached in a church yesterday, but written by Pastor Ebenezer Willis Warren in 1864 in a book called Southern Slavery and the Bible: A Vindication of Southern Slavery from the Old and New Testaments (full book title/cover pictured to the right)

i barely brought myself to write the above excerpt from the book and the hundreds more like it i have in front of me would make you sick to your stomach... and again, i believe God would be nauseated right there with ya.

And this isn't a singular example of Pastors using the Bible to preach that not only was slavery right, but an incomprehensible view of the color of one's skin making one "better" or "less than".

so, it boggles my mind (as i'm sure it does yours) that a Pastor wrote this book & thousands more were preaching and teaching this stuff as biblical doctrine.

it makes me so angry that i can barely continue to put sentences together.

so, let's move on to the real point of my post before i have an anuerysm. (seriously as i write this my heart rate is going crazy and i'm all worked up.)
we all know that this Pastor and those like him are so wrong, in so many ways, on so many (every) point that we wouldn't even know where to begin to address all the jacked up problems. so, we won't even waste our time.
& that's not why i'm writing.

here's the point: it boggles my mind that Pastors were saying this stuff and were convinced this was what the Bible taught/God said. and that was just 150 years ago. (and really the same "theology" continued into the 1960s... and unfortunately, probably even today.) i'm sure this boggles your mind too.
the humbling question is what will boggle the mind of Pastors 150 from now about what i write/say/teach in the same way that this boggles my mind now?

i resolve to not be so arrogant & think that won't happen.
i'm trying to be humble enough to hold most everything in an open hand. because an entire culture was duped & deceived into thinking something we see as incomprehensible was actually God-honoring. they were somehow blinded to it.
(other examples of this same sort of thing could go on and on - the Crusades, executing heretics, etc...)

who are we to think we're not blindly doing something like this right now? what if we're participating in, defending, even preaching as biblical and God-honoring something that will soon be obvious to everyone as totally anti-God (like racism).

I’ll go ahead and say that 25% of the stuff I say & attempt to write/teach/preach even from the Bible is straight up wrong. and I can’t even tell you which 25% it is. [of course, if I could tell you that I just wouldn’t say it in the first place.]

and 25% is a pretty conservative estimate.
Just sayin.

the older i get, i'm becoming more and more EXTREMELY cautious of anyone without this kind of attitude.

***Here's the really big Question i would LOVE to know the answer to = what, specifically, will cause someone to be repulsed with what i said in 150 years? What will cause them to be repulsed by what you said? 
Mr. Pastor, what did you say in church yesterday that will be oh so obvious to a future generation that it's gut-wrenchingly wrong?


that should hurt.
that should be a big of a slap in the face and a wake up call.

if it's not... if we can read this and just think "oh, i would never believe and promote something that awful."
if we find ourselves saying something like that... uh oh.

that's the kind of arrogance that will get us into big trouble.
that's the kind of arrogance that will cause us to miss all the abolitionists shouting "God created everyone EQUAL. what you're saying is SO jacked up. you're WRONG!"

So, Mr. Pastor Ebenezer from 100 years ago… I’m hatin on you knowing that I will probably be hated on 1 day too.

i just pray that what i'm jacked up about is not about something as horrid as what you were jacked up about.

(ok, that probly wasn't a very fun post to read. i'll be sure to post something light & fun tomorrow.)

i don't think it used to be this way?

in the spirit of thinking about all this Daddy & Daughter mushiness like i've written about the past 3 days...

i get the feeling that back in the day, Dads weren't this way with their daughters.

just my impression, but in my brain it feels like a newer phenomenon for Dads to be wrapped around their daughters' fingers. like within the last 50 years?

and i get the impression that maybe 20-30 years ago there wasn't this kind of freedom.
the freedom as a Dad to embrace being the Daddy of your daughter and loving it.

i don't know. i could be wrong.

either way, i'm thankful i feel the freedom
because this is the best thing ever!


another miracle for my Mom

i just learned earlier this week about another miracle in my Mom's lung transplant journey.

all along the BIG problem and worry was my Mom's new lungs working. there were all kinds of breathing problems, etc...
when she was on that ECMO machine especially - it was... is she even going to live?

but a while back they noticed she couldn't really move her legs. she had severe muscle atrophy + something else a lot worse that i definitely can't pronounce or even attempt to spell... it affects the nerves and messes them up.

to me at the time this seemed like a very minor issue. like, who cares if my Mom can't walk right now... she needs her lungs to work so she can live. we can worry about walking later.

well, come to find out the Doctors & Physical Therapy team said back then that there was a decent chance my Mom would never walk again.


i had no idea.

and here now she is walking laps around her hospital unit.


thanks God.

props to You.

more renown all up on You.

for dads of daughters (part 3)

i am loving these "Rules for Dads of Daughters" from Michael Mitchell. you can read his whole original post HERE.
i've been picking out my Favs & you can read part 1 & my setup HERE & part 2 HERE.

& here we go... the final portion of my favorite Rules for Dads of Daughters:

36. Few things in life are more comforting to a crying little girl than her father’s hand. Never forget this.
[works like a charm]

37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.

38. When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead… give it all you’ve got.

41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.
[i am definitely all about this! spend less. give more.]

42. Let her know she can always come home. No matter what.
[yes. no matter what, Keira. no matter what you've done or how long it's been. you are ALWAYS welcome home. and absolutely nothing could ever change that.]

43. Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.
[definitely enjoying with everything i've got!]

44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.
[i absolutely LOVE this idea & i think i'm gonna do it!]

47. When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

49. This day is coming soon. There’s nothing you can do to be ready for it. The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be. [surely this day is a LONG way away for me.]

50. Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink. 
[trying to keep my eyes WIDE open.]

for dads of daughters (part 2)

i set up these "Rules for Dads of Daughters" in part 1 yesterday HERE. you should definitely go back and read it if you haven't.

here's the middle portion of my favorite Rules for Dads of Daughters:

17. Learn to say no. She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.
[Crystal and i have ALREADY identified me as the "Softy" in the family... this will be really really hard for me to ever tell her "no".]

18. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.
[yes! i resonate with this one so much. i already tell her every day, all day long. i want her to know it's the truth and that those magazines don't define her identity.]

20. Take her camping. Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home.

22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.

23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice. 
[i am def ready for this to start happening]

25. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic. Do it now while you have a strong back and she’s still tiny.

28. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late. 
[can't wait for this. she greeted me at the door when i got home just this week. it was the most amazing feeling! :)]

30. Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.

32. Let her roll around in the grass. It’s good for her soul. It’s not bad for yours either.
[i LOVED rolling around in the grass! i wonder why we ever stopped? i guess society told us we had to.

34. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.

the final rules are coming in Part 3 tomorrow! they are some of the best!

Obama is Still Playing Politics on Keystone Pipeline

Earlier this week, President Obama promised to accelerate the Keystone Pipeline review.  The reality is Obama never should have delayed it and is now trying to claim credit for it.  It's just more politics from this President, doing his best to ride two horses with one rear end, to mollify his hardcore environmentalist base (that ignores the fact that all the other pipelines they threw fits about haven't done an ounce of the harm they predicted) and not tick off the rest of us (the majority) because a ticked off somebody won't vote for you.

Now Obama wants credit. The Drive-By Media, of course, is happy to give it to him. They're also happy to parrot Obama's preposterous statement that drilling won't help prices go down on oil. Because increased supply with steady demand doesn't cause prices to go down. (Then again, the President also believes, despite it's complete lack of success, that Keynsian Economics work).

Is expediting Keystone the right thing to do? Sure. If it happens. I also remember when Obama promised to increase deep water drilling permits a year after the BP Spill and he's gone from giving them out at a snails pace to giving them out at a turtle's pace. Do I believe for one second Obama is doing it because it's best for America? Lord no.

If Obama's energy policy was focused on what's good for America, he wouldn't be pumping billions of taxpayer dollars into companies like Solyndra, not to mention ideas like using algae for fuel and other ridiculous concepts that have no basis in reality and are certainly in no way ready to replace various petroleum fuels. As I've said before, the only real "Green Energy" that is successful on a large scale is hydroelectric, but we're already maxed at our ability to use that source because, and please write this down: When a new energy source really works the Free Market will make it happen and quickly.

Obama's just playing politics again.  Let me show you my surprised look. The truth is Obama's Presidency is a joke. The only reason he's not perceived that way is because the Drive-By Media is willing to publish his lies and slights of hand. Either way, this President is heading for a big loss in November and we can get beyond this kind of ridiculous Chicago style political game.

for dads of daughters (part 1)

i NEVER thought this would be me.

i never ever in my wildest dreams thought i would be the daddy of a daughter.

even if i thought about being a dad one day i never figured i would have a girl! ha... just automatically assumed i would have a boy. crazy how my brain worked that way.

now, i think girls are the best. i LOVE being a dad to an awesome little girl.

& i am absolutely, 100% committed to being the best Dad to Keira that she could possibly have. i'm passionate about that and am making it a priority. don't even know what all that will mean just yet... but i'm committed to figuring it out.

Crystal sent me a blog by this guy & it is AWESOME. i'm definitely gonna read what he has to say more often. This post was called 50 Rules for Dads of Daughters. you can read the whole thing HERE & i'll just be posting my FAVS from the list over the next couple days.
[my personal commentary/thoughts are in brackets]

(The author, Michael Mitchell, is an (almost) thirty-something dad who blogs daily tips and life lessons for dads of daughters at )


1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.
[RIGHT ON to this. i'ma do my best. Crystal & i have already agreed that (like Andy says) the best gift we can give our kids is a healthy marriage!]

2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she adds years to her life… add life to her years.
[YES! i will  freaking do this! no matter what. i'll drop a lot of balls and miss out on a lot of things but this time with my daughter is 1 thing i refuse to miss out on. like i said HERE.]

3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.

4. Savor every moment you have together. Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.
  [stupid Stephen Curtis Chapman song about dancing with Cinderella or something... never even heard the words before. now i sing it while Keira and i dance together... as i remind myself that there will always be time to work, but this time with her will be gone before i know it!]

5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.
[i pretty much pray for her so passionately that it's a sob fest every single time. not sure why. that's just the way it goes down with me. so sappy i guess. my heart bursts with passion. i hold her and pump my fist with these crazy desires as i beg God to rock her world & rock the world through her. 1 day i'm sure she'll think this is weird and i may stop... stop doing it in front of her, at least... the fist pumping that is]

7. She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely.

9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.
[yep. sure will. but it's all good. i've always been one to be cool with looking "silly". i'll own being daddy of a little girl well. i hope.]
10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time.
[yep. bath time is her fav... therefor it's my fav too.]

12. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money. She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.
[she is in trouble because they call me a "Ramsey-ite"]

14. Buy her a pair of Chucks as soon as she starts walking. She won’t always want to wear matching shoes with her old man.

15. Dance with her. Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait ‘til her wedding

The rest of my favs from the list coming tomorrow, so check back then.