Monday, June 27, 2011

JZone: a great partner in helping you raise your teenagers

Without doubt, the primary responsibility of the molding of a young person’s character is on the home.  I’m hoping that my past articles have made clear the need for us to be actively involved in the development of our young ones by being the type of person you want them to become, and to work hard in developing meaningful relationships with your children.

However, having great partners to help you on this parenting journey is a huge plus.  One such partner is the school you send your child to.  My boss always says that the school forms an important partnership with the home, and I take my role as a partner to the parents who trust their children to our care quite seriously.  Indeed, at The Abba’s Orchard, the Montessori system that it faithfully follows makes us more than just teachers.  We are often mentors.

If you belong to a churchgoing family like I do, then you have another great partner at your disposal…that is, if your church is a good one; and by that I mean that it has programs and activities that empower families and develop the youth.

The church that I go to here in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines is called Christ’s Commission Fellowship (or CCF for short); and it is one such church. It has strong advocacies for marriage and parenting, and it has great youth programs.  I blogged about some of the teens that go there in my personal blog site that I no longer update (see Teens Who Wait and M&M).

But later this week, something special will happen.  There will be an overhaul in the youth: new name, new vision, and likely a new level of awesome.  The new names?  JZone for the college students (formerly TOUCH-College), JZone High (formerly T.E.E.N.S.) for the high schoolers.

I will not explain what JZone means here.  That’s for your teen, should he or she attend, to find out.  And trust me, as a former youth leader some years ago, ministries like this are fantastic partners that you can have in helping you raise happy and healthy teenagers. When I led the youth, many of them came up to me after the messages and said stuff like “Man, I wish so-and-so was here to learn that,” or “this is really changing me.”  They also get to know teens with the right mindset, but who also struggle with the things all teens struggle with. 

The launching of JZone will be this Friday, July 1, 6 PM, in an event called JZONE CONNECTION.  It’s open to all high school and college age youngsters.  Best of all, it’s totally free!

The great people who run it tell me that it would be the start of great, great things to come.  They are super excited, and as a parent of a soon to be teen, I am excited too.  Looks like the youth of CCF will be as dynamic and as vibrant as ever.

If you live in Cagayan de Oro, and you are a teen or you are a parent of a teen, then consider this an invitation to this Friday’s JZONE CONNECTION.  I will certainly be there (see address in the video below; it’s right across from the Robinson’s Mall indoor car park), so I hope I’ll see you and your teen, too.

Just like the sentiments of the JZone leaders, this could be the start of great things to come.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

To the AOS Seniors of 2010-2011, thank you.

While this is a parenting site, I occasionally share the other things that go on in my life.  This is one of those posts.

I teach in a small, yet excellent school called The Abba’s OrchardIt’s the only Montessori school in the Asia Pacific region to offer the full spectrum of bona-fide Montessori education: starting from below 3 years old in the Infant Community to the high school teens in the Erdkinder.  For the latter, it also boasts of being one of only a handful of Montessori Farm Campuses on the entire planet.

With such as small population (we graduated 14 seniors last year, we have 17 seniors now), everybody is close.  We’re so close that I grow to genuinely love these teens.  Yet they’re not only loved dearly by me and the rest of the faculty, they are also loved by the underclassmen.

It shows such a sense of school community when the sophomores and the juniors go out of their way to honor the seniors on their graduation night.  The sophies made a kooky rap song featuring all 14 of the seniors and their traits.  The juniors made the video tribute featured below.  It’s pretty touching, and it’s obvious a lot of effort was put into honoring them here.

And you know what?  I really do miss them.  Dearly.  I miss every batch that goes through me, especially since I was their class adviser this year.

So, former students: thank you…so very, very much.  Why?  I could thank you for so many things.

I could thank you for how you made us proud that nearly all of you passed La Salle and half of you passed UP and Ateneo…an incredible batting-average.

I could thank you for leading our varsity teams to championship victory in just about every competition you entered.

I could thank you for garnering a rousing standing ovation in the school’s first ever musical play (I Dreamed A Dream: Highlights and Images of Les Miserables).

But here’s what I want to thank you for: I thank you for making me love my job.

Thank you for allowing me to act as a caring adult in your young lives.  What a privilege!  I thank you for allowing me to guide you as you lead the rest of the community for the past 10 months.  I thank you for all the talks, the interaction, the funny moments…even the exasperating ones.  I thank you that some of you shared to me your deepest fears, frustrations, and secrets, and allowed me a chance to try and make it all better, somehow.

Not everyone has the privilege of becoming a part of the shaping of many young lives, to be part of the formation of young men and women.  Thank you allowing me to do so…

…and, although this was one topsy-turvy school year, I hope I have served you well.

10-10-2014 update:

I might as well post the trailer of our first school play.  Note that we will have another huge production next year.  Just so you know how many years have flown by, my middle child, Mesoo, who played little Cosette, has graduated from elementary school and is now a first year (grade 7) student.

If you wanna know what goes on in the school (it’s a very unique program), you can check out the latest video I made that summarizes our curriculum in about 3 entertaining minutes.  You can check out more info about the school as you visit the “The Abba’s Orchard” tag below.

(This blog site, Lessons Of A Dad is mostly about parentingmarriage, and other topics aimed to develop the reader’s mind, body, and soul.  I’d consider it an honor if you’d follow or subscribe to this site.  You can also go to my Facebook page here, and I’m also on Twitter at @lessonsofadad)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Green Lantern’s Hector Hammond: another Hollywood son-hates-dad story

Last weekend was Father’s Day long weekend (Monday was a holiday here in these parts), and it seemed like I had a mean spandex fetish, because I went and saw both X-Men: First Class and Green Lantern.  The X-Men movie was the better movie, by far, but, this piece will be about GL…because there was some angst-ridden son-hates-dad issues, which gave me an idea for my next piece.

There was a sad hateful relationship between the villain Hector Hammond and his estranged father, Senator Robert Hammond.  It’s a classic case of the son being bitter because he cannot measure up to his dad’s expectations:  Dad doesn’t respect child’s unique abilities and doesn’t develop a real connection with him.  Child grows resentful towards dad.  Child uses newly acquired telekinetic powers to burn dad to a crisp.

Classic Hollywood…yet that’s a reality a lot of children live through, with disastrous results.

A blogger, whose articles taught me how to start this blog site up, said in his Father’s Day piece that those with good memories of their loving and supportive fathers are very blessed, and are likely the minority.  His own dad did not appreciate his career path and set verbal volleys his way every time they met.

I remember hearing about a greeting card company once allowing all the inmates of a particular jail to send greeting cards to their mothers for Mother’s Day.  So many inmates took advantage of this opportunity, totally swamping the booth and it took the whole day for the inmates to be served.  It was a huge success, so much so that the card company wanted to do the same thing for Father’s Day.

When they went back to the jail for the Father’s Day gig, not a single inmate took the offer to honor his father with a card.  Yes, if I do remember it right, not one.  Sad, isn’t it?

I am reminded of a Bible verse, the first part of Ephesians 6:4, which says: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them.” (NLT)

Being an overbearing, iron-fisted authoritarian is a sure fire way to provoke your children to anger.  Yet neglect, found on the opposite side of the parenting spectrum, can also get the provoking-to-anger job done as well…and we can surmise that Hector Hammond is a case of the latter.

So how do you not provoke your children to anger, then?  I will let the second part of the Bible verse give the answer, this time using the Word English Bible version:

…but nurture them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

To nurture, and a synonym “to nourish,” (used in another version) bring strong imagery of a close relationship, full of trust, respect, and growth.    I also think of an expert gardener, carefully making sure the soil around his or her plant is of good quality, lovingly watering it day in and day out, and carefully pruning it if need be.  It certainly isn’t the authoritarian nor isn’t the negligent parent.

Are you, as a parent, as a dad, nurturing your child?

This blog site is dedicated to giving dads the tips on how to nurture their children in the best possible way.  I will give some quick pointers on how to do this well.  Future blog entries will focus on these in detail:

1. Be the kind of person you want your child to become.  Hypocrisy is the fastest way for your child to lose respect for you, but “practice what you preach” modeling is the most powerful way of teaching.

2. Have a good relationship.  Just because you’re related doesn’t mean you’re close.  It takes effort to develop closeness.  It also takes…

3. Time.  Rick Warren, in his best seller The Purpose Driven Life said it best when he said that that best way to spell love is T-I-M-E.  This means that you do what they like to do, and look for the magic moments.

4. Make sure you communicate.  When you hear the word “communicate” what immediately comes to mind?  Talking?  Wrong.  Trust me; there can be a whole lot of talking, but no communication.  Communicating is listening.

5. Affirm them with positive words.  The tongue could very well be the most powerful muscle in your body, because it can shape another persons life for the better, or it can totally destroy it.

6. You need to, honest to goodness, love them unconditionally.  Sen. Hammond is an example of a man who didn’t do that.  And many of us could be there, be it comparing your child to another, labeling them, not complementing the good traits but highlighting the bad ones.

7. Lastly, you expect the best from them.  My boss always pounds it in me to never look at my student as what he is now, but to look at him as what he could become.  That’s great parenting advice, too.

This is all from the Parenting That Makes a Difference series that my church does.  Soon, my young-couples small group will do this 6-week series together.  It will cover each of these points in detail, containing powerful and practical advice from one of the best parenting speakers in this country.  If you live in Cagayan de Oro, and are, well, a young couple, then consider this an invitation. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The death of this blog site/ Songs that touch a father’s heart

Well, it seems like this blog is on its last legs.  I have just recently started my new parenting site called Lessons of A Dad.  What that would mean is that I won’t be posting a whole lot on this site anymore…unless it is purely spiritual in nature and doesn’t have to do with parenting at all (like an online spiritual journal).

So please do visit Lessons of A Dad and, if you’re a parent yourself, follow/subscribe to the site by clicking on the follow or subscribe buttons on the right margin of the blog site.

Well, since it’s Father’s Day, one of my first entries (my 3rd, actually) is about Songs that touch a father’s heart.  Here is the beginning of that entry:

Songs that touch a father’s heart

Happy Father’s Day, everyone! As fathers from all over the word are given this one day to feel really special, I hope you use this day to ponder on being the kind of man you need to be to lead your family. To help you with that, I have included some songs for a father’s heart.

Music can be quite powerful. I’ve had several instances where a mere song changed my whole outlook on what I was going through or my opinion in a particular subject. When it comes to being a dad, a good dad, these songs are just what the doctor ordered. May they bless you and challenge you, as they did me.

The first song is American Dream by Casting Crowns, the band of the popular “Who Am I?” song. We fathers can get so caught up with work and providing for our families the finer things in life that we lose track of what the finer things in life truly are.

To see the videos, please click here.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Songs that touch a father’s heart…Happy Father’s Day to you all!

Happy Father’s Day, everyone! As fathers from all over the word are given this one day to feel really special, I hope you use this day to ponder on being the kind of man you need to be to lead your family. To help you with that, I have included some songs for a father’s heart.

Music can be quite powerful. I’ve had several instances where a mere song changed my whole outlook on what I was going through or my opinion in a particular subject. When it comes to being a dad, a good dad, these songs are just what the doctor ordered. May they bless you and challenge you, as they did me.

The first song is American Dream by Casting Crowns, the band of the popular “Who Am I?” song. We fathers can get so caught up with work and providing for our families the finer things in life that we lose track of what the finer things in life truly are.

The next song that really speaks to my heart is Lead Me by Sanctus Real. The song speaks to me so strongly because it shows how badly our kids and wives need us in the leadership of the family.

The third song is Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman, a powerful song of how we need to cherish our kids in the here and now, because our time with them is very, very limited.

All three of these songs say one thing: our families, our kids, value our time and our presence much more than anything we work for. I’m not saying that work is not important. The reason why we struggle so much with time with our families is because we were wired to be providers for them, and all fathers, me included, want the best for their families.

Yet, I don’t want the clock to strike midnight on my time with my kids to realize how important our time together should be. They’re growing up…fast. Soon they’ll be gone, having their own lives; and when that time comes, I don’t want to feel like I squandered my fatherhood away.

Well, again, Happy Father’s Day, everyone. I’m sure there are many other songs out there that touch a father’s heart. Feel free to comment on your favorite songs for dads.

Oh, by the way, if you’d like to buy that special dad in your life a nice gift, then check out my article about good books for dads.

Recommended Reading:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

One way to have your kids follow you is to make parenting fun!

Note: this is a bit of a take-two of a previous blog I made in my old blog site.  The subject matter is the same, but the focus was different (parenting here, while ministry in the other one).

You may have seen this video recently going around the Net, regarding how fun can change behavior for the better.  It’s a very telling video, and one that parents can very well learn from.  Please watch it in its entirety before moving on to the rest of this entry.

The lesson is clear: one way to make things happen is to make it fun; and if ever you are having some obedience issues at home, then maybe you’re not making things fun enough.

I remember this kid who would refuse to drink his milk.  No matter what the parents would do, the child would not budge.  Then one day, the dad decided to turn milk drinking into a game.  There were two full glasses of milk one morning, and to the child’s surprise he was challenged to a milk-drinking race.  After narrowly losing the race to his father, the kid said, “Let’s go two out of three!”

I remember how family friends would be so amazed at how my children would eat vegetables without much fuss.  It was simple, really.  When they were toddlers, I would get them excited (thanks to theatrics on my part) on “colored rice,” which is basically vegetables mixed with their rice.  I would have them cover their eyes until I was through mixing the food, and then presented it with much fanfare.  The kids gobbled it up like no tomorrow.  

There was the one time where we had this bug infestation (those ugly black and yellow millipedes) and I’ve just about had it.  We had some bottles of organic pesticides to use on them, and I decided to get the help of my 5 year old son, while having a ton of fun while we’re at it.  We pretended to be two cops or secret agents and the pesticides served as our “pistols.”  We would then do all that Hollywood secret agent stuff: slinking along the walls, communicating to each other only through signs and hand gestures, the whole bit.  We dealt with the bug problem all right, and had a father-son blast as well.

Basically, you can make a chore not a chore if the element of fun is present…and the video showed this clearly.  You just have to think a little out of the box.  Play the silence game to have them keep quiet.  Turn cleaning up into a countdown or a race.  

Here’s three more tips on how to make the mundane stuff in the home more meaningful.

The first is to be in the trenches with them.  One of the things that made Alexander the Great’s troops so loyal to him is how he flew into battle alongside them.  Other generals just hang back and make decisions, but not Alexander…and this impressed his men so much that they were willing to follow and obey him wholeheartedly.

Parents can follow this example and do chores together with their kids.  This sets the example on so many levels.  One, it shows that we don’t just hang back and bark orders, we actually walk the talk.  Two, it shows our kids that they matter to us and we are willing to help them finish tasks and hurdle obstacles.  Three, it shows them that we love their company, and spending quality time with them is a priority.  A lot of magic moments happen when you work alongside your child.

Speaking of setting the example, that’s also the second point.  Another big reason why my kids love to eat veggies is because I do, too.  My kids, I believe, value God more than many of their peers, and it’s because they see my wife and I active in ministry.  In fact, my eldest daughter, only 11, really wants to be in the praise and worship team in our church…and that’s because she sees her mom give much of her time and energy there.  

I remember a quote from a parenting seminar I attended: “your actions speak so loudly that I cannot hear what you are saying.”  Actions truly do speak louder than words.

The final point is positive words.  That’s something that many Filipino parents do not do very well.  Very quick and very harsh are the reprimands when mistakes happen; but good deeds go pretty much unnoticed.  This is sad.  No wonder we are such critical people.  We need to learn how to affirm, and it starts with the home.

Ephesians 4:29 – “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need at the moment that it may give grace to those who hear.”  

Trust me, a sure-fire way for a child to resent anything you say is to have that same mouth tear him or her down whenever something is done wrong, and then keep it silent whenever the child does something right.

Not only do we need to affirm through positive words, but we also need to correct positively if mistakes are made. 

I could go to great lengths on this one, but this is already a mouthful.  So, in a nutshell: keep it fun, work alongside your kids during chores, set the example, and use positive words often.  You’ll have a much better time parenting your child if you follow these.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Here’s an introduction, from yours truly

Well, this is my first entry for Lessons Of A Dad, a blog site for parents in general, yet specifically for dads.  What better way to start than to introduce myself?  
My name is Carlo Alado, and I’m a happily married, thirty-something guy living in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines.  I was born in Manila, but raised in sunny southern California when my family moved there.  My family was called to Cagayan de Oro for work reasons, and we moved here after I graduated from high school.
I live in Xavier Estates Subdivision with my wife, Jhean; three kids named Floriline (Lynn), Monica (Mesoo), and James (Happy); and my widowed mom, Caroline
 The reason for me starting Lessons Of A Dad is simple.  I care for my kids, and I want to be the best dad I can be for them.  I certainly am no expert, just a fellow student in the tumultuous journey of raising children.  Therefore Lessons Of A Dad was conceived as a heads up to everybody who would like to learn how to raise their kids better.  While this site is for every parent, I would like to put up this site for fathers in particular, as there aren’t many parenting sites for dads…and we need all the help we can get.

Oh yeah, please note that I will often go into other topics such as marriage, health/fitness/wellness, financial stewardship, and other things that I think are relevant to being a parent, but not necessarily related to it.  After all, a chair has four legs, not just one…and if one of these legs is weak or broken, the whole piece of furniture suffers.  We too have to be whole in all areas if we are to lead our families properly. 

I am very blessed to have worked for one of the better schools in the area, a Maria Montessori school that excels in developing and training the whole person of the child.  My tenure there for over the past half decade has not only fed my family but also equipped me in becoming a better father.

My family is also blessed to go to a church that is very into equipping its flock, and therefore often holds excellent and very practical marriage and parenting seminars quite often.  It is here that I also hold myself accountable to both fellow fathers in my age group and older men who serve as my mentors. 

I will heavily use both of these influences, among other things, when it comes to making content for this parenting blog site.  I believe my exposure to the Montessori method, the parenting seminars of my church (for those who are uncomfortable with this, rest assured that this will be a parenting site first and foremost, not a spiritual site), and plain school-of-hard-knocks experience as a dad, will make for some mighty good content for you.  I hope it does.

I hope Lessons Of A Dad blesses and challenges you.  Thanks for visiting and I would be flattered if you would subscribe to this site.  Have a blessed day!

Singing? ME? / Parenting series / Deep Impact

Oh dear me, I wish the rapture had actually happened as falsely predicted.

One of the leaders of our children’s ministry talked to me last Sunday and told me that I am among the many fathers in the congregation chosen to go up on stage, with kids in tow, on Father’s Day for a song number.

NOOOOOO!!!  Ok, I’m overreacting.  It’s a pleasure to do things for God and his people, but singing?  Don’t get me wrong, I gladly serve in my church’s ministries whenever possible, be it breakout leaders in marriage/parenting seminars, behind the desk in registration booths for events, teaching the children, speaking in front, teaching the youth…it’s truly my pleasure, and I’m confident that I can do an excellent job in any of these.

But singing???  That would be counterproductive to what the leaders would want.  You’d want MORE people to come to church not LESS.  You’d want people to be BLESSED on Sundays, not CURSED.  But we do have a space and a parking problem, so maybe they really did thought it through when they asked me to take part.

But alas, I said I’ll do it.  It’s for the glory of God, right?  Since I’d like to preserve my pride and I’m committed to giving you quality blog posts, I will not feature it on this site, like I did my daughter’s presentation for Mother’s Day.  Sorry (or maybe you should thank me).

However, this could give me the opportunity to tell you about the recent goings on in CCF, my church; in case you belong to the same faith as I do and are looking for a church, or you’re just curious to see what we do (or to even try us out).

For the next several weeks, our Sunday messages will be on Parenting.  All CCF churches from all over the country have Parenting as the topic for six weeks (this Sunday, Father’s Day, will be the 3rd, so we’re halfway through).

This is an AMAZING preaching series, very powerful and practical.  Last Sunday, we had a video by Peter Tan Chi (who was so fantastic in last year’s PARENTING WINNERS) which I also feature below.  Other Sundays will feature our local leaders, who are great speakers and excellent parents in their own right (they model and mentor very, very well…and I’m a recipient of that).

We have a new 3-service schedule for Sundays: 8-10 AM; 10 AM-12 NN; and 12 NN-2 PM.  Note that there is no children’s ministry in the first worship service, in the middle service all hands are on deck to serve your kids and teach them well, the last service only has the older kids’ classes (6-8 year old class and 9-12 year old class…no toddler or 3-5 classes, sorry)

Ok, now for the adults who are not married, the singles.  On June 25, the amazing guys CCF-CDO Singles Ministry will host DEEP IMPACT: Making Your Life Count.  It’s a 2 day retreat at Mapawa Nature Park.  If you want to make your life count as a person, this is the event to go (click here for more info).  I don’t know the topics or speakers yet, but just save the date and attend.  These guys have the Midas touch lately and what they do is usually gold.

If you, dear reader, would like come and worship God with us and try out to be part of this great family of believers, then please, do drop by.  At least come for the parenting series, then take if from there to see if this is for you or not.

CCF is located in Papa Juanito’s square, Limketkai Drive.  It’s right across the street from the Robinson’s Car Park entrance and right beside Discovery Hotel.  See you on Sunday (yes, that’s Father’s Day…bring earplugs).

Saturday, June 11, 2011


No, I’m not talking about the popular candy.  You’ll see what I mean later.

Listening to the podcast of a great role model, Paul Tan Chi, in my last post reminded me of a conversation I had with my eldest daughter, Lynn, a few days after she came back from our church’s SOLD OUT youth camp. 

We were driving, just the two of us, and I wanted to strike up a conversation with her about her first experience with the youth (remember, she’s only 11, too young to be in the youth but I let her join their camp anyway).  The topic eventually happened upon who she likes and admires in the group, which led her to mention several names, such as one student of mine who she became quite close to, and a daughter of the woman in the Garage Sale for A Cause blog I did a while back, among many others.

However, when I asked her who was the one person she wanted to emulate, without batting an eyelash she mentioned a certain girl’s name.  Smiling, I asked her why she considered this girl her hero, and Lynn started her reply with the overly clichéd, yet still meaningful, Gen-Y expression:

“She’s awesome.”

I smiled because that “awesome” girl, let’s just call her Angelica, was also my student.  Another reason why I smiled is because it brought me back to a time when Angelica was a few years younger.

I was serving in the youth ministry that time and Angelica, if I’m not mistaken, had just entered high school, maybe a year or two older than Lynn is now.  While we were hanging out after one of our youth ministry gatherings, in comes a friend of hers, a former member of the group and an alumnus of the same school, back in town for a week long break from one of the country’s top universities.  Let’s just call this girl Katrina.

As Katrina was saying her hellos to the girls in the group, Angelica told me, “You know, sir, I want to be just like Katrina.  She’s so awesome!”  (There’s that cliché again)

Well, Angelica has recently also gone on to graduate, and indeed she ended up much like her hero.  Both got into the best universities of the Philippines.  Both led the school in championship winning endeavors.  Both have earned the respect and admiration of peers and faculty alike (Katrina is still being used as an example by our boss, years after she’s been gone).  Most importantly, they both loved and served God passionately.

Katrina was a greatly positive influence to Angelica, whose character and excellence then became an inspiration for Lynn.  Surely, they are far from perfect, but I hope one day Lynn will be able to follow in their footsteps and be an “awesome” role model to younger girls.

It goes to show how great an impact M&M could be.  What’s M&M you ask?  Modeling and Mentoring.  I have my own “awesome” M&Ms in my life, and I think we all need that.  More importantly, for our own children and for the glory of God, we need to BE that.

So what are the characteristics of a great model and mentor?  I have some answers for you, coming from our 2nd module of our Parenting That Makes a Difference study.

First off, modeling is lifestyle teaching.  The adage “Do what I say, not what I do,” doesn’t work because the truer phrase is “Your actions speak so loudly that I cannot hear what you’re saying.”

No bones about it, kids and teens can sniff out hypocrisy like a bloodhound, so you yourself have to be what you want them to be.  If you don’t walk your talk, then don’t talk!!
Philippians 3:17 – “Brethren, join me in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.”

For the mentoring part, here’s the Law of Relationship: the closer the relationship, the greater the influence.

I remember Angelica writing a note to her teammates on Facebook after the girls’ varsity soccer championship win, which ended up being her very last match. Here’s a small part of what she said:

“I am so proud to be a part of this team and I will truly miss you. Keep playing for God and always remember that it’s for His glory and His alone. I love you guys. :’) “

Not only was my heart warmed by her urging them to play “for His glory and His alone” (not the glory of the school or their own person), but also by the flood of heartfelt comments on the note, thanking her for her leadership and example, that things wouldn’t be the same without her, that they’d be lost if she weren’t there.

She was obviously a large part of their lives…just like a mentor should be.

Parents, here’s a warning: biological relationship does not automatically mean a good relationship.  Sadly, many kids are closer to their friends then they are to their parents, and a lot of it is because of lack of time and lack of relationship nurtured by the latter.  No wonder there’s so much rebellion.

Remember parents, “our values become their values if they like and respect us.  If they don’t like us, they will oppose our values.”

Both Katrina and Angelica were very close to their dads, both Godly men who served Him in great ways…and their daughters followed suit.   Furthermore, Angelica becoming so much like Katrina is due in part to their friendship, having been friends since they were young kids and lately sharing a tent in the aforementioned youth camp.

How about you?  Are you a role model to your kids?  They will follow you whether you’re a good example or a bad one; and that’s true whether you like it or not.  Furthermore, do younger kids consider your children as role models?  These are big, heavy questions, and I hope you’re honest with your self assessment here.

1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’”

Personally, I have decided to give my professional life and much of my personal life to the effort of mass-producing these “awesome” role models, be they teens or peers.  Some, like Angelica and Katrina, don’t really need a whole lot of work, but there are lots of broken young people out there who do need someone to turn to…a hero.  May I be used by God to be one such person.

Man, I think I should be a Life Coach, hahaha!

I’ll close with one of my favorite songs…it’s as if it was tailor made for how I feel about this.

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