Sunday, July 23, 2006

Why Loving Parents Must Discipline

Being that my last post was about parenting, how much I love parenting and being a dad, I thought this post would be a follow up along the theme. Parenting.

One of the primary responsibilities - hand in hand with LOVE - is discipline. As parents who want to create a loving environment that a child feels safe in, discipline is key. In fact, scripture says that a parent that doesn't discipline his (or her) child doesn't love them! Along with that is also CONSISTENCY, which is crtical! But that's a topic all by itself. For now, I'll stick with my primary thought on discipline and why it's so important for a loving parent to discipline their children.

First of all, we all must have discipline for the purposes of self-governance even at it's most basic level. Discipline to take care of our own hygiene and feeding to say the least, not to mention disciple to clean our environment and take care of all the other things that life requires of us. Without discipline of some type, we would be unable to perform as a functioning member of society around us. This, even if we throw out almost everything else would be enough reason to discipline a child and teach them self-discipline. And yes, they go hand in hand once the child becomes old enough to start to train.

But, especially being a Christian, I believe that I have an even more important function and role in the responsibility of disciplining a child, and that is, we need to train our children so that they know how to properly hear and respond to the voice of God speaking to them. This is our most important job. So how do we do that? And how does discipline come into play?

(By the way, this is the extremely SHORT version of this topic. So, let me say this. Assume that everything that is being done is done in LOVE and in balance. Thanks).

Discipline is tool that is used to teach our children to hear and respond to our voices first. And, again, that alone is critical. My goal is to train my child so that when they hear my voice they immediately stop and listen. Not me screaming or yelling. Just when they hear me say their name. And, as a parent I can only tell you how many times just that alone has been worth the effort. Say, for instance, when I call my child's name just before they're about to chase a ball, or step in the way of someone walking quickly with a shopping cart that might just plow them over. I can only feel that of my three older girls, at least one time serious injury has been avoided because they know they voice of their father (or mother as the case may be) and have learned to respond to it. Discipline is used to teach our children to listen to the voice of authority and respond.

As parents, we have been given the gift of our children. They are not ours. They are on loan from God. Created for his purpose. We are their caretakers, their stewards and they are given into our custody for the purpose of training them as eternal beings. And thus comes the longer term and more significant purpose of discipline that we aim for - training them to hear the voice of God and properly responding to him.

By training our children, in a LOVING environment, by using discipline we teach them that there is a voice of authority that loves them and cares for them. We teach them that the voice they are hearing can be trusted, that is for them and is looking out for their best interest. We let them know that there is someone "bigger" than them (in the physical, at least older and wiser) that they can learn to hear and trust to help them. And, in this way, we are modeling for our children how to listen and to trust the voice of God.

And, this then is how we see that what scripture tells us is true. As I mentioned at that top, scripture says that a parent that doesn't discipline his child doesn't love them. And if I didn't discipline my kids, and teach them how to listen to my voice and hopefully the voice of their REAL father in heaven, then I wouldn't really be loving them. Because in the end, whatever my kids choose to do, they aren't going to have to give an account before me, they have to stand before the Lord. And what kind of parent would I be that wouldn't prepare them for that day? Certainly not one that loves them.

And so, that's why loving parents must discipline their children. Because by discipline, then teaching them self-discipline and proper response to authority, we are teaching them how to respond to the Lord. How to help them listen and get into the best things that an almighty and loving creator and savior has for their lives. And, of course, at the end of it all, we're even teaching them the very thing that may save their life not just here on earth - but for all eternity.

Next time, maybe I'll talk about what discipline really "means" - or in other words - HOW do we discipline our children. And folks that is a topic that I'm big on!


Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Best Part of Being "Dad"

You know, there are probably a lot of "best" parts that I haven't mentioned, but there is one part that can only happen late at night that leaves you with a feeling of love and of responsibility that makes being dad worth being dad.

Tonight, I had one of those moments with daughter number three: Chloe. Was it a big thing? Well, to a three year old it was. She woke up suddenly, scared and calling for me. Not mom, me. Yup, good old dad. So, there, on the stairway, in the dark with the wind whipping all around the house, Chloe found comfort in daddy's arms. With blankie by her side, twiddling her "pony hair" and cuddled up next to me - Chloe found a place of safety, a place of peace. And boys and girls, that's when you know as a parent you've done a good job. When the babies are ready to run to your arms and trust you. Sure, kids always WANT to do that with their parents. They hope for it and yearn for it. The thing that's great is when YOU know that you've really provided it for them.

Thanks Chloe. It's great being your dad.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Burbank Chronicles - Conclusion

Hey all,

OK, it seems I've got a lot of rants off my chest lately, so how about a happy post. That is for the two other people that read this blog anyway ;-)

So, Disney. I made it back after the 4th of July. Finally. I can't recall if I had mentioned that I had subluxated my knee-cap or not, but I was dying out there. Yes, finally after having my knee-cap out for 5 days it finally got put back in (THANK YOU SHADI!), but my leg was still killing me!

Anyway, there's lots more to that story, but the end of it was that I got my leg worked on while I was out there, could walk much more like a normal person, did 5 presentations of the findings for Disney AND I got to go to Disneyland! Unfortunately, I didn't have all the pictures cleared out of my phone so I didn't get a lot of the pictures I should have! But, I have finally gotten the pictures off the phone (yea for AppleCamp - more on that another post or podcast) and YOU my friends finally get to see what I snapped! Enjoy the pics :-)

In Hollywood: Graumans Chinese

A view from the office that I stole for a couple of days.

Hollywood and Highland (around the corner from the Walk of Fame and Kodak Theater)

The WB Studios as I drove Past

What Jenna had for dinner at the OUTRAGEOUS Restaraunt at Disney Land

Not from LA LA Land - but this is what I was missing. No wonder I couldn't wait to get home! Chloe (3) and Sophie (3 1/2 months)

Right - the Founding Fathers Believed NOTHING Like the Liberals do now.

I know you can see the image below my notes already. I felt compelled to add this even though it's a bit past the 4th of July. This topic is one that totally frosts me. When you read below you will clearly see an example carried out by one of the sons of the founders (John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams) that the founding fathers considered Christianity (not just the tenants of Christianity mind you) not separate - but the foundation of our nation. Anyone who says that this was a secular nation and says that the founders were deists or that there should be a wall of separation (which is NEVER said ANYWHERE in the Constitution, Declaration or any of the Bills) is seriously in denial of what the founders of our country WROTE repeatedly!

OK, enough blathering - here you go - read for yourself!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Man Have I got a... well, OK, this is the last one!

So. I finally got home (without completely scratching every part of my body) late (very) Friday night (almost Saturday morning). Alas, my sister had shown up at my mom's house while I was gone for the week and had organized a little family get together (Italian family get together = at least 30 people and food for 60) for that Saturday. And, being that I'm the dutiful brother - or something like that - I was obligated to show up.

Unfortunatly, because I had to show up, I also didn't have time to get my hair cut, my lawn mowed or the damn RASH looked at.

Fast forward. Saturday night (early Sunday morning) and my hands are suddenly covered with bumps, and the rash is now on the inside of my thighs (oh, stop that!) and on my waist. I was freaking. I thought for sure the closest thing I could find to what I had was Scabies. I figured I had gotten it while on one of my recent trips. Really, I was freaking.

So, Sunday morning when I get up, sure enough everything is still really bad. So, off to the emergency room (but hey, this is my emergency room now - not some ER in Burbank!) to have my rash looked at. Do I feel like an idiot? SURE! But damn, I was really concerned.

So, after reading through a chapter or so of my UltraMetabolism book while I was in the waiting room (and listening to a few podcasts), I get called in. The doctor looks me over, thankfully nukes the thought of Scabies (if you don't know what Scabies is by the way, it's a nasty rash that's caused by little mites that infest you and burrow into your dead skin cells. It's a royal pain in the BUTT to get rid of and you can infest your whole family - something very scary to a man with a 4 month old baby that sleeps in the same bed with him) and tells me it's either a reaction to some plant, but more than likely he thinks fungus. Which gets me to thinking.

So, off I go to the pharmacy with my prescriptions for Prednizone and some other steroidal topical ointment. Get the stuff, read the indications (God! Am I sure I really want to take this stuff?) but then, like the good little boy, I pop the pills.

Then I start doing more research. First of all, steroids in this case will inhibit my immune system from responding properly to the allergens in my system. This is why the bumps all over my hands will go away. The bad part of that is that my system was doing what it was SUPPOSED to do. Damn, I'm in a DETOX. So, as a person with diary allergies (mild), wheat allergies (not so mild) and candadiasis (candida albicans) who's detoxed before - I should have realized that the rash was because I had all the yeast in my system that was no longer getting fed being flushed out! And, then I looked at the topical cream and sure enough - it specifically mentions candadiasis!

After this I tracked down the book that I used to detox about 12 years ago. Sure enough, one of the indications/symptoms is a rash. However the book cautions that you shouldn't take any medications to stop the rash because they'll cause the toxins to end up burried in your system. Great. So I'm not really dealing with the toxins, so where the hell are they going?

Well, again, I went back to the warning labels on the steriods and the cream. Based on what I read, it seems like my body will essentiallly funnel out the toxins through my, uhhh, excretions. It's one of the side effects. Still, I'm not completely jazzed about the whole thing. After all, I don't want to detox only to find myself more ill because I kept the toxins in. Sigh.

Finally, Monday morning comes and along with Monday morning do many of the bumps on my hands again. Well, I called the pharmacist, found out how fast I could taper down from the mega-dose I was on. Pretty fast as it turns out. But what to do with the rash. I don't have enough time to track down how to handle it with a more natural method, I don't have a doctor I can go to without a referral from my primary doctor, not to mention I'd have to make an appointment. So, I'd have a rash, not know what to do with it and I was going to an interview in the morning on top of it.

I did what any good pill popper would do. I took the drugs. Of course, even though I'm on steriods I still haven't started lifting weights to take advantage of it. Heck, the way my knee has been I haven't done much at all. Though, I will admit, the steriods have really helped my knee feel better too. Sigh.

So, I'm three days in. I'm taking the last of my large dose this morning. After that, I think I'm going to taper down. I'm hoping that the worst of the detox is over (though I'm in the 3rd week now) and that the rash won't come back with a vengence. At the same time, I'm concerned about the fact that I've prohibited my body from cleansing the way I'm suppposed to. Damn, it's complicated! I'll figure it out sooner or later - but I don't know which yet. I'll let you know on my final decision - but until then, it's great not being covered with a itchy, hivey rash!

Now to bed, then to Apple Camp with my oldest daughter Halle in the AM. I'll have pictures of that :-)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Man, Have I got a rash (continued)

So, having determined that I've got this lovely rash, now I have to see if I can get it dealt with. So far nothing topical is working, including hydrocortizine, triple-antibacterial and some other thing that was prescribed for a different rash.

What do I do? Check with my healthcare. Listen. My healthcare when I'm inside the state is great. However, when I'm not inside the state... not so much. What do they tell me to do? Go to an emergency room! Sure! No worries! I'll just pop down in the middle of the meeting schedule I'm maintaining while I'm out here. You know, into the emergency room then, WAIT. Are you kidding? I've got a rash! Do you know how low on the priority list I'm going to be? Anyone and everyone that comes into the place is going to end up in front of me. Kids with the croup, Susie with her sprained finger, Bobby with is sprained ankle, Betty Boop with her deflated silicon bustline (we're in LA after all). Everyone.

So, can I go to a doctor? No. Not covered. OK, how about if I go to a doctor and pay for it myself and get a prescription. Is the prescription covered? No. The only thing I can do is go to an emergency room. Period, paragraph.

I had only one thing to do. I put some more hydrocortizine cream on it, took some benedril and I'm making an appointment with my doctor when I get home.

Now. To a voicemail message I received on this.

Dear Caller,

You are far over reacting and jumping on the alternative medicine field in blaming them for this rash. The book and plan I'm currently following is written by Dr. Mark Hyman, formerly one of the co-directors of the Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires and a currently practicing medical doctor in the Boston, MA area.

Yes, as I mentioned in my previous post, I was taking something for inflamation support. And, as I mentioned, I stopped taking it. In fact, it's been 5 days since I stopped taking it. And, the rash just popped up in a new place. It's not the herbs for the inflamation at this point. No way I could still be reacting to it this far out.

Now, regarding herbs. Let me ask you, where do you think the find the basis for most pharmacuticals? Herbs. The big pharma companies just do more processing of them, combine them and create all kinds of health risks beyond what would have been a risk as part of the normal consequence of taking the herb itself. This, done by an industry (big pharma) that kills more people yearly (over 780,000) than either heart disease (699,000) or cancer (533,000).

Sorry, and why exactly should I run to that doctor?

Please. Don't misconstrue what I feel on this either. I believe that there is a place for modern western medicine. I believe that we need antibiotics for when we have infections. And I do believe that there are some people that actually have a need for some of the drugs that are created.

Having said that, I also believe that there are more people than not that are unhealthy because they've screwed up their systems with the poision that is sold every day in what we call grocery stores. Highly processed, chemically modified foods that bear no resemblence to the food that my parents ate in the early part of the 20th century. And those foods (and foods are DRUGS mind you, completely and TOTALLY) that people eat are toxic and screw up thier systems. These foods cause problems with our bodies because we don't eat REAL food.

I believe that if more people changed thier diet, we'd have more people that are less dependant on drugs. Say, just for example, someone in my family. My nephew. This darling little child eats CRAP and he acts like crap and they've thrown all kinds of tags on him like ADHD. So, what's the solution? Drug the little bugger till you don't even know it's him. And man, if the drugs wear off you're in trouble! Hey! I've got an idea! Why don't you take all the caffenee, red dye and sugar out of his diet, put him to bed at a normal hour so that he gets the sleep he needs and find out how that works! NAH.

In addition to that, I also believe that many people that deal with health issues, especially mental health issues, are also dealing with a spiritual battle. Yes, spiritual. I know this isn't necessarily a popular view, but then again, I'm not running for office I don't need to be popular.

However, because these spiritual issues require a spiritual solution, and because most people are not willing to go to a place emotionally or mentally where they are willing to take accountability before God to deal with these issues - then they have to deal with them another way. Hey, have another pill.

Further more, I also believe that some people are dealing with specific spiritual beings. These beings don't go anywhere or respond to anything other than the authority of Jesus Christ. So, when dealing with a spiritual being that is causing all kinds of bad behavior, what do we in the modern world do? WE DRUG PEOPLE. Because doctors are scientific and don't believe in spiritual beings, and anyone not a Christian that does believe in spiritual beings is probably inviting the ones that are causing the issues in the first place! Hey, have another PILL!

Lastly, there are some issues that come to even those who believe. These issues may be generational, or may be left over from their pre-Christian days. Some issues of these types may only be worked out by care and love and counseling that enable the believer to recognize the issues exist and take authority by the blood of the lamb. But, again, the medical community doesn't believe such things so they provide their solution. HEY, HAVE ANOTHER PILL!

Having said all that, I again state that I believe there is a place for modern western medicine. I do believe that there are even some cases where some type of medication is required for people (even believers) that have unequal mental and emotional equilibriums. I also believe that those cases are rare, and few and far between. I would even go so far as to say that someone I know that uses these medications (no, not you caller, not to the best of my knowledge) and doesn't NEED to, but really needs to deal with (a) diet, and (b) a spiritual issue. But I will say this caller, I'd love to see God heal and/or deliver you so that you didn't have a need for these things!

So, there you go. Maybe it wasn't the exact end I had planned for what was supposed to be a humorous post starting yesterday, but it's what we've got. Got an opinion? Let me know.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Man, Have I got a rash on the back of my a...

And a bizzare one at that. It started the other day on my butt. No, it ain't pretty.

Of course, my question was, how the heck did I get a rash on my butt? I've got to have one of the cleanest butts on the planet. Listen, one of my buddies calls me Mr. Hygene for a reason you know? I mean how many guys do you know that have stopped in an airport of a third world country and created a sterile zone? Right?

But, none the less, there it was. Now, I know I haven't been sitting in posion ivy, I know I don't have any STDs. So what the heck can this be?

I've been on a great detox as part of the first three weeks of the UltraMetabolism diet (check it out!), so I thought maybe it was something I'm eating. Well, considering that I cut out virtually everything that I was already alergic to, I don't think it's that! Maybe I'm having too much cashew-butter? Nah. I've been known to wipe out an entire can of cashews by myself.

I was taking something for inflamation because I had subluxated my knee-cap (that means that it hurt like all hell - just so you know and can send sympathy cards). It was the only major thing different. So, I stopped taking it.

Still had a rash.

Then, suddenly, for no discernable reason my rash jumps from the cozy warm confines of my little Italian tushie to my ankle. My ANKLE? What's with that?

But wait! Suddenly it's now on my right thumb! HUH? Yes, just my right thumb. Not my hand, not my wrist or anyplace else. My thumb. And then, just as inexplicably, it's on the inside of my left pinky. Two little spots. That's it. Just two.

But wait! Now it's on my right forearm!

What the hell is this thing?

No, it's not real itchy. It doesn't seem to be spreading in any discernable pattern. My ankle is no longer itchy and my forearm never really has been.

Hang on though folks... there's more! Next post you'll find out...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Real Beauty

I was just watching TV, one of the luxuries of being on the road. OK, I watch at home too, but watching on the road always gives me a different perspective.

In this particular case, I was watching a commercial that came on (nope, no Tivo out here!) and it was all about hair color. At the end of this hair color commercial the sponsor company puts up a web site address ""

Am I the only one that finds that wrong?

As with so much else I see around me, it seems like companies much like the people who make them up, miss the real point in things. In this case, they've missed real beauty. No, not just because they had a hair color commercial before the web site address, but because they're missing what real beauty is.

Being in LA for the week, and being out and about town a bit, I get to see all kinds of "beauty." Some natural, some not. And, as a disclaimer, no, I don't think there is anything wrong with being physically attractive. Good thing too, my wife is one hot number and if I thought that was wrong I'd be in real trouble!

But beauty isn't something that's external. Oddly enough I think Hollywood got it right finally (well, kind of) when they released shallow Hal. My favorite scene is when they show Hal going on a trip (I think it's with Gweneth Paltrow's character) and another couple. When they show the other couple in "normal view" the chick is supposed to be a real hottie, but when they show Hal's view they show a shriveled up old hag. And thus, in many cases, is the truth.

Real beauty is something that happens from the inside out. And, it's the reason why this week I've been pining away for my honey. I know I've mentioned my wife at different times, but I'll risk talking about her for a moment again. Besides being muy caliente physically, my wife is also very smart (delivered the speech to the National Honor Society when she was in high school - yah, smart), thrifty, industrious, virtuous, kind, considerate, caring, loving, charming, charismatic, a leader of women, a trust worthy confidant, compassionate and above all else, a woman with a heart after God. My wife has more character in her pinkie than most people hope to have in their life time. And that folks is real beauty.

Real beauty is the thing that makes your heart ache when you're 3000 miles away. Real beauty is what makes you miss someone even when you're 300 feet away. Real beauty is that thing that draws you to someone like a magnet long after the initial infatuation with physical beauty has worn off. Real beauty is what makes you confident you can share your most important dreams, greatest triumphs and worse disappointments - and know that you'll get the best resopnse. Real beauty is what motivates you even when you aren't motivated, it's what keeps you going when you can't even see where you're going, and it gives you strength when you've no strength left.

So. I'd like to start a campaign for real beauty too. I'll start with me. I know what I'm doing. I'm getting in front of the most powerful being in the universe and I'm asking him to give me real beauty. I'm asking him to change me so that I look so much like him - that people actually see him. Because, if I do that, then I'm going to have all those things I told you about my wife. How do I know that? LOL. Where do you think she gets all those great attributes from? Right. It's called Godly character, and it is real beauty.

Galations 5:22-23 says "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness (also meekness which is defined as power with restraint), and self-control. Against such things there is no law." A lot of people talk a lot of smack about the Bible, but here's the crux. Can you find anything wrong with all of us exhibiting more of the above? Would this world be a better or worse place if we did? Exactly.

Here's the deal. Like I said, I'll start with me. You want to help beautify the world? Give it real beauty? Have a go at it too.

Friday, July 07, 2006

I just don't get it, do you?

I was just watching TLC's What Not to Wear. There's a surprise, eh? And, while I think I'm planning a mini-rant on this for the Metro Moment ( I just thought I'd leave a note here too.

As usual, Stacy and Clinton show up to rescue a dowdy fire plug of a woman from her awful sense of fashion - or lack thereof. In this case, the woman even knows who Stacy and Clinton are because she watches the show.

So, now, here's what I don't get. This chick watches the show. Of course, she knows that everyone around her thinks she doesn't dress worth shite. She AGREES to go on the show. THEN she proceedes to fight everyone, Stacy, Clinton, Nick (the hair guy), and Carmindy (the makeup specialist) regarding her clothes, her hair length (she's determined it's not going to be short because she wants it long - HELLO) and her make up (well, she found how it was applied instructional - GAG).

Tell me. Why did this chick go on the show? She had a face on the entire time she was in hair and makeup. She was crying when Nick was going to show her what her hair looked like, and damn(!) he didn't even cut it that short (as were her wishes). I just don't get why she would go on this show, knowing full well that everyone around her wanted her to help herself, knowing that the fashion experts were there to help her look fabulous - and fight it! Honestly, she totally became completely unsympathetic for me. And I've got to tell you, that takes some work. So why did she go on?

This reminds me of the way so many people (including me, mind you) are with their lives. Everything can be going to puppy droppings around them and still, despite the best efforts of those that love them they still insist upon doing it their own way. In fact, it's often the way we are with God too, even as Christians - which makes the absolutel LEAST sense. But, it's true. And, like you too, I still see this all the time both in and out of the church.

I see it outside the body of Christ because people don't see the true nature of the Spirit of God living in us, so when we tell them that Jesus loves them and God has redeemed them and they can experience true liberty - all they here is "religion" and going to church. FOR SHAME! On all of us! We (those already redeemed by the blood, those of us already with our names written in the Lamb's Book of Life according to scripture) need to carry more of the Lord's presence with us! We (and I'm pointing at myself here too!) all need to spend more time with the Father so that we can become more like him! That's what people will respond to.

I see it inside the body because even though people claim they want to live as Christians (in a Christ like manner), so many of them still want to hold on to their old "stinkin thinkin", bad habits and everything else! You'd figure that these folks that were finally responsive enough to the Spirit of the Lord to get saved, these people that know the liberty of salvation - would want all the freedom and everything that Jesus can give them! And still, it isn't so. Sigh.

Well, at the end of the show, Mrs. Recalcitrant was crying during her reveal and telling Stacy and Clinton that "it" wasn't about the just about the looks, it was an internal thing as well. It was a change in her heart that the experience had made in her. Finally I think she got it. Hopefully, I pray that we all get it, don't you?