You haven't seen more scandalous drama at a chicken coop since Gus was peddling the blue stuff at Los Pollos Hermanos (only breaking bad fans will get that reference). So Chick-fil-A picked a fight! But with who? Only logical foe is free speech, right? The past 72 hours have been exhausting (keep in mind, I am NOT super-political. I usually stay out of political rantings). But for the past 3 days I've been more annoyed at the radicals who hate, disappointed by the leaders of the church who remained silent (cause they normally love talking), and just plain tired of hearing from the "RELEVANT" christian voice. Because what do they really stand for anyway? I have read thoughts and articles that have made me want to puke (probably because what I was reading was regurgitated trash anyway. 1 article by Matthew Paul Turner said "5 ways the church failed"  in the ChIck-Fil-A. (YAWN) I'm sure he's a nice enough guy with a great heart, but this whole "Jesus is love and would be fine with us the way we are" is really played out.
      What I know is this. It's America, we are allowed our freedom. Speech is granted to ALL, and Christians are included. We are Christians, and indeed we are called to love. Love all, no matter who they are (judge not). 
I also know this. I drove my 3 kids to a Chick-fil-A in Jersey yesterday to teach them these things and more.

I wanted to teach my kids a lesson. When we ended up (in Jersey) I began to tell them what a great country we have. That people can freely speaktheir minds, live their lives, and have their faith. I taught them that the standard for their lives should always be the Bible first, and they should never apologize for that. EVER. 
I taught them that Jesus told us to love, and not just love those who agree with us, or believe what we believe. But true strings attached. I told them that all people should be treated with dignity and respect. I taught them they should stand strong behind truth when asked and never water it down due to criticism, pressure, or persecution.

I taught them all this over a chicken sandwich....or 2...
I love when I can spend a whole day with my family. I also love that special one on one time with my kids. Today was that day. Me and Josiah (my 2 yr old son) we shopping all day for mommy. I mean ALL DAY. One thing that never get's in the way of a "all day-er" with a child o' mine is, well anything. I have to remind myself constantly to put away the phone, it's Daddy time.  So we stopped at a very "manly" restaurant (o.k. B.K. is tough guy food). I saw something really disturbing. First, my son already flirts. He got the eye of this cute little 2 year old who couldn't keep her eyes of my boy (already like his daddy). Problem was, her daddy was eyeing his phone too long to notice. Here's what I mean. (cropped out faces as best as possible. This wasn't about THIS dad, This is about US dads.).
                                          (dad on phone)
I get it. Sometimes things pop up. Sometimes they are even urgent. Here's my issue. 45 minutes later...check this out.
                       (dad still on the phone, hasn't barely looked up)
I'm sure this guy's a fine enough daddy. He seemed very caring as they were leaving.  He was very caring, and I'd bet the bank this isn't a "norm" for him. Personally I'm thankful to him, seeing this opened my eyes. Josiah and his little girl were chatting to each other as they were leaving, we were able to share a smile and I simply said "Goes fast. Gotta enjoy every minute while we can". He nodded, smiled, scoped up his beautiful little bundle and was gone. I had to see this, cause I hated to see this. I had to capture this, because I hated to see this. Dad's, make every moment a priority. The work will be there when your done, but the moment(s) will have passed. Here's some helpful tips to make sure you "capture" every moment.

* Discipline yourself with social media. (when it's daddy time, don't let anything get in the way).

* Always keep in mind, you only get these moments once.

* Give your kid permission to call you out 
(the other day Bella was asking me to watch Karate Kid. I was in the middle of texting someone. As I tried to "multi-task" my Bella came over, gently took the phone out of my hand, and gently said "Enough with the phone Daddy".  All I said was "Thank you". Let your kids have the freedom to tell you when they want your attention.

* Remember. Nothing is more important to you then THAT moment right there. Audibly say that to your child. Even when they are young. Start it early so they know how much that time means to YOU.

Dad's. We only get one shot. Let's do better then "the best we can".

     If you would have have told me 10 years ago, I'd be a maniac trying to find a Barbie camper for my youngest daughter ( side note: This is year 2. I'm trying not to have to sell a kidney to afford it) If you would have told me I'd be on such a mission, a ravenous mission. I would have told you.......That you were probably right! As a teen-ager I couldn't wait to be a dad. I planned how I would act, how I would discipline my kids, and most importantly how I would love, affirm, and care for them. See right where I am at, is right where I dreamed I would be. With a amazing wife who loves me more then anyone has or probably ever will. 3 fantastic kids, who, each in their own way hold such a special place in my heart. With a job that takes everything that I am,  requires everything that I am not, and couldn't imagine living without. See I did 3 things growing up.

1. I prayed for these dreams.
(everyday I prayed for my wife, my kids, and even the dad I would be). Now I pray for the spouses and grandchildren (not weird at all).

2. I studied others who were "living" my dreams.
(Anyone who had remotely a life that resembled something I prayed for, I studied, took mental notes, and tucked them away into my heart.

3. I worked (and still work)  my dreams
(I didn't just wait for these dreams to come to me, I worked them. I sought a woman who would complete me, raise kids in a way that they will respect, honor, (and worship me....just kidding).

(Remember: What we call dreams, God defines as purposes. When we speak of dreams and aspirations, it's not by OUR doing, but finally by us catching up to God's awesome plan for us.

Dream on...