Steve keeps busy with five children and a job in information security. He also has a second job as principal of the Hodgepodge homeschool.

Resources for Moral Living

 Posted by on May 18, 2012  No Responses »
May 182012

Today I share with you some of the resources I turn to often:

Plus a new resource we just recently discovered:

You might also be interested in my series, here at Habits:

  • The Habit of Moral Living, Part IThe founders of our nation believed in a moral code of conduct. Whatever their personal beliefs–whether Christian, Unitarian, or Deist–the moral code by which they conducted themselves was based in the Christian Bible. In the general principles of Christianity can be found the underpinnings of our republic.
  • The Habit of Moral Living, Part 2The “solid foundation of morals” is the Christian faith.  It is a faith of absolutes.  We can know what is right and what is wrong.  The truths expressed in the bible are unassailable.  The republic formed using biblical Christianity as a foundation has endured over 230 years.  Liberty was achieved.
  • The Habit of Moral Living, Part 3What happens when people reject God–the moral foundation of their society?  Benjamin Franklin said that as nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.  The apostle Paul, speaking to the church at Rome, spoke of those who rejected God and the consequences of that rejection.
  • The Habit of Moral Living, Part 4Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. –John Adams, October 11, 1798What happens to people who reject God?  For He is the very moral underpinning of a civil society.  Without Him, the republic cannot subsist any length of time.
  • The Habit of Moral Living, Part 5 The Apostle Paul expands upon his essay about those with “defective thinking” in the book of Galatians.  In chapter 5, he provides a list of behaviors produced by the selfish motives of the defective thinker.

What are your favorite resources?

Daddy Destinations

 Posted by on April 4, 2012  No Responses »
Apr 042012

The Earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.  –Psalm 24:1

My wife recently attended a two-day blogging conference.  While at the conference, I spent the days with the children.

Our family has long had a tradition of Daddy Destinations.  A Daddy Destination is a trip to some unannounced place that I have chosen.  These trips are usually a surprise.

On a Friday afternoon, I gathered some items together and put them in the back of the van.  A tablecloth, several bottles of water, paper plates, plastic cups, and forks.  I gathered the children together and told them that we were going to get some supper.

After a stop at the KFC drive-thru for dinner, we drove to a park. This park is a peaceful tract of wilderness just ten minutes from home.  We set a picnic table, and the adventure began…

Join me at Passionate Purposeful Parenting today for the rest of the Daddy adventures…

The Habit of Improving

 Posted by on January 20, 2012  2 Responses »
Jan 202012

Last October, the Human Resources department where I work scheduled a leadership conference.

All of the managers and directors for the organization were required to attend.

Most of the people I work with thought this would be a colossal waste of time.  There was simply too much to do to spend two days away from the office at a conference.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Dale Henry.  Dr. Henry is founder and president of Your Best Unlimited, Inc., a Tennessee based training company.  After earning his B.S. and M.S. in Secondary Education, Dale Henry completed his Ph.D. in 1991 specializing in the area of Adult and Continuing Education.  In 1994, he was appointed Associate Dean of Professional and Graduate Studies for Tennessee’s oldest College, Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee.  Dr. Henry has spoken to leadership teams for over 40 of the Fortune 50 corporations.

Dale emphasizes the vital importance of communication in leadership.  We as leaders must be able to articulate a vision.  Our leadership must “sizzle”.  If we can’t spark the excitement of the vision in those we’re trying to lead, the vision goes unfulfilled.  He talks about becoming the proverbial Cracker Jack; getting out of the box and becoming the prize.

How do we accomplish this?  By learning to become a servant of all.  There are two things the leader must never say: “That’s not my job,” and “I wish I had…”  Becoming a servant means helping others whenever and wherever we may be.  Dr. Henry was once mistaken for a hotel bellhop.  The hotel guest asked him to carry his luggage.  Dr. Henry picked up the guest’s luggage and carried it to his room.  When the guest realized that Dr. Henry was not the bellhop, he asked “Why did you carry my luggage?”  Dr. Henry’s reply: “Because you asked me to help you.”

Everyone who attended the conference thought it worthwhile after hearing Dr. Henry speak.  He has a speaking style that mixes laughter and seriousness in such a way as to have a lasting impact.

You can see clips of Dr. Dale Henry at his website.

The Habit of Generosity

 Posted by on December 23, 2011  No Responses »
Dec 232011

In 1891, Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee was distraught because so many poor individuals in San Francisco were going hungry. During the holiday season, he resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner for the destitute and poverty-stricken. He only had one major hurdle to overcome — funding the project.

He lay awake nights, worrying, thinking, praying about how he could find the funds to fulfill his commitment of feeding 1,000 of the city’s poorest individuals on Christmas Day. As he pondered the issue, his thoughts drifted back to his sailor days in Liverpool, England. He remembered how at Stage Landing, where the boats came in, there was a large, iron kettle called “Simpson’s Pot” into which passers-by tossed a coin or two to help the poor.

The next day Captain McFee placed a similar pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing at the foot of Market Street. Beside the pot, he placed a sign that read, “Keep the Pot Boiling.” He soon had the money to see that the needy people were properly fed at Christmas.

The tradition continues to this day.  Almost everyone has seen a Salvation Army bell ringer standing next to the signature red kettle.  Most people who donate place a small bill or handful of change into the kettle.  For about the past 20 years in Bloomington,  Indiana, a collector’s coin is deposited into a kettle, usually worth several hundred dollars.

This year, something unusual is happening.

Adding to the almost annual gift in Indiana, valuable gold coins have been discovered in kettles in Washington…

…and Pennsylvannia; in Florida and Oregon.  Nebraska, Kentucky, and Atlanta, Georgia.

Someone, or more likely a group of someones, is leaving all kinds of valuable articles in the donation kettles.  Diamond solitaires, gold rings–and in Frederick, Maryland–a collector deposited five gold coins into area kettles.  He then visited the Salvation Army collections center and purchased the coins back for about $9,000.00.

This season celebrates the Great Giver.  What better way to celebrate the Greatest Gift than to freely give?  No matter the size of the gift, the giver is blessed to know that the gift is helping to bless another human being whom Jesus came to love and forgive.

Steering home

 Posted by on November 18, 2011  No Responses »
Nov 182011

It began as a game.

Driving home from some activity one afternoon, I said to our eldest daughter, “Steer us home.  You are responsible for telling me what direction to go at every intersection.”

We do this occasionally with each of the three eldest children.  We have always made it home.  Sometimes we run in circles for a while.  Other times, we set out in a completely wrong direction.  There was a time that one child got so disoriented that, thinking we were hopelessly lost, cried out, “Daddy, you steer the car now.”  Within minutes, we were on course once again.  Once in a while, it simply takes a helpful hint from Daddy set us back in the right direction.

It is an opportunity for each child to experience the freedom of decision making; but the parent is still in the driver’s seat.  One of our children took advantage of the freedom once.  She began directing the driver in the direction she wanted to go, rather than toward home.  The privilege of directing the driver then fell to another child in the car.

Navigating toward home is an important life skill.  The driver of the universe has given us the instruction to “steer towards home”.  He has given us His road map detailing how to get there.  He has given us the freedom to steer our lives in whatever direction we wish to go.  If we ask, he will give us course corrections.  He wants us to get home.

We can make the choice to get hopelessly lost, or listen to the directions He has given us and make it home.