Posted 7/31/12 at 10:26 AM | Paul Pettit
One of the many responsibilities and high satisfactions of parenting is taking your child to vote for the first time. It ranks right up there with taking them to get their first drivers license...or watching them graduate from high school. In our free society voting is both a right and a privilege. Think of all the countries with dictators who don't allow voting. You don't have to tell your kids WHOM they should vote for...but it is a wonderful time to have a discussion about issues. Teach them they have a voice in their city, county, state, and national debates.
Researchers tell us only a small percentage of registered voters ever turn out to cast their ballot. And that is out of the registered voters! Step one is to make sure your son or daughter is registered. Let them know their vote is important and their opinion needs to be heard. Step two is to make sure they get to the polls and actually vote.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
- Edmund Burke
Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)
Posted 7/19/12 at 4:26 PM | Paul Pettit
I used to think hiking was silly. I saw grown men and women walking up and down hills and across valleys and thought, "If only they were on a motorcycle...or about to paraglide." I viewed hiking as boring.
Now that I'm older I've found the hidden wisdom in hiking. Last week our family hiked in the Sangre De Cristo mountain range near Westcliffe, Colorado. Here are some life lessons we learned:
Pack carefully for the journey. It matters what you take with you on a hike. It might rain. You will get thirsty. Are you bringing a lunch? And yet, bringing too much "stuff" bogs you down and slows down your trip. Such is life. Leave your burdens at the cross and learn to forgive often. God reminds us His mercies are new every morning.
Picking your trail is critical. At the trail head (the beginning of your trek) several paths may look the same. And yet... one path leads to Venable Falls with a large lake and waterfall. While another trail leads up to the rocky heights of Horn Peak. So it is in the real world. Decisions like where you go to school or who you date and eventually marry end up setting much of your life course. Choose wisely! FULL POST
Posted 6/18/12 at 9:06 AM | Paul Pettit |
26 year-old Webb Simpson won the US Open golf tournament Sunday by shooting weekend rounds of 68-68, but his wife, Dowd, almost cost him the tournament by her selection of his morning drink. "I accidently got Webb regular coffee instead of decaf so he was bouncing off the walls this morning," Dowd, who is 7 months pregnant with the couples' second child said Sunday afternoon.
"I had a peace all day," said Simpson, a devout, born-again Christian. "I knew it was a tough golf course. ... I probably prayed more the last three holes than I've ever done in my life."
The Simpson's became first-time parents with the birth of their son, James, 16 months ago. They left baby James back at home in North Carolina with grandma and grandpa and enjoyed San Francisco together all week...one of their first times ever being away from their baby. Dowd was asked if this was how she envisioned her husband winning his frist major. "I think that the person that writes the story does a much better job creating it than I could ever imagine," Dowd said, in a calm voice. "I just live in the anticipation of it."
Was Webb sad that his baby boy wasn't with him on Father's Day to celebrate the victory? "It's bittersweet," the soon-to-be father of two (she's due on Aug. 3rd) acknowledged. "We couldn't have a better week. I needed her with me, because I never felt nerves like I did today. A lot of times I had to hit my legs, because I couldn't really feel them. ... I couldn't imagine being here without her."
Simpson often tweets Bible verses and Christian quotes, and attends the PGA Tour's Bible study group led by Rev. Larry Moody. When the final competitor's putt slid by the 18th hole...wide left...Simpson whispered, "Praise the Lord." On Monday morning Simpson tweeted, "Thanks to everyone for the support and encouragement. Humbled to win the US Open!! Thankful to God for His grace in my life."
Posted 5/9/12 at 11:12 AM | Paul Pettit |
Most effective fathers I work with face the following temptations:
1) The pull to spend more time at work and leave the "leftovers" for the family. I have never heard an older man reflecting back on his life say, "I only wish I had spent more time at the office."
2) Thinking, "I'll spend more time wih the kids once they are older." That time never arrives. In fact, once our children hit the teen years they often desire to spend less time with dad.
3) Assuming "quality time" trumps "quanity time." Think the once-a-year family vacation should be enough? Its not. Its the little day-in, day-out interactions that leave such a lasting legacy.
4) Reasoning, "we might as well divorce since we fight so often." The family research statistics are clear; an in-tact, lasting marriage is better for children than divorce. Go to marriage counseling and try and avoid divorce.
5) Thinking, "the beautiful woman down the street could meet my needs better than my wife." All humans are fallen. Only Jesus Christ can meet our deepest needs. FULL POST
Posted 4/19/12 at 1:59 PM | Paul Pettit |
Bobby Petrino, Cathy Samford, and the Pettit dinner table
We had a fairly strange week last week. Two big national news items dominated the talking time around the Pettit dinner table. One was the messy firing of the head football coach at the University of Arkansas; Bobby Petrino. The other was the equally unfortunate dismissal of a high school volleyball coach and science teacher at Heritage Christian Academy in Rockwall, Texas; Cathy Samford. How did these seemingly unrelated and distant events collude to interrupt our family’s peace? Our son, Austin, is a freshman at the University of Arkansas and a huge football fan. Our daughter, Haley, is a freshman at Heritage Christian Academy in Rockwall, Texas and played volleyball for Cathy Samford.
Bobby Petrino was a winning coach at Arkansas. I took our son, Evan, up to Fayetteville in the fall of 2011 for Homecoming to watch the Razorbacks defeat a very good University of South Carolina team. The campus was covered in Razorback Red. Tents and tailgaters were everywhere. I had never been to a Southeastern Conference football game before but everything I had heard about these popular events proved true. Some of the male students dressed in suit and tie. Since it was Homecoming the entire city was packed with alumni travelling in from around the southeastern parts of the United States. We attended a Campus Crusade for Christ picnic before the game and the environment was electric as the clock ticked down toward kickoff. The Hogs won that game and many more as they ended the season 11-2, their only losses coming at the hands of LSU and Alabama…the two teams that ended up playing for the National Championship. Arkansas football was back and the promise for Coach Petrino and the 2012 season was sky high.
Then, word came out on Easter Sunday that coach Petrino, had wrecked his Harley-Davidson on a country road in Crosses, Arkansas. But, he soon appeared at a press conference wearing a neck brace, bandaged and bloodied, yet telling everyone he was thankful to be alive and that no one else was involved in the accident. A local reporter even specifically asked, “You were alone, right Bobby?” To which the coach sheepishly responded, “Yeah.” Except by now the whole world knows that Petrino was indeed not alone, but had 25 year old Jessica Dorrell riding on the back seat. She was the tall, blonde volleyball player Petrino selected out of 159 applicants for the job of Student Athlete Development Coordinator, bypassing several highly qualified candidates who had much more football experience than Dorrell. Why? We now know that Dorrell was involved in an “inappropriate relationship” with her supervisor, Coach Petrino. A sad, sordid affair indeed.
We were wondering how our son, Austin, was taking the news since many on the University of Arkansas campus were saying that morals didn’t matter…what really mattered was football wins and losses. We were pleased to hear that while Austin was still a strong Bobby Petrino supporter and knew that a brilliant football mind would be moving on he also recognized that “character counts” when working with student-athletes. Austin texted, “I’m going to miss coach Petrino, but I guess if you’ll cheat on your wife, you’ll cheat on your team.” Austin was a successful quarterback and defensive end in high school and a pitcher and first-basemen on his baseball team. Over time he’s learned the valuable lessons of honesty and teamwork…lessons Coach Petrino is painfully still learning.
Like Coach Petrino, Coach Cathy Samford was also dismissed from her coaching position. As a divorced, single mother of two young children, Samford was hired to coach volleyball and teach science to high school and middle school students. Samford and the Heritage Christian Academy girls volley ball team had a successful season…advancing to the regional round of the state playoffs. However, toward the end of the volleyball season, Samford became pregnant without ever having re-married, violating the morals clause in her teaching and coaching contract. FULL POST
Posted 4/9/12 at 9:25 AM | Paul Pettit |
Bubba Watson, the 33 year-old professional golfer from Bagdad, Florida won the 76th Masters in style with a hooking wedge shot from the pine straw at the hallowed grounds of the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia on Sunday, April 8th, 2012. But it was his becoming a father only days earlier that many golfing experts are crediting with Watson’s ability to slip on the coveted green jacket. Watson and his wife, Angie, welcomed an adopted baby son, Caleb, just last week. “To go home to my son, it’s going to be fun,” said Watson, who was overcome by emotion almost before the final putt dropped. After acknowledging his University of Georgia fan base, Watson testified on this Easter Sunday by announcing, “First of all, I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Many felt this day would never come for the long-hitting Watson, whose prodigious length off the tee often left him out of bounds or in the trees bordering the lush fairways of the manicured courses played on the PGA Tour.
Watson mentioned he now moves on to other tournaments, other adventures in life, and other roles with the title of “Daddy” high on his list. “I haven’t changed a diaper yet, probably going to have to change one soon,” Watson said. After securing the victory he broke down and cried on his mother Molly's shoulder as they hugged on the 10th green. The new champion's success is even more impressive given that he has never had a formal golf lesson in his life, does not employ a sports psychologist, and is reported to suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder. Several times Watson has blown a lead and the chance to win other tournaments by taking risky shots with his go-for-broke style. Angie was asked if her husband sufferes from ADD, "Oh, he definitely has it!" Bubba is a self-taught shot maker ever since his father first showed him how to hold a club. Friends are saying the prospect of Watson being a father has already helped to settle and ground him…evidenced in his calm demeanor as he played the final few holes of the pressure-filled Masters. This was an especially touching victory for the first-time dad as Bubba’s own father Garry died from throat cancer in 2010. Garry introduced his son to golf when he took him to a golf course at the tender age of six. And despite becoming a dedicated player he’s never had a formal lesson in his life. Bubba, a committed born-again Christian who is a regular attender of the tour’s Bible study group said after his Easter Sunday win, “My dad's not here, but he's watching in heaven.” FULL POST
Posted 3/23/12 at 1:20 PM | Paul Pettit |
Responsible fatherhood is once again fashionable. Look no further than the 2012 Presidential election to see candidates on stage surrounded by their children. Polling research shows the public prefers electing candidates who are faithful spouses and effective parents. When whispers concerning Herman Cain’s alleged infidelities reached a crescendo Cain was finally forced to make campaign appearances with his wife and children. When it was proven John Edwards fathered a child apart from his wife, Elizabeth, his attempt to move into the Oval Office was effectively over. After the messy Monica Lewinsky affair, it took daughter Chelsea Clinton, literally walking hand-in-hand between her parents on the White House lawn, to begin attempts at public restoration. In politics, paternity is powerful.
Mitt and Ann Romney raised five sons. Four of them often appear on the campaign trail with dad announcing, “Our son Ben would be here as well, but he’s busy at Medical School.” Not to be out-fathered, Rick and Karen Santorum sometimes appear with all eight of their children. Polling among women voters reveals the loving attention Santorum lavishes upon his special needs daughter, Bella, has endeared him to mothers everywhere. On the other hand, voters have mostly disapproved of Newt Gingrich’s marital history. After second wife Marianne, accused Mr. Gingrich of advocating for an “open marriage” during their time together, it took Newt’s two adult daughters, appearing at their father’s side at press conferences, to defend their dad and beat back the media firestorm. FULL POST