Dr. Paul Pettit is married to Pam, a neo-natal nurse practitioner, and they live in Dallas, Texas raising five wonderful children. Paul is the president and founder of Dynamic Dads, a non-profit encou
Posted 6/30/15 at 3:36 PM | Paul Pettit
8 Questions You Can Comfortably Ask a Christian Person
Many Christian people (including myself) speak and train in a variety of venues, and we do so because it is important to us to educate non-Christian people about who we are. We get a lot of comments and a lot of questions in those settings, and unless we have specified that a particular topic is off-limits (I never do), we expect and are happy to answer any and all questions that come our way. In that situation, as the old cliché goes, there are no stupid questions.
But there is a big difference between a training session or educational setting and a social or workplace environment. When we speak or train, we make the choice to answer questions, respond to comments, and so on. When we’re eating fast food, shopping at the mall, or just meeting someone for the first time in a social setting, we’re sometimes caught off guard.
So we present “8 Questions You Can Comfortably Ask a Christian Person” (all of which have been said to me at one time or another) as an encouragement to those non-Christian folks outside of a formal educational or training setting.
1. “What did it feel like when you first became a Christian”?
There is no one “feeling.” Christian people have many feelings or sometimes no specific feelings at all when they cross the line. We know what you’re asking, but we just don’t like to pretend that we speak for all Jesus followers. Most Christians who have come out describe the born-again experience as a “settled peace,” or “becoming a new person.”
But Christian transition is not all about feelings – in fact, the social aspects of transition can be far more complicated, complex, and compelling. To ask about feelings alone is to disregard every other aspect of a person as a human being. In addition, some Christians are still quite closeted. Deciding to become a Christian is about adopting a whole new lifestyle…an entirely new way of thinking and acting. FULL POST
Posted 7/10/14 at 11:31 AM | Paul Pettit
When Google executive, Forrest Hayes, 51, installed surveillance cameras in his luxury yacht he probably had security reasons in mind. Now, Santa Cruz, California police say the hidden cameras reveal images of the prostitute Hayes hired coolly stepping over his lifeless body and calmly taking one last drink of wine before pulling down the blinds and quietly exiting the boat. Hayes, a married, father of five, found Alix Tichelman, 26, on a sleazy website where older men hire younger women for "arrangements," i.e. prostitution. Tichelman is shown on the yacht videos injecting Hayes with heroin among other activities. When complications set in and Hayes began to struggle for his life, Tichelman showed no signs of offering assistance or calling 9-1-1. Police say her only concern was gathering her personal belongings."She showed no regard for him. She was just trying to cover her tracks," police said Tuesday. The surveillance video from the boat showed that Hayes was "suffering medical complications" and lost consciousness, detectives said. Among Tichelman's Facebook postings were these gruesome thoughts, "Really nice to talk with someone about killing sprees and murdering people in cold blood...and they love it too, No judgment. Yay!” she wrote on her page. Tichelman — who boasts more than 200 clients who pay top dollar for her services — was arrested on Friday after police say she agreed to meet an undercover cop who posed as a potential client offering her $1,000 for sex.
Hayes’ family, trying to remember the good times, released a statement to the media saying, ““Forrest will be remembered above all as a loving husband and father.” His obituary, which was published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, noted, “More than anything else he enjoyed spending time with his family at home and on his boat. His brilliant mind, contagious smile, and warm embrace will be missed and cherished in memories by his friends and family.” How sad. The Google IT executive who previously worked for Sun Microsystems and Apple apparently led a secret life. Police are unsure whether the heroin injection was a one -time event or whether Hayes was a regular user. Authorities have already confirmed this was not his first dalliance with Tichelman. Apparently, the pair had met a few times before their Nov. 26 encounter on Hayes' 50-foot yacht, Escape, at the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor, said Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark. FULL POST
Posted 4/4/14 at 8:35 AM | Paul Pettit
New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy missed the season's first two games to be with his wife during the birth of their first child earlier this week. Everyone was really happy, right? Well...no. A couple of radio talk show hosts in New York criticized Murphy's decision. Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason said, "Quite frankly I would've said 'C-section before the season starts. I need to be at opening day. I'm sorry, this is what makes our money, this is how we're going to live our life, this is going to give our child every opportunity to be a success in life. I'll be able to afford any college I want to send my kid to because I'm a baseball player,'"
Full disclosure. My wife and I have five children. I have been present at the birth of each of our children. And also, I must reveal that my wife is a Neo-Natal Nurse Practitioner. So, maybe we know a bit more about the dangers that can occur during a routine delivery. In fact, there's no such thing as a "normal delivery." After our first two children were born and there were no complications, I began to reason, "How hard can this be? We've got this down pretty well." Then our third child, Evan, was born. It was a difficult labor. Phrases like "failure to progress" and "breech" were being thrown around. After I saw my wife's limp leg flop over the side of the delivery table I excused myself from the proceedings and quietly slipped out into the hall of the Baylor Hospital in downtown Dallas, Texas praying, "Please, Lord, help us have a healthy delivery." I was desperate. Everything was moving in slow motion. A couple of neo-natal doctors appeared in the room to assist. FULL POST
Posted 2/7/14 at 2:37 PM | Paul Pettit
Unfortunately, from time to time, we at Dynamic Dads are forced to warn our readers concerning the activities and practices of other organizations. It brings us no joy to issue a rebuke to another organization. However, we are open to others examining Dynamic Dads and if the need ever arises, would welcome investigation into our beliefs and practices. It seems the same can no longer be said for Bill Gothard and the Advanced Training Institute.
Numerous Christian media outlets are relaying allegations from various families alleging Gothard has secreted away teenage girls to his ministry site in Oak Brook, Illinois. Gothard, never married, stands accused of counseling, holding, touching, kissing, and "mentoring" young women. Witnesses are claiming Gothard spends an inordinate amount of time with these teenage girls forcing others to ask, "why?"
Of course men counseling women is no sin. But the Bible cautions against older men "training" younger women (Titus 2:3-4). Of course, Gothard never having married is no crime. (Oprah Winfrey has never married and yet she has made a career of dispensing advice on marriage and parenting.) If evangelicals are going to accuse Woody Allen of improper behavior in this regard then we should not shy away from a complete and thorough investigation of Mr. Gothard who finds himself facing similar rumors.
Today, Dynamic Dads calls on the legal authorities in Oak Brook, Illinois, to undertake an investigation into the practices of Bill Gothard and the Advanced Training Institute. These allegations are serious and from all accounts appear to be quite credible. Multiple witnesses are involved and have come forward. Fathers everywhere should seriously consider whether sending their teenage daughters away to "learn" or "serve" at ATI Headquarters is a healthy idea. In addition to legal authorities (local police and local child protective services agencies,) Dynamic Dads calls upon pastors and ministers in the town of Oak Brook, Illinois to thoroughly investigate these serious allegations which have arisen against Mr. Gothard.
As far as we understand, Mr. Gothard has not been arrested or charged in a court of law. By all accounts the ATI Ministry operates under a cloud of secrecy. Bill Gothard has built a reputation of acting on his own apart from the local churches and parishes he purports to serve. However, the court of public opinion has looked into these credible stories and found Mr. Gothard wanting. He should come forward and completely open his ministry activities to the light of day. Nothing less will quell these rumors and allegations. It's the least he can do for the families he attempts to serve.
Posted 6/27/13 at 12:53 PM | Paul Pettit
Something strange happened on the way to Wendy Davis becoming a rising political star among pro-abortion liberals. Davis, a Texas state senator from Fort Worth, attempted to engage the time-honored tradition of invoking a filibuster when it appeared Senate Bill 5, limiting abortion after twenty weeks gestation and holding abortion clinics to the same medical standards as area hospitals, was about to pass. (The bill did indeed pass on a vote of 19 for and 10 against, but the vote was electronically time-stamped at just after midnight, thus nullifying the vote due to its passage coming after the close of the legislative session.) The reason the vote didn’t get recorded in time? Texas state senators faced the near-impossible task of attempting to talk over the screams and shouts of the pro-abortion protestors in the upstairs visitor’s gallery. On this occasion at least…the mob won.
Davis stood tall for the pro-abortion cause for 13 hours. Under strict Texas filibuster rules she was not allowed to sit, lean, eat, drink, receive assistance, or stray off topic. A few minutes before the clock struck the bewitching hour of midnight, the mob, egged on by Davis; inserted itself into the legislative drama. The boisterous pro-abortion crowd had gathered and grown throughout the day and early evening due to the planned, strategic use of social media. Even President Obama weighed in tweeting, “Something special is happening in Austin tonight…” And he inserted the “pre-approved” hash tag #StandWithWendy” Something special was indeed happening. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, presiding over the vote, called the crowd an “unruly mob,” and reported a “ruckus” had broken out. Austin area police and Texas Legislative security guards were summoned in an attempt to keep the crowd from shouting down the floor proceedings…all to no avail. Early on in the shout-fest State Senator Wendy Davis turned to the crowed, raised both arms, and appeared to encourage the protestors to scream even louder. But later, even Davis herself couldn’t control the throng. She valiantly tried putting her index finger to her pursed lips but the frenzy was now beyond even Wendy’s control.
In her book, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America, columnist Ann Coulter writes, “The mob will never support defending America, only those who seek to undermine it. The mob will never side with those who seek to protect human life, only those who seek to destroy it. The mob will never support the creation of wealth, only those who seek to punish it. The mob will never defend traditional morality, only those who seek to subvert it. And if you oppose the mob, it will come after you like a pack of ravenous hyenas,” (p 288).
It was strange watching the ravenous hyenas in action on June 25, 2013 in Austin, Texas. The reason I was able to watch? It was live-streamed over the internet. Everyone saw Sen. Davis and her exhausting filibuster. But since the unblinking eye of the internet web camera has no moral or prejudicial filter the world saw not only a calm and composed Wendy but an out of control and unruly crowd. On this night Wendy Davis indeed became a media darling…Queen of Abortion Rights. How long her popularity will last is anyone’s guess. Angry mobs, demanding they be heard and followed over elected officials, are a fickle lot. Another special session has already been called to reorganize a civilized debate surrounding these same issues…it’s a hot topic.
Of course, all of this falls against the ugly backdrop of Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell performed some 16,000 abortions over 31 years at his "clinic" in west Philadelphia - a poor neighborhood in one of the poorest big cities in the United States.
According to those responsible for regulating abortion clinics, his practice was fine. But they hadn't checked…or listened to complaints from doctors and other professionals…or done anything after two women died from treatment there. District Attorney Seth Williams reported, “Children were being born alive…they breathed and moved, they cried, and he severed their spinal cords and murdered them.” Gosnell was only stopped in 2010, when police executing a drug warrant entered the clinic and found a house of horrors. Included were feet in jars, bones in drains and fetuses stored in freezers above refrigerators that held workers' lunches.
The gruesome details - including the dangerous, even lethal practice of using untrained staff to sedate women - are cataloged in the grand jury report. Last month a judge sentenced Gosnell to three consecutive life sentences for killing three newborns by snipping their spinal cords at the neck. These details beg the question, “What specific facts about bringing abortion clinics up to state and federal hospital standards does Wendy oppose?” FULL POST
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