Road Trips

Dr. Don Worcester —  May 6, 2016 — Leave a comment

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Differences create tension.

Tension is uncomfortable.

Ignoring or erasing the differences will

Reduce the tension and restore the

Comfort.

This process will create greater Ease.

Ease is desirable and attainable.

If we eliminate differences

It will be Easy!

 

But will it be Good?

Will it be amazing and great?

Will it be ripe with life giving energy?

Probably not,

But it will be Easy and Comfortable.

 

So…. What if we don’t ignore, erase or eliminate the differences?

What if we decide to recognize and

Welcome the differences?

What if we saw the differences as

challenging not threatening?

What if we cared more about the 

      Capacity we could have together,                 

       than the comfort we could have 

        apart?

What if we decide to live with the tension rather than eliminate it?

 

To live with Tension requires Intentional living.

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This is harder and better living.

 

Our lives do not get better, richer or fuller because we eliminate differences. They get better when we Integrate differences. 

 

Only something more powerful and compelling than our individual differences can bind us and blend us into more than ourselves.

 

Personal happiness is a natural by product of a great marriage but it’s a lousy compass for daily living. The Road to ” Happily Ever After” travels through some wild and wooly terrain.

 

Traveling with differences means we will learn to:

Set a common direction,

Recover from disappointments,

Stay courageous and hopeful through rough seasons,

Cultivate joy and purpose in our daily routines and rhythm

Stay connected through conflict

Give fresh starts to one another in our life together.

 

The road to “Happily Ever After” has bumps, twists and turns.

There may be some sections with little service.

You may encounter severe weather.

The road itself may become difficult to find and follow in certain sections.

There may be encounters with locals who are hostile to your presence.

Your vehicle will likely experience some damage along the way,

you will need to make repairs and get back on the road.

Some days you will cruise along with little effort

other days you will crawl and creep forward expending all the energy you have.

 

Why travel such a road?….because of the destination.

Dads and husbands are invited into the Ultimate Road Trip.

Our daughters are on this journey with us.

They are learning about life and faith and love by watching us

and by being with us.

They are learning what does and doesn’t matter in their life and in their relationships.

They are learning how to give and receive love.

They are learning how to stay the course and how to put their trust in the One who calls them,

because He is trustworthy.

All of this will lead them to a great destination.

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Sometimes a hard roads lead to a beautiful place.

If you do not believe in the beauty of the destination, 

you may just look for a beautiful road.

A Beautiful destination is the real reward of any good journey.

So let’s top off the tank,

roll down the windows

and turn up the music;

it’s a great day

for a Road Trip.

 

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester

Apparently Jada Pinkett Smith is working on a documentary focused on Human Trafficking. I ran across a home-made video made by Jada after her first day on the job. It appeared to be late at night and she was simply talking into a personal camera or maybe a computer. She seemed to be deeply affected by what she had experienced that day.

In the process of doing some research she visited a post Human Trafficking treatment center. She sat with young girls who had recently been rescued from this hideous experience and was blown away by who she met and what she heard.

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Here is a screen shot of Jada as she searches for the words to describe what she had experienced that day.

During this VLOG that Jada Pinkett Smith recorded, she recounted these words from a young woman who had recently been freed from the Human Trafficking trade.

“Manipulating men into giving you money for your body is ok because of what the music tells us. It’s almost expected”

Wow, can you believe that a young girl, recently out of sex trafficking said this about the music she heard?

I wonder if you are aware of what the hip hop/rap scene is teaching our kids? Are you aware of how these “artists” are talking about our daughters? Are you aware of the training they are providing for our boys?

I will not reprint the vulgar, dehumanizing, disgusting and degrading song lyrics here which are typical of the hip hop/rap music culture. You will have to take my word for it. Or, if you are feeling particularly curious or adventurous, google “Degrading song lyrics about women” and see what comes up. You can also search for song lyrics from the likes of “Dr. Dre”, “Lil Wayne”, “Cadillac Don”, “Ja Rule” and the infamous “Eminem.” “Eminem” has actually taken it a bit farther and infused a strong element of violence against women in many of his songs.

By the sounds of this music, you would think these guys regard our daughters as nothing more than disposable garbage.

Of course not everyone who listens to this music is as tragically affected as the young girl that Jada met. But studies show that such lyrics are certainly a negative influence which should be monitored by engaged parents.

Am I somehow crusading AGAINST a particular type of music or artist? NO! I am crusading FOR engaged, caring parents who are aware of the environment their kids are growing up in.

One side note: Thinking you can simply say “we don’t allow that music” will keep it away from your kids would be incorrect. It is everywhere and it’s impossible to control short of moving to a cave in the mountains.

The key is YOU being engaged, aware, caring and involved with your kids so you can interpret, shield and protect. Enter in conversation about these and other important topics.

Stand up Men. Your daughter needs you. Your son too!

Press On
Alan

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Our book Prized Possession goes into great detail on what I call “The Assault on our Girls.” You can pick up our book by hitting the link below.

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Borrowed Light

Dr. Don Worcester —  April 22, 2016 — Leave a comment

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A full moon is often beautiful and brilliant in the night sky. Moonlight has made it into our songs, our stories and into our imaginations.

The moon appears “self-luminous” but we know it is borrowed light that makes it shine. The Moon appears bright because the sun is very, very, very bright.

Borrowed light is still light. An object that poorly reflects something blazing and brilliant is still casting light in a dark night sky.

I need no apology from the moon.

It is the brightest light in the evening sky. It is limited, not defective. It generates no light of it’s own, it is a reminder in the dark, that the True Light is still shining, that the dawn is coming.

Moonlight is a deposit, a down payment towards a brighter day that has not yet arrived; it’s a promise in the night that the dawn is coming.

 

The light from the moon waxes and wanes over the days and weeks of its lunar calendar. The moon is on it’s own journey, it is not a fixture but an object in motion. We only see part of the moon part of the time. The fullest and brightest moon on the clearest night is still not fully illuminated; there is still a dark side.

 

The moon is a lesser light that reflects a greater one. All of creation is a poor reflection of a magnificent Creator.

When the Creator and the creation are fully reconciled, the lesser things will fall away. The scaffolding is no longer needed once the Cathedral is finished.

The lesser things will fall away at the arrival of the One and Only. The sun, moon and stars will be released, their mission fulfilled, marriage will be released as the wedding feast of the Lamb begins, time and pain and tears will all evaporate as the Eternal, Good and Beautiful King welcomed us by name into His Kingdom and Reign.

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This is not a fairy tale or fabricated happy ending. This is not a Cosmic, Mystical hug generated from a vague sense of well-being and well wishes.

This is a Coronation Celebration, with all of creation on its knee’s confessing and welcoming the return of the King.

 

Great dad’s also live and love from borrowed light. No apology for not being the source. We can still be bright lights in a dark sky. Most of us have a dark side, we are prone to wax and wane. Some nights we shine full and bright, some nights we can reflect only a sliver of light.

 

Our imperfect and inconsistent love is a reminder in the dark that a greater love is coming. It’s the job we have been given as dads. Let’s stay the course. There really is a Man in the Moon. He’s a dad with a daughter.

 

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Shine on!

 

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester

Spring Break – Scary

Alan Smyth —  April 18, 2016 — 2 Comments

We are in the season of Spring Break. When kids are little, “Spring Break” simply means a celebration of NO SCHOOL. And before we got all politically correct, it wasn’t even called “Spring Break.” It was called “Easter Vacation.” Either way, for kids, Spring Break started out pure and fun. It started out as time with family and friends.
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“Spring Break” now conjures up very different meanings and images. Spring break has become big business for popular destinations such as Vegas, Florida and Mexico. It is THE thing to do for thousands upon thousands of college kids.
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Is it all bad? Ummmm, well, Yep, pretty much! Honestly, it’s baffling to me how and why parents are letting their kids go to these types of events. I guess there is a case to be made that those “kids” who are participating are actually “adults” and can do whatever they want. To that I say, GREAT, then pay for your own college… cell phone….food… car… etc etc etc. and be a real adult!

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I certainly don’t mean to lump every kid on these trips into the lowest common denominator. But even good kids or naïve kids showing up in an environment with massive alcohol consumption, open sexual activity and exploitation, and predators of all kinds will lead to poor judgment, regret, pain or worse.

Ok, so what is my message to Dad’s out there? I’m guessing most you reading this agree with my opinion here and the overall safety of “Spring Breaks.” If not, I am totally comfortable going against the grain on this one.

My message is this:
The accepted stereo typical “Spring Break” activity is bad, unhealthy and downright scary. Especially for those of us with daughters.

Start while your daughter is young creating a fun, positive tradition over “Spring Break.” Something to look forward to every year.

Create family alternatives which are more attractive than the world’s options and you will have a better chance as your kids grow older. (hint: relationship with YOU is the key)

Or how about just saying “NO” to things you don’t approve of? Regardless of their legal age you will always be their parent and will always have a voice and a vote in their lives.

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For my daughters’ Sr. year “Spring Break” trip, I took her to Hawaii (just her ane I) and had her swim with the Dolphins. (her dream) Even better…. It was her idea.

You can do this guys. Step up and fill the void. Redefine what is fun, available, wholesome and healthy. Be counter cultural and start at a young age!

Press On

Alan

Great Father’s Day gifts below. Pick up the book “Prized Possession” for Dad’s and also a fun T-shirt or two at the links below.

 

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Launching

Dr. Don Worcester —  April 15, 2016 — Leave a comment

When I was in grade school the U.S. was in a big time Space Race with

Russia. The moon was the prize and when the Apollo Rockets launched

the whole country tuned in to watch the spectacle and glory of the

Count Down, Ignition and Lift Off.

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There are hundreds of famous images from that era; Astronauts, Mission

Control, Space Capsules, News Anchors and the strong and beautiful

Apollo Rockets lifting off with power, grace and promise. There are

lots of stirring photos. There is one important thing rarely featured in the Apollo archives,

the Launch Pad.

 

When a Launch Pad does it’s job, it mostly goes unnoticed. This kind

of make sense given that Launch Pads are not designed to launch

themselves, they have a more important role.

A role that is central to the whole mission.

 

They stay grounded to help something else fly.

 

They absorb the fiery blast that comes with every new launch.

 

They are on site and along side for the whole preparation and count

down process.

 

They set the trajectory for the right path.

The direction at lift off

will determine much of the journey.

 

They get to hold something close that is truly beautiful and powerful.

Something filled with promise and purpose. Something designed to fly,

to travel further and faster and farther than our eyes can see. They

get the best view

and the last view of

a successful launch.

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A Launch Pad has a good gig, so does any dad with a daughter. A Launch

Pad or a dad without scorch marks has probably not been in active

service. It is part of the gig. So let’s stay at it.

I don’t know any dads who do not sometimes feel a bit clumsy or stiff

in their efforts to connect, support, lead, love and launch their

girls. But I do know this, nothing launches without a Launch Pad!

 

The race to the moon was important, but if you are parenting a

daughter today, you are in a much bigger and better Race. Let’s show

up with the best stuff we have, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

 

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester

 

Men, we need to have a difficult conversation. There is a disturbing reality growing in our midst and we need an army of men to rise up and say, “No more. Not on my watch!” I made a career change this past fall and have embraced a greater challenge than I have ever known. I have gone to work for an LA based non profit called Saving Innocence.

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We work with child victims of sex trafficking. And believe me, if that sounds bad…. The reality is far worse than it even sounds. Right under our collective noses, Human Trafficking has proliferated beyond measure and is currently the fastest growing crime in the world. Some 30 million people world wide are enslaved. Our focus is on the minors who have been caught up in this ugly criminal enterprise. The average age of entry is just TWELVE years old and experts estimate that there are as many as 300,000 children being sold for sex in the US each year. These are American born kids who are being forced to be with between 10-20 men per day. I am not talking about Thailand or Cambodia….. I am talking about the United States of America. Within our borders in our cities and with our children.

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If you are like me, you are disgusted and repulsed right about now. How is this happening? Why is this happening? I feel as if our society is in a moral free fall. The fact that we are allowing the Commercial, Sexual, Exploitation of Children is beyond understandable and it is beyond allowable. The picture below is of one our clients waiting for her turn to testify in court against her trafficker. You can not help but notice how young she appears to be.

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So what do we do?

We respond with law enforcement around the clock, 24/7. We arrive on the scene for the recovery of a child who is being trafficked. We are with them in their most vulnerable moments advocating for their needs. We then begin case management services for as long as it takes to completely change the trajectory of this child’s life. Our goal is to give her back her childhood and turn her from victim to survivor to someone who is thriving. As you might imagine, this is a long and bumpy road.

So what can you do?

First, know about it…. This is happening. Learn about it. Understand it. See our website for more information. CLICK HERE.

Once you know about it, now care about it. (how could you not?)

Once you care about it, now do something about it. Help us raise awareness. Read up on this crime and share with your networks what is happening. Help us raise funds to recover and restore these dear children. Saving Innocence is looking for monthly donors and one time donors. From our website, hit the DONATE button and become our partner. Follow us on all of our social media channels @savinginnocence. “Share” or “retweet” this blog post.

This crime needs to go away and it needs to go away right now. Please invest some time and energy in learning about it and get involved.

As for you Dad… never a better time to be fully present with your daughter. Never a better time to remind her how precious and valuable she is. Never a better time to be alert, engaged and protective. Let her know how worthy she is of a father’s love.

Rise up Men!

Alan

E-mail me at Alan@savinginnocence.org if you want to talk about how to get involved or you just have some questions.

 

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