Archives For Alan Smyth

Lay My Life Down

Alan Smyth —  July 27, 2015 — Leave a comment

I had a very unexpected and touching conversation in the bank the other day. I was there opening a new account and chit chatting with the New Accounts Teller. He mentioned that his wife was pregnant with his first, a daughter. We exchanged a few moments of parenting conversation. Me, from a 25 year vet and he from an excited, yet nervous new-bee.

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A few minutes in, this blog somehow came into the conversation. When he learned about the “Father/Daughter” nature of this blog, he said, “You need to talk to Norm.” Norm was the guy who worked in the next cubicle over. Just then, Norm popped his head over the wall and asked what we were talking about. I learned that Norm had three daughters and one of them was adopted.

Norm went on to describe the brutal situation that they adopted his teenage daughter out of. She had been in an abusive situation and had been scarred because of it. She was naturally jaded and skeptical of Norm’s love and desire to create a family. She said to Norm, “How can I trust you? How can I trust this? How do I know this is going to last? Maybe I should leave!”

Norm said, “You’re right, I can’t guarantee much. Maybe you should leave. I can’t promise that your mom isn’t going to come in and mess things up. I can’t promise that the court isn’t going to screw this up either. But here is what I can promise. I can promise that while you are here you will always have enough food to eat, a roof over your head and that I will lay my life down for you if needed.”

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I gulped…. My eyes moistened. Wow. What a statement. Norm rescued this girl out of a terrible situation with an abusive mom. Everything was uncertain. Her future was up in the air. And he is promising to lay his life down on behalf of this troubled girl. I can only imagine what that did in the heart, mind and soul of this little girl. Never before had she someone who would fight for her and protect her. Never before did she have that kind of security. Since that conversation, things have been different in that home. She is happier and more content. She did not leave and she is thriving.

I thought I was going in for some routine banking. An unexpected conversation with Norm rocked my world. I was reminded that there is some good left in this crazy world. And it prompted some questions in me.

Does your daughter know that you would lay your life down for her? And for that matter, do you know if you would? I suspect that you would, however, I wonder if your daughter knows that. I wonder if your actions suggest that she is the most important thing in your world? Not your words, but your actions! I wonder if she knows how important she is to you?

You probably won’t ever have to actually lay your life down, but how about you start this week by making some time for her in your busy schedule.

 

Do it!

Alan

For some fun gifts for Dad, take a look at our store.

 

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My Achy Breaky Heart

Alan Smyth —  July 13, 2015 — 9 Comments

Last year, just about everyone saw or at least heard about the VMA’s. There was a particular performance by a certain young Disney Star that has caused quite a stir. You could call it a backlash and outrage by many. Miley Cyrus gave a disturbing performance at the Video Music Awards in Prime Time TV. This 20 year old child star danced in an extremely suggestive and sexual manner in front of the world. It was borderline pornographic at times.

I have seen a few responses. Many of which are pointed to Miley herself. How could she do this? Why would she do this? Wasn’t she a “Disney” star a short time ago? I read something ripping on the 36 year old male counterpart who simulated sexual encounters with Miley on stage. Why and how could he do that? These are all good questions. Both parties have a lot of explaining to do.

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When I saw the performance, my heart sank. I don’t sit in judgment against Miley. I sit in sadness. I see a 20 year old child carrying on like someone completely lost and confused as to what her true value and real worth is. She is disrespecting herself and treating herself like the Hip Hop/Rap singers would portray her to be.  I am not excusing her from her actions. I just know that growing up a child star in an oversexualized culture brings with it pressures and issues that I can’t imagine. So I am not piling on Miley. I see her as just a scared lonely little girl who has more resources than most scared, lonely little girls.

However, I do have some honest questions for Billy Ray, her Dad. I am extremely curious as to her father’s response. I wonder if he is as horrified as the rest of us? I wonder if he is saddened by his daughter’s choices and the apparent bad advice she has been getting. I wonder if he has tried to pull her off the dangerous trajectory she is on? OR…. I wonder if he is complicit in his daughter’s actions of late. I wonder if he is applauding and encouraging over what he sees. My heart sinks at what I have seen.

My natural instinct is to protect my daughter. My default setting is to step in and rescue her if possible and reasonable. I’m sorry, but if a 36 year old married man came up behind my 20 year old daughter simulating sex acts…… Let’s just say the next picture you would see is my mug shot on the 6:00 pm news. I would certainly respond in a way that would land me in jail. Where are you Billy Ray? I would have expected you to leap from your seat and tackle that pig on stage to get him off your daughter. You don’t owe me any kind of response or explanation.  You owe it to your sweet daughter whom you have a responsibility to guide, direct and protect.

Hannah

Billy Ray, I hope you get some quiet time soon with your little girl before its way too late. I hope you can let her know that she is a precious daughter of the King. That she is a princess and should be treated as such. I hope you can tell her that she is more valuable that silver and more costly than gold. While you’re at it Billy Ray, let her know that she should not give anyone the time of day who does not also believe that and treat her that way.

Come on guys, let’s do better.

Does your daughter know what she is truly worth?

Alan

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Today we celebrate the anniversary of the following blog. Surprisingly it went viral after Father’s Day.  We were then flooded with interest for T-shirts. Dads have been sending in pictures of themselves, in their shirts along with their daughters. We have been posting some of them on our facebook page entitled “Myfatherdaughter.com” Many more people are now following this blog. This light hearted shirt is bringing thousands of Dads further into the important conversation of their role with their daughter. Take a look and join us!

 

On February 18th, I wrote a funny little blog about the “rules for dating my daughter.” I chuckled as I wrote it and never dreamed how much buzz it would receive. Through the magic of Social Media, it was by far the most read, passed around and commented on blog in the life of this little project. The concept of a Dad issuing his ground rules for dating his daughter seemed to unite the entire tribe of Fathers! I’m guessing those rules are what all of us have been thinking but didn’t think we could actually ever say it. In case you missed the February 18th blog or would just like to refresh yourself, go ahead and click HERE to see it again.

Some of the feedback I received was around the actual rules. I heard things like “Who is making the T-shirt?” “I need that shirt” and “Dear God, get me that shirt.” Now, I am not in the apparel business. I’m not even in the blogging business. I am a Young Life Regional Director trying to reach lost kids in LA. It just so happens that due to my experience as a Young Life leader and as a parent, I might have a thing or two to say about being a Dad.

In an effort to give the people what they are clamoring for, I have made these shirts depicting the “10 Rules for Dating my Daughter.” There are also a few other fun shirts in the same theme on our store.

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(Contents of “Rules” T-shirt protected under applicable copyright laws)

I’m pretty sure this is how Nike got started, but my goals are not quite as lofty. At first I made a few dozen shirts and gave a few away. Now I am selling them to whoever wants one. The cost is $19.95 per shirt (more for bigger sizes) Then add shipping & handling of course. It’s a heavy cotton shirt. No sheer, light gauge material for me. Real men wear heavy T-shirts!

 

If you want a shirt or two, visit our online store. Click the button below:

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This whole thing is funny to me!

Have Fun!

Alan Smyth

Check out our book desinged to help Dads

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PS: Below Stu Graff has already found a great use for his shirt. He pinned it to his front door while his daughter was out on a date.

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Liam Neeson Wisdom

Alan Smyth —  June 1, 2015 — 1 Comment

I love going to the movies. I have to say I am a little more “Jason Bourne” in my tastes than I am “Jean Valjean.”

Recently, I saw the movie Battleship, in which the young misfit hero, Hopper, was about to be kicked out of the Navy. As the plot unfolded, he became romantically involved with the daughter of the Admiral, who was played by Liam Neeson. As usual, Liam Neeson’s character was somewhat tough and intimidating. Hopper spent much of the movie looking for an opportunity to ask the Admiral permission to marry his daughter. Naturally, he was scared and hesitant throughout.

As it turned out, Hopper rose to the challenge to defeat an alien attack force that waged war and attempted to take over planet Earth. He showed incredible courage, wisdom, and strength in the process. He risked his own life in order to save mankind, and he accomplished “Hollywood level” success.

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When the movie was all but over, and Hopper had defeated the aliens, he finally had the chance to ask the Admiral for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Hopper approached the Admiral, told him that he loved his daughter, and requested permission to marry her. But the Admiral responded with an adamant, “No!”

Hopper replied, “But I just saved the world!”

The Admiral’s response is one of my new favorite movie lines of all time. I love his answer, because I resonated with his response. Liam Neeson’s character said to his frightened would-be son-in-law, “Saving the world is one thing, Mr. Hopper. My daughter is quite another.”

Yes! In other words, “That’s right, son. Thanks for saving the world and all, but that does not give you entrance into my daughter’s life. It’s not that easy. We are talking about my daughter here, and she is more precious to me than the entire world. You saved the world? It’s going to take a lot more than that! I am her sworn protector and defender. She is my treasure.”

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I like to think of the movie “Taken” as more of a Public Service Announcement than a movie. Of course they took lots of Hollywood liberties in making a fun movie, but the essence of it is true. There are bad guys, scum bags & predators out there wishing to do harm to young females. When the movie was in the theatre, I gave money to my daughter for her and her roommates to go see that movie. I needed her to be more aware of the harsh realities out in the big ugly world.

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I love Liam’s response to the French police chief when he is being asked to calm down. He said,

“I would tear down the Eifel tower if it meant finding my daughter!”

May we all have the focus, resolve and success in guarding and protecting our daughter as the movie characters played by Liam Neeson!

Press On

Alan Smyth

PS: Some of the above content is found in Chapter 1 of the book, Prized Possession.

 

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Today, we pause to say “Thank you” to our veterans and their families. Although as the pictures below suggest, “Thank you” only begins to cover it.

Thank you vets

Today is Memorial Day. We remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Families say good bye to Mom or Dad for many months at a time as they are deployed. And tragically, many families say good bye forever.

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Today, MyFatherDaughter honors those families past, present and future. While it is woefully inadequate….. “THANK YOU” for all you do!

Here is an idea: Why not take a field trip with your kids today? Why not visit a military cemetery. Take in some quiet moments and survey the sights with your family. Observe grieving families as they remember their loved ones. Teach your kids to respect the massive efforts of those who have gone before them.

Thank you Vets!
Alan

We are now on Instagram as we celebrate great Dads. follow us at “myfatherdaughter”

Father’s Day is almost here. Do some fun shopping in our store. Hit the link below and use “DAD” to receive 20% off entire order.

 

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Letter to David Klinkhamer from Dr. Don Worcester
David, congratulations and welcome to Man Club. I am disappointed to miss the gathering of men this weekend but I do look forward to hearing some of the war stories and highlights that happen during this time. You have a great group of men around you. You can thank your dad for that. He has been a great example of courage, grace, humility and truth to many of us! You come from good Man Stock. You have a great cloud of Man Witnesses surrounding you and cheering for you as you begin your race as a Young Man. This will be “Your” race. Sometimes you will be the student on this journey, sometimes you will be the teacher, stay the course. We are all depending and believing that you will take your place and run your race with great heart and great courage.

Let me suggest a few things to consider and keep track of along the way.

*Find and build great guy friends. The men around you are there because they voted themselves into a community of other good men. Decide now that you will do the same. Decide now that you will invest in developing great relationships with great guys. You will never regret doing this, you will always regret not doing this.

* Live in the Light. Be very careful what you hide. Things become powerful in the dark. You will make plenty of mistakes as a man. There is an endless supply of grace, mercy and fresh starts for our stumbling, fumbling and sin. Our mistakes will not kill us, hiding them will! Do not ever believe that your mistakes disqualify you from beginning again.

* A Great Wife should be a Great Friend. Girls are amazing, distracting, confusing and wonderful. Get in the habit now of building great friendships with young women. It is much better to add romance to a friendship than to try and add friendship to a romance. Learn how to do fun things with fun people and it will be much easier to meet and develop great relationships. God said at the very beginning of Genesis, ” It is not good for Man to be alone”, that is still true.

*Develop and use your Gifts. God gave you something to develop and contribute to the community. The natural gifts and abilities that God put in you, are intended to be developed and released into others. You were blessed to be a blessing. Your Vocation or calling is the , ” thing you cannot not do” Talk with other who know you well, ask them about the gifts and abilities they see in you. Invest the time, energy and resources to get better at what you love. Then get busy doing it.

* Be Patient with yourself and others. I expected to have more figured out and worked out by this point in my life as a Man. I have made plenty of little and big mistakes on my own journey. The one consistent truth in my life has never come from me, or my performance, it has only come from God. He has been faithful to love me, to come for me and to restore me when I have blown it. I hope you know and experience the stubborn and gracious love of God that has gripped my life so personally and mercifully the last 40 years. God is still at work in my life as a Man. The work is ongoing but we always get to and have to decide to cooperate and participate in the next good things Christ is leading us into.

” The two most important days in a mans life are the day he is born and the day he finds out why”
-Mark Twain-

Welcome aboard the Man Train David, your life just got bigger.

Don Worcester

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