Archives For Alan Smyth

Guest Post by Rachel Karman. Rachel is a good friend & avid blogger about things that matter with a huge heart for the less fortunate. Check out Rachel’s BLOG HERE! You will love the content with always a hint of humor.

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Read below as she shares about her Dad and paints us a picture for what a great Dad looks like.

Not too long ago I went out on a date with a guy that I felt pretty optimistic about, he seemed nice, fairly normal and from what I’d seen, appeared to have a pretty decent sense of humor. After the date when recapping for a friend I explained, “The night was fine, he was nice and everything….but he didn’t open the door for me, so I don’t think I’ll see him again.” She responded with a laugh, called me the Christian female Seinfeld and told me that perhaps that shouldn’t be a deal breaker. And it hit me. I am going to be single forever. And it’s all my dad’s fault.

Dads out there take note, here are five great ways to ensure your daughter will never say “I do” (at least not to the wrong guy).

#1 My dad is hilarious (but please donʼt tell him, heʼll get a big head). Heʼs great with a pun and also instilled in me at a very young age the importance for me to laugh at life a little and laugh at myself a lot. Not only is my dad quick to laugh at his own mistakes, he has always encouraged me to do the same. For example, when I was roughly 10, my brother and I decided it would be fun to make my parents Valentineʼs cookies, I (being the gourmet chef that I am) accidently used tablespoons instead of teaspoons of both salt and baking soda to make some of the worst tasting cookies youʼve ever had in your life (not to mention a quick way to retain water). My dad, being sweet, ate one and then being honest, laughed and revealed to me my mistake. This is still brought up every holiday (in which I am usually charged with “cooking” the salad or bringing beverages).

#2 My dad is my #1 fan. He truly (although sometimes falsely) believes that I can do anything I set my mind to. Whether softball, choir or running track, my dad was not only always at every event (that I allowed him to be), he actually still believes I can sing (he and my dog are honestly the only ones) and is certain I could have gone further than I did in my softball career (I was and still am afraid of the ball). That encouragement, even if sometimes I think heʼs nuts, has carried into my adult life; in my job, my ministry and even relationships, my dad is one of the first people I go to when I am frustrated and/or want to give up and he is always there to reason with me and remind why I started in the first place. I can honestly say I would have missed out on many opportunities in my life had I listened to my inner voice over his.

#3 My dad is not afraid to tell me when I am wrong (lovingly). One of my favorite examples of this comes from a few years ago, I was in a relationship that was at a bit of a crossroads, I was angry and ready to give up (see #2) and my dad sat me down and explained to me where and how I was being selfish and one-sided. As you can imagine, I was a bit livid and responded with “Youʼre supposed to be on MY SIDE!!” To which he replied, “I am, placating you is not what being on ʻyour sideʼ looks like, Rachel.” Iʼm not sure if you have ever had to knowingly make your 20-something year old daughter angry at you for her betterment, but believe me, itʼs not pretty and itʼs not fun, but it is love.

#4 My dad still opens the door for my mom. He loves her. He supports her. He defends her (even against me, which was much to my chagrin in my bratty, rebellious years). My dad still brings my mom flowers and surprises her with gifts. He calls in the middle of the day to say hello and he genuinely likes spending time with her, even after 30+ years. There aren’t too many words to express the value that this example of a husband is, for a girl at any age, but itʼs huge.

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#5 My dad loves my friends….and they love him. Many of my friends have nicknames for him…which sometimes I think is really weird. He is funny and approachable and unafraid to have tough conversations with people, while also knowing and respecting when not to. Iʼll be honest, I didnʼt always love this quality (see bratty, rebellious years mentioned in #4), but it is now one I strive to possess and one I greatly value in other people. I think he’d also appreciate me saying that he doesn’t try to be the “cool dad,” yet somehow became that when he began wearing Airwalks when I was in Jr. High and has held the reputation since….which again, I find sort of weird.

Above all these things, the greatest way that my dad has loved me and created gigantic shoes for any guy to fill is that he loves Jesus more than he loves me, my mom or my brother and has modeled that for me my whole life. He has always encouraged me to find Christ in all things, even when it was difficult. In each of the aforementioned facets he brings them to the table with the light and love of our Savior in a way that is confident, steadfast and gentle, much like Jesus himself. He is an excellent example of why the father-figure role is so important and how new dads can treat their daughters, as he’s remained present, not perfect.

All that being said, perhaps the next time I’m at a wedding/family reunion/grocery store/ etc and someone inquires as to ʻwhy Iʼm still singleʼ I will pull out a picture of my dad (and thus insure I will probably never date again because that would be creepy and strange….but you get the point).

Rachel Karman

 

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I was stopped in my tracks with an alarming statement made to me. I recently participated in seminar for High School age girls alongside my colleague Kristy Fox. We spoke to the girls about the pressures they face as a girl and How God sees them and values them.

Kristy Fox, co-author of this blog and the book Prized Possession developed much of this seminar for girls and then I added my two cents into it from a Dad’s perspective. In fact, our book Prized Possession, which can be purchased by hitting the link at the bottom, goes into great detail on this seminar in chapters 4 & 5.

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After we conducted this hour long seminar, we were flooded with positive comments and were told how important this time was. Without fail, a meeting like this is overwhelmingly impactful. Sadly there is still a HUGE need for truth to be spoken into the lives of these girls regarding their true beauty, value and worth.

I expected to hear great things from the girls and their leaders. What I didn’t expect to hear was the following statement. An adult guests who was sitting in the back of the room observing came up to me after. With tears in her eyes, she grabbed my arm and said “I have to talk to you.” She then said this: “I am 54 years old and I still struggle with this.” She was referring to the need for a Dad in a girl’s life and the gap she felt due to her lack of a positive father figure. She went on to tell me a few more details.

Ok Guys, this is one more reminder of the incredibly important job we have. WE have a sacred responsibility to love, encourage and cherish our daughters. What we do when they are young WILL absolutely affect them for the rest of their lives.  How we relate to our daughters will either cause them to live in blessing or recover from a wound the rest of their lives.

Can we all promise that none of our daughters will be in tears at the age of 54 when thinking about the relationship they have with us?

Press on

Alan Smyth

 

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Think it Over

Alan Smyth —  June 27, 2016 — Leave a comment

In our book Prized Possession, we pose some very important questions to consider. Below are a couple of them.

 

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“Girls are created, different than boys, to admire their fathers. Girls are made to be adored by their fathers and to adore their fathers. Their hearts are shaped for this and there is no replacing it.”

“This is the primary lens they can see God the Father through. Without a dad, God is distant and absent. Girls see God the way they see their dad. If a girl has a disinterested dad, she will sense that God is disinterested in her. If a girl senses their dad is disappointed in them, they will sense that God is also disappointed in them.”

Some questions: Dads, did you realize that your daughter will view God as she views you? Did you realize that your actions & attitudes are the personification of God in her life?

Would it change your interactions with your daughter if you thought your daughters potential faith might possibly be connected to what kind of Dad you are?

If you thought that were true, would that change your effort level as a Dad? Might that change how present you are in your daughter’s life?

Einstein

Think it over Einstein!

Alan Smyth

PS: The above quotes are found in Chapter 1 of the book “Prized Possession.”

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Happy Fathers Day

Alan Smyth —  June 20, 2016 — 8 Comments

Happy Father’s Day to all of you GREAT dad’s. How do I know you are a great dad? If you are reading this, you are engaged and interested in doing the best you can. That is a great dad! It’s not about the finished product, it’s about the trajectory you are on. I am proud of those Dad’s who follow this blog. I often get messages from many of you sharing highlights, pictures and stories from your journey.

This blog post is a simple shout of encouragement and affirmation to the hard work you are putting in regarding your role as Dad! This past Sunday was Father’s Day and so I salute you for taking your job seriously. I also want to challenge you to KEEP GOING! Stay after it! Even if things are tough, keep chasing your daughter.

1 Corinthians 15:58 talks of being “steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work the Lord.”

2 Timothy 4:7 talks of “Fighting the good fight, finishing the race, keeping the faith.”

Do those things… be steadfast and immovable in your parenting patients and effort. Fight the good fight meaning it takes work and there is opposition. Finish the race meaning DON’T QUIT doing the right things. And keep the faith meaning know that God is working in and through you and your daughter even if you can’t always tell.

As you may or may not know, my kids are pretty grown. Trevor is 23 and Brittany just turned 28. I was really blessed this weekend to get wonderful Father’s Day wishes from them. I thought I would pass them along to you as an example of what your kids might be saying to you after they have grown through adolescence. For many, things are so turbulent (or will become so) that you can’t envision the other side. I don’t share these to say “look at ME” I share them to say “Look at YOU” and see the potential and victory that lies ahead. Be encouraged and press on!

Stay at it and God will bless….

Facebook message from Trevor that I got Saturday night…

Trevor fathers day post

What Brittany wrote on her card to me

Brittany fathers day card

 

Be steadfast!

Alan Smyth

 

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Muhammed

In honor of “the Greatest” whom the world lost last week.

Everyone around the world knows who Mohammed Ali is. And just about everyone knows he has at least one daughter.

However, until recently, I had never heard of his relationship with his daughters. His globally known nick name is “The Greatest.” That name refers to his incredible fighting talent. However, I would like to suggest that the term “the Greatest” might also include his advice to his daughters. See below.

The following incident took place when Muhammad Ali’s daughters arrived at his home wearing clothes that were not modest. Here is the story as told by one of his daughters:

When we finally arrived, the chauffeur escorted my younger sister, Laila, and me up to my father’s suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day.

My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said something that I will never forget. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You’ve got to work hard to get to them.”

Muhammed and daughter

He looked at me with serious eyes. “Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.” Source: Taken from the book: More Than A Hero: Muhammad Ali’s Life Lessons Through His Daughter’s Eyes.

Question: Have you had these kinds of conversations with your daughter? Every other message on this topic she will get throughout her day will say the opposite. She needs your voice to speak truth, wisdom, guidance and discretion into her life.

Don’t wuss out on this important job!

Alan

 

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I recently had a great conversation with a friend regarding the title of our book, “Prized Possession.” Without yet reading the book, he offered that the title “rubbed him the wrong way.” He went on to describe how he sees his daughter as much more than a “thing” ie. A “possession.” To which I said “ABSOLUTLY.” I happened to have a copy of the book handy and I directed him to a few key parts in the book which I will now direct you to.

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From an opening page of the book:

“Prized Possession” from the Bible

“And we, out of all creation, became His prized possession”

James 1:18b, NLT

Prized Possession from the Dictionary:

 “The biggest thing in your life, the one thing you couldn’t imagine your life without”

“Something you care for deeply above all else”

“It could be anything you cherish close to your own heart and can be worth millions or worth nothing to someone else”

Excerpt from Chapter 2

When I think of the word “possession,” I do not think of it as an inappropriate, overbearing, “possessive” ownership that isn’t healthy. Rather, I think of possession in a loving, protective way that defines my place and role in Brittany’s life, and hers in mine. “Prized Possession” is one that I hold above all else and cherish with all of my heart. It’s a treasure with deep, intrinsic value. After all, Brittany is “mine,” because God saw fit to entrust her to me as her dad. She is my responsibility and my daughter, and I would defend and protect her to the death.

Excerpt from Chapter 8 (written by my daughter)

“What are you?”

“Prized Possession!”

“And…”

“Don’t you forget it!”

When I consider the woman I am today, I realize that this small conversation played an integral part in shaping me into the person I am right now. These four lines represent a life-long conversation that has taken place between my dad and me. I never realized how powerful these words were or how lucky I was to hear them on a regular basis. My dad began this conversation before I could speak in complete sentences or comprehend what meaning it carried. These words were some of the first words added to my lexicon. To this day, there is only one answer when my dad asks the simple question, “What are you?” Without any hesitation I reply, “Prized possession.” “And…” “Don’t you forget it!” It’s second nature. It’s who I am. It’s who I will always be.

My friend came back to me, gave me a hug and said, “I get it.”

I wanted to relay this experience in case any of you had the same question. Obviously the book goes into much more explanation, but this should get you started.

I’d love to know what you thought about the book after you’ve had a chance to read it. Praying it makes a difference for many. Could be a great “Fathers’s Day” gift.

 

Bless you

Alan Smyth

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