Archives For Alan Smyth

Dad, Where are YOU?

Alan Smyth —  April 12, 2015 — Leave a comment

Last week was a dramatic display of pathetic Dads. In my “day job”, I am the Regional Director for Young Life in Los Angeles. I lead a faithful team of saints who are actively entrenched in the lives of adolescents in Los Angeles. Young Life is a faith based ministry which seeks to share God’s love to teens in a way they can understand.

Last week I had a videographer in town as we are producing a promotional video for others to see what we are doing and hopefully be inspired to get involved. We spent three days driving around town and interviewing kids. As we asked these teens to share their stories, there was one resounding theme that was repeated over and over.

diamond

Often through tears, almost all of these students shared the heartache of an absent father. Or worse yet, a Dad who was present but abusive. Deep pain, lasting hurt and lots of regret was heard over and over and over.

Jenny

Each time I heard from these sweet kids I had two distinct feelings. First I wanted to give them a hug and second, I wanted to go find their Dad. I was again reminded in a graphic way of the incredible responsibility we have as Dad’s. I was encouraged that my daughter does not have their story and I was inspired to continue this important conversation with whoever will listen.

The twitter handle for “MyFatherDaughter” is @2cor618. Follow us if you want. It refers to a bible verse that says “And I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” It’s my hope and prayer that these hurting kids will know God’s love for them and they will sense they have the Father they were cheated out of thus far.

Thanks for wanting to be a great Dad. Your daughter might not thank you for your effort, but later in life she will be far better off and extremely grateful for your presence in her life.

Keep going!

Alan

 

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Running the Race

Alan Smyth —  March 22, 2015 — Leave a comment

“Do you not know that In the race all the runners run, But only one gets the prize?

Run in such way to get the prize.”

1 Corinthians 9:24

Paul threw down the challenge. As long as you are in the race, you may as well run to win. I mean, if you are going to be running, why not break a sweat and do your best?

The kicker here is that you might be inclined to think that the race is optional. You might be inclined to think that since you did not officially enter the race, that you are not compelled to run.

 Marathon 3

Last week, my awesome wife and daughter ran the LA Marathon. WOW! What an accomplishment! I had a distinct choice in the matter. I could enter the race and run, or I could not enter the race and observe. The picture above is a post-race family shot of my son, daughter, wife and I. My son and I slept in that day and ate a hearty breakfast at the hotel. My wife and daughter tortured their bodies running 26.2. We all made our choice.

Marathon 4

The LA marathon was optional. I didn’t run!

The race of life is not optional. If you are alive, you have been automatically entered. You are running! And if you made the choice to be a dad, the race of parenting is not optional. You entered yourself years ago. You don’t get to choose each day whether or not you are going to be a dad. You made that lifetime choice long ago and now you ARE A DAD and you are running the race.

Marathon 5

So, now as long as you are running, why not run to win? Why not run in such a way to get the prize? So what is “winning” in parenting? What is the “prize?”

How about some of these as the prize you are going after?

  • Great communication between you and your kids
  • Lots of laughter in the home
  • A loving and full relationship with your wife
  • A daughter who can discern the difference between truth and lies
  • A son who knows what authentic manhood is

Marathon 1

In running a marathon, you don’t show up on race day and do well without training. Similarly with parenting, you don’t show up on race day without training and hope to succeed.  A successful marathon like successful parenting is accomplished through consistent training and effort over a long period of time. It requires the right nutrition and equipment and above all it requires a firm resolve to achieving the goal.

“As long as you are in the race, why not run in such a way to win the prize.”

We have far too many observing dads and not enough running dads.

Break a sweat guys!

Alan

In order to help you with your training, visit our store and pick up our book “Prized Possession” and our workbook “30 Day Challenge.” Use “20” at check our and receive a 20% discount on your entire order. Hit the button below!

 

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More Real Talk

Alan Smyth —  March 1, 2015 — Leave a comment

In our book Prized Possession, we have inserted some real comments from real girls between chapters which help to shape the importance of this conversation. In a sobering reflection, take a look at what this real life girl said about her Dad.
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“My dad is lazy and absent from my life. Although he is home, he sits around watching TV or doing other things rather than spend time with our family. He only communicates with me when he is mad at me for something I have done. When he knows he has done something that upsets my brother or me, he tries to buy our love back by getting us presents.
He gave me a gift a few months ago that is still sitting in my closet. It’s still wrapped, because
I don’t even care enough to open it. I can’t even look at it because it makes me so angry.”

 

Here is what I hear from this heartbroken young lady:

• Dad is absent, not physically, but emotionally.
• Dad is not engaged with his family.
• Dad does not communicate positively.
• Dad thinks he can buy his kids off to compensate for his own shortcomings.
• Your daughter wants YOU in her life

Learn a lesson from a knucklehead Dad. It’s actually not that hard. Just do the exact opposite of what this Dad is doing and do it consistently!

Be Better!

Alan

You can pick up our book and some other fun stuff from our store. Hit the link below:

 

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My wife and I just saw “Saving Mr. Banks.” In case you haven’t heard about it, this movie was made about the back story of how the iconic Disney movie, “Marry Poppins” was made. The strong cast led by Tom Hanks portrayed the behind the scenes look at the writer of Marry Poppins and how it came to be.

Banks

As you probably remember, Mr. Banks from the movie was a dis engaged Dad to two little kids. Marry Poppins arrived to create order in the home and look after the kids. True to real life, the kids were hurting because their Dad was more concerned with his career than their lives. Dick Van Dyke and July Andrews created one of the classic films of all time.

Poppins

Here is the sneaky part. As the movie unfolded it was filled with flashbacks from the life of the author of Marry Poppins. It became pretty obvious, pretty quickly that she was writing from her own life experiences. She grew up wounded and deeply disappointed by her father. She carried this wound deep into her adult life. In the film, she was portrayed as a bitter, angry person. This is a “Father/Daughter” movie!

Walt Disney (aka Tom Hanks) convinced the author to trust him with her “Marry Poppins.” He wanted to redeem her father in the movie and rewrite her memories. As the cast from the original Marry Poppins sang “Let’s go fly a kite” Mr. Banks had a change of heart and the movie ends with a joyful tone as father has reunited with his kids.

In Saving Mr. Banks, the character who wrote “Marry Poppins” sobbed as she watched the end of the movie “Marry Poppins.” She clearly longed for a right relationship with her own Dad. She longed for peace, wholeness and a healthy presence in her life. She clearly spent her whole life wounded by her Dad.

Another stark reminder of just how important you are to your daughter. I have said this before and it is worth repeating.

Because of your actions…. Your daughter will either flourish or spend the rest of her life trying to heal from the wound you leave her.

Please engage, be present, be positive, be strong, be accepting, be pursuing, be affirming and be affectionate.

It matters

Press On
Alan

 

 

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I recently ran across a very powerful quote regarding “Perfectionism.” Someone else who also appreciated the quote recreated it in the middle of a traffic intersection. Below is a picture of this quote.

crosswalk

Our girls are growing up in a brutal culture where they are expected to be perfect. Society projects an objectifying, unattainable standard of what beauty is. Every major celebrity has a team of “photo shop” artists and no picture is released for public consumption without alterations.

Super model Cindy Crawford once said, “I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford.”

When our girls inevitably fall short of society’s standard, they feel a sense of pressure and failure. They are constantly reminded that they are not good enough and don’t measure up.

The third chapter of our book “Prized Possession” is entitled “The Assault on our Girls” and goes into much more detail on the pressures our girls are facing.

It’s ugly out there….

Let’s make sure our homes are a refuge for our girls. Let’s make sure they leave the pressure to be perfect at the door when they come home. Let’s allow mistakes and laugh at ourselves in the process. Let’s tell each other that we are “sorry.” Let’s let our girls escape from the suffocating outdoors and retreat to the relaxing indoors of our homes.

Our girls need a break. It’s exhausting out there trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations and the pressure is unavoidable.

Notice I have not used the word “Daughter” in this post. Women of any age deal with these realities. Your wives are also subject to these pressures and could probably use a reassuring word from you now and then about how beautiful she is and how happy you are to be with her.

Press On
Alan

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Super Bowl Pride

Alan Smyth —  February 2, 2015 — Leave a comment

We recently had the National Holiday known as Super Bowl Sunday. Every football fan around the world was shocked and surprised at how the game ended. Not to go too deep into the X’s & O’s of football, but the Seattle Seahawks found themselves on the goal line at the end of the game. They had arguably the best running back in the league in the backfield. What has been described as the “worst play call in history” by many came next.

Instead of letting their “Beastmode” running back stroll into the end zone for the win, they dropped back and threw an interception and thus lost the game.

Interception

The internet almost broke with nearly a unanimous outcry of how bad the play call was. Patriot fans giggled with dis belief while Seahawk fans screamed in horror. Football fans that didn’t really care who won were in disbelief.

Pete

And then there was Pete Carrol, head coach of the Seahawks. He immediately and relentlessly defended his call. He was probably covering for someone else, but ultimately it was HIS call. EVERYONE is saying it was a terrible call. He stands alone and says it was the right call.

Pride has a way of deceiving us and defeating us. Pride has a way of blinding us and hurting us. Previous successes have a way of creating a false sense of invincibility. “Pride comes before the fall.” How is it that we can put ourselves on an Island and start believing our own press clippings to our own demise?

Lay down your sword and shield. Understand there is always more to learn and another way to see things. Toxic levels of pride never work anywhere. It doesn’t work as a leader, a husband, a friend or a parent.

Learn a lesson from the Super Bowl. Call a time out, consult some friends and make a great decision.

Be Strong!

Alan

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