Archives For Alan Smyth

A friend tagged me in this article saying that “Alan Smyth will love this.” She was correct. I did love this. I loved it so much that I wanted to re post it here so you could see it as well.

The below post originally appeared on DrKellyFlanagan.com

 

Dear Little One,

As I write this, I’m sitting in the makeup aisle of our local Target store. A friend recently texted me from a different makeup aisle and told me it felt like one of the most oppressive places in the world. I wanted to find out what he meant. And now that I’m sitting here, I’m beginning to agree with him. Words have power, and the words on display in this aisle have a deep power. Words and phrases like:

Affordably gorgeous,

Infallible,

Flawless finish,

Brilliant strength,

Liquid power,

Go nude,

Age-defying,

Instant age rewind,

Choose your dream,

Nearly naked, and

Natural beauty.

When you have a daughter, you start to realize she’s just as strong as everyone else in the house — a force to be reckoned with, a soul on fire with the same life and gifts and passions as any man. But sitting in this store aisle, you also begin to realize most people won’t see her that way. They’ll see her as a pretty face and a body to enjoy. And they’ll tell her she has to look a certain way to have any worth or influence.

make up isle

But words do have power and maybe, just maybe, the words of a father can begin to compete with the words of the world. Maybe a father’s words can deliver his daughter through this gauntlet of institutionalized shame and into a deep, unshakeable sense of her own worthiness and beauty.

A father’s words aren’t different words, but they are words with a radically different meaning:

Brilliant strength. May your strength be not in your fingernails but in your heart. May you discern in your center who you are, and then may you fearfully but tenaciously live it out in the world.

Choose your dream. But not from a department store shelf. Find the still-quiet place within you. A real dream has been planted there. Discover what you want to do in the world. And when you have chosen, may you faithfully pursue it, with integrity and with hope.

Naked. The world wants you to take your clothes off. Please keep them on. But take your gloves off. Pull no punches. Say what is in your heart. Be vulnerable. Embrace risk. Love a world that barely knows what it means to love itself. Do so nakedly. Openly. With abandon.

Infallible. May you be constantly, infallibly aware that infallibility doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion created by people interested in your wallet. If you choose to seek perfection, may it be in an infallible grace — for yourself, and for everyone around you.

Age-defying. Your skin will wrinkle and your youth will fade, but your soul is ageless. It will always know how to play and how to enjoy and how to revel in this one-chance life. May you always defiantly resist the aging of your spirit.

Flawless finish. Your finish has nothing to do with how your face looks today and everything to do with how your life looks on your last day. May your years be a preparation for that day. May you be aged by grace, may you grow in wisdom and may your love become big enough to embrace all people. May your flawless finish be a peaceful embrace of the end and the unknown that follows, and may it thus be a gift to everyone who cherishes you.

Little One, you love everything pink and frilly and I will surely understand if someday makeup is important to you. But I pray three words will remain more important to you — the last three words you say every night, when I ask the question: “Where are you the most beautiful?” Three words so bright no concealer can cover them.

Where are you the most beautiful?

On the inside.

From my heart to yours,

Daddy

 

Alan Smyth and Kristy Fox have appeared on the Hugh Hewitt radio show

Hugh Hewitt

Our Interview can be heard on the home page of our website: www.myfatherdaughter.com

 

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Recetnly my wife and I both turned 50. About a year and a half ago, we started planning an epic adventure for our 50th year. We started planning an unforgettable trip to Africa where the pinnacle would be the climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Now, we are NOT big hikers or climbers. We wanted to do something big, crazy, fun and out of the box. So last week, me, my wife and our daughter made this huge trek to the other side of the world!
Through Young Life, we were connected to some great hero’s in Tanzania who are reaching out to the very poor. The first half of our trip consisted of serving these folks in a poverty stricken village. It was awesome.

serve

The second half of the trip consisted of this crazy attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. The adventure was HUGE. The stress was massive. The victory would be epic!

hike
On this climb, we travelled through 5 different ecological zones starting out in a rain forest on our way to the summit of 19,341 feet. Kili is the tallest free standing mountain in the world. The views were spectacular and the effort it took was massive. What an incredible thing to share with my family.

view

Night 5 was our “summit attempt.” We left our base camp at 12:15 am and hiked all through the night. Freezing temperatures, gusty winds, isolated in your thoughts, seemingly endless assent through the night.

sun rise

Then, after 6 hours of hiking, the sun began to rise over Africa. We were near the top! As the air got warmer and thinner, we could finally see our final destination.

uhuru
We made it to Uhuru peak, the “rooftop of Africa.” The highest point on the continent. What an accomplishment! And further, what an experience to share with my wife and daughter. During the final ascent, there were struggles for all of us. Our guide referred to this final ascent as “entering the battlefield.”

There is no replacement for your presence when your family is in the middle of a battle. We now share a deeper bond than ever before because we fought through a significant battle together.

rules

I couldn’t miss the opportunity to have a little wardrobe change on the summit. I wanted to let Africa know that we have a few “rules” involved if you want to date my daughter!

There were many take-a-ways from this adventure:

1. I can do more than I thought I could. (and so can you)
2. I don’t need to be afraid of trying something big (neither do you)
3. When alone in my battle, God gave me strength to press on. (and will also to you in yours)
4. Embarking on a HUGE adventure with my daughter was HUGE for both of us.

Disclaimer: Do not be intimidated by this African/Kilimanjaro adventure. Start small and plan a very attainable adventure. It will do wonders for your relationships if you would stop long enough to take your loved one’s on some kind of adventure.

Press On

Alan

 

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Last Monday, I wrote about an encounter I had with a young man who was showing interest in my daughter. As promised, today I will share with you the second half of the story and what happened after my Dark Parking Lot conversation. In case you missed last week click HERE to get caught up.

dark lot

After I dropped the young man off at his house, he promptly got on the phone to Brittany and retold our conversation. Only, he told her that I said he could not spend time with her anymore. WRONG! That is not what I said. I simply gave him the conditions upon which he could do so. He then said his version of my expectations on their potential physical relationship. He told Brittany, “Your dad said that if I touched you, he’d kill me!”

Brittany responded, “Well, I’m sure he didn’t mean that…”

But the boy interrupted her. “No, he did! And he could, too.”

When Brittany relayed his words to me, I said, “Perfect! Then it looks like we have an understanding. Mission accomplished!”

I have never seen Brittany as mad as she was at that moment, and in the days to come.  She was furious that I would step in and put an end to this relationship.

After a few days, when she had cooled off a bit, Brittany came into my bedroom one night as Sharon and I watched TV. During our conversation, I reiterated that this guy was bad news, and that spending time with him was a mistake. She asked me why I couldn’t just let her make her own mistakes.

Niagara Falls

“Think about what you are asking me to do,” I said. “You are asking me to sit on the bank of a river, and wave at you as you float by on a raft, when all the while I know that just around the river bend is Niagara Falls! You are asking me to smile at you and watch you go over the falls for the sake of letting you make your own mistakes.” I told her that was something I was simply not willing to do, and that it was my job as her dad to defend and protect her whenever possible. In the end, I said, I was willing to have her mad at me now and then if it meant keeping her safe.

My primary goal was not to have her happy with me. My primary goal was her safety. I also reminded her that I did not tell this guy he couldn’t see her again. I simply said that he needed to begin treating her like a princess. “Doesn’t that sound pretty good?” I asked. “Don’t you think you deserve to be treated like a princess?” If my suspicions were correct, we might never see him again, and we would know for sure what his real intentions were.

I’ll let you guess what happened.

 

Press On

Alan Smyth

 

PS: This story is told in greater detail in our book “Prized Possession”

 

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There was once a certain young man who started showing interest in my Brittany. This guy was good-looking, athletic, and charming. He was smooth and outgoing. He was extremely confident and sure of himself and was a couple of years older than Brittany. He was extremely attractive to Brittany, but he was extremely dangerous to me. I saw right through his game. He was a first-class “ladies’ man.” The last thing in the world I wanted for my daughter was for a guy like him to see my daughter as another conquest.

Ladies man

I had two choices. I could either abdicate my role as defender and protector of my daughter and let things play out, or I could engage. I’m guessing you know which one I chose. I did a little research, asking around to people who knew him. I heard things like, “always has a girlfriend,” “seems like a player,” and “seems like bad news.” Translation to me…GAME ON.

I have been a Young Life leader to guys for some 30 years. I know well what they talk about and what they think about. I knew this was going to end badly if I didn’t step in.

So, I had a little conversation with the young man. He was over at our house one night, watching TV. I knew that Brittany would have to drive him home late because, of course, he didn’t have a car. I was sitting downstairs with them and I said, “Hey, how about I drive you home tonight?”

Brittany glared at me. She said, “I can take him home later.”

I said, “No, that’s okay! I’d be happy to take him home now. Don’t worry about it.” They looked awkwardly at each other, and with a slight eye roll, he got up and followed me out to my car. We made a little small talk as we drove, until I asked, “What are your intentions with my daughter?” He talked about how much he liked her and said he wanted to pursue a relationship with her. I could see this was going to take a while, so we pulled over into a dark parking lot and continued our conversation.

dark parking lot

I told him that Brittany was more valuable than anything that I had.  Then, I shifted the conversation to the potential physical side of their relationship. I let him know that we had raised Brittany with a certain set of values and expectations, and that I expected him to honor those values and expectations. I told him that, while in a parked car, in a dark parking lot, late at night, if he was to somehow cross that line–I gazed into the dark with a long, pregnant pause–that I “wasn’t sure what I’d do.” Then, I shook his hand, said I hoped we were clear on my expectations and his path to spending more time with my daughter, drove him home and thanked him for the conversation.

In next week’s blog, I will share with you his response, Brittany’s response and what happened next. See you next Monday!

Press On

Alan Smyth

PS: This story is told in greater detail in our  book “Prized Possession”

 

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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.

VMA

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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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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