A Time For Change

Men – I certainly haven’t been around much at Furious Fathering. Homeschooling, shifting home priorities and the focus on becoming a better man for 2017 has made me cut my computer usage dramatically. Too much time on the keyboard and not enough time building a better life and relationships were impacting my world.

That said, I’m going to let some of you guys know that I’m not going to be mixing words very much on this page. I’ve been a bit cautious in what I say to not alienate anyone, but that’s about to change. There are too many men, especially young fathers, that need the straight truth, because no one is really giving it to them, and no one ever gave it to me. I cannot sit idly by and address the issues the same way many in society do every day. In the end, it is producing wimpy men that do not deserve to have their kids, because they will produce little skinny jean wearing confused “men” that will soon be used to destroy the rest of our community. Also, their special “baby momma” will have her ego fed even more and pull the same lame but effective game on the next guy she traps, urrrr loves, or needs as she’s hitting 30 and realizing nobody is checking for her anymore. So it’s time to settle down with that “nice guy”.

Are you that guy?

So if you aren’t ready for some iron-sharpen-iron discussions, you may want to drop out. If you think your life will be better if your special little snowflake that trapped you and pumped out your golden egg came back to you, you might wanna drop out. If you don’t want to see comments that rebuke the belief that your wife or your momma are the next best thing to Mary mother of Jesus, you might want to bounce. You’ve been warned. However, if you want to stay around and see where things go, challenge and exchange, then let’s get Furious with this dialogue, and become/build a better place for real father’s to come and learn how to lead.

Make Your Own Memorial Days and Seven Lessons Learn From My Father-In-Law For Furious Fathers

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Today it has been one year since my father-in-law (FIL) made his transition to eternity. My wife wanted to spend the day at the city zoo because that was one of the places he would meet her and the kids during the day for outings. I took the day off of work, gave the kids the day off of school (reason, 32,499 to homeschool), and dedicated this as a memorial day for his life, especially because it has been a year after his passing.

Make Your Own Family Holidays and Memorial Days

Monday, my main hustle gave us the day off to honor President’s Day. I decided to work and take today off instead. First, History.com describes Presidents day as, “Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. Traditionally celebrated on February 22—Washington’s actual day of birth—the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers.” Personally, I’ve never been a fan of celebrating someone who would have me working on the plantation as a slave if they were alive today, and my family does not celebrate many of this nation’s holidays because they really are not for us. It is said that Mr. Washington “owned” over 300 “slaves” at the time of his death. After he died, I’m sure he had a good reason before the Creator of Man how he could own something that he did not create, and whether or not he treated them justly as human beings.  Therefore, we ignored this day (notice that as with most “holidays” as well,  honoring the person isn’t the primary reason, but monetary gain to the nation), and decided to give a day to someone who really meant something in our lives.

I would like to encourage all of the Furious Fathers to consider doing the same. First, consider some significant days in your life or the anniversary dates of impactful moments and people in your life. Maybe it’s the birth/death of your parents or friends that are no longer with us. Maybe it’s the anniversary of a significant family event or for some men, just taking their kid’s birthdays off would be a great start. Whatever you can find, I encourage you to give it a try. This is a great time for the family to come together in the evening for a meal, and reflect on why the day is special, handing down memories and lessons from the one honored or from an event, all with the intention of helping shape your family’s present and future.

Seven Lessons from My Father-In-Law

On that note, allow me to share with you seven lessons that I learned from my father-in-law, as I reflected on our relationship today.

  • If the Good Lord woke you up, it’s a good day – In the final years of his life, as I think he began to see that he did not have the energy and ability to do what he once did, I would ask my FIL how he was doing and his response was always, “The Good Lord woke me up this morning, so that makes it a good day.” How we love to “wake up on the wrong side of the bed” or immediately allow ourselves to get swept up in the cares of a day and thinking life is so miserable, never just being thankful that if our eyes opened, the day is good. That certainly doesn’t mean that we smile with joy when bad things happen or life does not seem to be waiting like a towel when we get out the morning shower to not dry us off, but add more water, the last thing we need. That just means that if you have the mental ability to know that it is another day (and not all people have this ability), it is off to a good start. This is truly a glass-half-full mindset. My FIL had an apartment in one of the more swanky cities in the area, known for being liberal, having a small downtown to party in, and trendy restaurants, but he lived on the 11th floor and could see above the city’s tree line and would not move from that location. He had his view to see the sun come up in the east, and the ability to go sit on the corner and people watch, and he had seen that town change so much in all the years he lived and worked in the same area. He found contentment in the “little” things we often take for granted, the real treasures that make each day a good day.

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  • You are never too old to change – When my FIL first heard about this so-called Black guy dating his daughter, he put down an edict that still has ramifications to this day. He said I was not allowed to come over to his house. I guess he felt superior as a hard-working so-called White man that the thought of his daughter being interested in someone Black after having her born and raised away from Black people, and the fact that this guy was working a dead-end job and already had a child, didn’t help as well. Needless-to-say, the latter two I’d have a problem with if my daughters were dating someone in the demographic. But over the years, I guess as he saw I was still in his daughter’s life after many years and was not afraid of him in any way, he seemed to change. Now this change wasn’t (at least outwardly) the usual go-along-to-get-along because my FIL never seemed much like that, but one that seemed genuine after his ideology was challenged and what seemed like some introspection on his part. Obviously, the fact that I am blogging about him right now says much, and after a few meetings, we quickly become quite close. I think he respected me and knew I respected him, even if we disagree with each other’s position on a topic, more we also discovered that we had so much in common and, as most father’s learned, his daughter may have married a man just like him despite being completely opposite in skin color. In the last decade of his life, my FIL and I grew pretty close, and at family events, we talked constantly. When he stopped attending those, I pretty much did as well! Our relationship was then built outside his immediate family, and sometimes he would call and we would talk for minutes (cause y’all know ole dudes don’t stay on the phone for hours) and when he came the kid’s games and over for holidays, we would talk more than he would talk to my wife…even about race! Perhaps it was having grandchildren. Perhaps it was God. I’m not sure what is was, but this guy seemed to do a complete 180 and it has taught me that some leopards do change their spots, even at an old age.
  • Attend Every Game – One reason our relationship strengthened so much was because of the amount of time we spent together. This was not a planned meet-up, but because he always wanted to be at my kids’ ball games to support them. He was at the baseball games and basketball games, even the dance recitals which no man wants to sit through! I can’t recall a time he left early or arrived late, he was just always there. During that time, I heard many stories, and I loved the sports stories the most, as he was alive to see Willie Mays (and my FIL was a serious baseball fan) and Ted Williams. When he said Ted Williams was his favorite player, but Willie Mays was the best player to play the game, that statement had weight to me. When he criticized today’s players and spoke of problems in the game, I knew it was with the knowledge that would match any ESPN analyst with Google right at their fingertips to do research. He would often tell me that he knew the starting line-up of the 1957 Detroit Tigers, but not what he did last week. A feeling I now know very well, as I can name the starting line-up of the 1983 California Angels but struggle to nearly everything else in my life as well. When he attended, he just wanted them to know he was there and he never criticized their game, just that they were playing hard. After every game, regardless of the outcome, they came over for their high-five and “good game!” I don’t think they will realize the effort it takes to have that kind of attendance record until they have to make the effort to go watch their kids and grandkids play, no matter you feel or “meaningless” the game.

 

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Here’s the 1957 Detroit Tigers Opening Day line-up! Source: Baseball-reference.com

 

  • Always Be Teaching and Learning – Whether it be a game, family gathering or phone conversation, my FIL was always learning something and teaching. Looking back, like many men of his generation that did not complete his high school education, he never made it to high school. So I think he made it a priority to always be learning something new to cover up any lack of knowledge people might perceive that he had when speaking to him. He seemed to know quite a bit about nearly anything and if he knew I was into a particular topic, we would see each other the next time and he had some info for me. He was always teaching some lesson or sharing how some event from the past will visit us again in the future. But he could be in this position because he was always learning. For his birthday, he loved to get a gift certificate to the bookstore. He gave me boxes and boxes of books that he picked up from the Salvation Army for $1.00 or less, and the topics consisted of sports, philosophy, religion, reference material and on and on. He seemed so proud that we were homeschooling the children and even more proud of what we were teaching them and the people they were becoming. No one on either side of my family was as much of a champion for my kid’s education than he was, and he was so optimistic at their future because they were out of the system.
  • “Live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later” – Dave Ramsey said it, but my FIL truly lived it. If you would have met my FIL and heard of his shopping habits, you’d think he was an elder man that was barely getting by. Quite the contrary. Where did he shop? The Salvation Army or any second-hand store that had deals. He’d bring bags over all the time with nothing but the free stuff he received from the drugstore with coupons. Some items had expired, some we still have, and some we gave away, but he viewed it as, “Hey, it’s free, so I figured someone could use it.” He drove around so long in a plain white rental-car-looking Ford Focus. He put approximately 2,000 miles a year on the odometer. Now, it wasn’t that he didn’t like or couldn’t afford a more flashy car, as he always wanted to have an Audi R8 and lamented often how he had to get rid of that ’67 Camaro with a stick because my wife’s baby seat was on the floor next to my MIL and he couldn’t drive it without hitting her seat. But he kept saying, “I cannot see paying that much money for a car I’d never drive. I can take the bus if I really need to go downtown, and the car I have takes me anywhere else I need to go just fine.” He loved to chat about the press cars I’d bring home and would give me car mags he bought from the store with good articles. But if it did not make fiscal AND practical sense, there was no purpose in him parting with his cash. So he kept that flip-phone till the end.

 

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The last testosterone producing ride my FIL owned…that had to go because of my wife

 

 

 

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When my FIL talked about the R8, you could hear the excitement in his voice

 

  • Being alone for a man is not something to fear but embrace – My in-laws divorced shortly after my FIL retired. Many men I know at my age cannot stand to be alone, let alone a man that had been married for three decades. But he seemed to take pride in being a bachelor, with his “pad”, frugal life, and discovering new dishes that he could make and eat in his crock pot. Sometimes as men, I think that we avoid and fear of being alone after many years of marriage, so we jump right back into another relationship for more security. However, I think he was an excellent example of how to be content with one’s own thoughts, failures, and dreams. Dr. Robert Glover of No More Mr. Nice Guy says that we as men need to know that no matter what, we will be okay and we can handle it. It is a lesson I’m still learning.
  • We all have to die someday – In a few weeks, it will also be one year marking the time my FIL and I were to meet again. I saw him in January of 2016 when visiting the old neighborhood and I honestly thought that due to the short notice, he would not meet with me. My FIL took each day as it came, so if he wasn’t in the mood to chat and chill, it’s a no go. Surprise visits were even worse, as he has always been an early to bed and early to rise guy. But turned out, not only did my short notice not matter, he really wanted to see me. It was like he knew it was the last time we would see each other. When kicked it in his place for quite a while and even though I knew the doctor’s opinion was that his months may be numbered, his spirit and zest said otherwise. When I asked him how he was doing, he said that, “You know, this is tough, but hey, we all have to die someday.” I then asked about his relationship with God and he said he was at peace with his Maker, knew where he was going and was ready to go. During his battle with cancer, knowing that we had to die someday seemed to make him appreciate just one more day so much more. He said, “That Good Lord has given me a lot of years and a great life, great kids, great grandkids, a job I enjoyed, you know, what do I have to complain about?” I left his place saying that I would be back in March when I had to return to speak at an event. He said to definitely come back by and see him, but I didn’t know if he would make that meeting myself. I left his presence with tears in my eyes and basically saying to him how much I appreciated all of the things you get to read about right now. As a man who admitted to making many mistakes in his life, and some that he paid the price for till the end, I wanted him to know that our finish after a horrendous start is something I will never forget and truly shows God’s grace to the two of us. Ever humbly accepted and agreed, and encouraged me to keep doing what I’m doing, because it’s my kids show that it is working. But I told him that he played a huge part of that as well, and it was one of the few times the old guy got speechless. I think we both parted ways unsure if that meeting, just less than two months away, would ever take place. I left having nothing unsaid to him, as who knows, I could have died instead. He at least seemed to be relieved at our honest exchange. All hearts were clear because we all have to die someday.

I don’t know.

Now I wonder, what DO I have to complain about?

That’s why we honor my FIL today and it’s good to think about the wisdom he passed down to me.

Other meaningless holidays come and go, but tomorrow, I’ll wake up thinking, “Thank you Good Lord for waking me up, and giving me a good day.”

 

CSD Saying Happy Father’s Day With Never Released Before Content

First, Happy Father’s Day to all my CSDs out there!

You know, it seems just like yesterday. The years I spent as a single-dad when my son was between 10-15 years old were the worst compared to the other 13 years. During this time period, I was struggling financially and trying to finish school to earn my degree, with the hope of coming up in this land of milk-n-honey. I was also trying to provide for my other children that were being born with my wife and also going to work at various places meant days that never ended and stress that felt like I was carrying a weight 24/7.

My poor sociology teacher had to read all about my struggles, as I poured my heart out in essay after essay. My son was at an age where he could choose (he was not given that “right” by me, but by his mom and the court) whether he wanted to come over to my home or not, and oftentimes for various reasons, he would not. Perhaps the ultimate knife in my chest was when he told the referee that he did not want to come to my home, as there were too many rules, he did not have fun and all we did was go over his grandparent’s house. My heart stopped beating that day in the court room, as I was fighting to maintain the visitation rights that I fought for when he was just a baby. I thought, “And this is how I get paid back?” “I’m being treated worse than Cain who said, ‘It ain’t mine’ and bounced. For those who have seen Menace To Society, they know what I’m talking about.

But it was all of those experiences that moved me to create this blog years later.

The essay below was one that I wrote in 2001 for my Social Science Theory class. My superb professor had us all develop a theory by the end of the semester, as she knew that social and psychological theories that change the world are not only born when you have a Ph.D.. So it is in the environment above that I have described, that my Alliance Theory was born. When I performed my research for the paper (yes, done without the internet and we had just got a computer for me to type this on), I learned that my theory had basically been previously presented and was known as Parental Alienation Syndrome.

I’ve never shared this publicly, and I’m posting pictures of the essay until I can type a more recent edition. Therefore, you get to see all of my grammar mistakes, the faded paper, etc.. But I wanted to share this on Father’s Day to once again encourage those of you struggling as well. You may not get to see your son or daughter today, as they may choose (or the mother may choose for them) to spend it with a new guy, with mommy or a step-father instead.

I know it hurts. It hurts to watch you and your child’s relationship melt and you seem to be the only one that cares. You know your child has no idea the impact that this is going to have in his or her life. But you hang in there. Never give up and cry to yourself if necessary. Emotions usually spring forth in the only way society allows men to grieve, and that’s through anger and violence. But you probably know that when you lose control in those arguments, you lose. She can just pick up her “toys” if you will, and go home. You look like the bad-guy, and to your child, you are that bad guy. Why? Read the essay below.

Make today a special day for yourself. It’s special because you are still there, whether your son or daughter understands right now or not.

Now this was written 14 years ago, but what do you think? How has your life experience been and does this theory fit your situation? Let me know in the comments below or email me.

So again, if that phone doesn’t ring or no one comes to visit, you at least get a heart felt Happy Father’s Day from CSD my man, and may God bless you.

Peace.

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This Video Summarizes Why I Started CornerstoneDad

I’ve never met this brother.

I’d like to though.

In 4-minutes, he broke down a struggle that I had known for many, many years.

What he said was not very profound, for it is a story that many of us know so too well.

But it is profound, because he put it together in a poetic way, unleashing the pain, sadness, desire and compassion that only a father on the outside can feel.

Prentice Powell, keep spreading your message man, because brothers like us see every Father’s Day in a unique way.

We also know that our metric of a good father is not defined by our son’s mother, our friends, or the judge in a courtroom, but by that person we see in the mirror. That’s what makes us fight.

CSD

CornerstoneDad Announcement: Cornerstone…Grandfather?

My son KD, now has one that he will lead...
My son KD, now has one that he will lead…

Yes, that’s right!

Kory Devon is now building his own quiver, making me a Grandfather.

It is amazing to think that our family now has another generation added to it.

My grandfather was “Pop”.

My father took on the name “Lillpappa”.

Therefore, I will be taking on “Cool Pappa”.

This is also influenced by Negro League baseball player, James “Cool Papa” Bell.

While I’m sure I’ll be blogging about many of my thoughts from the eldership promotion, I’ll say right now that the biggest blessing that remains on my mind is that my father is still alive, I am still alive, my son is still alive and my grandson is now alive. Together, we all now span almost seven decades of life. From WWII, the Civil Rights Movement, Reaganomics, computers, the internet, 9/11, The War on Drugs, The War on Terror and so much more.

God has been so good, so all I can do now is just be so thankful…for life.

CSD aka “Cool Pappa”

One Of My Mentors In The Faith, Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel, Has Gone Home

I’ve been so busy lately and on a bit if a media blackout. One of the stories that got past me was one that saddened me quite a bit, Chuck Smith Pastor of Calvary Chapel died earlier this month at the age of 86.

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While I have never met Chuck Smith, his impact on my spiritual life was profound. My father (men, my father, get it?) played Chuck Smith sermons in the cassette deck of our ’77 Pontiac Bonneville (400 c.i., 4 bbl. and get this, 185 hp!) or in our home all the time. It seemed “Pastor Chuck” and John MacArthur of Grace To You were on heavy rotation in our household. They were who we listened to on those four-day trips to California that we made annually in the late ’70s.

While I’d later have a few theological differences with Chuck Smith (more from what I’ve heard from others than from what I’ve actually heard him teach), he was one of the first preachers I heard as a kid that didn’t scream, spit, and have a hype-man. He just said, “Would you open your Bible to ___ and verse ____.” Then he’s spend the next 30 minutes teaching off of two verses, breaking down the time period, culture, fit in overall scripture, etc.. True biblical exegesis, critically explaining and examine the text.

Without Chuck, there probably would be no “UNITE REPORT” on this blog! Yes, Chuck did love talking about Bible prophesy and the End Times, but personally I never remember him throwing out a date like the article below mentions. From everything I remember hearing, he’d always point out the fact that our society is now getting to a place that from a technical standpoint, Christ could come back and a cashless society that is able to track citizens anywhere and force them to submit to the system of the anti-christ is now possible. At no time in history had this been possible, so I think Chuck was fascinated by this fact. Of course, I remember Chuck saying this back in the ’70’s, when these new things were just coming out called, “scanners” and “computer chips”. Being the great bible teacher that he was, I find it hard to believe that he gave an exact date for Christ’s return, but I think Chuck may have certainly said something like, “I think it is very likely Christ could return in the next 10 years.” I’m sure he was well aware of:

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matt. 24:36

But like so many before, and like I’m sure Chuck always knew, and like we have to remember, we’ll likely be going home before that Great Day. So we must be prepared for the rapture or the grave at all times.

So there are two lessons I’ve learned as I reflect on Chuck Smith:

1.) Dad’s, we are the gatekeepers, especially for our boys on what’s sound doctrine within our homes. My dad introduced me to Christian Apologetics long before I ever knew what the term was and had us listening to solid teachers like Chuck Smith, John MacArthur and Walter Martin. When you listened to these guys, you were not going to hear a message where having your bible was optional. If you didn’t have it, you were lost! Guys where a “good message” wasn’t on politics, tithing equals prosperity and healing. A good message “open your bible, turn to”, “now, what are you going to do with God’s word?” and the Gospel.

2.) The aforementioned guys have messages that live forever and never grow stale. As we’ve all learned with J. Vernon McGee, start at Genesis, push forward. After Revelation 22, repeat. If you do it over and over again, you never have to worry about politics or the “Christian Hot Topic of The Day”, and your life’s work can live forever.

My prayers go out to Chuck Smith’s family and Calvary Chapel in “Costa Mesa, California” (after ever broadcast they’d say the home of the church and it seemed to have the coolest name). I’m sure you know that the man you all loved impacted so many people for the Kingdom of God and although I never got to meet my man on this side, I look forward to some great conversations on the other.

Here are the links to the ministries of the men above:

Chuck Smith: http://www.twft.com/

John MacArthur – http://www.gty.org/

Walter Martin: http://www.waltermartin.com/

J. Vernon McGee: http://www.ttb.org/

Ironically, the article below was sent by who? My dad, Lillpappa…how fitting. Please check it out and if you have any comments, please leave them below.

SOURCE: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/14/us/chuck-smith-minister-who-preached-to-flower-children-dies-at-86.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

Chuck Smith, Minister Who Preached to Flower Children, Dies at 86

The Rev. Chuck Smith, a Southern California minister who shepherded flower children and rock ’n’ roll into the conservative wing of the evangelical movement while building a religious organization that grew to encompass 700 congregations and hundreds of radio stations, died on Oct. 3 at his home in Newport Beach, Calif. He was 86.

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The Rev. Chuck Smith

The cause was lung cancer, said a spokesman for Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, the flagship church of Mr. Smith’s worldwide Calvary Chapel federation.

Though lesser known than evangelical leaders like the Rev. Pat Robertson and the Rev. James C. Dobson, Mr. Smith was influential for his liturgical innovations, for the cultivation of a new generation of prominent preachers and for the introduction of pop culture into the evangelical movement’s vernacular.

His amalgam of fire-and-brimstone theology and avuncular charm made him a successful if unlikely Christian fundamentalist ambassador to the youth culture of the late 1960s. He predicted the end of the world and condemned drug use, sex out of wedlock, abortion and homosexuality while serving as pastor to a hippie tribe known as the Jesus Movement.

To his ragged following he was Papa Chuck, and he welcomed them to his church by the thousands, accepting their barefoot, floor-sitting, outdoor-living habits and incorporating their rock music into his Sunday services — an innovation that other evangelical churches as well as mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic churches later adopted.

His decision to dispense with the traditional liturgy, replace pipe organs with electric guitars, preach from the pulpit in a Hawaiian shirt if he felt like it and give the same come-as-you-are rights to worshipers set the standard in the 1970s for what the church historian Donald E. Miller, a professor of religion at the University of Southern California, has called the “new paradigm” of independent Christian megachurches.

Mr. Smith’s disavowal of denominational labels — he did not call his church Pentecostal, Baptist or Assembly of God, but rather “just a Christian church” — has also been widely embraced in the evangelical world.

In 1971, Mr. Smith helped found Maranatha Music, one of the first contemporary Christian record companies in the United States, partly to provide a platform for the Christian musicians and songwriters who performed at his church. The group Love Song,one of the first Christian rock groups, was for a time a kind of house band at Calvary Chapel. In 1996, Mr. Smith and a protégé, Mike Kestler, founded the Calvary Satellite Network, which broadcasts sermons and Christian music over about 400 low-power and 50 full-power stations in 45 states.

Mr. Smith himself was never a fiery preacher and rarely appeared on television. His sermons, with line-by-line explications of the Bible, were more professorial than charismatic.

Outside Calvary Chapel, he was probably best known for the people he mentored. Those who went on to lead large evangelical organizations of their own included Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, a network of several hundred churches; and Kenn Gulliksen, the founder of a church movement called Vineyard, who introduced Bob Dylan to evangelical Christianity, which Mr. Dylan embraced in the 1970s and early ’80s. (Mr. Gulliksen is often referred to as “Bob Dylan’s pastor.”)

It was Mr. Smith’s simple teaching style and easygoing manner, mainly, that drew members of the Jesus Movement to his church in 1969, after his own teenage children had introduced him to movement followers they had befriended at the beach. One was Lonnie Frisbee, a self-described mystic and prophet who became prominent in the movement.

With Mr. Frisbee as his liaison, Mr. Smith was soon holding mass baptisms in the surf at Corona del Mar, dunking longhaired men and women in the Pacific by the hundreds. Some called them “Jesus freaks,” a phrase Time magazine used in a 1971 cover article about the movement.

“It looked like no congregation anyone had ever seen before,” Mr. Laurie wrote in his 2008 memoir, “Lost Boy.” “Barefoot hippies sat on the floor, praising the Lord, while old ladies in hats smiled, shrugged and sang their hymns.”

Randall Balmer, a scholar of evangelical culture and chairman of the Dartmouth College religion department, said in an interview that even in a congregation that embraced the counterculture, Mr. Smith never sugarcoated his fundamentalist beliefs. Besides condemning illicit sex and recreational drugs, he called homosexuality “a perverted lifestyle,” warned of the eternal hell awaiting sinners and promised the imminent arrival of Armageddon. (He said the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks signaled God’s displeasure with the general acceptance of homosexuality and abortion.)

Mr. Balmer said some of Mr. Smith’s young followers might have been disillusioned with the counterculture and searching for spiritual sustenance elsewhere when they joined Calvary Chapel. But the pastor’s genius for incorporating counterculture trappings into his brand of evangelism was part of his appeal too, Mr. Balmer said, as was his sheer likability.

“This was a very charming man,” he said.

Charles Ward Smith was born in Ventura, Calif., on June 25, 1927, to Charles and Maude Smith, whom he described to interviewers as “Bible quoting” Christians. His father was a salesman.

After graduating in 1948 from the Bible college of the Foursquare Church, a Pentecostal denomination, Mr. Smith served several of its congregations before leaving, convinced that internal politics was the “un-Christian” scourge of Foursquare and every other denomination.

“The more spiritual a man is, the less denominational he becomes,” he wrote years later.

He started his own church in the early 1960s and in 1965 agreed to become pastor of Calvary Chapel, which was then a struggling nondenominational congregation with about 25 members. By the 1970s, attendance at Sunday services averaged 3,000.

He is survived by his wife, Catherine L. Johnson Smith; four children, Chuck Jr., Jeff, Janette Smith Manderson and Cheryl Smith Brodersen; and five grandchildren.

Based on his reading of the Book of Revelation, Mr. Smith began predicting the end of the world in the early 1980s. Although his predictions repeatedly proved wrong, he was undeterred. “Every year I believe this could be the year,” he told an interviewer. “We are one year closer than we were.”

A version of this article appears in print on October 14, 2013, on page D8 of the New York edition with the headline: Chuck Smith, 86, Minister; Preached to Flower Children.

So…Exactly What IS Mitt Romney’s Position On Abortion?

Taken at: Creation Museum

Allow me to be political for a moment.

I remember in high school having serious debates over abortion back in 1984. Now it is 2012 and the abortion argument is still alive and well and rightfully so, for we are talking about the life of another human being.

A life…so why is this issue not at the front of Mitt Romney’s mind?

“Dannenfelser said she thinks Romney’s comment to the editorial board was nothing more than a slip — that he just has too much else on his mind to keep issues like abortion front and center.

“I think the simple truth of the matter is his head is in jobs and the economy almost all day long, almost every single day,” she said. “And of course we want at least a third of his focus to be on it all the time, but you don’t always get everything that you want.” (Read more below)

I know many Christians that refuse to vote for ANY democratic candidate because of the abortion issue (I can say with some confidence that some use this issue as just a smoke-screen). I certainly respect that decision and even agree with that stance, but my question is, “So what has your undying support for the Republican party really done, as the debate is still the same after 28 years?”

In the last few elections, many in the African-American community have questioned the undying loyalty of other African-Americans to the Democratic party. For many African-American’s, the democratic stance on civil rights is the swing-issue. The question gets raised to them, “So what have they actually done for you? Do they really need to have your interests in mind when they know you will not go and vote for the Republican candidate?”

That’s a good question to ask.

Now, it’s about time Christians start asking this same question of the Republican party.

Candidates seem to get away simply saying, “I’m Pro-Life!”, without any follow-up questions as to what they mean.

So ask Mitt Romney what being “Pro-Life” really means?

Read or listen to the story below and tell me what you think.

It sounds to me like Mr. Romney is a lot closer to the center than many Christians want to admit.

Secondly, what do we do about this statement in the article below,

“…just as it was no accident when Romney said in a CBS evening news interview in August that he supported abortions when the pregnant woman’s health — not just her life — was threatened. That position was also reversed later, quietly, by staff.”

Some have pointed to Romney’s past positions as well. “Running for the U.S. Senate in 1994, Romney insisted that “since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years […] we should sustain and support it.” And again in 2002, running for governor in Massachusetts, Romney insisted that he would “preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose” and vowed to “not change any provisions of Massachusetts’ pro-choice laws.”

(Source: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/28/romney-accidentally-says-he-favors-health-exception-for-abortion/)

So as someone who doesn’t have a dog in this race (no pun intended), I must call out the hypocrisy that I see on this all important issue. The double-talk done by the candidate and many of the Christian Pro-Life-is-the-only-issue supporters who will not hold him to task if he gets elected OR pin him down to take a firm position on the sanctity of life.

I listen to many commentators on Christian radio and the line continues to be drawn:

Obama – Baby Killer <————————————————————> Romney – Baby Advocate

I think an argument can be made that neither candidate will do anything to reduce abortion. I do not have the space or the time right now to debate the “except for rape and incest” clause that many Republicans always throw out, but just by adding “health of the mother” should tell us a lot about how he really feels right there.

Why does he view a life differently in his exception clause and exactly what does he mean by, “health”…if that’s what he meant…oh I can’t keep up…

Just like many African-American’s are sheep for the Democratic party, it’s about time Christians admit they are nothing but sheep for the Republican party.

… and the last I checked, God was the only Shepherd that we were commanded to follow.

And in my best Andy Rooney tone, “and I don’t think He is a Republican!”

Hebrews 13:20 Now may the God of peace who by the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus Christ, ©NET

Hear the story here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/10/10/162667478/romney-causes-yet-another-abortion-stir

“Just how many abortion positions does Mitt Romney have? Once again, that answer is unclear.

This time the confusion began Tuesday, during a meeting with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register.

“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” Romney said.

He went on to add that he would use an executive order to reinstate the “Mexico City Policy,” which bars U.S. aid to international groups that lobby or pay for abortions.

But the comment about not pushing abortion-restricting legislation surprised those on both sides of the abortion debate.

 

“That’s quite a shock, coming from Mitt Romney, who has consistently called for the overturn of Roe v Wade; who said that he would appoint Supreme Court justices who would do just that; who has an extensive pro-life agenda on his website that anybody can access,” says Beth Shipp, political director of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

That agenda includes things like defunding Planned Parenthood, which would require legislation. Romney has also endorsed legislation to ban abortions at the point fetuses can theoretically feel pain.

In addition to a terse statement from the campaign vowing that, if elected, Romney would “be a pro-life president,” the candidate himself tried to walk back some of his comments when asked by reporters at a campaign stop Wednesday.

“I think I’ve said time and again, I’m a pro-life candidate. I’ll be a pro-life president,” he said during a rope line in Ohio.

Even before Romney’s walk back, however, he was being defended, if somewhat weakly, by abortion opponents.

“No one likes to be caught flat-footed or see your hero flat-footed. But those moments do come,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.

Dannenfelser said she thinks Romney’s comment to the editorial board was nothing more than a slip — that he just has too much else on his mind to keep issues like abortion front and center.

“I think the simple truth of the matter is his head is in jobs and the economy almost all day long, almost every single day,” she said. “And of course we want at least a third of his focus to be on it all the time, but you don’t always get everything that you want.”

NARAL’s Shipp, however, thinks it’s anything but an accident — just as it was no accident when Romney said in a CBS evening news interview in August that he supported abortions when the pregnant woman’s health — not just her life — was threatened. That position was also reversed later, quietly, by staff.

“I know Mitt Romney really wants women to vote for him,” Shipp says. But the way that he’s going about this, by lying to people about where he stands on the issues, is not going to serve him well come Nov. 6.”

Still, political scientist John Green of the University of Akron says what Romney is doing isn’t all that unusual.

“There’s a long tradition of candidates adopting one kind of position for a broad audience, maybe on television, then having a different position in direct mail or in smaller venues,” he says.

Green says Romney is running into trouble because in today’s world of Twitter and nonstop cable news, there’s no such thing as being able to deliver different messages to anyone anymore.

“We’ve discovered over the last couple of election cycles, and we’ve seen it in many examples this year, is that it’s hard to keep those different venues separate because of our communication technology today,” Green says.

With an issue as touchy as abortion, that can become even more hazardous, says Green.

“The people who really care about something like abortion, whether they’re in the Republican base or the Democratic base, have very firm convictions on where a candidate should stand,” he says. “And variation on those convictions can create very real problems.”

Those problems include both alienating one’s own voters, and mobilizing those on the other side.

At least for now, however, Romney seems to be making it work. There’s still nearly a month until Election Day, however, and two more debates to go.”

Source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/10/10/162667478/romney-causes-yet-another-abortion-stir