For those of you that follow this blog, I wanted to let you know of a change. The new strategic dads site is up and running. You can follow at www.strategicdads.com.  No more posts from this site. Hope you enjoy the new site!


This song has a challenging message. What are your kids learning from you?

We just finished up our week of spring break here at PDS and I love hearing all of the stories from our boys about their adventures. The Brady house experienced spring break a bit differently this year. I have been very fortunate to get through the majority of this year without any illness. Until Now! Comic Bill Engvall said every parents alarm clock should be programmed to the sounds of your children throwing up because that is a sound that will get you attention. After last week, I completely agree. Early last week we woke up to the sounds of our seven year old throwing up down the stairs of our new house. Joy! He proceeded to throw up for the next several hours. Just as he completed his final round, our eleven year old began. As he was finishing up, I started followed by my wife. Glad the new house has three toilets. The only positive out of this was the fact that our two year old daughter did not get it. She is probably starting as I type this!

My bout with the stomach bug lasted all night. It was so bad that after my last ride on “the porcelain Honda” I literally collapsed on the bed. I had nothing left. As I look back on this awful experience, I have a couple of takeaways.

I am convicted that I do not come to Jesus like that. I often desire to come to Jesus on my own terms instead of on His. I want to come to Him with my chest puffed out with everyone looking instead of acknowledging my brokeness and need for His grace and mercy.

The amount of puke that Carrie and I had to clean up was brutal. We were both extremely frustrated that we had to wipe up the mess that did not make it to the toilet. Then I thought back to the price Christ paid to clean up our mess. Frustration stopped. Forgiveness needed. Humility granted.

It will definitely be a day and night that goes down in the history books for the Brady Family. My prayer is that we will look back, laugh and remember God’s grace!

Do you want your kids to be happy? Think about it before you answer!

I read this blog entry the other day and I loved it. Please check her blog out here.

Dear Shepherd, Sissy, Maggie and Ikey,

Recently we were told by people whom we love and respect why they oppose our plans to adopt. One of the reasons given was that we would not be able to pay for your college education.

It’s true.

You all have college funds – college funds which recently took a terrible hit – but “they” say that by the time you’re 18, college will cost anywhere between $200,000 to half a million dollars each. You might as well know now, we won’t be covering that. I’m telling you now, babies.

The people said that the day would come when you would look at us with resentment because you had to apply for school loans while many of your friends got a free ride from their parents.

Maybe you will. Maybe you’ll resent us. I really hope not. But maybe I should tell y’all now why your dad and I have decided to do what we are doing.

I know you’re going to think I am going off topic (I do that a lot) but several years I saw a story on a TV show about how the latest trend was for parents to give their daughters boob jobs for high school graduation (I don’t know what they gave their sons.) When interviewing one of the moms, she said, “I just want my daughter to be happy.” And as I tossed a throw pillow at the television, this really huge thought occurred to me: I don’t want my children to be happy.

My goal as your mom is not your happiness, sugars. In fact, I spend at least half my day making you unhappy. If I had a nickle for every tear that falls in this home on a daily basis, we wouldn’t need to worry about college tuition at all.

Happiness is fleeting, sweet babies. That means it doesn’t last. It’s a quick feeling that comes from a funny movie or a heart shaped lollipop or a really good birthday present. It’s great. I love to be happy. But happiness is a reaction that is based on our surroundings. And our surroundings are so very rarely under our control. Even when – especially when – we think they are. So no, I absolutely don’t want you to spend your life chasing something that has so little to do with your own abilities. You’ll just be constantly frustrated.

There are two things I desire for you, precious loves. There are two things that I spend most of my time as a mother trying cultivate in you. Happiness ain’t one of them. (This means, sorry, no boob jobs for you.)

The first is, I want you to be content. Being content is so much different from being happy. Being content is not based on your surroundings. Being content comes from within. Contentment is a spirit of gratitude. It’s the choice you make to either be thankful for the things you do have, or to whine about the things you don’t have.

Being content and grateful leads to consistent joy.

As you know, because I’ve told you lots of times, Paul talked about being content. Paul said that he had “learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” And Paul was in some rotten situations, kiddos, really rotten.

How could Paul be content whether he was in prison or if his life was literally a shipwreck? Because Paul was constantly seeking to be in the will of God instead of his own, was constantly sacrificing his own comfort for the sake of the gospel, and was constantly being confirmed, strengthened, and blessed by God because of his obedience. He was given a supernatural power – that means something kind of like magic, God magic – to do things that most other humans could not do. And guess what? The bible tells us (in Ephesians 1) that God will give you the exact same power! If you want it!

Which leads me to my second desire for y’all.

I don’t want you to be happy. I want you to be holy. That means, I want you to seek that God-power to make you content. I want you to want the Kingdom of God more than your own kingdom. And that’s hard, babies, that is so hard. And that usually means passing up a lot of what the world considers happiness. But it means that you will achieve blessings directly from God that most of the world never dreams of because they are too occupied with the achieving the perfect birthday present!

This means you may be poor, ‘in want’ as Paul said, and that’s okay. It will never, ever be okay with the world for you to be poor. So you’ll be up against the world. But not your dad and me, loves, because it was never our goal for you to be wealthy – at least not in the way that the world considers wealthy.

Darlings, we love you so much. You will never even grasp how much we love you until you have children of your own, and then you’ll get it, and then you’ll apologize for the ways you treated us 😉 But our goal is not to please you. Our goal is to please our Heavenly Father. And nowhere in the bible does the Lord command that we save our money to send our kids to college.

But the Lord does command us to care for the orphan around fifty times. He does tell us to care for the poor around 300 times. He does tell us that when we care for the neediest, we are caring for Jesus Himself. And in chapter six of the book of Matthew, He tells us to seek His kingdom first, and let Him worry about the rest, like college tuition. Because it’s all His anyway.

They said that one day y’all would resent us for using ‘your’ college money to go and get your sister out of an orphanage in Ethiopia and bring her home to you.

But I know my babies. Even at your tender ages, I know your hearts, and I have already seen you weep for the least of these. I know the prayers I offer up to God that He and not the world would shape the desires of your hearts. I am trusting Him to answer those prayers.

So, sugarbears – I just don’t believe those people.


My Bride

I am thankful for March 6th, for that is the day that Carrie Luna Brady entered the world. I know I usually talk about parenting but I think this is fits as well as anything I have ever written. My kids are going to get a picture of marriage from me so I want them to see how much I love and care for my wife. Husbands, let your kids see you loving and serving your wife. They are going to get a picture of marriage from you so the question is: What picture are you showing them? Although I could write pages, I will give you a blog list of some of the things I love about Carrie (and some funny ones to). This is by no means all of them.

  • She is the greatest servant I know.
  • She constantly puts her needs behind the needs of the family.
  • She loves our kids in ways that I cannot.
  • She is an expert in cooking King Ranch Chicken.
  • She loves Jesus passionately and is consumed with serving Him in all she does.
  • She is the most organized person I know.
  • She is constantly encouraging and loving me when I am not very lovable.
  • She actually thinks I am funny.
  • She will sit down and watch Tiger basketball, Grizzlies basketball, and any other basketball with me.
  • She gets just as mad at the Tigers as I do.
  • She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and known.
  • She is my best friend and I love her more today than I ever have.

If you know Carrie, send her a message on facebook, email her and tell her how much you appreciate her!

Spouses, take time today and show your significant other how much you love and care for them. Your kids are watching! Be intentional!

I am catching up on my blog reading and I found this post very interesting from George Barna:

I do a lot of research. The facts and figures from Barna surveys lead to a lot of conclusions, some of which are predictable, some of which are surprising, a few of which become controversial. One of the latter conclusions is this: media exposure has become America’s most widespread and serious addiction.

According to the American Psychiatry Association, an addiction is a chronic disorder in which we are unable to control our need for the substance in question. The Association adds that addictions have a combination of several simultaneous components at work. Addictions literally change our brains. They do so by changing the chemical balance and flow within the brain, or by altering the brain structure, or by changing our emotions, motivations and memory capacity. Addictions cause withdrawal symptoms when exposure to the addictive item is eliminated and they cause us to lose control over how much exposure we seek to experience. The APA indicates that addictions may produce a desire to reduce our exposure – a desire that we are unable to satisfy. Another sign of an addiction is that it causes us to abandon or reduce our involvement in normal and healthy activities. And addictions are characterized by the addict’s repeated denials that a real problem exists. According to APA, when we experience the concurrent presence of three or more of these symptoms, we have an addiction.

To be fair, as we put the media under the microscope, it is important to note that the media can and sometimes do provide important benefits. For instance, we know that some media tools – such as training DVDs, movies, and music – can stimulate thinking and conversation, and often assist in the retention of information. One of the studies we conducted a few years ago showed that people are more likely to remember principles demonstrated in a brief, dramatic video clip than they are to recall the same principles described in a sermon. Media can also provide people with a healthy way of relaxing and decompressing after an exhausting or tense time. They can capture people’s attention and focus it upon items of great importance. And when properly used, media can be help facilitate language development, as well as reasoning and problem-solving skills.

But as often as not, media content winds up serving the lowest common denominator because that’s where the largest audience – and, consequently, the money and notoriety – is to be found. Sometimes that makes media content a distraction from more important or helpful matters. In more serious cases, however, media content can become a debilitating obsession for individuals, and a pathway to societal deterioration.

I arrived at this conclusion based on looking at a lot of data. For instance, if media content and exposure levels are at addictive levels, we would expect to see a steady increase in the amount of media exposure that characterizes the typical person’s life. Research consistently shows such an increase. Two decades ago, the average child under 18 spent about 15 to 20 hours per week digesting media content. Today, it has nearly tripled to almost 60 hours per week of unduplicated time. They now devote more time to media than to anything other than sleep.

We can see this as a generational trend, as well. The elder generation, the pre-Boomers, did not grow up with media ubiquity and never became accustomed to it. Boomers broke the ice, embracing media as their means to free expression. Busters championed technology, making media a dominant companion as they grieved the absence of parents and the thrill of expanding their world electronically. Mosaics, those 22 and younger, have known little else besides a media saturated universe, and look forward to blowing it out even more.
The continual expansion of consumer technology has created a felt need for more content. Americans don’t want to miss out on anything significant. If it’s out there, and has perceived value, they will seek it out.

Another sign of our media addiction is people’s resistance to reducing their amount of media exposure. If we were serious about reducing the amount of media exposure we would witness parents having boundaries on how much media time their children are allowed. Unfortunately, we see nothing of the sort. And if we were serious about reducing the amount of media exposure we would see diminishing expenditures on personal media and technology, on in-home media and technology and even forms of mobile media, such as video screens and satellite radio installed in cars. In each case, we actually see a per capita increase in such spending. In fact, the research shows that growing numbers of people are interested in making their home into a “digital nest.”

In fact, if we were serious about reducing the amount of media exposure we would find surveys showing expectations of future media purchases to be on the decline. We find exactly the opposite: consumers expect to add more electronic and technological goodies to their arsenal as soon as they can afford them.

Another angle on this resistance relates to the breadth of our adoption of new lifestyle components. In this regard we evaluate how people are redesigning their homes and vehicles, their occupational practices, their workplace environment, and their relational practices. In so doing, we find that Americans are increasingly committed to incorporating media tools and content into those dimensions of their lives. In 2009, American consumers spent in the neighborhood of $400 billion on media and technology. As a proportion of disposable income, that figure has remained consistent over the past decade.

Further evidence of our media addiction comes from the measurable physiological changes resulting from our exposure to substantial quantities of media. Studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics note that among children 2 through 18, the greater the media exposure, the fewer the hours of restful sleep they get and the worse the student’s school performance. Their work also shows that the more media a child is exposed to, the more aggressive their behavior and the more desensitized to violence and sexualization they become. Further, they report that the more media a young person digests, the more likely they are to become obese, their ability to engage in culturally normative moral reasoning suffers, and their average attention span is shorter. Add to that the Harvard Medical School research that has discovered a strong connection between the amount of media consumed and the amount of calories consumed. Extended interaction with media also reduces creativity and can result in anxiety due to information overload. Various medical research studies have revealed the effects of media in connection with illnesses such as anorexia and bulimia, and a variety of sexually transmitted diseases.

Still more signs of media addiction include the discovery of a reduction in people’s participation in normal and healthy social, occupational and recreational activities. One phrase may say it all in this regard: couch potato. Much research has found a strong link between time devoted to media exposure and a paucity of relationships and poor physical conditioning. Almost 80% of the TV commercials that kids see each year are for fast food, candy, cereal and toys. The result has been numerous studies showing a firm connection between exposure to such advertising and overeating. The preponderance of media teaches us that violence can be safe, fun, harmless and productive. A common (albeit covert) media message is that it is appropriate to resolve conflicts through disrespectful language, physical violence or other aggressive and intentionally hurtful behaviors that produce positive feelings within the aggressor. Out of more than 3,500 medical and behavioral research studies exploring the association between media violence and violent behavior, only 18 have NOT shown a correlation.

Scary media – whether that be in the form of slasher films, episodes about demonic possession or other portrayals of the dark side and sick behavior – have become the favorite genre of the Mosaic generation. One noted result is that feelings of fear about one’s environment are reaching record levels, manifested in nightmares, judgment of other people based upon appearance or stereotypes, and changes in daily behavioral routines to avoid scary places.

Media exposure has raised people’s willingness to experiment with substances that are intellectually understood to be potentially harmful – such as drugs, sex, alcohol, smoking and pre-marital sex. Further, the provocative dress styles of today’s young people reflects the overt sexualization of children.

Reading for pleasure has diminished substantially over the past 40 years, as the balance of people’s media diet has shifted. One dramatic consequence has been a severe loss in reading capacity among young people. A recent study showed that a majority of the nation’s employers deemed the recent high school graduating class to be deficient in their ability to write in English, to communicate with appropriate language, and to read basic instructions. A similar drop-off has been noted by employers in the communication and language skills of recent college graduates.

Finally, if we are addicted to media, you can bet that we will deny there is a real problem. And deny we do. Three-quarters (74%) of parents say the exposure of their children to inappropriate media content is one of their top concerns – yet they keep buying their kids media tools and allowing increased exposure. Two-thirds (65%) say they are very concerned that American children, in particular, are exposed to too much inappropriate media content – but a majority of those parents allow their children to have continued exposure to the very media content they are allegedly so concerned about. Perhaps this is because only 9% of parents believe that the media are the most significant influence on their children and only one out of every three enforce any limitations at all upon their children’s use of media.

By the time a person reaches the age of 21, it is estimated that they will have been exposed to more than 250,000 acts of violence through television, movies and video games. They will have viewed more than 2,000 hours, on average, of pornographic images that reduce the dignity and value of human life. They will have listened to several thousand hours of music in which the lyrical content promoted anger, hostility, disrespect for authority, selfishness and radical independence. But parents, teachers and other community leaders essentially allow that exposure to continue without limits.

Among teenagers and young adults, two out of three not only say that the media and technology they use make them happy, but a large majority of them admit that the thought of not having access to that technology causes them substantial emotional stress.
People in other nations, who probably see us more objectively than we can see ourselves, are amazed at not only our media infatuation but also the ever-increasing glut of morally and spiritually degrading content that we generate.

Do you still doubt that we’re addicted? Do a simple personal experiment. Ask a group of 12-year-olds to not watch TV for a week. Ask a group of juniors in high school to stay off the Internet for a week. Ask a group of 20-somethings to abandon their cell phone – and, of course, text messaging – for a week. You might as well ask them all to stop eating for a week: it’s just not gonna happen!

Media use has run the gamut, going from an oddity to a common practice to a habit to an obsession to an addiction in America. What can we do about it? What will you do?

From Bobby Grueneweld at Swerve:

internetathome1A few months ago, I wrote a column for Outreach magazine about using technology to reach teens. It raised some good questions and got us thinking about what we might be able to do differently at LifeChurch.tv. As a first step, we decided to get to know a little more about the students in our SWITCH youth ministry through a quick, informal survey.

Here are the results from the 700 students, ages 12-18, who responded:withcellphones

Youth Survey Results

Number of students with internet at home: 652 (93.1%)

Number of students with cell phones: 610 (87.1%)

Number of students with internet on cell phones: 293 (41.8%)

Number of hours spent each week on internet (400 responses): internetonphones 4,440 hours, an average of 11 hours per student. (34 responses of “A LOT” were not included in the count.)

15 Most popular websites in order:
1.    Facebook.com
2.    Myspace.com
3.    Youtube.com
4.    Email
5.    Google.com
6.    Yahoo.com
7.    IMDB.com
8.    Y8.com
9.    Pandora.com
10.    Hulu.com
11.    Espn.com
12.    Failblog.com
13.    Addictinggames.com
14.    Myxer.com
15.    Photobucket.com

If you could make a website, what would you want on it? Music, videos, sports, pictures, games, life advice, life stories, save the earth, Christian stuff, friends, arts, photography, massive explosions, jokes, blog site, fashion, bible, quotes, clothes,  quizzes, recipes, graphics, free stuff, hot girls phone numbers, raise money for causes, Justin Beiber, coupons, a place like facebook (but where you can only say nice things), site about problems we are facing, army stuff, messaging, free money, answers to homework, books, coupons, advice about clothes, dance, art work from students, historical stuff, super gross games.

What surprises you about these results? Do they give you any ideas?