New Book: Unstoppable God by Tracy Goodwin (Which Answers the Question, “Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen to Good People?”)

I met her back in April when my son was invited to her son’s 6th birthday party. Then just a few weeks later, when our sons both won achievement awards in their Kindergarten class, I needed a seat in the bleachers for my wife and I as the ceremony was about to begin. It was then that Tracy Goodwin mentioned to me that she had a book coming out this summer; about how it’s a miracle she’s even alive.

Flash forward to last weekend, as our family was driving back from visiting my parents in Alabama. My wife sat in the passenger seat, reading Tracy’s book, Unstoppable God. Meanwhile, I drove up Monteagle Mountain with tears in my eyes; tears which I hid from my wife.

It is impossible to hear Tracy’s story and not be grateful. I think Unstoppable God is an instant cure for anyone is starting to feel jaded, asking the question, “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?”

Tracy’s book is, by default, the answer to that question.

To see Tracy with her wonderful family, you just would never guess what all she has been through. It is always inspiring to see a person choose to praise God during times others would question or curse God.

Unstoppable God is not a book about Tracy Goodwin. It is a book about how God worked through a person’s life who refused to give up on Him.

Like I always say, you have to either choose to victorious or you end up allowing yourself to become a victim.

Tracy chose to be victorious, through God’s divine intervention. Had she chosen to see herself as a victim, I don’t know that she would still be alive to tell her amazing story of overcoming impossible odds.

I am so grateful Tracy shared her story with me.

And to the first person who leaves a comment on the Facebook page for Family Friendly Daddy Blog advertising this post, you will receive a copy of Unstoppable God, as well!

Big and Small, God Made Them All: My Friend Ben Wilder’s New Children’s Book

Big and Small, God Loves Them All: My Friend Ben Wilder’s New Children’s Book

It is definitely one of my life goals to write a children’s book and eventually my own series.

Therefore, I am happy to see my friend of a decade, Ben Wilder, have his first book published. It is called, Big and Small, God Made Them All.

A couple of weeks ago, Ben visited my house and we made this video together to promote it:

Before the book was published, Ben asked me to write a quick synopsis for the back cover. I feel honored.

Here’s what I said:

“How do you begin to legitimately introduce the gospel to a young child? You present them with God’s creation of the universe. Then you explain that this same God loves them too. That is exactly what Ben Wilder has done here.”

Big and Small, God Loves Them All: My Friend Ben Wilder’s New Children’s Book

In addition to being able to write an inviting children’s story through poetry, something else Ben did a great job of was finding the right illustrator; who happens to be Laura Watson. The pictures are very well matched for the story.

I am so proud of Ben’s new book. And… one lucky reader won their very own copy just from reading this blog post.

Big and Small, God Loves Them All: My Friend Ben Wilder’s New Children’s Book

Congrats to Heather Tucker, who was the first to go on the Facebook page for Family Friendly Daddy Blog, where I advertised this blog post about Ben’s book, and leave this comment:

“Did I just win a copy of Ben Wilder’s children’s book, Big and Small, God Made Them All”?

(When this blog post was live for the first 24 hours, Heather was the first to respond to the then open giveaway. This giveaway offer is now closed.)

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I believe Ben Wilder has a bright future in writing children’s books. The main thing is, the word just needs to get out about his first book.

If you’re possibly interesting in purchasing the book, go here to Ben’s website.

And thanks for visiting Family Friendly Daddy Blog today.

Big and Small, God Loves Them All: My Friend Ben Wilder’s New Children’s Book

Dear Holly: The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby

22 weeks.

Dear Holly: The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby

Dear Holly,

This week Mommy got your brother Jack a new book to help him transition into his upcoming “big brother” status: It’s called The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby; where Brother Bear gets a baby sister.

(By the way, you will be born into a family that greatly appreciates the folksy Jewish/Christian cultural perspective of the Berenstain Bears’ book collection.)

It’s important to me that I make sure your brother doesn’t feel left out when you get here. Whereas you’ll always know what it’s like to have a sibling, he will have 5 and a half years’ experience as an only child before that changes for him.

Mommy and I are going to be on the lookout for a special toy for him, upon your arrival; it likely will be a stuffed animal, as that’s the main thing he’s into.

My own parents did the same for me when my sister was born; I got a Garfield stuffed animal.

Similarly, last week Jack got you a doll for when you get here.

You are going to get so much attention from everyone once you arrive. You are our precious little girl.

I just want to make sure I do my best to proactively prevent this from being more difficult than it has to be as he soon will become a big brother.

Fortunately, he’ll be old enough to where I think it will work to his advantage; that he will be eager to use his “helper” skills.

Your personality will be formed, and his may be altered, as the two of you begin interacting; especially in your first couple of years together.

So as your Daddy, I feel responsible for creating the atmosphere and environment void as much as possible of competition, but instead, cooperation.

I think that this new Berentstain Bears book is a good way to help set the pace right.

Love,

Daddy

P.S. Here’s a picture your brother Jack drew of our family so far. Before too long, he’ll be drawing 4 people.

Dear Holly: The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby

The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden!

The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden!

In the new book The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden! by Kevin DeYoung, and illustrated by Don Clark, the historic story of Christianity is brought to live in an overview “storytelling” format, beginning with Adam and Eve, and ultimately ending with the role of the modern day church.

I can honestly say I’ve never read a children’s Bible storybook anything like this before. The best way I can describe it is that it’s like a children’s minister explains how the stories of the Old Testament characters of the Bible are related to Jesus coming to Earth for the salvation of His people.

But the whole time, there’s this festive, Hebrew-ish artistic backdrop. The illustrations are simply amazing and unique.

Being exposed to this book actually reminded me of just how Jewish the Christian faith is; considering that 2/3’s, not half, of the Holy Bible is the Old Testament; the other half obviously being the New Testament.

This book explains how the Christian faith was ultimately born from the Jewish faith. It helps bridge the Old and New Testaments in a way children can begin to understand.

The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden! is intended for children ages 5 to 11.

I recognize that with my son being 4 years, 9 months old, the content of the book is a little above his comprehension level; though he is definitely intrigued by the mystery of it.

However, I definitely look forward to my son growing into this book.

*Congrats to Matt Wright, the winner of my giveaway of Family Friendly Daddy Blog, who will have a hard cover copy of The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden! sent to hishouse.

He was the first person to go the Facebook wall of Family Friendly Daddy Blog and ask this question:

Did I just win The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden!?

OFFICIAL HASHTAGS:  #BIGGESTSTORY and #FLYBY

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Dear Jack: What Is That Animal In Your Drawing Doing?

4 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack: What Is That Animal In Your Drawing Doing?

Dear Jack,

I am always excited to see what new creative artwork you have for me each day when I pick you up from school.

On Friday, right before we headed over to the circus, one of your drawings particularly caught my attention. You immediately began explaining it to me:

“Daddy, see- he’s got giraffe legs, a cow body, a robot neck, an elephant tale, and a bear head!”

Sure, I was slightly confused by the robot neck, but I had to ask you right away about the one part of picture you failed to describe:

“Jack, what is that animal in your drawing doing?”

Your unapologetic answer was somewhat understated:

“Oh, I did a brown arrow… to point at the poop… because he had a big poop.”

Classic.

Somehow in all your hundreds of pictures you’ve drawn, you’ve never drawn anything with potty humor before.

But that’s the thing; I’m not convinced you were trying to be funny. Your main focus was to point out how you cleverly designed a sort of Frankenstein-style animal.

Dear Jack: What Is That Animal In Your Drawing Doing?

You really do put so much thought into your artwork. Today you brought home 4 new pictures; one of them featuring a charming snowman. You explained to me the full story:

“Daddy, the sun is mad at the snowman because the snowman said he wanted the moon to come out instead that way the snowman won’t melt, so the sun turned purple because he was mad.”

Wow. Seriously. You are one creative little boy.

I am already imagining just a few years from now how your pictures will be evolving into full stories; where you will do like I did when I was a boy and make my own books; writing all the words and drawing all the pictures for your own homemade books.

That is going to be a lot of fun!

Love,

Daddy

Growing Up Social: Family Friendly Book Review

As my regular readers of Family Friendly Daddy Blog already know, my family is building a house; closing date in January 29th, 2015.

In the process of planning out the rooms, my wife and I have decided that while we will have a TV in the bonus room, we won’t have one downstairs in the living room; or any other room.

That means in order to watch TV, you actually have to walk upstairs and isolate yourself. Therefore, the temptation is greatly reduced to walk in the door and veg out without spending quality time with other family members.

I believe it’s “little” decisions like that which contribute to health family communication and relationships.

Growing Up Social: Family Friendly Book Review

A few weeks ago while reviewing a car here for Family Friendly Daddy Blog, I was sent an iPad and an iPhone to use in conjunction with the vehicle’s 4G LTE capabilities.

I should point out that I’m of the American minority; we have no smart phones in our household. My wife and I both have “dumb” phones instead.

The main reason is because we’re not willing to pay for a data plan. We are on a family plan with my parents and pay a monthly total of only $30 per month. Again, that’s total; not per person.

But even if it cost us no extra money per month to own smart phones, I still wouldn’t be excited.

Here’s why:

I fully recognized that my family’s life is hurried enough. My wife and I both work; our son is in school all day. The commute time in Nashville is longer than the average large city.

We don’t need more interruptions or distractions in our lives. I feel that if we owned smart phones, it would only add to the anxiety.

Sure, I get the irony in the fact that I run this blog from a cheap ASUS laptop and a dumb phone. I was the official daddy blogger for Parents Magazine for 3 years and never once touched a smart phone.

Of all people, I should own a smart phone… or at least want one. But I don’t.

I won’t deny the fact that having a smart phone for that week made certain things more convenient. However, I found myself getting frustrated that I couldn’t use manage my blog with the same ease as a laptop.

Plus, I don’t like knowing that I can check my email or Facebook at any time. I’d rather just “shut it off” during the day.

Growing Up Social

With that being said, you could imagine I would easily like this book…Growing Up Social, by Gary Chapman (The 5 Love Languages) and Arelene Pellicane (31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife).

The book causes you to ask yourself, “Is technology bringing your family closer together or driving you farther apart?”

Growing Up Social teaches the five skills that every healthy child needs to master: affection, appreciation, anger management, apology, and attention:

The Skill of Affection – How do you show real love to another person?

The Skill of Appreciation – How do you cultivate a grateful heart?

The Skill of Attention – How do you focus and be a good listener?

The Skill of Anger Management – How do you express anger in a productive way?

The Skill of Apology – How do you mend a relationship after you make a mistake?

The focus is raising relational kids in a screen-driving world. So relevant!

And one lucky reader will win a free copy of this book today…

Just be the first person to post on the Facebook wall for Family Friendly Daddy Blog (not a private message), asking me, “Did I just win Growing Up Social?”

If you’re the first person to do so, I will respond by saying yes… After that, I will follow up by getting your address to give to the publisher so they can send you your won copy!

Update: A winner was found within just a few minutes of this post going live. The giveaway portion is now complete.

Did I just win Growing up social????

Thanks for reading today! And remember, I’ll be giving more books away; so stay tuned…

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: ‘Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising’):

Many thanks to Propellor Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

My Favorite Facebook Trend of 2010: Getting People to “Like” Your Fan Page

Getting “liked” on facebook is always authentic, right?  I guess I should just ask all 800 of my authentic facebook “friends”.

One of the popular online trends of 2010 has been to try to convince/bribe people on facebook to “like” your fan page.  I hope it’s okay to think that concept is hilarious, because it cracks me up every time.  Sure, having thousands of people “like” Conan O’Brien’s fan page on facebook had to have helped him, but the difference with him was that he nor his crew had anything to do with it.  True fans began and empowered the Coco movement on their own.  But I know that all entertainment and business entrepreneurs are being told by the experts to get people to “like” them on facebook and think up clever sayings for Twitter because this is the age of networking and doing those things helps ensure prosperity or at least survival.  And they’re probably right.

But still, it reminds me of being in the 1st grade and some kid you barely know asks for your slice of pizza during lunch and attaches this promise to his request: “I’ll be your best friend…”  As a young child, even then I always knew there was no authenticity there.  But then again, we are all well aware that at least a quarter of our facebook friends are not actually our friends- in fact, I have no clue who a quarter of them even are, and I bet they would say the same thing about me.

I’m currently (and slowly) reading a book called Microtrends, which explains the power of 1 percent of the population liking anything.  In the introduction of the book, author Mark J. Penn explains, “By the time a trend hits 1 percent, it is ready to spawn a hit movie, best-selling book, or new political movement.” According to the book, that 1 percent of the American population he is referring to literally means 300,000 people; not even a third of a million people.  In essence, the idea behind being “liked” on facebook is an effort to show the marketing executives that one’s cause has a following close to or reaching 300,000 people.

I’m all about other people being successful and even helping them to get there in big meaningful ways, but being asked to be “like” anything ultimately just reminds me of the fact that if everyone was rich, that no one would actually be rich- in the same way, only a limited amount of people can be famous.  And if you try to manipulate the true Invisible Hand of Coolness and Popularity in a room full of thousands of other people also metaphorically yelling to each other, “Hey, look at me!”, the noise just cancels out most of the room, while the actual trend leaders are in a different room down the hall.

I would rather know that a person authentically “likes” me, not by creating my own fan page and asking people to publicly acknowledge my awesomeness in a predictable facebook gesture.  But then again, I’m not cool enough to think up clever Twitter posts either.  I’m so out of touch- I’m such a bitter, old, stubborn man.  Now get off my property!