Dear Jack: The Cowboy T-Rex, Because… ‘Merica

6 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Like me, you may never really dedicate yourself to team sports. Sure, you may play soccer a year here and there, but really I predict your extracurricular activities will be in the field of art; as was the case for me.

I come home from work each day to see such masterpieces, which are just casual drawings from school. But they are full of thought, detail, and character.

This painting of a sheep impressed Mommy and me so much we have decided to keep it aside so that you can enter it into the Williamson County Fair.

And this amazing painting of a fish is proudly hanging on our fridge.

You particularly delight in drawing dinosaurs. It’s so impressive the way you can just draw these different types just from memory, in addition to being able to immediately tell me the correct names of each one.

But I must say, my favorite recent drawing of yours features two personified dinosaurs. On that fateful Saturday morning at the kitchen table, you asked me, “Daddy, which kind of hat should this T-Rex wear?”

I effortlessly suggested a cowboy hat, which you immediately agreed to.

You then decided that the country T-Rex should be wearing overalls and holding an American flag. I love how you automatically knew how to make that connection from just a cowboy hat.

Next came another T-Rex. In contrast, you drew him wearing a pair of shorts, a baseball cap and a waving a Digimon flag.

There are two ways of interpreting this piece of art.

Either the two dinosaurs are about to engage in a duel, using their flags as symbolic weapons…

Or, they have decided to become friends, despite their cultural differences. And that likely is the case, as you created speech bubbles for each of them, so they could say “hello” to each other.

You finished off the drawing by turning those speech bubbles into smaller versions of the dinosaurs, which wore hats just like the actual dinosaurs wore.

Yeah, you’re going to be an artist.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: To Hide Away From The World

4 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack: To Hide Away From The World

Dear Jack,

I saw it coming; that once we had finally settled into our new house, that the rest of the world would seem to begin to fade away. Or maybe instead, that the I would feel myself unplugging from the rest of the world- which I am, at least compared to recent years in the world of social media.

And I don’t see that as a bad thing.

That’s exactly where I feel I’m at right now; in that place. Gone are the days when I was required to share my soul 6 times a week during those 3 years I was writing for Parents.com; where I would I felt that pressure to check my Facebook home page throughout the day.

After all, I haven’t checked my Facebook page even once since we moved in this house nearly 3 months ago. I assume I must be out of the loop with what’s going on in the world.

But I’m fine. I’m happy. I appreciate our life as a family like it is right now.

The result from me sort of laying low is that I have more time to spend and just hang out, without as many distractions, with you and Mommy.

Life is supposed to be this simple. Well, actually it’s supposed to be much more simple than this, I believe.

I would love to be able to just work from home and live a slower paced life. I’m working on making that happen; as this week I’ve invested a portion of my birthday money into teaching myself to edit videos for my YouTube channel.

It just seems there’s this cliche that you watch your kids grow up way too fast; then you regret that you were too busy worrying about temporary things in the process.

I don’t want to feel that way in 10 or 20 years.

This is me taking time to truly appreciate you drawing funny pictures of monsters that look like snowmen. And letting you squeeze glue into cups of water, just to see what will happen.

These are the quiet and grateful days in the lives of our family; just appreciating what we have.

At least until our upcoming road trip to Pensacola when we go digging for dinosaur bones and treasure chests in the sand.

Let’s just say I’ve got something up my sleeve to make that happen…

Love,

Daddy

Noah: A Wordless Picture Book, by Mark Ludy- Family Friendly Review

I have now teamed up with a company called FlyBy Promotions Blogger Network. That means that as a reader of Family Friendly Daddy Blog, you will notice more reviews of products; books in particular.

Noah: A Wordless Picture Book, by Mark Ludy: Family Friendly Review

Of course, I will be hand-selecting only the products which I feel are particularly relevant for my site.

You will probably notice that many of these reviews include a giveaway of the product, as linked in to the Family Friendly Daddy Blog Facebook page.

So here’s the first one…

Today I am featuring Noah: A Wordless Picture Book; by Mark Ludy.

Noah: A Wordless Picture Book, by Mark Ludy: Family Friendly Review

The first thing I must say is that this is a beautiful book. Seriously, look at these illustrations.

It’s not being marketed this way, but I feel it is what is called a “graphic novel.”

I tested Noah: A Wordless Picture Book out on my son on the way to school. I just simply told him, “Here Jack, Daddy got you a new book.”

After several minutes of silence from the back seat, I heard, “Daddy, does Noah have a dinosaur?”

At the stop sign, I turned around to catch a glimpse of what was clearly a picture of a dinosaur alongside Noah and his family.

Jack also pointed out the fact that Noah is featured on the cover of the book, standing next to a tame tiger and is later soon cuddled up next to a friendly polar bear.

Noah: A Wordless Picture Book, by Mark Ludy: Family Friendly Review

That quickly told me, in a subtle way, that the creator of this book is evidently like Ben Stein, Kirk Cameron, and myself: he’s an advocate of Intelligent Design which includes macroevolution, as opposed to the popular acceptance of the evolution theory.

Instead of believing in evolution where the Earth is billions of years old, allowing time for dinosaurs to die out before humans came along, I believe that the Earth was created by God in 7 literal 24 hour days.

But what about the dinosaurs?

Go back the story of Noah in the Bible. Go to Genesis; the book which contains this story. If indeed we are to believe this story is literal, I think it’s important to believe the whole story, not just the parts that might make for a good, safe, recognizable story.

Noah: A Wordless Picture Book, by Mark Ludy: Family Friendly Review

Follow the scripture with me…

Notice at what point in human history that the Bible mentions people actually eating animals and where animals actually feared humans.

Keep in mind there were 20 generations from Adam to Noah; back in those days the people lived a lot longer than we do now. See Genesis 1; the very first chapter of the Bible:

28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food“; and it was so.…

Based on God’s words there, I take it that God was saying that not only were His people to eat only plants, but also that animals ate only plants as well; during that particular time- the 1st 20 generations of man.

The first mention of rain in the Bible is not until after Noah finishes building the ark; until then, the Bible is clear to mention that plants were watered from springs within the Earth. It is also mentioned that there was a canopy of water above the Earth was well; creating a greenhouse effect; which might have a lot to do with why people lived so long back then. Here’s Genesis 1 again:

6 Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. 8 God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

Again, until Noah built the ark, there is no Biblical mention of rain or people eating animals or animals fearing people.

Then the flood happens…

Obviously, there is the first Biblical mention of rain.

Then, once the flood is over, God speaks, and changes the game 8 chapters later in Genesis 9:

1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2 The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. 3 Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.…

Based on God’s words there, it is very clear to me that God is making it clear that His people had been eating plants, but would now start eating animals; animals that would now suddenly begin fearing man.

Noah: A Wordless Picture Book portrays the story of Noah this way; without using any words.

Noah: A Wordless Picture Book, by Mark Ludy: Family Friendly Review

Notice the cover, where Noah is standing next to a tame tiger; which turns out is my son’s favorite part of the book.

And again, dinosaurs are clearly seen in the book as well.

This is the first Noah book I have ever seen or heard of that explicitly tells the story from an Intelligent Design perspective . And today, you may win a copy for your family.

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 Noah: A Wordless Picture Book?”

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 a few minutes of this post going live, so the giveaway is finished:

Did i just win Noah: A wordless picture book?

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

Noah: A Wordless Picture Book, by Mark Ludy: Family Friendly Review

“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.”

Daddy, I Like The Dinosaurs That Don’t Have Gas

May 2, 2014 at 9:02 pm , by

3 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

I know it’s easy to forget this fact about your dad, but I do actually have a full-time job in HR at a trucking company called Paschall Truck Lines. It just so happens that my company was responsible for shipping the dinosaurs for the DinoTrek exhibits currently being featured in zoos across America.

Last Saturday, Mommy and I took you to go check them out in action at the Nashville Zoo just a few miles down the road from our house.

Though you knew up front they weren’t real dinosaurs, you still treated them with reverence.

You did have the nerve to pet the dinosaurs with me, despite the fact you saw the way they moved their giant mouths and you heard the way they roared at us.

A couple of the dinosaurs even spit water out of their mouths at us. (You spit back at them.)

Some of the “scarier” dinosaurs had machines behind them that caused fog to appear as we approached them.

After we finished our dinosaur tour, you expressed to me, “Daddy, I like the dinosaurs that don’t have gas.”

We had so much fun seeing the dinosaurs, you and I actually went back the next day to visit them again.

Not to mention, you’ve been telling your teachers and friends at school about them all week.

Yesterday on the way home from school, you told me, “Daddy, can we dig up some dinosaur bones? Maybe if can find some, we can turn them into real dinosaurs again.”

Until there’s a real Jurassic Park, our best shot of seeing resurrected dinosaurs is the DinoTrek exhibit at the zoo.

Sorry, Son.

I would love to ride a stegosaurus with you, if I could. Maybe in Heaven, who knows?

And if they have dinosaurs up there, I bet they don’t “have gas.”

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Hiding From My Son That Dinosaurs Are Extinct

May 9, 2013 at 9:49 pm , by 

2 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

If weather permits, Mommy and I are taking you to the zoo this weekend.

However, I think you’ve made some assumptions about what will be on exhibit there.

As I walked you into school this morning, you couldn’t hold in the excitement:

“We see dinosaurs at the zoo!”

It was at that moment this occurred to me: You have no idea that dinosaurs haven’t existed on this Earth in a very long time.

Really though, why would you not thinkdinosaurs are still around?

After all, I just bought you a plastic T-Rex to wrestle your monster trucks. Therefore, you have assumed that dinosaurs and monster trucks are age-old rivals.

It doesn’t help that over the weekend you watched an episode of Transformers: Rescue Bots, as well as the 1981 animated Spider-Man series, where the plot involved dinosaurs coming to life in modern day, causing chaos and therefore invoking the help of the good guys to save everyone.

When your teacher, Ms. Lauren, asked you what else besides dinosaurs you are excited to see at the zoo this weekend, you quickly responded: “Trucks. Fire trucks.”

Son, this may be a very disappointing visit to the zoo. Hopefully, I can pass off the iguanas as “baby dinosaurs.”

It’s just that I feel compelled to protect your belief in dinosaurs. I kind of don’t want you to find out the truth about them.

So that’s what will happen. I will encourage and build up your version of reality where dinosaurs are still alive in the world. Because honestly, that sounds like a pretty cool version of reality. Who am I to mess that up for you right now?

 

Love,

Daddy

The Opposite of Evolution: Intelligent Design

 

I remember being in high school thinking, how can I honestly believe God created the Earth in 6 days when there were obviously dinosaurs who would have wiped man off the face of the planet? Dinosaurs that are inconveniently not mentioned in the Bible. So I decided to compromise: I convinced myself that they were not 6 literal days, but that a “day” was equal to millions or billions of years. That way, I don’t look like that naïve neighbor kid of The Simpsons whose idea of fun is playing Family Bible Trivia.

Then during my first year of college I had such an eye-opening revelation that I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.  A splendid epiphany of  relief and amazement.  Such a nugget of information that it literally changed the the way I see life as I know it.  That’s what happened to me in 1999. I learned how God actually could create the Earth in just six 24-hour days and how gigantic dinosaurs fit into the equation.

It wasn’t until Noah built the ark that it rained, for the first time ever.  That is a big deal. Genesis 2:5, 6- “…the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground.”

From Adam to Noah (10 generations, as listed in Genesis 5) there was no rain. We also know from that chapter that men lived between 365 and 969 years, the average age of all 10 forefathers being 857 years old each. So the point is that before it rained, people lived a LONG time.  Over 10 times the average of what people live today.

So there had to have been many millions of people who were born and lived during just those 10 generations. Obviously there wasn’t birth control so just one man would have probably produced many offspring during his lifetime alone, then his children his children, and so on. That’s a lot of people living a long time…

So Noah was 600 years old when it rained for the first time. That’s thousands of years with no rain. Genesis 7:11- “In the 600th year of Noah’s life…all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.”  So there was plenty of water under the Earth (which watered it) and plenty above the Earth, which created a greenhouse effect. That’s part of the reason they lived so long. It was a completely different living environment. I haven’t even mentioned yet that the all people in the history of the world at that point were all vegetarians.

After the months of flooding were finished, God told Noah some history-changing news: “The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant” (Genesis 9:2, 3). So prior to this, they were only eating plants. Thousands of years and millions of people eating plants.

Not only did the people not eat animals, the animals did not fear the people. Comprehend this: vegetarians living amongst tame animals. Tame cows are easy to imagine. Even tame birds. But what about tame tigers? And bears. What about dinosaurs? Keeping in mind the environment of the world prior to the Flood was a greenhouse. It’s no wonder that ancient cave drawings have been found that show people riding dinosaurs. People capture in art what they value and what is familiar to them.

But how did a brontosaurus fit on the ark? The same way any large animal fit. Get ‘em while they’re young and small, of course. But by the time they got off the ark, and the greenhouse effect was gone, the survivors found a different Earth. The huge dinosaurs did not have enough to survive on.

The Great Flood broke apart Pangea, the land mass which made up all the continents. The zebras from Africa once freely crossed the then-nonexisting border to South Carolina. (Zebra skeletons have been found as far as Salt Lake City, Utah.) But they just couldn’t survive in the new land mass now known as America. The penguins in the tropics died off. The penguins in the Arctic survived. The kangaroos in the Russian tundra couldn’t survive, but the ones in Australia did.

And of course I was wrong about dinosaurs not being mentioned in the Bible. It’s just that the word “dinosaur” was not coined until 1929. Instead, there is a “leviathan” (mentioned a total of 5 times in the Bible: Job 3:8, the entire book of Job 41, Psalms 74:14, Psalms 104:24-26, and Isaiah 27:1). It refers to a giant see monster that is impossible to capture.

Another word for a dinosaur in the Bible is “behemoth”. It is mentioned in Job 40: 15-24 as a beast that was created “with man” (as in the same week, not millions or billions of years before.) The verses describe the creature having a tail of cedar; the behemoth’s massive strength is compared to God’s. I can’t think of any animal living today that has a tail anywhere near the size of a cedar tree.

This has been a briefing of the history of the ancient world. Should anyone worry about “carbon dating”, just keep this in mind: When Adam and Eve were created, they weren’t babies. They were “man” and “woman”. The animals and plants were also fully grown. So why wouldn’t the rest of the universe be fully grown as well? Something to think about the next time while during a tour in a cave there is a stalactite growing over a wooden sign that was posted 40 years ago which explains to you that it took thousands of years for the stalactites all around to grow.

walrus