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Pajama Drive

November 1st, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Events, World Community
Donate a pair of pajamas for the 2nd Annual Pajama Drive.
CHRI’s Care Baldwin asks for your help keeping kids warm this winter.

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Last year Family Radio CHRI partnered with JD Swallow Heating & Cooling to launch a Pajama Drive campaign to collect new warm pajamas for kids in need in our community. Many of us have memories of getting a new pair of flannel PJs on Christmas Eve while so many children in our communities go to bed in flimsy, worn-out pajamas (if that!). There’s something ‘care-free’ about getting home after a long cold day and changing in to a clean cozy pair of PJs.We didn’t see anyone else doing this in the Ottawa and surrounding areas so we decided to lead the charge and ask our amazing CHRI listeners to help.

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We quickly saw families and individuals of all ages donating PJs – with JD Swallow matching every donation Pair-for-Pair – and over 2,700 pairs of pajamas were delivered to local and rural food cupboards and shelters and distributed to families in need: families that face difficult challenges such as poverty, addiction, domestic violence and mental health.

By now, children have grown out of their PJs and new families have entered programs for assistance (each month, close to 900,000 Canadians are assisted by food banks, and 38% of those helped are children and youth*). Would you consider picking up a pair of PJs while you’re out Christmas shopping? Phase 1 of the Drive has begun and we’re officially kicking it off with a Launch Party at the Ottawa Family Cinema on Saturday, November 21st. Your admission is a donation of pajamas. (see full event details here) This first phase allows us to include pajamas in Christmas Hampers that go out mid-December.

Please spread the word about this important campaign. It’s not about CHRI or JD Swallow, but it’s about blessing children and making a difference.

Some ideas:
– Get your kids involved and let them pick out a pair for a child their own age.
– Make your church a drop-off location
– Set-up a drop-off box at your workplace and set a collection goal!

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The Hellenic community collection over 700 pairs and 12 local law firms participated together donating almost 500!

Every little bit helps so THANK YOU in advance and let’s see if we can double the amount of warm children this winter!!

See you at the Launch Party!

2015 Ottawa Family Cinema - JD Swallow  PJ Party

Care

– Care

Grammy and Multiple Dove Award Winning Worship Artist Chris Tomlin and Wife Lauren

November 1st, 2015 | 1 Comment | Posted in Artist Spotlight
By Marsha Ducille

tomlinheader3IN A WORLD where differences divide us, Chris Tomlin’s music is a rarity that unites people from a wide range of backgrounds. We’ve all worshipped to songs he’s written, co-written, or sung. In 2012 alone, Chris’ songs were performed more than 3 million times in churches around the world – making him, arguably, the most impactful worship leader of our time. Some of his greatest hits include “How Great is Our God,” “Forever,” “Holy is the Lord,” “We Fall Down,” and “Indescribable.” Every age group, ethnicity, and denomination has used Chris’ music to heal their brokenness, and draw closer to God

After chatting with Grammy Award winner Chris Tomlin and his wife, Lauren, I was pleasantly surprised. Lauren was a woman unafraid to pound out any issue. I thought to myself after the interview, “The cliché got it wrong! A great woman isn’t behind every great man; she’s powerfully beside him.

Lauren Tomlin is unquestionably outspoken, yet she seems to master an interesting balance. She knows when to hammer out an issue, and when to release her grip. It’s a lesson that very few of us have learned. As I listened to Chris and Lauren’s story, I was amazed by the power that women have. Our choices can strengthen the weakest relationships, and tear down even the strongest man. Every woman – whether single or married – will be enlightened by this interview.

The Truth About Men

Marsha DuCille: Lauren, I’m going to start with you.

Chris Tomlin: That’s smart! [everyone laughs]

MD: I read a very interesting article that featured an interview with Chris. In the interview, Chris shared that you got married very quickly because of your attitude and approach to the dating process. What happened? What was your approach and attitude?

Lauren Tomlin: [she laughs]

MD: Chris shared that, while you were dating, you basically said to him, “This relationship, as it stands, isn’t working for me.

tomlinheader5LT: It was quite interesting. We were introduced by a mutual friend when Chris moved to Atlanta, and he told Chris, “I think you’re going to have a good time, but you guys are never going to last.” So, we dated for a season, but it got to a point where I thought there was a wall. And, as a woman, I was trying to navigate the relationship, and figure out what was going on. So, along that line, I said, “I really want to know who you are, but if that doesn’t change in time, I’m probably going to move on.” And nothing changed, so I moved on. A year later, we reconnected by divine circumstances. From there, it was a quick sprint to the altar!

MD: That story speaks volumes to women – especially women who approach the dating process the wrong way. What advice would you give a woman who is stuck in a relationship that’s not progressing – a relationship that isn’t moving toward marriage? When should she move on?

LT: You know, that’s a hard situation. When a woman doesn’t know where she stands with a man, she’ll have a natural tendency to become controlling or needy. But I’ve always admired Esther [in the Bible]. She knew where she stood with God, and where God stood with her. So, instead of going to [King Xerxes] and putting her hands around his neck and telling him what to do, she prepared a banquet for him. She invited him into something different – something he didn’t anticipate. That’s the approach I think women should take in dating, and even in our marriages.

MD: That’s a really interesting point. I like that idea a lot: “Invite him into something different. Invite him into something he didn’t anticipate.” When we (as women) don’t get what we want, men expect us to be needy and controlling. They don’t expect us to be inviting – and they certainly don’t expect us to calmly walk away from a dating relationship.

LT: That’s right. They don’t.

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MD: So, Chris, what was this experience like for you? What made you move so quickly toward marriage? [Lauren laughs]

CT: You know, I think we live in a world where (because of things like social media), men feel like they have access to everything in the world. Because you have so many choices, it paralyzes you. Most guys have trouble committing anyway. And, today, who knows who you might meet on Facebook or somewhere else? Should I settle down now? Is the grass greener somewhere else? I was paralyzed by that for so many years. Most men always want to keep their options open. I was kinda doing that when I first started dating Lauren. I had just moved to Atlanta, and was trying to figure the place out. So, I was dragging my feet a little bit. For a lot of guys, it takes losing something to appreciate what you had. Over the course of several months, after losing Lauren, I thought, “Wow, she was special. And I’m not sure if I know another girl quite like her.” And so, I tried everything I could to get her back, and she was having none of it. She was as cold as ice! She was like, “I’m over you! You can move on, because I’ve moved on.” For guys, that drives us even more crazy. God just, thankfully, had it for us to be together. I tried hard to get her back. I tried to be respectful, but I refused to stop communication. I was willing not to stop, unless she told me, “Never talk to me again.” For me, and for a lot of guys, that’s what it took. It took me losing Lauren to have a wake-up call. It made me wake-up and say, “What have I done?

MD: I love that story! That’s a great message for single women. Lauren, thank you for being brave enough to do that! [Marsha and Lauren laugh]

LT: Absolutely!

The Truth About Women

MD: Lauren, do you consider yourself to be in ministry? Everyone who goes to church knows and sings Chris’ music. You, obviously, have a strong personality, and you’re not a woman who’s afraid to make tough choices.

tomlinheader4LT: I do have a ministry, but it’s different in that I’ve been hidden. In this season, I’ve sensed God calling me to “man-the-fires” at home. It’s interesting because, when I actually Googled it, I learned that [“Keep the Fires Burning”] is a patriotic song that was sung in World War l. It was about the silver lining that awaits the soldiers when they come home. So, I really felt my role was to focus on the home front. Because I’m home, I’m able to strengthen the foundation of our family, and be present. I’m also able to come alongside Chris in ministry.

MD: In this day and age – especially when women struggle with the definition of who they should be – did you wrestle with the decision to be a stay-at-home wife and mom? Did you ever question whether you were doing enough?

LT: That’s an interesting question, because it’s a daily thing that I have to surrender. Because my husband is in such a prominent place, the enemy comes in and whispers, “You’re in an insignificant place.” It’s only in me hearing from Jesus that I’m able to overcome it. Literally, at least twice a week, I have to seek out reminders from [the Lord] – affirming me in the way I should walk. I think that’s a challenge for every woman – whether she feels led to pursue a career, or whether she feels led to stay at home. Each woman has to personally go to God, and find out which way she is to walk.

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MD: Oh, that’s good stuff! And, Chris, how has Lauren ministered to you in that role? What importance has she played in your day-to-day ministry?

CT: My entire world has been touring, and traveling, and playing music. I was 38 when we got married. Lauren had a little bit of an idea of what she was walking into, but not entirely. She could have definitely resented my life – me being on the road – me being away – people paying attention to me, and not to her. She could have been a person who resented that. But Lauren is the opposite of that. I feel free to fly, because of the way she is. I feel such freedom on the road, because we’re in this together. Obviously, she doesn’t like me being gone, but I never feel guilt. Guilt can feel horrible. When I was looking for a wife, I always thought, “If someone never meets me, and they only meet my wife, I want them to think, ‘Man, that guy must be pretty awesome to have a girl like that.’” Lauren is that woman. She’s made me so much better than I was on my own. I’ve learned to communicate things a lot better, because Lauren is an amazing communicator. She’s always challenging me – even in how I’m representing my music, and how I’m connecting with people. She makes what I do so much stronger.

The Truth About Marriage

MD: Lauren, what’s your favorite song that Chris has written?

LT: It’s from an old [Passion Worship Band] album. It’s called “Kindness.” The song says, “It’s Your kindness, Lord, that leads us to repentance.” It’s funny because I didn’t know who Chris was when we were introduced, and I had such a passion for that song. I think it was providential. Years later, once we were married – when we were going through a harder patch – when we were addressing our brokenness – God would continually bring that song to my mind. My tendency was to be reactive. But, God would remind me, “It’s my kindness – my kindness, Lauren – that leads to repentance.

MD: Chris, from the outside looking in, it can seem like you don’t have many problems. And that, obviously, can’t be true. What do you consider to be the hardest period in your life?

CT: Truthfully, it would be the beginning of our marriage. Before we got married, I didn’t take time to think about the issues I had in my life. I would just keep going. I’m a “rug sweeper.” I sweep everything under the rug. And then, there was quite a collision of our styles in relating, because I married what we call a “hammer.” [Marsha laughs]

MD: What does that mean? What’s a “hammer”?

CT: Well, Lauren’s like, “Let’s get all of this out! Let’s talk about it right now.” She dealt with things with intensity, and I kept everything on the inside – which wasn’t necessarily healthy either. It was a collision of our brokenness. But God wanted to restore those places in both of our lives, and He worked through our marriage to make that happen. There were some issues that I had in my life that I had to work out. They came to the forefront in our marriage. I think it’s fair to say that I’m definitely as human as anyone who reads this article. I think it’s the hardest thing about my position. People look at me and think, “Wow, you must have a red phone to God.” But I’m very ordinary, and struggle with the same things everyone else struggles with.

MD: Lauren, how were you and Chris able to climb out of your marital challenges?

LT: I learned that, ultimately, I could not control Chris. Of course, because of Eve’s fall in the [Garden of Eden], it’s easy for us (as women) to want to control our husbands. I had to let go, and tell God, “You’re the Teacher. You will teach him better than I ever could.” And I found a romance with God. In the places where Chris and I didn’t have what I wanted, I went to Jesus. That freed Chris to love me, because I wasn’t coming to him out of a need – that needy, controlling place. It also freed God to come in and reach Chris in a way that I never could.

MD: Chris – given your position in ministry, and the way the world sees you – is it difficult to seek help, and share your very-human experiences?

CT: Yeah. People easily find advisors for everything in life – this is my financial advisor … this is my coach … this is my teacher … this is my pastor. In every part of life, we have advisors and mentors. But, when it comes to relationships, it’s easy and more comfortable to not let anyone else in. That’s been one of the hardest things for me, because of who I am. What if someone comes in and sees that I don’t have it all together? What is that going to be like? It’s hard to find the right people … people who you can trust.

The Truth About Worship

MD: Chris, your entire life is about worship. Your tours are about worship. Your music is about worship. What does worship look like in a marriage? CT: Wow. Ummm. Wow.

LT: That’s a really good question! These are all great questions, quite frankly.

tomlinheader2CT: You know, when you get down to it, worship is what you value the most. Everyone worships something. And, for me, worship is leading my family to the Kingdom. It’s more than just saying, “Hey, let’s go to church.” It’s about what I’m like as a dad, and what I’m like as a husband. Am I the same person off the stage as I am on the stage? If that is different, that’s gonna jack my kids up. They’ll be like, “Well, dad’s one way on the stage, and at home he’s another way.” So, for me, in a marriage, worship is reflecting Christ to my family. It’s being the same person at home.

The Truth About Honor
& Love

MD: Lauren, the Bible instructs a woman to honor her husband, yet it instructs a man to love his wife. In your opinion, what does it mean to honor your husband?

LT: That’s such a good question! No, really, that’s a million dollar question! I think that answer varies in every marriage. Specifically, in our marriage, I have found that I can make or break my husband through my words. [Chris], wouldn’t you say that?

CT: Yes, definitely.

LT: That’s probably my greatest strength, and my greatest weakness. In our first couple months of marriage, I was like, “Where did he go?” Well, he was in his office. My approach wasn’t working. So, I quickly learned. God basically said to me, “Shut your mouth. Follow Me, and I’ll show you what to say and how to say it.” I learned very quickly how to use my words. I learned how I could win my husband with my words, versus crippling him. It’s not being “manipulative” by any means. It’s just honoring him with the words that I choose.

MD: And, Chris, in your opinion, what does it mean when the Bible says, “Love your wife”?

CT: There’s one word that I’ve been trying to apply in my marriage, and that word is “recognize.” I think that’s the key for guys in any marriage – and the key for any leader. The way a man loves his wife is to recognize her … with your eyes open, your mind open, and your heart open. A part of loving your wife is recognizing when there are needs, and when you’re not meeting them – to recognize when something needs to be said – to recognize when you need to say you’re sorry – to recognize when you’re not pulling your weight as a dad – to recognize that, no, you don’t need to go play golf right now – to recognize when you need to go on a date with your wife – to recognize when you’re not cherishing your wife like you should. Recognition is a part of great love.

MD: That could be a poem! That was really, really good.

Source: calledmagazine.com

Ashley House Shares Her Global Leadership Summit Takeaways

November 1st, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Events
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The Global Leadership Summit came to town Thursday, October 22nd & Friday, October 23rd. A world class line-up of speakers were broadcast on the big screen at Community Pentecostal Church, while 400+ leaders from the nation’s capital gathered to learn how to lead well in their workplace, family, church and community. I was excited to once again attend GLS this year, after taking a two year break. I walked away feeling inspired, refreshed and energized to put what I learned into practice.

summit_firstpageThe second thought I had was, everyone can benefit from the Leadership Summit. It doesn’t matter where you work or if you don’t work. The principles and lessons taught are for life. They make you a better communicator and thinker. They will make you stand out from the crowd and allow you to interact better with the general population, not to mention your coworkers and family. Often, not enough attention is given to personal development at work. Businesses are focused on making money and making their business function day to day without thinking about building leaders. I encourage you, yes you, to really consider attending the conference and taking some time to think about how God is calling you to lead (because He is, I promise!). 2016 conference details.

summit_logoFavourite video: take a few moments (8 min to be exact) and watch this video with Warden Burl Cain. My heart was moved to hear the vision and leadership Warden Cain took at Angola Prison for renewal and restoration in one of Americas former most-violent prisons. His powerful story of hearing God and faithfully following has contributed to life change for some of the most broken and hurting men-the inmates of Louisiana State prison.

WATCH HERE: glsnext.com

Quotes to Remember: A Little Nugget to Take with You.

“Grit is passion and perseverance over the long haul.

Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church

”Money is like blood, food, oxygen and water. They are necessary for life, but they are not the point of life.”

Jim Collins, Author

“There are three styles of interaction – Takers, Givers and Matchers. Takers think about every interaction as taking something from others while giving nothing back. Givers enjoy helping others and often do so with no strings attached. Matchers try to keep an even balance of Takers and Givers. Your style is the way you treat most of the people most of the time. It’s your default.”

Adam Grant, Professor, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania

“There is a real aura of danger around failure. Problems re-occur because there is a fear of failure. We will fail. We need to make it safe to fail. If you get over the embarrassment of failure, you will become more creative.”

Ed Catmull, Co-founder of Pixar, President of Walt Disney Animation

“As leaders, we can choose comfort or you can choose courage. We can’t choose both. Courage is uncomfortable. That is why it’s rare. The bravest among us will always be the most broken-hearted because we have the courage to love.”

Dr. Brene Brown, Author

“Diverse teams make more effective decisions.”

Sallie Krawcheck, Former President of the Global Wealth & Investment Management Division of Bank of America

“Live not for your resume. Live for your eulogy.”

Albert Tate, Senior Pastor, Fellowship Monrovia

“As leaders we forfeit the right to make excuses.”

Horst Schulze, CEO of Capella Hotel Group

“The fastest way to change the feedback culture in your organization is for the leaders to get better at receiving feedback.”

Sheila Heen, Author

“Longevity is perhaps the greatest thing you can have as a leader.”

Brian Huston, Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church

“One of the most amazing things about Jesus’ leadership is He gave power away.”

Sam Adeyemi, Senior Pastor of DayStar Centre in Nigeria

“When the challenge level goes up, work satisfaction goes up. When the challenge is low, satisfaction at work is low.”

Liz Wiseman, President of The Wiseman Group

”Talent can get you to the top. Only character will keep you there.”

Craig Groeschel, Pastor of Lifechurch.tv

Didn’t make it to the conference? While there is always next year, registration is open. And I promise you won’t regret it. In the meantime, download the free GLSnext app that is full of leadership content. Search GLSnext in the app store.

Ashley

By Ashley House

10 Movie Theaters Open Every Day in China, Giving More Opportunity for the Gospel

November 1st, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Family
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The Plugged In team has literally screened thousands of movies—and sometimes a moviemaker brings a film right to our very own campus. But when filmmaker Jon Erwin (October Baby, Mom’s Night Out) came to Focus on the Family back in July to screen his new film, Woodlawn, he made the decision to not show it—even though that had been his original intention. Instead, he discussed his passion for Christian films, and his desire that they might become blockbusters—Christ-honoring visions that would reach huge numbers of people. I wasn’t there for his talk at Plugged In headquarters, so I caught up with Jon by phone soon afterward. Here’s some of that conversation:

Bob Waliszewski: I was told by my team that you have a big vision for how Christian films could impact the world. Give me the mini-version of that vision.

Jon Erwin: [When] we got involved in Christian film with October Baby we were… surprised by the global power of film. … It was when we started getting stories from China, Bali, South Africa, Central America and South America that we started realizing this is a very powerful medium. … The opportunity is sitting right in front of us. It simply comes down to this: If we could learn to compete not with each other, not with other Christian films, but if we could learn to compete with American blockbusters, we could get the Gospel out to the world. Not many people know this, but entertainment is America’s second largest export behind agriculture. About 10 movie theaters are opening every day in China. It’s the most aggressive expansion in the history of the entertainment business. It’s just the most phenomenal opportunity for the Gospel, but we would just have to dream a lot bigger. … There’s the big goal: For a Christian film made by a Christian to be a blockbuster. Do we have enough resources? The answer is absolutely.

Waliszewski: What is going to take for us to see the first $100 million dollar Christian film?

Erwin: First of all, we would have to change the way we see ourselves. …[A] famous filmmaker said, “If we knew how to make good films that’s all we would make.” I say, “If we don’t aim for it we’ll never hit it.” If we don’t think we’re capable of it we won’t be capable of it. As long as we think we’re niche and culturally defeated and oppressed and the culture war is over … as long we’re believing these doom and gloom lies about who we are, then we’re going to act out of those core beliefs. I think it’s time that we get a little aggressive and remember that we were built for offense.

The second thing would be unity. In Christianity there is quite an argument in Christian film and we bludgeon each other with this argument of two basic camps, two basic tribes. One tribe wants a bold message. … Then you have people like me [who] want three things. I want to see my worldview represented. I don’t want to be offended, but ultimately I want to be entertained. … So what [my brother and co-director] Andy and I are asking is [do people have to choose between] a film that’s all about the message [or] a big movie that’s entertaining? What we’re asking with Woodlawn is what if that’s not true? There’s another movie called Avatar—number one movie of all time—that will bludgeon you over the head with its worldview. There are times in that movie where I’m like, Jim [Cameron], I’ll go plant a tree, but just please stop. It has a very overt ideology, but it’s also wildly entertaining. … So our thought about Woodlawn is maybe we could do both.

Waliszewski: Tell me about your Trojan horse strategy.

Erwin: There are countries that are locking up Christians in the open streets, but they couldn’t stop the presentation of the Gospel at the movie theater … [not if we] tie the movie to other blockbusters like Star Wars and Jurassic World. This is a way where the Gospel could go out on autopilot. … The world would do all the work. In my opinion it’s the Roman road of the 21st Century. If you think about it as Christians, we hold the message as sacred, but not the mechanism of delivery. And whenever there’s a new mechanism, we go take it—like radio, like blogging, like television, like Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible or the printing press all the way back to the Roman road. … I believe this mass infrastructure of movie theaters and ability to consume entertainment is the new Roman road and it took 100 years to build. And it’s right there for our taking. And I think we can do it if we do it together and we act now.

So we say the biggest win we could have as a franchise is an increase in church attendance across America. We’re seeing that happen on the back of Woodlawn in terms of people in screenings of the film accepting Christ and getting connected to their local church. And that’s the relationship that I want to instigate and facilitate for the rest of my life, doing what I know how to do which is make movies. I believe there’s so many people that will not come to church, but would come to a movie if the movie was popular enough. …. I believe the local church is the hope of the world and I want to unify the local church and reach generations for Christ. I want to do it by making big movies.

 Editor’s Note: To watch Jon sharing more on this subject, check out this:

Source: pluggedin.focusonthefamily.com

68 Words

November 1st, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Family
68words

Just 68 words, but they could make a major impact in your marriage if you’re willing to pray these words for your spouse.


For Him

Father,

I said, “Til death do us part.” I want to mean it. Help me love You more than her and her more than anyone or anything else. Help me bring her into Your presence today. Make us one, like You are three in one. I want to hear her, cherish her, and serve her so she would love You more and we can bring You glory.

Amen.


For Her

Father,

I said, “Til death do us part.” I want to mean it. Help me love You more than him and him more than anyone or anything else. Help me bring him into Your presence today. Make us one, like You are three in one.

I want to hear him, support him, and serve him so he would love You more and we can bring You glory.

Amen.


Want to do more? Listen here to David Delk talk with FamilyLife and take the Oneness Prayer Challenge of praying for your spouse every day.

 

From the book, The Marriage Prayer: 68 words that could change the direction of your marriage by Patrick Morley and David Delk. © 2008 Moody Publishers 

What Your Daughter Needs to Know

November 1st, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Family

Andrew Peterson – Be Kind to YourselfWritten for his daughter Skye, she accompanies him on the song.Our children are being sent all the wrong messages, especially our daughters. Do this and you’ll be accepted. Hang out with that group and you’ll be happy. Say these things and you’ll be cool. Wear this size dress and they’ll think you’re beautiful. Drive this and you’ll be respected.

The quest to measure up and the eagerness to belong leaves many young women hopelessly lost. The suicide rate among adolescent females has quadrupled since 1994 and is now the second leading cause of death. There is likely a strong correlation between the social media craze that increasingly objectifies girls and the war that is raging in the hearts and minds of our daughters.

Andrew Peterson says, “When the voices in your mind are anything but kind, and you can’t believe that your father knows best . . . remember, I love you just the way that you are, I love the way He made your precious heart.” Your daughter, and mine, need to know that they are unconditionally loved by their earthly father and their Heavenly Father – we need to speak these words to them as often as possible.

Last night I called Amanda (my sweet daughter) to the family room, held her hand, as we watched the attached video. We both got a little teary. I gave her a kiss on the cheek and told her that I loved her – that was a moment to treasure!

It’s simple and it’s powerful. It’s the most important thing you will do today. Watch the video above. Listen to the song and let it speak to you first. Then call your daughter and ask her to sit beside you on the couch while you watch it together. Dad, your daughter needs to know that you love her – please don’t miss this opportunity. Tell her today.

Sincerely,
Steve D. Whitaker, Ph.D.

Source: thefirstacademy.org