58 posts in category Tender Lions

Scroll for Blog Posts about Building the Vital Relationship Between Father and Son

An Answer For What Ails Us…

When I was a boy all the big decisions in politics, religion, business and my local community were made by people that looked, acted and believed the same thing as my dad. They were white, religious, married and conservative. Even the radicals were conservatives. It wasn’t their fault. To not be that way would have been like trying to escape gravity. While I am very grateful for my local upbringing, it also had built into it some faulty and ugly beliefs about race, religion and ethnici...

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The Yoke…Surrender is the Best Path Forward

When I was a kid my dad told me stories of his youth when he was a farm boy during the Great Depression. He explained how they placed yokes on two cows to do their plowing. The images in my head looked painful and abusive to me. That’s because I was, incorrectly, associating the farm yokes with how the pilgrims used stocks to punish and shame people in the public square. A calf placed in the yoke with the older cow wasn’t placed there for punishment, but rather as a teaching guide. The ...

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Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid This Election

Recently I’ve read a number of Facebook exchanges concerning political differences. Mind you, these are highly educated “friends” who have good jobs, and seem to be very productive members of society. And…these people are "losing their minds" arguing about “their candidate”, statistics about COVID-19, and how our country will fall apart if the other party wins. In July 2017 the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, in a research article titled, Social Media Use and ...

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7 Tips to Raise a Discerning Son

I've been thinking a lot lately about how to cut through all of the "noise" that calls for my attention. With so many competing sources of social media, cable and network news, blogs and podcasts…how can I teach and model for my son to be discerning? It’s my observation that too many Americans just “drink the Kool-Aid” when absorbing their media content. And worse yet, far too many intentionally watch only sources that feed and align with their world view. This never challenges them ...

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Tender Lion Interview – Oscar Benavides, CEO of Vistage Worldwide

Our readers tell us that one of the unique and powerful sections of Tender Lions is the chapter that includes interviews of six dads. One of them is Oscar Benavides. I've known Oscar for about ten years. He is a man of deep faith, a successful businessman, and a great dad and husband. In this particular post Oscar is interviewed on the Jeff Crilley Show. He speaks candidly about his difficult childhood, and how that shaped who he is today. While the talk is primarily about leadership in ...

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Love in Action – An Interview with John Lewis

This interview with now-sainted Congressman John Lewis is his reflection on what is called “Bloody Sunday.” Lewis tells of March 7, 1965 when he was beaten bloody by State Troopers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge while leading a peace march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama. A few years ago I walked the bridge and stood in the spot where Lewis and many other marchers were beaten. And recently I've studied a bit about Senator Lewis' life. Our country, our politicians and our communities need ...

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12 Highlights from the #GLS2020 Summit

Each year for the past ten years I've attended the Global Leadership Summit. It's a powerful assembly of some of the best leadership minds from corporate, nonprofit and religious organizations from around the world. This year's experience was online with over 400,000 people "attending" from 120 countries translated in over 60 languages. What follows are the "baker's dozen" thoughts that have stayed with me from the summit. Which of these are most relevant for you to internalize right ...

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Looking At Life Through A Straw…It Sucks!

Ten years ago I had my first stroke. I lost almost all vision. It was like trying to see everything using a straw. My peripheral vision wasn’t just blurry – it was completely gone -- left, right, up and down. I had no depth perception and could only walk slowly with help. I mentioned to a friend that my vision was like looking at life through a straw, and he said, “That sucks!” I appreciated the pun, then and now. Fortunately, over time, my eyesight fully returned, but frequently I ...

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Special Tender Lions Interview with Pastor James Brooks

This week's blog is a brief interview with a man who was instrumental in Jeff's life when my relationship with him was fractured. James provided stability, encouragement and tough advice to Jeff when he didn't want to listen to me. Thank you Pastor James for your wisdom and investment of time in my son when it was sorely needed! James is a husband and father of two daughters. He's also the pastor at Harmony Community Church, (North Lawndale) Chicago & Chief Ministry Officer at ...

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Indiscriminate Killer

As I look out my window this morning it's easy to think that everything is right is with the world. The birds are singing, the sun is shining, and the breeze is gentle. And…the invisible COVID-19 virus is as deadly as anything I've experienced in my lifetime. And it's indiscriminate. It doesn’t care whether or not you believe it’s contagious, dangerous and deadly. There are two things I want to model for my son (daughter, grandchild) today. First, it's that indiscriminate loss is real ...

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