What fathers say can determine a child’s way. Men who have abdicated their roles as fathers are the single greatest problem in society today. But fathers who speak words of encouragement and love to their children, mixed in with some common sense, sow into their hearts and minds the necessary ingredients for reaping healthy identities and self-images that propel toward success in life. Join Joe Pellegrino and Joe Battaglia as they share moving stories and life lessons from men and women who testify to the power of a father’s influence, including:
- Corbin Bernsen
- Steve Brown
- Kathie Lee Gifford
- Lauren Green
- Michael Guillen
- Kirsten Haglund
- Brant Hansen
- Alex Kendrick
- Lauren McAfee
- Barry Meguiar
- Eric Metaxas
- Bill Parcells
- Shari Rigby
- Kevin Sorbo
- Michele Watson
- Martha Williamson
- The qualities of being a good dad.
- What happens to a society that lacks fathers or strong male leadership.
- The importance of forgiveness toward others, especially the absent or abusive father.
- Powerful and practical truths that help men answer the question, How do I become that dad?
Fathers Say beautifully demonstrates the power of a father’s words, and the difference they make not only in families, but in society, as well.
|Publisher:||BroadStreet Publishing Group, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.45(d)|
About the Author
JOE BATTAGLIA is a broadcaster, author (The Politically Incorrect Jesus, That’s My Dad!), and President of Renaissance Communications, a company whose mission is to provide media platforms for gifted communicators of biblical truth. Joe is also an executive producer and General Manager of Keep the Faith, the number one faith-based radio program in the country with a weekly audience of over two million. For more than fifteen years, Joe has been involved in the promotion of highly successful faith-based hit movies, including Soul Surfer, Heaven Is for Real, God’s Not Dead, War Room, Risen, and Miracles from Heaven. Joe lives in Oakland, New Jersey, with his wife, LuAnn. They have been married for thirty-five years and have one daughter. JOE PELLEGRINO is an author, speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur. He is also the President and founder of Legacy Minded Men, whose mission is to “transform lives by engaging, encouraging, and equipping men to build a Christ centered legacy.” Joe is the coauthor of the books Safe at Home, Transformed, and That’s My Dad! Joe has also developed and presents several workshops and seminars, including “Standing in the Gap,” “Not Just an Average Joe,” “The 5.5 Questions Everyone Must Answer,” and “Transformed.” Joe and his wife, Bethanne, have three children. Their family resides in Wayne, New Jersey.
Read an Excerpt
Fathers Say ... Give the Gift of Blessing to Your Children
By Joe Pellegrino, Joe Battaglia
BroadStreet Publishing Group, LLCCopyright © 2017 Joe Pellegrino and Joe Battaglia
All rights reserved.
Don't Blame Others for Your Failures-You Own Them
* * *
My father wasn't a saint, not by a long shot. He did a great many things that I believe damaged our family, not the least of which being less than forthcoming about his "activities" outside of the family. That said, when he did offer pearls of wisdom, they somehow had a strange and powerful impact and carried quite a punch. They were, against all odds, "simple truths," perhaps born out of a need to equalize the many lies in other aspects of his life.
From an early age, with his help, I learned to deal with mortality — death really — and the overabundance of fear I had on the subject. His words were always calming, but somehow didn't leave the long-lasting impression I had hoped for. We spoke of hard work and the importance of goals. He introduced me to church and prayer and the Word of God. He was the president of my Little League and took me to Dodger games; he taught me the mechanics of the sport even though he was pretty clumsy, and not at all athletic. He also cooked a mean Thanksgiving dinner and invited strangers into our house to share the meal. All good stuff to be sure.
But there is one thing he taught me — or rather, guided me through in my teens — that has had the most profound and long-lasting effect. As I stated before, he wasn't the most faithful husband and that took its toll on my mother. She became an alcoholic — a very mean drunk. Not pretty for anyone, let alone your mother. So, naturally, during my teen years I started to blame everyone — her, him, anyone in shouting distance — for my own shortcomings and failures. Add to all of this, it was the sixties, and drugs and drinking didn't make surviving your teenage years any easier. It was, best as I could remember, a state of serious confusion.
Most of all, I blamed my mom. Even though I knew the root of her discontent was my father's behavior, I blamed her. She was the one in my face, clearly half out of her mind, screaming, shouting, punching, stumbling, and not arriving home on any given day until well after she was expected. Talk about fear! Of course her accusations about my father were just that: accusations of a drunk. I knew in the back of my mind that my dad held some of the responsibility, but I could never determine or carve out the various pieces of the "blame pie."
As far as I was concerned, my grades, my inability to have a girlfriend, even my zits were all a result of having a drunk for a mother (and maybe a cheater for a father). "Yeah, this is all their fault!" And that felt good, the blame game. Sure makes it easier on yourself.
Then, on a very dark night, both literally and internally, my father came into my room uninvited and laid out the simple truth: "Don't blame others for your failures — you own them." It was about as close as he had come to admitting some of the lies he'd been selling over the years. But more importantly, I think he was addressing how I blamed having a mother who was an alcoholic for the current failures in my life and the bleak outlook I had begun to develop. "If you fail, it's on you. If you succeed, it's on you."
It took a while for me to digest, maybe because it was so simple and at first appeared as just another "short answer" to a big question, as he had done so often when confronted about his personal life. I think I might have said, "Yeah, thanks. Now get out," and he did. But then I began to think about it — again that simplicity: Don't blame others for your failures — you own them. It didn't take long to realize this was a basic truth. Sure, maybe it was born of a man trying to ask for forgiveness in some way, but it was the truth nonetheless, and so very evident.
My life changed from that night forward. I still catch myself trying to blame others for my own shortcomings and somehow it never sticks, never rings true, from the moment I utter the words or think them. It's an excuse, a way to deflect the truth that I am the one to blame for what comes up short in my life. And conversely, I reward myself with the knowledge that when I succeed, while others have played a role at various times, that's "my win," and I'm not afraid to pat myself on the back ... or thank my father.
That was almost fifty years ago. My father died a decade ago, and I don't think he ever offered another meaningful morsel of wisdom after that, nothing that had such a profound impact on my life. That said, to some degree, I was able to erase some of the bitter taste in my mouth for the things he had done because of this single gift he had given me. Oddly enough, I can think of a handful of times later in life he actually forgot his own words and secretly blamed others for some of his own failures. He never voiced it, however, and silently slipped into old age with secrets still buried and burdens never lifted. But that's often the way it is: the teacher who doesn't heed his own words. Odd.
As he neared the end of his life, I tried to recall this conversation with him and how it had impacted my life, but he didn't seem to remember, or perhaps simply chose to not make anything of it so that its simplicity and truth in that moment in time were not diminished by praise a half century later. Or it was fleeting and just a single truth that somehow "slipped out" of his mouth at a most critical moment in my life.
It was, as I have found throughout life, one of those simple moments, short and sweet, brought into existence at the perfect time, and that has the longest lasting effect. I love you, Dad. I forgive you. I thank you.
The Bill Bright Factor
I often like to ask people what one person in their life said to inspire them so profoundly that it became etched in their minds and helped them visualize what they could become. You sometimes get some surprising responses. When I'm asked that question, I have a ready answer. Dr. Bill Bright.
Bill was the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ (now called CRU), which has been active as a college campus ministry to students since the early 1950s. They had recently expanded their presence to Boston University when I landed there in 1968. It was through their work at BU that I found faith in Christ that became the catalyst for my life's journey.
I first met Bill during one of his visits to BU, and was quite impressed with his rather laid-back style for a man that had founded such an amazing organization.
At the beginning of my senior year in 1971, Crusade made the announcement that they would sponsor a major conference in Dallas called Explo '72 the following summer for students to gather for training to share their faith. I was selected as the BU student rep for Explo, which meant that I'd speak at a number of meetings throughout the year on campus and in churches in the Boston area, encouraging students to attend and explaining the vision for it. To prepare me for that role, I joined student reps from colleges throughout the nation in Dallas in September 1971 for a training seminar on all things Explo. So, I made my first trip to Dallas back then, not knowing I'd make many more trips in the coming years to the city I had only associated with the Kennedy assassination.
And here's where it gets good. While there, we had one training session in a hotel ballroom where Bill Bright spoke to the hundreds of students representing campuses throughout the country. One thing Bill Bright could always do was plant a vision for what God had given him. And get others to believe in it. He was inspiring.
As I sat there, I thought it would be really cool to try to get a few minutes with him for an interview. You see, in my senior journalism class a few weeks before, I had presented to Mr. Cullen, my crusty old J-school teacher that semester, the topic of my term paper, which had to be about something current and in the news. A few months earlier, the June 21, 1971, edition of Time magazine had done a major front-page piece on the Jesus movement, which was spreading across the country that summer from its roots in Southern California. So, I asked Mr. Cullen if I could do my term paper on the Jesus movement, and presented that issue of Time as validation for my choice. It was current, and in the news. He looked at me rather incredulously but had to agree it fit the criteria for a credible topic to cover.
As Bill finished his talk and headed out to another important meeting, I quickly ran after him and approached him outside the ballroom with my request. I only needed one quote that I could use for the paper, as he was certainly someone I wanted to quote in the piece. I thought if I could get two minutes with him, I'd be lucky.
I was not prepared for his response.
He said sure, and grabbed two chairs from the back of the ballroom, and sat with me for one hour. One hour. Wherever he was going that was so important had to wait. In that hour, I asked him about a number of things, including the origin of Crusade and his take on the Jesus movement. Much to my delight, I got much more for my term paper than I ever expected — and from a primary source, as well, since he was someone who was instrumental in the very formative identity of the movement.
Here's what I remember from that meeting over 40 years ago. As he spoke to me, I looked into his eyes. I had never seen eyes like that in my life. They exuded pure love. When he spoke, it seemed that his eyes gave you a glimpse into eternity. I was mesmerized by this amazing moment in my life with someone I knew I would meet again.
And he gave me an answer to one of my questions that became my definition for my work all the years since then. I asked him, "How did you accomplish all this?" — meaning, how did he found Crusade and lead it to its current level of growth over those first 20 years. Without hesitation, he said, "At Crusade, we do things in such a way that only God can get the credit, and never man."
Only God can get the credit, and never man.
That one statement resonated in my heart and mind as I began my work after graduation. I decided that I would also think things so big and in such a way that people would know God had to be the one superintending my efforts because they were just beyond me. It's a nice feeling to know that some things that come to pass are totally unplanned and out of your hands. There's a freedom that comes from that ... a freedom from yourself and your need to control things. It builds faith in God rather than in yourself, and then you realize who actually owns it. The byline or credit may have my name on it, but I know who's behind every success I may have had, or every award received.
So, maybe we can take a breath before we start something, look into Bill Bright's eyes, and hear him say: We do things in such a way that only God can get the credit, and not man.
Think about This
The juxtaposition of Corbin Bernsen's dad and my story about Bill Bright may seem like an odd chapter construction. Until you look it from another angle.
It's as if Solomon is talking. He has often been referred to as the wisest man ever to live. The book of Proverbs juxtaposed with the book of Ecclesiastes seem to have two different people writing them. He's spouting great wisdom one minute and bemoaning his lack of wisdom in the next.
Proverbs 16:9 says, "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps."
Bill Bright learned the key to doing something in such a way that only God gets the credit. It really comes down to what the psalmist admonishes us to do in Psalm 37:4: "Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Bill Bright so delighted in God that what he wanted was what God put in his heart to want. That's a vessel. Bill knew he was just a conduit.
The realization of that comes when we own up to what we do and for whom we do it. In Corbin's case, his dad gave him some sound biblical advice, although he probably did not know it. The first step to a healthy life is that we are responsible for ourselves. We must own our own faith as well. If we constantly blame others for whatever we may lack, we will never realize our true worth and potential to achieve what we have been uniquely created for. And we will not truly have a personal faith that allows us to listen to God's voice. Only when we assume responsibility for our actions, thoughts, and ideas can we begin to appreciate our gifts and what God has wired us to do.
Corbin Bernsen began his walk to realization when his earthly father said what he said to him.
Bill Bright began his walk when he believed what the heavenly Father said to him.
What Solomon was saying in that verse in Proverbs was that God will direct us if we listen to what he puts into our hearts to do. We can plan, but God will ultimately orchestrate the outcome. It starts with a realization that we can own who we are, learn to appreciate that, and when we have gotten out of our own way, recognize that God will fulfill in us our destiny if we allow him access to our hearts and plans.
We are responsible for who we are and what we do. And we are responsible before God to use the unique personality and gifts he has given us to do his will so he will ultimately get the credit. How much fun is that!
What the Father Says
If we ever question how we should approach building anything of worth, listen to what the Father says: "Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain" (Psalm 127:1).
* * *
What area of responsibility do you need to own today? How are you going to delight in the Lord so you will ultimately come to know the desires of your heart?CHAPTER 2
I Am Well Pleased
* * *
Frankly, my father would be the last person one would think of including in a book like this and for a variety of reasons. My father didn't say much, and he wasn't a Christian until shortly before his death. And, probably most important, by Christian standards of morality and decency, my father shouldn't be a model for anyone!
But I've been thinking about it, and I've changed my mind. In fact, let me tell you what my father taught me and then tell you a story.
My father demonstrated and taught me unconditional love. My brother and I were loved so profoundly and without reservation that it changed our lives. My father didn't think there could be a decent party unless we were there and he never ceased telling everybody who would listen that he had two sons — one a lawyer and the other a preacher. "There isn't a problem I have," he would say laughing, "that one of my sons can't fix." I remember when some friends and I stole cherry pies from a supermarket. As we ate the pies (just so you know, stolen pies taste better than bought ones), my friends talked about what would happen if they got caught. "If my father finds out," one said, "I'm history. My father will kill me." I remember thinking that if my father found out, he would love me ... and that would be worse.
Now let me tell you the story.
I honestly didn't see the lady sitting in that rocking chair on the porch when I threw the cherry bomb. But when I went back (with my friends) to check on her, someone got my license plate, and by the time I got home an hour later, the police had already been there. When I looked at my father and heard him ask, "And where have you been?" in a way that suggested he didn't need an answer, I knew I was in trouble — big trouble.
To make a long story short, I went to the police (twice) and then to the house where I had thrown the cherry bomb. I sat with the elderly lady I had almost injured and listened to her son (a very big and angry guy) threaten to kill me. And then I had to face my mother, who made that man look like a kitten. It was not a pleasant experience and, just so you know, I haven't touched a cherry bomb since.
Was my father happy with me? Are you crazy? I lost my driving privileges until I was 45 years old. But you know something? Throughout that whole time, my father never left my side . not once. Not only that, he made it clear I was his son (I thought I would be disowned), and he loved me deeply and told me so.
Excerpted from Fathers Say ... Give the Gift of Blessing to Your Children by Joe Pellegrino, Joe Battaglia. Copyright © 2017 Joe Pellegrino and Joe Battaglia. Excerpted by permission of BroadStreet Publishing Group, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
ContentsWhat Will Determine a Child's Way?, 11,
1 Don't Blame Others for Your Failures-You Own Them Corbin Bernsen, 15,
2 I Am Well Pleased Steve Brown, 25,
3 Can't Means You Don't Want To Delilah, 35,
4 Find Something You Love to Do and Then Figure out a Way to Get Paid for It Kathie Lee Gifford, 47,
5 I Know, Honey-I'm Sorry Lauren Green, 53,
6 Proud of You Michael Guillen, PhD, 59,
7 You Get More Bees with Honey Kirsten Haglund, 69,
8 Finish Strong Brant Hansen, 79,
9 How to Eat an Elephant: Break It Down into Bite-Sized Pieces! Alex Kendrick, 89,
10 We Need the Bible Every Day Lauren Green McAfee, 97,
11 As I Watched Barry Meguiar, 105,
12 Freedom Is God's Gift to Humanity Eric Metaxas, 115,
13 Try as Hard as You Can for as Long as You Can Bill Parcells, 123,
14 Purposely Making the Wrong Choice Can Result in a Lifetime of Regret Shari Rigby, 133,
15 Go after That Dream Kevin Sorbo, 141,
16 Attitude Determines Altitude Michelle Watson, PhD, 149,
17 Somebody Decided I Was a Good Example to Follow Martha Williamson, 159,
18 The Power of Fathers Say, 167,
1 - Take the What Fathers Say Challenge, 177,
2 - Thoughts about Their Dads, 178,
3 - The Story of the "Father's Say" Song, 184,
4 - "Father's Say" Song Lyrics, 187,
5 - Join the That's My Dad! Movement, 189,
Additional Contributors, 190,
About the Authors, 191,