Monthly Archives: July 2012

Innocence Lost: Watching Movies after the Aurora Theater Shooting

Remember your first time flying after the tragedy of September 11? That tragedy forever changed the experience of flying. Now we look in suspicion at those who walk toward the front of the plane while it’s in the air or at anyone who does anything out of the ordinary.

Now with the Aurora theater shooting our experience at the movie theater is forever altered. Obviously this is nothing in comparison to those who lost loved ones in the tragedy or who were injured. But most of us will never be able to regain the innocence of going to the movie theater.

Last Friday, my brother and I went to see the Dark Knight Rises at Century 16 in Belmar down the road from our house. It is owned by the same company that owns the theater in nearby Aurora where the tragedy occurred. The whole experience of watching the movie was somber. As we bought our tickets and drinks, I couldn’t help but wonder what the employees in the theater were thinking. Were they scared going to work now? Did they know employees from the other theater?

As we sat in the theater, I watched those entering a little more closely than before. Ads during the previews about violent video games struck me as odd. During the movie, I couldn’t help but watch the back door of the theater. Gun shots in the movie were much more vivid and made my heart skip a beat. I wondered at what point in the movie the gunman entered the theater and started shooting.

Will we ever regain the innocence and fun of sitting in a dark theater and enjoying being transported to another world? I don’t know.

In the midst of this horrible tragedy, here are some ways you can give and make a difference for those still recovering from the awful tragedy of the Aurora theater shooting:

Ready to Believe: Anderson Relief Fund

Giving First


What Does a Healthy Family Look Like?


What does a healthy family look like? What are the areas or domains that are involved in describing a healthy family?

Part of my new role at Mountair Christian Church involves family ministry and the oversight of our ministries for children, youth and families. My dream is that our church is known for offering excellent education opportunities for parents and families. Healthy families are important for the growth of the Gospel in a community like ours.

The first part of defining a healthy family is narrowing down the domains that describe a healthy family. In looking at different resources online, I’ve narrowed it down to six domains:

  • Economic
  • Faith
  • Health
  • Physical Safety
  • Relationships
  • Education

Am I missing an important domain for family health?

Once these domains are labeled, then I can move on to describing health within each of these domains and then what type of educational opportunities would be needed to bring about health within the family.

Be Engaged: Principles for Parenting #3

Photo: AMC/Lionsgate

As a dad who works outside the home, there are honestly some days where I just want to come home and watch meaningless TV for a couple of hours. I try to sit down and just watch the evening news and my girls jump all over me. Maybe it’s just the Don Draper in me that wants to go home and disengage.

Imagine how it makes my wife Hillary feel after a summer day of dealing with two young girls who are getting on each other’s nerves at the end of the day. She is cooking dinner and I am disengaged watching the news in the living room.

Not the best moments in our marriage.

It is far too easy for me to be a disengaged dad.

It’s hard to get over my selfishness but when I do it is very rewarding. Sometimes I just need to turn off the TV and read my girls a book even if it’s about magical fairies. Instead of flopping down on the couch when I get home, I need to ask my wife what she needs help with.¬†On days where it is cooler, I even find that going for a run before coming home for good is a great stress reliever and it enables me to be more present with my kids when I come home.

How do you fight the desire to just disengage from your kids or your spouse?

How do you overcome your selfish moments in marriage and parenting?

Vacation from the Kids

We love our kids dearly but after ten years of marriage, we knew we needed to get away and take a longer vacation without the kids. Hillary and I have gone on a couple vacations just the two of us for a day or so but never for almost a week. After watching the hilarious movie “Couples Retreat” about four couples who go away for a couples only retreat, we talked to some other couples about having a couples retreat of our own. Read the rest of this entry