June 19, 2016 Fathers Day What's in a name . . . some are called, dad, father, pops, grandpa, poppa bear, daddy, daddi-o, ole' man, and the list goes on. Some say, being a "father" is a product of DNA, of biology. Others say, being a "dad" is a matter of choice . . . hearing the call of God on your life as a man and heeding to that calling. So really what is in a name. Well, no matter what you call your father or what your children call you, may or may not really be an issue. What really matters is what God calls us. HE calls each and every man to be a man of God, a man for others, a Mighty Man of Valor! Long before King David became a man of wisdom, and while he still graveled in his sin, God called David, "a man after His (God's) own heart. This is what God wants from each and every man; to be a man after God's own heart. Here are two notes from two men I know, and are living for God and is reflected in their relationships with their children and others. --- Father’s Day to me reflects the sheer meaning of the word “Father” and to live up to the role that I have so ultimately been blessed with in trying to raise my Children to live all the beauties life has to offer. The moment my children were brought into this world my sole responsibility has been my devotion to them. Being a Father is never a job to me but a commitment and complete honor to be called so. Regards, Coach Simpson --- Fathers have a huge responsibility to teach our daughters AND our sons about male privilege, and misogyny. We need to lead the movement for systemic change to PREVENT violence. I’m talking economic coercion, emotional abuse, street harassment, domestic violence, rape culture, sex trafficking, etc. Our children need to see the example of their fathers in these fights to make our daughters safe and our sons conscious and protective. -- Peace, Love, & Blessings, Alphonso C. Coles III --- "Blessed is the Man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and HIS law he meditates day and night." Here's to all the Mighty Men of God, standing in the gap for our children. Strive on! Walk A Little Plainer Daddy Inspire-Dream-Achieve
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too: If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise; If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim, If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same:. If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools; If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings, And never breathe a word about your loss: If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!" If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much: If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son! Inspire -Dream-Achieve! As the days, weeks, months and years go by, it is our plan and desire that we at FiftyFitandFine, and Fine4Life, (create hyperlink to Fine4Life page)will Inspire you to dream, Inspire you to be your best and Inspire you to Achieve. As my mother always says, "Walk with the King today and be a blessing!"
Now that you have heard a little about the generation that raised me, let me tell you a little more about myself. Just recently, December 2015, I received a package in the mail from my mother. It contained some photo albums and some hand written notes that my father had made at some point in time. I am just seeing them for the first time. Here is what some of my dad's notes said. They follow a very condensed version of the stages of my life. I have typed them herein the exact way that my father wrote them - nothing added and nothing taken away, exact format: Proverbs 22:6 Train a child up in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Some of the hallmarks of our son's life (1) it took him a long time to talk I was worried - Ruth said don't worry - he's going to be a lawyer He could say water. (could "not" say water [Ruth]. This a note that Mom added to Dad’s note) (2) Our family is all swimmers - recreational and competitive - I wanted to teach both my boys to swim at the same time but Maynard sat on the side of the pool for one year - then he suddenly dove in and swam perfectly (3) He had picked up a flute at the age of 4 or 5 and began to play. (4) In his middle years of parochial school, the Nuns had expressed to us that they tested Maynard and he had scored the mark of a genius - but we were never to tell him. (now he knows) (5) Marine Corps So my dad's notes regarding the chronology stopped there. I joined the Marine Corps in January 1979, started Norwich University in August 1979, attended Officer Candidate School in 1980 and 1982, finished college in 1982, graduated with my class in May 1983, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant - a Leader of Marines. I started law school in 1983; in 1985 married my bride of 30 years now, Sandra M. Henry, and we have two young men ages 27 and 28. We are trying to continue the legacy and help not only our children but the next generation of the community we have the blessing to be a part of each and every day. What I find interesting about the constant themes that run across the notes and other messages my dad has given me, is that he always has the Book of Proverbs "in my face," so to speak. I find this to be a good thing, for in the Book of Proverbs is a well-spring of wisdom and guidance for living, loving, teaching, and learning. In 1980 when I was in Officer Candidate School, (or OCS, which is also the setting for the movie “An Officer and Gentlemen"), my Sergeant Instructor asked me "Who is your hero, Lou Gosset, Jr.?" I said, "No, my Dad." My dad has always been my hero, and when people have asked me, "do you want to be like your dad," I have always said, "No." Well you may be asking, if he was your hero, why don't you want to be like your dad? Here is my answer: If I could be half the man my dad was, that would be great, but as the recipient of all the benefits and lesson of what he passed on, I don't want to be just like my dad; I want to be better than my dad. He would want and expect no less. Let me put it this way: if your father had 2 million dollars and his father had had 1 million dollars and they both gave their money and their work ethic to the next generation, should you not want to strive to continue the legacy and do even better? Each new day, is another opportunity to get it right - to be better than the day before. Every young boy needs a hero. Who will be your son's hero? Oh, and little girls need daddy heroes, too! Inspire -Dream-Achieve!
So, when it came time for me to write this initial blog for FiftyFitandFine, LLC ("Fifty"), I wanted it to set the tone for the mission for this endeavor, which is a business, but is so much more. The mission of Fifty is the essence of who we are. It is about people, about relationships and the legacy we leave behind. Because Fifty is about relationships, I want visitors and clients to the site to get to know me as a person, and in doing so, I have focused the first blog about my dad, who was the inspiration for Fifty and the second blog is about me. The third blog is a poem from Rudyard Kipling, called "If" which I think best espouses the life journey for both men and women. As the CEO of Fifty, as we go through this journey together of creating a healthier lifestyle of living, I believe it is important that our visitors and clients get to know the background and philosophy of Fifty's leadership. Hence, the first blog is about the person who has had the most impact on my life and the second blog is about myself. Fifty has been generations in the making. I say that because each generation leaves a legacy for the next, and what legacy your children leave will be determined in part by what you give and leave to them. As the Lord placed it in my heart, the FiftyFitandFine concept, originally was supposed to be by men, for men, and then later expanded to include women. You may be asking, “Why originally by men for men?” I am glad you asked. Neither this blog nor FiftyFitandFine, LLC is intended to bash women or perpetuate a gender war. It is intended to create a platform for both men and women to celebrate our differences and foster an environment that allows both genders to understand that both men and women bring uniquely God-given sets of attributes to the development and legacy of the next generation. I originally intended to start FiftyFitandFine with men in mind and then expand to women once it was well-established it for men. Then a woman said to me, "well, what about the women." So, as Fifty develops for men, it will also develop for women. Women will be the topic of the fourth blog. Indulge me for a minute as I digress. As I mentioned, the place where I am now in my life has been generations in the making and the process continues to grow and mature each day. I will go back only one generation to my parents and focus mainly on my dad - my father - my hero. Here is a brief summary of his life. As JOHN F. MORRISON, email@example.com 215-854-5573, said of my dad's life; MOST PEOPLE would take two or three lifetimes to accomplish as much as James Edwin Henry Jr. packed into one. He was a 40-year employee of the city, starting as a lifeguard, moving on to firefighting, then as a recreation director. He also was employed over the years in various jobs by the school district and the Postal Service. He was a builder who renovated a number of homes in the city "from shell to finish," and helped design and build a new church for Grace Tabernacle Christian in West Philadelphia. He coached a winning swim team. And he was an ordained minister at Grace Tabernacle Christian, where he also was a lifestyle leader of the Men's Upper Room Fellowship. He died May 20 at the age of 75. James was born in Philadelphia the oldest of the eight children of James E. Henry Sr. and Josephine Lee Henry. He graduated from West Philadelphia High School in 1954. He attended Cheyney State University, but when he received a swimming scholarship, he transferred to Central State College, in Wilberforce, Ohio, where he majored in physical education and recreation. He graduated in 1956. From 1956 to 1958, James was the coach and swim director for the Christian Street YMCA, where he developed swimmers who competed citywide. Ironically, his team of African-American swimmers competed - and won - at a meet at Girard College in the days when blacks were not allowed to attend the school. James was employed as the city's first African-American lifeguard from 1951 to 1956. In 1958, he married the former Ruth Russell. James joined the Fire Department in 1959 and served until 1961. During his brief time as a firefighter, he managed to emerge unscathed from three major fires. He then transferred to the Department of Recreation, where he served as recreation director. While he was renovating houses, he continued his education at Antioch University, from which he received a bachelor's degree in human services in 1983. James was a devoted member of Grace Tabernacle Christian Church at 1509 S. 52nd St., where he studied the Bible under Pastor Benjamin Tolbert. He was ordained on June 11, 1995. In addition to being lifestyle leader of the Men's Upper Room Fellowship, he was chairman of the Site Development Committee, for which he helped design the new church building on 52nd Street and became the general contractor in its construction. "He was a quiet and approachable man," said his wife. "He was very peaceful." Besides his wife, he is survived by two sons, James Edwin Henry III and Maynard Henry Sr.; two daughters, Gina Henry and Morgana Henry Labrador; a sister, Rosetta Anthony; three brothers, Leon, Paul and Kevin, and six grandchildren. The journey continues as the legacy goes on . . . What my dad instilled in each one of his four children—as well as many children in each community in which he worked and traveled—lives in all of us today. As it turned out, not by coincidence [as coincidence removes the presence of God, and I am a firm believer that nothing in life happens by chance or coincidence], attended and graduated from St. Joseph's College Preparatory School in Philadelphia, PA. The prep was fundamental to the principles that my parents gave to their children. Here is one of the guiding principles of the school:
By “men for and with others,” we incorporate into our mission statement the words of the late Superior General of the Jesuit Order, Father Pedro Arrupe, who said in 1973, “Today our prime educational objective must be to form men for others.” Fr. Arrupe’s successor, Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach, introduced the notion of “men with” as well as “for” others in order to make the point that Jesuits and those moved by Ignatian spirituality are in solidarity with those that they help and those from whom they can learn. We, therefore, encourage our students to be men for others who are also conscious of being “with” those to whom they reach out in service. At the Prep, “men for others” is a shorthand phrase that includes “being with” and serves as a motto that reminds the entire Prep community of its purpose in education.The above is one of the guiding principles of the school. The mission statement is not about ascribing to a particular religious faith, but it is about men taking a positive role by serving in the local and world communities in which we live. It is about, sacrifice and putting others before self. Too often men fall short of the calling God has placed before us. Women hear the call and obey the call - it is the nature of women to be nurturers. As men, we should instill and develop the next generation - both the young men and (more…)