Canoeing Under Trenton!

We had a marvelous adventure planned for the day. I gave Joe a list of possible activities to choose from, which included tennis, golf, soccer, lacrosse, hiking and “canoeing through and under Trenton on the Assunpink Creek! (Very historic creek!)” He was very intrigued by this idea because he’s an adventurous young man. His dad said, “Cool!” and mom said “What?” Of course, he chose this adventure. I borrowed a canoe, got life jackets and arranged for our transportation. We were ready.


We started the day with a hearty breakfast at IHOP and then scouted sections of the creek and the Delaware River. The final leg of the journey was to be through the Trenton Rapids on the Delaware. This is a tough trip even during the low water season, but in the Spring, the Delaware is really high and rough. After looking at the rapids from several vantage points, we decided to abandon that last leg of the journey. We checked out Mill Hill Park to see if we could disembark there. It looked like it was going to work. We were all ready.


As is so often the case, the best laid plans often go awry. You see, Joe’s been struggling with migraines for 5 years now and he’s seen many doctors and had numerous tests. No cause has been identified. During Spring Break this week, his parents decided to try “brain rest.” Brain rest is most commonly used to deal with concussions, but is also used to deal with migraines. Brain rest means no electronic devices and very minimal reading. That sounds pretty challenging for a young man. Mom and dad planned a fishing trip early in the week and some other activities for later in the week. I volunteered to be his adventure guide for one whole day on Tuesday. He had gone almost 2 weeks without a migraine, but one had been slowly gaining strength all day. By the time we were done with our scouting expedition, his head was hurting pretty bad.


Joe and I talked about whether it was best for him to press on or just call it a day. He was really torn about what to do. He was really looking forward to this adventure. He interacted with his father and told him about his situation and his dilemma. He said that he didn’t know what to do, but the headache was bad. Joe has a very wise father. He told him that he shouldn’t feel bad about going home if the headache was bad. He explained to him that I wouldn’t be upset with him, just “upset for him.” We talked again and decided that I would take him home. We were both very disappointed.


Joe and I had talked about dealing with challenges on other occasions. Specifically, we had discussed why God would allow a strong, tough, active young man to deal regularly with debilitating headaches. We agreed that there was no doubt in our minds that God was good and that he was using this for some good purpose. We just didn’t understand it yet. And what was his purpose for the migraine on this day when we had this amazing adventure planned? Could it be that he was protecting us from something danger on that trip? Yes indeed. Might he be that he wanted us to have the time to discuss this together and learn more about what it means to trust him? Yes. Of course, it also could have been something completely different.


I do know that something very special happened that day. I took Joe home and offered to stay with him until his mom got home. He suggested that we play this game called, “Table Topics.” It’s just a series of questions on cards that stimulate discussion and story-telling so that you can get to know someone better. We played this game for more than an hour. We shared about our heroes, our favorite family vacations and traditions. We gave our thoughts on the problems in the world that we would eliminate if we had the power. An old guy and a 12-Year old just talked and told stories.


So why do I share this story here in a parenting blog? You may know that one of my missions right now is to mobilize an army of senior adults to mentor the next generation. I’m very serious about this. Our young people need adults other than their parents who will love them, spend time with them and yes, talk, tell stories and wrestle together with difficult life issues. This is all to support the good work of engaged parents. If you’re a parent, you need to work with your children to find these kinds of mentors for them. It’s urgent. You also need to make sure that you’re spending quality and quantities of time building strong relationships with your children. It’s not easy, but these are difficult days and our young people need us more than ever. If you’re a senior adult and your intrigued, write to me and I’ll tell you more about how to be a mentor/coach for young people.

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Finally, you may have recognized the name Joe from this article. Joe produced 3 videos with me that are posted on the Biblical Parenting (NCBP) Facebook page. I play the role of Joe’s father and help him deal with anger in his life. Many parents have been blessed by these videos. If you want to watch these videos, you’ll find them at the links below.







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Ed Miller

Ed has been married to Joanne Miller for almost 35 years and they have two grown sons. Joanne is the co-founder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting (NCBP) and the co-author of many books on parenting. She also works as a pediatric nurse. Ed and Joanne worship at Calvary Chapel Living Hope in New Jersey.

Ed and Joanne’s sons are now adults. Dave Miller married Amanda Truscott in April of 2014 and this was a wonderful celebration for the whole family. Dave now finishing up his training to become a Physical Therapy Assistant and Amanda is an athletic trainer at a local New Jersey High School. They had a baby girl on January 7, 2016 and we love our little granddaughter Madison Rose. Tim Miller lives in Lawrenceville and works as a civil engineer. The “Miller boys” love playing tennis together and a good round of golf.

Ed is a good friend of Dr. Scott Turansky. He and Scott have enjoyed working together, living in the same neighborhood and vacationing together with their families for almost 25 years. The two families have also worked together to develop the NCBP) over the past 20 years. Ed now serves as the Director of Development for the NCBP; the leader of the Family Ministry Consultation Team and a content presenter. Being a good parent, husband and follower of Jesus Christ are important values in Ed’s life. He also loves coaching youth baseball and rooting for the Yankees.
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