“Work hard, pray hard, and expect the unexpected.”
That was the advice York College students received from Chrys Howard in chapel last week. Howard and her husband John visited campus to bless students by sharing about Christian living, good business practices, and life with one of the most colorful families on television.
The Howards’ daughter, Korie Robertson, is a regular on the A&E show Duck Dynasty, along with her husband Willie, their children and dozens of their friends and relations.
Chrys and John have appeared several times on the program and Chrys serves as the official tutor for the children on the show, making sure that on days when filming occurs, all of the child actors get their requisite hours of schoolwork completed. John Howard helps manage the Robertsons’ family business, Duck Commander, which makes handcrafted duck calls and other hunting related merchandise.
The Howards have been associated with the Robertsons for longer than the 20 years their children have been married, however, as the two families have been attending church together at the White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ for more than 30 years.
Chrys says people are always asking her if Uncle Si is really as kooky in real life as he is on the show. He’s much worse in real life, she assures, laughing. TV audiences get the edited version of Si.
The success of Duck Dynasty was one of those unexpected life events Chrys says you have to be prepared for. None of the Robertsons planned to have one of the most popular cable shows of all time. “They are not living their dream…They are living God’s dream for them,” says Chrys.
John Howard shared lessons from his experience as a lifelong entrepreneur during a Q&A session with students. John’s father and uncle owned Howard Brother’s Discount Stores, so John grew up in a business-minded household. John says his family has owned close to 20 businesses, from jewelry to electronics to book publishing. Some of those businesses were very profitable, some weren’t, but John told students that no matter what, if they operate their business on Christian principles, they will be successful.
Both John and Chrys instructed students to follow their dreams and work hard to prepare for their futures, but to be flexible, as God’s plans for them may look very different from their own. Whatever your plans include, be grounded deeply in the Word, says John. Follow Christ’s example and find good mentors that will help you to do that in a business setting.
“In business, in life, in your family, in your Christian walk, realize that nobody is perfect,” says Chrys. “The only perfect thing is the Word of God, and that’s what we need to turn to.”
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