Showing posts from July, 2011

The heart of the (f)Father?

We sent our son (the one who acts like me) to bed last night without any dinner. We really had no choice in the matter and I know it was the right thing to do given the issue we were dealing with. Yet I couldn't help but miss him at the dinner table. It diminished my time there and my oldest son, upon being put to bed, was worried that he would not be going to Seabreeze with us tomorrow. Mind you, I didn't miss the behavior that landed him in his room. I would have to be more than a fool to long for that. But here I was in the midst of his self-imposed exile to his room for the night missing him . My love for him sent him to his room. That same love for him wanted him in his chair to my right. I have often remarked and written of the fact that I am more in touch with the emotional side of God's great love for me now that I am a parent. The passages in the Bible that deal with parent/child relationships have a real depth to them that they never had now that I am a father. I

Pure questions

There is not much in my life that is more thrilling to me than asking questions of people on topics that I know nothing about nor have any preconceived notions around. We were with friends last night and I found myself at a table with a farmer. Now I had heard that this has been a particularly challenging year for farmers with the wet Spring and excessively dry Summer so I asked a question to either reinforce what I had heard or to soften it. His answer lent the former view more credance so I received what I was after. That was not what I would call a pure question as I had a motive for my asking it. I can also say that asking questions in order to get to know the person... Bugh. Did you ever start something that you thought was a good idea but got so bored that you couldn't bear to finish it? That is what it feels like with this post. I could chalk it up to lack of discipline or sleep, but I think that would be overstating the issue. I have aabout a billion more things that I woul

How much to uncover

Spring and Summer, for some reason, always catapults me back to my younger years and ushers in bouts of reminiscence and a lesser amount of introspection. These activities have been muted somewhat in recent years but they are still there. There are certain songs from my younger days that seem to bring back old hurts and pain that I encountered and, at least I thought, adequately dealt with: It's My Life - Talk Talk How Soon is Now - The Smiths The Verdict - Joe Jackson Down By the Sea - Men At Work Burning Flame - Vitamin Z Given the pervasiveness of Youtube and the ebb and flow of 80's music that I run into I find myself, on occasion, hearing and playing these songs. The feelings are more muted but they are still there. I can trace some of the feelings back to certain instances in my life...things said and left unsaid...that left me wondering about this and that. There are others that are there and, well, they are just there with no real connection to someone or something. Tha

How can I die today?

There are a couple of things that are operating in my life, and in the world, that prompt me to ask "How can I die today?". The first is that I need to die in order to truly live. The second is that I, as strong, must descend to serve the weak or, more palatably put perhaps, the ones in need. The Bible infuses my physical death with meaning as it will end my rebellion and usher in a new life that I have only heard about and rarely, if ever, received a foretaste of. But I find that, while living, when I die to myself in taking up my cross daily and relinquish my rights, there is a life on the other side of that death that is truly life. Those are the times when my heart is full and my soul is at rest and full of peace. Those are the times when (as Chris Rice puts it) I can almost hear the angel's wings and I can feel His good pleasure. Those are the tears of joy I shed. Snatching my rights back again in an attempt to fuel my own resurrection finds me looking over a wrecked

Rochester Red Wings game - 7/17/11

I was scheduled to preach at the Monroe County Jail last night and, thanks to a kind friend who stepped in for me, I was able to shed that responsibility to go with family and friends to the Red Wings game last night. The game was not unusually long but thankfully it started at 6:05 p.m. rather than 7:05 p.m. so that we could also take in the RPO concert, fireworks, and let the boys run the bases after all of that frivolity was completed. After it was all said and done we were actually home by 11:00 p.m. and we had an excellent time. When we were younger I fondly recalled the times I spent with my dad and brothers and sisters taking in the games at Silver Stadium. I loved going to the ballpark and am so happy that our family gets to attend games at a stadium that is so much nicer and easier to access than Silver was when I was younger. I told my boys that we generally sat along the third base line when we were growing up, but our traditional spot will be sitting along the first base li

In or out?

So wrap our injured flesh around You Breathe our air and walk our sod Rob our sin and make us holy Perfect Son of God Welcome to our world  - Welcome to Our World, Chris Rice This idea is not a fully-baked as I would like it to be. I really like Chris Rice and his writing and musical style suit me quite well. I still think his song  Deep Enough to Dream is one of the best songs I have ever heard and I appreciate the sentiments expressed in the above-quoted song Welcome to Our World . I just can't help but think that it is a bit flipped around. Obviously, this is not "our world" as I have been given God's world to manage. And I can only be an effective steward of it when I am truly his son or daughter in both position and practice. But that is the most obvious point and I can explain that away a bit. Perhaps more subtly this song can be seen as a misrepresentation of one of the purposes of the incarnation (enfleshment) of the Son of God. Rather than Christ coming

Studly prayer

This may surprise some of you but I was not always the picture of masculinity you see before you today. In other words, it took a while before the powers-that-be would name after me. I remember well the insecurities that flooded my mind in high school and college as I wondered if the girl that I had some attraction to had the same feelings for me that I did for her. Unarticulated and unrequited attraction is one of the worst feelings in the world isn't it? The fear and trepidation I also recall as I asked this girl or that to the dance or out on a date. Thanks be to God that, more often than not, it was a "yes". I didn't get turned down too often but I didn't try to get too crazy with the requests either. I knew where I stood. I see the same dynamics at work in my children to as they ask me for this or that. There are some requests that are right on the edge of their confidence of being granted by me and they often preface the question with: "Dadd

Corning Museum of Glass - family audio tour

Drew always wanted to go to the Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG) so we took him there on his birthday. We had a great time and would recommend the trip down to Corning for anyone that is interested. The boys made their own sandblasted glasses with designs that they produced on them (with stickers of all things) and the shows were very fun and informative. The boys want to go again which is a sign that they enjoyed it as well. One of the things that enhanced our experience to a great degree was the Family Audio Tour that we downloaded from the CMOG website and loaded into our MP3 players. They do have an app for the various Apple and Android tablets and smartphones, but we chose to download the audio portion and got it into the various music players we own. There was a separate adult and family tour so I chose to load all of the MP3 players up with the family one. There are certain pieces throughout the museum that have a tag with a number next to them and a symbol that denotes whether it

My wife and children - first and second things

"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." Doctor Who, Meglos (1980) "Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither." C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity One of the more important concepts or, dare I say, principles of the Christian faith is that of first and second things. God is first and all of what we see in this universe is second. A true appreciation, perception, or even love for the earth can only be found in our pursuit of God. If we pursue Him we receive this earth into our being as it was meant to be received. Something other than that will result in misunderstanding at best or idolatry at worst. I am wondering if I can press this into something that I had heard concerning marriage especially when children are involved. We have always told the boys, and others, that their mom and dad love each other more than they love them. It is hard to explain to them but I think they have at least accepted it as a reality. Obv