Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Mystery of Parenting Solved

First of all, I think it is important to dispel the idea that parenting is mysterious. It may be a lot of things, but it is not mysterious. If it were they would never let you leave the hospital without at least a little booklet with some of parentings long held secrets.

So, technically, there is nothing to solve. But what then is the problem? Why are so many parents (including myself at times) straight-up goofy when it comes to parenting their kids?

In my vast 11 years of parenting experience, (many more if you count being the oldest of five in a fatherless home) I have learned a couple things about the goofiness of parents. Most goofiness stems from just a couple things ... 1. Parents have a lack of vision for their children 2. Parents are too often selfish...yeah...that pretty much sums it up.

Everything else that could be said really falls into one of these two categories with 2. easily swallowing 1. but, 1. having the ability to hold 2. in check...if that makes sense.

More on these in a minute...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dumb Dads part II

Yeah, I totally forgot what that thoughts was...I mean, three months is a long time!
But, in the last few months I've had many times to see, experience and recognize many various aspects of the wonder of fatherhood and how our children show us teh face of God on a regular basis. I'll go with a list...I like lists...but not to-do lists...

1. My middle son loves to sit next to me and rub the stubbly hair on my head. This is an amazingly intimate time...he rubs my head and asks all sorts of questions and tells me all sorts of funny, intelligent and insightful things. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen as often as I would like, but when it that moment...I see what God wants from us.

2. There are some people who really shouldn't have children. I've seen some pretty crazy stuff lately, not the least of which was a parent who completely got lost and gave up the children for a life of self-serving debauchery. I know those words sound harsh, but in the end, that is what it came down to. Sad. Very sad. For everyone.

3. When my youngest son is lying in bed drifting off he likes to sing. For the most part it is difficult to understand what he is singing but every once in a while I'll catch a "My God is so big, so strong and so mighty," or a "Hakuna Matata, means no worries, for the rest of your days." Possibly some of the most precious moments of his wild-risk-everything little life.

4. My oldest son is a listener. He takes it all in and spits very little out. He keeps his nose clean and maintains a fairly his level of integrity for an 11-year-old. The other day I was talking to my wife in hushed tones about a situation we found ourselves dealing with and in he walks, quiet as a misty night and I could see by the look on in face he had been listening. The fact is, most times, our kids do hear us...and they listen. We should probably take note of this and beware what we say to our children a little more...just a thought. Anyway, I didn't really say much to him about his listening in on our conversation. For one, I think it is good for him to hear his parents struggling in the tension of love and justice, searching wearily for the right, next step. He needs to know that we don't always know the right answer right away...that sometimes we need to process, seek God and then come back to it. Secondly, I trust him. He has proven over and over in different situations that he knows when the right time to open his mouth and the right time to keep it closed.

I don't know, maybe this isn't so much about anything other than me letting the world know...ok, the four people who may stumble on this, that there is a grace to parenting, but we need to decide to see the miracles in the fleeting moments.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dumb dads part I

I was driving around the other day and this song from the band Kansas came on the radio...

Carry on my wayward son
There'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don't you cry no more

Now that you have the tune in your head....


Carry on my wayward son.... keep doing what you are doing.... and will there really be peace when you are done?

I have an idea I will get to after church...

Friday, August 15, 2008

A new post

As requested I decided to post a little thing before bed....

A few weeks ago a friend of mine was talking about when Moses was up on the mountain and Aaron and Israelites were at the bottom of the mountain. The scripture reference is Exodus 31 and 32. The Israelites thought that Moses died up on the mountain and so turned to Aaron to make them a god they could worship. So Aaron asked for their gold and be made a calf and then Aaron saw that the people were pretty happy about this so he built an alter in front of the calf and told them all that the next day they would feast before the LORD! THE LORD?! Actually the calf was an in imitation of the Egyptian god Typho, who they Egyptians actually didn’t like because Typho was the enemy of Osiris. Anyway, they build this alter and then work up early the next day to worship before it. They brought burnt offerings and peace offerings and then it says that the Israelites rose up to play. Some think that this means they were lewd and committed fornication.
Isn’t this the same people who in the same place heard the voice of God in the fire, got so scared that they sent Moses up to deal with Him? And was Aaron take part in bringing the plagues on the Egyptians? I guess in his defense maybe Aaron was thinking that the people wouldn’t give up their gold and thereby wouldn’t have to make a god for them.
Actually, upon further thought… maybe that just shows an even greater weakness.

Anyway, they start worshipping and God takes notice. This is greatly comforting to me. He does cares. Really. But God gets very mad here and even though He tells Moses that he wants to wipe the whole lot of them out because of it he holds back. Moses makes a good argument and God’s wrath subsides but he sends Moses to deal with it. Moses grabs the two tables that the finger of God writes and goes down and gets mad. I’d like to think that part of Moses’ anger was actually the wrath of God flowing through Moses. In any case God’s wrath burned in Moses.

On the way down, Joshua said it sound like there is war in the camp. Unfortunately he seems more like a side note here. Well, there was but the people caved and the battle was already over. Moses says no, it is singing and I don’t think it is a good sign. As soon as they see the people dancing and carrying on be gets mad and throws the tables that God had written on down at the foot of the mountain. I think this got their attention because the very next verse says Moses grabbed the golden calf, burned it, ground it into powder, put it in the water and made the people drink it. That is mad. This wasn’t a slow process. He had to build a fire, melt it down, let it cool, grind it to powder (!!!) and then put it in the water and make them drink it. Man, that is mad. And what were the people thinking when he was doing this? And what was Moses saying? Was he muttering under his breath? Was he completely silent?

Now don’t forget this is the same guy who just a few months earlier, argued with God because he felt like he couldn’t even speak right or well. And here he is grinding a golden image into powder to make the people drink. What was the difference? I think he remembered what God had done, sure. But he had also just sent more than a month communing with God on the mountain top.

Moses looks to his right hand man and asks what did these people do to you that you have brought such a great sin upon them? Immediately, Aaron starts making excuses… you know these people are set on evil … and my favorite…. I threw the gold in the fire and out popped this calf. Really. I don’t buy it and I don’t think Moses did either, nor would any rational man. Was it a miracle? He makes it sound like he threw the gold in and a real live golden calf jumps out of the fire. He makes no mention of his engraving it, or making it. I think that this was not an appropriate apology neither to Moses nor God. In fact God said in Duet. 9:20 that his anger burned against Aaron, but Moses prayed for him.

So now we get to the point…. Moses feeds the people the gold then stand at the edge of the camp and says whoever is on the Lord’s side come to my side. All the sons of Levi came to his side. What a father this Levi must have been. All of his sons. I want that. Even though I realize Levi wasn’t around… his descendents still choose well. How much more he is to be envied that only his descendents stood up and choose right.

Moses says put on your sword and go throughout the camp, from gate to gate and kill your brothers, your neighbors and your companions. That is serious business. but then he adds, today you have been ordained for the service of the Lord…

To be continued…..

Monday, May 12, 2008

Meditations on the world as seen today

Here is a doomsday meditation. We've all probably heard about the cyclone in Myanmar. There are about 100,000 dead already and now the government is likely going to be the cause of much more death than the storm itself. Of course the tornadoes over the weekend that killed several people on my back door steps. There was an earthquake in China and there are at least 7,600 dead at the time of this writing and then I heard on NPR (that bastion of liberal thought) that there is a volcano in Chile's remote Patagonia area is erupting.

I can't help but wonder if these are part of the birth pangs that Romans talks about or if it is just the earth groaning under the weight of humanity or if it is just the way things are...It does seem to me like these things go in cycles though... like there doesn't seem to be a whole lot going on in the way of disasters and then all of a sudden bam, bam, bam... three or four in a row.

Of course these are things out of our control, but other things like the food shortages and all the craziness involved with that is more a mismanagement issue I think, or a sin issue... call it what you will. Greed and the polluted heart of unregenerate man has caused this one.

Still, there is a whole out there full of despair that seldom touches me. Even when I see it on tv or hear about it on the radio or the latest missionary tale of some third world country... it doesn't sink in often that they are talking about real people. God help me.

Anyway, today I feel a little more overwhelmed by it all. It is like God has spread my heart open a little and let me feel a minute part of what he feels. And there is a rising urgency to be more vocal, to be more active, to make sure that I am doing what I can and am supposed to... making sure that when I get to the end and meet my father face to face he isn't disappointed.

So this is today... the only one like it... the only one.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Evaluate yourself, your marriage, your Christianity. Where are you? What do you see? How are things?
Are you a Christian? Do you believe in the Word of God, the Ways of God? Do you believe that outside the Ways of God you are doomed to fail?
What if God said something you didn’t like? What if he said you needed to quit your job to spend more time with your family? What if he told you to sell your house and change your lifestyle so the wife in the house could stay home and raise your children? What if he was telling you to home school your children?
Are the things of this world, the things in this life more important that the things of God? Do the things of this world carry more weight than the things of God? Do you give them more credibility? Do you submit to the world system, church system or do you submit to the system the creator of the universe has established?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A friend of mine...

Well it is Sunday so I guess that means I need to write something... why is it only on Sundays? Maybe I should have called this Sunday Night Meanderings...

Anyway, today a friend of mine was talking about how we carry around burdens that we weren't meant to carry. He said that it is God's responsibility to do what he said he would do and not our responsibility to do what God said he was going to do.

He used the example of Abraham. God told Abraham that he would be the Father of many, before he was the Father of any. But Abraham got a little anxious and took on a burden to do what God said he would do and we get Ishmael. God wasn't too happy about it and we are still dealing with Abraham thinking he knew how God wanted to do what he wanted to do instead of letting God do it.

I am not doing it justice, but he was very articulate and it was impactive to me.

Anyway, I was thinking about this in relation to a lot of things in life. The latest series on missions for one. I think it is pretty clear that we get worked up about being a voice in the world, but that is because we are taking on God's burden. Our part is to be obedient God, to what we know is right and what we hear the Spirit saying but he is the one who changes a persons heart. We don't.

Another is this whole thing about prophetic words, which we talked about a little bit at homegroup. I've gotten a lot of prophetic words about this or that but my take on it is that God will do what he said he would do and if I try to do something God said he would do before it is time, or in a way other than what God has planned than I have an Ishmael and believe me, I don't want to deal with that for years to come... frankly I have enough of my goofiness to deal with. So... I don't get real worked up about it.

Anyway, one of the things that I think would help a lot of people is if they just relaxed. I am not saying be lazy but we get so worked up about things that I think it is counter productive. I mean clearly we have to do our part, but our part isn't to do God's part.

I realize this post is a little rough, but for the few you read this I hope I made sense.