Saturday, October 16, 2010

Perfect Day

This was a wonderful day!
Smiley Dance
The weather was perfect to be outside and I spent the day at Jefferson Memorial Forrest serving as a Trail Ranger guiding hikers around the trails.
Cloud Nine
Oh yes and the fall colors in the forest are awesome. I am a happy man.
Happy Yes

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Last Time

The last time I visited my father at his house we discussed old times in LamesaTexas. During the course of the conversation he said, “The whipping [his word mine would be beatings] I gave you made you the man you are today.”
I glared at him for a moment trying to comprehend what he said. I told him that it was my mother’s faith that did that not his beatings. I then got up and left and never returned. It is sad that he honestly believed that.
 Cross Bones
Over the course of  the last ten years he alienated all six of his legal children and none of us are speaking to him. He will likely die alone in the nursing home wondering why no one comes to visit.
All six of us tried to reconcile with him many times but he kept up his verbal beatings until we could no longer take it. It is a sad state of affairs’ but he brought it all on himself again and again. He has no memory now so there is no making up with his children.  
Sad Angel

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Father's Sin

When I was about eight years old I use to play with a friend who lived just down the street and across the ally from us. One day while playing in his front yard I saw my father’s car go past us and the woman who lived next door was riding in the front seat with him. I didn’t think much about it but when I got home I told my mom and she was not happy with that news.
 Sad Angel
When he got home mom told him what I had said. He became angry and accused me of lying. He then beat me with a belt for lying. When I say beat I mean just that and it was severe.
Years later – 30 years – I learned that I had not lied and that I was punished for his sin. Chin

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Core Values

There are core values by which one lives and dies:  loyalty, a sense of justice, love, generosity, compassion are examples. Our core values make us who we are and are developed very early in life.
Those do not change but the expression of them and understanding them as motivations, cultivating the best qualities of these values should change as we mature, but the values themselves are constant and do not shift over time.
New values can be added as we reflect on our  experiences through parenting, or career, or losses.

Something to think aboutChin Enjoy your dayBaloon

Monday, October 11, 2010

Life's Storms

We were riding out a hurricane in our Jacksonville Florida home and though it was not the worst of that kind of storms it was still frightening enough. We prayed all though the storm’s passing.
I remembered the time that Jesus stilled the storm on the Sea of Galilee and then scolded the disciples for their lack of faith. It is difficult to not be afraid when the winds are blowing hard and fast all around you.
Like the disciples, we may go through literal storms in our lives such as actual hurricanes, cancer, accidents that leave us crippled or alone. Jesus may remove the problem as he did for the disciples on the sea but more importantly he stays with us through the storm so that no matter what happens around or to us we are His and safe with Him. We may indeed be terrified but no matter how big the waves or strong the winds Jesus will see us through.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

God Talk

I am helping a young friend begin to study theology. It can be a very confusing course of study for a beginner to deal with. To confound the issues he comes from a background of a church with a well developed organization of Bishops to a church of pastors in a grassroots theology.
Theology simply means to study God.  God however is beyond our human comprehension.  Humans have tried to control God by definition and it has not worked. In trying to define the term God we are trying to put God in a box of our own making. So we need to be able to expand our thoughts to include more than we are and accept that our study will take us to new places.
The creator of the universe exists even beyond our universe. The simple phrase “God is great” is only a starting point but it is a good place to start. It is not where does God fit into our universe but rather where do we fit into God’s universe. Theology is all about understanding our relationship with God. It is a life long study for all of us.