Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy Birthday

My oldest son turned 18 yesterday. He was away, doing a staff camp. Staff camp is where a group goes and actually works at church camp, helping staff the camp. Tough not to be with him on his birthday, but he is doing God’s work. It’s fun to watch him. He does great in school, and does his chores when made to. He enjoys some TV shows and video games. But with all that, he’s never more diligent and excited than when he is serving God. He loves his church and his friends there and always works very hard, whether it be at various camps, mission projects, FCA, or various other things. Later on this year, he will be going to India on a mission trip and serving there. As a father, I can only watch him in awe. I failed in many ways, but the one thing I have done correctly is pray for my kids, and Tad is proof that God is faithful to answer prayers.

Happy Birthday Tad.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Flip-Flops and High-Heels

So, at some point over the last 25 years, I’ve been somewhat emasculated and feminized, unconsciously mind you. So unconsciously in fact, that I am just now realizing it. My wife is partly to blame, but she has found a way to make herself appear blameless in this, by using the covert agents she has created in the form of daughters. Now, I’m still not sure in what or how many ways this has affected me, but the one I most recently became aware of is in the area of fashion.

Being a man, I was not even remotely aware or concerned with any form of fashion. Anyone who has known me over the years can attest to that. In fact, my earliest memories of even having a clue what I was wearing, was the summer between my senior year of high school and my freshmen year of college. My mom (who maybe is not blameless in all of this) suggested I might want to purchase some new clothes for college. I had no clue what was wrong with the clothes I currently had, but she talked to a friend who had a son in college, and somehow I ended up with a couple of “college” IZOD shirts. Yeah, I know you remember when they were the thing. I do believe I may have been wearing one of these when I met Tina (my wife).

Through the years since then, and with use of the covert agents (one is 21, the other is 15), I have gradually become a little more fashion aware. Not near enough to please the powers that be, as evidenced by a statement just yesterday by one of my daughters. I walked out wearing a pair of shorts that I was going to sleep in and she said something like, “Dad, what year in the 80s did you get those shorts”? I took note of that, but I still did not care enough to change. I hope I never get to that point, but I am so much closer than I ever thought I would be.

I realized this the other day when I entered agent number 2’s room, where Tina and agent number 1 were sifting through 2’s closet, packing some things for a trip to Texas. They were looking at dresses, and I’m not sure why this topic came up, but the conversation went something like this:

1: “I wish I had big boobs”.
Me: “Try toilet paper”.
1: “Hey, would that work?”
Me: “Why am I having this conversation with my daughter”?
This was followed by laughter by Tina and 1.

So then Tina pulls out two skirts and a top (notice I didn’t say shirt, that was so me 25 years ago).
Tina: “Does this top go with either of these skirts?”
Me: “No, it’s too busy. You need a solid top, not one with patterns.”

You see, the skirt had patterns, and unless the top had the same patt…..wait, AHHHGGGG.

Anyway, since it wasn’t until later that I realized what had gone on in that room, I didn’t scream. Instead, I continued with various fashion topics of conversation. Finally, the realization of my integration into femininity came when Tina pulled out a pair of 2’s sneakers:
1: “Ooooh…I like those, can she still wear them?”
Tina: “No, she’s outgrown them”
Me: “You don’t wear sneakers; you’re a flip-flop and high heel girl.”

This last statement by me was 100% accurate and scares me that I would even know that. What else have they managed to subconsciously sneak into the unused portions of my brain? Can I make a soufflĂ©” or will I eat quiche? Will I someday find myself soaking in some sweet smelling bathwater with candles all around? Will I someday be picking the winner of the Super Bowl based on the team colors?

One final thought. I could have named this particular blog, thongs and high-heels, and probably received many more hits from the search engines, but my fashion consciousness just wouldn’t let me revert to that 80s terminology.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Calm after storm

Calm after storm, originally uploaded by SCTim.

I took this on my way to work, through the sunroof window, with my cell phone.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Last night I was working in the yard while my son was playing. I heard a little thunder in the distance and looked up at the sky (I was holding a long metal pole). The sky above me was clear. I looked in the direction from which our weather usually comes; all clear there as well. But as I glanced all around, I noticed dark storm clouds nearly everywhere else in the sky. Now, aside from holding a long metal pole, I was also interested because we drastically need rain. The thunder increased, the wind picked up, but the sky really didn't change all that much. I remarked to my son that it felt like it was going to rain, and it sounded like it was going to rain, but it didn't look like it was going to rain. Sure enough, the storm passed us by without a drop of rain.

This morning as I was having some time with God and His Word, I was reading in the book of Mark chapter 6. I had heard this story since I was a child, maybe you have too. The disciples were on a boat at night, Jesus was on the shore. A storm came up, and Jesus could see them being battered, for the wind was against them.
This time as I was reading I noticed something in this story that I had not noticed before. This happens quite often by the way, as the Word is living as the Holy Spirit speaks to us through It. Anyway, the Bible says Jesus began walking toward them on the water and wanted to pass by them. Now I'm not sure why Jesus wanted to pass by them, but as our Pastor said Sunday, the Bible is not provided to answer all our questions, but to be the Truth. However, the disciples saw Jesus and cried out in fear, for they thought they were seeing a ghost. Then Jesus spoke: "Have courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

How often when storms blow up in our lives, do we just let Jesus pass by, instead of crying out to Him. If we were to cry out, he would say: "Have courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." Jesus is always there for us, even and especially in the middle of the storms. He sees us, and he wants us to cry out to Him.

After my quiet time, I went back inside and learned of friends of ours who are weathering a storm in the media. He's the high school principal in our town, and is catching some flack because a few people couldn't obey some simple rules at graduation and were arrested. This man took an individual interest in my kid's education and put in extra time and effort to get my son the classes he needed for the best education possible. That was a year or so ago, and since then almost every parent I talk to who has a student there has a similar story about how Mr. Christopher spent extra time and effort for the best interest of their individual child. We need more people in education like him. For him and his family, I would just say, (and I know they already know this) look to Jesus in the storm.