Family Fun

Our family always looks forward to putting our Christmas tree up together.  This year Jordan decided to do a few short videos to preserve the progress.

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“Frozen” Cereal?

15833676258_80c302e68b_z 2Oh wow,  I just heard my dad’s voice, quoting my mother, coming out of my own mouth.  Nooooo!  It cannot be.  (*hanging my head and sighing audibly.)

So I went by the store on my way home the other day.  I was on a simple mission: go in, get a few items (on my list), get out, go home.  As I passed the end-cap of the aisle those mean grocery people had placed a gimmick-cereal there in order to grab the attention of little girls and soft-hearted fathers of little girls; Frozen.

Just to make sure the big softy could not refuse, the cereal was basically just a dumbed down version of Lucky Charms.  It only had two kinds of marshmallows “snow and ice crystals.”  I know…boring colors, right?

Oh yeah, and because Kellogg knows that dads have a hard time denying their daughters happiness, the box is smaller but costs just the same.  Thanks a lot Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven.  In my defense it does say, in all capital letters, right across the top of the box “Collector’s Edition”.

So now we’re sitting at the breakfast table with little people eating their Frozen cereal.  They are smiling, fully absorbed in the cartoon images on the box, and bouncing ever so slightly in their seats.  Then it happened.

“Stop eating the marshmallows with your fingers … you are going to eat all of your cereal, not just the colors.”  Aaaaaaahh!  My dad’s voice, my mom’s words, and my own mouth.  The only consolation is that I did not employ the “there are starving children in Africa” line.

Upon recovering from this echo from my childhood, three things quickly cross my mind:

  1. It is not the end of the world if the kids only eat the marshmallows.
  2. I am so thankful for my mom and dad (especially their patience).
  3. As a father I am always influencing my children, always.

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger (bad influence), but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (good influence).”  Ephesians 6:4

IFCA Cultivate 2014

So pleased with Nathan & Jordan’s MTA at last weeks IFCA Cultivate!  Great job guys!

 

What do you see? SHEEP!

Many people look at the people around them in their church and see:

often confused,

easily wandering,

mostly dirty, 

sometimes gullible,

always needing to be hand-fed,

SHEEP.

This is more like what I see…

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If all you see when you look at your brethren in Christ is their mistakes and missteps – then you are not looking at them as God looks at them; through the soul-cleansing blood of Christ.

From God’s perspective His children are clean, colorfully unique and on their way to heaven.  Not because of anything that we have done in order to earn heaven, but rather because of what God has done through His one and only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (see Acts 4:12; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 10:9-10; 1 John 5:10-13).

The Apostle Paul, speaking to and about the PEOPLE in Thessalonica, said: “For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not YOU? For YOU are our glory and joy.” 1 Thess. 2:19 (emphasis added)

Are you kidding me, Paul?  People should be our glory and joy?

Yes.

The only thing we can take with us into eternity are other sinners – by grace alone, through faith alone (see Ephesians 2:8-10).

Hairbrush Hero

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The Crisis: I was sitting quietly at my computer enjoying a cup of coffee and contemplating the deep things of God when Lydia approached me with sadness and fear. “Daddy,” she said, “Have you seen my little pink hairbrush?” Do you have any idea how much hair-brushing is required in a house that contains four females? Wow.

Initial response: I admit it. I was not very gallant in my response to the hairbrush crisis. In fact I was rather brutish. “Sweetheart,” I said, “Daddy doesn’t use your brush and daddy did not have your hairbrush. Now you go find it like mommy said.”

The interruption: Grace tapping my arm, waiting, tapping, waiting, “daddy,” waiting, tapping. Lydia walks away head down, disheartened, and unable to solve the mystery of the missing hairbrush. I finally looked at Grace and said, “Yes Grace. What is it?” “Umm. Daddy,” she says, tilting her sweet little face to one side. “Yes Grace. I’m busy. What do you need?” Grace, “Umm. Do I look pretty daddy?” Sigh. “Yes sweetie. You look pretty.”

The Hunt for Red October: OK, so I didn’t really organize the entire Russian fleet of nuclear submarines to find the hairbrush. Actually, I didn’t even get up from my coffee and computer. About an hour later I happen to be walking down the hall and saw the little brush underneath a chair against the wall. I have to be honest, I walked on by shaking my head and leaving it lay.

An opportunity lost, recovered: Another thirty minutes past and I overheard the troubled voice of little Lydia trying to explain that the little pink hairbrush was gone. Jenny, being much more considerate than I had been, responded with encouragement and counsel. In that moment I remembered seeing the hairbrush!

The moment:  I leapt from my seat (not really), swept little Lydia into my arms (yes I did), whisked her to the top of the stairs like a knight in shining armor (in my head), crawled on my hands and knees under the chair, recovered the brush, and on one knee held forth the little pink brush to my now elated little girl. Hero.

You don’t have to defeat all of the host of Mordor in order to be a blessing to your family. You don’t have to be a Jedi Knight to be a hero to your wife and kids. You just need to give them your time, attention, and affection. You know, act like you like them.

Points to ponder: Psalm 127:3; Deuteronomy 6:7-9; Ephesians 5:25; 1 Peter 3:7