Archive for April, 2006

Cold Cokes

Friday, April 28th, 2006

Several weeks ago, I grabbed one of those soft drinks in the coolers near the check out. I know they are placed there on purpose to cause an impulse buy. Boy, did I buy it. I needed one of those fixes that only a cold, carbonated, carbohydrated drink could fill. I paid and told the cashier not to bag it.

I remembered where I parked my car so the walk wasn't too long. And for a day in Houston, the weather was kind of pleasant. Right after I pulled out of the parking lot I found a red light that FM1960 is famous for. So I twisted open the bottle and took that first sip, ahhhhh; argh! I wasn't expecting what happened? My drink seemed…warm,?! I thought about it in between warm sips. Is it the plastic bottle that does a terrible job of insulating? Or maybe the temperature of the cooler is set too low or high, (which is it?), to save on electricity? Why is it that when it leaves its nicely, cool environment it immediately begins to change? Hmmm. That made me think about Christianity and commitment and me, hmmm. Without stretching the illustration too far it became a reminder for me to stay connected.

From now on I'm on a mission. I might map out where the coldest coolers are. One's that keep a drink so cold that the first sip isn't so, blah. I want no more of that disappointment and I don't want to become one either.   

Kids and sports lingo

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

I've noticed some weird things adults do now that I'm a parent. I coached, if you can call it that, my 9 year old son's basketball team this past winter. We were in the middle of one of the first practices and I said we were going to work on lay-ups. A couple of guys nodded their heads but one or two had that kind of "what language are you speaking" look. I had assumed that because they were guys and we were playing basketball, everybody would know it and do it. It is basic stuff to the game of basketball but they had never heard or knew what it was called. You should have seen the look on their faces when I mentioned that we would run a man-to-man defense, "Huh?" I've also noticed this in our boy's baseball. One year a coach said, "I want everyone of you to run through the bag at first." I'm pretty sure I heard several think, "There's a bag? What's it doing on a baseball field? And why am I suppose to run through it?" Other humorous moments have been, "choke up," "swing through the ball," "you need to tag up before you run." I can't wait for "lay down a bunt."

bats

Kids are such literal thinkers. They aren't hip to the language of symbols or abstract things, yet. I kind of like that around church. Kids don't get the churchy definitions. It is cool when questions fly around the house or in the car and Kendra and I have to stop and think, "how are we going to communicate that?" Think of all of the cliches and descriptions we have for God, walk through the fire, baptized in His death, the Spirit, Jesus, heaven, the Cross, sacrifice, washed in the blood, atonement, born again… We try to keep it simple and we pray. I've got to think that is one of the reasons Jesus loves kids, they make him laugh and they ready to learn. It just needs to be explained as simple as possible. Basically the ontology, the theology, pneumatology and sotieriology co-exist pre-eminently and inherently construct a syllogism that makes sense, right? I'm not sure what that means.   

More is Better?

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

ss_BKS0589471.jpgThis past Easter Sunday just like many we know we held an Easter egg hunt. It has always been fun watching the kids and their faces as they burst into the yard and scramble for pastel plastic eggs "hidden" in the most obvious places. I'm not sure whose smile is bigger, mine or theirs. I guess I can remember Easter past and my own scrambling to get all of the eggs. Yet, watching their energy and hearing their squeals can produce in me more incredible enjoyment than I thought possible.

Trying to catch it all on film I noticed a couple of things. As cousins joined in and 5 roamed the lawn, once or twice I noticed the younger ones stopped. Their stillness was out of context in the blur of the older ones who were still on the hunt. When I looked up from the view finder I noticed they were opening and eating. Our encouragement to keep hunting seemed to be drowned out.

Now, several days later it hits me, instead of collecting all of the eggs they could these little ones were pausing to enjoy what they had found. For all I know they were content and happy. And they should be. I bet all of that rushing around and hoarding will one day be linked to stress, high blood pressure or at least cavities. Now, I'm thinking what have I missed? It's time to enjoy what God has placed in the most obvious places. Let's go, who needs a basket?   

Beeep beeep

Monday, April 17th, 2006

I heard it as soon as I got out of my car in the HEB parking lot. Where is that sound coming from? Oh, just another car alarm. As I strolled right through the automatic doors another "Beeeep." How can it be going off when I just got here? The oranges looked great but I didn't grab an orange and if I did why would I carry it into the store and would the orange have a sensor in it? I got my usual lunch a power bar, diet dr. pepper and a fishing magazine, paid and then headed out. As I stepped into the general area of exit another "beeep." I turned around looking for someone to hear my plea of innocence and show the contents of my bag and a cashier non-chalantly waves me off. Wow! I should have grabbed a bag of chips.

Then, I thought what if I ignore the alarms in my life. I had just experienced 3 alarms in about 10 minutes and they had caused no extra attention. Yet the alarms are there for a reason we've just gotten used to them and blocked them out as a malfunction. Am I indifferent to the "alarms" in my life, too? They are all over our lives set up in our conscience by morals, character, integrity, holy standards… There they are, a little red flag waving here and there warning us of danger. It's like yellow caution tape not to be crossed and yet…we cross, thinking "it didn't mean us," "someone else will do something" or "just this once…" Will I notice the sounds today? I know one thing I need to listen and hear.

Bungee jumping from Jesus

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

Well, here is the first post ever for me. I'll use this space one to two times a week to give some facts about me and write about teachable moments, challenges and quirky thoughts that occur in my brain as life goes on.

Statue of Jesus in RioI was searching the web for some landscape/cityscape pictures a while back and ran across this pic and thought, "I wonder what it would be like to bungee jump or base jump from Jesus' hand?" I don't know exactly why it occurred to me. This statue is several stories tall on top of a mountain in Brazil. It just seems like something fun, maybe. I'm not usually a thrill seeker. I like the rush of adrenaline and I have actually jump from an airplane in a tandem jump. But I think the thought of literally having Jesus there is kind of cool. Now I know it is not Him and that He is with me, nothing can separate me… But there is something actual/virtual that makes it seem more real. So I thought to myself, "what is the image of God I have in my mind?" When I think of Him, what do I see?" Is He smiling, laughing, stern faced, puzzled, old, young, feeble, strong… Whatever it is it could be an idol if you and I are not careful. However, God's presence is so crucial to who we are and what we do. Let's work on sensing His presence everyday, minute by minute. I wonder if Jesus would bungee jump with me?