Archive for May, 2006

Fishing and keeping

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

The kids and I fish a lot, just ask Kendra. The conversation usually goes like this as soon as we catch a fish, "can we keep it?" I end up trying to explain that the fish isn't big enough, we don't have time to clean all of the fish or we don't have enough period. I don't want to have to clean up the resulting mess is one excuse I keep to myself.

I was thinking how that question always comes up. I think I know at least one reason. The purpose of the fisherman is to catch fish and the fish is the result of the "work." It is proof I went fishing, a daily trophy. It sounds better to say, "hey mom, look I caught a fish!" Not the hollow sounding, "we caught some but we let them go."

The purpose or result of living the Christian life is to glorify God. It's to love Him and then your neighbor. Each day, what do we have to "show off" and magnify? How can we do that more? If someone spent the day with me, would they know who I am? Where's the proof?

The professional sampler

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

Eating at the mall the other day I noticed people walking around with toothpicks and a glob of meat. I remembered that the restaurants around the food court were giving free samples of their entrees. Every once and a while I'll accept the food thrust into my path but usually I'm focused on Taco Bell or Sonic… But, what if you could eat lunch everyday by going from sample to sample? hmmm… I wonder…can you get full sampling food around a mall? Seems like something is missing in the experience.

I think about the consumer attitude and the church. It is both a church and individual issue. Can anyone get full with just samples? The idea of the sample is to get you to eat the entree not to fill you up. Yet, I wonder how often that happens. The church should offer more than a "sample" or it will be driven by people's preferences. I believe it begins with an individual, individuals make up the church so, it begins with me. I must change my taste (preferences) and open the door so Jesus can come in. Then, our experience has to become something we truly enjoy. Too often church or Bible study is something we cross our arms, watch our watch and tolerate. We settle for a little Jesus, a little prayer, a little taste. Next, we must seek koinonia fellowship. Koinonia is a connection of the soul not just things we have in common. We settle for a clique of friends too quickly. Genuine interest in God's heart and others' lives are ingredients for life change. A sample whets the appetite but until we change our steps and stop we miss the meal. When will sitting down at the table and feasting on Grace and Truth become reality? Satisfaction and contentment come only from the Source not a sample.

Sunburn

Thursday, May 18th, 2006

It's that time of year again, baseball, fishing, yard work out in the sun season. Why is it that something invisilbe to the naked eye can be so painful? The past weekend the UV rays really did a number on my feet after only 2 hours in flip flops. It seems that every place that would normally be kept below a pair of ankle socks is pinker, brightly pinker and hot! I can hear my mom saying something about sunscreen and I've ignored it yet again. I've done this before which makes it even worse. I should know better. Oh well, I hope I learn other lessons a little quicker, no a lot quicker, I'm 37!

Oh boy…!

Monday, May 15th, 2006

I had one of those dad moments a couple of weeks ago. In our oldest's backpack we received notice that a film would be shown to all of the 4th grade boys about the upcoming physical changes. Now? I thought, oh boy… Then, the next sentence read that there would be a preview for parents before school on the day of the premiere.

I arrived, checked in and made my way to the room in the gym, no red carpet. I looked in the room and hesitated, around the walls were balls, cones, flags, etc and set in the middle was a TV on a cart and 3 other parents. Running a little late caused me to enter the room as the anatomy portion began, oh boy! Awkward and quiet would accurately describe the atmosphere (I've heard that the boy's showing was a little more light-hearted and full of laughter). Overall, a pretty harmless, semi-informative film, for the boys, and it gave me a few things to talk about later.

As I reflect back, I am puzzled by the lack of response and the fact that the district introduced the subject at this age, he's just 9! Is it too early? Yes, it should be. No, because they talk on the bus, in the halls and on the playground…and most of that is slang hearsay. Therefore, it seems the district had to assume that nothing would happen at home. In our culture where sex sells and supposedly we're an open village it seems odd that some would stick their head in the sand and hope someone else speaks. Responsibility. This word has far more meaning than wrangling legal ramifications. If no one is responsible what happens next? I pray all parents will be the parent. And, that the home will become more of an environment to teach, talk and guide. I'll be taking the next step from here…oh boy…

Dogs and God

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

In the last couple of weeks we've closed on a house and begun the moving process. Process is the key word. We have experienced a family "bug," complete with fever, coughing etc. We had our mothers visit. We juggled multiple kid's activities. Kendra and I attended a conference, out of town. Somewhere in there we hosted a major ministry event and helped start a new class. 

Most nights I go out and visit with our dog who is a chocolate lab named Mocha. It kind of grounds me when I think of how a dog may "see" their humans. Regardless of all that has gone on and the implications, they run up, tail wagging and seem to long for your company. They have that quality that doesn't know pretense or accomplishment. What you see is what you get.

Not to be dyslexic or simplistic, God is sort of like that except it is His character. While a dog doesn't know any other way to be, God is purposefully, love. He sees us differently and knows our heart. Nothing we could do could stop His eagerness to be with us. When we spend personal time together, there is no attention given to earthly status or power. He simply loves through Jesus with a complex, sacrificial love that calls to our soul. There in those daily things my sometimes selfish reactions make me wish I had been more mind-full of God. Then, I stop and know God is bigger and His plans dwarf my week. Wow, God of the stars is so personal that all I can say or think is a worshipful wondering, "why? how? Thank you."

Sunday prep

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

I stumbled across another blog by a pastor in the northeast, CJ Mahaney. Great stuff. One I especially liked was  titled, Father and Son and Sundays. Read it at, http://blog.togetherforthegospel.org/mahaney.html scroll down a little until you find it. It was a "list" of thoughts that he wanted for his son to think about on Sundays. I've noticed in prior student ministry and as a dad that there is incredible shaping power in fathering. Okay not that deep of a thought on its own but for a lasting impact to occur it must be intentional.

Pastor Mahaney mentions that each week he talks with his son about how great it will be to worship on Sunday, to hear God's word at church, to listen to thousands singing, etc. It takes something so subtle to set the course for our children. When picking up kids from their class I've overheard and even asked my own kids, "did you have fun today?" Then, I think, "that's the wrong question." I don't mind them having fun but what's important is their relationship with God. I want them to expect that Jesus shows up at church in the Bible, in worship and prayer and that he loves them and that's the greatest thing in the world. I want them to want to come back and that is my responsibility because on average they may spend 2 hours a week with a Sunday morning teacher. I have considerable more exposure than that and more influence. I'm going to use it.   

The school carpool

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Okay, pet peeve time. Why is it that the school carpool line can be so frustrating? It almost never fails that someone, male and female, will try to take advantage of everyone else in line. One is jumping to the head of the line, another parks and gets out leaving their car abandoned causing a back up or worse someone cuts someone off at the exit to get to work on time. Last fall it either got so bad or dangerous that a Klein Police officer stood in the parking lot directing traffic! What's wrong with sensible adults?

I know that getting to work on time is important but at what expense? It seems it's just another sign of the times that everyone looks out for themselves first. "It's okay if no one gets hurt; No one will know; It's just this once; I'm in a hurry; I'm entitled…" That's a good lesson to leave with our kids as they start the school day (sarcasm :-) . As the SUV squeezes to the front of the line, pretending to ignore everyone else…here we go again. I hope this isn't the start of parking lot rage

Clearance lures

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

I'm a sucker for a good deal, especially when it comes to hunting and fishing. It seems you can never have too much gear. I guess its like Kendra says, you can never have too many shoes. I always have to go by the clearance aisle in a sporting goods store. Academy is a favorite and I don't mind Wally world either. I tend to pick up something that is under $2. I may read an article that mentions a certain color or lure and I'll try to find that specific one but usually I'm just looking for a good deal. If it's more than 50% off, I should get it now! Also, I've noticed I'm buying for "future" trips that aren't even planned yet.

Several weeks ago we got to fish a lake on a ranch in the Hill Country and I noticed something. There are a lot of lures I don't use. We fished for 3 days and I only used 5 different lures, the boys used 4 different lures and we caught dozens fish on all of them, swim baits, spinnerbaits, jerk baits, crankbaits… At the end of the weekend I started looking at the boxes and packages of lures that never made a splash.

Then it hit me, there are a lot concepts, ideas and principles we "collect" and never use. What about all of those Bible studies and lessons? Have I put them to use? What about the application the pastor made last Sunday…? And that conference, there were so many good ideas! Am I just a hearer? I remember reading a definition of wisdom as the application of knowledge. Lures and principles aren't quite the same. But what if we used more wisdom? How about pulling one of those time tested principles out of the book and using it today. See what you catch.