Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kids aren't trophys

Recently I had some time to sit back and people watch. Ok the truth of the matter is this, I was at the mall, yes the mall! Not there on my own, in fact I cannot remember the last time I was there by myself, and that's ok by me.
So back to the story, I'm sitting in the main square of the mall just watching people. Alright, I was trying to read a book but then my ADD & ADHD & my IREALLYGETDISTRACTEDEASILYESPECIALLYWHENTHEBOOKHASNOPICTURES kicked in. So i decided not to fight it anymore, I mean it was a whole 3 1/2 minutes, and started to people watch.
If you have never done this you really should try and if your saying that you never do that I have one word for you-liar!
Let me clarify this though, I'm talking about just watching for a moment then moving on to the next subject, if this is not the case and your spending too much time on one subject may I be so bold as to describe you as creepy!
Ok, now to the point of this dissertation, wait did that just fall out of my brain, ummm yes it did, wow I'm even impressed.
A family walked by me, a husband and wife and their adopted child about 2 years old. Now you might be wondering, Steve seriously how could you possibly know that their child was adopted. Well I am trained in the art of observation, first thing was that the child was much smaller than them. Second the man was bald and the child had hair. Third the parents weren't Chinese.
So I watched this family unit and the longer I watched the more irritated I became. Why be a parent if your going to be irritated by everything that your child does. I mean there are times that they drive you a bit bonkers, but those hopefully are passing uneventful moments.
Not the case here. Now picture this, you have a 2 year old tiny little girl child person in the mall during the Christmas season which for most children and easily distracted adults this is stimuli overload wanting just to see and touch everything you can.
You have two parents who were more concerned about their double frap-o-cheena-than they were about really being parents. They went straight from asking the child to move on to screaming at her. Meanwhile I am watching the whole demeanor of the parents especially the mom-it was one of disgust and being completely irritated with this little person who not only was their daughter but these 2 people paid an awful lot of money to have this child (cost of an overseas adoption).
After a period of this nonsense going on they moved their little "idiotic parent" show on to a different part of the mall.
As I am leaving my wife and I are walking through a store and low and behold who do I see, the disgusted, irritated no parenting skills dimwits. This time the infraction was over putting on of a coat. As this went on, people walked by shaking their heads because they saw what I am describing. It was really sad. note: just for the record if they were not abusing the child or anything to that fact.
This really made me think about; do people really understand how selfless parenting really is. Do people really count the cost when they are deciding to have children, or do they walk around with child in arm or in those fancy strollers sort of displaying them as simply trophy's?
I hate to say it but I am seeing more and more parents who have no idea what they are doing let alone are they even prepared to raise children.
I'm going to state something that might not sit real well with some, oh boy I'm really going to have a tough time falling asleep tonight!
Becoming a parent or parents is a choice. Yes it is. No one just wakes up one day and has a child. From what I have read and from personal experience there are certain actions that are required for such an event to happen.
So to put it bluntly, any time you have sex be prepared to have a child. If your not prepared to take on that responsibility then A. don't have sex, B. To quote Bob Barker-have yourself spayed or neutered.
Parents always remember this, your kid didn't ask to come into this world you did that, so you owe it to them to be parents who care, who love unconditionally and who are willing to do whatever it takes to see them grow into who they are to be.
It makes me sick to see children displayed as some kind of trophy. I mean its not like you just climbed Mt Everest, or found a cure for cancer, this is a child, a life. Your to raise that child. if your going to be irritated by this concept don't have children. Don't even adopt a child if your only going to make that child's life worse than it already is.
Remember they are children not trophy's.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Take a deep breath

"I just don't have fun being a Christian"! Wow how many times I have heard that said, at times I myself have said that. People say to me all the time, its just not fair that when I wasn't a Christian I used to have so much fun but now that I am a christian things are sooo boring.
My reply is you're absolutely right, I have no argument to counter that point.
Now you might be saying why would I say something to the effect? Reason is simple, because its the truth at least in what the world defines as fun.
Here's a point I want you to hear. "Christian" fun can never compete with the worlds fun. That is an absolute truth. The reason being is that there is no limits, no boundaries, nothing is off limits. How can a person, a Christian compete with such things? It's impossible, really!
If you call your self a Christian and your life has been changed, the old is gone and the new has come, look back at the so called "fun" you used to have. Was it really that fun? Really? How many people do I meet that tell me about their so called fun but yet they are so very empty. If it was so much fun wouldn't there be some kind of joy that would come out of it all rather than remorse and emptiness?
The past three weeks I have spoken in roughly 22 schools. I have seen close to 50,000 Jr High and High School students. I wish at time that I could just walk into the school do a presentation and simply walk out, but that's not how it works, or maybe I should say that's not how I work. I have heard many a story of kids whose lives have been already broken by the so called fun of the world. They have either made the wrong choices or they are the result of someone else making them. Bottom line is that the fun they thought they would have turned out not to be so fun.
Now back to the Christian aspect of it all. Once a person comes to Christ their life is called out, literally. He has called us out of the world and the darkness that we once lived in. He has placed His Spirit inside of us to be led, guided and directed by. To follow or should I say to continue to follow after the things of this world will only lead right back to where we started.
Also seriously look at that so called fun you once had. If your looking at it going, hmm that wasn't so bad may I say this to you. I want you to get up from where you are seated reading this. I want you to walk over to the nearest wall, cement block is preferable, I then want you to put both your hands behind your head, take a deep breath then slam your head off that wall!
See your doing exactly what has trapped many a Christian, and that is thinking that that old life really wasn't that bad, nor was your life. Scripture says that we should never return to our former lives. It says that dogs return to eat their own vomit, but we shouldn't. I don't know about you but for me, vomit isn't on my most favorite menu item.
One final thought, I have been a Christian for 36 years and I must say that I have had a life full of fun. The fun I have had has been the joy and excitement I have received by serving the one who has saved me. If your looking for the fun that leaves you empty then by all means head back out into that world they're waiting for you. On the other hand if your looking for the fun that comes from following Christ, then come on in jump in with both feet.
Bottom line as I see it-it's you're choice-choose wisely!

Monday, October 11, 2010

It was just a matter of time

Before I begin I have to say how sadden I am that I was right. Yea most might think, wow I was right for once what a great time to celebrate. This is not the case. A number of years ago I spoke about Miley Cryus. I had said that I had great concern for this young girl. I had said that it was only a matter of time until the ways of this world would overtake her. I said that she was a prime target for destruction and that her parents needed to step in and protect her.
I'm sadden because today I watch a video of this 17 year old young girl who has come to the place I feared she may end up.
There are so many thoughts running through my head right now that I don't believe that my fingers can keep up!
Lets set aside that fact that she has grown to be a role model for hundreds of thousands of young girls. Lets set aside the fact that she is this icon. Lets look at her. She's lost, she has been swallowed up by the "machine" of fame and fortune. She has been bred for this. Some may disagree, but I really don't care what you have to say. This girl has fallen victim to the ways of Hollywood and money hungry people. I hesitate to say anything about the parental involvement in her life since I don't know them personally, but where in the Sam Hill are you??
I said when her dad rented out Disney for her 16th birthday that this was wayyyyy too much even for someone who can easily afford it. I said that this is taking her beyond what she is capable of handling. I said that someone, like her parents need to step between her and that world that was grooming her for what I saw today
Did it happen? I don't know? Did they step in and she refused their counsel? Oh wait I don't care she is a young girl! She needed someone to take her by the hand and say enough. I have said this over and over again-parents have to step up to the plate! Get off your duffs and start parenting. Start not caring that little Suzie or Tommy may not like you because you said no to them. Stop caring that you're "that parent" that the others talk about and say how strict you are and you have way too many rules. Who gives a rip! Unless of course you are so sensitive to having you're feelings hurt so you just go along with the flow of stupidity and never make waves
I am all about making waves. I am all about making the hard call knowing that my kid might be in their room making a voodoo doll of my wife and I. We/ I have never cared. You wanna know why, because we love our kids!
Am i saying that her parents don't love her? Am I? Or are they saying it and other parents who choose to let things like this consume their kids. Come on parents, come on Billy Ray.
Today isn't a day to be happy about being right, it's a day that make my stomach sick because I was right.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Metal Erector Sets

Maybe it's just me, well of course it is because if it isn't me then who, or whom might it be? Wow sometimes, well more like a lot of times I make my own head hurt. Now on to my ramblings.
Have you seen the commercial where there are kids playing on swing sets, that I bet are actually cemented into the ground, and have all kind of soft material underneath them in case they fall. Well anyway one of the poor children falls, well no it's more like a calculated semi-roll off the sliding board onto the really soft material and all of a sudden the camera swings over to 3 moms who immediately pull out this certain healing anti bacteria, anti e-coli, antivirus antidote, creme, spray and ointment, which I'm not real sure the different between ointment and creme, not important. So now all the moms are ready to go and treat the wounded.
What ever happened to spit on it, rub some dirt in it and climb back up that ladder and slide down again?
Now don't get all up in your feelings especially you mom people. I am being sarcastic, well at least I think I am.
I remember having a metal erector set. For those of you who may have no idea what this is let me describe it to you briefly. It was the most awsomeous (it's a word look it up) and painful toys ever to come on the market. All the parts were 100% American made metal, including all sharp edges for no additional cost. What you would do is build sky scrapers, bridges, rocket ships etc and you would bolt together each and every piece. A real wrench came with it, there were small parts with no warning "choking hazard" signs any where on the box.
I do have to say that I would come away from hours of building structures that went over huge rivers, or towered high into the sky, vehicles which carried spacemen to unknown planets, with fingers that were scratched, pinched and bloody. There was no one there to say "Ahhh you poor thing let me put some..... on it", no you spit on it and moved on. What was stimulated was my imagination and there was also the thought, you know not everything in life is always gong to be easy, and if you ever want to make any king of difference, then your going to get pinched, scratched and bloody. There isn't going to be someone running to your aid, you just have to learn to spit on it and move on. It never stopped me from playing with my erector set, all it did was make me more aware and careful the next time. Falling off the monkey bars onto the rock covered ground didn't stop me or others from climbing back up there and doing it all over again.
Have we moved so far the other way that we have taken the fight out of a generation? Have we been so over protective that this generation lacks feeling pain, good pain, you know the kind, pain that makes you hurt like nothing you have ever felt, but yet there's a satisfaction which builds up inside of you. Why? Simple, you have accomplished something that many wouldn't even try. Your pain is a life lesson that no one else can teach you.
I'm not opposed to better car seats, even though it was always fun as a kid flying from one end of the back seat to the other as your mother took a turn at 30 mph! Superman!!!!! I'm not opposed to soft stuff underneath of playground equipment, maybe just don't use as much concrete so every kid can experience the heart gripping jolt of panic as you think that they whole thing is going to tip over; dude!
I guess what I'm saying, spit on it, rub some dirt on it and live life-we didn't turn out so bad.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's not for you

It’s not for you

Why is it that we always think that we deserve whatever we want? Is it because we are under the impression that this life is all out us? Is it because we think that the world really does revolve around us and that this life not matter how long or short should be about us.

Think about it, “This Bud’s for you”, “You only go around once so grab for all you can”, “Have it your way, like there is any other way, duh!”

It’s bred in us, from the moment we wiggle our way out of the womb, it’s all about us. We’re suctioned, cleaned, weighed, measured, put under warm lights (it’s like our very first spa treatment) wrapped in a warm blanket handed over to our mothers, pictures are taken, food is given, diapers once full are now empty. Come on it’s all about us.

We cry in the middle of the night, someone comes running, we fuss and people ask if we are all right, on and on it goes.

No wonder we think that we some how deserve everything we ever wanted.

No wonder we have a world, our world that is constantly looking out for #1, numero uno, me casa not your casa. No wonder a world slips by us and we really haven’t had much of an impact on it, how could we if it’s not about us then move on!

I have an old life, it’s long gone, ok so there are still bits and pieces that float around inside of me and the battle rages everyday to not allow it control, but for the most part it’s gone.

How so you ask, well maybe your not asking, but for those of you who are let me explain. My life changed one night in 1975, March 7th to be exact. On that night I accepted Jesus Christ into my life, I called out and He answered. That night my old life disappeared and I was given a new one with new opportunities, new hope, new everything. One thing that I have learned though is that night is the night my outlook HAD to change. Not an option, not a “well I’m working on it kind of thing”, nope it was a HAVE to change change.

Jesus Christ commands every follower of Him to die to oneself, and to live for Him. Living for Him means serving Him and serving others. It means that your life, my life are not our own. We have given up the control and have willingly turned it over to the one who has given His all for us.

I’ve figured something out, if you want to live a Christian life with the fullness of what God has for you then stop thinking about yourselves. Stop looking at you. Stop focusing on your needs, your desires, and your world. Christianity isn’t for wimps; it’s not some kind of social club with “special” privileges. Christianity is tough, am I loosing you yet. Maybe I should qualify something- Christianity; true, real Christianity is one that should take us to the Cross. Jesus Christ did it, not for Himself, but for me, for you. His life was lived so that men throughout time could know that they are loved because He gave His life for them.

How much of Christianity today is focused on self. How many churches are focused on “playing to the crowd”? How many lives have gone unnoticed and have been lost because “Christians” were too focused on themselves and not those around them? Only eternity will tell us this, but I know one thing I don’t want to be guilty of this. My hearts cry is, “Lord keep me grounded in you, keep me seeking to have your eyes for the world around me. Keep me wanting; longing to leave an impression on this world not of who I am, but who you have been in me.”

Hear me, Christ gave us principles to live by. One of the greatest is- He died, He gave all not for Himself, but for others.

Life lesson- look at how people react to things. In times of great struggle or disaster, there are always people who put aside their own lives; their own pain, injuries whatever and they go to the need of someone other than themselves. In that moment they look beyond themselves, they forget about themselves and all of a sudden the world isn’t all about them. Can we get there? Our churches shouldn’t be just for those inside the walls, our Christianity shouldn’t just be for those who “like” us. Our reach shouldn’t include me me me. It should be, “Lord I’ll be your hands, I’ll be your feet, and I’ll be your lips”.

This isn’t an instant kind of thing, but it is a ‘I’m going to get there kind of thing”.

Remember this isn’t for you-so get moving.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


So before you get all up in your feelings, let me explain. PMS stands for something, and that something isn't what many of you are thinking. Look at it this way if I would have put BSM, would you have read on? No! How about SPM? Of course not, but PMS sure reached out and grabbed you didn't it?!
PMS, at least for this one time, stands for Parents Must Show. In other words parents you are the chalkboards that young minds learn from. I'm feeling all educational.

So back to PMS. Parenting is modeling, not the kind where way too skinny women/girl people walk down a runway wearing who knows what and looking as if they would eat a pencil eraser if it was handed to them, not that kind.
I'm refer to you, parents. Know this your kids, all kids are big sponges. Their minds are blank slates just waiting to be filled with what they see and hear. Parents you are the first and foremost one to fill their minds, and shape their personality. Now granted every child is born with a personality, but you are the ones who are going to help shape their personality.

We always want our kids to mimic the good things that we say and do, and we gasp when they reflect just the opposite. I'll never forget what a mother told me happened when her 3 year old son was sitting in a shopping cart. He looked over at a older man and said, "Are you one of those old mean people?". Now we all know this feeling don't we? Of course we do, because everyone of us who have children have been there in some way or another.

Now this isn't something that a three year old mind has come up with on their own. Somewhere along the process of educating the brain of this young offspring, someone must have made a comment to the effect that old people are mean. How else would have that have been written on that blank slate? It might have only been one time, but one time is all it takes.
We do effect our kids both good and bad. We must show our kids the proper ways in life and the right ways. We have to be the ones who not just talk a good game, but we live it out in front of their lives.
I had a teacher who by the way will remain completely anonymous, although I will only describe her as a wonderful educator of young lives who is the most caring, understanding, tolerant, patient and compassionate person you would ever want to meet. (Ok you know who you are, I know you read this blog, remember that you are first and foremost a great baker and that it's been awhile, I'm just saying)

So she relates this story to me which I want to pass on to you. This week school started, she teaches 3rd grade. I guess they all sit in a circle and play a word game so that everyone can say their name and what they like. It has to go along with the first letter of their first name. For example, Hi my name is Ann and I like apples, or Hi my name is Bill and I like beef, or Hi my name is Phil and I like to fish.
So they are all in a circle and things are moving right along until a little girl says her first name and then this comes out of her mouth, "I hate German people". Whaaaaat?
The teacher asked why she would say something like that and the girl, now remember she's a 3rd grader, says this, "My Grandmother was in WWll and she hates German people. Now I can only reason that possibly this grandmother was held in a concentration camp and saw horrible things, BUT in my opinion the same thing that caused a nation to think that they were somehow better than any other and which let them justify the murders of millions, now has been inbred into this young mind.
How sad, how wrong. Parents your the key, your the ones who are loading up the minds and hearts of your kids. Parents must show them the way, the right way.
Hang in there and know that good kids don't come by accident. Remember PMS

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

abc FAMILY? what?

Many of us have heard the story/parable of the frog and the boiling water, if not here's a brief synopsis:
To boil a frog, not that I condone such behavior, one must put the frog in a pot of water that has yet to get warm. If you place the frog in there and then turn up the heat eventually the frog will be boiled to death. Now on the other side of things, if the water is boiling and you would put a frog in a pot, the frog would immediately jump out.
Point of story- the ways of this world is to slowly boil us to death.
Last night my wife and I watch a show on, now let me highlight this for you, ABC Family.

Now one might think, gee what loosers-they're watching a kids station, my response to that is, "hey shut up your stupid!".

Anyway back to what I was saying; the show was a new one called; Melissa & Joey. Now I am not going to write about the plot, because that really isn't what is important here. I am writing about how the frog is being boiled and it sure seems like not a whole lot of people are noticing, especially parents. If they are then ABC should be flooded with complaints.
On the two episodes that we watched, back to back by the way. I kept saying to my wife, "this is ABC Family, family really?".

During this so called kids program on a so called family channel the number of swear words was appalling . They weren't just using what one might called, "minor", ones, but ones that when I was a kid everyone one around would have gasped for air! Along with that there was numerous sexual innuendos and continual comments from the two female characters about getting, "taken advantage of and liking it". I could go on and on, but I wouldn't.

The kids of today are being programed more than any other generation by the media. Parents of times gone by had it a whole lot "easier" than those today, in the sense of knowing who and what is shaping their kids lives. Things were clearer back in the day. Today, ABC Family, to me that sounds like a station I could depend upon to air good FAMILY safe programing. NO!
Parents you are the main line of defence for your kids. It's no one's job but yours. In parenting you can never take things as they seem. You must investigate everything that your kid sees, hears and is exposed to. You must. The pot is boiling and the frog is getting weaker. Nothing is happening because so many are in the same pot.

I believe that there is a plan, just so you know I'm not writing this with tin foil on my head so the aliens can't read my thoughts, (I only have it over my ears). The plan is for kids today to be so lax and numb to such things that when they parent the standards are going to be even lower than they are today. So here's a question, whats that going to look like? What are the generations to come going to see are moral and right. Yea maybe I am an old prude and as I have said before I am a dinosaur, but at least I can feel the water getting hotter and know enough to let others know-"hey get your frog out of the pot".

Monday, August 9, 2010

You're shocked, really?

Please don't tell me you’re shocked? It never fails to amaze me how people ignore warnings/signs of harm and danger and then after something happens they are shocked by it. Here are some examples:

Back in the spring a trainer for a KILLER whale was killed by the animal. We all saw it on the news. If you were like me my heart broke for this trainer’s family. The reports came flooding in about how this trainer ever since she was a young child, all she wanted to do was to work with animals like this. We found out that she was doing what she loved, awesome. Not too soon after this the public cries began. We find out that this KILLER whale had KILLED 2 other people prior to this tragedy. Next we start to hear how this KILLER whale is a KILLER and maybe the KILLER whale should be put down. Question what part of KILLER whale didn't anybody understand?

I was watching a program I believed it is called, "When vacations go bad". Now if you have never seen this show I am sure there are all kinds of thoughts running through your memories of such vacations.
Such as when you booked a hotel room for your honeymoon mainly for 3 reasons. One- it had an ocean view, two- right on the boardwalk, three and not necessarily the most important reason, but it sure would seem like that at the time- $60 cheaper per night than any other hotel room in the area (sign). Only to discover after driving 7 hours you pull up to the address given and see the "hotel". It was above a hot dog/hamburger joint right on the boardwalk, no air conditioning, blinds hanging lopsided flapping in the breeze, but then the "paste De resistance" (that's French by the way) the look on the patrol officers face after you asked him if that was the Sunview Motel and you had booked a room in this "hotel"-priceless.

On this particular episode there were divers feeding a moray eel, (Strophidon sathete), mini hot dogs. The moray eel is soooo cute that the locals have even named her, Molly. Well since this video is on this particular show one can only sit with great anticipation for the "go bad" part to go bad. As this one diver is pulling mini hot dogs out of a Ziploc bag, Molly the moral eel, the eel that is solid muscle and has the brain capacity of a walnut, who by the way also has one very interesting trait:
Moray eels' heads are too narrow to create the negative pressure that most fish use to swallow prey. Quite possibly because of this, they have a second set of jaws in their throat called pharyngeal jaws, which also possess teeth. When feeding, morays launch these jaws into the mouth, where they grasp prey and transport it into the throat and digestive system. Moray eels are the only animal that uses pharyngeal jaws to actively capture and restrain prey. Larger morays are capable of seriously wounding humans.hmmmmm

So here's the bad going bad part. I love this show! Man/knucklehead- was petting Molly as he was hand feeding her the mini hot dogs. Trouble is Molly was a tad hungry this particular day and was rather short on patience. Man/knucklehead couldn't get the mini hot dog out of the bag fast enough. You could see the juice from the mini hot dogs being release into the water and Molly swimming through it. The more she swam through it the more she anticipated another mini hot dog. Man/knucklehead couldn't get it out of the bag fast enough so Molly decided to take charge, and oh boy did she ever. Now understand there is sound on this video. You see Molly turn on man/knucklehead and there is this really loud crunching sound, followed by screaming rapid pulling of the mans/knuckleheads hand, then a red cloud replacing the hot dog juice. Oh the moment! Later they interview the man/knucklehead who had to have his big toe removed so they could attach it for his new thumb which Molly had mistaken for a mini hot dog because said man/knucklehead couldn't get them out of the bag fast enough. He said he was shocked that this happened-what?! You were shocked, really. You really didn't see anything going wrong here? Helen Keller could have seen this one coming!

I could go on and on, but most of you who read this have the same attention span as I, "oh look shiny", so I'll wrap it up. Why are we shocked, why do we ignore the warning signs? Reason we never think that they pertain to us. Is it that we always think that we are beyond such things? So when the warnings we ignore happen we are shocked. Throughout life we are given many warnings and yet we still ignore the signs. We still try to beat the train even though the gates are coming down and the lights are flashing. We speed up when the light turns yellow instead of applying the brakes. We ignore the warning labels on various products that read-causes cancer. We just think that the tightness in our chest and the pain in our left arm is just a pinched nerve. Life has never guaranteed us a second chance; often times you only get one. Signs aren't just there so Mel and his family can hide in the closet with tin foil on their heads.

Pay attention, don't get caught off guard, think before you act and most of all -don't be shocked when something happens if you choose to ignore them.That's all I have to say on this.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


28,000 since 2006. This is the number of people who have died in Mexico from drug violence according to the Chicago tribune, 8-5-2010.
28,000 and this doesn't even count those here in the US that have died because of violence or the result of using drugs.
28,000, that is twenty eight thousand people have died. Does that bother anyone??? Now I realize that in that number there are many who are a part of the drug cartels, but there is also a large number who are innocent bystanders.
To think that this many people in such a short time have lost their lives blows me away. Now many might say well that's sad but what does this have to do with me? Simple, if you use drugs, yes even smoke pot, because pot is a drug you moron, you are directly contributing to the death toll in Mexico.
I see it like this, the reason there are drug cartels is because there is a demand for such products. These cartels fill the demand with the product needed. If the demand stopped the product would stop, which in turn would stop the killing. Yet the demand isn't slowing because many here in the US think nothing of it. What's the big deal, I'm only smoking a little weed. I want you to think about this, because it's the hard truth, next time you go to light up I want you to picture putting a gun to another human beings head and you personally pulling the trigger. Yep that's right, you pulled the trigger. You took part in the senseless murder of another.
There is no such thing as a harmless drug nor; and this gets the vein in my neck to bulge out, are you only affecting your own life. Lie, lie lie lie!!!
That's our trouble we always want to only think of ourselves and our actions aren't affecting anyone else. Maybe that's why people get into cars and drive drunk, maybe that's why people have no problem denying their family necessities of life so that they can simply "relax".
I see the outcomes of these types of decisions. I sit with kids whose parents really only care about themselves why else would they continue with their addiction. I go to rehab centers and psych wards and see the faces of people who have had their lives stripped away by drugs. The reasoning is the same, what's the big deal. What's the big deal? What?
Come on people take the responsibility you should. If your going to use drugs then fess up to the fact that you have taken part in murdering 28,000 people. Come on get some guts and be honest-you have. Here in the States we think nothing of this. It's not our problem, we are not part of it-wrong on all sides.
It is your problem, you are a part of it. Quit hiding, quit sticking you head in the sand and pretending that this is another countries problem. It's not. It's about time for the people of the home of the brave and the land of the free to take responsibility for their actions.
Man I am steamed right now, you might pick this up from my writing, in fact I wouldn't be surprised if as you read this you can hear the pounding that my computer is taking.

Friday, July 30, 2010

SUV's are bad

Today was one of those days when I know that there is a true battle for this generation of young people. Many might say that it's no different then when we were kids, to that I say-"You have no idea!".

I once read something to the effect that the generations that go before us are to leave a legacy, a path for the next generation to follow. This path is to lead them towards a better life and greater things than what they had. Sad to say, but I'm really not seeing this much.

One of the biggest failures I see of my generation is that we haven't really fought hard enough for this current generation. Please note that when I say fight I mean fight. Maybe you know what I'm talking about. Sad to say many of you will not because somewhere along the line "fighting" has turned into an evil thing sort of like SUV's.

Ok keep up, you might be thinking what, SUV. Look anytime there is an accident involving an SUV. look at how it is reported- "Today an SUV was involved in an accident!",. it's almost evil in a sense, there is this impression that this SUV drove itself and was out hunting for prey. How come they never say, "Today a 4 door sedan or a mini van was involved in an accident!". Oh no a SUV, right away we come to the conclusion- SUV's are bad.....

Same thing with fighting- it has taken on a evil context so no one really likes to talk abbot it. My opinion/ as I see it is we have soften things up so much that the world and all it's influences have been given an open invitation to rob us of this generation of youth. How? Simple-I never see the world's influences backing down. I never see drugs, alcohol, gangs, violence backing down, in fact I see it gaining steam. Why shouldn't it? I mean really we stand by and let a generation slip though our hands because we are afraid to act or we simply choose to ignore the problem and believe that everything will simply work out for the best. Look at us.

Yea look at us. We didn't turn out that bad, but I must say I don't know about you, but I know the way I grew up- things weren't simply left alone. I had parents, even though they were divorced who would get up in my grill. I had neighbors that had no problem busting my chops and then taking me home to let my parents add to the "life lesson". I had teachers that I feared, yes feared, because i knew that they were in control and God help anyone who thought different.

I look at all this and think, they all had a part in shaping me, the key is they weren't afraid to step in for a fight. I believe that those who did that for me and for others did so because they saw the value in fighting for us. Was it because our parents were products of war. They saw that somethings are simply worth fighting for. They knew what the consequences would be if they did nothing. So they did something.

Parents do something! Parents fight for your kids! Parents take responsibility and quit looking for excuses of why you can't.

Fighting for your kids is one fight you should never run away from, nor; and I know this might be upsetting to you "time out" people, should you wait around for the world and it's influences to throw the first "punch". Take a more aggressive approach- fight for them.

Back to the opening sentence. Today was one of those days, here's why.

Today I had a great time but at the same time it was saddening to me. Let me explain. For the past 24 years I have been speaking in the public schools, doing various assemblies on various topics. When I go into a school I know that the things I have to say will strike a nerve and it may take sometime for it to sink in, but I believe that this generation is worth telling the truth to.

This morning I had my first school of the '10-'11 school year. Today I was at a facility that houses 45 young men. It is a mandatory facility and program ordered by the courts. Many are there for 6-9 months minimum. They are there because of substance abuse, alcohol, criminal violations etc. Today I spoke before a great bunch of young men. Now if you had been there with me you might have thought differently, but anytime I speak to young people I see the good, the positive the potential. Now please know this, that doesn't mean that they weren't at times knuckleheads, because they were, but I saw something in their eyes. That something was, hey tell me the truth, don't hold back, yea I'm not going to like it, but are you willing to fight for me anyway; that look.

So I did, and that's' where I can say that it was a great time. The sad part was seeing these young men with their lives in a shambles, a few I met are already fathers with small children, I wondered what their kids are going to step into. The world had lied to them, they believed all that they were told. Did anyone step in front of them to fight off the worlds influence? I wonder. Are there parents in the picture that are more concerned about their kids than their issues? I wonder.

Hearing the staff tell me that their biggest concern is when these young men go home- what kind of support system is there for them.

It's time to take the gloves off, the world has fought that way for a long time. It's time to beieve once again in a generation, this generation.

Always remember they are worth fighting for, they really are.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dial 911

Are you serious? Go figure them out, what kind of idiotic advice is this? Go figure them out, geez, go figure them out, hmmmm, go figure them out.

Kids don't come with direction as far as a written booklet, but for sure kids need direction.
A child is designed (by God) to grow and flourish in an atmosphere of love. Love is translated in many different ways but one of the most important ways is through the giving of direction.
Imagine going on a trip to a place you have never been. Imagine going without looking at any map. How lost would you be?? I know people who get lost as their GPS is shouting, turn here stupid!
Anyway-you wouldn't do such a thing because if you have no direction you'll never arrive at your destination, your goal.

Kids are this way-they need direction so they can achieve all that they should, which by the way is to their fullest potential. They need aimed in the right direction so they can get to where they have to go. Directions, correction, encouragement is what kids need, and especially teens.
When there are directions given, kids have a feeling of security. Please note: I have never met a young person/teen who is excited about you giving direction nor have I ever met one who hangs on your every correction-but it doesn't matter they still need them. If they do say something to this effect- "Oh Mom, oh Dad, you’re the best! I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me correction and giving me direction all of which my friends are not receiving and they are getting to do stupid things, while I on the other hand am not-THANK YOU. If this occurs, dial 911-your having an aneurysm!

No one likes direction to be given to them. Adults don't like it. Watch the face of someone who has been pulled over for speeding, all the officer is trying to do is give them directions (even if it is to the nearest courthouse or ATM), but its still direction.
As parents we need to give our children directions even when they think that they have it all figured out. We need to care enough about them to look them in the eye and say this is how it’s going to be. Now if you attempt to start this for the first time in their adolescent years, good luck-be prepared for some serious battles. The reason, simple this should have started when the day they were born. I'm not saying it’s too late, "it's too late baby now it's too late though we really did try and make it", sorry I regressed, digressed???? No I just heard that line of that song in my head and had to get it out.

If your kids are older, remember back with me. Remember when the nurse took your child and measured them, weighed them, took their footprints, (I guess that makes sense since there are so many crimes committed with peoples feet) they then wrapped them in one of those receiving blankets nice and tight and handed them back to you. My first thought was; "hey he looks like a piece of cord wood", but again that's just me. There was that little life all nice and snug-they were safe. Now remember when you would unwrap them. I used to grab one end and pull spinning them like a top, oh the fun, kidding! Their little arms went way out as if they had been startled by something, that sense of security was now gone, they were out, exposed, literally.
Directions are to a pre-teen/teen as that security blanket is to an infant. There is place and a need for them, parents let's figure them out.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pro Athlete

A figure of speech in which incongruous or contradictory terms appear side by side; a compressed paradox. Adjective: oxymoronic.

We've all heard them and probably all used them at sometime in our lives. We never question them, maybe we never even think about what we are saying, but at the time they make sense.
Here's a few of the all time great ones:
Crash landing-did you crash or did you land
Free gift-when was the last time you charged someone for a gift you gave them, honestly I kind of like the idea
Detailed summary- do you want the details or just the summary
Light armor-now that's my kind of armor-nice and light, what?

Here's one probably many of you have never heard- pro athlete. Yes you heard right, pro-athlete, I'm guessing that your thinking- hey that is not an oxymoron. "Oh contrair" To me it is and I want to take a minute to let you know why.

Being an athlete is being a person who has been blessed with some talent, a lot of guts and great humility realizing that at any time this gift might quickly be taken away. An athlete must realize that this gift in no way ever is intended to make them superior to someone else or better than another. In fact the greatest athletes of all time have probably been the ones you have never read about or seen on tv. Why? Simple because they are the ones who train when no one is looking on, they are the ones who competes not for recognition, fame; and yes not even for money, none of that really matters to a real athlete.

Pro Athlete, it should be pro businessmen who can make a whole lot of money using a gift that they have been entrusted with and getting people to think that they somehow care about them so they will keep coming to the games, paying a lot of money, buying their jerseys and waiting in long lines to see them even when they don't take the time to acknowledge them.

Now before you start to gather a list of pro athletes who have done wonderful things and do really care about their fans let me calm you down. I don't really nor can i put all the blame simply on the athlete themselves.
Sports is a huge money making machine and there are people behind the scenes who know how to manipulate and how to market these athletes so that people get into a frenzy and will do almost anything to "be a part" of the athlete.

This past few week we have heard so much about some athletes who were deciding to make a move from their current team and move on to another. What a dog and pony show! First off owners, managers and coaches were meeting with these perspective athletes letting them know that the sky was the limit. Organizations were willing to let go solid players who are somewhat unknown so the cap might be freed up and more money could be given to said "superstar". It was at least for me uncomfortable to watch this kind of idol worship taking place just because someone can throw a ball.

If you haven't noticed we live in extremely tough economical times and many people are just getting by. Yet we see hundreds of millions of dollars thrown at someone or someones while in reality the money that is being thrown is from people who come to see the games and buy the jerseys and t-shirts and who watch the commercials and buy the products advertise. Yet when do we see the athletes give back. There was one very touching scene in Chicago during this circus. I really hope I can write this without getting all choked up!

A man approached the chauffeur driven, darkly tinted windowed SUV and knocked on the window where the athlete was sitting comfortably in his leather seat waiting to be whisked away to his next destination where more of the same would be waiting. The man called out his name and said, "Come man"; and oh, here's the Hallmark moment, the window lowered about 5 inches and the hand, yes the hand of this pro athlete, reached out the window and handed the man a few dollars, ah I just have to take a minute!
The newscasters went wild, the press loved it, this was a sign of a caring, non-self absorbed athlete that only wanted to give back, tear tear.

Just a few days later a stadium was rented so that said superstar could announce his intentions of which team he had chosen. The announcement took what, 3 hours? All the powers that be knew where he was going, they had already worked out a strategy of how to market him more. For the more they do the more they get. People filled the stands of this arena, (I wonder if they had to pay to get in?), as three saviors made their over the top, most non-humble, selfish appearance I have ever witnessed in my life.
The fans, oh the fans, you know maybe your one, they were screaming, shouting, holding up the number one sign, looking at these men as if their whole life was held in the hands of these athletes. People get a grip!

They are simply men who have a talent. Do they care about you, maybe a few and I mean a few, but with out a doubt they are few and far between. They will care about you when they are too old for the game and they need you to stand in lines at state fairs and conventions getting their autograph, for a fee of course.
Sports are awesome and athletes real athletes are amazing to watch both on and off the playing field, but seriously this thing we call professional sports, in my opinion-way out of control.

Now you keep praying that ridicules ticket fee and those unbelievable prices for merchandise, keep wearing their numbers even when they keep changing them-keep it up I'm sure they care about you! Pro athlete-a real oxymoron.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Where's the instructions?

I was at the birth of all three of our kids. I have to say that there is nothing more amazing and breathtaking as seeing a new life being born. It was one of those wow moments when your not even sure if your breathing because everything is focused on that little life.
With that being said, as we waited 16 hours for our first child to be born there was great anticipation and along with that came much apprehension. We looked forward to being parents but how do you really get prepared for such a thing. Read books- we did that. Listen to tapes-check!
Watch other parents and say, "We will never be like that and our kids will never act like that!". (note to self) Never and I repeat NEVER say that again!
I wish there was a simple follow by numbers chart/plan that you could use in raising children but there isn't. Well there is, but I really don't see how they can work because each child is different and each situation has it's own special circumstances.
So how do you do it? Let me give you the advice that I received when I was in the delivery room catching the first one. After he was born (you know the whole, "Hey there's his head", then "Hey where did it go" then, "There it is again" then "Poof it's gone again.") Fast forward, now we have a head but man I sure hope he's not broad shouldered!
Finally with one final push that equals the force of an earth moving machine, pop! Out he comes. So I'm standing down with the doctor in absolute amazement, the nurse takes our son over to a table to clean him up and weigh him. I looked over again thinking "Did this just happen?" I mean I have seen it on National Geographic, but dude this was right before my very eyes. There he was all wrinkly and covered with, well I'm sure you get the picture, they had just squirted him with I think soft scrub to clean him up. They were getting ready to bring him over to my wife so she could hold him, as I stood waiting for some instruction on what to do next. The doctor asked me to move over because I was, in his words, "hogging the light", I said to him, "Doc, something is missing". Note to self-do not say these kind of things to a doctor after he has delivered a child and is holding a sharp cutting type of utensil!
He said (with what I might add a not so inviting tone) "What do you mean something is missing?" I said, "Doc, I have put many a shed together, toys,erector sets and yes even swing sets, each time there was an instruction book or paper included telling me how to properly assembly the item." I looked intently at the doctor and I looked even harder from where my son had appeared and saw nothing. I said "Doc, where's the instructions? You know the instructions, the raising kid instructions." I mean I saw my son, I saw what followed, (description for another time), but no instructions. The doctor went over to the nurse, took my son, walked back over and handed him to me and said, "Take him home and figure it out as you go." He then finished up what he was doing handed me a bill for his services and calmly walked out to go home to his 5 kids. No wonder he looks soooo worn out!
Figure him out as you go. What? Really? That's it? No once over like when you buy a car? No here are the features like you might be shown if you are buying a flat screen? Nope none of that.
I must say that was the best advice I have ever been given because what it caused us to do was to really figure him out as we went along.
Every child is different, that's how God made us. If we/they were all the same it would get really boring real fast. I know some of you are saying, give me boring, but really you would not want it that way.
Out job as parents is to discover the person inside that little body and to give it the much needed instruction and care necessary for them to face this world and not just get by, but to stand strong and reach their full potential.
More to come...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Friend or Parent- it's you call

I left off with this: remember -You're the Parent. I love acronyms; you know those letter-word things where each letter means something. I thought of this one in regards to being a parent and or a friend.

Let me say this first, Teens need parents, real parents, not parents that are trying to relive their forgotten years through their kids, or wanting to be a friend to their kid. Real live, actively involved even if your uninvited or underappreciated parents.
So here's my acronym:

P- I'm
A- not
R- you're
E- friend
N- because I
T- love you

R- don't
I- care
E- let's
N- go to
D- the mall

Parenting is not easy. Remember when they were first born, you thought that was tough. I mean there were those sleepless nights, diapers to change, formula to make and baths to be given. You never thought that there would be any life after children. Then they start to grow, walk, feed themselves, even get dressed, you think that you have reach the easy stretch of parenting. Well guess again, you are just about to enter the most difficult time of parenting you will ever face.

Those same eyes that looked up at you as you feed them are now going to be glaring at you when you tell them no. Those same arms that reached out to grab your neck, well they are still reaching out but to choke you instead of hug you because you told them that they no longer can hang with so and so because you don't like them.

I know this might seem a bit grim, I'm not trying to be, I'm just being honest.
See love is more than a spoken word, it's caring and it's action, meaning that you are going to have to make the tough calls. You're going to feels sharp pains in your back in the middle of the night, only to discover the next morning from where the pains came from. You enter you teens room and there you find a doll in your image in your teens room with needles sticking all through it!

Parenting is loving your kids even when they don't want to love you back or they don't care if you love them at all. Granted some kids never feel this way, I'm sure. Those kids are secretly brainwashed by their parents and have no emotions at all, (hmm not a bad idea). Love none the less is what has to motivate you to remain their parent and not their friend.

See a parent will make the hard calls; a friend will only say what their friend wants to hear. Parents your kids have enough friend's they need a parent who is going to stand in the gap, who is going to make the unpopular call and who most of all will love them till your last breath.
More to come.....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

You're the parent

Have you ever seen a dog when it hears a high pitch sound? If you haven't here's what it looks like; their ears stand straight up and a bit back. They then begin to tilt their heard from side to side as if they are trying to pinpoint where the sound is coming from and what is it that they hear. Their eyes, oh their eyes, they glaze over a tad as if they have slipped into some kind of hypnotic trance.

I get that look a lot, no not just from my family when I say things like, "Hey you 3 ADULT children, mom and I are done buying you Christmas presents!” ah nothing like that Christmas feeling.

Anyway, I get that look a lot from parents when I talk to them about raising kids. Now before you get the wrong impression, my wife and I are not perfect parents and we do not have perfect kids. We are parents who did our best and never allowed this parenting thing to slip into autopilot. We have three grown children who I'm sure as time goes on and they think that the statute of limitations is over, that they will begin to share stories of what they got away with. The trouble with that is, I still can and will chase them down the street in a large motor vehicle!

I don't have a bunch of initials after my last name, not that there is anything wrong with that, me I'm more the school of life kind of person, my wife too. We read books as we raised our kids, I must admit, that we never read one unless it was written by someone who had kids of their own. Call me crazy, and believe me the voices sometime do, but I'm more the, “it's easy to talk a good game, but show me the reality of it all, put it into action kind of person”.

I have worked with teens now for 30 years, man that's weird putting that into writing, but none the less it's been that long. Working with teens, speaking in the schools, helping police departments, have given me the opportunity to see things from many different perspectives, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that raising kids is not for the weak of heart or for those who can't see beyond themselves. Raising kids is a battle, a fight, not you vs. the offspring, but you against this world that wants a village to raise your kids instead of you. Now I do agree that others do have an influence on your kids, but they should be influences that complement your parenting, not go against it or replace it. You’re the parent!

So here is where the head tilting thing starts to happen as I speak to parent’s one on one or in parent presentations. I hear their thoughts, well OK i don't hear their actual thoughts; I don't have that particular super power, although I can wiggle my ears. Their thoughts though are expressed all over their face. Their brow crunches, eyes start to squint, the head tilts, shoulders start to raise up. All classic signs of them saying, "are you for real, who let you in here!".

I wish I didn't see that look as much as I do, but sad to say it happens more and more all the time and the older I get the more I see it. Parents hear me, there is a war for your kids. This world is just waiting to snag your child and before you know it the tentacles have engulfed them. Parenting can't be approached as if there is an easy answer to all that you'll face, because there are no easy answers and no easy solutions, that's why it's called parenting and not friending (is that a word?). Key is, don't run from the fight, stand and stand strong. I'll write more as time goes on.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Freedom is never free but man we sure act like it. I'm as guilty as you are, that is in the area of taking things for granted. One of the things that I truly believe we take for granted is our freedom. Maybe the reason we do this is that we have never felt what it's like to not be free.
A number of years ago I went to a state penitentiary to visit a friend, oh they didn't work there if that helps clarify things. So as I enter the prison lobby I see a family, a women/mother of 3, how I knew she was a mother of three is because she had three young ones sitting quietly on the hard wooden bench. I wanted to ask how she did that, shock collars? benedryll?
The timing couldn't have been more perfect, as I was coming in to sign the "guest" book, the heavy metal door buzzed open and out came a man who had just been set free. His family leaped to their feet and ran to embrace him. Something I'm thinking hadn't been done in a long, long time. There were tears and kisses, hugs and embraces then finally the words, "Let's go home". I stood there and watched as I saw a man set free. I don't know what his crime was nor did it matter at the time, he was free. To him the air was going to have a whole new smell, the sun beating on his face was going to seem so much warmer, the feel, the smell the joy of freedom.
After he and his family walked out I was escorted into the search room, awe nothing like the snap of latex, I thought that they were going to ask me for a co-pay. After my "encounter" I was then escorted from section to section as doors buzzed, gates popped open, and the deeper I entered the more confined I felt. At last I was taken to a table in the middle of the cafeteria and told to sit and wait. After 20 minuted I see the gate open and in walked my friend, shackled both hands and feet. He shuffled over to the table and was helped as he sat, so not to fall. I spent a few hours with him until the guard came and said time was up. I couldn't hug him, shake his hand or even pat him on the back. I simple was told to stand and walk with the guard. Moments later I exited the facility and walked to my car. My thoughts kept going back to the fact I was able to walk out of there, but my friend couldn't. I wondered what that man and his family was doing, were they still driving to where they lived, had they stopped off for a burger?
I left there understanding that freedom isn't something to take for granted, it's something to cherish and protect. It's true it is never free, someone has paid a price for what we have and there will be more to come. I am thankful for each and everyone who has paid that price for my freedom. I pray every day for the men and women, their families who have served and given their all. My freedom, wow, for me.
I also know that I have a freedom that I chose to have and am thankful for the one who paid for it. His name, Jesus Christ. You have probably heard of Him, maybe not. I was one of those "maybe not's". I hadn't heard and I for sure had no idea that I was imprisoned, that is until I met the one who set me free. The one who brought me life and gave me the freedom to know Him and to live my life out for Him.
I know today freedom isn't free, He died for me and He died for you, He awaits your decision to surrender.
God bless and happy 4th

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Bugs where are you?

It's no wonder that our young people today have such a lousy image of themselves. I believe that this doesn't start in the teen years but when they are about 5-7 years old. Let me explain.

This morning I saw a cartoon on one of the major stations. First off why do they all look like they are from Japan, ahhh maybe because they are, anyway I saw the characters of this cartoon. Now know this the sound wasn't on so all I could see is the picture. The characters of this cartoon are let's see how I can say this with some kind of tact, shapely? Yea let's go with shapely.
First off the "guys" perfect chest, defined shoulders and arms, ripped abs. The girls to me were a bit more troubling. The girls wore half shirts with their stomach exposed, their waists were almost nothing; which of course highlight the northern and southern hemispheres.
The cartoon was full of glitz and glitter, but to me the message was clear. This is what you want to look like, this is what you should look like.
Now some may think that I am totally over reacting to this, "it's just a cartoon". You're right it is just a cartoon, one that I am sure that little eyes are glued to and images are being burned into their little peanuts. We are visual, there is no denying this. What we see sticks with us long after what we hear or read. If you think not, why then after you see a scary movie do you come home and turn every light on in the house, or you double check the locks, look in the closet, but then the most pathetic thing of all-you look under the bed. Why, because we are affected by what we see.
This is something that they are going to carry into their teen years which should be troubling considering that 80% of teens are unhappy with their bodies. Now we have a generation coming up that I feel is going to be struggling even more.
Parents need to wake up, literally, get out of bed, see what your kids are seeing, have the guts to change the channel or unplug the set. This is not the time to sit back and think that things will just naturally turn out ok, they wouldn't. Where is, Bugs, Silvester, Elmer, Tweety....I think it's time for a come back!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Adam & Eve on a Raft

This morning I was thinking about, Adam & Eve on a raft with one baby, axle grease, birdseed, Joe and one burnt British.

Now before you try to get a mental picture of two people with figs leaves and NO belly buttons on a raft in the middle of the ocean, slipping on axle grease with some guy named Joe (by the way where did he come from?) hanging on for dear life as he spills a bowl of birdseed and accidently catches someone from Britain on fire, let me explain.

I think it would be so cool to have a diner, you know the kind, or maybe you don’t because they are getting few and far between.
I’m talking the kind where the coffee is hot and flows without limits, the place where the waitress calls you honey, the plates are heavy with chips & cracks from years of use, the food, oh my the food. It’s like nothing you have ever had; it’s what brings you back time and time again. The interesting thing about any of these types of diners that I have found is this; the food is never pretty, but man is it good!

Here’s what I mean. I have on occasions gone to let’s call them “fancy” restaurants. I’m not a big “fancy” restaurant person; all I care about; is the food good. Anyway here we are at this one restaurant with menus that have no prices on them (what’s that about!) I order my food only after I made the waiter get me a menu with the prices. We waited for about 10 minutes before the salads showed up. Now I’m not a big salad eater, so when I saw that the salad consisted of 3 pieces of lettuce, a very small tomatoes, some stick things stacked as if you’re going to build a fire, on an oversized plate, I thought, well no big deal maybe they ran out of the smaller plates and had to use these big ones instead, because common sense says this little green thing doesn’t need a plate this big.

Finally after the “salad” was finished we sat and waited for the main course. Now by this time I’m ready to eat. The waiter comes out of the kitchen headed our way, my thought, “yes here it comes. For what I am about to pay, that plate should be almost impossible for him to carry, but he’s doing a fine job! I stood up so I made sure he could see where I was, I almost shouted “Here I am!” but my inner voice said no, ok it wasn’t my inner voice it was my wife’s and it had the tone that carried consequences with it.
As the food approached the table I could see that it was under a metal domed lid. I’m thinking radioactive, why else cover it with metal, but at this point who cares!
The waiter puts the plates with the domes in front of my wife and me then with great flare he lifts the lids and we get the first view of our meal, I could swear I heard music playing as he lifted the lids to expose what? Hey where’s my food? I’m staring down at this large plate but there’s a speck on it, right in the center. There is a brown speck with some green stuff surrounding it highlighted with some kind of red stuff made into designs all around it. Almost as if they are pointing me to where the food is, the brown speck wasn’t a speck it was my food. I took my spoon and scooped up my food, chewed maybe 3 times and swallowed, that was it, done, over.
At this point I thought my stomach was going to revolt, like how dare you tease me! Needless to say we skipped dessert and marked that one off our list of “favorites”.

I remember the old diners, I remember the waitress’ yelling back to the cooks with some kind of codes, and all you saw was the cook nodding his head and never looking up so he could keep cranking out the food, and I mean food, lots and lots of food. Here’s the point, the food never was “pretty”, no one had to put designs on your plate to show you where it was, you knew it because you saw it and it didn’t matter what it looked like you knew that it was going to be good.

Maybe that’s why we don’t want to hear about the sacrifice that Christ made for us. Maybe it’s not pretty enough, you know that whole cross thing. Two pieces of wormwood lashed together dropped in a hole on top of a garbage dump, with the Savior of the world, who has been brutally beaten, mocked and spit upon hanging there by nails through his hands and feet; blood flowing down His face because of a crown of thorns, maybe that’s not pretty enough for us. We are always looking to make things pretty when in reality things aren’t as pretty as they seem. Oh yea they may look good, but they have nothing inside. Sin isn’t pretty, our sin. My sin, the sin of man is not pretty, but the most beautiful sight of all is the blood stained cross. I don’t want pretty, I want forgiven and forgiven I am. Thanks God for “filling” my plate!

So let me get back to Adam & Eve on a raft before I close. Remember the “code” words, well here is what they mean let’s see how well you did: Adam & Eve on a raft- two poached eggs on toast. Axle grease- butter. Baby-glass of milk. Joe-come on you know this one-coffee. Birdseed- bowl of cereal. Burn the British-an English muffin toasted. Ok I got to go- I need a Pittsburgh

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fingers off the keys

So I just came back from being with an IT guy for almost 2 hours. For those of you who might be wondering if IT is a generic name for someone the answer is no. For those of you who might be thinking that I have been watching too much Adams Family (Cousin It), the answer again is no. In fact I was always more of a Munsters kind of guy.

So back to the story. I was with this Internet Technician (IT) because we have been trying to get sermons uploaded to the church website,, and have been unable to do so. For the life of me I as well as others more tech savvy than I had a hard time figuring it out also. So here is where Kyle the IT guy comes in.

Our website needed its "embedded" code rearranged. Now when he said that to me all I could think about is, "Man that's got to hurt!"

He of course being an IT guy/expert, says to me, "No need to worry, I'll take care of it". For the next 35 minutes I sat in a really nice leather, reclining, high back, super padded conference chair and rocked back and forth. After a bit I did start to get a bit nauseous, so I moved on to more skilled forms of wasting time.

I then took my pen and with my head leaned the whole way back attempted to balance it on the bridge of my nose. I must say that I achieve this in short time, so on to the next. I now tried to balance it on the bridge of my nose but with my head in full forward position, now this was a challenge!

Kyle, the IT guy sat right next to me typing away in his own special little code things. t2><>%@)9why?!2is>/this<#guy/-doing{^balancing\#apen&$on\#his*)(nose?

I watched as he went from screen to screen, box to box, line by line, clicking, adding, subtracting symbols and letters as if they were written out in plain English. Every now and then I would reach over to touch the keys and he would calmly ask me to remove my fingers from the keys and leave the work to eh professional, (show off!)

To me just a bunch of jumbled nonsense.

I was reminded of something, here we are, humans thinking that we have our lives all figured out and we know what’s best for us. Yet what we fail to see or acknowledge is the fact that our internal code needs to be rearranged by the One who made us. Scripture says that "He knitted us together in our mother's womb", He formed us by His hands. Not a single one of us are here by mistake even though there are many times we see no sense of why we are here. Yet, God knows us and He knows how to bring us back to the place that our embedded code is up for the plans He has for us. Always remember He can only do as much as we allow Him to.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Full fat Oreo's

I get confused easy. For example I call my kids by the wrong name all the time. Have any of you had your parents call you by the wrong name, and you the only child? I do, maybe its the older I get or maybe its just things in this world are not as clear as they once were.
I need things clear. I need to know what is right and what is wrong. I operate in black and white and really wish that more people wanted to do the same. Gray is such a gray color and place to be at.
Look at gray, it is like something that wanted to but couldn't, its like a day that can't decide if its going to rain or be sunny. Its that limbo kind of place, you know the place where your just not sure if you want to get all sweaty and shower again of if you just want to watch from the sidelines.
Are you getting it yet?
Confusion comes when its not clear which way to go.
Example, have you ever been at an intersection and there is a pedestrian waiting to cross. You wave them on, they wave you on, you insist that they go and they do the same to you. Just as you start to move through the intersection, they step off the curb. You slam on your brakes, they jump back on the curb, you both look at each other and then the ritual begins again. What happens you get no where, well that is unless you driving the car realize that your in a 2000 pound vehicle and your about to help this pedestrian understand the law of, "who ever is bigger wins"!
Why can't we be black and white. How come things that were once wrong can't remain that way. Why do they make 1/2 the fat Oreo's? I mean what's the point, if your going to eat an Oreo, then eat an Oreo!
We wonder why teens today are confused. We wonder why they seem to have no real direction at times and why they are constantly looking for something solid to hang on to. The reason, no one wants to give them right and wrong.
I want right and wrong. I want black and white, I want full fat Oreo's