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