Friday, November 23, 2007


I thought I would share what our Thanks Giving Day was like .
Quite different from what it has been in past years (a change for the better)

We had a really good day in spite of Calvin freaking out somewhat.
We went to both parents houses (mine & Johanna's) and it was pretty good at both places, plus we didn't really have to cook. Calvin decided each time we arrived somewhere new that he did not want to be there. I think he really wanted to be at home. At Grandma Sue's house it was a little hectic until he fell asleep, when he woke up later , he was in a much better mood. I did get a picture of the 15 year old sleeping next to him at Sue's.

When we got to my mom's house It was the same story .
He wanted to go home and told me so . But, after we were there for about a half an hour he was fine and playing with all the other kids. My sister and brother were there with their kids . My mom's house is pretty small and it got loud and chaotic, but a good time was had by all. My mom also proved once again that she is one of the best cooks to come out of Appalachia. She made a ton of food and I think an army could have been fed with the leftovers. Then we had "special coffees" and sat around and talked for a long time. It was a really good day all in all.

In the morning we did something that I think we will try to make a tradition in our family. We have thought much about establishing family traditions with our kids that they will find some meaning in and hopefully pass on and keep alive in their own families when they are grown.
We decided that we should do something with some meaning on this holiday. So we cooked 2 turkeys and some mashed potatoes, got some tea, paper plates and took Thanksgiving dinner to a colony of homeless people who live in the woods nearby where we live now. My wife and I were both a little nervous about it , but it turned out pretty good. I also think this made an impression , not only on the men who we left the food with , but even more on our kids.
I was fairly restrained in what I said to them and just told 2 of the men that I just wanted them to know that they do matter and they are not just forgotten.
My 15 year old complained about being part of this, but he didn't have to be prompted to help with the unloading of food and some clothing , toiletries ,sheets and blankets (that Grandma Sue sent with us). I also saw him shake hands with one of the men and wish him a happy thanksgiving( he also told my mother that it was pretty cool ) . I really hope this was what God would have us do, some people would say it was risky and we could have put our children in danger. But, I think this made what will be a lasting impression on them. So yeah , it was a really great day and I felt slightly guilty for having so much , sad for those people who are living out in that little section of woods and so incredibly blessed To be surrounded by such love .
Thank you Lord
On a sadder note, I found out my oldest son is back in jail.
But at least he is alive and he will not sleep on the street tonight and I will probably not get that phone call I have been expecting in the back of my mind to tell me he was found dead. Maybe this will be the time that he will save his own life. I hope that God Gets a hold of him and he can see that he is destroying his life . I so want my son back , he was such a good boy and I was always so proud of him.
I ask any one who reads this to please pray for him. I don't want to bury my son .

Saturday, November 17, 2007

We Made It Back ALIVE

Well, Johanna and I went to Orlando on Thursday to see David Crowder in concert.
We made it , really had a great time and after getting somewhat lost we made it home.
We totally agree on David crowder , we both love his music and just the person he seems to be. I think the fact that he was not just playing music but challenging people to go out and love others, to provide things that are needed , and to live justly speaks volumes.
I also got another thing from this concert(besides the increased endearment of my wonderful wife) I was also affirmed in the way my own thoughts have been running as of late. I actually heard of Brian Mclaren on Kansas Bob's blog. I read a little of what he was talking about on the web and then I got "A New Kind Of Christian"from the library.
The more I read the more I see that this is what I am missing , a real tangible faith that I work out with acts of kindness . With living justly.
I love the general theme of the new CD by DC*B ,that we are supposed to Be Remedy . Yes, God is the remedy for all that is wrong in this world. But, we are supposed to be His hands and feet, we are supposed to act out our faith in hopes of a life on earth that is worth living , with Justice. You know when you are in a town like Orlando, you really don't see the pain in the world. It is a place that exudes of the affluence of this nation. People spend so much there, almost everyone you meet is dressed nicely and many are on vacation. David and band played at the Hard rock live, basically a club setting with a complete circular bar and cocktail waitresses. I think they picked these places on purpose. to kind of infiltrate the world. I think that is what we are called to do , to go out to go where they may not have heard the good news and to treat people the way Jesus would .
How is it we can say a little prayer, have a so-called spiritual awakening and become instant preachers and judges of the rest of the world? Why do we spend so much time , money and effort on "church"activities and have no time for the crazy haired homeless guy we pass 15 times a week?
I can tell you this , the homeless guy could be closer to God than our pastor, we may never know until we actually invest in some people , not "saved" people, but the people that Jesus would have been interested in. People don't need another tract or to say a prayer, they need towels and socks. I for one want to move away from worrying about the "spiritual condition " of the people I meet and move into action. The word agape comes to mind and these verses :
Isa 58:5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
Isa 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?
Isa 58:7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? when you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh?
Isa 58:8 Then shall your light break forth as the morning, and your health shall spring forth speedily: and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Isa 58:9 Then shall you call, and the LORD shall answer; you shall cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness;
Isa 58:10 And if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall your light rise in the darkness, and your darkness be as the noon day:
Isa 58:11 And the LORD shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones: and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
Isa 58:12 And they from among you shall build the old waste places: you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of streets to dwell in.
So much for concert talk .

Monday, November 12, 2007


Today I saw something that I thought was kind of disturbing. There was a tract that someone left on a table for a server along with a very small tip.I admit I didn't actually read it , I found it to be so offensive that I wouldn't have read it , ever.
This particular tract was printed to look like a wallet with a $100 bill sticking out of the top. I don't mean that it had a picture of a wallet , it was basically a photo, printed on a wallet shaped piece of paper,obviously meant to deceive someone.
I just looked at it and said,"Why?" . What are we trying to prove with that?
Are we showing how cleaver and conniving we can be? That we are just as cunning as the rest of the world? Why would anyone think they would get a positive response for this kind of tactic?
I often feel as if I am being judged by "good christians" who don't work on Sunday because, well you know it's church day.
I freely admit that I haven't been attending a church for a little while now. I am not making any excuses for that. I really would like to get back into a church and I have plans with my wife and kids to try out a few churches that are in the area. The smallest child had a fever this morning so we put off our plans to visit a local church today. I really think though, if any church is teaching members to leave tracts everywhere, be condescending and presumptuous about what spiritual state the people who are bringing them food are in , I don't think I can be a part of that.
Thanks to Sarah for getting me going on this .
I hope that we can move past this commercialization of the Gospel . People don't need to be tricked into saying some prayer that will likely do nothing as far as making their lives better. It seems to me that often times that we remove God, with our actions and our words .