As a gift to you this Christmas, the next two weeks will contain a parable for the Christmas season.
The Lions and The Scorpions: Part 1
Gazing through his round spectacles, Tem, a large and wise old elephant stated firmly, “Five Years from now, the river will completely shift and cover the wasteland.”
Mai sat in his chair thinking about the last words spoken. All the advisors looked at the majestic lion who was their king waiting for a reply. His sandy mane hung down as he closed his eyes in thought.
With his eyes still closed, Mai asked “So there is no doubt to the reports?”
My guns were at the ready. My mask was adjusted just right. My hat was blocking the sun perfectly. Yes, I had become the Lone Ranger! Christmas as a 6 year old was perfect for me because I had gotten a Lone Ranger outfit. Looking back I’m sure the mask was cheesy and the guns made that little click noise that didn’t intimidate anyone, but to my 6 year old brain, it was perfect. Watching old Lone Ranger reruns after school, was a regular habit for me. My parents saw this and got me the outfit. The joy I felt on Christmas when I received the gift was incredible and I wore the outfit for days.
Serving others is one of the strongest themes during the holidays. Caring and serving others should be our attitude and focus all year long. Many of us do not carry this theme throughout the year because we get burnt out. We give and give and never replenish ourselves. This causes us to take time for self-care, which is very healthy. However, it becomes unhealthy when we use being burnt out as an excuse to become selfish. So what is the difference between healthy self-care and unhealthy selfishness? Let’s compare the two and make some observations.
I am thankful that I live in the United States. During the craziness of the presidential election this year, I noticed a trend of people being quick to tear down the United States and I felt frustrated. We are not a perfect country, but what country is perfect?
There seems to be a pressure our society has to focus on the negatives of the USA and forget the positives. I wanted to highlight a few simple reasons I am thankful for the USA.
Recently I was at an event that had a bunch of food trucks serving people. All different types of food trucks were there and the event was full of all different types of people. While standing in line, I noticed how all the different types of people were connecting. Whether it was a line for all beef hot dogs with a myriad of toppings, funnel cakes with powdered sugar, or crawfish etouffe, everyone was connecting over their love of food.
The imaging was incredible. The picture was clear and you could see it layer by layer. The only problem was the content of the picture. We were looking at a picture of my wife’s brain tumor. Our life of faith just hit a time of chaos.
A few months ago my wife was diagnosed with a brain tumor and it required surgery to remove the tumor from the upper part of her brain. The surgery went well, but then they told us the results of the lab tests, cancer. Brain cancer is not something we were expecting.
“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin
Ben Franklin was certainly speaking truth with this statement. Tax season is never fun, but it comes every year whether we like it or not. Ben Franklin knew that the government’s obsession with our money would never end. The other item he mentioned is a topic we actually try not to think about. Death is not a very fun topic, but it has a way of sharpening our view. Death always brings reflection and helps to bring us back into focus.
Last year I was at a funeral for one of my wife’s friend’s father. The funeral was somber yet his death was not totally unexpected so the atmosphere was one of hope. During this experience, some thoughts came to my mind that brought some perspective to my life:
It is strange how certain memories stay with you with each of your children. With my son, I can remember like it was yesterday us driving together to peewee football practice with the windows down listening to “Jefferson Airplane” by Reliant K. With my daughter, it is dancing with her at her big end of the year dance recital. They had all the dad’s do this and we felt like dorks, but the memories were more than worth it!
We are on the second week of the Journey to the Center of You Child. These two blogs are to help you as a parent have some key areas to focus on with your children. In the last blog we talked about, being excited with your child and making security your focus. We will end the series this time focusing on
I was scared out of my mind. My wife and I had just had our first child and the feelings of panic were already welling up inside of us. Driving home from the hospital with our first child felt like a scene from a movie. We kept looking in the back seat and saying two things:
- It’s Alive!!! (kudos to old Frankenstein movies)
- What have we done?
That was the beginning of the journey and it has been a real journey. We now have one in college and the other who will graduate from High School next year. We have a strong relationship