Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Everyone has the need to be needed. Everyone has the desire to be wanted by others. Everyone has the compulsion to be appreciated and significant. That is human nature, and don’t say that it is necessarily wrong, or bad. However it is when it gets a certain point I begin to wonder why we are the way that we are. Being significant is a tricky thing, why is a person significant and not another? Albert Einstein, Napelon Bonaparte, Kurt Vonnegut, or Samuel Clemons. All of these men are significant. But many of us, dare say it a majority of us, will never reach the significance of these individuals; myself included. What makes these individuals significant? Is it something that I can take and learn from them to apply to my own life? Perhaps. There are things that I can learn from them that could help me be a better person. But being significant? I don’t know that is something that I think that we have to value on a more individual basis. If I don’t like to write stories about the Mississippi River then I can not be as significant as Mr. Clemons. If I do not want to conquer a large land mass then I can not be as significant as Mr. Bonaparte. If I don’t like scientific theory then I can not be as significant as Mr. Einstein. It I didn’t enjoy creating science fiction stories then I can not be as significant as Mr.Vonegut. So how can I be significant? Perhaps I can be as significant as I can be. But who am I? That is something that each one of us has to answer for ourselves. Each one of us is different, each one of us is significant for who we are. Some of us are fathers, some of us are brothers, some of us are sons. But not all of us are sons, not all of us are brothers, not all of us our fathers. The difficult thing about determining our significance is that it is as addictive as tobacco, and that is from personal experience. Valuing your significance is very often can begin by being big battle with pride, envy, jealousy or any other host of green eyed monsters. Your own significance is never an issue until you start looking around at other people. The moment that you look at others and start comparing yourself to others is when your significance becomes a problem. To everyone living in the state of Ohio I am completely insignificant. I am nothing. But to everyone who lives in my house. Who works in my office or for my company. To those who I serve with at my church. To them I am not inisignificant, I am valued. But why is it in human nature that no matter how many good things we have in life we always look at the others that we don’t have. Everyone wants to be significant, but when it matters when don’t pay attention to the ones that we are significant to already. We focus more on the things that others are valued for and ignore the those that already value us as important.

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To my friends whose last  name is Jones, don’t worry, read on, this post is not about you.  No, this post is about that old saying ‘Keeping up with the Jones’.  That old say that rings true every day when we look around us.  It hit me this morning and I had to stop and catch myself.  

I was taking my Siberian Husky outside before I left for work and I was walking around our yard. Just letting my mind wander for a little while during the time that Sapphire needed to take care of business.  After a 12 hour work day, and staying up till one thirty to finish the work that I didn’t get done at the office after everyone else went to bed, the fresh air, the sunlight and the gentle Tennessee morning breeze was very peaceful.  I let my eyes wander to the bird flying over the tree tops, the squirrel running up the tree, the sound of the creek running over the rock, for a moment I was back in my mountains of West Virginia. Next thing I know Sapphire runs up to me ready to go back into the house, back to reality.  And don’t get me wrong reality is a wonderful place for me!

As I turned to walk back in the house I noticed that my neighbor has cut her grass last night while I was at work.  Her grass is nice and low and trimmed, and while mine it isn’t tall it is taller than hers.  The first thing that jumps into my mind is that I need to cut my grass.  Grass hat I just cut two days ago, and is not in the need of being cut.  Well not at least until I saw my neighobrs yard.  Then occurs to me that her grass is bermuda , and mine is fescue.  And for those of you that don’t have your own lawns to cut; bermuda grass needs to be cut very low and fescue grows best when it is kept taller. 

Why do we do that?  Yesterday morning I was just admiring how green, well cut, and trimmed that my lawn was looking.  But then my neighbors yard on the other side of me was the same cut, but not my other neighbor.  The moment she cuts her lawn I have to immediately cut mine.  We have to keep up with the Jones, don’t we?  Don’t believe watch your neighborhood this weekend.  One lawnmower will start, very quickly there will be another and another.  You think it is because it is Saturday or something, no no.  It is keeping up with the Jones time.  And I can prove it.  Find the yard that the neighbors on either sid e have cut their grass, see how long it takes for him to get that grass cut?

Funny how we always worrying about how someone else’s yard looks as it compares to ours.  Yet our yard isn’t the same grass, with utterly different growth needs, and plans for care.  If we do that with our yards how much more so do we do that with our lives?

Don’t think so? How long does it take for a new fashion to consume you?  Or, for me, how long does it take for the newest technology toy grab your attention? For me usually it is about two minutes after seeing someone else have it in their hands. 

God never told me to worry about what my neighbor has.  Matter of fact remember that old line, don’t covet your neighbor’s house, wife, or anything? Coming back to you, huh?  What is important is my relationship with him and how my life measures up to his standards.  How my lifestyle reflects him.  So when the Jones try to keep up with me, they are actually trying to keep up with Jesus Christ the Messiah.

Who are you keeping up with?

Slap in the face

Posted: February 11, 2009 in Dreams, Faith, Family

Facebook is a funny beast.  We talk about all of these social networking websites that disconnect us from people and remove us from human interactions.  While I don’t argue that these sights, like facebook and myspace, can draw us away from interaction from others.  And I will admit that I am right now sitting in the living room writing this post, and I have facebook pulled up on another tab.  And I have a couple of instant message conversations going with a couple of the kids in the youth group and the head deacon at the church at this very moment. But these sights have a definte upside for people like me. 

Growing up I moved alot.  Until high school I never really lived anywhere long enough to develop a long time friend.  But it took all of about five minutes before I headed off to another town for college. And of course I couldn’t possibly go to school with anyone I knew.  Then after college decided I had to move again.  I have lived in Columbia, TN for six years now, and it is the longest timeframe I have ever lived one place for my entire life.  So facebook and myspace (which I gave up on) have allowed me to reconnect with friends from college and high school and even farther back that I have lost touch with.  To the friends I have reconnected with, I admit that I purposefully allowed those disconnections to happen and for that I apologize.

So yesterday I received a friend request from a high school friend that I have not spoken to since graduation many years ago.  And of course I was glad to receive the request, so I accepted.  Then today I received a message in my facebook inbox from her.  And in the message she complimented me on the life that I had been able to create. But the thing that slapped me in the face the most was the fact that she complimented me on knowing what I wanted back in high school, which was working with youth and also in the church, and then as she wrote, chasing after my dream and achieving them.  That blew me away!

While the compliment was extremely nice it made me stop and think for a moment. In high school there was one thing that I wanted to do with my life. And that was to work with youth and the church in some way.  I knew that with all my heart, and if you asked me what would make me happy it would to be doing just that, no matter what.  And low and behold many years later, that is exactly what I am doing.  Yet I forgot that was my dream!

I had gotten so caught up in what I don’t have, or what I want that I taughtly missed the wonderful things that I have in my life. And the dreams that I have acheived.  A simple comment from a long lost friend and it made my heart soar.  I drove back to work from having lunch at the house and just had to sing praises to God the whole way back.  The car is the only place I am allowed to sing as no one has to be tortured by my singing.  How quickly we get lost in the things we don’t have or want and miss the wonderful dreams that are coming to life everyday in your daughter’s laughter, your wife’s beautiful smile, the sight of your home after a long day.

Thank you God for the dreams come true that you have given me! The dreams are to many to list! You truly are a wonderful and might God!

Do we need a sign for that?

Posted: June 21, 2008 in Family
Tags: ,

Tonight my wife, my daughter and myself walked into one of our favorite restaraunts.  Now I am not going to say what restaraunt it was because some of you might know it.  Let’s just say that is our favorite Chinese buffet. 

On the front door is a sign saying ” Parents please keep an eye on your children at all times”.  Now from the restaraunt’s point of view this is probably a neccessary sign.  Inside the restaraunt they have a huge pond that has the really big gold fish. This pond is big enought that it has a bridge that you can walk across to get to the other side.  It just screams for kids to come play in it.  And obviously many have headed the call.  But the sign, parents please keep an eye on your children at all times.

Is that a message that should be said.  Should that not be a foregone conclusion.  Or is that an issue that as a nation, and as a world we have allowed to become a problem.  We don’t watch our children. We allow them to be entertained by television. And never ride a bike.  We allow them to learn how to play a video game before they can play T-ball.  We have not kept our eye on our children at all times and now they are growing up and other things are keeping an eye on them.

Our children are our future.  I know it is a corny saying that is used way to much, but none the less it is true.  If we don’t raise them up in a Godly manner, instructed by the Bible and prayed over constantly then we aren’t keeping an eye on our children. And our enemy is keeping an eye on them. He is waiting for us to look away so that he can pounce in like a lion.  And he will keep an eye on them as he devours them.

So the restaraunt sign is my message. Parents keep an eye on your children at all times.