Category Archives: Christian Living

Hair Today, Grace Tomorrow

Battles

You have probably heard it said before, but sometimes you have to pick your battles. At least that’s a common saying when it comes to parenting. Of course, there are sometimes when the battle chooses you, but for the most part, we can decide which battle should take priority. When it comes to my daughter getting her hair cut, well, I’ve decided that is a battle I am willing to invest few resources.

The other day my youngest, Haley, came to me and told me that she wanted to have her hair cut – and I mean CUT! I must admit, the idea of my beautiful little girl having her pretty hair scissored from her head made me sad. On the other hand, I was not as mournfully brokenhearted as Katie, Haley’s older sister. But, when she explained to me why she wanted it cut, and what she wanted it to look like, I just said, “OK, whatever makes you happy.”

However, since we are talking “battles,” don’t think “whatever makes you happy” will always be my response – no sir! Like I said, there are some battles worth fighting, it’s just that this one was not it. I mean, should she have come to me and asked if she could get her hair nearly shaved off and spiked and colored purple? Uhh, no. That wouldn’t have happened. And should she have come to me and asked for a tongue stud, or a tramp stamp… you get the picture… NO! And I would fight those battles.

Believe me, there are FAR more battles worth waging on behalf of our children, far more than ones over how short their hair should be!

But all Haley wanted was to have her pretty hair cut and styled shorter…and I wanted her to be happy…and there was really nothing wrong with what she was wanting to do. It was just hair – it can grow back.

Grace

But here’s the thing, folks. Should my little Haley gone out and done something that made me angry, something of which I would have strongly disapproved, would that have changed the fact that she is my daughter?

NO! Absolutely not!

If Haley had gone and got that tattoo on her back, or the nose ring, or the spiked hair…or far worse…yes, I still would have loved her, even though, as her dad, I would have been ticked. I would have been disappointed for my own reasons, but I wouldn’t have kicked her out of the house; she’s my daughter.

And that’s the thing about real grace. God loves us enough to let us live, even if our life choices prove to be out of step with the norm, or not what others would like. We are not talking about sin, but individual choices and decisions of life, where there is no real right or wrong, just the opportunity to offend or hurt. God’s grace allows us to be ourselves, within his boundaries, because He actually DOES want us to be happy.

Thankfully, though, when the choices of a believer DO cross the line and become sin, our Heavenly Father may be quick to discipline us, but He never stops loving us…we are family…we are His children.

So, the hair may be gone today, but grace isn’t.

How It Happened – In Pictures

 

Here is Haley, hair intact, with the Follicle Vampire about to strike.

Here is Haley, hair intact, with the Follicle Vampire about to strike.

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I had to keep reminding myself it could grow back. On the other hand, I could make a wig out of that!

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The finished product: A selfie-worthy cut on a beautiful daughter.

 

 

 

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Filed under grace, legalism, Parenting, Relationships and Family

An Embarrassing Reminder

I was planning on sharing something different this morning, but then I read another post (from Matthew Winters) that changed my mind.

I won’t go into detail, for, as truth would have it, the Devil is in the details; I will just give you a thumbnail sketch of what happened to me a couple of hours ago.

Early in the morning hours I made a call over the radio on my school bus. It was not a serious call, just one to add a little humor into the day. I called into my dispatch (everyone could hear this) and said, “All of my elementary students are acting right for a change…please advise.” After a silly reply or two, a serious voice came over the radio from the head boss, the manager of the whole show, and asked to see me in his office when I got back to the lot.

Why did he want to see me? Well, it was nothing important, at least nothing I need to recount here. However, for an hour I had to think about what it was that he wanted to see me for. I kept thinking to myself, “What did I do?”

It wasn’t long before I was considering how I would explain to my wife and family my firing. How would we make it? How would I pay the bills? It’s already tough at the moment, but what would I do now? I was literally ready to hear the words, “We are going to have to let you go,” and I hadn’t a single reason.

I was shaking. I was nervous. I was fearful. I was ashamed of myself. I was faithless.

Once the short meeting was over, my boss, a Christian guy, asked me, “So, you still looking for a new church to pastor?”

I left his office feeling like a fool. I left embarrassed. I left with only one short prayer on my lips…”I’m sorry, Lord.”

This is how Satan attempts to defeat the children of God. He accuses, even when there is nothing for which to answer! He makes us look for wrong in ourselves, judge ourselves unjustly, and forget that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and watches over us. He seeks to destroy our faith with fear: fear of the unknown; fear of what doesn’t even exist.

In my weakness, partly because I didn’t start my day with prayer, I fell victim to the enemy’s lies and nearly defeated myself.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

“…I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – Matthew 28:20

Next time the devil starts whispering those accusations in my ear, let me be reminded Who’s side I’m on and Who has already won the victory for me. That might save me some embarrassment when next I fall on my knees.

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Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, Depression, Faith, Life Lessons

Misinterpreting Affection

This morning, while sitting in the parking lot of where I work, I wrote on a piece of lumber I still had in our van. 


I sent the picture, via text, to my wife. 

Valerie then responded with the following hand-written text…


Unsure how to interpret that, I responded with…


Maybe it would have been better if my loving, yet nauseated wife could have sent two separate texts. 

At least I think I understood what she was saying… Anyone else have an opinion?? 

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Filed under Humor, Marriage, Relationships and Family

Monday Monkey “Valentine’s Day Song” (Episode 15)

Since I couldn’t get anyone to be my actors and actresses in Wally-Mart, I decided to just draw my own music video.

A few years ago I wrote this song, Try Me, for my wife, Valerie. Yesterday was her birthday, and tomorrow is Valentine’s Day (the holiday she was named after), so I thought it would be appropriate to break out this older post (from 2012) featuring Mr. Monkey.

It is a Monday, you know.

If you’d like for me to perform this song at your next party, just give me a call 🙂

“Try Me”

Oh, by the way, my song IS protected under copyright laws, even though James Brown had a song by the same title back in the 1950’s.

 

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Filed under General Observations, Humor, Monday Monkey, music, Relationships and Family

Happy Birthday, Valentine!

valerieToday is my wife’s 50th birthday! Yes, she is 50, and I don’t care to tell people about it.

Does she care? I don’t think so. Why? Because she is the type that constantly quotes the words of Paul to the Thessalonians…she even concludes her emails with these verses:

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

So, Happy Birthday to Valerie (because she was born so close to Valentine’s Day), the greatest Valentine a man could have ever received!

“Happy birthday, you’re so nifty, even if you’re hitting fifty! / Valerie, my Valentine, I’m so very glad you’re mine!”

Cheesy poetry is better than no poetry, right?

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Filed under Christian Maturity, Marriage, Relationships and Family

Which Would Surprise You More?

It may come as no surprise to you that I have some pretty unique students who ride my school bus. I’m sure the same could be said for any school bus.

However, today, following a conversation in which a middle school girl was laughing about some creepy things she’d done, like stabbing her stuffed frog, I posed a question to the students surrounding her.

“Of the following,” I asked, “which of these two things would surprise you more if you found out they were true about (the girl)? First, that she had a bedroom full of unicorns and rainbows, and that she wrote poetry about flowers… Or, secondly, that in her bedroom she had a black pot, under which sat a burner…and that she used the pot to boil water, into which she would put the severed extremities of creatures she gathered from outside after midnight while her parents slept?” 

“Unicorns and rainbows,” replied the other students. A creepy cackle of approval came from the seat behind me. Then she added, “But the poetry could have been about dark, magical flowers that kill.”

Uh, yeah. 

Anyway, this got me to thinking. What would surprise you more, if you heard it about me? 

  1. That I could bench press 500 pounds, or…
  2. That my biceps look like chicken thighs.

How about this?

  1. That I have a fondness for burning things, or…
  2. That I have a fear of getting burned. 

Now, try these on for size. Which would surprise you more?

  1. That I was a spy for the U.S. government, or…
  2. I was a draft dodger. 

You see, how we answer these questions reveal our perceptions of people. So, here’s one more. Which would surprise you more if you learned it to be true about me? 

  1. That I’ve never offended a single soul with my preaching, or…
  2. That someone got so offended by something I preached that he left the church and personally threatens me…and he wouldn’t be the last. 

I hope you picked #1 on that one (read John 15:18-20). Otherwise, I need to reevaluate what I’m doing. 

Why not give it some thought and ask others some questions about yourself? You might be surprised with their answers. 

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Filed under Christian Living, Christianity, General Observations, Life Lessons, Uncategorized

When Tomorrow Is Sunday

Never forget that the arguments, the hurt feelings, the illnesses, the stresses, and the pains that hit seemingly out of the blue are not coincidence when tomorrow is Sunday.  – A. Baker

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Filed under Christian Living, Christianity, Church, Life Lessons, ministry, Preaching, Relationships and Family