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All I Need

We have moved into our new, temporary abode, but I don’t have my computer set up. My wife does, but she’s more important than me – she does taxes. 
So, the following is either being written or texted by voice on my iPhone, therefore please forgive me if there are any errors.

Anyway, the last night that I stayed at the house where we used to live, I slept there with hardly anything in the house that belonged to us; most everything except bulky stuff had been boxed up and hauled away. 

I looked over into the open closet, and there was nothing there but one set of clothes and a pair of shoes that I was going to wear the next day.

I looked up from the bed that I was lying on and saw the ceiling above me, keeping the rain that was falling hard outside from falling hard on to me. 

Downstairs there was a refrigerator with a little food in it, just enough to make some breakfast and maybe a little extra.

I had running water, electricity, heat, and locks on the doors. 

It was as I was looking around at the near-empty rooms, something very important struck me: I really had all I needed.

I mean, what more did I really need? I had food, shelter, security, a place to sleep, clothes, and probably a few other things that I didn’t notice. With everything gone from the house, I still had everything I needed.

That made me ask, “Why do I have all that other stuff in the first place?”

It made me realize how rich I really am. Take everything away and an “empty” house is not as empty as I thought. 

That’s when I started thinking about Jesus. When everything is gone I still have him, and he’s really all I need.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” – 1 Timothy 6:6-8

Are you rich? 

Are you content? 

Do you have Jesus? 

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Filed under Christian Maturity, Christianity, General Observations, God, Life Lessons, salvation, worship

Childhood Wisdom?

Listen to the Children

I will never forget a commercial I saw on television. It was a long time ago, and I still get irritated. The main line that was repeated over and over was, “Listen to the children.”

Oh, it was one of those environmental, tree-hugging commercials that had little kids instructing adults how to live their lives. One little girl would say something like, “Don’t make me starve,” while another little boy would go on about how eating at McDonald’s would ruin the earth’s water supply – or something like that.

Anyway, every time a toddler would voice her scripted opinion a deep, male voice would echo in response, “Listen…to the children.” Yes, adults should listen to a 5-year-old because of her years of accumulated wisdom untainted by experience.

What Do they Say?

If we to listen to the little crumbcrunchers long enough, we will hear things like:

  • screaming kid“I don’t want to eat that, Mommy! I want cake!”  Listen…to the children.
  • “I don’t want to take bath!” Listen…to the children.
  • “If I was president, I would make everybody happy and would never have school and make parents buy every kid a unicorn and never have to go to bed and make the world like warm all the time with snow all year.”  Listen…to the children.
  • “O – ba – ma! O – ba – ma!”  Listen…to the children echo their teachers.

AND did you know that children have figured out the whole gender (man/woman) thing? Believe it or not, according to the kids on my school bus, girls are smart, but boys are stupid. Here’s how they describe the difference:

Girls go to college to get more knowledge.

Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider.

Girls go to college, but boys go to Jupiter. Hmmm…may we ponder that for a moment?

  • What type of intelligence was required to put man on the moon?
  • Methane and ethane make up a tiny proportion o...What type of brain power was needed to land an un-manned rover on Mars?
  • What kind of genius will it require to send man four times the distance to the sun in order to view up-close the deadly storms of Jupiter?
  • Stupid boys can go to Jupiter while girls are still fighting over who should be sorority president – and who’s stupider?

Train ‘Em

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” I gather from this verse that it is therefore the responsibility of the older, wiser, more responsible parent to teach the child.

They should listen to us. But what are we teaching?

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Filed under Christian Maturity, Parenting, Relationships and Family

I Live With Animals

 

Today I am up a little later than usual, because it is Saturday. It is nearly 10 a.m. at the time of this writing and I am just now finishing an egg, cheese grits, and my first cup of black coffee (in my TTU mug).

I sat down at the computer for a few moments in order to study for tomorrow’s Proverbial Thought post on Proverbs 14:3. Then, as I read the next proverb, 14:4, an additional thought came to mind…

I live with animals, and I’m glad.

Furry and Furless

Animals. Now, when I say, “I live with animals,” don’t get the impression that I live in a barn, although barns are pretty nice if you remodel them. The animals I am referring to are not only the the four-legged, flea-bearing, shoe-chewing canine types, but the 2-legged, child-bearing, shoe-buying female types.

Barns. Sometimes I really do think I am living in a madhouse. Other times I feel like I am living in a barn of the un-remodeled style. But most of the time I am cognizant (I went to college) of the fact that animals of all kinds make messes. Whether they be furry or furless, you can tell where animals live.

Qualifying “Messes”

Before I get into trouble, let me qualify what I meant by “messes.” My children, my wife, and I do not leave the same kind of messes lying around the house that our four-legged barn-guests are capable of. We know how to use our indoor plumbing.

The kind of mess I am talking about is just the stuff that comes as a result of living a hectic life. For example, clothes aren’t always put away; dishes get piled up; the kitchen table is a community desk; and a remote-controlled helicopter is in the china cabinet (that’s my fault…along with the clothes, dishes, and table).

But what if these messes weren’t there? What if everything in the house looked like a picture from Martha Stewart’s fake family album? Without at least some of the mess, home would be nothing more than a sanitary stable or a clean crib – and that could be bad.

Too Clean

Proverbs 14:4 says, “Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.” The New Living Translation puts it this way: “Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.” In other words, a clean stable might be nice, but that’s not always a good thing.

This proverb is trying to tell us that in order to have the grain to make a mess, you need the messer-uppers to harvest the grain. Without the messer-uppers in the stable there will be no harvest – so quit complaining.

A strong family is a family that lives like a family, not like legalistic representation of perfection. It’s nice to have a clean house, for sure. Yet, I would rather live with a bunch of animals (myself included) in a happy barn, than like a white mouse in a sanitary laboratory.

As soon as my wife and daughters read this, my funeral will be a simple affair.

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Filed under animals, Do not judge, Homeschool, Relationships and Family

A Poem for Friday

A few minutes ago, a couple of hours since the sun peeked over the mountains and began its job of drying up the dew, I stopped by A Sojourner’s Voice. There, Robin Lawrimore posted a poem about the morning. That got me to thinking. Maybe I should write one, too.

“It’s Friday”

Eight a.m. waking up in the morning
Gotta be fresh, gotta go down stairs
Hot cup of tea, butter on raisin toast
Plagiarize a song by a girl with Black hair.
 
Got a mid-term that’s due tonight
Seminary’s really try’n to kick my buns.
Still gotta finish a honey-do list
Being out of work is fun, fun, fun!
 
Friday! It’s Friday! Out of work this Friday!
Studying and reading. Gettin’ ready for this Sunday.
Friday, Friday, gettin’ down on Friday.
Need to exercise and take my morning multi-vitamin for men.
 
Wife stayed up for two days straight
Now’s she’s in bed and can’t stay awake
Gotta figure out what’s wrong with her
Don’t know if much more she can take.
 
Daughter wants to ride her bicycle
Wants me to ride mine with her, too
Maybe I should finish this poem right now.
Daddy, pastor, student’s got a lot to do!
 
Friday! It’s Friday! Mail will come this Friday!
Maybe a check’s in the mail that’ll let me tithe a lot this Sunday.
Friday, Friday, gettin’ down on Friday.
Need to pray a lot and take my morning multi-vitamin for men.

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Filed under fitness, Humor, poetry, Relationships and Family, Uncategorized

Happy Mother’s Day ;-)

It’s Here

If you are one of the unlucky, unfortunate, or predestined to be elected to forget Mother’s Day, I’m sorry. Either by choice or design, you should have marked your calendar and set an alarm.

However, if you forgot, there may be hope (if you are a subscriber to this blog and read your email). Because this is being posted so early in the morning, you should have time to do some stuff before you see your mother (or your children’s mother), either at church, dinner, the nursing home, Wal-Mart, or place of incarceration.

A few last-minute suggestions…

  1. Get up right now, put down your smart phone, or stand up from your computer, and make her (your mother/wife) breakfast. You may even have time to brush your teeth before you say, “Good morning!” Or….
  2. Quickly sneak out of the house and drive to your nearest 24-hour gas station (that’s petrol, for you Brits). There you should locate a fine selection of plastic-wrapped silk roses (to keep them fresh), Doritos, lottery tickets, “genuine” lead crystal figurines, and NASCAR air fresheners. Or….
  3. Draw a hand-made card in an attempt to appear sweet and child-like to cover the fact you forgot to buy one. Then, when you give it to her, create a story about how you “can’t wait till she gets her surprise.” That will give you time to figure out where you are going to take her to eat, and how much you want to spend. OR….
  4. Learn the following song that I wrote just for mothers. She will love it. “Mother’s Day” 

But Seriously

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised (Prov. 31:30 ESV). May all mothers strive to fit that description.

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Filed under America, Christian Maturity, Humor, music, Uncategorized

Monday Monkey “The Mirror” (Episode 20)

Can you believe this is the 20th episode of Monday Monkey?!

Woo Hoo! Let’s go swing from a tree! Or a light fixture. Anyone have cake? A card with money?

Anyway, I have been under a lot of deadlines, so I apologize for no video over the last few weeks. This one was just thrown together, though. I knew I had to post something, or my fans might seek other monkeys on Monday. Wouldn’t that be a shame?

The Mirror

http://youtu.be/T_dWQGN1rEo

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Filed under Humor, Monday Monkey, Preaching

The Worst Field Trip Guide

The Trip

Today I transported 80 kindergarteners on a field trip to a mountain forest. Do you have any idea how loud 80 excited 5-year-olds can get when confined in a 40ft.-long steel box on wheels?

Teacher Talk

Anyway, I couldn’t help overhear the advice school teachers were giving to the little crumb crunchers. One warned, “Don’t pick anything up from the ground; you won’t be able to keep it, anyway.” Another said, “Don’t bounce on the swinging bridge; just look over the side.”

However, the best piece of advice was clear enough: “Do NOT get off the trail!” But I spoke up and said, “‘Cause if you get off the trail, we might have to send the dogs after you.”

Who knew the little girl was afraid of dogs? I didn’t! Cry baby.

Bad Advice

So, that got me to thinking: what would be the worst advice to give 80 children before a trip into the woods?

  • Don’t worry about your lunch box, the forest is full of pretty berries.
  • As long as the animal is smaller than you, go ahead and pet it. It won’t mind.
  • Hey, bounce on the swinging bridge…it’s just like a trampoline.
  • Of course! Rules are meant to be broken.
  • Bears? What bears? This is Tennessee, kid. We don’t have bears. You’re thinking of Chicago.
  • I don’t care what your mom said, poison oak is a hoax. Don’t your parents have oak furniture? Does it make you itch? See, she lied.
  • Who can get closest to the edge?
  • Whatever you do, don’t stay on the trail. Trails are for babies.
  • Snakes are overrated, misunderstood jump ropes.

Best Advice

Fortunately, when it comes to the wilderness of life, there is One who always gives good advice. He teaches us to stay on the path that He has already walked. He warns us of things that can harm us. He can even tell the difference between good and bad fruit trees.

Psa 23:4 – Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Matt 4:19 – And he saith unto them, Follow me….

Here’s a link to my other blog, i4Daily. There’s a nice picture of the swinging bridge.

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Filed under Christian Maturity, Life Lessons, Uncategorized