Monday, July 30, 2012

You may not always be popular

I have longed been a fan of Davy Crockett. I can remember from my history classes on Texas history, how brave men fought Santa Anna at the Alamo.

Even to this day, I can quote most of the song of the 50's television show along with its variants where Fess Parker fought many a wrong and gave boys a picture of what being a real man was to be.

Be always sure you are right - then go ahead.
Davy Crockett

Fame is like a shaved pig with a greased tail, and it is only after it has slipped through the hands of some thousands, that some fellow, by mere chance, holds on to it!
Davy Crockett

I believe, really believe that we need to stand up and voice our opinions. If you truly believe in what is in your heart then it needs to pass your lips. A man stands by his convictions, is willing to take the unpopular stance and ready to fight both politically, socially and yes physically for his rights.

Let me explain why I am in an unpopular position with my extended family. Being a father of four children ten and under, I know that these kids need to be stimulated and need to be able to play. To keep them confined and forbid them from being able to play for an extended time period will turn to be a huge whine-fest and in turn a ruination of what would be just another bad holiday experience.

Our normal plan is to go across town and have dinner with the wife's parents or at my Dad's before he passed last year. Neither of the extended family is conducive to a bunch of kids. Rarely enough room for the kids to play or keep them entertained which results in a stressful dinner prep experience. A painful table sitting experience often leaving family in anger because they didn't get their 'ideal' seat while the children sit around a small table with their heads lurched forward in an effort to avoid the chair of the adult at their back.

Post dinner, kids are rarely sensible enough to sit at the table long enough for the adults to finish. Normally they shovel down the rolls, a few scoops of cranberry sauce and they are ready to do something else. Spongebob must be on right?

Honestly, kids want an outlet. They want something that engages and entertains them. To center an event or holiday solely around a meal and you lose a connection with the children you have drug to the grandparents.

So being the absolute harborer or doom that I am, I made a suggestion. Nay, I recommended a change from our normal Thanksgiving dinner. I suggested that the holiday dinner be held at my house. For one, my house is already set up for kids with plenty of room for extra tables to be set up for dinner. My basement is setup for a martial arts school so it is safe to send the kids to get rowdy downstairs. We could easily set up a projector for the kids to watch a movie or play a video game.

My first conversation with the elder patriarch of my wife's family resulted in agreement that it would be alright to make this change and 'see how it goes.' Now, this was of course a two days prior to Thanksgiving. Since we all live in roughly the same area, a venue change was really not a difficult or improbable task.

The core of my reason for the change was for the kids. Kids can play and have plenty of room to run around and get goofy. There would also be plenty of room for the adults to enjoy time with one another and not literally be on top of one another. With my house as the choice for the Holiday, it makes everyone's interaction with each other longer and much more pleasurable. People could come early, use our kitchen if necessary and of course stay late.

This is not possible with the original location. Sadly, the following day 'thanksgiving eve' we received a call of how 'certain' individuals were quite unhappy with the situation and that a compromise was necessary in order to appease those who I (yes me) have offended.'

The compromise was that one family (the one with three kids) could come and visit early at my house and 'hang out' until dinner time. Then at the allotted hour, everyone would travel to the patriarch's house for the consummation of vast painstakingly made food. Post meal, people could travel back to my house for a couple of hours to visit.

The complaints were many....

1. No way... .you can't change things this late in the game
2. Your house has allergens (aka Molly the Mutt) and if people (two specifically) stay more than a couple hours they have head aches.
3. You are being selfish
4. What is wrong with our house, you make it sound like we live in a slum

You see, a compromise should be a win win for everyone involved. In actuality this compromise would in my opinion ruin this Holiday. You see those who are actively cooking will want to keep cooking and not be involved with the family get together. That is the crux of their problem with my suggestion. People wanted to cook at the Patriarch's house and the thought of bundling the dishes of food together was too much to bare. However they forget the difficulty in bundling and herding of kids. Of course we are expected to bring dishes of our own to the meal. Having the dinner at the patriarch's would leave the patriarch and his culinary prodigy tasked with cooking and really not wanting to be involved with the family (while cooking) in the first place.

So, putting hardships on the children and those families involved is more important during this holiday? I do not see it this way. This compromise wasn't really one at all. It would have forced our children to be uncomfortable for several hours just so that we can sit around a table to eat food. Little to no real conversations would be had because we would be all worried about keeping the kids under control or trying to help those preparing food at the last minute.

Thanksgiving becomes a stress fest.

So I made a stand. I shared with Jennifer my concerns about what the compromise really means for me and the family. How this actually puts more stress on the situation than the original. That a complete change of opinion, a reversal if you will based on some rather absurd objections what not what was best for me and our family.

So a late phone call with the Patriarch was made by me. We discussed, somehow everything was my fault and I was 'being selfish' because I was unwilling to agree with the compromise. In the end, I decided on a quiet, peaceful Thanksgiving at home with the wife and kids.

Believe it or not, we feel much better about it. We have enjoyed playing games with the kids, watching classic movies on the television and drinking coffee and hot apple cider.

While I may not be popular with Jen's family this day. As for me and my house, we are going to stand by what we feel is right.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Back again....

I took some time off as I was making some personal changes. Namely location of where I am staying during the week which brought much difficulty getting myself connected. On top of that, I need to refresh myself and remain focused on what is important.

This blog is important and something I will continue to build. I simply needed the time to get myself back into a place where I could support writing this blog as faithfully as I wanted to. Now that many of the things holding me back have been removed, I am ready to move ahead!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Give A Car ~ Money Goes To Charity Of Your Choice

Maybe it’s Jesus’ Fault.
Maybe it’s Jesus’ fault.
Maybe He led you to believe it was impossible, when it wasn’t.
Maybe He made you think that His sacrifices were because of his divinity, and not because of His love.
Maybe He made you think that every miracle was heaven sent,
That His strength was built on power, and not love.
Maybe it’s His fault that you didn’t see that pain gave Him strength.
That our pain was His fuel.
Maybe He led you to believe that loving your neighbour was a God given gift, and not something He practised – every single day of His life.

Maybe He showed us what we can’t be.

Or, maybe you’re just making excuses.

Giveacar is a social enterprise that allows each and every one of us to stop making excuses and help those who need it most. Giveacar raises money for many Christian charities by accepting donations of unwanted scrap cars, which are then scrapped or auctioned with the proceeds going to the charity of your choice. Through Giveacar you can be one step closer to living out the life that Jesus wanted us to live, by loving your neighbour, not matter how distant that neighbour may be.

Day 11: Dealing with temptation ~ 30 Days Closer To God


Now there is the proverbial Pandora's box!

Oh no... Let's not talk about that. Nobody wants to share what causes them to want to turn 'to the dark side.'  But as Christians who are FREE in Christ, it is important that we confess them God. It is not that he already doesn't know, it is more of asking forgiveness.

It is like my wife making her nearly world famous chocolate chip cookies for a party with me eating them as soon as they come out of the oven. Little did I know that she intended those cookies to go to a few families in the community who recently moved or had an illness. Here I am so selfish for my wants, that I forget what she intended those cookies for.

I mean, I work long hours... I am Man of Da' House.... Don't I DESERVE a cookie? I mean, it is right there in front of me.... calling out to me. It wants me!

But what if that cookie is a really good looking cookie? A cookie that stands above the rest? What if it had just the perfect amount of chocolate chips, the perfect roundness, and smelled so cookie heavenly? Well... If I cannot eat it, can I at least look at it? Right? There is nothing wrong with looking? I mean it is just a cookie. While perfect in every way, looking doesn't hurt the cookie does it? What if I took a picture of the cookie and kept it on my phone? What if I took a whole bunch of pictures and made a magazine just about cookies? There could be big picture in the center of the magazine just dedicated to this one, perfect, beautiful, cookie...

But now with the pictures on my phone, and now a magazine, all I want is that round perfect chocolate chip cookie. It is consuming me. I must barge into the kitchen and have that cookie. Just a bite.... a nibble.... nobody will notice right?

But it is sooooo goood. It tastes wonderful, I am sure I would have been happy with the other cookies but man this is cookie NIRVANA. It just a split second, I have consumed the cookie. It is no longer perfect, round, or chocolatey. Quite frankly it was good and satisfying.... but look there are other cookies there as well. I mean, one good cookie deserves another right?

You see, in reality.... temptation is like that. Satan tries to find things to lure you to look more than once. Just like fishing, we cast out a lure in hopes to strike a big fish, so does Satan use his tools of the trade to get you to look twice, to dwell on things you know are not healthy, moral or ethical. He likes to bend the lines of justification where it makes it really easy and simple to sin. He does this in hopes that you will bend further down the road when he brings by the right lure at the right time....


He has snagged you. That is why you need to be wary of what tempts you. To confess it, to be honest with yourself and accountable to your brothers in Christ. You may think that lure looks like fish heaven, but another brother who has already suffered from being snagged by the lure can come to your aid and help you identify what is real from God and what is temptation from the world and Satan.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Religion on the brink of extinction?

CNN posted this article that stated that scientists are figuring that religion is on its way of extinction. This of course is based on how people respond to religious affiliation, language and several other factors. They quote large percentages of populations in Eastern European nations are largely non affiliated with a religion.

That doesn't mean they are not religious....

We as Christian men should place our trust in RELIGION, but our faith in the Lord. Our faith defines us, and brings us closer to him. No scientist with whatever measuring tool, could never calibrate the power, the awesomeness and the deity of our God and His Truth he has laid out for us.

Let's not let our faith waiver when the world post silly articles such as these. We know that the world is heading that way. God told us that in his book.  We know the world has to come to that conclusion so that God's word becomes true and the work that he has been preparing for, to come and get his bride.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 10: Following Through And Your Word ~ Thirty Days Closer To God

Honor and Honoring Your Word...

Men, we have a code. Our code is a code of Honor and doing what is right. More important is that we honor our word. Honoring our word is one of the key things we can be measured as men. So often if you are found that you don't honor your word, you quickly lose respect and people are less likely to believe you OR IN YOU.

If your family doesn't believe you, then who will?

Be sure to take time to make your yes's be yes's and your no be no's. If you are not clear, you will quickly find yourself that alone and wondering why you don't have friends or that you don't have people in your inner circle. It is as simple as not making promises that you can't keep. Other examples of being wishy washy. What I mean by that is that you say you are going to help but bail at the last minute.

Sure things might come up. But if you consistently bail on your friends and family when they need you and that you gave your word, you may find yourself separated from those who love you but don't like the way you treat them.

Honoring your word is a key way to learning how to get closer to God. For HE always honors His word.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 9: Forgiveness ~ 30 Days Closer To God


That is a powerful word. It is a word that means that no matter what you have done, you are no longer held accountable to it.

If you lie, it is like it never was spoken.

If you steal, it is as if you never have taken it.

Forgiveness is the 'Mulligan' of the spiritual golf world.

You see as Christians, we are often all too caught up with the 'forgiveness of our sins' so that our spiritual accounting is clean with God. However, Forgiveness is much more powerful than that. We have to learn to forgive ourselves.

Although we try, we will never be perfect. We have to come to grips that God loves us for who we are and who we strive to be IN HIM. Give yourself some slack. No, you are not the perfect person. Yes, you have immoral thoughts. No, you might not have said the right thing at work to your coworker. You simply have to forgive yourself.

Forgiveness is not just for those who you are forgiving... The real power is for you that forgive.