August 24, 2012
As I was taking our international student to school today I noticed that all the other kids were back to school this week. He goes to a private school that started over a week before public school did. The traffic was heavier and slower thanks to the buses on the road. I was starting to think about letting Freddy ride a bicycle so that I could avoid that morning madness. The way my wife is feeding him, he could use the exercise.
Going back to school always made me sick. I got sick more during the school year than any other time. I never got the kind of sick that made me run a fever, usually it was a stomach ache. Most of the time it was only an 8 hour bug that really seemed to start easing off within an hour of the bus going by my house. My guess is that I was allergic to something at school; probably having to do with those old books.
My mom never posted pictures on Facebook of me going back to school. She didn’t cry and get all emotional either. Well, I did see her laughing hysterically a few times as I looked out the bus window. I don’t remember any parents, “back in the day” posting kids going to school on Facebook. Parents just sent their kids off on the bus or that dreaded 3 mile, uphill walk in knee-deep snow, and then they would all meet to celebrate with moonshine, fresh from the still.
When my kids were young and going to school, we never had to worry about sending them back to school. They never got out of school through the summer. But on the rare occasion that one of them passed a grade and got a break from school, we did not post their pictures on Facebook. To be honest, we did not take many pictures of our kids at all. We figured that because they had to live with us anyway, why create any evidence that could be held against us when they moved out.
Facebook is a great thing. I use it to post my blogs, stalk, I mean, keep up with a few close friends, and find material for my blogs, like thousands of pictures of kids going back to school. I do not believe that Facebook was created for back to school pictures posted by parents. It was created by a college student. College students don’t post anything that parents are proud of, why should parents do otherwise? Facebook should be limited to pictures of those report cards, or, pictures of that letter from the truant officer and/or notice of suspensions that will drive many of you to drinking again. But then again, my parents didn’t post those things about me on Facebook either.
So, rejoice that the little ones are going back to school. Go ahead and post those cute little pictures, we know what is coming later. Those little angels who look so cute now, will be those fallen angels with colored hair, stuff sticking through their nose, and pre-drawn tattoos as they wait to turn 18 and really embarrass you.
I want to leave you with a Bible verse to go with all of this. Philippians 4:4 Always be joyful in the Lord! I’ll say it again: Be joyful!
December 21, 2011
Christmas is a strange time of year. It is the time when most people are the most joyful, and at the same time it can be a time when they are at their lowest. It is a time of giving and receiving and spending time with family and friends. This is the time when we celebrate the birth of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. I would like to share what I get to be a part of every year at my church and I will try to remain as humble as possible, but at the same time I am running over with pride.
We are a medium-sized church of about 150 people and this number changes, lately it has been increasing. We reach a unique group of people, mostly young families and people who do not fit the typical “churchy” crowd. Like their pastor, many of these have been turned off by religion at one time or another and even hurt by the politics that often ruins what church should be. But for whatever reason, God has seen fit to bring us together under the roof of a building and in a church family called The Body, A Church for Anybody.
With the economy being as bad as it is, we find ourselves in fellowship with several families that are struggling to make ends meet and because these are families with kids, it is a difficult time to celebrate Christmas when some may not be able to give gifts to their kids. Giving gifts is a custom of the season that allows us to escape the reality of hard times and focus on putting a smile on the face of children, but when you lose a job or income gets cut, it can be difficult to make this happen on your own. Without a second thought, the people in our church have taken to the spirit of giving and made sure that these kids smile on Christmas morning. There are 5 families that will be blessed by receiving, but probably 20 more that will be blessed by Christmas giving.
One family told me today that they sacrificed giving their adult children gifts, with those adult children’s blessings, in order to provide for another family with children who still live at home. They took the $100 that they would normally spend for those gifts and bought for someone else. Today I was told that they received an unexpected bonus from work that doubled that amount. You just can’t help but think that God was showing how much He likes Christmas giving too.
On Christmas day, we will gather for a morning worship and after church several of us are going out to a restaurant that is open to sing a Christmas Carol and give a gift to those who are working. As grateful as they must be to have a job, it has to be tough to work on Christmas day. So we have been collecting “tips” for about two months now for the purpose of giving to those who are waiting tables and serving others on Christmas day a bit of Christmas cheer that will hopefully make their Christmas sacrifice well worth it. We have chosen a restaurant that only has 5 or 6 people who are working that day and because of the generosity of the people in my church, each person who is working will receive a Christmas card with over $100 in it.
Again, it is hard to be humble when you talk about something that you are involved in, but I am blown away by the love of the people who I serve at this church and it does truly humble me to know them. They love others and show it through their actions and the biggest action this time of year is in their Christmas giving. I love it!!!