Parenting Is A Blood Sport...At Least Today

When I became a parent I was determined to be a perfect parent.  Or least a better parent than mine.  I began to read all the books by pastors and Christian psychologists to help make me a better parent.  But you know what it boils down to:  You pour the kerosene, I'll light the match.  Those books can be relatively useless unless you can get your kids to read them, so they know the way they are supposed to react when you use those innovative methods of parenting.

This morning Katie and I went through a moment in which I would be disqualified as Parent of the Year.  Everything was fine until I asked her to put on her shoes and socks.  She started through the process amiably enough but was having problems with the shoes and began to whine and cry.  Not my favorite characteristic of hers. And it was no wonder the shoes are a year old and too small for her feet with socks.  And since it was cold outside there was no way she was going out without socks.  

I began to help her with these despicable shoes and could not make it any better.  And she whined and cried and whined and cried.  Finally I had enough, I grabbed her, ready to spank her and I stopped.  Never when I'm angry.  Instead I grabbed those evil shoes and threw them into the garbage.  

She was crying still but now she wasn't whining.  I put on her tennis shoes.  We got in the car and I dropped them off at the baby sitters.  I hugged and kissed her good by.  I got back into car hoping that little ball that was sitting in the center of my heart would move soon.  It's going to be a long day.

It's Settled...For Me

I have finally settled it for me, for now.  What is it you ask?  It is election.  I have read extensively over the last few months on this topic of "Limited Atonement."  This is the idea that before time began (you know God created time don't you) God chose those who he would save and those who would condemn to Hell.

In all my humanness, this was something I could not accept.  But ultimately I wanted to know the truth, whether I agreed with it or not.  So I read and read and read some more.

I have ultimately concluded that Jesus died for all knowing that all would not receive Him. 

Now as far as those who disagree with me.  I know that there is no way that was an easy belief for them to accept and I do not believe that there is any apostasy, because while is clear to me, I can see how it could be interpreted differently.

Now to get with spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.

May 21, 2011 - Noah Knew, WeCanKnow! Christ's Return on Judgment Day: May 21, 2011

I have to wonder if people out there are reading the same Bible I am. Things like this makes it difficult to tell people about Jesus.

May 21, 2011 - Noah Knew, WeCanKnow! Christ's Return on Judgment Day: May 21, 2011

Weekend Notes...

It was a very good weekend.  I know that's why you dropped by, to find out how my weekend went.   I can't remember what we did Friday night, and no alcohol was not involved.

Saturday we went to breakfast with my mother-in-law.  She's in her eighties and a good friend recently died, so we just thought she may need some more company.  We hadn't told Katie about Charlie, but she asked and we told her.  She didn't take it extremely well or extremely bad.   She was upset for as long as a five year old can.

We were all in bad need of a haircut so we went to Terri's.  Terri has been cutting my hair on and off for years.  I love her and her husband they've been good friends to me over the years.  I did find out that Mark has been really sick, you will want to add him to your prayer list.

When we got home, Janet and Katie went up to take a nap.  I was left to take care of Sammie.  If she would have gone to sleep so would I.  When Janet and Katie got up, I went up to take one myself.

Saturday evening we went to see the lights in the city park, as usual they were beautiful, and Katie was so excited.  It was fun, but it just shows that she is growing up and fast.  I wish she would slow down somewhat.

Sunday we went to Sunday School and Church.  I went down to help in the nursery, because they were shorthanded.  No kudos here, I missed last week so I owed them.  Janet took notes for me, she never takes notes.  What a great wife!

I ended the weekend by taking three five year old girls to Taco Bell and Awanas.  I'm thinking I'm in need of a psychological examination.

Name Change...

If you read this at all you'll notice I've done a name change for the blog. On a whim I did a Google search for "Two Fathers." It came up with a bunch of sites for homosexual fathers and I didn't think that would fit with my Christian blog. So I decided to change it to Our Rec Room. In our home that's where we watch TV, play games, read, and study. I hope you like the new name. And I hope I get better at writing.

As Much As You…

I met a woman the other day.  I walked past her on my way to lunch.  I knew before I got there who she was, one of the increasing number of homeless around here.  I walked by ignoring, but noticing.

I thought about her while I was getting my lunch and my free pastry.  I wondered what I should do, if anything.  It bothered me that I didn’t do anything.  Should I give her money, or buy her lunch.   If I give her money is that enough.  I didn’t just want to give her money and just walk by.  

I stopped on the way back and talked to her.  I asked her what happened to make her homeless.  Was she getting help from the local churches?  How long had she been homeless?

After talking with her, I gave her a few paltry dollars and walked on, not really feeling great.  She said “God bless you.”  I wondered if what I did was enough.

What’s really funny: I never asked her name…

In His Time

In His time...  Sometimes those word seem so trite.  It's as if we are trying to sound so spiritual, when inside we are boiling over with impatience.  We forget how God has blessed us in the past and how His ways are not our ways.  We live in a fast food society.  There is no such thing as stopping to smell the Roses anymore.  We forgotten how to wait upon the Lord.  But when we do, He blesses us.  He gives us strength and stamina.  He takes us to heights that we have never seen before.  We just need to learn to wait.

This is the lesson that I've learned in our journey to adopt Sammie.  I can remember telling Janet when we were talking about adoption, "I don't see how this is ever going to happen."  I had gotten to the point, that I was just going to give up, and God gave us Sammie.  I am so overwhelmed with the graciousness of God.

My next prayer is that Janet will be able to stay home for the children.  I really don't see how that is ever going to happen.  I'm excited to see how God is going to bring it about.

Frustration

Lately I’ve been frustrated.  Not at anyone thing in particular, but it seems to be about everything.  I have so much I want to do and be and I always seem to come up short.  I know of course, in my head, that I can’t do in my own strength.  I need to wait on the Lord, I really don’t think there’s anything harder.

I really want to be regular on this blog.  I given it to God and I’ve stopped writing.  I think in some way I feel I can’t measure up, but I know the standard.  God doesn’t expect that, he expects obedience, I wonder why I can’t leave it at that.

A Moment of Wonder

I went to wake Katie up this morning and I as I did, I couldn’t help but stop and stare with amazement and wonder.  She was there, so quiet and peaceful.  I really didn’t want to wake her.  It was inconceivable to me that this was the same wonderfully imaginative, rambunctious child that a mere hours earlier was dancing and singing, making Janet a top candidate for Eastern State.
Katie is like that.  She doesn’t really watch TV as much as has it on.  I think she’s seen “Tom and Jerry” about a hundred times. Most of the time she is either engaged in a musical performance the likes you have never seen or some dramatic reenactment of some Barbie movie she has seen more times than there are stars in the sky.
I am constantly being amazed and astonished by her and I’m looking forward to seeing Sammie and her continue to create those moments of wonder.

High Places

Thanks to my wonderful, beautiful wife I was able to go to bed early last night.  I woke up about 3:00 AM to go to bathroom. (I know TMI)  While I was up for that short period of time, I began to think about the books of the Bible I had just finished reading.  I had just finished reading Kings, and it occurred to me that the same theme was rampant throughout the two books.  It would read something like this “And so and so became King and he did evil in the sight of the Lord.”  This usually had something to do with not putting away the high places and sacrificing to other gods.  Every time I read that I would shake my head and think “They are just not getting it.”
But last night I began to wonder if I was doing “evil in the sight of the Lord.”  I began to realize that I sacrificing my time to my other gods, which are television and the things I did on my computer.  It’s not what you think, I like to surf the web and play games.
I don’t think either of those is inherently evil, however if you put them before God then it is sin.  And that’s what I’ve been doing.  My schedule is something like this:  

  1. Get home from work about 4:00 PM.
  2. Eat dinner.
  3. Watch TV until about 9:00 PM.
  4. Read until 9:30 PM.
  5. Read my Bible for 15 minutes.
  6. Pray for 15 minutes.

Do you see the problem here?  And if I were particularly tired, guess what was omitted.
As far as television is concerned it’s not like I was watching anything new or of value.  I have cable and over 200 channels and often we would “there’s nothing on,” but still settle on a rerun of something, rather than turning off the television and reading a book or playing a board game.
Do you have something in your life that you put ahead of God?  I hope and pray that through God we can tear these things down and offer ourselves to God as a “living sacrifice.”

Fatherhood

katie

For those of you who don’t know, Katie is really my granddaughter and that is by my wife’s youngest daughter.  So when Sammie became a part of our family I became a father not in just name alone.

When we brought Katie home I was content to be “Poppa” for her.  When she started to talk she started calling everyone “Mommy,” including me and the other kids in the day care.

As she got older she learned to differentiate names of different individuals, so then I became “Poppa.”  I loved it.

I remember the first time she called me “Daddy.”  We were having a party and she wandered through the house hollering for “Daddy.”  There was no real urgency, she just wanted something from me.  I don’t remember what.

One day I picked her up from daycare and she was having a conversation with one of the other children.  I believe they told her that I was “Poppa” and not “Daddy.”  She turned to me and asked “Are you Poppa or Daddy?”  I said “Honey, I’m whoever you need me to be.”  She turned to the other child and said, “That’s my Daddy.”  I’ve been “Daddy” ever since and glad to be.

Welcome Baby Sammie

KatieandSammie It’s been a long week, but a great week.  Last Monday, the 5th of July,  we made a special trip to Dairy Queen.  The next thing I know Janet’s looking at Stephanie asking her if she needed to go to the hospital.  Stephanie said she wanted ice cream first.

We ordered ice cream and sat down.  After watching Stephanie have a few contractions we knew we needed to move.   We made our way to the hospital and began the wait.  About 7:00 or 8:00 I took Katie home and let her get some rest.

At about midnight Janet texted me that they had decided to do a c-section.  So I got Katie up and we headed back to the hospital.  We arrived at the hospital about 12:30.  Janet came down to meet us and we waited.

Sammie arrived at 12:53 but we didn’t get to see her until the next morning.  But we hung around until about 4:3o hoping to see her.  Finally I took Katie home, but she was up by about 8:30.  She was anxious.

Sammie makes a great addition to the family and Katie loves her immensely.  She is always asking to feed her or hold her.  That’s Katie holding Sammie with Janet’s help.

After five long years we have been blessed with an adoptive child.  I’m glad I didn’t have to wait as long as Abraham.

Time

“I don’t have time.”  How many times have we said that?  I think about that every time I don’t read my Bible, pray, or write this blog.   Janet is always telling me she doesn’t have time for things,  then I ask her how much time she spends watching TV.

To be perfectly fair, if anyone doesn’t have time, it’s Janet.  She goes to bed very early and gets up very early.  She cooks and cleans house.

But I digress. We seem to find time for everything except for what’s we believe is really important.  I’m praying for discipline to start using my time usefully.

The Evil Snooze Button...

Why is it that when you know what is good for you you don't do it?  You may even want to do but you don't. I think it boils down to the passage in Romans 7:

19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

I find it increasingly difficult as the week goes on to get up and have my quiet time.  I heard someone say recently that the "snooze button is evil."  I'm beginning to think they are right.  I set my alarm to get up, I want to get up and have my quiet time, but the snooze button beckons.  Ah, the limited pleasure of an extra 10 minutes of sleep.  But how does that compare to the eternal blessings of spending time with God.  It really doesn't.  I know this in my head.  I know this in my heart.  I know intellectually and I know this experientially, but I still hit that snooze button.  So let me get you to pray for me again  and pray for less slothfulness and more diligence in my quiet time.


It's Critical

Romans 14:10 “Why do you criticize and pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you look down upon or despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.


(12) And so each of us shall give an account of himself - give an answer in reference to judgment - to God.


(13) Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother.” (The Amplified Bible)

I don't normally read the Amplified Bible. I found this after I did a search on a "critical spirit. " Why was I doing a search on a "critical spirit" you ask.  Funny you should ask, I was going to tell you anyway.

It was brought to my attention that I may have a critical spirit.  It was God who brought it too my attention.  I made a grievous error and asked Him to show me my sin.  I say that because, you really can't ask God to do things you really don't want Him to do.  I mean surely I had no sin, right?  Wrong.  Anyway I digress.

Things have been good in my spiritual life, I could feel the moving of the spirit.  But I don't want to rest on my laurels as they were.  So I ask the Lord to help me grow more and to remove all obstacles of my life.  One day while listening to John MacArthur speak, I got out of his sermon that there were those who did experience the joy of the Lord because of a critical spirit.  His words seemed to get louder at that point and it is now the only thing from the sermon I remember.

I've noticed lately that I have become increasingly critical of those around me.  My family, bless them, are some of the ones who have negatively benefited from this criticism.   But they are not the only ones on whom I bestow my critical eye.  It has kept me from rejoicing with those who lives the Lord is working in.

It is my prayer that the Lord with remove this spirit from me and teach me to be an encourager.
 

Moments Like This

Yesterday I got her up and took her to school as I do nearly every morning.  There were a few arguments as usual, but generally a good morning.   I got her to school and said bye to her.  We didn't see each other all day.  It's really not that unusual. 

I finished the day at work.  Called Janet to let her know I was on my way to church, it's Wednesday.  I arrive before they did.   I waited and played on my new Motorola Droid (It's not an advertisement even though I like it).

There's a bang on my window, it's her.  I get out of the car and she says "Hold me!"  I pick her up and receive those wonderful hugs that fathers always dream of.   It is the highlight of my day and I can't wait to see her today.

Better Than I Deserve

You might think from the title that I was talking about what Jesus has done for me.  In most cases you would be right, but today I'm talking about my wife Janet.  I have to tell Janet does not like the spotlight.  She'd prefer to fade into the background and not be noticed at all.  But I can't help but notice her.  I think she is the most beautiful woman on earth.  Which is why I don't understand why I have never written specifically about her.

Janet packs my lunch for me almost every day.  Yesterday she packed me an orange, pretty good isn't it?   Well, when I peel the orange it was moldy on the inside.  I didn't eat it.  I told her about it.  She was shocked and couldn't apologize enough.  I really didn't think there was a need to apologize, things happen.

Today she packed my lunch, and peeled the orange before hand to make sure that it wasn't moldy.  Now you tell me, isn't that better than I deserve.

A Kid at Christmas

I just bought a new cell phone.  I haven’t got it yet.  But I’m very excited, because it’s one of those new fangled droid phones from google.  It’s the Motorola Droid.  I’ve seen them in action and I can’t wait.

It is the only thing in my life that I have ever bought that was top of the line or best in it’s class.  The research says this phone it is.

Okay it’s not the iPhone, but in order to do that I would have to switch carriers and that is something I’m not willing to do.  Besides what does the iPhone have that the Droid doesn’t.

So I’m going to wait patient for the Fedex guy…

Are You a Fanatic?

Years ago (I’m not going to tell you how many), when I was first saved.  I was always reading my Bible.  Everywhere I went I read my Bible I even made some feeble attempts at prayer.  I would try to tell everyone about my faith.  I wanted every one to go to Heaven.  I felt like one of my friends when he said “when the rapture comes I’m going to grab the two closest people and say ‘Do you wanna get saved or do I let go?’”

Over the years, the Bible became drudgery, my prayer life became non-existent, and some folks who called themselves Christian made the rest of us cringe.  Even if they were possibly right.  I used to say  “I’m a Christian, but I’m not a fanatic!” 

Now I think I’ve come full circle.  I would like my prayer life  to be better,  I’m reading my Bible more, and I want my study to go deeper.  I think if you were to call me a fanatic today, I would consider that an honor.

What do you think?

Does Prochoice really mean that?

"I am blown away at the celebration of the violence against women in it." This is a quote from the president of NOW about the Tim Tebow Superbowl ad. I hadn't seen the one on Focus on the Family, so I surfed over to the web site and watched it. I'm not sure I understand her statement. As one facebooker said "The Betty White ad was much more violent."

It's not even a dissenting opinion it's just the Tim Tebow story of his birth. There is even an offering of help for unwed mothers, and a plea not to kill the unborn babies. I was looking for even the slightest thing that could be construed as violence against women. I didn't see it.

It makes me wonder if prochoice really means prochoice or does it mean "I'm prochoice as long as you agree with me, and kill that baby." It seems that there is an inconsistency there.

Snow

I’m sitting downstairs listening to the wind blow through the house.  Janet and Katie are upstairs in bed.  We’ve had at least three snow falls this year and I’m pretty excited about it.  I love snow.  Janet and I keep talking about moving somewhere where there’s more snow.  I doubt we’ll do that, because all of our family is here.

It’s nice to live around family.  Where I grew up, there was no family.  All of our family was over a days ride away.  My friends always had their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents around.  I think it would have been great to have my cousins around.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

Perfection

I want to write often, but I’m always looking for something profound to say.  I do the same thing in my bible study.  I began a study on forgiveness, and I found a simple truth:  “If you don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive you.”  It’s not earth shattering, not profound, it’s just plain simple.

I’m finding I really need to get over myself.  I may not have the talent to be the next great Christian writer, say like CS Lewis.  But my mind really doesn’t work that way.

Since I’m a first-born, I think it boils down to what Kevin Lehman says in his book (I like to read) , I want to do things, but if I can’t do them right I’d rather not do them.

Now I’m going to work on doing them.