When our girls were much younger, we were grateful to be far from our hometown, if anything to be away from some of the negative influences at home, the ones I grew up with. My dad liked to tease, though he did so not maliciously. It was just his way.
Maybe you've seen those inspirational tips-for-life kind of posters. Things like "do less," "accept what you have," and "enjoy the journey." Well, I'd like to add a trite saying of my own. Or maybe I took it from somewhere else, I don't know. Whatever the case, here goes ...
Sometimes I talk too much. I “say what I will” too often perhaps. Some have pegged me as quiet and even introspective. Maybe I am a little. I can sit in a meeting and listen to discussion, mulling things over before giving my opinion or offering a different idea. Other times I lead the discussion and should probably shut up and stop stifling creativity. We all could probably stand to say a little less.
Artists can be so hard on themselves. I believe this accompanies artistic talent, pushing us to reach for higher heights in art. And as Christian artists, we should want, like court musicians, to play our best for our great King and Master Artist. If not for perfectionism would any of the great artists (musicians, painters, writers, poets, dancers, actors, photographers, sculptors, etc.) have produced the masterpieces we treasure today? If not for perfectionism, wouldn’t art be mediocre? Wouldn’t all singing be a karaoke performance?
Hedonism, the pursuit of satisfaction and happiness any way possible, doesn’t satisfy. Neither does religion, which is like stagnant water. Religion convicted her of her hedonistic lifestyle, providing her with ample guilt to keep her devoted her entire life—and empty. But the reality of guilt and the emotion of guilt must lead somewhere other than religious exercises. So she brought her guilt to Jesus, and he overturned the verdict and began the process of eradicating her burden of guilt.
I posted on Twitter several weeks back that we’ve been working with the Monkey on potty training and that a boy first hears his father say “I’m proud of you” after a successful effort on the toilet. Even more, I think the father learns to say those words in such an intimate moment with his boy (or girl). If a dad isn’t around during those early years, whether because he’s actually gone or just too busy, then he may never learn to tell his kids he’s proud of them.
Sunday afternoon in our home has a feel and a sound to it. Sadly, I know too many people who fill their weekends with nonstop activity, whether because they’ve taken on too much labor and activities or don’t know how to rest. Living life with no periods. For us, Sunday afternoon is a nice three-hour period. A punctuation mark to end the week.
I started playing tennis as a 12 year old. I spent summers at the public tennis courts in Yuma, Arizona, drinking water that tasted like felt. We would fill up tennis ball cans with cold water from a drinking fountain. That felt water was how we endured the 110+ degree heat.
My first experience playing in a real rock band, though not a very good one, was in the orchestra pit for the musical Godspell, my senior year in high school. We weren't actually in the pit. We played onstage in the back, behind a chain-link fence, the same fence on which they hung Jesus, who was a good friend of mine but not a good actor. Not the real Jesus, who is also a good Friend of mine and could probably play Himself as a hippie pretty well.
Last year I became a statistic. I’m sure I was already one of some sort. You probably heard of the tens of thousands who lost their jobs due to the recession, or at least under the guise of the recession. Whatever the case, I found myself with a few months, the length of my severance,…