He Builds His Walls

From fear, he builds his walls thick and high,
The child against the world, unloved, unheard,
The search abandoned for acceptance’ embrace,
Still aching to hear the approving parental word.

#poetry #family

USA travels (photos)

We arrived Wednesday at the Nashville airport. Our son Joel picked us up. Before leaving the city, he wanted to lunch at Café Mineiro, a Brazilian restaurant.

The next day I was already speaking at the FHU Lectureship on communication and technology. Our daughter studies here and Joel is a dorm dad, besides his regular day job.

We left temps of 95ºF and were greeted by 30º weather with wind. Jet lag, language switch. All our children came to support me.

And we’re finding time for the grandkids: Continue reading

#family, #missions, #technology, #usa

Investing our time in our children

If I’m flying solo, I can mow our lawn in about 40 minutes.

If I have a “co-pilot” (my daughter), the same job takes me about an hour.

I think the extra 20 minutes will yield plenty of compound interest as I use it to create memories that will last the rest of my child’s life.

Time is the most valuable thing a parent can spend on his or her child. While our culture is currently stressing to the max the importance of investing in/saving up for a child’s future education, I still believe, due to the fact that we cannot get it back, the simplest investment, when it comes to our children, is the most important one that affects the right now – our time!

For us mortals, our time can start getting spread pretty thin if we’re not careful. There are only so many hours in a day after-all. And because of this, often times our children end up getting the short end of the stick … or maybe I should say the sort-hand on the clock, when it comes to the time we have available. I’m sure parents with multiple children and multiple obligations understand this very well. But the fact that we’re mortals stresses the importance even more so when it comes prioritizing the things we do in life; especially when it comes to the way we spend our time, and who we invest it in.

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

#children, #family, #parenting, #time

June 2016 Issue of Christian Worker (Strengthening Families)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • Why Strong Families are Important (Ben Moseley)
  • A Solid, Spiritual Foundation (Cody Westbrook)
  • How to Create a Distinctly Christian Family (Glenn Colley)
  • Husbands, Be Husbands (Jon McCormack)
  • Wives, Be Wives (Luanne Rogers)
  • Training Our Children (Matthew Gibson)
  • Serve the Lord Together (Michael Bonner)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

Copyright © 2016 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#children, #christian-couples, #christian-family, #christian-worker, #christianity, #family, #husbands, #marriage, #parenting, #raising-faithful-children, #wives

A touching moment

Last night was a touching moment as The Missus and I got to do several things at once.

  • For the first time, we watched our daughter Leila, our daughter-in-law Tansy, and Leila’s boyfriend Brandon sing in Chorale’s last performance of the year, held in Old Chapel Hall of the Old Main building of FHU. Just happened to be in the USA at the time.
  • The performance was done especially for Guilherme Luz’s parents, who came from Brazil for his graduation on Saturday. Gee, also a member of Chorale, and Leila are good friends. Some 50-60 people also appeared, mostly students, when the word got out.
  • We were honored to be able to translate conductor Gary McKnight’s introductions of the songs for Dionísio and Vilma, who don’t speak English. They sat between Vicki and me, so we felt their intense emotions at seeing their son perform in the Chorale. We’ve known them for years, but haven’t seen them in a long time.

This is but one of many enjoyable moments we’ve had in the USA. I don’t have any photos of the moment, and Gee hasn’t posted any of his yet. Soon …

UPDATE: Photo at this link.

#family, #furlough, #milestones, #moments

Discouragement, Anguish, the Lord

But I, O LORD, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you. O LORD, why do you cast my soul away? Why do you hide your face from me?  Afflicted and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am helpless. Your wrath has swept over me; your dreadful assaults destroy me. They surround me like a flood all day long; they close in on me together. You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me; my companions have become darkness (Psalms 88:13-18, ESV)

The psalmist clearly is discouraged with the sentiments expressed. It is not unlike how we feel on occasion ourselves. Not knowing the historical context of these words, we might wonder if there was an actual experience in the life of the writer that warranted the Lord’s response along this line, or whether it was just a feeling of discouragement that generated a stronger feeling than actually was the case.

Whichever way it was, the key to this would not be the last six verses, but the appeal to the Lord, even out of perplexity, when discouragement was rampant. To who could the psalmist otherwise turn? Could he have turned to his parents? He could have, but their ability to comfort was for only a little while. Could he have turned to his wife? Assuming he was married, he could have, but that, too, would only last for a little while.

Could he have turned inward and stayed miserable in his anguish? This he did, in part, as you easily read from the Psalm. He knew, however, that was not helpful. No, he turned to the Lord because the Lord is the only answer a person has in life that is greater than life.

When life hits us with a one-two punch there is only one to whom we can turn that will actually pull us through in such dark moments of life. Whatever family can do (will do) will be less than that which the Lord has already done. RT

#discouragement, #distress, #family, #the-lord

Kid's Movie Review

I’m not the biggest fan of Disney animated movies (along with a couple of other animated movie makers whose target is children) for multiple reasons, of which are the adult themed comments that get sprinkled in from beginning to end, but I believe when it comes to Disney’s “Big Hero 6” there is almost a big exception to the last couple of decades worth of rules. When it comes to this movie in particular, you can count me in.

“Big Hero 6” contains a number of opportunistic teaching moments…particularly when it comes to biblical concepts! To me, this is a shocker when you consider that Disney was behind the film. The movie gives parents an opportunity to talk about redemptive and enduring qualities like love and friendship, as well as opportunities to talk about the dangers of anger, hate and revenge; especially the often unintended cost of revenge. And for those of you who are old enough to get what I’m about to say, the end of the movie definitely has an “Ole’ Yeller” feel to it.

The only questionable part, to me, as far as memory goes and as far as a young child is concerned, is a moment towards the beginning when the story gets rolling and the robot begins to illustrate the “hairy effects” of puberty on a young person. This moment pushes the envelope without actually opening it; which is unfortunately something that most, if not all, major animated movie makers seem to enjoy doing. There are several other moments of “childish” humor, but nothing that’s really out of line. The movie is quite clean, even for animated movie standards of late.

In my opinion, on a scale of the famous five stars, “Big Hero 6” gets five out of five stars. If you haven’t seen it, take advantage of this kid targeted movie for some family time on the couch.

If you have seen the movie, share your thoughts about it with other readers.

#children, #entertainment, #family, #movie-review