Category Archives: General
For one thing I have three blogs and am adding a fourth. That’s a lot to keep up with!
I also started a part time job and that eats a lot of time!
But the most important one was I did not like how the chapters were coming out. I was writing part of each chapter, such as When The Children Cry or This Is Going To Hurt Us Both and posting it as soon as I was done with that particular section. Sometimes that worked out great but most of the time it did not. I would be working on part four, for example, and realize it would flow a lot better if I had said something a little differently in section three. So instead of writing a chapter and posting each section as it is done I am going to write a whole chapter and break it into daily sections.
Thanks for your support and patience. And if you have any comments or criticisms let them fly!
Parents Can Never Be In The Other Room
If you don’t have children you may not know this. If you do have children you probably do know this. My question to you who do have is why you didn’t warn me! You see parents can never be in the other room. Ever! This leads to our first axiom. Everything happens while you are in the other room. Walls get written in. Babies fall and get hurt. Things get broken. Cokes get spilled.
I was reminded of this rule first-hand again today. I went to the other room. I was only going to be gone a moment. In that moment several things happened. The first was Elijah spilled my coke. Now I would have sworn it was pushed close enough to be out of reach but it wasn’t. That leads us to axiom number two, It is never out of reach!
Now this in and of itself was not that amazing. I should have expected it. I came back into the room to the sight of my just-the-right-temperature coke (You know what I mean when its somewhere between a coke and an icey!) running off the dining room table. This is where the surprising part came in. I have no idea how he did but he had sat the can back upright. Considering he can barely get his eyes over the table I was impressed by his coordination. The really amazing part was he gave it a little shove and looked at me like I didn’t do it!
Now I didn’t get too mad, after all there no use crying over spilled coke.
This weekend I am going to revival in Indy. A good friend of mine is helping in the revival. His mother, who is also a good friend, will be there as well. Looking forward to a good service in the Lord.
Sunday, which is a day of rest for most people, is my busiest day of the week. Normally I teach one Sunday school lesson and preach two sermons every Sunday. This Sunday is no exception. We are also having a baptism this week. I get to baptize a young lady who is like one of my own children! What a blessing. Please pray for these services and all the services where people are trying to serve the Lord.
Because of my schedule I probably will not be doing much blogging this weekend. Thanks to those who have stopped by, followed me and commented. This is my first real week of blogging and I have discovered it is hard work. I am enjoying putting my thoughts down though. I just have to resist my greatest hindrance when it comes to writing. I have a compulsive desire to go back and rewrite everything. Over and over! I am trying to approach this differently though and do minimal editing. So if things seem a little less than fluid or perfect I apologize.
My purpose in this blog is to write down all my thoughts on the subject of parenting and then go back and reorganize them into a publishable form. I pray the Lord gives me the staying power to get the job done. I ask your prayers too.
Thanks again if you are reading this! If you can follow me and leave some comments. You can discuss the post or criticize my style and content. I don’t care. I appreciate good criticism.
May God richly bless you not only today but forever!
Last night I was chatting away on Facebook and thinking about the next section of my chapter on When the Children Cry when I got a frantic call. I immediately ended my conversation and jumped into action.
I had talked to my sister earlier in the evening regarding a birthday dinner for my mom. She had called me. As soon as I answered the phone I could hear her daughter crying in the background. Crying loud. She was not a happy camper. She had a fever that was getting pretty high.
Now her daughter, Taylor, is only about one month younger than Elijah. Taylor is my sisters second child. We found out Taylor was on the way, though we didn’t know she was going to be a Taylor yet, about a week after we found out Elijah was on the way. Of course we didn’t know Elijah was going to be an Elijah yet either. I wanted John Thomas for both the apostles and the presidents. My wife wanted something else. We settled on Elijah after he was born. I still wanted to make it Elijah Thomas but my wife was afraid he’d end up being called ET.
My wife and I, as I have mentioned, were kind of surprised when we found out Elijah was on the way. The first person I wanted to tell of course was our parents. She called her mom and her aunt. I called my family. I told my dad who was pretty excited but mom was in Kentucky with her sisters. Dad said he would have her call me. When she did she was in the car with her sisters and I think they all about cried.
I let the word slip after that on Facebook when I posted for my status the song With Arms Wide Open. I didn’t know people would figure out Tracy was pregnant that way but they sure did. If you listen to the song you will figure out why. Only then did I begin to find out how many people were praying that God would give us a child. It’s good to have praying friends isn’t it? Who are praying for you even when you don’t have the courage to ask them to do so. To this day I tend to get kind of teary listening to that song. If you haven’t heard it, give it a listen. It’s a good song for fathers.
The following week we were headed out to my mom and dad’s house. We normally get the whole family together at least every two weeks for dinner and this was the normal week. At this time we did not know Taylor was on the way.
Everyone was pretty excited for us but I kept noticing my youngest niece Alexia telling everyone a secret. This was not unusual for her. She was about three. I found out that she had told everyone the secret but me. Finally my sister spilled the beans. She and her husband were expecting too! We were all really happy. We were getting our first child. My sister and her husband were getting a second child. My brother and his daughter were getting two new nieces/nephews or cousins as the case may be. Mom and Dad were getting two new grandchildren.
Elijah was born in June. There were a few complications. He was a little early for one. Taylor was born in July. They are both nearing a year and a half now. They tend to get along very well. For example Taylor likes to ride toys and Elijah likes to push them so that works out great. I have never seen them fight over toys. Recently I found Elijah trying to drink Taylor’s drink but I told him it was hers and he put it down.
Now as I said I was Facebooking when I got that frantic call. It was my sister. Taylor was having a seizure. She was asking me to pray. They were taking her to the hospital. The hospital was about half way between where I live and where they live. I told her I would meet them at the hospital. I got off Facebook after updating my status to ask everyone to pray for Taylor. Woke the wife and told her what was going on and that I was leaving. She is kind of used to me leaving suddenly because of my position as a a pastor. We had prayer.
I got in the car kind of a mess to be honest. I had been reading a lot of blogs about parents losing their children so that was in the back of my head. As a pastor I know that it’s all in God’s hands. But as a father and a man that doesn’t mean I can just lay aside my humanity and say well “Lord if it’s your will take her on home.” Well I can say it but that does not mean it’s what I want. Like all parents we want our children, and our nieces for the matter, to live long happy lives.
I started to pray again. I started to calm down some, not that I was hysterical. As I was praying the pastor part of me took over more and more, the Christian part really that says that God really is in control. I started to worry less about how I felt and more about how her mom and dad and sister must feel. I began to frame the words I might need to use with them to help them calm down. I imagined how I would comfort her sister about Taylor’s seizure, reminding her that Taylor was in God’s hands and his hands are pretty big. He can take care of her.
I got a text from my my cousin. Her daughter had seen my Facebook status and called to check up. In fact, only minutes after my Facebook update people were saying they were praying. Some of them I have never even met in person. They are just “Facebook” friends. But Facebook friends can be good friends too and they were. Thank you God for giving me friends who know the worth of prayer!
I couldn’t text my cousin back. I was driving down the highway, maybe a little faster than I should have been but what can I say. I told her Taylor had been running a fever. She said that was good which left me a little confused. But as I said her daughter is a nurse and had told her that a lot of seizures can be brought on by a continued high fever. In fact that ones that are caused by the fever are a lot less serious than the ones not related to a seizure. I gathered that though seizures are not good Taylor had probably had the good kind. If you can call one the good kind. Those of you who are in the medical field or have had the same problem probably knew this. Us newer parents are still learning a lot!
By the time I got to the hospital I was calmed down completely. My faith was restored. God was in control. He was going to do it his way. My job was to trust him. That did not mean he had to do it the way I wanted or her parents wanted. We cannot force God to do something just by praying. If we could no one would ever get sick or would ever die. But I had peace that everything was going to work out okay. In fact by the time mom and dad went back to see her she was sitting up and smiling.
After a few hours at the hospital it seems I was right. There were some rough moments. Babies in particular don’t like the poking and prodding they do in the hospital and they aren’t shy about sharing their feelings. But in the early hours of the morning they let me go back to see her. There she was with same expression she almost always gives me. Taylor can be very shy of me but she always gives me good smiles. I think she just likes to play hard to get with me. Not long after she was on her way home. Diagnosis, seizure brought on by fever. Fever brought on by ear infection and teething.
It was good news. But it didn’t erase those memories of a few worried, frantic moments. And if I felt this way I cannot imagine how my sister and her husband felt. And if we feel this way when our child suffers, how must God feel every day. He has children all over the world. Every moment one of them is sick. Every moment one of them is suffering or even dying.
If you haven’t read Mr Cowfish Part One start here: Mr Cowfish (Part One)
My original impression of Mr Cowfish was that he was one odd creature. I was not sure I liked him at all. I was afraid he might confuse Elijah. Mr Cowfish is also pretty ugly.
Elijah, however, seemed pretty fond of him. He would hold on to Mr Cowfish quite a bit when we were in the car. Of course, as a child, he would eventually get tired of him and throw him down. Unfortunately this was often followed by crying because he didn’t have Mr Cowfish anymore. I guess that is the nature of children.
It is also the nature of a lot of Christians too. We try to hold onto Jesus. Then something better comes along and we put him down. Or we get distracted and put him down. Maybe we just get bored or tired of holding onto him and put him down. Either way, we often end up crying because we want him back. That was one lesson I learned from Mr Cowfish.
As I said, Elijah loved Mr Cowfish. I was less certain. He was not a toy I would have toy I would have bought. He was not a toy I would have given a second glance unless it were to say that he was one ugly toy. In fact, if I had to place Mr Cowfish in a category of toys, it would be the Island of Misfit toys with the cowboy riding an ostrich and the train with square wheels and all the other rejected toys from the old Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Christmas special.
Now there is one more thing you need to know about Mr Cowfish. Mr Cowfish is a traveler. He likes to go places. He has been all over the state of Indiana. Mr Cowfish is also a bit of a rebel. He likes to jump out of the car and strike out on his own.
As a pastor, sometimes I get invited to preach at churches other than the one I pastor in Columbus, Indiana . On one occasion I was invited to preach at a revival in Kokomo, Indiana. I live in Franklin, Indiana and if you are familiar with Indiana you know Franklin and Kokomo are not close. It is a one to two hour trip between the two.
I had been driving from Franklin to Kokomo and back every day to preach even though the church had offered to get me a hotel.I appreciated the offer but my wife and Elijah were unable to go with me and stay all week so I wanted to go back home and be with them each night even though they were often asleep when I got there. There is just something about knowing those you love most are close. I imagine that Jesus feels much the same way about us. We should feel the same way about him unfortunately we do not always appreciate his being close. Fortunately He is never far away.
Saturday night, however, my wife Tracy and Elijah got to go with me. I was excited about being in church with my family. The church was also excited because they had never met Elijah and everyone loves a baby right?
After church the pastor and his wife, Steve and Doreen, as sweet and Christian a couple as you could ever want to meet, invited us to get something to eat. It was going to be a late dinner. Tracy and I still had to drive home, at least a one and half hour trip, and then get up again in the morning in time to make the trip back up in time to be at church by 11. But we wanted to spend some time with fellow Christians and people we had come to truly love.
So we headed to Culver’s, a place most people know for its ice cream but I have come to love for its wonderful butter burgers. We truly enjoyed our meal with Steve and Doreen and not just because of the good food. They are, as I said, great people. They are the type of loving couple that makes you wish you could be more like them. We do not get to see them much but we still consider them good friends. In fact, they are partly responsible for that avalanche of toys I mentioned. They bought Elijah one of his first toys before he was even born. And yes it was a noisy one!
Steve and Doreen seemed to really enjoy dinner too, especially getting to play with Elijah.
Because we were going to be inside eating a while and Elijah was still very young, less than a year, we decided to take Mr Cowfish in to keep him company. This is where the trouble started. When we all decided to leave Mr Cowfish decided to stay. Of course he neglected to mention that decision to us and we did not even find out till we had driven all the way home!
Continued here: Mr Cowfish (Part Three)
My wife and I were married on October 15, 1994. I was 22 and she was 19. Like most newlyweds we were not really in a big hurry to start a family. We were just happy to be married so we decided to wait for children. And wait we did. Even after we decided it was time for children we kept waiting. And waiting. And when we were done waiting, we waited some more.
In fact I was 37 years old before the fateful day my wife came in and announced she was pregnant. I still remember that day and what I said to her as well. I was totally taken by surprise. After all those years of marriage I was about to talk to her about adoption because it seemed, for whatever reason, the Lord was not going to give us any natural children.
So now we have a son. I thought I knew a lot about parenting because of studying the Bible. In one sense I did but in another I was clueless. You see I had a lot of theoretical knowledge but not practical. Now I am having to match theory with practice and it is not always easy.
This blog, however, is not primarily dedicated to raising a child or children. This blog is to share some insights I have gained on how God might look at us as his children. I hope you enjoy it.