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26 posts from March 2005

Easter, the reason I have real hope

I'm getting closer to six full decades of life and there's one important lesson I've learned.

I've looked to the church and then to Jesus Christ for peace and hope and I found myself never quite being able to grab onto the "gold ring."  I had it backwards.

The hope comes from Jesus Christ and his coming to earth, his dying on the cross and his resurrection which we will celebrate on Easter Day.  Real hope comes from a personal relationship with him.  It doesn't come from the church.  It comes from Jesus directly to me. 

Now, the church is important, but Jesus is most important.  This morning, I ran across some audio clips from Billy Graham where he explains this in a very clear way.  I learned this before.  But, I need to be reminded of it and I need to celebrate it.  I'm looking forward to Easter this year more so than in past years.

If I put my faith in the church, then I'll be consistently disappointed.  But, if I put my faith in Jesus, then I'll never be disappointed--for eternity.

Five Love Languages in the bathroom

Every so often I have to clean out my bathroom library and two items from that collection would have to go on my "highly recommended" list of books to read:

  • The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman:  This is a must read for anyone married or who is getting married and wants to stay that way.  Chapman points out that everybody processes and receives love in about five different ways.  If you don't hit the right love language for your beloved, then you risk their not feeling loved.  And, that can be the beginning of friction that often has an unhappy ending.
  • Family First by Dr. Phil McGraw:  In this book, TV's Dr. Phil shows that he has some depth and that he really values family.  He speaks from the experiential base of his family while he was growing up.  He provides clear help for anyone struggling with family issues or somebody who just wants a tune-up as a family member.  Again, this should be a must read.    Dr. Phil is more than a TV pretty face.

MI Office of Children's Ombudsman provides distraction with gay adoption

Both political parties in Michigan, the Democrats and the Republicans, should be howling in protest over the recommendation of Michigan Children's Ombudsman Lynne Martinez to legalize gay adoption in the state.  The recommendation is in her annual report for 2003.

It's a distraction to the real issues that exist in that office and with Michigan's child welfare system.

That's really a shame.  It's the at-risk kids who will suffer the consequences.  There are more pressing issues and they'll get lost in the hub bub about gay adoption.  This should be an issue separate from the ombudsman.

Continue reading "MI Office of Children's Ombudsman provides distraction with gay adoption" »

Part #10--Bitterness is a by-product

When I was in prison, as a volunteer, I had an inmate share with a small group that "bitterness is a poison that you swallow and you expect the other guy to die."

This felon was speaking from his life experiences and it's probably one of the most important pieces of advice that I ever received.

My mom went through a meat-grinder and during my childhood, I felt that I was on the otherside of acceptability because I grew-up without a dad and just had a mom as a parent.  There were lots of experiences and memories that built up.

I hid my bitterness.  I had so many that I would need a meta-data tagging system to keep track and as I tried to contribute to making the system better, I got more bitter.  But, it was underneath.  I didn't usually show it.

Continue reading "Part #10--Bitterness is a by-product" »

Part #9--Role of a father, my father

When you've lost a parent at a young age, especially through desertion or abandonment, most people don't understand the void that's left and the scars that you accumulate.  And, the sad thing is that most people don't really care, including church people.

Right now, in this time, this day and age, there are so many fatherless children for so many reasons.  Divorce, abandonment, workaholism and parental ignorance. 

There are so many women who feel that dads are unimportant.  Their true worth is measured by their ability to produce sperm.  They are wrong.

My mom had six brothers and five sisters.  I had a lot of uncles.  I was never as close as I wanted to be to any of them.  They all had their own kids.  But, at least, I had templates for what a real man looked like and how a dad and a husband fit into the picture.

Continue reading "Part #9--Role of a father, my father" »