Monday, September 20, 2010

Video: Selah Sings Her ABCs

For Auntie Nora

View video

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mikey!

It's been a big week for you, my Mikey. On Tuesday, you became a KINDERGARTENER, and today, you became a five-year-old!! While you're doing a great job of growing us in the fine art of parenting boys, you're also growing and maturing... learning and doing so much these days! We love you, and we're so thankful that God blessed us with you on this very special day.

Mikey, you may not understand yet all that your birthday means to us. You might not understand yet, when you joyfully announce to people that your "'boifday' is September 11th!" why they smile, but have a flash of sadness cross their face or tears come to their eyes. You see, on September 11th, four years before you were born, a very sad thing happened in the United States of America. Much was destroyed that day and many lives were lost, and those of us that remember that day will always remember it with sadness.

But where much was lost, much was also born on that day... For a time, people remembered that life was bigger than what their day held. They hugged and cried with strangers and people looked beyond their shopping needs to encourage the person behind them in their grocery line. Your daddy, who was dating your mommy at the time, was struck by how short and unpredictable life is and on that day started thinking it might be time to ask your mommy to be his wife!

People recognized their mortality and remembered their need for God... for some, this change was fleeting. For others, life was transformed for all of eternity.

So you see, this is what people remember when they hear you say your birthday. This is what brought tears to my eyes those wee hours of the morning when the nurse announced your birth date and time. And this hope, life, and joy that was born on that day in so many people was in some ways symbolized to us when you were born five years ago today. Maybe, in some way that is bigger than my understanding, this is the reason that you were ten days late and quite large when you finally decided to make your appearance!!

But for now, our sweet, joyful, exuberant five-year-old, I hope that you experience all of the joy a boy can on his birthday... you have so much time to understand the weightier aspects of life later. We love you and thank God for you, praying your joy and hope will be found in Him!

Happy, happy birthday, Mikey!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Al Mohler on Greeting Cards

Smokey and I have been listening to Words from the Fire by Dr. R. Albert Mohler on the commute into work. We both couldn't help but laugh when Dr. Mohler shares this story:

A word of confession to those of the female gender. You need to know that we men are not good at the greeting card thing. We are not adept at this for several reasons. First, it is just hard to bring ourselves to pay that much for painted paper. Second, the words on the card don't match our kind of verbal expression—we just don't talk that way. Part of it is just the sheer embarrassment from realizing that we could never quite say all that florid prose with a straight face. Still, greeting cards do express something like what men want to express, and we do pay an unconscionable amount of money for this coated paper, which we then give to our loved one.

A few years ago, just days before the event, I realized I was in serious trouble because I was cardless for one of the major occasions of life—Mother's Day. So I quickly went and bought a card. I was successful in bringing home the card, signing the card, and even adding a personal note to my dear wife, Mary. I commented about her sweetness, fidelity, love, giving, and self-sacrifice, not only as my wife but as the mother of our children. I was even successful in remembering where the card was; and so, with great satisfaction (which is another one of the characteristics of the male of the species; when we actually remember to bring the card, there is inordinate self-satisfaction), I presented it to her. However, as Mary read the card, I noticed that her face did not match my expectation of what her face should betray.

So here are two rules of the greeting card thing I learned that day. Rule number one is remember to get the card. Rule number two is read the card before you give it. That is, read it thoroughly. In the expression of this greeting card I thanked my wife for so successfully blending together our two families—something that heretofore she had not been aware had been done. I had inadvertently chosen a "blended family" card without reading the message. My faux pas has become a part of our family lore. It is a part of my humiliation, and it is a part of my urgent exhortation to other husbands—read the card before you give it!

On a more serious note, Smokey and I have also enjoyed listening to audio recordings of Dr. Mohler's blog, which he started doing periodically in response to a suggestion we submitted. We were disappointed when these recordings ceased, but we are excited about trying out the two new podcasts he is starting this month.

Last but not least, it's worth pointing out that Dr. Mohler has just started teaching verse-by-verse through the Book of Hebrews. I've added his Powerline podcast to my iTunes subscriptions and am hoping I'll find time to keep up.