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13 April, 2017

the evening of Wednesday, April 5th

  • MrCuddles demonstrated his kung-fu and broke a board with a kick for me
  • MrGrunty and I played catch while talking about if Mr Westbrook would get the tripple-double record for the season  (he did!!!)
  • MsSqueaky and I went shopping for her very own pocket knife. The BoyScouts issue all third graders a knife, GirlScouts…knives aren’t priority. Took her to sporting goods store. The big and scary looking / military style / hunting style she didn’t want. She ended up with a small SwissArmy knife. The guy at the store was very kind, “take your time, not every knife is for every person, get one that is right for you.”

the evening of Thursday, April 6th… me and the childrens spent a bit of time drawing together at the dinner table.

the morning of Tuesday, April 11th

  •  MsSqueaky first words in the morning “Papa are you feeling better? Is your headache gone?”  (Previous night I fell asleep way early with a bad headache.)
  • MrGrunty was first one awake, and was reading. He seems to have found a good book, and is doing more reading without us asking him to. Then when he saw me, his first words were “can I give Sophie a treat?”  Awww…he’s getting more familiar and liking our pets more.  Why I remember, when he was a toddler, and Sophie was AFRAID of kids (MsS would grab for her) Sophie-kitty and MrG surprised each other in the hallway, and had a little stand off, neither sure how to react. Sophie then got brave and advanced. MrG fell on his butt. Sophie sauntered past, sashaying her big fluffy tail.
  • MrCuddles was asking what college he would need to go to to be a “fire fighter, police officer and construction worker.”  I encouraged him to start with an EMT training.

Morning of Wednesday, April 12th, on ride to school MrG asked who was going to be in the family book club. We all said “yes” and he was happy that we would participate. I pointed out that we had already read a book as a family, “Ivan” and “HarryPotter” the fourth graders said.  “And ‘Goodnight Moon’, I added. They laughed.

<sadness warning>

Wednesday evening, fears from a ominous & vague post on TheFacebook confirmed, an ex-co-worker had committed suicide. We worked together in the kitchen for a few years, he was surly, and loyal to his friends, loved to shock people with his jokes, loved the SuperSonics and heavy metal. I hope and pray, that after “Guido” insulted St. Peter for an hour, then told St. Peter a bunch of offensive jokes for an hour, that Guido was allowed into heaven, so he could finally play with his daughter who was born asleep less than a year ago. I still don’t know what to say. We weren’t close, even back when we worked together. I’m more sad than I would have thought. Sometimes demons win and humans lose. Sometimes it’s not fair. And it’s scary, I have had a pretty good life, how would I react to depression, death of a child, war, debilitating disease, death of a loved one… I dunno.  Sometimes people do stupid things. Rest in peace, Guido.

 

Matthew 5

23 February, 2017

The text was Matthew 5:38-48.

Ways to resist, without being evil.

When “turn the other cheek”, back then, you would backhand a social inferior as a rebuke. When turning the other cheek, you are telling them, we are equals, if you want to hit me, hit me with your fist. I demand the same respect as you.

When “give them your second cloak” in Roman society, nudity was a shame for those that saw it, not for the naked.

 

Affirming Life Sermon

9 February, 2017

…recently, my BFF-CC gave a sermon on Jesus turning water into wine.

She sent me a draft, and of course I gave my opinions, because I’m an argumentative brat.

Anywho…wonderful things from her sermon that I hadn’t thought of:

  • I should be more like Mary… “do this” and then walk away, let them protest, but totally expect to have the task done.
  • I liked the servants fighting over who has to take the wash water to the wine steward to taste, the way she presented it, (did they draw straws? send the new guy?) was humorous.
  •  The little things matter. She wrote: “Christ is right there inside the small, unimportant, easy to miss affirmation of life.” Letting some poor schmuck have a nice wedding. That matters. (Not sure I even thought of that before. Jesus likes quality wine.) Yeah, Jesus wanted somebody to have a nice party. How cool is that? Take a break, celebrate with friends and family. Take a moment to enjoy the normal parts of a normal life. The wedding at Cana is about helping someone have a nice wedding. Saving someone from embarrassment.

 

 

Hebrews 12

13 January, 2017

My brother, who’s a preacher, (hey, every family has one!), asked me for some inspiration stories about running because he’ll soon be preaching on Hebrews 12.

As usual, I wasn’t much help…

 

I got no inspirational stories aboot running races.

Running sucks.

The only reason people do it, is because they can’t catch a ball, so they can’t participate in a real sport.

Or, we run to get away from predators.

You know which animal predators that humans can out run… well… snakes,…uh…spiders… raccoons… you get my point. Alpha predators remind us where we belong on the food chain. As dinner.

You hear about the two friends hiking, they see a big, mean, hungry grizzly. One friend starts to run. One friend says, “You’re crazy! You can’t outrun a grizzly.” The other yells back, “I just have to outrun you!”

Running sucks.

You ever notice, after the race, you are basically right back where you started?

Why run?

To beat your own time? Don’t worry, Father Time will beat you.

Why run?

For fleeting glory? Every weekend, millions of Americans do some sort of race, and pay lots of money for shirts, prizes, entertainment (because there has to be some sort of payout!) …and most people can only name one or two famous athletes (usually because they are embroiled in a cheating scandal.)

Why run?

To feel good? No, that’s the drugs your brain makes because your body is so very uncomfortable. That’s hurt until it feels good mentality. That’s what mystics do when they flog themselves. What did Jesus say about people who draw attention to their fasting [suffering]?

Why run?
Health? Running is one of the worst exercises for your feet, knees.

Running sucks.

What, you still want inspiration? How about the story of when your daughter first started walking. You were so proud. She, was so very full of joy. It was so difficult, and one day, she could do it. The world had so many more possibilities. She was so happy. She could take steps. Her parents seemed to be happy. But. Movement. Freedom. Challenge accepted & conquered! One step. Another step. Still standing. one step two step. Still standing. She wanted to move faster. This was great. StepStep, so fast, almost falling but step-step-step-step little legs moving little feet. Just like falling, but, because her feet could move fast, because she was running, she never hit the ground. Running is a controlled fall, she discovered. And she laughed and ran and ran and laughed, and didn’t want to stop. Ever.

We humans are a strange species. We compete over anything. But mostly, we compete with ourselves. We compete with that guy in the mirror, who’s like, “look, there are plenty of things going on right now, get organized, and then get a fresh start, and you can go running tomorrow.”

We compete with that guy in our heads who is always there reminding us, “your friends will still like you no matter what your time is for this race, they’re good people”  that guy who later reminds you “dude, you gave up easy. Can’t you push yourself? What’s your problem? Lack of character, that’s it! Soon, your friends will find out that you are undeserving.”

We compete against the laws of physics. Your tendons have a certain strength, (and it gets a little less every day after 40, amirite?), and there is nothing you can do to stop the relentless march of time, which crushes all things, which destroys all things, which forgets all things. We humans have imagination. What if? we wonder, and we plan, and we hope, and we strive to beat physics, to do what is not possible, to grasp for a moment the hint of a taste of the immortal. And we’ve seen it in others. And we want a piece of it ourselves. Some get it a time or two. Most never do, because gravity, it will bring you down.

Years ago I did a marathon. Once. Learned my lesson. It sucked. About 18 miles in, I bargained with my body, please let me finish, and I promise never again. And, up the hill, allegedly there were hula dancers to encourage us. Yes, thank goodness for hula dancers. Something to get my mind off the…WHAT???!!!??? FAT OLD MEN with grass skirts and coconut bras playing ukulele!!! I hated Portland, so, very, much. Kept going. Few miles left, I got passed by an old guy, passed by a dude running the race in a suit, a pregnant lady w/ a stroller went past. And there, ahead, in the middle of the road, was a young girl, waving, telling the runners “good job”, she gave me a hi-five and I started to cry. I hoped that one day I would have a daughter as awesome as that girl.  (Spoiler alert: I do.)

I have no regrets. It was a voluntary project, that I had to plan for, to work at, that needed dedication to finish. And it still sucked.
Remember what the USMC says: “Pain is just weakness leaving your body.”

church this morning

8 January, 2017

I was pleasantly surprised to see this

lcp_jan2017

I’ve watch the children of the church work on the pieces of this for a few weeks. This morning, large and all together, it brought joy to my heart.

This morning, while celebrating the Lord’s Supper, our pastor invited us saying that if we feel we are like James & John, fighting to be first, or if we feel like we are Judas, knowing what horrible thing we’ve done, we are still welcome to partake of the Lord’s Supper. I need to hear that, from time to time.

Something I’ve been wondering aboot. There seems to be two schools of thought… regarding how one should dress when going to church. One school, is “dress the way you would dress if you were going to have dinner with a King.” The other is “come as you are”.  Our church is srsly in the come as you are camp.  Our pastor tells the story of when her daughter was young, she hated going to church because she had to wear a dress, and she hated wearing a dress because “when you wear a dress the wind goes where it’s not supposed to.”  She and her daughter then shopping for nice church pants. But, if we take this question a bit further… should we view God as our King…or God as our Heavenly Father.  Now I don’t know much, but I’m thinking that we treat a King, different than we treat our dad. One rules over us. One loves us.  I guess I’m more in the God as our Heavenly Father, camp. And I (usually) don’t put on a tie when I go visit my dad in SouthTacoma.

 

Last weekend

1 October, 2016

soccer, MrG and MsS had mirror image shots, where it the ball clanged loudly off the goal post. I am happily finding out that MsS has gotten better at soccer since last year. When/How? I dunno. MrC…so much fun watching him, he’s getting involved, being assertive, learning.

Teaching Bible class to a new young group (…I’m learning that all my tricks that I used for my fifth grades, that I spent several year teach…well, I need new tricks.)

But…my favorite part, MsS told me as we were picking beans at the local farm. “I didn’t want to come here. I’m glad we did. I really like harvesting.”  We also picked corn, zucchini, chard,…

 

weekend

12 September, 2016

The girls left us boys alone this weekend…so its time for shenanigans stories.

I’m the assistant coach for MrCuddles soccer team. (Because he asked, and then pointed out that I had coached MsS and MrG two seasons each…sigh, kids with their memories and sense of fair.)  We showed up to our practice and… hundreds of people were there for another scheduled event. So, we had less space, and I was more stressed about being in the way, and the boys, were boys, and kicking the balls all over, and not really listening, and the head coach got to hear me mumble swear words under my breath.

Back home, dinner and a movie!  They watched “Zootopia” again. I like the movie, it’s well crafted.

Saturday… MrCuddles first soccer game of the season. And, I’m happy to say our team did alright. Nobody got cleats in the face, because that’s what our boys do, handstands…just because, usually when people are close to them, or during a scrimmage. We did get plenty of handballs called against us. Srsly, I tell them in practice, do not touch the ball with your hands, the soccer ball is radioactive. MrCuddles, he was sorta engaged, and actually a couple of times was paying attention and playing. (Huge improvement over two years ago when he just refused.)  He even got the ball on a breakaway, and dribbled down towards the goal, solo, and took a shot.

Saturday afternoon, we did a few chores, then went to see “Kubo and the two strings”. I enjoy listening to MrC and MrG play with each other, usually they don’t, usually it’s MrC and MsS. MrC’s BFF came over, and all three played.

“Kubo and the two strings”. Great movie. It’s beautiful. Well told story. Good music. Go see it. I hope to see it again soon.

Note: MrG has been helping out at MrC practices. We have him ref-ing the scrimmages. He helps with drills. He asked during a drill, “should we run from the other side, so they get practice shooting with their left foot?” YES, absolutely, so glad you thought of that.  I think he’s gauging his defense on the players by their skill level. Because we, like every team have a large variety.

Church…it’s funny, because MrG didn’t want to go, as usual because “I don’t have any friends are there”. AND, I’m told by her mother, that MsS BFF didn’t want to go because MsS wouldn’t be there. And yet, two hours after worship was over, all the kids were still happily playing together. Yeah, we were there two hours after, because I was chatting with other parents…good to know my kids are normal. Good to know of what challenges are on the way.

MrG had his first games of the season…three short games. He always seems to look for the pass. He has good footskills. It was a nice day for soccer, and the parents, most of who we have known for a couple years, are a good bunch to hangout with. I guess we start keeping score now, (although the kids have been keeping score since we taught them how to count). First game we did well, second game was even, third game we didn’t do so well. But all three were close-ish. So that’s good.

Oh yeah…MyBetterHalf and MsS…they went to a GirlScout leader-daughter camp. Slept in a chilly open air cabin, and were back home Sunday afternoon. MsS was tired.

 

 

Fruit of the Spirit

4 September, 2016

(…and forgive me any mistakes, I was trying to pay attention, whilst some of my childrens were being distracting…)

Evidently it is Fruit of the Spirit. Singular. You can’t pick and choose which ones you like.

The list of Fruit of the Spirit is a collection of discriptions of God.

There is a part of us, that is trying to be more like this, the Spirit guiding us, and if we get out of the way, if we cultivate ways to encourage the growth …

And, since all humans have the yearning for God, then we Christians do not have a monopoly on the Fruit of the Spirit.

 

 

Fool for corn

21 August, 2016

MsS and MyBetterHalf went to Mainers.

So, spoke with friends at Church about “the perfect thing to say at funerals” and evidently they don’t teach that in seminary. Sigh.

Got home. Corn is ready at our favorite U-pick veggies farm…did the math, and if everything went perfect, me and the boys could make it there and back just in time to set up for MrC soccer party. Because, ya know, traffic was easy yesterday. MrG wanted to go. I really wanted to go. MrC didn’t but said “OK, but only pick four!”

We arrived and the boys had fun, we quickly filled two bags with corn. They did most the work, I just basked in the glory of maize.
They also grabbed some cucumbers as I wheeled the wheel barrow.

On drive home, I was giddy. And I taught the boys something they quickly caught on to, and enjoyed, change lyrics so the pop songs are aboot corn.

Rush home, rush through store, rush clean (the boys were pretty helpful, MrC more, MrG complained “this is why I don’t like to have people over”.

Traffic and all other timing issues worked according to plan. Which does not teach me to “plan for the worst”.

BBQ… And of course only the people I know from MrC team showed up. Oh well.

Calvin for Armchair Theologians

24 July, 2016

just finished “Calvin for Armchair Theologians”,  (previously I read “Reformation for the Armchair Theologian)…and I want to say I like this series. Much like the Very Short Introduction series, written by experts, for a lay audience. Makes me feel smart ‘n’ stuff.