Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sweet 16

Sixteen years ago today my life was forever changed. Entering the world was my first child. A daughter. Now I have been scared plenty of times in my life. From getting shot at to car wrecks to fist fights to getting caught doing something I wasn't supposed to be doing.
But nothing, absolutely nothing could prepare me for that day. There are no words to describe the anxiety and fear I was feeling with concern for the birth I was about to be apart of. Oh yes, I got to go into the delivery room of a C section. I hate medical stuff. Seriously. Freaks me out. Mainly because I am not in control and I have to rely on other people. Total trust. I have this problem with God sometimes as well. but back to my story...
So we are in the delivery room and "surgery" starts and I get quizzy. Of course my wife is put under and is being cut with a sharp instrument, but all I can think of is "Oh my God don't let me pass out!". Within a couple of minutes a little nasty looking thing gets lifted into the air (never ever looks like that on the television does it), and a child is born.
I freak out. Is it breathing? I run over and for some wierd reason start counting fingers and toes. Great! they are all there as they should be. Oh my God something is wrong cause they are putting her in a basket! Stop worrying dad, we are only going to weigh her. Oh.
Whats the name dad? Crap - I can't remember. I blurt something out.... It sounded right when it came out so they wrote it on the side of the see thru plastic baby box. I then remembered my wife. They say she is okay too. Good.
I want to throw up. I want to set down. I can't do either. They hand me a baby wrapped up in a blanket with a little pre-mugger stocking cap on its head. I hold my daughter for the first time. Geez she is small. I'm afraid I'll break her. I give her back really quick.

that felt like yesterday.

Today she turns 16. She is a beautiful person. Inside and Out. I can't believe I've been a parent this long. She has two younger sisters that are as endearing as she is, each in their own unique way.

I am going to give her a hard time tonight as we go out to eat for her birthday. Each of them get to pick where to eat for their birthday. Its getting expensive. I am going to be the dorky dad. Its my job to be the dorky dad. Hopefully, one day, someday, she will look back on her life, and these moments together will be as meaningful and special as they are to me.

Happy Birthday Sweet 16.

Monday, January 19, 2009

"I'm Fine with God...It's Christians I Can't Stand"

Okay, so the title of this post is actually a book I am reading. Of course the title of the book enticed me to buy it, and I'm glad I did. It is written by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz, neither of whom I have heard of before.

But it is good. An easy read, nodding your head in agreement page turner. I can see a good study based on this book. It is subtitled, "Getting past the Religious Garbage in the Search for Spiritual Truth".

I think if you read this and see a little of yourself in the pages, then maybe it'll give you pause to think and reflect on just what it means to be a Christian. A real christian. Not the "Norman Rockwell" painting of your mind's eye of what a christian is. Parts are serious, parts are cras, parts are downright funny.

So, if you do nothing else this week. Go buy this book. Or at least go by Barnes and Noble or Books a Million or wherever you like to go, pick the book up, set your butt down and read Chapter 8, pages 135 - 151. I could do my whole study on this one chapter.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Communion for five please...

After teaching last sunday over evil and chaos, and using the brilliant new Batman The Dark Knight movie scene where Joker is in the interogation room of the police station and Batman is forced by Joker to break one of his rules... and its brilliant... and some people got it and others didn't...

and so goes the church.

Its seems that some people get it while others simply don't, and I struggle on what approach is the best approach to herd them along into a more meaningful and HONEST relationship with Jesus/God. It appears that many are content with mere showing up while others are not. I know that it is a progressive walk and this is one of many steps on that walk, so I'm hesistant to push. I know this because it was part of my walk. In the southern united states, it is a cultural and social thing to do: go to church. Its not really because you are a christian and just love to get up and go worship, its sort of the expected thing, and hopefully, somewhere along the way, something "clicks" in your little head and heart and it becomes meaningful and expressive and relational.

but we have to slow down and be purposeful don't we, and that is very difficult in this society. A society of cell phones and text messages and internet and schedules and deadlines and...

so this thought came to me this morning. To accomodate the busyness of every day life, maybe we should put a drive thru window at the church, like Bon Qui Qui at King Burger, with a menu of what's available and you can order it there (and leave your monetary donation of course).

"Communion for 5 please", I ask over the intercom at the drive thru window. The red LED display confirms my order for 5 communions and flashes a "do this in rememberance of me" quote...

God i hope not. ~npp