Friday, May 31, 2013

Photo Friday Frenzy - 110

Category: Books

Vote closed.  Winner: Well played sir. Well played.

Instructions: Vote on your favorite two photos. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection. Mobile phone users must scroll down and click on View Web Version to vote.



Click on images to enlarge them.


Subtitled: Roadkill Realities


No one at the Publishing Company caught that?


And it was by my favorite author!


Epic bookmark


I'd rather cook with Pooh


So uplifting!


Well played sir.  Well played!


Setting the bar

Thursday, May 30, 2013

"The Talk"

My strategy with informing the kids about birds and bees will be a bit different from traditional practice.  If you are like me, one of your parents sat you down, and had "the talk".  It was a singular event, it was awkward, and you just wanted it to be over.  In my case, being somewhere between fifth and sixth grade, I already knew much of what dad was telling me or had heard some perverted version of it.  My challenge was trying to act naive to the information and not turning ten shades of red out of embarrassment.

What I plan on doing and have already begun doing is a series of talks, or an open dialog of sorts.  One talk just doesn't seem to settle the issue.  There are many layers to romantic relationships and sex is just a physical act that tends to be the focus.  The other reason I want a dialog is so that they get comfortable now in telling me or asking me things.  Let's not wait for their bodies to be in preteen puberty transition (which adds to the awkward feelings) to even start talking about the topic.

So today the kids afforded me my first talk with them.  And it was anatomy and sex-free especially given the circumstances of theirs and little Joshua's conception.  We went through the invetro process which was very science lab themed and therefor of great interest to them.  What really blew their minds today was learning that Joshua's embryo was made at the same time they were.  That technically he is the same age as them but has been frozen for five years, waiting for his turn to be put into mommy's tummy.

They both took the information well and seem interested in learning more.  So we will continue to dialog and introduce age appropriate knowledge as time moves on.  It's amazing how early kids learn this stuff on their own!  If we don't put ourselves out there, it may be too late when finally deciding the time is right.

How do you handle this topic in your home?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It Happened!

Seven years.  Seven.  That is how long it took for this moment to finally happen and of all times and places, it was at an end of season soccer party for the boys and girls teams I coached.  Appropriately toward the end of this picnic in the park, someone brought out a soccer ball and started an impromptu, friendly scrimmage.  My son and daughter joined in and soon a boys VS girls match was under way.

Michael had already come out of his shell this season in a more confident way.  He no longer shy's away from the ball but instead always runs to the action and tries to get in on it.  He doesn't always come away with the ball but its not for lack of trying.  Soon someone kicked the ball quite hard and it smacked him in the face.  He went down and the tears started flying.  I knelt down next to him and asked if he was crying because he was hurt or because it caught him by surprise.  He admitted that it surprised him and made the logical conclusion that he could stop crying without further prompting from me.

He went on to get hurt two other times and remarked to me that he just wanted to stop.  I told him that was fine if that's what he wanted to do but that I though he should keep up the good work.  That he was doing great despite getting banged up and that I was proud of him.  Minutes later he took another fall and this time, while on the ground, he got kicked.  Bracing for another tear-fest, I finally saw it.  He got mad.  And like a bat, he tore down the soccer field adamant about getting the ball back from the person that kicked him and he did. He then made a fast break toward the goal and almost scored. Bruce Banner finally met the Hulk within and he focused that energy toward competition instead of a pity party.  He found the aggressive part of himself and finally understood what dad has been saying.  He and I were both elated and celebrated his discovery.  He can't wait till next season.

Seven years I've waited for this moment.  I just hope he remembers...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Army Hero

As I enjoyed having yesterday off from work, I did take some time to think about Memorial Day and what it represents.  Though most times I tend to think of fallen soldiers that died for our freedoms, I found myself remembering that many walking and living among us are still former veterans and deserve as much of our thanks.  And among that group is my dad.  Already my lifelong hero anyway, thinking about his military service just reminds me of the example he set forth and the leadership qualities he possesses.

By the grace of God dad was sent to Germany at the tail end of the Vietnam war and never had to face that particular conflict.  My favorite story from his service was during a shift on a missile TAC site.  He was the commanding officer at the time a MIG from East Germany flew over restricted West German air space.  The regulations stated that the highest ranking officer was to lock down the site and prepare for missile launch.  A General got word that the situation was escalating and tried to land his helicopter on the TAC site and take over command.  Dad had him surrounded by MP's and taken to a secure location until the lock down was over.  As if making the decision to shoot down enemy aircraft wasn't stressful enough, he'd now essentially arrested a General for violating regulations.

Thankfully rather than starting a war, the MIG did a U-turn and went back to his side of the playground.  The General was released and settled into the office, calling my dad in for what he assumed would be a dressing down of extreme proportions.  He knew well enough that regulations or not, the ego of a General would not take lightly to being detained by MP's at his command.  So he entered the office, ready for the worst.  Instead the General told him he must have the biggest pair of cajones in the world to pull something like that and continued to compliment him for going by the book.  I think there was a "and never do that again" clause but the General knew he didn't have a leg to stand on.

So dad, thank you for being my hero!  For teaching me how to be a man with cojones but also teaching me how to love and be tender-hearted with my kids and wife.  I try to emulate you in every area of life and I think that's a safe bet since you always try to emulate Christ.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Photo Friday Frenzy - 109

Category: Challenge Accepted

Vote closed.  Winner: Be very specific

Instructions: Vote on your favorite two photos. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection. Mobile phone users must scroll down and click on View Web Version to vote.



Click on images to enlarge them.


I can haz this?!


Must. Have.  Fishy!


How good is your aim?


Yellow means speed up, right?


Told you I could have six pack abs!


No thanks.


What could go wrong?


Be very specific.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yesterday's Weather Reaction

On the heels of the Moore, Oklahoma devastation we in the Dallas area were warned that yesterday's storm systems had very serious potential to cause harm.  With the images of homes flattened to their foundations and first responders digging through the rubble to find survivors, it was all but impossible not to take their words to heart.  And so I spent a great deal of my morning and early afternoon praying for protection, praying for God Himself to intercede and calm the storm so that nothing fierce, like the predicted damaging winds, hail, and tornadoes would occur.

I picked up the kids early from school, excusing myself from work early as well, and we sat staring at the television.  As the red and green blobs of radar tracking moved across the screen we kept a sharp eye on Denton and the various other areas of DFW that our loved ones occupy.  And like unto a practical joke, nothing much more than your average thunderstorm manifested.  I was tempted to agree with friends like Jesse as he commented on Facebook:

Reality:  Light to heavy rain.
Mid-Day News Anchors:  AHHHHHH!!! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!

Then I stopped myself and realized what I was doing.  I was denying the victory that clearly belonged to God for answering my prayers and the prayers of many others across the metroplex.  I had asked for this very thing.  For what looked like the most ominous storm system to be nothing more than Spring showers.  The weather forecasters were not wrong about the potential of that system.  They did not cry wolf.  There is a reason other than ratings that they warned us and a reason parents everywhere were taking their kids home early from school.  That really could have been everything it was predicted to be.

The fact that it wasn't?  To God be the glory rather than chalking it up to media hype.  I hope you will agree!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Prayer List

In part I want to share a victory and praise God for some good news that just occurred. Secondly, I want to recommend a new App that I downloaded a couple days ago that helps me track prayer requests.  And last but not least, I want to express a Christian reality that often has me with conflicted emotions.

Praise!
I have been praying for a family that had two boys in critical condition, suffering from E-Coli infections.  The oldest boy was four, the youngest was 18 months, and to add extra drama to the situation, Mom is pregnant and due to give birth any day now.  These boys were really bad off, hooked up to IV's, ventilators  and constantly dealing with possible kidney failure.  Their blood was acidic and the infection seemed to be overtaking their little bodies.  The oldest just a few days ago, finally responded positively, to all the prayer and treatment and was released from the hospital.  Just moments ago, the seven month old got the same good news and bill of health.  And now, Mom can deliver a healthy baby with the peace that comes from knowing the rest of her clan is healthy and awaiting their newborn sibling.

The APP
It's called PrayerProLite.  In the iPhone App Store its free.  I have been entering requests now for a couple of days and am very impressed with all the features and organizational tools that allow you to remember all the folks in your life that you are praying for.  It allows you to update their status and of course, as is the case above, move them to the "Answered Prayer" folder when applicable.  I am not very organized by nature, so a tool like this is paramount and wonderful for me to be reminded and focused on those around me that have requested prayer.

The Rub
As I am jumping for joy and celebrating the victory above, I still have several more on the list (including the community of Moore, Oklahoma) that are still suffering and cannot yet celebrate.  Some, like a friend that just lost his brother, will not celebrate.  They will eventually move on and have a bit more closure but the hurt of losing his loved one will never completely vanish...at least not here on earth.  But this is nothing new.  I always have this flux of people that spend time on my prayer list for a while.  And as I celebrate or in some cases mourn with them as closure takes place, new people come to my attention and the cycle continues.  As such, I tend to struggle with just how to feel about one victory when another has yet to manifest.  Suffice it to say, I am so grateful to God for His healing of these two boys.  And now I pray that He shows up in very BIG ways for the rest of those on the list.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Too Much!

I have this rule.  The rule has been violated a time or two but after last week I am going to enforce it all the more vigorously.  The rule is that each of our children only be involved in one extra curricular activity at a time.  I want each of them to try as many activities as they want, whether its sports, music, fine arts, martial arts, or boy/girl scouting.  But they MUST for my own sanity and theirs only be involved with one group at a time.  Why?  Well with three kids, each doing one thing per week which usually entails one night of practice and a Saturday game, that is 6 independent times that we are shuttling them around trying to meet just the bare minimum obligations and it does not account for anything me or Rachael might be involved with.

Last week went like this:

Monday Night - Mackenzie's Recital Practice
Tuesday Night - Michael & Mackenzie's Soccer Practice
Wednesday Night - Mackenzie's Extra Recital Practice
Thursday Night - Men's Group Bible Study Bar B Que
Friday Night - Mackenzie's Final Dress Rehearsal
Saturday - Two Soccer Games, One Birthday Party, Neighborhood Swim Party (that you have to attend if you want to have your pool key for the season), Mackenzie's Recital
Sunday - Deacon Meeting, Service, Counting, Sunday School, Another Birthday Party, Church-wide Picnic  and End of Soccer Season Award Show.

We ended up not being able to do the Birthday Parties or the Picnic but I listed them anyway just to show how crazy last week was had we even tried to do it ALL.  The worst part about it was how late we got home each night.  With school age kids, its not a good thing to be constantly putting them to bed at 10PM.  And selfishly I cherish the last two hours of each day as we normally have kids in bed by 8PM and get to relax as a married couple and wind down a bit.

I can only imagine how crazy it will get when little Joshua starts involving himself in these things!  Heaven help us!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Conspiracy Nut

I am an admitted conspiracy nut of sorts.  I don't subscribe to every theory out there mind you as I have discovered some of those rabbit holes lead beyond the land of Wacky.  But even the most extreme, odd, and preposterous theory normally has at least a fiber of evidence to make me take pause.  Take for instance the supposed False Flag events with Crisis Actors.  Take your pick...and go with the Boston Bombing or Sandy Hook, I really don't care.  Even if those theories are baseless (and I am not saying they are) you still have a very plausible method by which our government could push an agenda.  Call it reality propaganda if you will.

It wouldn't be the first time an event was staged in order to incite a certain reaction from a population in order to support war, or tougher laws, or bigger government.  Hitler staged an attack on the German Parliament by having the Reichstag Building torched.  They used a Communist patsy to point the blame and its widely considered that this event helped solidify Nazi Germany.  Do we really believe for a moment that our government is incapable of something similar?

Movies like Seven haunt me.  Not because the characters at some point in the film cease to be fictional or because the buildup has me clawing my seat rests.  Instead its because some writer conceived the plot.  Some guy had to be as diabolical in his mind to write the part of the killer and organize the serial way in which the killer dispatched his victims based on the seven deadly sins.  A mind exists out there that maybe won't ever act on such creative evil genius but who knows?  As the saying goes, what a man can conceive he can achieve and that brings me back to these conspiracies.

You don't have to call yourself a Truther and decide 911 was an inside job.  You don't have to be a Birther and decide Obama illegally gained the position and office of President.  But my hope is you are at least awake enough and skeptical enough to consider the possibilities rather than laugh everything off, naively hoping it could never happen here.  The Matrix we live in may not be computer generated.  But sometimes I wonder if its any less fake.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Swallowing The Pride Pill

The Upward Soccer season is drawing to a close.  Last night was the final practice and all we have left is one more Saturday of games and an end of year awards night the following day.  This year had its frustrations and I even found myself questioning whether or not I should continue coaching due to some overwhelming frustrations.  Though I love the game and I love all the kids I almost felt like they'd be better off in someone else's hands since I cannot seem to get the results we're shooting for.

I say that and its certainly true of the boys team.  They've lost all but one game and tied the one in question.  But the girls have a winning record having only lost to one team.  But we've lost to that one team three times and we have no business losing to them considering our talent level verses theirs.  I really don't mind losing especially if and when we are outmatched.  Many of the boys games we were dramatically outmatched and so I cheered every time we'd even remotely get a fast break or make a great play.  Other times and just about every time with the girls, we lost the game mentally and let less talented teams have their way with us.

This league focuses on sportsmanship, learning the game, and learning about Jesus Christ instead of a win-at-all-costs mentality that many other leagues seem to promote.  But I have a confession.  I like winning and this has been a very tough season for me especially on the boys side of things.  I've never had such a record as this and humility abounds.  Yet last nights practice was the one where I got to share the Gospel.  We covered John 3:16, recapped all the principals that we'd been teaching throughout the season, and ended with sharing The Good News about Jesus Christ.  We talked about why Jesus had to sacrifice Himself for us and what that actually means to us in the here and now, as well as eternity future.

Nothing could be more fulfilling or a better reminder to me than getting such an opportunity.  I will take ten years or horrible records so long as each season ends with teaching kids about a relationship with Christ.  God basically made me swallow my pride pill, pressed the reset button, and opened my eyes to what this is really all about.  I love these kids and my role as coach is much deeper than teaching sports techniques!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kids w/Cell Phones

My once hard-line stance on this issue is beginning to soften.  Had you asked me a few years ago, kids should not have cell phones until they are teenagers and even then with limited use and strict rules.  My generation was lucky if our parents purchased a separate land line for us, so what does a modern day child need with an entire hand held computer that just so happens to also make calls?  I suppose the softening began long ago as our twins paved the way as toddlers, learning to play games on our iPhones.  Soon we were offering them phones as distractions in the restaurant instead of baby rattles.

My youngest just cannot seem to sit still for more than fifteen minutes most times.  But you give him my phone with Netflix playing Curious George and he's in it for the long haul.  I still won't pay for any of my kids to have an activated phone with its own bill.  But I did let the twins inherit our 3GS's and we even downloaded an app that lets them text for free and receive calls for free...just no dialing out.  It only works where there is a WiFi connection and of course they can continue to play all the games we've downloaded.

Other rules include, no taking them to school, and no spending hours playing on them.  When we say put the phone down, it better be put down or we take them away.  Thus far they are very compliant for fear of losing the privilege   They have discovered texting and can't wait to see if they have a new message after school each day.  I kind of like it too because they are learning QWERTY keyboarding and honing their spelling & reading skills interactively.  And the only people they have numbers to contact are direct family members.

How have you decided to use cell service in your house with the kids?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bye AT&T!


I'm not one to post much in the way of consumer reports.  But I am one to rant when I get a good chance and if that rant happens to fall into the category of products and customer service, I let the chips fall where they may.  As part of the Mother's Day plan we arranged for the kids to be looked after by the grandparents while my wife and I finally got the much needed cell phone upgrades.  Not because we have to have the newer model with a front facing camera and the virtual assistance of Siri.  No, more-so because we have been limping along with our 3GS's as each of them were getting glitchy, having memory issues, and charging problems.

But this wasn't the first time we tried to get this upgrade.  Late last year was the first time we dared enter the AT&T gates and ask when our upgrade options were available.  We were told a month that began with an "M".  I heard March but apparently they meant May.  Our second visit was (you guessed it) in March.  We excitedly re-entered the gates, checked in with the host, and browsed our options while waiting for it to be our turn.  Before I could ask the difference between the 4, the 4S, and the 5, my rep tells me that I cannot upgrade until May and we leave defeated again.

So yesterdays visit was key.  It was the culmination of anticipation and past rejections being overcome with a  final and glorious victory that left us with smiles on our faces and new iPhones in hand.  We check in, we go to the wall of phones and stare with a sense of awe, and then it happens.  Our sales rep approaches and says, folks I can't upgrade you until this months bill is paid for.  I am immediately irritated with a side of frustrated anger.  Our bill is paid automatically and we set it up to pay on the 17th of each month because that is how it best fits in with all of our other bills.  This is before the 21st late fee cutoff but apparently not what they consider "on-time" either.  So despite being customers for over a decade with impeccable credit and pay history, I have now been turned away by AT&T for the third time.

I understand the first time.  We were over six months away from the upgrade deadline.  The second time they could have figured something out since we were just two months out.  And then yesterday there was just no excuse.  I was NOT going to lose this opportunity (especially with kids in grandparent hands).  So a quick drive just one parking lot over and I am standing at a Verizon store, getting my 4S, keeping my phone number, getting a cheaper monthly plan, and being treated like a customer that is of value.  I fought every urge to pull a Goodwill Hunting as I imagined going back to AT&T, showing them my new phone, and asking "How bout them apples!?"


Friday, May 10, 2013

Photo Friday Frenzy - 108

Category: Wal-Mart

Vote closed.  Winner: Not always so friendly.

Instructions: Vote on your favorite two photos. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection. Mobile phone users must scroll down and click on View Web Version to vote.



Click on images to enlarge them.
Keeping those floors shiny.


Not always so friendly!


Rollbacks are getting expensive!


Pass the popcorn JimBob


Still looking for Princess Peach.


Didn't want to leave him in the car.


Dressing rooms optional.


Now where did little Emily run off to?

Thursday, May 09, 2013

The "I'll Pray For You" Lie

Ever tell someone that you will pray for them or that you will be praying form them in a longer term type circumstance?  And perhaps at the time you sincerely meant it but by the end of the day, the promise and the details of their life faded into the background of yours and it never happens.  Perhaps it so escaped your mind that you don't even become aware of the mistake until you see that family again and to your horror, become aware of the oversight.  Or are you just one of those folks that uses the "I'll pray for you" line as an auto-response of sorts kind of like saying "bless you" when someone sneezes?

When people have needs well beyond our human capacity to help out with we do tend (as believers) to naturally offer prayer.  If you are like me you kind of fall into both categories outlined above but never with malice of intention.  Recently God brought this issue to the forefront of my attention as I began typing on someone's Facebook post.  As my fingers reached for the letters to spell out my prayerful promise, they froze over the keyboard and a voice in my mind inquired, "Do you mean what you are about to promise?  Are you going to pray for them?"  

I thought, "Well yes, I mean it and yes I will."

"Then do it NOW. Do it before you even finish typing so that when you say you're praying for them, that its already true!"

It struck me as my conscious struggled with this dialog and convicted me about well intended but ultimately hallow promises that its really a BIG deal to make such false promises whether innocently so or not.  Its very comforting to have any community support.  It's even more comforting as believers to know or at least think other believers are taking time out of their day to petition God on your behalf.  For that to be an empty gesture is just not acceptable.  If you are like me and need to pray in that very moment so as to not make this mistake again, then I urge you to do so.  For the rest of you that are organized, keep lists, and are diligent about honoring that promise...carry on!

But then again, why wait?

How can I be praying for you right now?

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Subtle Attack?

This headline came across my news feed yesterday.  My personal jury is not handing out a guilty verdict to the track officials that disqualified the winner (and his relay team) who pointed upward as he crossed the finish line to indicate who gets the glory.  My instinct perhaps at first was to cry foul.  And I still think its ridiculous to disqualify this guy and his entire team when they blasted the competition with their hard work, determination, and talent.  I don't care if the guy did five fist pumps in celebration when crossing the line, he earned his spot and all that comes with that.

I will also fight the temptation to rant about what a wimpy nation we have become that we've made rules such that the victor cannot enjoy their accomplishments because it may hurt the feelings of those that lost.  Instead I will elaborate on what does concern me from a Christian standpoint about this story.  I am not saying this is what is going on but this is a fear of mine that this story brought out.  As popular as it has become to take God and faith practices out of every part of school life, its also pretty unpopular to be the one initiating these actions.  Could it be that rules like this are just subtle ways of further restricting personal faith choices and practices?  I mean the rule is that you cannot use any hand gestures in celebration which covers them from having to say specifically pointing to God but does indeed restrict that very thing.

If I wanted to directly attack Mormonism for example, I could try to get legislation passed that outlaws Mormon Missionaries from knocking on doors in my city.  If I wanted to be more subtle about it, I could instead try to get legislation passed that outlaws any door to door activities be they sales people or proselytizers.  I know its impossible to know but I can't help but wonder how many rules have been put into place with that kind of ulterior motive in mind.  On that very post on Facebook another lady mentioned that its against the rules for her to wear her necklace on the track which just so happens to have a cross on it.  Granted no necklaces can be worn but that's another example that makes me wonder.

As Christians we need to be careful in shouting out that our religious freedoms have been violated if they haven't been.  But we also need to keep our eyes open to the real possibility that certain rules are made with the explicit intent to restrict the outward display of our beliefs.  What a crazy world we live in!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Man's Way or God's?


This graphic appears on my Facebook Newsfeed from one of my atheist friends.  My comments was, "I don't know what relgion is but it sounds scary."  Of course I am only poking fun at the fact that the word religion was misspelled but even if it hadn't been, does this statement still have any kind of point?  Well perhaps to the surprise of most atheists, including the one that posted this, I think it does.  Religion spelled correctly still has big problems.  But I think it has problems because its is man's attempt at approaching God.  Man's way is always wrong, flawed, and fallen.  We try to put God into a box and then teach others how to view that box.

God's way is through Christ Jesus as its clearly states in Scripture. "I am the way, the truth, and the light.  No one comes to the Father but by me."  And since Jesus is a living person, this invitation is not for us to embrace rituals, denominations, flowing robes, rosary beads, candle lighting, pew sitting, liturgy reading, or memorized prayer recitation.  No its an invitation into a relationship.  Many people are shocked by the Bible passage where Jesus tells people, "Depart from me, for I never knew you." because the people He is saying this to are indeed religious.  They prophesied in His name, drove out demons, and did all kinds of Christian stuff.  But Jesus dismisses them and says there was no relationship.

Furthermore, when Jesus walked the earth...who was He the harshest with?  The Scribes and Pharisees (also known as the religious people).  He hates religion and rightly calls the people of that day who thought religion would save them, vipers and thieves.  He further insults them by calling them whitewashed tombs.  They are real pretty on the outside but contain rotten, decay on the inside.  I don't know about you but I am not looking for a club to be part of.  I am not looking for a secret dance or set of rituals that will make my life better or give me some false hope of eternal bliss.  I am looking for the real deal.  Authentic, sincere, love and relationship with my Creator who obviously had some reason for making this reality and setting me in it.  And so long as He is offering a relationship, I will accept the invite and send my regrets to those inviting me to join their religion.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Photo Friday Frenzy - 107


Category: Perfect Timing

Vote closed.  Winner: Flick

Instructions: Vote on your favorite two photos. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection. Mobile phone users must scroll down and click on View Web Version to vote.



Click on images to enlarge them.


Flick!


Water walker


Lightning strike


Hover-Cat


Kick to the rear


Very telling!


She's everywhere!


Furry face

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Judgmental Jerk


I have a confession to make.  I am a judgmental jerk. I am always drawing conclusions about how people act and holding them to unspoken standards that they don't even know exist. Most times I keep these thoughts to myself.  But other times I share them with my wife or a close confidant.  Recently two Christians let me down pretty badly.  One got on my Youtube channel, not knowing anything about me, having only watched the first couple minutes of a video where I "play the part" of an atheist as an exercise that then leads me to a rebuttal of that kind of thinking.  How do I know he only watched the first few seconds?  Because he used three full comment boxes to tell me that I was hell-bound and probably had a computer full or porn. And though he mistook me for an atheist and was wrong, I couldn't help but find the greater error in his approach to be his harshness.  Even if I was an atheist, does he honestly believe he will win anyone over with that kind of behavior? See below:


Then there is an assistant coach in the Christian soccer league that I'm involved with from another team.  His behavior at Saturday's game was not impressive.  He bowed up to one of our coaches like he was going to throw a punch and over what?  An unimportant soccer game between first graders that will hold no bearing over the rest of any of these kids lives or his even one month from now.  At this point you might be wondering why I consider myself a jerk over my judgement of these two.  After all they are giving me plenty to work with and they are clearly in the wrong.

The best way to answer you is to remind you of the parable in Scripture about taking out the plank in your own eye before removing the speck in your brothers eye.  Just when I feel high and mighty enough to declare judgement over someone, God reminds me of every sin, every disappointing action, every foul thought, word and deed that I have done and in some cases continue to do.  If my very own scale of judgement were turned back on me, I would stand just as guilty as either of these two men.  And if I cannot pass my own level of quality control, what are the odds of me ever having a chance to pass God's?

Thank you Lord for the humility lesson and for making a way that doesn't require my efforts!  They are like filthy rags even on my best day.  I rest in Jesus Christ and ask that you help me love others instead of handing down verdicts.