Booing Robinson Cano

Booing a star athlete from the safety of the bleachers is an experience loved by many a sports fan. But it does change substantially when the athlete is right before your face!

Thursday Thanks (21-25)

fiveEach week (I aim for Thursday), I’ll use this space to list five things (items, experiences, people, whatever) for which I’ve been recently grateful. Consider it my “blessings count”. Ann Voskamp’s famous challenge to list 1000 gifts seemed daunting — I’m committing to 500, a two-year venture from when I started last month!

1) Gift Cards
Some people consider them a lazy gift; I consider them a gold mine. Last week, I enjoyed 90 minutes of carefully selecting a couple blocks at Chapters as well as a precious date with my wife at a great local restaurant – all paid for by a couple good friends. Gift cards rock!

2) Sports
It is a fantastic time of year for sports lovers. March Madness ended just in time to make way for the NBA and NHL playoffs. My viewing habits are considerably lighter than they were in my younger years, but a few moments here and there along with the highlights are more than enough for this guy to follow the drama and the storylines. Great fun!

3) Travel
Next week presents me with the unique opportunity to attend the Pepperdine Lectures for the first time. The event is said to be one of the finest in our fellowship, in terms of presenters and teachings. And Malibu isn’t hard to take either!

4) Bikes
Today marked the first bike ride of the year. Our three girls and I re-familiarized ourselves with the path near our home. They felt considerably heavier than they did last summer, so I best put some more peddling on my weekly routine.

5) Candles
Who doesn’t love the flickering of a flame? A single candle burns nearby as I compose this list, and I am amazed at the calming, peaceful effect that little light can generate.

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  • Did any of this week’s list especially strike a chord with you?
  • What’s one thing you’re particularly grateful for this week?

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Kids + Science + Helium = FUN

Fun little video here of a creatively geeky Dad teaching his little ones about science.

I bet you’ll smile and learn something too!

Come Awake!

typewriterOccasionally, I compose short pieces for our church bulletin. While most would consider 250 words or less shorter than the ideal blog post, allow me to share one such recent post below. If such articles are useful to you or your church for similar use, consider permission granted. Please just tag on my blog address for the sake of reference.

COME AWAKE

Easter marks a season of awakening. Seedlings press through the darkness of dirt into the light of life. Chicks break free from restrictive shells into a wide-open world. Small children and their mothers jailbreak from too-tight living rooms into the energy-burning spaciousness of the yard!

But Easter is not just your average awakening. It does not resemble the groan of reaching for a too-early alarm clock. Nor is it like dim mornings when first thoughts include longing for the too-far-away re-entry into bed.

Easter speaks of an awakening tied to readiness. Perfectly ripened, Easter delivers us from defeat. It is the provider of possibility and the feeder of faith. It dares us to dream and frees us to function on levels we had considered unreachable.

Whatever the sensation is of a stalled and still heart bursting forth to beat again, a similar power seeks to break forth into any life submitted to the risen Lord.

Be assured that whatever death-deposits you feel – fear, addiction, despair, isolation, apathy – the board is set to see such realities devastated as you enter a life of freedom and power, provided for you by the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead.

Whatever your slumber, it is time to come awake!

Six-Pack (63)

Welcome to the Easter weekend’s edition of the Six-Pack.

As is the pattern, the half-dozen links below lead to the best online offerings I have recently read, related to ministry or faith, with just enough space left for who-knows-what!

If six ever feels daunting, start with my two *Picks of the Week*, and go from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Empty Tombs and the Suddenness of Dawn (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Nadia Bolz Weber, who once shared my faith heritage, shares this powerful piece on the surprising nature of resurrection, beginning with Lazarus and ending with every single one of us.

2) What I Learned Watching 150 Hours of TED Talks
This HBR piece is hardly earth-shattering, but as the title suggests, a few minutes of reading could save you 150 hours of viewing!

3) Meet Author Mark Buchanan
The Word Guild introduces readers to author Mark Buchanan. If you don’t already know him, you should.

4) 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
The creative process has always fascinated me. What ticks within artists or creative minds that enables something new to be brought into existence? This post highlights some of the attributes and habits frequently fueling creativity.

5) The Porn-Free Family Plan
Tim Challies offers this detailed sketch of how parents might craft a plan to guard their homes and children from the destructive power of pornography. Lots of practical tips here.

6) The History of Ties
The folks at Ethos3 answer the question men have been asking for years: Why am I wearing a stylish little noose around my neck?

May your week ahead be filled with life, as you seek the One from whom it flows!

leaveacommentYOUR TURN: Your input makes this post better!

  • Which link above was today’s best-of-the-best?
  • Why that one?

Direct others to the best of the bunch with a quick comment.

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Thursday Thanks (16-20)

fiveEach week (I aim for Thursday), I’ll use this space to list five things (items, experiences, people, whatever) for which I’ve been recently grateful. Consider it my “blessings count”. Ann Voskamp’s famous challenge to list 1000 gifts seemed daunting — I’m committing to 500, a two-year venture from when I started last month!

1) Software
A slickly designed program that does its job well is a joy to use. One new addition to our lives as being a finance program called You Need A Budget. We have always been relatively careful of tracking our spending, but this program, coupled with its app formats, has made the process significantly better.

2) Hair
This one makes the list, particularly as I consider my three daughters: whether it is our oldest aspiring to outgrow Rapunzel’s hair or our second daughter running around the house with thin braids flying behind, or our youngest whose tousled wild “do” delights me daily.

3) Medicine
When our oldest daughter slept restlessly for weeks, while complaining of a stomachache, we searched futilely for answers. A couple supplements and medications have transformed her in a matter of days. Yay for drugs!

4) Fire
It’s April 18, and light snow is falling, in the latest installment of “the winter without end”. That said, our living room feels remarkably cozy – the fireplace certainly helps!

5) Harmony
Music inspires. Rhythm delights.  But there is something magical when two tones bounce beautifully off of each other. Be it voices or instruments, harmony strikes me as a most delightful of sounds.

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  • Did any of this week’s list especially strike a chord with you?
  • What’s one thing you’re particularly grateful for this week?

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

A Word to Parents

1970.harmon-killebrew.16Harmon Killebrew was a star hitter for the Minnesota Twins in the 1960’s and 1970’s. In recalling his childhood, he often told this story:

“My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass.’

‘We’re not raising grass,’ Dad would reply.

‘We’re raising boys.'”

Parenting duties can battle with other expectations: Career aspirations, financial goals, fantasies of spotless homes and leisurely schedules.

Whatever you’re treasuring or pursuing, be sure that Papa Killebrew’s simple focus weighs in to your equation because there are a lot of things out there that we aren’t raising and only a few that we are.