Family

Oh, How I Miss Garbage!

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The other day I took out the garbage. I know…I know…you do too. So what’s the big deal?

When I went to throw the garbage in the big, blue, plastic container I noticed how empty our container was. Still not a big deal? Keep reading.

Just yesterday (not really, just seems like it) our big, blue, plastic container was filled each week for the big, blue, metal garbage truck. What has happened to all our garbage? Where did it go? Why do we only have one bag a week rather than five or six bags a week?

It graduated and moved on. No, the garbage didn’t move on. I was just using symbolism.

Our kids graduated and moved on. No, they are not garbage. I love my kids. Stop getting ahead of me. Let me finish.

As each child moved on the amount of garbage collected and placed by the curb on Wednesday night diminished. My wife and I don’t produce near as much garbage as when there were six of us living at home.

My weekly trip to the curb with my big, blue, plastic container is a reminder that my kids have graduated and moved on.

Oh, how I miss garbage!

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Why I Don’t Like My Prayer Life

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A few years ago I was able to go to Israel. One of our stops included the Garden of Gethsemane. The place where Jesus prayed, prior to His death on the cross. Looking back on this…

I discovered something about myself through my own prayer life.

I don’t like the way I pray. Why? Because it reveals so much about who I am, who I’ve yet to become and what’s in my heart. I found, through my prayers, that I’m pretty selfish.

I guess I’ve known this for some time, as I’ve often prayed, “help me not to be so selfish.” However, even in that prayer it reveals my selfishness. I hate to admit this but my prayer life has become about me.

I don’t know how long this has been going on and I guess it doesn’t matter. What does matter is turning the corner on this, and soon. So beginning today my prayers will be less about me and more about others.

This morning several prayers were offered up for extended family members and friends. My speaking with God included other nations and my own community. Prayers for another pastor and his wife were uttered as well as a couple facing a major surgery.

My pastor and his wife were included as well. God heard me offer up prayers for my wife, kids (who aren’t kids anymore) and grandkids. My final words came in the form of gratitude for all God has done in and through me and for others.

Perhaps moving from ‘I’ centered prayers to ‘other’ centered prayers is an answer to my selfishness, greed, lusts, pride,…well the list continues.

So here goes…how can I pray for you?

Five Fancy Festive Finds For Thanksgiving

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animated-turkey-cartoonGive Thanks. Eat. Watch football. Nap. REPEAT.

We’ve got it down. We know the routine. The above senerio will be played out millions of times this Thanksgiving. Not that there is anything wrong with it. As a matter of fact I’ve been caught up in this routine all of my life.  I mean who wouldn’t love a day that involved family, friends, feasting and football?

Of course, depending on your beliefs and traditions, the give thanks part can last but a few seconds (Rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub) to several moments with everyone at the table sharing 10 things they are thankful for, grabbing hands and praying, reading Psalm 136…repeat.

So as to hopefully add a spark of holiday exhilaration to your Thanksgiving gala, I’ve given you five fancy festive finds to help break up the monotony that may be found in homes across America.

  • Fancy Festive Find  # 1 – Everyone comes with a 3 x 5 card listing 3 to 5 (see a pattern here) things they are thankful for. Cards are mixed up and redistributed so each person has one. During the meal and one at a time an individual reads a card and others try to guess who the person is that wrote it.
  • Fancy Festive Find # 2 – This one is already fun. Just eat! As a twist, everyone starts with the one food everyone has in common and eats the first bite of that item at the same time. Next, determine which food item has the least amount of people eating it. Once determined, decide to completely eliminate that food from future gatherings.
  • Fancy Festive Find # 3 – Everyone calculates total number of points they think will be scored in each football game by all teams. Person closest to total gets a dollar from everyone else in the room. If everyone is broke, then they get a high-five from everyone else in the room and first choice at pie. If there’s no pie, then why are you having Thanksgiving?
  • Fancy Festive Find #4 – Snap pictures or shoot video of  others cooking, eating, napping, or cleaning. Post them on Instagram, Facebook, Vine or Twitter.
  • Fancy Festive Find #5 – Each guest receives a name tag as they enter. They then have to make up a name that has to do with Thanksgiving and print in on their name tag. During the meal everyone then calls them by their new name. Some examples might include: Turkey, Mayflower, Pilgrim, Pumpkin, Dressing, Giblets, Squash, etc…

Well, there you have it! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!