Parent’s who steal trick-or-treat candy, the circle of life and sex with out love

holloween special

WARNING: This is not a Halloween blog. I figured there was no sense ranting against that holiday. Sure, a few parents sneak candy from their kids  and then invent elaborate excuses as to why they indulge in such shenanigans such as

  • “I eat the stuff my kids don’t like so it doesn’t go to waste.”
  • “I’m just checking for poison-one bite at a time. You know how many creeps there are out there.”
  • “I’m just helping my spouse out. If  he/she starts sneaking candy from little kids who knows what other avenues of crime that will lead to?”

Bottom line. When evil gets ahold of a culture, it starts with the kids- not the candy.

Acid test? You know things are getting tough when the spiritual well-being of children does not matter.

We slowly forget that children are our most precious recourse.  The fruit of a union between two people committed  to each other in holy matrimony, pledged to love each other for the rest of their lives. This love is expressed in a glorious physical union.

The result?  Kids. In that order.

Yes, having kids is a dead give away that you well, did what you did.  No snickering.  It’s a God thing. And, the result is beautiful. The timing may not always be convenient but  is perfect.  The commitment you have for each other turns into a destiny of nurturing and loving a living, breathing bit of eternity.

That’s what family is all about. Relationship. Safety. Commitment.

So where does evil step in?

At the most beautiful part, the moment when two lovers express their lifelong commitment with sex. Problem is, it’s not so beautiful when a guy just wants to do a girl because he thinks her body is “hot” or visa versa. One seduces the other. Or one just takes what they want and leaves.

Sometimes, out of this hormonal rampage, something fragile is created. A human being is conceived. The circle of life begins all over again. But, it can not go on.

Something is wrong.

A process that was meant to end in a

  • safe place,
  • committed relationship,
  • loving home,

ends up in a emotionally charged mess of confusion and hurt. So much for playing Russian roulette with your life and the lives of children yet to be born.

You want to have sex?

Think long term. Find someone you can commit to for the rest of your life. Fall in love. Get married.  Have sex. Do what you were created to do. In that order.

It’s all about the kids.

On the flip side, when a baby is conceived, all the gossipers, lookyloos  and head shakers need to smack the self-righteousness right out of themselves.

A baby without a secure future should never be abandoned. Young moms and their babies belong to the community around them . That’s us, my friend. Our job is to support in any way we can. At any time, for as long as it takes to make sure that baby will survive and thrive.

Easier said that done. That’s the thing with blogs. You can rage against the night and then log out. I know. I’m guilty of doing this very thing.

So put your money where your mouth is. Support pregnancy centers that advocate the unborn child. Befriend and encourage young and single moms.

Oh, and love all sorts of  kids. Encourage them. Don’t just make all over the cute ones with the important parents. Pay attention to the ones who are needy, whose family situation may be rough. They need all the nurturing they can get.

As for kids and Halloween, here’s a wee bit of advice. .

Try not to get all spooked out and hide in your basement hoping no one will cast a spell on your house. Open the door and hand out candy. Pray silently for each kid who comes to your door. As for the teens that run around in wacky wardrobe hoping to scare the candy out of you, pray for them, too.

We have got to love this generation any way we can.

Pink Shirts, Bullies and the Mighty Self–esteem- Is the Perfect Parent Syndrome raising it’s smug little head again?

Last week I saw this on my Facebook feed.

bully poster

My first thought after reading it was – Dang, how did I miss this concept when my kids were young? I instantly wondered if I

  • could have
  • should have
  • or would have

done something more profound to give my kids a better life.

Then, it hit me.

I was getting sucked into the Perfect Parent Syndrome. Again. Funny,  how that stuff still messes with my head.

What is the Perfect Parent Syndrome, you may wonder. Or, you may not. Whatever. I think it’s time you understand.

The Perfect Parent Syndrome  is based on a delusion. If a parent lays down all the right rules, reads all the right books, goes to the right seminars and sends his or her kids to the right schools a perfect childhood will ensue.

This syndrome eventually morphs into parents hovering over relatives, church youth workers, school teachers and anyone else involved in the nurturing of kids.  The enormous task of making sure “everything” turns out perfect is just that- enormous.

My advice?

Forget about your detailed plans. Stay emotionally close to your kids instead. Don’t discount their fears. If they are being bullied in a small way, help them deal with it. If they are bullied in a big way, step in. This isn’t a time to worry about what other people think of you or your parenting style. If a bully is threatening the wellbeing of your child or any other child for that matter, step in.

Don’t worry about creating a generation of victims. Be more concerned that we may be raising a generation of kids who talk with their fists, destroy lives through Facebook, who can’t connect emotionally with anyone slightly different from themselves. If your child becomes a target, don’t discount her pain. Life is hard enough without parents joining in the fun. Support your child. Inspire them to be courageous by showing a little courage of your own.

Oh, BTW, if you think wearing a pink shirt on anti-bullying day is  pointless, think again. The beginning of change is awareness. Even a perfect parent cannot  eradicate bullying in this world. But, a good parent can make a difference – one bullied kid at a time.

Pilfered Holidays, Candy Stuffed Pillowcases and and Turkeys Dressed to Feed a Hundred and Five-What should we be thankful for anyway?

 

thanksgiving day feast

I know, I know. All you Americans feel ripped off. It’s like we snatched  those turkey and dressing right out of your primal hands.

Take it as a complement.

Now, we don’t  get all giddy and glassy eyed about pilgrims or Plymouth rock. Contrary to what you may believe, we did not suck the history right out of your red, white and blue mega brains with some kind of super secret Canadian weapon. Trust me, we hardly have enough military jeeps to go around.

We just want to emulate your grateful heart. That’s all.  And, we’re  not the only ones  Year after year the entire world

  • watches as the great bastion of liberty
  • celebrates
  • the first settlement of idealists

in an untamed land.

So, we decided to be thankful, too.  Is that so bad?

We thank God for the big kahunas like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We say thanks for momentous life events such as weddings and christenings, a child’s graduation and financial gains.

Mind you, it gets a bit heady up in the clouds of the big ticket items. I know I find it hard to breathe with the enormity of it all.  But, only a fool would not express gratitude for blessings received.

Sometimes, though, it feels more like sorting out sorting out   trick-or-treat candy on Halloween night. What exactly did I get this year anyway? Why didn’t I go to the houses with the big candy bars or the ones with the old ladies who just opened their coin purses and shelled it out? I have that same yucky feeling that I get when I watch kids sort out bags stuffed bigger than a turkey dressed for a family of a hundred and five. 

How much blessings does a person need anyway?

I don’t know. I’m not God. And, I don’t understand the logic or reason in the distribution process. Sometimes it can seem really random, even cruel.  Does good and bad stuff  just happen no matter how you live your life?

Sorry if you don’t think folks should travel such a road on a day like this. But, sometimes I do.

I can’t help but wonder why some People suffer in the middle of grateful praise. Hearts break while others celebrate. In the midst of flaming greatness, some of us can only see a  tiny bit of light. It seems to barely shine.

Maybe it’s only me, but I can’t help but wonder what kind of God would take time for such an ordinary people who live simple, ordinary lives.

I mess up all the time. I fall apart. I hurt. I laugh. I cry and doubt if life will ever make any sense at all.

Here comes the miracle, the gut-wrenching truth that no finite brain could ever wrap it’s around.

God is good. He cares about

  • the ordinary,
  • the totally messed up
  • the overwhelmed and broken

And, He loves us with an everlasting love. Underneath our awkward, often troubled lives are his everlasting arms.

He will never leave or forsake His children. Where ever they are, He is there.  Always.

That’s it. The heart of thanksgiving. The rock bottom of blessing.

Our God.

Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop- do you live in a constant state of “what if” fear? Then, read this blog.

 

boots

When I was a kid, a guy came to my church to teach about personality types. Grant you, this was a fundamentalist Bible believing church. The very mention of personality types scared most people in our church. It sounded too much like the dynamic duo of psychology and humanism. Everybody hated that stuff like it was some kind of Poison Ivy sandwich.  

I guess folks were a little overwhelmed with the latest fundamentalist craze. It was an intense study of the book of Revelation that paid particular attention the second coming of Jesus, blood flowing in valleys and the battle of Armageddon.   Too much end time excitement had begun to take away people’s ability to sleep at night. I know it raised my nine-year-old bodies’ blood pressure. So a series of lectures without the words “left behind” was a nice change. At least it was for me.

“Moses had a melancholy personality,” the visiting teacher said, “What personality are you?”

The personality of Moses, I thought to myself. I was introspective and moody. But, seriously, how could I not be?  I was a preacher’s kid living with the fear that

· If I misbehaved in church the deacons could fire my Dad.

· If I listened to rock music the Devil would snatch my soul.

· If I played with a deck of cards, I would singlehandedly be responsible for plunging the church back into the dark ages.

No wonder I felt a sense of impending doom.

It’s sort of like living on the bottom floor of a cheap apartment building. The walls and floors are so thin you can hear every single sound in the apartment above. The upstairs neighbor comes home late at night and pulls off his shoes. You wake up when the first one hits the floor. Then, you lay there in the darkness and wait. You can’t relax. You can’t fall asleep until the other shoe finally hits the floor.

That’s how I spent much of my childhood in the context of church. I waited for bad things to happen. I anticipated disapproval and rebuke. I tensed as i waited for God’s judgment to fall on me like acid rain. .

That’s not how I want to live the rest of my life –in a state of  shock waiting for the other shoe to drop. I know a great deal more about God’s mercy. I have experienced His love.

I will not pretend that the world is no longer a scary place. Stuff happens. People lose their jobs. Dreams fall apart. Relationships come to an end.

But, if we are not diligent we may end up living in the turmoil of our fear instead of being present in reality.

Not a pretty picture.

God is in the here and now. Trust Him. Join Him.