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Watercolor Ponies

August 27, 2008 1 comment

Trey started his senior year today. I am not sitting here with tears or anything – just reflecting on the last twelve years and how quickly time flies. It is so hard to believe that he is going to graduate this year. Naturally, we are not the first parents to consider this. It is all in the cycle of life. But as many of you know, theory is one thing but experience is the thing. I have prayed for him for so many years and soon must let him go and have faith that what he has learned from us will guide him. That takes faith on both of our parts. He has turned out to be a great young man. He is thoughtful and sensitive – always standing up for the other guy. He has a great sense of justice. My strange humor has rubbed off on him. We both just sit and laugh about things. He has a strange quirkiness. He is a great guy.

The song Watercolor Ponies talks about those sometimes indistinguishable works of art on your refrigerator. It sums my feelings, I guess.

Baby, what will we do when it comes back to me and you?
They look a little less like little boys every day.
The pleasures of watching the children growing
is mixed with the bitter cup of knowing
the watercolor ponies will one day ride away.

This is going to be a great year. Graduation is on May 28, 2009. Just 274 days away.

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Categories: Family

Never Leave Your Partner Behind

August 18, 2008 Leave a comment

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Rhonda and I were fortunate to see an early preview of Fireproof at church a few weeks ago. It is a great film. We laughed. We cried. We really related to the characters. I think most married couples will see themselves somewhere in the movie.

At its basics, the movie is about relationships. The relationship between and man and his wife, his parents, and his co-workers, and ultimately, his relationship with Christ. Kirk Cameron’s character seems at once strong and very driven but also distracted by the trappings of life. He has no center; there is no foundation to keep him steady. It is made pretty evident that a marriage will not reach its full potential without Jesus as the third partner. The relationship with his Dad was especially touching to me. During those scenes I found myself wanting an experience like that. I loved my Dad very much but never achieved this kind of intimacy with him. I feel like I missed out on something very special.

This film is from the creators of Facing The Giants. It is very affirming and can strengthen marriages. I hope you can make time to see it.

Categories: Family, Film, Religion

Don’t look behind the curtain.

August 13, 2008 Leave a comment

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The olympics are well underway and have proven to be pretty exciting. I have loved seeing Michael Phelps and following along on his journey to become the most decorated olympic athlete in history. I have been on the edge of my seat while watching the men's and women's gymnastics. All in all, it has been pretty entertaining.

The opening ceremonies were just incredible. However, I found myself thinking about the people involved the whole time. I guess I don't really know what it is like to live under communism. What I know about it is largely anecdotal. But as I was marveling at the precision of the drummers and the sheer size of the production in general, I couldn't help to think about how long it took to get it as perfect as it was. It was really remarkable. How long did these people practice? I heard somewhere that they practiced hours and hours for days and days. Do they have jobs? Did companies sacrifice productivity for the sake of the state? How much do these people get paid? One of the segments said that the vast majority of Chinese people get by on $2/day. Did I hear that right? The ruling class is VERY wealthy. Everyone else just survives. If that is so, do these people realize that? Even the Chinese athletes are taken from their families at very young ages to train. They rarely see their families. Are all of these sacrifices made voluntarily? I guess everything is done for the good of the state. I don't get it.

So, even as I was impressed by the expansive scope and technology of the opening ceremonies I had a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. It might have been the lunch that I had eaten earlier but I suspect it was the realization that China, a country often vilified for it's disregard for civil rights, had spent billions of dollars so that people like me would sit in amazement at their spectacular job. We will probably never know how much this Olympics cost them or how much debt they are left with.

Later, I heard on the news that the sweet little girl in the red dress was not singing but lip-syncing. Also, the fireworks on television were not the same fireworks that were experienced live. They had been enhanced with computer-generated graphics for the television viewers. I understand, I suppose, China's desire to look good to the world. But this is a perfect example of what communist regimes try to do. Let's make it look perfect and maybe they won't notice what is behind the curtain. It makes me wonder how much of the ceremony really was computer controlled. That would explain the precision. Whatever you do, ignore that man behind the curtain.