Monday, July 24, 2006

The Joy of Teething

Sidney is starting to get her first tooth and it's not a happy time at our house. Drool comes out of her mouth like niagra falls and our hands our prunie from her constantly chewing on them. She is also starting solid foods. I think she wears more of the cereal than she eats.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Girls Day Out - July

Cherylle and Sidney.
RayAnn and Aunt Jo: Partners in crime.
Tracy and her extra bowls
The whole gang except for Twila who's playing photographer.

Yesterday was our monthly lunch and movie gathering. Our trend of bad waitresses continues. We went to The Olive Garden and the service was sooooo slow we missed our movie and had to go to a later showing. Most of the girls went to the mall Sidney and I wandered through Barnes & Noble looking at books and drinking coffee. She is getting so heavy I'm going to have to start bringing her stroller when we go out. I'm starting to get baby elbow. Anyway most of us were able to catch the later showing of The Devil Wears Prada. I enjoyed it greatly and now feel that I should burn all my clothes and replace them with haute couture. How do you spell Gabana?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Neal Massie

My cousin Neal passed away today from kidney failure. He had been struggling with dialysis and a failed transplant and is now free from pain and worries. My mother-in-law sent me the following interview today in an e-mail. It's with the author of The Purpose Driven Life who's wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer. My mom died from cancer several years ago and I wish that I had heard this message then. It wouldn't have taken away the heart ache but it would have given me a more hopeful perspective to ease some of the hurt.

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:

"People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven. One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body--but not the end of me. I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity. We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense. Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness. This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer. I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for. You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is "my problem, my issues, my pain." But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others. We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people. You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy. It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease. So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72. First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases. Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church. Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation. Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free. We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)? When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, "God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better." God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Last Lubbock Reunion

This weekend my Grandparents are moving to Menard to live in an assisted living complex. Aunt Jeanie, Uncle Llyod, Matt, Marta, Ty and Haylie were all there to clear out the house and get things packed up. I knew they had a lot of stuff but as we emptied cabinets and closets it was overwhelming. Grandpa was so cute. He mostly sat in his recliner and watched us run around like crazy headless chickens. Grandma was in full form wanting us not to throw anything away even though it was covered in 1/2 an inch of dust. And who knew that polyester pants came in summer and winter weight! HaHa! Marta got to help sort them into drawers. Those pants will still be around when I have Grandchildren. We all got to pick a blanket or afghan and choose from Grandma's doily collection. I chose a pastel afghan that I've always loved and plan to put it in Sidney's room on her rocker. I was sad knowing that I will never be in that house again but it's time for them to move into a smaller and safer home. Here are some pics of the family. It was so good to see everyone. Sidney had never seen Aunt Jeanie's family or Marta or Uncle Llyod.