19 August 2005

my God is tall

incredible. challenging to have 5 kids? sure. don't sleep much with twin one-year-olds around? nope. tough to keep up with a wife who is working full-time, homeschooling (starting next week, three) kids, keeping all our books, volunteering transcribing Dino Rizzo's sermons for me to make my job easier, decorating our new home, and trying to keep us all sane while she's seeing to all that other stuff... Absolutely, it is.

But let me put this out here for all to see - there's no prouder husband and father anywhere. I took my five kids to the mall today. (i'm on a rare couple days off from work. sort of.) anyway - our washing machine broke the other day, and my wife went to buy a new one, but since it won't be ready for pick-up for two more days, she spent the day doing laundry at the laundromat. just another example of the sacrifice she makes for our family. she gives, gives, and gives some more.

so, while she was washing, i took the kids to the mall to spend their money they have been earning. my 14-year-old daughter was asked point-blank one time if she was the mom (not the first time that's happened). she was horrified, honestly, but i tried to encourage her that it really was a compliment to how she looks a lot older than 14. didn't help.

but she's really a great person. she's loves God passionately, she's got good sense when it comes to relationships, and even shows some wisdom in her clothes shopping. a rare young lady indeed. she makes me proud.

my 11-year-old son (my firstborn man-child) is quite a great kid, too. he's starting to see himself as not just a little kid anymore. he's taking himself a little more seriously (not meaning he's not fun - he just is starting to care about stuff that little kids don't usually care about - like buying clothes with his own money). he loves God, too. i'm happy for him taht he has now started goign to the Jr. Hi group at church - an exciting move for sure. and he's working hard to do right and to make good decisions - and while it is hard, he's doing it right more and more lately. i'm really proud of him for that. a neighbor kid had him over to his house to play xbox and he pulled out this game rated M (mature) (which i think is one of the great misnomers of all time). my son told the kid he didn't want to play that - he wasn't allowed to either. the neighbor kid told him, "aw come on - your parents can't see you in here - don't worry about it." my son told him he needed to go and he came home and told us about the deal - knowing full well that that would effectively be the end of his freedom to go play with this kid. he did right and man, i was proud of him.

my 5-year-old boy is a trip. he's got this odd sort of genius thing working - just shy of obsessive about "working" during the days that his mom and i work. he is creative and passionate about details in his "work." when he's not watching a movie (which i have learned he is not just watching idly - rather, he is doing more of an analytical study of the movie after about the first three viewings), he is working on the computer upstairs doing all sorts of stuff from playing games on websites we've cleared for him, to drawing in Corel Draw, or just writing notes (hollering for word spellings all the time). again, he's a kid that loves God, and makes me proud all the time.

last, there's the twins. they're quite the attention-magnets. everyone carries on about their eyelashes (then they see my 5- and 11-year-olds' eyelashes and understand that it is just the way my kids are. the twins play with each other. they hit each other. they hug each other. they scream really really loud. they laugh really really hard. they dance, they run, they climb, they wiggle. they are everything any parent could dream of a kid being, and there's two of them.

challenging? sure. but worth every last drop of energy that it requires (and it does). there's no way i'd change a thing about my family's make-up. even with all the teasing about us driving a big black van now dubbed the "O-Team" van. and even with all the looks people give us when we go in to places. i look at some of them and think, "sure, think what you want to now, but when you're 70, you're going to be lonely with no grandkids around. i'll have 25 or 30 grandkids crawling all over me. and the joy these kids bring to our lives every day is worth it all.

i just pray this - that my wife and i will continue to have the energy and wisdom to raise these kids (every one of them) the way they deserve to be raised. not in comparison to every other American kid with a bazillion toys and all the stuff they ever wanted, but in comparison to having what is important - a clear example of true relationship with God, a strong foundation in life - full of self-discipline, faith in Jesus Christ, and a strong, relevant and widespread education.

sure, that's a tall order. but my God is tall. he has entrusted these six people to me, and i know that as i seek his help in being husband and father to them, he's going to keep giving me the grace and mercy (i need both) to do the job right.

12 August 2005

maniaTV and mtv overdrive

now here's an idea i can get really excited about: tv on the web, interactive video programming online.... if you have ever heard me talk about where i'd like to see Healing Place get to go with tv, you know i've been begging for this stuff to develop. check out maniaTV's site here. Also, chris busch has a quick ref to some great info on them. and there's mtv's new one, too, mtv overdrive. anyone ever messed around with it? i can't play on mtv overdrive because they're sucking up to bill gates and are at best dragging their feet about getting it to work on macs. but i'm not bitter. just disappointed.

09 August 2005

the big time

i've hit the big time. check out the latest leadership network email.

Leadership Network Advance

bobby really is a cool guy. i had some friends recently move up to tulsa from baton rouge and they're going to start going to LifeChurch and it's so cool to know they're going to be in good hands with the folks up there. if bobby is any reflection at all of the heart and DNA of the church, they're going to be great.

thanks again, bobby - and Leadership Network for doing what you do.

stooping to greatness

check out dino rizzo (my pastor) on christine caine's website: www.chriscaine.com/messages.asp

i have no idea why the apostrophes all show up as little question mark blocks. argh.

my kid's soccer coach

isaac williams. did you ever meet someone that you knew was pretty cool and you spent some time with them, but never really understood just how great a person they were until they moved away? that's what isaac williams is for me. he coached my oldest son in soccer (JD did well, but soccer requires running -a lot- and running isn't a strong ohlerking thing). isaac is now working in his homeland of brazil - doing some great stuff spreading the gospel to places that don't have a bazillion churches already. he just got back from a trip into the interior - doing the whole ride-the-river-to-get-there thing. they had a lot of people get saved and what is even greater to me is that they are being able to plant churches where they're going. that means that those who got saved will have a place to grow. i've put some of the pics in here just to show you a bit - but what i'm really thinking is two things: first, pray for isaac and the ministry God has given him there in brazil. and second, do your best to recognize incredible people when you find one, go all-out to connect with them. you'll be glad you did, because you'll be rich in a way that really counts.

one of the places isaac went in brazil's interior

isaac's view of the journey up the river

a little insight into the psyche of isaac (pray for him)

04 August 2005

cross blogging

theres a guy that i love to death - he's a genius, a serious God-lover, one of the best artists i know - someone i respect on many levels - he's got a blog you've gotta check out: www.bluekardia.com.

he's got an entry on some stuff about Christian video games that i had some thoughts on, so i posted a reply there, but here's a bit of the idea:

the idea of making "christian" video games is actually the reason i got interested in computers in the first place back in the early eighties. my first semester project was a computer animation (on a TRS-80 Model 3, so it wasn't terribly impressive - draws could only be done on a right-to-left, top-to-bottom order) of the Navigator's Bridge Illustration Tract. you know, the great gulf fixed between God and man and the cross bridges the divide.

i have seen some "christian" games in the past and thought, "cool, glad they're going there" only to then check out the game and be thoroughly unimpressed with the creativity, look and feel, interface, concept, etc. there's sadly very few examples of great "christian" movies (mel's may be the ONLY one i'd put in the "great" category). and games i fear are going to be in the same flow - why can't Christians go after all we do with excellence ("as unto the Lord"). don't create crap and then put God's name on it.

on the other hand, i think there is a lot of room for some movies and games to have a morally beneficial value that would never be accepted as "christian" movies or games because they are not overtly evangelistic. i think there's something to the truth that they taught us at Evangel College (way back in the day) that all truth is God's truth - wherever it is found. i know you can get whacked if you go too far with using that to justify doing stuff you shouldn't, but the fact that a movie or game isn't made by a "christian" label or company (whatever that is) shouldn't disqualify it from being seen as acceptable or even valuable.

so there. i hope they start doing some games (and movies for that matter) that are excellent on every level, and carry a message that encourages people towards finding God. that'd be awesome.

that's all i've got.