Our Samantha, last to graduate, 1st to celebrate in the typical formalities.

After 4 years of grueling effort the day has arrived!

Congrats grad!

Class of 2013


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Again I refer to Jim Daly’s blog (17-Apr-13).

In Jim’s analysis of why our kids don’t stay with their religious upbringing, he mentions the concept that others treat our kids as if they are smart.

I find this very interesting.  This premise seems to assume that my zeal to train my children in what I believe to be right might actually backfire because my goal has a presumed outcome.  This “presumed outcome” almost encourages spoon feeding, as if the Christian faith is about knowledge.p

If I can teach enough information, I have made a convert.

A fallacy in thinking here is to relegate Christianity to man-made religions which are based upon learning and doing.  The Christian faith is not about indoctrination, it’s about a relationship.

If our primary approach is indoctrination, we’re not asking them to reason; we’re not asking them to consider whether our faith is reasonable.  The unspoken message is, “you can’t decide for yourself, so I’ll tell you what’s right”.

How might my kids more readily develop a relationship with their maker if my goal was to explore and reason with them, assuming they will must arrive at a choice on their own?

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As in my previous post I refer to Jim Daly’s blog (17-Apr-13).
Jim presents an idea which says that some are integrated into the church but the church is not integrated into them.  More precisely he says, “They got into the church but the church never got into them.”
Let’s get practical and talk about how this manifests itself when I have finally come to my senses that the glitter of the world is nothing more than a Hollywood movie set.  I grasp what life was and what life is.
Now somewhere in my journey I am a parent.  It is my responsibility to train, guide and prepare my children for life.  I have become keenly aware that for me life without a deeper spiritual connection (of which church is part) is empty.  My desire is to give my children that same life instruction spiritually as I give them to safely navigate crossing a busy highway.  In my eyes one is as essential as the other.
So, I bring my children to church with me.  But somehow over the years of my active involvement they never realize the life-changing (and eternal) significance of what they have. The church never got in them.
Is the solution to let them guide themselves?  In the pre-adult stage – No!  At least no more than I let them cross a 12 lane Interstate without preparing them for the task.  The consequences are far more dire as you compare a mortal life against an immortal one.
I digress from the core question because my purpose is not to consider why I should, but rather what’s wrong when it doesn’t.  How do I get the “church” (or more properly, what the church is supposed to stand for) into my children?  Individual choice will always take part, just like when they cross that highway, but how do I best equip those who will one day lead me?
As I ponder this question the answer which keeps coming to mind is that I need to live an authentic life.  A life that strives to live up to the values it proposes to believe.  A life that when it fails, does not hide failure but learns from it.  It’s not really the church under scrutiny by my kids – it’s my life.  I am the one they see behind closed doors.  When they see me fail, do I own it? do I learn from it?  do I do my best to live out what I say I believe?  how do I relate to those in the church who are as imperfect as I am?  Do I treat them as if I am better than they are?  Do I hold them up as the model of perfection in the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do paradigm?  In other words AM I THE ONE MOCKING what the church stands for?
It is very likely my kids may see a bunch of hypocrites at church but am I associated with that bunch or am I a model of what those “bunch of hypocrites” should aspire to be?  I guess if I take my kids to church expecting the “church” to get into them that’s already the warning sign that there’s a problem.  It’s my life that should get into them.
As I conclude this post it occurs to me that it comes back to who I am.  Am I who I say?  It’s not about whether I dishonor my faith in some way – it’s what I do about it when I dishonor my God that matters.  Do I live an open, transparent, and authentic life?
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In Jim Daly’s blog (17-Apr-13) he addresses the issue of the relevancy of a church culture to reach it’s audience.

In this short snippet of thought he raises an intriguing question.  In our quest to become relevant 2,000ish years later have we ditched history, tradition and theology and substituted “curb appeal”?  If so, what is left?

If our “relevancy” is nothing more than a knockoff of what the culture has to offer anyway, then why would I embrace it?

Take your favorite song – be it classic rock, country or alternative – for the sake of argument let’s say you choose Good Vibrations, now bring in some upstart band to replace the Beach Boys, what do you have left?  A knockoff.

Has the quest for relevancy made most Christians non-relevant?

More importantly, has my life become so “relevant” that I am nothing more than another “flavor” in the smorgasbord of our culture.  Am I a knockoff or is there something about me that is truly set apart from the culture?

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Is glass a liquid or a solid?
That’s my question of the day for me.  I am unable to say how my mind fell into that sinkhole, but here I am.
Since my school days I was taught (and believed) glass to be a very slow moving liquid.  Proof – look at very old windows.  As an adult I have continued to test this theory when I have run across some old, long deserted cabin.  In nearly every case the window panes were distorted.  Validated!
Today, once again the validity of my accepted answer was for some reason up for challenge.  As I said I have no idea what prompted this quest, but proceed I must.
Oh, what you can find on the Internet,  true, false and otherwise.
The answer which I now accept is that glass in it’s “every day” form is neither a liquid nor a solid.  It has properties of both and is neither.
Will it flow over time?  Well, yes, molecular mathematics seems to indicate that at some age, somewhere approaching the age of the universe, glass will indeed have flowed to the extent to be discernibly warped.  Maybe I’ve been beguiled by some mathematical, chemistrical trickery but for now I’m buying it.
So what causes the thicker glass at the bottom of those medieval churches or the warping on those old cabins or the warping on the back window of my Honda Civic?  Something in the manufacture, difference glasses have different properties but none are super-cooled liquids in their everyday state.
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My spouse and I are slowly making my way through a book called Total Forgiveness.  For some time we have tried to set aside one night a week just to read to each other.  It doesn’t happen regularly and recently has only happened after great lapses of time.
If you are expecting any part of the above to be a thesis on this post, nope.  It’s only irrelevant back story.  That’s what makes reality TV so appealing right?
Ok, so my point.  In the reading the author makes (what for me is) a profound statement.  He says that “total forgiveness is painful”.  This got my wheels turning.  If it’s something I give and it’s painful, isn’t this what we call sacrifice?  In other words, total forgiveness is sacrifice on my part.  Wow!!  Big thought, huge ramifications.
Food for thought.
If you want more details on the book see My Library and click on the book image.
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Not Steven Spielberg or J.J. Abrams, but then I don’t claim to be.

Anyway, a different way to have fun with your spouse.

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Once upon a day nuclear power was the answer to the future.  It could provide a seemingly endless supply of power.  It was relatively cheap over the long run. And it could allow men to stay under water for years at a time – should they desire.

Today I came across my first submarine, commissioned in 1963, decommissioned in 1990, and my home from 1980-1985.

Today her power plant, that technology of tomorrow sits, unable to rest until well after my years have passed.

HanfordSubRxCompPics622.jpg (525x800 pixels)

If you look very closely you’ll see I’ve indicated her waiting place.  Some day she will reach her half-life.

By the way I have no idea how many years ago this photo was taken but this is where the heart of nuclear submarines go when they are no more.  Someday that grave will be covered.

Fair thee well ex-USS James Monroe SSBN 622 as you wait for the future.

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