Friday, March 30, 2007

Point Man

I'm liking this Steve Farrar guy. Not hard to read, but sometimes the message is hard. He calls us to manhood, to leadership. It's tough to lead a family. But so what, it's not really a choice, not when you follow the King of Kings, and that's his call for men.

Here's what Steve says...
"This is a book for men. It's a book for men that talks about how to become an effective leader in your home. After 3 years of research and study, it is my conclusion that effective male leadership in the homes of America is going the way of the dinosaur. Some people are worried about the extinction of whales, condors, snail-darters, or baby seals. Those are legitimate concerns. But let me shoot straight with you. I'm a lot more worried about the extinction of the men who know how to lead a family. And the effective male leader who knows how to lead his family is already on the endangered species list." Point Man, P. 13.

I wish he were wrong, but I don't believe he is. Nor do I believe we any longer are, "One nation under God." I'm beginning to understand now how Rome fell so quickly. Free will vs. election no longer matter so much - maybe that's just a product of age. But KJV vs. NIV, pre or post trib., none of it is as important as shining as a light in a dark world, and intentionally leading and intentionally loving my family.

On a light note - I know this cool army song about baby seals (as noted above), anyone want to hear it? And don't forget to scroll down one entry, I updated my airborne log.

Monday, March 26, 2007

This could be me...

This could be, really. OK, OK, it has to go like this. No kidding, there I was (all good airborne stories start like that)! ...waiting in a dramatic pause. 3,500 ft., full gear, I must have been carying a 135 lb. pack. The static line got stuck in the door so I chewed it off with my teeth, then in an act of sheer brilliance and amazing dexterity, I sliced the pack open with my K-Bar knife (the only great thing the Marines ever gave us). The chute deployed like Mae West and I plumeted to the ground like a stone. In my most pious voice, I called out to St. Michael, patron saint of all airborne soldiers, and the chute fully deployed. I hit the ground like a brick...feet - knees - face. Shook off the concussion, wiped off the blood, and leapt to my feel calling the rest of the stick sissies for taking so long to reach the ground.

So, now do you want the truth? 60 jumps out of all sorts of high performance aircraft. Day time, nighttime, with green eggs and ham. 3,500 ft., perfect day, no pack, no gear...nothing by wind in my face and a gorgeous view of Mount Ranier. What can I say...there is a God! Days like this one made up for all the others; cold, wet and tired. The photo is from ca. 1985, I just scanned it today. Many more to follow, probobally on a web page as there will likely be many. I wouldn't change my life - but I do miss those days (grin)!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I can feel the waves Chuck

In each of us, there is a deep place we don't share. It's our heart, our soul, our self...the very essence of our being. It's the part we only share with those we truly love. Some of find the things that move us in the opera, or the forests or the nighttime sky. We feel things deeply that recharge us in ways that words can never begin to express. For me, it's the water. The Pacific, the Atlantic, a very deep lake nearby. But sometimes it's much simpler than that. Sometimes my friends help me feel the waves... I'm not talking about sharing memories, or deep conversations. I mean really helping me "feel the waves." Like with a glass of water emptying it's contents at about 130 mph straight into my face. Thanks Chuck, thanks for helping me "feel the waves!" So much for the fun next entry will be something more manly, more hooah. It only seems fitting.

Friday, March 23, 2007

They're all going to hang...

Washington College in Maryland has this great little house. It's affectionately called the Lit. house. In this house they host poetry readings. Some great, and some really famous people have come. But the Lit house is also a dangerous place to be. You the lit house, everybody who speaks gets hung. Most of the people who come, leave with respect, but not Jay Parini. The tradition goes like this; if the poet was wonderful, his or her (or is that her and his?) poster hangs on the wall - right side up. If not...well...see Jay Parini (Can you say Boooo?). Everyone who waxes poetic at Washington hangs, it's just a question of which way!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Psalm 23

It's the little things in life that make all the difference in the world to us. That one person who cared enough to share the tough love no one else would. The uncle who encouraged, though you never really understood why he picked you. The grandfather who always had the time, and a special name for you. It's in each of these fleeting moments that life is truly lived, that bonds are created and memories are made. It's this stuff that makes life worth living. I guess the tragedy is the pain when that person finally leaves the earth...hopefully for heaven. That moment when we're left with not just the pain of the leaving, but the realization of knowing we'll never see them again. There's something about permanency that just aches, isn't there? God knew this. Too well in fact. We were never designed for death. And He knew that the real enemies were Satan and hell and life without outside of the sheep fold. He knew that life on earth would be a struggle, that He made us aliens and strangers in a hostile land. And that if we're to live as lights in this dark world, He would have to "prepare a table for us in the presence of our enemies." Take a moment and reflect on these wonderful words so common today. Often recited, profaned at times, leaned upon for the promise and the comfort...and there is comfort here, but often too quickly read. So read it all... Really read it. When I allow him to be the shepherd...when I follow His leading, when I sit at His table, when I allow His Rod and Staff to comfort me (and to discipline me), then will goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life.
Psalm 23
1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

He still hears...

4 AM. I'm driving to the Syracuse airport for a marathon day. Philly at 8:30 for a meeting with an architect. 1:30 flight to Pittsburgh for an interview with a potential client. 7 or 8 PM return to Philladelphia by 9:30. 8 AM the next morning for another job. I pray when I drive. Often out loud. At about 4:15 I begin praying, "Lord, please provide me with a man today who can speak to me, challenge me, mentor me just a little." I prayed for friends, to be professional in my job. I prayed for an engineer. And then I got on a plane. The flight was uneventful, and the airport meeting went really well. And then I flew to Pittsburgh. The man next to me started a conversation. He was humble and wise and interesting. He was, I quickly realized, an answer to my prayer. Why does it shock me when God answers prayers so boldly? We talked about Tony Campolo, about justice and the uniqueness of a small university that still proclaims the truth boldly. He was a college President. Many of his words challenged me, or opened my eyes to truths I know but hadn't considered in a long time. It was a blessing. And an honor as he said, "Pray for Tony..." Suddenly I felt connected to this great speaker, this great man of God, in a personal way. That's enough for today. Tomorrow, after a birthday party, I'll introduce my girls to Friday, but Sunday's coming, and I'll tell them of God's faithfulness.