Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
I spoke about Sibling Rivalry things. I used the story of Jacob and Esau. Jacob deceived Esau and stole from him and just all-around treated his brother like poop. So, Jacob ran away because he was afraid. Years and years later, Jacob is told by God that he is to come back to him home land, but Jacob is still afraid. When he gets back, Jacob is so afraid and tries to send gifts and apologies to Esau, hoping that will appease Esau. But when Esau sees him, he runs up to him and embraces him and kisses him. Esau had forgiven and forgotten everything Jacob did to him.
My points were that:
1. we need to be humble (don't think of yourselves as better than your siblings)
2. we need to ask for forgiveness
3. we need to be willing to forgive.
I talked about how God wants us to love our family and puts huge emphasis on that. And nothing that bothers us should separate us from our family. It's really a great story, but I don't feel like I did a good job communicating it. I don't think the kids were connected with me. But, they all still had a good time in dodge ball.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I showed the story of Abraham and Issac, and when Abraham was to sacrifice his son to God. We always look at this from a view that Abraham had such great faith, and we always see it from his point of view. But I took it from Issac's point of view. This kid was carried up a mountain, knowing that they didn't have anything for the sacrifice. They had the wood and fire, but no lamb. Abraham kept telling Issac that "God will provide."
But when they get to the spot there is still no lamb, and then Abraham ties Issac to the altar. Then he raises his knife to slay his son as a sacrifice to God. Most time I've heard this sermon preached, or read about this in commentaries, they make it as though Issac was calm and did whatever his dad wanted. All of the strain and emotion is on Abraham who has to do this horrible act to his son. But I believe Issac was freaking out. I'm sure Abraham had a heck of a time getting him tied to the altar. One, Abraham was over 100 years old and Issac was 12. Two, I have a hard enough time holding Parker down to change his diaper, let alone try to tie a 12 year old up. And once he was tied up, I believe that he was screaming and crying and pleading for his dad to stop. I think he was probably begging for his life. Then a voice came and told Abraham to stop and not touch the boy.
I'm sure Issac was relieved. I'm sure that Issac knew that it was God that had told Abraham to do all of this stuff. But I also believe that it affected Issac's relationship...not to God, but to his father. Issac and Abraham have no more interactions in the Bible after this story. They don't have any conversations. Issac moved away. Abraham didn't even help Issac get a wife, he sent his servant to find him one. I believe Issac loved his father, but I also think this event hurt his relationship with his dad.
Now, when parents go weird and embarrass you or are mean to you, there are 3 things that can happen. First, you can avoid your parents and not really have any relationship with them. Second, you can harbor anger towards them so that every time you see them, it comes back up. Third, you can honor them.
One of the 10 commandments says, "Honor your father and your mother." It doesn't add "only if they treat you right and deserve it." It just ends. So how can we honor our parents.
Ephesians 6:1 says that "Children, obey your parents in the Lord."
So to honor your parents, you have to obey them. Unless they ask you to go smuggle crack into the country or to go and steal bread from orphans, you should obey what your parents say. Even if it's not something that makes sense to you at the time, you should obey your parents.
Second, honor your parents with your words. Instead of back talking, instead of grumbling about them under your breath, instead of complaining about them to your friends, instead of disrespecting them; you should honor them by encouraging them, by telling them you love them. I don't think parents need a pat on the back from their kids and to be told that they're doing a great job, but being pleasant and respectful will go a long way in encouraging parents.
Third, honor them with your actions. Do what you are told without complaining. Clean up after yourself without being asked. Give them hugs. I love getting hugs, but especially from Parker.
Some kids have bad home lives and their parents aren't very honorable. But God still wants us to honor our parents. I think God hates it when somebody hurts a kid, in any way. I think God's heart aches when a kid's heart aches. But I feel that we can't choose our parents, but we can choose to do what is right and honor them.
Sometimes parents will embarrass their kids. Sometimes they'll be mean to their kids. And God still says that we are to honor them with our lives.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Gideon led worship and did a great job. Our game was a messy one, which we haven't done a messy one in a long time. We had kids who were seated knee to knee get blindfolded. Then they had to feed each other a cup of pudding. They couldn't see each other's mouth and it was hilarious to watch them try to feed pudding to somebody's neck.
I think it was a pretty good weekend.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I finished my series on the Fruits of the Spirit by talking about faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Faithfulness means that people see you as trustworthy and when you say you are going to do something, then you are going to do it. Nobody questions you. This should be done in school, chores, sports, or whatever you do. Anything you do, you are going to be honest and you are going to finish, and you are going to give it your best.
Gentleness means that you are gentle. I gave some examples of this, like the mom who kisses a boo-boo and makes it feel better. A dad who gets down and helps his son build a birdhouse or something. People who comfort the sad. And my grandpa, who I really learned a lot about gentleness from last week, who took care of my grandma. (She passed away on Sunday morning and her funeral is going on right now as I type this. Unfortunately I wasn't able to go back for it.) When they brought the hospital bed in for her to basically die in, he told the nurse that it wasn't big enough. The nurse didn't understand since my grandma had gone down to about 85 pounds. My grandpa said to the nurse, "But we're both not going to be able to fit in it." It didn't even cross his mind that she was going to sleep alone. He had a bed in another room about 10 feet away, but instead he pulled up a recliner and slept next to her every night, holding her hand. He's 91, and has aches and pains all over his body, but whenever grandma said anything, he was up and helping her and giving her whatever she needed. He never got frustrated, he was just so gentle with her. I guess I never really saw gentleness as tangible as I did with how my grandpa treated his wife. It was awesome.
Self-Control is staying away from one's desires. Self-control is taught by practice and by discipline. My 2 year old son has no self-control. Whatever he sees he goes for. This kid runs from one thing to the next non-stop. I don't know where he gets the energy. He screams, just for the fun of it, especially when we are out to dinner or at church. He doesn't have the concept of controlling his behavior. So, we have to discipline him, usually time-out or in real bad cases a spanking. He will learn to control himself and that there are some things you can and can't do. Older kids have to discipline themselves. By staying away from something that is wrong, they are developing self-control.
I think it was a good lesson, and I feel the kids understood what I was talking about. I mentioned that living these out is not what makes somebody a Christian, it's your faith in Jesus, but if you have faith in Jesus, these should be evident in our lives.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I think it can go without saying that I am a huge OU fan. Sam Bradford is the quarterback, and he's a Heisman contender as a sophomore. He's awesome. I read this article and thought I would pass it on, because it was really cool how a kid this young is stepping up to be the right kind of role model, not just for kids, but for Native Americans everywhere. Even if you hate OU (which, if you ask me, is like hating Mother Teresea) you should still read this article.
Oklahoma's Bradford serving as role model
Rivals.com College Football Senior Writer
|Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford realizes he has become a role model for many.|
The great, great grandson of Susie Walkingstick, a full-blooded Cherokee on his father's side, Bradford, one of two Native Americans on the OU roster (long snapper Derek Shaw is the other), might give Oklahoma its fifth Heisman Trophy. He gives the Sooners a shot at another national championship. And he also gives Native Americans much more than Saturday afternoon glory: He represents hope and possibilities for tribal communities in dire need of both.
"I am aware of that and it's a great opportunity for me," Bradford says. "If I am a positive role model for younger kids, then I think that's great. But it is a little bit (overwhelming) to know so many kids look up to me."
It's not just kids. Dr. Delores Subia BigFoot, director of Indian Country Child Trauma Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in Oklahoma City, doesn't know Bradford personally, but she is among his biggest fans in a state full of them. She holds up Bradford as an example to Native Americans of what can be accomplished with proper support in a positive environment.
"We work in communities where Native youth have a lot of challenges, so seeing someone like Sam excel is incredible," says BigFoot, an enrolled member of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma. "He's such a great role model for other Native youth. He is steady, he performs well under pressure, he's reliable, he's consistent and he's competitive. He's a great leader, and that's what our youth need."
Bradford is by no means the first Native American college football star. Jim Thorpe, perhaps the greatest college football player ever, was an Oklahoma native from the Sauk tribe. He was an All-America in 1911 and 1912 playing for Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania.
Bradford might be the best player with Native American heritage since Washington quarterback Sonny Sixkiller, who led the nation in passing in 1970 and helped revive a Huskies program that struggled in the '60s.
"I can't tell you how many people have come up to me and said, 'I couldn't get my wife to go to a football game until you played,' " Sixkiller told Rivals.com in 2006.
Bradford surely will gain a similar following. He has been a tremendous leader for the top-ranked and unbeaten Sooners. He has thrown for 1,665 yards and 18 touchdowns, with three interceptions. He's second in the nation in passing efficiency and fifth in passing yards per game.
That's a long list of impressive statistics. But BigFoot also has a list of statistics; hers are sad and depressing.
"There are a lot of things that are going on within our troubled communities that make it difficult for children to be as successful as they could be," she says.
• About 40 percent of Native American children live in poverty.
• Native American children live in single-parent families at the highest rate in the United States.
• Despite making up only 2 percent of the population in the United States, Native Americans make up an estimated 8 percent of the homeless.
• Native American children are twice as likely to become victims of child abuse than non-Hispanic Caucasian children.
• Native American youth have higher rates of mental-health and substance-abuse problems than any other ethnic group.
BigFoot says the source of the problems can be traced back more than a century to the loss of land, language and culture that created an environment of despair and cultural genocide. That started destructive cycles, which have been repeated from generation to generation.
Attempting to end that cycle, she makes presentations and provides training sessions across the country. And in those presentations and sessions, she often talks about Bradford, a business major who has a 4.0 grade-point average.
"I promote him all the time," BigFoot says. "Most of the time I'm talking to adults, and I say it would be wonderful if all our children could benefit from the same kind of concern and care that Sam Bradford had. I don't think he was raised in what you would say is a 'traditional' Native environment."
Bradford grew up in an upper-middle class part of Oklahoma City with both of his parents – Kent, a former offensive lineman at Oklahoma, and Martha. He never faced many of the obstacles and issues other Native American youth deal with on a daily basis.
He acknowledges that while growing up he rarely – if ever – thought about his Cherokee heritage.
"It was never really a huge part of my life growing up," Bradford says. "My parents didn't talk to me a lot about it when I was younger. When I got to OU, I heard it was inspirational. But I probably haven't embraced it as much as I'd like to."
That hasn't stopped Native American youth from embracing him. Sequoyah High School in Tahlequah, Okla., is a boarding school owned by the Cherokee nation that serves students in grades 7-12 who are members of Native American tribes.
|Even Native Americans who don't consider themselves football fans are keeping a close eye on Bradford.|
"Everyone in our locker room has an issue, whether it's poverty, a broken home, divorce or whatever it may be," Scott says. "They all have a problem. It's amazing to sit down and listen to some of their stories. I didn't have to go through those things when I was 15 or 16."
Scott said he has 58 players on his roster and that only six have both parents in their homes. Some players' parents are in prison. Some parents are illiterate. Some abuse drugs and alcohol.
"I had a kid score a game-winning touchdown, and his mom and dad weren't there," Scott says. "After the game he told me, 'Coach, I don't know where I can stay tonight.' And you wonder why they have a hard time in school. But we don't let it be a crutch for them. We tell them there are better opportunities, and if they want better opportunities, they can change their situation."
Seeing Bradford excel has made that seem more believable.
"Regardless of whether they're athletes or non-athletes, Sam Bradford gives them something to identify with," Scott says. "They look on television at the NFL or NBA, and some of those things they can't identify with. When it became public that Sam was Cherokee, you could see it in the students that they could identify with him as a role model.
"He gave them an opportunity to see themselves and say, 'I can go to college.' "
Scott says he would like to invite Bradford to speak to the students at Sequoyah because he means so much to them and other Native Americans across Oklahoma. Until then, others such as BigFoot will be talking about him.
"A lot of Indian people, who not necessarily are involved with football, are watching him more and wanting to know more about his performance," BigFoot says. "Even the ones marginally interested in football are highly enthusiastic and ecstatic.
"There is a lot of pride."
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I'm going to start with a picture in need of a caption. Whoever comes up with the wittiest, funniest, most creative caption will win. Here's the picture:
Monday, October 6, 2008
I had some other things go on that I really don't want to get in to that much (like I nailed a dog in my car somewhere outside of Wichita Falls). But we got up to Oklahoma City and had a pretty good tie considering what we were going up there for. We saw my grandma, but she didn't remember who I was, but she remembered Parker and Suzy. Weird! We hung out with my brother and his family a lot. He has a son who is about 6 weeks younger than Parker so they played a lot. We also took them all out to a Pumpkin patch that had a petting zoo, pony rides, hay rides, and a corn maze. They loved it.
We saw grandma again on Saturday, and she wasn't looking very good. She couldn't stay awake. We knew it was just a matter of time. She passed away on Sunday morning around 3 a.m. We had to leave around 7 to come back to Texas. It's sad, but she's been sick for years and we have been preparing for it for a while. I'm sadder about my grandpa having to be alone after being married for 60 or so years.
On the way home, we picked up Suzy's brother and sister in Dallas who decided over the weekend to come out for a visit, which added to the weirdness. I'm happy they came and think it will be a fun visit, but it was just all pretty sudden. Anyways, that's pretty much what happened over the last couple of days.