Archive for January, 2009

Simple Truth?


Truth, that word has taxed my brain today.  The word truth seems to be an absolute; after all, doesn’t everyone know what truth is? 


We were all brought up to always tell the truth.  We were always bombarded with statements that contained things like; unvarnished truth, gospel truth, naked truth, moment of truth, home truth, in all truth, a true fact, true secrets, in truth, a true statement, a true thing, true religion, and we seek the truth. 


Then there are the synonyms of truth; veracity (the adherence to truth), verity (enduring or demonstrated truth), and Verisimilitude (the appearance of truth).  We even have a town in New Mexico called Truth or Consequences.


 Simple thing truth…..maybe not, we should once again seek help from our friends at Wikipedia.

There are various theories concerning truth and issues include what constitutes truth, how to define and identify truth, and whether truth is subjective, relative, objective, or absolute…The English word truth is from Old English tríewþ, tréowþ, trýwþ, Middle English trewþe, cognate to Old High German triuwida, Old Norse tryggð. Like troth, it is a -th nominalisation of the adjective true (Old English tréowe).

The English word true is from Old English (West Saxon) (ge)tríewe, tréowe, cognate to Old Saxon (gi)trûui, Old High German (ga)triuwu (Modern German treu “faithful”), Old Norse tryggr, Gothic triggws,[1] all from a Proto-Germanic *trewwj- “having good faith“. Old Norse trú, holds the semantic field “faith, word of honour; religious faith, belief”[2] (archaic English troth “loyalty, honesty, good faith”, compare Ásatrú).

Thus, ‘truth’ involves both the quality of “faithfulness, fidelity, loyalty, sincerity, veracity”,[3] and that of “agreement with fact or reality“, in Anglo-Saxon expressed by sōþ.

All Germanic languages besides English have introduced a terminological distinction between truth “fidelity” and truth “factuality”. To express “factuality”, North Germanic opted for nouns derived from sanna “to assert, affirm”, while continental West Germanic (German and Dutch) opted for continuations of wâra “faith, trust, pact” (cognate to Slavic věra “(religious) faith”, but influenced by Latin verus). Romance languages use terms following the Latin veritas, while the Greek aletheia and Slavic pravda have separate etymological origins”


Whew!  I thought that was going to be easy. 


 It seems, like so many other things we have taken a simple concept and made it complicated.  Truth should be something everyone understands.  Maybe it is something we need to experience or practice to understand.


As fathers we need to understand at least the basics of truth.  We are expected to uphold many of the qualities involved in truth; faithfulness, fidelity, loyalty, sincerity and veracity.  When we don’t, it doesn’t go unnoticed.  We are constantly under the watchful eye of our children.  They are learning about truth from us.


Simplicity should be our marker for truth.  We get ourselves all bound up in the moral issues of the day, or we try to be politically correct.  We want to be viewed by society as truthful, so we expend great energy trying to present our image as being truthful.  Simplicity in our word and deeds.


Matthew 5:37 tells us “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one”(NIV).


Speak truth into your life.  Simply speak what you know is right and stand by your words, fortify your words with actions that support those words.  The lessons learned by those around you will astound you.


En servicio como padre



Bees? What Bees?

Have you ever been close to as swarm of bees?  When I was a child the father of my best friend kept bees.  I remember going to his house one day to play and he said we needed to go out in the field between our houses as a hive of bees was swarming and his dad was going to get them into a new hive.


As we were heading out to the field we were suddenly surrounded by hundreds of, what seemed to be very angry bees.  They were buzzing past my head and some even landed on my shirt.  I was filled with fear and  began to swing at the bees in an effort to get them away from me. 


My friend just walked along not paying any apparent attention to the buzzing hoards that surrounded us.  He was calm and acted like this was just another day.


I on the other hand became more and more frantic.  I ducked, I waved my hands, I hit the bees, and finally, broke into a run.  This seemed to bolster the bees, they followed me with greater voracity.  I was sure they intended to kill me. 


My friend now having noticed my plight, yelled at me to stop running….I could not.   He said to stop hitting at the bees….I did not.  He said the bees would not hurt me….I did not believe him. 


Now I had known my friend for as long as I could remember.  We were the same age having been born a few months apart and we played together almost every day of our lives.  In our play we often played jokes on one another.  This though, was no joking matter, these bees meant business, they intended to kill me and I was not about to let them. 


Within seconds, a bee landed on my forehead and I smacked it, in the process the bee buried it’s stinger in my forehead just above my eyebrow.  The bee was dead, but left its calling card.  A bump rose up on my forehead and enclosed my eye.  Within a few minutes, my eye was completely swollen shut.  My friend was not harmed.


I never forgot that encounter.  Even today, when a bee buzzes past my head I fight the urge to duck and run for cover.  One sting of a bee and my life was changed forever.


At that time in my life I knew little about bees.  I had seen them in my Mother’s garden and knew they made honey.  I listened to stories told by older children about how bees could sting a cow to death just for getting too close to their hive.


Having never been around a hive of bees, I was already afraid of what they would do to me.


I see that same fear in the lives of many a father today.  We are riddled with questions about how to be a good father and husband.  We see how “bad” fathers are talked about and we are reminded of our lack of experience when faced with the defiance of a two year old intent upon expressing their own individuality despite the discomfort it may cause them or you. 


We have heard the stories of children being taken from families because of a father and his poor choices. 


We know we only have one chance at this father thing with each child.  What if we mess it up and our child is emotionally damaged for the rest of their lives?  Who then would be the “bad” father?


What if I am the poor provider?  My family will suffer and I will be the cause of much suffering.  We determine we must make the right choices and we begin to run.


I didn’t know it but the wisdom of my friend was immense.  As I look back on that incident I see that I spent the biggest part of my life like those few minutes surrounded by bees. 


When things came at me I would flap my arms, and allow fear to well up within me driving me to run like crazy to escape the potential pain.  I would duck and slap anything that touched me, even if it was a sourceof help.  I didn’t trust anything.  I just wanted to be clear of the attacks.


Since those years, I have found out a few things about bees.  In this case bees represent the things of life that come against us.  But the bees aren’t all that smart;


An experiment was conducted in which six bees and six flies were placed inside a bottle. The bottle was turned on its side with its base facing the light coming through the window. At the other end, the mouth of the bottle was open. In that situation it was discovered that bees will persist in trying to find their way to freedom through the base-until they die of hunger or exhaustion. It seems that the bees’ attraction to light is their undoing in this experiment. The light shining through the base seems to convince them that there is no other way out. And so they press up against the bottom of the bottle closing themselves off from all other possibilities. Consequently, they cannot discover the opening at the other end of the bottle. The feather brained flies, on the other hand, all get out of the bottle within two minutes. Seemingly unconcerned, they just keep buzzing all around inside until they venture out to freedom through the neck and out the opening. Thus, the bees remain prisoners of their own logic while the flies meet the good fortune that often awaits the simple. (


My friend knew this about bees, he knew they were all racing about to find a home suitable for the swarm to live.  He knew they were intent upon their assigned task and held no power over him.  He knew the quickest way to get hurt was to react negatively and erratically to the bees.


The bible tells us “Like swarming bees, like wild prairie fire, they hemmed me in; in God’s name I rubbed their faces in the dirt.  I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall, when God grabbed and held me.  God’s my strength, he’s also my song, and now he’s my salvation.” (Psalms 118: 12-14, The Message)


We worry about things that don’t have any power over us.  We need to learn that God is with us and those that attack us are like bees in a bottle.  They can’t get to us and ultimately die trying.  We need to be like the flies, we need to take life as an adventure and buzz around unconcerned with the situations that face us.  We will find the neck of the bottle that leads us to freedom.  For freedom comes with our relationship with God.


And in that freedom we have nothing to fear.

 En servicio como padre


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