Posts Tagged 'Condron.us'

Behind the Window

Buying a new car is one of those things that always evokes mixed emotions is all of us.  There are those of us who get excited and can’t wait to enter into the dance of negotiations and those of us who utterly despise the very thought of walking onto the new car tarmac and dealing with all the gamesmanship of purchasing a car.

I for one find myself somewhere in the middle.  I enjoy the hunt, I enjoy the new car smells, and the discovery of the new inventions released for our “driving pleasure”.

I recently went through this experience when the lease on my wife’s car came to a close and we decided we were no longer going to lease but purchase a brand new Subaru.

We decided to do our due diligence and visit the dealer without the added input of a sales person.  Thus we went to the nearest, and I might add only, Subaru dealership in our town on a Sunday afternoon when they were closed.

This gave us the opportunity to see what inventory they had and to review each new model, at least from the outside, to see if it “tickled our fancy”.

I was doing well with the base offering in each model, but I began to experience something I did not expect when I started to look into the windows of the more appointed vehicles.

I could not read the window sticker through the tinted glass!

This was very frustrating.  I could not tell what was standard equipment and what beyond the basic offering was built into this car.  I couldn’t tell if it had premium sound, or navigation, or even what the price was.

I was going to have to come back when a sales person was available to see what I wanted or needed to see.  I was going to have to take the risk and put some personal interaction into the search.

It seems to me raising children is a lot like buying a car.  When we aren’t willing to take a risk and invest some personal interaction into the process, we are doing little more than looking through that tinted window at the sticker.

We understand our children only from the perspective anyone else in the world might understand them.  All children generally follow the same physical growth patterns and trod the same emotional path to adulthood.  They are precious as babies, cute as toddlers, obnoxious as pre teens, unpredictable as teens, and then they leave home.

Many parents today are satisfied to take this “looking through a glass darkly” approach to parenthood and as a result forfeit much of the influence they are given to the ways of society in general.  They really don’t see the hidden talents their children were knit together with in the womb.

In 1 Corinthians 13:12, commonly referred to as “the love chapter”, the bible states:

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. KJV

In the Greek, the word for see is Blepo (Strong 991), to see, discern, of the bodily eye.  the word for darkly is Ainigma (Strong 135), an obscure thing.

Literally to perceive or look closely in an abstract or obscure sense.  As if from a distance.

Then we address face to face:  In the Greek face is Prosopon (Strong 4383) the front (as being towards view), i.e. the countenance, aspect, appearance, surface; by implication, presence. And the word known is Ginosko (Strong 1097), to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel

So by looking through a glass darkly we perceive our children and know them from a distance.

But when we go to the last part of the verse, the word used is Epiginosko (Strong 1921) which is translated: to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly.

Thus in relation to parenting our children we are encouraged to go beyond the tinted glass and interact with our children so as to become thoroughly acquainted with and know them thoroughly.

Ask any parent of a special needs child, myself included, you have to go behind the glass, but when you do, the treasures abound.  Some are found easily, others take work.

Sometimes only thorough the spiritual hand of God is that revelation made possible.

En servicio como Padre

Dave

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Lessons from Cracker Jacks

I was recently contemplating the past, something I find myself doing more and more as I get older, when the thought of something exciting returned from my childhood.

Cracker Jacks!

Yes, we still see Cracker Jacks today on the shelves of our grocery stores.  Now mostly in bags, not boxes.  Shiny mylar bags with high definition pictures of the molasses candy covered popcorn and peanuts contained within.  Even the familiar Sailor Jack and his dog Bingo graces the bag.  Not much has changed from what I remember from my youth.

One thing, however, is missing.  Well, more than one thing, but one thing stands out more than any of the others.  It is called Discovery.

Growing up in a poor family with seven other siblings, it was not a common occurrence when we had the luxury of receiving a box of Cracker Jacks.

As I recall, the boxes Cracker Jacks were packaged in, were particularly difficult to break into.

First there was the outer covering of the box.  It was composed of a very fine layer that was printed with pictures of the familiar candy, the picture of Sailor Jack and his dog Bingo, and the red and white banner clearly displaying the Cracker Jacks logo.

Then there was the box that was composed of thin cardboard infused with some kind of wax substance that was near impenetrable.

But the coups de gras was the blue circle with the words printed in bold white “Surprise Inside”.

We would tear into the box with utter abandon.  Sometimes with the help of a pocket knife or one side of a pair of scissors.

We would explore for a weakness in the defenses created by that packaging.  Once discovered, we would tear open the top of the box, careful not to spill any of the precious candy, probing for the small envelope that contained that toy treasure.

What would it be?  A decoder ring, by which we might intercept a secret message from a Russian spy and save the whole of the United States, if not the world, from certain destruction.  Would it be a whistle that would mysteriously disappear at night after a day of chasing my sisters around the house blowing it in their ears.  Maybe, a plastic figure of a soldier or a baseball player, which we would imagine was in honor of our prowess on the field of battle or the ball field.

Each box was seemingly different and always new, to us.

The discovery of a prize inside was just the beginning.  It continued as our minds were opened to the myriad of possibilities contained in our imaginations.

Today the “Surprise Inside” has been replaced with paper prizes displaying riddles and jokes.  Many times pointing the finder to a web page or iPhone app where creativity is kept tightly wrapped in a box with impenetrable wax like coating.

Fathers, we need to become a modern day Sailor Jack with his dog Bingo for our children.  Not by sitting down our six year old with an iPad, but by interacting with them in play aimed at opening that box and the door to discovery.

Where is that “Surprise Inside”?

 

En Servicio Como Padre

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Just Another Magician

Just before the turn of the 19th century into the 20th century, there was a young man by the name of Erik Weiss. Erik was born in Hungary the son of a Rabbi, and immigrated to the United States, with his family, one of 7 siblings. The family settled in the state of Wisconsin, and later moved to Harlem, New York.

At the age of 9, Erik took a job as a trapeze artist and called himself “Erik, the Prince of the Air”.

As a young teen Erik became interested in the art of magic. He started out with simple card tricks and soon found himself performing in dimeking spades museums and sideshows. To earn a little extra cash, he often doubled as “The Wild Man” at the circus.

Erik’s proficiency in magic increased and his tricks became more and more complicated.

At the age of 25, young Erik met a man who would change his life forever. This man was a talent manager who was impressed by a trick in which Erik would escape from a set of handcuffs. This talent manager advised Erik to concentrate his efforts on escape acts and booked him on the Orpheum vaudeville circuit.

After many years of exceptional stage success, Erik Weiss died on October 31, 1926, from a ruptured appendix. Thus ending the life and career of “The Great Houdini”.

Contrary to the belief of many, Houdini spent most of his life debunking the claims of magicians who claimed their powers were supernatural in nature.

houdinichains4sm smallIn the end, the memory of The Great Houdini became synonymous with the very thing he fought against. An annual séance in conducted, to this day, on October 31, Halloween, in an attempt to raise the spirit of Houdini.

Houdini’s vocation is representative of a long line of magicians, sorcerers, and witches that can be traced back to the Chaldeans of ancient Babylon and ancient Egypt before that.

In ancient Babylon a young Jewish boy given the Babylonian name of Belteshazzar was counted among the magicians, sorcerers, and Chaldeans serving King Nebuchadnezzar.

In this story, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that troubled him deeply. He called his most trusted magicians to him and demanded they not only interpret the dream, but that they also tell him what the dream was in the first place.

When the magicians could not do it, the King was angered and ordered all the magicians killed. Young Belteshazzar was counted as just another magician and thus included in the order to be killed.

But Belteshazzar was not just another magician. Belteshazzar was known, in Hebrew, by the name Daniel, and was gifted by God with the ability to interpret dreams.

We all know how it ends, Daniel goes before the King, accurately and in much detail describes the dream, gives the interpretation to the dream.
Daniel and his three friends are placed in positions of high leadership to rule over much of the kingdom. They are spared the death ordered for the magicians.

In our society today, we are all asked to be magicians of one sort or another.

At work we are all being asked to perform magic and do more work as those around us are downsized due to declining business. And in cases where the business is growing, we are asked to do more as the business can’t yet afford to hire more help.

In our private lives, we are asked to do magic with our shrinking paycheck. The price of groceries, gas, clothing, and other life essentials continue to soar and our paychecks don’t.

Today we can choose one of two routes. We can be like the magicians called before King Nebuchadnezzar and cry out that there is no hope. It is an impossible task and no one is able to succeed under those demands. Or we can be like Daniel.

We can refuse to be counted as just another magician and take those things to God in prayer.

In the end, God is the Creator of all things. He is capable of stretching our paychecks and He is able to turn our stressed work situations into blessings beyond our wildest imaginations.

Of which will you choose to be counted? As just another magician, or, to be a definer of dreams and a ruler of nations?

The choice is yours.

En servicio como Padre

Dave

Is Dad a brand name?

We are only a couple of weeks away from, what has become a great winter tradition in the United States, the viewing of the annual Superbowl commercials.

In this tradition, companies spend ridiculous amounts of money to buy a minute of television air time, and to produce the most creative superbowl commercialadvertisements and thus get their brand name in front of people around the world.

Names like Nike, Pedigree, Fed-EX, and Capitol One are likely to be seen.

The purpose of these advertisements is to instill a connection in the minds of people so when they have a need they will remember the brand name.

It’s sort of like selling your name in search of future rewards.

For the past several decades brand names have become increasingly more important in society world wide. In watching coverage of some of the recent disasters; Katrina, Ike, The Asian Tsunami, and most recently the Haiti earthquake, you will see the impact of brand name appeal.

As people are rescued. in these disasters, be it from rooftops, floating debris, or dug from beneath tons of rubble from a collapsed building, they Major Earthquake Devastates 3a33often are wearing a Nike shirt, a Los Angeles Dodgers hat, or some other brand name which has become a symbol of success or affluence. Even in the scenes from the poorest of nations, Haiti, Sudan, Afghanistan for example, people manage to grab hold of a brand.

In the United States, young men and women have lost their lives over a pair of shoes or a shirt bearing a particular brand name. People have had their fingers cut off and hands otherwise mangled, to get a ring or watch of a particular brand. People have been shot or stabbed, even had their children drug alongside a speeding SUV because the vehicle was a favorite carjacking brand.

The people of the world have become so fasinated with brand namesNike Launches Liberty 548d they will spend huge sums, often sums they don’t have, to acquire merchandise of a particular brand.

As I look around the internet it is becoming increasingly apparent that fatherhood is becoming a subject of interest. Much like wedding sites, fatherhood sites are springing up everywhere. Some are becoming so popular they are attracting sponsors and are becoming sites that dispense merchandise as well as advise.

This in and of itself is not a problem. There is no reason anyone should be condemned for using their own creativity and experience to make a living. The problem comes when the line between fatherhood and brand identification become blurred.

Fatherhood is not a brand name!

Fatherhood is the relationship between a father and his child. It is a sacred and ordained relationship that is natural to the human experience. It is spiritual as well as physical in nature and, when done in excellence, mirrors the relationship between God and man.

Psalms 16:4-5 talks about our relationship with God in these terms;

“4) Don’t just go shopping for a god. Gods are not for sale. I swear, I’ll never treat god names like brand names. 5) My choice is you, God, first and only. And now I find I’m your choice.” (The Message)

If God is our example of the perfect father then, likewise, we should never treat fatherhood like a brand name. Fatherhood in not for sale. Like our relationship with our Father God, we should strive to keep fatherhood an intimate and personal relationship.

En servicio como Padre

Dave

40 Short years

Today is Sunday January 3, 2010, the day Marsha and I celebrate 40 years of marriage.

As I think about the past 40 years, it seems like such a short time.  We began this journey in a small Methodist Chapel in Colorado City Texas.  It was during the Vietnam war and I was in the Air Force.  We, like many other young people then, wanted to get married in case things went badly in the war.  We knew Vietnam would impact our lives in one way or another.

Over the years we have lived in states like, Illinois, New Mexico, Texas, Nebraska, and Georgia.  We have met wonderful people in each of these states and many are good friends to this day.  We were even called by an old boss, and friend, yesterday whom I worked with in Nebraska. 

Our five children were born in New Mexico and Texas and have been the greatest blessing of all for these past 40 years. Followed closely by the 32 foster children who God gave us the opportunity to take care of over a 26 year period.

Over all, we thank God for his constant presence and oversight.  He has been with us when we were wondering where the next meal would come from, through the birth and or adoption of our children, and has celebrated the many victories we have experienced over these many years.  He has taught us to be better parents, friends, colleagues, and lovers.

I look forward to what the next 40 years will bring for us.  In everything, we know our children, grand-children, friends, and especially God will be along for the ride.

Thank you to each of my readers who have taken the time to listen to what God has put on my heart over the past few years.  You have become a part of my extended family.

On a personal note, I want to thank Marsha for being the partner God destined her to be.  She has put up with my weakness and has made me much stronger.  She has been my eyes when I could not see clearly.  She has tolerated my misunderstanding of what spiritual headship meant in our early years, and has helped me refine what it is today.  She has gotten more lovely over the years and I am proud she chose to join me on this journey 40 years ago.

God bless you all.

En servicio como Padre

Dave

Father of the Decade

As I began to consider this concept, I thought it would be fairly easy. After all, how many fathers are there in the world? There must be many that stand out. How much news has been reported in the last ten years? There must be great fathers among the reports.

Soon after beginning my research, I realized this was going to be a difficult, if not impossible, task.

There are fathers in the news alright.

Recently there was Dr. Umaru Abdulmutallab, the father of Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, otherwise known as the “underpants bomber”, or the “undergarments bomber”, or something like that. He is charged with attempting to blow up a Northwest flight headed for Detroit on Christmas day. Dr. Abdulmutallab showed his concern for his son and all mankind, when he sought out the United States embassy in Nigeria to report his son turned to extreme Islamic jihadism and might be a threat to the David Goldmans Son 9d74United States. Certainly an act of love.

Then there was Mr. David Goldman, who finally won custody of his nine year old son after a five year international battle in a Brazilian court. He was hailed a hero as television cameras captured him shielding his son while whisking him into a waiting car, the beginning of a long journey back to the United States and readjustment with a father he has barely known.

How about Tiger Woods? A man with a beautiful family, a wife and two loving children. After a late night car accident in his own front yard, Tiger Woods announces df0dsomehow involving a golf club and a broken car window, his life unraveled squarely in the public eye. Mistress after mistress came forward with stories of infidelity and deception. I can only imagine the impact on his children and his wife.

Perhaps the story of Michael Lohan. The estranged father of celebrity Lindsay Lohan, arrested for violating an order of protection that was requested by his ex-wife.

Most fathers don’t get in the news for being great fathers. On the positive, take the example of the following individuals:

Billy Graham Crusade e850Billy Graham, one of the most recognized names in the world. He is known for his ministry that is credited with immeasurable numbers of people who have come to a relationship with Jesus Christ. He has been the “pastor of presidents”, the author of books, and the voice to the nations. All that being said, his role as a father doesn’t come to mind when his name is uttered in most circles.

Oral Roberts, recently passed and has been recognized as the one who brought Christ to the television. His efforts a televangelism changed the role of the evangelist forever. Many people were healed under the hand of this gentle servant. He was a father and husband, who loved and was loved, but he is not known for his greatness as a father.

Finally, I mention Derek Loux. A musician and spiritual leader who is known for being a champion of adoption. He recently passed, after a tragic automobile accident, leaving behind a wife and ten children. Of his children there were two biological daughters, five daughters adopted from the Marshall Islands, and three sons, adopted from the Ukraine. A man who made fatherhood a priority in his life and ministry.

In my research for the “Father of the Decade”, I found that fathers who take their role to heart; recognize their role as prophet, priest, and king. They emulate the life and example of Jesus Christ and because of that; they are recognized for other accomplishments in their lives.

Fathers are heralded in the eyes and hearts of their wives and children.

When they accept their charge as a father, they make a difference that lasts for generations, but is seldom recognized by the news writers of this world.

Several of the men I mentioned are truly great fathers and the greatest legacy they will leave is their role as a father.

Now as I come to the end of my search. I recognize that the “Father of the Decade” isn’t one father but the generation of men who over the past ten years have realized their call as a father. They have recognized it and placed it in their heart. They have not always been perfect, but they have committed themselves to be the best they could be. They have pledged not to make the mistakes of others and to ask forgiveness when they did. They have sought help and mentors along the way and made their steps straight.

In the end I realize the “Father of the Decade” is you!

En servicio como Padre
Dave

The secret of tears

I watched from a reasonable distance as a family, I recently became acquainted with, wept tears of mourning for a wife and mother lost to cancer a few days earlier.

Having been an acquaintance and not fully a part of the inner circle of this family, I was torn on how to respond.

It was easier in the days and months that preceded this event. I could stop by, offer words of encouragement, perhaps offer a prayer or two, and offer to help in any way I could, but in the end the result was the same, a family struggling through their own “vale of tears.”

Tears that would forever change the lives of every family member, and many of those who were in the family’s circle of friends. Tears that in some cases, represent the deep regret that, perhaps, they did not spend more time with their loved one. Other tears may have been of anguish, knowing the one they loved more than anyone would not be there when the awoke the next morning. Still others could be tears of relief, as they watched the long progression of the disease and the slow decline of a once vital person.

When I was a child, the thought of the day was that men should not cry. It was considered a sign of weakness. Young boys were chided for expressing their fears, anger, sorrow, or any other emotion, through tears.

As I review my life, I can honestly say, I never saw my father cry although I have no doubt he shed them in secret.

We were a family, like most, who had our issues and co dependencies, but we were a family who operated with the knowledge of love. My father and mother loved each of their eight children with unconditional love, but tears were not part of my father’s repertoire.

My mother, on the other hand, was not afraid to show her tears. She was a strong woman who could be stern in her discipline, but she was also a woman who learned the value of tears.

Psalm 56:8 says; “you number and record my wanderings; put my tears in your bottle – are they not in your book?”

God, our perfect Father, captures our tears and records each one they are so valuable to Him.

The Apostle Paul, one of the toughest men to ever walk the face of this earth, in my opinion, refers to himself as “serving the Lord in all humility in tears.” Acts 20:10

As modern fathers, we must recognize life is not always going to be a rosy picture for us. We will face adversity, pain, and suffering. We will experience apparent defeat and sudden setbacks. In all these; tears are a valuable part of our healing.

Likewise in times of celebration, our personal and family success, major accomplishments, etc, can bring you to tears of joy and excitement.

I contend to you, fathers, that tears are not at all a sign of weakness. Instead, they are a sign of a truly healthy heart. For each tear carries with it such great emotion and the tools by which the Holy Spirit can cleanse, repair, and build the compassionate heart of a true father.

Take the risk, your vale of tears is one of your greatest assets.

En servicio como Padre

Dave


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