Posts Tagged 'marriage'

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

MEDIOCRITY

Mediocrity is something I have struggled with most of my life. It is something that has created many missed opportunities and immeasurable heart ache for me and my family.

Recently, a good friend approached me and asked if I would accept a guest on this blog. This is something I would not do lightly. But Colonel Paul Longgrear, US Army retired, is a man who shares my heart for the fathers of this age.

Paul is a true American hero and I recently had the honor of attending his induction into the Army Ranger Hall of Fame. His story is an extraordinary one and one Google search will show you why I enthusiastically said yes to Colonel Paul’s inquiry.

Please read his words and insights closely. He is a man I have personally learned a great deal from.

En servicio como Padre

Dave

MEDIOCRITY – Paul Longgrear

Years ago our family lived in a county with two school systems. The two high schools were only four or five hundred yards apart and from the start were arch rivals even though one was only nine years old.

The older school dominated the younger school all nine times they played in football. The old school played for the state championship three times and won one of them. At one point they racked up a 29-1 record and won seven region titles. They excelled at football and the newer school was only mediocre.

In spiritual parlance we might consider the word coined by Jesus, “lukewarm”. If one is not going to do his best at something, he might want to not attempt it in the first place. Does this mean mediocrity is bad? Is striving for excellence always good?

If one has to revert to the flesh to achieve excellence; excellence would probably be bad.

Is it better to be a sluggard or turn to sin to win?

Behavioral performance can be based on genetic influence or it can be learned through environment. If a man is born into a family of over achievers, he will be influenced just by being a member of that family. On the other hand if that same person is born into a family of under motivated members he again will be influenced by that environment. He may flow with the character of the family or he may defy the norm and be just the opposite in either case he is influenced by that environment.

Whatever the influence or cause, excellence is refusing to settle for less that one’s best. Mediocrity, on the other hand, is settling for the minimum that will suffice. “If the deadline is 3:00 P.M. why get it completed earlier”, the sluggard might ask.

When I decided to leave my home state of Arkansas to seek my fortune, I followed Horace Greely’s advice and went west to California. Within a matter of days I had a job at a large Los Angeles area lumber yard. Because I had a couple of years of college, the boss put me in charge of the stall that contained small lumber and ply wood.

He assured me it was a mess and challenged me to try and get it straightened out within a couple of weeks, if possible. I had two summers of experience in the lumber yard business and within three days had everything in order. Why did I do that? My mother raised me to work hard and she was the hardest working person I knew. Hard work was not an option in our family, it was the expected.

My wife and I raised three children who were all very good workers and have done very well for themselves. I was always a poor performing student because I was academically lazy. As a result, I was determined my children wouldn’t be.

Our oldest child was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age, the second child never had to crack a book in school and the third labored to meet his, self-imposed, classroom goals. I am honored to say that all three are college graduates and one has a doctorate in education. The one with the learning disability was assured that she was as smart as her brothers and the same results would be expected of her.

Which of them do you think has the doctor’s degree? The laborer, he refused to be mediocre.

We had the same standards for each of them; do your best! I learned as a child that too much pressure to perform could cause a student to cheat. Life taught me, excellence can never be achieved by lowering moral standards.

There are no shortcuts to excellence. Diligence and determination mixed with perseverance are the ingredients necessary to fulfill what God has placed in all of us. It should also be noted that talent will not assure excellence. If very talented people accept less than their best for themselves, they are mediocre.

Remember the schools we mentioned at first. The difference was attitude. When the two schools walked on the football field it was obvious which team thought they would win and which team only hoped they would win. The coaches convinced the first team they were going to win every game because they were prepared to win through work and preparation. During the week they practiced smart, hard and long.

Leadership is the key to creating an environment of excellence and overcoming mediocrity. Whether one is a manager, a coach, the parents of children, or commander of a military unit, leadership is the key.

Leadership is nothing more than motivating someone to do what they are supposed to do. How well they do it is determined by how motivated they are.

There are only two ways to motivate; inspiration or intimidation. Think about by which of these ways you are motivated. Now think about how you motivate those around you.

We will discuss this in the near future.

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

Lesson of the Itsy Bitsy Spider

When my daughter was very small, she had a favorite song she would sing, very loudly, often for hours at a time.

 This song is one most, if not all, of us know very well. “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”. Just mentioning the song has many of you singing it right now.

 Like many children, my daughter, when she was first learning the song, replaced some of the correct words she could not remember, with something else so she could continue the song.

 In her case she added the words “whumpa whumpa”. Here is how it went:

 “The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout.

Down came the rain and washed the spider out.

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.

And the whumpa whumpa spider went up the water spout

Down came the rain…..”

The effect of this addition was, it created a closed loop that never reached an ending. On long road trips, this became quite annoying for her brothers who had to sit in the back seat and hear the never ending song. Eventually, eliciting a desperate plea to “make her stop!”

It’s funny how we now look back and cherish some of the annoying things our children do because it is part of what has made them uniquely who they are today.

As fathers we sometimes add a “whumpa whumpa” to how we live our lives.

Physically, emotionally, and spiritually we add a “whumpa whumpa” and get locked into a never ending loop of responses, actions, reactions, thoughts, and etc. This “whumpa whumpa” causes those around us, as well as us, to become frustrated with the way our lives are going.

We keep doing the same things over and over without seeing any change in our lives. In fact, like the siblings in the back seat on a long road trip, we find ourselves digressing into destructive or argumentative behavior and not growing in a positive way.

Many of the American Indian tribes believed that life is a great spiral beginning at birth and ending in the afterlife joined with the Great Spirit. The expectation was always that what you see today you will see again in the future. The trick is that as you complete each circle, in life, you should not be seeing things from the same perspective. You must see things from a higher vantage point or you are not moving closer to the Great Spirit.

If we use our Father God as our example of perfect fatherhood, we will find ourselves constantly searching for new pearls of wisdom to become better fathers. As we seek we will learn more about our Father God and be drawn closer to Him.  Thus we will spiral ever closer and as we complete each circle in life, we will see the past in a different way,

Like when we look back on the annoying actions of our children and cherish them as part of what makes them uniquely who they are, we will be able to look at the things we face today and cherish them, no matter how bad they seem today, as what is forming us into better fathers who are more aligned with the perfect Father God.

Do not allow the “whumpa whumpa”, in your life’s moments, to lock you into a never ending loop of immature fatherhood.

Break free and climb the water spout again.

En Servicio Como Padre

Dave

Natural Light

How many times have you heard someone say, “she has a glow about her” or “he just seems to radiate…”. Most of the time we say these things without much deep thought about what we are actually saying. It just seems like the right thing to say and it describes the feeling we are having at the time.

Over the past few years I have come to believe there is a much deeper connection between our words with the world, particularly the spiritual world, around us.

That being said, you can imagine how excited I was when I read the article in Yahoo News titled “Strange! Humans Glow in Visible Light“. This article describes a study done by scientists in Japan. An excerpt follows:090722-body-glow-02

“scientists in Japan employed extraordinarily sensitive cameras capable of detecting single photons. Five healthy male volunteers in their 20s were placed bare-chested in front of the cameras in complete darkness in light-tight rooms for 20 minutes every three hours from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for three days.

The researchers found the body glow rose and fell over the day, with its lowest point at 10 a.m. and its peak at 4 p.m., dropping gradually after that. These findings suggest there is light emission linked to our body clocks, most likely due to how our metabolic rhythms fluctuate over the course of the day.” Charles Q. Choi; Special to LiveScience; LiveScience.com – Wed Jul 22, 10:32 am ET

Not only does the human body glow, but virtually all living creatures give off very weak light. Science is finally proving what we have known in spirit for many years.

Genesis 1:26 God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, And, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.” God created human beings; he created them godlike, Reflecting God’s nature. He created them male and female. God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.” (The Message)

Exodus 34:29-30 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai carrying the two Tablets of The Testimony, he didn’t know that the skin of his face glowed because he had been speaking with God. Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, saw his radiant face, and held back, afraid to get close to him. (The Message)

Proverbs 4:18 The ways of right-living people glow with light; the longer they live, the brighter they shine. But the road of wrongdoing gets darker and darker- travelers can’t see a thing; they fall flat on their faces. (The Message)

Fathers, are we not designed to reflect God’s nature? He has made us to follow his example. It is our responsibility to be what God has made us to be. No matter how weak we see our light, we must allow it to glow as the light of right-living people. If we do, we can live a long life showing brightly the love we have for our wives, our children, for others, and especially for our God.

Let your light shine. Glow with love, after all it is natural.

En Servicio Como Padre

Dave


Subscribe to Dadtalk

Subscribe to Dadtalk email updates

Vote for Dad Talk

RSS Ron Block

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

%d bloggers like this: