Saturday, November 27, 2010

Multicultural Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving we went up to Dallas and had a fairly traditional day in some respects but very unusual in others. This Thanksgiving was a multicultural experience. In addition to our crew, we had a young man from Boston who is in Dallas doing Teach Across America. They knew him from their church. Then Jason invited his friend from Iraq that he has gotten to know, and he and Alex invited two Chinese girls they have befriended. So we had people from three foreign countries. My kids did not learn this from home. Yes we often invited people outside our family but they were usually friends or K-life leaders but not foreigners we barely knew. I love that they feel free to do this and shows again how much further they have progressed beyond Luana and me.

We went up on Wed. and Christy made a delicious Lasagna from her prairie Home cookbook. Then the next morning we did our traditional run in the Turkey trot. Jason and I were joined by the Websters - Cathy, Jimmy and their daughter Anna Lee. I was amazed and pleased that I was able to do the whole 8 miles even though I had only run 4 miles prior to this - and all of it without chest pain. (that is another blog)

We ate at Amy and Blake's and Mary Beth did some bang up decorating (Christy had to work). The feast consisted of the usual turkey and dressing with gravy as well as broccoli and rice casserole, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, Caesar's salad, pistachio fruit salad and rolls. Then they topped it off with an all star dessert lineup of chocolate chip pie, chocolate cake, a coffee pie, dipped strawberries and a couple of others that I cannot remember. Amy had come up with a number of verses on being thankful to keep our hearts in the right place and we had good table conversation.

All in all it was a great time and I want to thank all of the girls who chipped in to make it a great success

Sunday, November 14, 2010

In Laws

Two blogs in one day? What is this? Do I have too much time on my hands? Whatever!
Now I know that for a lot of people in-laws is a dirty word. Fortunately that has not been the case for us. I have always gotten along very well with Luana's parents and she did with mine as well. But that is not the occasion of this blog. I am speaking of the new set of in-laws we inherited when our kids got married. We have three sets now and I am pleased to say that we are blessed to have wonderful in-laws who love God, love their kids and reared them well. Of course for us it was relatively easy since we were friends with Christy's and Amy's in-laws before they even started dating.
This weekend Jason's in-laws, the Parks were in for the Baylor-A&M football game and stayed with us. Now we have always gotten along well with them but it seemed like there was always some major activity and we did not get to visit in a relaxed manner. But this weekend we did and is was delightful to spend time with them. I am so thankful that Jason has that as well as I am thankful for the Ogdens and the Marables. It makes things so much easier during holidays and with grandkids. Some holidays we spend together with both sides of the families, and we can share the grandparenting duties without feelings of competition. Just one more thing for me to add to the list of thigs to thank God for.


My family and I occasionally send each other questions to think about and we have e-mail discussions about them. Recently, as a part of a study I was doing, I posed the question as to what were the basic beliefs needed to be considered a Christian. I received good input and I have thought about it a lot and here is what I came up with.
1) That God is (that He exists)
2) That He created the world (in whatever way)
3) That Jesus is the Son of God
4) That Jesus is fully man and fully God
5) That He died on the cross and was buried
6) That He rose again on the third day
7) That faith in Him is the only way of salvation
That is pretty much it. Now there are a lot more things that I think are important and we should believe, but these are the things that if you do not believe I would not consider you a Christian. I invite discussion and am open to changing my mind on a few things, but you will have to make a compelling argument.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


This past weekend my youngest daughter had the privilege of going to the Marine Corps ball with a young Marine who grew up in Waco. She loves to get dressed up and loves all of the pomp and pageantry so I knew that she would love this. As I expected she had a ball (no pun intended) and loved the Virginia countryside as well. One thing that I had been praying for her was that she would feel beautiful when she was all dressed up. She is beautiful so I knew that it would not take much but I wanted her to feel that way. Well she did say that she felt beautiful so I was very happy. That got me to start thinking about daughters and hence my blog.

I love my son very much and would not trade him for anything (see last blog), but I just love daughters and I am very fortunate to have three of them. Being a guy, i wasn't sure how I would be able to handle daughters. I had two brothers and only one sister, but she was somewhat of a tomboy back then (growing up with three older brothers, what would you expect). Now she is really prissy and you would never suspect the other. At any rate I did not have much experience. But God gives grace to those who need it and He was gracious in teaching me how to rear girls.

One of the things which is almost universal among girls is that they want to be told they are beautiful, and growing up the most important person to hear that from is their dad. I'm not sure how well I did that back then but I did learn the importance and have tried to put it in practice. But it has to come from the heart because girls are very perceptive and know when you are lying. My girls are all beautiful physically but even more so are beautiful people, so it is not hard for me to tell them. The other thing daughters need from their father is to demonstrate the Father heart of God. For all of you new fathers, these two things are the most important gifts you can give your girls. Of course not every girl has a father around and many that are grown did not receive that from their father. But God is gracious and He can make up for what is deficient.

Each of my daughters is so unique in their gifts and personalities, and each with a part of me in them which I can really relate to. I especially love spending time with each of them one on one. They are not only fun to be with but they teach me things even in my old age - I am so amazed at their maturity. I know I was not that way at their age. So let me close by praising God for daughters and thanking Him specifically for my three.