Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Praise you in the Storm

During times of difficulty and tragedy, it can be a struggle to make sense of recent happenings.  With the on-slaught of Hurricane Sandy, many have lost their possessions, loved ones and a general loss of security.  However learning to praise in the midst of pain produces proper perspective.  This song helps us focus on the source of our Strength.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Building Block #2: LOVE

This next building block seem so obvious, but it can't go with out mentioning.  Every happy home, no matter how different has the common thread of LOVE. 

There have been entire books written on this subject, store rooms of film recorded on the subject, and I'm sure millions of songs sung about this great subject of love. Some would say it's an emotion, others say it is a noun.  Still others make a strong case for love being a verb (action oriented).

However, one common thread (no matter what your grammatical conviction) is that Love is An Experience.  Whether it is romantic love, parental love, or friendship.  Love is to be experience.  It is not to be defined, but it can be described.  1 Corinthians 13 (from the Bible) does a grand job describing the attribute which comes from God and experienced with humanity.


Before we read this description, let me briefly set the stage of what love looks like in the happy home.  I'll use the acronym TLC.

T- Touch:  Love has always been expressed in the form of a touch.  Love is an intangible concept that becomes tangible with touch.  We experience love through touch.  Touch has to exist for a marriage to be stable.  This is experienced in a kiss before leaving for work, holding hands while watching the news, or allowing your feet to touch under the covers as you fall asleep. Touch is necessary for children to experience love.  Friends even need some type of touch.

Diapers and "Full Nelsons"

Touch communicates love.  It doesn't erase the need to verbally communicate love or the need to show other expressions, but happy homes always express love through touch.

Children are no different.  The style of touch changes the older kids get, but touch is always important in communicating love.  For me, I knew that I would be the type of dad to change diapers.  WHY?  Not because I like dealing with my kid's poop & pee, but because when a child is wet/dirty, there is a bonding that takes place with that child and the one who makes them clean and comfortable.  It was one of the few needs they had as infants and I wanted to be one of those who met that need.  Since my wife breastfed all our kids, there wasn't much room to meet that need, so I met the needs I could.  It was never just Rene's job to comfort and console our children.

Of course, that touch has changed for our older boys.  It now takes the form of pats on the back, an arm around their shoulder, rubbing their back to wake them up, or a favorite of theirs.... WRESTLING!  That's right... putting my sons in a "Full-Nelson" communicates my love. You know what is said, "No Pain, No Gain". Often times when I am sitting peacefully on the couch, one of my boys will grab my arm and try to twist it off or they'll try to take one of my slippers off my feet.  They are not doing this to be annoying, it is their way of "asking" for a touch of love.  SOOO I oblige and give them a fore-arm-shiver of love.  If you know know what this is, its kind of hard to explain so you'll have to just take me at my word, it's what they need .

Having had our 2 boys first, I had to get used to communicating love to my daughters when they came.  I found out in the first few years that girls are MUCH DIFFERENT than boys.  They were much quicker to sit on my lap, give me hugs and kisses, comb my hair (even though there's not much left) and even rub my back.  Wrestling moves would not work for my girls.  They needed a different type of touch to experience my love. 

Whether with a son or daughter or spouse, the touch of love communicates safety, trust, and confidence.  Even if you think you're not the touchy type, or your parents didn't do that with you... make a choice.  Your home needs YOUR TOUCH OF LOVE!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

WORDS: They Reveal the Heart

For those familiar with the writing of Jesus, the words of Matthew 12:34 are familiar:
"For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of."
The challenge of interpreting this passage, is in our culture the heart is typically seen as the seat of emotions.  However, in Biblical times, the heart was also the seat of truth.  When Jesus spoke those above words, He was referring to the truth that flow from the depth of a person, translated into the words one speaks.  

Therefore, the words that we speak, tell us much less about the feeling in the moment, but more about the truths embraced by the soul.