Monday, November 30, 2009

3 Christmas Suggestions To Young Parents

As we enter the Christmas season, I've been reminded of some parental lessons I've learned over the past 4 Christmases. For your education I thought I might share 3 of them with you today.

1.) When decorating your Christmas tree, be sure to explain to your children that Christmas is still weeks away. There's nothing quite as sad as a child walking into the living room the morning after doing said decorating, only to find that Santa didn't come. I'm just sayin.

2.) There are two tools that every parental unit needs to be sure to have in their pocket at every Christmas function. 1.) A pocket knife. 2.) Wire cutters or kitchen scissors. Apparently a few years ago, toy companies decided that the items in toys packagaes were highly valuable and so they've mounted, taped, wired, screwed, and glued every part into the packaging. While I understand their tanacity in attempting to keep theft to a minimum, it sure does make gift opening less enjoyable hearing your kid asking (over and over again) "Is it open yet? Is it open yet?"

3.) Preplanning - Santa needs to be prepared. Some gifts are more fun Christmas morning if they are already put together. Some might be better to put together with your child. Be sure to distinguish between the two. And trust me, waiting until the late hours of Christmas Eve to put together something as difficult as a full size basketball goal or playhouse, is not a wise decision.

I'm sure there'll be more lessons to come.

Friday, November 20, 2009

LOST Countdown: 74 Days

ABC announced yesterday that the final season of my favorite show of all time, LOST, will premier on Tuesday February 2nd, 2010. This makes me happy & sad. Happy because I'm glad it's back and really glad it's gonna be on Tuesday nights instead of Wednesdays. It makes me sad because it's the beginning of the end. This is the final season. I wonder if I'll get answers to all my questions? Probably not. But it's gonna be a fun anyway.

So I've got 74 days until the premier. I'm going to attempt to do something crazy.

I'm going to watch all 103 episodes of the first 5 seasons before the premier date on 02/02/10. I think I can do it. That works out mathematically to 1.39 episodes per day. I think that's do-able. I typically spend an hour or so in my home office late every night anyway just goofing around on the interwebs and working on other projects. Should be easy to pop in a DVD.

The harder part will be trying to convince my wife to do it with me. She'll watch it, but she doesn't really care for the show. I really hope to get her hooked though, so that it can easily be a weekly appointment for both of us when Tuesday 02/02 gets here.

Wish me luck. I'm gonna need it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What I Know About Worship #1

I’ve blogged before about how I know a little about a lot, but I know a lot about very little. One of the few things I do know something about is leading worship. (You know, being a song leader at church.) But let me be very clear… I’m not a pro at leading worship. I make mistakes every time I get in front of a group of people. But I figure in 17 years of leading worship, I’ve learned a thing or two. Who knows? Maybe I’ve even learned something that might be useful to someone else. So, today I decided to start a regular section in my blog called “What I Know About Worship”.

What I Know About Worship: #1 You can’t please everyone.

No matter how hard you may try, you can’t make everyone happy. If you’ve decided to attempt to lead a group of people in worship through singing, you need to be aware that someone in the group will not be happy with one of your song choices. There have been thousands upon thousands of blogs, books, and articles written about worship styles. I’m not even referring to that necessarily. You’ll likely have people in the room who may not be happy with your song choices simply because of the tempo, lyrics, or they may not like it because of a memory that is it reminds them of. There are too many reasons to list. We’re all familiar with the phrase that “opinions are like belly buttons(or insert other misc hidden body part here). We’ve all got ‘em and we don’t want to see yours.” That’s an accurate phrase of the attitude you have to take as a worship leader sometimes. When leading a group of people in worship, it’s important to remember who your audience is. It’s not the group of people in front of you. It’s the One we worship, our Creator, our Heavenly Father, God. Your purpose should be to organize and lead a service that will help the majority of people in the room focus on Him and have an encounter with Him. Now, I’m not saying you should ignore people’s opinions completely, or you’ll find yourself without a group to lead. But it’s important to remember that If someone is not happy with a particular song, you should remind them that someone else in the room might have needed to hear or sing that exact song. You just have to prayerfully plan the services and trust that the Holy Spirit will guide you in making those plans. I’ve had the attitude, for many years now, that if someone doesn’t like a particular song in our services, then I’m completely OK with that. That just means that song wasn’t meant for that person. Maybe that person should still worship with it though by watching those around them who are enjoying it and praising the Lord for them. I know that one day we’ll all be at His throne and we’ll all hear music that we’ll all love. Until then, some of us are gonna just have to be unhappy from time to time and that’s okay with me.

As I’ve sat now and re-read this blog, I’ve realized something though…

What do I really know about worship? Not much.

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Why would someone do this? Is there no better way to get rid of a pair of shoes? Do they not have a garbage can? Also, I'm curious how many times they had to throw them to get them to stay. It's a mystery.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Kids Say...

My boys crack me up. Here are three examples why.

1.)    Monday night Ethan (5)  & Gavin (3) were playing in the bath together. I left the room for a minute to get some clean washcloths from the laundry room. While I was gone, I overheard Ethan saying “Ow! Stop! Quit it!” I rounded the corner and just stood there in the doorway. Gavin had a watergun and was carefully aiming at his older brothers nose. When Gavin noticed I was standing there, he froze, continuing to point the gun at Ethan, and just looked over at me with his eyes. I was giving him my best “I’m not happy about this” look. He simply said, unapologetically, “I shoot ‘em in da fates.”  (Translated “I shot him in the face.) I left the room quickly so they wouldn’t see me laughing.

2.)    A few months ago I overheard Ethan playing and saying “Ow! My tis-pits are burning.” It took me a long time, but after a while I figured out what he was talking about.  There’s a scene in Toy Story 2 where Stinky Pete the Prospector backs up too close to a campfire and shouts “Ow, My biscuits are burning!”  (referring to his backside) I attempted to explain to both my boys that he’s saying “biscuits”. But they thought “tis-pits” was much more hilarious.  So, sadly, that word is still heard in our house to this day.

3.)    Last night, I was sitting in our laundry room folding laundry. (Yes, believe it or not. I was trying to be more helpful) Both the boys decided it was time for Wrestle Mania 2009 and began climbing and jumping on me. In retaliation, I began covering them in the clean clothes. Before long they were completely buried in a mountain of clothes.  (Yes, you read right. We had enough clean clothes in the laundry room floor to cover two small children. Don’t judge me! =)  They loved hiding in the clothes and even arranged the clothes so that only their little eyes could be seen peering out of the mountain. When I told Ethan ”OK, buddy. Time for bed, we gotta go brush teeth.” Without hesitation, he quoted a line from the movie Ice Age. “I was born in this hole. And I’ll die in this hole!”

Wonder what they’ll say tonight?

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