Monday, April 5, 2010

Brotherly Love

This picture personifies how most days unfold when our two children are together...Bryce, acting as though nothing is wrong...MaKenna, struggling to keep her composure. I love MaKenna. She is beautiful, all girl and is a fan of her dad (at least that is what I tell myself...I know she prefers her mother). MaKenna wants to know what is for supper when we finish breakfast, she wants to paint her toenails and fingernails and do all the things little girls do at this age. I love our daughter. She brings home notes from boys (I have promised to eliminate from exsistance) who are interested in "being hers forever" in the second grade. A recent note she received from a classmate read, "C+M = yes or no". MaKenna doesn't like "C", so we dodged the bullet on this one. I get so irate thinking of my second grade daughter having a "boyfriend". Then again, who am I to say that is too early...she has an aunt that was practically married by the second grade. I love MaKenna. The next twenty years should be fun.

Then we have Bryce. I remember growing up in the wheat field shooting bb guns at people. Goggles? Are you serious? It was short sleaves, shorts, a bb gun and plenty of bullets. Man, those were good times. Today we have airsoft guns. Soft being the key word. Plastic bb's with minimal air pressure are the norm today. So, we are counting on Bryce to be the enforcer. When MaKenna starts dating, I'm going to supply Bryce with all the ammo he needs!
Bryce takes care of his sister. I understand there are times when the kids are at each other's throat for several days in a row, but ultimately their relationship is a good one. If Jacob and Esau had a relationship like that...we would miss one of the greatest bible stories of all time.
"Jacob the Hill Grabber", "Jacob the Deceiver", Jacob the Con-Artist" - pick your favorite...all of them are wonderful names for a wrestler. Here's a man who deceives his brother and tricks his dad so he can pad his 401K. Genesis 32 - I love that it takes a wrestling match of epic proportions to get his head on straight. Here's a guy that works seven years to marry his beautiful cousin Rachel, wakes up after his honemoon night and finds himself lying with his ugly cousin Pheona the Ogre (Leah), works seven more years to marry Rachel a second time and then enjoys an evening wrestling with God. Jacob...what a joke. Scared to meet his brother Esau...God puts a Holy Suplex on him! A smackdown for the ages. By daylight...Jacob is looking for tennis balls to put on his walker! He gets a walker for the hip job God put on him and a new name. Of course, with a new name come a new sense of purpose and meaning in life. Once again, God has changed this low-life into a somebody!
Bryce vs. MaKenna or Jacob vs. Esau...brothers and sisters are made to love and evidently destined to fight, but when it comes to you vs. God...why not work it out in a ring! Considering the amount of hip surgeries Amy Trent Reiter Lomax (another great wrestling name) had...she must have wrestled with God frequently. She too was extraordinary. Take your problems, your faults, your temptations and place them in the ring with God. Obviously...God will win every time...isn't that the point of each of our lives? Until next time.

Monday, January 18, 2010

"X" Marks The Spot!

I would like to run a few more test, but I have long since retired from throwing boomerangs. I'm guessing it was a 100 foot "egg shaped" pattern that was interrupted before the shape was completed. Consider the odds. One boomerang, one thrower (me), and one observer (Cathy) who was playing on a sand pile out of my sight. I set the boomerang in motion. "What I throw!", I thought to myself. I watched as it left the sight of my left eye and waited for it to come back into view on my right side. It never made it around. The solid wood boomerang found it's way to Cathy's forehead. She had climbed on top of the sand pile some twenty feet behind me. I heard her scream and immediately turned to see blood dripping from her head. I knew what this meant and had no time to see if she was OK. I ran to our house and grabbed mom. "I killed Cathy!", I yelled as tears streamed down my face. Six butterfly stitches and Cathy was going to survive. If you run into her today, just glance between her two eyes in the middle of her forehead. The mark is still there. Scarred by a ten year old Ausie from Oklahoma.

I have my own scars that act as reminders. Scars from riding a bicycle at age ten. Scars from an air compressor a few months ago. They serve as reminders, mostly of pain and suffering or decisions that weren't thought through properly. It makes me think of Cain. He kills his brother Abel and God curses him, saying he is a wanderer no longer in the presence of God. In Genesis 4:14 Cain says, "...and whoever finds me will kill me." I guess we could debate who was "out there" that Cain was so worried about, but not today. I want to talk about the mark that God placed on Cain to keep him safe. I've heard many different theories, but I want to mention one that you probably haven't thought of. Cain kills his brother and deserves death. God see's one of his children as a murderer. Cain deserved nothing, but that is not what God gave him. God gave him a gift he didn't deserve. He gave Cain a mark that he gives to us today. When someone came across Cain, they didn't see the mark of the beast that scared them away. They didn't see a symbol that spoke to them to keep their distance. The mark on Cain was grace. God's grace, grace that is greater than all of our sins. Grace, that is deeper than the ocean and wider than the seas. So, we too are marked just like Cain. Kept alive despite those that are out to harm us...although I would suggest staying away from Okie's carrying boomerangs. Until next time.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sir, It's Pride. It's Pride, Sir.

bryce-ology = A language unique to Bryce Waugh.

sir-ding-a-lot = A nickname given to me, courtesy of a recent bryce-ology.

It was a typical Saturday, probably running from one soccer game to another. The gas tank was on empty so we stopped at our gas station to fill up. I remember bumping the side of the car with the nozzle before filling up. Without thinking anything about it, I filled up the car with gas and climbed back into the drivers seat only to hear laughter from the rest of the family. "What's so funny?" Evidently, when I bumped the car with the nozzle Bryce was quoted as saying,"Way to go, Sir Ding-A-Lot".

Fast forward with me a month or two. I began to notice that Bryce began ending his sentences with "Sir". I was really impressed. Imagine your child finishing each conversation with "Yes, sir" without any instruction to do so. I prefer being called dad, and didn't understand where this new behavior was coming from. I was not going to discourage it...just curious as to why the sudden change. I then began noticing that Bryce would begin his sentences with "Sir". "Sir, may I go ride my bike?" "Sir, what's for supper?" "Sir, do I have to take a shower tonight?" No matter how he addressed me...the emphasis was always on the word "sir".

With a little bit of pride, I finally decided to ask Bryce why he started using "Sir" all of the time.

Bryce's quote..."Ooooh, you know're Sir-Ding-A-Lot!"

Sir Ding-A-Lot? Seriously? Consider briefly what this meant..."Sir Ding-A-Lot, may I go ride my bike?" "Sir-Ding-A-Lot, what's for supper?" "Sir Ding-A-Lot, do I have to take a shower?" "Bryce, do you have your homework completed?", I would ask. His response was not, "Yes, Sir", it was "Yes, Sir Ding-A-Lot!"

It's amazing how pride can get the best of us. Let's continue in Genesis today and consider this question...Where did evil come from? Before we answer that question let's look at the players in the answer. The tree. The garden. The woman. The serpent. The serpent is the tricky one. Was the serpent the devil?

Genesis 3:1 "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild anivals the Lord God has made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"

Let's use a little common sense. God did not create the evil devil. He did however create the serpent who was more crafty (wise) than any of the wild animals. Second, did the serpent do anything wrong in asking the first religious question? In his (serpent) wisdom he is almost pondering "Did God really say?" He seems to be insinsuating that a loving God could not possibly place limitations on his creatures the he had placed in the beautiful garden. That leads us to ask where the devil came from? That's another blog. For now, we have a wise serpent, a tree that Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat from, and Eve.

I think most of us have a picture of Eve walking right up to the tree, yanking an apple off the tree and eating every bite of it immediately with juice running down her arm. Doubtful. Eve clearly knew that God made it clear that death would result from eating the fruit. Consider this theory. Day 1 - She walks towards the death. Day 2 - She stretches her arm out as to pick the fruit, but doesn' death. Day 3 - She touches the fruit, but quickly jerks her hand death. Day 4 - She touches the fruit and considers picking it, but does death. Day 5 - She picks the fuit and takes it death. Day 6 through Day 15 she looks at the fruit, sometimes holding it...the fruit never death. Day 16 - After days of holding, touching, looking, admiring, she taste the death. Adam eats as death...then in the cool of the day...

It's a large word. Dissensitization.

James 1:14-15 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Sound familiar? James was merely describing the same process Eve went through in the garden...and the same process we go through today.

Evil? It's really quite simple. It came from our own desire to be like God. To know all, to be all. I believe the tree in one way or another symbolized pride.

We can't blame the devil for this mistake. This one falls squarely on us.

What's next? I rather enjoy the nickname. "Sir Ding-A-Lot" to the rescue! Until next time...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A New Year, A Resolution, A Tired Old Man

I assume that most people have a resolution in place for 2010. I have had my share of years where I resolved to weigh less, to be a better person or become more diligent in my studies. I must say that the majority of these resolutions end in failure which I believe is because of unreachable goals I place for myself. This year I have set two goals (resolutions if you will) that are quite simple. First, I'm going to spend the entire year if neccessary trying to figure out my college mess. I have completed 138 collegiate hours towards and education degree(I need 122 for a B.A.A.S from M.S.U), yet I have no degree. I dropped out of college while only lacking student teaching to complete my degree.
While I'm sure this will raise some eyebrows I feel it is neccessary to tell you that I still believe this was the right decision to make. I had no desire to become a teacher or a music major and the only dissapointing thing to me is that I didn't realize at 22 my passion was in ministry. I should have known and seen it coming, but I was blinded at that age. I love my career and to be honest I can't see myself ever doing anything other than ministry. [Exhaling] I would however like to complete my degree for two selfish reasons. 1.Dad 2. Artwork for my office. We will call 2010 goal #1 "The College Debacle".
My second goal for 2010 is to write more. I told myself last year that I didn't have enough time to write a blog, but this year will be different. I plan to add to this blog each week if at all possible. I have several things on my brain that I want to place before you (whoever "you" is) that concerns my life and some interesting biblical topics that I hope will help shape your faith and place a smile on your face. I believe we should start in Genesis. God places Adam in a deep sleep and upon awakening he looks up to see the perfect body of Eve. He calmly stood up and said "This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh". It cracks me up! Come on. Do you really think Gomer Pyle invented Shazaaam! Not hardly, Adam invented that word in the garden which was in Eden when Eve was in his eyesight for the first time. Picture God running all the wild animals by Adam as he gave each a name. The funny line is in Genesis 2:20 Where it states "No suitable helper was found." Imagine Miss. Zebra strolling by Adam and winking. I understand that a dog is suppose to be a man's best friend, but for Adam...(thankfully) the dog didn't cut it.
35 years old today. I don't act like most 35 year olds. I understand that. I'm so thankful I don't!!! "My back hurts" "I'm ready to retire" "They say 40's over the hill, but I'm already rolling down the hill" "My portfolio isn't where it needs to be" "When will we ever have an empty nest" "Wonder what the stocks will do this year" GIVE ME A BREAK! I'm sorry, but I can't do that. I may have gray hair, be overweight, not have my life as together as others, have less in the bank than most and to be quite honest act immature compared to others my age, but that's me. It's who I am. It wouldn't matter if I worked with youth or sat in an office all day. I would still be me. It's what and who God intended for me to be, and I'm thankful for that. I don't look at my 35th birthday as a negative, I only see positives. This is who I am; vibrant, youthful, fun, loving, happy, joking, ready to conquer the next obstacle in front of me and there are plenty of OLD 35 year old's out there that could take a life lesson. Live, breathe the fresh air that God provides daily. If you act old and live old then you are old. Until next time.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Power & Pain

Recently our family was reminded of how powerful our God is. The hail storm of 2009 will not be one too quickly forgotten. I think of God's power and realize that everyone that lives on this planet gets to witness it. Whether you are an atheist or an evil dictator in Iraq there is one of God's blessings that He refuses no one. The beauty of His nature was surely admired by Saddam Hussein as he awoke each morning. Can't you see him retreating to his peaceful garden inside the gates of his palace, or admiring the sand dunes with palm trees and blazing hot temperatures. When we think of God living among us today and working in our lives I believe He is most visible in nature. As we watched our sky-light shatter and golf ball size hail crash into our bathroom we quickly understood God's power. Thirty-six hours later I find hail still visible from the storm while temperatures have never been below sixty degrees.
Yesterday we decided that it was time to start cleaning up the mess. It was interesting to note that what looked like leaves on the ground were actually small twigs with leaves still attached. The hail had done some natural pruning on our giant front yard ash tree. Michelle began the clean up with a large leaf rake in hand. I decided to take the more modern approach and use the leaf blower. After blowing the leaves for several minutes it was obvious Michelle had the better tool. She was making quick progress, but not to be out done I figured out that I simply needed to hold the blower closer to the ground. Wow! This was very efficient! Now I was making huge progress while bent at the waist and looking at the ground. After we got the leaves into piles I decided to take an evening jog. Usually my jog is more of a walk/waddle....but not tonight! I jogged two miles without waddling! Hooray!

This morning I am sorrowful to say that more damage has been done. Oh, the house is fine and the skies are back however??? I shall now invest in another leaf rake.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Storms of Life

As a child I always found myself dreading this time of the year. In southwest Oklahoma we refered to springtime as tornado season. Living in "Tornado Alley" during "Tornado Season" is not a real calm combination. I remember finding myself running inside the house at the first sign of bad weather. Today we have radars on the internet that we can constantly update and check which makes planning for a catostrophic tornado much easier. With the modern radar we also no longer truly need the spastic meteorologist such as Andy Wallace who for years terrorized southwest Oklahoma with his constant doom and gloom broadcast. Whether a tornado was spotted 7 miles or 70 miles from our home, Andy would call for a full scale tornado alert!

As an adult now living in the Texas Hill Country, Spring has become a very enjoyable season! In fact it may soon win my "favorite time of year contest" currently held tightly by the cooler and wetter Fall! I find myself enjoying the bluebonnets, the plam trees, the warmth on my skin as well as the boats and jet skis on the lakes. I look forward to lunches with Michelle on the dock at Chili's overlooking lake Marble Falls. No longer do I fear the springtime storms or spastic meteorologist. And if that rare tornado does make an appearance in the hill country we have Jim Spencer in Austin...a man who treats rain storms and winds over 15mph as a natural disaster!

Isn't funny how our lives change. From worrying about a tornado in our early childhood to observing the beautiful bluebonnets of Texas as an adult, we are constantly reminded of the power of One who is greater than I.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The First of Many

I'm excited about blogging again. It's been several years since I have taken the time to write down in words what goes on in my brain each day. For some, the daily life is more like a replay of the day , weeks, months before than it is a unique day in and of itself.
For me, the daily life is ever changing, filled with new adventures that I hope to share with you. Enjoy "A Dose of Albert"!