kingteamdad

Spiritual Ramblings from a Modern Day Husband and Dad

From Quiet to Dadhood

img_2585

RAMBLINGS from Connor King’s dad – 22 years ago last week my job description increased, from being a married man to a married man…and a dad! Around 8:20 am Connor King made his debut at Piedmont hospital with some gentle encouragement by Dr. Jim Lyon. My life was forever changed for the better.

Dr. Jim went on to mentor me for 4 years. Meeting every Monday morning around 6 at the Silver Skillet to talk about life, and how the Bible fits in. What an incredible opportunity.

Several years later I am so grateful Connor had Heather Bowen for his 5th-grade teacher. That summer she quit her teaching job to become a missionary in Peru. She encouraged Connor to go with a group that was moving her down there to live. I quickly got tapped by Kris to be his parent tag along. It radically changed the way we looked at life and the world. People had so little, but were happy. Life was more simple. Connor and I both came back changed. The next two consecutive years we took the family back down there so they could experience what we did. What an incredible opportunity.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Since then, our family has been on numerous mission trips abroad and right here in the US. If you haven’t had the chance to do so, I can’t encourage you enough to step outside your comfort zone, just like I did when that little 5th grader said, “Daddy will you go?”

In so many ways Connor has been a wonderful leader to his two siblings. Always the protector. Always the teacher. When I think of Connor here are the top five things that come to mind:

1. He loves his family
2. He loves to read
3. He loves to learn
4. He loves to teach
5. He loves Jesus

With a year left at Liberty studying Biomedical Science, and contemplating Medical School, I am sure he will have a great opportunity to practice everything on that list. A lot!

img_3174

Happy birthday, Connor! I am proud of the man you have become, and the opportunity you have given me!!

Hyphenated No More

FullSizeRender

If a kingdom is divided against itself, it cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand. Mark 3:24-25

 

RAMBLINGS from Evan’s dad – Evan just got back from attending a week of “Georgia Boy’s State”. This is sponsored by The American Legion and focuses on “God and Country”. It is a week where the “Boy’s State” mimic’s exactly how a real state operates. Before they go, they are schooled on every level of government and how they function.  The first two days are spent campaigning and running for office, and the rest of the week is spent actually working in your elected position.  Evan learned a great deal and walked away from it with a whole new respect for government, the political process, and our legal system.

I asked him what was his big take away from the week. The first thing he mentioned was how he noticed labels almost immediately divide. His “county” of 84 boys got together and arbitrarily they were either picked to be Federalists or Nationalists. He was picked to be a Federalist and later elected as a county commissioner. They elected two other boys who happened to be in the other party. They instantly were against each other.  If he was for it, they weren’t.  He was shocked at how natural it was to be that way.

He said it reminded him of one of his video games where they labeled half of the group red and the other blue. Immediately the polarization started, and eventually they were shooting at each other.

It made me think about the present state of our country. We have so many labels. We are either pro-this, or anti-that. Our country has become a hyphenated group of self-absorbed narcissists. We are no longer just Americans.  We all seem to be some form of “________-Americans”.

As a whole, are we Christians any better? We have broken our faith into so many subgroups that in some towns there are seven or eight protestant churches on one street with First This, Second That, Holy This, and Redeemed That, all battling for parking spots on “Church Street”.

What made our country great in the first place?  Well, for one thing, I don’t believe there were any hyphenated Americans. Many of the colonists had a common denominator of religious freedom, and over the years immigrants could not wait to be American. That quickly led to a new country who’s founding fathers wrote a Declaration of Independence and a Constitution that were laced with Christian ideas and principles. You didn’t have to be a Christian, but you needed to accept the principles born from those beliefs and convictions.

Today our hyphenated citizens are now fighting some of those principles because it falls outside their “hyphen”.

Imagine how different things might be if we went back to the beginning and all just became “Americans”.

Imagine what our neighbors and co-workers would see if all us Christians stopped hyphenating our faith and just tried to imitate Jesus……

Unconditional Love’s Reward

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

RAMBLINGS from Connor’s dad – I was sitting in the coffee shop at church waiting on Connor and Kris. They were volunteering next door in a senior’s luncheon. Connor’s home on spring break and Momma had him helping her serve. I was hoping to catch them for lunch when they finished.

While I sat in front of my computer, Lacy came by and sat down next to me. She had dropped by for a moment, waiting to pick her grandmom up from a doctor’s appointment. She sat there quietly waiting. From the corner of my eye her body language was saying “turn and speak”. Yes, Lacy is our quality time child.

My computer work paused, and as soon as I asked how she was doing, the words started flowing. We talked about life, sleep, and whatever came to mind with her. There was obviously much to catch up with and she was making the most of it.

A few minutes in to our visit, she asked me if I had ever read the book of Ruth in the Bible. A conversation followed talking about Ruth’s love and devotion to her mother in law, Naomi. We talked about how that devotion continued even after her husband, Naomi’s son, died. Her love and devotion was so complete, that she was willing to go with Naomi back to her home country. She was even willing to worship Naomi’s God.

Ruth’s love and devotion for Naomi, led her to worshipping God. The one true God, not one of the many false gods that so many people were worshipping at the time. Because of that love and devotion, she went to the fields of one of Naomi’s relatives to glean left over grain. Because of her love and devotion, she met that relative, Boaz. Because of their laws and customs, he stood in line as a living relative of the deceased husband, to continue his bloodline. A marriage followed, and led to the birth of a son, Obed.  He grew up to have a son named Jesse, who grew up to have a son named David. He grew up to be the King of Israel, and is described in the Bible as a man after God’s own heart.  And generations later, Jesus is traced to David through Joseph.

Because of her love and devotion. Because she didn’t take the easy way out. There is a whole book in the Bible devoted to a lady named Ruth. What would my life look like if I tried to be more like Ruth? What might God have in store for me, or for you, if we just continue to love people in spite of our circumstances…..

Walking to the Cumming Fair, Oct. 2004

” Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Loving Our Parents

“Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 5:16

RAMBLINGS from Lacy’s dad – Yesterday Connor was working, Evan had a couple of buddies over, and Lacy was with Kris and her mom at a wedding. So after doing some Saturday chores and reading for a while, I hopped in the car to go see Mom. She was spunky as ever. “Made” me sit down and eat some veggies and pork chops with her. At 85 that woman can still cook for herself and anybody that walks through the door.

I can plan on one of two things being on her TV when I drop by. She is either listening to one of the Fox channels, or a Christian channel, often playing gospel music. She is also either in the process of wrapping up cleaning something, or starting. After watching her all my life I know that she:

1) Loves Jesus
2) Likes to stay informed
3) Has a phobia about cleanliness
4) Has two speeds – 1) HIGH 2) SLEEP.
5) And she can shift from one to the other quickly.

I am pretty sure that if she had been born 25 years later and had the resources, she would have been a doctor. Her impoverished family growing up never allowed her any education beyond high school, yet she is one of the smartest people I know.

If you are fortunate enough to still have one or both of your parents. be sure to take a moment today and tell them you love them. If they are gone, find a good friend and tell them you appreciate them….

1919242_10205265594823682_4742253486818883346_n

The Fruit of Our Walk..

IMG_0724

RAMBLINGS from Evan King’s dad – Yesterday I was talking with Evan about reading in Galatians and some of the things Paul said. I was reminded how quickly we can get caught up in ourselves, not considering those around us.

Later in the day I went for a run in our new neighborhood. On the way back I saw our 81 year old neighbor.  Paul’s words I had read earlier convicted me to take a few minutes out of my busy schedule to speak with her, so I stopped for quick visit. My plan was to be running again in 73 seconds.

Her eyes lightened up to see a visitor calling out her name. My intentions were to make her feel good, to feel loved and not forgotten, and get the heck out of Dodge.

The funny thing is that as we talked, she made me feel loved. I was stunned that she already remembered our names, and was asking me how Kris and the kids were doing. She went on to tell me how wonderful my family was. The minutes passed. More minutes passed as we continued to visit. She was a pleasure to speak with and time seemed to slow. Finally she said she probably needed to go back inside, thanked me for stopping by, and waved goodbye.

As I started back up running, I realized her sweet spirit had blessed me. I had stopped to be a blessing, but as is often the case, ended up being the one blessed….

========================================
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.  Galatians 5:22-26

Love is Patient, Love is Kind…

RAMBLINGS from Connor King‘s dad – When Connor was little, Kris and I went out and purchased our first Nintendo. Like 90% of the youth today, Connor instantly got addicted to it. He would sit in front of it for hours playing “Mario”. He and his cousin Jacob could play non-stop forgetting to eat. It’s one of the few things I might do differently, if I had it to do over again. Years later, as I watched him finish high school and still forget to eat playing video games, I found myself concerned if he would ever grow up. Ever become a young man.

Yesterday Connor turned 21. We briefly celebrated his big day with a few gifts and Kris cooking him a big brunch. I then headed off to the office.

Last night Kris and I hopped in the car and headed 20 minutes north. Connor was working and we wanted to surprise him with some birthday dessert. We walked in the assisted living facility where he works with a fresh batch of cookies. One of his co-workers saw us and told us he was working with a resident and would be free in 5 minutes. He walked out smiling, wearing his pager and walkie-talkie, looking more like a first responder than a CNA. We gave him his cookies and once again celebrated the big day.

IMG_5886

Connor was working in the special memory care unit. He mentioned a resident who goes out on a date almost every night for dinner. Her husband comes and picks her up, often having to reintroduce himself to her. Wow! Thats dedication. Thats love!

He talked about another resident who is about to turn 100. Her son comes by every night to see her. She doesn’t remember much. But, she remembers him. Wonder if that has anything to do with his coming every evening to see his mom? Wow! That’s dedication. That’s love.

A few minutes later a very nice lady from Jamaica came out of a room where she had been with another resident. She introduced herself and asked if we were Connor’s parents. (Actually she thought Kris was his sister!) She gushed about the fine young man, Connor. She complimented him on his compassion for the residents at the facility. She complimented him on the love and care that he showed for all of them. He missed parts of it as he walked off several times, to check on one of the residents when his pager went off.

Finally after complimenting us on our first born for 20 minutes, she left for home after another exhausting day at work.

The same kind of work Connor has done this semester.

Maybe the video games didn’t effect him as much as I thought…..

===================================================

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal…and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails….When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – Paul, a tent maker in ancient days

The Final Page In Life

RAMBLINGS from Connor’s dad – My mind goes back to the days Connor was in high school. Several times come to mind when I would go and check on him and his studies. I’d find him studying his notes, that looked more like microfiche then notes. His writing in microscopic font could have easily allowed War and Peace to be written on two pieces of paper. A whole weeks worth of notes on one side of note book paper! I would literally get a headache trying to read his itty-bitty writing.

I would then walk down the hall and check on his sibling doing their studies. Several times laying beside them would be a trashcan with a mountain of crumpled up paper spilling over the edges. When examined more closely, those crumbled pieces of paper often housed only a few words. Apparently someone was suffering writer’s block, and each failure was met with another piece of paper discarded in frustration. The miserly dad that I am would always think “what a waste of perfectly good paper”!

What if today was the last “piece of paper” you would ever have to write on? What would you spend your time writing? What would your friends and family find written on it tomorrow? Better yet, what would a total stranger learn of you by looking at that same piece of paper?

I pray today that we all live life hoping for another tablet of paper tomorrow, even looking forward to the pages we will pen in months and years to come. But embracing today, enjoying that sunrise or vista, or more importantly that smile or embrace, as if it’s our final page. Because as a friend found out recently, one day, yesterday will turn out to be the last day….

 

IMG_5954

 

Embrace The Day

gwh7ryrrrhrf9otkqfrc

RAMBLINGS from Evan King​’s dad – Last evening Evan and I were in the car together for several hours driving across town and back. We listened to music, we stopped for some food, we listened to the Democratic debate, and we talked politics. I enjoyed the time with him immensely.

Several days ago I heard of a man from our area dying in a motor vehicle accident. He was driving to work in the rain when he lost control of his car, crossed the yellow line and died in a head on collision.

I’m pretty sure he woke up that day thinking it would be like most every other work day. Probably had plans that evening to eat dinner with his wife and kids. Might have even had plans for a long weekend vacationing at the lake or the beach.

But he never had another dinner with his wife and kids. Never had the opportunity to take them again to the lake or the beach. He died that morning, moments earlier clueless that he was about to die. I don’t consider him an old guy, he was my age.

I have been blessed with 10 days of life since his death. I now try to embrace each one as if it is my last. Because it might be. If today is like the average day, somewhere around 6775 people in the USA will live their last day of life today. They will not wake up tomorrow to see another day.

Do me a favor. Today take an extra moment to hug your loved ones. Don’t haphazardly give them a kiss on the cheek and a flippant “love ya” as you leave them. You never know when it will be your last time.

Will you indulge me one more time? Take a moment and thank your Heavenly Father for the gift of another day of life. Because my friend, if what I believe is correct, it is truly a GIFT.

Question 1: If today was your last day to live, what would you do differently?

Question 2: If today was your last day to live, where would you wake up tomorrow?….

“THIS is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be GLAD in it.” Psalm 118:24.

Its a Heart Thing

RAMBLINGS from Lacy’s dad – We were sitting around the TV the other evening and hearing once again about a tragic shooting. A confused individual goes in to a movie theatre and ends the life of several innocent bystanders and then himself. My heart grieved for all those who were impacted by this evil.

I must admit though, I am starting to grow weary of some of the garbage that we are fed on the news. I don’t know if its intentional or coincidental, but over and over I hear it’s a “gun issue”. We are told we have to take the guns away.

I am dumbfounded by the lack of common sense shown these days. But maybe that is no accident. Maybe they know that many of us blindly believe what we are told.

I was reading in the ancient writings of Isaiah again this morning. For a minute I thought it was describing, not a land 2500+ years ago, but present day America. People turning their backs on God and worshiping anything and everything but The Creator. They were looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places. Much of it brought satisfaction, but only for a fleeting moment. People who claim to be “open minded” are speaking lies and deception, many being taught as truths, while little tolerance is allowed for the real truth. (Seems kind of ironic from one claiming to be open minded.)

My conclusion is this:
-It is not a “gun” issue.
-It is not a “flag” issue.
-It is not a “race” issue.
-It is not a “choice” issue.

It is nothing more then a HEART issue.

And just like in Isaiah where the people turned their hearts away from God, for a time, He turned His back on them. I see it again today. We have removed Him from the schools, removed Him from the courts, and even worse, removed Him from our daily lives. And then we are shocked and shout at that same God when these tragic events do take place.

Here’s some good news to cheer you and me up. God is still on His throne. None of this is catching Him by surprise.

Every praise is to our God!
He is our Saviour.
He is our Healer.
He is our Deliverer!…

IMG_5048

Patience and Love in a Darkening World

RAMBLINGS from Connor’s dad – Christians worldwide seem to be under attack from all sides these days. If not from the liberal left with barbed verbal attacks and hate filled speech, then from extremist that desire physical harm and death to us.

It is so hard sometime not to lash back out at those who attack us with their words. Don’t get me wrong, we need to be able to defend our beliefs. But we need to do so with respect for the other person. We need to talk and reasonwith them like Jesus did with the woman at the well, with compassion. Over the years this thick headed boy from Lithonia has argued vehemently points to prove my perceived knowledge of the Bible. In those fights, I might have won on points, but lost on the results. The person might have seen that I thought I knew something, but didn’t see that I cared two cents about them.

I am sure I still screw up a lot. I probably run my mouth at times more then I need to. I try to remind myself what Dr. Jim always told me, “There is a reason God gave us TWO ears, and only ONE mouth!” That’s right those ears aren’t just to hold up your sunglasses, they are there for listening.

Last night Connor came in and was sharing with us his day at work. His summer job is as a CNA at an assisted living facility. He is learning that as we get older, we can get cranky, set in our ways, and have very strong opinions…that often are wrong. What he does over and over with these residents is hear them out, reason with them in a way they most likely will understand, ALWAYS with COMPASSION, sometimes firmly, but ALWAYS with LOVE.

He was laughing about a cantankerous resident that the other CNS’s fear. One of them was shocked when he walked in to the room and got a smile out of said resident. They were surprised…I’m not.

There are a LOT of cantankerous people out there. Some of them are friends of mine. I hope today if we interact, that if they don’t see Jesus in me, at least they’ll see Connor….

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. – Psalm 46:10-11

%d bloggers like this: