Friday, August 15, 2008

What's better?

I have a dog in this hunt. You see, I'm a REAL homer. I love my country and want to see us do well. In fact, I get pretty upset when we lose stuff...especially if we should win.

What I don't like is two different measures of winning.

In this case it's medal counts. We (the good 'ol USA) tend to count total medals...but if I'm China, I think Gold's would be my measure of choice, as they may need to build their own Ft. Knox to house all of theirs.

And frankly, if I'm totally honest, I tend to agree with the Gold's should be the measure of excellence. I mean really, Silver is the 1st loser and Bronze is the 2nd loser. I'm not sure when they started awarding Silvers and Bronzes, but I'm guessing about the time Dr. Spock's parenting book came out.

So, what do you think is better...most medals....or most Gold's?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dear (older relative),

I love you!

I realize from your perspective, it may not seem that way, because I haven’t been very nice. Please allow me some leeway to explain. The analogy may not seem apropos as you are not my child, but I think you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

If I see (oldest daughter) driving recklessly, I will have a discussion with her that will more than likely lead to me taking her car away for a period of time. If she pushes back, or argues with me, I may even raise my voice to express my authority and seriousness of my feelings. This entire event will take place because I love her. I love her so much so that I want her to learn that reckless driving is totally unacceptable. It’s unacceptable for her own good and for the good of those on the road around her. From (oldest daughter's) perspective, in this instance, I wasn’t being very nice. She’ll probably complain to her friends about what a jerk her Dad is. But my love for her is steadfast and true. I love her enough to be firm.

When it comes to your spirit, it’s because I love you that I get so passionate about where you will spend eternity. And frankly, I’ve done a terrible job communicating that passion and love.

Because God’s timing is perfect, I can’t help but know that Sunday’s message was delivered directly to us (you and me). And Pastor did a great job laying out the truth where I’ve fallen short. He also did a great job convicting me that I can’t be your Holy Spirit…so I’m officially resigning from that position (not that I ever really had it). I’ve given you a copy of it on this CD…it would mean a lot to me if you would listen to it.

I apologize if I hurt you…that has never been my intent.

Finally, I’ve learned a very important lesson in this. It’s ok if we aren’t them same. We’ll have different interests, different friends, different vacations, and different likes and dislikes…and frankly, I’m very cool with that.

I love you,

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Follow Up

Met with said relative this morning. Had a very mature discussion about appropriate dialogue for relationship building and more transparency moving forward.

Things are progressing.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A private matter...

Just clearing my brain...

I'm very concerned for someone close to me...a family member who lives in the same town. The behavior she's expressing is nothing new, but as she ages it becomes more polarizing and she seems to care less about the damage left in the wake.

You see, she's very critical, gossipy, and frankly at times will just plain make things up to embellish whatever story she's spinning at the moment. I found myself in the car with this person for a long trip the other day and I decided to call her on it. I just asked her...

"Why all the negativity? Why do you feel so compelled to run others down verbally?"

Of course she said..."like how?"

So I gave several examples from the previous week and she didn't respond. So I took the opening to give my theory...I think you are very unhappy and running others down, and focusing on the negative side of others makes you feel better...and that's very unhealthy.

I proceeded to share the Gospel with her, and told her that the Love of Jesus can replace her pain. Then I gave her some positive things in her life to focus on, and an example of a mutual acquaintance, another family member, we both know well who has a very similar personal history, who knows Jesus and has been able to not only experience Joy and peace, but now serves him willingly in amazing ways.

All this fell on deaf ears.

Not only that, but now she's going on the offensive. Our second conversation in four days went like this...

"I don't even want to be around you or your family if I have to walk on egg shells and think about every little thing I say."

To which I replied...

"You know, I am so not concerned with your behavior. I only get concerned when you say hurtful things to my family or about my children in front of them. My main concern is that you may spend etternity in Hell and I didn't do an effective job of warning you."

"I am NOT going to Hell!"

"Do you believe in Jesus as your Savior."

"Yes I do believe in Jesus."

"Then why all the missery and negativity?"

"I'm sorry if I can't measure up to your standards, and if things in my life make me sad...that's just the way I am."

"I'm very sorry you are choosing to alienate yourself from my family. I'll be fine...I'm a big boy and I'm ok if you drive a wedge in our relationship...but my children won't understand why their (older relative) won't come around any more. And all I can tell them is their (older relative) doesn't want to be nice, so she's choosing not to come around."

This whole issue breaks my heart.

However, the flesh in me is looking forward to the break from the havok.