Sunday, November 29, 2009

Universal Body of Christ

I was remembering our honeymoon to France back 10+ years ago. We spent a few days in the northern part of the country at the monastery of Mont St. Michel, a beautiful place. We toured the main church and attended a mass in the crypt way down in the bowels of the church with a few people from all over the world. As we walked through the main church we met a priest and gestured to him with our hands (and rings) that we were just married. He didn't speak English but clearly understood what we said and took our hands in his and said a prayer of blessing. We didn't understand what he said, but we knew what he meant. To this day, I believe that the Lord blessed us in a special way with a special grace that day through the words of that priest. He was so joyful and seemed so honored to be praying with us. I just love that all the way across the ocean, we became one in the larger body of Christ with this man and our common faith. Who knows how deeply his prayer has truly guided and blessed us in our marriage? I believe it to be very significant.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Some Persective On Numbers

When we talk of millions, billions, and trillions, I think it helps to understand just how much we are talking about. That is, what does "one trillion" actually look like compared to one million and one billion?

Well, in terms of days, one million seconds = 11 days, 13 hours, 46 minutes, 40 seconds.

One billion seconds = 31 years, 8 months, 8 days, 1 hour, 46 minutes, 40 seconds.

And, one trillion seconds = 31,688 Years, 269 days, 1 hour, 46 minutes, 40 seconds.

I think this matters greatly, when we are faced with spending, deficits, and proposed legislation that now quite frequently involves amounts in the trillions. That's a whole lot of seconds. Some prices are really too high to pay and most of us may not see the actual effects of commitments made now with lots and lots of money (or revenue we hope is available sometime in the future).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This is from a blog about money and sense, frugality, living well, etc. I just love it!

From The Simple Dollar

I find it ironic that a guy who writes a blog that (probably) reaches millions thinks having kids is the best way to advance their cause.
- Kevin

If no one had children, we would all be candles in the wind. In one hundred years, there would be no human race. We would pass nothing on to the future, any of us.

Thus, anyone that chooses not to take on the burden of raising a child is themselves a candle in the wind. They’re relying on others to continue the flame by making the candles. Any flame that they can pass on is passed on to a candle made by someone else, a candle that’s already formed and given flame by the parents of that child (most of the time, of course). Sure, they might make the flame stronger, but they didn’t start the fire. (Yes, I’m using Billy Joel and Elton John metaphors to illustrate the point).

My feeling towards anyone who calls a parent a “breeder” is that they’re completely comfortable with the complete extinguishment of the human race. And that, frankly, makes me personally uncomfortable. If they were not comfortable with this, they would not denigrate those who take on the often thankless work of raising that next generation of people.

For all the good I’ve done in this blog, it does not compare to the impact I have by raising a child to adulthood. I have the unique position to mold that candle so that the flame burns bright, an opportunity I simply don’t have in other avenues in life. No matter how great of a writer I am, it simply pales in comparison to the continued impact and influence I have on the mental, emotional, spiritual, and psychological growth of the two little children in my home. I gave them their genes and now, perhaps more importantly, I’m responsible for the nurture side of the coin.

If I do it right, I can turn out a child that has the potential to cure cancer or breed a better crop that can feed starving children or create art that can truly uplift the human race or, perhaps best of all, find authentic joy in the world and find ways to share it with others. If I do it wrong, I turn out a sociopath.

I’m not saying that others do not have influence. But no matter how enormous that influence, it doesn’t compare to the thousands of hours parents spend with their children, passing on language, beliefs, customs, personality traits, perspectives on the world, personal skills, and countless other little things.

Everyone thinks of Mr. Holland lighting a child’s flame, but forgotten in that shuffle are the parents that drove kids to countless band contests, urged them to practice at night, provided feedback on their play, bought new reeds and dropped them in the instrument case without being asked, showed up for all of the recitals, bought sheet music and audio CDs to help fuel the passion, and all without a dime of compensation. Mr. Holland showed up for work and waved a baton – yes, it was important and it caused a child to change their direction a bit, but that flame rarely takes off without quite a lot of prep work from a good parent.

And, remember, Mr. Holland was a parent, too. One can do both.

Cunningham Women's Weekend Away

Otherwise known as "CWWA". Our first annual women's weekend away to the Goetzke farm was a truly blessed time. We cooked together, watched the Twins play, woke to a beautiful sunrise and snow, took turns answering reflective questions and set individual goals for next year. We harvested pumpkins and carrots, petted the goats and sheep, played games...Also, lots of wedding conversation and excitement about the two big events of the coming year.

36 Years!

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! You've come a long way.