Friday, July 25, 2008

VBS - Special Memories

Tonight is our last night of Vacation Bible School 2008. Bible school always recalls great memories of my growing up years. I could always depend on attending 3 bible schools each summer. The church we attended, which was less then 3 blocks away and was Southern Baptist. Then there was a small Pentecostal Holiness church just 3 doors down from my house and the preacher lived next door so we went there. Every year a little independent Baptist church would bring a bus around our neighborhood and pick us up for their Bible School.

So, I have wonderful memories of this time-honored institution.

Things have changed over the years for sure. There is still a lot of work that goes into having a successful bible school and it takes a faithful team to do it. A speical thanks to all who participated and especially to Pam Keaton & Kris Rial for all their work.

We had over 100 children each night and many volunteers and people just hanging out. It is a special time for the kids.

So, tonight we go home after yet another year of hard work and good times. We pray that the families we have reached will make us a regular part of their lives. And we also hope that all of these children will carry some of the same wonderful memories that I have for the rest of their lives.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

See Dick and Jane run from the writings of Socrates

It is no secret to anyone who knows me well that I am a hopeless "book-aholic". I love books and I own quite a few. (If one of my former teachers were to read this, however, they would either laugh or pass out... as becoming a lover and reader of books only happened in my adult life)

Taking that a step farther, I have become a collector of old and rare books. I enjoy finding old, original print books and though my collection is relatively small, it is a passion of mine.

Yesterday, I acquired two books that were different in every measureable way.
One was published in 1946 and the other in 1937. The one printed in 1946 has writing and marks and stamps and smudges and doodling and ripped pages. The other is in pristine condition, with no markings or tears anywhere in the book. The one printed in 1946 has suffered back injury as it has been separated from the binding from heavy usage. The 1936 book is in perfect shape leading you to believe that it is only a year or two old.
The book published in 1946 is a small text book. The 1937 book is an academic contribution.
The title of the 1946 book is "Fun with Dick and Jane" and the 1937 book's title is "The Harvard Classics". This volumn includes "The Apology (of Socrates), Phaedo and Crito of Plato and The Golden Sayings of Epictetus and The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius."

The obvious response here is "No wonder there is such a difference in the condition of the books."
Who in the world would want to read such a deep, philosophical collection of thoughts not easily understood? Especially when you can enjoy the ventures of Dick and Jane and Baby Sally running around trying to catch a paper plane or surprise mother or father and say "Oh My, This is fun!" "See Dick and Jane read."

Well, this blog is not a slam on a dearly loved reading instrument enjoyed by millions of children growing up including this blogger, nor is it an indorsement of Greek Philosphers who acknowledge the existence of various gods or even none at all.

I simply found the comparison interesting. What is basic and simple and easy is worn out and what is complex and deep is all but ignored.

On a spiritual level we tend to treat our relationship with the Lord more like "Fun with Dick and Jane" than "The Harvard Classics of Philosophy". We desire the easy, the simple, the surface level approach. No real depth or even mental or intellectual commitment. We will read that book until the pages fall out.
Jesus on the other hand is hoping for something a little deeper from us. He is certainly looking for a relationship that would take effort and time and concentration and even meditation on His word.

I'm afraid that if God were to evaluate us as books in a cover he would find shelves full of worn out copies of Dick and Jane stories and far too few Harvard Classic volumes.

Well, it was just a thought.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

This week, I'm a beach bum

I'm sorry it has taken so long to write...I'll try to do better.

Our family has never taken regular vacations together while my girls were growing up, I regret to say. We have taken our girls to the annual Southern Baptist Coventions most years, but that really is a far cry from vacation even with the one day that we would take to do something as a family.

So, two years ago a family in our church gave us a week of their time share in Pidgeon Forge which ended up being one of our best memories as a family. (sad to say for our first vacation ever as a family my girls were 24 and 20 years old)
So this week...our second vacation as a family... another family has given us a week of their time share in Virginia Beach.
I have lived an hour away from Virginia Beach all my life and I have never placed my feet on Virgina Beach sand in my whole life. Whenever someone says beach to us, we automatically think of the Outer Banks (Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, etc.) Although I have been on the board walk of Va. Beach twice before (once was in a car while we were enjoying the Christmas light tour on the boardwalk) and another time when I ate at a resturant and stepped outside on the boardwalk...but never out on the beach...until now.
This time share room is ocean front, bottom floor... 25 feet from the board walk itself. AWESOME!
Watching people dragging all of their beach stuff for 2 or 3 blocks to the beach really makes me appreciate walking out the door onto the boardwalk out on the sand and down to the water. The whole time, I have a shower, a bathroom and a refridgerator just a few yards away. So cool.
The night life is also neat... wait a minute...keep reading... walking down the strip along with hundreds of families...hearing kids scream while riding one of the amuzement rides ... seeing young people enjoying themselves... listening to live music like a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald on one stage and a blues/jazz group on another and a rock band on another.

Just walking and enjoying the sights and sounds and all of it familiy friendly. People are walking, skating, blading, biking and jogging down the boardwalk all the time. I especially like the signs posted up and down the street that have #*@%* (best I can do) with a crossed out circle over it.
In other words "No Cussing" . so cool...

So, it's been a good week and we so appreciate the gift of a week at the beach...Virginia Beach that is.

Have great a week.