Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 18: June 30, 2012- Dreams, Righteousness, and the Lord's Confidence

Priceless shots of the day:

On the journey.


I think I should be upset right now.


Hey, they can't all be good.

You put that one up, Dad?



Aw, phooey.


Genesis 37-38:30, Matthew 12:22-45, Psalm 16:1-11, Proverbs 3:27-32

Joseph enters the picture. Isn't it crazy we've gotten that far? Contrast him and his pure, innocent heart for God with that of his older brother, Judah, who sleeps with his daughter-in-law. It makes one wonder how one family produced Jerry Springer kids and patriarchs in God. Who knows how God chose Joseph over his brothers and if it was only Joseph's doing? But the reality impresses on me strongly, a father has a great impact over his children. May I be a father who devotes himself to his children and, may by God's grace and devotion, they become Josephs.

Jesus is called the devil. Well, it had to happen. Have you ever been so attacked in the church? Remember, these old boys, the Pharisees are the church leaders of their day, not just our hindsight proverbial hypocrites. Unfortunately, they don't always get it right, which is why righteous men and women in the church HAVE to stand up. We have to notice and fight against injustice. We have to be men and women of valor. A major step of this is being wise enough to recognize what is good or bad, what is of him or not. Today, he teaches us...

David is really celebrating this time around, which is nice. For all his pain, he can't but sit before God and get all gushy. Get gushy with him. You'll appreciate God, righteousness, and everything holy so much more if you do. Let the floodgates open. Tears and warm fuzzies welcome.

And Proverbs gives us our gentle nightcap by reminding us, after all we've read, to not forget to do good to all we can when we see it. It's not enough to hear the words and have warm feelings. All the fuzzies in the world are worth little if we don't love our brother. So let's turn our learning into living, and really love the world.

Goodnight all, and God bless!




http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2037-38:30,%20Matthew%2012:22-45,%20Psalm%2016:1-11,%20Proverbs%203:27-32&version=NIV

Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 17: June 29, 2012- Purity and Sweet Sleep

The readings!

Genesis 35-36:43, Matthew 12:1-21, Psalm 15:1-5, Proverbs 3:21-26

Jacob receives his next mission. Meanwhile, God reveals that he, indeed, was the one who saved him from his brother Esau. It didn't say in the reading yesterday, but now it is clarified in hindsight. How many times have situations worked out in our lives and we dismiss them as chance, but it was God moving behind the scenes? The chance that's really involved is the chance for us to choose to praise him for his protection.
I love that, without any prompting, Jacob instructs his household to purify themselves for God, after God speaks. He made the choice to follow this God, and he's going to follow through.

In the NT, Jesus tries to get through the people's heads that what matters to God is the right heart for him and not legalistic adherence to rules. They criticize over people picking grain. When they are legitimately hungry. They conspire about Jesus healing. When people are actually hurting.
But Jesus didn't come for show. He didn't come to entertain their fansies or consider their politics. Often when he healed he told them not to tell anyone. And he wouldn't "crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle." But in the most gut-wrenching of irony, a reed would be crushed. It just wouldn't be the legalistic one. If the anything, the legalistic system and all they stand for would only be crushed in the unlikeliest of ways, by the offering of a pure, gentle reed to be broken.

And if you want to know God, only purity may enter here. From blameless lives and sincere hearts. Do you care about meeting God and knowing him? Then read this list to remind and encourage your heart to desire righteousness.

As a great recap from each of today's readings, Proverbs says hang onto discernment. Then you'll have sweet sleep. The Lord will let nothing come near you.

Know the Lord in purity, my child. And sleep sweet.




And to read along:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2035-36:43,%20Matthew%2012:1-21,%20Psalm%2015:1-5,%20Proverbs%203:21-26&version=NIV

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 16: June 28, 2012- Mommies and Midnight Wrestling Ain't No Reed in the Wind

Today is Mommy Day!

Mommy is the whole feature today. What a beauty!

There's something fascinating about the bond between mother and child. It is certainly more intimate than that of a father. I have to hand a few things to her.

So, in the form of a top ten list:

10. She carried him nine months. Kindof a big deal.

9. She milks him. Or he milks her. I can never quite get this one straight.

8. I am completely helpless with him, without direct assistance from #9.

7. She allowed him to go all Alien on her and she retained a yellowish-green tint for days to prove it.

6. She hasn't slept four consecutive hours since he was born, which means:

5. She's been exhausted for over half a month and still doesn't look like a zombie. Impressive.

4. The recovery felt like she had been in a car accident AFTER the actual somewhat-traumatic birth process thingy.

3. Some-what traumatic birth process thingy.

2. Pain. Not that I'd put it this way, but pretty much since the moment we've been married. Happy almost one year anniversary, honey!

1. And finally, for nine months, no ice cream.


I love you, Angela My Amazing!!

Now that he's asleep, I'll hold him.

My Love. Someone else's World.


That's love.

 
A mother's tenderness.

 Flashback...


3:30 am. A certain gem of a morning.
Water broke and we're 19 hours from meeting Luke!
About to leave for the hospital...
Today is certain to be a special day!

 
Santa Claus is coming to town, anyone?

 And now...


We've been a long way since then, little guy. 
It's one of those things a mommy understands.


And the readings!

Genesis 32:13-34:31, Matthew 11:7-30, Psalm 14:1-7, Proverbs 3:19-20

This is a great reading today. I hope you listen and take part!

God gets Jacob out of another one. Or maybe Jacob sneaks his way out. Or maybe God gets him out. Funny how God works like that. There's often an option of giving him the credit or not. But more fascinating to me is what happens in the meantime. Jacob is left on one side of the Jabbok River by himself and has an encounter with a nighttime surprise visitor.
What happens there will define him...

Jesus rejects the critics of the day in the church (yes, the Jews, AND...the Pharisees were the church of the day) and emboldens a message Christians need to hear.
Image is not a concern of the mature Christian. That's right, it doesn't matter how we look to other Christians, nor should we worry about our image to the world. Character is what matters.
Jesus calls out the people because of what they expected of John the Baptist, as well as what they expected of Jesus. When they turn the pressure on you, will you bend like a reed swaying in the wind, or will you stand firm?

David laments that not one is wise, not one seeks God. But even in his despair, he sees reason to rejoice. Would that we could control our minds like a man whose living room was a cave, and whose front landscape was rocks and mountains.

How big is wisdom? How powerful? How much can it affect your life? It's as expansive as the deep fountains and as intimate as the dew beneath the night sky. Anything with the power of many waters, yet the delicacy and poise of a dew drop can change your life.




And, read along:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2032:13-34:31,%20Matthew%2011:7-30,%20Psalm%2014:1-7,%20Proverbs%203:19-20&version=NIV

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 15: June 27, 2012- Boldness and Trust

Today's all about family.

The generations meet. A legacy is passed on. Luke meets his great grandmother.


Lukey and Great Grandma Hine

And great uncle.

 
Lukey and Great Uncle Dennis


And he'll always be our lovable little frog.

 
Angela, Me, and Luke the froggy

 
Let's read the Bible, little froggy.

The Readings:

Genesis 31:17-32:12, Matthew 10:24-11:6, Psalm 13:1-6, Proverbs 3:16-18

God is always looking out for Jacob. No matter he goes through, even service to a relative that lasts for years. God is always there. So when things get sticky with the in-laws, it's no surprise that God is to the rescue. He helps Jacob escape.
And when the posse from another disgruntled family member comes after him, God will be ready...

Jesus calls his followers to be bold. In the readings today you'll find out just how much of a tough guy Jesus is. No Mr. Rogers character here. Don't expect to be liked. Don't expect to be listened to. Don't expect anything will be any easier on you than it was on Jesus. But it will be good.
And you always wanted to be a tough guy, right? Follow Jesus and you will be the boldest, strongest YOU, you can possibly be. There is no other way to truly live. Don't settle.

David is crying out to God again. You'd think the guy was holed up in caves for years, or something. Oh, wait...wups. David has absolutely good reason to be upset, worried, frustrated, all of the above. An outlaw. Hated by the king. Hunted down by the king's army. Starving, threatened, near death.
Never alone. David comes to the end of his troubles today to say he trusts God. Do you?

Proverbs is talking about wisdom. Yesterday it was more valuable than rubies. Today she's like a woman, delightful, satisfying. All who embrace her hold life; "happy are those who hold her tightly."
For all the company we can desire, none are more valuable than her.




Read along:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2031:17-32:12,%20Matthew%2010:24-11:6,%20Psalm%2013:1-6,%20Proverbs%203:16-18&version=NIV

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 14: June 26, 2012- Rubies, a Mission, and a Legacy Forming

Epilogue:

The Moby in review. If you were wondering what that horrid thing was that I had to battle yesterday, here's what:




If you're wondering what I'm doing with it on after all I said yesterday, don't ask.

We're going out again.

I will NOT be publicizing any battles today. Unless of course I win...

What Really Matters:


Me and My Little Scallion


The Nibbler


The Readings:

Genesis 30-31:16, Matthew 10:1-23, Psalm 12:1-8, Proverbs 3:13-15

I have to hold myself back on this one. Two girls are bickering back and forth in an extended cat fight in the reading today. It must be an exhibition of God's patience. Or maybe his extreme grace. Or maybe, on an outside change, how very much he cares for the heart of woman and fulfilling her needs, no matter how she's treating her sister.
That's probably it. I should just step back and leave it there. A smart man knows when he should not get between the two sisters he married. Ouch.
And God really does love those girls. He gives them what they desire. And he begins to form a legacy of a man of God who has made a covenant with him.

Jesus empowers for a mission in the reading. He's empowered each one of us today. Stand up, oh man of God, and realize this adventure can be as exciting and engaging as you take part in it...

God shows up in the reading today and confirms what David's believed all along: that he has no tolerance for evil, but that he will protect the godly. Why do more people not fear him?

And if you're looking for silver, gold, or rubies, look right here. This is worth more. It's the kind you'll miss if you don't care enough, but that will last for eternity if you're wise enough to stop by and pick it up.

Feel free to give feedback in the comments. I'd especially like to hear what God is saying to you in the readings!




Read along:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2030-31:16,%20Matthew%2010:1-23,%20Psalm%2012:1-8,%20Proverbs%203:13-15&version=NIV

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 13: June 25, 2012- Moby's, Worrmbats, and Other Furry Magical Creatures

Moment of the Day:

Angela and I got the little scrumption into his car seat, rumbling down the road, and to the mall!!!

No, you are not allowed to take any lessons here, buddy. The mall is a bad place, filled with evil things called...price tags. There will be horror bedtime stories about such things coming, I think (it's amazing how his mind falls into my neat little traps).

Today is the day of the Moby.

I decided to wear one, a piece of cloth about as long as a first down (notice how I compared it to football, making it instantly cooler to the reader who is, once again, falling into my neat little trap). It wraps around one's body in a supposedly important method and then you tuck a baby inside.

After fighting with the contraption (at this point it's become one, which brings it into the realm of things I can be frustrated with), I finally redesigned it (aka, tied a knot in the back at a step of the procedure), making it a fine tuned machine (ok, a bit of a stretch for cloth, but I'm in the middle of boasting...read on to hear the rest of the boast), proving that a guy is needed to come and engineer a girl's product to make it work properly (slightly sexist remark while wearing what is the equivalent of Pontius Pilate's designer's evening cocktail gown), and thus preparing myself for walking around a mall with a baby in my papoose, er, pouch, er, man...satchel thingy.

Ok, I must admit, this thing is not made of camo or crossing gun bullet belts.

Round 2 went to the Moby at the mall, as we struggled to adapt to its strategy to dance around my body and wear us out chasing it around the ring.

Round 3 I won. The baby was asleep and the Moby fitting into my neat little trap to make it do its job.

Half way through Round 4, the match was called on account of poop, but not before I got some good unchecked hand shots in at Express and, well...a sweet technological gadget store much more sweet and technological than stupid Moby's a sorta girlie store Angela wanted to go to...

But I'm confident if the fight had gone on I would've won.

(If there is a Moby out there anywhere saying if the fight had gone on it would've won, I'm just, like, really upset right now. I just want to say it knows where I live. Anytime, anywhere tough guy. Except not tomorrow, I will be carrying the diaper bag tomorrow...and, um, ok nevermind...)

But seriously, I really like Moby's (@Moby not serious, not serious, bring it on #fisticuffs #hospital #athletic tape #spandex #every other elastic material better than a Moby).

And for no reason at all...

Picture!!




You could kill the world with cuteness, kid. Or at least small, furry magical creatures like worrmbats. Worrmbats hate cuteness.

A First Conversation Piece.

So today, Luke and I had our first conversation!

He always has to have the last word. Aka: I can't even win a serious debate with a 13 day old.  I think, and I really don't think I'm reaching with this, being his dad, that he's actually quite intelligent. Listen in to our adorable exchange!




And yes, there are readings!

Genesis 28-29:35, Matthew 9:18-38, Psalm 11:1-7, Proverbs 3:11-12

This is a cool moment for Jacob. God comes to him in a dream and blesses him. Jacob ponders it, then chooses to follow God with his life. We usually think of God as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob's God. But this is the moment he becomes Jacob's God. There was a beginning. And this is it.

Jesus sees the people in their pain. Have you ever felt like no one knows what you're going through? Jesus looks out over the people and he sees one after another uniquely formed, infinitely special person. And he sees them hurting. It's enough to bring one to one's knees. Will you take on Jesus's heart for the people, my friend? Will you make healing their hearts foremost in yours?

David's not afraid. He knows who his God is.

And, ever thought you were being wronged when you were being disciplined? If you're in a difficult time now, better to not decide it's so awful just yet. Perhaps God is disciplining you, not necessarily for sin, but like on a sports team, to become much stronger. Sounds like he loves you.

Hope you enjoy the reading!




Read along:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2028-29:35,%20Matthew%209:18-38,%20Psalm%2011:1-7,%20Proverbs%203:11-12&version=NIV

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 12: June 24, 2012- Jesus, "The Man"

(Update: Every Sunday I intend to do a video podcast of the reading, in addition to the audio podcast and read-along verses. Just a little something to let you check in on the little guy. Unfortunately, for some reason today my audio player wasn't working, so the video podcast is all you get. But of course you can minimize that ugly mug and his little scrumption and listen and read along if you prefer!)

Moment of the Day:

They used to do it in the Old Testament. Abraham migrated with his wife and concubines and sons and daughters in tents from place to place. They did it in the New Testament. The people went from house to house sharing the Word of God and breaking bread together.

And we did it today.

There's something really special about roving bands of families coming to one place to spend a day together. My brother Doy would call it specialicious.

Something about the whines and cries that dot Sunday afternoon conversation filled with laughter, smiles, and the echoing voices of friends.

Little play mats and car seats around the room. A baby rocked in the corner. Another drooling over the carpet as her carrier engages in a story from the week.

There's something special about family. Something specialicious.

This was the first day I got to pack my roving band into our roving vehicle and carry them around the corner to this hullabaloo. Our greeting at the door was wide smiles and kisses. We were brought into a room of sweet smells and close friends.

And in a long (and growing longer) row of car seats, I nestled his onto the end.

It felt good to scoot the others aside to make room for one more.

We ate. We laughed. We smiled. A few of us whined and cried.

Time stopped as we shared stories from the week, made new ones for the next. Once again one band, we belonged together. The light rains fell from the sky outside, quietly reminding us a pitter-pattering world would wait.

And inside, a family somewhat bigger than before carried right along with life.

They say the church is one body. They say it's a family. That real love is found there. A place of smiles and friendship and warm, welcoming eyes.

After a day like today, I think I know what they mean.

And I believe them.

A small band of friends became a big band of family. And the most natural of things was right there inside.

It's something worth welcoming a little one into. It's something for much older ones too.

It's a thing that makes people's hearts a little lighter and makes their dreams a little more true.

Love was waiting inside.

Perhaps this is what heaven's like.

Perhaps it's like coming home.

Home


But wait, there's more! The readings:

Genesis 26:17-27:46, Matthew 9:1-17, Psalm 10:16-18, Proverbs 3:9-10

Jacob with the steal, dribbles, and a slam dunk! Today, Jacob successfully swindles what is rightfully his anyway because of his brother's thoughtlessness: the blessing. Jacob is one interesting character. He's always getting what he wants by trickery. But God is always behind it. You can imagine Jacob pretending to be Esau to his blind father would be one interesting scene to watch. And it's something God chose ahead.
Remember, he told Rebekah when the two were still in her womb, "The older will serve the younger." God knew who the two would become, who would honor him, and, unquestionably, he knew how that trickster Jacob would play this out. And he blessed it. Praise God for a God who has a bit of a rebel streak to not be afraid to overturn a few tables to make sure that right wins.

Jesus acts with authority. When it's questioned, bam! He backs it up. How fun would it have been to be there when Jesus told the paralytic his sins were forgiven, he was called out, and in front of everyone he told the man to get up, and he stood up and walked out?? If you think you have a wimpy God and a lame religion, you better check this out again. Jesus stands up for righteousness, and he's bold, man of God. He puts attackers in their place. But he does so just by being strong as a Man. He never loses his love and righteousness.

David is so grateful. You know those mornings you wake up, thinking something you thought in your sleep was a dream and wake up to find that it's true? That's today. David wakes up to find that God is, indeed, King, Lord of all, and that he is, indeed, good, a healer, and a defender and freer of the oppressed. And David is safe. You can sleep easy tonight, because your dreams about God are true!

And today, so few people give money to God. To their churches, to worldwide missions, to local Christian organizations that serve the church and provide for the world. We are so afraid we can't provide for ourselves, so concerned about getting and keeping what we can. But God says give it away. Give it to him, and our barns will be overflowing with abundance. Where do good things come from? From him. And he set up the principle that if we give freely and joyfully to him, he will richly give to us. This is true, and once again, what is right and good blows away the world's mindsets.
Let's be found on the side that radically, faithfully follows our God and lets the adventure we're swept up in become as big as he is.

Nothing else will be like it!

The Video Reading:




Read along:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2026:17-27:46,%20Matthew%209:1-17,%20Psalm%2010:16-18,%20Proverbs%203:9-10&version=NIV

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day 11: June 23, 2012- Part 2 of the First Love Story and the Two Brothers

Moment of the Day:

A cool thing happened today.

We successfully inserted Luke into the Fisher Price Swing that had been given to us. And he didn't cry.

He just looked around and reached out, trying to comprehend his surroundings.

As he swung, all of a sudden, I wanted to get his attention. I wanted to tell him I love him. At least to make eye contact.

So I got really close and swayed with the rhythm of the swing.

"I love you, Lukey."

But he continued to paw at the air and looked side to side to try to figure out where he was.

He wouldn't look at me. It was as though he couldn't.

I felt such love well up within me, as I saw him struggle with his surroundings, and all I wanted was for him to know how much I love him and that I'm right there.

But as I got closer, I couldn't get his eyes to meet mine.

He was too consumed by the movement of the swing.

And then I thought, this must be how God feels.

We sway back and forth, so caught up in our surroundings, pre-occupied trying to figure it all out, that he can't get our attention. He looks at us and leans in, so full of desire for us, just wanting to comfort us and tell us it's okay. You don't have to worry about the swing. Daddy's right here. Daddy loves you.

But we don't notice. Our eyes dart back and forth, and we miss what he so desperately longs for us to hear. What he so desperately longs for us to see. That he's right there.

If we could, we'd see the overwhelming love and compassion welling in his eyes, a Father who never stops watching, never stops trying to get our attention.

We'd see a Father who wants to enjoy the ride with us. Wants us to be able to enjoy this with him.

If we could just forget the craziness and movement for one moment, we'd see that he's right in front of us, following us with his eyes, hoping to catch ours. That we're not alone. He's been standing there all along, calling out our name. That he's swaying back and forth to the rhythm of our crazy pace, leaning in, hoping to share it with us.

And more than anything he just wants to say, "I love you."

 
I love you

 
Thank you (or...milk...)

 
I love sleeping on daddy...

 
 ...all scrunchled up


But there's nothing like mommy 


The Readings:

Genesis 24:52-26:16, Matthew 8:18-34, Psalm 10:1-15, Proverbs 3:7-8

Part 2 of Isaac's love story. Esau and Jacob come into the picture. There's a really good lesson why to honor what God calls important. This doesn't work out well for the guy who doesn't.

An interesting day when Jesus has no place to go. Will you follow him? To really love God, we must be willing to follow without reservation. Even by the end of this reading, Jesus is a loner without welcome.

David has questions. Do you ever? That's okay, so long as you take them to him. And you answer them with what you know is true, not what you feel. David is going through the process.

An ominous change of direction in Proverbs today. Solomon isn't recommending one to seek wisdom and learn; he's warning against being impressed with your own wisdom. This is a really hard one for us. Perhaps especially for us guys. But there is an answer, and man, is it worth it.

Overall, a great day. I hope you guys are enjoying this. God is really speaking to me through it! Nothing like drawing near our Father and learning from him as the Bible comes to life...



Read along:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2024:52-26:16,%20Matthew%208:18-34,%20Psalm%2010:1-15,%20Proverbs%203:7-8&version=NLT

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 10: June 22, 2012- The First Love Story

Moment of the Day:

So I had a moment of the day planned. It was nothing. A leaf blowing in the wind, a wisp of meaningless memory carried away to pasture on a lazy day's westbound breeze. In comparison to the storm that was coming.

Angela and I decided to take our first adventure with Luke outside of the house. Outside of the comfort zone. All went according to plan. The monotony of days drifting in and out of feeding sessions and nap time, dirty diapers and rainy afternoons, clouds passing and coming again, seemed to be broken with our spirited first family adventure. We all packed into the little Subaru hatchback.

The whirring of the road noises and rotating tires put Luke fast asleep.

There was a feeling in the air. It was excitement.

This might happen. It might...work.

We pulled up to Boardwalk Ice Cream. Snapped our Racer 500 high speed child unit in one deft flick out of the back and into place on the pavement. Took the baby up into my arms.

And then...

A monstrous squishing noise emitted from the Valley of Despair.

This one would be nasty.

 I plopped the little guy down into the back of the car. Opened him up. "Scalpel..."

There was a swamp of orange slime that rippled through his undergarments as though agitated by the Loch Ness monster just beneath the surface.

We began quick work.

All of a sudden, it happened. Right at the moment I had lifted his legs, poised him for a swift cleansing by my dutiful wife, the second explosion.

And then, a sleeping baby boy soaked himself in the face with a direct hit.

Angela and I looked at each other and burst out laughing.

Five minutes and more than that wipes later, we were comfortably, cleanly, licking our ice cream, Luke sucking down his bottle, the two of us laughing and recounting the nor'easter that had just swept through and moved on past the coast.

A few strangers laughed and said this wouldn't be the last time.

I smiled.

I have a feeling they'll be right. And that's okay.

 
Post wipes and pre-ice cream, er, bottle

Loving every minute of our first family adventure


The Readings:

Genesis 23-24:51, Matthew 8:1-17, Psalm 9:13-20, Proverbs 3:1-6

The Bible's first love story. Such a great one. Fall in love with God's plan for you, as you realize through this one just how involved he is.

Bring on the healing. Isaiah 61 prophesied Jesus was going to do some healing, and doggone it, it's gonna happen today. Enjoy this one. And just believe that he's going to do it in our lives today. It's so easy. It's in his nature.

David cries out again. All cry babies, mine included, and people who go through actual pain need apply.

And God's plan is simply marvelous. Bind his ways and thoughts around your neck and trust in him always. Like our ice cream, Loch Ness monster adventure, the end may not be expected, but it'll always be good. Listen on if you want confirmation of what you already know, that God will make your paths straight if you lean on him. If you acknowledge him.




Read along:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2023-24:51,%20Matthew%208:1-17,%20Psalm%209:13-20,%20Proverbs%203:1-6&version=NIV

 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 9: June 21- Checking the Heart Strings and Judging Rightly

(Update: my apologies to iphone, ipad, and mac users. The podcast player is through flash and hasn't been playing with Apple products. That means if you think you've been seeing my content, you haven't. But I'm working on it. I'll update as things progress. Or I won't and you'll continue to be mesmerized with what is not the point of the blog. Enjoy!) 

Moment of the Day:

Two days after Mary Poppins went all Edward Scissorhands on my boy's prized possession, he's finally recovering. For two days he's done little but milk and cry for the absence of milk. It is of singular importance. I mean, he's suspended his sleep schedule to make time for more milk.

I unfortunately, am not gifted in that department. So, as I kick around the rubber balls and Nerf in the sporting goods department all by myself, glancing at the clock through my shift, the child is practically chasing my wife through the infant aisles. Well, with his neck. Not much else moves successfully.

But you'd be surprised at how he can inch right over to what he wants, in the middle of a dead sleep. Right to the source.

But today's great moment is a simple one.

No flash. No pee. No story.

After all the Burton-esque terrors of the last week, today I got to hold my boy. For two straight hours, he slept on my chest. And I had nothing to offer but love. ...And a useless rubber ball.

Fortunately, today, in spite of all things dairy, he was in the market for love.

This is love.


Me and my buddy

 
Buddy

 
Shameless close-up

 
At home with daddy

 
The Readings:

Genesis 20-22:24, Matthew 7:15-29, Psalm 9:1-12, Proverbs 2:16-22

Notes-

God gives, but he doesn't want us to latch onto our gifts. This is hardest with children. Oh, if we could let go...check out Abraham's response.

Jesus tells us to judge. But not the judgmental way, over truth and bringers of truth. Does the church really discern truth? Seems like we'll believe anything today. Better find out how. He also tells us how to build our lives on something that can be judged worthy and unshakable.

God is faithful to defeat his enemies and lift up the righteous. Like David, it may take awhile, but check in here and see how good it can get.

And Proverbs gives a lesson we all need to hear. In a sex-addicted culture that encourages promiscuity, wisdom will protect you. This may be the most important lesson and one of the hardest. So, listen here for encouragement!




Read along:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2020-22:24,%20Matthew%207:15-29,%20Psalm%209:1-12,%20Proverbs%202:16-22&version=NIV

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 8: June 20, 2012- Character Without Compromise

Moment of the Day:

My hand, though equipped with seven cutaneous layers of built-in protection, is not a pee shield. That is a fact I want set down in the record.

The wall, though covered with two coats of paint (ok one, I cheated and spread it thick) is not a pee range.

That fact did not affect the volume of pee with which it was carefreely doused today. There is something about having pee drip down your wall in streaks that would be fit for a horror movie if they were colored red and traced in words by a being that could threaten in more than gibberish.

Something about the moment you realize it's turned on you. I shrieked, I'll admit it. It was indiscernable, true. Kind of like gibberish. And a hand that I was perfectly comfortable not being used as a pee shield instinctively volunteered itself and was sacrificed on an altar of Terry cotton purified by Talcum powder.

I didn't even attempt to get in the way of the second frontal. Let the fountain flow, baby.

The wife will never notice the spot on the carpet.

And now, the monster: Don't let him fool you. He's not cute. He's... he's... oh dang it. He's stinkin' adorable.

Stinkin' Adorable


You can pee on me anytime
buddy stinkin' adorable

 
The Readings:

Genesis 18:16-19:38, Matthew 6:25-7:14, Psalm 8:1-9, Proverbs 2:6-15

Lot, his wife, and daughters all compromise with the culture. Lesson: don't compromise. Learn, herein.

Jesus breaks it down gentle. You are a lily. Or a bird. But you probably need to hear this one (if you're a lily with eardrums and synapses).

David glorifies God. Worship with all your soul like David.

And Proverbs slips in a secret of wisdom: integrity. And, with eternity's largest backer- the Lord, it also promises to save you.

Enjoy...  


Read along:

 

The Adventures of Little Scallion: Poop Scallion the Evil Twin

(This is a comic podcast series that will be featured on the site from time to time. Little Scallion is our main character. It chronicles his thoughts and experiences and satirizes our daily stories.)


Poop Scallion the Evil Twin

 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 7: June 19, 2012- Circumcision and the Promise

Moment of the Day:

Luke pooped in the car seat, on the car seat, and then when we were changing the lake of sludge, he peed on the wall. All in all a good day for a guy who doesn't get to take many risks in life! I'm proud of you little guy. You're trying. You know, you remember that time that I *ahem* "didn't" tell you to pee on your mom, well you got really close only you didn't realize I'm not mom. I'm the guy with the deep voice who yields absolutely no result when you try to milk me. I know you know what I'm talking about.

And now for some completely unrelated...pictures!

Luke in daddy's arm today

Tucked away for later

We can't hide all the signs of our home planet
(courtesy of Rachel Demsick two days ago)

So, today Luke was circumcized (he was a tough guy and didn't scream, or run around like daddy before someone tries to stick a needle in him). Crazy coincidence, stay tuned in the reading today...

On to the readings:

Genesis 16:1-18:15, Matthew 6:1-24, Psalm 7:1-17, Proverbs 2:1-5

Abram learns that God fulfills his promises, and he doesn't need our help doing it. Jesus still head-asploding the culture of his day; we'd be radicals if we listened to him. David cries out in need, knowing God will deliver. Proverbs delivers in the wisdom department.



Read along:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2016:1-18:15,%20Matthew%206:1-24,%20Psalm%207:1-17,%20Proverbs%202:1-5&version=NLT


If we're paying attention and letting God grow us, we're learning a lot about his nature and life.

We must believe his promises because it's in his nature to come through.

We must not live like the culture. Today, don't try to "look good." Forget your image and be right before God.

God protects us. Cry out to him.

Listen to the wisdom of this book. God will change you.

This is going to be a great year.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Adventures of Little Scallion: Little Scallion and the Tearysaurus

(This is a comic podcast series that will be featured on the site from time to time. Little Scallion is our main character. It chronicles his thoughts and experiences and will satirize our daily stories.)


Little Scallion and the Tearysaurus   

 

Day 6: June 18, 2012- The Promise and Abram's Faith

(Click on the little yellow sound symbol to subscribe to my mp3 podcasts or to download an individual podcast. From your computer they may be transferred to ipods, iphones, or any mobile device for listening on the go. You can listen to the entire Bible in daily readings anywhere.)

Genesis 13:5-15:21, Matthew 5:27-48, Psalm 6:1-10, Proverbs 1:29-33

Abram shows he's a hero today and God one-ups him by making a promise that will stand for all time, Jesus blows people's minds with perspectives of life few people follow today, a prayer of desperation, and more consequences for the foolish.



To read along:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2013:5-15:21;%20Matthew%205:27-48;%20Psalm%206:1-10;%20Proverbs%201:29-33&version=NLT

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 5: June 17, 2012- Father's Day Reading

(Update: every Sunday will be a video reading, as well as mp3, so people can see how little Lukey is doing. Thought some people would like to see the little guy as he grows every now and then rather than just hear him squawk in the background!)

Genesis 11-13:4, Matthew 5:1-26, Psalm 5:1-26, and Proverbs 1:24-28


A great Father's Day reading today for a father to his son!

The beginning of the family of God. The patriarch. God gives a historic call to Abram (the father of the faith) with a promise.

Changing minds. Jesus gives some unconventional wisdom.

Attitude in need. Psalms encourages us to expectantly wait for God.

Consequences. Proverbs warns with a strong rebuke for not using wisdom.


And here's the little guy with his new father...



To just listen:




Read along with us:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2011-13:4;%20Matthew%205:1-26;%20Psalm%205:1-26;%20Proverbs%201:24-28&version=NLT

"I have called you by name; you are mine."  (Isaiah 43:1)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 4: June 16, 2012- Sweet Sleep

Moment of the Day:

Ok, I couldn't help this. This kid is one cute sleeper. A short video of him sleeping four days after his birth wins the moment of the day award. You should've seen some of the positions he took during pre-screening!



Day 4 Reading of the Bible to Luke:

Genesis 8:1-10:32, Matthew 4:12-25, Psalm 4:1-8, Proverbs 1:20-23

God remembered Noah, a prophecy of the Messiah fulfilled, lying down in peace in God's safety, and Wisdom calling out to make us wise.

A great reading about God's provision no matter what we're going through.


Read along:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%208:1-10:32;%20Matthew%204:12-25;%20Psalm%204:1-8;%20Proverbs%201:20-23&version=NLT

"The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined."  Matthew 4:16- Today

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day 3: June 15, 2012- The Flood

(Update: the podcasts aren't working with iphones since they are based on flash player. Go to the web browser of any computer and it should work fine. My apologies for any inconvenience.)

Genesis 5-7:24, Matthew 3:7-4:11, Psalm 3:1-8, Proverbs 1:10-19


To read along:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%205-7:24;%20Matthew%203:7-4:11;%20Psalm%203:1-8;%20Proverbs%201:10-19&version=NLT


"And then the waters came."

Mankind was wicked. Why is it always being like that? I wonder often. But apart from God, we often drift.

In the reading today, there was one righteous man, which must have really mattered to God. It was so important his name was mentioned in the Bible; he was singled out. It was so important, he was chosen.

His name was Noah.

He had a simple response to God. He did exactly what God said.

The New Testament reading, coincidentally, is very similar.

As this story develops, one who had been waited for through all the patriarchs and prophets, the heroes and villians, the ups and downs of Israel of old- the Messiah- comes.

His name is Jesus.

Today, both stories start to unfold.

They hinge on one idea:  doing everything exactly as God tells us.

Both men are baptized, one by a flood, the other by a prophet clothed in camel's hair who eats locusts. Both represent cleansing from sin and purifying to God.

And both did as God said. The second, as we shall see later in the story, holds the key to everything.

It's amazing how God's plan all fits together.

And interestingly, after Jesus was baptized, he was tempted. That's the way it often is with faith. Once we declare our righteousness before God in Jesus, once we are cleansed by him, the world tries to jump in and tempt us.

That's just the way it is. Right now anyway. Jesus wasn't surprised by this. And he didn't give in.

David found himself facing enemies, but he stood up to it without fear "of ten thousand...who surround him."

Noah was the only one.

And in Proverbs, today, the focus comes to you. What will you do, when the world comes around, will you listen?

I think Noah has your answer.


"Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means 'God is with us.'"   (Matthew 1:23- Day 1)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 2: June 14, 2012- The Fall

The second reading in Genesis, Matthew, Psalms, and Proverbs.

Genesis 3:1-4:26, Matthew 2:13-3:6, Psalm 2:1-12, Proverbs 1:7-9.

The fall, the child's escape from Herod, God mocking at the petty attempts of those who plot against him, and appropriately, advice to children.

It's a good place to start. How we screwed it up and the first hints of God's cunning plan to fix everything. And little child, listen to his lessons there.


To read along:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%203:1-4:26;%20Matthew%202:13-3:6;%20Psalms%202:1-12;%20Proverbs%201:7-9&version=NLT


"Then he said, "I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven."  Matthew 18:3

Day 1: June 13, 2012- In the Beginning

This is the beginning. I have a son!!!



"Unto you a son is given..."

At 10:38 pm, on June 12th, 2012, Luke Israel Demsick was born.



And thus began our journey together.



Today we began reading the Bible together (more me than him), just as we began our lives together as father and son.



Today we started at the beginning.

And the beginning is God's Word. The beginning is God's plan. The beginning is every thought He's ever had for every person (as the sand of the sea shore) for all time, culminating in a glorious love story of God for mankind, of danger and loss and escape and daring rescue, of life stolen and then returned. Of priceless worth found and then fought for.

One cannot acknowledge the love of a father for his son without the love of the Father for all of his.

This is where it begins.

The pages of this book are enthralling. The plotline, captivating. It is the most beautiful, epic, romantic story ever written. And it is true.

Humankind finds itself at a place not too different from my son's. Full of expectation and desire, but helpless to save itself.

Ang feeding Luke
It is a journey we all must begin.

This year my son and I will share it one day at a time.

Listen as we read for fifteen minutes or so each day and experience it with us. Drop in and come alongside friends. Watch God's vision from the beginning.

Today, my son's life has begun. I am the happiest parent alive. I wonder if God feels any different?

It is a discovery worth dedicating a lifetime. We'll take it a year at a time.


Oh, and I won't say it.


Ok, I'll say it.

Luke, I am your father.

---



Day 1: June 13, 2012- In the Beginning


Video of our first reading and Luke's first day of life

Listen or download for listening on a mobile device or ipod on the go:



And, if you'd like, read along:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%201:1-2:25;%20Matthew%201:1-2:12;%20Psalm%201:1-6;%20Proverbs%201:1-6&version=NLT

This is yesterday's post. Today's should be up later tonight.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

All Quiet on the Somewhat North-Eastern Front

She's peacefully sleeping.

Not too long ago, we were strolling down the beach (she was doing some belabored form of hiking) and musing about our baby's activity level, while the waves haphazardly tossed their contents up on the shore and crept toward our feet.

Ang pre-hike

 Beach post-toss


"He hasn't been moving near as much in the last couple of days."

"Really?" I was concerned. "Since two days ago when we had the last non-stress test, or since a while ago when he had more room to move?"

"Since two days ago."

Decreased levels of movement with babies are not good. Apparently.

This led us through a whirlwind decision-making circuit that started with me deciding to go surfing with my brother.

It ended with me not going surfing with my brother.

In the meantime, driving home, calling the doctor, heading out the door, and texting Angela, now at breakfast with her family, the equivalent of hello and how do you like your omelets served at the hospital?

We pulled into the emergency room parking lot fifteen minutes later.

This was not the first time. Actually, it was our third this week. It was to the point that the resident homeless contingent out front was offering smokes and chatting me up about the weather. Hobart would be thinking of us.

The pink lady who welcomed us at the desk had a winning smile and a generous attitude. And was decidedly a man. But he wore a smart pink polo that was really quite impressive. I considered it an improvement.

But what mattered was what waited for us down the end of the long, winding hall. "Hallway Wheelie Races" or "Pink Lady Ramming Speed" or whatever you choose to call the wheel chair lap car trip to labor and delivery, I could do with my eyes closed. Like a rat in a maze.

On two wheels if necessary.

When we arrived, the writing was on the wall. No, quite literally it was on the wall. Instead of some dimly lit room on the outskirts of the ward, marked by an obscure title like "The Kornikee Lounge" or something meaningless enough to be friendly or at least non-threatening, we were ushered into the "Birthing Room."

And in the corner it had a rocker. Spooky.

When Angela had been properly outfitted with the new hospital line of halter top and velcro belts (with a very gaudy beeping buckle to tie it in nicely), we began the long process of waiting for the combination of a 1960's Etch-a-Sketch and the world's slowest baby lie detector to tell us our fate.

He lied. He was fine.

And so would we, after another round of Red Onion and movies. This time, we'd go to the one we wanted to all along, The Avengers. It had all the thrill and drama, minus the accountability or sense of reality, that a day like today should.

And at the end, just as it should, peace was restored. The good guys won. The world was secure. It could cuddle up in a nice snoogle and drift off in an afternoon nap to the dripping of rain on the window sill.

All is quiet on this front again for now.



Perhaps tomorrow I'll go surfing.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Bug, the Straight Jacket, and My Wife

I love my wife.

As I sit here, watching her strapped to a hospital gurney like a mental ward patient with a need for some frontal lobe experimentation, with cords sending scribbly notes to a machine and her stomach wrapped in our baby's own personal mini straight jacket, I can't help but think it.

She's so beautiful.

I love her.

To think that she would go through all this and more for our little guy- in many ways for me- and still smile on this side of it...


She knows what's coming. The twinkle in her eye, despite it, is what leaves me in awe.


There's something about a woman.

She has absolutely no tolerance for anything harmless, but a raw, visceral love for everything that matters.

She shrieks at a bug if it hops too close to her as she's drenching it with Raid, but whimpers with sad eyes when she finds out it was a grasshopper, a "good guy."

The bug

She's somehow starving every two hours, but offers me the large half of her grilled Rueben if she finds out I'm hungry, too.

She asks in a quiet, wavery voice if I'll walk with her to the bathroom while watching America's Most Wanted because it's dark and scary and there could be monsters in there, "Babe, can you come with me to the bathroom..." but she has to watch to the end to find out what happens to the people.

The shadows are real. The bugs ferocious. But she'd take on a mountain lion to protect a little guy who hasn't yet seen the light of day.

She'd challenge a thousand good guy bugs, and maybe even a few bad guys, if they threatened a space that I and a little boy will soon call home. Without Raid.

She at the same time makes no sense and all the sense in the world.

And I'm madly in love with her.

I love the way her smile flashes. I love her full, loud laugh. I love the way her voice quivers when she's in the slightest bit uncertain. I love how she calls, "Babe..." when I'm altogether way too late to bed.

And how she holds my hand underneath the covers.

I know in a couple days she'll probably kick and scream and try to rip my head off, but it'll be for a good cause.

And don't be fooled, she's the tough one.

She's doing the most loving thing in the world. She's doing it for me and for our son.

And if she needs, I'll walk her to the bathroom, no matter how scary it gets.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Timing, Vacuums, and One-Sided Conversations

Hmm. So this is what it feels like.

I've been at least fifteen minutes late most of my life. I've tied neckties in rearview mirrors. I've pulled belts through belt loops at stop lights. I've awkwardly stood next to brides about to proceed down the aisle. After the ushers had hurried to their seats. "So, glad you're going through with it?"

I've cut the first locks of hair moments before Friday evening dates. Illegal U-turns on No Turn On Red's to catch hooligans in SUV's who'd egged my car. Okay, that one had nothing to do with being late.

And now, in total disregard for his biological clock, Boy Demsick missed his due date. It was yesterday. And he's late.

A thing I've never quite experienced is happening. I have to wait.

Now I think I understand the pain of so many perfectionists who've synchronized their watches perfectly to the rhythm of the world. I think I see what makes their little whirling time bomb mechanisms tick. I know why they get that annoyed look in their eyes.

It's a strange feeling, waiting. It's...boring. You tap your foot. To the left. To the right. You look around. If you have a pocket, you explore its contents. Again.

You consider talking to yourself. You pass on the tempting offer.

And the irony is that most prepared people are the ones who have to wait. Those who are consumed with precisely filling every moment, timing their punctuality impressively on the dot, those are the ones who have absolutely nothing to do when they get there. According to everyone else, early, they are right. On. Time.

It is as though the universe creates a vortex during that void and delays all of existence for a moment until life catches up.

Physicists talk of events ocurring in vacuums- speeding bullets, thundering trains, rockets, and missiles- all are useless and ineffectual examples. None of these are real.

The only thing that happens in a vacuum is absolutely nothing.

And now, a break from the nerd talk for a completely
random picture of the view today on our beach walk.
(...also conveniently metaphorical to the nerd talk.)

Nothing is exactly what exists in the space between "I'm on time. Where is everyone?" and "Almost there..."

And it's really boring.

Unfortunately, on this day, it is I who have fallen into the class of the perfectionist who is "early." For once in my life, I am right on time; it is I who have to turn back the ticking time bomb of my expectations and casually strike up a conversation with myself over speeding bullets or the arc of flying pocket change. In a vacuum.

And I have to wait.

So, my boy,


         from someone who has a lot of experience in this area,


        would you consider the advice of your father this once...


                                        ...and try to be on time?