Happy Anniversary Baby, Got you on my Mind…

heart4To my love,

Thanks for 9 wonderful years.  You saved me!

I am so blessed and I love you.

Can’t get you out of my mind or my heart,

Kent

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Happy Labor Day

Labor-DayI’ve never quite understood why we celebrate Labor Day by taking the day off.  Seems like a more fitting celebration of the  dignity of labor would be to work our butts off on this day.  But listen to me, I am on vacation right now relaxing at a spa.  Happy Labor Day.

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Give Thanks Always

thanksAnd he appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, to commemorate, to thank, and to praise the LORD God of Israel. ~ 1 Chronicles 16:4

Churches come in all sizes. Some have no paid staff at all. Others may employ a vast team of people in many roles. How big is your church’s staff? Have you ever known a church hiring someone just to be thankful? When King David set up the worship leaders for the tabernacle, he appointed certain Levites just to continually thank and praise the Lord. Thanksgiving was their job.

What if our churches hired a person whose only job was to go around with a thankful attitude and to motivate others to have the same? We could call them Pastors of Gratitude. How would that look on their business card?

God wants to hire all of us for that job. It’s His will for us to be grateful Christians. When we feel that old spirit of complaining start to bubble up in our hearts, we need to remind ourselves to take time to thank God for His blessings. That helps us refocus our minds and put things back in perspective. That lifts the spirits of those around us. And that is pleasing to Him.

If we don’t take inventory every once in a while and give thanks to God for the great things He has done for us, we get totally out of perspective.

~ David Jeremiah

 

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The Cost of Raising a Daughter

purityA recent USA Today article started with these words: “New parents beware, Your little angle is going to cost you a bundle.” According to the latest data it costs $245,000 to raise child from birth to age 18?

But of course this is not the only cost of raising kids. There is loss of sleep, aggravation, gray hair, banging heads against a wall.

A few years ago my youngest daughter called and woke me early in the morning, “The car has a flat tire. What should I do?”

“I will come help you.” I said. Good teachable moment, I thought, I will help her make a quick tire change, get the tire repaired, and this will be a good lesson. When I saw the tire I realized this was not going to be quick – or cheap.

A mangled rubber mass hung from a bent rim. Clearly she had driven for a while on this flat tire.  I said – probably not in the sweetest of voices – “What did you do?”

She said, with quivering lip, “I don’t know.”

And I said,  “Chunks of tire are missing, how can you not know what happened.” And she started crying. And more gray hair popped out of my skull as I banged my head on the hood of the car. And the cost of raising my daughter jumped to $245,500.

Parenting involves costs but once we have kids we don’t really get the luxury of not parenting so we find a way to invest in the things that matter most.  We invest in piano lessons, soccer shoes and field trips to help our kids thrive.  We pay the cost because we think it is worth it. Some of us even invest in sending our kids on exotic trips to far away locations that we ourselves have never experienced because we did not want them to miss out on what might be an opportunity of a life time.

It would be a shame, wouldn’t it, to miss such a great opportunities.

This week my youngest daughter  moved from Iowa to Seattle.  A melancholy mood settled on me and I wondered if I had invested in the most important opportunities so that she can thrive on her own.  I guess we will find out.

When she left I hugged her, told her I was proud and that I loved her, and told her to be careful.  Then I went home and prayed.  And I will keep praying because it is the one investment that seems worth it.

 

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Free For All Friday 08.29

My pre-vacation.

My pre-vacation.

Just about to take off on vacation and looking forward to it.  Have a great  holiday weekend, I know I will.

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Photography 101 – The Eyes Have It

Originally posted on Ted Griffith's Blog:

They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. When taking photos of people, pets, birds, or almost any living creature, the main point of focus should be on the eyes. When the eyes are in focus, it creates a more compelling photograph for your viewer. In a close-up shot, this becomes more critical. Depending on how your camera focuses (you might not be able to select different focus points in the camera), you may need to focus first on the eyes and then recompose the shot before finishing the capture, especially if the depth of field is very shallow.

Western Collard Lizard

Western Collard Lizard

 

All text and images © Ted Griffith 2014

All Rights Reserved

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Keeping the Riffraff out

prayer (1)Mike Yaconelli’s book “Messy Spirituality” hits the nail on the head.  And the head it hits is mine. Ouch.

Nothing in the church makes people in the church more angry than grace. It’s ironic: we stumble into a party we weren’t invited to and find the uninvited standing at the door making sure no other uninviteds get in. Then a strange phenomenon occurs: as soon as we are included in the party because of Jesus’ irresponsible love, we decide to make grace “more responsible” by becoming self-appointed Kingdom Monitors, guarding the kingdom of God, keeping the riffraff out (which, as I understand it, are who the kingdom of God is supposed to include).

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