Chased, Caught

father-son

This post was published on Dr. Kathy’s blog back in June. She wrote this as an introduction:

Today I’ve invited Randy Thomas to blog for me. He begins with a beautiful illustration from friends and contrasts their father-son relationship with his own. You may be able to relate to Randy’s sadness and grief. But, keep reading, because Randy writes about God becoming his new Father and that changes everything. Everything. He writes about the chase and I love how it ends. I wonder if you’re familiar with it. Read to find out. – Kathy

Four-year-old Isaac, with a flash of his bright eyes and curly blond hair, could pretty much convince you to do just about anything. That boy is a handful and all you can do is smile as you pull him off the next piece of furniture.

The staff were all gathered together for lunch one day when Isaac came by the office, along with his mother and sister, to visit his dad. After the meal was over, Isaac ran around the conference table taunting his father, “Catch me Daddy!” Every time he passed one of the guys that had gathered around for lunch, we would growl and try to hook him with our arms. He giggled that 4-year-old sunshine of a giggle, eluding our scary traps as he playfully derided us, “I passed you!”

“Lately, he likes to be chased and get caught,” his dad later explained to me.

Independence Day – My Freedom Gratitude List (Happy 4th of July!)

4th of july

Happy Birthday America! Man, I love my country :)!  One of the best ways to celebrate freedom, not the only way but one of the best, is to show gratitude. So here is a mostly random gratitude list for today and I challenge you to make one yourself. In no particular order except for the first one :)

  • Eternal Freedom found in Jesus Christ :)
  • The earthly freedoms we have here in the United States.
  • The freedom to pursue Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
  • The men and women who fought for, and some who even died, to obtain and defend our freedom.
  • Living unhindered by legalism and embracing the freedom of pure grace instead.
  • Activia yogurt (just ate some so … made the list.) Not sure how freedom oriented this one is but … at this moment it is important.
  • Friends and family who accommodate the freedom to be healthy, honest, and authentic.
  • The freedom to live in a high-tech/online world without being enslaved by it :)
  • The freedom of self-determination.
  • The freedom to embrace or to walk away.
  • The freedom to take a stand and/or apologize. The freedom to forgive.
  • The freedom to respectfully disagree.
  • The freedom to assemble … for any reason.
  • The freedom to know and be known; to love and be loved.

And I could go on and on but I think I will stop there. What freedom(s) are you grateful for today?

It’s A Gay Pride Time of Year

gay pride symbol

Today I am seeing a lot of pictures from my gay friends on social media of various gay pride events they are attending. Gay pride events happen throughout the year but June is kind of the launch of the yearly gay pride season (please correct me if I am wrong.) Anyway, seeing all those pictures reminded me of an article I wrote on my old blog that I want to share with you again today. I hope you find it worth the read. It’s been slightly edited from its original version.

It’s A Gay Pride Time of Year

It’s that time of year again, drag queens strolling down main street, the activists groups chanting their slogans, and gogo dancers causing parade float designers nightmares (they just won’t stand still!) Then there is the other 90% of parade people like your neighbor Sarah, or cousin Bill and his partner walking along hand in hand. They commit to completing a long parade route to show solidarity with the LGBT community and/or cause represented within that sphere of influence. Common + Unity = Community. Everyone belongs to one (a community), or several (communities), because we are wired to want to be known by others and to know others.

Memorial Day 2014

memorial day 2014

Today is Memorial Day! I thank God for all of our military heroes here and around the world. I thank God also for the men and women, and their families, who have sacrificed their lives to fight for and preserve freedom. I will also spend time thinking about and thanking God for the military vets in my own family.

Plus, I will thank God for the One, Jesus, who gave the ultimate sacrifice to liberate us eternally, for an everlasting peace.

Check out this video from my friend Kathy. I think it is excellent and has a suggestion for families that would be so healthy, and honoring, to do.

“LifeFlow” – The Journey Behind The Painting

LifeFlow_cropped

Martha and Mary

38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Luke 10:38-42

Late February, maybe early March, I went to the art store. I had created a few paintings over the holidays and absolutely loved the refuge/communion that activity provided. While creating them I kept thinking, “This is a life-giving and affirming activity. This is a major part of who God created me to be.” However, as I stood looking at the blank canvasses in the art store, I was focusing on the smaller canvasses. It occurred to me to not “settle” for limiting my artistic vision.

So, I just went all hog-wild and chose a 3×4 foot canvas!

Buying this giant of a canvas literally made my stomach nervously rumble as I took it up to the counter to purchase.

What Is a Healthy Response To Harshly Judgmental People?

angry

The other day I saw a former friend ranting online. I judged him :) to be being super-duper mean-spirited and judgmental! At one point in our past friendship, he was all smiles and flattery. Now, I have been told he is telling people I am a false witness leading people to hell. I’ve never responded to him publicly and don’t plan to.

My initial response to him, in my heart and with a trusted friend, was FAR from a mature response. Eventually, I calmed down and asked God to give me wisdom for the situation. He reminded me of various things He has taught me over the years as well as a few new insights. I have discovered that I can apply the following to any situation regarding people I perceive to be harshly judgmental.

Mike Had Big Hair & Heels, I Miss That Guy

EXIF/JPEG image with thumb

This is the house I lived in for about 18 months. I rented a couch, not a room, for $40 a week most of that time. I was there from the Spring of 1988 till the fall of 1989 and most of it was a blur.

I waited tables to earn enough money to party, partied till I was out of money, slept in someone else’s bed or on my $40 a week couch … mostly the couch, Then I would wake up in time to go back to waiting tables and repeat the cycle for a year and a half.

During that time I drank 5 out of 7 days a week, did more drugs than I ever thought I would. Especially after I pledged to never do any drugs my freshman year in high school. I was also involved in a very abusive relationship.

It was during that time I did my share of terrible things to make ends meet, to get drugs … to be a part, to appease my partner … it wasn’t just a blur … it was a dark blur.

It’s Raining Giant Trees (Dream)

dark wood texture

First I am going to share the dream by itself. Then after that I will share what it means to me. The reason I am separating them is that sometimes dreams are like artwork, people can extract a wide variety, and all kinds of personal meaning from them. I think that is totally cool. So, please read the dream, ponder it if you want and gather your own thoughts on it. Then read my thoughts after the second section divider. :)

In my dream I am sitting on my Great Granny’s porch. The porch was built by her father, my Great Great Grandfather, by hand. However, in the dream it had been carefully preserved, modified, expanded and updated. However, I knew that it had always been lovingly maintained/remodeled by The Owner. The house was simply beautiful, warm, welcoming. It actually looked like it had been decorated by one of my best friends. It was again, beautiful.

A Father’s Dance, A Son’s Joy

rob jude

This kid is cute. I mean … just cute as a button. His name is Jude. He has sandy blond hair and he loves worship time.

Jude and his parents always sat up front at church because Jude loves to dance around or jump in place. Of course, as little boys are want to do, he likes to run around a bit too. Jude has also been seen with his toy guitar in tow to play along with the band on a few occasions.

I told you … the kid is cute!

The cool thing about Jude is he likes to mix it up … he’s a squirmer. Tina is very good at giving Jude some freedom but is quite the Jude wrangler sometimes. She loves her son. You can tell.