Skip to main content

more important than par

the night before we moved out of new jersey, we were all done packing and there was really nothing we could do in the house, so we took the boys and my mom (who was there helping us with the move) out to play mini golf.  we thought this would be a nice relaxing recreational way to spend our last night in new jersey. 


jackson, our oldest, needed constant help with how to hold the putter, and got extremely frustrated when he wasn't as successful as any of the adults.  i was proud of him, though, because he was fairly patient and actually kept trying to get it right and hit the ball properly. 

but caedmon, the younger one, was a whole 'nother story; an exercise in futility.  he was interested in mini golf for as long as it took to select the colored ball at the beginning.  from then on, it was more about the flags:

and the water:

oh, wow, did he love that water.  he was constantly stepping in it, splashing it, trying to swim in it, throwing his ball into it, etc.  while this was mildly entertaining to me for the first 7 to 8 minutes, it began to test my patience after that.  i tend to get a bit competitive on the mini golf course (because, after all, what is more naturally intense than hitting colored balls across astroturf?), and he was cramping my style.  he routinely picked up my perfectly placed approach shot and dumped it in the drink.  he would kick someone's ball into mine.  arrrgghh.

but as soon as i would get irritated, he would do one of those unbelievably cute things that would remind me that staying under par at funtown wasn't the most critical thing i could do on the night before we moved.  just being a dad and loving my family, even in the midst of the frustrations, was the most important thing on that - and any - night.  just ask this guy:


Popular posts from this blog


i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

thankful right now

"if the only prayer you ever say in your life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." -Meister Eckhart

"thanksgiving is inseparable from prayer." -John Wesley

i've been thinking about gratitude quite a bit this week, and how to foster a thankful spirit in the midst of the barrage of bad news that for me is punctuated by yet another "breaking news" notification on my phone, interrupting the busyness of my day to rudely remind me that the world's brokenness knows nothing of limits or boundaries, not to mention my schedule or sanity.  still, the bad news keeps coming. 

i just scrolled through my most recent notifications just from the last few days and they contain phrases like "crimes against humanity," "57 million users hacked, but not reported," "alleged pattern of sexual abuse," and "extremely disturbing," just to name a few.  how am i supposed to be present at a staff meeting when my phone is buzzing …