Monday, August 28, 2006

School Make-Over, Pre-K II and 7 Months

To prepare for her first day of school today, Rainey exchanged make-overs with her great aunt Susan, complete with mustaches and beards.

Sometimes a girly-girl, sometimes a mud wrestler and sometimes (like today) a hippie-chick. Here she is this morning on her way to her first day of Pre-K II. All the world's a stage, honey.
And just for good measure, here's little sister Em at 7 months old.

We are blessed!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Running Out of Ideas

My daughter Rainey and I have a bedtime ritual. A father/daughter covenant prevents me from divulging the ceremonial specifics, but I can tell you about our prayer time. She likes for me to start and then we take turns thanking God for things and asking Him for blessings. The signal that she is ready to wrap it up is when she starts to thank God for "just everything" or "just everybody." But the other night after we had gone back and forth a few times she looked up at me and whispered, "Dad, I'm running out of ideas."

I've been there. Wanting to pray, needing to pray, but not having the words. Paul let's us know that it's okay:

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

I'm not sure that concept is fully understood by father or daughter, but it's still pretty cool.

Monday, August 21, 2006


I believe I am an ecumenical (Ecumenical - Of or relating to the worldwide Christian church. Concerned with establishing or promoting unity among churches or religions). However, I talk to people who say they are ecumenical, then turn around and disparage some denomination they don't like. One friend told me he was having a difficult time finding a church to attend because he was an ecumenical. That makes no sense to me. It seems to me that being an ecumenical frees you to worship at any church that claims Jesus as Lord. It doesn't limit your options, it expands them.

Here's the deal: Christians like to talk about freedom in Christ, but too often we come together and chain each other down with silly rules. Remind you of anyone? See The Pharisee's Guide to Perfect Holiness. Jesus said that unless we go beyond rule keeping to relationship, we can't hang out with God. Period.

My friend Jay Holland explained it to me like this: a recovering alcoholic could be sober for years, but he still thinks about whether or not he could handle having a drink. Someone who is not an alcoholic (take me for instance) is free from those thoughts. I spend no time wondering about that. I never even consider it because I'm not bound by alcoholism.

Those who are bound by the law spend a lot of time trying not to break it or looking for loopholes in it. Those who are free in Christ follow the guidelines set out by a loving Father and caring Creator in response to His love.

Freedom doesn't mean you always get your way, it means you've given up the need to always get your way; it doesn't mean you don't have to submit to church authorities anymore, it means you are happily submitted to Jesus Christ; and it doesn't give you the right to judge other peoples hearts. There is certainly no freedom in the judging business.

Go. Serve. Worship Him. Be free.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fashion Girl

One more picture of my five year old. She went shopping yesterday and well, the picture pretty much speaks for itself.

I'm in so much trouble.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Yesterday marked the big 5, the half decade, all the fingers on one hand for my Sweet Baby Girl, Rainey. We actually celebrated the event last week with her traditional two parties (one for kid friends, one for adult friends). Big Daddy and Gran made it down from Idaho and we all enjoyed a pool party at my brothers house complete with two favorite presents: an inflatable water slide and an inflatable jet ski that you can ride in the pool.

It was a blessing that Big Daddy (Steph's dad) was able to make the trip as he continues to recuperate from surgery. He's doing great! Em was under the weather too, but enjoyed relaxing with him.

It was also a big year for Polly Pockets (I believe the count of tiny dolls and tinier accessories all over my house is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000,006) and music. We are all enjoying a set of percussion instruments, a sax-a-flute and a karaoke machine. Yeah, it's nothing but peace and quiet at my house!

As for the birthday girl? Well, for those of you who know Rainey, you know she is not easy to describe. That's one of the reasons I love her. She is beautiful like her mom, weird like her dad and has a free spirit that we hope is never tamed. She has her own sense of style and feels no need to do something just because everyone else is doing it. She asks a lot of questions about how the world works, considers it and then marches off to the beat of her own percussion instrument. I marvel at her creativity, laugh at her silliness and simply can't take my eyes off her.

Happy birthday Rain, being your dad is one of the greatest adventures I could ever imagine. Secret Best, don't tell mom, I love you!