Basketball Update

Thought I’d bring everyone (yep, both of you) up to speed on how this year’s most dynamic 2nd grade basketball team is doing.  It’s actually been a lot of fun to watch these kids start to figure out how to play together, and how to play hard.  It’s been funny to watch the other teams we’ve played and to see their coaches "gameplans".  We’ve seen everything from teams having set plays that they "run" while their coach yells at them for screwing up his perfect plays.  And we’ve had the team that has the one kids that’s ridiculously better than everyone else and so he just shoots 3-pointers (that’s right, from behind the 3-point line!!) all the time.  Granted they do play on an 8 1/2 ft hoop, but we don’t have 1 kid that can hit the rim from the foul line, let alone bank one in from behind the arc!  I actually put Austin on the 3-point shooter, and when I asked him how he liked guarding the kid, Austin smiled and said, "I like guarding their best players, because then they don’t score!"  He’s right, with Austin, "The Glove", on the 3-pointer he didn’t make a single point!  And there’s another kid on our team that’s always very nice to his teammates and comes across as kind of the "Aw shucks" kind of boy, but when he gets on the court in the game, he literally steals the ball every time the other team comes close to him.  He’s knocking other kids down, getting rebounds, and just layin’ down some good ol’ fashioned domination!  And, we have another kid that seems to be missing a dad, and he’s like nearly 1 ft. taller than everyone else, but he’s more interested in video games than sports (if you get my point – okay, to be more blunt, he’s not athletic at all) and this last weekend, he was our highest scorer, had a few blocks, and really had fun out there.  The best part was, every time he scored, as he ran down court he’d look at me and smile real big and give me a "thumbs up". 
 
These little punks are starting to grow on me… I guess you could say, they’re like a fungus… only they stink more than most fungus’…
 
Some video should be coming soon…

Today Austin is 7!!! Wow!!

That’s right.  It was 7 years ago now that two young kids anxiously drove to the hospital at seven o’clock in the morning, were admitted to one of the largest rooms on the floor, and settled into what was to be the start of the rest of our lives.  Our doctor had convinced us that Austin was "too big" for Dawn to deliver, so she had set the induction date of January 15th, so that it would be "possible" for this "enormous" baby to come out (how did we survive before doctors started making all the rules anyways?)  So, thanks to the drugs, Dawn became extremely queezy and was fortunate enough to vomit several times in front of a room full of excited relatives. 
By the early afternoon things finally started moving…very slowly.  Dawn’s memory would be better than mine – since I just sat there like an idiot trying to remember just 1 thing that the hippie-chick had taught me from our ridiculously boring birthing class.  Thankfully, I had also been watching several helpful shows on TLC on giving birth, and so I was probably more qualified than our doctor.
By late afternoon, after being told by the crack medical staff that there is nothing that can be done for back labor, we decided to get an epidural.  That’s quite the experience.  Dawn, now even more sick, was able to lay still and sleep between bouts of nausea and contractions.  Finally, by 8pm we were in full swing – Dawn screaming, doctor’s moving, nurse’s taking charge, and me just sitting there trying to comfort my bride.  At 8:10 I became a father. 
I remember thinking, "Why aren’t I feeling more?"  You always hear of guys saying that when they saw their child for the first time, it wrecked them and they were never the same.   I was expecting the same experience, but was surprised at how normal it seemed.  I’ve come to learn that God has used Austin, his subsequent brothers, Dawn and my close friends to soften my heart so that I can feel.  And I’m forever grateful. 
These years have gone by way too quickly, and our little boy IS growing up, and soon he won’t need us anymore.  But, these days are great.  To be able to be here with him and watch him grow and to see him love on his brothers and lead other kids, and to see him make decisions and think about consequences, and to be able to actively teach him everyday how to follow his Savior, and to dream about the man that he is going to be some day, and to be able to play and active role with God in developing his gifts is nothing short of amazing. 
Thank you, God for all my boys, and may you drawn Austin to You early in life, to experience Your abundant life as Your servant, so that he will not waste his time here on this earth.  Happy 7th Birthday, Austin.  We love you very much.

The Talk…?..ugh…

The day has come where the conversations about "the birds and the bees" have started.  Last night, while watching the holiest show on television (Biggest Loser) with the family, there was a blurb from the news about how some teacher had been caught having sex with his student.  Austin pipes up, "A teacher had SEX with his student?!"  I quickly replied, "That’s weird, huh?"  Dawn kept the conversation going by asking, "What’s sex, Austin?"  I think at this point Austin realized what just happened and started trying to clam up.  Dawn pushed him to answer, and so he confessed, "Kissing and stuff."  Mom said, "Oh."  "Only grown-ups can do it," he said.  I asked, "Do you think that you can make babies by kissing?  Because having sex is how babies are made."  He said, "They are?…huh…"  The wheels were obviously turning.  I asked, "Who told you about sex?"  He wasn’t giving that information up.  I pressed, "Was it your friends?"  He smiled and said he didn’t want to divulge the source of all his wisdom of reproductive science.  So, I reassured him, "You know, Austin – Mommy and Daddy KNOW about sex.  Your friends do NOT.  We have been having sex for a VERY LONG time.  So, if you want to know about sex, WE really know, and WE can tell you exactly what IT is."  Dawn exploded in laughter, and couldn’t believe my response to our little boy.  I had remembered a mom telling a radio talk show (maybe Focus on the Family?) that she’d told her son that same thing when the topic came up, and I thought it was pretty rad at the time.  I still think it’s pretty awesome.  Once the glorious Biggest Loser was over, the topic resurfaced as we were heading to bed.  I asked Austin again what sex was, and he said it’s kissing.  Mommy quickly ran to me and said, "So, this is sex?"  And she started kissing me – which always makes for a great response from the boys.  They always cover their eyes and yell, "Yer disgusting!  Yer disgusting!  Yer DISGUSTING!!"  Sometimes they even turn it into a catchy little jingle.  Once they uncovered their eyes, I told Austin, "Kissing is NOT sex.  Kissing is called ‘kissing’.  Sex is very different."  He said, "Oh.  Well, what is it?" 
I had been trying to think of how I was going to handle this as we were finishing watching the great Biggest Loser and couldn’t decide if I was going to go into all the "details" or leave some out.  For some reason (God?), I said, "Well, you know that boys and girls are different, right?  And God made their bodies very different, too.  So, when a man and a women lay down, God made their bodies fit together in such a way that they can make babies.  They don’t always make babies, but they can.  You remember how the Bible says that Adam and Eve "laid" together and then they had a baby?"  He kinda smiled, like the light had come on, and said, "OH!  THAT’S what sex is?"  I said, "Yes.  And, you’re right – it is for grown-ups.  But, God made sex just for married grown-ups.  But, people who are not married do have sex and it is not good, and only causes hurts and ruins their life."   I reassured him again that he can ask us anything and we love to talk about everything with him and to help him learn about everything.  He smiled and layed down and probably started thinking about times he’d simply laid down on the floor with girls to watch a movie and tried to figure out how in the world they’d make a baby.  That’s probably good that he become afraid to lay down with a girl anyways – it always ends up in trouble.

“I’ll take ‘Swords’ for $200, Alex…”

This is a pretty sweet thought by John Piper…

 

Desiring God Blog

Swords Are for Killing

Posted: 05 Jan 2009 06:38 AM CST

(Author: John Piper)

In New Testament times swords were not for digging, shaving, or whittling. They were for killing. The only reason Peter cut off Malchus’s ear was that he missed (John 18:10).

But Herod didn’t miss: "He killed James the brother of John with the sword" (Acts 12:2).

Many saints have felt the full force of the sword: "They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword" (Hebrews 11:37). So it was and will be: "If anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain" (Revelation 13:10).

That’s what swords are for. So when Paul calls the word of God the "sword of the Spirit" in Ephesians 6:17, he is serious—something must be put to death. And it is not people. Christians don’t kill people to spread our faith; we die to spread our faith.

The link in Paul’s mind is given in Romans 8:13.

If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

The word of God is the sword of the Spirit. The Sword is for putting to death. And by the Spirit we put to death our sinful deeds. So I conclude that the way we kill our sins is with the Spirit’s sword, the word of God.

All temptations to sin have power by lying. The are "deceitful desires" (Ephesians 4:22). They tell us that the pleasure of the sin is worth it. The killing blow against these lies is the power of God’s truth. Hence the sword of the Spirit, God’s word, is the weapon to use.

As John Owen said, "Be killing sin, or it will be killing you." That is what swords are for, especially the Bible.