Crouching Decorations, Hidden Power

Ah, it is that time of year again!

The Christmas decorations are unpacked from their cardboard tombs in attics, garage spaces, and storage units. The annual ritual of carefully unrolling the bundled outdoor lights accompanied by hours of troubleshooting the dead bulbs can only be soothed with happy holiday music playing in the background (or a few shots of your favorite beverages).

Every year, we swear that we will pack up the lights and decorations carefully so that NEXT year, we will not have to deal with these holiday headaches. However, eleven months later, we always mumble those words – “Why did I pack away these lights and decorations in this lousy way???

But alas, after the long hours of labor and love, we stand back to admire the hard work of decorating the outside of our homes (I have visions of Chevy Chase plugging and unplugging his electrical cords).

The nightfall revives these illuminated decorations and the child in us comes alive!

The next morning, lawn ornaments fall and the facade returns to normal (except for the wreaths or other non-electrical ornaments). There is a lesson I see in the day time of the holiday season….

Continue reading “Crouching Decorations, Hidden Power”

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Thanksgiving War

The overturned laundry basket blocked the path on the upstairs hallway. The smell of adrenaline and sweat permeated the staircase. The window blinds were closed to create the effect of nightfall. The overworked automatic dishwasher screamed for a merciful break from the evil taskmaster. The half-empty bowls and platters revealed evidence of a once beautiful meal.

Ah, Thanksgiving at the Gee’s house once again!

Continue reading “Thanksgiving War”

Joseph’s Story

Have you ever read the full story of Joseph in the Bible?

A descendant of Jacob, Joseph was sold into slavery at the age of 17. His step-brothers hated him as he revealed his dream that one day, they would all bow down to this younger brother.  He was Jacob’s favorite son and was given a coat of many colors. Some of you may remember the stage play Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

As a side note for many of my old SF church friends – I have many fond memories of performing Dreamer – What Really Happened to Joseph every weekend for months! In spite of the loss of one of our brothers, we chose to live on.

Joseph’s life endured many twists and turns until he finally became second in command in Egypt – only the Pharaoh had more authority. This was unheard of for a foreigner to rule Egypt. However, God used Joseph to interpret dreams that would one day save Egypt and Israel by storing up a percentage of harvest in the good years and rationing the food in the lean years.

Joseph definitely had the courage to live on in spite of his circumstances. Here is what I have learned from this Bible series. Continue reading “Joseph’s Story”

The End Of An Era

at least in My mind….

As high school kids are graduating into the next phase of their lives, many will carry life experiences that have transformed them so far in their young lives. Some are just happy to walk the stage or receive their diploma.

Yet there are others who have tried new things in their younger years and may not realize the impact it will have in their future careers, relationships, and thought processes. I feel excited for many of them as their journey is much different these days.

I share similar emotions as teachers of many of the graduating students. While I may not have been a full-time instructor (I commend those who have the tenacity to teach our next generation), I do reflect upon many of the special children that were in my care from a different type of background.

Continue reading “The End Of An Era”

The Most Important Job I Will Ever Have!

This weekend, there was a somber memorial service for a fallen California Highway Patrol (“CHP”) officer, Lucas Chellew, who was only 31 years old at the time of his death last week. He had served eight years in the CHP and his sister, also a CHP officer, delivered a moving testimony of her older brother’s legacy and life.

While we honored Officer Chellew’s sacrifice to protect and serve the citizens of California, a higher loss was recognized. He was a proud father of his young children. It is very sad that they will no longer have their daddy to protect them.

This made me think of my own status as a father. Continue reading “The Most Important Job I Will Ever Have!”

Little Mary (part 1)

The August weather challenged my mind as I assembled my team for the Christmas production while coordinating thirty-six children ranging from ages 6-12. It was a small group of volunteers including a piano player to tap the notes for the children.

It would be my first experience organizing and conducting a children’s choir at church. I was up for the challenge in spite of the inattentiveness of the children. The plan was to create a musical production in less than four months. Many did not have stage experience or even participated in a full musical production. Many could not read musical notes or dance. Yes, it would be a first for everyone so let the fun begin!

Excitement filled the air and many older girls were practicing for the coveted part – Mary’s solo. There were other solo parts to be had but this one was the best in the production (according to the children). It was no wonder many girls lined up for their chance to win the lead solo (or at the very least, to be the understudy).

When the line of hopeful singers was exhausted, I asked if there were any more singers ready to try out for this special solo. Everyone looked around but no one raised their hand. Then my attention turned to someone sitting in the back of the room. Continue reading “Little Mary (part 1)”