The kids are all off today, in fact they were all off yesterday as well, if I had realized that they were both off for 4 strait days, I would have taken them up to Ohio to see my mom and dad, it’s one of those things that you don’t think of kids being off two days in a row unless it’s for a holiday or in the wake of Frankenstorm.
J’s school has half days as well, so the answer to keeping me fairly sane was simple, J would take one of the older daughters for the first half of the day and that leaves me with just two, one of which can help get things done in the house the other of which can eat, sleep, and generally be cute.
Waking up with a splitting headache didn’t really help the morning, it did however make Amberly want to be all helpful, at least to a point. Nostalgia is all about remembering things in a happy way, or a fun way, at least to me that’s what it’s all about. Amberly started her morning by working on a paper that had to do with her great great grandmother, J and I have tried to help her flesh this paper out a bit, we didn’t write it for her at all but we did wright down some of our recollections at the bottom of the paper for her to use, stuff from when we would go to Grandma’s place after church on a Sunday to eat with her and spend time listening to stories about what it was like growing up all those years ago, about coming from Italy on a boat, about church and families in the neighborhood and all that fun stuff. Watching Amberly work on this paper also brought back memories.
There is a picture in my parents house that they insist on leaving up. It’s of me in a white t shirt, messed up hair fists pounding the table in frustration because of some homework issue, you can see the streaks from my tears. This is what began to happen today, Amberly was very upset at both J and I for doing it wrong, for helping her wrong for not putting things in that she liked or wanted, this even after I had a lengthy conversation with her teacher the other day. Remembering is so fun.
As the morning has worn on, and I have gotten my coffee delivering the needed caffeine to my system, enabling the headache I woke up with to slide a bit further back in my head. I started to drop some music on my tablet. Some old school stuff as well as some worship music. Petra, Stryper, some old POD etc. as we traveled down to the kitchen for breakfast I put on Stryper, Honestly came on…Amberly said “dad this sounds like music that Grandma would listen too. Telling her that Grandma HATED Stryper made her wonder. Why would Grandma hate them this sounds like a song she would like. Of course when Honestly came on my mind went strait to the Skate Zone in Boardman or the rink in Champion, the lights would dim and the dj would tell us all that it was couple skate. That nerve-wracking time in a young adolescents life when they have to decide if they want to hold hands with a member of the opposite sex for a whole song, of course doing so would mean you were a couple. What a way to declare your undying puppy love than to spend a whole song going round and round the rink.
There are so many good things in my life to remember, there are bad things too, most of which resulted from bad choices on my part. The important thing about nostalgia is that it’s there for a reason.
The Bible is full of admonitions to remember things. To recall the things God has done for us, to remember his love, his laws, his grace, his justice, his faithfulness. It also calls for us to remember something else that I think many of us forget, Hebrews 10:32 says it like this; “Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember…” The verse goes on to talk about not falling to persecution and such, not always something we have to worry about in our country, contrary to what many Evangelicals would have you and I believe, our faith is still allowed, we can still worship who we choose, our choices as to who we call God are still not only valid but protected. We have unprecedented freedom of expression and belief. I know it’s not the going thing to actually talk about how blessed Christians are to live in our country, especially on election day when so many prominent evangelicals want to talk about how there is a war on faith, how voting a certain way can “cause Christians to burn.” how important it is that we turn back the clock to a better time a more church friendly or whatever friendly time. It amazes me as well how easy it is for Christians to talk about freedom of speech and expression and religion but to turn around and want to put a gag order on others who do not see eye to eye with them. Are we as evangelicals that insecure? Do we really have to be the moral bully that walks around the school yard telling people that unless they believe the way we do then they are wrong, that unless they don’t smoke, and they don’t chew and they don’t go with those who do, they don’t’ really have a place at our table? I never really read this out of Jesus, even in his anger I don’t really read this. He threw the sellers out of the Temple, not because of who they are but because of the fact that they were distracting people from the purpose of the Temple. He didn’t throw them out of the market, or out of the sidewalk in front of the Temple, he said that these things can’t be in the place of worship. This is different than what Christians today want to do, they want to say what can happen in their church, and then turn around and tell people what they can do in the marketplace, in their home or in a school.
I am increasingly coming to believe that if Christians would worry more about Jesus final mandate, going into all the world and making disciples. If they would remember that we are to love those who would be our enemies no matter who we think our enemies are, and do go to those that would abuse or use us in a spiteful way. If they would be salt and light instead of rubbing salt into wounds. If followers of Christ would truly work at being more like the person they claim to follow, and less like the person they see on TV that claims to have the inside track on Gods political affiliation, his views on sinners, and his desires to wreck old testament style vengeance on a sick and dying world. If they would share their faith not by pounding the pulpit but by giving to those that are in need. If those things would happen, then we would see attitudes toward Christ followers change. Until then I fear that those of us who work out our salvation on a daily basis, that walk with God and recognize that we sin, and realize that we are not there yet will constantly find the need to put our head down and beg whatever “Christian” celebrity of the moment to please stop talking, we will no longer have to apologize for what they say and explain that not everyone that names Christ as their Lord and Savior thinks the best way to show his love is to condemn and judge people who don’t even claim a relationship with God.
Hope that makes sense, hope it doesn’t hurt my chances at a church, and if it would, well I wouldn’t want to be a pastor at that church in the first place.