Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Stained Not Dirty

I was washing dishes with my daughter after dinner tonight and she said, "This makes me sick".  I asked what she was referring to and she pointed out a Tupperware bowl that was stained.  "That is so dirty".  I said, "that isn't dirty, it is just stained" and instantly I started thinking that those words had meaning beyond the Tupperware piece we were looking at.
Possibly some people might have a response like my daughter's to people who are bearing the consequence of some personal trauma, or even some choices in their life that have harmed them in unexpected ways.  Maybe this could be a response to wounded war veterans for some of us.
J.R. Martinez--Iraq war
Frank Sandoval--Iraq War
Another example could be a person who has been sexually abused becoming angry or irritable when they see a father with his daughter on his lap.  
I am reminded of a client I had one time who would become highly angry if I would stretch out my legs in front of me while we were talking.  On close inspection and honest talking it turned out that her abusive father would often sit that way, and when I did that she would react toward me with the feelings she had toward her father at that time. 
Stained things can also be beautiful I might add.  For example stained glass and tie dyed shirts.
People can be stained by experience, by family dysfunction, or even by societal fads and pressures.  A family dealing with alcoholism can produce children and further generations that are secretive, don't share or feel emotions.  Families dealing with mental illness can produce similar results.

Social fads like tattoos or piercing can lead to poor choices that are mourned later in life.

But what these words "stained but not dirty" make me think of is the stains or consequences that can enter our life due to sin.  When we make choices that lead to sin, sometimes the results can be long lasting.  We may recognize our sin and repent and change but often the consequences of that sin will continue on even though we are a changed person. 
If sin makes us dirty so to speak, then repentance makes us clean by the grace of the Savior who suffered for all our sins that we might repent.  The consequences may continue but it would be just a stain but not dirty. 

As an example possibly a person who lived a life style that led to contracting aids might repent of and change that lifestyle but still suffer the consequences.  A person who smokes cigarettes to the point where the skin on their hand that carries the lit cigarette might be discolored.  They may repent, break that addiction and stop smoking but they will still have the discolored hand.  A person who gets involved in child pornography may be arrested and serve time in prison and then be on the Sex offender registry but could repent and change their actions and thoughts such that they could be clean of that sin although still necessarily be held to the consequences of the sin. 

So we see that being stained is not the same as being dirty.  It is very possible to have a very clean stained shirt or pair of pants.  Or even a very clean but stained body.  Surely we must be careful to not get stained mixed up with dirty. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

29 Hearts for Valentines day

Lisa and I have been married for 29 Valentines days now so I arranged to give her a little bag with 29 hearts to remind her of this year as well as all of our past ones.  As you can tell some have been plain and some fancy.  I expect that if each one of those hearts represented a year that we have been married that she would have some good memories to go with each of those hearts.

Valentines can be tricky for men in particular.  This graphic below gives some ideas of things that have been done, mostly by men, for their sweethearts.  There is a site that has a lot of statistics that might make Valentines interesting for you at this site like Valentines spending in 2011 was 15.7 billion dollars.  Yikes!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Manly ManTraining #29: Sunday Preparation and becoming

It is my experience that a lot of men leave preparation for church up to their wives.  This is especially true when there are children involved.  Consequently the wife has not only her ownself to get ready but also all the children.  That can be a daunting task, especially if your church services are early in the morning!

So what should a Manly Man do?  Well obviously he needs to be involved in getting the children ready for church as well.  That may involve getting up early to get himself ready in order that he can make sure the children are getting bathed and dressed and fed in plenty of time to make it to church on time. 

But honestly there is more involved in going to church.  It is not uncommon that the wife sets the tone for church service.  If she brings it up and tells everyone they are going then they go.  If not then everyone stays home, sleeping late or doing whatever.  The Manly Man needs to lead out in planning and preparing to attend church.  It shouldn't be left up to the energy of the wife but the husband should be planning the night before and really the whole week to attend church.  When it is clear in the family that both leaders of the family are set on going to church and willing to do what is necessary to prepare then the children will more quickly fall in line and complain less. 
Church attendance doesn't only mean getting everyone there on time, but also refers to what you are doing when you are at church.  For instance is the man participating in church?  Is he singing the hymns?  Is he asking questions in Sunday School or sharing his opinion about things?  Does he care about apiritual things and can you tell that by seeing his behavior at church?  Men need to be an example of not just attendance, and not only church involvement, but also becoming a Man of God, or in other words, incorporating church teachings and behavior into their daily lives. 

Actually that is how we prepare for church each week, by living what we have been taught at church throughout the rest of the week.  Living church teachings daily helps us be comfortable at church and even want to be there with others that believe and live as we do.  Church isn't just about attendance but about becoming a Godly person.
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