True Beauty

img_3782My Princess,

I recall the first time
my ear pressed against the womb that contained you!

Your feet pressed back,
moving my head,
and stirring my heart;

You entered the earth
And my eyes beheld God’s glory
Confirming that true beauty can’t be contained,
And true love can’t be explained,

It exist beyond what the eyes can see
And hands can hold,

It’s the joy I felt,
As the nurse pressed your feet against me,
Setting into course a series of moments
Of you making an impression on my life.

I continue to be impressed daily
Pressing my ear to the phone
As you extend your legs
Against a new womb
Designed to bring forth
A beauty that will change the world.

Happy Valentines Day

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The Lab

As you manipulate data in your Head,
Pressing through your Heart,
It’s Communicated through your Hands
I think,
As I experience each chapter,
Line by line,
I silently thank God for each article and each book,
Prayed a quick blessing over each author,
Knowing that you read with me in mind,
Turning each page slowly,
Ready,
Highlighter in hand,
Preparing to encounter me,
I exhale,
Knowing you didn’t skim,
Or read the cliff notes,
I experience your meticulous notes,
Each mastered the flash cards,
The aced sample pop quiz,
All in preparation for the final exam,
But this is no essay,
heartIt’s is a lab,
Where you will test your hypothesis,
Utilizing all collected data,
There will be no multiple choice,
Only a singular voices,
Made from two chords,
That have become one,
Now on one accord,
Writing a first person narrative,
You use the lab with efficiency,
Following most safety rules,
Careful to hold the magnifying glass with two hands,
One on the neck,
The other on the base,
Increasing the magnification,
Exploring the smallest intriguing details,
That create one harmony,
Yes,
You replied,
I do we responded,
Your vocal chords now,
Quietly hum like a Hammond,
With a slight tremble,
I am amazed at the data you’ve compiled,
Simple yet complete,
I am privy to your knowledge,
As your are you from my wisdom,
Your latest text book,
I am studied,
Turned like the pages,
Of an award winning novel,
My love a dissertation,
A compilation of four years of studying you,
Learning you,
Loving you,
Holding you,
Our love now a masterful manuscript,
Written from the hand of the divine,
Now transferred in the simple holding of hands,
As we walk,
Fingers locked to symbolize the oneness we have together.

Happy Valentines Day

Don’t Be Proud; Carry on the Legacy!

This evening Granny Lola shared with us the story of Weldon’s Funeral home.   The Funeral home was founded 4 generations ago by her Great Grandparents Mr & Mrs. David Weldon.  The question that sparked this blog:  Did it make you proud that your family owned land and a business?

bf86fea2f9a38254fa867631c0bdac29She replied.  “My parents taught us to never be proud. Carrying on the legacy is a way of showing your pride in the legacy you come from.”  She spoke about the way many carried themselves who came from prominent families.  Many carried the title and the accolades of the past with pride, but their willingness to rest on what the past generations accomplished ensured the legacy would soon cease.

The true enjoyment of being a part of a rich heritage or legacy is the honor in extending its reach.  It’s the ability to not only hold the torch until the flame expires, but to work in such a manner that the flame will not  be extinguished by your efforts but will burn with such vigor and fervor, that it has enough fuel to survive to two generations.

tourchWhat are you doing with the torch?  Are you reveling in public appearances?  Eating meals from the past?  Enjoying the celebrity of the fruit of yesteryear?  Or are you taking the seeds from the past and planting a harvest that will put seeds in the hands of your children’s children?

Pride should not found only in what was accomplished by those before you, but in the work of your own hand.  One should not only receive the legacy, but should be driven to carry it in the same manner in which it was received.

What are you doing with the seeds of others?  What are you doing with the seed you have?

Most squander the seeds of others, and worse are eating their seed, and in turn, ensuring that they will leave no legacy.  A legacy is what you leave behind, not just what you accomplish while you are here.  It’s the torch that continues to bring light from generations past that gives sight to those yet to breath their first breath.  Your legacy sets a stage for those coming, and gives power to those who will carry on your dreams both born and unborn.

She concluded by saying, “Don’t be proud; carry on the legacy!”  Being a part of a legacy is a responsibility more so than a privilege.  While others feel the freedom of not accomplishing and not excelling, the responsibility of extending that which has preceded you restricts from you the luxury of being lazy or complacent.   “Don’t be proud; carry on the legacy!”  Honor past generations.  Give Tribute to those whose hand first tilled the soil.  Let every action, accomplishment and accolade be a tightly woven effort to bring glory to all that sacrificed for you to sit and to stand.

 

 

My Sunrise

This morning

I  looked into the sunrise and thought of you

It reminded me of how I felt when I first held you

It was an honor, one not deserved 

One I wasn’t sure I was prepared for 

But one reserved for me

Thus I gave praise

Tears vacated by ducts

As love courses through my veins 

Your presence connected my existence with purpose 

My Sunrise

And like the aqueducts of Rome brought life 

My love flowed to you

and became a prosperous  Land 

With pride I see you as developed field 

Filled with vegetation

A plentiful harvest 

With plush trees that offer shade

To those overwhelmed by life

As the sun retreats behind the clouds

I think on this time you are away

And smile because I know it will emerge

And when it does, it  will again provide light to all open to receive it 

Spiritual Sunglasses ’16

Put your Glasses on!

I wrote this to an African American friend who expressed his disgust in having to speak to his children about racism:

“This experience
Is one that not all have
An appreciation for
Or understand.
In our desire
Not to place the Racial Sunshades on our children,
Teaching them that God created
And loves everyone,
We are forced to give them
Fruit from the tree for their own safety.
Watching their innocence fade away,
And the layers of clothing slowly put on is a sad process.
Even further frustrated by the younger siblings
Who are still naked,
While their elder siblings are fully clothed!”

 

 

#PastorJDO3

Promotion via Parenting

Yesterday I received a great honor at Camp Exalted (#campexalted2016)! It caused me to smile from ear to ear. My chest potruded, my stride was along. My head held higher than anytime before.
At breakfast, my oldest child brought me the news!  
“Dad,” she said, “The made me a Dorm Leader! I’m responsible for the girls in my dorm!”   
My child; Dorm Leader! Wow!!! It felt great! Just yesterday it was her first day at camp. She was wondering around Jarvis without a friend with her headphone on eager to return home to her friends. She would come by my classroom and chat during down time and help me plan for my next class session. Just yesterday, I was mediating a disagreement between her and a peer, as she complained about the heat and the lack of a phone signal, and now, my child is the Dorm Leader!
Though this was an honor for her, as a parent I was so proud. In just weeks, I’ve watched her conquer High School, survive Prom, show maturity at her Geaduation Party, and now, an honor of honors from the Kingdom of God! As a parent, it was great to see her chosen for who she has become. And though I feel my wife and I have had a hand in who she has become, I recognize that a larger community has served and loved her through some trying times, maturing her through, and showing her the way. Both at home and at camp, many men and women has spoken into her life, helping shape the course of her now, and are directing her towards her future.  
Wanting her to do a great job, my instinct was to impart every ounce of wisdom and direction to help her with her new position, but I felt the need to encourage her, instilling and reinforcing my confidence with. The staff that she could do the job, all while letting her know that she is not alone. Watching her tackle this new assignment has brought me such joy.  
She truly is an amazing young lady.

A Gentle Breeze or a Harsh Wind?

This evening, a talk with a parent left a seed for thought for fellow parents.  Having a High School Senior, we find ourselves seeking wisdom, advice and encouragement from those who have gone before us.  Today, the word given was, “This year, I stopped driving, and started guiding!”

As the conversation continued, the image of a mighty sail boat appeared.  One can imagine our children on an ocean, sailing into their future.  Now captains of their ships, standing at the helm, navigating their future.  As parents, we have worked to train them on how to navigate life, and prepared, repaired, built, and structured them as sea worthy vessels, placed in them a sense of purpose and helped them discover their identities, only to face an approaching release into life’s treacherous waters.sailboat

What a challenge before us?  The parent spoke words to live by.  At some point, we must believe that the training given to them will be enough to aid them in navigating the waters.  We must believe this in confidence, knowing that the complete training of a person takes an entire life time, and that many of the lessons that will continue to mold and shape will take place after we release them to sail.   What was being said in the statement, was that the release was not one that turned their child into the raging sea, but one that understood the role of the parent shifting from the “Wheel” to the “Breeze”.

The difference between the “Wheel” and “Breeze” are key to proper navigation.  Many parents will spend the bulk of Supervision Years (college), Managing as Hands On (Grade School), fighting over the wheel that will inevitably be surrendered.  It is this fight that strains relationships, often resulting in outright rebellion. Realistically, the job of the parent is never done, but the methods and modes used to teach are different.  And while our job is never done, our jobs are not to maintain the wheel, but to release the wheel with our wisdom, counsel and advice.  Our purpose now becomes to keep them from sinking or running ashore, not choosing their dock.  We do this, knowing that there is still growing to do, but must do so in order to aid them in becoming effective sailors.

The teachings we render and direction we give from this point will be less hands on, but more vocal driven. We must trust our “breeze!”  Our “breeze” is relative to the love, trust, respect and influence our children have for us.  It is this “breeze” that will remain steady and aid our children in navigating the waters of life, allowing them to find more security in whom they were created to be, and to adjust their sails to the wind in route to their identified harbor.  We must trust that the wind; though missed at times because they have folded up the sails, must continue.  Its steady stream reminds them that they are not subject to the shifting of the current to take them, but that they can still access power to navigate life when they are ready to move forward.

We thought it necessary to also distinguish that a Gentle Breeze and Harsh Wind are very different.  A Harsh Wind is more powerful, but can make life difficult to navigate; especially with shifting currents and impending waves.  It can cause the sailor navigate improperly, panic and in some cases, topple a sea worthy vessel from lack of experience or frustration.  As they are learning to navigate the waves and currents, fighting through Harsh Winds can cause them to loose sight or question the compass, depositing them into uncharted territory.  As parents this is challenging, especially if they seem to be off course or make a navigation error.  It is our love and passion for them that often causes us to run aboard and assume the controls, but we must resist!   As said, training is on going, and while being in control seems fun or best, it will become a chore once you are unable to do so.  They have to learn how to navigate life on their own!

Thus, don’t be a harsh wind!  A Gentle Breeze will provide enough power to navigate challenging waters, giving out children the guidance they need to become productive and successful.  Keep Blowing Parents!