G'ampa C's Blog

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Things I Celebrate (3)

I celebrate little Ethan, who gives me smiles and hugs and open-mouthed kisses; Who is always happy to see me and lets me feed him things he usually won't eat for his parents. He loves dogs and sticks and going outside. He is mad about pizza and communion bread. He shares his chicken and cookies and green beans, but has to put them in my mouth himself. Ethan helps me realize how deep and rich is the fellowship of the saints, and how God's design for the church is so good and good for us. Ethan has two real grandfathers who love him very much, but he also has one old adopted G'ampa who loves him very much, too. It is a great blessing from God that I am somehow "one" with Ethan and his mom and dad, that we share family ties that reach beyond this world and into the next.

Things I Celebrate (2)

I celebrate a warm fireplace and a hot bowl of chili on a cold, rainy evening.

I celebrate friends who anonymously give cash practically every month to a family struggling over jobs and finances. Being close friends of both families, I have become the bearer of the envelope. What a blessing to watch the reactions.

I celebrate the fact that I have never had too little food, I have never been in want. I have never been put out in the cold or without shelter. It is humbling to realize that so many millions of people get by without things I take for granted.

I celebrate a wife and 3 children who love me, in spite of my faults and scabs.

I celebrate a family of four who moved back to Abilene, and who manage to show me they love me every time we see each other.

Something like 98% of the people in this world have less physical belongings than I. God has richly blessed me and my country. I need to be more consciously aware of what he does and has done, and celebrate his gifts. Celebration is more than a happy feeling; it is a happy feeling arising from an awareness of God's blessings.

To whom much is given, much is required...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Things I Celebrate (1)

In the whole Thanksgiving issue, there are other things worth celebrating. Some seem small at first glance, but loom so large at certain times. These are random things I value and celebrate.

I'm really blessed to have a whole set of memories of my Dad. He was a simple man, eighth grade schooling, no expensive tastes. He loved my Mom with all his heart, and always worked hard. He never wasted anything, never bragged on his work, but was appreciated everywhere he went. He was faithful to God and his family. In some ways, he was very strict when we were kids, but he was a true friend when I was mature enough to accept it. I could always tickle his funny-bone with a story or joke, and he would laugh so hard he almost couldn't breathe. He was the most humble man I have ever known, but I didn't realize it until late. When he passed away unexpectedly several years ago, the church building which seated 350 couldn't hold the people for his funeral. Good memories. Really good memories. I wonder what memories I will leave my children?

I see God's hand in sunrises and rainbows, even though I can give the scientific explanation for the event.

Big church is a blessing every time I go. Home church (Life Team) is even more a blessing. I can't imagine (now) not having such a close bond to those souls.

I have been blessed with 25 years as a nursery attendant at church. In that time, I've loved and cared for something above 600 babies. Most of them don't remember me after they leave, but some do, and a child's love is a very healthy thing, indeed. I still believe, after all these years, that all the diapers, spit up, runny noses and crying were and are far outweighed by the blessings of being with the little ones. Our preacher once told me "I don't know how do you do it." My best response is -- "How can I not?". It has been a great blessing.

I have a friend named Wes. We talk deeply to each other, and confess to each other. I hug him every time I see him, and he hugs me back without reservation. We share a spiritual harmony beyond explanations, and make each other's lives richer. We share the Lord's Supper with tears and laughter.

Anyone else have any things to celebrate?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Thanksgiving II

Something else needs to be said; and this one is for Matt.
Over 25 years ago, my wife and I began praying for our oldest child's spouse-to-be. We prayed for love and spirituality, for goodness and values. We were convinced that our baby was a boy, but we left our options open.
Somewhere along the way our daughter was lost to us in a maze of bad choices and strong temptations. She met Matt working in Arizona, and he sought her. He told me before they were married that he knew she was the one.
Even though she walked rough paths, Matt pursued her and kept in touch.
We had no idea that we had prayed for Matt, but God knew.
So, Matt, I want you to know how you have blessed us. How nice it is to be at peace with my son-in-law, to enjoy your company, to know of your love for the Lord, to know of your love for my oldest child and first grandchild, to be assured you love them with all your heart. That is a luxury many folks just don't have.
So we still pray for you and thank God for you, but we don't have to leave the name blank any more. God has filled in the blank for us, and we are thankful.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Thanksgiving was 10 days ago, and I am still contemplating my thankfulness. Having been out on a really tough drilling job for almost a month (still in progress), I am thankful for all those dear to me who have called to check on me and prayed over me. I am thankful for a wonderful wife and children who really long for me to be back home. I am thankful for all those people who count my company as valuable and let me know it, somehow drawing me closer to them and to Christ. Specifically, I am especially thankful for the Netzs, Fuquas, Neilsons, Barbers, Earlys, Watsons, Danleys, Butchers, Montgomerys, Katie, Jeremiah, Banks, Drew and others whom I count as family and for whom I hold a special place.

I am thankful for a home where I am free to serve God and live the way I choose, even with the problems we have here.

I am thankful for a Creator who degraded himself to the form of the created to purchase me from death, who paid with his life for my sins and ransomed me from destruction. I have something to celebrate, something worth while, something worth having.