Month: September 2015

There’s No Santa Clause #BeWoW

It was a warm, sunny day and all was right in my little world. I was five years-old and riding in the car with my Papaw, going where I don’t remember; I was with someone I loved and enjoyed more than almost anything else in the world, what more could I want? Though I don’t remember where we going, I vividly recall where we were when it happened: we were driving down 5th St Hill, about halfway to the bottom (not that many/any of you will know where that is but I include it only to illustrate how well I remember the event).

“There’s no Santa Clause”, he said in the course of whatever we were talking about.

Then a wide-eyed, astonished look overtook his face as he realized what he’d just said – to a five year-old boy!

“You knew that, didn’t you son?”

“Yes, Papaw, I did. If it took Aunt Priss and Uncle James nine hours to fly on a jet from Germany home there’s no way a man in a sleigh can fly all around the world and stop at every house in one night”, I answered.

My uncle had been stationed in Germany for two years but had just been transferred to Fort Knox, KY, so they had flown home for a couple days visit before going on to his new duty station just a few weeks prior to this. I had been pondering this conundrum of how Santa could do what he does so fast when a jet took so long since their flight home. But I didn’t know who to ask about it that I was sure would tell me the truth. My answer had just landed, pun intended, in my lap!

The relief that washed over his face, and entire body, was as evident as the angst that had preceded it, even to me at that age. 

“Well, that’s good”, he almost sighed. 

“Can I ask you something else? You always tell me the truth, don’t you Pop?”

“Yes, son, I do. And I always will; I’ll never lie to you and you never lie to me, okay?”

“Okay!”, I answered, “Santa isn’t magic and there’s not any real magic like they say, is there?

“No, son, he’s not and there isn’t any real magic” he said. 

From that moment on I knew without a doubt I would always have someone I could go to and get honestly from. I learned later on in life that honestly wouldn’t always be what I wanted to hear either – and to this day I respect that more than I can put into words. Anytime I had a tough question or major life decision to make I ran it by Papaw if I wasn’t sure what to do before I did anything. I miss being able to do that more than words can describe, too. 

The Bible teaches us that the things we do and say, as well as those we don’t, are the legacy we leave behind. 

Numbers 14:18 ‘The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’

Many people misunderstand that verse; God isn’t promising to do bad things to our children and generations to come. He’s telling us our actions have consequences and those can have an effect on the people we leave behind for years; think of the families and relatives of notorious killers, thieves and other bad people and how they were effected by the actions of their ancestors. Those things are their legacy which carried over to their children and beyond. It’s the same way with each of us; what we do, how we act and react, what we say and how we say it, are all things that leave a lasting impression on those we love and are learning, oftentimes unaware, from us, both the bad and the good. 

What kind of legacy are you leaving for your kids, grandkids and beyond? Have you thought about it yet? Start today. Whether it’s for the first time you’ve considered it or if you just want to improve on the foundation you’ve laid. It’s hard, daunting work; I know from my own experience. But anything of value will be. 

“Just as if I’d”

This morning I was reminded of something I had read or heard a long time ago, though I can’t recall from where or who. The thought was brought to mind while listening to an elderly preacher speaking about justification, sanctification, and glorification. I taught a lesson a few years back entitled Big Words to help folks better comprehend some of the words we use to explain different parts of theology and this was my finale for that lesson:

“Justification happens when you meet Jesus. Glorification happens when you see Him. Everything that happens in between is sanctification.”

That is undoubtedly the simplest explanation of those terms I’ve yet to come across. It’s also, for the same reason I reckon, the most memorable way, for me at least, of explaining it to someone that doesn’t quite have an understanding of those “big words”.

After the elderly preacher wrapped up the message the pastor made a few closing comments, mostly about justification. He used the illustration, which you may be familiar with, that once we are justified through Christ Jesus it is “just as if I’d” never sinned because we are made righteous by grace, through faith in His perfect and final sacrifice. And it is the individual who decides whether or not to accept this gift, a decision that everyone must make for themselves only. 

My mind lit up with thoughts at this point, so much so I laid my iPad aside (yes, I use a tablet in church as well as at home for reading/studying almost exclusively) and grabbed a pen and index card from its case. Writing is a funny thing for me; I could’ve easily switched to the notepad-app and typed my thoughts but I went for the pen and paper instead. I suppose that likely says something about me, though I don’t know what, that I use the iPad in church but out of habit, preference, of something else grabbed a pen and paper to jot down a haiku! At any rate, this is what flowed from my pen:

choosing sin street is
my choice for my life’s journey-
the highway of hope


Life is indeed filled with choices: daily mundane ones and the far less frequent life changing ones. For me, I’m proud to say that I happily and humbly accept that free gift and am constantly learning and growing in this process of sanctification as I await glorification. 

Distilled: a #haiku #haiga

How does one write? I suppose that’s a very individual and relative question. The process, for me, takes a long time sometimes and at other times it just pours out. The subject matter makes a difference, too, in how I approach a piece; a poem and a lesson outline take very difficult paths, for example. But I suppose in the end it always goes something like this:

  

thoughts words ideas
dancing and floating around
distilled in my mind

Inspired by this week’s prompt from Haiku Horizons

Smile: a #BeWoW #Poem

I’ve long been a fan of the little books Leaves of Gold and Apples of Gold, though for reasons that escape me I’ve yet neves them from my Amazon wish list to my cart: go figure. Anyway, today I was perusing the latter whilst I waited on an appointment I had when I found this little poem.  

From the book Apples of Gold

 It’s true: though it costs nothing and is given freely, a smile is one of the most valuable gifts we can give to others- family, friends, and strangers alike.