"But music was his life, it was not his livelihood,and it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good. And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul. He did not know how well he sang; it just made him whole." - Harry Chapin - chorus of "Mr. Tanner."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

To all the kids who survived the 1930 - 1970"s . . .

I received this today . . . I've seen it before, and if you know who to give credit to for writing this, I will post that info ASAP.

I was born in 1957, so I can relate to a lot to the contents of this article. It was a different day and time . . . and granted, children had an "innocence" back then. We played outside . . . a lot . . . and we went on adventures . . . we made discoveries, like watching a cocoon for hours at at time until a butterfly emerged. We wrestled, rode bikes, played sandlot sports . . . without adult supervision, because we knew that our parents would know, before we got home, if we had done something wrong or illegal.

It was a time when the trust parents had for their children, and the trust that children had in their parents was THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. We we told to act responsibly, and then given opportunity after opportunity to practice being responsible. We did chores, mowed the grass, cut down tree limbs with big hand saws, . . . we respected tools, and knew to put them back in their proper place, clean, after we were finished with them. We made our beds, helped wash the dishes, got to lick the cake batter bowl, took out the trash, washed the family car . . . all before getting the "privilege" of watching black and white TV, which in my case, only got 2 channels.

That's right . . . two channels . . . ABC and CBS. That was OK back then, because the college games, Wild World of Sports and the American Sportsman were all on ABC, and the NFL was on CBS.

We rode our bikes everywhere . . . rain or shine. And if we did something stupid, like cutting in front of a car, or riding close to someone causing them to drop a package . . . we never got a chance to make it home before another parent stopped us and gave us our "come uppence." One time I was stopped and spanked by one of the local policeman in the town we lived in . . . right in the middle of the street. (For the record, it was a fitting punishment for what I had done.) Then we had to go home, and face whichever parent who had already received a phone call about what we had done. More than once my Mom was outside waiting for me in front of the the carport, with the look which translated . . . "GET INSIDE NOWWWWWWWWW! I honestly remember the look of dissappointment on her face being far more painful for me than any spanking she ever gave me.

Some would call that "abuse." Good grief! We called it "love" . . . and were greatful our parents loved us so much that they would not offer excuses on our behalf. They marched us to whomever, and stood behind us as we formally confessed, asked forgiveness, and arranged how we would work off the damage.

Yeah, that's right . . . all the window's I broke in my life . . . I had to "work off" the cost of replacing them. That meant hard yardwork and tree trimming, or cleaning out a garage or storeroom . . . or even worse, for me . . . babysitting! M worse punishment in this regard, was shoveling 3 pickup loads of dirt and manure into a neighbors garden bed . . . and I shoveled the dirt into the pick up, and then shoveled it out onto the garden bed . . . did it all in one day.

Maybe, as I ponder it now . . . we were more a "tribe" back then . . . as it took the entire community to raise up the children. Our parents were not the only ones to hold us accountable. The neighbors and other people in the community did as well.

Today, I think I am better for it having been that way.

I feel sorry for parents today, who believe they are raising up their children alone. But, I know it is a different day and culture.

As much as I enjoy the ease technology has provided in my life . . . in the end all it has meant is my being able to do more work . . . and have time for less play.

Please read on and feel free to comment.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>


To all the kids who survived the 1930 - 1970"s . . .


First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered
with bright colored lead-base paints.

W e had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.

Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight. WHY?

Because we were always outside playing...that's why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were OKAY.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps
and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem

We did not have Play stations, Nintendo's and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.
WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping pong paddles, or just a barehand and no one would call child services to report abuse.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn
to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all..

If YOU are one of them, CONGRATULATIONS!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My friends new song has started me thinking . . .

Eric Folkerth is a pastoral friend of mine. He is also an accomplished singer, songwriter, poet and human rights advocate. His new song, "Tell Myself" has been speaking to me.

Now to be completely honest . . . I still don't know why . . . but then, I love and appreciate process, and I love mysteries . . . there is an answer to the question, "Why has this song moved me?" and I will discover the answer in time.

My first initial attempt at trying to figure out how this song has connected to me is perhaps somehow attached to two things I am working through in my own heart and mind.

First, one of my best friends experienced a very big emotional / relational hurt last week. And as his friend and brother, I am longing to discover how to control my own emotions to the situation, and not put on my "Superman" cape and fly in to help him . . . no I can't do that. But what I can and want to do is to become able to better listen to him as he shares his grief. He has been a friend for a long time . . . he has earned and deserves from me a listening ear and calm non-anxious presence/spirit.

Second, the fall calendarleading up to Advent and Christmas this year, both the churches calendar and my own, are as full as I have ever seen them. And, wouldn't you know it . . . I have realized that in my own anxiety, I have, at times, begun to "do things and act" the way others want me to act. That is what I promised myself several years ago that I would stop doing. Doing so is not necessarily bad . . . but I end up being so drained by the experience . . . and get out-of-balance in my life. Getting back in balance then takes an equal amount of effort.

So, I continue to ponder . . . wonder . . . pray . . . think . . . stay in balance . . .

God's grace amazes me . . . ><>

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

1st Church String Band at Heritage UMC this Sunday, Oct. 11th . . .

We are singing four songs this Sunday at Heritage UMC, and I will be bringing the message, titled "Witness."  

The church is located on Heritage Ave. between Glade and Hall-Johnson.  Services start at 10:30 AM.  

Hope to see you there!

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

Monday, October 5, 2009

I am attending a Seminar . . .

Just got home from the first of the "Leading Mediation in Churches" seminar in Arlington.

Not bad for the first day . . . I think now I understand how the rest of the week will pan out.

Funny thing . . . I love songs about peace. Peace songs were some of the first songs I learned and sang.

Now, as an adult . . . I am learning how to help people live in peace . . . especially Christians.
Feels like I've come full circle.