The Clapping Song

My mom used to sing this to us as kids. Great message about chain-smoking primates and alcoholic waterfowl. Explains a lot about how I turned out…

Ten Secrets to a Successful Marriage

From Focus on the Family’s Marriage and Relationships Website:

Successful couples are savvy. They read books, attend seminars, browse Web articles and observe other successful couples. However, successful couples will tell you that they also learn by experience – trial and error.

Here are ten principles of success I have learned from working with and observing hundreds of couples:

  1. Happiness is not the most important thing. Everyone wants to be happy, but happiness will come and go. Successful couples learn to intentionally do things that will bring happiness back when life pulls it away.
  2. Couples discover the value in just showing up. When things get tough and couples don’t know what to do, they need to hang in there and be there for their spouse. Time has a way of helping couples work things out by providing opportunities to reduce stress and overcome challenges.
  3. If you do what you always do, you will get same result. Wise couples have learned that you have to approach problems differently to get different results. Often, minor changes in approach, attitude and actions make the biggest difference in marriage.
  4. Your attitude does matter. Changing behavior is important, but so is changing attitudes. Bad attitudes often drive bad feelings and actions.
  5. Change your mind, change your marriage. How couples think and what they believe about their spouse affects how they perceive the other. What they expect and how they treat their spouse matters greatly.
  6. The grass is greenest where you water it. Successful couples have learned to resist the grass is greener myth – i.e. someone else will make me happy. They have learned to put their energy into making themselves and their marriage better.
  7. You can change your marriage by changing yourself. Veteran couples have learned that trying to change their spouse is like trying to push a rope – almost impossible. Often, the only person we can change in our marriage is ourselves.
  8. Love is a verb, not just a feeling. Everyday life wears away the “feel good side of marriage.” Feelings, like happiness, will fluctuate. But, real love is based on a couple’s vows of commitment: “For better or for worse” – when it feels good and when it doesn’t.
  9. Marriage is often about fighting the battle between your ears. Successful couples have learned to resist holding grudges, bringing up the past and remembering that they married an imperfect person – and so did their spouse.
  10. A crisis doesn’t mean the marriage is over. Crises are like storms: loud, scary and dangerous. But to get through a storm you have to keep driving. A crisis can be a new beginning. It’s out of pain that great people and marriages are produced.
Copyright © 2009, Mitch Temple. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

Dad Life

Yeah, this is me…

I am a Pirate!

Well, we just got back from our vacation to Lake Michigan, and this is what we came back with…

(thank you Grand Haven, MI, Musical Fountain)

Cal Thomas: Ruling allows schools to discriminate

If you haven’t followed the Supreme Court recently, you need to know about this ruling. Cal Thomas wrote a recent editorial that was featured in the Columbus Dispatch that best sums up the situation:

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/editorials/stories/2010/07/02/ruling-allows-schools-to-discriminate.html

“I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.”

That familiar one-liner has been attributed over the years to the late Groucho Marx, but in light of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision this week in the case of Christian Legal Society vs. Martinez (University of California Hastings College of the Law), the sentiment it contains may have some contemporary legal relevance.

The court ruled that a public university is not required to subsidize campus groups it considers discriminatory. The Christian Legal Society excludes homosexuals and non-Christians. But isn’t the court allowing the university to discriminate against the beliefs of the Christian group, especially if the group is now required to admit people who violate teachings central to its faith and mission statement?

In writing for the majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the school’s policy, which requires student organizations to be open to everyone to qualify for official status, “ensures that no Hastings student is forced to fund a group that would reject her as a member.” I wonder if this would apply to members of the Christian Legal Society if they applied for membership in the gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgender club, or anything else that may come down the pike. Will campus Jewish groups be required to admit Christians? Maybe the football team can bring a discrimination suit against the school for not allowing them to shower with the women’s lacrosse team. The court’s ruling in the Christian Legal Society case is no less far-fetched.

Student activity fees have long subsidized campus organizations whose beliefs and practices no doubt offend and are counter to the beliefs and practices of other students. The way the legal game is played, the beliefs of Christian groups can be regularly offended, but gay and other groups favored by the secular left enjoy special status from academic elites. This is what passes for pluralism, tolerance and academic freedom on college campuses.

Reacting to the court’s decision, constitutional attorney John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, said, “The Supreme Court has now enshrined political correctness as a central tenet in American society and in American university life. This decision is yet another broadsided attack on the First Amendment, especially religious freedom. It will force well-meaning groups to abandon the tenets of their faith in order to be granted the same privileges and freedoms afforded to other campus groups and organizations. If not, they will face discrimination.”

Dissenting justices said the court is punishing the Christian organization because of its views. Justice Samuel Alito said the ruling means “no freedom for expression that offends prevailing standards of political correctness in our country’s institutions of higher learning.”

Justice Antonin Scalia, during oral arguments, articulated the problem with what emerged as the majority ruling: “It is so weird to require the campus Republican Club to admit Democrats, not just to membership, but to officership. To require this Christian society to allow atheists not just to join, but to conduct Bible classes, right? That’s crazy.”

The ruling is consistent with many other court decisions over the past five decades. In contests between “Christians and lions,” the court too often has sided with the lions, making Christians second-class citizens, while upgrading to preferred-class status those who oppose faith and its requirements.

The Christian Legal Society can always seek private funding, but would it still be allowed to meet on campus and decide for itself who can be a member if it no longer takes funds from the university? The university could easily decide that only groups approved by the school get to have access to campus facilities, which would further discriminate and isolate the Christian group. And that would probably suit the gay groups, whose activism — especially in San Francisco — appears to be openly hostile to religious faith and tradition.

Cal Thomas writes for Tribune Media Services.

Try Rugby?

Since the basis of the name of this blog is soccer, here’s a great commercial in the spirit of the game…

This one made me snort milk…

Great commercial. I think I had this happen to a friend once…

What is Advent? (Reposting)

adventwreath

(This is a previous posting for the holiday season)

I must say this is about my most favorite time of the year. Steven Curtis Chapman in his song Christmas is all in the heart states “And in my sleeps eyes the spark still glows, Well I guess there’s just some things a kid never outgrows,” Which is so me. I am one of those “strange people” that think about Christmas all year long. I will be in a store in the middle of summer, and find something I want to give to someone at Christmas. (I will say it makes for an interesting time when December comes and I can’t remember everything I have bought throughout the year – maybe I need to Twitter myself every time I get something?)

But this post is more about the celebration of Advent, to which I was introduced by my lovely bride. I had heard of it, but not really sure what it was all about. Well, after a few years of celebrating Advent, I’d like to help out those like me who are in the dark about the wreath and candles that sit in the middle of many tables this time of year.

Advent is a celebration by Christians of the events preceeding the birth of the Christ, Jesus the savior. It is typically celebrated every sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Select Scriptures are read, mostly from the Old Testament, that are prophecies or events that look to the coming of the Messiah. The candles and wreath are symbols best described churchyear.net:

“The candles symbolize the light of Christ coming into the world. The evergreen (of the wreath) symbolizes renewal in Christ, the kind of renewal hoped for by those before Christ’s first coming, and the ultimate renewal we long for in Christ’s second coming. The circular shape symbolizes the completeness of God.”

(See their great website at http://www.churchyear.net/adventwreath.html)

The cool thing about Advent is that there are no set Scriptures to read each year. There are so many that can be used. We typically will use the story of the fall in the Garden of Eden for week 1 since that is where it all started. Some other favorites of ours are Isaiah 53 – the promise of salvation through “His stripes” and Micah 5:2 that Bethlehem was where He would be born. A simple Google search will provide a plethora of sites that have suggested Advent readings for you to use.

I encourage all who consider themselves part of the body of Christ who have not typically observed Advent, do find out more about the celebration, and make it a part of your CHRISTMAS tradition.

Merry Christmas to All!

T’was the Month Before Christmas

T’was the month before Christmas

When all through our land,

Not a Christian was praying

Nor taking a stand.

See the PC Police had taken away,

The reason for Christmas – no one could say.

The children were told by their schools not to sing,

About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.

It might hurt people’s feelings, the teachers would say

December 25th is just a ‘ Holiday ‘.

Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit

Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!

CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod

Something was changing, something quite odd!

Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa

In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.

As Targets were hanging their trees upside down

At Lowe’s the word Christmas – was nowhere to be found.

At K-Mart and Staples and Penny’s and Sears

You won’t hear the word Christmas; it won’t touch your ears.

Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty

Are words that were used to intimidate me.

Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen

On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !

At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter

To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.

And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith

Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace

The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded

The reason for the season, stopped before it started.

So as you celebrate ‘Winter Break’ under your ‘Dream Tree’

Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.

Choose your words carefully, choose what you say

Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS! not Happy Holiday…

Why the 25th? (and other “Christmasy” questions)

I am one of those people that likes to ask “why?” And around Christmas, there are many opportunities to ask “why?” Like, why do we celebrate Jesus’ Birthday on December 25? He obviously wasn’t born in the winter (I don’t know a shepherd that would hang out a whole winter night with their sheep – actually, I don’t know ANY shepherds that I can think of…).

How did Santa come into the picture (Funny that Turkey is involved in his story – you’d think he’d be part of Thanksgiving).

Why do we smooch under a poisonous weed and red berries (Hey, not that I’m complaining!)

Well, here is a really good website that is quite accurate (I have verified many of the historical statements myself) about the many traditions of Christmas. I will be using this to share with my kids about why we do some of our traditions (why DO we kidnap a poor, defenseless tree, DRAG it into our homes, TRY to keep it alive for a couple weeks, and COVER it with ceramic balls and inflated vegetables???)

So when your kids ask, “Dad, why do we do this?” you can now answer them confidently. Or sound really smart for that one question in Trivial Pursuit…

http://www.just4kidsmagazine.com/justask/dec.html


This Month’s Verse:

"For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

-- Isaiah 9:6-7

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