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November 28, 2007

My mother maintains a blog—a private blog that she uses to keep the family up-to-date with the latest family news. Because her five children (and four children-in-law and seven grandchildren) are scattered from Ontario to New York, from Georgia to Tennessee, she makes her blog a central repository for news and information we need to know. Yesterday, based on conversations she had around Thanksgiving, she posted some thoughts on divorce and its awful ramifications on families. This was not meant to be a treatise on divorce, but merely an opportunity for her kids and kids-in-law to reflect on what she had seen in the lives of her friends. I thought it was something that was worth sharing and she graciously allowed me to do so.

So today my mother, Barbara Challies, is guest-blogging. We changed just a few words and phrases to make this short article make sense to an outside audience. We deliberately left the final paragraph in its original form—a plea from a mother to her children to never, ever allow the thought of divorce to enter into our minds.

I am continually amazed, then re-amazed, at the carnage of divorce. I see this in Heather, a beautiful and godly friend of my youngest daughter.

Every holiday is a time of balancing all the family pushes and pulls for a child of divorce. No matter what uneasy solution a child arrives at, it does not satisfy everyone, and the child herself is ultimately blamed for causing unhappiness. In this case, ongoing pressure is placed on Heather to warmly embrace the woman who willingly displaced Mom when Dad decided to trade her in for a newer model several years ago. Mom was left bitter and potentially destitute—without even medical insurance; certainly no current skills with which to provide for herself.

Dad goes on to a life of increased wealth as he marries a young, childless woman immersed in the corporate world. Do you challenge Mom about her bitterness? When? How? Do you refuse to acknowledge Dad’s new acquisition as a relevant part of your life? When? How? And all this comes to a head at holiday time. You have to make specific choices that externalize your thinking on the matter.

Who will I eat Thanksgiving dinner with?

Christmas dinner?

I have prayed and agonized with Heather over these things. I generally encourage her to give her mother the best of every holiday—it may not be a bad thing for Dad to live with the consequences of his actions. Still, there is no truly satisfactory outcome in this situation. It is too broken.

I came up against this again last weekend as I spoke on the phone with an old friend from Washington. She and her husband have both been divorced in the past. They experience holidays, of course, from the perspective of the parents. That is, with many tears. She said they both had been crying for days—crying for too many absent spots at the table, too many war wounds in their young. They are at the receiving end of the choices their kids make for holiday time.

I pray for you, my children, that you will all see with the eyes of eternity—that through the trials and tribulations of life—specifically marriage—you will never have the shade of a doubt that, from all eternity, God planned for you to be with the one you have pledged to be faithful to. Guard your hearts and never allow the slightest strain of, “Well, maybe”, or “What if”, to enter your minds. Your unconditional commitment to your marriage, based on a total conviction of God’s sovereignty in bringing you together, is its greatest strength!

November 10, 2006

Friday November 10, 2006

Humor: I’m having a bit of trouble picturing this but I assume Thabiti isn’t just making it up. Then again, maybe he’s been outside too much in that hot Grand Cayman sun…

Church: Rocky Mountain News reports on New Life Church’s guidelines on how parents should explain the “Pastor Ted” situation to their children. Unfortunately, they have made the word “sin” optional in describing his actions.

Books: Founders is offering a great deal on James P. Boyce’s “Abstract of Systematic Theology.” “It retails for $29.95. Until November 30, 2006 it is available for only $12.50 (prepaid) plus $3.50 for postage and handling.”

Sports: MLB has opened voting for the year’s best plays. Never mind voting - the plays are amazing to watch, especially if you’re one of those people who thinks baseball players don’t need to be athletic.

September 28, 2006

Thursday September 28, 2006

Bible: The ESV has reached a five-year milestone. The ESV blog has details. “Today, the ESV is available in more than one hundred formats, has seen nearly 3 million copies distributed worldwide, and is reaching the world in creative and strategic ways.”

Preaching: Tony Reinke has completed a series on using the wealth of Puritan literature in expositional studies. You can get a link on the sidebar of this page.

Books: At “Neither Right Nor Left” is a list of potential future books. He has scraped together information dropped in interviews, etc.

June 17, 2004

My son bought a toy today that came with a tiny piece of paper with some miniscule drawings of how to assemble it. Below that were the following printed directions:

At assemble other that process inside,if feel difficult,please face home to look for the help.The sketch map possibility that this assemble the method is different from the actual product have a little bit.

Seems to me my four-year old could have written better directions than that! I have absolutely no idea what the instructions mean, nor what they are intended to show!