|THIS WEEK'S Pic: Farm land in Virginia near Rt. 17|
Next week his daycare adventure begins as Kim and I return to work. It will be a busy week and I'm sure there will be some tears as we mark a milestone for lil' Gabe. I'm not looking forward to heading back to work. I've enjoyed spending time with my wife and son as a family unit; watching my son grow over the first weeks of his life. The transformation has been amazing as he's already beginning to transition from the tiny, sometimes cross-eyed newborn, to the very active and demanding happy little infant boy. Experiencing our little man's early morning happiness is a sure fired way to brighten our day.
We've been wrestling with trying to get some stuff done as our time away from work comes to an end, i.e. replacing an exhaust fan in the downstairs half bath and the 'root canal like' experience (as Kim calls it) of trying to purchase a new vehicle that Kim has been diligently researching via the web ever since we test drove a couple of rides last week. A lot of effort has gone into it, but I think we're reaching pay dirt!
Today we both had time enough to get out with friends. Kim was able to have to have lunch and some girl-time with a close friend of ours who is also a new mom and I was able to this evening meet a good friend from our men's group for some tasty Thai food.
As I drove out this evening I was reflecting on something I read today as I was listening to some new music.
The music was a band named, 'Fistful of Mercy'. I heard a track playing in the local chain bookstore from their debut album 'As I Call You Down' and it caught my hear; that doesn't happen often these days. Great vocals and acoustic guitar. There's obvious 'Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young' influence, with a dash of 'Misty Mountain Hop', 'Led Zeppelin' sprinkled in. But the 'Fistful of Mercy' tune heard hear (see the link below and enjoy) is strikingly original and haunting. For you musician types out there, apparently, Jim Keltner was the guest drummer/percussionist for the entire offering. Keltner teamed with Ringo Starr in 1970 at George Harrison's 'Concert for Bangladesh' and most recently drums on the Elton John and Leon Russell duet album. Oh...and by the way...did I mention that one of the members of FoM is Dhani Harrison...George's son! I just realized that as I was reading the credit/liner notes! That explains the Beatle connections...wow! Enjoy!
Anyway...the reading that stuck with me was from the new men's ministry book, 'Bond of Brothers' by Wes Yoder that I'm currently reading. As I re-read this now as I post it, I'm thinking about a couple of good friends, one a great front porch storyteller and the other, a committed 'can't sit on this gospel Jesus Follower' who I can both see nodding their heads in agreement. Wes' words remind me of conversations I've had with them both. These are powerful words to consider:
"Men are dying at parties, wasting time in dead churches, consumed with busy routines and driven insane with small talk. In the space vacated by healthy friendship and conversation has come the fast pace of the new West, remote controls, and instant global access to the inventive and addictive genius of amusement and entertainment. We can sail through a day, a week, even years, without reading, without a moment for quiet reflection, without having an original thought, without a single authentic conversation.
"Blame it on whatever you like--your father who never talked with you, goofy churches with goofy rules not even God would obey and which can do absolutely nothing to make a man spiritual or human, or the cold architecture of greedy contractors who stopped building porches on homes fifty years ago and did their part to destroy conversations with neighbors. Or take responsibility for your own shallowness. Becoming efficient and utilitarian has destroyed our beauty. Mega-everything just isn't fun anymore. Churches have missed the point about men because our life together isn't really about celebration but about making us look good."
"The world is falling apart because of bad parties and bad churches--an overstatement, but barely so. Of course, our issues go much deeper than that, but a few men interested in friendship with brothers who have something worth celebrating can change them both."
I think about the good time of meaningful conversation and fellowship with my friend Marty earlier this evening; we didn't talk once about the weather or sports! I also think about how much I've been reflecting on what it means to be a father in the 21st century. It's words like those above that serve as poignant reminders of how awesome my responsibility to my son is and how honored, humbled and blessed I am to be his father.
Do you suppose our Creator thinks about all of us, his children, in the same way?