Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Game to Remember

Last night Gabriel went to his very first baseball game. Although he's only 8 months old, he enjoyed seeing the colors and sounds of the ballpark.   The team mascot came over to visit with Gabe and he reacted by just staring back perplexed.  After being shown off to  friends and getting a taste of all that makes up a baseball experience by the 5th inning we were on our way home.  He fell fast asleep in his car seat. 

 At one point at the game I whispered in his ear as I held him saying, "I know you won't remember all this, but I'll tell you about it when you're older."

Do you remember your first visit to a baseball game with your dad?  Maybe it was another type of sporting event or maybe it wasn't a sporting event that holds that place of honor of first memory with dad.

I can recall my dad taking me to a tiny local American Legion ballpark to see a traveling fast pitch softball team called, 'The King and His Court'.  They were a team of 4 guys who would take on a local all-star team of 10.  They were the softball equivalent to basketball's 'Harlem Globetrotters'.  I still have the program with the players autographs. I suppose I was about 10 years old.

I remember jumping up and down in our den as my dad and I watched on television Boston Red Sox catcher, Carlton Fisk will the baseball away from the foul pole to stay fair for a game winning home run in the 1975 World Series.

Then there was that unforgettable non-sport moment that my father intentionally shared with me when I was 7.  I recall him entering my bedroom and waking me as he turned on the television.  As the little 13 inch black and white came on he said, "Wake up son, you want to see's history."  Man was about to step onto the surface of the moon.

At 16, I remember laying in the silence of my bed at home hearing the phone ring late in the night.  I can still hear my father's bare footsteps going toward the kitchen to answer the phone.  I heard only his side of the conversation.  It was the hospital calling with the news that his father, who'd been sick for several weeks, was dead.  I didn't know it until he'd returned to bed and I could hear him quietly telling my mom 'he was gone' followed by the sound of her tears.

And then I remember this past fall 2010 when dad smiled at me as sat in the chair at my brothers home for a family dinner.  He looked up at me smiling as I stood there.  Pulling up his pants leg he revealed his new life like prosthetic limb that he was so very proud of and had been excited about acquiring.  His diabetes had several months before resulted in an amputation that I honestly didn't know how he would get through. 

I thought about all these things and the importance of sharing them along with other special stories told to me by my dad about his father, with Gabe as he grows older. 

As we approach Father's Day...what firsts or other important moments between you and your father do you remember? 


Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Life Charged Life

Today my good friend, author Derek Maul got the official word that his book project idea was accepted and that his publisher, Upper Room is very excited about coinciding the release of the book with his speaking engagement, July 13-15, 2012 at the X-treme Faith-Bold Action: A Gathering of Disciples Men event at Bethany College, WV.

This is a very exciting time for men's ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)!  We've been working on putting this event together since late 2009.  Much work has been done and much work is yet to be done, but we will definitely be presenting to men a gathering that is very different from past.

Derek will be sharing, 10 Life Charged Words for Disciples Men.

In today's environment we go about our daily lives trying to figure out how to in some cases just get through the day.  Men struggle with what it means to be spiritual and how to carry themselves with a life charged demeanor.  All too often men are not able to express themselves when it comes to spirituality in the same way that they do when it comes to work or sports.  Men, let's begin thinking about what LIFE CHARGED means to you and your spirituality.  What words life charged words can you think of?  And just what does life charged mean?  Well here's my thoughts...

A life charged with happiness and devotion...
A life charged with listening and learning...
A life charged with eagerness and optimism..
A life charged with positivity and kindness...
A life charged with compassion and sharing...
A life charged with gentleness and caring...
A life charged with laughter and fatherhood...
A life charged with love of family and friends...

These are just a few of the ideas (more than 10!) that popped into my mind that charge my life. 

We're all very eager to come together next year to hear a word from our good friend Derek who will guide us through a weekend talking about how we can live a Life Charged Life of X-treme Faith and Bold Action!

July 13-15, 2012 Bethany College, Bethany, West Virginia

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Boy & His Mom

A Boy & His Mom
  It's so comforting to watch a mom and child have special moments together.  Seeing Kim enjoy time with Gabe makes me think about all the times my mom must still treasure that she spent with me.  I'm sure Kim too has thoughts about how her mom treasures that special time.

With a world full of distractions and unpleasantness at every turn lately, seeing Kim enjoy our son is truly awesome.  She takes such time with him and attends to his needs with such calm gentleness. 

It would be such a wonderful thing to be able to capture their mother-son connection for all the world to experience.  The love between a mother and her son is always so very special, so uniquely unique.

Life has changed so much over the last eight months for Kim and I.  Just tonight she said as we were giving Gabe his bath, 'I sometimes still can't believe he's here."  I too think about how not so long ago we thought we'd never be able to have a child of our own.  God has truly blessed us with a beautiful son, and he has truly blessed me with a wife who loves being a mom.  She never gives herself enough credit for how much care and love she has for our lil' man.  He's growing into a boy with so much personality, warmth and happiness because of her care and nurturing.  I'm very lucky to be a part of it. She's a great mom and I love her.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ten Years After...

Today marks ten years after I said 'I do' to my love and my life.  It was a great day!  Can't you tell?  Kim and I are doing some celebrating.  Regular posts back soon!  Peace.  -Ray

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Next Step...

So much to share and so little time.  
It was a very busy weekend and a very uplifting and spiritually fulfilling event I was proud to be a part of.  Much to tell about the next step toward Bethany 2012, but for now here's a group photo from the Disciples Men Spiritual Retreat where the men of the Virginia and Capitol Area regions came together for fellowship.
More coming soon!