Posted tagged ‘baby’

Facebook Grandparenting

June 26, 2015

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                  June 26, 2015

                                      

My good friend, Steve Wamberg, and I were sharing over coffee this morning about our grandkids. Steve has a four month old and my quiver is almost full with three. Grandparenting is exciting, and an excellent source for new sermon material.

Steve made the revealing statement that Facebook has become an excellent way of checking in to see how the grandkids are doing. Everyday…multiple times…my daughter and his son post pictures, videos, updated news, Christmas gift lists, and if all the grandkids are healthy that day on their Facebook pages. It’s like we can watch our grandkids grow up without being helicopter grandparents.

This morning I watched my newest grandchild, Corin Grace Hodges, talking to a stuffed animal that was dangling in front of her face. Last Sunday when she was dedicated in our morning worship service a posted picture on Facebook showed the displeasure of Corin’s big sister, Reagan, as I was saying the dedication prayer. Reagan likes to pray, and she was borderline pouting that I was leading it instead of her.

I’ve watched my grandson Jesse’s mugging of another boy in the midst of a Buddy Basketball game from last season. Jesse might tell you that he got all ball, which he did! The problem is he also got both arms and a couple of ribs with it!

Steve and I see Facebook grandparenting as being almost like a monitor camera in our grandkids’ lives that we can look in on. “What’s Jesse up to, I wonder?” Click…oh he’s reading Charlotte’s Web! Awesome!”

Understand  that Facebook grandparenting will never replace face-to-face and sitting-on-lap grandparenting, but it does keep us in the loop without being a pest.

In a couple of weeks I’ll be baptizing Jesse on a Sunday morning. I’m sure it will hit Facebook within ninety minutes of the event…and I’ll watch it and watch it. But even more awesome is the fact that our families in Illinois, Arizona, Georgia, Ohio, and Kentucky will be able to view it. call it Facebook “Uncle-ing” and “Aunt-ing” and other family relative terms.

And just so you know…Reagan said the prayer before lunch last Sunday. She was quick on the draw and left me in the dust. She’s a sly one! I have Facebook videos to attest to it!

Petty Peeves In The Audience of God

March 26, 2015

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                 March 25, 2015

                                         

Yesterday was a pretty amazing day for this guy! Our third grandchild was born in the mid-afternoon. Carol and I were both able to hold her in our arms about an hour later. Our oldest daughter did well through the whole labor and delivery experience, and the other two grandkids spent the night with us. We’re blessed, we’re blessed, we’re blessed!

I’ve noticed, however, that people react different ways in different situations…especially when it comes to “church stuff.”

I speak as a pastor of 36 years, so I’ve seen a lot of things although I haven’t seen it all. A recent question that has made me ponder as my head lays on the pillow is what are those things that Christ-followers are concerned with that God couldn’t care any less about?

Put in a less eloquent way, what the things that we spend so much of our time backing about and bickering about that aren’t even on God’s radar?

The birth scene of our newest grandchild makes for a good, although let me stress…a fictitious example! What if the four grandparents present at that grand occasion starting bickering about who got to hold the baby more; or what if one of the grandmothers starting getting all upset because the new grandchild didn’t have on an outfit that she had bought for her? What if one of the grandfathers started complaining that the birthing room was on the east side of the hospital instead of the west; or the creamer for the free coffee was a generic brand?

Do you read what I’m getting at? The birth…this new life…is what is important, but the focus would have been shifted to some side show issue that would make good fodder for “The Real Housewives.”

The story of the Hebrew people being freed from Egyptian bondage has always intrigued me. God rescues his people. They are headed towards their promised land. What did God care about at that point? To save his people and fulfill his promise that they would reach the land across the Jordan. On the other hand, what were the issues that occupied the top of the people’s agenda? We need food…we’re tired of manna…we want meat…we’ve got too much meat…we need water…we long for the golden days of slavery.

The fact that God has saved them from bondage and from the Egyptians is no longer high on the list of discussion topics.

I wonder…have we really changed much since then? What are the issues that church people are willing to go to fisticuffs over that yawns about?

I’m biased, I know, but I think a couple of things that he is intimately concerned about include the word “Great” in their label…”The Great Commandment”…”The Great Commission.”

One involves how we treat one another and the other involves the words of hope that we carry in our hearts about salvation now and forever.

I think God is concerned about how we treat one another, or mistreat one another…or how we allow others to mistreat others. He’s concerned over our tendency sometimes to avoid being the hands and feet of Jesus.

I think he’s concerned about the loss of being storytellers of faith…telling others about our love stories with Christ, the difference he has made in how we live and love. I think he’s concerned with how infrequently we “go into”, and how much we stay put.

What is important to God seldom seems to involve a meeting where minutes are recorded, or a vote is taken that leads to winners and losers.

But now I run the risk of including my personal petty peeves and trampling over the purpose of the past few hundred words. We must always keep asking the question of our ministries and our lives. What is really important, and what keeps me from seeing what is important.

As I held my new granddaughter in my arms yesterday I wasn’t thinking about how high the price of the latte was that I had just purchased in the hospital espresso cafe’! All I was thinking about was how blessed I am! Holding a baby who is just entering into her second hour of life tends to make you react like that!

Father of the Bride Reservations

September 27, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                   September 27, 2013

 

 

     Fifteen days until my youngest daughter’s wedding! We’re shifting into wedding gear tonight. that’s like Nascar drivers entering into the final lap. There is a reckless abandon as we take the engines to their limit.

For us that means cleaning a couple of rooms at the house tonight. I have to clean my home study! That’s about as appealing as gargling Geritol!

Garage vacuuming is on the horizon. Cleaning the outdoor grill will soon be upon me…even though we won’t be using it.

A wedding is an event, kind of like our own Super Bowl festivities without the commercials…or the football game.

On October 12 at 4:45 (estimated) I’ll walk my baby down the aisle to be wedded to Mike Terveen. I’m happy…and reluctant at the same time. She has been ours for twenty-five years. We remember when she was born at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan. We remember her first day of school…missing two front teeth as she smiled. We remembered when she was eating at a Pizza Hut and she was totally unaware that  a piece of sausage was stuck to her right cheek. We remember when she was on the Homecoming Court at Liberty High School, and when we dropped her off at college seven hundred miles away from home and considered relocating just off campus!

We also remember when she introduced us to Mike, and we could tell that she was smitten. The next few years included break-ups, sorting out differences, solidifying the relationship, and then a ring. Mike called me to ask my permission to pop the question. I appreciated that.

As I consider “the walk” in two weeks I am even more amazed that God would give up his son for people like me. Just as I have reservations about giving the hand of my daughter to the man she will journey on with, I can’t imagine that our Heavenly Father didn’t have any reservations about handing his child over to those who would put him to death.

Some might accuse me of distorted theology, but for me to view God as a totally willing participant is to make him into an insensitive, stoic deity. It had to have grieved him more than anything else. As Jesus struggled to Golgotha under the weight of the sin of the world his father must have struggled in some way.

Giving my daughter in marriage to the man she loves is simply a transition point for me. It’s a celebration even as I display eyes that are red. But imagine God giving his son up, not because of a celebration, but because of a death sentence. What depth of love for us does that convey?

This is my baby that I walk down the aisle, but this was God’s Only!

Amazing love!