Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I miss you DAD

The other day I was walking around Alcalá with our visitors and noticed this old fashioned reel to reel recorder in a shop window and I thought of you Dad. I wished you could have seen it. I remember you recording your Dad playing piano in our front room with this high tech machinery way back then and couldn´t help but cherish the moment in my mind. I miss you Dad.

I remember so many nights trying to fall asleep to you playing scales on the saxophone. You used to sit facing into the corner because you
said the acoustics were better that way! I miss you Dad!

I regret never being able to experience you "live" on stage playing for many every night because it was what really bought you pleasure. I especially miss not seeing you play the double bass, which still to this day holds some magical mystery for me. We still have it in the attic Dad. I miss you Dad.

Listening to music was one of your gr
eatest passions and the tunes are still very much alive in me. I cannot listen to them without seeing you in your favourite arm chair, record player open and turning, the box of records open ready for the next favourite tune to be played and your words were, "Listen to him play!" You savoured and treasured each note and taught me how to appreciate music. I will always be grateful to you for that Dad. I miss you Dad.

I can still see us sharing those hours by the organ where I sang every tune we knew, covering such a wide range of styles... Your favorites were Bossa Novas and I can still see that button in the drum section on the right hand side of the organ ..boy were we hip eh Dad?!! Old sheets of music connect me back to those days when you were here. I miss you Dad!

I find solace in the wonderous joy that we shall be together again and before the throne enjoy the music that rings throughout heaven..... "WE ARE TOGETHER AGAIN."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Family reunites!

Yes today was the big day... the arrival of my two boys after 19 days away! I am very excited to have them home , but I have to admit that part of me still wants to live "boylessness" a little while longer!!! Here are a few selected pics froNo 1 and No 2 during their 19 days away!!! No 2i is in the second row from the front, right hand side, behind the girl with glasses! This is taken in the football stadium in Berlin for a big event called "Calling all Nations" that took place July 14th. Sadly for some reason, these two pics of No 1 aren´t as clear and big as I would like! The top one is in Berlin and the bottom is him playing lead E-guitar in the 10 day band he formed in La Industria - ! I was very proud of him when we saw him up in Santander 2 weekends ago for the final day of the KK bootcamp/La Industria E-Guitar course CONCERT.

No 2 also was one of the main attractions of the evening, delighting all percussion fans with his drumstick expertise and roars of his name echoing from the crowd! I can only say that my chest was definitely swelling !! Is this kind of pride a sin? Not only were they tops musician wise, I heard

endless comments as to their positive influence in the team and leadership qualities. "They were a pleasure to have with us!"

I can only say that my heart is always warmed when I hear positive comments about our offspring and it encourages me during those moments when I am maybe not "seeing the good" as much as I should. Which reminds me of a book a real dear friend loaned to me with the boys were very small, which had a chapter called, "Slow bake cookies."

A small smirk covers my face even as I write this, because I remember the anguish I felt at wanting them to be "perfect gentlemen" from day one. Somehow, I expected that training a child they way he should go, wouldn´t take years! That certain issues would be resolved early on, leaving other stuff for later.

But as the title of the chapter says, our kids are slow bake cookies and that requires years of investment, tears and joys before they reach maturity. Hey, I just have to look at myself and realize some of the things that I have been learning NOW and I am, well, how old?

So hearing these beautiful descriptions of my two boys makes m
e remember the years of investment that only now seems to be yielding it´s harvest because of God´s grace and intervention.

I used to believe that I had more of a hand in this, and I´m not knocking our responsibility and need to teach our children, but as time progresses, it only proves to me that it´s by God´s grace I stand and that they stand and will stand.

Thank you God for allowing me to see you in my Boys!

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass." "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising boys." ~Harmon Killebrew

You are not alone

I think one of the greatest comforts Jesus left us with is the fact the we are not alone, that He will be with us until the end.....

The great omission in life is solitude; not loneliness, for this is an alienation that thrives most in the midst of crowds, but that zone of time and space, free from the outside pressures, which is the incubator of the spirit. ~Marya Mannes

Yes, there is a difference between solitude and loneliness, and it is God´s presence that makes the difference.

I can be alone, without human companionship.... and it is often necessary to seek out solace to maintain one´s health in balance, but I am never outside of God´s presence.

Psalm 139: 7....

here can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
-- Psalm 139:7-10 (NRSV)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Black Hole

Black Hole: Loosely speaking, a black hole is a region of space that has so much mass concentrated in it that there is no way for a nearby object to escape its gravitational pull.

This is the 3rd time I try and sit down to write about my
own personal black hole, only to have it lost in the black hole of cyberspace!!!..... so here we go again!

Last week I was confronted again with my inner black hole.

Yes, I don´t know if we all have one... but I know I do....
It´s like seeing yourself face to face in the mirror.... those parts of you that rear their ugly head once in a while, areas in your life you would rather wish away, your gross weaknesses stand blatant before you and you feel yourself being pulled, without escape, into that black hole in your soul, where if were not for the GRACE of GO
D would we disappear forever without trace. Yes, I am talking about those"thorns" in our flesh that we beg God to remove, but He graciously denies, rather promises to draw us through whatever our "thorn" may be into a place of victory.

I was faced with my black hole or "thorn", I wanted so desperately to hide it from myself and others... somehow protect my "fate", "my pride", my innermost "shame" at my gross short comings, utter inadequacy and what most deeply hurts: my failure.

When we have a splinter, or thorn in this case, in our fle
sh, it so desperately hurts when it is touched or knocked, other than that, you can continue living "inspite of" it´s apparent existence. My thorn had been knocked and I was re-confronted (is that a word?) with the nearness of my black hole. It hurt and I wanted so desperately to run..... But where can your run from yourself?

I felt myself being pulled by the minute, seemingly without escape, into my black hole and all I could do was to cry in my pain to God..... Only then did I realize that my black hole has power when I believe that there is no hope. No hope, that I can change, that the situation can change or that God can do the impossible. Or maybe that God indeed might not take away my struggles, giving me instead the grace to walk through my dis mull failures....

I guess this entry goes to all those people who see me as the eternal optimist, that are innocently unaware of the deep waters that often stir my soul and overwhelm me with feelings of utter inadequacy beyond measure. To all of you.... I can only say my level optimism is matched with an equal depth of pessimism. Somehow in all of that, God manages to still love me and I am not lost into my black hole, never to return.

I watched a movie last week that kind of echoed a feeling I felt at that very moment: "You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found: WANTING." Man, how often do I hear these words echo in my soul.... you have been found WANTING... and boy does it make you want run into the black hole and not even wait for it to pull you in!!!!

2Cor 12:7
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

So why didn´t I fall into my black hole? Because God showed my that inspite of myself, He is still God.... inspite of my failings, God is able to work and do miracles....I mustn't trust in myself.... Only in God.

God free me of my pride!