Tag Archives: salvation

I don’t think I’m ready for that jelly.

I’m addicted.

Ever since I was introduced a few days ago, I couldn’t wait for my next fix…in 30-minute increments.

Yes, I’m addicted to the Candy Crush Saga.

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I’m a grown man.  This is a game with silly cartoons and ridiculous candy icons.  It’s a modern-day candy land.  It’s something kids play online and solicit lives from their friends on Facebook.  And now I’m part of it.

I blame my mother-in-law.  She just HAD to show me what Candy Crush was all about.  I had no interest in playing the latest and greatest game.  I was completely content with the few Words With Friends games I was involved in.  I didn’t have room in my life for Candy Crush.  Just the name turned me off.  It sounded like something you played while you waited to see if the girl in homeroom texts you back.  It seems like something you play while listening to Taylor Swift or Ke$ha (or as I call her, K-dollar sign-ha).  I would not give in.

I gave in.  And I took my wife with me.  (Sorry, baby.  We’re going down together.)

Me: Are you going to connect with Facebook?

Wife who is not going to like that I’m posting this: No way, I don’t want people to know I play this thing.

Me: Me neither.

Well, I guess we should connect now.

Today I had to fly out of town for the week to work from Fort Walton Beach, FL.  My flight out of Daytona Beach was delayed, which meant that I had a meager few minutes to teleport through ATL.  Of course, I had to change concourses.  Of course when I got to my gate there was a flight going to Jacksonville, FL.  Of course when I asked where my flight went (though I got there slightly before the doors were supposed to close), no one knew where it was.  Luckily, I was booked on the next flight about 90 minutes later.

What’s worse than having to sit and sweat in the Atlanta airport after missing your flight?  Doing it without any Candy Crush lives left.  If you haven’t (yet) jumped on the Candy Crush bandwagon, when you fail a level enough times, you eventually run out of lives.  The makers of the game must have found that 30 minutes is an appropriate amount of time to stew on your frustration because you didn’t “clear all the jellies.”  (Seriously, how stupid does that sound?).  Once all your lives are out, a timer starts and after 30 minutes you start accumulating lives again.  Oh, how painstaking it is to wait for your next life to regenerate.  Or, you could just buy some.  I read that this game makes over $600,000 per day from people with no restraint.

This game is interesting.  You fail and fail and fail and eventually just sit back and wait/buy/beg others for a new life to be given to you so you have hope of moving to the next level.  That sounds a lot like life, dontcha think?  We face adversity, we struggle to pay bills, we toil on work projects, we tussle with home improvement projects or we get lost in our own sin.  We end up getting let down, beat up and knocked back.  At least, I do.

Years ago, when I got sick of my ways and fed up with the sin in my life, I sought after God and pleaded that he give me new life.  Of course, he did.  Romans 6:4 says, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

I received that new life.  A guaranteed, spoken for and undeserved eternal life.  But, that doesn’t mean that the day-to-day gets easier.  Recently, I’ve encountered challenge after challenge.  Whenever I feel like I’ve moved past one level, the next has something completely different in store for me.  To compare it to Candy Crush, it’s like moving past the jelly and having licorice wrapped candies instead (wow, I’ve never used a more lame metaphor.)

Anyway, the point is this: I’ve been stuck in a valley and I want out.  I have to rely on God, the giver of life, instead of myself.  There’s a lot of things that God wants me to do.  I truly believe that.  He’s given me vision, passion and desire.  But, the waiting is painstaking.

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My two dads

Happy Father’s Day!

Rylan completed a questionnaire about me for Father’s Day.  He’s nearly three-years-old and apparently not so good with details yet.  Here’s what he had to say about me.

  1. My daddy’s name is Daddy. (No problems here.)
  2. Daddy’s favorite color is black. (It’s blue.)
  3. Daddy’s favorite food is quesadilla. (It’s lobster.)
  4. Daddy’s favorite thing to do is cars.  He loves cars. (I’m not really a car guy, but I do enjoy toy cars.)
  5. Daddy likes it when I play with cars. (Yes, I suppose this is true.  I really like it when Rylan gives me a hug.  He’s a good hugger.)
  6. My favorite thing to do with daddy is roll balls. (We have this game where we roll balls back and forth on the floor.  He plays along for a couple minutes and then ends up throwing the balls everywhere until I take them away.  I didn’t really think he liked that game.)
  7. My daddy is really good at drawing. (He’s not much of an art critique.)
  8. My daddy always says, “Hello! How are you doing?” (I was not aware of this.)
  9. My favorite thing about my daddy is playing with him when he gets home.

This is who makes me Daddy.

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This is what I received this morning from my wonderful kiddos (I think their awesome mommy had something to do with it though.)

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So, this got me thinking.  How would I answer these questions for my Dad?

  1. My Dad’s name is David.
  2. Dad’s favorite color is blue.
  3. Dad’s favorite food is a good filet, especially with lobster.
  4. Dad’s favorite thing to do is go fishing.
  5. Dad likes it when I spend time with him.
  6. My favorite thing to do with Dad is anything because we can have fun together anywhere. (Also acceptable answers: boat rides, Christmas shopping, playing kick the rock all the way to the beach.)
  7. My Dad is really good at H-O-R-S-E. (And I have no idea why, he doesn’t play ball at all.)
  8. My Dad always says, “big guy.” I’ve always enjoyed that nickname.  Sometimes I hear other parents call their son that and I want to chime in and say they can’t use it.  It’s mine.  I hope Rylan has the same fondness for “little buddy”.
  9. My favorite thing about my Dad is how much he loves me and supports me.

As I get older and gain perspective on life and parenting, I can see all the sacrifices my parents made and lessons they taught me.  Dad taught me a lot about love.  He never withheld a single “I love you.”  I have a lot of friends who never had that luxury.  I recognize the importance and tell my kids that as often as possible.

Dad taught me about work ethic.  He worked hard at the family business for a long, long time.  He often did the work that no one else wanted to do.  I saw how much effort he put in to taking care of our house and planning our vacations.  He made sure everything was just right for Mom and me.

Dad taught me the value of some small surprises.  When we would go run errands together or go Christmas shopping for Mom, he would often let me pick out a toy.  Dad would show up from work with some root beer and ice cream to make floats, just because.

Dad taught me a lot about caring for other people.  Years ago, a woman in our hometown was struck by a car.  She was known around as the tricycle lady.  She would ride around on an adult-size three-wheeler.  Her tricycle was ruined in the accident.  After reading about it in the paper, Dad found a way to get her a brand new bike.  That’s just the kind of thing Dad does.  He helps people out of compassion.

With the simple gesture of the thumbs up, I always know I had Dad’s support and compassion, which is why I proudly wear it on my arm.  We’re a lot alike in many ways, and I’m OK with that.  I noticed last time we were together that we would take sips of our drinks at the same time and we actually started doing some hand motions at the same time, too.

I also have another father.  A Heavenly Father.  One who created me.  One who gave up his only son so that I might believe in him and not perish, but have eternal life.

  1. My Heavently Father’s name is Abba.
  2. My Heavenly Father’s favorite color is well, all of them, I guess.
  3. My Heavenly Father’s favorite food is lobster. (I hope, so there’s lots in heaven.)
  4. My Heavenly Father’s favorite thing to do is show his love for everyone.
  5. My Heavenly Father likes it when I spend time with him. (I feel like I gave this answer already.)
  6. My favorite thing to do with My Heavenly Father is to worship him and teach others about his loving kindness.
  7. My Heavenly Father is really good at forgiving me when I mess up. (He has a lot of practice.)
  8. My Heavenly Father always says the right thing to me at the right time.
  9. My favorite thing about my Heavenly Father is how much he loves and supports me. (Hmmm…I think I gave this answer once before as well.)

I don’t spend enough time thanking my Dad or my Heavenly Father for all the things they have done for me.  One brought me in to this world, the other made a way for me to spend eternity with him.

I love watching my son interact with my Dad.  It’s a wonderful thing.  When I see them play together, I remember all the joy I had playing and wrestling with Dad when I was a kid.

I love listening to my son recite Bible verses, say his nightly prayer and sing worships songs about God.  It’s a wonderful thing.  I can’t wait for the day that Rylan makes a decision to turn from his sin, put his faith is Christ and be saved.

I’m so glad that Rylan can know my two dads and enjoy their love the same way I do.

I love you, Dad.

–Big Guy

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