Saturday, January 23, 2010

A question of character

2:32 p.m. Today's project was to travel over to church at 7:30 a.m., and prepare for the Moms' morning session set to begin at 9:00.

Steve and I had shopped at Sam's Club last night after a nice dinner with friends, picking up a large fruit platter, a bag of sliced apples, and a dozen cinnamon buns. It had been a harrowing, sleepless previous 36 hours due to youngest son Steven's statewide travel escapade, so it was "destination bedtime" by 9;30, a real record for me!

Our program went well, opening with refreshments, fellowship, Robin and Joanna's sweet worship, and announcements of lots of opportunites for participation in women's ministry. We had plenty of heartfelt sharing, along with real introspection and reflection on the spiritual warfare delineated for us in my study on Ephesians Chapter 6.

Our morning ended with watercolor painting for moms and tots to enjoy together, and a rousing chorus of "Jesus Loves Me." Time to go home and get some rest! I got the food leftovers put away, and some laundry started: the towels and sheets I laid down for the dogs to walk on in the house were just filthy after the rain. But I won't complain, because my friend Malinda has to wash down her mud-caked HORSE! (I told her she'd better wait until all next week's rain is gone, so she doesn't have to do it twice!)

What to do to relax, when I'm not quite sleepy enough for a nap? First catch up with my buds on Facebook, tend my farm--it's looking pretty spiffy there on Farm Town! Then I remembered that the East-West Shrine game is on, featuring the nation's top college senior football players. Why am I watching? Because Steven's good friend and roommate Robert Malone is the punter for the West team!! He will soon be selecting the NFL team he wants to join, having received a number of bids already. Isn't that cool? His mom Kathy is a former teaching colleague and friend of mine, who is actually in Orlando watching her son play. Such a proud moment!

Since I had quite a few leftover gala apple slices, I found it imperative to bake an apple crisp, and listened to the game as I cut the butter into the baking mix, added brown sugar, and let the cinnamon I sprinkled onto the apples work its way in. Yumma!

I love sportscasters! They are a kick to listen to, in any sport, because they keep up a clever , continuous line of patter in between plays to hold the viewers' attention and inform us about the individuals on the field. You can enjoy their comments even if, like me, you'll never actually understand football, despite two sons (Sean and Steven) having played it, and having attended all the Redlands High Terriers' games for 4 years, and my college games at UCLA and U of Redlands for another four. When the boys were still at home, it was college football on Saturdays and NFL on Sunday and Monday night. I just don't get it, sorry!! I make up for it by yelling and screaming for whichever team we are supposed to be supporting that day. Hey--I know my limitations. Anybody got a question about Shakespeare??? I'm all over it...

The commentators were mentioning that they asked the NFL coaches how they decide whom to select, and the answer was, that they have to meet the young men, interview them at length, find out their strengths and weaknesses, and their work ethic, even to the point of using private investigators! They do not want to make a $50-60-million mistake in offering a contract.

Isn't it instructive that it's not the talent, skill or size that gets the contract offered, because those facets of the players are obvious. It's character, character, character!!! Funny how that came up in a secular discussion, an issue we moms discussed this morning in regard to disciplining our kids! I had taught about making sure our children are saved, because if we build that inner character, we will have the privilege of watching them grow in grace, in knowledge of the Word, and eventually, in ministry! When a child "increases in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men," as Luke 2:52 says about the boy Jesus, it's evident to one and all.
I would absolutely congratulate a friend on the major accomplishment of her child, no matter what. But knowing that Robert is an active Christian is a credit to his parents, to the Lord, and worthy of high commendation.
Steve and I, like serious believers everywhere, have put character before achievement throughout our children's lives, and are blessed to see them knowing right from wrong, getting on the right path after a fall, and leading others to salvation. Put first things first! For the Christian, personal achievement will follow personal commitment--commitment to Jesus Christ.
James 4:10 says, "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up."

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