Wednesday, October 31, 2007

2nd Ain't So Bad After All

I think I have finally become comfortable finishing in 2nd place. It had been so frustrating this year for all of my teams to finish in 2nd place, instead of just one of them breaking through to win it all. It started with the Buckeyes football team getting thumped in early January. Then, the basketball team did the same thing in March, although they didn't get beat quite as badly. Then, the Cavaliers found out what a team - as opposed to a one-man-show - looks like when they ran into the Spurs in the Finals. And most lately, the Indians finished in 2nd place. I know what you're thinking: "No they didn't. The Rockies did." Really? Did the Rockies put up a fight against the Red Sox? No. The Indians were the only ones in the postseason that gave them any trouble whatsoever, so as I see it, the Tribe was the 2nd best team in baseball this year. That's not too bad. That's better than 28 of 29 other teams. And the Cavaliers were better than 28 of 29 other teams, too. And the Buckeyes' teams were each better than over 100 other teams. So 2nd? Not so bad after all.

Now here's what happens when two guys have way too much time and money on their hands. Enjoy!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Transition Time

Colin has now reached the age at which we are attempting to make a few transitions...or at least starting to attempt. One such transition is trying to get him used to using a potty, the first step in the arduous potty-training routine. No real newsworthy stories here, but it is a good excuse to show a picture that will haunt him later in life:

The other transition is from his crib to a Big Boy Bed. Some might call it a toddler bed, but not us. For us, it's a Big Boy Bed. Last night was his first attempt in the bed, and as near as we can tell, it went quite well. This afternoon, his nap attempt is not going as well. So far, he has come out of his room smiling at us twice. After a firm rebuking each time, it was back to bed. Now, it seems that he is staying put.

But the memorable moment for me in this first day of bed transition happened in the middle of the night. I went into his room to check on him, and found him laying in the fetal position sideways on his bed. Judging from the temperature in the room and the tightness of the curl in his body, I was guessing he was cold, so I quietly opened one of his drawers to get a blanket to cover him with, since he was laying on top of the covers on his bed. He apparently heard me enough to rouse him, so he started moving, which forced me to make a quick exit. But after I left his room, I kept the door open enough so I could watch him. As I did, I noticed his head was hanging off of the bed, and his body was slowly sliding in the direction that gravity was pulling his large cranium. I wasn't worried because the bed is not very high off of the floor. I watched as he slid head-first ever-so-slowly toward the floor. His head touched the floor, and then his body followed slowly behind. It was like watching a movie scene in slow motion to make sure you didn't miss something. When the rest of his body fell on the floor, he stood up and scampered to climb back in the bed. It was hilarious! I was glad that Marcy was awake so I could share the experience with her. I was also glad that he liked his new bed so much that he wanted to get right back in after falling out, instead of looking for Mommy and Daddy. Let's hope that continues...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Not Sure How I Feel

(I was asked to post on our church's blog during our 40 Days of Community campaign. Here is what I wrote.)

As my wife and I were reading the 40 Days devotional a few nights ago, a thought popped into my head. I wondered if this whole idea about small groups is a little biased. You see, I'm an extrovert, which means that I like having a whole lot of "friends," but to only get involved at what could best be called a shallow level with them. This extrovert-ness is a part of who I am, it's how I roll. So now, I'm supposed to cast aside that part of me that is integral to who I am so that I can invest and be invested in at a deep level. I struggle with that, to be honest. Could there not be a way for the extroverts among to be built up spiritually and to invest in each other that doesn't look like small groups and deep conversations? That is what I have been thinking.

But maybe, what is really at the core of the matter is that I really don't want people messing in my stuff. I know who I am, and there are times that I don't like that person. Why in the world would I want to get involved in doing life with someone else so that they can also know what a cruddy guy I can be? It's risky. It's scary. Maybe they'll find out who the man is behind the curtain and reject me or, worse yet, throw the curtain wide open for others to see. It's a gamble. But the fact of the matter is that God never promised that living in community would be easy or painless. Proverbs 27:17 tells us, "Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another." Iron is sharpened without the influence of anything else. Rather, it is sharpened when it comes into violent contact with another piece of iron. If iron could feel pain, it would probably reject the proposal of being sharpened in much the same way that I reject the idea of deep community in my life. But regardless of my rejections, if I want to be and stay sharp, it's what I need.

I remember being in a small group while at seminary. I joined it when I was going through a difficult time from a failed relationship. That small group was life to me! I had no idea that I would get to the level of intimacy that I did and share the things I shared. It was scary, and risky, and a gamble. But when I took the risk, the rewards of growth and relationship far outweighed it. The risk is worth it. Now, I just need to keep telling myself that...

Fitz, Youth Pastor