Archive for April, 2013

Cinderella

The Herald-News
April 24, 2013

My daughters are able to walk as adults because I did not dance with them very often. Except for square dancing in middle school on the outside basketball court (imagine), I didn’t grow up in a Christian culture that allowed dancing. You know why: all the evils of music and being near…girls. Groan.

I thought about these things this week after hearing a song about dads, daughters, and dancing.
The song is “Cinderella.” Look it up on-line and enjoy a treat. It is unashamedly sappy, and tugs at the heart mercilessly. Steven Curtis Chapman writes of the stages of his daughter’s growth and the opportunity each gave to dance. In the closing stanza, Chapman sings:

Well, she came home today with a ring on her hand
Just glowing and telling us all they had planned
She says, “Dad, the wedding’s still six months away
But I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?”

I sense throughout the song the singer is wistful because he may have overlooked some other close times with his daughter throughout the years. Haven’t we all. There is good news for wanna-be dancers.

In Jeremiah 31, a future time for God’s people is portrayed with amazing joy: “Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry.” Celebration is characteristic of God, too. Relish Zephaniah 3:17: “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” In context, believing Israel, once rebellious and chased by her enemies, fearful and weak, is pursued by God and—unbelievably—He will sing loudly over them. What a love song that will be. Don’t you wonder what the tune will be?

I could count on one hand the times I have danced with my daughters. I mentioned the song to them last week. One of them, characteristically upbeat, texted “Let’s dance! I love you Dad!” The other, probably sensing a melancholy moment, said “I don’t feel neglected…Love you too Dad! Miss you!”

God’s gifts of mercy refresh and startle sometimes, don’t they?

I won’t miss the next opportunity to dance with my girls. Pray for their feet. Spiritually, I long to listen more intently to the daily music the Father brings whether soft or apparently dissonant knowing He is always with me in the dance of life. And oh how I savor the soon-coming kingdom celebration when God will rejoice over His loved ones, there will be joyous dancing, and merriment will abound by all His family.

I still wonder what the tune will be.

Dear Adeline

The Herald-News
April 10, 2013

“…always in every prayer of mine for you…making my prayer with joy.” Philippians 1:4

The following letter is for longing grandparents, yearning parents and sons and daughters, or followers of Jesus craving the presence of God in a momentary or prolonged “dark night of the soul.”

Dear Adeline,

I am writing letters to all my grandkids and since you are my first grandchild you get the first one. Wow, I can’t believe it is almost nine years that you have made me a very happy and rich grandfather.

I saw this quote this week and I thought of you: “I write you many letters with pens that are unseen.” This means I have many thoughts of you all the time and, in my mind, write them in a letter. If I pulled up a flower for every letter I imagine there wouldn’t be any flowers in the world!

Here are some things I love about you and hope never change:

* I love your love for your brother. This is very special;
* I love your love for reading. It is so, so important to love God with your mind and books help;
* I love the way you tease me and ask, “Are you being silly again?”;
* I love your courage to try new things;
* I love worshipping Jesus in church with you when we can—and how you love to sing, sometimes nudging close to the aisle (and me…) to see the words;
* I love the notes and art work you do just for me. My favorite is Noah’s Ark and your original Dr. Seuss-like poem to go along with it;
* Most of all, I love your love for Jesus.

I am a little nervous for you since you are getting SO old now and you are going into the world daily. The world outside your family has many wonderful people and experiences, but not everyone loves Jesus and not all of them are looking out for you. Some will have attitudes or do things that aren’t pleasing to Jesus. Your parents are doing a terrific job and will show you the way to be like Jesus as you play and study with others. Love them all. And remember, Jesus promised to never, ever leave you alone.

I think you’re figuring out when I am serious or silly.

Have you heard of the Graff Pink diamond? It is the most expensive jewel ever sold—it sold for $46 million. It made me think of you because you are even more valuable and beautiful. Why? Jesus died for you so you could live with Him forever. With deep reverence and joy He made you to be just the young lady He wants you to be.

Next time we are together let’s read a Dr. Seuss book to each other—and laugh many times when we mispronounce his crazy words. We’ll make up our own words, OK? See you soon!



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