Graciousness

One of the things I try hard to do, and often fail at, is  to be gracious. I think it’s important to steadily treat people with the grace that God gives me.

If you’re wondering why it’s important to be gracious, just check out Tiki Barber’s interview with Super Bowl MVP, Eli Manning at MSNBC.com. Barber left the Giants in the off-season because he didn’t believe in coach, Tom Coughlin, and was very critical of Eli Manning, saying he didn’t have what it took . In part he said of Eli…

“He hasn’t shown [ability to lead],” Barber said on the broadcast. “His personality hasn’t been so that he can step up, make a strong statement and have people believe that it’s coming from his heart.

“Last year about Week 12, I turned over the offensive motivational speech to Eli and he was gung-ho to do it, but he was uncomfortable doing it. I think a lot of it had to do with vets being around – myself, Jeremy Shockey, Plaxico Burress. He didn’t feel like his voice was going to be strong enough and it showed. Sometimes it was almost comical the way that he would say things.”

Tiki has spent the year working for Football Night in America and The Today Show. Last night, not only did Tiki have to watch the team he left upset the New England Patriots, but he had to interview them after the game.

This is a reminder to me to always speak graciously of others…

a litte fun, tears, and the love of children

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written about overtly spiritual matters, but I shall return to those themes soon. (Although, if I were market-driven, I wouldn’t blog about spiritual themes since my readership is way, way up in the last month.)

Anyway, one of my favorite TV shows of strike shortened season, has been Dirty, Sexy, Money. Don’t let the name fool you, the show has a tremendous amount of tender and touching moments. And the philosophical/religious themes are often profound, though subtle.

Here’s a scene where Brian, the wayward priest, is saying goodbye to his son, Brian Jr. He only got to know Brian Jr. after the boy’s mother forced Brian to take him so that the boy could have the benefits of being an heir to one of New York’s wealthiest families. Over time, Brian — though he has children with his wife — learns what it means to love and be loved.

In the end, Brian Jr.’s mother comes back to whisk the boy away to South America.

Isn’t it amazing how God uses children to teach us how to love?

Various

My friend TQ has a new CD dropping at the end of February. Check out his website and the three free downloads. I’ve learned one of the songs myself and have been playing it around the house.

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Since the writer’s strike has left TV is a meaningless abyss of Reality TV, we’ve been following the presidential primary season on MSNBC (we like Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, Willie Giest and Mika Brezenzki). This morning a reporter said that some people in Super Tuesday states were just now starting to pay attention to the campaign. I wonder: How can that be? Elections are too important to begin tuning in seven days before you go to the polls. Have you figured out who you’re supporting yet?

Here’s a good article by Gordon MacDonald about pastoral leaders vocalizing their views on politics.

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I’ve been coveting a Blackberry lately. Pray for me.

So now it begins…

Well, here we go!

My oldest daughter, Malia, went to her first dance class last Wednesday night. For months now she’s been telling us that she wanted to go to “ballerina school.” It’s her mother’s fault because each Christmas the two of them attend The Nutcracker (a tradition that was born out of my deep desire to not have to see it myself).

Since Malia wanted it so badly, we decided to pursue it, and she’s four now so this is a good time to start. I wasn’t able to make it, but Malia loved her trial class. Rochelle sat in another room, behind glass with other parents and learned about their experiences while watching a recital video another mother had taken on her cell phone.

They both left dance class excited!

So excited in fact, that Rochelle went ahead and paid for classes through May — when we’ll get to video our child.

So now it begins. Soon Malia will need tutu’s and ballet shoes and tap shoes and God knows what else — and by “soon” I mean this Wednesday. I almost bankrupted my parents with baseball and band while growing up, and those things are a lot cheaper than ballet and tap! Soon there will be leg warmers and tights and those huge sweatshirts that dancers wear.

And that fact makes me both excited for Malia and said for myself.

Part of me wants her to just stay home with us playing with Play-Doh and Crayons? Not just because it’s cheaper, but because it’s something she can do at home with me sitting next to her or her sitting in my lap. I’m just that kind of dad who loves to sit in the “big chair” and read stories and tell tales. But times are changing, my girls are growing up and their interest are extending beyond our house and I know I should encourage that.

As our Lord says, “Who among you, if your child ask for bread would give a stone?”

So now it begins, and I’m off to buy ballet shoes.

Let Freedom Ring…

Monday night, my wife, oldest daughter and I sat down and watched a short clip of the most powerful speech in American history. How I wish there were people who carried the moral force of Martin Luther King, Jr. today. However, we are mighty short on prophets. This man’s words and commitment to non-violent social action changed the world.

Just don’t tell Hillary Clinton that. :-)