Archive for the ‘Memories’ Category

What will you be known for?

February 7, 2011

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I can easily be hostage to hyperbole.  “Everyone always…”  “It had to be as big as a plane…”  “That was the worst xxx EVER!”  So, when I say that one of the most powerful testimonies I hear over and over again is the power of a child seeing their parent regularly spending time with God in the Bible and prayer… I don’t want you to hear blah, blah, blah.  Instead, in this case, know that I’m not hyperbolizing (I think I just made up a word :).

When it comes to those who have shared (mostly from the pulpit) one of the most searing memories of their dad, this one is almost always one of them (if it’s a positive memory)—“My dad (or mom) was constantly up in the morning, reading the Word of God and praying”.  That picture of a son or daughter getting up and seeing his dad or mom reading the Bible and spending time in prayer almost ALWAYS has a powerful impact.  I’m guessing that isn’t why mom or dad was doing it.  There’s probably a deeper purpose in spending time in God’s Word and communing with Him.  But, one of the most significant byproducts is the impact it makes on those around you.  There are cases where children see one thing but experience another.  However, if it is a life habit, it nearly always leaves a powerfully positive and lasting legacy in the minds and lives of children.

So, dad, are you cultivating a life of dependence on God?  Do your kids see that in order for you to care for them well, you need to be connected to the source of all help.  Time in the Word and in prayer not only strengthens you for today but reaches into the future to leave a powerful impression and example to your kids!  The good news is that it’s never to late to start.  Even if you’re kids are out of the house they WILL see the impact of a life led by God.  And, there’s always grandkids to teach ;).

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“ConGRADulations”: 7 Ways to Celebrate Graduation

May 5, 2010

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You’ve cleaned up dirty diapers and bandaged “boo-boo’s”.  You just met the neanderthal taking your daughter to Prom and recently got a call from your son where he tells you he just cracked up the new car.  And, in between you’ve scolded, cuddled, kissed, spanked (can I say that?), wrestled, and worked on homework with them.  You made it through “THE” chat, with sweaty palms and a cracked voice and then wondered if they understood only to find out they knew much more than you expected (or wanted).  Trips and dates–dinners and late nights–movies and talks on the couch–evenings waiting for them to come home and mornings waiting for them to get up.  Ahhhh, 18 years filled with so many memories bring you to the day that you may dread but know is exactly why God lent them to you–you’re launching your child into the world.  Most of us will be launching them into college or some schooling.  Some into a job or even a young marriage.  It’s time to celebrate your child’s high school graduation.

Someday, I’ll chronicle the many and varied feelings my wife and I have had as we’ve launched two into college and will launch our last (daughter) this year.  But, though I’m nostalgic, I want to share how we can celebrate their accomplishment.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been pouring through thousands of pictures in iPhoto or songs in iTunes in order to produce the third graduation DVD.  Or, maybe it’s due to the fact that I’ve been watching my wife spend hours putting together a book of picture memories covering 18 years of our child’s life.  In any case, it’s our third time through this routine in the last four years (our son graduated in 2006, a daughter in 2008 and now our last in 2010).  So, over the next week or so, I’ll share various posts about graduation and celebration.  Now, I want to stimulate you with some thoughts about how you can celebrate this great moment in your children’s lives.  Here are 7 ideas to celebrate your child’s graduation—some we’ve done, a few that I’ve heard about and maybe a few I just made up but thought they sounded good 🙂 :

  1. PUT TOGETHER A DVD OF PICTURES AND SONGS THAT DEPICT THE MANY FACETS OF YOUR CHILDS CHARACTER. I’ve done this for our first two children and working on the one for our daughter this year.  I pour through “googleized” lists of songs that others have suggested for these kind of things and now have a lot of songs that I will share with you in another post.  I typically go way overboard on this and put together a DVD with a number of different slideshow arrangements.  But, you can keep it simple and still make it a powerful gift to give to family and your child.  We’ll sit down and watch it as a family when I’m done.
  2. CREATE A MEMORY BOOK OF PICTURES AND KEY WORDS. My wife has put together a memory book by going through years of old pictures and new digital ones.  We scan in the old to copy and use while printing the new.  Then, she uses various themes throughout by using different shapes, stenciled letter types and fabric or paper to make it interesting.
  3. HAVE KEY FAMILY AND FRIENDS WRITE A LETTER OF ENCOURAGEMENT AND ADVICE. Ask family and friends that have had an influence in your childs life to write a letter to them with words of encouragement by citing the character qualities they’ve observed in them.  Additionally, you can ask them to share a piece of advice or bible passage or story that might help guide your child into their upcoming unfamiliar steps.  As an added bonus you could put these letters into an album and give it to them as they head out to school or to their next adventure.
  4. EACH MEMBER OF THE FAMILY WRITES A TRIBUTE AND READS IT TO THE GRADUATE AT DINNER. Take your graduating child out to dinner with the entire family where each of you take turns reading letters to them (as they are able :)) about fun memories, things you’ll miss about them, things you won’t miss and some of the ways that he/she has impacted your life.  Make it fun and memorable.  Additionally, you can give them a special gift as a celebratory memory.
  5. ROAD TRIP. Map out a road trip for the summer between high school and college/job/?.  Make it a trip that might be themed after something that is geared for the graduates interests.  For instance, if she is into theme parks, consider driving to go to either one she’s always wanted to go to or take a “theme park tour” by hitting several over a 10-14 day stretch.  Or, if he loves baseball, consider a baseball tour or weekend event.  It might just be a camping outing if they love to camp and hike.  Whatever it is, make it about them.
  6. OPEN HOUSE. I grew up and lived most of my life in Minnesota.  An open house wasn’t an option, it was mandatory.  In fact, I had friends who would time the remodeling of their homes with the graduation of their children.   It is a way of life, at least in the metropolitan/suburban Twin Cities.  Since we’ve been in Arkansas, the idea of an open house seems to be catching on but has by no means been a “no brainer”.  So, if you live in a similar environment where you aren’t even sure what I mean by Open House, consider having one.  It can be a simple time of inviting friends and family over to your home, provide some simple refreshments, a large cake with congratulatory words and now digitally frosted photos and a home decorated with variously aged photos of the graduate placed around the home.
  7. YOUR IDEA HERE

I’d love to have you add to my list and give me the 7 ideas I promised.  What have you done for your high school graduate to celebrate this accomplishment?  What are you doing this year?  Can’t wait to add your idea to my list.

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Connecting With Your Kids Series: #4-Connecting the WWJD Way.

March 26, 2010

As a father of four, I’m feeling the shortness of days that are left while my children are at home. It won’t be long before Anna and I are on our own again. My oldest is already launched and her three younger brothers are not far behind. I’m feeling a healthy pressure to make the most of every opportunity (Eph 5:16) while we’re still doing life together at home. In fact, seizing those opportunities, becoming more “connection-aware,” is one of my “Year of Living Courageously” goals for 2010.

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Yet, one of the challenges to creating quality connection time with young adults and teens is that they are constantly on the move. They’re forming social connections of their own, exploring the world of friendships through Facebook, texting, video games and the more traditional means of sports activities and hanging out. So I began to ask myself, “How can I break through the day-to-day activity clutter and create a special time with them?” For years we’ve had “date nights” with each of them; one-on-one time with just Anna or me. While we haven’t executed date nights religiously or flawlessly, it’s something each of them have responded to very well. But this year I wanted to do something different—something even more intentional and memorable.

Joshua at the St. Louis Arch

So, earlier this year I suggested to each of our children that we put date-nights on steroids. We’d do a WWJD—“Weekend With Just Dad.” We’d plan together how we want to spend our weekend getaway, just the two of us. They were thrilled and so was I. Immediately, Joshua, our third-born suggest that our WWJD be a college road trip to St. Louis and Waco to check out a couple of colleges he had an interest in.

Last week, we completed our WWJD spending nearly 40 hours on the road. It was more like a week than a weekend, but it was also invaluable for connection. Sure, we could have flown, and we would have been less tired, but we would have also missed out on a lot of captive time in the car container. We would have missed out on a lot of laughs at funny road signs (“Bizarre Cattle Crossing”), Garrison Keillor’s Iowa jokes on CD, and the surprising results of the top ten silliest college mascots. Mostly, we would have missed out on the deepening connection that comes with just being with each other for an extended period of time. While we returned home exhausted, we both couldn’t wait for our next WWJD.

For discussion: What WWJD or extended one-on-one experiences have you had with your children and how did it affect your relationship?

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Connecting With Your Kids Series: #2-You Can Do It, They Can Help

March 24, 2010

Today’s post is from another guest author, Barry Williams.  Barry is a colleague of mine at FamilyLife.  He is passionate about being a dad and communicating that passion to other dads by being an involved father.  In his day jobs, Barry has been helping ministries develop and implement technology strategies for over 15 years.  He currently serves as the Director of Information Technology at FamilyLife in Little Rock, AR.  Prior to coming to FamilyLife he was the I.T. Director at The Josh McDowell Ministry in Dallas, Texas.  Barry, along with his wife Shannon, have been involved in ministry to families for the past 20 years.  Their passion is their 8 children,  3 girls and 5 boys spanning the ages of 18 months to 18 years.  They currently serve as Small Group Coaches for their local church and lead various marriage and parenting small group studies.

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I’m quite sure that they had no idea.  How could they?  But years before the marketing gurus at The Home Depot adopted a similar phrase as their slogan; a young Daddy with his beautiful, blue eyed, two year old little girl discovered this amazing truth somewhere between the Paint and Hardware isles.

It was a Saturday morning and my lovely bride needed a well deserved break from toddler duties.  So, quite courageously, I, along with a list of ‘Honey Dos” and this eager toddler in tow, set off on our first of many daddy-daughter excursions.  It was amazing!  It happened by accident!  A discovery that would last forever! I learned that the ORDINARY things of life present EXTRAORDINARY opportunities to connect with those most precious to us.

Now, 18 years and 8 handy helpers (between the ages of 18 years and 18 months) later, it’s still a time honored rite of passage when a new little one gets to take their first solo trip with Dad to The Home Depot.  But it hasn’t stopped there…

It may be fixing a faucet or cleaning the garage.  It may be raking the leaves or washing the car. It may be mowing the lawn or Monday Night Football, but I’ve come to learn that no matter what ‘important’ thing that ‘I’ve got to do’I can do it, and they can help.

Along the way, I’m learning to ask better questions, and not just give instructions.  And in the midst of the dust and debris, we both learn a little.

How does this connection happen?  I’ve thought about this a lot over the years and I’ve come think it happens because:

I let them into my life.

They have a sense that I must love and value them if I let them into my big, important Dad world. As a dad of 8, it gets really challenging to schedule very many ‘daddy dates’.  And since I haven’t yet found a way to create any more than 24 hours a day, if connection is going to happen, it has to happen in the midst of the day to day. Perhaps the most important benefit to this is that they come to know that they can always find some time with Dad.  That he is accessible any day, any time and not just on special occasions.  Just like our heavenly Dad.

They invite me into their life.

There is a trust that is created when we share life together. When they tell me the names of their stuffed animals or share with me the details of their favorite Disney Channel stars they are inviting me into to what they hold dear.  When I treat these things with respect and care, they end up just a few short years later sharing their larger dreams, hurts, and fears. This has proven especially important as they enter their teen years. Because I let them into my life at a young age they invite me into theirs when they become teens.

We end up having ‘our thing.

As they get older, the allure of Home Depot fades a bit.  But along the way we end up finding ‘the thing’ that we both enjoy sharing.  Be it tennis, yard work, coloring, music, Starbucks, ice cream, backpacking or movies… we each look forward to getting to do ‘our thing’ together. The really awesome thing about this is that the ‘our things’ in life don’t have to stop when the parenting ends.

I’m sure they didn’t have Fatherhood in mind when they took it as their slogan, but remember Dads …“You Can Do It, They Can Help.

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March Madness: A Family Affair?

March 13, 2010

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There is no greater sporting event on this or any other planet than the NCAA Men’s College Basketball championship tournament (aka March Madness), in my opinion.  In fact, my wife didn’t realize what this event turned me into before she married me.  If she had, I may have been watching this years event alone (as with the previous 24).  I hid it well enough so that she never thought anything of it when we set our wedding date (March 23, 1985).  Showing maturity beyond my years, I didn’t even flinch when we considered that of 52 weekends available, we had to have our wedding during one of the three dedicated to this event.  But, that maturity quickly disappeared and my immaturity reared it’s ugly head during our honeymoon.

No sense in going into too much detail (you can ask my wife and I’m sure she’ll be more than happy to share those memorable details with you 😉 ), but our honeymoon was the theater for my stupidity.  Let’s just say that the weekend after our wedding, our honeymoon continued and so did March Madness.  What’s so wrong about spending some of your honeymoon in a hotel room, anyway?

Now that you see my obsession with this event (I’ll be getting counseling but not until a new champion has been crowned this year), it shouldn’t surprise you that I’ve dragged my family into my March Madness.  So, for nearly 20 years, we’ve filled out brackets at home (no money involved 🙂 ), and take turns circling winners and crossing out losers as the tournament progresses.  It’s become one of our little family traditions.  So, we anxiously await the announcement of the brackets so that we can pick out our winners and losers as a family.  Not exactly memorizing God’s Word together but it has been something that we’ve enjoyed as a family and look forward to it again this year as being uniquely “us”.

For Discussion:  What family traditions do you have that are uniquely yours that will allow your kids to build upon when they grow and have their own families?

One-Tenth of a Year

January 7, 2010

I know we don’t normally think of tenths of a year. Instead, we divide years into twelve months. Recently though, I experienced a wonderful “tenth of a year.”

My oldest daughter, Rachel, and her husband live in California, so we don’t see them very often. Since Richard was finishing up a Marine deployment, Rachel was able to be with us for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. We had a great time with her. I even had the privilege of baptizing her just two days after Christmas.

One of the things that makes our time with Rachel so special is how “unspecial” things used to be. Let’s just say she wasn’t the easiest child to parent. I’ve shared it previously, but this is the same child who at the age of eight when asked by me what she’d like to be in charge of, replied without hesitation, “You and mommy.” Those three words foreshadowed the next ten years.

Sadly, I learned this holiday season just how quickly a tenth of a year can pass. You know how it is–one moment you’re waiting for family to arrive and before you know what happened, you’re hugging goodbye.

So the quick passage of a tenth of a year got me thinking–they’re all going to pass just as quickly. January and February aren’t as much fun as November and December, but they will fly by also. Same number of minutes each day. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Before I know it, it’ll be spring break. Then summer. Then the start of football practice for my son and senior year of high school for my third daughter.

It hit me a couple years ago, that once my children leave for college (two already have), there will be many more days for the rest of our lives that we will not see each other. Up until college starts, we see each other almost everyday of our lives. But going off to college changes everything. Oh, I’m still their dad and we can still have a close relationship…but it’s different. They’re not there at the end of the day to hug or tuck into bed.

So it got me thinking about how many more tenths of a year I’ve got with my two remaining kids at home. Amy is half way through her junior of high school now. She’ll start college in August of 2011. I’ve got 16 tenths left. Not many, if you ask me.

Rob is in 8th grade. Feels like I’ve got a lot of time left with him. But I really don’t. I have 46 tenths left with him. I know how fast the previous tenth went by. No reason to think the next 46 won’t be just as fast.

How many tenths do you have left with your kids?

What are you going to do with them?

Model Making Memories

December 3, 2009

Studies show that if you have eyewitnesses to the same event, the details they recall will be different, even when asked shortly after the event. And, of course the longer between event and recollection, distortion between reality and perception grows even greater. Wikipedia made this statement on the reliability of eyewitness testimony, Eyewitness identification evidence is the leading cause of wrongful conviction in the United States. ” As a dad, I’m smack dab in the middle of seeing as much of my parenting in the rear-view mirror as I see through the windshield. As my kids get older I’m beginning to get my dad “grade” via conversations with them that usually begin, “I remember when”. I’m living out the truth that what I said and did may not be exactly what they experienced. Take making models with my son.

During Thanksgiving break from college, my soon-to-graduate son and I recalled the times when we worked on model cars together. My recollection was of us working on them together.  A real “bonding” time ;).  He recalled that he watched while I worked frusratingly trying to unglue my fingers from each other with those microscopic pieces of plastic. Same event-completely different recollections. I was never a big model car guy but thought it would be something a dad and son could do together. Wanting to be in control and allowing your children to gain tangible experiences are natural enemies of each other.  It requires an intentional effort on behalf of the dad to combat. In his 21yr old memory, that experience did not have the bonding impact I had really desired. If I had known then what I know now…

I’m thankful my son and I have a relationship where he can be honest with me in sharing his thoughts and feelings without it impacting our closeness.

Are there things that you are engaging in with your kids that you need to let go of? I mean that you need to let them experience without there being a right or wrong, succeed or fail outcome? Certainly there are things where right needs to be distinguished from wrong and we need to steer our kids out of traps.  But when it comes to helping them develop their skills, abilities and interests I think it’s more important that they do more of the work while we encourage, guide and cheer them on. If I had done that we may have had a model car with a steering wheel in the wrong place on the model car, but he may have developed an interest or aptitude in something he’d be refining today.

WHAT SAY U?? Share an experience where you were stifled or encouraged in something that had a lingering impact on you. Or, share something you are doing today to come alongside your child to foster a deeper relationship without regard to the activity itself.

A Thanksgiving Tribute to my Mother-in-Law

November 26, 2009

During a holiday where we typically celebrate with those we love and share those things we are grateful for (and direct that thankfulness accordingly, in our case, toward God), I must admit that my focus has been limited to being faced with the truth of my beloved mother-in-law’s seemingly limited time on this earth.

Tributes are all too often done AFTER someone departs this earth. I wanted to make sure that I crafted a Thanksgiving Tribute to Peg before she leaves us. I don’t know if she’ll be able to hear this if someone reads it to her but I want her and those around me to know how much I love her and how grateful I am that she’s been such an inspirational woman of faith and fortitude in my life.  Here are some snippets of the letter I posted to Peg on my personal blog at Abramo-Bits & Bytes:

Peg, I don’t know if you will awaken long enough to ever read this or to hear it read to you but I couldn’t let you go without saying good-bye to you. It seems at this time I won’t get a chance to see you unless God intervenes in a big way, the only way He ever intervenes :) . So, as the tears flow down my cheeks, I want you to know that I love you.

You’ve been a great model of a wife who loved her husband like the one described in Proverbs 31. I think it’s right to include some of that Proverb here because it aptly describes much of the woman you’ve been to your husband and family:

An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.

I love your zest for life.  You’re always willing to speak what’s on your mind.  There is no “wondering” about how you feel about something.  I love that.  I love the discussions we’ve had about life, faith and the world around us.  As easily as you express your opinion, you also listen to what others have to say.

Your laugh is infectious.  Some of my best memories are of us all laughing…

I’ll also never forget how you accepted me into your family as one of your own.  I’ve felt as much a part of your family as I have my own…

I wish we could play one more round of golf together.  Your compliments of my golfing far exceeded my actual ability.  You’ve been a great …

Read the entire LIVING tribute to my mother-in-law Peg by CLICKING HERE and going to Abramo-Bits & Bytes

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

The Subordination of Terra Firma Man

August 6, 2009

A confession: I’m terrified of heights. Seriously terrified.

On a ladder, I’m good until about the fourth rung. That’s when my knees start to weaken and my mind is filled with thoughts of tumbling backward and landing on my head. My kids think it’s funny. They like to poke fun at me about it. Vacationing at the Grand Canyon a few years ago gave them ample opportunity. The view for me was enjoyed a comfortable ten yards from any rail, lest I might uncontrollably launch myself into that great American abyss.

I don’t know what trauma gave birth to my acrophobia. Perhaps it was long ago when I was power-washing the cedar shakes on our roof to rid them of the oak saplings that had taken shallow root there. Slipping on a wetted tile, I nearly slid off the roof, clutching a corner of the house at the last moment to avoid a fifteen foot plummet. Or maybe I blocked some childhood trauma of being dropped on my head. Regardless, there’s no doubting it. I’m a Terra Firma Man. I prefer both feet solidly planted on the ground as God intended.

But Terra Firma Man met his match last week. Vacationing at Lake Tahoe provides a lot of exciting activities: hiking, biking, jet skiing, swimming and, gulp, parasailing. Nope! There’s no way you’d get me up there tethered to a rope 450 feet above water held in suspension by lawn chair straps. No way.

TerraFirmaManandSon

Joshua with yours truly, Terra Firma Man

No way, that is, until my boys started to work on me. That’s when I learned that parasailing was on Joshua’s “bucket list”—you know, like in the movie, the things you must do before you kick the bucket. As a 17-year old, I explained, that he had more time to do his list than I had to do mine, and parasailing wasn’t anywhere to be found on my bucket list. It was impeccable logic.  It was settled. I would remain grounded.

Until…something inside me spoke up. Something about creating memories that my boys will cherish. Something about loving them uncomfortably. Something said, “Yes. I’ll do it.” Once the words were out, there was no turning back. When Jonathan, my 15-year old also wanted to go, I said, “Sure. All three of us can go up together in tandem.” It wasn’t until the boat was underway that I discovered we would exceed their weight limit for a three person tandem. That’s when our “helpful” captain suggested that I could take turns going up with each of the boys separately. Terra Firma Man was a goner.

How was the experience? It was both exhilarating and terrifying. Yet, it was also highly (sorry) bonding. Viewing a sunset on Lake Tahoe from a parasail is spectacular. Viewing it with your child, and showing them you’re there because you love them, is priceless.

Yes, Terra Firma Man met his match. He loves his kids more than the ground beneath his feet. And for a time, that sent him soaring.

What uncomfortable ways have you found to tell your kids you love them?

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Using tragedy to discuss truth!

June 26, 2009

Today, the world is mourning the loss of two entertainment icons; Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett. Big news! Nearly every channel, radio station, news feed and internet site has carried some aspect of these stories.This was a status update from a friends Facebook this morning, “Dang, can’t get Thriller out of my head this morning. It’s on every channel.” We’ll see television specials on it for the next week at least. Last night alone, two of the major networks ran an hour piece on each of the stars.

It’ll soon be like reliving my teens and early 20’s again —Farah Fawcett posters will probably be reprinted and hanging all over town and we’ll be hearing Michael Jackson’s music all over the radio.

We can’t avoid the attention the deaths of these icons of entertainment bring.  Regardless of how you feel about these individuals, there is no debating their impact on our culture during their lifetime. And, their sudden deaths will be a topic for a long time to come.

How are you handling the discussion of the death of Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett in your families?  The reality of life (and death) produces opportunities to discuss pertinent and biblical truths with our children.  Death is a subject we’d prefer to “leave on the shelf”.  Despite the anti-aging craze our culture is embracing, we will age and, eventually, die.  Death’s reality is unavoidable.  When it happens to those seemingly “bigger than life”, it takes on a certain aura that “if it can happen to them, it can happen to me.”  For those who have lost loved ones, that truth is all to real.

As a dad, I’ve used times like these to approach the “unapproachable” with our children.  I consider it a great opportunity to ask questions about the lives of those in the news.  The lives of Farah and Michael were marked by both the spectacular and the scandalous.  One of the most interesting questions being asked out of their deaths is, “how will they be remembered–for their artistic and professional accomplishments or their personal demons?”  Regardless of how you’d answer that (and there is no right or wrong response), it is an interesting discussion topic.

So, dad, I encourage you to use the upcoming media blitz covering these tragic deaths of well known people to spur conversation with your family.  Here are just a few thoughts to help you begin to stimulate that discussion:

  • If your kids are at an appropriate age, discuss the fact that even stars die and that one day so will we.  How will we be remembered?  What legacy do we want to leave?  Do we have the assurance that when our days on this earth are over, we can know where we are heading?
  • Use Farah Fawcett’s reluctance to marry to open up a discussion about why co-habitation is not part of God’s plan for a man and a woman…Marriage and commitment are.
  • Discuss some of the changes in Michael Jackson’s appearance over the years to discuss how God looks at our hearts, not at our external beauty.  What would drive him to be so consumed with his appearance?
  • Talk about how they each used their God-given skills to impact the world.  Yet, they each seemed unhappy in many ways, including the use of drugs, unwilling to commit to relationships, seclusion, surrogate children, hiding in public and living with accusations of child abuse.
  • Financial discussions about how you can make $20 million / year and be $400 million in debt?
  • Discuss the pain of loss and how that loss is not God’s plan.  Death is separation but, thanks be to God and Jesus Christ that it isn’t  the end for those who are in Christ.

Certainly Michael and Farrah have left an indelible mark on this world.  We will listen to his music for the rest of our lives (maybe more than we want over the next few days 😉 and admire and emulate his dancing.  We will admire Farrah’s beauty and recall her roles on TV and in movies, too.  Yet, in the end, the real issue isn’t what they will be remembered for on this earth (what they sang, how they looked or how much money they had or didn’t have).  No, what will matter for them as it will be for us is “how does God see us”.  Remember to share that with your kids!