Sunday, September 20, 2009

Teddy Roosevelt and the Rites of Passage

I remember random things from when I was young. I remember my dad building a go-cart from an old wagon. I remember camping trips and trees in my back yard we would climb. I remember the wooden floors in our first house and playing outside in the eye of hurricane Carla.

There are a lot of things I try to do that are intentional with my kids that they will hopefully be memories they will cherish and hold as important times in our lives together. For my oldest who is now 26, I took him out of school every year for his birthday to go fishing. We had several birthdays when we had storms roll in on top of us and we had to fight the wind and waves to get back to the boat launch. I remember once we were fishing as a storm approached. He looked at me laughing and said “dad your hair is standing straight up.” I realized the danger of potential lightening and we beat feat to the nearest covered dock and watched the storm roll past. It never mattered if we caught fish, we always got in trouble for dragging in late with school the next day, but we always went.

My youngest son and I hunt together a lot. We spend a lot of time taking other boys out hunting and teaching them the way of the woods. When he turned 10 several of male our closest friends came over and read him letters they wrote to him about how special he was. We blessed him and talked of the responsibilities he would face as he turned double digits. That day he received the pellet rifle I was given at 10-years-old 40 years earlier.

My daughter and I spend date nights together and time in the outdoors. She can put on a beautiful dress and go to dinner with me as easily as she can put on cammo coveralls and hunt for deer. Her first deer and our night at the recent chocolate festival are so important to me, and I hope for her as well. She is a bit harder for me to understand, but for her, well she has me wrapped around her finger and the woman in her knows it.

It is important to be intentional with our kids as they grow up. They need to have milestones and markers in their lives that are meaningful and significant. Rites of passage are important to and it seems we have gotten away from those markers in our culture today.

I want to teach my kids to also be brave and strong and compassionate. I want them to explore the world and learn to love the Lord openly with zeal and fervor.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, "It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

The world can be a scary place if we do not ready our children and ourselves to face the hardships and challenges ahead. Love needs to be an emotion not a physical act. Character must be a part of who we are not a cartoon veneer or passing thought. We need to plan an adventure and a quest.

The bible is a place you can go to find answers to the hardest questions and accept lifelong challenges. The Words there were written intentionally. The Old Testament and New Testament are both markers of a rite of passage given to us by a loving Father. Be intentional in who you are and what you do. Speak into your kid’s lives and those around you. Be bold and forthright and challenge the untruths in your life. Remember If God is with us then who could be against us.

TJ Greaney9/20/09

Friday, September 11, 2009

How Will You Determine Your Destiny? 09/11/09

Ronald Regan once said: "You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done."

Today we are facing that rendezvous with destiny, we are face to face with the providence of our children’s future, our grandchildren’s future – the future of America as we know it today.

This country, a country built on self sacrifice, hard work, sweat, ingenuity, compassion, commitment and drive is you and me. We are the ones who are living here, the ones who get up each day and fight the fight, live life here in this community – we shop at the grocery, we pay an electric bill, we buy fuel for our cars and trucks, sit in PTA meetings and boy scout meetings and at little league games - we are the ones who are unemployed or sick or young and just starting out. This is our home, our land, our country our life.

There are longtime Liberal leaders in this country who do not understand the daily life we the people are living each day – they are the establishment in Washington. In a Washington cocoon of self driven ideals for a socialist nation - they have lost touch with you, their constituents. These are the leaders we asked to be there, to fight for us, protect us, to stand tall against those who would take away our freedoms, force their will upon us. But they deserted us, they gave us away.

There are a lot of things we need to address today in our country. We want to feel confident in your representation – we deserve not to be heard – but listened to.

Health care is a concern for us all – I have a friend, Dr. Donna Campbell an emergency room specialist. Dr. Campbell has spent her career serving those who need medical attention and council. She has seen the good, the bad and the worst. She knows firsthand that we live in a country with the finest medical care. There are Liberals in Washington who see the Cuban medical system as the ideal model. That is absolutely wrong.

Yes we have problems, yes there are those who need to understand how to get their medical needs resolved – yes there are things we can do better – but to completely wreck the finest medical system in the world is a mistake we may never get back.

Our country was built on your blood, sweat and tears. Your hard work yesterday, today and tomorrow should not be in vane – your wages and savings should not be taxed or mortgaged for pet projects, liberal agendas and expenditures to the backscratchers and special interests who have taken over Washington.

Billions of dollars are earmarked for the communalist agendas of these Washington elitist –

They are spending YOUR money. They are securing a financial burden upon your children and their children and their children that unless we stop it – will demand them to submit to a governmental society – one that forces dependency on not what they want for their family but what the government tells them they can have. A burden so heavy that they will never enjoy the life, the freedoms, the beauty of the America we love so dearly.

Our soldiers and sailors – our freedom fighters have always been the front line. These brave men and women have held strong against overwhelming odds on the battle field since we became this nation America. Today they fight to protect their families, your families, us - from experiencing another horrific Sept. 11 attack. There are those in Washington who on that day and those immediately there-after stood up and shouted for us to avenge our brethren but have since become cowardice to the minority who shout them into submission, those who believe in a socialist fight – one of submission and not leadership – one of collective obedience and not freedom.

Is that who we are? Is that you? That is not the American heart I know, the one I believe in. It is not the America I cry for when a stand for the pledge of allegiance.

There are many issues we need to concern ourselves with – real issues – ones you and I live with each and every day right here in our cities, our towns, our homes – our lives –
Despite our current hard times and lack of leadership for we the people here today – I know one thing is true, We are the God fearing life soldiers who must drawn our sword against the beast of Washington - those who have forgotten who we are - we are the colors of the sunrise over this land – the one place on earth that still has the blood of freedom and the spirit of life and liberty.

We are one nation, under God, indivisible – striving now – today to regain our liberty and Justice for all – This is not about one person, this is about taking back our America – it is about taking back what so many have given their lives for .

Today as we remember those who perished on that fateful day back on Sept. 11, 2001 and pray for their loved ones. Let us not forget the words of our founding fathers:

(DI Quote)-When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

(DI Quote)-That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government

(DI Quote)-That when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

The tyranny of Washington today must be our will driving force –

Know that if our God is with us, who shall be against us –

Today I call on you to never forget – never allow the history of this great nation to be transformed from the truth – that we are faithful servants to Him and those who gave their lives for the mighty and better cause are not going to be forgotten or left behind. Their cause was great – their love for their fellow American was uncompromised – they gave the ultimate gift to all who can shout from the soil of America “ I am Free "

TJ Greaney 09/11/09

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Long Haired Health Food Nut....

Gimme a head with hair, long beautiful hair, Shining, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen
Give me down to there, hair!Shoulder length, longer (hair!)
Here baby, there mama, Everywhere daddy daddy
Hair! (hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair)
Flow it, Show it;Long as God can grow it, My Hair!

That song from the musical Hair is one I used to relate to. In my teen years and through my twenties I had long, thick, curly hair that at times rolled to the middle of my back. I don’t know that it was ever “flaxen or waxen,” but it was a good head of hair.

I was a pretty hip guy I guess. My ear was pierced. I did all the things “long hairs” did in those days, many of which we won’t talk about here. I hitch-hiked across the country and cruised the beaches of California as well as the highways and by-ways of Nevada, Louisiana and Texas. I hung out in town squares full of other hippies watching life go by.

Now as I begin to live my second 50-years I have conformed in a lot of ways. I guess if someone looked at me today I would on most days look pretty solid establishment. I prefer a starched shirt over a tie-dye, boots over Birkenstocks, I drive a big truck and not a Scion.

I see a lot of people in Austin who are able to keep living the hippie, tie-dye lifestyle and they look comfortable, just doing life like the rest of us. Honestly, I used to think they were all ding-dongs. Yes, I have been an uppity self-centered better-than jerk faced creep, still can be. I found I decided who and what they were about without knowing anything about them or their lives. Thing is it seems every time I do the judging thing God steps in and cold-cocks me.

My wife’s Aunt Gloria is one of the most hip, liberal vegan’s you would ever want to meet. She is the total opposite of me in female form. However because of Auntie Glo and my walk with Christ I have learned some valuable lessons. Auntie Glo and I really enjoy talking about all types of literature and business, home improvements and celebrities. I have grown to love her dearly and it has changed who I am. I would drop a big ole double meat burger at a rally for a Republican talking about gun control to help her fix her toilet or replace an energy saving federally mandated fluorescent bulb at her home if she asked. She is one of the most tolerant, loving people I have ever known. She has put up with me and my gun toting, meat eating, spawn for years. She is awesome and I have changed.

Because of this softening of my spirit I have found as of recent I enjoy the input from my hip brethren here in Austin today. I was in trouble with my wife not long ago and knew a date night would be a big step in getting my foot removed from my mouth. She accepted and I took her to the big Whole Foods in downtown Austin. We casually walked each isle and selected interesting fruits, chocolates and breads. We sampled new things and talked to the employees about the foods and vitamins. My wife knows a lot about that stuff already and I had a marvelous time learning about it all. We have since visited several other healthy food stores in our area and truly enjoy it.

I will never again have the hair I did back in the day and the whole “waxin, flaxin” thing I am sure is out. I won’t be changing my views on liberal politics or meat any time soon. I do however want to reflect the lessons of Paul in his letter to the Romans -

12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10: Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11: Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13: Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14: Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15: Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16: Live in harmony with one another.

I am trying, really I am. Till we meet at the tofu section, Peace out ya’ll.