Saturday, November 11, 2017

A devotional on landmarks.

Today's devo is brought to you by... landmarks.

Landmarks define boundaries and property lines. They also identify memorials, mark where trails begin and end, or even comprise old buildings.

I used to think this verse pertained to boundary markers. And it can, as it's a sin to move a boundary mark so that your property is larger. 

But the word here is 'remove', not 'move'. This morning this verse reminded me of a discussion last night in small group. The conversation brushed past the 12 river rocks Joshua had Israel pull out of the Jordan, and stack up in a kind of cairn, or memorial.

These stones were not small, they were large rounded river rocks, each weighing probably several hundred pounds. 

Joshua had them piled up out of the flood zone of the Jordan, so that the river could never wash them away, and their purpose was to remind Israel that God had parted the Jordan for them. It was a visual reminder of a bygone event.

Whenever a passer by would see these stones stacked on one another, they would know it was unnatural, and they might ask, why are these like this? And a local or a parent could and should respond with the story of how God acted on their behalf.

God WANTS us to remember the times past when He delivered us. From joblessness, from addiction. From an illness. From an enemy. It reminds us of His faithfulness, His goodness. His protective father love.

You see, it's an even bigger sin to remove an ancient landmark like that, to remove the reminders of who God is. Of what He's done. And that's a sin against not only Him but all those who could be brought to Him by the reminders of His character.

It might be a good family practice to set up a physical memorial when God delivers you from something, or provides miraculously. Plant a tree. Raise an Ebenezer. Give God glory. Make a mark. So that when your grandkids or neighbors ask what it means, you can Give God the Glory for what He's done, in YOUR life. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Life in HyperSpace is Out!

The book that’s taken twenty plus years and a lot of hard knocks to write is finally complete and edited. If you have ADD/ADHD kids of your own and are in need of a laugh or maybe a little help, check this one out...
Christmas Eve, I finally launched the book about our life at home with four ADD/ADHD kids.This is packed full of laughs and advice from parents who have been there in the trenches.
Here’s the back cover blurb:
Spraypainting the cat? What was he thinking?
With four year college degrees under our belts and a dab of training in Child Psychology, my wife and I thought we were ready for anything when it came to this parenting gig.
We had no idea we would be outnumbered and outgunned. From diet to riot, meds to charts, we’ve tried it all, to train up our kids in the way they should grow.
From the Home School of Hard Knocks, our four ADD and ADHD kids have taught us more about coping and planning ahead than any four year college degree could have, especially when it comes to understanding what goes on in the mind of a five year old in a Buzz Lightyear costume flying on a treadmill. To Infinity, and Beyond.
Links are available on my author website at

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Discernment - Satan vs God

Most of us are familiar with those silly cartoons reflecting an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. And we laugh, because we can SO relate to the situation. After all, God tells us to do nice things, while the Devil, or our sinful flesh, tells us to do something not-so-nice. Our flesh finds the not-so-nice things to be funny. The redeemed side of the Christian's nature might also chuckle at ourselves for the situation we find ourselves in, and the opportunity to do right rather than wrong.

But one of the things that is NOT so funny, is that it can be sometimes difficult to determine which voice is which, especially when it comes to the times when the voices are directed inwardly, toward attitudes and responses, rather than outwardly, toward actions.

I know a lot of Christians who struggle with a feeling of self-condemnation, or feelings of low self-worth. And the guy in the mirror can often BE that guy. The one who thinks he's worthless and broken. So, for all of you who struggle with that, and for the guy in the mirror, here's a punch list of ways to tell the difference.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Melatonin at Midnight

Our youngest, now eleven, is the most hyperactive of our brood, there is no doubt at all. The little guy could be hooked to a treadmill and generate enough electricity for the neighborhood. Reminds me a bit of Hammy from Over the Hedge.

Because of his propensity for zipping through life, we give him Vyvanse to calm him down (yes, a stimulant actually slows him down, much like Hammy did when time slowed down for him when he drank the Mach 7 drink. (You HAVE seen the Over the Hedge movie, yes?))

A negative of that is that when he comes down from the meds he takes in the morning, he's too wound up to go to sleep. We've given him multiple things for that, starting with a teaspoon of Benadryl, but settled on Melatonin, a healthier solution that's a natural hormone, one that regulates sleep. John takes a dose in the evening and is ready to crash about an hour or so later.

When he doesn't get his dose, he's chasing cats down the stairs at 2am, something Papa Bear doesn't approve of. And when Papa Bear ain't happy, well...

Papa Bear can get pretty ugly when he's woken up from hibernation. Just sayin...

This appears to be a common solution to the age old problem of put-the-kids-in-bed, so much so that they now make GUMMY Melatonin, which looks a lot like gummy vitamins, or the friendly kid-approved Dots candy. So much so that it's easy to confuse the two. Whereas, if you eat a box of Dots, you might get a bit of a sugar rush, but if you ate an equal number of Gummy Melatonin, you might sleep for a week.
Here's a comparison of what they look like... pretty similar, right? Ha, and they call it Adult Gummies. But the dose is small enough where it takes several to knock the boy out.

This story is not how my youngest OD's on Melatonin and has to visit the vacuum cleaner at the local hospital. Or another call to the Poison Control Center. But looking at the two, hey, it could happen. I mean, what were they thinking??

One evening, we forgot to give John his dose, and he was running around at midnight and woke up Papa Bear. So he got his dose then, and after a bit, he went to bed, and slept through morning bible, breakfast, and probably homeschool.

Recently our family started going to bed significantly later than usual, since we have new adults in the house, that is, not that we've added family members but that we've fed some of them and, gasp, they've grown up.

So my oldest boy, Justin, now 20, is often gone with friends or has them over, and so does my daughter, now 18. We usually get to evening prayer time quite late, and I'm wiped before they are ready to shut down for the night. My son Justin would just as soon play Uncharted 4 until 8 am and sleep through the day. Me, not so much.

I've taken to telling them I 'turn into a pumpkin' right about 10:31pm, a reference to Cinderella's carriage turning back into a pumpkin at midnight, and cranking it back to a Halloween time because Midnight JUST AIN'T HAPPENIN any more for me.

Or rather, until last night. My 18yo daughter just got on a plane to head out for a Mission Trip to Northern Ireland with YMI, and her red-eye flight left at 5am sharp, which meant we had to be at the airport about 3am, which meant if I was going to get any sleep, I needed to go down by 9pm. But with company over, and my daughter wanting to watch the end of a show, it just kept getting later. We finally turned the TV off about 11:30pm, and prayed. I went up to bed for a few hours sleep, but Justin wanted to play his video game, and he wanted me to watch him. So I stayed up, and so did John, watching Justin gun down baddies while hunting pirate treasure, until it was time to take my daughter to the airport.

So I am running on about 1 hour sleep. Whereas, John, well, this time he didn't need any Melatonin...

And I'll leave you with this verse, which applies to all of us I guess:

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. - Psalm 127:2

(cross-posted from my ADHD family Fun blog)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Distractions, Cherry Blossoms, and Peace

This morning we were doing a family devotion together, as we do every morning, reading God's Word together as a family. We are currently working our way through 2 Corinthians 5, on an annual reading schedule called iFit supplied by our Awana Club church.

The passage concerns how we are new creatures in Christ, and how old things are passed away, and all things are become new. It also talks about death, in how we have to put off this old tent someday, and go be absent from the body and present with the Lord.

There is a beauty in heaven that is beyond description. The passage got me to thinking about heaven, and I gave a glance out my back window at the sky.

It was a beautiful morning, and I was struck by the Mimosa blossoms on one of the trees growing in our back yard.

The mimosa has some of the most beautiful flowers of any tree here in the South, and it is a very common and hardy tree.

This time of the year the blossoms break out in vibrant pink and white cascades, which will eventually make a much less appealing carpet of brown underneath.

Being ADD has its disadvantages, of course, and while my daughter was reading her portion of the chapter before passing it over to my youngest son, I was off in the past, thinking about a similar tree that stood in front of our old house over two decades ago, a cultivated magnolia with beautiful pink blossoms of a slightly different nature.
Gazing at that tree each morning while drinking my coffee gave me such a feeling of inner peace and contentment and communion with God in His creation, a feeling shared, obviously, with millions of Japanese who gazed out similar windows at the cherry blossoms each Spring.

When we moved to our new home, one of the things I missed the most was that tree and its beautiful pink blossoms in the Spring. I had made comments about this loss to my Father-in-Law, who was a decent artist and sculptor, and it struck him so much he gave me this painting for my birthday one year.

The photo here doesn't do it justice, it's huge, about three feet by two feet. My wife had it professionally framed, and we hung it in the bedroom, sort of a window to an alternate dimension where it's always Spring, and I wake up many mornings and stare at it in contemplation of God's design and the beauty of His creation, including the skilled work He creates through us.

Years later, my Father-In-Law passed away, and I was thinking about that as well, and how his funeral coincided with my wife's birthday, a poignant and tragic combination. At that funeral I played a song I wrote for the occasion in honor of the talented somewhat starving artist, a song you can hear by following this link.

So I thought on that and the fact that Heaven is waiting for us, a place more beautiful and tranquil than a thousand Japanese cherry orchards in full bloom, and that I only have the hope of seeing it because of the last verse in that chapter that my eleven-year-old was just getting done reading:

For He made Him who knew no sin [to be] sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. -2Cor 5:21 NKJV

(cross-posted from my ADHDfamilyFun blog...)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Memory, Memory Sticks, Memory Loss, and Loss

Attention, please.

What I mean is, I probably need to pay more, ahem, attention. Unfortunately, the memory bank is overdrawn, and I cannot afford to pay attention, not with all the dreams, projects, stories, outlines, songs, and games in progress.

Since my memory at 50+ isn't what it used to be, I've taken to storing it on these little USB memory sticks. You see them in the stores, by the register, currently running around 16GB for 8 bucks, or 64GB for 30. The problem really is keeping track of where you put them.
Image result for usb memory sticks
So, this is what memory looks like these days, when you crack the cover and look inside. Of course, when you crack the cover, you've usually lost your mind, too. At least, I did, when I did that. About 2 years ago, setting the laptop down, it cracked the case on my missing memory. I lost three month's work on a novel that day, because I ONLY stored my books on my memory stick. Easier transport.

You would think I'd learned my lesson. I bought another stick, and copied my work to it, and went on with life, happily rewriting, until that stick didn't have enough memory for my stuff. So I bought a bigger one, carried it around on my keys.

About four weeks ago, while in Pensacola I somehow lost my memory again. This time, I lost about four months' work on a novel and six months' work on a video game. Aargh! Hate this ADD! I looked everywhere, and could only conclude it was in our hotel room. But they never found it, so they say, anyway. It had other stuff on it, important stuff, like family pictures and bank records and all kinds of gee I hope nobody finds this stuff.

So when we got home, guess what, I bought another memory stick, a 64GB one, and started trying to catch up on the work I'd lost with the other one. Took a few weeks, but I finally started getting traction on the story I was writing, and a little on the Game I was designing.

Last night, I... Oh, I almost can't say it.

I lost my memory again.

And without having backed it up anywhere.

Honest, I do have an IQ over that of a potato bug. But maybe I've been storing that on these little sticks too.
Sandisk Cruzer Glide - USB flash drive - 16 GB - USB 2.0 - SDCZ60-016G-A46
The USB stick must have slipped off my keyring carabiner when I was getting my keys out. Another months' work, flushed. So today I've gone to the store and bought a few sticks on clearance. SanDisk, with Encryption Vaults to store my Don't Read my Bank Records stuff in.

I'm going to commit to putting anything and everything in the little Vault, and backing this stuff up daily that I've been working on. Otherwise, I think I'll lose my mind again, maybe this time for keeps.

Anybody else been there, done that??

Monday, April 25, 2016

Video Game Addictions

(Cross-posted from my ADHD Family Fun blog...)

Video Games are an addictive pastime, and there are several generations of 'kids' now addicted to them. The fast-moving digital media can be unhealthy, too, because overexposure to it can reprogram the brain for rapid-fire, rather than cognitive thinking. See this article on it...

I for one have many that I've enjoyed over the years, on many platforms including the Commodore 64, the Atari 2600, the PC, the Playstation 1 and 2, the GameBoy Advance, and Nintendo DS. I'm even currently working through level 150 of ToyBlast on my iPhone. (A very addictive little game).

In our loving madhouse, we sign off from Electronics on Sunday, from morning until after evening services, to focus on God and unplug for a bit. Maybe do some healthy brain activity like read a book. Like, maybe, the Bible! Or work puzzles.

But little Johnny doesn't quite get it. Could be the ADHD, perhaps he wasn't paying attention. Since we confiscate his Nintendo 3DS for the day, he's leveraged the Color printer and a roll of Scotch Tape to create one we WON'T confiscate.

Believe it or not, what you are seeing here is the OUTSIDE cover of a Three-Dimensional, realistic, PAPER Nintendo 3DS. I'll open it up for you so you can see the inside...
Please forgive the rotated nature of the pictures, my iPhone created the pictures in landscape, and I'm having trouble rotating them back. Notice how John has a PacMan game going on his PaperCraft Nintendo 3DS. He's also got all the controller buttons, and along the sides of the unit, he has all the connectors to plug in power (a big no-no during no electronics) or an audio cable.

I gotta say, his PaperCraft Nintendo 3DS is so realistic, it's fooled several people in the family, and even visitors, and I've even managed to fool John himself with this expertly taped together game system.

It's certainly 'street legal' during our electronics fasts, but the only game that will probably play on it, other than PacMan, would be Paper Mario.