Category Archives: Birthday

And the Oscar goes too. . .

I didn’t watch the Oscars on Sunday because, frankly, awards infrequently go to the people who really deserve them. If you ask me, there’s far too much hoopla over the “actor” in people and far too little concentration on the character in people. Millions of people tune in to watch millions of dollars spent on recognizing someone for how he or she acts, not on what he or she does; or what kind of impact he or she makes; or even what kind of virtuous life each leads. The rewards should go to the individuals on the front lines of life’s real battles––those who stand in the face of adversity, those whose integrity continue to shine even under the harshest of conditions, those whose values and standards don’t change with the direction of the wind. People like parents, pastors, believers, teachers, politicians (NOT!), nurses, doctors, the real heroes––not people who just play them on TV. I’m referring to people who use their lives to elevate others, not people who use others to elevate their own lives. (And, no, this ain’t a bitter tirade because neither Brad nor Angelina won the Oscar––give me a break).

And the Oscar goes to . . .

My dad and mom,

Robert and Marlene Shaw

Married for 38 years, they have always set a great example for my brother and I, and it’s certainly not because of a lack of adversity. They have had their share of hardships from times of unemployment and near-poverty, to a cancer that threatened the life of my father (he is a 10-year survivor by the grace of God), to a disabling physical condition that would not keep my dad from becoming a certified lifeguard, to who knows what other trials they stood tall through, at least by appearance in order to hold it together for us kids.

Well, a coworker of mine (thanks Annette) taught me that it’s far more important to celebrate your parents on your birthday than to celebrate yourself. After all, how much did you really have to do with your birthday? Sure, you were there for the conception but without your mom and dad meeting like they did . . . enough said!

Thanks Dad and Mom for bringing me into this world! To be only half the parent that you are would be a noble accomplishment. I hope to make you proud by leaving a deep and lasting impression on this world that will shine a legacy of integrity into generations to come!

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WWJD or WWJD?

Today, I turn 36 years old. By this time three years earlier in his life, Jesus already had himself a team of twelve, confronted the current zealots of the day, healed the sick, raised the dead, turned water into wine, fed many from little, walked on water, endured a brutal beating, died on the cross, rose from the dead, saved the world, and ignited a 2000+ year legacy. And he did it all in 3 years.

Whew! Need a minute; feeling a little inadequate right now.

Now that I think about it, should I really be feeling inadequate? It’s easy enough for Jesus, being God’s true son and all but I’m merely an adopted son. How can one really, possibly even come close to living the WWJD mantra? I mean, hasn’t Jesus already done what it is He would do? Why are we still asking the question (WWJD) when we already have the Answer? Did He really call us to act like Him or to act for Him; to do His work or to do His will? Honestly, if we could do what Jesus did, would we even need Jesus?

Follow me here: His work was to die for all, right? Then our work is not His work because it has already been done. So then what is our work? Our work is His will. His will is to die for all to see (not visually with human eyes of course, but with the eyes of the heart; to understand; to believe). That’s where we come in. Our work (or His will) is to reflect His love so that others see it (Matthew 5:16). He’s the Message, we’re the messenger. Maybe the question isn’t completely off the mark, maybe it simply needs rephrased. Instead of “What would Jesus do?”, perhaps it should read, “What would Jesus desire?” It’s His will that He desires of us.

How does that look from a practical standpoint? Try this on for size:

You come across a beggar blind from birth, do you,
A) Do as Jesus would: spit in the dirt, rub mud on the man’s eyes thereby healing his blindness (John 9:1-11)?
B) Do Jesus’ will: get him hooked up with a local ministry, share the Gospel with him, pray with him, or even just lead him to a restaurant whereby you buy him a meal ?
C) Do your will: look the other direction?

Wash That Gray

Some of you may remember the 80’s jingle for Clairol Hair Care: ۰♫ I’m gonna wash that gray right outta’ my hair ♪۰ Heck, I remember it even though I’m quickly approaching the 36 year mark (real quick–it’s tomorrow). That may not seem all that old to some of you but the gray hairs that appear in my facial and chest hair is a continual foreshadow of things to come (and my wife takes every opportunity to remind me).

Not to sound cheesy but that could have been a commercial for Christ. While the signs of aging are eminent in my body, my soul is as new as eternity is long. Christ came to make me new; to wash out the gray hair, unwrinkle the skin, give me eagle-like vision, and renew the heart of a worn and tattered soul.

Starting to feel old? Take comfort in knowing that your heart is brand spankin’ new if you are in Christ. Go out today and conquer the world––while physically you may be inching toward the grave, spiritually you have just been delivered!

. . . And it is good!

September 30th not so long ago (well, 9 months or so earlier), God created; and it was good–it is good!

Happy Birthday, Baby!

I thank God for you everyday!

Queen of Hearts

Tina and I were graciously invited to a party by a coworker of mine. The festivities began with a diverse group of 50 plus people. The fellowship was superb, the food yummy (chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, bruschetta, and jalapeño poppers), the DJ jammin’, the disco lights poppin’, and the dancin’ hot. Themed, “Queen of the Jungle,” after the nickname of the hostess (Queen), the party even boasted a Tarzan yell contest (and I tied for 1st––AhhhhhAhhhhhh!)

Yes, this party is definitely worth bragging about but even more brag-worthy (and blogworthy) is the hostess. Queen is truly the “hostess with the mostest.” There are some people who let life’s circumstances make them bitter and some who let life’s circumstances make them better. As someone who has been a paraplegic since being hit by a drunk driver in the 70’s, Queen is definitely the latter. She is the kind of person with an energetic personality that lights up the room when she enters. She is not idle or lazy, inspiring others by working three jobs despite her reliance on a wheelchair. Some would say that her paralysis is a disability but apparently, no one has ever told her. Her Christian walk is more of a strut, resonating in the hearts of those around her. She has scaled the mountains of life with grace and dignity yet is humble enough to share the fruits of victory with her vast array of friends (and I just happen to be lucky enough to be called one). While the party was intended to be a celebration of Queen’s birthday, the real gifts are not in what she received but in what she gives to those who are fortunate enough to know her.

We celebrate you, Queen!

Happy Birthday Megan!

My little girl is growing up . . .

Her Eleventeenth (that’s 11 going on teenager) Birthday Party featuring Hawaiian luau theme, hamburgers, fruit kabobs, cookie cake, hula hoop match, water guns, water balloons, limbo contest, crafts, piñata, dance competition, five non-stop screaming girls, sleepover: $200.

Memories: Priceless

Whew! This old dad’s wore out!