Friday, March 31, 2006

Welcome Happy Campers To Camp CAACONAA

"Come as a child or not at all
Suck in your gut and get real small
Make like a baby and learn to crawl
Come as a child or not at all?

Tonight is the 5th official Camp CAACONAA!

Camp CAACONAA (CC) is a ministry I put together with my buddy Jeff. It's a campout where Dad's can bring one of their kids with the express purpose of bonding a little deeper with him/her. The idea is that our kids need special time with their fathers. Knowing that Dad's have a hard time dedicating time for their kids, we've designed CC to help them drop the busy-ness that consumes them, get on the floor and play, and ultimately, turn their hearts back to their kids.

In the winter, we hold Kinder CAACONAA for the little ones, age 3-6. It's an indoor, living room style, campout at our church. Dads bring tents and set them up in the auditorium. Some even drape blankets over a couple chairs for the ultimate living room fort. That's what we're doing tonight. I'm taking my 5 year old boy.

In the picture above, you see the reason for Camp CAACONAA. From the left; Jeff's Dad Thurston, Jeff's son J, Jeff, Me, my daughter P, and my Dad Fred.

This photo was taken at the 3rd CC this past summer. Jeff and I wanted to show our own Dads their fathering legacy. We wanted them to see what their good fathering fostered in our own lives. We invited them to join us at CC to see it for themselves.

There were 50 father/child pairs there that day, all of them playing together, holding hands, having deep conversations, and otherwise goofing off.

This is the legacy of our Fathers. They gave us quality one-on-one time when we were young. We valued that time. We needed that time. They gave us that time.

Now, we aim at doing the same for our own kids. We want other Dads, who may not have valued, or even had, the time with their own Dads, to begin to understand their value to their kids. We want them to prioritize one-on-one time.

Two weeks after this photo was taken, while Jeff and I were leading the 4th CC, Jeff's Dad died in his sleep. God graciously gave Jeff the chance to honor his father in a special way, that one last time.

We cannot know how much time we have left to spend quality time with our children or our parents. We don't have time to fritter away the moments we do have.

Make time. It's imperative.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


I don't know what I did to get such a cool Little-Brother-In-Law.

Well, I do know what I did. I married his sister. That's not what I mean though.

He has been the bonus to my marriage that I hadn't really counted on.

There are plenty of crazy, mixed-up teenagers to keep American parents crazy and mixed-up themselves, but I couldn't have designed one easier to tolerate than him.

He loves my kids. He tolerates them, torments them, and tutors them. And to this point, he still hasn't made it his mission to mess them up for me.

In years past, I had to keep on my toes. Like a young tiger at the zoo, his joy was to make me yelp in pain. He would wrestle me until I fought back, then keep wrestling until I climbed exhausted from the pool. We had a great wrestlationship.

I'm glad he's outgrown that stage. Not because I didn't like it. I did. I'm glad it's over because he's almost as big as me and just as strong. My weight would be the only advantage I have left.

With the few years of adolescence he has left, I hope he still looks to me as a resource to help him grow into the honorable man he wants to be.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Into The Deep

"I baptize you with water, but HE will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." - John The Baptist
Mark 1:8

When my father baptized me, it was then a ritual I wanted to undertake. It meant something deep, but at the time, I could only see it as obedience, as a demonstation of following Jesus. The true meaning didn't surface for me until I came to know the baptism that John said would come soon enough.

I'm still trying to find words to describe this Holy Spirit baptism that I swim through every day. I struggle to stay faithful when the world screams louder than the still small voice, and yet when I hear, and then I listen, and then I drink it deep, it becomes, not a struggle at all, but an ever increasing, world muting, wave of joy.

When my father and I baptised my daughter, I prayed that she would come to understand this baptism earlier in life than her old man. I pray she will know the voice of The Ghost before the world's noise invades her precious ears.