family

Lazy Sunday

Vin and I had some fun on Sunday afternoon with the remote control Hummer my mom got him for his birthday. Check it out. If you want to leave a comment for Vin, please do so on his blog, here.

Transformers

Last week in our house was dominated by Transformers. Vin and I had been talking about it for – literally – years. We still lived in Michigan when we heard that the movie was being made and that it was coming out the week of his 6th birthday. We decided then to go. And we did.

But not before I went first – at midnight on Monday. What a geek – standing in line with all the other 30something guys who grew up with Prime and Megatron and Bumblebee and the lot. When the movie ended near 3 am and I walked out to my car, I was pretty sure something in the parking lot was going to turn into a robot before my very eyes.

I went again with Ness, Vin, Mattie, and like a dozen other people from church on Sunday afternoon. Armed with the knowledge of the right scene to take the kids on a potty break, I liked it even better the second time.

It is big and loud and fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously – like so many disaster movies do. Peter Cullen doing the voice of Optimus Prime was so amazing and nostaglic and perfect.

The bad guys are bad guys and the good guys are good guys. I liked that. It was refreshing. The American soldiers were obviously good guys. And I liked that too.

Plus, the message is a great one – No sacrifice, no victory. I really love the comic book movies that have a great message – “With great power comes great responsibility.” What a great way to teach truth! (And to illustrate it in a sermon. Hey, if anyone from BaYouCa is reading, I’ve got a whole new junior high series here.)

The computer animation is breath-taking. It kind of boggles my mind to imagine what they will come up with next. Watching the robots transform was awesome, Prime especially!

My excitement was certainly fueled by Vin’s birthday, which was Transformer-themed. And it has been fueled by the very fun and high energy series we are doing at Vintage right now, Transform Your Life, which everyone seems to be enjoying. But, upon reflection, my excitement was well-founded. The movie did not disappoint. Certainly, not everyone will like it. But I did. Very, very much.

The Rodeo

It was a busy couple of days. We had trips to the doctor’s over a certain young man’s broken arm. We had to touch up the paint on a horse’s butt. We had airport and errand runs to make. And then we had to go to the rodeo.

I had never been to the rodeo before – does that come as a surprise? And I enjoyed it a great deal, even though I didn’t understand how certain events were scored. It was fun, not completely surprisingly, to watch guys on horses and bulls getting thrown off.

I decided while I was at the rodeo that if I am ever a candidate for public office, I will campaign at the rodeo. This place was full of people who love thier country and don’t really care what anyone in Hollywood or Washington or Torra Borra thinks about that. They were unabashadly patriotic, and it was moving for me.

Most moving was a segment at the beginning of the rodeo about the American Soldier. The horse-riding MC intoned with great passion and a touch of melodrama about the bravery and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, encouraging us to clap and cheer for them, which this crowd of obvious Republicans did.

And then, without introduction, a soldier began walking with slow and deliberate paces the length of the rodeo. The crowd erupted with a kind of sustained applause that seemed to sweep everyone away. When he reached his mark at the other end up the stadium, he was met by his grandsons running to hug him, and then his family, and finally his son, also in uniform. They saluted each other and hugged. I choked back a tear. I didn’t expect to cry at the rodeo.

Children in Arkansas

I have been a foster parent.
I am an adoptive parent.
I know – firsthand – what I am talking about.

In 2004 in Arkansas there were 6,502 children living in foster care.
6,502 kids without a place to call “home.”
6,502 kids without stability and security.
6,502 kids languishing.

Are there too many foster homes?
Are there too many people willing to open their lives to unwanted and needy kids?
Is there a long line of people waiting to adopt and raise with love and care kids who would not get it anywhere else?

Why then is the Arkansas legislature considering handicapping the opportunity for children to find loving, stable homes by restricting foster and adoptive care to heterosexual, married couples?

Let me be clear. I believe homosexual activity is outside of the bounds of God’s design for us as human beings. I also believe that the best possible place where a child can be raised is within the bounds of God’s design for us – namely, a home with a mom and a dad. But we live in a world that is far from ideal. In my estimation, it is far better for a child to be in a home – any home – where he or she is wanted, is the center of someone’s world, than to be shipped here and there without ever being able to put down roots.

People are being discriminated against in Arkansas – and none more so than those children whose families have been destroyed by abuse and neglect. In the interest of justice, those children deserve a chance to be placed in a home – any home – that will provide them with love and stability and security.

For those heterosexual, married Christians who want to argue with me about this, I have one simple question, “How many?” How many kids have you fostered? How many kids have you adopted? If your home is the ideal, how many children have you opened it to?

If you live here in Arkansas, I want to join me in asking our legislature to think about the kids before they pass this law.

The ACLU Response

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