Archive for the month “September, 2019”

Pop Pop Epistle #74 – About Genealogy

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Dear Grandkids,

I am currently pondering my way through the Gospel of Matthew as I spend time in the Scriptures each day. I was reading through the genealogy in Matthew 1:

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah,  and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah,  and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah,  and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

Nothing terribly excited about reading a bunch of names. But as I pondered the practical implications of this list I thought about this…. Everyone of those names represents a life lived. Every one of those lives has a corresponding story. Some of those stories are inspiring and faith-fueled. Some of those stories are sad and forgettable.

One of these days my name will just be a name in a long list like this. When your great grand-kids (who will never meet me or know me) hear my name will it bring to mind stories that spur them to live courageous, faith-filled lives or will it be a name that provokes them to do nothing – that is essentially forgotten in time.

My hope is that when you hear the name Pop Pop that it will remind you of fun, and faith, and laughter, and singing, and generosity, and adventures.

And as you write the stories that will be associated with your name don’t forget the words of Proverbs 22:1 which says, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.”

Never forget that you are very loved!

Pop Pop

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Pop Pop Epistle #73 – About The Sandlot

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Dear Grandkids,

Baseball season is winding down. My New York Mets are not going to make the playoffs… again. So this is a baseball related epistle about a classic baseball related movie that will help you be happy when you are sad because your team keeps losing.Screen Shot 2019-09-23 at 3.50.26 PM

The movie is The Sandlot.

It came out in 1993. It was about a kid named Scotty Smalls and the baseball team that took him under their wing in the summer of 1962. When you watch the movie you will be introduced to some unforgettable characters like Benny the “Jet”, Yeah-Yeah, Ham, Mr Mertle, The Beast, Wendy Peffercorn, and my favorite, Squints.

You will want to be on the listen for some classic lines from the movie.

  • You’re killin’ me Smalls!
  • First you take a graham. Then you stick the chocolate on the graham. And then you roast the mallow. And when the mallows flaming you stick it on the chocolate. Then you cover it with the other graham. And then you stuff it.
  • Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends: Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.
  • He had kissed a woman and he had kissed her long and good.
  • Some lady named Ruth. Baby Ruth.

And there are some classic scenes that will be forever embedded in your mind. It is a fun, funny, memorable movie that you will enjoy best probably when you are an adult even though it is about kids.

One of the great lessons to be learned from the movie is about friendship. Smalls is new to town. He has no friends. And he is terrible at baseball. Benny invites him to join their baseball team because they need one more player. All the other kids make fun of him and call him an “L-7 weenie.” But Benny stands up for him and helps him get established in the group.

You will have opportunities as you grow up to be the kind of friend that Benny was to Smalls. There will be people who will need you to come alongside them, stand up for them, and stand by them. Jesus was this kind of friend. Just read Luke 19:1-10 and the story of Zacchaeus or John 4 and His encounter with the woman at the well. Never underestimate the significant influence you can have in a person’s life just by being a friend.

Never forget that you are very loved!

Pop Pop

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Pop Pop Epistle #72 – About Memorizing Scripture

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Dear Grandkids.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (Ephesians 2:1-3)

These are the verses that I am currently trying to memorize. My goal is to memorize Ephesians 2:1-10 by the end of this year so I still have a good ways to go. Ask me from time to time how I am doing.

Scripture memory is a forgotten discipline among believers. Yet I believe it is an awesome discipline to regularly practice if you want to grow to maturity in Christ.

There are at least 4 reasons why I believe this is true:

1) It will help you to triumph over sin. Psalm 119:9 says, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you”

2) It will help you to triumph over the evil one. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, he recited Scripture from memory and thwarted the schemes of the devil. (Matthew 4:1-11)

3) It will help you to encourage and comfort the saints. Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”

4) It will help you to have a closer walk with God. Because His Word dwells within you, He can use it at any time to remind you things you need to know and He can use it to remind you of His awesome love for you.

Chuck Swindoll wrote in his book Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life …

I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified.

I hope that as you grow up that you will make it a habit to memorize Scripture. I will be glad to help you as long as you are willing to help me as well.

By the way, ask your parents if they know the three keys to being able to successfully memorize Scripture. They should be able to tell you. If not, I did not do my job well.

Never forget that you are very loved!

Pop Pop

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Pop Pop Epistle #71 – About Poop

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Dear Grandkids,

I have noticed, especially with the grand-boys, that there seems to be an inordinate obsession with poop. Admittedly, poop is worthy of our conversation and often is the subject of funny stories and jokes and is familiar to everybody. I mean, let’s just go ahead and say it… everybody poops. But are you aware that there is a very interesting creature that has taken poop-fascination to an exponential level?Shamwari Wildlife

The dung beetle it would seem has one purpose in life: to collect dung. When they come upon a pile of dung they begin creating dung balls which they roll away from the pile – to keep their magnificent find from being plundered by other beetles. They can roll dung balls up to 50 times their weight.

Beetles generally work as couples. But usually it is the male that rolls the ball, with the female hitch-hiking or simply following behind. In some cases the male and the female roll together. When a spot with soft soil is found, they stop and bury the dung ball. They will then mate underground. After the mating, both or one of them will prepare the ball as a birthing bed. When the ball is finished, the female lays eggs inside it. When the eggs hatch, they feed on the dung.

I’m not making this up.

So what life lessons are to be learned from these architect’s of the poop domain? Here are a few that come to mind:

1) Like the dung beetle, are we fulfilling the purpose that God has created us for – with as much diligence and tenacity?

2) And like the dung beetle, are we investing our lives in the collection of  “dung” – stuff that really isn’t worth a poop.

3) Are we willing to share our “dung piles” with others – the stuff that we have worked so hard for – or do we hide it away for our own enjoyment only?

4) What do we hunger for – dung and more dung? Or do we hunger for the kind of food that will feed our souls?

Paul said this in Philippians 3:8: “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them like dung (literally this is what the Greek says) that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own… but that which comes through faith in Christ.”

Never forget that you are very loved!

Pop Pop
(which at least one of you has mis-spelled “Poop Poop” on occasion)

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Pop Pop Epistle #70 – About Sunset Beach

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Dear Grandkids,

1987.

That was the year that our family starting spending a week together at Sunset Beach, NC. There have only been a few years that we have missed this annual tradition. It started with Nona’s parents and their kids and grandkids. So your parents have lots of memories at Sunset with their cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. Just to name a few that you can ask them about sometime:

  • Uncle John games
  • Lindsay’s poop story
  • Scott’s trip to the ER
  • Walks to Jellyfish Bay
  • Sardines
  • Rock Candy
  • Calabash Seafood
  • Putt Putt
  • Fun on the sand and surf
  • Finding pencil shells
  • Pushing Tucker off his bike
  • Aunt Jeanne freaking out
  • Family meals
  • Screened in porch talks
  • Tucker’s poop story (Outer Banks not Sunset)

We are keeping the tradition alive and hope that in 15 years you will have lots of shared memories of your own that you look back on and laugh together about. The pictures below were taken 25 years apart – 1994 and 2019. A lot has changed in 25 years – but we cherish the memories and find great joy in our love for one another and the times we get to spend together.

 

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Never forget that you are very loved!

Pop Pop

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