Sunday, June 21, 2015

"Tell Me A Story"


Wait, I need to back up and prepare you for this story. You often ask me to "Tell me a story" like I used to on the way to school. I have written about that previously. Well, I have one to tell you today. It is a very long story so it will probably take many days. It is also a VERY special story because, unlike other stories I tell, none of it is made up. It is all true. This story begins before any other story ever told. It begins:

A long, long time ago; before "time" was ever measured, before there was a "you", or "me", or anyone; before there was an Earth, or a Sun, or a galaxy, or any stars at all; Before there was anything else....there was God.

Have you ever thought of that? I had not. Only within the last few years, in my understanding as an answer to my prayer to Him that He teach me how to truly be a son of His, God has begun to reveal greater truths to me than ever before. Now, that is not to say that I understand them all or that I boast in this knowledge. Rather, He is telling me that things are going to be ok; that He, as my true Father is greater than I can ever possibly understand while on earth...and that I/we have SO much to look forward to when we get to Him. It is a great joy and excitement to learn about Him, yet of course creates many more questions.

For example: What was He doing before he created the universe?

I love this question because it is such a mystery. I have looked into it.

1) I believe that we can not know HOW LONG God existed before creation because we are dealing with eternity. Wrap your awesome mind around this...
Think of the point 0 as the creation of the Universe (as described in Genesis). Think of the point 1 as the end of the World as recorded in the Book of Revelation. We like to think of the arrow after that as "We get to live with God "forever," for all of eternity.
 
But look at the other end of eternity...before point 0. Yup, eternity goes both ways...forever before, and forever after.
 
Another level of this mystery is: God created the concept we know as TIME. 
 
"God called the light "day" and the darkness He called "night". There was evening, and there was morning - the first day." Genesis 1:5
 
As the creator of time, he is not subject to it and thus...God does not have to respect the laws of time. In simplistic terms, He is the perfect time traveler. He can go forward and backward through time at will.
 
But then think of this...as the creator of all time AND matter, he doesn't have to respect the laws of matter and thus, He IS everywhere at once. (Omnipresent) He is at point 0, and the next line, and the next, and at point 1, AND before and forever after.
 
I know, I know, that is difficult to wrap the mind around...but don't close it off. We (humans) like to put God in a box so that we feel more comfortable understanding Him; that way we can feel safe and self-sufficient. But the truth is...we can NEVER understand God because we are created beings, created within laws of time and matter which HE created.
 
"For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." 1 Cor. 13:12
 
ANYWAY, What was God doing before He created the universe?
Sitting on His throne? Yeah, sure. The all powerful God is a boring old man who likes to sit around all day.

Are you kidding? He is God. I imagine He was doing "God things." Solving great mysteries; creating other things; planning for the future (well, what WE think of as the future).

2) God was not alone.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light fall mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
 
 
This is believed to be a different "beginning" than the Genesis "In the beginning." Genesis recounts the beginning of the Universe (as we know it), galaxies, stars, planets, earth in particular. But who are we to imagine that the God who created all of it just happened to have that be His very first act. Imagine being God (like that's easy), would there not be some things you would want to accomplish BEFORE you created free willed beings?
 
John points out, that God the father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit were all together, from the "beginning." What he wants us to know is that the Trinity existed, was unified, and was the source of the Word. I sometimes go so far as to imagine that John is describing the three in that first sentence.
 
"In the beginning was the Word (Son), and the Word was with God (Holy Spirit), and the Word was God (Father)."
 
John Eldridge uses the opening scene of the movie The Last of the Mohicans to illustrate the idea of the Trinity: Three individuals with a singular purpose, a critically important purpose. They are intense, and they are completely unified in their intent. That, is the Trinity
 
What were they doing? I really want to know someday. What we do know is that they were together, that they were intertwined in a way beyond our understanding except that it is alluded to in a marriage ("And the two shall become ONE.") Something about our spirits overlaps, two become one so, in the God Trinity, there is perfect overlap, while there is still distinction.
 
Christianity is described as Monotheism: One Deity (versus Greek mythology which practices Polytheism: Many Dieties (Zeus, Athena, Apollo, etc...). I have wrestled with that in the past. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit would seem to be Poly rather than Mono. However...I don't get to decide whether or not an all powerful entity is separate and distinct from another. I just get to draw breath for awhile and trust that, when God defines himself, He says "Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is ONE.
 
Honestly, it is exciting to me to think that the Trinity existed in perfect union, perfect cooperation, and perfect fellowship. It helps me understand my own need for others. I long to be in union with another. I feel most complete when your Mom and I are working as one. I count on her to "bear my name" as she so eloquently states. In that bearing, she is stating that her will is a reflection of mine. Who she is impacts others perception of me for WE are the Hickam's. That is unity.
 
Christ was the perfect picture of that while He was on earth (though I don't want to get TOO far ahead of myself): Christ said repeatedly: "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." (John 14:9) "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself (referencing himself). He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever he Father does, the Son also does." (John 5:19) And: "I do not speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it." (John 12:49).
 
Isn't that amazing?! Jesus Christ, God the Son, is so in tune with, so perfectly unified with God the Father that He continually reminds those who hear him that the Father's will supplants his own. He gives full credit where credit is due. (Even to the point of accepting death on the cross despite being fearful, and grieved saying, "Not my will but yours Father.")
 
3) Are you ready for this one? Really ready? The bible does give us ONE very important, amazing, humbling detail of what the Trinity was doing prior to the creation:
 
"Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons (and daughters) through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will..." Ephesians 1:4-5
 
Yes. He was thinking of you. He CHOSE you before the foundation of the world. He predestined you to adoption. (Predestined means to choose before hand, to predetermine) Just as your Mommy and I wrote your name in the sand on a beach in Galveston Texas 6 years before you were born, God knew you before the creation. He knew all of us. He knew everything about us, and He saw our places in the plan He had for His creation.
 
God, in the perfect unity of the Trinity has existed for eternity, and will exist for eternity. He knew what had been and He knew what was coming, and He knows what is going on now, and He knows what will happen. He is already there.
 
Something else happened before creation though. Something else which, once we begin to understand it, will help us understand WHY life is the way it is. I will continue this EPIC story, this amazing adventure next time. But I will pose a question first:
 

 
What is with the angels...and why are they armed?
 
syla.
Love, Daddy
 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Dear Princesss,
Yesterday I woke up and you said your first words. As I was preparing lunch, you went to first grade. By dinner time, you were talking about boys (other than Daddy); and now, as I start another day, you are preparing to enter High School as a Freshman.

There is so much I wanted to say to you...so much I wanted to prepare you for...

Perhaps I have in spoken word, and hopefully in some of my deeds...but here, I have failed to keep up. I can't remember the number of priceless moments that have come and gone between us that are locked somewhere in my mind...rarely to see the light of day.

The wonderful truth of life however is...it is never to late to pick up where one leaves off...until of course we are dead. And I am not dead yet.

You went to camp without us for the first time this summer...just last week in fact. I can't explain it to you, but I missed you so profoundly. The house felt empty, my days felt empty. When you are asleep in the mornings this summer I so look forward to you waking up. I love being around you, even though you sometimes are busy on the computer. It was like that...I wanted to go wake you up and just spend a little time with you.

It got a little easier as the days progressed. I had to have faith that you were ok. That God had you in His care. As I prayed before you left..."God, I give Dora to you this week. You are a better parent than I will ever be, and I know you have good plans for her."

It is SO true that parents with children become so wrapped up in them that, when the children leave, husband and wife have to learn to communicate once again. Well, I want you to know that is a good thing...you deserve my intensity and focus. You deserve my undivided attention. Your Mommy and I will be ok, and we are ok. In fact we are really good sometimes...other times, God sustains us.

But this series of writings was never about us, they were designed to be about you, so that you could read them one day and have some memories, and some wisdom, and to know how much joy you provide...without even trying. So that is were we return.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentines Day to My Wife

John Eldridge, my favorite author who you are making it possible for me to go see in less than a month, says that a man can not find his true strength, his true nature in a woman. If a man does not know who he is, and takes this question to his woman, she will be unable to answer it for him, and this will eventually destroy their relationship.

I just want to say that in our relationship, Most Gorgeous, I am blessed that, though I did not know my true strength, had not been properly fathered to know what it meant to be a man, you were patient (mostly) and somehow knew that I would find my way to the answer. You have given me the support and freedom to explore this question over the past 18 years...and though I certainly have not answered it fully, I now know where the answer is coming from, and what it means to be able to bring my true self, and true strength into our marriage.

Thank you for loving me, and trusting in me. Let's find more adventures to brave together!

TQ

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Now that's an obvious title for a day like today.

I just wanted to check in....with nobody in particular in mind; though I do know that my sister faithfully checks this blog.

What if I start posting in a disciplined way?

I am thinking about writing a book again. I really would like to do that before I die. This would be a good way to get back into writing.

The one I started this book for is now 13...if you can believe it. I have a lot to say about that too.

I think I might go ahead and take the plunge. (Notice how I am leaving myself an out.)

Later

Friday, November 30, 2012

Midlife Crisis

How funny it is to be going through midlife now....at this time in the history of the world. That time when men especially must face the transition from

YOUNG VIRAL TOUGH GUY

to

OLDER BACK HURTS GOTTA BUY READING GLASSES IS THAT EVEN MORE GRAY HAIR? GUY



I just have to sit back and marvel at the irony that my father....with whom I had "issues" went through his midlife during the greatest economic growth period in our national history....and got to see the USSR fall.

Me....I get to watch our country choose socialism....

the way the USSR did....

before they fell.

Sorry this is so short.

I gotta go hide in my video game world.


And yes, I know I can't hide forever...just 4 more years.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Who ARE you, and what have you done with the child I deserved?

Long time no post.

Lots of reasons...but let me just say, if you need me to help you play video games, well, I am very good right now. LOTS of practice.

My video-game partner said something hilarious, and true the other day while we were playing. I had told him I had to leave at 9. Nine came, and went, and I knew it, but was....video-game intoxicated. He said, "Isn't it 9 o'clock there? And didn't you have something you had to do at work?"
I agreed and said I was thinking about going in a little later but that I really should go now. So he says,

"Thank God I was here...to take the needle out of your arm."

Yeah. To some people, video-games are just like crack. Allows us to avoid the hard stuff of life, for just a little while, while pumping us full of euphoria inducing action.

Anyway, that's been one reason.

But this I can't let pass.

My wife and I have a friend who has not lived a very successful life. Not a very happy person, and is very much down on his luck. He has a talent though, one that really speaks to my daughter and she commented on this talent when she saw a letter from this friend to my wife. Well, my wife wanted to make this friend feel better so she mentioned my daughter's praise in her response letter. We get even more evidence of this talent in the next letter.

Well, me being an overprotective jerk father cautioned my little one, not wanting her to get her hopes up about this person, not wanting her to date this kind of person, not wanting her to get hurt...who knows; but anyway, I said something to the effect of:

"This person has not lived a good life little one. We have to remember that. They are a nice person, but have made many, many bad choices."

So what does she do. She writes her own letter to our friend, shared one of her own talents, and witnessed to him. Told him a little about God.

I felt 3 inches tall and embarrassed to be in the same room with such a beautiful spirit. She is already set toward the good works that God has prepared for her....and is acting on them, rather than thinking about them. Boy can she teach me!

Then, this past Sunday in church, she does this (No, I do not have time to learn how to imbed this youtube video):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q82qUwpClQM&feature=youtube_gdata_player

I don't deserve her....but then, God doesn't give us what we deserve, we'd all be dead. God gives us life. In this life are many hardships, anxieties, pains, and joys. As much as I would like to believe it is not true, my little one is here for God, not for me. He has plans for her, and will continue to shape and mold her towards those plans, if she can just stay moldable and shapable.

I have been feeling that I am not so much that person of late. Is it wrong that your own child is a better example of grace and peace and faith than you are? Thought so.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Points

I don't really know why, but I never really knew of, or expected to experience the capacity of a child to love his or her parents in the way that I now experience that love from Little One. I wish I could adequately communicate it to those who don't really know how to parent, or are just not very good at it. I would say something like this:




"When you do it right...or as near to "right" as you can, your child will know that they are precious to you, and, as they become conscious of other children around them whose parents are NOT doing it "as rightly" as you, they will come to appreciate you. And they will begin to repay that love with their own. Almost overnight, they will become less selfish, they will ask you how YOU are doing, they will bring YOU something from the store, they will grab YOUR hand. They will tell you that they love YOU, first. That is the point when you realize, among other things:
1) At least you are doing ONE thing sort of correctly
2) Kids do become less selfish as they grow older
3) You need your child at least as much as she or he needs you
This leads me to a funny exchange. Yesterday, my animal loving daughter once again began her apeal to let her have a cat. In fact, she offered to pay me $6 for the priviledge. She even knows which one she wants. I said "no." (I will forever and always say no...there are many good reasons other than that I don't like the smell of kitty litter, like, my wife AND that same daughter are very allergic to cats.)




Anyway:
Although she KNEW I would say no as I have every other time, she started to get herself worked up over it. I started to simply reflect how much I knew she wanted one and that I knew she was disappointed. Finally she stopped asking and stated simply that I had "just lost 50 points."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Well last night you told Mommy you had just earned points for letting me have desert" she replys.
"So I just lost 50? How many did I have?" I begged.
"5" and we laughed and laughed.