Saturday, July 12, 2014

Dr. Stanley Monroe Horton-The Picture of True Humility

Dr. Stanley Monroe Horton
May 6,1916 to July 12, 2014
I never had the honor of sitting under his tutelage,
many of my friends did though.
The one constant they all came away with
was that his intelligence was only surpassed by
his humility.

He was also known to throw curve-balls
on his tests.
He would have sections
or
even whole tests
that were True/False
and
every
answer
would be false.
He caught many people
off guard
especially those who tried to work a pattern.

I knew him first as my friends'
dad.
He was one of my consistent rides
to the coffee house
that Faith and I attended every weekend.

Though he was from the
older generation,
he never treated us "hippies"
as anything less than
God's
handiwork.

He was also
on
Facebook.
When people
who were decades younger
cried about how
hard or unsafe or
{fill-in-the-blank-with-something-negative}
it was,
he was active on Facebook
and
even had a blog
that he kept up
until he physically
could not.
He was a life-long learner
who embraced
new things with vim and vigor!

He was a man of his word
and
a man who lived
by His [God]
word.

He was true to 
his calling.
He lived
as he taught,
with integrity
and
humility.

He was one of the most
humble
people
I have ever met.

As he got older
and
the world changed,
he continued to live
and
love
as God had called him too.

I never saw him be unkind to anyone.
Even
and
maybe especially,
to
those students,
children of students,
or
friends of students,
who didn't fit
the Bible school
image.
He
loved
them
as
God
does.
He loved them
just as they were.

He truly did not care
what you looked like
on the outside
or
even where your politics took you,
he
treated everyone
with
respect.
If he said he was praying for you,
you knew he meant it.
Rest in peace Dr. Horton
your work here is finished,
we will miss you.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

You Went Along . . .

I think I am tired of the "moral high ground" people are taking regarding the Internet-generation. Indeed there are children, adolescents, and young adults who carry an attitude of entitlement, but folks, my generation was called "the me-generation" long before this current generation was even a twinkle in daddy's eye. My mother told me stories of the flapper's (1920's) selfishness, pettiness, and lavishness. This me-generation thing has been going on for a very long time, but the term came along with my generation.

No generation springs whole-cloth into existence. If our children and grandchildren want a smart-phone, insist on the latest gaming system, grumble because the TV isn't HD, or don't play outside, there are two factors to blame. Of course, society/peers and the expectations there are big influences, but the ultimate responsibility for teaching moral codes and selflessness falls to us. Parents and grandparents.

Yup, as a kid, my curfew was the street light, my mom came looking for me (she didn't like to yell), I didn't have a cell-phone or a laptop, and we were lucky if we had a working TV. But in all honesty, if my generation had, had the technology that this generation has, and my mom could have afforded it, we would have had it. She didn't believe in depriving us of the most current trends just because she didn't have them when she grew up. She also didn't believe it was a terrible thing to give us what she could afford. And neither did or do I. 

Sure, I had to work to use her car, and indeed, I had to ask permission. But my mom usually gave me the use of it and it always had gas in it. Sometimes I had to gas it up, but she would never have sent me out without the money to fill it. (Mine or hers). I also had to find a payphone to let her know if plans changed. This wasn't because I was such a great kid/adolescent but because she had rules and I'd better follow them. In other words, my mother set boundaries and I had to stay within them. No personal moral high-ground here, it was because she expected it that I did it.

If this generation doesn't meet your morality then find out why. Is it you? Is it your peers? Kids are going to kick those boundaries; it's their job. It is your job and your friends' job to see to it that boundaries are set and that kids are required to stay within them. 

This generation may not understand what it is to lose a game, because my generation decided everyone must win something. Somewhere in my lifetime, some adult came up with the bright idea of playing the game just for the fun of playing the game and didn't keep score (at least not publicly). It was not the kidlets who made that decision, it was their parents. Trust me, those kids kept score and knew it well! 

It was not this generation who decided that everything needed bumpers to keep them safe, it was some adult in my lifetime who decided to pad everything. It wasn't this generation who decided that everyone should get something simply because they showed up, it was some adult in my lifetime. 

Understand, I firmly believe that there are changes that simply are good. I made my child wear a helmet when she rode her bike, even though I didn't (I had the concussions to prove that they should have been invented decades sooner). My child had to sit in a car seat until she was tall enough to sit under a seatbelt without choking on it. My child had to be buckled into the car before it moved, as did (and do) I. We had outlet covers and cabinet locks to protect her, even though I shocked the snot out of myself by putting a bobby pin in the outlet and thought mothballs were candy. Yes indeed, you'd better believe I put safety first where my child was concerned, even though many safety features weren't around when I was a kid.

Sure, I made it to adulthood and so did most of my friends and we have the limps, burns, and impaired memory that goes along with all our bumps and scrapes. By the way, we are also the generation that is helping to raise the cost of healthcare to the stratosphere. I have to wonder if that skyrocketing cost might be because we survived so many bumps and bruising's along the way.

So while you complain that "today's kids/adolescents/young adults" don't know about life, remember that some adult in YOUR lifetime decided to smooth out the bumps and you went along with that decision. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

For a Little Girl I Never Knew...

A child was kidnapped
and
killed
in our community this week.
The response has been nothing short of amazing.
The community pulled together.
When she was kidnapped;
witnesses did their best
to save her.
One followed in his car
until the suspect disappeared into rush hour traffic.
When the suspect was caught,
when the child was found,
the community
pulled together again.
They set up
a bank account
to help the family,
a restaurant 
is holding a fund raiser for the family,
a candlelight vigil is already scheduled. 
And
last night
all across the metro
and
literally around the world,
have been lit
for Hailey.

One question remains,
why?
Why her?
Why anyone?
Why did he do it?
And
we will never know the answer.

A reason might surface,
but I know for me
it will not suffice.

The only answer
that seems to me
to be the real answer
is...
evil exists.

I wish,
I pray
evil did not exist,
but it does.

It rears its vile head
everyday,
in unspeakable horrors.
And we can only
bring it's perpetrators 
to justice.
Sometimes.

Don't presume that if you were God
you would have stopped this.
That you would never allow anything like this to happen.
There is only one way to prevent these things from happening
and
that is for God to take away our free will.
He laid it down in the garden,
Adam and Eve picked it up.
I cannot answer why He laid it down for us,
though I can speculate
that He created us for relationship with Him
and relationship cannot happen
when free will is absent.
That is mechanical
acquiescence.
Not relationship.

I will not blame God
for Hailey Owens death
or
for the manner in which she died.
I will blame the man responsible.
(and for legal reason's I will not name him
I leave that to the news medias).
He has free will
even if it turns out that he is mentally ill.
God
does not remove free will
because of illness.
This man know's right from wrong.
He chose wrong.
He chose,
with his free will,
evil.

Our choice today is
based in our free will.
I choose to pray for the sweet child,
her family
and
friends.
Her classmates
and
teachers.
The community
that tried to help her.
The wider community
who sat glued to social media,
smart phones,
and
TV
waiting for news of her safe return.
It never came.
I choose to pray for
the police
who are dealing with the aftermath.

Rest in peace precious child