Fathers with Daughters

Fathers with Daughters

Dad,

“A father holds his
daughter’s hand for a
short while, but he
holds her heart forever.

Today a bride,
Tomorrow a wife,
Always your little girl.”

With Love,

Erin

Conor
Find A way!

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Emily the Elephant (MY Christmas Wish)

Emily was a couple of years older than Edward. She knew so much more than Edward and told Edward that every day. I mean everyday! That did not bother Edward though, as he really liked his sister. He loved her and liked following her all around the fields looking for food. He liked meeting all of her friends too. They were so nice to him. Sometimes better than Emily. She could be a mean sister!

One day as Emily was supposed to be watching Edward, she got involved with her elephant friends and lost sight of Edward. He must have wandered away, she thought. She looked around and did not see him. All of a sudden she got scared, as Edward was too young to be out here in the fields all by himself. She thought, “What am I going to do? Where do I start looking for Edward? Oh No! What have I done?

Emily was having so much fun with her friends; she had no idea how long Edward was gone. As often as she told Edward how much more she knew than him, she felt real bad about losing Edward. She became real sad! She was worried! She knows the danger with other animals here in the jungle.

Edward was off running around, and guess what! He found a bunch of puddles and could not wait to get in them. He was having so much fun just rolling around and getting muddy. Boy, did he love being muddy!

Edward did not realize that Emily was not around, because all he was thinking about was rolling in the water and dirt. He loved doing that and he liked filling up his trunk, again and again with water! But then Edward looked around and realized what he did—He walked away from Emily and got so involved with the puddles, that now he doesn’t know where Emily is. He cannot see her anywhere. Oh no! Where am I?

As Edward got up from the mud, he heard noises from other animals that he did not know. It sounded like quite a few animals. He heard elephant yelling too! They were yelling at each other and at the other animals too. What was going on? That is Emily and her friends!! I hear Emily screaming! I got to find her!
Edward started walking slowly towards all the noise he heard in the distance. He then started to run, because he was worried about his sister. What am I’m going to do? I’m scared! Then he remembered what his mother told him after he got in trouble last time with the puddles. She said, “It is ok to be scared. We all get scared sometimes, but we must be brave and always do the right thing. We must always help family and friends, and other animals too that need help. And yes, you always need to listen to what Mom and Dad tell you.”

Edward then started to run even faster now. The noises were louder and he could not stop thinking about Emily. She’s my sister! My sometimes mean sister! He got behind the trees and he could see 3 young lions running around the elephants trying to get one of them alone. They were much faster than the elephants, but the elephants were bigger. It looked like they were trying to get Arnold, my friend, one of the smaller elephants like me.

Edward just watch them trying to figure out what they were going to do next. Edward slipped around the side where there were more trees, so he could get even closer. He knew he had to surprise the lions, so the other elephants could help him chase the lions away.
Edward thought and knew what to do. He was so glad he did what he always loved doing in the puddles. He had filled his trunk up to the top with water. Now, he was ready!

Edward waited for the right moment and then charged the lions. Emily saw Edward, so she charged from the other side towards Edward. The lions were caught in the middle! The lions saw elephants coming at them from all sides. They knew they had to run and get away or they would be hurt.

It worked! The lions left. Emily could not wait to get to Edward and say how sorry she was for not looking after him. She promised that it would never happen again. And she told Edward she was sorry for always telling him she knew more than him. She was wrong. Emily also told Edward, that because of what he did, he saved everyone from getting hurt. Yes Edward, you knew more than me today. I am so proud of you! Thank you for helping and I want you to know, I love my little brother. She put her trunk around his head and gave him a hug!

The elephants all gathered together and started a line to go back home. Edward was feeling pretty good for helping, but it meant so much to him, to hear his sister tell him how much she loves him. Emily means so much to me and I love her too!

Edward now couldn’t wait to get home and tell Mom and Dad what he did.

“Find a way.”
_Conor

The World and The Church Today

As I sat in church last week, I happened to look up into the balcony, and then around to the side pews of the church, and it struck me how empty they were this day. My mind immediately drifted off to Christmas when there was standing room only. I have seen this many times before, but then it hit me why I was bothered.

Like most people today, regardless of one’s political beliefs, all are greatly moved by the scenes and stories of the persecutions of Christians and the other minority religious groups in the Mid-East. The genocide started last year in Syria, where 1.2 million Christians have been displaced and 130,000 people have been killed for failing to covert to Islam. Now this violence has spread to Iraq, with the continuation of genocide happening now for Iraq Christians’ and a fairly large religious group called the Yazidis.

The Christians and the Yazidis all have been forced to leave their homes with only what was on their back because of their refusal to convert. The other option facing them if they were unwilling to leave, was death by mass grave killings (either alive or dead), nailed to a cross or beheaded by the sword.

Their churches are being destroyed; papers, books and manuscripts dating back 2000 years are all being burned. Crosses are torned downed and burned, while others are used for crucifixions, while others head’s of those failing to give up their beliefs are paraded around town, photographed and put on the internet for all to see and witness.

Readers of history and those who study the bible could take these current events, and if the time line is unknown to them, could very easily think they were reading something happening 2000 years ago. But no, it is now!

We know how small the world is today, but how does one begin to understand what is happening a plane ride 7-8 hours away? How do we balance those situations with our own situations and our faith and daily lives? How do we reconcile those forced to die, as well as those willing to die for their faith, against the empty pews in church I witnessed last week? Where is the disconnect? Why such an expansive gulf? What don’t we understand, but just as important, what can we do?

“For all those suffering persecution for their faith and the love of you, our hope is in you Lord to find the answers to bring those people to safety and rest in your loving care.

Hear our prayer O Lord.”

Conor
Find a Way!

Through the narrow door

“Strive to enter through the narrow door.”
_Luke 13:24

Striving requires contending with whatever comes our way. Making good out of bad, and becoming a better person. Choosing encouragement instead of criticism. Choosing love rather than disrespect or hatred. We are all challenged with choices, hardships, disappointments, pain and suffering and the weight of our cross. How do we choose to manage this, and what decisions are we making to control all of this in our lives? But also, how do we manage this so we can put the beauty of life in front of our challenges, and enjoy and share the love around us?

It is hard to find those answers when you in the valley rather than on top of the mountain. But being in the valley allows us to get to the mountain as we learn, grow, and develop ourselves by the experiences of the valley. It is in the valley where we learn the important lessons of life.

Prayer should be part of our daily life, but even more so during those difficult times. Prayer, along with our quiet time with God talking from the heart, is the best way to get to the waiting love, strength and understanding of Our Lord.

Reflect on this, as you deal with all the challenges of the narrow door.

_Conor

“Find a Way.”

Prayer

What is prayer? Just something you do once a week at services because you feel an obligation? Is it something you have no interest in at all, and no time to consider because of your schedule? Or maybe you feel you only need to pray when you need something or some tragedy has entered your life?

Or, is it that you do pray occasionally but it has no meaning or purpose in your life? See no results. In fact, the praying you are doing is boring, burdensome and awkward. Almost very discomforting.

Is it maybe you don’t know how to really pray? Would you be surprised to know that sometimes, and over a period of time, praying is sometimes lonely, empty and very dry for those that do pray? And do you know why?

Let me ask, have you in your life ever worked hard at something like a sport, project, an advanced degree, or a skill set you never had, but so desired by you? Maybe to play a musical instrument or being an accomplished public speaker? And you did it by your simple determination, effort and with help along the way. And yes, it did not happen overnight, as it required a lot of effort and commitment on your part. You had to make time for it in order to get something out of it and get where you needed to be.

What a great feeling! And when you have experienced that great feeling, wouldn’t you do anything to get that same feeling again?

There is a saying in the martial arts, whether you’re a white belt or a dedicated black belt that simply says, “You need more practice.” And where does that not apply in our lives?

Know that God loves you and He wants to be with you and be part of your life. He has loved you before you even knew Him, and He can be part of your life. It requires you to “open your heart” to Him and put the above efforts into praying.

Have you heard of the analogy of how you protect what is most important to you? It is explained through rock, sand and water. In a large jar of water, you are asked to put in pebbles, sand, water and also rocks, with rocks being the things most important in your life. Without putting the rocks in first, one will never have the important things in their life.

As I have noted in previous writings, find your corner. Find your spot to pray and make it yours. Start out with 5 minutes, settle down and clear your mind and let it grow from there. As you begin to notice change slowly, experience God’s love and mercy, and you will want to grow that time together. Sometimes prayer is not needed. Just speak from your heart. Settle in His presence, feel nourished and know that you are in His love.

Know, you are never alone.

Conor
Find a Way!