Poetry Saturday—Growing Down

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on Apple or Spotify.

Mix a grunt and a grumble, a sneer and a frown,
And what do you have? Why old Mr. Brown,
The crabbiest man in our whole darn town.
We all called him Grow-Up Brown:
For years each girl and boy and pup
Heard “Grow up, grow up, oh grow up.”
He’d say, “Why don’t you be polite?
Why must you shout and fuss and fight?
Why can’t you keep dirt off your clothes?
Why can’t you remember to wipe your nose?
Why must you always make such noise?
Why don’t you go pick up your toys?
Why do you hate to wash your hands?
Why are your shoes all filled with sand?
Why must you shout when I’m lying down?
Why don’t you grow up?” grumped Grow-Up Brown.

One day we said to Grow-Up Brown,
“Hey, why don’t you try growing down?
Why don’t you crawl on your knees?
Why don’t you try climbing trees?
Why don’t you bang on a tin-can drum?
Why don’t you chew some bubble gum?
Why don’t you play kick-the-can?
Why don’t you not wash your hands?
Why don’t you join the baseball team?
Why don’t you jump and yell and scream?
Why don’t you try skipping stones?
Why don’t you eat ice cream cones?
Why don’t you cry when you feel sad?
Why don’t you cuddle with your dad?
Why don’t you have weenie roasts?
Why don’t you believe in ghosts?
Why don’t you have pillow fights?
Why don’t you sleep with your teddy at night?
Why don’t you swing from monkey bars?
Why don’t you wish on falling stars?
Why don’t you run in three-legged races?
Why don’t you make weirdie faces?
Why don’t you smile, Grow-Up Brown?
Why don’t you try growing down?”
Then Grow-Up Brown, he scrunched and frowned
And scratched his head and walked around,
And finally he said with a helpless sound,
“Maybe I will try growing down.”

So Grow-Up Brown began to sing
And started doing silly things:
He started making weirdie faces
And came in first in the three-legged races.
All day he swung from monkey bars,
All night he’d lie and count the stars.
He tooted horns, he banged on drums,
He spent twenty bucks on bubble gum,
He went to all the weenie roasts,
And once he thought he saw a ghost.
He got to be great at pillow fights
And went to sleep with his teddy at night.
He flew a kite, he kick a can,
He rubbed some dirt upon his hands.
He drew some pictures, threw some stones,
He ate forty-seven ice cream cones.
He got some sand between his toes,
Got a loose tooth and a bloody nose.
He got a dog, they rolled in the mud.
He imitated Elmer Fudd.
He climbed a roof (though no one asked),
He broke his wrist—he wore a cast.
He rolled down hills, he climbed up trees,
He scuffed his elbows, skinned his knees,
He tried to join the baseball team;
When they said no, he spit and screamed.
He cried when he was feeling sad
And went and cuddled with his dad.
He wore a hat that didn’t fit,
He learned just how far he could spit,
He learned to wrestle and get tickled,
Sucked his thumb, he belched and giggled.
He got his trousers torn and stained,
He ran out barefoot in the rain,
Shouting to all the folks in town,
“It’s much more fun, this growin’ down.” —Shel Silverstein

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5 Quotes On Love’s Endurance From “The Seven Laws Of Love”

The Seven Laws Of Love

In The Seven Laws Of Love, Dave Willis gives us some highly practical, biblically-based counsel for investing in all of our relationships. Normally when I share quotes from books, I share all of them at once, but for this book I felt like it would be good to share these quotes a bit more slowly, to give you time to read them and apply them.

The seven laws Dave identifies are:

  1. Love requires commitment (read the quotes here)
  2. Love selflessly sacrifices (read the quotes here)
  3. Love speaks truth (read the quotes here)
  4. Love conquers fear (read the quotes here)
  5. Love offers grace (read the quotes here)
  6. Love brings healing (read the quotes here)
  7. Love lives forever

From law #7, here are some quotes on how love lives forever—

“Make a deliberate decision right now to stop wasting time and start putting first things first. Give the very best of yourself to your loved ones, not the leftovers after you’ve given your best to everyone and everything else.”

“Don’t take yourselves too seriously, but don’t take your commitments too lightly. Live life with conviction and purpose, but make plenty of room for fun. Laughter should be the soundtrack of your relationships.”

“Fight for each other, but never fight against each other. In every disagreement, remember that your relationship is much more important than whatever you’re arguing about.”

“Love isn’t a story with a happy ending. Love is a story with no ending!”

“Don’t treat others the way they treat you; treat others the way God treats you.”

Check out my review of The Seven Laws Of Love by clicking here.

12 Quotes From “From This Day Forward”

From This Day ForwardCraig & Amy Groeschel wrote a great book for anyone who wants to have a great marriage. Whether you’re single, in a struggling marriage, or in a great marriage, there are some great principles to learn in From This Day Forward. You can read my book review by clicking here. Below are a few quotes I especially liked.

“Healthy couples fight for resolution. Unhealthy couples fight for personal victory.”

“Even when you don’t agree with the other person, you can still validate their feelings.”

“One of the best ways you and your spouse can become slow to anger is by communicating regularly and honestly when you’re not facing conflict.”

“You have only one enemy, and it’s not your spouse. Get focused on that. Your enemy is a thief who’s trying to steal your joy, kill your love, and destroy your marriage. The good news is you don’t have to fight fair with that guy. No, with him, you’re actually going to fight to win. You’re going to fight for your marriage, and you’re going to fight for victory. One of the very best ways you can do that is to learn to fight fair with your spouse—for resolution, for restoration.”

“Don’t fight to win. You both should fight to lose the conflict and gain a closer relationship. Don’t fight each other; fight together to see the relationship restored. Redefine winning to mean that at the end of every fight, you’re closer to each other then you were when you started. That’s winning! And that’s what it really means to fight fair.” —Amy Groeschel

“When you’re married, fun is not a luxury; it’s a requirement. … Without romance, without adventure, without physical intimacy—without fun—marriage is reduced to a simple business arrangement. You’re like partners in a company, two roommates who split expenses like rent and food, yet living entirely different lives.”

“Guys, be intentional about pursuing happiness together with her because she’s God’s ‘reward’ in your life [Ecclesiastes 9:9].”

“Generally speaking, I don’t think anyone would argue that most men tend to desire physical intimacy more frequently than women do. So ladies, you need to understand that when you turn off that faucet and things start to go dry, for your husband, that’s a crisis. It’s the equivalent of the distress you feel when there’s silence, when there’s no emotional intimacy between you. It’s a crisis. One of the most important ways you can demonstrate love to each other is by renewing your spiritual commitment to one another through acts of physical love. Sex is spiritual. It’s two people becoming one in an alliance of intimacy. It’s a blessing from God, a way that you can genuinely serve one another. … One of the greatest things you can do for each other is to engage in frequent, creative, spiritual lovemaking. It is a gift from God that honors Him by renewing your spiritual covenant to one another.”

“Revelation 2:5 says, ‘Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.’ If you want what you once had, start doing what you once did. You got married because you had fun. Start having fun again.”

“Physical intimacy is directly related to your process of growing together, and it can be a good indicator of how healthy your relationship is—or isn’t. In fact, if physical intimacy has been a problem lately in your marriage, I’d be willing to bet that you’ve neglected being emotionally connected in other ways.” —Amy Groeschel

“By the time they reach the sin of adultery, they will have already crossed dozens of other sin lines. Sin doesn’t begin on the outside. It begins in the heart. You see something (or someone) attractive, and you allow them to capture your attention. ‘Mmm, they look good.’ That’s lust. And lust is a sin. Maybe you even take some action—just not full-blown adultery. ‘A body as hot as yours want to come with a warning label!’ Implying to someone else that you’re available when you’re not is called flirting. And it’s a sin. Maybe you don’t take any action. You just see something you want, and you let your thoughts wander after it. ‘Yowza! I’d like to take that home.’ That’s not taking every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). That’s fantasizing, and it’s a sin. These things are problematic because they draw the line in the wrong place.”

“You probably learned that while it may be true that, at least while you’re dating, opposites attract—once you get married, opposites attack! … One way you can return to opposites attracting instead of attacking is by accepting your spouse for who they are, not who you want them to be. … Being opposites isn’t a bad thing. In fact, the truth is, if you’re married to someone who’s just like you, one of you is unnecessary. God knew exactly what He was doing when He brought you two opposites together. The only way iron can sharpen iron is if your differences are constantly rubbing against each other (Proverbs 27:17). … The challenge is that we settle into a mindset and become convinced that our differences are always going to cause conflict. But that doesn’t have to be true. Just because your spouse does things differently than you doesn’t mean that it has to be a problem. It’s just… well, different. If you refused to except your differences as the positives they are, you may find yourself sometimes trying to keep things from your spouse.”

From This Day Forward (book review)

From This Day ForwardIt’s a simple maxim I live by: “Good, better, best, never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best.” This is the same theme I found in From This Day Forward by Craig and Amy Groeschel regarding marriages. Whether you are single and want to be married someday, or your marriage is struggling, or your marriage is doing great, the Groeschels want to help you make the bad good, the good better, and the better best.

Statistics say that 50 percent of first marriages will fail (and the stats are even uglier for second and third marriages). Research also tells us that many couples who do stay married don’t find much happiness in that marriages. Craig & Amy find those stats unacceptable and have given us five commitments to fail-proof our marriages:

  1. Seek God
  2. Fight fair
  3. Have fun
  4. Stay pure
  5. Never give up

The chapters are mainly written by Craig, in his style that is so readable. He uses personal examples from their marriage, and then presents evidence from Scripture and  easy-to-remember principles for how to improve our marriages. At the end of each chapter is “Amy’s Angle” where she rounds-out the picture with her feminine touch. As with all of Craig Groeschel’s books, this one is so easy to read and so easy to apply. The single person, those in a strained marriage and those in a wonderful marriage will all find something of value in From This Day Forward.

I am a Zondervan book reviewer.

Focus On Kids

I love kids! I love their enthusiasm, their curiosity, their hunger to learn, their ability to learn, their energy, and their laughter!

We’re launching a brand new ministry called KidZone. This is church just for kids, and it will meet every Sunday afternoon at Calvary Assembly of God from 5-6 PM.

And for Moms and Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas, we have something for you too. While the kids are having their service, I’ll be sharing some biblically-based instruction on how we can be better (grand)parents to the precious children God has placed in our care.

So bring your kids ages 4-12 every Sunday at 5 PM, and then join me for some coffee and conversation. It’s going to be a blast!

We Rocked

Last night we held our first Rock In The New Year. It was a great night of local Christian bands and a lot of fun. Best of all, we raised some money for the families of the two children we sponsor through Latin America Child Care. I want to give a BIG shout-out to Josh Schram for his excellent organization skills. He was the vision behind this wonderful night.

Pictures of the festivities are here.

ABC URL Game

Serious Fun

I believe of all people, Christ-followers should be able to do the most serious of work, but those who are in love with Jesus ought to be able to have the most fun too, as they enjoy the fullness of that relationship.

We proved this yesterday.

My loving congregation donated food for us to bless some needy people with Thanksgiving groceries. We then contacted our local elementary school to ask if they could recommend a couple of needy families to us. They did, but “needy” might be a major understatement. It was a joy to be able to deliver all of the Thanksgiving fixin’s to them, but heart-breaking to see the conditions in which they were living. I pray that this simple act of compassion will help open a door for further ministry opportunities.

Then we met with our Impact youth group for some serious fun (pictures are here). We had a carnival-like atmosphere with wild-and-messy games going on everywhere. I loved seeing our students dive into (sometimes literally) these fun events. It wasn’t just the students: Betsy challenged me to a pie-eating contest. And let’s just say, apparently I have a bigger mouth than she does!

It’s great to address the serious conditions that surround us, and we should do so with love and hope. And it’s just as wonderful to have some fun. I believe that people who get stuck on either extreme are missing out on the fullness of a Christ-centered life.

I hope you have a seriously fun Thanksgiving celebration. And not just on Thursday this week, but all year long.

Weekend Survey

Okay, let’s get the weekend started with something fun, and a little informative. How about answering a couple of quick questions about your weekend? If you want to remain anonymous, you may, but I don’t think anyone’s going to shoot you down because of your answers on this fun survey! Answer in the comments below…

  1. When do you consider your weekend officially started?
  2. Do you stick with your diet on the weekend, or do you cheat? If you cheat, what’s the favorite craving food?
  3. Do you have a college football team you cheer for? If so, which team will it be this weekend?
  4. How about a pro team?
  5. Will you attend church this weekend? If so, do you like the time of the service, or would you like another time?
  6. What’s the one thing you’re really looking forward to this weekend?
  7. When do you consider your weekend officially over?

Pretty easy, huh? I look forward to what you have to say. Have a great weekend!

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