Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"The White Castle"

Each day I like to tell the kids a story about something significant around the world. Seems fitting for a former journalist to tell these stories. After all, I always did enjoy current events in school, we have first-line relatives in Europe and a good friend moving this week to Australia so why not give my kids and early start, right?

Today’s story, fittingly, was about the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. I started my story by explaining what the president does. “He makes rules for the county,” I say, likening him to a king. My daughters understand, and certainly pay attention to me when I mention kings and queens. Next I tell them that the president has two daughters. Alexandra’s eyes grow very large when she learns that Obama’s daughters are seven and 10! And finally I explain that the president, his wife and his two little girls will live in the white house in Washington DC, “it’s like a castle,” I say, again likening the experience to kings and queens, princes and princesses.

Later in the day when Andy arrives at home I asked Alexandra to recite to him what she learned today about the President—who he is, where he lives, what he does, etc. She quickly notes that he has two daughters and their ages. She remarks that he’s President of the United States and that it is a country and that we live in Philadelphia which is part of the county. Wow, we are so on a roll now! I am feeling oh so proud. Then I ask her to tell daddy where the President lives, and help her by sneaking in “the whi…” when she jumps in and yells “The White Castle!” Um, ok. Close enough. Nonetheless, it’s dinner time and suddenly I have burgers in mind…
Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and the nation's first African-American president Tuesday and I am so proud to have shared this experience with my children. This truly is an amazing day.

I encourage you to read the entire speech from Obama's inaguration. The words are powerful and can be digested a bit better when read.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Flourish Like a Palm Tree in a Great Storm

Inspiration for anyone at any time in their live...
Have you ever seen a palm tree in the midst of a great storm or hurricane? That tree may be bent so far over that it’s almost touching the ground, but when the wind finally stops, that palm tree bounces right back up. And do you know that while that palm tree is hunched over under the pressure of the storm, it is actually growing stronger?

The reason God said we’d flourish like a palm tree is because He knew there would be difficult times. He knew things would come against us to try to steal our joy and victory. God said, “You’re going to be like a palm tree because the storms of life will come, the winds will blow, but you are going to come right back up again stronger than before.” Nothing can hold you back! No weapon formed against you will ever prosper. No matter what’s happening in the world around you, keep standing. Keep praying. Keep believing. Your brightest days are right out in front of you, and God’s plan is to bring you blessing and victory all the days of your life.