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With  CavWife and I out of town this past weekend the kids stayed with some friends.  I haven’t written too much about the kids lately.  Our friend’s updates were funny, so I thought I’d make them available.

Ch. 1: played on floor from 8-9:30.  LAID on floor while CavKids PLAYED on floor.

Ch. 2: SNACK–brought up by CavGirl (surprised?)  Townhouse crackers/bananas/grapes and a few Easter M&M’s from the bottom of Karl’s Easter basket.

Ch.3: SWAM from 10-11:30.  Neither went in farther than their knees (1st pool step).  But we had fun with Grey’s truck and sand bucket.  They poured water all over me!  When they were peeling off their suits I suggested they go potty in the grass since CavSon wasn’t keen on my toilet before we swam.  Both had success!

Ch. 4: LUNCH at………….McDonald’s!!  11:45 – 12:30.  They were completely clueless about the restaurant and the food.  I was almost embarassed!  I got them both Happy Meals thinking they would each get a toy—well….it was a CD of kids songs.  Except when we played it in the car on the way home it was RAP and HIP-HOP!  Sung BY kids but definitely not “Kid Music!”  CavGirl gobbled all SIX chicken nuggets and CavSon ate 3 of his 4 but ALL of his french fries!  He was completely fascinated with the Ronald McDonald statue outside on the bench, so after we ate we went out there.  CavGirl crawled right up into his lap but CavSon kept shaking his head “no!”  I bet next time you pass McD’s she will mention something about the trip.

Ch. 5: came home and played babies with Meg and Amber til nap.

Ch. 6: NAP at 1:15.  He went potty on the toilet, and he did use the stool a bit.  She was totally into going upstairs with all her JUNK to take her nap; so was CavSon til I actually left Karl’s room–then he cried, but not for long.  She asked for some books and as of 1:45, I don’t hear any crying or singing…..

Ch. 7: Post-Nap:  I think I filled you in on most of this.  The kids played with Amber and Meg on the tire swing while I fixed dinner.  We ate and I drove the girls to Lakeland.  Came home and took baths in the BIG bathtub.  They loved it.

Ch. 8:  8:15: BEDTIME!  We all read a book then CavSon went down, then I read 1 more to CavGirl and she went right down.  I woke up about 7:45 and was listening for “rumblings” but heard nothing–I couldn’t believe this was actually true.  When I went upstairs, meg had her on the bathroom sink and was looking at her chin.  Well…..apparently she fell out of bed in the middle of the night and hit the bottom of her chin on the little rocking chair next to the guest bed!  I didn’t hear a thing!!!  She said she didn’t cry–just crawled back into bed.  But her bumpy blanket looked like a CRIME SCENE this morning, as did her PJ’s.  (another load of wash…)  She has a small slit on the bottom of her chin.  A doctor might have called for a stitch, but…too late!  So Meg was cleaning it and putting a band-aid on it.  She wasn’t upset at all!!  Can you believe it??

Ch. 9:  HOT BREAKFAST of French Toast and yogurt.  MEG thoroughly enjoyed it.  She left at 9:00 for Sunday School and we didn’t!  Instead, we watched…..”Lady and the Tramp” which the kids LOVED.  This gave me time to get ready for church.  (A guy from Riverview preached…where is that?  He said near Brandon?  He mentioned that they adopted both their girls, and CavGirl made friends with Rachael in C.Church.).  He came out of the nursery after church with a Matchbox Service Station/garage which I was told was a birthday present from the nursery worker!  He was SO excited.  The C.C. lady told me the nursery worker (don’t know any names here!) tried to bring him to C.C. since he is 3 now (I totally forgot!) but he would have NOTHING to do with it!  So they took him back to the nursery.

Ch. 10: LUNCH–grilled cheese and tomato soup and fruit.  CavGirl did not care for her soup and she told me so, but quickly added that she could still have a snack, right?!!  :  )  They watched the last 15 minutes of the movie and down for nap.  This time I remembered his diaper!

Ch. 11:  NAP–I slept great….don’t know about CavGirl as she was up and singing at 4:00 when I went up.  He had just woken up and was crying a bit.  CavGirl wanted to swim again, so as she was going potty b-4 putting her suit on, he tried to jump up on the toilet as well.  He had just peed in his diaper so I couldn’t imagine why he would want to try again, but I made him wait til she was done.  POOP!!!  This would have been a dandy time to be able to talk…but I’m glad he did it w/o being asked.  We were out in the pool when Cavnan called, but Karl gave me the message.  CavSon was not as thrilled about going in this time—it was all I could do to get him to stand on the first step.  Oh well.

Ch. 12:  PIZZA for dinner:  I just ordered Dominos.  CavGirl suggested that we go somewhere “special” for supper like we did for lunch yesterday so we compromised on pizza.  She asked it if was the kind that the MAN brings!!

There you have it … a few days in the life of the kids.

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My friend has been busy reading.  I am filled with envy and must repent.  She read another book by Joe Dallas.  This one was When Homosexuality Hits Home: What to Do when a Loved One Says They’re Gay.  Here’s what she says:

When Homosexuality Hits Home: What to Do When a Loved One Says they’re Gay was written by Joe Dallas, the author of Desires in Conflict.

In this book Joe Dallas speaks to parents or loved ones of someone who states they are gay. In the first chapter he likens finding out about the loved ones struggle to the process after a death or major traumatic event in our lives. We go through 5 general stages or phases of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. And in this case it is the death of assumptions.

[This is what I was thinking about a week before I picked up this book. I’m stuck in the anger phase and starting my depression.]

Assumptions of how I, as a loved one, expected his life to be.

There is a chapter for parents, one for other family members with varying ranges of relational contact with the SSA relative, and one for when homosexuality hits a marriage.

Joe Dallas uses the prodigal son from Luke 15:11-32 to show how family members may be feeling when one ‘comes out’. Also this verse from Jeremiah 31:16-17 hit home with me;

16 Thus says the Lord:
“Keep your voice from weeping,
and your eyes from tears,
for there is a reward for your work,
declares the Lord,
and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
17 There is hope for your future,
declares the Lord,
and your children shall come back to their own country.

Joe says you can’t miss the three fold message here:

God sees. He sees both your beloved daughter and son, and He sees your tears.

God preserves. He continues His efforts long after human effort has exhausted itself.

God holds out hope, for both you and your children.

This book gives practical advice from the heart, Joe tells of the 3 most common arguments for the pro-gay position. And he also asks us to walk a mile in the shoes of the gay loved one. To see what the son or daughter has been thinking, for how long they have been thinking it and what they might have to endure in their lifetime.

You will discover what to say and not to say, how to handle family visits, maintain balance and how to strengthen not weaken your relationhip.

On a personal note: my son is struggling with SSA and he still lives at home, we home school and go to church. He is struggling with his faith, his identity, and his sexuality. Being so close constantly puts a strain on our relationship and I, as his mom, have a very hard time keeping my mouth shut. I need to be constantly reminded that God loves him much more than I and God is in control of his life, I’m not. I need to be constantly reminded he is and always has been my son, whom I love more than life itself.

My one piece of advice now to anyone reading this would be to watch your words. Think before you speak, try to see your loved one the way God does. Remember you need the same grace they do, the same grace God freely gives.

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Here is another guest post on the subject of homosexuality.  This time my friend reviews  Desires in Conflict, Hope for Men Who struggle with Sexual Identity by Joe Dallas.

The updated version of this book was written in 1991 but the message stands true still. As the subtitle states, the book gives hope for men who struggle with sexual identity. If you are not one of those men, then this book is not for you.

Joe Dallas [click for his counseling website] also wrote When Homosexuality Hits Home, What to Do when a Loved One says They’re Gay. This book offers up step-by-step advice on how to deal with the emotions family members deal with when they learn of a loved ones homosexuality.

But back to Desires in Conflict. Joe Dallas tells his story, guides men on what to expect when dealing with their particular issues.

Homosexuality is no different. Like all sinful tendencies, homosexual attractions need not rule you or continue to be a predominant force in your life. Specifically, you can expect change to occur in one or all of four ways.”

Here is the list:

1. Change in behavior

2. Change in the frequency of homosexual attractions

3. Change in intensity of homosexual attractions

4. Change in perspective

Nowhere do we see in that list that homosexual attraction disappears.

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Yes, I haven’t been too active on the lately.  That is what happens when you are juggling three p/t  jobs.  Here’s what is happening, if you care.

In addition to my Stated Supply gig, I’ve gotten jobs at a hardware store, and the local hospital.  The church has called a new pastor, and my services will not be needed much longer.  So, a friend offered me a seasonal job in their store to accumulate some resources.  I also got an “on call” position as an EKG tech with the hope that with my foot in the door I can get a f/t postion if one opens up.  But now I’m in training for the better part of 2 weeks.

All this has me running in 3 very different directions.  Actually more since I’m still looking for a new church to pastor, and a full-time job locally for the transition.  Don’t forget the reality of being a husband and father.

As a result, there has been far less time for reading and writing.

The last couple of months have been busy on the pastoral search front.  There are a few churches that are considering me- nothing serious, but I’ve had more interviews in the last few months than in the previous 2 years.  So it is interesting to say the least.  We continue to pray for the right door to open up, and for God to provide for us during the transition.

It has been a long, strange journey the past few years.  We don’t understand much of it.  At times it has been quite painful for us- repeated rejection can be that way.  But we have been able to minister to a number of people.  My gifts have been used to the furtherance of God’s kingdom.  CavWife has been able to encourage others as well.  It is like we are on parade as evidence of God’s sustaining grace.  Not quite where we want to be, but there nonetheless.

For now we continue to be faithful, pray, wait and interview.  I’ll blog as I have time.  And maybe I’ll have some REALLY good news soon.

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Today I have a guest blogger who asked to anonymously post some book reviews.  Their family is going through some difficulties, and this helps them process what they are reading.  Perhaps it will help you.

These posts will deal with an issue that is quite controversial today.  There has been a shift in thinking on some of these things.  Some of you may not agree, that’s okay.  We live in a world marred by something the Bible calls sin, which means things aren’t as they ought to be.  One can believe that a lifestyle is wrong, without hating a person who practices that lifestyle.  Nothing here is conveys hatred or fear- but seeks to grapple with life in a world filled with sin and misery.  With that being said- one to our guest post.

A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality by Joseph & Linda Nicolosi was the first book I read, even before I found out my son was struggling with SSA [same sex attraction]. A friend of mine suggested it to me and deep in my heart I knew something was awry with my teenage son.
Joseph puts in a few case studies, which are very interesting, (sometimes I found myself nodding and saying “yes, that’s us!”), and a journal from a mother who is trying to help her young son on the road to healing.
There is plenty of debate in the mental health profession and homosexual community over whether being ‘gay’ is hereditary, chosen or not, can be changed or not. I’m here to tell you I believe having SSA is from a multitude of factors, which I will list later and can be ‘fixed’ or healed. That is to say that if the underlying problems or symptoms are addressed and the person affected does not want these feelings brought upon him he or she can get help.
Being homosexual, according to Joseph, is an identity problem, a gender identity problem within the family, of not being secure in one’s own gender.
In identifying GID [Gender-identity Disorder] there are usually 5 markers to determine whether the child has it. One being preference for anything of the opposite gender that being clothes, toys, sports, playmates, etc.
I can not stress enough and neither can any of the books I read that the same gender parent play a huge role in making and healing of the GID child. For boys, they need a father who is affectionate, hands-on in his life, affirming and loving. In most cases of SSA or GID, the fathers were non-existent either physically or emotionally. And the mothers were overbearing, protective and using the boy as a husband replacement.
[In our case, my sons father was in his life and always loving, affectionate and there for him. I, on the other hand, was and still am very overbearing, controlling and disrespected his father constantly. Sadly, there are no male figures in his immediate family my son wants to emulate.]
Boys have to be taught masculinity [by the father] and girls need to be taught femininity [by their mother]. Children need to be shown that being the gender they are is good and right and that they are special and loved being their gender.
There are plenty of other influences that shape a SSA child; family structure, sexual abuse, sensitive natures, harassment by others, poor body image, etc. Most of which I can not go into. Chapter 8 goes into the politics of treatment and how the world views define disability, treatment, gay and homosexuality.
This quote by A. Dean Byrd, PHD at the beginning of Chapter 9 ‘The Healing Process‘ hit so hard with me. I burst into tears reading it.
“Dads, hugs your sons. If you don’t, someday another man will.”
This chapter goes on to challenge the parents to affirm masculinity in their sons, to touch and be affectionate with their same-sex children. Many case examples follow and so does one mothers’ journal, struggling to help her son and help her husband to help their son.
This book is more for parents for young children who are struggling with identity, but can be read by parents like me, who have an older child and who want to get help or to see what may have caused SSA or GID.
I highly recommend this book. I am a Christian mom of a teenage boy who has conveyed to me he is having feelings of being gay. I do not believe people are born gay. I do not believe our God has made people gay. I believe a number of influences contribute to acting out of those feelings and desires. A desire to be loved by the same sex gender, a desire to have what the person lacks, perceived and/or real abuses and harms done to a person when young, certain personality traits, family dynamics and a persons plain old sin nature.
I’m reviewing a few other books bout this topic. Please come back and check them out. Please also, no negative/derogatory comments. Cavman is kind enough to put these on his blog to allow me to be anonymous and work out in writing my feelings after reading these books.

Just a reminder, this is a parent coming to gripes with their son’s homosexuality.  Many parents in that position have many questions.  While you may have different opinions on these answers, I ask that you respect her attempts to understand it.  If you are homosexual, and don’t want to change, please understand that there are many who do.  The goal isn’t to get in your face.  You chose to read this, we didn’t force you to.

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There is a new book out, Get Outta My Face: How to Reach Angry, Unmovtivated Teens with Biblical Counsel by Rick Horne, that offers assistance to families, ministers and counselors.  WTS Books has this book for 65% off , an introductory price of $4.88, until January 24, 2009 at noon.  Then it will be the customary 30% off, not a bad deal either.  [ WTS Books sold out, but received 500 more copies of the book.  When they are gone, so is the special price!]

Here is what some other authors have said about this book:

“Rick Horne has invested in teens his whole life. He has learned that he is more like them than unlike them. From years of first hand experience, he knows how to talk with them and his is not afraid of the tough ones. What you will read here is the wisdom of a man who has experienced the courage and hope that transforming grace can give to you and that hard teenager God has chosen for you to be near. This book is a call to action with biblical perspectives and practical steps that God can use to change the teenager and you as well.”  Paul David Tripp, author of Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, co-author of How People Change among other books highly recommended by Cavman.

“Rick Horne knows teens the kind that won’t talk and those that won’t stop talking. If you have a teenager, you need this book. In fact, don’t wait for the teen years! Arm yourself now with the timeless truths from this book that counsels moms and dads with gospel-hope for teenage trials.”  Dave Harvey author of When Sinners Say “I Do”.  (Highly recommended by Cavman)

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Everything seemed to get off to a good start.  We went to bed at a reasonable hour, mostly packed and oatmeal soaking for a quick breakfast for the kids.  We’d be getting them up a little early, not way before the crack of dawn like on other trips, to get on the road to the airport by 7:30.  This would give up plenty of time to get to OIA in time for our 10:05 flight to Albany.  But you know what they say about the “best laid plans of mice and men.”

It broke down near the end of my shower.  CavWife went to get the kids up.  CavBoy had peed so much it soaked through his diaper, PJs (which we were hoping to have him wear on the flight) and into his sheets.  So CavWife was involved with stripping his bed and sent him into a still-dripping dad to strip him down and put him on the potty.

This was the morning that he decided he had to poop first thing.  And it took time as the minutes quickly went by.  Suddenly I heard CavGirl screaming from the kitchen.  To help avoid illness being passed around the plane, we gave the kids Airborne.  CavWife mistakenly put it in CavGirl’s water bottle.  So, it fizzed away building up pressure until CavGirl opened it.  It erupted, spraying  our very dramatic/traumatic daughter.  So much for not having to change her clothes…

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