Sunday, October 10, 2010

Boston Marathon...part 2

Boston, Massachusetts is an absolutely beautiful city. What an awesome past few days.

First of all, my brother-in-law Kirk Davis got married to an amazing young lady. Maura, you are awesome. Welcome to the family. Your laugh, smile, and love of life are infectious. Thank you for being so optimistic and full of joy. You make everyone around you better. Never stop smiling.

We all got dressed up for the wedding. Caleb was an usher, and Jude was one of the ringbearers. They both were super pumped and did an awesome job.

My beautiful wife Heather was actually a "groomsman." I guess officially she was a "groomswoman." Whatever her title...she looked awesome, and so did my daughter Kiara, the flower-girl.

The ceremony took place in the courtyard of the Boston Public Library. The building was immense, filled with centuries of history. In the middle of all the volumes, rooms, and history, we happened across our favorite author's name mosaic-ed into one of the domes in the ceilings just to the right of the entryway.

Pretty sweet huh?

The wedding was Friday night, but Kirk and Maura hung out on Saturday to see everyone before flying off this morning to Paris, France for the honeymoon. We had dinner reservations for pizza on Saturday night, which gave us Saturday to do some exploring. We loaded up the kids and Mom and Dad Davis and went hiking the Freedom Trail through Boston. The freedom trail is a multi-mile hike through the city of Boston that takes you to several historic sights. You get to see a huge part of our nation's history...from Paul Revere's house to the church where the two lanterns were hung to let Paul know the British were coming. The trail is marked with a double brick path that takes you to all the historic sights.

One of the cool things along the trail is that in the middle of all the stops you see all kinds of different people and street performers. Here's a couple people we met that the kids loved. They were jugglers/acrobats and did an awesome job with all kinds of humor and incredible feats of balance...all right there in the square outside of Faneuil Hall. No nets, no safety air mats...this was the real deal. Fun stuff.

Another cool person we met was at our last stop...the Copp's Hill Burying Ground just north of the Old North Church (where the lanterns Paul Revere saw were hung). We got there just as a police officer (Officer Tim) was clearing everyone out to lock up. When he saw my daughter's disappointment with not being able to go in, he told us to wait a minute while he cleared everyone else out. When the gates were locked and it was only us, Officer Tim gave us a private tour of the graveyard, finishing at a couple gravestones that he pointed out the British army used to use as target practice. You can still see a the dents the bullets left in the tombstone. Thanks for the hookup Officer Tim.

What an amazing day touring an amazing city with amazing people. Thank you Mom and Dad Davis for loving us and blessing us with the opportunity to be up here. Thank you Lord for loving and blessing me with an awesome family to share relationships with on this awesome planet.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Boston Marathon...part 1

For the next couple weeks, my family and I are on a family vacation up and back to Boston. The most important and exciting part of the trip are a wedding this Friday. Heather's brother Kirk is getting married to a wonderful young lady named Maura. The all love uncle Kirk and are incredibly excited to welcome aunt Maura to the family!

We spent the last 2 1/2 days driving the 1,482.7 miles from our home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to where we are at for the next two days...Plymouth, Massachusetts. We got to enjoy the ride in our rental van, which offers plenty of space. Mini vans were too expensive, but for some reason a full size van was 1/2 the price. Go figure!

On the way, we saw/experienced lots of cool things:
  • A flock of turkeys in South eating lunch overlooking giant Lake Marion
  • Giant cotton fields in North Carolina
  • Fall started in Virginia...not a ton of leaf change but that's where I started noticing it
  • Going through a tunnel under the bay in Baltimore
  • It was fun crossing the Delaware in...Delaware. We felt like George Washington
  • Wow...what a view of New York City as we drove up the New Jersey Turnpike
  • New York City is pretty big...seriously!
  • Connecticut has some awesome rush hour traffic...and I like the fact that the welcome center is almost 10 miles after you get into the state...northern Connecticut is beautiful
  • Rhode Island is beautiful, but pumpkins are really expensive...and big. $66 for a gourde the size of Jude (see above)!
  • Massachusetts is really historic and pretty...Today's forecast is rain all day, but we braved the weather and saw where our nation got started...a rock. Plymouth Rock to be exact...1620 baby! Plus the Mayflower is here...actually, it's the Mayflower II, but still pretty sweet. We got soaked, but bring it on...we are used to rain being from Florida. Lunch with uncle Kirk at Uncle Al's Pizza Restaurant overlooking Plymouth Harbor was awesome.
Plymouth reminds me of St. Augustine, only colder. Beautiful historic buildings, cool restaurants and shops, and great ocean views, plus a cool harbor. I can't wait to explore it more when the rain lets up a little bit.

Then, tomorrow it's off to Boston for the weekend. After that it's a leisurely trip home stopping in several spots to take in all kinds of stuff. Bottom line, family time is the best time. I love it. What a cool blessing. Thanks God for creating all this amazing stuff and these amazing people to experience the amazing stuff with.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I love October. My brother and I were both born in October (thanks for the consistency Mom and Dad). Leaves change color in October (except in Florida...they go from green straight to brown sometime in December-ish). My brother in law is getting married in October (Yay Kirk and Maura). The weather stops being so hot in October (sometimes). Fishing on the Big O and other lakes usually picks up a little in October. You can start thinking about jackets in October (unless you live in Florida...especially South Florida). Football is in full swing in October...high school, college, and the NFL. Baseball playoffs are rocking and rolling in October. Hockey and Basketball start in October. Pumpkin patches, weird looking gourdes, and harvesty type stuff break out in October. Cinnamon is more often smelled in October. Tons of fresh veggies are harvested in October. There are a lot of fun festivals that traditionally happen in October. I love October.

Halloween happens in October. It is a lot of fun. I love dressing up and pretending to be something. My mom used to make costumes for my brother and I. Some were cool (Batman and Robin). Some were not (Butterfly and Octopus...c'mon mom). I love getting free candy...bobbing for apples...and laughing with friends.

I've been really wrestling with Halloween for a good number of years now. I grew up having a blast doing it, and I'm not blaming for parents for secretly instilling evil into my little finite mind. I think we went about it innocently and had a great time.

Here's where I struggle...I can't get past this question: "What about Halloween brings honor and glory to God?" I've really thought through, researched, paid careful attention, asked that same question to several people over the past few years, and here's what I've come up with: Nothing. I haven't found anything about how Halloween is celebrated that honors Christ and I've looked/searched pretty hard.

Here's what I have found relating to Halloween without much effort:
  • Ads for scary movies shown all throughout the day during "family friendly programming" that make my kids not be able to go to sleep, have terrible nightmares, and come crying and terrified to my wife and I...and this is with them purposefully turning the channel and/or turning away almost immediately so they don't have to watch
  • An excuse to get drunk
  • A multi-week celebration at Universal Studios where devout Christ followers go and purposefully spend their money to support an organization that pushes the two above mentioned things. The only defense I've heard when I've asked Christians about why they go to something so gorey and alcohol-filled is "to have a good time."
  • An excuse to represent sexual immorality with inappropriate costumes and often partake in sexual immorality
  • Celebration of death, killing, fear, hell, demons, etc.
  • Razor blades hidden in chocolate candy...okay, this is a little extreme and extremely dated... back to the 80s I think...however it did happen. What was up with those few losers anyway?
I'm not trying to be a killjoy. If you know me you know laughing and fun are some of the things I treasure most. However, more important than those things in my life is reflecting the attitude of Christ.

Christ came to bring life. He conquered Satan and death. He is light...not darkness. Philippians 4:8 tells us to focus on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. In the middle of challenging us to live as children of light, Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4:27 not to give the devil a focus or acknowledgement.

It just seems pretty obvious what Halloween stands for today, and what Christ stands for always. The two don't seem to mix at all.

Consider Paul's challenge to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12, "...set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity." and then again in 2Timothy 2:22, "Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

I understand if you disagree with me and want to go to bat in defense of Halloween. A part of me is saddened as I think back about wearing my cool robot costume and getting free candy. It's hard to avoid surrounds us and can still be a lot of fun. I'm just asking you to consider the question I can't get past, ""What about Halloween brings honor and glory to God?" If you can find something please let me know. As you seek to answer that question, pursue Christ in all you do. Don't stop letting His light shine just to have a little fun.

I still love October :) Stay strong!