Posted tagged ‘home’

Enjoy the Luster of New Fallen Snow

January 18, 2018

Dr. Steven J. Callis

Even if you are not a huge fan of the cold white stuff, there is something quite picturesque about new fallen snow covering the ground and dusting the trees.  Many people in our area would say that we have received more than our share of snow this season, especially when it is accompanied by freezing temperatures and brisk winds.

Other regions of the nation enjoy the jokes and laughter at the expense of our predicament, but the simple fact is that we have seen minimal reason to expend the necessary funds to be equipped for significant snow fall and accumulation.  The assumption is that northerners know how to drive in the snow, but it can be argued that their road conditions are not as severe because their cities are better equipped for such circumstances.

However, no amount of discussion and debate can change the fact that snow greatly impacts life in our region.  Schools close, churches cancel services and activities, and a large sector of the business world is unable to make it to work.  To a degree, everything stops until the temperatures rise and the ice melts from the roadways.

The inconvenience that such weather causes can be frustrating.  Flights are delayed, road trips are canceled, plans are changed, special events are missed, and the media warns us to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to be out on the highways.  Can there possibly be a silver lining in this snow-filled cloud?

One reason for the frustration is that we are a society on the go.  We stay busy.  We discover new ways to save time and then fill it with more busyness.  We do not like to be still.  We do not like to wait.  We do not want to relax.  Cooped up in the house for a day seems to drive us batty.

Nevertheless, we all need down time.  Physically, emotionally, and socially, our overall health demands periods of rest.  I confess that I enjoy peering out the window to see few if any vehicles on the roads.  Decades ago, such a phenomenon would be a weekly occurrence, every Sunday.  Years ago we would experience it at least on holidays.  Today, even holidays do not take a holiday.  Sundays and holidays are treated no differently than any other days of the year.  Our world does not stop; it refuses to be still.

The snow, however, forces us to stop, or at least expects us to slow down.  Families staying home can eat together, play games, read books, play in the snow, and simply enjoy being together.  Personally, I welcome the excuse to take a break from routine and a full schedule.  The Bible teaches us that the Sabbath was made for man: a time to refresh, replenish, and re-energize in order to pursue our calling the rest of the week.

Could it be that this recent snowbound adventure will help us appreciate and create periodic opportunities to disengage for the sake of our health and our families?  If so, it will make us better in the long run.

Advertisements

Home for Christmas

December 10, 2014

Dr. Steven J. Callis

Walter Kent composed the music for the Kim Gannon lyrics, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Bing Crosby was the first to record the song in 1943, and the single eventually reached #3 on the song charts. In December 1944, the Crosby recording was released by the U.S. War Department, and it touched the lives and hearts of America, soldiers and civilians alike.

The music composition easily fits that era and the solemn, somber spirit of the days during WWII. Longing to be home with family was a dream that many soldiers would merely have to dream, knowing that it would not be a reality that year. Saying “thank you” hardly seems adequate for those individuals who, then and now, will not be gathering around the Christmas tree with family this year, but instead are putting their lives on the line for “the folks back home,” but we offer a prayerful thanks, nonetheless.

I realize how blessed I was (and am) to be heading home for Christmas. If I had composed the music for that song, it would have included a banjo, guitars, fiddles, drums, harmonicas – – it would have been an up-tempo celebration of excitement. Even as a father with young children, I felt giddy deep inside as the car drew near enough to hear the Christmas carols of my favorite radio station from my home town.

Nostalgic feelings would flood my mind as we entered familiar territory, with landscapes and buildings and highways that once were my stomping grounds. It felt good to be home, sometimes finding the opportunity to reconnect with friends from the past.

Mom and Dad are in heaven now. Our children have grown and are out on their own. Two of the three never lived in Douglasville with us, so the only giddy they might feel at all is in seeing their parents. As for me? Well, I am a home-body. I like sleeping in my own bed, enjoying the freedom to raid the fridge and cabinets, relaxing in my recliner, watching Christmas programming on television; I like being home.

And with these necessary and expected changes over the years, I still get those giddy feelings inside. However, these days they are not centered so much around familiar places and precious memories. No, they come about as we near the town where our children live, or as their anticipated arrival time in our driveway approaches. Either way, that is when my childhood memories are replaced by memories of their childhoods, and in my heart I am still rocking them to sleep, reading stories to them, riding bikes, going to school plays, attending music recitals, and cheering for them at ball games.

I have grown into the reality that home truly is where the heart is. Wherever we choose to gather with them this year, I know I’ll be home. Let those giddy feelings begin!

With This Ring

July 25, 2014

by Steven J Callis

It was long thought that there is a vein in the human body running from the ring finger of the left hand to the heart. The advancement of science eventually proved that to be a false notion, but the sentiment is beautiful as to the reason for wearing the wedding band on the fourth finger of the left hand.

Another explanation of the tradition is that long ago in a religious wedding ceremony, the priest would bless the marriage by touching the ring to the thumb and saying, “In the name of the Father.” He would then touch the ring to the forefinger and say, “and of the Son,” followed by touching the ring to the middle finger and saying, “and of the Holy Ghost.” Finally, the ring would be placed on the fourth finger as the priest declared, “Amen.”

Yet another explanation is that the fourth finger is the most protected of all the fingers, and the majority of people tend to use their right hand more than the left hand. Hence, the fourth finger on the left hand would be the most protected of all. This idea is not nearly as romantic or symbolic as the others, but many people believe it to be the most plausible theory.

If choosing to accept the latter of these derivations, we could actually find a bit of symbolism in it, too. Marriage is a bond and foundation of a home and family. The home being one’s refuge from the wiles and crises and stresses of the everyday world, marriage should, indeed, be protected. While there are many external causes for failing marriages and divorce, the problems nearly always begin within the marriage itself.

After you have overdone it at the local food buffet, the last thing on your mind is stopping at DQ for a Blizzard or sundae; food is not appetizing when your tummy is completely satisfied. Similarly, when a relationship is solid, satisfying, and need-meeting, the external distractions and temptations lose their appeal and power. For this reason, husbands and wives must guard their treasure called marriage.

As the relationship matures, changes are inevitable. We change as individuals, we change as events and circumstances impact our lives, we change as our physical health diminishes, and as we face the challenges of parenthood, career, faith, aging, and the empty nest. Refusing to acknowledge and deal with those changes can derail a relationship. The marriage must allow room for the relationship to grow as it matures.

So take a moment and consider that band on your left hand ring finger. Let it remind you of the necessity to deliberately protect what you have vowed to keep forever. Your marriage can be the very foundation of your home as a refuge.

Daddy’s Home

June 14, 2014

Daddy’s Home!

By Steven J. Callis

 

I can still hear those words in my mom’s voice, “Wait until your daddy gets home.” She probably did not say it as often as I remember hearing it, but the words were real, spoken in two different contexts.

Sometimes I was being given a warning that the worst was yet to come concerning discipline for my misbehavior. I do remember being disciplined by my mom, but there were times when she delegated that duty to dad. Between you and me, that was my preference. I had tried mom’s patience until she had “had enough.” She was emotionally involved.

Dad, on the other hand, had been working all day and came home with his mind still on the job. Mom’s delegating put him in a somewhat awkward position, needing to implement the discipline, yet having no emotional connection to the offense. I would be hard pressed to call it the “wrath of dad.”

For much of my earlier grade school years, dad often traveled on business. On the day he was to return home from a trip, mom would remind my brothers and me, “Daddy’s coming home tonight. Wait until daddy gets home!” In this setting, these words were not stated as a threat, but as a promise.

For some reason, I do recall being allowed to stay up past my bedtime, eating ice cubes with mom and playing games until we heard the car in the driveway. Sometimes Daddy would bring home a surprise for his three boys, but not always. It did not matter, really. We were just glad to see him.

I loved my parents. I was blessed with a loving atmosphere at home, and my parents did all they could for their children. Mom taxied all of us to our designated ball fields and school buildings and church events. She offered plenty of TLC. Nevertheless, I seemed to have a closer bond with my dad. He was a very special man. His easy-going manner and the reassurance of his voice were such a comfort to me.

Well, it’s Father’s Day 2014, and Daddy’s home! In 1995, my Dad went “home” after only a one-year battle with cancer. I still miss him tremendously, but I do like the sound of how we say it. Some people call it the golden streets, or maybe the Promised Land, or the Pearly Gates, but I like “home.” The Bible refers to us as aliens in this world; strangers in a foreign land because heaven, not the world, is our home.

How I would cherish being with Dad today; maybe take him out for lunch and give him a dozen golf balls as an expression of my love and appreciation. Instead, I rest in the assurance that he is at home with his Father, his heavenly Father, enjoying this day to its fullest. It cannot get any better than that! Happy Father’s Day, Dad.