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Showing posts from 2010

Holiday Sentiments

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year." -- Charles Dickens
It is every year around this time that we capture the warm fuzzies in our hearts as we look forward to celebrating this festive season. We eagerly anticipate seeing family and friends, going home to mom and dad, or possibly seeing the first snowflakes fall outside our window while you cozy up to a bright and crackling fire. The Christmas Fir is beautifully decorated with ornaments and candy canes and silver and red presents adorn the floor around the tree. Giving thoughtful gifts to incredible friends is always a pleasure. I look forward to those kinds of Christmases.
But not this year...
Sure, I can't wait to see my parents in Atlanta. I can't wait to sit at the breakfast table and sop my mama's biscuits (if you have never done, this your life is so incomplete right now). And yes, I am looking forward to catching up with old friends and family that I have not spoken to for a while…

I Have to Use My Own Money?

There is nothing like being in New York for the holidays.  The Christmas tree is being lit, the stores are flooded with people from all fifty states, and the bustling streets smell like roasted peanuts!  I love it!  Well, my boys wanted to go downtown as usual to catch some Black Friday sales.  I really did not mind because I like the never-ending action of the city.  My oldest wanted to go to the NBA store.  It is a fantastic store full of NBA jerseys, posters, and basketballs.  He walked in the store and it was if he forgot why he was there. 
"Son, do you know what you want?", I asked. 
"Umm...no!  Well, I think I want to look for some Wizards jerseys or shorts!" 
They did not have them.  So he didn't know what to do.  So we're walking...and walking...and walking.  I could tell that he was a little unsure also because he had to use his money.  I know when I have a little pocket change, everything is given extra consideration. 
Well, on to Toys R Us.  This…

A Life Marathon V -- The Finish?

"I gotta feeling...that tonight's gonna be a good night!"  These are the words by Black Eye Peas I heard as I triumphantly jogged across the finish line.  I wish I could upload the video of the crossing (Yes, I had my iPhone in hand recording the whole thing!)  During the last 1/4 of a mile, with an excrutiating pain in my ankle and now heavy fatigue, I spoke into my now sweaty phone, huffing and puffing, and now jogging across the line.  I no longer cared that my time was...long.  I could have cared less that many runners (ummm, make that thousands of runners) finished before me.  I was enjoying the moment.  The crowd was roaring, clapping and celebrating every finisher's triumph. God gave me the chance to run...a marathon!  26.2 miles worth or concrete!  Only 1% of Americans have done this!  I need to go get my 26.2 car magnet.
  Someone once told me that the marathon is just the end of a long training process.  I had never viewed it that way before.  I have some…

A Life Marathon (IV)-- The Pain

The pain began on mile 4.  I had to run 22 more grueling miles with this aggravating pain.  The first 3 miles were great -- the unyielding enthusiasm from all of the fans, the vigor of the runners, the electric atmosphere.  It was all there. And then came...that pain.  It was at the top of my right ankle.  I had never felt it before; not even sure where it came from.  My running partner cramped continuously throughout the race.  Pain.  As I had to stop and start, the pain from my ankle became progressively worse, so much so that it was more painful to start running again than the actual run. 

Pain.

Pain is everywhere.  If you talk with anyone for a bit of time, you can hear the joys and pains of their life.  My friend suffered a brain aneurysm.  Another colleague was in an unhealthy marriage.  Once to have it all only to lose everything and begin all over again...pain. To see your daughter on a great track to have a successful life only to have a major life setback while you watch...…

A Life Marathon -- My Running Partner

After consistent questioning and persuasions, I made the decision to run the MCM.  Training for this race was different for me.  I had been running for some years now- two miles here, four miles there.  Yet, I never really pushed myself to train.  Training takes consistency, determination and hard work.  From those three words, consistency was my challenge. I had to train...often.  Well...
Steve was my running partner.  We trained together.  We ran together.  And after a while, we drew closer as friends...together.  I began to understand his running pace and he understood mine.  As we trained, running became more than just running.  It became more of a friendship.  I began to know more about him, his wife and family, and his interests.  He got a chance to know a bit more of my victories and challenges, my strengths and shortcomings.  But we ran together -- 5 miles, 8 miles, 10 and then 12.  We ran in the streets, on golf courses, along public and private routes.  We often talked when w…

A Life Marathon -- The Fans

The grueling race began.  One foot after the other running towards the finish line.  There were hundreds of fans along the side of the road early in the chilled morning with their children wrapped in coats.  I was well aware that there were places around the city where supporters were able to see the runners and encourage them on.  But screaming fans were everywhere.  EVERYWHERE!!!! There were thousands of people with blue, white, and pink poster signs rousing their favorite runners on.  There were marines dressed in fatigues dispersed throughout the race giving high fives; little 10-year old kids were passing out waters and Powerade to runners they did not even know.  In all honesty, there was never a half mile in the entire race that there were not screaming, bell-in-hand supporters....   "Come on! You can do it!"

"Keep going!  Don't stop!
"You got this!"
"You were stupid enough to sign up for this race.  You better not stop now.  You'v…

A Life Marathon -- The Start

It could not have been a better day to run a race than Halloween Day, 2010.  The weather was perfect a nice chill to the fall air; the runners were ready, and the atmosphere was electric.  I had been anticipating this day for months.  Yet, I did not always look forward to running a marathon.  In fact, I NEVER wanted to run a marathon.
I had been running for a couple of years now.  I ran in the Marine Corps Marathon 10K race in 2008.  I watched the marathon runners prepare for their excruciatingly long run and thought to myself, "I ain't doing that." Well, a couple of my 'I ain't doing that' opposing friends, who ran the race last year, persistently coerced me to run it this year.  "Dijon, you're a runner!  You can do this!" "Dijon, just take the pace slow and you will finish."  "It'll be great!" Yadda yadda yadda.  I reluctantly said yes.  The problem for me was not that I did not think I could do it.  The problem was I wa…

Still Learning...

I was thinking about my boys and the things I have learned as a dad over the last couple of days.  Just thoughts...

1)  This takes work!
2)  I have to give my boys more credit than I do.
3)  I have to trust that they will put into practice what I teach them.
4)  They do listen to me.
5)  They often follow the examples that I do, whether good or bad.
6)  They are boys, not men; so I cannot give them a man's responsibility...yet.
7)  They are boys, not men; so I cannot expect to act like a man.  I have to allow them to be...boys.
8)  They know more than what I give them credit for.
9)  I need to speak to them in a calm voice...more often.
10) Freedom is often harder to give up than I expected...they are growing up and I have to allow them to.
11) I have to get more advice about how to raise them...I have never raised a ten year old and a six year old before.  Each day is new.
12) They do want to spend time with me; I have to make that time happen and make it special.
13) There are t…

I Know You're Out Of School, But You Still Have Work To Do!

If you are on the east coast, you have been pounded by the snow, or as it has been affectionately named, 'Snowmageddon'!  Well, my boys have been out of school since Monday and it doesn't look like they are going back until Tuesday.  After a while, being stuck in the house, you can get cabin fever.  Especially if you are used to being out most of the day.  Well, my boys are not really suffereing from that.  They aren't really getting on our nerves.  They are actually really good.  We have played board games as a family, played in the snow, and relaxed and watched TV.  I have had to be creative myself during these times.  I have played the games, watched some soccer, cooked a little more and shoveled a little more.
Yet, I am a still teacher, by occupation and life!
So I was sitting at the computer devising a lesson dealing with African American History for my boys.  They had no clue of what was going on.  As they finished watching their episode of Phineas and Ferb, I summ…

Seize the Moment!

Here are some great tips I found for fathers.http://www.greatdads.org/  Enjoy!

SEIZE THE MOMENT #2 – EXAMPLES
Sweep your young daughter up in your arms and dance around for a moment or two. Sit down beside your child and ask him to tell you all about his latest “passion” – what he is really interested in.
Have a meal where everyone must eat with the “wrong” hand. Wear yourself out wrestling with your kid on the family room floor. Invite your child to help you plan a special surprise for Mom – a nice meal, a “Mom Appreciation Night”.
On a snow day, sled down the hill with your child. Or make snow ice cream. Some evening, say to a child before bedtime, “Come outside with me” and there have a tent set up for a night of camping with dad under the stars.
When you have lots of “seized moments” like this with your child, it is quite likely the child will look back someday and say, “Dad was the guy who made life a lot of fun.”
Wishing you the very best,
Dr. Bob
Bob Hamrin - President, Great Dads

I…

God, Please Help Me...

It was very interseting to hear how our Sunday morning worship service message about how pain and worship come together.   I experienced an example of this weekend.

Last night, lil' K was in a lot of pain.  He was hollering and screaming at the top of his lungs due to discomfort.  Me, being the sometimes unemotional dude, went upstairs to see what was the problem.  I encouraged him (better yet, demanded him) to stop the crying and yelling.  He was trying to let me how much pain he was really in.  I had to change my attitude and get sensitive here.  So I went downstairs and fixed him some food.  As I was doing this, he was still upstairs hollering.  I walk back upstairs, poised this time, only to hear something so soothing.  I peaked through the door and saw him sitting with tears raining from his eyes.  This is what I heard...

"God, please help me.  God, pleeease (sniff) make my pain (sniff) go away.  Pleeeeeaaasse God, make it go (sniff) away.  In Jesus name, Amen."

I...wa…

Here's Your Allowance, But You Owe Me

As you all know, we are living in a tough economic times.  Yet, I am reminded of Rush Limbaugh when he said that although we are living in a recession, he chooses not be to be a part of it.  I have the same sentiment.  Well, I have given the boys an allowance.  I'll be honest, I really just started to get serious about it.  Anyway...

I promised the boys that I would give them a certain amount every two weeks.  They can use this money on whatever they want (within reason).  They also have to learn how to use their money. They have a piggy bank that they got from an investment firm called Lenox Advisors.  It teaches my boys how to use their money wisely.  Thanks Lenox Advisors.  Check it out...


I am not sure if this is the case for everyone, but when money gets tight, you look for ways to conserve it.  For instance, cutting back on eating out, reducing cell phone usage, turning off the lights, using coupons in the grocery st...did I say turning off the lights???  I did!  This is one …

Keep Singing Dad...Keep Singing!

I was in a holiday concert this past blistery weekend.  It was phenomenol!  We had a lot of fantastic acts and a lot of good fun.  Well, at the end of the two hour concert, we introduced all of the members of the band and of the group, Shades of Vision (of which I have I have sung with for the last 13 years).  As the band played a funky rendition of 'Funkin' for Jamaica', one of the group members introduced me.  I could talk about family, my life, and any other thing I felt necessary that would describe me.  I began singing and then talking about my family, who were 'sitting' stage left. 

"I have a beautiful wife of twelve years and two...two...", I said as I was center stage.

As I was pointing and talking, my two handsome, energetic boys were jumping up and down, with everyone of their teeth showing, giving their unyeilding support for their performing dad.

"My two...boys", I finished my sentence.  I was pointing, the boys were jumping, and the a…