posted by Tim
I participate in a weekly book group with a bunch of other believers. Last year we read a book by Albert Borgmann called "Power Failure." I have to admit I understood about 5% of the book, but I did learn something that has stuck with me.
Borgmann has a concept called the "Device Paradigm" which (as I interpreted) speaks to how technology creates the expectation of availability (it could be a clock disconnecting us from the natural rhythm of the day or iPhones turning the workday into 24 hours-a-day). In short, time gets very fluid and actual events seem less important. Borgmann suggests that we need something to counter this in our lives. He argues that we need to restore focal things and focal practices in our lives. A focal thing is something that is concrete and is important - it could be the evening meal. A focal practice is an intentional regular activity done together to prepare or support the focal thing - e.g. preparing the meal, setting the table, getting the boys to wash their hands, etc. Our lives should revolve around these focal things, dinner, church, soccer games, and not our lives around technology and availability. I am striving to be home on time for dinner and to attend all of my boys' significant events.
Last Sunday my Dad would have turned 70 years old, and this year also marks the 10 year anniversary of his death. I decided that we needed to have an annual focal thing to remember my father and to use as a tool to teach my children about him. Even at the time of his death, years before I had children, one of my biggest disappointments (and frustrations with God) was that my children would not know him. He would have made a great Grandfather.
I stewed on what would be an appropriate focal thing to remember my Dad. MILKSHAKES! My Dad was famous in the neighborhood for making milkshakes for all the kids. He worked as a Soda Jerk when he was a kid, and he could make a mean milkshake. The Nashville branch of the Franklin family purchased ice cream and a stack of treats to make milkshakes in honor of Grandpa Shermie. My milkshake skills are not up to Dad's, but I didn't see the boys (and Jo) complaining. Over the years, I hope the kids will learn about Dad even though they never got the chance to sit in his lap.
I think I just got an email on my iPhone from Koike-san in Japan :) Should I answer it or go to bed?
one of Graham's favorite things about kindergarten
riding the school bus
Just a little update...
Just a little update...
We heard from our agency today that our court paperwork has been processed and we will be submitted for embassy tomorrow. The next embassy date is September 15, so we are hoping to have clearance to travel for that date. We should hear at the beginning of next week if we got clearance. Keep praying, please! We really hope to be on a plane to Africa in less than two weeks.