The Curries

The Curries
Keith and Patricia

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

NO DEAD ENDS: a training goal

    Haven Hightower is unsinkable. What an incredible quality! Paul had that quality: “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” Nathan Hale had that quality: “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” And Haven has it.

    When Haven was in middle school, she was unstoppable. Her grades were at the top. Her socializing was wholesome and fun. Her basketball skills were intense: her defense was insanely bothersome to opponents, her rebounding was strong, and her shooting was over the top . . . of the goal.

    The thing that characterized her the most was best summed up by Patricia, who taught Haven language arts. Patricia simply said, “Haven has no dead ends. No matter what the situation, Haven always looked for a solution.” When others were disappointed, Haven found a thread of hope, a new road.
    How did she become like that?

    We are very fortunate to know her parents, Bill and Susan. They trust God. They pray. In dark hours, they look for the dawn. They have passed these qualities on to Haven. Haven just celebrated her 20th birthday

    For the follower of Jesus, there are no dead ends. There are S curves, and turns, and stoppings and ceasings, even U-turns, but no dead ends. A man or woman of faith knows that a door will always open or that God can make a way in the desert. Even death itself is a door, it is not an end.

    Let’s agree to give our children this gift of confidence in God’s Almighty power. Slavery can be overcome, a sea can be parted, a giant can be slain, a fiery furnace can be harmless, the lions’ mouths can be shut. With God all things are possible.
    We do not know what the future may hold, but we can pass on faith to our children. Faith that a problem is not a dead end, but an opportunity for God to show Himself strong. Like the coming of the end of the year, there is a certainty that there will be the beginning of a new year—right away.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (New Living Translation)
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
    He will show you a way out!
                                 He will show you a way out!
                                                              He will show you a way out!
                                                                            NO DEAD ENDS!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


     We were all between eight and twelve years old, and the kids in my neighborhood just knew that we were getting bicycles for Christmas. All of us. But we didn’t know where our parents had them stashed. The days between school getting out and Christmas morning were spent discussing, searching, and wondering where those bicycles were. We knew that our parents often hid Christmas gifts for other families and that other families often hid our gifts. That particular year, they had us stumped; and the mystery was fun for us and for our parents.

    And then—Christmas morning—there were the bikes!  My mom still has the picture of six of us lined up on our bikes with smiles as big as Texas. There was one older couple on our street whose kids were grown and gone. Their basement had held our presents the whole time. We never thought about their house as a possibility. Ah, the wisdom of parents.

    In our own family we have also enjoyed some fun Christmas mornings by adding some suspense to the mix. One year, we got Judith a little flop-eared rabbit, but we didn’t put it under the tree. We put it in the garage. Judith opened a gift that had a clue to look under the couch, where she found a clue to look in a closet, where she found a clue to look in a cabinet until she eventually found a clue to look in the garage. By the time she found the rabbit we were all hopping!

    Sometimes we used riddles to give clues. Sometimes we hid presents in a little box in a bigger box in another box.

    One family that we know hides a pickle on the Christmas tree. Whoever finds the pickle gets to open the first gift. To them that’s a big dill.

    Patricia and Anna fill each stocking with a personal touch. Anna has participated in this ritual since she was about ten.

    This week, post a comment (below) and share one of your Christmas ideas or traditions for your family. We will all have a great time reading them and we may broaden our traditions to include one of yours.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gifts—“I asked for it; I oughta get it."

    When our children were younger and our finances were tight, Patricia and I agreed to buy them three Christmas gifts: a book, clothing, and a toy/game. Although they were disappointed at times because they did not get the “gift” they wanted, they were generally happy and learned to handle those times. On the other hand, we noticed that birthdays (when they received all the gifts) produced some pretty stinky little attitudes. More was not necessarily better. 
Matthew 7:9-10
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?”

    This verse shows that a good father will not give a bad thing if a good one is asked for; but it doesn’t promise that he will give exactly what is asked for.

    John Piper gives this illustration: “But what if we ask for something that is bad for us? My little son Benjamin once asked for a cracker, and when I opened the box, they were moldy. I told him that they had fuzz on them. He wasn’t sure what I was talking about and said, “I’ll eat the fuzz.” But I didn’t give them to him. He got some other treat that day. Maybe not what he preferred. But it was good for him. He asked. I gave. But not the exact request. I love him too much for that.”

    The point is that our children are not mature enough to really know what is good for them. The popular toys are not always the best. Did Barbie ever model realistic womanhood? Godly womanhood? Wholesome womanhood?

    Ryan and Elita Friesen shared with us that when their four-year-old son began to ask for all the gifts that he had seen, or item after item that he saw in the store, they knew that they had to do something. This is what they did. Every time he asked for something, they told him that he would have to give away one of the toys that he already had. At four, he began to change his tune and temper his words so that he no longer asked for things. Instead of saying, “Dad, I want that,” he began to say, “Dad, look at that!”

    Television and advertising plant seeds of need and greed in all of us. We begin to think as if we simply cannot get along without a certain phone, a particular toy, or the newest fashion. As impressionable as children are, it is no wonder that they succumb to the pressures of professional advertisers. Then the problem really becomes worse when we as parents allow ourselves to be shaped by the ads working through our kids. We give away what we know is best and just give our kids what they ask for. I think a little parent rebellion along this line might be good for our kids, our families, and our society.

    Perhaps the best gift we could give our children is to teach them how to give.

Acts 20:35 
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said:
 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

    Turning our attention from ourselves to others is a big part of maturing and a basic aspect of love.

    This year, in addition to giving presents to one another, we are all chipping in some money and a pitch for our favorite cause. After discussing the worthy charities, we will attempt to arrive at a consensus on which one is the most worthy (or needy) and award our donations to that one.

    Phil Tuttle, from Walk Thru the Bible, tells how his dad used to pick a needy family and involve the kids in a secret mission. They would scope out their schedule, deliver gifts to their porch, ring the doorbell, and run, diving into the car, squealing tires to make an exciting “get-away” just as the people opened the door. What a way to make it fun.

    Christmas is a great time to turn our children “toward others.” Give some thought and prayer to how your family can be a blessing to someone else this Christmas. “Glory to God in the highest and on earth . . . good will toward men.” Involve your children in the process, and you will reap great dividends.
                                                                                                                        So will they.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

TRAINING: Have children; spread God's glory


     In Genesis 1, God instructs man, who is created in His image, to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.” Have kids; spread my glory. Obviously, God wanted Adam and Eve to have children. Secondly, he wanted them to fill the earth with His image. Since he told them this before the fall, it would be God’s likeness and glory that would be spreading and subduing the earth, not man’s.

    It seems to me that we as humans have been better at multiplying than at spreading God’s image. The only problem with spreading our own image across the globe is that we seem to value having children less and less.

    In other words, we don’t seem to think that multiplying ourselves is all that glorious.

    God intends for us to have children so that His glory would be made manifest throughout the earth. Fruitfulness and multiplication has a purpose rooted in the image of God bestowed on us in creation. We are to have children who will reflect God’s image.

    Now consider Psalm 127: 3-4. “Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”

    Again, two things stand out to us. First, children are a reward or blessing from the Lord. Secondly, children are like arrows to be aimed, guided in a certain direction.

    These two thoughts go together as two sides of the same coin. Our children are a blessing when we aim them toward Jesus, the exact image of God. If we fail to direct them in His way, they will probably not be the blessing that we hoped them to be. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of these kinds of children.

    You see, many people are asking the question, “How many arrows make a full quiver?” That’s might be the wrong question. A better question is “What kind of arrows are in your quiver?” Sharp, straight, true? Another question might be: Who is shaping the arrows in your quiver, you or the culture?

    Here are some other questions we must answer: What kind of man or woman are we as we hold these arrows in our hands? Are we warriors? Or are we pacifists? Do we dare take a stand in the middle of a culture that despises children? Can we build up and support and train our children when the culture pervades every part of life? Are we aiming our children toward eternal things?

    One more passage, Malachi 2: 15 says, “Has not the LORD made them (the parents) one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.” In reference to Genesis, Malachi speaks to the truth that the husband and wife are to be one. Why? To produce godly children. From the first book of the Old Testament to the last book, the heart of God is to produce children that reflect His glory, children who are godly. Children who become godly adults.

    Let’s stand strongly for our families, for our spouses, for our children. Let’s fill the earth with the likeness of Jesus. It begins at home.

    Don’t just carry your arrows around in your quiver,
or in your car;
                                           aim them.