30 08 2010

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

I have recently been reminded of those words from the famed Dr. Suess book, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go.”

Last week was a time of milestones at the Daigle house.

First, Saturday, August 21, my daughter, Alexandra turned 1 year old. My beautiful angel is starting to eat regular food, use sign language, and more than anything else show the fact that she is really a female. She can be a bit temperamental at times.

Second, Monday, August 23, my son, Caleb started kindergarten. This one hit me harder than the other. Whereas I have always known that my children would have birthdays, the fact that he is starting school and actually entering the real world came as a shock to me. I am suddenly facing the realization that I am the father of a child who will take my dreams with him into a real world. I am coming to grips with the idea that my dreams must be bigger than me. My direction must be greater than my selfishness. Before he just carried my name with him to day care and home again. Now the Daigle name is entering the hallways of academia and my influence will begin to be felt through his actions.

As I write this I am compelled to examine myself. Am I a good father? What is he learning at home? Is the way I treat his mother a reflection of the way that Christ loves the church? How do reflect my disappointment in his actions? All of these questions and more are causing me to spend time reflecting on who I am. While I am the one who determines where Caleb goes and how he gets there I must give myself to being an example that I will not be ashamed of when he is the one who determines where he goes and how he gets there.

What questions are your recent milestones causing you to ask? How are you answering them?


Am I the reason Anne Rice left Christianity

2 08 2010

Am I the reason Anne Rice left Christianity?

“Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to “belong” to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten …years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else. As I said below, I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of …Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.” – Anne Rice

The tweets and comments have been flying around for a few days about her statement and the conviction that Christians should feel. I may get beat up for my opinion on this topic, but I have to say that I wholeheartedly disagree with the sentiment that Christians should feel guilty for the actions that she has taken.

A few questions for those Christians who feel like conviction should set in:

1. Are you anti-gay? There has never been a time when Christianity, across the board, has been more tolerable than it is today.
2. Are you anti-feminist? There are more females involved in ministry and Christian leadership than there has ever been.
3. Are you anti-artificial birth control? I’m not going to even explain the holes in that argument.
4. Are you anti-Democrat? A person’s agreement with a particular party should not and should never put a person in good or bad standing with Christians.
5. Are you a secular-humanist? She has a valid point. If you call yourself Christian or a Christ-Follower you can’t really call yourself a secular humanist. I don’t say that because I have anything against a person who is a secular-humanist. You can check out secular humanism if you are not sure.
6. Are you anti-science? I have great difficulty understanding how anyone that calls themselves a Christian could say they are anti-science. One of the greatest understandings of the universe is that the creator of the universe built it with such detail that science is woven into everything.
7. Finally, are you anti-life? Life is the basis of Christianity. Jesus said “…I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”

Unfortunately, Anne Rice decided to take a very general shot at Christianity. I take great offense to her comments and do not feel any kind of conviction because of her.
To answer my opening question, I am not the reason Anne Rice left Christianity. If you are, you are most likely not truly a Christian.

Daddy was walking away

21 07 2010

Today, I wish I were an artist. If I were an artist I would paint you a picture of a memory of my father that is etched in my brain.

It was probably about 45 degrees, although as a child I probably thought it was in the 20’s and my father had taken me hunting. We were not sitting in a deer blind waiting for the deer to come to us so we could shoot them as they grazed. We actually parked our car on the side of the road and hiked into the Sabine National Forest in hopes that we would come across a trophy buck, or doe, or, that day, even a trophy squirrel. The sight of a wild animal of any kind would have had me overjoyed. Unfortunately, we did not see any wild “game”. And I use the term “game” loosely. We didn’t even fire our guns. But I learned something that day about my father, which may be just now starting to show itself in my life. You see, that day, we got lost. That’s right, deep woods lost. Or at least, that’s how I remember it.

I can still smell the air of that day. It was overcast and cold. It was in December after my 10th birthday. I remember because my father still had his blue Oldsmobile company car. It was that blue Oldsmobile that we parked on Hwy. 87 just over the hill and around the bend from FM 3315 and went into the woods at about 7 o’clock in the morning. By lunchtime we were extremely lost. We had brought our lunch with us, so food wasn’t a problem, but as it started getting darker and colder, I could see my dad becoming more and more perplexed. We knew where we parked the car, but we just could not get back to that area. After what seemed like an eternity, we came out on a road that we recognized. The map shows where we came out and where we parked the car.

We were so relieved. We went back to the little gas station at the corner of FM 3315 and Hwy. 87 and began to thaw out. Of course, that’s what I did as a 10-year-old boy, but my 38-year-old father could not stay with us because he had to walk back to where the car had been left. Perhaps the most vivid memory of my father is him with his back to us trudging up the hill, with his hands stuffed into his pockets trying to stay warm and I knew everything was going to be alright as he walked away.

Looking back on that day, I realize that leading is not so much about facing a crowd and telling them how to live, but it’s more about turning your back to them and giving them someone to follow.

The people we love the most WILL have memories of us walking away. It is inevitable, but what will we be walking away to?

My dad walked away to go to work.
He walked away to help others.
He walked away to take my mother on dates.
He walked away to pray.
He walked away…
And led me to be more.

As you turn your back on those you love the most, where are you headed?
Today is my daddy’s birthday. He would have been 63 today. I hope he has a big birthday cookie in heaven.

Thank you, daddy, for leading me. Happy Birthday from your #1 son.

My iPad At Work

15 07 2010

One of the big questions with the explosion of the Apple brand is, “Does it translate to the enterprise?” Employees from the receptionist to the CEO are falling in love with Apple, from the iPod to the iMac to the iPhone. And now the iPad has been added to the array of gadgets that people can’t wait to get their hands on. There is a misnomer that says that the iPad is nothing more than an over-sized, overpriced iPhone. I have to say that, although the iPhone and iPad have similar functionality, their capabilities are exponentially different. Being in the IT Management world I am always looking for ways to make remote management easier. The iPhone has a few RDP apps that can be downloaded, but the screen is simply too small to do any real work. Enter the iPad.

This morning I received a notification that a file server needed to be rebooted. The easiest thing to do would be to tell the users that they would have to wait, as everyone was on the road, in traffic, and we would be in the office within an hour or so. That was before the iPad. I simply pulled into a parking lot, activated my VPN and opened up my WYSE PocketCloud RDP app and, voila, I was staring at the server that needed to be restarted. The entire process took approximately 2 minutes.

I know there will always be Windows purists who will despise anything Apple. I for one have embraced the opportunity to be a geek and cool at the same time.

Spit it out

14 07 2010

It’s a maxim you have probably quoted as Bible, but in actuality it comes from an old Scottish proverb that says, “Open confession is good for the soul.” Yes, confession is good for the soul. So… Here goes.

A few weeks ago, as is the custom in the Daigle house, things were a bit chaotic in the morning. My son Caleb, who is five, came out while I was running around trying to get things done, and as children are want to do, started trying to tell me something. It sounded something like, “uh, uh, uh, da, uh, daddy, uh, can, uh, uh, uh.” I was getting extremely frustrated in my hurried state and so I turned to him like any loving father would do and I said, “Caleb, spit it out.” Caleb immediately cupped his hands together, brought them up to his mouth and did what you would expect any 5 year-old boy to do when given a command form his father. He did exactly what I told him to do. He spit in his hands. As you can imagine I went from being six feet tall to being six inches tall in that instant. My son trusted me enough to do what I asked him, no matter how absolutely insane it seemed. I knelt down beside him and explained that what I actually wanted him to do was slow down and tell me what he needed so that I could fulfill his need.

I got to thinking about how many times are we so consumed with what we want that we don’t even take the time to ask our heavenly father. He wants us to ask. It’s simple and yet many times it is so complex. I for one have difficulty finding the words to say when I am in prayer and asking God to do things for me. I think that for years I listened to other people preach their prayers to God and I felt like my prayers had to be boisterous and eloquent for them to be heard. Really, our Father is just waiting for us to ask in our own way. He doesn’t require some contrived or prepared statement. He just wants us to ask.

Matthew 7:7-11 (New Living Translation)
7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?
10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not!
11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

What do you need? Just spit it out!

I used to love sports

8 07 2010

I have always been a sports fan. I remember falling in love with sports in 1986. Two things happened in 1986 that made me a sports fan. First, the Twin Towers powered the Houston Rockets to the NBA Finals against Larry Bird and white boy super-squad that was the Boston Celtics. My family lived in deep east Texas at the time, but we were able to get the Houston Chronicle and I remember sitting in our home and reading about the Rockets taking the Celtics to Game 6. I became a fan forever. Secondly, the Houston Astros of Mike Scott, Nolan Ryan, Bob Knepper, Jim Deshais, Bill Doran, Glenn Davis, Billy Hatcher, Jose Cruz, Dickie Thon, Craig Reynolds, Phil Garner, Alan Ashby, Phil Garner, Kevin Bass, Denny Walling, Terry Puhl,(that’s all I could name without looking them up) fame took the New York Mets (I could name a bunch them, but it’s certainly not worth it) to six games in what has been proclaimed as one of the best National League Championship Series ever. These two events gave me a love for sports and more specifically Houston sports. I remember taking my small yellow radio to bed and placing it under my pillow and listening to Milo and the “Ole Wrangler” call the Astros’ games on the radio and Gene Peterson call the Rockets’ games. I could talk about the Oilers and a little game in 1993 against the Buffalo Bills, but it hurts me too much to even discuss.

Today is Thursday, July 8, 2010. Why is today so important? Today is the day my love for professional sports is taking a steep dive. I remember when I used to think it would be cool to watch ESPN frequently and see all of the highlights from the day and be inundated with great sports all the time. Tonight ESPN will enable the LeBron James circus to come full circle. Millions of people across the world will tune in to watch an athlete make a decision on which team he is going to allow to pay him millions of dollars. I know it’s not something I should not really care about, but as someone who has grown up loving sports this just irks me. Today is the day that LeBron James becomes the most unlikable person in the NBA, and perhaps all of professional sport. The transparent use of charity for the sake of self-glorification reminds us that people, even big-time sports “heroes”, have really large egos.

I think the greatest thing to happen would be for that other media hound, Brett Favre, to decide to make an announcement on his future at the same time as LeBron James and force the four-letter Disney network to have to make a decision.

July 5 is important

5 07 2010

Last night I went to sleep with the sound of bombs bursting in air. It’s on July 4 every year that we are reminded of the words of Thomas Jefferson: “Occasionally the tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants.” Yesterday not only did we celebrate our Independence, but we also remembered those Patriots who paid the ultimate price that we may be free.

Today I was awakened to birds chirping and sun shining. There were no rockets casting off a red glare or bombs bursting in air. There was just a peaceful sense of Freedom. As I prepared for my day I was reminded that today is July 5. The Declaration of Independence was signed by a small group of men on July 4, but the war for that Independence raged on long after that.

What have you been declared your independence from in the past? What have you decided you will no longer be held captive by? Today is July 5. The celebration is over. It is imperative that you make a decision today to fight for the freedoms that you have made declarative in your life. Just because you have made a decision doesn’t bring that decision to fruition. You must continually work to be that person that you have decided you need to be. Don’t be content to just say it. Live the freedom. Be the freedom.

Get up and get to it.

My daddy WAS a rebel

2 07 2010

Independence Day is two days away and there are a myriad of thoughts that flood my mind every year at this time. Thoughts like: I am so blessed to live in the greatest country on earth; I am overwhelmed with the ability that I have in a nation of free people; I can’t wait to get to my uncle’s lake house; and last, but not least, my daddy WAS a rebel.

One of the most vivid memories I have is of my dad saying that before he was saved he had a wish list for his funeral:
1. Everyone get high
2. Jimmy Hendrix playing the Star-Spangled Banner
3. Burn the American Flag

I know, I know, that sounds a little drastic, but that was my dad. He never did anything halfway. So, after his salvation experience in March of 1972, he became extremely patriotic. Every year, on the 4th of July, we would listen to patriotic music all day and I would watch the tears well up in my father’s eyes when an operatic choir on the radio would sing the Star-Spangled Banner. His undying passion for Christ and love for the USA created memories for me that will never die.

For me, I kinda like the Hendrix version. \"Star Spangled Banner\"

Health Care Reform

21 03 2010

The date was October 20, 1987. It was the day after “Black Tuesday”. My father walked into the shipping department of the company where he worked and immediately was inundated with questions about the ramifications of the disastrous previous day’s events. Without hesitation his response was this:

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

This evening as I read through posting after posting of responses to the Health Care Reform bill I was reminded of those words. At this point whichever side of the argument you are on makes no difference. As a Christian I can stand upon a sure foundation that will not change with the changing tides of politics and governments.

Hebrews 6
17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. …

We are going to be lied to by men. We are going to be disappointed by men. But God will not lie. We can anchor ourselves to a firm and secure foundation and hold to the unchanging hand of God.

Whichever side you come out on tonight, let these words penned by Edward Mote in 1834 ring true in your life:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.