Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Family & Faith in God: Good Times and Bad Times

What a great blessing it is to have a wonderful family to come home to, to share thoughts and experiences and feelings and love with. The Dillard family is fortunate. We are healthy and happy. The kids are just so great. They are smart and kind and funny and loving.

Life before marriage and children seems so distant now, almost like another life entirely. Prior to my family life it was party city, pretty much every chance I got. These days, it's the finer things in life that are important.

We attend our Baptist church every Sunday morning where we receive the word of God and our three children attend Sunday School. Afterwards we go home for a brunch that my wife makes and spend the rest of the day together. Sunday nights are when we take the whole family to church once more.

God is good to us. We are not rich by any stretch of the imagination, in a material or monetary sense, but we are blessed with the riches of God's grace and mercy and love. Like all people, we have had some rough times. I've lost my job three times in the last 5 years but we have been able to make it through all of that. My wife and I share a love that is deep and precious and a faith in God that has carried us over the mountains of depression and despair during hard times. Heck, we've been on welfare! But, we've made it again.

Life is full of ups and downs, especially for the Christian. Our lives are a constant testing ground, a battleground of good vs. evil, of our own desires vs. the way we should live. Life is a constant barrage of temptations and hard choices that must be faced. One way or another, a decision must be made. This, I think, is the most difficult part. But, God sees us through trying times and is there like a rock upon which we take refuge from the shifting sands of life and the world around us. Praise and glory be to God forever and ever!

People of the world should take hold of the strength of God and rely more upon him as the redeemer and as a shield against evil. He will not keep us from temptation that we can overcome. He will let Satan put us to the test, hold us to the flames and give us that wonderful opportunity to stay strong and, through Him, win the battle of good vs. evil.

I think a lot of people think that if they offer their hearts and souls and bodies to Christ and God, somehow all of the bad parts of life will skip them. The truth is quite the opposite. Being a true Christian today is as hard as it ever was. It is no harder than in the times of Jesus' days on earth though. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us. He was mocked, lied to and lied about, ridiculed, slandered, and ultimately beaten and murdered by his own countrymen. He went through all of this so that each of us through faith, love, hope and obedience to his law, could have an eternal life full of happiness and without pain or sadness or disappointment.

We should all realize this and try not to feel sorry for ourselves and our situations when times are tough. It is so easy to praise and thank God when things are great. We should try to look at the hard times as an opportunity to advance ourselves in Christ.

Clayton Taylor Dillard

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Tagless Shirts

Why is it that when you buy a "tagless" shirt, the tag wasn't actually removed, it's just relocated to somewhere other than the back of your neck?

I mean, if an apparel company is advertising a tagless t-shirt, it should be void of all hanging tags. It turns out that if the tag is relocated from the back of the neck to the side of the shirt, it ends up being more itchy and more annoying.