Got Sisu?

Thunderbirds

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. –James 1:4

I learned a new word this past week from my Finnish friends, Glenn and Sandra Havumaki. The word is “sisu”. This uniquely Finnish word is difficult to translate with one or two English words. The closest we may have to it is when we say a person has “guts” or "moxie". These are close, but don’t say everything sisu means. (Hebrew has a similar word, “chutzpah”)

It was exciting to watch the US Air Force Thunderbirds perform in Colorado Springs for the Air Force Academy Graduation Ceremony this week. Watching these pilots fly those powerful planes at high speeds in tight formations and do all the aerial acrobatics they do is spell-bounding.

You may remember the incident in 2016, after completing their show, when one of the planes developed a throttle problem making it impossible for the pilot to reach the airport landing strip. The pilot, Maj. Alex Turner, managed to navigate the plane into a clearing away from nearby homes, before gliding it into a low altitude trajectory and ejecting at the last moment. The plane skidded to halt with minimal damage for a crash situation, and the pilot parachuted to safety unharmed.

That required sisu. All these pilots have sisu. Their training, preparation, and flying time prove it. They are conditioned to make the most of a difficult situation without panic or giving up.  

The Best Part of Being a Grandparent

Baton Pass

[It's my pleasure to introduce you to Dr. Larry McCall, a new friend I met this year who has been such a blessing to me. I know he will be to you too. Larry is Founder and Director of Walking Like Jesus Ministries and author of Loving Your Wife as Christ Loves the Church. He is currently writing a book called “Gospel-Centered Grandparenting”.]

 

So, what do you think is the best part of being a grandparent? What’s that well-worn quip? “The best thing about being a grandparent is that you can spoil the grandkids then send them home to their parents!” Really? That’s it? That’s the best thing about being a grandparent? Hmmm . . . I hope not! Who wants spoiled children running around? There’s got to be something better. So, what is the best part of being a grandparent?

I think for most of us grandparents, our “enjoyment quotient” is high.

A Tribute to GRAND Mothers

Grandmother Granddaughter

Her children rise and call her blessed… (Prov. 31:28)

 

There are grandmothers, and there are grand mothers.

It doesn’t require a PhD to realize that were it not for the millions of faithful grandmothers in our lives who have graciously modeled Christlikeness to their grandchildren and guarded the truth, there would be considerably fewer of us who now know and follow Christ. I personally know dozens of men and women who are following Christ because of a grandmother.

Such women truly deserve the name Grand mother. Grandmothers are plentiful, but grand mothers, less so. They are those women with a wonderful grandness of soul and character, which sets them apart from all others.

It is to these grand mothers I especially want to pay honor and tribute as Mother’s Day approaches. You are women who have endured the pain of childbirth, as well as the joys and heartaches of child-rearing, and now abide in the spacious calm of grace and a quiet energy that rests in the security of who you are as a child of God. You live knowing you have nothing to prove, yet your unconditional love proves everything that needs proving.

Is Your Easter Focused on Trappings or Truth?

TRAPPINGS...?  Easter Trappings

Empty Tomb...OR TRUTH?

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importanceThat Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. (I Cor. 15:3-5)

A recent radio advertisement invited listeners to purchase their Easter ‘goodies’ to celebrate what Easter is about: Easter baskets, Easter eggs, lilies and sweets, a time to go to church with your family, and most of all—gathering all the family for a special, and delicious Easter dinner with all the trappings.

A simple review of Easter advertisements today—including some church ads—will not offer much insight into what this most significant of Christian holidays is actually about—the celebration of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Whatever we make of it, the truth is, He is risen! Of course, I’m not so naïve as to think that merchants have any motivation whatsoever to make much of Christ’s resurrection as a way of selling products. After all, chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs are much more marketable.

But as Christians, what do we make of Easter?

It Runs in the Family... Or Does It?

PHOTO WBAUSCHS 2

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 4

The teacher asked her class to say why they believed in God. There were a variety of answers from “I don’t know” to “I just believe it”. When it came time for Jimmy to give an answer, he didn’t hesitate. He shrugged his shoulder and said, “It runs in the family.”

I was blessed to be part of that kind of family. I have vivid memories of my parents and grandparents kneeling in their living room with other believers praying for the lost in our city, and that their children and grandchildren would walk in the truth. While I am grateful that our daughters know the Lord and are teaching the truth to their children, I cannot take for granted that my grandchildren will embrace the truth simply because it runs in the family.

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Latest Comments

  • Got Sisu?

    05.29.2017 11:41
    This is really interesting. A couple of weeks ago I dreamed I was a fighter pilot flying maneuvers, and ...

    Read more...

     
  • Got Sisu?

    05.28.2017 22:11
    Gerard, I love what you have written and it is so true. Sometimes I find that it takes patience ...

    Read more...

     
  • Got Sisu?

    05.28.2017 15:01
    GREAT column! Being a grandparent with "sisu" means never giving up (no matter how daunting the task ...

    Read more...

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