I’m dialing the archives back five years today. Enjoy a tip o’ the pilgrim’s hat to next week’s holiday:

Really Old Pilgrim Picture

The obvious guests for the celebration would have to be the Indians; so instrumental were they in the pilgrims’ survival.  The pilgrims immediately issued the invitation, but were stunned to learn that many of their guests would be boycotting the dinner because the term “Indian” connoted savagery, beastliness, and an incorrect geographical location of origin.

Squanto was unable to come because he was the target of a lawsuit by the local farmers’ union. His tutoring to the pilgrims on how to plant corn constituted a violation of the local agricultural standards and “no-compete” clauses.

Miles Standish was being investigated by the EPA and USDA for implementing Squanto’s practice of using dead, rotting fish to grow the crops.

PETA showed up and protested the cruel and inhumane treatment of the turkeys prior to the meal.  One of the pilgrims suggested that inhumane treatment was probably okay since the turkeys weren’t actually human, which only served to anger the PETA protesters and caused them to throw raw giblets onto the gathering crowd.

The Democrats came and declared that the pilgrims’ crop had netted too many vegetables.  They forced the pilgrims to hand over half of their vegetables, which they promptly reallocated to a neighboring colony that didn’t have as many vegetables.

Read the entire post here

It’s ThanksWeek around these parts, and you can bet your giblets I’m having a great time flipping through some old posts and thinking about the things I’m thankful for.

Today, it’s about the dudes of Casa de Franks. While I had to narrow three boys down to the one post below, I still have some specific things to say in today’s bonus content: Jacob / Austin / Jase. Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

This post originally appeared on September 2, 2011.

This has turned into Adoption Week here on the blog, which is kind of like Shark Week, only cuter. (Although if you haven’t been exposed to Haven’s razor sharp teeth…)

We’ve told Haven’s story, and told a bit of the rest of our stories along the way. But there’s one more thing that needs to be said:

My sons are real men. And I don’t deserve them.

Like their freakish athletic ability, there are some other characteristics that they didn’t get from me. They’ve been supremely selfless through this whole process with Haven. When I was their age, I would have been appalled if my parents had tried to add one to our nest. I remember freaking out the year my dad invited a homeless guy for Christmas. (It’s not that hard to remember. I was 33 years old. No seriously.) I flip out when my peanut butter jar gets disturbed. I am – in short – selfish. My boys – in short – are not. And for that I’m grateful.

Has it been easy? Nope. After the novelty of having a new baby in the house wore off, Haven has moved from being the fragile princess to being the little sister. She has an uncanny knack for finding the “off” button on Austin’s Playstation just when he’s about to make the high score, causing him to fling her into the front yard. (That’s hyperbole, social services people. No babies were flung in the making of this story.)

It’s not easy to go from a house with a 15 year old, 14 year old, and 9 year old – all very self sufficient – to a house with a toddler. They have had a crash course in changing diapers, making bottles, and clipping hair bows. They have mixed her formula, fed her smashed carrots, and snuck her ice cream. They’ve been puked on and peed on and pooped on more times than they can count. And through it all, they have led her and loved her well.

Nothing has made me prouder in this process than to see my boys become protectors. They hold her when she’s scared at the beach and hug her when our “attack monkey” game goes too far. They make sure her car seat is tight and her sandals are strapped and the kitchen cabinets are latched.

I feel sorry…very, very sorry…for any young man that shows up at our house in the future. Though I may be too old and senile to intervene, I know that three big brothers will work him over a few times before he gets close to their little sister.

People have frequently asked them, “So what do you think about having a little sister?” Last Sunday after church, one of them said, “How should we answer that? ‘We don’t like her, but I guess we’re stuck with her’? What kind of question is that? What do they expect us to say?”

Since they don’t know how to articulate it (especially after the 150th time), I’ll answer it on their behalf: they love her. They adore her. They want what’s best for her, and they wanted her. She lights up when they walk into the room. She loves her Jachub and her Ya Ya and her…well, she’s working on getting Jase to come out just right…but she loves him too.

She may never know how they’ve changed her life, but Merriem and I do. What’s more, we know how she’s changed theirs.

My little girl may have taught me what it looks like to be wrapped around her finger, but my sons have taught me what true selflessness is. I’m grateful that they’ve made room for one more at our table. I could learn from them.

We all could.

Jacob (15) at Wrightsville Beach, just after Haven decided she hated Wrightsville Beach.
Austin (14), probably just moments before she peed on him for the 28th time.
Jase (9), not bitter that Haven can’t pronounce his name yet.

It’s Thanksgiving Week here in the USA (G’day, British readers!), which means one thing around the Summit offices:

It’s quiet.

That’s true. Many of our staff is traveling, we’re in the very brief lull between sermon series, and I’m gettin’ junk done. I love Thanksgiving Week. Productivity is my friend on Thanksgiving Week, much like stretchy pants.

So I thought I’d take advantage of this week of thanks to roll a few favorite posts out of the archives…posts that remind me of some of God’s greatest blessings on my life. Today’s blast from the past originally appeared on December 14, 2010. If you’re so inclined to travel back there, you can always click here.

 

As I write, we’ve just finished up Summit Staff Christmas Party 2k10. The auditorium is a wreck, the lobby is covered in coffee spills, and I’m pretty sure I just drank a year’s supply of hot chocolate (hello, 10 PM buzz!). It was a night for the history books, and a night where I realized the dream state I’m living in.

We may have the most functional staff ever. Yes, I know church staffs are often known for dysfunction, but ours has to be a pretty glaring exception. Can I brag on my peeps for a moment? (Hint: yes I can. It’s my blog. Hands off my keyboard.)

I work with some of the biggest dreamers in the church world. These people tire me out by playing the “what if?” game all the flippin’ time. “What if we went to our city instead of expecting them to come to us?” “What if we raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and gave it all away to bless other churches in other nations?” “What if we forgot about being a comfortable church in a comfortable building and adopted ‘industrial ghetto’ as our official design scheme?” They dream big, and God rewards big dreams. These people inspire me.

I work with some of the hardest workers in any office anywhere. Big dreams lead to big plans, long task lists, and multiple projects running at once. I love watching our team visualize, strategize, and execute “only-God-could-make-that-happen” plans. Whoever said pastors only work on Sunday is just wrong. (Because we also have a Saturday campus. Boo yah.)

I work with the most fun people anywhere on the planet. We laugh. A lot. Tonight’s party was one continual stream of merriment and mirth (early reports tell us at least 8% more mirth than last year. Impressive.).

I work with the most brutally honest group of people ever. Bad ideas don’t survive long around here. Neither do bad attitudes. If you’re going to work with people who are like family, you’d better be ready to get “the talk” in the middle of a family meeting. Ideas are sharpened, visions are honed, and character is crystallized in this environment. And amazingly, we walk away friends.

We have the greatest support team. Period. The unsung heroes of our church staff are people that you’ll never see on stage, never hear preach a sermon, never witness leading a ministry. But I’ll guarantee you they’re there. Our administrative staff is a group of ladies who consistently make us look much better than we actually are. They pick up the ball whenever we drop it (average drop rate: 172 per day). They do the tasks that we stink at and help us make wise use of our time and talk us off the ledges when it’s been a rough week. Any church staff – even a great church staff – probably has some dispensable people along the way, but our administrative rock stars ain’t one of ‘em. Nine of ‘em. Whatever.

So that’s it. At least five reasons why I love my co-workers. And because I’m a cheapskate, this is a dang nice gift. Merry Christmas y’all.