Tag Archives: Children

Evangelist Confuses Judgement Day Prediction with Two Year Old’s Birthday

End of the World Evangelist, Harold Camping, has just confirmed that his second calculation for the return of Christ and Judgement Day for all unbelievers is incorrect.  Camping says May 21st, 2011 is actually the second birthday of a little boy from Siloam Springs, Arkansas by the name of Shepherd Faught.  When asked how such an insignificant two-year old birthday could be confused with the Judgement Day of the entire world, Camping revealed Shepherd’s second birthday was actually the Judgement Day or rather Judgement Year for his two loving parents, Taylor and Julia Faught.  Camping says, “Shepherd’s second birthday is when he will enter his Terrible Two Phase, therefore marking Judgement Day and more likely Judgement Year for Taylor and Julia”.  Although Camping was regretful that his false predictions scared a total of three people and only converted half a person over to Christianity, he did take pride in being able to forewarn two unsuspecting parents from a small town in Arkansas.

As for the parents of Shepherd, they are not too concerned about Camping’s ominous predictions about their son and thought he might be a little too late on the prediction.  Julia was quoted saying, “Taylor, I thought he started his Terrible Two Phase last week?”.  Taylor and Julia have confirmed their world is still spinning and their house has not yet been burned down by the fires of judgement. They are currently making preparations to throw an amazing two-year old birthday party.

 A Thomas the Train birthday party for Shepherd has been planned and will commence at 10:30 am in the front lawn of the Faught residence.  If the weather brings rain, the party will be moved to the garage.  A game of “Pin the Steam on the Choo-Choo Train” will kickoff at approximately 11:00 am.  Each kid in attendance will receive a train conductor hat, wooden train whistle, and all the cake they can eat.


Lipstick and Six Years

Victim of a Shepherd Circumstance

This post begins exactly were the last one left off.   It was about seven o’clock in the morning and I believe the post ended with this line, “Now, off to clean up the lipstick  Shepherd just used to paint the carpet and himself! No joke – Julia is going to love this one”!  As I was finishing things up, I looked over to see Shepherd at my side, maroon lipstick all over his hands, giving his uh-oh uh-oh speech with an inquisitive “how in the world did this happen” expression on his face.   Since you can’t find lipstick at a BassPro Shop, I knew this was a job for Julia.  I walked back to the bedroom to wake Julia up for an amazing morning.  Her day began with a blurred view of my face and the muffled sound of my voice saying, “Babe, how do you get lipstick out of carpet? And by the way, happy six-year anniversary”! Yep, that is how far we have come in six years! No longer are anniversary mornings beginning with a good sleep-in, followed up with breakfast in bed and a peaceful cup of coffee.  It is now a 6:30 am wake up call from a two-year old down the hall, a uh-oh, and lipstick in the carpet that jump starts the anniversary.  The battle to celebrate six amazing years of marriage was officially a go!

Valentine’s Day and our anniversary day are big productions in the Faught marriage.  These days are usually celebrated by a weekend getaway, fancy dinner, or a crazy fun date night.  This is just one way we try to keep each other and our marriage first.  After six years, really after having two young children, these special days have become something we desperately have to fight for to make good on.  We have to fight our children, stress, sickness, and ourselves to happily celebrate these special days. 

Our day began with no rest or relaxation.  We jumped right into cleaning permanent lipstick out of the living room carpet.  We then continued to chase around, for some unknown reason, an extra ornery Shepherd through the house.   We had a lovely non-peaceful breakfast with scrambled eggs, toast, sausage, and tears being thrown on the floor.  Shortly after breakfast, the decision was made to attend the annual Siloam Springs Dogwood Festival.   So, we have a dirty house, a toddler on the loose, a crying newborn, and a mission to head out the door in less than an hour.  Of course, this creates an opportunity for an explosive marital conversation on who is going to do what and how we are going to get out the door with a clean house, babies packed, and diaper bags in tow.  We then leave for the Festival and return for naps.  Three hours later, Shepherd wakes up from his nap with a fever (this explains his extra craziness).  Not only does he wake up with a slight fever, but we have family pictures to attend with Julia’s family that includes 8 children, 6 out of the 8 being 2 years old or younger.  There is one word to describe family pictures with 8 young children and the word is INSANITY. 

So, here we are after a long stressful day wondering if we will even celebrate our big day.  Our plans for using family for babysitting are useless, since you can’t have a sick toddler around everyone else’s kids.  Our anniversary date night out on the town was doomed and it looked like we would be regulated to a big glass of wine and an early arrival to a good night sleep.  Thankfully, Julia had a backup plan and an amazing anniversary present for me.  Since I am extremely paranoid that life and children will come before our marriage, Julia gave me eight envelopes filled with pre-designed date nights from The Great Date Experience, provided by Married Life Online  (I highly recommend checking the website out, and more to come on this in the near future).  What an amazing idea and relief to a paranoid husband! We ended up putting the boys down early and using one of the envelope date nights for a home date to celebrate six years.  It turned out to be one of the best dates we have enjoyed in recent memory.  

A wise mentor once told me that marriage gets hard when you have multiple kids and each spouse is stressed from the events of the day.  It is at these times that your marriage is truly put to the test.  So many times throughout the day Julia and I said to each other, “We are not going to let this lipstick bother us!”  Wether it was lipstick in the carpet, food on the floor, a tense conversation about family duties, sick kids, or family pictures, we were going to fight for our anniversary and marriage.  Thankfully, by the grace of God, we conquered that battle and we have hope to win the war!


Bending the Rules

Some say he is cute, adorable, loving, sweetheart, precious, silly.  Some say he is smart, active, ornery, crafty, mischievous.  Some say he is his Dad.  As for myself and Julia, we say he is just Shepherd.  He is the kid at one moment standing beside you after church, as you talk with friends, and the next moment he is up on stage banging on the baby grand.  He is the kid that as you go to the bathroom, he seizes the opportunity to make a run for it and heads out the front door; leaving you to return to an empty house and jump starting you into “freak out” mode.  All the while he is chillin’ at the neighbor’s house.  He is the kid at 7:00 am in the morning who is sprinting back and forth between the living room ottoman and the front door.  Culminating in giving the front  door knob his best Tarzan scream and swing!  Yes, Shepherd is not the most content child and he sure does know how to experience life to its fullest.  You could say he is a slightly strong-willed child!  Although Shep does keep us constantly on the run, his comical and sometimes tiring energy opens our hearts to more laughter and our eyes to more wisdom.

Shepherd’s age and active personality has required us to become more disciplined in our disciplining.  At a certain point you begin to recognize that saying, “Shep! Shep! Shepherd! Jonathan Shepherd! Jonathan Shepherd Faught!” does not prevent your child from conducting the mischievous task at hand.  So, we have begun to clearly communicate and warn Shepherd once of the impending consequences.  If Shepherd continues in his mischief, he gets into trouble.  One of our latest “warning sessions” turned humorous and enlightening.

We store our DVD player and DVDs in a small two door cabinet adjacent to our sofa.  Usually, the two door knobs are Shepherd proofed, a.k.a. rubber banded shut.  At this particular moment the cabinet, for some reason, was not Shepherd proofed.  Of course, Shepherd was drawn to the DVD cabinet like a magnet, along with his usual partners in crime Bob and Larry from VeggieTales and Woody from Toy Story.   So, off I went to warn Shepherd and steer him clear of trouble.  I bent down to his level and gently and clearly warned him to stay away from the DVD cabinet.  I made sure he knew that if he got into the cabinet one more time he would be in trouble.  How did Shepherd respond? He, without hesitation or reservation, immediately picked up Woody and began using Woody’s arm and hand to open the cabinet door!  So therefore, it was no longer Shepherd who was getting into the DVD cabinet, but it was Woody!  Now, I know the Woody picture is a little freaky, but this picture perfectly captures the moment.  I was stunned, caught off guard, and truly amazed.  All I could do was laugh and walk away.  I should have disciplined Woody, but sad to say, I was not as quick-witted as my 23 month old son!

While the latest Shepherd incident was pretty humorous it was also revealing.  I was amazed at the sinful nature of man and how it shows up crystal clear in a 23 month old.  Like every other toddler, Shepherd lives for the moment.  In an instant, he would choose the temporary excitement to crack and shatter VeggieTales DVDs over the longer lasting enjoyment of watching a VeggieTales DVD.  And as he showed with Woody, he would bend the rules or even break the rules to achieve his temporary desire.  Oh, how we all succumb to this sinful nature!  A nature that dismisses God’s plan and structure for eternal pleasure.  It is a nature that will vehemently break or recklessly bend God’s eternally provisional order to achieve temporal pleasure.   

I am reminded of a C.S. Lewis’s quote from Weight of Glory,

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” 

Our desires are too weak not too strong.  Our strongest desires are for fleeting pleasures and our weakest desires are for the eternal pleasures.  

So, what is our escape from this trap?  How do we overcome that which is rooted in the depths of our heart and soul?  The best answer I could find comes from  Ezekiel 36:26-27,

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.  And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit within you,  and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules”. 

 Sign me up!  Don’t we all need a new heart?  Don’t we all need to be regenerated?  Don’t we all need to be born again? (John 3:1-8)  I am so thankful for the grace and mercy God has bestowed on me in transforming my heart and life.  Now, I pray every day that he would extend the same grace and mercy to my two sons.  I pray that He would open their eyes to recognize the difference between temporal and eternal;  that God would transform their hearts and set them free to pursue Christ and His eternal promises and pleasures!

Now, off to clean up the lipstick  Shepherd just used to paint the carpet and himself! No joke – Julia is going to love this one!

Ezekiel 36 – John 3:1-8Ephesians 2:1-102 Corinthians 5:17Titus 3:1-8


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