Daily Thoughts, July 15, 1999
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“God stands tall and makes things right, he saves all the wretched on earth.” Psalm 76.9

In our new neighborhood there are five homes nestled in their own corner. After meeting three of the four neighbors, I find that I am in the same neighborhood as New Jersey, well minus a few characters.

Sabrina and her husband are models of new money English. Their lives includes one small boy and a dog, things always slightly out of control, with a Porsche and Jag in the drive. Bob and Carol lived at the end of the street. Again a small boy, things very orderly, with their four years in the England finally bringing a sense of understanding and belonging. Bob works in the City, wears the suit, carries the brief case, and runs on weekends. The third couple reflects the best England offers. Kind and friendly, two kids approaching teenage, with a self-demeaning attitude that opens your heart immediately to them.

Everyone introduced himself to me as I washed the car. During our conversation, I found the common themes of the challenges of marriage, having kids, and making a living. One couple faced a hyperactive child and a puppy that is growing up in a household with no discipline. Factors compounding this challenge include a husband and wife looked at life in totally different ways, differing values, and a thirst for deeper meaning in life. Another couple appears caught in the web of work and materialism. Perhaps I concluded to quickly, however all the warning signs are there; older parents with thirst for friendship, playing roles they now view as themselves, and a self-confident walk. The third couple is an English equivalent of the second. Similar attributes with English twists. They replace self-confidence with a self-demeaning and dry humor (sarcasm). A casual sense of timelessness replaces the confident walk.

For all the differences, common values emerge, family love, a struggle to keep an open conversation with kids, conflicting priorities, and a thirst for friendship and love.

We all stand on the same footing, in need of God.

July 14, 1999
July 16, 1999