Monday, January 13, 2014

The blessings of Christmas/New Years break...

Tip of the Tongue Theology

By Todd Lockwood

Things will now begin to pick up again here on Tip of the Tongue Theology since Christmas/New Years break is coming to a close. The break was a great one to say the least. My family and I were able to fly down to southern Texas for two weeks to visit my in-laws, at their expense. While we were there we enjoyed Christmas, New Years, church services, and a whole lot more together. It was also the first time that I was able to spend quality time with my wife’s friends and family from Texas. I am very grateful for the hospitality they showed toward us. Not only that but they helped out tremendously by giving me opportunities to be employed while I was there. Because of the school break my veteran education benefits, our primary source of income, stopped coming in. But thankfully they gave me opportunities to work to help out. To some working during break might not seem like a “break” but if you have been studying for several months, working is a nice change. The work I had to do was a variety of jobs. First, I helped cut down about four trees. Secondly, I helped tear down a gazebo. Thirdly, I helped unclog and re-install a church toilet. Lastly, I painted most of a mobile home. Each job had its own learning experiences and I am sure if I stuck around long enough I would have become a regular handy man. Of course, I couldn't leave Texas without shooting off some rounds and eating real Tex-Mex too.

We came back home to Maryland with a tan and plenty of good memories. My brother and his girlfriend visited us as soon as we got back from Texas. They visited for a couple days and we were able to adventure around the Baltimore-D.C. area together. The first day of our adventure involved walking around Baltimore. We walked around the inner city and had a good time and traveled to Fort McHenry at the end of the day. It was late in the evening when we arrived at Fort McHenry and we planned on walking through the fort as quickly as possible before it closed for the day. To our surprise, the ranger at the front desk asked us if we would like to help change the flag inside the fort. Of course, we accepted his offer and had the honor to change out the flag at one of America’s most patriotic sites. I don’t think any of us will ever forget changing that flag. The next day we adventured into D.C. to visit the monuments, the Smithsonian, the White House, the Capitol, and more. The first place we went to was the Archives where the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are kept. Again, to our surprise, there was no line waiting to see them due to the bad weather and we were able to spend as much time as we wanted reading them. After that we continued to travel all around D.C. on foot, enjoying all that D.C. has to offer. Needless to say we had a great time in Baltimore and D.C. I can’t get over how much of a blessing our visits were.

Now, I am just a few days away from getting back to school and I am looking forward to the rest of 2014. I am especially excited for this year since it includes the expected birth of our second child! I hope you enjoyed your Christmas/New Years break and I hope you have a great year. Be on the lookout for more theological discussions on Tip of the Tongue Theology and I look forward to growing in faith together!

Figure 1. Left to Right: My brother, a stranger, and me changing the flag