Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Kvelling Father!

I know I might sound like a bragging father, but last Friday my son Nathaniel’s tennis team won their division championship.  Not only that, but the win came about in particular by Nathaniel and his doubles partner, Will, winning their match, beating the only team that had thus far defeated them all season.  And not only that, but Nathaniel hit the final winning shot of the game!  Thus, on Saturday morning, after seeing that the high school sports page of the Bergen Record had a big article on Nathaniel and Will, I bought three copies of the paper!  Yeah, I know I sound like an excited dad!  Well, I am! 

There is a really good Yiddish word that describes really well how I have been feeling about Nathaniel and his whole team.  It’s a word that my grandmother used to use time an again, especially when she had all of her grandchildren around her or when one of them did something that really made her proud. The word is kvell.  My grandmother would say she was kvelling.  The word describes that feeling of delight and pride and joy.  I guess I could say, I’ve been kvelling!

So, I was thinking: if I get so excited and proud and kvell over my children when they succeed at something or do something well, how much more God, our heavenly Father, kvells over us who are his children?  As our heavenly Father, sees us doing well at what he has created us to do; when we accomplish what he has given us to accomplish; as we experience joyfully the good things that he pours into our lives, I have to believe that he is glad for, proud of, and excited over his children. 

The prophet Zephaniah wrote these incredible words:  “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”  (Zephaniah 3:17 – NIV)  It is a picture of God, our heavenly Father, kvelling over his children.  He is delighting in them. He is excited about them.  He is kvelling to the point that he is singing!

Let’s be reminded today that we have a heavenly Father who loves us. He is a Father who watches over us.  He is Father who gets excited over us.  He is a Father who , kvells over us!  After all, we are his children!

Have a great day! 

Pastor Tim Harris 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lesson Learned

Last Saturday afternoon, I was at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, NY having a great day with the people from our churches PIF, CityVine, and La Vina.  That morning we had run a 5K to raise funds for our project in Nicaragua.  The run was followed by a celebration BBQ.  In spite of some drizzly rain, we ran, ate, played Frisbee, etc.  Then it was time for me to leave.  And when I got back to my car, I couldn’t believe what I saw.  Glass was everywhere! The window of one of the rear doors of my car had been smashed in and my briefcase was gone.  Thankfully, I had decided to leave my computer home that morning. I’m sure the thief was greatly disappointed! Nonetheless, I had a smashed window.

I thought to myself as I was cleaning out the glass, I should have known better.  I remember leaving my briefcase on the floor of the backseat area, thinking that the black briefcase on the black carpet would go undetected. And besides, I thought, it was the middle of the day at a busy park.  

Well, I think I’ve learned my lesson: I ought never leave anything that would entice thieves when leaving my car parked anywhere in NYC – or in NJ for that matter! I may not be the wisest or the smartest.  Sometimes it may take a smashed window for me to get the point. But I realize that there are times in life when, if I am wise, I will say to myself, “Lesson learned!”  

The book of Proverbs says, “Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.  Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.”  (Proverbs 9:8-9 – NIV)  In other words, wise people get wiser; fools become more foolish.  Why? Because wise people learn from their mistakes—as well as from the situations and circumstances of life and from the people God puts into their lives. Wise people are people who are always ready to learn and grow; people who time and again are saying, “Lesson learned!”

Let’s be wise enough to learn a little bit more every day!

Have a great day! 

Pastor Tim Harris

Friday, May 4, 2012


Since early January, my son Jonathan was doing his study abroad in Costa Rica (along with side trips to Nicaragua and Cuba).  During that time we communicated via email and Skype whenever we could.  And, we were thankful for the communication available to us.  But as you probably know, there is nothing like being face to face with the people you love.

Well, last Thursday we were reunited in Leon, Nicaragua.  I was in the midst of leading a meeting for the parents of the children who attend our school there.  In the back of my mind I knew that Jonathan, who had taken a bus from San Jose, Costa Rica at 3 a.m. that morning, was now on his way by cab from Managua to Leon.  About halfway through the meeting some of the teachers began to stir and left the room.  Out of the corner of my eye I could see down the walkway to where a white cab had pulled up and I knew that Jonathan had arrived.  A few minutes later, our school’s director led Jonathan into the room.  In front of the staff and parents we greeted each other and embraced (I think I gave him a kiss on the neck too!).  From that point on, I couldn’t wait to begin to show him around, introduce him to the people around me, and hear his stories.  It was really cool being reunited with my son in Nicaragua of all places.

Since that day, I’ve been reflecting upon the fact that we who are believers have an incredible reunion ahead of us.  The Bible tells us that one day we will be reunited with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  Yes, we appreciate the fact that we can communicate with him through prayer.  We are thankful for his presence with us by means of the Holy Spirit.  But Jesus promised us that one day we will be reunited with him and we will see him face to face.

The Apostle John wrote in his epistle, “But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.”  (1 John 3:2 – NIV) The Apostle Paul wrote that one day we will“…meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:17 – NIV). Yes, one day we will experience the greatest reunion of all when we are reunited with Jesus!

So, let’s get ready.  Let’s look ahead.  And, let’s be encouraged. The day is coming when we will no longer be separated by time and space. Rather,“…then we shall see face to face.” (1 Corinthians 13:12 – NIV) What a reunion that will be when we are reunited with Jesus!

Have a great day!

Pastor Tim Harris

P.S.  You can see a picture of my reunion with Jonathan on my Facebook page.