Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lessons From "Full House' (Trina Agee Cornell)

Trina is one of my heroes! We have been on many mission trips together in Honduras and I've grown to love and admire her. She's such a wonderful example, WCS has tried several times to persuade her to teach for us. Trina is a newlywed and teacher in St. Louis. I was blessed to stay with Trina and her husband, Bob, when I spoke in St. Louis in the fall of 2012. Pray for me in Vietnam!

As a child of the ‘80s and the eldest of three girls, I grew up anxiously awaiting Friday nights.  My sisters and I would gather around the family room television around 7:00 PM, ready for the start of ABC’s “T.G.I.F.”  This set of shows, including Full House, Family Matters, and Perfect Strangers, always made for great laughs and time spent with my sisters.  

With the amazing advances in technology, these shows have been compiled, season by season, on DVD.  Over the years, I have been fortunate to collect all eight seasons of Full House – for those who are unfamiliar with the show, it portrays a single father, Danny Tanner, who raises his three daughters, DJ, Stephanie, and Michelle, with the help of Danny’s brother-in-law, Jesse Katsopolous, and best friend, Joey Gladstone.  Having two young sisters of my own, I connected most with the situations in which the girls found themselves.  In a fit of nostalgia, I spent this weekend re-watching old Full House episodes, and I came across a particular episode – Season 3, Episode 20 – Honey, I Broke the House.

In this episode, Stephanie looks for someone to spend time with her before she heads off to dance class.  She tries to get the attention of the members of her family, but no one seems to pay her any.  Each family member passes her off to someone else, until she reaches Joey.  Stephanie finds Joey in the backyard with the brand-new used car that he has recently purchased – a 1963 Rambler he named “Rosie.”  Stephanie proceeds to share the minute details of her day with Joey, while he distractedly works on his car, waxing and buffing its fenders.  He suddenly finds a nick in the car’s red paint; in his rush to pick up some touch up paint, he specifically instructs Stephanie to keep an eye on the car.  In his absence, Stephanie decides to jump in the car and “take a pretend drive.”  She turns on the ignition by accident and mistakes the “R” on the dashboard for “Radio.”  As she shifts the gear, the car stars moving backward…and crashes into the side of the house!  

Stephanie assesses the damage that is done to the house – and decides it is best to run away from home.  She packs her bag for dance class, and after attending, has her ride drop her off at Becky’s, Jesse’s girlfriend’s, house.  Becky finds this odd and inquires as to why she is not able to go home.  She proceeds to share with Becky the “super gigantic, dinosaur-sized problem” that is on her mind.  In the process of sharing this information, Jesse arrives at Becky’s house, realizing that Stephanie is the culprit in the car fiasco.  Jesse and Becky both encourage Stephanie to go home and take responsibility for her actions. 

Stephanie arrives at home to find her family dealing with the situation.  She explains to Danny and Joey how everything happened; Stephanie is then sent to her room to await her consequences.  When Danny speaks with Stephanie later on, she is truly remorseful for what she has done.  She feels, as a result of her actions, that she does not deserve to be part of the family anymore – she says she should be sent off to carpenter school to build her family a brand-new house.  Danny stops her in her tracks and – cue the slow music – explains to her that no matter how angry or disappointed he may be, he will always forgive her because of the love he has for
her.  Danny ends the show with this line: “There is only one Stephanie Judith Tanner – and you can never be replaced.”

Stephanie reminds me a great deal of myself in this situation.  I strive each day to live the Christian life, but things happen.  Satan has a way of creeping in to my life and finding the chink in my heavenly armor.  I work so hard to guard myself against him, but sometimes, he gets to me.  Once I realize the sin in my life, my first instinct is to run – just like Stephanie tried to do when she wrecked the car.  She was afraid of the reaction she would receive from her family – as a Christian, I do not have to fear the Lord’s reaction to me.  I know He loves me as His child – 1 John 1:9 says, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.”  Once Stephanie took responsibility for her actions, she realized that, despite her mistake, she was still a valuable member of the family.  As a Christian, I know that, despite my sins, the Lord loves me as His own – and continues to show me just how valuable I am to Him.  His love never fails – and I thank Him every day for it! 

God bless,
Luke 18:1

E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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