Author Archive

When Anxiety Comes

May 31, 2014

I watched anxiety darken her face. Where would the money come from? Our family budget has taken a severe hit over the last five years. Recently, we struggled through a summer without the income my wife was receiving from keeping an …( read more )

The Power Of Two

May 24, 2014

The small tent can be set up by one, but it is much easier to erect with two people. I have a one-man tent. Two people can sleep in it, and have, but I have to like the other person extremely well to invite them in. If two use it, they …( read more )

Struggling Through Life

May 16, 2014

As we pulled into the parking lot, we were mesmerized by the mammoth beast lying before us. But there was nothing we could do but mount it. Enormous logs dotted the mountainside. My brother and I were on a two-day backpacking trip on the …( read more )

Honesty—Still The Best Policy

May 8, 2014

How could anyone cheat an elderly person? And simply to pad their pocket. I was working my first job at an exterminating company — not my idea of the ideal job but all that was available at the moment, and it was paying my bills. Shortly …( read more )

Misplaced Focus

April 28, 2014

Some days, no matter how much I squint and rub, they just won't focus. I've been wearing glasses since I was elementary age. My eyes have grown progressively worse, and they didn't stabilize until I reached my forties. They are still …( read more )

Who Am I?

April 16, 2014

Oscar Wilde said, "Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation." I, on the other hand, didn't care too much what others thought when I was struggling through …( read more )

Praying God's Will For Others

April 7, 2014

When I think about mine, it sometimes appears pretty selfish. I have a general daily prayer list. While I don't adhere rigidly to it, for the most part, my prayers follow this schedule. Occasionally, I pause to consider who is benefiting …( read more )

Never Too Bad To Love

March 29, 2014

My parents cautioned me about it over and over again — especially my dad. When I became a middle-schooler, my parents began to warn me about whom I hung around with. "Bad company corrupts good morals," they would say. While both my …( read more )

Beyond Control

March 12, 2014

When the news came, I knew that the situation was beyond my control. I moved to the upstate of South Carolina in the early 1980s, and jobs were scarce. I had vowed never to work in a textile mill again. Unfortunately, this was about the …( read more )

Accepting God's Will

February 20, 2014

When it's easy or suits my purposes, I normally don't buck it. But when it goes against my grain and costs me? Well … There have been many occasions when I've struggled to discover God's will. But there have also been times when I knew …( read more )

Expect The Best

February 7, 2014

She was a shut-in; he was her only son. They were both pessimists. They attended a church I pastored. The mother had been a shut-in for a number of years. The son had suffered a failed marriage some years before and had lived with his …( read more )

The Benefits Of Belonging

January 26, 2014

He loved to stray, and it often got him into predicaments. I once owned a stubborn rooster that loved to stay outside his pen more than he loved to stay in it. But when it was feeding time, all I had to do was open the gate, and he headed …( read more )

Zoned Out For God

January 18, 2014

Comfort zone: a behavioural state that doesn't fabricate anxiety because we're using patterns that we've learned will deliver an expected level of performance without risk. I wasn't in mine. Having recently graduated from Bible College …( read more )

No Extra Credit Needed

January 8, 2014

"Is there anything I can do for extra credit?" I considered the source and the question, one that I had been asked quite a few times. Occasionally, I consent, but most of the time, I utter a simple "No." What I really want to say is, "If …( read more )

At Just the Right Time

December 21, 2013

"It wasn't worth it," screeched the commanding officer. But it was. Combat was ferocious, and many soldiers were dying. They were friends in the thick of it. When one of them was injured and couldn't return to the trenches, the other …( read more )

God's Mighty ACT

December 10, 2013

The old prophet foretold it, the shepherds witnessed it, and Mary lived it. "In case you haven't heard, God, I'm just a young unmarried virgin." "Don't worry, I will A.C.T." "And by the way, the last time I checked, sex was required to …( read more )

Helping Wisely

November 24, 2013

Visits with requests for assistance were a common occurrence. And no wonder. Our driveway joined the church's parking lot, making our identity a dead giveaway. One petition stands out. My wife and I were sitting under our carport when we …( read more )

Walking In Shadows

November 7, 2013

I sauntered along beneath a canopy of trees, rays of sunlight periodically penetrating the thick overgrowth and slithering to the ground, giving a checkered effect beneath my feet — a mixture of sun and shadows. As the day grew weary, the …( read more )

What's Mine Is …

October 26, 2013

His nickname was "Double T", but I knew him better by what snuggled in his pocket each Sunday morning: a single dollar bill. Double T was a kind man, well-known in the community, well-liked in the area, a faithful church attendee, and a …( read more )

Different Is Okay

October 12, 2013

A part of me was like any other normal teenager — I wanted to fit in. Clothing brand was important. Levis. Children with parents who cared at all about their child's reputation made sure that they wore them. Cut back on the groceries and …( read more )


September 18, 2013

Each winter, it was evident that our old house lacked what would help keep us cozy. For five years, my wife and I lived in a home nearing one hundred years old, a home built before air conditioning, a home constructed to remain cool in a …( read more )

You Are What You Think

September 4, 2013

Some chuckled, while others appeared confused. "Stinking thinking leads to nasty actions." I said it in a ninth-grade Bible class when the subject came up while studying the believer's armour — particularly the helmet of salvation. And it …( read more )

Convictions Count

August 20, 2013

Philosopher Edmund Burke said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Of all the parental and church instructions I hurled out my youth window, it might seem strange that a rebellious teenager would …( read more )

Mastering The Road Map

July 31, 2013

Once a challenge, technology has almost relegated them to the annals of history. Mastering a road atlas is taxing. The more territory it covers, the less detail there is present and the more jumbled the highways, interstates, and cities …( read more )

Sharing The Story

July 16, 2013

I couldn't believe my ears when I heard the final report. The tale had grown, and the details were altered. You've probably played the game. Everyone sits in a circle, and the first person tells something to the next individual. The story …( read more )

Devoted To God

June 29, 2013

He was passionate about his passions, and his dedication resulted in excellence. Dad was devoted to his favourite hobby: woodworking. He could take a raw piece of wood and turn it into anything he wanted … eventually. Since he was a …( read more )

Conduct Matters

June 11, 2013

"Why does it matter? It's not hurting anyone but me." I once owned a habit about which I thought the above. I could engage in this practice while driving and not kill anyone. And unless someone were sitting in close proximity to me, my …( read more )

Control Or Controlled

May 29, 2013

When I saw the "Hot Now" neon sign, all sense of self-control vanished. I had to have one — the heck with calories and sugar levels! My wife and I were ushering mom to a Christmas concert. As our car crept up to the parking lot and we …( read more )

Serving With Sincerity

May 16, 2013

I was serving, but deep inside, my motives were tainted. Fresh out of college and pastoring my first church, I was eager to impress … someone … anyone. So began my journey for recognition. In addition to pastoring and teaching …( read more )

Giving That Hurts

May 2, 2013

Finances going south and a pressing question: should I keep giving to God, cut back, or cut it out entirely? I was always taught that we couldn't outgive God, but what about when giving means an unpaid bill, a missed meal, an empty gas …( read more )

Disciplined To Discipline

April 28, 2013

Dad was a master disciplinarian with a large repertoire of manoeuvres. Among them, his favourite: a haircut. I was a baldheaded child, and as I surpass mid-life, I am reliving my childhood. But there was a time when I could grow hair — …( read more )

Putting First Things First

April 18, 2013

Perhaps she wasn't my first case of puppy love, but she's the first I remember fawning over and daydreaming about. Dad was preaching at a small-town church in low-country South Carolina. I was approaching my teen years — not particularly …( read more )

I Forgive

April 9, 2013

"No! I don't want to forgive ______!" he seethed. Sure, he believed in forgiving, but not this person … never. In his book, The Christian Atheist, Craig Groeschel relates that he was bitter after learning that a family friend had …( read more )

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