Author Archive

Delayed Gratification

June 10, 2015

After a half mile and a 400-foot elevation increase, I was huffing and puffing. My only relief was knowing that I'd soon be travelling in the opposite direction. My wife, middle brother, and I were on a four-day trip to the mountains for …( read more )

Am I My Brother's Keeper?

May 31, 2015

As I was enjoying a peaceful evening, a text arrived from my daughter. My middle brother, who was severely depressed because of his family breakup and impending divorce, instructed her to call our mom and tell her that he was going to our …( read more )

Confession: Good For The Soul

May 19, 2015

Saying "I'm sorry" isn't the easiest thing in the world to do. A recent teacher evaluation reminded me of this. Our headmaster's instructions to the observers were never to score any teacher with the highest ratings in all categories. …( read more )

When Suffering Comes

May 11, 2015

The brothers hugged before one entered surgery. Little did they know what lay ahead. Two brothers, Chad and Ryan Arnold: one with a healthy liver, the other with an incurable liver disease. But love won out. In Denver, Colorado, Ryan, age …( read more )

A Simple Yes Will Do

April 21, 2015

While I was growing up, Little House on the Prairie was one of my favourite television shows. One touching characteristic of the series was how the town's inhabitants trusted each other. After all, it was through teamwork and trust that …( read more )

The Waiting Game

March 21, 2015

Gardening has been one of my favourite pastimes for a number of years. As the warm temperatures of spring make their arrival, I'm always eager to plunge my hands into the dirt. My anxiousness often has its drawbacks. Many replanting …( read more )

Suffering Patiently

March 10, 2015

She suffers patiently. I'm not sure that I could under her circumstances. Though a relatively young woman, my wife suffers from numerous health issues. Fibromyalgia makes each day painful. Several hernia surgeries prevent her from doing …( read more )

Don't Complain; Trust

February 20, 2015

"It's somebody else's fault." This is one of the lies that I'm often tempted to tell myself — a psychological defence mechanism that prevents me from accepting responsibility for my actions or thoughts. I don't relish the oncoming …( read more )


February 5, 2015

As I walked through my office, dusting every shelf, I realized that life had become too busy. Pictures of deceased and living relatives sit idly on my book shelves. Rocks from places I've visited on mission trips and vacations nestle …( read more )

Healing Hands

January 20, 2015

Little did Andy know, when he travelled to a nearby town to arrest a noted publisher for failing to pay a ticket fine, that he would be accused of malfeasance of office. The accusations were based on an interview the publisher's reporter …( read more )

Finding The Right Path

January 7, 2015

My wife, my younger brother, and I were off for a three-night, four-day camping trip in North Carolina's Great Smokey Mountains. So we conjured up Siri on our cell phone and asked for driving directions to our destination. We arrived late …( read more )

Right Is Never Wrong

November 21, 2014

Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, "We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right." During the 1960s, what was considered right by many Americans was challenged by others who believed that this …( read more )

Putting On The Grace Face

November 11, 2014

Supposedly, it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. While the saying has been around for quite some time, the numbers used to prove the conclusion vary with each story. In spite of the discrepancies, the basic premise is …( read more )

Fall Back Not Under

November 1, 2014

Germany and its World War I allies began the practice on April 30, 1916, as a way to conserve coal. America soon followed suit. When I was a child, I relished the extra daylight hours that Daylight Saving Time provided. There was more …( read more )

God's Bridge

October 19, 2014

Horsepasture River is an eighteen-mile wild and scenic river that begins in Jackson County, North Carolina, meanders through the Jocassee Gorges, and ends by dumping into Lake Jocassee. The river features several predominant waterfalls in …( read more )

Living Like A Worm

October 9, 2014

When I think like a worm, I'll live like a worm. Metamorphosis is an amazing process whereby a worm is transformed into a beautiful butterfly. Worms don't impress me. They crawl around, they're often slimy to the touch, and they can't …( read more )

Impatience With God

September 30, 2014

Patience may be a virtue, but it wasn't one that I was honoured with. When I was younger, it was common for me to purchase an item that I wanted just prior to my birthday or Christmas. This incensed my grandmother and mom. Earlier, they …( read more )

Shaken Faith

September 22, 2014

Life events may temporarily shake my faith, but they can't destroy it. Like most people's, my life's been a journey of mountain and valley experiences. I've enjoyed numerous good things along with pleasurable occasions, but the good has …( read more )

Bible Thumper

September 16, 2014

"Bible thumper" is a term that derived from preachers thumping the Bible as they made a point while preaching. The catch phrase wasn't one of endearment but ridicule of those attempting to impose their beliefs on others. The slur was not …( read more )

From Hardship To Healing

September 7, 2014

"Life is difficult." A simple but profound statement from M. Scott Peck's national best-seller, The Road Less Traveled. He continues, "Once we know that life is difficult — once we truly understand and accept it — then life is no …( read more )

Born For A Purpose

August 21, 2014

She had never met him before, but she cared for him as if he were the most important person in the world. "Ann" knew that she was going to be a single mother in eight months. While she regretted the unfortunate decision that produced the …( read more )

Fishing In The Right Place

August 11, 2014

Have you ever tried your best and come up empty? I've fished many times and come up dry, but my grandmother rarely did. Had you seen her on the Santee River in her wooden boat and traditional garb, you would have assumed that she was a …( read more )

Savour The Flavour

July 31, 2014

When the smell wafts through every crevice of our home and finally passes under my nostrils, my mouth waters. Fried chicken … southern style. There's nothing like it. My wife knows how to season it just right. I could eat it every day. …( read more )

The Whiner's Corner

July 21, 2014

"Could I really be a one?" I wondered. And not because number one was actually number one in this scenario. I wanted to be a three. I sat in the webinar listening to the speaker describe teachers. Ones, twos, and threes. We were …( read more )

Anxiously Waiting

July 11, 2014

For four years, we've been waiting. We've grown accustomed to "Hurry up and wait." My wife's list of medical ailments should convince any judge that she's eligible for disability. So what's the holdup? Probably her age. She's under 50. …( read more )

Defined By Convictions

June 30, 2014

There were at least three that I determined I would not compromise. Convictions are beliefs that I think are important enough to stand by, regardless of the temptation to do otherwise. I fashioned three early in life: I wouldn't cheat, I …( read more )

Listening To God

June 20, 2014

He was the principal's son, but I wasn't making much headway teaching him history. I was in my fourth year of teaching at a local private school when the board of directors hired a new headmaster who had a son travelling through the …( read more )

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 )

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