Author Archive

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 )

Answering Why

March 26, 2013

He rose from his seat and scampered to the door to answer an unexpected call. What he heard next would change his life forever: "Mom's not breathing." Our small church wasn't prepared for the tragedy. Nor was her spouse, child, or …( read more )

Childlike Faith

March 21, 2013

She walked into the room and said, "Dad, I just asked Jesus into my heart," then turned and left. I was excited and confused — excited about her decision but confused over how she came to such a conclusion. She had heard me preach about …( read more )

When Children Walk Away

March 10, 2013

"Just run away, Forrest." Jenny gave Forrest Gump this advice when he faced unpleasant situations. And I've done it. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, "I shot an arrow into the air, it fell to earth, I knew not where." And I've done that, …( read more )

Living Our Destiny

February 20, 2013

In the much-beloved movie about a slower-than-normal young boy, Forrest Gump sat before his dying mother and asked, "What's my destiny, Momma?" Momma Gump's definition of destiny was similar to that for fate. She didn't know, and Forrest …( read more )

Stuffing Our Stuff

February 6, 2013

I was amazed the first time I saw it. I imagined I never would, but I did. My brother and I had recently started backcountry camping. Our first trip found us with cheap sleeping bags that delivered only shivers. So we visited a reputable …( read more )

Deep Water Faith

January 16, 2013

I wasn't excited about going, so I held onto the pool's side. That's where I made my mistake.

I was nine and couldn't swim. No one in my family could — not dad nor mom nor any of my grandparents. Since I came from a swim-less family, …( read more )

Christmas Miracles

December 22, 2012

Monday was around the corner, and we were broke. If we didn't pay, life would change drastically.

Christmas was near, and times were tough. My wife and I had one part-time job between us. Income wasn't sufficient for the bills — at …( read more )

Popularity Or Bust

November 27, 2012

I wasn't then, but I wanted to be. I'm still not, but I no longer care.

I was an ordinary kid. Not oooed- and ahhed-over by the girls. Not the teacher's pet. Didn't make straight As or have perfect attendance. I was skinny, freckle-faced, …( read more )

Life's Unstable Moments

November 10, 2012

I've never liked them and have only ridden a couple, and then, only because someone I loved encouraged me.

With names like Thunder Road, Mindbender, Avalanche Run, and Afterburn, roller coasters frighten me. In fact, almost all rides at …( read more )

The Art Of Respect

October 26, 2012

"Respect your elders." How many times I heard that growing up! I knew I should, but I didn't always want to. My parents put forth great effort to teach me respect for them, family members, teachers, and other significant adults. … (read more)

Grace Channelling

October 9, 2012

I wish that I were the kind of grace channeller that he was. Like most people, I'd rather get it than give it. It's easier. He had big dreams and didn't mind sharing them with his family: dreams of ruling … (read more)

God's Vanishing Touch

September 20, 2012

R.J. had a physical and mental condition resulting in loss of feeling. He was a college mate struggling to make the grade. I distinctly remember him coming to a midwinter class with no shoes. Loss of touch created many dangerous … (read more)

Friendship Power

August 25, 2012

His call came at the right time. I was deep in a computer problem and needed a break. I met him shortly after high school when we started work for the same company. A genuinely good guy and as honest … (read more)

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