Author Archive

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)

Retaining Perspective

July 25, 2012

When I have it, I make healthy choices. When I don't, life sours. Perspective: seeing things as they are or imagining how they could be. Perspective: comparing the past and present and judging the difference. I'm a product of the … (read more)

Success God's Way

July 10, 2012

When I started, I had visions of grandeur. I was soon disappointed. God called me to preach at a young age, but a rebellious spirit led to a later rather than earlier acquiescence. I imagined I would be a Billy … (read more)

The Poison Of Dishonesty

June 23, 2012

The weather was hot, I was broke, and the kids wanted a swimming pool. What's a body to do? The next best thing. Instead of installing an underground or above-ground pool, I visited WalMart for an inexpensive plastic model. I … (read more)

God's Agenda

June 6, 2012

I have a daily agenda — in about four different places. Occasionally I still forget things, or the entire schemata falls apart. Planning is in my genes. My father did it, my mom does it, and I've followed suit. My … (read more)

That's What Moms Do

May 13, 2012

It was Christmas, and the family was gathering at mom's house. My younger brother and his children were visiting from Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA, and my wife and I were driving from the lower part of the state. With … (read more)

Anchored

April 21, 2012

They were experiencing a long night of the soul. God's touch seemed to vanish. It was 1992. A father had died, health problems were rampant, and he was burned out after nineteen years of pastoring. His church was entering the … (read more)

Fearless

March 8, 2012

"If I eat this, will it kill me?" "Is this poison?" "If I touch it, will I die?" According to mom's child report, I asked those questions repeatedly: death questions. At nine, I asked Jesus to forgive my sins, trusting … (read more)

Famine Living

February 14, 2012

He had it all and lost it all. He left wealthy and returned destitute. His father was financially prudent and saved for his son's future. He had high hopes, imagining the impact his child would make, but his dreams came … (read more)

Respecting Authority

January 29, 2012

"I didn't vote for him, so I don't care." "Democrats spend too much." "Republicans favour the wealthy." "Wrong skin colour, wrong party, wrong faith." "But dad, you don't understand. That teacher hates me." "I just cannot work for her." The … (read more)

Rituals, Habits, And Aimless Living

January 13, 2012

I am a creature of habit — or ritual, if you prefer. While some habits are detrimental, I still maintain that, on average, many are beneficial. Like most people, I have a daily routine. I get up around the same … (read more)

Learning Contentment

December 2, 2011

Their faces were solemn when entering the cafeteria, but smiles soon appeared as we welcomed them with "Merry Christmas" and loaded their plates with home-cooked food. When we offered them seconds, the entire group returned. As they shuffled through the … (read more)

It's What's On The Inside

November 25, 2011

"It's what's on the inside that counts." How many times have I heard that saying and even uttered it myself? It's normally reserved for those who don't measure up to society's definition of beautiful, so we comfort people by telling … (read more)

Understanding Life's Events

November 10, 2011

Footprints in the Sand is a popular poem that recounts the story of a person walking on the beach with the Lord. As life scenes flashed before them, they noticed how only one set of footprints were visible during the … (read more)

I'm Available

October 27, 2011

Online dating has become a fad of the twenty-first century — one more sign of our highly technological society. Those who advertise themselves are supposedly available — not married or in an ongoing relationship. Unfortunately, this isn't always true. A … (read more)

What's In A Name?

October 11, 2011

I'm proud of my name and heritage. Not that I have anyone famous in my family line, but I wear my name with dignity. Several years ago, I assisted a relative in writing a book on our genealogical history. I … (read more)

The Merits Of Punishment

September 15, 2011

Have you met parents who don't believe in corporal punishment? I wasn't fortunate enough to be born to parents with that philosophy of child rearing. I still remember the framed set of rules hanging in my room as a nine-year-old … (read more)

Just In Time

September 1, 2011

I was extremely anxious. I had a family to support, but felt God's call into ministry. It was an appeal I had run from for some time. I finally gave in, knowing that it would mean uprooting my family and … (read more)

Taking The Shortcut

August 21, 2011

Shortcuts are not always the best course. My brother, children, and I were day hiking in Panthertown Valley near Brevard, North Carolina. The map of the area, while perhaps legible to an experienced map reader, left a lot to be … (read more)

Sin's Thoroughness

August 8, 2011

Yeast rolls are a sumptuous delight when served piping hot. In fact, when served at a restaurant, I could make my meal on them and would almost choose them instead of a high-quality steak. There is just something about the … (read more)

Contentious Living

July 27, 2011

The Andy Griffith episode, "Andy The Marriage Counsellor", tells the story of the Boones. They are a new couple in Mayberry, and while they get along with the townsfolk, they can't seem to master the art of getting along with … (read more)

Those Dreaded Comparisons

July 10, 2011

There are three boys in my family. As I compare myself to my brothers, I discover stark differences. I was the firstborn and have a Type A personality. My parents expected much of me. They taught me responsibility through chores … (read more)

Holes In The Pocket

June 24, 2011

During President Herbert Hoover's administration, it was common to see pants pockets turned inside out. Hoover flags were symbols of the poverty many Americans were facing. It was left to Franklin Roosevelt's administration to fix the American economy. Hoover left … (read more)

To Whine Or Not

June 5, 2011

I have an admission. I'm often accosted by a complaining spirit. After all, it seems easier to complain than to look for the good in situations. When a car passes me in a downpour because I'm going too slow, and … (read more)

Sin's Senselessness

May 1, 2011

At fifty years of age, there are many things I still don't understand any more than I did when I was younger. For example, a tornado rips through a heavily populated area, killing innocent people and instantly destroying possessions that … (read more)

Restless Souls

April 28, 2011

Written by Katharina von Schlegel in 1752 and translated by Jane Borthwick in 1855, Be Still, My Soul is a sombre song containing encouragement for restless souls. Grief and pain can be borne when God is near. The future is … (read more)

What Controls You?

March 28, 2011

Controlling and controlled — both have the same root word, but entirely different results. Type A personalities are usually the first and Type B the latter. I've known both in my lifetime, and I'm not sure which I would rather … (read more)

Forgiven And Free

March 18, 2011

I have a confession. I'm a lawbreaker. "Why aren't you in jail?" you might speculate. I wasn't caught or convicted. You see, I was driving down a local interstate freeway not long ago when I looked down at my speedometer … (read more)

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