Author Archive

Satisfied

August 16, 2018

One chose to stay on the farm; the other chose city life. When my mom was a junior in high school, she chose to leave her family farm and marry my dad. Her new life would take her away from her country upbringing and plant her in cities …( read more )

Does God Have A Purpose?

August 6, 2018

The stories flooded in, and I couldn't help but wonder what God's purpose was. A young man who struggled with epilepsy and other physical issues for his entire life dies in his sleep while having an epileptic episode. His mother finds …( read more )

Cleaning Fingerprints

July 25, 2018

"Fingerprints all over the place." My oldest grandson called the dirty storm door window to my attention as he and his younger brother stood looking out over the backyard. Of course, he failed to mention that both of them were the reason …( read more )

Culling Cuckaburrows

July 15, 2018

Pulling cuckaburrows was a new experience for me in farm life. Visiting my maternal grandparents on the farm was always enjoyable. Every day was a new adventure, doing things that I had never experienced in the city. Along with my …( read more )

Loving The Least

July 5, 2018

The peeping alerted me that something was amiss. A mother bluebird had hatched several nestlings in a birdhouse outside my office window. As I worked, I enjoyed hearing their peeps as the mother and father bird made numerous trips to …( read more )

Being God's Man

June 17, 2018

Everybody has a father story, and they run the gamut. I grew up in a traditional family. My father was present, supportive, and loving. Many families aren't as fortunate. Some fathers drink to excess, abuse or run around on their wives, …( read more )

Flying Low

June 9, 2018

They popped over the tree tops and whizzed along the top of the field. When I was a young lad, crop dusters were common where there was flat farmland. Fields were planted with cotton, corn, and soybeans. Laws preventing certain chemicals …( read more )

Just Trust

June 2, 2018

Just trust God, and everything will work out for the good. The Porters were college friends with whom we had a common bond: we were both from South Carolina; they also had two small children who were close in age to our two, one of which …( read more )

Lest We Forget

May 28, 2018

Forgetting what one needs or wants terribly to remember is a horrible thing. I once chaperoned an eighth-grade trip to Washington DC, USA. Memorials are always high on the list of things to visit because they are constructed to help …( read more )

Unexpected Move

May 17, 2018

We hadn't planned on moving again until I retired … but things changed. The landlady was coming to pick up the rent cheque. Finding an affordable place to stay in a safe section of town had been a chore four years previously. We …( read more )

The (Un)pardonable Sin

May 9, 2018

For Hester Prynne in Nathanial Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, it was an A; for many others, it is a D. In a puritanical time period, Hester Prynne made the mistake of having a sexual relationship outside of marriage and getting …( read more )

A Mouth Full

May 1, 2018

When I heard the chirping, I knew that their mouths were full. After settling into my new position as pastor of a small rural church, I placed a few things on the front porch of the office building, among them a birdhouse. Within a few …( read more )

Walking In The Garden

April 20, 2018

Walking in the garden was a Sunday afternoon tradition. Edisto Gardens is located in Orangeburg, South Carolina, USA — the only town that the 250-mile-long Edisto River passes through. The river is one of only a few blackwater rivers — …( read more )

Blinded To See

April 7, 2018

I'm not blind, but I fear being that way one day. As a young, elementary-age student, I received the news that my eyesight was poor. I needed glasses. Since then, my eyes have progressively deteriorated. Every four years, the optometrist …( read more )

Absent From The Body

March 21, 2018

Death. Funerals. They're both a part of what I experience as a full-time vocational minister. I don't enjoy either of them, but they come with the territory. Death comes to the young, the old, and all ages in between. Comforting those who …( read more )

One Thing After Another

March 12, 2018

With a sigh, my wife called to tell me that the garbage disposal unit under our kitchen sink had broken. This was just the beginning. For four years, we've rented our patio townhouse. Not long after moving here, we noticed various types …( read more )

Family Reunion

February 21, 2018

I walked over, shook his hand, and said, "Good to see you." Almost four years had passed since my family had seen my youngest brother. It wasn't because he had no way to get here, or because he was mad at anyone, or because he was too …( read more )

Best Meal Ever

February 4, 2018

According to my wife, I eat some strange things. My wife and I come from different regions of South Carolina, and we have different eating habits. On one of our earlier dates, she was fixing my dinner plate. Out of habit, I said, "Make …( read more )

When Life Is More Than I Can Handle

January 19, 2018

"God won't put more on you than you can handle." Many a well-meaning Christian has made this statement — or some form of it — to someone who's going through a tough time. To a woman who has miscarried. To a man who has watched his …( read more )

Flawed But Functional

January 7, 2018

Sin had ensnared another victim. I listened as the newscaster gave a piecemeal report. The leaders of a noted megachurch were meeting behind closed doors. The pastor had planted the church sixteen years previously on a college campus. …( read more )

Money: Evil's Root

December 29, 2017

"Money is the root of all evil." Though my standard of living would be considered rich by third-world standards, by American standards, I've rarely lived a comfortable lifestyle. Making the monthly bills match the monthly income has …( read more )

Christmas On The River

December 19, 2017

God sometimes shows up in the strangest ways to provide for us. One Christmas week in 1980, He did just that, and it was a Christmas that my family has never forgotten. For a number of years, dad struggled with God's call to be a …( read more )

When The Game Plan Changes

November 21, 2017

The week had been slow, but I'd been in full-time ministry long enough to know that things can change in a second — and they did. Besides my normal schedule, all I had planned for the next day was to pray with our church mission team at …( read more )

Forgive And Forget

November 13, 2017

If you still remember, you haven't forgiven. After 17 years — 19 if you count the dating part, Sarah called it quits. She walked out and left her husband and two kids. She couldn't explain why she did it, but she did. Maybe it was …( read more )

Prayer Changes Things … Or Does It?

November 1, 2017

I prayed numerous times daily, but nothing changed. Due to circumstances beyond my control, a life-changing situation had turned my world upside down. Because of the nature of the situation — and the prevailing belief within the …( read more )

God Don't Like Ugly

October 25, 2017

Hearing about ugly episodes is a normal part of any day. The early settlers in the Virginia Colony along the James River — in what would become the United States of America — had some ugly in them, even though they were responsible for …( read more )

Out Of The Closet

October 17, 2017

She'd been in the closet for five years. Now she was coming out. Collecting old picture frames with photos of unknown dead people is a hobby that my wife doesn't particularly appreciate. She does love the old frames with the ornate …( read more )

God Just Wanted Another Angel

October 10, 2017

Communication is an art — and difficult to master. Life is never easy when parents lose an infant or a young child. Though I've never said it myself, I've been in the presence of others who said to grieving parents, "God just wanted …( read more )

More Than I Can Handle

September 22, 2017

My arms were full, and I didn't know whether or not I could make it to the car. At 14 years of age, I began my first real job: bagging groceries at the local Piggly Wiggly® grocery store. Though I had helped my grandfather on the ice …( read more )

Fear The Lord

September 13, 2017

Being around something or someone that I'm scared of is not my favourite thing to do. I have had fears of both real and imaginary threats. My fear was based in reality when bears entered a fellow camper's campsite and devoured their food …( read more )

I Know How You Feel

September 2, 2017

Tragedy had struck. What could I say? As a minister, I've watched people endure their share of tragedy. A husband whose wife decided to drive drunk, leading to the death of their small child. A father whose daughter was innocently riding …( read more )

Pointed In The Right Direction

August 21, 2017

Though I could see the tower from my front porch, its being near did me little good. My wife and I were living in a small town in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Like many others, we had decided to forego a landline and use our cellphones …( read more )

Wanting What I Want … Now

August 11, 2017

I sat in my recliner and watched injustice raise its ugly head. Six balls of various sizes floated around our den. More than enough for each of our three grandboys to have more than one. But they wanted the same one. Our youngest …( read more )

Switch to our mobile site