Author Archive

Sin Sick

September 6, 2019

"Have you anointed her and prayed for her healing?" my friend asked. My wife suffers with various physical ailments — too many, in fact, for her young age. She has undergone numerous surgeries to remove tumours that could have turned …( read more )

Hot- And Cold-Running Christians

August 28, 2019

The sign read, "House for Rent. Hot and Cold Running Water." Though laughable now, there was a time when having indoor plumbing was a luxury that only the wealthy knew anything about. Water was drawn from a well or creek and was carried …( read more )

Sidetracked

August 12, 2019

Getting shoppers sidetracked is a retailer's dream come true. Moving isn't fun, but we had no choice. After a long day of sweating in the hot, humid temperatures of a South Carolina August, my wife and I showered and readied ourselves to …( read more )

Chickening Out

July 26, 2019

I was young when I learned that "chicken" wasn't necessarily a chicken. Chickens ran around my grandmother's yard during the day and were locked up in the coop at night. But if my cousin asked me to do something that I was scared to do …( read more )

Take A Break

July 11, 2019

When you have a Type A personality — always needing to be doing something — taking a break isn't easy. I've never been one to sit and twiddle my thumbs. Sitting and doing nothing makes me feel lazy. Since I have only so much time in …( read more )

Seeking Refuge

June 28, 2019

The day appeared calm enough, but the elements soon released their hidden fury. My brother and I — along with my daughter — set out early for a ten-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail. At the five-mile point, we planned to set up camp …( read more )

Thinking Thoughts About God

June 16, 2019

I turn God into whatever I think of Him. Dad was a harsh disciplinarian — at least when I was young. I'm not sure where his ideas of discipline sprang from, because he didn't copy the pattern of his parents or grandparents. Dad went by …( read more )

An Army Of Misfits

May 27, 2019

What others consider misfits, God often considers fits. My father served as interim pastor for a small, struggling church after he retired. Once a thriving church on the local lake, it now struggled to survive. Dad tried to get them to …( read more )

God's Safe Place

May 10, 2019

She had been abused and needed a safe place. Johnnie was in a situation of her own making. For thirteen years, she had endured an abusive marriage — one she had entered merely to be on her own and make her own life. Jim had seemed like …( read more )

Dropout

April 24, 2019

I hated school, so I decided to quit. Elementary and middle school, I enjoyed, but when I got to high school, a sudden distaste evolved. By the time I reached my senior year, I'd had all I could take. I had no interest in learning, …( read more )

Swallowed By Sorrow

April 13, 2019

Sorrow can be a bitter pill to swallow, and I felt as if I were being swallowed by it. Days stretched into months. An act of betrayal by another had turned my family inside out and headed it straight for dissolution. Though the situation …( read more )

Healthy Habits

March 29, 2019

Old habits are hard to break. For four years, we lived in a small townhouse. Our Chihuahua, Twix, was accustomed to the way that the doors to the bedroom and the outside opened, and he would stand at the appropriate side of the door to …( read more )

Grief My Way

March 13, 2019

The family gathered around his bed and watched his body jerk and convulse — then fall silent. A work-related accident had disabled Mike many years before. Though he managed to work a few jobs for short periods of time, he couldn't hold …( read more )

The Death Vigil

February 26, 2019

He lay almost motionless — a Superman tattoo on his arm. My brother-in-law often kidded that he was Superman. And he had been. He survived things that had killed many people. Though a young man, several heart attacks had damaged his …( read more )

Oh, To Be Content

February 11, 2019

I carried them out by the armload — a seemingly endless task. Our move was complete — except for moving our clothes. Although my wife doesn't buy fancy clothes — nor buy them from expensive stores — she loves new outfits — or at …( read more )

Stirring Up The Gift

January 27, 2019

I sat in the ladder-back chair, wondering what I should do and feeling a bit useless. The day prior to our move had arrived, but my wife and I were already at our new residence unpacking boxes — at least, she was. With no Internet or …( read more )

Downsizing … Of Sorts

January 12, 2019

"Where are we going put it? I think we're turning into hoarders." My wife and I have both asked the question and made the statement. Our love for antiques — especially furniture — keeps us adding to our collection and trying to stuff …( read more )

Christmas Remembrances

December 21, 2018

As I grow older, I yearn for the Christmases of my childhood. Being the first grandchild in the family for the first four years of my life meant a great deal of spoiling — by parents and grandparents. Though I don't remember those …( read more )

Thanks At Thanksgiving

November 20, 2018

Thanking God in every circumstance is challenging — some might say impossible. I'm a nostalgic kind of guy. In my mind's eye, I can imagine myself sitting at a table with the early Pilgrims and their Indian neighbours who had shown them …( read more )

Building Blocks Of Healthy Relationships

November 2, 2018

"I remember when you used to…" Any time I hear my wife say these words, I know that they will be followed by something that I once did but don't do anymore — things like opening the door for her when she's getting in the car or …( read more )

Cleansed

October 20, 2018

I had reached the magic number; I knew what the doctor would say. Fifty is the age when physical tests of various sorts begin to take place — one of which I dreaded. When I visited the doctor for a regular checkup, he said, "We need to …( read more )

A Living Will

October 6, 2018

Conversations in a physician's waiting room can be interesting and run the gamut. As my wife and I sat in the waiting room, waiting for her to be called back for her colonoscopy, we listened to the various conversations. One was between …( read more )

Serving With Joy

September 23, 2018

I noticed the handicap van that they drove, and I knew that it was my time to serve. One Saturday morning when my wife and I were in the middle of packing for our move later in the month, we ran out of boxes. She suggested that I stop by …( read more )

Loving A Neighbour

September 9, 2018

The note was attached to the door; the decision had been made. At nine years of age, he was doing what most boys his age did in the summer: romping and playing — until his sister noticed how yellow his eyes were. She ran inside to tell …( read more )

Dog On A Foot

August 27, 2018

Of all the stores to which my grandfather delivered ice cream, the one where the dog sat on my foot was my favourite. Aside from a few chain pharmacies and gas stations, mom-and-pop stores ran the retail world. Small stores owned by …( read more )

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 )

 



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