We vote and all they can do is dance.

As I arrive at the community center to vote there are two little girls nearby.  They are overly happy for seven o’clock in the morning.  Smiles.  Laughter.  Dancing. We adults — the mature ones, the wise ones, the responsible ones — impatiently stand waiting for the line to move forward.  There’s no dancing in our line.  Occasionally one or…

The birth of Christ affects us all

Christmas Truth:  Whether we admit it or not, the birth of Christ affects us all.  The juxtaposition of the harshness of life positioned next to a baby in a manger makes us wonder which is more real. The Christ-child at Christmas  makes us long for something different.  That longing in our souls is God’s reminder that what…

Driver Exams for Dummies: It’s going to be okay

I’ve been the to California DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) twice in the last four weeks to take an exam.  These visits were unnerving since the last time I had taken a driver’s exam was at the age of 16.  Back at 16, I took a Driver’s Education Course and all I remember is watching gruesome horror movies about what…

I see people

A number of days ago I decided to visit our youngest daughter who lives 20 some miles away, near downtown Los Angeles.  Twenty miles in LA traffic can be at minimum a 40 minute drive so I decided — just for the adventure of it — to take the metro to see her: a bus…

What Real Estate and New Year’s Resolutions Have in Common

I have this reoccurring dream every several weeks or so where I’m walking through my house — sometimes it’s an apartment and sometimes it’s a mansion — sometime’s I’m alone and other times I’m with my wife and daughters. What remains consistent is that as I walk through the house I’ve lived in for several…

The Best Days.

When I was a kid I’d get really, really angry whenever I couldn’t get my own way. I’d pout and yell and kick things. Then, if those didn’t work, to prove my point (and my intelligence) I would bang my head against the wall. Mom and Dad always responded in a caring and compassionate way:…

You can’t sell a cat on eBay (or at a garage sale).

Note: For the sake of continuity and the safety of the participants, both the plot and the names of characters in this story have been changed. No cats (real or fictitious) were harmed in the writing of this story. It all started 16 years ago when we (by “we,” I mean my wife) told our…

How time travel nearly destroyed my trip.

I wore a watch. I can’t believe I wore a watch. In July, four other adults and I helped 18 high school students experience short term missions in Alaska. Living thirty miles north of the Arctic Circle, we ate seal (okay), whale (never again) and caribou (loved it). Our team shared a very crowded 2…

The Awkward Ones

I was at a fundraiser the other day where I met an older man who didn’t speak English. As we tried to communicate, I thought how awkward and lonely it must feel to live in a country where you don’t know the language. Later I wondered, “Did Jesus ever feel awkward? Did He ever feel…

Graduation: Prepare for life in Technicolor.

Once I walked across that stage and received my diploma, my life would be forever changed. I purchased my graduation cap and gown, invitations were mailed, I even had my hair newly-permed for the big event (this was 1979, after all). I waited for high school graduation (some students worked for it — but I…

Elite travel status and first-world problems

Alex arrived to drive me to the airport at four a.m. so I could make it in time for my 6:50 flight. We had become friends over the past week and I saw in him a hard-working man who had set his professional dreams aside to provide for his wife and five children, working nearly…

Love God first. Then, find a child and play awhile.

There’s a small group of high school students I know who spend one Saturday each month playing with little kids at a shelter. That’s it — all they do is play. The children at the shelter are there “temporarily.” They’ve been put in the shelter by the courts because of trouble their parents and/or guardians…

SO STRESSED I COULD DIE!

When I was a kid I got stressed about things. . . . Things like whether or not Danny the bully would finally catch me alone on the playground. Or whether or not anyone would notice the zit on my forehead that was larger than the Empire State Building. Or even big stresses like whether…

I gave Jesus a ride to work (re-blog)

I gave Jesus a ride to work today.  When he got in my car he introduced himself as “Marcus” but I knew he was Jesus.  He told me he worked at 61st and Peoria selling cigarettes. I was on my way to work and saw him walking on the street in the cold.  I was…