What’s in your (parenthesis) ?

Everyone has a parenthesis. A parenthesis is used when someone else describes you. For example, when I was in elementary school I was Calvin (the little kid with the big round kid). I had absolutely no talent or aspiration when I was little. Even if I had the aspiration to become something, I’m not sureContinue reading “What’s in your (parenthesis) ?”

Bikes, Trains, and the Lord

When I was a little kid, my favorite bicycle was a red chopper with an extended front wheel, high-rise handle bars, shock absorbers, and a banana seat.  Although it took me a few weeks to learn how to ride the bike without falling over or going head first onto the gravel road, I looked prettyContinue reading “Bikes, Trains, and the Lord”

Brief career as a park ranger

My most adventurous summertime job was working for the Game Fish and Parks in South Dakota. It was my first summer home from college and I was looking forward to the new position where I could spend time in the great outdoors. More specifically, I would spend three days a week helping an older guyContinue reading “Brief career as a park ranger”

Beauty instead of ashes

Most days I jog towards the mountains and face the scars left behind by the fires of 2020. Today I jogged the other direction and when I turned around, I saw that beyond the ashes was freshly fallen snow from yesterday’s storm. 2020 was a year of storms, scars, and ashes for many of us.Continue reading “Beauty instead of ashes”

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 orContinue reading “We vote and all they can do is dance.”

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 whatContinue reading “The birth of Christ affects us all”

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 whatContinue reading “Driver Exams for Dummies: It’s going to be okay”

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 severalContinue reading “What Real Estate and New Year’s Resolutions Have in Common”

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

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 2Continue reading “How time travel nearly destroyed my trip.”

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 IContinue reading “Graduation: Prepare for life in Technicolor.”

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 nearlyContinue reading “Elite travel status and first-world problems”

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 guardiansContinue reading “Love God first. Then, find a child and play awhile.”


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 whetherContinue reading “SO STRESSED I COULD DIE!”