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 wasContinue reading “I gave Jesus a ride to work (re-blog)”

Good books entice you with the familiar and then pull your heart out.

When our youngest daughter was a toddler she LOVED the book Go Dog Go, by P. D. Eastman. She was content sitting in someone’s lap having the book read to her again, and again, and again, and again. The worrisome father in me was concerned that she loved the book for its humanist philosophies. ButContinue reading “Good books entice you with the familiar and then pull your heart out.”

Sins of disposition: Dark coffee, no cream, and a shot of affirmation

When I first started drinking coffee it costed about 30 cents a cup. Now I stop at the same Starbucks on my way to work each day to buy a small cup of coffee for almost two dollars. I keep thinking it will be worth it one day — the day the baristas (coffee servers)Continue reading “Sins of disposition: Dark coffee, no cream, and a shot of affirmation”

Church discipline: Our four heads were smacked together like Dominoes.

As an adult, my temptation is to be stiff and rational in my worship while inwardly judging the motives or sincerity of others who don’t worship the same as I do. (I’m great at judging others — it’s kind of a spiritual gift.) One of my brothers recently reminded me of worship times in ourContinue reading “Church discipline: Our four heads were smacked together like Dominoes.”

Why I still keep going to church

When I was a kid I loved going to church. I loved the candy they gave me in Sunday School and loved the high-tech demonstrations like chalk talks and flannel graphs. I loved potluck dinners and church picnics. I loved most of the people, even though some of them creeped me out at times. IContinue reading “Why I still keep going to church”

Sixth grade: Green bell bottom pants and a three-legged dog.

The lessons I remember from childhood are lessons from relationships, not from textbooks or math scores. When I was in sixth grade, a couple dozen of neighborhood kids ages six-to-twelve spent our days in and out of each other’s yards, playing softball and tag, and hitting each other with sticks. On summer evenings, when theContinue reading “Sixth grade: Green bell bottom pants and a three-legged dog.”

How the Polar Vortex changed my week.

I felt a little anxious yesterday and I’m not sure why. Maybe because the weekend was busy. Maybe it was because the “polar vertex” (the media’s term for cold weather from Canada) was moving down south again so I nearly died jogging outside in the morning. Or, maybe it’s because I had no idea whatContinue reading “How the Polar Vortex changed my week.”

Lessons in forgiveness: I punched Bobby in the gut and he danced.

When I was in elementary school, I learned the art of punching people in the gut. I was a very little guy, so I probably aimed for the gut because the nose was too high for me to reach. I didn’t like fights, mind you, but in elementary school there were times when my angerContinue reading “Lessons in forgiveness: I punched Bobby in the gut and he danced.”

A lesson from MLK Jr: Do justice or be love?

The first time I was ever involved in any kind of protest was when I was a sophomore in college. Our dormitory was notorious for vandalism and that year it had escalated to such a degree that the director of campus housing made a drastic ruling: No current students living in the dormitory could returnContinue reading “A lesson from MLK Jr: Do justice or be love?”

The strength to get up: Lessons I’ve learned from sledding.

I love snow! When I was a kid we rode snowmobiles at an uncle’s farm one winter. I remember flying through the snow and hitting bumps that would knock whoever was in the back (usually me) into a drift, only to be found later when the person driving thought to turn around. For fun closerContinue reading “The strength to get up: Lessons I’ve learned from sledding.”

Blog on: Sunday rest on the worst of Mondays.

When I was in elementary school, Mom made the world’s best fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy for Sunday lunch. After filling ourselves so full we could barely walk, we hung around the house for the rest of the day. We played quiet games and whacked each other with soft sticks, because if we wokeContinue reading “Blog on: Sunday rest on the worst of Mondays.”

The carnival ride: What vomiting on others taught me about grace.

One sunny summer day when I was about ten years old, my brother Spartacus, a neighbor kid, and I walked to the town carnival. Upon arrival we arm-wrestled to see who would choose the first ride. After great embarrassment on my part, it was decided that the first ride for all of us (unknowingly, theContinue reading “The carnival ride: What vomiting on others taught me about grace.”

In my attempt to show kindness, I almost committed a drive-by.

My wife, Princess Bride, is very good at buying the right gifts for family members on birthdays and holidays. The reason she does such a great job is because she asks people what they would like beforehand. I don’t like to know ahead what people want because for me it takes the mystery and surpriseContinue reading “In my attempt to show kindness, I almost committed a drive-by.”

Tending Paradise: Why Monday doesn’t have to suck.

On the first day of school each fall, my teachers would have us draw a picture (lots of fun) or write an essay (not nearly as much fun) called “How I Spent My Summer.” We didn’t vacation when I was a kid, so while others were drawing paradise pictures of plane rides to Hawaii IContinue reading “Tending Paradise: Why Monday doesn’t have to suck.”

Like a ten-year-old child, I want what I want when I want it.

When I was a kid I had a bit of a temper. Nothing extreme, just occasional outbursts of anger that I usually resolved by kicking a cat or banging my head against a wall. What initiated those ourbursts? Typically they were a by-product of either not getting my own way (I want what I wantContinue reading “Like a ten-year-old child, I want what I want when I want it.”

New Year’s Resolutioners beware: Don’t read today’s blog.

Even the good things I add to my schedule can potentially become time-suckers. Time-suckers are the things I waste time on — the things that after three hours I ask myself, “What have I done all day?” I’m not dissing rest; the Bible clearly emphasizes the importance of rest and Americans are often guilty ofContinue reading “New Year’s Resolutioners beware: Don’t read today’s blog.”

I can’t believe I’m arguing with a five-year-old about why kids cry.

I saw a big kid picking on a smaller kid a few days ago. Ironically, Big Kid had been crying just a few minutes earlier when someone else had whacked him. I thought it was a good time to have an adult conversation with Big Kid about his childish behavior. Me: “Why were you hittingContinue reading “I can’t believe I’m arguing with a five-year-old about why kids cry.”

Silly Sally and the tricycle: The long good-bye

Saying “good-bye” to relatives is awkward, especially if you like them. And the feeling after the good-bye is dull, almost numb, inside. When I was five years old, my mom, my three brothers, and I took a long trip to Rhode Island to see Mom’s relatives for an extended visit. It was a fun vacationContinue reading “Silly Sally and the tricycle: The long good-bye”

Fair Maiden quietly spit up her Cheerios during the choir’s special song.

One of our first Christmases as parents was spent in Florida with my in-laws. We were to enjoy a Florida tradition on Sanibel Island: A simple, quiet Christmas Eve service on the beach. However, as young parents, to guarantee “simple and quiet” required a LOT of preparation. I’m big into preparation. In fact, I’m oftenContinue reading “Fair Maiden quietly spit up her Cheerios during the choir’s special song.”

My brother would make irreverent motions and farting sounds during the best Christmas songs.

Back in THE DAY, kids of all ages and abilities were forced to be part of the church Christmas pageant. Even if the kid could neither sing nor act, or was in the habit of wetting him or herself in public, he or she was still part of the pageant. And, of course, being partContinue reading “My brother would make irreverent motions and farting sounds during the best Christmas songs.”