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”
Category Archives: Christianity
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”
Don’t expect much this Christmas!
Although I was a little disturbed by the dancing mice, I pushed through because Christmas was coming.
Scary Dreams for Grown Ups: Where is that Coconut?
The search for the Nativity . . . The search for the Christ-child, begins when we are willing to admit that we need help.
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”
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:Continue reading “The Best Days.”
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.”
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 feelContinue reading “The Awkward Ones”
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.”
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 whetherContinue reading “SO STRESSED I COULD DIE!”
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”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”