Aging Gracefully – Finishing Strong

  I’ve been thinking a lot about this.  I mean, we are all aging.  When I turned forty, I knew I was aging.  That seemed really old.  It was harder to play full court basketball.  I began to ache after I played.  My dad still hadn’t retired. So I wasn’t the last generation yet.  I was aging but… We are all trying to be graceful.  We want to “mature” – to grow into all that we can be.  We are still becoming. But there comes a point when you’ve “become.”… Continue reading Aging Gracefully – Finishing Strong

The Meaning of the Cross

What does the Cross mean to me?  That is a little bit of a moving target. I have an M.Div.  I am ordained.  I learned words like “atonement,” “reconciliation,” “redemption” and more that I don’t remember. The question “what is the meaning of the Cross to you?” seems to beg some kind of theological response.  What, besides the actual events of that Good Friday, occurred that explains the eternal consequences for me as relates to my Creator? For the last several years I would have pointed to the forgiveness of… Continue reading The Meaning of the Cross

Allowing Myself to Grieve

I don’t like loss and grief.  They are problems that can’t be solved, but must be endured somehow.  I’d rather solve problems.  Address the issue, pull it apart, consider options, and then take actions necessary for resolution. But loss doesn’t get resolved – at least not now.  Something is gone. Sometimes loss entails losing something good or someone special.  We lost our dachshund Wiggles a year and a half ago.  I find that I don’t want another dog… in part because there is no replacement for “little Wigs”.  I can… Continue reading Allowing Myself to Grieve

A Good Listener Gives the Gift of Love

Listening is much harder than I originally thought.  It is more important, too. Growing up, I always took good notes in class.  I could remember the words that teachers used and reproduce them at the appropriate times.  I could track what regular people said, remembering both words and content.  In fact, in the early years of our marriage, I was such a good listener that I could watch TV and simultaneously hear, remember and reproduce what Lynne was telling me.  I don’t know how many times in our 35 years… Continue reading A Good Listener Gives the Gift of Love

What I Want to Be This Year

I hope this year is different.   I hope this year I am different.  But that is my hope every year.  And your hope too. We all know that we aren’t who we should be.  We don’t pray enough, or exercise enough, or attend to those whom we should well enough…  We want to be better friends, spouses, children, employees, athletes, etc.  We want to be all we can be.  A “New Year” awakens that hope again. The hope stirs us to plan and sometimes even to action.  We resolve again. … Continue reading What I Want to Be This Year

Who Is Jesus?

  Lots of people have asked that question. John 7 is a great chapter that illustrates the different opinions about that very question.  The Jewish leadership, the crowds visiting from out of town for the Feast, the local residents of Jerusalem, the Pharisees, his brothers, the Temple police and even Nicodemus are all guessing and gauging who this man really is.  Some thought Him a “good man”; others, a deceiver.  Some believed Him to be a lunatic.  Some questioned His lack of training or lack of theological pedigree.  They questioned… Continue reading Who Is Jesus?

Gratitude Requires Vulnerability

A blog article on gratitude – why?  Why write about that?  Why think about that?  Really. You see, I’ve never been a very grateful person.  Occasionally, I have wished that I was.  But most of the time, I haven’t focused on it. Now I try to say “thank you”, when that is appropriate or expected.  I believe in being polite.  But grateful seems more profound, deeper than being polite.  I suspect that it is some kind of attitude of the heart. I prefer to be a more forward thinking person. … Continue reading Gratitude Requires Vulnerability

Parenting is About Growing People

  Thirty-one years ago our Ashley was born and we became parents.  She would be the first of three.  Kathryn was born 3 and half years later and Palmer, our 3rd, two years later.  We had our family, and it was one of the best things I have ever done.  They depended on us, entertained us, learned from us, and pushed us to figure out how to parent/love them.  We were young.  We were much less knowledgeable than we thought. Lynne and I really wanted to love our kids well. … Continue reading Parenting is About Growing People

Suffering Makes Me Stop

  Suffering makes me stop.  Suffering means my world isn’t working.  Suffering means life is hard.  I don’t like hard. I like easy.  I like it when life works.  I like it when less is required of me, when people treat me the way I want and circumstances line up in propitious ways. I like it when I make my putts and am surprised at how much money is left in the checkbook at the end of the month.  I like it when life is working smoothly.  I like it… Continue reading Suffering Makes Me Stop

A Different Kind of Encouragement

Barnabas means “son of encouragement.”  Who wouldn’t want to be a son of encouragement?  Everyone wants to be encouraged.  Everyone needs to be cheered up, believed in.  For years, my perception of Barnabas was that he was the old guy who accompanied the apostle Paul on his first missionary journey.  I picked his name for our Center because it was so neutral, implying our distinctly Christian beliefs while not being offensively Christian.  It was… well, an encouraging type of name. It turns out Barnabas wasn’t very neutral.  He wasn’t mamby… Continue reading A Different Kind of Encouragement