I feel caught.  Again.  Just like I am every New Year.  The ball drops.  A New Year begins.  A chance to start over, a reset, a new chance. Maybe, just maybe, this will be the year; that I will manage my money better, stay in touch more closely with my friends, be a better husband, exercise more regularly, read more… you know the drill.  Maybe this year I will become more of the man I want to be.  Maybe… After all the calendars change, the checks have to be… Continue reading Hope

Salvation and Christmas

  I have a love-hate relationship with this season.  I find Christmas energizing.  When I walked into our office this morning the decorations were up.  The room felt brighter, more hopeful, more special.  I love it. “For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son…” “The Word became flesh, full of grace and truth, and we beheld His glory, as of the only son of the Father.” I love the manger scene and the star and the choir of angels.  I know the wise men came… Continue reading Salvation and Christmas

Gratitude seems at odds with desire

Gratitude seems at odds with desire. Not in the little things.  It is easy to say “thank you” to the server at Starbucks.  I don’t want that much from them, so when I get the little that I do want, I can acknowledge it.  But in the bigger things, gratitude feels a bit like a set up. A couple is fighting for more in their marriage.  She has begged for more involvement, more of his heart, more of his attention.  And he begins to give it… a little more and… Continue reading Gratitude seems at odds with desire

How Fruit Grows

  “If you want to be the best in the world, you have to practice in order to be the best in the world on your worst day.”  Think about that.  I need to practice so hard that I am better than anyone else on my very worst days. If you want to get better, if you want to be the best, you go after it.  You try harder.  Create a plan.  Determine the next steps.  Find a model you can mimic.  Practice.  Work.  Be compulsive.  Outwork everyone else. But… Continue reading How Fruit Grows

I Am An Addict

  “I am an addict.”  There, I said it.  By God’s grace, it isn’t to a substance but to a behavior(s).  I am addicted to behaviors in ways that give me a sense of controlling my life.  I can’t let them go.  And they are extreme. For most of my life, I have avoided acknowledging the extreme parts of me.  I thought, as we all do, that I had to be the standard for what is “normal.”  I measure what is proper and appropriate in the world by what I… Continue reading I Am An Addict

Extremes Have Always Done Us In

Extremes have always done us in.  Too much or too little creates problems for our marriage. Three weeks ago our middle daughter moved home for a month – transitioning from life in California to grad school.  She has been great!  She has helped cook, worked on her health insurance, acquired a bed, visited with friends, and gone to church with us. We took a family vacation, with five of us (all adults) at the beach in two bedrooms. Lots of waves, sun, going out, grilling in, and togetherness.  It has… Continue reading Extremes Have Always Done Us In

Floating Anxiety

I feel anxious sitting down to write this post on anxiety. Maybe it is because I don’t know what to say. Or I am afraid of being simplistic. I fear, that if you experience anxiety, you will think I don’t know what I am talking about… so I have avoided writing even as I can’t stop thinking about it.  Do you know what I mean? The apostle Paul wrote: “Do not be anxious about anything; but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And… Continue reading Floating Anxiety

Forgiveness Changes Me

Forgiveness seems counter-intuitive to me. All of my life, I was taught to try hard to do the right thing.  Be kind.  Be loving.  Be good.  And then my faith became alive and that seemed even more true.  Jesus wants me to love like He does.  What a high standard!  I am not supposed to be angry or self-centered or greedy or unkind or…  And I am supposed to be other-centered, gentle, kindhearted, loving and more. So I go on a mission to be more loving.  I try harder.  I… Continue reading Forgiveness Changes Me

Fresh Starts

I like fresh starts.  New semesters, new classes, new projects, new teams, new years – they all hold promise.  They all have hope.  I like beginning again. Maybe this time I can get it right… or righter at least.  Maybe I can learn from past mistakes.  Maybe I will be a little more certain about what I want.  Maybe I can get better, do more, find more happiness or success.  Maybe.  I live, we all live so aware of the places we do it wrong or the places where it… Continue reading Fresh Starts

How Parenting Made Me Grow

I assumed that parenting would primarily be about shaping and molding my children into maturity. No one told me that it would really be about shaping me into a more maturity. I was relatively young when I became a parent. You probably were too. But I had an edge over most folks. I had been in youth ministry for ten years and so I knew kids. I watched parents parent and often could clearly see what they should have been doing. Their kids would tell me lots of the inside… Continue reading How Parenting Made Me Grow