Why Do We Avoid People Who are Different from Us?
Aug20

Why Do We Avoid People Who are Different from Us?

Oh, the things we miss when we avoid people who are different from us. We’re odd, you and I. We rail against divisions in our culture — political, economic, social, racial. Yet, if we’re honest, most of our friends look and believe and think exactly like us. What a waste. People who live in silos miss out on so much. Some of the most electrifying conversations I’ve had have taken place with people who are not at all like me....

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Twenty-Four Inches from Certain Death: Thoughts on God After a Brush with Death
Jul11

Twenty-Four Inches from Certain Death: Thoughts on God After a Brush with Death

I had a near death experience a couple of days ago. Better said, a brush with death. And it’s made me think about the goodness of God, human suffering, and whether or not the two can co-exist. Dedee and I are vacationing in Maui with ten lifelong friends. Two days ago, my friend Tad and I were walking back to the beach after purchasing a hat in a shop inside the resort. We walked through an open-air courtyard with nine stories...

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The Day I Lost My Cool but Got Something Better in Return
Apr10

The Day I Lost My Cool but Got Something Better in Return

I was a dork as a kid. Gangly, awkward. A spectacular clutz. Feet and ears too big for my body. Not quite Alfred E. Neuman, but close. Most of the time I wore high-water jeans that showed four inches of white gym socks. Not by choice, mind you, but I was growing so fast that my mom couldn’t afford to keep me in clothes that fit. It would’ve broken the bank. But there was a time in 5th grade when I was the coolest kid in school. Or at...

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In the Mood for a Good Story? Listen to “The Luck of Roaring Camp”
Oct10

In the Mood for a Good Story? Listen to “The Luck of Roaring Camp”

This post is a departure from what you normally read on my blog. In fact, you don’t need to read it at all. You can listen to it instead. This is an abbreviated audio recording of Bret Harte’s moving short story, “The Luck of Roaring Camp.” I am the narrator. Here is a brief synopsis: The story takes place in 1851 during the California gold rush. A mining town in the foothills of the Sierras. Roaring Camp is...

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The Outdoors: God’s Call to a Heart that Needs to Worship
Sep13

The Outdoors: God’s Call to a Heart that Needs to Worship

I am one of those fortunate people whose heart comes alive in the wild. I didn’t choose to be this way. I believe it was given to me. And I am profoundly grateful. “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” John Muir Those who delight in the outdoors are said to “commune with nature.” My experience is different. I find that — in nature — I commune with God....

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What an Old Family Picture Teaches Me about Happiness
Aug07

What an Old Family Picture Teaches Me about Happiness

This is one of my favorite family pictures. It depicts the Grapes of Wrath-ish portion of my family’s history. There is so much I love about this snapshot of Mom and two of her brothers. The old wagon they’re sitting in. The rug hanging from the line on the porch, no doubt recently beaten with a stick to remove the dust. The broken pane of glass in the upstairs window. Which kid was responsible for that one? The sagging...

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