Making Lanterns

I stepped outside the church on a Monday afternoon after getting some papers signed for my kids to go to church camp. We were under the awning, waiting for the rain to let up so we could run to the car. A woman was standing there, she had attended a funeral in the building earlier in the day and was trying her best to hide the cigarette in her hand so my boys wouldn’t see her. Continue reading

How to Love Your Husband

Psalm 19
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,

5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.

6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
Continue reading

You Can Start Over

I got the call as I was walking into the karate dojo for an early afternoon lesson with our youngest son. It was my middle son’s first grade school teacher. She wasn’t happy. I could hear the frustration in her tone and she made no attempt to hide it. It must be bad. She is the most patient and fun loving teacher, and she adores my son, for him to make her call me during the school day was a big deal. Continue reading

Suspended

The other day I was mentally scanning the last several months and how there are so many uncertainties. We live day to day, we know God has a plan and even a prize around the corner, but we don’t always know if the next step is the right step, or if the corner is close, or miles away and uncertainty breeds things like fear. My imagination, if allowed, will wander off without my good sense and ask things like, “what if the bottom falls out of this box and we have nothing left to stand on?”

Continue reading

Dads with Dented Fenders

I was at Kroger getting gas when a silver mini-van pulled up at the pump next to me. Before I saw the driver, I saw the dent. It looked like it had been hit pretty good, and then, to save some money, had been banged out to a useable shape. It was probably like that for a while because rust had started to color the cracks and give it a crinkled look. Were it an old dresser, or an antique dining room buffet we would have called it “distressed” and made it a feature in our home. But when it’s a mini-van, we only wish we could trade it in, and try our best to be thankful that we have a reliable vehicle, no matter what it looks like. Continue reading

The Practice of Obedience

I knew he wanted to sit in the front seat and there were no cars immediately behind us, waiting on us at the car line drop off, so I suggested he get out now and move up to the passenger seat beside me. Instead of obeying, he lingered, looking at the cars behind us, distrusting, unsure if I knew what might come up and cause us to be in someone’s way.

“There’s a car,” he said.

There was a car, but we couldn’t move until Owen was finished anyway, and there was still room in front of and behind our car. I urged him again, to come up to the front before it was too late. Continue reading

What I’m Chasing in 2015

This hasn’t been our best year. Really. Financially, emotionally, relationally, a whole pile of “not our finest” moments. Yet… I’m convinced that years like 2014 are essential. They are the interruptions that make us better, they are not defining years, but they spur us on to better things and I’m grateful for my less than stellar year. Continue reading

A Lamp Unto My Feet

With a dozen fresh cinnamon rolls in hand, we piled out of the car to deliver them to expecting friends. The lights on their house made it very clear how to get to their front door and the side walk stretched welcoming from the driveway where each of my boys were gearing up to run to the destination. Boys are not known for careful steps, and Ivan was first one out. I was still closing my car door when I heard him scream. Aron was first to his side and even our friends heard his cries and came out to comfort. A small step hidden by the shadow of well trimmed greenery in the front of the house had caught his foot and his knee took the brunt of all of Ivan. Scraped and bleeding he was slow to comfort and as I handed the rolls off and leaned down to kiss his tears, daddy came from the other side, scooped up the whole boy, and carried him inside. Continue reading