I never thought Kim and I would be the couple who needed counseling. But we were. So we went.
We were still in love seven years into marriage, but the flame was starting to flicker just a bit. So before it got any worse, we reached out for help. In the moment, I misdiagnosed our problem, mistaking the symptom for the sickness, but looking back, our issue should have been so obvious . .
We had babies.
God gave us... Read More
For many things, I’m a pretty laid-back mom.
But there we were, hiking Pyramid Mountain in Kodiak, Alaska, when I couldn’t seem to stop worrying.
I had hiked that mountain before—years ago—but this time I was with my kids. And that changed everything. As we scrambled up the final rocky portion to reach the top, I saw with fresh eyes how one wrong step either way would end in severe injury or tragedy.
It’s a good thing they were faster... Read More
“So, what did your parents teach you about sex?” one of my friends asked a mutual friend as we devoured pizza on his back deck. His blank expression answered the question even before he replied, “I only knew what I learned from porn.”
“Pastor, do you agree with everything in that marriage book you gave us?” a newlywed husband asked me. “Hmm . . . what is bothering you?” I responded. “Oral sex,” he quietly mentioned. “That’s wrong to do,... Read More
We were scheduled to leave for Alaska the next day, and my son needed appropriate shoes. See, I had planned on having him wear tennis shoes, but my friend reminded me just how muddy Kodiak would be.
So off I headed on a Saturday (leaving behind all the other preparations that I still had to do), planning to visit every thrift store I could think of. I realized this could be a several-hour endeavor because size 14 shoes aren’t all... Read More
I often listen to a Christian radio station that broadcasts from a large metro area. Every hour they give traffic updates. They’ve introduced me to the term “gawker delay.” A gawker delay occurs when traffic slows at the scene of an accident, not so much because of the accident itself but because people slow to gawk at the accident while passing.
Why is it so hard to pull our eyes from things we shouldn’t need to see?
My husband, who... Read More
In mid-June I went to Quito, Ecuador, for a short-term mission trip. I hadn’t been there in 12 years, so I was eager to return. Much of Ecuador was just as I remembered it. The mountains were just as inspiring. The fruit was just as sweet. And the people were just as kind and generous.
But something was different. Everyone was wearing his or her backpack in the front. And most people had anxious looks on their faces, especially in... Read More
If I could give you a piece of unsolicited advice, it would be this—Don’t forget when people die.
Especially if you spoke at their funerals . . .
The other day, a woman found me at a conference and said, “Pastor Mike, you don’t know me, but I was a friend of Rachel Smith.” (Name changed to spare me further embarrassment.) For some reason, I didn’t catch the past tense of the verb was, so I smiled and was .02... Read More
It was Christmas night. Our 18-month-old daughter hadn’t taken a nap, and she was exhausted. But not the exhausted-so-she’ll-sleep kind of tired. More like the exhausted-so-she’s-bouncing-off-the-walls kind of tired.
It happened in the blink of an eye. Our kiddo climbed on an end table, fell off, and landed on the base of an upright lamp with her arm tucked under her. Off we went to the ER. An X-ray confirmed our suspicions. Our toddler had a broken arm.
Thankfully we... Read More
One day Jesus asked his disciples who people thought he was. They responded that most people assumed Jesus was a prophet of some sort. Then Jesus asked them point blank: “But what about you? . . . Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15).
Whether we realize it or not, every day we answer that question in the way we live.
When trouble and hardship come our way, who is Jesus? If we fret and despair, then we are... Read More
At the beginning of summer, our three teens spent a week with some friends in California.
After the kids got home, our friend left a voice mail for my husband. While he talked about how much fun the week was, he ended the message with this: “It’s fun to see them grow up, and I’m just so proud of them.”
Oh, man, our hearts were full. After a week of missing them and thinking, “Boy, I hope they behave and... Read More