My mom once told me she thinks parenting today is harder than when I was a child.
I want to agree, but then I realize every generation since the beginning of time has struggled with youth.
Adam and Eve had plenty of regrets about Cain.
Jacob’s teenagers and young adults SOLD another one of his kids. (Um, my kids may have talked about that but never followed through!)
Eli was a priest who lived at the temple (kind of like... Read More
When a man asked for my business card after I spoke at an event in January, I dug through my purse, and upon finding one (in a case completely intact and not even remotely wrinkled), I realized it was mostly outdated.
In March I remembered.
I decided to follow through on the tip from another participant at the writing conference I attended last summer and order business cards online. For $9.99 + shipping, I could get 500 professional business cards.... Read More
My sweet grandma had a vinyl record of Bill Cosby’s stand-up comedy. One of my earliest memories is sitting in her living room, belly laughing to his bit on childbirth.
Years later, Grandma gave me her cassette of the same show. I must have played it a hundred times.
On sick days, I’d watch reruns of the Cosby Show for hours. Cosby made me happy, but he also gave me hope. On the show, Cosby often took the marginalized into... Read More
I bought myself a Mother’s Day present last week. You see, there’s a salt salon that just opened up in my area, and I wanted to try it out. I had no idea that salt salons were a thing, but apparently they are. Now I’m usually pretty thrifty, but there was a sale—of course!—so I decided to try it. After all, sitting in a zero gravity chair in a warm room for 45 minutes, all while getting health benefits, sounds... Read More
There’s this guy I know who always has something negative to say about church. If I’m being perfectly honest, I hate him.
Can I admit that as a Christian? I hate him.
It doesn’t matter what I do or preach; he always has something to say. Or, if he doesn’t say it, I can read his body language. The sermon runs a bit long? He lets me know. The song is too unfamiliar to enjoy? He gets worked up. The... Read More
Can I be honest? All the memes in the world about cherishing each day with your kids are a little annoying. The most recent one that rankled me was this: “There are only 940 Saturdays between your child’s birth and them leaving for college.”
Gah! I know the intent is that we shouldn’t squander the time we’ve been given with our children while they are at home. I know these well-intentioned reminders encourage us to get off of our phones... Read More
When the pastor telling you to work more suddenly sobs because he worked too much, you should pay attention. At least that’s what I thought God was teaching me . . .
I should back up. Early in my career, I faced a tension that most young professionals face—work-life balance. I was a 29-year-old pastor working 55 hours/week, trying to be a good minister, husband, and father at the same time.
One church member, however, believed I was failing miserably.... Read More
How are you? Fine.
How’s your day? Good.
What’s new? Nothing much.
Lie. Lie. Lie.
Have you ever been courageous enough to respond . . .
How are you? Honestly, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. And pretty lonely.
How’s your day? Well, my family was fighting this morning, so it’s not so great.
What’s new? I’m really worried about my job—or boss or friend or church or kids or parents or health.
Ever feel as if you have to slap... Read More
I was a creative writing/literature major in college. During my senior year, I had to find a poem that meant something to me, memorize it, and recite it to the others in my advanced poetry class.
I chose “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. The narrator came to a fork in the road and struggled to choose which way to go. He knew he wouldn’t likely get back to that same spot again, and so he felt the weight... Read More
I’ve started going to a new doctor. He’s different than most doctors because he doesn’t just treat the symptoms to my pain or fatigue; he tries to get to the root of the problem. He doesn’t just ask, “What hurts?” But he tries to answer the question, “Why do you hurt?”
I want to be more like him as a pastor. So often pastors only see symptoms and misdiagnose the deeper pain. We see people being promiscuous or indulging in... Read More