Author Archive

Those Stubborn Doubts

April 6, 2021

Some made promises, but I doubted that they'd keep them. No middle-schooler wants to be uprooted and moved hundreds of miles from his friends — but that's what happened when Dad decided to pastor a church in Jackson, Tennessee, USA. …( read more )

Just Ask

February 24, 2021

Ask, and you might receive; ask not, and you probably won't. Driving in unfamiliar terrain was once more frightening than it is now. Since there was no Internet, I could not pull up directions on my computer or smartphone. My only …( read more )

Restricted Use

February 8, 2021

If I didn't pay, I couldn't talk. As my wife and I sat on the front porch of the hundred-year-old home that we rented, we often heard it ring — a pay phone situated next to an old country store across the road. Each night around the …( read more )

Life Cycles

January 25, 2021

The days of getting up and being ready in fifteen minutes are gone. Although I'm in relatively good health, my life cycle has changed. This fact dawned on me one morning when it seemed that I simply could not get ready. A recent …( read more )

What A Walk

January 15, 2021

He was the first to do what I had longed to do … but probably never would. In his book, Walking with Spring, Earl Shaffer details his account of being the first person to hike the full length of the Appalachian Trail — a footpath …( read more )

Toys In The Tub

January 5, 2021

Baths may clean you up, but sometimes, they get you into trouble. Resting outside the bathtub in our spare bathroom is a plastic container with numerous bath toys: a rubber duck, a sailing boat, several balls, a bar of Ivory® soap — …( read more )

Hemmed In

November 18, 2020

The fence was there for a purpose — not just for looks. The first house that I lived in on my own was situated on two acres of land just outside of town. Gardening and farming had always been in my blood — I suppose because both of my …( read more )

Club Benefits

November 7, 2020

We had the clubhouse. All we needed was members. My cousin and his family lived next door to my maternal grandparents on a large farm. The closest neighbours belonged to another race, and because of the culture, neither he nor his …( read more )

Know-It-All

October 20, 2020

Every class I took in college seemed to have one. Know-it-alls are people who think that they know it all. During my college tenure, there was at least one in every class. They were the ones who quickly raised their hands when the …( read more )

Messengers Of Mercy

October 3, 2020

We sat on the porch and watched the messengers of mercy come, one after the other. My wife and I were visiting a shut-in couple from our church when the mercy bringers arrived. As we enjoyed the cool fall weather, I watched the front …( read more )

Looking For Evidence

September 19, 2020

The evidence was overwhelming. We followed something that we feared. Panthertown Valley is just outside Cashiers, North Carolina, USA. Those who are looking for a directional sign will be disappointed. But my brother and I had …( read more )

Conquering Stress

September 4, 2020

Living a stress-free life is impossible. Women report that they experience stress because of the following reasons: contradictory feelings, changing expectations, new freedoms but fewer options, guilt over working outside the home, too …( read more )

Peeled Like A Potato

August 24, 2020

I stood with a bag of potatoes beside me, a knife in my hand, and what appeared like eternity in front of me. Carpal tunnel surgery had not slowed my wife down much — and I was glad, since she was our cook at church for Wednesday night …( read more )

Promise Keeper

August 11, 2020

He made a promise to his best friend, but now his friend lay dead on a mountaintop. Davey and Johnny were best buds and had been since they were young. Davey's family farmed while Johnny's came from the upper class. Despite their …( read more )

Mind The Chickens

July 21, 2020

Sometimes, chickens leave behind more than eggs and meat. My maternal grandmother had a dozen or so chickens wandering around her yard. At night, she enclosed them in a small pen, complete with a coop. There, they slept and laid eggs. …( read more )

Sit-In

July 5, 2020

He pulled up a chair, sat down beside me, and raised his left arm in the air. Our church hosted its first Craft Fair. A good number of vendors signed up, set up, and enjoyed interacting with customers — along with selling them products. …( read more )

How To Grow Your Nose

June 8, 2020

Had I created mine, I would have shortened the length and made it narrower. The nose is an interesting part of the body's anatomy. I've heard that it continues to grow as a person ages, and I have seen a number of elderly senior adults …( read more )

A Trustworthy Guide

May 21, 2020

Though I had never seen this person before, I trusted him to guide me for the next hour. My wife and I were on vacation in the mountains of Tennessee, USA, and we wanted to visit somewhere that we hadn't gone before. Forbidden Caverns …( read more )

Purpose-Driven

May 7, 2020

"I'm in the middle of the road with a flat tire. Can you tell Dad to come and help me?" My daughter was under the gun. She had given her landlord notice that she was moving out by the month's end. Though she took a few days off from …( read more )

Hearing Voices

March 21, 2020

When I was a teenager, I heard voices. "Let's get drunk," said the first voice. The 1970s were in full force. Drinking seemed to be a way of life, so I agreed. And since this voice represented acceptance by my peers, I justified my …( read more )

Decisions, Decisions

March 5, 2020

My job was taxing but fulfilling. Deciding whether or not to leave was difficult. Five years had passed since I'd been employed by a local county. I began as a teller and had moved up to supervisor. Though some days found me wishing for …( read more )

One Big Reunion

February 21, 2020

As we turned out of the parking lot, I knew that it would be the last time. Both of my paternal grandparents' sides of the family had annual family reunions, but my family rarely attended. I barely knew many of those who did — people …( read more )

Seeing Clearly

February 6, 2020

None of us had ever experienced what we were about to. Eight couples from our church travelled to a cabin in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA, for a marriage retreat. My wife and I had stayed in several cabins over the years. Some we …( read more )

Don't Worry; Be Happy

January 23, 2020

Worry and anxiety are bedfellows that often show up together. Kelita sat in her car, gunning the engine but going nowhere. There was good reason. The gearshift was in neutral. She burned fuel and fogged up the garage in which the car …( read more )

Accepting God's Will

January 10, 2020

Being told to submit wasn't as easy as the process itself. Like most children, I chafed at times under my parents' authority. As a child, I accepted that they were always right. As I got older, I questioned some of their rules and …( read more )

Life's Best Comforter

January 3, 2020

My wife and I are quickly moving towards being patriarch and matriarch of our family. Though I try not to think about it, I know that the time is approaching when my mother and my in-laws will die. I remember the sorrow that I felt when …( read more )

God Understands

November 27, 2019

Regardless of how many times that I explained the concept, some continued to misunderstand and make mistakes. Correctly punctuating compound sentences — or independent clauses — was one of the simplest yet most difficult concepts that …( read more )

Good Comforting

November 15, 2019

Regardless of where she went, she couldn't find comfort. Leah and her husband were never apart. They even volunteered at the same place after they retired. Both appeared to be in good health, so you can imagine Leah's shock when her …( read more )

Refined By Sorrow

October 30, 2019

Never had I witnessed sorrow bring such a transformation. When times of deep sorrow strike, many choose the road of bitterness toward God. "If God's as good as you claim, why did … ," they ask. And I've wondered the same thing when …( read more )

Wondering Why

October 15, 2019

Wondering why often leaves us wondering. I sat in the car with my daughter's two children while my wife underwent a physical test. The three-year-old sat in the front seat with me, biding his time and asking questions. "Pop, what is …( read more )

To Help Or Not

September 29, 2019

To help or not to help, that was the question. He stood at a busy intersection, holding a sign that we couldn't read. Although the town where we live is modest in size, recently we've seen more homeless and indigent people standing on …( read more )

Fear Not

September 18, 2019

I dropped the pan on the floor and was rewarded with a loud scream. When our son was an infant, I was concerned that his hearing had been affected by ear infections. Rather than take him to the pediatrician, I decided to perform a home …( read more )

Sin Sick

September 6, 2019

"Have you anointed her and prayed for her healing?" my friend asked. My wife suffers with various physical ailments — too many, in fact, for her young age. She has undergone numerous surgeries to remove tumours that could have turned …( read more )

 



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