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Author Archive

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 )

Hot- And Cold-Running Christians

August 28, 2019

The sign read, "House for Rent. Hot and Cold Running Water." Though laughable now, there was a time when having indoor plumbing was a luxury that only the wealthy knew anything about. Water was drawn from a well or creek and was carried …( read more )

Sidetracked

August 12, 2019

Getting shoppers sidetracked is a retailer's dream come true. Moving isn't fun, but we had no choice. After a long day of sweating in the hot, humid temperatures of a South Carolina August, my wife and I showered and readied ourselves to …( read more )

Chickening Out

July 26, 2019

I was young when I learned that "chicken" wasn't necessarily a chicken. Chickens ran around my grandmother's yard during the day and were locked up in the coop at night. But if my cousin asked me to do something that I was scared to do …( read more )

Take A Break

July 11, 2019

When you have a Type A personality — always needing to be doing something — taking a break isn't easy. I've never been one to sit and twiddle my thumbs. Sitting and doing nothing makes me feel lazy. Since I have only so much time in …( read more )

Seeking Refuge

June 28, 2019

The day appeared calm enough, but the elements soon released their hidden fury. My brother and I — along with my daughter — set out early for a ten-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail. At the five-mile point, we planned to set up camp …( read more )

Thinking Thoughts About God

June 16, 2019

I turn God into whatever I think of Him. Dad was a harsh disciplinarian — at least when I was young. I'm not sure where his ideas of discipline sprang from, because he didn't copy the pattern of his parents or grandparents. Dad went by …( read more )

An Army Of Misfits

May 27, 2019

What others consider misfits, God often considers fits. My father served as interim pastor for a small, struggling church after he retired. Once a thriving church on the local lake, it now struggled to survive. Dad tried to get them to …( read more )

God's Safe Place

May 10, 2019

She had been abused and needed a safe place. Johnnie was in a situation of her own making. For thirteen years, she had endured an abusive marriage — one she had entered merely to be on her own and make her own life. Jim had seemed like …( read more )

Dropout

April 24, 2019

I hated school, so I decided to quit. Elementary and middle school, I enjoyed, but when I got to high school, a sudden distaste evolved. By the time I reached my senior year, I'd had all I could take. I had no interest in learning, …( read more )

Swallowed By Sorrow

April 13, 2019

Sorrow can be a bitter pill to swallow, and I felt as if I were being swallowed by it. Days stretched into months. An act of betrayal by another had turned my family inside out and headed it straight for dissolution. Though the situation …( read more )

Healthy Habits

March 29, 2019

Old habits are hard to break. For four years, we lived in a small townhouse. Our Chihuahua, Twix, was accustomed to the way that the doors to the bedroom and the outside opened, and he would stand at the appropriate side of the door to …( read more )

Grief My Way

March 13, 2019

The family gathered around his bed and watched his body jerk and convulse — then fall silent. A work-related accident had disabled Mike many years before. Though he managed to work a few jobs for short periods of time, he couldn't hold …( read more )

The Death Vigil

February 26, 2019

He lay almost motionless — a Superman tattoo on his arm. My brother-in-law often kidded that he was Superman. And he had been. He survived things that had killed many people. Though a young man, several heart attacks had damaged his …( read more )

Oh, To Be Content

February 11, 2019

I carried them out by the armload — a seemingly endless task. Our move was complete — except for moving our clothes. Although my wife doesn't buy fancy clothes — nor buy them from expensive stores — she loves new outfits — or at …( read more )

Stirring Up The Gift

January 27, 2019

I sat in the ladder-back chair, wondering what I should do and feeling a bit useless. The day prior to our move had arrived, but my wife and I were already at our new residence unpacking boxes — at least, she was. With no Internet or …( read more )

Downsizing … Of Sorts

January 12, 2019

"Where are we going put it? I think we're turning into hoarders." My wife and I have both asked the question and made the statement. Our love for antiques — especially furniture — keeps us adding to our collection and trying to stuff …( read more )

Christmas Remembrances

December 21, 2018

As I grow older, I yearn for the Christmases of my childhood. Being the first grandchild in the family for the first four years of my life meant a great deal of spoiling — by parents and grandparents. Though I don't remember those …( read more )

 



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