Of Graves and Shadows

When I became a young man I desired to be dad. Something in me wanted to impart life-giving truths to the next generation. I wanted someone on my shoulders seeing farther than I did.  I however, never anticipated the moment I would find myself upon a hill in our family forest, digging a grave.  I dug and chopped through frost and root-laden soil to bury our long-time family friend, our golden retriever, Montana.

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You Mad, Bro? The Key to Dealing with Anger

 I’ve recently run across more and more angry people. People that on the outside you wouldn’t think struggle with it. Our society is trying deal with an increasing level of domestic violence.  I have a history of anger that kind of ambushed me. There were times when I would be going along just fine and then BAM! Someone would do or say something that would trigger an angry outburst.  After I settled down I asked myself, “Where did that come from?” Years later, I’ve learned where it came from and how to deal with it so it doesn’t control my life and motivate me to do things I will regret later. Here’s what I’ve learned.

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Finding Vision


While working as a youth pastor, I attended a fair amount of high-school graduation ceremonies. I took interest in class themes and commencement speeches. One senior class theme stunned me however. Not because it was crass or somehow offensive but because of what it stood for – nothing. It represented one of the greatest deficits of this generation – vision. The senior motto proclaimed, “We’re here, we’re not somewhere else, so we might as well be doing what we’re doing.” Exciting isn’t it? Continue reading “Finding Vision”

There is No Pill for “Can’t”

I’ve recently been working as a tutor and self-defense instructor for a group of junior-high and high- school boys through the Joseph Center. The Joseph CeGame in a mobile phone is more interesting, than on the pianonter is a ministry devoted to helping boys mature into men who know who they are as sons (adopted by their heavenly Father), leaders, lovers, protectors and providers. More than once I’ve come home grieved at where they are as young men. (Not all of them for sure. But enough to spot a trend.)

It comes down to this: There is no pill for “can’t.”  Continue reading “There is No Pill for “Can’t””

Messing with Marriage — Teasing a Tiger

tigerMy daughter and I visited the Lincoln Park zoo recently. As we approached the tiger pen, I looked with amazement at the lengths the zoo went to in order to keep the tigers and people separated. A small fence separated by a tall fence, separated by a large mote. All so we could enjoy the majesty and glory of the tiger without experiencing his destructive power. It reminded me of the boys in San Francisco who relentlessly teased a tiger at the zoo until she surprised them by jumping out of her enclosure and attacked. Continue reading “Messing with Marriage — Teasing a Tiger”

Dear God, I Want a Bat-Phone!

ImageDear God,

I’m pretty sure this prayer is not theologically correct but knowing you have never been afraid of misguided, but honest seekers, I am daring this prayer.  Please, God, I want a Bat-phone.  Yes, you heard right…a Bat-Phone. Continue reading “Dear God, I Want a Bat-Phone!”

#*%#*! A Primer on Profanity

ImageNot long ago I took a call from a man selling investments. Intrigued by the call, I asked him to give me the name of a few stocks he had invested in so I could track his success and evaluate the plan he was selling. (I suspected he didn’t invest in this wonderful plan). He said, “I don’t need to give you my stocks because our investment planners will create a custom portfolio for you for only x-hundred dollars.” We went back and forth for a few minutes and then he snapped. He unleashed a string of profanity and language I hadn’t heard since high-school (and some words I think he invented.).  He questioned my manhood, my sex life, and my ability to provide for my children. He left no stone unturned looking for the key to getting me to purchase this fantastic plan. This went on for twenty minutes. My only regret is that I didn’t record it.  Why didn’t I hang up? I guess I was entertained in some strange way, like watching an arrest. Continue reading “#*%#*! A Primer on Profanity”

Please Unplug Me

ImageDear Mom and Dad,

I am hesitant to write you this letter. I know I need to but there is a part of me that likes having you ignorant. I enjoy the freedom your distracted indifference provides me but I also see a different kind of prison forming around me and well… I need your help. Continue reading “Please Unplug Me”