His Words

20 reminders every parent needs

Cindi and I still marvel that the good folks at Lincoln General let us walk—not once but twice—right out their front door with eight plus pounds of squirming human being. No OB nurse administered a parenting exam. We didn’t have to put our hands on a Bible and swear anything. We were never required to appear before a review board of pediatricians, social workers,…

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Working the night shift at the Bethlehem Motel

The night manager of the Bethlehem Motel tossed the cup of old, cold coffee into the trash can and gave a quick, end-of-shift report. By dusk, every last room had been snatched up. But when he flicked the switch so the sign out by the highway could announce to travelers, “NO Vacancy,” nothing happened. The repairman had obviously not come as promised. The night manager said he marched straight over to the computer and fired…

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What to do when you can’t fix what’s broken

  Everywhere I look I see things in need of fixing. I don’t mean the ceiling fan in my bedroom or those potholes in the parking lot at my health club. I mean friends who are sick and may not recover. I mean parents who are heart sick over wayward children. (God knows if a father’s sighing and a mother’s weeping could…

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Watching Trump and Hillary play kickball at recess

I don’t know how it was at your grade school, but in Slidell, Louisiana, in the late 1960s, we had certain playground customs. So, for example, if you decided to choose up teams for kick ball (or play a game that required someone to be “it”), nobody—at least at Florida Ave Elementary—began with, “One potato, two potato, three potato, four…” That was, well, so fifties.…

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Why it’s okay to be an indecipherable mess

If I have the stuff inside me to make cocoons—maybe the stuff of butterflies is there too. Trina Paulus, Hope for the Flowers Some people enjoy a butterfly life. Colorful and carefree, they flit unpredictably about the world eliciting “oohs” and “ahhs.” What a sweet life! Flying from one beautiful place to the next, sampling exotic foods, always looking good and turning heads. When butterfly people land…

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7 passages I wish were in the Bible

Why doesn’t the Bible mention Jesus laughing? We see Christ weeping. We see him getting furious with hypocritical do-gooders. What about him cracking a smile, or better yet, cracking up? There’s no such passage. But surely Jesus laughed. Consider: He loved kids and vice versa (this isn’t true of grim people). He was a master storyteller (and raconteurs are always amusing). He was an A-lister at the dinner parties of the irreligious crowd (Sticks-in-the-mud don’t get…

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How “more” and “faster” can kill your heart

Last week I met an ultra-marathoner (i.e., one of those people who thinks running a mere 26.2 miles is for wusses). This guy once ran 100 miles in 28 straight hours—and not because he was delivering a life-saving vaccine to a remote, disease-ravaged village. He ran all that way (on purpose!) because, apparently, while some running is good, more running is better. When I asked about the…

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When being “dissed” is a good thing

I went through a phase where I used the word disillusioned a lot. I said it because I thought it sounded sophisticated. And I acted like disillusionment was a negative thing. Then one day I heard a faint voice (that sounded like Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride) whispering, I do not think that word means what you think it means. I…

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When you need some friends to drag you down

In the movie Gravity, George Clooney plays an astronaut who—spoiler alert!—happens to be extremely suave, witty, and good-looking. When a routine spacewalk goes wrong, poor George ends up drifting away into the vast emptiness of the cosmos. This leaves the other astronaut—i.e., the mom from The Blind Side—all by herself. Suddenly she faces a choice. She can either remain all…

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When the great are not-so-great

Watching great people struggle produces a curious sensation. The pro golfer misses a tap-in putt to win the tournament, or the Olympian does a belly-buster on his final dive. We gasp. We can hardly breathe. Later, though, after the shock subsides, something in us breathes relief. It’s not gloating (unless—hypothetically—we’re talking about a hyper-brash NFL quarterback who gets humbled in a big game).…

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