His Words

Hail to botched vaccinations…and clergy!

In 2015 if you get distracted—even briefly—you miss a lot. Already this month, I have missed Older Peoples Day! (Though I’m secretly relieved no one sent me a card.) Just this week, World Teacher Day escaped my notice, along with National Vodka Day. Always one to revel in a special occasion, I did some advance checking and found out Conflict Resolution Day is just ahead…

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A better reaction to the people in your way

I have a friend who sends me voice memos…via text message. (I didn’t even know this was technologically possible. I guess before we know it, we’ll be able to actually see the faces of people we’re talking to on our phones?) My friend is smart, hilarious, and he has a big heart for people. So, naturally I smile whenever I see a new audio…

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Wanting “clarity” when what you really need is “trust”

“Real men don’t get lost.” This was one of those rules—like “real men don’t hit girls,” “real men don’t eat quiche,” “real men don’t cry”—that got pounded into me (and most of my friends) from an early age. Older guys will remember some of the corollaries to the “don’t get lost” decree. If you do manage to lose your way, don’t—for God’s sake—stop and…

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What happens when you edit your life?

Writing is a gracious profession. This is because no one is forced to blog or compose poetry or “freestyle” a novel in front of a live audience. Writers write in private. Then we gather up all our laborious scribblings, cull the really embarrassing stuff, cobble the leftovers into a shaky first draft, and sheepishly show that only to a couple of trusted writing cohorts. Nobody who understands…

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How writing a novel is like going to divinity school

When I finally decided (after years of procrastination) to sit down and tackle one of the top items on my bucket list—writing a novel—I had no idea that immersing myself in fiction would give me a better view of truth. Here are four surprising things I learned: I learned about creation. Christian theology states that God created all things, but that…

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Why you need to become a “best-selling novelist”

For years I kept saying, “One day I want to write a novel.” Okay, that’s not entirely true. What I actually said—though rarely out loud—is, “One day I want to write a best-selling novel.” It was only last summer, after a couple decades of such daydreaming that I finally had this epiphany: An unwritten novel has ZERO chance of being published, much less becoming a best-seller. (Feel…

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Decent people saying indecent words

@&*$%! Suddenly, I am obsessed with cursing. In large part this is because I recently completed a novel that has some “language” in it. A couple of my characters—despite my stern instructions that “this is not that kind of book!”—insisted on using some colorful expletives on several different occasions. My agent warned me that this might very well be the “kiss…

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Debbie Downer on Facebook

Remember Debbie Downer? The Saturday Night Live sourpuss a few years back who had the amazing ability to suck the life out of a room with her gloomy pronouncements? I’m friends with “Debbie” on Facebook! Not the make-believe character and not the comedienne Ratchel Dratch who played her, but an actual acquaintance who posts at least a dozen depressing stories every day.…

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How to make your kids proud (without winning the Nobel Prize)

A couple weeks ago, I got to spend time with some younger friends who have kids in the 4-9 year-old range. It was fun—and sweet—to see adorable kids adoring their parents. It reminded me of what Proverbs 17:6 says: “Parents are the pride of their children.” The experience also took me back to 1999. My boys were 9 and 6. That was the…

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Why we make coffee and jokes and babies

I’m going to guess that this morning you made the alarm clock stop beeping, made coffee, made the bed (though I wouldn’t bet my life on that), made yourself look presentable and then you either have made or will make your way to work so that you can make hay while the sun shines. You did all this (and maybe a lot more) because you, my friend, are…

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