Seventeen years ago, nineteen Islamic extremists---funded by the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda---carried out a plot to attack various sites in America using four fully-fueled commercial planes. I still remember turning on the news and watching in horror as smoke billowed from one of towers in New York's skyline. But the carnage had not ended. While we… Continue reading Remembering September 11, 2001
In a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they… Continue reading In Memory of the Fallen
Flu season is in rare form this year, with experts saying it is one of the worst in recent memory. This past Monday, my daughter went to urgent care with all the signs and symptoms of flu. Even though she tested negative, the doctor and I both agreed to treat it like flu. The… Continue reading Ways to be Considerate to One Another During Cold & Flu Season
For some reason, this picture spoke a thousand words to me. Overwhelming loss of life. Grief. Trauma. Heartbroken families. Sudden tragedy. Fifty-nine lives ended abruptly Sunday night. Five hundred people are still suffering physical injuries. Thousands of families, first responders, and concert-goers are in the initial stages of traumatic stress and grief. Once we get… Continue reading Why?
About 3 years ago, I was gifted a 1-year membership to audible.com. I have renewed my membership every year since because I discovered the joy of "reading" again. I could "read" (ok, listen!) while folding laundry, driving down the road, cooking dinner, or washing dishes. I got my kids hooked too. They LOVE audiobooks! One… Continue reading Remember, Remember
What good is a memorial if we've forgotten its purpose? In the United States, we set aside the last Monday in May as an official memorial to honor the fallen. Since most people are given the day off, it's usually used to kick off summer, have a barbecue, and hit the beach. For others, it's… Continue reading Memorial Day
How would it feel to be the generation that ruined it all? If the United States collapses within the next 40 years, the fault cannot be laid exclusively at the feet of millennials. At least 3 previous generations would also bear the blame for the slow slide of destruction. But... What if there had not been a slow slide, but a completely foolish string of choices confined to one generation? Can you imagine watching the destruction of your country, knowing your generation was responsible? The generation of Israelites we read about in Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, complained so much and possessed such faithless spirits that God prevented everyone twenty years and older from entering the promise land. Instead of enjoying the riches of Canaan, they ate dust until they became dust. What happened?!?!?!
I'm writing this piece because I have writer's block. Seriously. Well... I'm also teaching my kids how to write, so this has been crowding up my brain lately. "My paper is due tomorrow!" "I have a sermon to preach!" "I don't know how to give this presentation!" "I haven't posted for a week! What should I… Continue reading Got Writer’s Block? These 7 Tips Will Help.
About a week ago, the internet exploded as Bill Condon, director of Beauty and the Beast, alluded to an "openly gay moment" in the upcoming film. Social media spiraled into a frenzy. An Alabama theater refused to show the movie. Conservative groups screamed for a boycott. "Progressives" patted themselves jubilantly on the back. And me? I'm just sipping my… Continue reading To Boycott or Not to Boycott…
A few years ago, I found this acrostic on Pinterest: “Before you speak, THINK: is it True, Helpful, Important, Necessary, or Kind?” There is wisdom in choosing our words with greater care.
The following is an excellent article from a fellow blogger on being more purposeful in our everyday speech. I would add that we need to also be careful in what we “say” with our keyboards!
I am in the middle of a ten-day “word fast” – fasting from certain kinds of speaking for the length of ten days. The idea came from the appropriately-named Ten-Day Word Fast available for the Bible app on my phone, and the premise is simple: abstain from complaining, criticism, judgments, sarcasm, and gossip for ten days.
There’s a little more to the fast than that, and the definition of the words are carefully drawn out (i.e. “criticism” as it’s used here is made distinct from authentic and honest admonishment given in love). But I’ve been working with the first two so far (complaining and criticism) and not complaining or being critical has taught me a lot.
Most importantly, what it’s taught me is this: I often complain and am critical to avoid being direct.
If I have a bad day, for example, I have a tendency to complain about it:…
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