Can You Get Better By Grace?

T The blood drained from my face.  I felt ashamed. I thought she was texting.   I snarled, "Is that related to what we're working on now?"   Michelle looked up.  Taken aback and off balance, she replied , "I'm taking notes on what you're saying so I can remember later.  I didn't want to take down the presentation I'm projecting to take notes."   I apologized. Michelle said, "It's okay."   "No, it's not," I replied.   I apologized again.   "It's fine."   Again, I said, "No, it's not."   … [Read more...]

You Think You’re Present Until This Happens

Embed from Getty Images I start each day with a thimble full of patience.  The thimble was empty. We decided the day would be TV free for the girls - we have twin 5 year olds.   Instead we'd listen to music, sort out the Legos and the playroom and review language and letters.   The kids were good all day.   Yes, they fought with each other from time to time.  Other than the occasional scream or whine, they were good.  But the sounds never stopped.  I learned how much we've relied … [Read more...]

Change Is Gonna Come

I read the quote nearly every day.  It dangles at the bottom of his emails.   Each time I read it, I feel a flush of regret of the inertia in the past and present; the dread of a future where the truth of the quote compounds with interest. The quote reads:    "Every day you don’t do something, it makes it less likely that you will ever do something." What gets in the way of the doing something is either a lack of clarity of purpose or a lack of faith.  Some may be uncomfortable with the … [Read more...]

Here’s What You Can Control

Embed from Getty Images Ellie's face turned maroon.  "I'm angry!," she screeched.  She was playing a board game with her twin four year old sister, Evie. Ellie gets intense.  I'd never seen her this irate.  Why was she angry?  No other reason than her sister was ahead of her on the board.   That was deemed unfair.  I calmed her down.  She resumed playing. The girls proceeded to butcher the game.  I resisted my urge to control and correct.  I let them play on, refereeing only … [Read more...]

Today Is A Good Day for No Words

Reid said, "I normally don't have a loss for words."   I replied awkwardly, looking for something to say.   "Today's a good day for no words."  Reid was at the Peace Rally the night before.  He drove out of the parking garage, where one of the snipers was setup, 25 minutes before the assault on the police and protesters began. It's the day after five police officers were killed in Dallas.  My wife, Jen, and I were at the noon prayer vigil at Thanks-giving Square in downtown Dallas.  This is … [Read more...]

Are You Free? The Captivity of Choice

I spent 2 days in Huntsville.  Standing on concrete.  Hands through the bars that secure 7'x9' rooms containing two bunks, a small seat and a steel toilet.  I heard stories from men in their  20s  through their 80s.  Black, latino, white. All putting their faith ... possibly in blind desperation ... in God.  A Vietnam vet who claims innocence.  A recurring petty criminal.   A man who made a mistake in judgement and is desperate to restore what is probably already lost. I sat in the mess hall. … [Read more...]

The Top Reason Your 3 Year Old Is Terrible

http://gty.im/185664072   She was writhing naked around on the bed.  She was excited with a huge smile on her face.   My heart rate was rising. We had to be somewhere in 20 minutes.  We were running out of time.  She didn't care. I was frustrated.  She wouldn't cooperate.  Why would she?  I was cramming her into a modern construct that is meaningless from a biological evolutionary perspective. 3 year olds show us how we've gone astray in our attempts to scale and find meaning. Jen, … [Read more...]

Of fear and faith

Do not eat from the tree of knowledge.   The first commandment.  Why?  Because our natural state is one of needing to know.  We need certainty. And when we can't have it ... Which is always, we make a choice.  Fear or faith. We hesitate and doubt in the face of the unknown.  We fear.  Or we head forward and quest to prove what we hope and trust for.  We faith. The realities do not vary.  The attitude and perspective does. We create a possibility and choose to believe in it to the point where … [Read more...]

Tis the Season

Tis the season to ask big questions.... The depth of winter is upon us.  The pendulum swings toward new life for the next 6 months. What new life will be born in you?   What new life will you birth into this world?   What fear will you face down?   What wrong will you forgive?   What unjustice will you stand up to?  What life giving words or actions will you take toward a friend, an enemy, a stranger, a neighbor? These are life or death questions.   Life or death answers, too. Which … [Read more...]

How Tired Are You, Really? 3 ways to know

  On any given day of the week the alarm goes off.  The alarm is either my phone or my kids.  The first thought that floats on the cloudy surface of my mind is, "I'm so tired.  I need a break".  I haven't even started.  Yet I need a break already? I go to the gym three days of the week.  It's a group workout.  I sign-up in advance.   I groan when the alarm goes off.  Then I roll out of bed.  I have to be somewhere.  Class starts at 6am.  After my first set, I'm fired up.  I get … [Read more...]