A Gift for Dad

In an age of equal rights and equal time, it seems only fair to give dads equal attention. Sometimes it seems the only time that happens is during the big commercial buildup for Father’s Day, and then it’s all buy, buy, buy! Families wonder whether to wrap us in robes, fill us with food, surprise us with skis, tickle us with tools, or just cover us with kisses. If I know dads, most of ’em blush no matter what you do. They are so used to providing, receiving is a little weird.

Read More

Hold Everything Loosely

Without realizing it, by worshiping God during his woes, Job is saying, “In your face, Lucifer! I never set my affections on these things in the first place.

Read More

Take Heart

The king’s heart is like mush, like soft putty, or we could say like Play-Doh in the hands of the Lord. Just for a moment imagine another name in that proverb in place of “the king.” Someone who is giving you grief perhaps.

Read More

A Silent Interlude

Between chapters four and five of this ancient book of Esther, there’s a break in time. It’s a space of suspense when we don’t know what is happening. Nothing is recorded for us to read.

Read More

Cultivating Character

Now, before you frown and entertain thoughts of self-righteousness, thinking that you would never have responded like that, remember, you’re surrounded by friends in a safe and unthreatened environment.

Read More

Preschoolers and Theology

We parents should not allow our preschool-aged children to engage in certain activities until they’re a little older. For instance, full-contact football or diamond-cutting should probably wait until their motor skills have improved. And learning calculus might be more beneficial once your child has a foundational understanding of basic mathematics. A bunch of stuff should […]

Read More

Be Tolerant (Or I’ll Smack You Upside the Head)

I want a religion. You want one too? Let’s go religion shopping! It’ll be fun. Let’s imagine a shopping mall for religions. Here we’ll find the big religions as well as the little, boutique faiths. Some religions claim to be the “only way,” and others allow for many ways. Some believe that God is in […]

Read More

No Island of Second Chance

We cannot change the past . . . and that includes the way we reared our children. All of us—yes, every parent I have ever met—would love to step into the time tunnel and return to the Island of Second Chance. We would give anything to relive those years and correct the failures and mistakes […]

Read More

Take It Easy

Maybe it’s because I’ve seen so many birthdays. Maybe it’s because I’m a granddad several times over. Or maybe it’s because of a struggling young seminarian I met recently who wishes he had been higher on his parents’ priority list than, say, fifth or sixth. He was hurried and ignored through childhood, then tolerated and misunderstood through adolescence, and finally expected to “be a man” without having been taught how.

Read More

Too Fast, Too Soon

Too good. That’s the only way to describe my early childhood. Lots of friends in the neighborhood. Sandlot football down at the end of Quince Street in East Houston or shooting hoops against the garage backboard. There were family reunions at my granddaddy’s little bay cabin, plus fishing, floundering, crabbing, swimming, and eating.

Read More