Confessions of a “Clutter-holic”

WHEN WE SUFFER FROM clutter-holic syndrome, our lives are marked by mediocrity, haphazardness, and putting out needless fires. Think you might have a mild case of that? Maybe a few questions will help prime the pump of self-analysis: Do you often lose things? Are you usually late for appointments and meetings? Do you put off doing your homework until late? Are you a time waster? Is your reading limited to only the essentials rather than heavier works?

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Trusting with All Your Heart

AH, PREDICAMENTS . . . LIFE IS FULL OF THEM. Sometimes they are of our own making. Other times they mysteriously happen to us, apart from anything we caused. Occasionally they are comical and borderline crazy . . . then, on the other hand, they can be irritating and troublesome. One thing is for sure: they’re unexpected; we would never have guessed they would happen. Strangely, predicaments are unpredictable. And embarrassing. And confusing. And really weird.

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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.

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Mother’s Day

If there’s one attitude families are guilty of more than any other when it comes to mothers, it’s presumption . . . taking them for granted . . . being nearly blind on occasion to the load moms carry. This was reinforced in my mind last week as I was thumbing through a row of crazy greeting cards at a local drugstore. Time and again the joke in the card drew its humor from this obvious attitude that pervades a household: Forget the housework, Mom. It’s your day. Besides, you can always do double duty and catch up on Monday!

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Lifelines

I’m writing these words [originally] soon after my birthday. No big deal . . . just another stabbing realization that I’m not getting any younger. I know that because the cake won’t hold all the candles. Even if it could the frosting would melt before I’d be able to blow all of them out. My kind and thoughtful secretary reminded me of another approach I could take. She gave me a birthday card showing an old guy standing beside a cake covered with candles. On the front it reads . . .

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Growing Old

Growing old, like taxes, is a fact we all must face. Now, you’re not going to get me to declare when growing up stops and growing old starts—not on your life! But there are some signs we can read along life’s journey that suggest we are entering the transition (how’s that for diplomacy?).

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Self-Praise

“Self-praise,” says an ancient adage, “smells bad.” In other words, it stinks up the works. Regardless of how we prepare it, garnish it with little extras, slice and serve it up on our finest silver piece, the odor remains. No amount of seasoning can eliminate the offensive smell. Unlike a good wife, age only makes it worse. It is much like the poisoned rat in the wall—if it isn’t removed the stench becomes increasingly unbearable.

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Staying Alert

Your mind is a muscle. It needs to be stretched to stay sharp. It needs to be prodded and pushed to perform. Let it get idle and lazy on you, and that muscle will become a pitiful mass of flab in an incredibly brief period of time. How can you stretch your mind? What are some good mental exercises that will keep the cobwebs away? I offer three suggestions . . .

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Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

If you are a woman who doubts her value, you’re not alone. May I begin by stating the obvious? I’m not a woman. Nor have I ever wanted to be one! I’m no authority on women. But after 61 years of marriage and almost 50 years of fatherhood to two daughters, I’ve learned a few […]

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The Dark Side of Greatness

One of the Caesars? No. Napoleon? No. Alexander the Great? No. Eisenhower? Patton? MacArthur . . . or some earlier military strategist like Grant or Lee or Pershing? No, none of the above. How about Rockne or Lombardi? No. Or Luther? Calvin? Knox? Wesley? Spurgeon? Again, the answer is no.

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