woman_in_thought_medium2

(Long, long ago, in the days before internet and email, running water and fire, in days when my hair was red and my waist was thin, I wrote an entry in my journal. It felt print-worthy, so I shared it with our church. People resonated with it, so we included it in a book. That was a quarter of a century ago, yet the words still seem to find their mark. It surfaces in magazines, blogs and newsletters. I even came across a version of this piece on a wall calligraphy. Maybe you’ve read it. If not, maybe you will … Read More

Rooster2

King Nebuchadnezzar had no peers. He was the uncontested ruler of the world of the 6th century B.C. Babylon, his city, rose out of the desert plains like a Manhattan skyline. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which legend says he built for his wife, were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. His royal palace was immense. Its walls were 387 feet high and 87 feet thick. Four chariots abreast could ride on them. The mighty Euphrates flowed through the city. Its population reached two million people. It boasted temples, terraces, and palaces. All of this was under the … Read More

Rooster2

King Nebuchadnezzar had no peers. He was the uncontested ruler of the world of the 6th century B.C. Babylon, his city, rose out of the desert plains like a Manhattan skyline. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which legend says he built for his wife, were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. His royal palace was immense. Its walls were 387 feet high and 87 feet thick. Four chariots abreast could ride on them. The mighty Euphrates flowed through the city. Its population reached two million people. It boasted temples, terraces, and palaces. All of this was under the … Read More

broken_chain_white_background

My hangover was terrible, but I could survive that. The nausea was palpable, but I knew it would pass. The discipline was severe, but I deserved it. What I couldn’t bear was the guilt. Our family tree is marked by a blight of alcoholism. My dad made it clear: alcohol abuse leads to trouble and that trouble leads to misery. More than once I promised that I would never get drunk. Then why did I? Why did I, at the age of 16, get so ragingly inebriated that I could not drive? Why did I drive anyway? Why did I … Read More

cemetary_angel

Several years ago I received an urgent call to visit a dying man in the hospital. I didn’t know Peter well, but well enough to know that he was paying a high price for his hard living. Years of drugs and alcohol had pilfered his system. Though he’d made peace with God through Christ, his liver was at conflict with his body. When his ex-wife phoned, she was standing at his bedside. Peter, she explained, was knocking at death’s door. Though I hurried, he entered it seconds before I arrived. The hospital room atmosphere had a …just happened… feel to … Read More

To_Do_List-620x240

When Denalyn and I travel together, she wants to drive. It’s not that she loves the steering wheel, it’s just that she loves to stay on track. My mind tends to wander. My thoughts tend to stray. I may be on a highway, but mentally, I’m in a distant land. Consequently, I miss exits, forget to turn, or stray off course. More than once she has dozed off only to awaken in a strange location. The ensuing conversation goes like this: “Where are we?” “I don’t know.” “What happened?” “I think I messed up.” “Max, we will never get there … Read More

man_in_prayeyrjpg

Last week’s blog struck a nerve. I wrote a piece entitled “Decency for President.” The premise was a simple one. Shouldn’t a presidential candidate who claims to be Christian talk like one? When a candidate waves a Bible in one speech and calls a reporter “bimbo” in the next, isn’t something awry? Specifically, when Donald Trump insists that he is a Christian (“a good Christian” to use his descriptor) and then blasts, belittles, and denigrates everyone from Barbara Bush to John McCain to Megyn Kelly, shouldn’t we speak up? If the candidate is not a Christian, then I have no … Read More

boy_on_Beach

Everyone is looking for joy. Marketing companies know this. Every commercial promises the same product: joy. Want some joy? Buy our hand cream. Want some joy? Sleep on this mattress. Want some joy? Eat at this restaurant, drive this car, wear this dress. Every commercial portrays the image of a joy-filled person. Even Preparation H. Before using the product, the guy frowns and squirms in his chair. Afterwards, he is the image of joy. Joy. Everyone wants it. Everyone promises it. But can anyone deliver it? It might surprise you to know that joy is a big topic in the … Read More

Shepherd_dark

I chalk it up to an interruption. God tapped humanity on the shoulder, and interrupted the earth in the form of a baby. Christmas. Think about it…Christianity was born in one big heavenly interruption.  Just ask the Bethlehem shepherds. I’m sure they wanted a calm night. A silent night. But they didn’t get it. You know, just because you want a calm life, don’t bank on having one. The financial aid office says “no.” A doctor says “pregnant.” The auto mechanic says “totaled.” And our typical response is the same as the shepherds. Fear. Funny that we often assume the … Read More