I didn’t learn how to fully trust my children to God until my son deployed to Iraq. When I learned that my son was going to deploy, a huge knot formed in the pit of my stomach. It was a long time before that knot would loosen. It’s not like it was a surprise. From the moment Chris left for basic training, I knew it was a strong possibility, but I still hoped that maybe he’d be sent somewhere else…. Read more

My senior year in high school I bought my dream car; a metallic beer-bottle brown 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner.  It was 383 cubic inches of muscle car with chrome-plated side pipes, G-60 wide tires, and bench seats.  It rumbled when it idled.  As God as my witness–it rumbled!  The kind of deep rumble you don’t feel any more with cars–the kind that starts low in your chest and spreads throughout the rest of your body.  Just sitting in it caused your… Read more

In a downed economy, any job might make a good fit. But many times a leader will want to evaluate a job—either the job he’s in, or a job he’s considering—to make sure it’s a good fit. Over the past years I’ve developed a checklist of 5 ways to evaluate a job. For easy recall, the checklist follows the acronym P*A*P*E*R. When it comes to a job, look for:   P—PROVISION A paycheck is a huge reason for working. Does… Read more

I’ve never been one of those parents who uses the PG, PG-13 or R rating as a benchmark for whether a movie is appropriate for my teenagers. Think about it. Would you really hesitate to show your 16-year-old the R-rated Saving Private Ryan? On the other hand… do you really want them watching another PG-13 Adam Sandler flick like last year’s Just Go With It, a PG-13 sex romp. That’s why I wasn’t too worried when my 17-year-old daughter Alyssa… Read more

I’ve always known that chalk art is a powerful means of communication, but until recently, I didn’t realize just how powerful it is. I did a chalk drawing in a North Texas prison one Sunday night, and the instant my wife and I arrived at the chapel, I sensed that something was up. Normally we’re accompanied by one correctional officer from the time we get inside the gate until the time we leave. This time there were four officers, two… Read more

Since we focused on moms last week, here are some tips for dads this week: • YOU are the biggest influence in your son’s life—you are almost indispensable. • Fathers have been endowed with a huge generational power/influence to impact people’s lives for good or evil (sometimes for hundreds of years) just by the things they do and don’t do or say or don’t say today. • Boys learn how to be a man, a husband, and a father by… Read more

The United States gets its share of heat. America meddles too much in other people’s affairs, people say. Live and let live, and keep your neo-colonialist fingers out of other people’s business. True, this country makes its share of mistakes. But, in spite of our collective shortcomings, there is still much to admire in this country. We Americans can—and should—hold our heads high. This endorsement comes from a foreigner, actually. I grew up in British Columbia, came to America when… Read more

Beyonce has a new music video that’s creating a little bit of buzz in the Tweet and blogosphere. The video begins with white words fading onto a black screen: August 19, 2012 World Humanitarian Day One day, one message, one goal. To inspire people all over the world to do something good, no matter how big or small, for someone else. Then Beyonce walks onto a stage and begins to sing, “I Was Here,” a song about making a difference… Read more

I spend quite a few days in prison every year. No, I’m not on a work-release program. I go into prisons because I choose to. Back in the mid nineties, I was invited to do a chalk-art presentation at the Wynne Unit in Huntsville, Texas. To be honest, I wasn’t too keen on the idea. But early-on in my chalk art ministry I promised God that as long as he kept me in chalk and paper, I’d draw wherever he… Read more

• Boys need clear, unambiguous boundaries • Boys need to be held accountable for their actions and decisions (no matter how much you want to, do not rescue them) • Boys need to learn the correlation between taking risks and success in life—let them get hurt • Boys need to not acquire the habit of quitting early in life (quitting is an easily learned life-long habit for males—again do not rescue too often) • Boys need (must have) positive male… Read more

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