Parents always tell me, “My kids have those earphones on so I don’t know what they’re listening to.” (I can actually think of several ways to fix that!) Have you tried just talking with them about their music? Today’s young people love music, and if you ever have difficulty getting your teenagers talking… try talking about something they love. Start by familiarizing yourself with top music. You don’t need to go buy a bunch of CDs or devote yourself to… Read more

In the space of a few weeks, there have been two mass killings in our country. When something like this happens — and it does so with increasing frequency — many wonder how to explain something to their children that they don’t understand themselves. Sometimes it’s easier not to talk about it at all. I was eight years old when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I remember my third grade teacher announcing that the president had been shot, although I… Read more

As a culture we appear to be sliding down the slippery slope of infidelity with ever greater frequency. As many as 65 percent of men and 55 percent of women will have an extramarital affair by the time they are forty, according to the Journal of Psychology and Christianity. Christians are no different than secular men and women in this regard. A Christianity Today survey found that 23 percent of the three hundred pastors who responded admitted to sexually inappropriate… Read more

One harmful mindset that can keep a leader from fulfilling his calling and potential is self-coddling. This is when he convinces himself he deserves a break, and runs to something that ultimately harms himself. The WWII Marines of K/3/5 had been fighting on Guadalcanal for weeks. C-rations had run out, and the men ate twice daily portions of coconuts and wormy rice they’d confiscated from the Japanese. PFC Sid Phillips (featured in HBO’s The Pacific) grew increasingly concerned for his… Read more

I’m not a rebel or an anarchist. I understand that most given communities need laws and enforcement of those laws to maintain the peace and freedom within that community. But the fact is… the more industrially and technologically proficient our society becomes, the more ridiculous and unsuitable our laws are becoming! For example, don’t tell me when I can warm my house. That’s right. Where I live in Sacramento County they tell us what days we can light a fire… Read more

Does God still perform miracles today? If so, what do they look like? Ask those questions to 100 people and you’ll get 100 different answers. Ask them to 100 Christians and you’ll probably get 200 different answers. There’s a lot of fuzzy thinking where miracles are concerned. Thus, I was pleased to have the opportunity to read and review Tim Stafford’s new book, Miracles: A Journalist Looks at Modern-Day Experiences of God’s Power. I find the subject of miracles fascinating,… Read more

Many boys and men in our culture today are angry. They are angry for a variety of reasons; some justifiable and some not so good. For instance boys raised without the benefit of a father to teach them how a man acts, thinks, solves problems, and relates to the world around him are at a distinct disadvantage in life and thus are understandably angry. Other males are angry for reasons more related to how they internalize the world around them—lack… Read more

Call me sentimental or even sappy, but I actually enjoy an occasional romance film. The key word here is occasional, probably because Hollywood offers plenty of attempts at love stories… unfortunately, most will just put guys to sleep. But for those of us who are married, we’ve learned that watching a “chick flick” with our little lady can earn us some bonus points. (Heck, she might even watch Rambo with us later!) So if you have to endure a check… Read more

Children don’t come with an owner’s manual, but sometimes we act like they did. Over the years, I’ve spoken with more than one brokenhearted parent whose child had “gone bad.” Invariably, they would ask, “What did we do wrong? We raised them right, took them to church, had family devotions, prayed with them, but now they’ve turned their backs on everything we believe.” Then they usually trotted out the “Owner’s Manual for Christian Parents” verse: “Train a child in the… Read more

Niels Bohr said, “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field.”  If that quotation is true, I must be getting pretty close to being an expert father by now.  Hopefully though, I’ve learned from the mistakes I’ve made.  The mark of a good leader and a good father is just that—the ability to learn from mistakes.  The man who doesn’t is doomed to repeat them over and over… Read more

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