Who says you can’t? (Breaking the rules)

Since the overthrow of the government in 1979, The Islamic Republic of Iran has a number of restrictive laws. Women can go to the gym, but they must stay in their Hijab. They can sit in restaurants and cafes, but they cannot smoke in public. There are more than 100 offenses that carry the death penalty. And executions are often public. A curious restriction concerns live music performances on television. The imagery of instruments being played has been banned. The… Read more

The Legacy Our Moms Left Behind (It’s All Up to Us Now)

I remember the strange feeling that the key to the front door was in the hands of strangers. Mom died that year. Dad 10 months prior.  The little yellow house in the woods kept the reality of their passing at bay. But when the house went away, so did a piece of the memory. But what about the legacy? The house had sold. Soon after that moving boxes would stack outside, ready to be sorted. And the new owners would be thinking… Read more

The Fear of Being Offended – Making Something out of Nothing

“I can’t believe you said that!” She looked at me like I had committed the worst of atrocities. I used the word, “Gal” when referring to a female who had just waited on me. It’s an old term. Probably a hold-over from my mother, who used it constantly, an easy, generic name for every woman she didn’t know the name. But now those darting eyes from this gal – I mean woman —  told me her opinion of this term…. Read more

Eat Your Okra: What to do When Life Tastes Bad

My mother used to put okra in the stew. And I hated it. It was slimy and green — two things that most little boys avoid with every fiber of their being. And never should those two ingredients be presented as food.  No way was I going to buy it. To a ten-year old, okra isn’t food. I could eat the other parts of the stew, but leaving the okra until the bottom of the bowl only meant that I would have to take… Read more

The rope that holds you back

Elephants are now a thing of the past in the circus. But I remember being fascinated as a boy, watching these lumbering beasts walk in meek compliance. The trainer, if he wanted to keep them in one area, simply tied a weak rope to a pole and walked away. It’s crazy. These massive creatures could break just about anything humans could engineer. Why don’t they just run?  This is accomplished through careful training. The trainers first secure them as babies, tying… Read more

Do you really need a bucket list?

The problem with bucket lists is that the deadline is death – and that’s an uncertainty. Do you really know how long you have? Read more

How Greta Spent Her Spring Break

Greta Van Susteren, host of MSNBC For the Record, traveled over Spring Break. Like millions of other Americans, she took a trip. But she didn’t soak in the waters of the Caribbean or play on the beaches of Cancun. She went to Northern Iraq and documented the travails of Christians rebuilding their communities. She saw “ISIS devastation with my own eyes,” and it’s heart-wrenching. It brought back many memories for me. Last year, I interviewed dozens of Iraqi refugees, those… Read more

This Colorado “church” wants to worship pot

Last week, the Colorado House rejected an attempt to ban pot use in churches.  Who would have thought that this would even be something to think about? But  the controversial International Church of Cannabis opened in Denver forcing the hand of stunned legislators. State Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, proposed an amendment to a broader bill on pot use to bar pot use in churches.  He said it was needed to “protect Colorado’s reputation.” I’ve lived in Colorado now for 15 years. It’s a great state… Read more

Christians checking out of society – Is this our highest calling?

An entire generation of Christians are feeling uncertain these days. Having put their hopes in a political solution to society’s ills they are realizing that maybe all the lobbying, letter writing, protesting and voting was for naught. This goes for both sides of the aisles. I have several friends and a brother that do not vote. They’ve stayed away from politics and they seem quite content. (Although a couple of them have no problem sniping at politicians, which seems incongruous… Read more

Napping in the Gethsemane (When apathy and empathy collide)

The prayers were agonizing. They were so intense that red sweat stained his white robe on this blackest of nights. The sorrow was excruciatingly deep, painful and overwhelming. Jesus said he felt like dying. A pall hung over the olive garden, an unsettling silence punctured only by His agonizing plea to His friends, “Stay here. Keep watch with me.” Despite the urgency of His appeal, Peter, James and John missed out on the eternal significance of the moment. After all,… Read more

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