Give it away, give it away now

I've been working with home schooled writing students for well over a decade, first in the venue of support/enrichment groups, then in classes held in my living room, and finally via e-mail tutorials. One of my favorite assignments is an essay based on the question: "How would you give away a million dollars?" I have a couple of rules: students can't give this money to a family member - or their own local church; they need to choose at least 3 different destinations for their financial gift … [Read more...]

Today is a good day for Thanksgiving

I've been battling some pretty big depression for the last few weeks. I could give you quite a list of contributing factors (feel free to e-mail me at if you're curious or given to prayer; I'm more than happy to talk about it) - but that is not the point of this post.Sometimes, crawling through a spiritual and emotional time where it feels like the air is black tar is what it means to live the parable life. It is the practice of gratitude, even when the usual emotions which … [Read more...]

All In A Friday

It was something to see 400+ local church leaders, staffers and assorted other gapers (like me) gathered today at the annual Catalyst Forum. The keynote dude, one Bishop Kevin Ulmer, preached some of the wallpaper off of the walls at the Trinity International University chapel.What he had to say was familiar (go and make disciples, not programs or members) but he said it creatively and in order to motivate. It is always interesting watching people come out from their various church encampments … [Read more...]


My recent motto: It is possible to do something humiliating EVERY SINGLE DAYSo far today, I've managed to keep the red blush from crawling up my neck. It's only 3:17 p.m. The day is young.Yesterday, it only took me an hour to experience the day's humiliation. The first human being I spoke to was the tinny voice coming out of the Dunkin' Donuts speaker, asking to take my order."A medium coffee, two sugars, and a chocolate covered bagel," I replied."A chocolate covered bagel?" Tinny Voice … [Read more...]

The blessing of a messed-up life

I've known a few people who have enjoyed relatively problem-free lives. By "few" I mean I can count these people on one-and-a-half hands. Max. One woman I used to know who proudly and regularly proclaimed she lived by God's principles (exegeted by Dr. Dobson in the childrearing department, Elizabeth Elliott in the wifely submission department, Larry Burkett for finances, Emilie Barnes for teacups and doilies) had a life that seemed to bear witness to the discipline of living within the … [Read more...]

Hymn break

Man of Sorrows! what a nameFor the Son of God, who cameRuined sinners to reclaim:Hallelujah! what a Saviour!Bearing shame and scoffing rude,In my place condemned he stood,Sealed my pardon with his blood:Hallelujah! what a Saviour!Guilty, vile, and helpless, we;Spotless Lamb of God was he;Full atonement! can it be?Hallelujah! what a Saviour!Lifted up was he to die,"It is finished!" was his cry:Now in heav'n exalted high:Hallelujah! what a Saviour!When he comes, our glorious King,All his ransomed … [Read more...]

Do I read what I write?

Apparently not.Yesterday I wrote in this blog about the parking lot known as Chicago's Edens Expressway. Tonight I cheerfully got on the Edens. Sat there, parked, buring three buck-a-gallon gas.I need to pay more attention to what I write. … [Read more...]