Wish That I Knew What I Know Now…

high school

When I tell people I've just met I've written a book about regret, many of them have an account of something from their past haunting them to share with me. New acquaintances aren't prone to share their deepest, personal painful stories of regret unless they are sorely lacking any sort of social filter. I've been surprised by how many people have stories ready to share about one particular era of their lives. They're stories about their high school years."I wish I wasn't so boy-crazy," one … [Read more...]

The Graveyard’s Sermon

Silent sentries.

Our townhome community is situated next to a set of railroad tracks and a graveyard, which sounds worse than it is. I rarely notice the low rumble of freight rolling past us anymore. And our neighbors at Evergreen Cemetery, have become some of my favorite people in town to visit.Their stories are captured in a few chiseled letters on silent gray stone: a name, dates, perhaps a Bible verse or a few words. Long lives. Brief ones. Each one preaches to me, reminding me I am dust, and to dust I … [Read more...]

Midlife Discipleship: Show Me Your Endurance

running

What do those in the second half of their lives tell the big "C" Church about the kind of faith that endures? I'd like to suggest that those at midlife and beyond have something important to teach all of us about "marathon faith": And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)  While many of us may know a wise older person who serves as a titled leader or ad hoc spiritual mentor in a congregation, I am … [Read more...]

One regret: Libby Buchanan

sad girl

The conversation turned to regret, as it sometimes does when two middle-aged women are sharing stories of their lives over lunch. A good friend introduced her good friend Libby Buchanan to me, telling me that Libby had a story to share, and was in the process of writing a book about it.Libby does indeed have a story to share. Libby is a survivor of the child pornography industry. She's now an experienced Bible teacher who has penned a manuscript with the working title Treasures of Darkness, … [Read more...]

“Is It Enough?”: What A 93 Year-Old Taught Me About Regret

walker

I worked as a paid caregiver for two years. I ran errands, shopped, prepared meals, organized a few closets and pantries, did some housecleaning and provided companionship for some elderly clients trying to stave off checking themselves in to a care facility. All showed me something of the fragility of life, especially as our aging bodies begin to act in ways that our will never intended.  93 year-old Mrs. H, who I visited twice-weekly for nearly a year, showed me the nature of the kinds of … [Read more...]

Review: Broke

broke

When I talk about money with others, the conversations tend to head in one of two directions: either toward Dave Ramsey-type personal finance issues or toward anxiety-tinged discussions of general economic trends, like dim job prospects for recent grads or the real estate meltdown.The conversation I wish I were having a little more frequently with others is the kind of conversation Caryn Rivadeneira is having with readers in her newest book, Broke: What Financial Desperation Revealed About … [Read more...]

The almost-apologies of Gothard, Phillips, Mahaney, Driscoll

gothard

Even when the truth comes out about a spiritual leader's secret life, the kinds of lawyered-up semi-confessions that they and their team use to respond to their victims, congregants and the general public seem to be missing a key element: true regret. Leaders like Doug Phillips or Bill Gothard engineer almost-apologies. As I've followed these cases over the last year or so, it strikes me that those apologies are loaded with exit-clause "buts" as a way to leave wiggle room for their defense if … [Read more...]


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