A Special Gift of Time

Overworked and underslept. Most parents just want a good night’s sleep so they can function oh-so-much better.  But if multitasking is difficult for most moms and dads, imagine the compounded challenges of parenting a special needs child. There are 16.8 million families in America with special needs children, and these parents must constantly be “on alert.”  Frequently, they struggle to balance basic care for their special needs child with the activities of other children.  The U.S. Department of Health and… Read more

27 Million Reasons to Raise Your Voice for Freedom

Did you know that an estimated 27 million slaves exist in the world today?  Yes, you read that correctly.  There are more slaves in the world today than ever before in human history.  Twenty-seven million slaves, and three out of four of them are women. In 2012, it is projected that over 800,000 people will be sex-trafficked; 80 percent of them will be female and 50 percent will be children.  Today, human trafficking is the second largest and fasted growing global… Read more

Eliminating Awkward

It was the close of a “compassion themed” Christian small group and the facilitator attempted to lay out action steps for an already overbooked assortment of executive level couples. The groups take-away, highlighting Jesus extravagant sensitivity to human need was obvious enough, but the Biblical prescription in practical terms seemed threatening, even potentially dangerous. You could feel the tension in the closing responses from various members honestly relating how acts of compassion seem overwhelming to personal and family calendars with… Read more

So, How’d We Do?

In a private moment some distance from a room delightfully “trashed” with discarded Sally Foster, couches askew, small piles of treasures left untended… we ask the same question every year. “So how’d we do?” We’re not measuring personal wealth, family status, or how well we made out under the tree compared to last Christmas. And for us, it’s not an awkward question which leads to an uncomfortable dialogue filled with either self gratification or loathing. We are a family who feels… Read more

Capture Their World

Child psychologists are in agreement there’s a time when youngsters differentiate themselves from their surroundings, recognizing that their actions are theirs alone as they toddle into the first steps of empowered responsibility. Taking advantage of digital photography’s tech advancements, not to mention the diminishing costs associated with these ever-smaller image makers during the holiday season, my wife have put cameras under the Christmas tree for each of our kids as they step into this new dawn of awareness. Maiden shots… Read more

Lessons I’m Learning in India

It gets me every time.  You’d think that after visiting India 13 times, I’d be accustomed to seeing the extreme poverty on display, but there’s no way to prepare for it. Literally as soon as I drive out of the New Delhi airport – in my chauffeured car with my six pieces of luggage – I am confronted with signs of desperation and dire need.  Women holding babies come up to the car window begging for money.  So do barely… Read more

Slow Enough To Care

Two weeks ago, China was caught up in state of troubling reflection as a national audience viewed a security camera recording of a small girl not only hit by a couple of passing motorists, but more disturbing, casually disregarded by all forms of human traffic.  (Here’s an article explaining the horrific incident, with the security camera footage at the bottom.  Warning, obviously, it’s graphic.)  Like most parents, the sight of a defenseless child motionless in the path of oncoming traffic created no small… Read more

Valuing Totem Poles

To the casual Northwest observer, nothing appears more iconic than the odd assortment of stacked animal images that makes up the totem pole. Painstakingly hand-carved, competing for altitude with power poles and cell towers, the Native American totem pole bears witness to a value chain not usually understood. These typically hand-hewn wooden monoliths are often a visual reminder of personal or community history.  Also, they make values visible. We do this in our modern, every day conversation, flippantly offering, “As strong… Read more

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