Wow, Thanksgiving is already upon us. School is out for all of next week, academic pressure is off for a little while, and many will travel for family gatherings. For years and years, my sister and I have prepared a very formal Thanksgiving meal at her gracious home in Plano for the extended family. The best linens, china, silver and crystal emerged from their normal storage spots to endure the yearly washing and preparation time. This year, after a rather… Read more

I was thinking today how very complicated it is to live a spiritually healthy life. Certainly a spiritually healthy person’s center can be quickly articulated: someone who loves the Lord God with all heart and mind and strength and soul, and one who loves his or her neighbor as the self. That’s health all right. But how does anyone get to that point? At our midweek Bible study yesterday, a group of us began to wrestle with some words in… Read more

Here’s a to an article in Christianity Today, a well-known and well-regarded publication, about a visiting pastor in Finland being charged with criminal discrimination because he refused to serve with a female pastor. This article provoked a number of comments. Below is one of them, copied exactly as it was written from the comments page: Feminism is a damnable form of modern paganism and idolatry. And Christianity Astray magazine is wicked and apostate for its promotion of it. Even the… Read more

A few weeks ago, I was in Montreal, Canada, enjoying a few days with my oldest son, his wife, and their 16 month old son, Joshua. The four of us drove one day to Quebec City and were exploring the Old Town, the fort and city that had been built hundreds of years ago on the Saint Lawrence River. Joshua was just learning to walk, and I was shepherding him around the tourist-packed cobbled streets while his parents were in… Read more

Sunday, November 4, we will celebrate All Saints, a day in which we honor those from our church who have passed from glory to glory in this past year. As we remember the past, we will also take time to look into our future. Memories of our past inform our future. A life without memories is a life without direction. Think about it. How could you do anything you do if you did not have memories to direct you? There… Read more

It was highway trash pick up day. Those so inclined to participate met at the Krum United Methodist Church building at 8:00 a.m. this past Saturday. Here, we were presented with bright orange vests and large plastic bags. Several people who had not participated before joined us, and were quickly given instructions: leave cigarette butts and dead animal carcasses in place. Everything else needs to be picked up. Stick an extra bag in your belt—when the first one gets full,… Read more

Two people want to pray. People can certainly pray anywhere, but these two decided to go to a place where prayers are routinely said. There is definitely something that enhances prayers by going to a place that really is set aside for such activity. The atmosphere may quiet the spirit, the whispers of other prayers, long since said, may still inhabit the space, pulling us toward a transcendent experience. A really fascinating book, just released, called The Year of Living… Read more

Every generation and every culture has its own triumphs and makes it own mistakes. We can often see both the triumphs and the mistakes in our child-rearing practices. In the early parts of the 20th century, prevailing wisdom insisted that a child be picked up as rarely as possible and little physical affection given. From that, a generation of structured, emotionally detached parents emerged. Then we had Dr. Spock and the invasion of what was called “permissive child rearing.” Here,… Read more

Sometimes just reading religious news brings up enough bile to act as a weight loss tonic. First, let’s start with this one: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and its homemaking degree. In case you’ve missed it, check out this link. In truth, I’m somewhat in sympathy with the idea—homemaking does indeed need to be recognized for its value. There have been numerous estimates made of how what it would cost to replace the services of a full-time mother and home-maker, especially… Read more

I just read the phrase, “Information Cascade” and I find myself intrigued. An “information cascade” happens when one person answers a question wrongly but with a lot of confidence, the second person to answer it isn’t sure enough to disagree so goes along with the first person, and then the third person, who may indeed have the correct answer, decides to agree with the first two because he/she assumes that both can’t be wrong. Things just expand from there, with… Read more

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