The problem with this desire to find autonomy, privacy, and isolation is that when we try hard enough, unfortunately, we find it. Read more

Last week, my 11-year old son asked if he could use my 18-inch chainsaw to clear dead trees out of our shelterbelt. In the deepest voice he could muster, he stated, “I’ve got that little hatchet you gave me, Dad… but it’s not quite cutting it.” (Not sure if the pun was intended.) One of the reasons we moved to “the farm” (2.39 acres) five years ago was so that our children could have a childhood outdoors, building forts, climbing… Read more

You make a movie about it, of course! Our family vacationed in Florida last week, and one afternoon while I sat on the beach watching my fishing poles, a 6-ft. bull shark (likely) swam within 2 feet of my 13-year old daughter and her 5-year old cousin. The shark came in looking for a dead fish. Someone had cleaned a pompano and thrown the carcass back into the ocean. My son had discovered the fish and, of course, was using a… Read more

“The fish and I were both stunned and disbelieving to find ourselves connected by a line.” – William Humphrey in The Armchair Angler   I’m not a fly fishing guru. I usually learn something new each time I enter a fly shop or watch a YouTube video. Most of what I’ve learned about the sport has come from a couple friends, Scott and Jason—these two experts (my label, not theirs… they’d hate that description) have patiently fielded my questions about the… Read more

This past week, just five days after the fire, I met with a 5-year old girl to talk about the fire. Her room in the church was one of the places that burned, and she was having a hard time understanding how fire had permanently damaged that familiar space. We looked at photos of the room, and tried to help her express her feelings about the black smoke on her toy kitchen and the missing ceiling tiles. My own 9-year… Read more

How much must God love us to let us go through this together? That’s the question I keep asking myself after the fire last night at Heartland. I don’t say that to minimize the importance of church buildings, or places in general. I’m actually extremely sentimental about places. God placed our souls in a body, and then placed those bodies in a location. So locations are a part of the goodness of God to us. And one of the most… Read more

“It’s becoming clear to us that manhood doesn’t happen by itself; it doesn’t happen just because we eat Wheaties. The active intervention of the older men means that older men welcome the younger man into the ancient, mythologized, instinctive male world.” – Robert Bly I remember the precise moment that I felt welcomed into the “instinctive male world.” I was 12-years old when my friend Thom invited me to hunt pheasant with him, his dad, and a few other sportsmen…. Read more

“In nature, a child finds freedom, fantasy, and privacy: a place distant from the adult world, a separate place.” – Richard Louv I helped out with a summer camp a while back. About three hundred children from Nebraska and Kansas met at Timberlake Ranch Camp for a week of canoeing, shooting bows, and running a ropes course. The campers and leaders share the space with about a hundred deer and about twice that many wild turkeys. A few days into the… Read more

I want to use this blog, at times, to discuss things in Nebraska that are very important to me, personally. Few things in my life right now are more than this issue. Today, the Education Committee (Nebraska’s State Legislature) hears discussion on LB103. This legislative bill seeks to change the current law that prevents homeschoolers from participating in high school sports and other extracurricular activities (unless they are enrolled at least 1/2-time in a public school). This is an extremely important… Read more

There are hunters… and then there are guys with guns in pickups. These are very different categories. A couple years ago, I encountered a guy with a gun in a pickup. It was an hour after sundown on a crisp December night, and my son and I were outside, talking with our good friend Mike. (Mike is also the landowner of the property I hunt.) All three of us jumped. My son grabbed my pant leg and squeezed. A single rifle… Read more

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