October 2, 2019

Last week I returned to an event that means a lot to me. At The Apprentice Gathering in Wichita, KS I find myself among kindred spirits. My “people” you could say. A confluence of folks. But this year was different. Instead of being a participant as I have been for the past 9 year, taking notes while thinking about the beauty of District Taqueria, this year I was a presenter. Two workshops and a keynote talk on Friday led to... Read more

September 24, 2019

Growing up in the south, I learned the finer art of slow. Of course I didn’t know I was in “the south.” Whenever someone says the “south,” my first objection is that it isn’t one monolithic “thing.” The south differs greatly in everything from food to God to football. Usually in that order. Then there is of course the reverence that comes with the words “the south.” As if you could speak quotation marks aloud, these words are spoken like holy... Read more

September 22, 2019

“I think that’s just a thing where you grew up,” Holley said. Of course my wife was right, growing up in two different parts of the Eastern US showed us time and again that we had very different “hallmarks” of our respective childhoods. Unique nostalgia, so to speak. We were talking about a breakfast cereal I used to eat, but only at my grandmother’s house. For whatever reason, either I don’t recall or never knew, we didn’t have it at... Read more

September 20, 2019

A few years back, I completed a doctoral project on the topic of prayer (specifically prayers and prayer practices) and our personal temperament. I know, I know – you’re salivating to read it, aren’t you? The whole thing is on a shelf in my house. Last time we moved it was to prop a door open. Regardless of the length or readability, the point of the project was to find out whether or not a person’s experience of prayer would... Read more

September 13, 2019

What we do with our pain is in fact one of the most significant things about us. In 20 years as a pastor of various flavors and responsibilities, my most fruitful conversations with people came from times of pain. When a diagnosis came back, either far worse or a bit beneath what we had expected. The moment when a relationship turned sour; more of a hairpin turn than a gentle bend. “God is still God,” they say, “but I can’t... Read more

September 7, 2019

Have you ever walked into a space – an empty, quiet space, or even a space with people – and thought, “Something is happening here”? You sense a mood. There’s a feeling in the air, and no one is saying anything that helps with the details. There is a secret hiding behind the eyes of a family member. Is it a surprise party? Or something they don’t want to talk about? We sense that an argument took place moments before... Read more

September 4, 2019

I’ve learned a lot from living with two women. One is my daughter, the other my wife, and they are wonderful teachers regarding all things feminine. I don’t mean that statement in the “Whoa boy! Women are weird!” sense. I think the stereotypical “She’s-always-shopping-emotional-blah-blah” language is both unloving and unhelpful. The ball-and-chain humor that men pass off as winsome and folksy is neither. In fact it’s destructive. Just stop it. As a matter of fact, I believe that kind of... Read more

August 30, 2019

Organization has never been my thing. I know many people who can say this, and yet most of life requires some kind of organization. We try really hard though. I simply struggle to do it well. But I can’t live without it. So, when it comes to keeping things straight my default mechanism is to try as hard as I can. I make notes in notebooks and on post-it notes. I try to give every piece of paper a “place,”... Read more

August 27, 2019

I have a habit that requires I make a very costly decision. Actually, it requires several decisions. Our family’s schedule during the school year means that if I am to spend meaningful time at the gym, I leave the house at about 4:10am. Which means I need to head to bed at about 9:45pm at the latest. These decisions are both life-giving and restrictive. They are both a “Yes” and “No” decision. I enjoy the way I feel for the... Read more

August 18, 2019

Parancanthurus hepatus. The surgeon fish, or the royal blue tang, or the regal tang. Pick any name you want – the truth is that the now-famous “Dory-fish” is pure gratuity. Finishing out the summer for the Tygrett clan meant a trip to downtown Chicago. More specifically, it meant at trip to the Shedd Aquarium. Balanced on the edge of a landmass that juts out from an area called “the Museum campus,” the Shedd offers a tremendous array of aquatic life. We watched... Read more

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