When the Splendor Is Gone

By |2020-07-15T13:24:26-04:00July 18th, 2020|

I can never recapture the splendor that was our daughter Melissa. Fading from my memory are those wonderful times when we watched her joyfully playing high school volleyball. And it’s sometimes hard to remember the shy smile of contentment that crossed her face when we were doing family activities. Her death at age seventeen dropped a curtain on the joy of her presence...

Treasure the Moments

By |2020-07-13T11:38:15-04:00July 15th, 2020|

Su Dongpo (also known as Su Shi) was one of China’s greatest poets and essayists. While in exile and gazing upon a full moon, he wrote a poem to describe how much he missed his brother. “We rejoice and grieve, gather and leave, while the moon waxes and wanes. Since times of old, nothing remains perfect,” he writes. “May our loved ones live long, beholding this beautiful scene together though thousands of miles apart...”

Navigating Life’s Rapids

By |2020-06-29T16:25:09-04:00June 30th, 2020|

“Everybody on the left, give me three strong forward strokes!” our whitewater raft guide shouted. Those on the left dug in, pulling our raft away from a churning vortex. For several hours, we’d learned the importance of listening to our guide’s instructions. His steady voice enabled six people with little rafting experience to work together to plot the safest course down a raging river...

Beat Again

By |2020-06-25T16:20:57-04:00June 26th, 2020|

In 2012, Phillips, Craig and Dean released their song “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again.” It was inspired by the true story of a heart surgeon. After removing a patient’s heart to repair it, the surgeon returned it to the chest and began gently massaging it back to life. But the heart wouldn’t restart. More intense measures followed, but the heart still wouldn’t beat...

Is God There?

By |2020-06-16T09:15:57-04:00June 20th, 2020|

Lela was dying of cancer, and her husband, Timothy, couldn’t understand why a loving God would let his wife suffer. She had served Him faithfully as a Bible teacher and mentor to many. “Why did You let this happen?” he cried. Yet Timothy continued to be faithful in his walk with God. “So why do you still believe in God?” I asked him frankly...

Just-in-Case Idols

By |2020-06-11T16:25:23-04:00June 16th, 2020|

Sam checks his retirement account twice each day. He saved for thirty years, and with the boost of a rising stock market, finally has enough to retire. As long as stocks don’t plunge. This fear keeps Sam worrying about his balance. Jeremiah warned about this: “You, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns; and the altars you have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem” (11:13)...

My Father’s Child

By |2020-06-01T11:54:56-04:00June 4th, 2020|

They looked down at the faded photograph, then up at me, then over at my father, then back at me, then back at my father. Their eyes were as wide as the proverbial saucers. “Dad, you look just like Papa when he was young!” My father and I grinned because this was something we’d known for a long time, but it wasn’t until recently that my children came to the same realization...

Needing His Leading

By |2020-05-25T16:41:05-04:00June 1st, 2020|

Uncle Zaki was more than a friend to scholar Kenneth Bailey; he was his trusted guide on challenging excursions into the vast Sahara. By following Uncle Zaki, Bailey says that he and his team were demonstrating their complete trust in him. In essence, they were affirming, “We don’t know the way to where we are going, and if you get us lost we will all die. We have placed our total trust in your leadership...”

Why Me?

By |2020-05-20T16:44:11-04:00May 27th, 2020|

The Book of Odds says that one in a million people are struck by lightning. It also says that one in 25,000 experiences a medical condition called “broken heart syndrome” in the face of overwhelming shock or loss. In page after page the odds of experiencing specific problems pile up without answering: What if we’re the one...