The Story They Tell…Is Yours!

From the beginning of time, I know mothers say, “never talk about people behind their backs.” The trouble is not in the advice but the recipient. Everyone talks about other people. Some stories are complementary and praise-infused. Others are critical and dismissive. Life has a simple, that if followed, gives you control of the narrative. People will tell stories about you, but [...]

By |2021-12-02T14:42:37-06:00December 2nd, 2021|Life Observations|0 Comments

The Focus of Thanksgiving

The calendar reminds us we are in the last week of November. The crisp air whispers to the leaves to begin their freefall. And with it brings Thanksgiving, our annual time to remember to give thanks. Songs encourage us to “count our blessings.” Paintings of pilgrim hands folded in prayer grace blog posts. The question of the hour is, “what are you [...]

By |2021-11-22T21:33:53-06:00November 22nd, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Virtues that Count

New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote in 2015 about two kinds of virtues.   "Resume virtues" are traits we list on resumes—leadership, initiative, self-discipline, people skills, etc. They comprise a list of what we can do.   But most never consider a second set, something Brooks labeled “eulogy virtues.”   Over my career, I have presented the “message” at funerals. I [...]

By |2021-11-15T19:08:20-06:00November 15th, 2021|Uncategorized|1 Comment

The Last Survivor: The Legacy of a Terrible Day

Everyone can tell you their story. Mine is simple. I sat at the Atlanta Bread Company at the second table from the door by the windows working on my daily plan.   Then, a man I did not know approached my table ashen and trembling. "They hit the second building."   I am sure you know what it is.   Tomorrow is [...]

By |2021-09-10T10:08:39-05:00September 10th, 2021|Reflections|0 Comments

Watching for Miracles: The Butterfly Experience

When I was a boy, I did something each spring that is almost unknown in today’s Xbox world. As I watched, caterpillars crawled out from under a leaf. That allowed me to witness a miracle. I ran into the house, found a Mason Jar (we always had Mason Jars!), and poked holes in the lid. When back outside, I found a stick [...]

By |2021-08-26T18:55:51-05:00August 26th, 2021|Reflections|0 Comments

More than a Mark on the Wall: Four Marks of Maturity

When did you feel “all grown up?”   For most, it is not when they reach a mark on a wall. It is something that indicates they have reached a certain level of maturity. Mine was when I could buy my parents a meal in a restaurant.   Maturity is elusive. Many count candles on a cake, but that’s age. Changing calendars [...]

By |2021-08-21T19:46:06-05:00August 21st, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Stay Between the Lines—Why You Need Margin

The speed of life tramples time in a cloud of dust. Meeting after meeting drains the day, leaving you spent. Nerves fray, and numbness results. Deloitte commissioned a study that discovered 77 percent of employees encounter and suffer from “burnout,” Herbert Freudenberger coined the term to describe helping professions—nurses and doctors—whose brutal work schedules left them exhausted, listless, and apathetic. They burned [...]

By |2021-07-26T17:57:02-05:00July 26th, 2021|Life Observations|0 Comments

The Paradox of a Growing Life: Pruning Shearers

To have more in life, you need less of it. Let me explain.   In front of our house, we planted a red-tipped photinia a few years ago. Our goal was to hide a chimney that seemed to stick out of the view.   The shrub grew...and grew...and grew. It shot up and spread out, becoming misshapen.   We knew we had [...]

By |2021-07-13T20:49:50-05:00July 13th, 2021|Life Observations|4 Comments

Minding Your Mouth: Two Tests to Keep You From Opening Your Mouth at the Wrong Time

Who has not opened their mouth at the wrong time? For most, the taste of shoe leather is something familiar. In today’s Bible class, I taught about James 3, where James instructions about the damage inflicted by careless speech. He says: We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep [...]

By |2021-06-06T21:30:03-05:00June 6th, 2021|Life Observations|0 Comments

A 15-Month Semester: Lessons Learned from Difficulty

We’ve lived through 15 months of lessons and tension. What have we learned on the other side of the pandemic?   On April 18, 2020, I (naively) wrote an article called “Decisions, Decisions: What To Do When It Is Over? It described what I thought it would be like when the virus and its threat abated.   I only missed the target [...]

By |2021-05-12T14:24:08-05:00May 12th, 2021|Reflections|2 Comments
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