Free At Last, Thank God Almighty, I’m Free At Last!

Janis Joplin had a hit record after her death in 1971 called “Me and Bobby McGee” that had a line that said, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” Kind of a depressing thought, but then again, the song is about the memory of a happier time and the loss of that time, so I guess that makes sense. The whole concept of freedom is at the heart of most of human…

How Much Do You Love Me?

My daughters and I have this little game we play. I ask them “How much do you love me?” And they, giggling and smiling, try to stretch their little arms as wide as they can and say “This much, daddy!” Of course, then they ask me how much I love them and I make as big a show as I can to stretch my arms as wide as I can and say…

Many Blessings Equal Great Responsibility!

“Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done.” All through my life, I’ve heard that we should “count” our blessings. If we would do this, we would be protected against falling into the “pit of despair” and we would be encouraged by how much we have in our lives. I guess that’s why I love the Orthodox wisdom of “nepsis” (wakefulness). This encouraging…

Time to Grow Up!

“Petulant child!” That’s what I thought as an obviously frantic mother was trying to placate a toddler throwing a fit. Nothing seemed to work. He didn’t want the toy, then he did want the toy. The treat mom tried to give the boy was accepted then thrown down and the screaming commenced again. She tried holding him. That didn’t work. She tried letting him down. That didn’t work. The look in her…

Your Name Is Written In Heaven

One of the greatest practical jokes ever played on me was when some friends actually hid my car from me while I was at work. As a teenage boy, my car was my ticket to freedom. It represented my passage from a child to a man! Besides, I looked really cool driving it around the mall parking lot with the windows down, hoping that pretty girl would notice! I panicked! I looked…

Time to Rest!

Ah, summertime! The season of vacations, a more relaxed pace of life, adventures, and warm weather. “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy….” Summertime is such a wonderful time of year. But our society is one in which most Americans take little to no vacation time. The drive to produce creates the sense that I always have to be “productive.” A friend of mine recently sent me an article naming the top ways…

You Are More Valuable

The gradual shift in modern educational philosophy to a “self-esteem” emphasis is complete. From the math standards that discourage teachers from “correcting” incorrect answers to the ball fields where “we don’t keep score” so no one “feels” bad, this shift is now producing consequences of its own. In fact, some have come to call the modern generation the “snowflake” generation because these young people have all been told they are just like a…

You Will BE Hated!

“Hate” is such an ugly word. And yet I use it all too often. “I hate this traffic.” “I hate coconut!” ( I really don’t like coconut. I think it’s the texture.) “I hate that music.” You get the idea. But, sometimes, dark times, weak times I have even used that word about another person! Horrible! Lord, forgive me! And I’ve had that word used about me. It was a shock and it hurt deeply. Someone “hates”…

Blessed Are You Among Women!

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” This saying has been around a long time and been attributed to several famous and not-so-famous people, but it rings true, doesn’t it?: It’s hard to communicate AND easy to miscommunicate, especially if both speaker and hearer want to misunderstand! We are a people strongly shaped by an inherent mistrust of all…

The Paradox of Generosity

There’s one sure way for any politician to get an applause line in a stump speech. All he or she has to do is say “I support our troops!” And rightly so. The brave men and women who serve in our military perform a vital function in the preservation of our liberty, and we, as a nation, should always show our gratitude for their sacrificial service. The truth is freedom isn’t free,…