Okay Now . . . “Open Wide”

About three years ago, I discovered that the reason I couldn’t walk half a block without puffing and blowing like an overworked steam engine wasn’t just because I was out of shape, and that weird aching in my left arm wasn’t just because I pulled a muscle. I had reached that stage of life where guys like me who haven’t had at least one stent inserted in some vital coronary artery just aren’t keeping up. The medical folks ran a device up through one of my arteries to see what was going on in there. They discovered that I had a blockage that would potentially veto my plan to Continue reading

Posted in Devotional, Faith, Family, and Culture, In the News, Insights, Right Side Up | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Wait . . . “What???”

Saying things that sounded peculiar or counterintuitive to human nature was one of the hallmarks of Jesus’ interactions, especially with His adversaries. After hearing one of his characteristic comments, it was probably commonplace for some in His audience to pause and say, “Wait… What???” That kind of reaction may have followed Jesus’ response to Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, and Culture, Insights, Right Side Up | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

No Breath ~ No Life

A short walk past our neighbor’s house and down the hill leads to a low-lying area that has collected runoff water and become a small pond full of stagnant, slimy green water. For years, it was what we called a “dry creek,” an oxymoronic designation meaning that during the rainy times, a little creek would form, but in the dry seasons, it would disappear. I’m not sure what happened to change that pattern, but at some point, any water that found its way there ceased to flow out, and what was sometimes a “creek” is now just a swampy haven for a variety of distasteful creatures. That stagnant pond provides a home and breeding ground for things like mosquitoes, frogs, snakes, turtles, and lizards. Some suggest that a pond like that may produce a certain genre of politician, but I Continue reading

Posted in Devotional, Faith, Family, and Culture, Insights, Right Side Up, Wake Up Calls | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Lest We Forget

One of my daughter’s favorite toys when she was a little girl was an “Etch-a-Sketch.” It had a red plastic frame with a gray screen and two little knobs at the bottom and looked like a little TV. Moving the knobs caused a black line to appear, and manipulating them enabled the holder to draw or write on the screen. One knob moved the line up and down and the other moved it from side to side. It was a high tech marvel at the time and my daughter had a love-hate relationship with it. After devoting enough time to have drawn 15 pictures on a regular sheet of paper, she’d emit an exasperated groan, turn Continue reading

Posted in Devotional, Faith, Family, and Culture, Forgiveness, Insights, Right Side Up, Wake Up Calls | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Time to Turn Up the Volume

Near the top of the list of commercials that send me reaching for the remote are those where the person on camera feels the need to yell at me. Sometimes yelling at me is a good thing. If, for instance, someone saw me about to step within striking distance of a poisonous snake, yelling at me would be welcome. But yelling to warn me that I might suffer life-long regret if I don’t run out today and buy that new car, or appliance, or mattress, or those trendy new sneakers just isn’t the same thing. Having said all that, I have to admit that Continue reading

Posted in Devotional, Faith and Politics, Faith, Family, and Culture, Insights, Right Side Up, Wake Up Calls | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

The Devil’s Hiring ~ But His Paychecks Always Bounce

Focusing on the value of work and celebrating its role in maintaining the health, welfare, and economic stability of our country is a good thing. Researchers tell us that average Americans (that’s probably not you, of course, since our readers tend to be characteristically above average) spend about 90,000 hours, or some one third of their lives working. Since we invest so much of our lives in that endeavor, it isn’t surprising that our Creator has a lot to say on the subject, and what better time to contemplate the issue than on Labor Day weekend. Continue reading

Posted in Devotional, Faith, Family, and Culture, Forgiveness, Insights, Labor Day, Right Side Up | 8 Comments