Old Wounds ~ Enduring Pain

In that part of the South where I grew up, people hadn’t started using hyphens to stick names together, but dragging a kid’s first and middle name together into a moniker that sounded like a single word was commonplace. For that reason, middle names like “Lee” were all the rage–lots of “Jerry-Lee’s”, “Freddie-Lee’s”, “Tommy-Lee’s”, etc. around in those days.

An Unforgettable Meeting ~
In any case, the middle name of the guy on my mind today was “Dan”. On my first day in school, “Bobby-Dan” became a name I would never forget but not because we developed one of those childhood buddy relationships that stick with you over the years. I remember this guy because he had the poor taste not to like me, a fact I was quick to detect. Even at age six, my keen sense of deductive reasoning locked onto the truth about how he felt about me right away–something about that Continue reading

Posted in Christmas, Faith, Family, and Culture, Forgiveness, In the News, Insights, Right Side Up | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Suit-Up for Survival

The way things are trending in the world of seasonal retail, insurance actuaries may have to start considering our shopping habits when calculating our health insurance premiums. On “Black Friday”, going to the mall might be more like going to the “brawl”, and perhaps the mission to acquire some treasured new acquisition ought to fall under the military term, “Black Ops”. If today’s trends in bargain-induced hand-to-hand combat continue, specially designed “doorbuster body armor” may not be far away, and cleverly designed personal protection could eventually become a regular part of our shopping wardrobe. Discriminating people concerned with things like personal survival might be Continue reading

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

Paving the Way to Thanksgiving

Living examples have always been one of God’s favorite mechanisms for getting a point across, and stories that depict those living examples tend to stick in our heads and get told and retold over the years. One of those simple examples comes to mind again as Thanksgiving week 2017 begins to unfold.

We were off on a Thanksgiving holiday trip and experiencing our familiar love/hate relationship with travel and traffic—loving the idea of going to see family that we don’t get to see often enough and hating the fact that multitudes of others not only co-opted our holiday travel plan, but kept Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, and Culture, Holidays, Insights, Right Side Up, Thanksgiving | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

An Antidote for the “Entitlement” Epidemic

Apparently, before long, we will be sharing the road with cars that have no human drivers. Self-driving cars have already taken to the roads in some places, and prognosticators show no hesitation in declaring that eventually, they will be commonplace. That would be refreshing. Robotic cars probably wouldn’t cut you off, risking serious injury and material damage, for the possibility of gaining one additional car length in the contentious vehicular blender we call “rush hour”.

My optimistic side wants to believe that another potential advantage to robotic cars is that they may not be programmed with the “entitlement mentality” that has become more and more pervasive among humans in the past decade or two. If that is indeed the case, it will save us further aggravation and lower the manufacturing costs because they won’t have to build in little automatic arms that fly into a frenzy and start Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, and Culture, In the News, Insights, Right Side Up | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Political Heat ~ And a Fiery Encounter with Jesus

Intrigue and allegations permeate the political atmosphere these days as we approach another Election Day on Tuesday here in our home state of Virginia. The indefatigable efforts of politicians and their willing cohorts in the press seem intent on keeping us in touch with emotions like anger, frustration, anxiety, disgust, exasperation, disappointment, and even despair that most of us would rather avoid.

That leaves many followers of Jesus struggling with what to do and how to react in the political arena—or any other arena these days, for that matter. We’re pressured from all sides with demands for political correctness and conformity in a divisive culture where everybody appears to be branded with some kind of tag, title, ethnic association, economic class, affinity group, social cause, or political party. Too many Christians are left confused, angry, feeling verbally hamstrung, and nursing an overworked emotional apparatus.

Not a New Thing ~
If you’re one of those, cheer up. Those early followers of Jesus got angry and exasperated, too, so while we fight to retain some modicum of sanity, let’s Continue reading

Posted in Faith and Politics, Faith, Family, and Culture, In the News, Insights, Wake Up Calls | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Frankenstein Gets a Makeover ~ Scarier Now Than Ever

We’re on the cusp of yet another American Halloween night, and the usual trappings have already been on display for weeks. Millions of Americans engage in rather elaborate and sometimes expensive preparation for celebrating a night of artificial terror. Vampire tales, demonic slashers, assorted spooks, and a zombie apocalypse or two adorn TV program guides, and every old horror classic ever to abuse an adrenalin gland is freed from some dusty digital archive and thus allowed another shot at a leading role in our next nightmare. It’s envisioned to be a night full of fun … fun being defined as a sugar-induced manic Continue reading

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