Hush Yo’ Mouth

“Hush Yo Mouth.” To hear by 3 year-old niece say this with a deadpan stare and a mild speech impediment is one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. And not just because of her perfect delivery: I also laugh because I know she picked up this phrase from her dad, my brother. I know I’m not supposed to laugh. For many of us, the expression “shut up” in all its forms is regarded as impolite and unacceptable. But the Bible records an instance when God tells us to shut up, and He has the right to do it! Romans […]

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Why We Lie about …

Lying can be quite convenient when we want to get something we love more than the trust we break to get it. Parenting is by far and away the grandest arena for seeing this in action. We’ve busted our kids on it many times over the past year, and discipline has varied (as has the effect of the discipline on the behavior). I recall the time my boys were asked to eat 6 baby carrots (along with the rest of their lunch) if they wanted any dessert (generally speaking, dessert is for non-whiners who either clean their plates or bravely […]

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Two Evils the Love of Money Brings

First Timothy 6:10 is perhaps one of the most well-known and misunderstood Bible verses. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.” I’m often tempted to blame money for my troubles with it, and at first glance, the Bible seems to affirm me. But a closer reading shows that I am the problem: the love of money … not money itself … is a root of all kinds of evil. And it’s not the one and only root […]

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How to Get Yoked Up

Last year, our fourth child was born via C-section. So while my wife recovered and connected with our newborn son, I stayed home and cared for our other three children with the help of my mother-in-law. This was the fourth time she’d come in this capacity, for which we have always been grateful. Nevertheless, her presence was out of the norm, and there were awkward moments as a result. Perhaps the most memorable was the early morning of her third day. As was my custom, I got up around 5 AM to exercise in the living room. I deeply treasure […]

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Don’t Forget to Remember

My wife has been homeschooling our two oldest children for several years, and lately they’ve started their mornings reading three different history books. The two oldest boys stay in bed and listen, while the toddler and baby play on the floor. Our oldest son loves history, but my second-born prefers fiction. So it came as no surprise to us when he asked, “What’s the point of studying history?” One witty statement I’d heard long ago immediately came to mind: “Those who learn nothing from history are destined to repeat its mistakes.” This wasn’t incentive enough for a 9 year-old lover of fantasy […]

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Rich and Unashamed of It

For a few hours, I was pretty rich one day this week. It was that period of time in which I sold one house and bought another. For a moment there, I had more money in my checking account than I’ve ever had. And as a result, I kept a very close eye on my checking account. I checked hourly to see when the wire would go through, and to be honest … when the cash showed up … I rejoiced. I just stared at my phone’s screen and smiled at the longest number of digits I’d ever seen in that […]

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The One Thing You’re Probably Missing about Trump and Clinton

I rarely watch television news. Few people I interact with at work or home discuss politics: too much work to accomplish, too many mouths to feed and evenings to be enjoyed. I even quit listening to NPR on my morning commute (a 10-year habit). So I know what’s going on with Trump and Clinton, but I’m not immersed in it. The only exception to this has been while I’ve been on a vacation in the western mountains of North Carolina where Clinton is running absurd ads on the most obscure cable channels and at an alarming pace. This state must be close […]

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Into the Woods

I hold a deep fondness for the woods. In my heart is reserved a place for evergreens, the sound of birds, the crunch of leaves. In my heart rests, as Wendell Berry would say, “a peace of wild things.” Every moment I spend in the woods, I undergo a contradictory mix of sensations. A part of my soul lays to rest; other times, my mind races of thoughts that leak out like inspiration, of words I have yet to write, of experiences I long to come into knowing. The woods make me come alive. The peace that it brings me, […]

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Choosing Between Two Unfortunate Options

“I feel a strong desire to tell you – and I expect you feel a strong desire to tell me-which of these two errors is the worse. That is the devil getting at us. He always sends errors into the world in pairs-pairs of opposites. And he always encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking which is the worse. You see why, of course? He relies on your extra dislike of the one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one. But do not let us be fooled. We have to keep our eyes on the goal […]

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Ten Things to Always Say “Yes” to When Your Kids Ask

Seventeen months into child #4, and only now am I learning what to always say “Yes” to when they ask. In no particular order: Can I sit in your lap? Can we read a book? Can I go with you? (save work or date night) Will you show me how? Will you play with me? Will you help it feel better? Will you stay with me in bed a little longer? Are we going to church? Can you help me? Can we have a kitty cat doggie?

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