But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Friday, 10 April 2020 10:04

A Holy Week

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This has been a Holy Week to remember—or, some might say, to forget. With COVID-19 flying around the globe, most of us have “been sent home until further notice,” and the most holy week on the church calendar has been forced into cyber space. I began the week Facebook chatting...

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Friday, 03 April 2020 22:33

Dad

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It won’t be long now. We’re about to lose our dad for the second time.

We lost him the first time on June 1, 2005. That morning as he prayed with my mom—as he did every morning before the day got going—he suffered a massive stroke that robbed him of a great deal of cognitive...

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Wednesday, 26 February 2020 06:59

“I want to go home.”

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As I stared into the porcelain bowl of a hotel bathroom on Sunday night, I wanted two things. First, to stop puking, and second, to go home—in that order. A stomach bug when you’re an airplane trip away from home is magnified misery. Think TSA, crowds, and carry-on luggage. Think...

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Thursday, 16 January 2020 06:43

Minding the Melody of a Marriage

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It was Christmas Eve, and we were spending the morning with my dad, who passes most of the day in his recliner—napping or staring out the window. I looked around for things I thought might interest him, a challenging exercise since he seldom tells you. Questions are usually answered with a...

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Friday, 03 January 2020 06:07

A Daisy in Winter

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It’s a mild January afternoon in Minnesota, but no one here is fooled. Daffodils and daisies, some of the earliest and cheeriest signs of spring, are months away. Plenty of subzero temperatures, sheets of ice, and piles of snow lay between here and that most wonderful time of year when winter...

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Wednesday, 18 December 2019 08:27

Under Construction

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A troupe of builders was in and out of our house for much of this past fall. In the theater of our basement, they performed for a seven-week run—hammers, saws, and drills banging, humming, and buzzing in dissonant harmony, while a variety of radio stations blared out the melody of each...

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Thursday, 12 December 2019 02:25

Of Gravestones and Obituaries

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Several years ago I took my parents on an expedition, at their request, to the cemetery where they will someday be buried. We stopped at the main building, found a map indicating the location of their plots, and drove to the site. I parked the car, and as they made their way across the grass, I...

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Friday, 15 November 2019 10:07

Friends and Family

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Tomorrow my friend Sarah will bury her husband, the first of my peer group to do so. And while she and I haven’t had much contact in the half-decade since I moved to a different state, Sarah will always be a special friend. When the devastating news of her loss reached me on Wednesday...

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Thursday, 24 October 2019 09:25

A Little Red “R”

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The face value of my dad’s gift was only one dollar and thirty-nine cents, hardly a fortune and barely even a gift. But it was a treasure from the man I have loved all my life to the man I will love for the rest of my life.image

The recipient of the one-dollar coin and the thirty-nine pennies was...

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Friday, 01 January 2016 15:31

Steady On, 2016

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My one and only New Year’s resolution is to write a blog post today. Call me a party pooper (you wouldn’t be the first), but I don’t make resolutions anymore. I find I already have an impossible list of expectations for my life—no sense adding a fresh layer every January 1.

I’ve thought a lot about expectations during

Saturday, 28 November 2015 10:08

Of Rams and Goats, Again (and hopefully turkey)

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I hope you have some Thanksgiving leftovers, because you’ll need them for this post. Last time we were in Daniel 8, we sorted out the geography of Daniel’s vision. This time around, we’ll sort out the history behind the vision (you might want to review the vision here). Go get those turkey leftovers before you jump on this

If you are geographically challenged, I have more sympathy for you than I used to. I have always prided myself on having a good sense of direction, and I confess I have scoffed at people who don’t know their east from their west. Maps have always been my friend – I know how to read them and, for the most part, I know how to fold them

Sunday, 18 October 2015 18:30

Of Rams and Goats (and mairzy doats?) Featured

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So far this season, my NFL team has knocked off a sleuth of Bears, a flock of Hawks, and a herd of Rams. All fearsome creatures these, but if you want a terrifying creature, let me commend to you the goat. Yes, the goat. It may be a tough sell for an expansion team name, but any shepherd worth his sheep knows that a goat’s temper and

Saturday, 19 September 2015 19:03

Memories–Now and Forever

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Tomorrow I will attend my home church, as I typically do when I visit my parents for the weekend. With coffee cup in hand, I will make the rounds—hugging old (literally and metaphorically) friends and giving them the sweetened condensed version of how life presently is. Time will allow a few friends to linger longer, but most will need to

Sunday, 06 September 2015 14:29

A New Chapter (Daniel 8)

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We’ve made it to chapter 8 in Daniel, but I must warn you – things do not get better any time soon. This chapter recounts a second terrifying vision that Daniel had, a vision very similar to the first vision he had in the endless chapter 7. Not only are the visions similar, the text expects us to read them in tandem. This is pretty

Sunday, 16 August 2015 16:52

He’s Got My Back

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I’m on the other side of another interstate move, an exhausting practice I really need to stop: total upheaval followed by a long season of making a new life, five times over in the past fifteen years. You might think I’d be used to it by now, but, alas, uncertainty abounds every time and I always worry about how the new-life-making