You Pray, He Speaks – Part One

October 21, 2013

December 2, 2010 On a radio interview in Ocala, FL a week or so ago, the host, Larry Whitler, followed up on a comment I’d made about how God is in the details.  When he asked what I meant by that, I said that during Amelia’s life, every time I sought – through prayer – answers to specific questions as to how to help her, He answered.  And I mean very specific questions.  When I asked Him if He wanted us to take her off the chemical formula she was on, He said yes.  When I asked Him several months later...

Read More

A Toddler, a Hairbrush, and Faith 101

October 21, 2013

November 29, 2010 Measuring 32″ tall and weighing in at 31 pounds, our youngest son, Blake, is a giant for his age. OK.  He’s not a giant the way you might think.  Yes, those stats measure pretty big on the growth charts for a nineteen-month-old who has been in 3T clothes since he was nine months.  Yes, he eats more in a single sitting than most adults typically do in 4 hours.  Yes, he is fairly certain that there is no surface up which and onto which he cannot climb.  (Thus far, he’s been right, as if he is a direct descendant of Edmund Hillary.) But...

Read More

Hello, Thankful Column

October 21, 2013

November 26, 2010 Had there been a film crew at my Aunt Pam and Uncle David’s house during our family’s Thanksgiving celebration, we could have filmed big scenes from a sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding or to the dinner table scenes in While You Were Sleeping.  Almost fifty of us gathered – both Susans, both Marthas, both Kens, but only one of the three Andys – for food, photographs, and football.  Some of our out-of-town family came in, and it was such a treat to visit with them; I wish they lived closer.  The littles went out in the freezing cold to play...

Read More

My Big Fat Greek Thanksgiving

October 21, 2013

November 24, 2010 My family is very similar to the “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” family, with the glaring exception that we are not Greek.  But we are large (in terms of numbers, anyway); we gather often, during which times we consume large volumes of food; we are loud; we are opinionated; we are all either in each other’s business or at least aware of it; and we name our children after each other.   And although we don’t have anyone in our family who actually believes in Windex as a panacea (see the movie for reference if you think I just typed...

Read More

Ah, yes: ‘Ah-bwee.’

October 19, 2013

'Ah-bwee.'  That was Blake's word for water when he was two.  We have no idea why.  At least 27 times a day - don't kid yourself into thinking I'm exaggerating - Blake would ask for 'ah-bwee, no ice.' When he was first learning to speak, we just laughed over how adorable it was that he'd invented his own word-sound for 'water.'  After a while, though, we accepted what seemed to be a real possibility that he just might go off to college saying 'ah-bwee' for 'water.'  We are happy to report that that is no longer a concern. Now we just need...

Read More

We Gather Together

October 19, 2013

November 22, 2010 In 1597 a person who shall remain anonymous – as in, we have no idea who this person was – penned the words to one of our country’s most beloved hymns.  The funny thing about it is that it was written in Holland!  But in America we like to build on great ideas and adopt fabulous tunes, making them our own, and turning them into part of our rich heritage, and this one has become one of our Thanksgiving standards.  Join me as we explore the depths of meaning in “We Gather Together,” one stanza at a time. We gather together...

Read More

Server Not Responding … Was That a Message About My Thankfulness?

October 19, 2013

November 19, 2010 ‘Server not responding.’  Such was the message that greeted me last night when I logged on to our home computer to check the live feed to a radio station that had interviewed me yesterday afternoon about Amelia’s Gift.  Since I live in Dallas and wouldn’t have that station to tune into, I checked last night to see if I’d be able to hear it live today.  That’s when I saw the message, ‘Server not responding.’ After a mild-to-moderate case of annoyance over a computer that frequently now takes as long to play nice with others as, say, Attila the...

Read More

Prayer: Gloves-off and Christ-like

October 19, 2013

November 18, 2010 Arguably nothing about the Christian walk is more unnerving and more fundamentally misunderstood than prayer.  It is, aside from time in the Word, the most life-changing privilege of a believer.  And if we are to live as Christ did – if we are at least to strive for that impossibility - then prayer should become as natural – and, metaphorically speaking, as frequent – as breathing.  If we as believers are indeed called to put self aside to become more like Christ as John the Baptizer said Jesus in John 3:30, then we must recognize that living as Christ lived means praying as Christ prayed, no...

Read More

Baseball

October 19, 2013

November 16, 2010 I think we can all agree that baseball is the greatest sport ever conceived. OK.  I know that some of you reading this will not agree, which is tragic.  But it is not insurmountable.  I would be more than happy to teach you the finer points of the game so that you, too, can be in awe of the on-field symphony that happens each time two teams take the field.  Will the infield put on the shift?  (And for all you true baseball fans out there, against whom was the shift first played?  Yes, none other than hitting genius Ted Williams.  Let’s...

Read More

Horatio Spafford and “It Is Well”

October 19, 2013

November 15, 2010 It’s probably safe to say that there is not a profoundly inspiring story behind the penning of the words to ”The Pina Colada Song,” which is so bad that it has been known to cause car wrecks. The best we could hope for there is, say, an explanation of why (a) Rupert Holmes (who?) got a recording contract for that song (b) someone in radio ever decided to play it and foist it on all of us unsuspecting listeners. Or take “Take on Me” by A-Ha … as in “A-Ha! We can’t settle on the grammar of the title line,...

Read More