Dr. King and Mr. Kyle’s King

January 19, 2015

"I have decided to stick with love.  Hate is too great a burden to bear."  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Kids all over the country are out of school, having play dates they wish they could have every day, most of them thinking very little about the history of segregation or the periodically deepening and then healing chasms of race relations in our country's history.  But many of us grown-ups spend time thinking those thoughts, wondering how to make things right (or at least vastly better), being inspired by Dr. King's example. We teach our...

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January 14, 2015

Sometimes our hearts cry out for the reminder of Whose we are and Whom we were made to serve.  Sometimes that comes when we face big decisions, sometimes small.  But as St. Augustine rightly said once, "Our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee," and perhaps the beautiful words and familiar melody of this classic hymn - one of the oldest and most beloved in history - will take you to that place of rest in Him today. Godspeed.  [If the video does not show immediately below these words, please click here.] [embed][/embed] [Editor's note:  you'll see a website listed at...

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Living La Vida Make-believe-a

January 13, 2015

If we're honest with ourselves, we're all just making our way through this thing called life playing make-believe.  (Points to you if you just picked up the Prince song reference without even thinking about it.  Double points if you also picked up on the early 1960s love song reference.) Make-believe is awesome when you're a seven-year-old kid pretending to be a homeboy (while your mama is doubled over laughing) ...

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Thanks A Lot, Barnabus.

January 12, 2015

Barnabus, our black cat, thinks of himself as a Black Panther Ninja, prowling from one place to another before leaping to impossible heights to protect himself and our family from nefarious would-be assassins such as (a) anything on the mantle (b) anything else on the mantle that he didn't get the first time (c) my favorite red Santa statue. He broke that favorite Santa statue of mine this Christmas season, and clearly he lacks the mental capacity to appreciate that I did not shoot him for that since he just went on the attack a couple of days ago and broke one of...

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Amelia’s Birthday Lesson on Matter

December 19, 2014

Today is Amelia's birthday.  She would be eleven years old. I wonder what she would look like. I wonder if her laugh would still sound the same. I wonder if her eyes would still twinkle the way they did when I last looked into them. I wonder if her skin would still have that Heaven-sent smell it had before she was really sick. I wonder if she would still hate baths. I wonder if she would still find comfort in the song I wrote for her. I wonder if she would still smile over Dr. Seuss books even though she'd be too old for them.  (Is it...

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I Don’t Care

December 15, 2014

"I. don't. care," I found myself saying the other day after one of my little darlings offered an explanation as to why he had hit his sister when he was mad at her. "I don't care why you thought that was a good or even an okay idea," I told him.  "I'm sure you don't like that she messed with your Legos that way, and I get that; if I were in your shoes, I wouldn't like it, either.  But I'm looking at the bigger picture, and I. don't. care. about the Lego thing.  I care about how you handled it....

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The Big Is In The Small

December 10, 2014

There's this little five-year-old boy named Blake who made me cry last night. So did his seven-year-old brother, Brent, and his eight-year-old sister, Mariana. Something about those little ones at their school's beloved Christmas chapel gets me every. single. time. It was Blake's first year to be part of the service because it's his first year at the school. The kindergarteners did "The Friendly Beasts," a somewhat obscure Christmas carol that has been forever tarnished in my mind because of the time my brothers, father, uncles, and male cousins turned it into the worst-ever white-boy rap one Christmas Eve. Imagine the...

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Holding Space

December 3, 2014

I spent time this morning with a woman whose wisdom and compassion have made her a cherished friend, and it was like bringing a fuzzy picture into focus, a scene that you know to be beautiful but that you can't quite capture when you look through the only lens you currently see. The idea came up of 'holding space' for someone you know is hurting or angry or just needs to get from where he is in his own energy and experience to where his body and spirit need to be.  It doesn't involve words, and the person for whom you...

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Holding Out for a Hero

December 1, 2014

Surely we can all agree that Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero," made famous in the chicken-with-tractors scene in Footloose, is one of the greatest dancing / workout / jammin' / awesome songs of the modern era.  The music is fabulous with a driving sense of urgency, Bonnie's scratchy shout-type singing brings the right edge, and the fact that it was immortalized in a classic good-conquers-evil --- or at least nicer-guy-faces-down-deadbeat-bully --- clip just ices the cake. The first verse get me every time:  "Where've all the good men gone / and where are all the gods? / Where's the...

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November 5, 2014

[Note:  This flashback while my finger heals and keeps me from typing very much is not from several years ago; it's from this past February.  I hope everyone reads it because I wrote it for all of us; but today I hope the precious mama of the precious boy in here reads this and knows how absolutely beloved she is.  This is for you, my friend.  Godspeed.] February 2, 2014 Four words crossed a sign, one of those electronic billboards that changes wording every few seconds.  I glanced up and saw the words, “Need a second opinion?” We raced past it on the...

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