There are many deep and dark torture chambers of the soul that I have not experienced. But I have been swallowed alive by the pit of divorce, twice. Its rotten odor, its razor edges, its oxygen-deprived atmosphere—I know it.
Hallelujahs and Amens were ordinary parts of the Sunday morning service in the tiny country church. So was the swish of a flushing toilet.
When the cardboard box kisses the concrete of our front porch, bubble-wrapped inside is something useful. A smart speaker with Alexa at which we can bark orders. A Ninja professional blender for smoothies, a best-selling self-help book to revolutionize our lives, a FURminator deShedding tool for our dogs.
There comes a time, every week, when the world rests upon our tongues.The throne of the Almighty and the wheat fields of Texas are there. The manger of Bethlehem and the warming rays of the sun are, too. So is the flesh of the Passover lamb, raindrops from heaven, a John Deere tractor, and the God who says I Am Who I Am.
If God is perfect at everything, he’s also the perfect comedian. He delivers killer punch lines that bring the house down. His jokes are unrivaled. And he knows the truth that all comedians know: one of the key ingredients to a good joke is surprise.
The church has a long and colorful history of shooting itself in the foot. I’m not talking about cringe-worthy mistakes. Installing shag carpet in the sanctuary in the 1960’s—now that was a mistake. Letting families purchase or rent their own private pews—that was plain dumb. We may shake our heads at these blunders, but we can let them pass. It’s not like they un-churched the church.
You’ll find out as much about the human condition from watching siblings around the breakfast table as from reading a 1000 page anthropology book.
The experiment seemed like a cakewalk. “Watch this video,” the researcher said. “You’ll see two teams, one wearing white and one black. They’ll throw a ball back and forth. Count how many times the ball is passed by the team in white.”
Benjamin Franklin wanted to be a better man. He settled on 13 virtues he wanted to work on in his own life. Things like silence, frugality, industry, tranquility.
No athletes competing in the Olympic games have prayed themselves into a gold medal. They got up early, stayed up late. They swore off sodas and cinnamon rolls. They fell and got up again, fell and got up again. Most of them have sacrificed years of sweat, practice, failure, and sleep to get where they are.
Most religion deserves the criticism that it’s designed to keep people on a very short leash. Not one of those 20’ retractable kinds, but 6’ feet of inflexible, yank-your-head-back-quickly rope.
As a child, I was told to quit wasting my food. Your eyes are bigger than your stomach, they said. Only dish onto your plate what you can eat. Otherwise, you’ll end up throwing half of it away.
The “black box.” There's a phrase that never harbors good news.
Another plane down.
Another mystery to unravel.
A thousand questions from survivors, the FAA, the media.
All demanding answers.
No matter how engrossed I might be in an episode of Bugs Bunny or Gilligan’s Island, my ears never missed the approaching rumble. It crawled its way down the alley, one man driving, two other men walking alongside. They hefted garbage cans and spilled their contents into the gaping mouth of the truck.
January 1 marks the day I first caught a glimpse of the most profound truth in the universe. I was 18 years old. I was fighting tooth and nail with God. And He showed me, finally, through one the weirdest acts ever performed on the human body, that He and He alone makes me His son. Here's how it all went down.
She was the kind of woman whose biography needed few exclamation points. Invisibility was her most striking feature. Few recalled her, and none remembered any story in which she was either villain or heroine. She was the very incarnation of average.