The Game of Faith

The Game of Faith

The maze I developed for a game recently did not seem especially challenging.  To make it through, each contestant had to— 1) Step on lily pads floating on a liquid-lava-lake (which looked a lot like squares of paper towel on a carpet).   2) High step...
A Truer Story

A Truer Story

It’s that time of year when people ask—How was your summer? I find I have multiple ways to describe this past season.  It was the worst of times. Partway through, I remember thinking how hard this summer was. After years of watching God provide incredible work and...
Words: Powerful They Are

Words: Powerful They Are

There’s this thing called confirmation bias. Britannica online defines it as “the tendency to process…by looking for, or interpreting, information consistent with one’s existing beliefs.” I’m sure the phrase was not original to him, but my dad used to say, “A...
Cheerful (or Not)

Cheerful (or Not)

As I stood in line at the grocery, my thoughts were interrupted by the young man in front of me.  “Are you okay?” he asked. Startled, I looked up. “Yes.”  “You’ll get through it,” he said. “Whatever it is.”  I gave him a baffled look. “You just look so sad,...
Living the Dream

Living the Dream

College freshman often struggle to pick a major. I, on the other hand, was quite sure at 18 that I should study elementary education—which was ironic since I was lousy at school, had no desire to be in a classroom, and wasn’t sure I wanted to work with kids. Why in...
Serving by Saving Lives

Serving by Saving Lives

I’ve almost drowned 4 times. That 4th one was the most embarrassing because I was not only a lifeguard—but a lifeguard trainer. In my defense, there was a rip tide involved. Here’s what happened. I was at Ventura Beach, California, with some friends—many of whom were...
Making Broken Beautiful

Making Broken Beautiful

I didn’t just crack the face of my cell phone last week—I pulverized it. Actually, the brick step I dropped it on was the real culprit. At the time, I shrugged it off. Accidents happen. This is part of life on a planet with gravity.  My initial response of...
Deep Learning: Acceptance

Deep Learning: Acceptance

I’ve known the story of the prodigal son as long as I can remember. Last week my knowing moved from surface to deep understanding.  I knew people like the self-indulgent prodigal son. I also knew people like the smug, self-righteous older brother. If I were asked...
Encouragement Beyond the Mug

Encouragement Beyond the Mug

A friend on facebook asked teachers to share what they really want for Teacher Appreciation Week. I was tempted to write—MUGS! Lots and lots of teacher-themed mugs. You’ll be happy to know, I didn’t act on this impulse.  By now, if you’re a teacher in a school...
Prep Time

Prep Time

When I teach writing, I’m amazed at how often students think the writing process is a big waste of time. If I assign a story, they want to sit down and write a story. Many treat brainstorming and planning like obstacles keeping them from finishing their...

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