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...
Changing Tracks

Changing Tracks

I love those times when I hear a message or find a passages in Scripture that strengthen my faith. The message of hope and courage takes hold. I start dreaming of all God could do in the situations that are close to my heart. I get crazy excited. I feel the...
Relax. Laugh. Enjoy the dance.

Relax. Laugh. Enjoy the dance.

A few weeks back, I tried swing dancing for the first time. Instead of taking lessons, I went for a one-time crash course and then joined a friend at a community dance night. The organizers invited newbies to come early for some instruction. I felt like I was getting...
Boulder on My Path Up the Mountain

Boulder on My Path Up the Mountain

When I was a camp counselor, I used to draw a simple picture of a hill with a path with switchbacks going back and forth up the side.  As I drew my little hill, I would explain that life is a lot like a path going up a mountain. In the illustration, Jesus is both...

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