This month, I came across an affirming reminder from octogenarian South African Bishop Desmond Tutu: When we look at the news, we must keep this more holistic view… Yes, this or that terrible thing has happened. No doubt, there are very negative things, but at the same time there are many more positive things happening … Continue reading Enlarging Our Field of View
Earlier this month we enjoyed dinner with two other couples when one man asked: “With everything happening in the world right now, how can we find hope? Is hope a ridiculous concept these days?” If you think hope is hard to come by, imagine being a humanitarian worker in Afghanistan right now. You’ve poured yourself … Continue reading The Best Time to Plant a Tree
One of the few advantages of my ‘advancing age’ is that this past Sunday, Valentine's Day, Janet and I received our first COVID-19 vaccine. It was a very relaxed and pleasant setting and quite easy, yet I felt a jab in more than just my arm. I expect you've felt the same uncomfortable twinge as … Continue reading This Friday We’ll Decide: Are We Our Brothers’ Keeper?
My beloved great-grandmother emigrated from Bohemia (Czechoslovakia) at age 18 and yet never learned English. They lived in a little “Bo-honk” enclave in rural North Dakota, a place where they could maintain the old customs and minimize the need to adapt. Still, after she developed dementia, she walked incessantly around her house until she’d worn … Continue reading What’s In Your Hand
I'm letting myself free-fall into Advent this year, thanks largely to Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Year ago, Advent was very meaningful to me, a time of anticipation and waiting. But hey, I've been a follower of Jesus for a long time, and even the best practices grow overly-familiar with time; their salt loses its savor. Our kids … Continue reading Free-Falling into Advent
Probably every writer's greatest blessing is when a reader quotes back from memory something you wrote which touched, challenged or encouraged them. This happened for me recently when someone told me that my definition of "generosity" in my book After the Trip: Unpacking Your Crosscultural Experience had really stuck with him. He reminded me that I … Continue reading Les Vulnérables
I heard a phrase today which took on a whole new meaning for me. When I was growing up, “Back-to-School” meant meeting new teachers, getting ‘school clothes’ and holding a brand-new notebook and unchewed pencils. It was an annual ritual marking the end of my summer freedom and of the adults in my life trying … Continue reading Back to School
It was one of those times when it all caught up to me. Nicholas Kristof's recent article, "This Pandemic Is Bringing Another With It" is a riveting litany of the potentially catastrophic impacts from COVID-19 on the poorest nations of our world. His is just one of the resources available on the topic (he cites several … Continue reading Christ Has No Body But Yours
I'm not a big Facebook user, but this morning I posted a couple items, back-to-back. One of them received plenty of smiles and thumbs-up, but hours later I was quite surprised to discover not a single "Like" or comment or acknowledgement of any kind for the other one. I don't believe I've ever had that … Continue reading We’re Number One!
Our entire world suddenly finds itself on a "virtual vision trip." We have embarked an unplanned and unscheduled journey, one that none of us ever signed up for, courtesy of COVID-19. We have traveled to a strange place, one previously unknown to us. We are facing discomfort and insecurity. We are ill at ease and … Continue reading A Virtual Vision Trip