[Note: I wrote this piece yesterday (Thursday) evening but didn't get it sent out. A pre-dawn trip to the hospital ER today changed my schedule, but also added a gut-check to the theme. More below...] One of my delights each quarter is reading each entry in the Frederick Buechner Narrative Writing Contest in The Christian … Continue reading Keep Me Safe
I just read one of those stories that can make you rejoice or make you depressed. It's a story of hope, with a happy ending. But like the beautiful rose that grows up through a pile of stinking garbage, I make a choice as to what I give my attention to... to the loveliness or … Continue reading Smelling the Rose, Bypassing the Pain
I’ve been overwhelmed by the loving concern of many people in my life, and I reflect on this below. But first, I owe a few updates… It will come as little surprise that I put on my big boy pants and postponed our trip to Paris, in order to start chemo treatment in a timely … Continue reading In Praise of Foul-Weather Friends
I called my pastor today to complain. She came to our home yesterday to check on me, serve us communion, anoint me with oil and pray for me. I had also wanted to talk to her about something I'm trying to discern. As someone who shares our general age bracket, Karen had some sound counsel. But … Continue reading Complaining to my Pastor (and maybe to God)
I just joined a club no one wants membership in. My certificate came in the form of a pathology report the doctor didn't expect. I have colon cancer. A couple days after the diagnosis, I was in surgery to have half my colon robotically removed. The tissue and surrounding lymph nodes were extracted, biopsied and … Continue reading I Just Joined a Club that No One Wants Membership In
This morning, I read the following from the autobiography of an American slave, Harriet Jacobs, and it elicited an audible gasp. My wife Janet had the same response when I read it to her: We all know that the memory of a faithful slave [the author's deceased mother] does not avail much to save her … Continue reading Won’t you be my neighbor?
I was very ready for a vacation this month. My new book was released on July 3, with a number of activities involved in the weeks before and after including occasional interviews, so it seemed imprudent to head off for vacation during that window. I also had a very gratifying but intense World Vision trip … Continue reading Our Rosa Parks Moments
In our home, the fridge is perpetually full. Not so choked to the gills that it can't let in light, but to the point where last week we decided there's really no room to add pickle relish to our condiment collection, if that gives any indication. The cause of this state of affairs goes back … Continue reading Enoughness
I’m humbled and excited by the response to my soon-to-be-released book, After the Trip: Unpacking Your Crosscultural Experience. Click the link to see the great cover art and the strong endorsements it has already received (under Reviews). I’m creating a Launch Team and would love to have you on it! My publisher, InterVarsity Press, is … Continue reading Would you join the Launch Team for my new book?!
Tonight, Janet and I watched a video recording of the memorial service of a friend... the wife in a couple I've known and served as donors for over 30 years. She died at home in upstate New York though her memorial was in Chicago, where they’d lived for many years. There was a beautiful diversity … Continue reading Bearing Witness