What we are losing as a people

During a summer evening in 1948, a woman worked quietly in a paddy near Fukui Japan. She was likely checking that the water levels were adequate for the growing rice. Suddenly, a magnitude seven earthquake shook the muddy ground. According to reports, soldiers witnessed a four-foot-wide fissure open at the woman’s feet. She grasped at… Continue reading What we are losing as a people

For those who are not enough

An author and researcher I respect often says, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough!”1 What about the times when you are not enough though? What about when you are doing your best at school or work and still failing? Or when you are a less-than-adequate spouse or… Continue reading For those who are not enough

Attributes of an ideal companion

I just returned from a white-water rafting trip in the Appalachian Mountains with my father and brothers. The river was at times swift and treacherous. At others it was slow and scenic but always breezy and cold. Even though we were wearing full-length wetsuits, booties and rain jackets, my younger brother said he had never… Continue reading Attributes of an ideal companion

The hidden key to forgiveness

The purpose of this article is not to convince you to forgive. You already know you should. One Gallup study found that 94% of respondents believed it was important to forgive others, but 85% said they needed outside help to do so.1 So today we will focus on how. Forgiveness on the parkway In Boston,… Continue reading The hidden key to forgiveness

Happiness hierarchies and why they matter

Happiness hierarchies

Why should anyone care what ‘happiness’ is? The word matters because so many of us have elevated it to an exalted state. We all seem to be chasing happiness, sharing it over social media when we have it, and then mourning its loss. If happiness is the whole aim and end of human existence,1 then… Continue reading Happiness hierarchies and why they matter

A fantasy story hidden in the Bible’s Book of Revelation

I told a dramatized version of the Bible’s Book of Revelation (also called the Apocalypse of John) during a large family gathering in Mexico. Children sat on the carpet, adults on the couches and teenagers on the windowsills and floor around me. It can be difficult to make some parts of the scriptures come alive.… Continue reading A fantasy story hidden in the Bible’s Book of Revelation

Pushing your beliefs

While walking with two of my daughters in Northeast Portland, a man hurried past us with long strides and flapping dreadlocks. He was yelling into his phone. “…If he tries to tell you what God wants, that is the height of blasphemy! No one should tell you what to believe! I’m so tired of…” And… Continue reading Pushing your beliefs

A new kind of happiness

This article tugs at the knotted question: do believers have access to more happiness than non-believers do? The following trail of if-then statements led me toward a deeper understanding.   If there is no law, there is no sin. If there is no sin, there is no righteousness. And if there [is] no righteousness there… Continue reading A new kind of happiness

Should I live for today or for heaven?

I cringe when I hear people say that Christians never truly embrace life and only endure it. They say believers care too much for the hereafter to bother with the here and now. Friedrich Nietzche once wrote that “Christianity was from the beginning life's nausea and disgust with life, merely concealed behind, masked by, dressed… Continue reading Should I live for today or for heaven?

Distraction and the forbidden fruit

When Eve noticed that the forbidden fruit was pleasing to eye and able to make her wise, she plucked it, ate it, and then shared some with Adam. She was the first to be drawn in by the enticements of the serpent and a world that continues to charm and divert us. Compared with all… Continue reading Distraction and the forbidden fruit