Classic Post: On Traditions – Updated

Honoring the past and living with joy in the present

“Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could” — Richard Rogers (“Something Good”) As Christmas approaches, I’ve been thinking about the importance of traditions.  Having a set of practices tied to the Christmas season has generated lots of benefits for me and my household.  I credit our traditions with the following: Making memories and sharing experiences that strengthen […]

Classic Post: The Unsung Hero of Christmas

The noble character of Joseph

Merry Christmas! While we celebrate the incarnation of Christ Jesus, I want to ask you to consider the example of a man who was indispensable to the Christmas story — Joseph the carpenter.   Meet Joseph When we first meet Joseph in the Bible, he is defined in terms of his relationships — as the […]

Classic Post: The Advent Conspiracy – A Cure for Grinches?

How to bring back the wonder of Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner.  Despite the holiday-themed TV ads that began in early November and the radio stations that started playing Christmas music around the same time, it’s possible you may have missed it.  As a friend of mine observed, “Christmas seems to come earlier every year.” If the crass commercialization of the […]

Giving Thanks When It Hurts

My sister-in-law's tribute to her mother shows the way

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” – Psalm 116:15 (ESV) As I have written, we lost my mother-in-law, Carolyn, in early October following a tragic accident on a Florida bridge. Because her husband, Jack, was still in critical condition, we decided to postpone Carolyn’s funeral until Jack had […]

In Memory of Carolyn S. Lakes (1932 – 2017)

My mother-in-law was a blessing.

“The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.” – Proverbs 10:7 (ESV) “It shouldn’t have happened.” Those were my wife’s words on Sunday — the day she and her siblings, our nephew, and I said goodbye to their mother, his grandmother, my mother-in-law. “It shouldn’t have happened. […]

To Lead is To Love is To Serve

The anatomy of marriage

“Marriage is the graduate school of service.” – Pastor David Chadwick I’ve made no secret of my belief in marriage. Mrs. Booth and I have been married for nearly 32 years, with the struggles and joys that come with being married that long. It has been and is a great thing and I love being […]

Re-post: On Stock Cars and Station Wagons

Why confusing love and marriage leads to dysfunction

Commenter Dale provided a reminder recently of an important concept that deserves more attention: “Dalrock, on his blog, has somewhat regularly been hitting the idea that we have love and marriage totally backwards. We think that a relationship of romantic love is the correct place in which to have sex and create marriage. A consequence […]

Re-post: All Our Eggs in One Basket

Is the church in decline?

“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” -Mark Twain Perhaps you’ve heard or read a news item on the findings of a new report on religion in America published by the Pew Research Center. The link to America’s Changing Religious Landscape appears here. The main point reported is that the number of Americans […]

Re-Post: Little Brother is Watching You

Why you and I are not our own

“Therefore I urge you to imitate me.”  – 1 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV) –Saint Paul Time for another visit to the poetry corner. Note: I found this years ago in a poetry anthology belonging to my grandfather. I noticed it because when he read something that stuck with him, he’d sign his name on the page. […]

Defeating the False Self – a First-Person Account

He's not all bad...

In my previous post on identity, I warned against the rise of the impostor, also known as the false self. If you’re like me and most of the men I’ve met, you have either overcome the false self, or you are living the life of the false self. What is this False Self you speak […]