In the Deep End

I think I was around four years old when I first ventured into the deep end of the pool, which seems a little young looking back on it. I was taking swim lessons at the local YMCA, and I had discovered some natural ability for swimming. I picked up the basic mechanics of swimming pretty […]

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The Threat of Christmas

There’s Easter candy in the stores now. Not just Valentine’s Day candy; that is actually just a little over a month away, so that doesn’t surprise me. But Easter candy? Apparently so. A pastor friend of mine posted a picture of piles of Cadbury chocolate cream Easter eggs in his local store with the sign, […]

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Jesus’ First Words

One of my favorite Christmas cards depicts the classic stable scene in its center.  Mary is holding the baby Jesus and gazing adoringly into his eyes with a broad smile on her face.  Joseph stands behind her, peering over her shoulder, and shepherds and animals are gathered all around.  Off to the side, though, are […]

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What Do You Hear

Many of you know that I lived in Australia for a year when my wife Tammy won a fellowship to study issues of inequality in access to education there. We spent the first six months of that year living in Sydney, which included the Christmas holidays. Australian culture had a lot in common with our […]

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Becoming a Benediction

In the winter of 1990, my father became a prophet. Against all sense and reason, he bought season tickets to the Atlanta Braves, the laughingstock of baseball who had just finished yet another abysmal season at the bottom of their division, where they had been ever since my family moved to Atlanta from here in […]

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Knowing Who You Are

I started shaving my head about five years ago. It was the culmination of the long retreat of my once glorious mane of hair. And it was glorious; but in my late 20s, I noticed that it was no longer quite so glorious on the back of my head. I started cutting my hair shorter […]

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On This Mountain

I first read Jon Krakauer’s book, Into Thin Air, when I was traveling through Africa in between semesters when I studied at the University of Cape Town. “Traveling through Africa” conjures up all kinds of romantic images for people, but the actual travel part of traveling is like a lot of places: long, monotonous roads; […]

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Hidden in Plain Sight

Even if you’re not a sports fan, the film Moneyball is a wonderful exploration of how to find actual value when it’s hard to see at first. Moneyball is the true story of how the Oakland A’s, one of major league baseball’s most cash-strapped teams, reinvented themselves after having lost all their best players to rich […]

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