Conversation Starters

On a back road in Southern Illinois, heading home for a Memorial Day visit, I saw these words on a church sign in Thompsonville, Illinois: Jesus is God's selfie. I love clever church signs as much as the next guy. And I understand the desire to engage the culture "where it's at." As long as…

It Starts

You know that thing you knew would happen, you just didn't know when? That's happening to me, right now. And whenever this kind of thing happens, I hear the voice of the inimitable Nathan Lane, as Timon the meerkat in Disney's The Lion King, in his best street-wise Brooklyn accent: It starts. For Timon and…

Perspective, Promise and Presence

There are just two things I want to know when I start hiking a trail. Where does it go? And how hard will it be? For me, the trail is a metaphor for life. For the passage of time. For choices made and not made. I'm also fascinated by the fact that inverting just two…

Close Calls

Ordinarily, we want our children to obey authority, right? Well, there was one time when it almost didn't work out so well.... During a family trip to Washington DC one Spring Break many moons ago, we came to a stop on the Metro near the Smithsonian Museums, and our entire 8-person group started the processional of…

The Snake Stick

Man, I really miss my Grandma. Grandma was a woman of the Old World. Born in America, mind you, but not of the modern age. She was born in the hills of Appalachia in the early 1900s, to a family that we could trace back to the early 1700s in her small Pennsylvania town. Somehow,…

No Secret Passages

The world of secret passages conjures up for me visions of medieval castles, old Frankenstein movies, and trying to win Clue games against my wife (and losing...every...time...). By the way, I'm grateful to Mel Brooks for removing the scariness from Frankenstein movies, and providing an endless supply on one-liners in his classic 1970s movie Young…

Lessons From a Broken Gas Gauge

In the early 1980s, summers in Kansas City were wonderful. More fountains than Paris, beautiful flowers and foliage, and at the time, pretty good baseball too (we had this guy on the Royals named George Brett -- you might want to look him up). One of the oldest and largest parks in Kansas City, Swope…