The Happiest Day of My Life for 40 Years

I warn you, this story will sound strange.  But this is just the way it happened. photo of bright yellow and orange sunrise

For many years, I was hesitant to share my testimony with people because it was so unusual, and because it was such a precious memory for me. 

Then in 2011 I joined a week-long mission trip to Guatemala.  One of my assignments during this journey was to share my testimony with several groups of elementary school children. 

This forced me to condense the story of my first meeting with God into a four minute presentation that was simple enough for young children to understand.

So I invite you to pretend you are a Guatemalan third-grader, and join me on this G-rated stroll down memory lane to the Spring of 1980…


When I was growing up, I often wondered about God. How could anybody really KNOW if God was real? How could you KNOW if he heard your prayers? I could not imagine how it was possible to know such things. Continue reading

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Attention Haters: You’re Getting Mad at the Wrong People

Martinsville, Indiana—David is a doctor. He helps treat cancer patients, who are among the most vulnerable during this COVID-19 outbreak.

That’s why it is so ironic that he should be harassed by a bigot at a local gas station.

man wearing medical mask holds hand out in "stop" signal

Last Friday, Doctor David made a routine stop at the Marathon station on Burton Lane in Martinsville for fuel. Then he walked inside to buy a cup of coffee.

WISH-TV news reports that “when he went inside the clerk immediately started yelling at him, asking if he was Chinese, and told him to leave.”

The report quoted David’s retelling of the incident: “He continued to ask where I’m from and yelling at me. And then I told him that I am from Korean descent but was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and haven’t traveled out of the country in many many years. And he just went off.”

The clerk kept getting angrier and told David to “get out, and never come back.” Continue reading

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How to Cure Your Coronavirus Anxiety

So, you’re freaking out because there’s a coronavirus pandemic?

Miss hanging out with your friends?

Can’t work, wondering how you’ll pay your bills?

Afraid you’re gonna get sick and die?

There is a cure for all this anxiety, but it requires some self-examination.

Because in fact, you only have one real problem, and it’s the same problem everybody else on earth has.

YOU ARE HERE

See that little dot in the picture above? That’s you, where you are, right now, at this moment in time. In the grand scheme of things, your life amounts to one little dot.

Continue reading

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What Would You Do with Your Last Month on Earth?

last-month-on-earth

Pretend for a moment that God has given you a special break: He has allowed you to be the only person on earth to receive 30 days notice of your death.

Most of us will never have a clue. We usually die suddenly and unexpectedly. Even if you’re elderly and ill, you could linger on a good while with no idea exactly when you would draw that last breath.

But you have been notified! You know you have a month to close out your life. What an incredible gift that would be. Armed with the knowledge that you have 30 days to prepare for your exit, think of what you could do!

Foolish people might consider traveling the world on their credit card, knowing they’d be dead before the bills came due.

But a wise person would never disrespect this gift. He or she would take advantage of the 30 days notice and wrap up the business of life. Continue reading

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With Thanks to Soldiers I Have Known

This was originally posted in 2009…but it bears repeating…

soldiers departing for deployment

I write this today, and you read this today, because millions of American soldiers, engaged in various battles that spanned over more than two centuries, fought for the cause of freedom.

I have had the privilege of knowing some of these men and women. They are regular, everyday working people, paying their bills and raising their families. They don’t consider themselves special.

They will, without exception, tell you that they were just doing their jobs during those times when they risked life and limb to protect us.

I have known my wife’s Uncle Nick for over 35 years. A great guy, a retired automobile salesman, Nick has always been a fun guy to know. We get to see each other at least once a year at a Labor Day family reunion, and I have always enjoyed sharing some laughs with him.

In all that time, I never knew he had been in the military.

Last summer, my wife and I were visiting at Nick’s new home in Greenwood. He was gone at the time and his wife, Aunt Marilyn, was giving us a tour of their new place.

I noticed a plaque hanging on a wall in the hallway. On one side was a black and white photo of a trim young Uncle Nick in a United States Marine uniform. On the other half of the plaque was a print of the famous WWII photo of the Marines raising the US flag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima.

I mentioned to Marilyn that I had never known that Nick was in the Marines. “Oh yeah,” she replied, “He was all over the Pacific back then. He went to Guam and Tarawa and Iwo Jima and a few other places.” She mentioned it so casually, it almost sounded like a cruise itinerary.
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The Trouble with Taking a Knee

flag & v-sign

Hell must have frozen over.

My old buddy Mike, the most rabid football fan I have ever known, stopped watching the NFL this season.

“I can’t watch that crap anymore,” he told me recently.

This is a man who lives for football. A man who sinks into post-partum depression every February a week after the Super Bowl.

But his wife is thrilled. Now Mike takes her out to eat on Sundays.

My buddy is just one of millions of NFL fans who are tuning out their favorite sport. They are too irritated by the kneeling protests during pre-game ceremonies. Continue reading

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Celebrating Another Ungrateful Thanksgiving: America 2016

My younger grandchildren always enjoyed watching videos of Jay-Jay the Jet Plane. If you don’t have small children around the house, you may not be familiar with Jay-Jay, but trust me, he is really big with the pre-school crowd.

But I became troubled recently while I was watching a holiday-themed Jay-Jay video with one of the kids.

Jay-Jay and his friends were flying around (as they so often do) while discussing the meaning of Thanksgiving. Jay-Jay didn’t understand the concept of being thankful, or even what to be thankful for.

His little jet-friend Tracy set him straight, to some degree, by reminding him of the good things in his life and teaching him to appreciate his friends, his job, and the comforts of home at Tarreytown airport.

What bothers me is the fact that my grandchildren are being taught a lesson that is only two-thirds complete. Watching Jay-Jay, they will learn to count their blessings, and they will learn to be thankful for them – but aren’t these two concepts wasted unless they learn WHO to be thankful TO?

Continue reading

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Not Everything Can be True

Everybody has an opinion about God:

“It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere.”

“All religions worship the same God, just in different ways.”

“There are many different paths that lead to heaven.”

But there is a big problem with this whole “all religions are equally valid” concept – and that is the simple fact that two contradictory ideas cannot both be true at the same time.

It is true that many of the world’s religions share some common elements of morality, but to argue that all religions lead to the same God does not make any sense, since every religion paints such a unique portrait of who God is and how he operates.

I have heard otherwise intelligent people publicly proclaim that Christians and Muslims all worship the same God, just in different ways. Yikes! I suppose that is possible if God is schizophrenic! Continue reading

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Remembering a Fatherhood Past

My life changed forever on August 29, 1979, when my wife Peggy delivered a baby girl and turned me into a father. As I held that helpless babe, with her cute little pudgy nose and wrinkled face, I was overwhelmed by an awesome sense of responsibility.

Stephanie and me in 1979

I knew I was not cut out for this. Patience? Nurturing? Setting an example? This poor kid had no clue what I had gotten her into. But I sure did love that little girl, so I resolved to do my best as a father, however inadequate that might be.

Eighteen months later, Peggy blessed me again, this time with a son. Now there were two young minds full of mush, depending upon us for wisdom, guidance and encouragement! The  stakes were getting higher all the time, and I really wasn’t feeling any wiser or more patient or confident. Continue reading

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When the Political Process Gives You Lemons…

I am not happy about Donald Trump.Trump

I have voted Republican most of my life. Not because I necessarily believe that Republicans are more virtuous, but because they usually seem less dangerous than Democrats.

I embrace those traditional conservative values of smaller government, lower taxes and less regulation, which nourish individual liberty and prosperity.

I like liberty. I like prosperity. I want all of us to have the freedom to better ourselves in a country where the government gets out of our pockets and leaves us alone to do that “pursuit of happiness” thing we all like to talk about. Continue reading

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