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My dad’s stunning response when I told him off

A few weeks after my first child was born, I told my dad off. At the heart of my complaints was one central failure: Ever since I was a kid, he had failed to show up. Read more

There’s just one way to marry the right person (and anyone can do it)

When I was in college I wrote an op-ed for my local newspaper about the kind of woman I wanted to marry. It embarrasses me to this day.

I had three criteria for my future wife: First, she needed to have the body of Nikki Taylor, a “child bearing supermodel.” Second, she had to measure up to the perfection of my mother. And third, she had to be the kind of woman who Mary, the mother of Jesus, would approve of.  Read more

The last three words I said to my dad

Last summer, my dad was in crisis.

He was in the hospital after another near miss with death, and based on his track record, it would kill him if he went back to his old apartment and tried to live independently. And while I couldn’t imagine sending him to a nursing facility, we didn’t have a lot of options. Read more

A schoolteacher showed me what love looks like

It was 1988 in Petal, Mississippi, and I was in love. My third-grade student teacher, Ms. Smith, had stolen my heart.

Ms. Smith was pretty, with her long brown hair and that tiny ponytail on the top of her head that poofed up. But it was more than her looks that made me swoon — Ms. Smith likedme. That wasn’t always the case with my teachers, and for good reason. Read more

I was smiling for the TV cameras, but I was dying inside

I sat in the Fox News Washington studio last fall and waited to be interviewed on “Fox & Friends” about a heartwarming op-ed I had written for Fox News headlined “What happened when my daughter saw me kiss my wife.”

My body was exhausted from an intense treatment for a chronic illness; a doctor had just reported that my dad would probably be dead in six months; and I felt like I was failing as a dad because I was spending too much time at work. I was lost in sea of depression and I couldn’t find my way home. Read more

The Horse the Spirit Rides

I can’t picture the Holy Spirit. I want to, but I just can’t.

Now Jesus is different — I can see Him in my imagination: a Middle Eastern man with black hair, a beard, and smile wrinkles on His face (there are probably scars on His face too). Read more

I couldn’t believe these were my father’s final words to me

Last autumn, my brother Caleb and I knew our father didn’t have much time left. He had been in the hospital intensive care unit three times in one year and although his mind was clear, his heart was failing. But he refused to admit it – and that presented a minor problem. Read more

Married couples don’t have to be “best friends” — they can be something better

When you witness another couple give each other an extended, passionate kiss, you don’t forget it — especially if they’re a married couple. I certainly haven’t forgotten one particular time I got an eyeful on a sweltering afternoon in Mississippi. Read more

The boring preacher in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood

One time I was talking to a friend and she mentioned that when she first started following Jesus, the Lord greatly used sermons from a certain TV preacher to help her grow in her faith. Personally, I wasn’t impressed with the televangelist.

Granted, I hadn’t actually listened to any of the preacher’s sermons, but that was beside the point. Everybody in my circle agreed that the preaching was little more than motivational speaking with scriptures thrown in. Read more

My dad is finally celebrating Easter Sunday

I have a brother and sister who died in a plane crash when they were 10 and 14 years old. Although I only have one memory of them, I definitely felt their absence growing up. I know my father did too. Read more