I complained about a cashier — and I won’t forget her boss’s response

It was Christmas Eve at the Hallmark store and the elderly cashier didn’t even look up when I said hello. I thought she might not have heard me. “Merry Christmas!” I said. Still no response. “That stuffed animal we’re buying is for our new baby — she could come any day now.” The woman barely looked up and coldly said, “You got anything else?” “Nope — that’s it. Just a little Christmas present for my new baby.” The woman charged my card and didn’t speak. “Well have a merry Christmas,” I said with a touch of irritation. She didn’t respond….

What happens if you don’t buy books (or Big Macs)

Do you want to know what makes me *REALLY* uncomfortable as an author? It’s selling my book. I’m talking about the book I poured countless hours into — the book I’m so proud of — the five-star book on Amazon! Here’s the problem though … Readers like free writing that they can get online. But spending $12 on a book? That’s a couple of trips to McDonalds! Gotta save that money! Here’s why authors have to sell books: If readers don’t buy books, publishers don’t ask authors to write more of them. (Imagine authors were McDonald’s but people would only…

Lessons about sin from a disastrous commute

I thought I knew how to get home from work. At least I certainly should have. I never imagined where I was actually going to end up. My family and I had just returned to a city we’d left five years before, and I was uncertain about my commute because we had moved to a new area. I used my GPS to get headed in the right direction until I knew where I was going; then I turned it off and headed to the new house. While the drive down the interstate felt familiar, something was off. I didn’t remember…

50 wonderful Christian quotes

I’ve been collecting quotes over the years, many of which I’ve shared in blog posts or via social media over the years. At different points of my life, God has used these quotes to inspire, correct, and challenge me. I figured I would share 50 of them here so you can benefit from them too. Enjoy! God never made a promise that was too good to be true. — Dwight L. Moody The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the…

Where’s God when I’m waiting on the next Big Thing?

Here I go again — waiting on God to provide the next Big Thing. This time it’s something different though. Fourteen years ago, I was waiting for God to provide a wife. Twelve years ago it was a new job. Three years ago, it was physical healing. Last year it was selling my house. This year, I’ve got another Big Thing, and it’s driving me crazy.

A painful reality of 2020: The year our family stopped going to church

A few weeks after we moved to a new city this winter, COVID-19 hit, leaving us to “attend” the online service of a church we had been visiting for about two months. It didn’t work. We didn’t even know the music leaders on the screen. Now these people were propped up on our kitchen table, earnestly looking at us through our iPad, inviting us to join in with congregation-less singing. And while I truly admired the effort they were making to provide a meaningful Sunday morning experience, we just couldn’t connect with it. Church felt like watching a locally produced,…

Thank God for that Awful Lady in the Lexus

The other day, I was just minding my own business, trying to get to work, when a woman in a black Lexus brought out the worst in me. I was trying to park in a garage in downtown Washington, D.C., which is a challenge. I have little time to get to the garage after dropping off my daughter at school, and if I’m a minute late, the price goes up from $14 to $21. Time is of the essence.

Check out these podcasts featuring interviews with Raquel and me

If you have enjoyed reading what Raquel and I have written, here’s a chance to hear us share our thoughts and interviews. Enjoy! [And I also need to apologize: Something happened to the original post that was linked here (“My appearance on a morning show horrified my wife”) and I can’t get it back. It has been so frustrating! But you should definitely check our our podcast interviews below.]

My siblings died — and my dad sang this song

The phone rang and my mom answered. She never imagined the horrific news my grandfather was about to share: My dad’s two children from his first marriage had died in a plane crash.  Scottie and Rhonie Rogers (ages 10 and 14) were last seen with their mom and stepdad on July 5, 1981, when they took off in a light airplane en route to Florida for a vacation. The plane never made it there. The newspaper reported that the plane was flying through a thunderstorm when it plunged from 11,000 feet to 4,000 feet. It dropped off the radar and…

A lesson in prayer from kicking my daughter out of the kitchen

It was my daughter Layla’s ninth birthday last week, but if you’d asked her, it was more like her birthday season. Five months ago, Layla not only started talking about what gifts she wanted for her birthday— she began developing a meal plan for the big day (donuts, a Lunchable, and tacos). Layla deemed the day before her birthday, “Birthday Eve.” She went around talking about it to anyone who would listen, including a Target cashier, who thrilled Layla by correctly guessing that she was turning nine.

Watch the Focus on the Family interview with my wife and me

I was a little boy living in the town of Petal, Mississippi, when I first heard the Focus on the Family Broadcast. I heard it at home while we were getting ready for school, driving around in the car, or on a cassette tape my mom had ordered because she was particularly moved by one of the shows. Actually being on the show, which has about seven million listeners every day, was not a prospect I considered. Well, it happened. …

The story of two dads, two boys, and one Father

The other night I had a dream about my dad, who died over two years ago. I was in the fellowship hall of the church we attended when I was a boy, and I (as an adult) called his cell phone number. This was odd because I knew he was dead and wouldn’t answer the phone, but to my pleasant shock, he picked up. “Hey-lo!” Dad said in his twangy Arkansas accent. My heart leapt. I hadn’t talked with him in months — I thought I couldn’t talk to him anymore. “Hey, Dad!” I said, but then I looked up…

A racially tinged comment about my wife — a lesson in forgiveness

I was at a holiday party talking with a friend when I overheard a woman behind me say the name of my wife in a conversation. I naturally started listening in and then realized that the woman, a friendly acquaintance, was talking about Raquel’s ethnicity. “I’ll tell you what,” said the woman snidely with a laugh, “she looks like a Mexican if you ask me!” (Raquel is Puerto Rican).