I know this was stupid, but last weekend, I did two hours of yard work, despite the fact that I had a severe sinus infection. It all happened because my wife was outside planting bulbs, and I just couldn’t handle the fact that she was laboring in the yard while I sat inside and rested (which was exactly what I needed to be doing).
I was the senior class president of Petal High School in 1997, and one of my duties was to make a trip to the middle school to talk about sexual abstinence with the eighth graders.
A couple of weeks ago, there was an unexpected turn of events in my life that knocked the wind out of me. At first, it agitated me; then agitation turned into anxiety, and anxiety turned into a low-grade feeling of panic. I didn’t have a lot of control over the circumstances, and every moment I left things unresolved, it weighed on me more heavily.
In March of 2001 I was hospitalized for emergency abdominal surgery, a blockage. In the course of it, I developed a serious blood clot, which also had to be treated.
“Margaritas, everyone!” said the worship leader from my new church as she filled plastic cups for the partygoers in her home. I was mortified, and I figured God was too. Then I walked outside where I found our Austrian pastor making conversation and smoking a cigarette. All I could do was put on my best fake smile, bid farewell, and ease away from the party in confusion.
One day, I was standing in the kitchen at my mom’s house, and for the first time, it occurred to me that my favorite music was the sound of tinkering high notes on a piano. So I rhetorically asked my mom, “Do you know what my absolute favorite music is?”
I once knew this guy who regularly started conversations like this: “Have you got a minute? I need your prayers.” Except there was never any prayer involved – it was just a religious intro to gossip.
According to a recent study by the Barna group, at least 70 percent of single, self-identified Christian men view pornography on a monthly basis. Many Christian women probably look at this statistic and fear being stuck with a husband who’s more aroused by his smartphone than her. But I’m more worried many of these men will never get married at all.
The other day, I was reading the Bible to my little daughters and we came across a passage that made me a little uncomfortable. In it, Jesus said, “Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow” (Matthew 5:42). It felt awkward when I tried to explain the verse to the girls.
When I was a little boy, I desperately wanted to be famous. It probably had a lot to do with me idealizing the lives of the children who appeared on Family Ties and The Cosby Show, not to mention the fact that my parents were struggling financially, and I thought being famous would make us rich.
I’ve had close friendships with countless Christians in my lifetime, and if there’s one thing we’ve all got in common, it’s that we’ve all got some bad habit, some addictive sin, some hangup that we just can’t seem to overcome. People struggle with all kinds of things — rage, overeating, jealousy, passive-aggressive behavior, and porn addiction, to name a few.
When I was 16, my mother and step-dad got married and we began packing our things to move into a new house. At one point, my step-dad came into my room and looked in my closet.
The other day, I was swimming with my daughters at the indoor community pool when a woman with a little baby swam closeby. My daughter Renee said hello to the baby, so I asked, “How old is he?” “It’s actually a girl,” said the woman, “and she’s seven months.”
Right now, I’m sitting with my foot propped up and ice pressed against my ankle because I injured it, and it is killing me – not the ankle though; the ice. The thing is, ice is the one thing I really need right now, but I feel like pulling my foot away because I can’t stand the temporary discomfort that comes with it.
There’s nothing like trying to get on a loaded city bus when there’s a mob of people waiting at the bus stop. When that happens, everybody just crams into the bus and surrenders their personal space – well, most people do.