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Rite of passage parenting: Good, better, best
May12

Rite of passage parenting: Good, better, best

Growing up, I didn’t need the Internet. Instead, I had a Montgomery Ward catalog. Not only could you use it to find and order just about anything made, but you could break one or two of the Ten Commandments within its pages. Back in the day, we considered three things sacred: God, country and the Montgomery Ward catalog. Emblazoned on its cover was the proclamation “Largest Mail Order Business in the U.S.—Supplies for every Trade and...

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Rite of passage parenting: Nursery duty
May05

Rite of passage parenting: Nursery duty

I became a pastor so I wouldn’t have to work in the nursery. We are the only church members with a legitimate excuse to get out of that duty week after week. But in a moment of weakness, I volunteered for nursery duty at my son’s church the past two weeks. They needed some help on Tuesday nights while holding marriage counseling classes. That pastor excuse is only good on Sundays and Wednesdays. Besides, I reasoned, how difficult...

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Rite of passage parenting: The questions of Jesus
Apr28

Rite of passage parenting: The questions of Jesus

There are three phases to life. In the first phase, you ask questions. “Why is the sky blue?” “Where do babies come from?” “Why does Uncle Jim have a wart on his nose?” If you have ever spent time around children, you know they never stop asking questions. The weirdest one I ever got came from our youngest son. One day, he asked, “When are you and Mommy going to get a divorce?” When I asked why he wanted to know, he said all the cool...

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Rite of passage parenting: A world of difference
Apr20

Rite of passage parenting: A world of difference

I grew up in a world that, devoid of most media outlets, was largely self-contained. TV was in its infancy, and the newspaper was something we took mostly for the local news. International news came from the radio or what was then called a “newsreel.” Shown before a movie began, each newsreel consisted of a short documentary containing recent news and events. For the most part, my generation lived in a bubble. We lived, we worked, we...

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Rite of passage parenting: The art of engaging
Apr14

Rite of passage parenting: The art of engaging

I believe one of the greatest things about Jesus was his ability to walk up to a group and engage them in conversation. The context didn’t matter; He could engage the most learned men of His day or the woman at the well. Jesus knew the art of engaging. As a missionary, the ability to engage is paramount to sharing the Gospel. If you ever came on one of our mission trips, you would take a class on “The Art of Engaging.” Yesterday, I...

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Rite of passage parenting: Lessons from my marriage
Apr06

Rite of passage parenting: Lessons from my marriage

Marriage is an incredible revealer of truth. It helps you discover not only a lot about your mate but also about yourself as well. I lived in darkness for so long as a single man that God sent along someone who had a big flashlight and wasn’t afraid to use it in my life. Yes, my real education began when my wife and I said our wedding vows. We hadn’t been married long before I discovered I had a candle problem. As a single young man...

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