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Rite of passage: Country churches, Part 2
Jun06

Rite of passage: Country churches, Part 2

As I wrote last week, I grew up in small country churches. We didn’t have staff members, a digital billboard or even a paid janitor. We did have janitors, though. Each week, a different family was assigned that duty. When it was your family’s turn, your parents would bring you and your siblings to the church to mop, dust and empty the trash. I think they now have laws against child labor. But we also worked at home and on the farm, so...

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Rite of passage: Country churches
May30

Rite of passage: Country churches

I grew up attending small, country churches. In fact, when I was growing up, there was no such thing as a megachurch. We didn’t have a clue about bands, light shows or PowerPoint. If you had asked me what a megachurch was, I might have pointed you toward a church in town that had 300 in attendance. It was bigger than my elementary and middle schools combined. But these small, country churches molded my life. Even today, I can’t drive...

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Rite of passage: The adventure
May23

Rite of passage: The adventure

For a couple of months, Titus the Honorable and I have been planning a big adventure. Of course, planning with a 3-year-old only takes about a minute. A recent Saturday was our big day: just Titus and me, heading off on a journey into the dark forest to look for snakes. Now, the dark forest is actually Turkey Mountain in Tulsa. Turkey Mountain isn’t really a mountain or a dark forest, but it’s classified as an urban wilderness, which...

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Rite of passage: Lord of the ring
May16

Rite of passage: Lord of the ring

I am not into jewelry at all. I like buying it for my wife, but when it comes to myself, I have only two rings and a couple of watches. But the other day, I was asked to speak at Ft. Sill. It was an incredible opportunity as I haven’t been on that base since 1971, 46 years ago. A lot has changed since then; in fact, when I was asking about the cannon I was trained on, they told me it is now in a museum. I thought it would be neat to...

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Rite of passage: Scents and sensibility
May09

Rite of passage: Scents and sensibility

I wonder what makes people give the gifts they do. When someone gives me a scented candle, are they telling me my house stinks? And why would they give me a Mango/Kiwi/Dirty Sock-scented candle? There are only a couple of reasons. The first is that they had a sale at the candle store: Buy one regular candle and get the Mango/Kiwi/Dirty Sock candle free. Or maybe they think that special candle would somehow improve the smell of my...

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Rite of passage: Lessons from a 3-year-old
May02

Rite of passage: Lessons from a 3-year-old

I get home one night to find 3-year-old Titus the Honorable at my house. I don’t know if he was more excited to see me or the pile of dirt in the back of my truck. “Poppy, can I play in the dirt?” he asked. I could see in his little eyes that adventurous spirit that so dominates his life. He was asking for permission to climb into the back of my truck and start playing. “Titus, I don’t think that would be a good idea.” “Why, Poppy?”...

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