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Rite of passage: Swing shift
May22

Rite of passage: Swing shift

Grammy has been talking to me about putting up a swing set in our backyard.  She believes Titus the Honorable and Cohen the Goodhearted are at the age where a swing set will be a good babysitter—I mean investment. Night after night, she showed me sales and pictures of different types of swing sets: wooden ones bigger than our house and small metal ones like the one I used to swing on as a boy. She happened upon one she thought would...

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Rite of passage: Heaven according to ‘Dr. Titus’
May15

Rite of passage: Heaven according to ‘Dr. Titus’

The other night, 4-year-old Titus the Honorable and I were sitting on the floor playing with some toys. We were enjoying the time together in silence when Titus spoke up and said, “Poppy, you know when you die, you will go to heaven.” He wasn’t asking a question but stating a fact. I wasn’t sure why he was telling me this. Did he want to reassure me because he thinks I am knocking on death’s door? Not too long ago, one of his...

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Rite of passage: International travel tips, part 2
May08

Rite of passage: International travel tips, part 2

There is nothing I enjoy more than training missionaries. I am of the opinion that every believer should live the lifestyle of a missionary. That means wherever I go, I am the missionary, and every place I set foot is the mission field. I should be the same whether I am browsing the shelves in a Wisconsin Walmart or standing in downtown Welshpool, Wales. I think the words “short-term missionary” are misleading. If I read the...

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Rite of passage: International traveling tips
May01

Rite of passage: International traveling tips

I have spent a good portion of my adult life traveling internationally. As summer approaches, many church groups and individuals are hard at work raising money, applying for passports and getting travel visas as they prepare to serve overseas. Getting everything together is not easy, I know; I have led thousands of students to the four corners of the world. And I have made more mistakes and bloopers on these journeys than most of you...

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Rite of passage: Sew ‘n go
Apr24

Rite of passage: Sew ‘n go

They slowly gather in a room every Wednesday morning, with no pomp and circumstance. Once, these women were young and strong. They raised families and ran businesses, but life is like a river, with many bends and turns to negotiate along the way. Now, the women of this group are moving on up in years. Many have retired; their children and families have moved away, and even their husbands have passed on. But these women have resolved...

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Rite of passage: Only the best
Apr17

Rite of passage: Only the best

Last week, Grammy and I had the privilege of having Titus the Honorable and Cohen the Goodhearted spend the afternoon with us. It was one of those days when it was warm enough to go outside but still had a tinge of winter lingering in the air. My grandsons love being in our backyard, but not because they have room to run or trees to climb. No, they love the backyard because that is where the water spigot resides. There is something...

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