Archives For August 2017

No Empty Nest Here

August 31, 2017 — Leave a comment

I was waiting at a restaurant so popular you often have to stand in line to get a table. She waited behind me. The mother of older teens who had adopted one more.

She spoke to me, perhaps not realizing how profound she was being.

“Just because you’re older, doesn’t mean you’re done parenting.”

We’d had three exchange students by then, but all had come when we had one or two kids still at home.

When I was standing at the restaurant, we were empty nesters. But life can change with one spoken sentence. So my life was changed. Continue Reading…


Rebuilding among the Ruins

August 29, 2017 — 1 Comment

Western Civilization has rounded the bend toward decline before. Awakening came and the people returned to God. Reprieves come. But faithlessness returns. And we have no guarantees that reprieve will come again.

How to pray?

That people would return to God.

That our faithfulness would manifest itself in love for each other, love for our enemies, and love for our perceived enemies–those who disagree with us, those who are different from us. That we would reject presumption, assumption, and pride.

That we would embrace gratitude and reject entitlement.

That believers would dismiss our petty differences and come together in accord and love for Christ, His Church, and those in need. Continue Reading…

(Boomer sits in once more for Nancy E.)

They say he’s coming back soon–my master. It’s that word soon. They keep saying it.

I’ve been here for a long time. Time. It’s a word like soon. Time seems always to be just ahead of us. But we never catch it. Soon never seems to arrive.

It’s been a long time for the humans too.

Since the last time I addressed you, it’s been good. The humans and I get along fine. I’ve made a second home here. I have beds all over the place. The people here think a couple of them are for me. What they call a dog bed sits beside their bed, and a blanket sprawls on the floor in the office. I make do with them when I must. Continue Reading…

When people within the system realize what has happened, they try to correct “the mistake.” They ask Fitzmaurice why he wants to live this way. They think they know the answers. They even think they know better than he does what it’s like to have this disease. 

But they don’t know. And they don’t know Fitzmaurice.

Continue Reading...

I sat in the classroom fourteen years ago, but not as a student. It was my last parent-teacher conference. Soon my youngest child would graduate.

I didn’t understand the nature of this class. Something about America, but not history. Something about government, but not civics. It was a half-year course, an elective, seemingly designed to fulfill a requirement of time studied, or time served, if you will.

When I asked the teacher the purpose of the class, he replied that he taught students what their rights were as Americans.

He didn’t respond to my mention of their duties. Continue Reading…

Some have argued that the monuments and the flag stand for freedom from an oppressive federal government. If that were ever true, it no longer is.

Continue Reading...

Fear or Faith

August 10, 2017 — 3 Comments

I remember the moment I realized the Cold War was happening. Standing in my parents’ bedroom. A chill filled my stomach as a sense of vulnerability ran through me. Maybe I was eight or ten.

I asked my parents if the Russians would bomb us. My parents had lived through the Great Depression and World War II. They were not alarmed.

“Don’t worry about it. You can’t do anything about it anyway,” Mother said. Words that surprisingly reassured me.

Years later, the Iron Curtain fell. Peace came to the world. Continue Reading…

I wanted to entertain a bored grandson when I thought of the movie. The boy was intrigued because I said the football scenes were actual footage from Penn State’s games in the early 1970s.

Before long the story grabbed him. The movie, like all sports movies, wasn’t about a game as much as it was about something much larger. Character, sacrifice, love, family, and even suffering.

The movie was Something for Joey, the story of John Cappelletti’s quest to be the first Penn State football player to win the Heisman Trophy. But, as I said, it’s more than that. Continue Reading…

“Our ancestors believed in two worlds, and understood this to be the solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short one. We are the first generations of man that actually expected to find happiness here on earth, and our search for it has caused such unhappiness.” Peggy Noonan, 186

It’s a strange paradox, this world–America and the rest of the West–we inhabit. We have advanced technology and medical care, round the clock entertainment we carry in our pockets, and more food than we can (or should) eat.

We drive air-conditioned cars on well-maintained roads. We drink clean water and have central heating and indoor plumbing. Most of us have little to fear from terrorism and war. We are comfortable.

And even if we are poor, there are programs to feed us, house us, and clothe us.

Yet we are unhappy. Continue Reading…