They’re stories that have happened everywhere–and more often than we like to think.

In the 1990s, I was a radio news reporter. A huge story at the time was the Francis Luddy trial. Luddy had been a respected priest until someone accused him of sexual abuse and sued him. Luddy admitted that he had abused boys. But this particular boy, he said, “wasn’t my type.”

The jury didn’t believe Luddy. After all, if someone could abuse children, he could lie about it too. They called upon the local diocese to pay up.

Luddy’s victim died in 2012 at the age of 44. Few questions surround this case.

Such is not the case regarding Jerry Sandusky of nearby Nittany Valley–Penn State.

Despite Sandusky’s ongoing denials, too many believable accusers won their day in court.

A cloud of accusation and doubt encased the final days of beloved Coach Joe Paterno. But national news coverage of Sandusky has neglected what could be an important factor. Continue Reading…

“People speak with incredible contempt about–depending on their views–the rich, the poor, the educated, the foreign-born, the president, or the entire US government. It’s a level of contempt that is usually reserved for enemies in wartime, except that it’s applied to our fellow citizens. Unlike criticism, contempt is particularly toxic because it assumes a moral superiority in the speaker. . . . People who speak with contempt for one another will probably not remain united long.” (Sebastian Junger 126)

We are a divided people–a people in many ways at war with each other. Sebastian Junger examines the reasons in Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging. I picked the book up because it’s the common read this fall on the campus where I teach freshman composition. All incoming freshmen receive a copy of the chosen book each year.

I haven’t participated in the common read before. Other books didn’t fit with my course plan, and some students indicated great relief that I wasn’t making them read the books.

But when I read the description of Junger’s book last week, I couldn’t wait to get ahold of it. It deals substantively with the division of our society and with PTSD–Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Junger explores why PTSD is a larger problem for us today even with a military much smaller than those of the World War II, Korea, and Vietnam eras.  Continue Reading…

Sunshine Blogger Award!

July 14, 2017 — 2 Comments

I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by the amazing, versatile Mitch Teemley!  Please visit his website. It’s fabulous and inspiring.

Thank you, Mitch! And keep shining the light!

My Answers to Mitch’s Questions

  1. What would you like us to know about you? I love Jesus, my family, and my life right now. So blessed to be able to write and teach. Still young enough to live boldly but old enough to be allowed the occasional (I hope) eccentricity.
  2. How long have you been blogging? Just passed my two-year anniversary.
  3. What is your goal for your blog? To speak truth, encouraging Christians of all traditions to walk together in faithfulness and accord.
  4. Would you share one of your favorite quotes? “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” C.S. Lewis
  5. What has been most rewarding for you since starting your blog? Having a post  I revised published at CBN.com July 15, 2017!
  6. What are your hobbies? Sewing crafts and clothing for grandkids, restoring antique quilts, reading.
  7. If you were starting all over with your blog, what would you do differently? I wouldn’t obsess over the numbers so much.
  8. If you had to live in any time in history other than this one, what time period would you choose and why? I think I’d pick the era of World War II and the post-war times. Wonderful heroes in those days–like my parents! But I wonder if I would be a person of faith if I lived in a different time. So I’m content here and now.
  9. If you could give a new blogger one piece of advice, what would it be? Put yourself out there. That deep feeling or fear you’re hiding is exactly what someone else needs to read about. Be transparent.
  10. What has been your most useful life lesson? Trust God, no matter what!

Questions for My Nominees

Mitch’s questions are terrific, so I’m going to do what he did and ask the same questions. 

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog (see above)
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you (see below)
  • List the rules and display the award logo
  • Nominate 11 bloggers to receive this award and ask them 11 questions

My list isn’t 11, but it’s a good list! I nominate the following bloggers!

  1. John Lewis 
  2. Colleen Scheid
  3. Chris Lindsay
  4. M.R. Charles
  5. Rob Stroud
  6. Laura Booz

 

We don’t like to think about it, but most of us will disappear from history. All we do for family and friends will vanish over the next several generations.

To be sure, God will remember. But it’s human nature; people forget. Over time, even our memory of the very remarkable tends toward distortion–for good or bad–or extinction.

It’s a sad case, even when someone played a big part in one of history’s most notable moments.  Take the case of Aaron Burr, for example. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) does just that in his new book Written Out of History: The Forgotten Founders Who Fought Big Government. Continue Reading…

The pastor said, “If you’re like me, you . . .” Then he described feelings that closely reflected my own. I was surprised to think my experience might be common.

When I was new at the church my husband and I now attend, Communion was wonder-filled. Not remarkably different in its practice from my previous experience. But profound with awe.  Continue Reading…

“Sin is the failure to live freedom excellently.” George Weigel

When we were children, we told ourselves, when we grew up, we would do what we want. We would stay up late, drive a car, and watch whatever we want on television.

But then we grew up and wished we could go to bed earlier. We wondered how we’d pay for car repairs. And we wanted to find some time to watch TV. Or when we did have the time, we wished there’d be something on worth watching.

We didn’t realize as children that our extra sleep helped us function and learn. Our parents chauffeured us around while bearing the burdens of car ownership and maintenance. And we enjoyed an innocence about how the world worked–or failed to work well.

We still don’t realize–and often don’t like to admit–rules are good for us. Continue Reading…

Some define liberty as something the government gives you–or doesn’t give you.  Freedom is your ability to think your own thoughts and do your own thing. Internal freedom can remain even in an oppressed society.

America’s founders defined Liberty as the second unalienable right–the right that no man bestows because it comes from our Creator.

But much of America now denies the Creator. And with the Creator go His other aspects–Savior, King, Providence, Protector, Guide. Continue Reading…

“Statistically, there is no hope here.”

That’s what one doctor told former Senator Rick Santorum and his wife Karen when their daughter Bella was born.

More than nine years ago.

The doctor referred to Bella as “baby”–because somehow we are more human when we have a name. And he could not bring himself to attribute humanity to her. Continue Reading…

Rites of Commitment

June 26, 2017 — 3 Comments

Sunday was a stellar day for our family. The kind you remember all your life if you were part of it.

Two cousins got baptized. Their cousin baptized them. That cousin became ordained that evening. We marked a remarkable day for three grandsons.

In the morning, the two younger cousins went under water. “Buried in Christ. Risen in Christ.” Now walking a new way.

One grandson remarked, “I’m really wet.” Continue Reading…

Perhaps we do our children harm by almost cloistering them in our communities–our churches, schools, and friendships. 

Continue Reading...