How to Sidestep Your Daily Ego

Don’t you just love it when God drags His rake across the soil of your heart and unearths all kinds of junk below the surface? Well it happened to me recently. Just like it happened last year.

Michael W. Smith at NRB 2014

(Photo: Michael W. Smith at the National Religious Broadcasters 2014)

I just returned from the National Religious Broadcasters annual convention in Nashville. This conference is a yearly microcosm of the most gifted communicators, broadcasters, and creatives in the kingdom of God.

Some of the rest of us showed up too.

I’m going to be honest and a bit vulnerable in this post and share how I blew it last year and how this year started off headed the same direction.

Last year I was caught flatfooted. But this year I approached it differently.

Click to continue reading »

A View from the Anthill

I have anthills in my yard. I enjoy making mesas out of their mounds by running over them with the lawnmower or crushing with one step what took them hours to build.

But as soon as I destroy their work, they immediately begin to rebuild. And they do it together.

Take a View Atop an Ant Hill

(Photo by: By Chmee2, Own work, CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

My favorite comic strip of yesteryear, “Calvin & Hobbes,” shows Calvin standing by an anthill shouting,

Hey ant, you’re working like a maniac and what have you got to show for it?  What’s the colony done for you lately?  What about your needs?  You don’t owe anybody anything!  Let the others fend for themselves!  Move out!  Discover yourself!  Express your individuality!

The last frame shows Calvin grinning and saying, “If they listen, this should solve our ant problem.”

The Bible also points us to the ant to learn a lesson that will help our lives.

Click to continue reading »

Dog Dreams and Divine Revelation

I have owned four Labradors over the years. Every one of them had dreams. Most of these dog dreams looked violent, even nightmarish.

Muscles jerking, lips twitching, teeth bared, paws running, barking, growling—they look like some Freudian alter ego quivering on the living room floor.

dreaming dog

(Photo by Eugene0126jp. Own work, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

I’m convinced that if I would connect their tails to a 220-volt cable and turn on the juice, they would not have convulsed more violently.

On one occasion I literally thought our dog Rayah was having a seizure, so I touched her. She stopped convulsing, looked up at me, took a deep breath, and closed her glassy eyes again. Just a dream. No wonder Labradors snooze twelve to eighteen hours a day. They need rest from all that exhausting sleep! (Our current Lab snores louder than any human I’ve heard.)

I have often wondered what our dogs dream. I mean, all they know of the world comes from the backyard. What could be so exciting?

A dog’s dreams are frequent and violent, therefore comical—and insignificant.

Our own dreams, however, get more attention. But should they?

Click to continue reading »

How Your Marriage is Like the Death Star

Your marriage is like the Death Star. Oh, I don’t mean it’s a large instrument of destruction and devastation. It’s something else. See if you can spot it in this clip.

Did you see it? Perhaps this quote by Plato will help:

The life of the nation is the life of the family written large. —Plato

Still stumped? The foundation of a nation is the family, and the foundation of the family is the marriage. If you can destroy marriage, you have begun a chain reaction that will dissolve the family, and eventually, the nation.

The key word is vulnerability.

Here’s how your marriage is like the Death Star—and more importantly, how you can protect it from what makes it vulnerable.

Click to continue reading »

Lincoln postcard on preparation.

Years ago as a little boy, I found this old framed postcard in an abandoned box in my grandmother’s garage. I keep the frame on my desk and look at it often.

Lincoln’s birthday always reminds me of Lincoln’s statement about the importance of preparation:

I’ll study and be ready and maybe the chance will come.

Tell me what you think: How are you preparing for a future potential, should God will it? To leave a comment, just click here.

What to Do When Feeling Depressed (and What Not to Do)

It started when we were kids. We still deal with it in today. We fail to receive love, and we drag bruised emotions behind us for years, still aching for affirmation.

Before we know it, our attitude becomes: “Who will make me feel good today?” Oh, we won’t say that, but we seek it. The result? We get to feeling depressed.

What to Do When Feeling Depressed

(Photo by Photodune)

It’s not only relationships that challenge our joy. I remember reading about a woman who suffered from a disease of chronic fatigue. She decided to perform on herself the ancient procedure of trepanning—the cutting away a section of the scalp and drilling into the skull. After the operation she made a statement.

I was prone to occasional bouts of depression and felt something radical needed to be done.

When you’re feeling depressed—for whatever reason—and you need to do something, here’s what you can do.

And what you should never do.

Click to continue reading »

Mansfield's book of manly men

Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men [Book Review] (Thomas Nelson, 2013)

The battle of the sexes today is the battle to find them at all.

In a culture that blurs males and females into a blob of humanity, it’s helpful to ask: “What distinguishes a man as a man—without being sexist or patriarchal?” If we toss aside Webster, the definition of masculinity falls to a matter of opinion.

Or does it?

Stephen Mansfield’s book, Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men, explains the author’s purpose up front.

I want to identify what a genuine man does—the virtues, the habits, the disciplines, the duties, the actions of true manhood—and then call men to do it. I mean exactly these words. This book is about doing.