Category Archives: Family

Identity Issues: Growing Up in the Adam’s Family

Everyone carries baggage from their growing up years. No family is perfect, some are hideous, and all have their oddities. It’s like everyone grows up in the Addams family. For some people I have known, the Addams family would have … Continue reading

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Don’t Give Your Kids a God-on-the-Box

Don’t give your children a God-in-the-Box. When our kids were small, we had a Jack-in-the-Box. We would turn the crank, the melody would play on and on until, suddenly, the jester popped out of the box. Our kids wanted us … Continue reading

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Things I’m Glad My Dad Didn’t Teach Me

(For Father’s Day I am posting a piece first published in 2015 by Gatehouse Media.) After reading an article by Peter Scholl, a forty-something married man with kids, living in Australia, I find myself grateful for the things my dad … Continue reading

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Bury Your Idols

Idolatry is the root cause of all of the symptoms of sin.  The envy, the deceit, the lust, the anger, the gossip—they all have their source in “the one great sin that all others come from”—idolatry (Idleman).  That is why the very first of the Ten Commandments is “you shall not have any other gods before me.”  As Martin Luther says, “We never break the other commandments without breaking the first one.” Continue reading

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Handling Anger: The Beachhead

(This is part 2 in a short series of posts on handling anger responsibly.) Anger has a wide blast radius. All of us are affected by it and some of us are controlled by it. It causes us to do … Continue reading

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Handling Anger: The Begotten Consumes the Begetter

(This is the first of several posts regarding anger and what to do with it.) I believe we were living through a pandemic before any of us had heard of COVID-19. Like COVID, this malady is communicated from person to … Continue reading

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Pass it on to the Next Generation

I sit in the same chair each morning, a cup of coffee on the table next to me, the Book of Common Prayer on the chair arm, and a Bible in my lap. I spend a considerable time reading, thinking, and praying.

Whenever I look up, I see a plaque opposite me on the wall. It is an odd decoration. Affixed to the plaque, which cost a couple of dollars, is a tin can bounded on either end by hose clamps. Right below the can are the words, “My God shall supply all your needs,” taken from the fourth chapter of St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

I placed it there, where I will see it every day, as a helpful reminder of how God has taken care of my family in the past and an encouragement to trust God in the future. But I had another reason for putting it there: I wanted to use it to help our grandchildren learn what God is like.

Our grandchildren are still young. But I expect that one of these days our oldest, now six years old, will say: “Grandpa, why is there a can on the wall in your study?” And I will say, “I don’t think you’re ready for that story yet. I’ll tell you when you are older.” And each time they see the tin can mounted on the wall, it will arouse their curiosity about the story behind it.
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