Category: Encouragement

Why twice-a-year Christians are my people

“I don’t get it. Why do people go to church twice a year?” one of my co-workers blurted out this week in a brazen workplace violation of the holy trinity of taboo topics: politics, religion, and will-you-cover-for-me-while-I’m-on-vacation. No one spoke. Crickets. Just, thud. He rescued himself from his own pregnant pause by continuing, “That’s like Read More

God won’t give you more than you can handle. Um, actually…

I have a friend who works on her feet all day, muscling through migraines and chronic neck pain. After her day job, the real work begins when she arrives home to care for a disabled loved one. She doesn’t stop. She doesn’t have that luxury. She works and sleeps and does it all over again. Read More

Justice vs. mercy and other lessons from a teenage driver

I should have known something was wrong. My son never uses his phone as a phone. And he was calling me during rush hour. Turns out there’s no messing with a mom’s intuition. My son had just been rear-ended on the freeway — it was a chain-reaction, quick-stop situation and he got plowed from behind. Read More

The best story ever written

Years ago, my magazine editor sent me to solve a mystery about the best-selling single of all time. You might have heard the tune. Everyone from U2 to T-Swift, from Elvis to Alvin (and the Chipmunks) has recorded it. And who could ever forget Bing Crosby crooning it? White Christmas. My assignment was to find Read More

Why do bad guys always win?

I’m sick and tired of being the good guy. Ever said it? Ever thought it? If you haven’t, just live longer. Liars win in courtrooms. Backstabbers win in boardrooms. Cheaters curry favor. Those living in chains take great lengths to make sure you do too. And there you sit, asking hard questions and picking up real Read More

Iowa Wave puts the heart in heartland

For 60 seconds on home football game days, 70,000 fans in Iowa City, Iowa, remind us that when it comes to wins and losses that matter, we’re all on the same team. If you don’t know the first thing about a first down, don’t worry. This is not a football story. It’s a human story. Read More

To all the losers, less-thans, and frauds

My family recently tuned in to a show featuring two comedians. One asked the other, “Have you ever said to yourself, ‘I don’t think I can do this?’” “Right up until the curtain opens,” the other comedian said without missing a beat. The other nodded his head, knowingly. “I don’t know why I even picked Read More

Oh, snap. It’s not all about you.

The call sheet on my breakfast bar put the indisputable facts in black and white. Talent — that would be me — was to report hair- and makeup-ready by 7 a.m. It was my big break. My 15 seconds of fame. My first role in a real-live video production. I’d shopped, ironed five outfits, and Read More

How End of School Tyranny Taught Me to Hope

End of school tyranny had us under its thumb. Finals, papers, concerts, and cramming rained down on the Man Cub and writing deadlines had me in their crosshairs, too. “I’m off to the grocery store,” I announced to my then 15-year-old son. He nodded and I breezed out the door. Time was short, my list Read More

Well, It’s About Time

In college, my media law professor exacted a very strict on-time rule. If you weren’t on time, you weren’t present. And if you weren’t present you didn’t get credit for the day’s pop quizzes, exams or homework. We knew who the pushover profs were. And none of them were named Steve Helle. When graduation day Read More

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