Stop. Wait. Think About This.

Sometime this morning, maybe even as I write this, the “Leaning Tower of Dallas” will finally come down. (UPDATE: Obviously, the timeline is much longer now…again, reinforcing the point of this essay…EF) I’ve been captivated by our fascination with this wreck of a wreck ever since it happened a week ago. I always love metaphor, […]

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“Be the Dog On A Walk”

One of the most important life lessons Dennise and I have ever learned, we learned from our dog. The lesson is: “Be the Dog On a Walk.” We learned this lesson observing our dog, Daisy. And I should describe it by first describe the opposite… “Daisy in the yard…” When Daisy is in the * […]

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Be Here Now

I’ve got my Apple Watch set so that when I don’t have a calendar event, the phrase “Be Here Now” pops up on the calendar app. There aren’t many days when “Be Here Now” is the only thing on my schedule. But yesterday was one of those days. Today is too. Just about every minister […]

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Thomas Merton Had It Easy

I spent a good bit of my twenties pissed off at Thomas Merton. I was pissed off by a very specific thing in his writings. Merton writes beautifully about the need for regular time in prayer, quiet, and contemplation. He also writes scathingly about the chaos, noise, and confusion of everyday life for most people […]

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What Sufferings Are Not Gifts?

Watching this interview between Colbert and Anderson Cooper, I am reminded of the great quote attributed to Charlie Chaplin: “To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it.” Colbert is one of the masters of this, and always has been. And it was years ago now that I first […]

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Our Sick Culture of Competition

Before we roast these college cheating scandal parents on the scapegoat-altar of our media culture… Before we throw too many self-righteous stones… And even before we get too high and mighty about the privileged and the wealthy and how they get special treatment (which is all true, of course)… We must turn a harsh light […]

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A Rock Hammer, Not Resolutions

One of my favorite films is “The Shawshank Redemption.” And as the year “turns,” I am thinking about that film, about its lead character, and about a concept I write about almost every year at this time: “Resolve to Not Resolve.” The film was based on the short story by Stephen King, called “Rita Hayworth […]

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Christmas Message, 2018

One of the things I have always dearly loved about our East Dallas neighborhood is how it’s a beautiful and somewhat chaotic mix of all kinds of people living together in one place. It’s folks from all walks of life *choosing* to live next to those who are quite different from them. One minute, you’ll […]

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Pass It On

“It only takes a spark To get a fire going And soon all those around Can warm up in its glowing That’s how it is with God’s love Once you’ve experienced it You spread His love to ev’ryone You want to pass it on” — Kurt Kaiser The early history of me and the guitar […]

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A Small Moment of Peace

Last night, I had this brief moment of peace and beauty that has stayed with me through this morning. I was walking through the sideyard, past the wood pile, crunching down the decompressed granite path, a large bag of birdseed hoisted over my shoulder. As I refilled the backyard feeders, I could feel the crisp, […]

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