Happily Married : Holding Hands When You Pray

It’s the sure repetition of small, beneficial acts in a marriage that creates value for the relationship. Significance is often discovered in the small things. Fortunately, because taking care of the small stuff in a marriage often requires the least effort while offering the greatest return, it makes sense to do the easy stuff. Remember the part about “sure repetition”, though. To do a small thing once may be incredibly significant … especially if you’ve never done it before … but the true value accumulates through faithful repetition. Here’s a simple example. My wife and I hold hands during prayers. Always. At weddings. During church services. Before meals. At building dedications. Before ballgames. At family...

Stones for Remembering

What do you think about God? Have you ever been afraid to follow a thought trail about God because you were worried about where it would go or concerned you might have a “dangerous” thought? Theological brain storms can move a lot of stale brain-air and refresh the cavities of one’s mind. But things move in strong winds. When we think wild thoughts about God we need tent pegs to keep our tents from flying off in a storm of confusion. Or maybe like in the Old Testament, we need piles of rocks we can use as reminders when we see them. The Hebrew nation crossed the Jordan river into the promised land and God told each tribe to gather a large stone and pile them together for a place of remembering so they could tell their children. We need stones...

Batter my heart, three-person’d God

I “met” John Donne in high school and have been grateful since. Here’s my favorite of his Holy Sonnets. (Hint: Read it slowly about 50 times.) Holy Sonnets: Batter my heart, three-person’d God Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend; That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new. I, like an usurp’d town to another due, Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end; Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend, But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue. Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain, But am betrothed unto your enemy; Divorce me, untie or break that knot again, Take me to you, imprison me, for...

The Mind You Save

The mind you save may be your own. Here’s more good news for coffee drinkers from our Finnish friends: Midlife coffee and tea drinking and the risk of late-life dementia Midlife coffee drinking can decrease the risk of dementia/Alzheimer’s disease (AD) later in life. This conclusion is made in a Finnish Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia (CAIDE) Study published in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (Volume 16:1).

When Does Wrong Become Wrong?

How really wrong is wrong? Recently, Madoff made off with as much as $50 billion in investor funds placed in his trust. It was a Ponzi scheme that began years ago. I wonder how small the first act of deceit was. Was it $10,000 or was it a million dollars? And is it more wrong to steal from a non-profit foundation than from an offshore hedge fund? The NYT is reporting that the former chairwoman of the Sanlu Group, one of China’s largest dairy producers, pleaded guilty to selling fake milk powder. Ms. Tian Wenhua, a former Sanlu executive said she knew in May Sanlu was selling milk contaminated with melamine. She did not report this when she learned of it. The melamine scandal wasn’t made public until August. According to the article, Wenhua’s...

Cast Iron Values

I’ve had my eye on a 9 quart, Lodge Dutch Oven for quite a while. I bought it today with Christmas gift money from my parents. And I got a great deal on it at our local hardware store. Because it’s cast iron and will last hundreds of years, it’s possible one of my great, great, great, etc., grand children will use it, too. Lodge Cast Iron is the oldest family-owned, family-operated cookware foundary in the United States. Located in South Pittsburg, TN, Lodge has made cast iron cookware for more than 100 years. In a February 2, 2005 article, “Skillet Sense”, the Chicago Tribune compared six skillets ranging from the $12 Lodge Cast Iron skillet to the $160 Viking Professional 7-Ply. You can find the article on the Lodge website. The...

The Home of God is with Man

The home of God is with men, and he will live among them. We all have moments which sparkle in our experience of life. These incredible events, impossible to forget, overwhelm us with sheer joy. You pop the question and she says, “Yes!” You’re named Employee of the Year. Your dad says, “I love you,” and you know without doubt he means it. You watch with big-eyed astonishment as your own baby inhales her very first breath. And then you laugh with giddy tears when she lets go with her very first cry. You sit with your children beneath twinkling stars on a cold, clear, dark night, a cold night … but you’re warm. Or, after decades together, your husband looks at you with misty eyes because he loves you more now that ever. The light...

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