Lions Are Not Personal

For 22 years I’ve searched for something that does not exist. I quit looking last week after standing in front of an angry, hungry lion. I watched his angry behavior and learned an important truth: Lions are not personal. Brody is a male lion who lives at Turpentine Creek, just outside of Eureka Springs. I was standing a few feet from Brody when one of his caretakers prepared to shove ten pounds of raw meat through a head-high feeding hole in Brody’s pen. Hungry for the food, Brody swiped at the huge chunk of meat with his quick paw as the meat started through the hole. He smacked it hard and knocked it back toward the caretaker. It fell on the wrong side of the pen separated from Brody by the sturdy fence. The raw meat landed a few inches from him...

Tears Behind My Eyes

I wrote an article recently for my Multiple Sclerosis Caregiver blog. It’s titled “Tears of Hope and Passionate Hate“. In it, I used words I find myself using more frequently as I grow older. The phrase is, “tears behind my eyes”. I’ve used the phrase recently to describe a day to my Mom, “It’s been one of those ‘tears behind my eyes’ days.” I used it at work in a conversation with a colleague. “You’re having a ‘tears behind your eyes’ day, aren’t you?”, I asked. As I think about it this evening, I realize I’m not talking about a bad thing. I’m not describing depression or even dysthymia. I use the phrase to describe a lot of things: a simple...

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...

css.php