The solution to gun problems


If individuals reach out to people with violent tendencies and show them love, at least a few killing sprees can be prevented.

Most people respond to someone who shows a genuine interest in who they are and is willing to listen to their problems.

So reach out to someone today. You never know what impact you may have on them and on others around them. Listen first. Don’t try to give solutions to their problems. The more you listen, the better chance you’ll be able to build a bridge. Then later you may help with their problems or suggest someone who can.

This is not a perfect solution – there are a few people who are unreachable. But it will work for most people. Wouldn’t you like to receive a little love today?


Love or hate

slightly imperfect stickerSome things people do drive us crazy. We have a choice on how to handle those things. We can allow them to make us hate the person, or we can let them be quirky little traits that cause that person to more loveable.

My wife and kids love me, in spite of how some things I do drive them crazy. And I love them, in spite of how some things they do drive me crazy. We’re not perfect, and we have a long way to go. And a few years ago, some of those things caused some rifts that had to be slowly and carefully repaired.

Of course some character traits push us too far and can be deal breakers. When the offending trait verges into the mental illness arena, sometimes it’s healthy to maintain a distance.

Today, I challenge you to turn around your thinking about that person’s character trait that drives you crazy. What have you got to lose?


Do it today

Blossoms by the side of the roadAbout a week ago, Denver experienced some of the most amazing flowering spring-ness that I’ve ever seen. But it quickly started disappearing. A major wind storm blew many of the blossoms to the ground. Then a quick hailstorm finished off more of the blooms.

I was able to get out and enjoy the spring beauty by taking a bicycle ride one day. I would have regretted missing that short window of opportunity.

If you have kids, they won’t be with you for more than maybe 18 years. If you’re married, your beloved may not be with you forever. If you have a dog, she may not be at your side ten years from now. I don’t say these things to be mournful – but rather to remind you – and me – to make time to spend time with the ones we love today.


We are connected

About the time you read this, I will have just left my European sister… we visited Amy and her family in their now native Belgium.

I love her. We get along well. We have had our times of differences, but for the most part now we truly enjoy each other. It is a bit heart-breaking that we live so far apart.

Anyhow, this artwork is from the outside of a package she sent. She re-used a package our mom sent her. (Mom died around two years ago.) Amy can make art out of almost anything.



I know that it’s a long way from Thanksgiving. But I’m thankful today. Two years ago, My mom passed away. I am thankful for her life and the indelible influence she had on me.

(This was a letter to the editor of The Dallas Morning News that she got published on Thanksgiving Day, 2000. You can see that she shared my love of writing.)


Super encouragement

You never know when the past will meet the present.

Two weekends weeks ago, we attended the graduation ceremony for our dear friend Stefani. Little did I know, but that day the pastor from my junior high and high school years was being given an honorary doctorate. He also gave the commencement address (excellent).

After the ceremony, Heather, Rachel and I went to greet both him and his wife. They were super nice! I told them how their influence on my life so many years ago was still lasting to this day.

Moral of the story? You may be making an impact on someone today – and that impact may last a long time.

(The horrible photo is from my cel phone – but that is the couple, on stage.)


Love instead

Coexist bumper stickerIf you’re in North America, you will have seen the popular “Coexist” bumper sticker. I don’t like it.

Why? Coexist means to tolerate. And tolerate means to barely get along with.

I would propose a better sticker: “Love.” I think it’s much better to aspire to loving those who believe differently than we do – rather than simply living with them on the same street.

What would it take to love people different than us? That’s your homework. It may take a few days to figure out.

Credit goes to a Polish graphic designer, Piotr Mlodozeniec, who designed the first coexist image.


The big 2-0


Today marks 20 years of marriage. Heather is an amazing woman, and God has blessed us to stay together this long! We have caused each other some pain – and shared much joy too. Life is tough, but it’s a wonderful thing to be able to share it intimately and in a long-term way with another.

I am thankful – both to Heather and to God.

ps Michael Hyatt has some great reflections on longevity here.


The mutant mint


We went out to eat the other week and I grabbed a mint on the way out the door. Indeed, it was a mint-and-a-half.

That reminded me of my dad’s coin collection. He used to love collecting mutant coins that were mis-stamped in production. Sadly, in a sibling’s divorce, that collection was lost to the errant spouse.

Takeaway: what does this mean to us? Well, a few things:

1. How can we accept the “mutant” people around us?

2. How can we not just accept them – but appreciate the ways they approach life differently than we do?

3. This brings me to why I hate the word “tolerance”. That implies just putting up with someone. Isn’t it much better to love that someone? Even if it’s really hard to love them, the rewards can outweigh the pain.