Showing posts from April, 2013

What's Beyond Boston?

A mere five days after sophisticated homemade bombs blasted innocent Americans in Boston, I joined nearly a thousand elementary-aged children and their parents at the Washington State Chess Championship Tournament. My grandson had qualified.

We all entered a cavernous building—the ones used for summertime countywide fairs. One room held rows upon rows of tables with hundreds of chessboards from beginning to end. The other room held more tables and chairs for waiting parents throughout the daylong event.

As hundreds of kids and parents milled about, I wondered about our safety. Even in the aftermath of Boston’s horror, no police or surveillance cameras could be seen.

Everywhere I looked there were tables and chairs with bags and belongings. Several hundred backpacks, filled with sack lunches and snacks—brain food for bright young minds—were everywhere, but no one in authority seemed to wonder about nails, ball bearings, or explosives that could be detonated by a cell phone.
During th…

Homeless not Helpless

She was sitting on a plastic crate out in the steady Puget Sound mist. The layers of old clothes and nearby trash bag full of her belongings defined her existence: homeless. But as I approached she didn’t beg. Instead, she gave me a thumbs-up and smiled as I walked briskly past her. My mind wasn’t on the bag lady; it was focused on me and where I was heading. She didn’t try to stop me, but called out as I strode past, “You look like you could use a prayer—I’ll be praying for you today.”
That stopped me—but only briefly. I turned and thanked her. Our eyes connected for a few seconds. I noticed that she and I were probably close in age, but there the similarities ended. I waved and turned away.
Later that afternoon, she was in the same place, but had tucked a blanket around her legs. I could see from a block away she was still wearing her smile even though the blustery wind had added its misery. Now a small army of workers with briefcases and backpacks hustled past her on the way to th…

Waiting Prayers

It's quiet and dark as I sit and wait for my grandson to wake. His world is still limited to the things that eight year olds deal with—school, soccer, rules to follow and so many lessons to learn. What he doesn't know is how his life might change if his mom's diagnosis is what it could be. And I don't know either.
In an age of medical breakthroughs, there are still many who suffer. What started out as an MRI for my daughter’s joint pain, uncovered more. Doctors conferred, then ordered more tests and more waiting. Speculation is fueling all of us until we hear what we hope to hear, but we are privately contemplating “what if”. Hours and days of waiting can be spent fretting or instead focusing on the only One who can truly make a difference. I've done a bit of both.

Waiting prayers are some of the toughest kind. In my heart I have the right answer and I pray God agrees. Many have endured medical trials, and in those dark places we plead with God for cures. He meets us…

Wars and Rumors of War with North Korea

A boy and his younger sister were playing at the beach, doing what kids do in the sand—building castles and creating imaginary people out of small shells, sticks and smooth stones.  
For these kids, their world is limited in ways they can’t fully appreciate. At night, they sleep securely in their home and by day, there's ample food in the cupboards. Their parents take care of business so they can concentrate on what kids need to do—grow up.

Across the ocean from these sandcastles, is a place where children work listlessly in fields or factories, sleep in crude shacks and are fed a steady diet of lies from their tyrannical leaders. North Korea, a nuclear-capable rogue nation, now has an inexperienced leader promulgating a war-mongering manifesto, escalating global tensions.

I watched as the young boy amassed an army of rocks in defense of his fortified sandcastle. War games. Somehow boys are hardwired to defend.

I wonder about North Korean boys—the ones who believe Americans are e…

Virginity Spares Broken Hearts

Sara is young enough that she’s still cool in teenage eyes. When they listen to her, they know she means what she says—even when she’s praising the virtues of virginity. She and her husband have shared a journey that didn’t bring along a shady past, prior sexual relationships, or broken hearts. Sara’s mission is to encourage teens to make virginity their choice. And she’s living proof it’s worth it.
Virginity isn’t obsolete. Even as sexually immersed as Americans are, nearly half of all teens are choosing to delay sex until they’re older. Yet, why do so many parents allow or even encourage their children to get into serious relationships? Teens may be physically equipped for adulthood, but they’re emotionally ill prepared for the results from poor sexual choices. And when teens are in emotionally charged relationships, choosing sex becomes easier. Once that gate is opened, the consequences enter in.
New reports just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indic…