Sunday, September 06, 2015


I have come to realize that the line of demarkation between boyhood and manhood is blurry at best.

My 9th grade son wears a larger shoe than I do. He is stronger than I am. He is faster on a mountain bike than me. He shaves. He craves independence with his friends.

And yet as I sat with him in his room before bed last night––talking about the girl he likes, his friends, and making touchdown saving tackles on the JV football team––he sits on his floor playing Legos with all of the innocence of the boy who was 5 seemingly weeks ago.

The line between boyhood and manhood is not rigid. It is often fluid and ambiguous. Most days he is more man than child as he fills his sweaty, hairy skin with his personality covering his 5'9 145 lb. frame. And sometimes I catch glimpses of the little boy he once was and still is.

*Photo by Mark Gstohl

Friday, April 19, 2013

In Defense of Discontent

By the grace of God, we cannot quite pull it off. In the quiet moments of the day we sense a nagging within, a discontentment, a hunger for something else. But because we have not solved the riddle of our existence, we assume that something is wrong—not with life, but with us. Everyone else seems to be getting on with things. What's wrong with me? We feel guilty about our chronic disappointment. Why can't I just learn to be happier in my job, in my marriage, in my church, in my group of friends? You see, even while we are doing other things, "getting on with life," we still have an eye out for the life we secretly want. When someone seems to have gotten it together, we wonder,How did he do it? Maybe if we read the same book, spent time with him, went to his church, things would come together for us as well. You see, we can never entirely give up our quest. Gerald May reminds us,
When the desire is too much to bear, we often bury it beneath frenzied thoughts and activities or escape it by dulling our immediate consciousness of living. It is possible to run away from the desire for years, even decades, at a time, but we cannot eradicate it entirely. It keeps touching us in little glimpses and hints in our dreams, our hopes, our unguarded moments. (The Awakened Heart)
He says that even though we sleep, our desire does not. "It is who we are." We aredesire. It is the essence of the human soul, the secret of our existence. Absolutely nothing of human greatness is ever accomplished without it. Desire fuels our search for the life we prize. The same old thing is not enough. It never will be.
An excerpt from

––from Ransomed Heart's Daily Readings

Saturday, April 13, 2013

When Leadership Returns Home

When I was growing up, I didn't see leadership. I was raised in an alcoholic family. I learned how to take care of myself out of necessity.

In high school, college, and in church I was given leadership roles. I don't know that I was really a leader. I was simply committed to excellence. There is a difference. Leadership is concerned about the care of others, while pursuing excellence promotes me.

After Sam was around the age of 1, I held several key leadership positions. A good friend took me to a leadership conference in Atlanta. It shaped me to be a different man. It shaped me to be a true leader.

I am proud to be Sam's dad. As he grows it is important to pour into his life well. This week I saw the fruits of that. Thursday night I took him to dinner in order to have an intentional conversation. This is often difficult because, to a 12 year old, the most significant thing in life is food itself. But, Friday morning before school he asked me if he could take his friend over to a restaurant to talk about how they have been treating other kids. What courage. What a leader.

After school he said that they went, but he didn't get to talk to his friend about it because another boy from school came and sat with him––but two shakes and a plate of fries was only $6.35! But, Sam assured me he was going to call his friend to have the conversation. And he did. I stepped to a place in the house where I could hear him. He said to his friend, "You know how we've been getting in trouble? Well, we should try not to get in trouble. We should be Awesome Bros! Let's treat others kinder." What courage. What a leader. I am so proud to be his dad.

Sunday, April 07, 2013


From Ethiopia to Chicago to Seattle –– I know this to be true: Until a person tells their story, their whole story, they will not be healed. It is only in the telling of these stories that we will know freedom from shame.
–– Dan Allender
Founder of The Seattle School and The Allender Center

Friday, April 05, 2013


Monthly family membership for kettlebell gym: $129.00
Monthly family membership for spin class: $99.00
New chain, rear cassette, and brake pads: $256.11
New rear tire and spare tubes: $113.41
Hydration drinks, new bike socks, and new bike shorts: $249.95
Dinner with the guys after the first trail ride of the year: $15.00
Being in a couples small group where all of the guys mountain bike and have meaningful conversation: PRICELESS!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

And He'll Have...

This past weekend I was in Chicago with my daughter. On Saturday we had breakfast at The Original Pancake House. The line to be seated formed down a long hall. It is a popular breakfast establishment on Chicago's north side. One of the signs on the wall said, Your Entire Party Must Be Present in Order to be Seated. There was a smartly dressed older woman behind us, and she was by herself.

The hostess seated us, then she seated the woman near us. I overheard the woman give her order to the waitress and then say, "And he'll have a poached egg, toast, and oatmeal." But, there was no "he" in the chair. Only her coat and hat in the seat across from her. I think this additional order caught our waitress off guard. I know it caught me off guard. Throughout breakfast she read the Tribune. When she had finished her breakfast she had his now cold food boxed to take with her.

Her meal with "him" was to hold a memory of how she had always spent her Saturday mornings. Having breakfast with the man she loved––and still loves.