Posts Tagged With: wife

Homeward Bound

Having been in New England for ten of the past sixteen months, I’ve thought a lot about home.

With respect to Robert Frost, home is the place where they’re glad to take me in.

Sally, Jenna, and Julie are home to me, wherever they are.

Home is sleeping in my bed with my wife.

Home is our cat, Caesar, loving me as if I’d never been gone.

Home is grilling salmon on our patio. Home is our bright red Japanese Maple tree.

Home is a hug from the lady at the dry cleaners who missed me. Home is friends at Kathwood Baptist Church welcoming me back.

Home is my Grandson Lake showing up at our house at 6:45 a.m. wanting blueberry muffins on Thursday morning.

Home is my shower, my pillow, and my favorite coffee mug. Home is iced tea with mint freshly picked from our garden. Home is my bookshelves with my books with my favorite passages underlined. Home is being surrounded by memorabilia from Charleston, Cooperstown, Scotland, Italy, Turkey, Kenya, and Romania.

Home, for me, are tigers, tigers everywhere.

Home is driving on familiar roads and walking on familiar sidewalks.

Home is my Dad’s picture on the wall and my Mother’s baking sheets (which we still use to make chocolate chip cookies) in our kitchen cabinet.

Home is my back porch where I eat breakfast and drink coffee as many days of the year as possible, January through December. I love it, especially the sound of the birds singing, the toot of the railroad train not far away, and the kids waiting for their school bus. When Sally, Jenna, Julie, sons-in-law Thorne and Tom, or friends join me, there is no better place in the world.






Categories: Faith/Spirituality, Family, Health, Holiday, South Carolina, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Gift


For the past 15 years, I worked for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina.  It was the best job in the world.  I will write about that another day. 


Knowing how much I love to travel, CBFSC gave me enough money for a retirement trip to just about anywhere in the world.  There was even enough money for Sally to come back to South Carolina!  (Just kidding…  The gift was very generous!  There was enough for us both to return to South Carolina.  Thank you, CBFSC!)


I have never had a “Bucket List,” but tend to go where opportunity allows.  There is something in the Bible about the Spirit blowing in unexpected directions, so, without really trying, I have travelled to Mauritania, Morocco, Bali, Thailand, Malaysia, Kenya, Brazil and a dozen other faraway places. 


I have also ridden the buses on the backroads of South Carolina, but that also is a tale for another day.


On this Gift Trip, I wanted to go somewhere I had never been.  In addition to my wife, Sally, I wanted to take my 12-year-old grandson, Lake, who is at the perfect age to marvel at the wonders of this world.  Jenna, his mom, my oldest daughter, decided to go with us.  We ended up with a party of four.


I let Lake choose the place (which is consistent with my theme of going where the wind blows).  He had a geography teacher this year (a young man formerly in the Peace Corps) that Lake really liked. Lake asked him to suggest five South Americancountries that would be fun to visit.  PERU came out on top.  The Amazon Rain Forest fascinated Lake, and Machu Picchu is one of the 10 outstanding Wonders of the World, however you configure your list.  Lima has a soccer (football) team, and Lake is nuts about soccer/football these days.


We paid our money, and set off on July 9, 2013, for Lima, Peru, South America. 


This story will take 10-15 days to tell, so, hang in there.


Categories: Family, Holiday, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Mother’s Day reflections

Someone said, “A woman is like a tea bag, you cannot tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”

I like strong women.  I am married to one!  I’m the proud father two daughters who I believe can hold their own against anyone!  In my professional life, I have always been surrounded by strong women!

Some people mistakenly operate out of an economy of scarcity.

  • If one kind of person is strong, then other people must be weak.

This week is Mothers’ Day.  One of my heroes is a woman from the Bible, Lydia, a Strong Woman, a successful merchant in Philippi, Greece.

  • She was a businesswoman, a broker, a distributor whose niche market involved purple cloth. 
  • She owned a business. 
  • She owned a home. 
  • She was smart. 
  • She was sensitive. 
  • She was hospitable. 
  • She was compassionate. 
  • She was persuasive. 

Lydia is one of dozens of strong women in Holy Scripture who serve as a reminder to us that there are two sides to every story.  Churches or families or cultures that insist on only one type of woman, the weak, simpering, docile woman, do themselves and “their” women much harm. 

I had lunch this week with a young woman who regrets that the church has seemingly approved of two kinds of women through the centuries:  “pretty women” and “good women.”  Yet I can think of dozens of types of women in the Bible that are valued and their stories are told.  Why have we limited our Mother’s Day reflections to texts such as Proverbs 31?  In the Bible there are stories about

  • Rebellious women
  • Charismatic women
  • Courageous women
  • Wise women
  • Colorful women
  • Determined women
  • Independent women
  • Strong women

According to some parts of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, women were no more than property, first of their fathers and then of their husbands.  Examine Exodus 21 and 22 for some painful Mothers’ Day reading and see if Jesus or Hallmark would bless those particular passages?   Passages such as this are why the Bible tells us to “rightly handle the word of truth.”  By the way, all children were property, male and female, but boys grew into men and acquired the rights assigned to men.  Girls become women, however, and remained second-class citizens.

There are people who will argue that I am misrepresenting the position of conservative or fundamentalist churches.  I don’t think I am.  I was watching a television worship service once, which is something I don’t often do, and I was impressed.  The choir was multi-racial.  The camera panned the congregation and people were smiling.  Men and women, young and old, black and white, were highlighted by the camera.  This was a good church, I thought, briefly.  Then the Deacons entered, 70 overweight white men paraded to the front of the sanctuary and sat in the seats of prominence and authority.  The people behind the camera knew what made the church appear attractive to the people watching on TV.  Women would be allowed to pretty up the place, but they would be restricted to positions of serving and would never be allowed into the rooms where decisions were made.

Here’s a strange story.  A friend of mine was teaching the Baptist Sunday School lesson to the children in her class.  It was from II Chronicles 34 and was about someone discovering the Book of the Law during Josiah’s reign as King in Jerusalem.  Hilkiah the Priest got involved.  They called on Huldah the prophetess to get her forecast on what this find meant.  Huldah made her prophecy and the priest and the king and the people all seemed to respond appropriately and the story concludes.  Since the denomination of the church in which this woman was teaching Sunday School believes that women must submit to men, they left the Huldah part out of the lesson.  They just skipped it!  What a distortion of Holy Scripture!  Let the Bible say what it says.

There is a time to submit and there is a time not to submit.  That is the nature of life and that is the truth of Holy Scripture.  Queen Vashti did not submit, and good came from it.

Thanks, Lydia, for reminding us that our world, our churches and our families will never be the same because of Strong Women such as you. 

Categories: Faith/Spirituality, Family | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at