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The Tool Room

All men die; few men ever really live. ~ John Eldredge It’s mildly morbid, but for years when my 95-year old father-in-law sent me to his basement tool room for a screw driver or something, I knew one day I’d be down there after he was gone organizing the mess. I’m sure he had a system of some kind, but seriously this room made Fred Sanford look like Martha Stewart. Several weeks after his passing, there I was surrounded by saw dust on the concrete floor of a poorly lit room tucked away deep in the corner of his home. I organized everything from his screws, nails and washers to his power tools, hammers and wrenches. His drill is recharging …

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…And Just Like That

Life forever changes. One second I’m watching TV with my wife on a quiet Sunday night. The next, I’m sprinting down the road toward a woman kneeling on the concrete with her husband’s badly injured body resting on her lap. There’s a strong smell of gasoline coming from the mangled motorcycle in the grass a few yards away. The woman is pleading to God, “Jesus, please. I can’t live without him. Robert, can you hear me? He’s not breathing! He’s not breathing!” Even in the darkness, it’s easy to piece together what happened. He skidded off the road and slammed into a concrete culvert and a brick mailbox. His wife, riding with him on a separate bike, probably watched it …

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Clear The Runway

On an unseasonably warm night last October, I sat up with my ninety-four-year-old father-in-law at his Northern Michigan home. The window next to my chair was cracked open just enough where Dad wouldn’t question me about it. His health had slowly deteriorated over the past year and it was not easy to watch him struggle with everyday tasks. He was a fit, proud and ruggedly handsome man who still had a full head of thick, silver hair. He was seated sideways on the adjustable bed that was recently placed in the living room in front of the fireplace. I was exhausted from the thirteen-hour drive to come and see him, but it was clear he wasn’t about to sleep. He …

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The Rope

Our job is to prepare our kids to live their own lives. ~ Dr. Meg Meeker My boss gave each of his daughters ropes when they left for college. Yes, actual ropes. Growing up, the analogy of the rope was explained to them this way: As your parents, we’re holding one end of the rope and you’re tied to the other end. When you prove you can make smart decisions and be trustworthy, you will be given more and more rope. If, on the other hand, you lie to us or do something stupid, we’ll pull the rope in leaving you with less slack. This is where my wife and I find ourselves today – giving our sixteen-year-old girls rope. …

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I’ve Noticed Something

A life with love is a life that’s been lived. ~ Ed Sheeran I’ve noticed something… The world looks different than it did just five years ago; it’s meaner. But I don’t need to tell you that. You can see it. You can feel it. But I’ve noticed something… We don’t like it very much and we’re trying to escape it. The #1 new show on TV is NBC’s “This Is Us.” The characters are both relatable and believable and the topics couldn’t be more true to life. People really do die from cancer, struggle with weight, regret and guilt. People really do suffer from depression and anxiety. People really don’t have perfect families. And people really do forgive. People …