His Final Gift

  In August of 1966 my parents drove my twin brother and me to Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, where we began our undergraduate college studies. Southwestern was and is a very fine private school, and my four years there changed my life. But I always wondered how my parents managed it. My father’s income […]

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The Visit

(In observance of All Saints Day, I am reprinting a column that was first published in 2016.) He came to me early in the morning on All Saints Day. As I sat in the darkness of my backyard, he slipped in silently and sat next to me. Without exchanging words, we sat there together and observed […]

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  Philanthropy. I think it may be one of the best words in the dictionary. As a lover of words, I looked this one up several years ago to learn its origins. I was delighted to discover that it is derived from two Greek words that mean “lover of mankind.” After more than forty years […]

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The Drought

I think it is safe to say that the drought in north Texas has been broken. The average annual rainfall for Dallas is just over 36 inches, and we have received in excess of 23 inches since September 1st. That is about 20 inches above average for the same period. I have emptied the rain […]

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Our Children

  At the risk of sounding presumptuous, I have a suggestion for the members of the U. S. Congress. It is simple, it is doable, and I am dead serious about it. Both chambers should set aside a few days for the members to talk about nothing but their children and grandchildren. Enough time should […]

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  “And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the earth put forth […]

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My phone stopped working earlier this week. It happened at a rather inconvenient time: I was mid-sentence in a conversation with one of our best leaders in Methodism. I tried re-dialing, I tried pleading, and then I tried threatening Siri with bodily harm. Apparently, Siri was out for the count, and didn’t even have the […]

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In this morning’s pre-dawn darkness, I noticed that two of our solar-powered landscape lights were no longer shining. They are inexpensive little gadgets that get powered up during the day, then shine beautifully after the arrival of darkness. At midnight they all look the same. But I have noticed this often in my early mornings […]

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In 1946 William Faulkner wrote and sent to his publisher an “appendix” to his classic 1929 novel THE SOUND AND THE FURY, the story of the unraveling of an aristocratic southern family. The novel is difficult to read, and in his appendix Faulkner provided a brief genealogy of the Mississippi family whose story is told, […]

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Rest For Our Souls

“There’s a way to train a horse where when you get done you’ve got the horse. On his own ground. A good horse will figure things out on his own. You can see what’s in his heart. He wont do one thing while you’re watching him and another when you aint. He’s all of a […]

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