Published in the Community Chronicle December 15, 2019:
Asking a child what he wants to be when he grows up can be very entertaining. I’m sure my son Christian went through the typical hero-worship phase, but the first career ambition I remember was when he began kindergarten. We lived within walking distance of the school, and I was a stay-at-home mom, so we got in some exercise as well as some together time when the weather permitted. We had to cross one major street, and Christian immediately fell in love with the kind man with the bright orange vest and bright red sign who greeted him every day and escorted him safely across the street. Forget the fireman, policeman, and even Spider Man – he wanted to be a crossing guard.
Christian showed great ambition through the years. He wrote his first story as soon as he could hold a pencil, and he created his first book out of samples our paper-salesman neighbor gave him. In the summer he carried lemonade around in his wagon, visiting the neighbors who were working in their yards instead of waiting for them to come to him, and in December he knocked on doors, offering bundles of mistletoe tied with red yarn for 50 cents each. (more…)
Published in The Rains County Leader on February 20, 2018:
Newer readers may not be aware that several years ago I wrote a memoir about Alzheimer’s caregiving. It was structured around a seven-week, sixteen state motor home trip we took with my parents, both of who suffered from some kind of dementia. In one of the early chapters, I shared the difficulties of getting ready for the trip. Following is a paragraph about getting Mom and Dad’s clothes ready to go: (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on November 22, 2016:
I developed the habit of keeping a gratitude journal years ago when Mom and Dad lived with us. Caring for two people with Alzheimer’s, regardless of how much you love them, is enough to change the most positive person into a grouch. When I realized how negative I had become, I bought a small notebook and resolved to write down at least three things each day for which I was grateful. Finding three things proved to be more difficult on some days than others, but after months of practice and discipline, my attitude began to change. I learned to look for and appreciate the small joys and to overlook the less joyful moments. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on March 1, 2016:
When I was growing up, I was taught that it isn’t polite to tell people how much you make, how much you paid for something, or who you voted for. Those rules have long since gone the way of a lot of the other customs and traditions of the pre-Sixties world. The one about sharing your candidate preferences is particularly outdated now. In fact, in the past weeks and months, the subject has dominated most polite, and lots of impolite, conversations. One of my favorite people to discuss politics with is my son, Christian Piatt. (more…)
The Coffeehouse Chronicles by Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett is a collection of three novellas:
- Is the Bible True…Really?: A Dialogue on Skepticism, Evidence, and Truth
- Who Is Jesus…Really?:A Dialogue on God, Man, and Grace
- Did the Resurrection Happen…Really?:A Dialogue on Life, Death, and Hope.
This work is very different in some ways from the book I reviewed yesterday: postChristian:
What’s Left? Can We Fix It? Do We Care? The Chronicles are fiction rather than non-fiction, and the authors approach their subject from a more conservative world view than the author of postChristian. McDowell, an apologist, evangelist, and writer, partnered with Sterrett who is an educator, ethicist, and evangelist. Piatt on the other hand is described as a “fearless and provocative spiritual trailblazer.” However, all the authors offer in-depth reasons for their beliefs along with information that will help their readers avoid sound-bite theology. (more…)
As promised yesterday, I’m posting the first of two reviews intended to spark interest in apologetics, or learning exactly what it is you believe and why. postChristian: What’s Left? Can We Fix It? Do We Care? was written by Christian Piatt who describes himself as an author, speaker, antagonist, and God nerd. The book is an in-depth look into the decline of institutional religion and what might lie ahead for Christianity.
Structured in a problem/solution format, the book offers alternating chapters featuring Christian scandals,
loosely based on the “seven deadly sins,” followed by Christ-like virtues. The author writes in a way that at times made me want to sit back and say “Word” – which I think is the current equivalent to “Right on, man” – while at other times I scratched my head and thought, now what exactly did he mean by that? His scholarly citations sometimes challenged my lazy intellectualism, but his conversational style, contemporary references, and personal stories clarified his point and answered many questions. (more…)
There is an old social sound bite that says successful social gatherings should never include discussions of religion or politics. I was involved in a family get-together a couple of years ago that ignored that advice, and the results were not pretty.
David and I were visiting our son and daughter-in-law, and one evening, as often happens in their home, dinner turned into an impromptu party. After dinner, we retired to the patio to enjoy the beautiful Pacific Northwest weather, and since there were several ministers and a couple of Christian writers in the group, the forbidden subject of religion came up. (more…)