Everyday Grace

Finding Grace in the Marathon of Grief

October 29, 2015

Hayley’s mom passed this past Saturday and we’ve had an amazing outpouring of care and condolences offered to us. My mom passed last year and my father has been gone over ten years, but since they lived in Oregon, I didn’t experience firsthand what we’re both experiencing now. I thought this post might be helpful for anyone dealing with grief but especially offering condolences. Continue Reading…

Everyday Grace

The Rain Runs Deep

October 2, 2015
Oregon rain

My wife has a mass shooting in her hometown now.

For years I was the one with a tragic and unthinkable event at my hometown high school in Springfield, Oregon. Growing up, Springfield was a sleepy lumber town right across the river from more liberal and eclectic Eugene, where my beloved Ducks play. Bill Kinkel was one of my favorite teachers in high school. I took three years of Spanish from him not because I loved the subject but because he made class enjoyable. Mr. Kinkel had retired from teaching high school Spanish and was teaching it part-time at Lane Community College in Eugene. Continue Reading…

Everyday Grace

War, Parenting, and Why How We Parent Reveals Why We Parent

June 16, 2015
kids playing war

My grandfather fought in World War I. My father fought in World War II and served stateside during the Korean War as well. One of my sisters was a nurse on a Navy hospital ship anchored in a harbor off the shores of Vietnam. My brother was stationed in West Germany during the Cold War.

The Army and Navy trained all of my family members how to prepare for and operate in a wartime environment. They learned from the government how to follow orders, shoot, treat wounds, even how to properly peel potatoes and shine shoes. The interesting thing is that the Army and Navy didn’t teach them why you should go to war and how that decision should be made. That’s because other people make those decisions. Continue Reading…

Everyday Grace

Four Ways Adopting a Pet Teaches Grace to Your Kids (and You)

June 10, 2015
puppy lick

I’ve encountered very few children that didn’t want a pet of some sort. And outside of children that are too rough, cruel, or allergic, kids will learn fabulous lessons of grace from adopting a pet. Parents that allow their kids to adopt pets tend to have a higher likelihood of showing grace to their children in other areas of their lives. Whether golden retriever or goldfish, here are the top four ways your family adopting a pet teaches grace to your kids (and you:) Continue Reading…

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Everyday Grace

Unspoken – Commentary on the Worst Parenting Advice in a TV Commercial Ever

June 8, 2015
Image credit - Zebco

Use your words.

It’s a parenting phrase I use with my daughter when she’s been hurt physically and she’s crying breathlessly and I didn’t see what happened. I don’t know if she’s lost a finger, sliced open her foot, or merely gotten a splinter. I so desperately want to help, to fix, that I want her to use the tools a newborn doesn’t possess and, like a nine year-old should, use her words. Continue Reading…

Everyday Grace

Five Grace-Killing Lies Our Parents Told Us (and We Probably Tell Our Kids)

June 1, 2015

Here are five grace-killing lies our parents told us growing up that, more than likely, we are telling our kids as well.

1. “This is NOT a negotiation”


business_kidEverything in life is a negotiation, you’ve just decided to end the negotiation. Which is fine. But saying “This is not a negotiation” is all about power and impatience. Saying, “That was good; you almost changed my mind. Here’s why you didn’t” empowers a child and teaches discernment and, yes, negotiation. The key is to teach respectful dialog and that is done by example and practice. It acknowledges and encourages good reasoning in children that aren’t being insolent but care very much about the “whys” in life. Outside of safety issues (“GET OUT OF THE ROAD!”…”Why?”) negotiation shows grace to a child that your power as a parent isn’t something to be lorded over them and contributes to healthy development in the life of a discerning and thoughtful child. Continue Reading…

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Everyday Grace

Here is Grace for the Weariness

May 31, 2015

“The road is rugged, and the sun is hot. How can we be but weary? Here is grace for the weariness – grace which lifts us up and invigorates us; grace which keeps us from fainting by the way; grace which supplies us with manna from heaven, and with water from the smitten rock. We receive of this grace, and are revived. Our weariness of heart and limb departs. We need no other refreshment. This is enough. Whatever the way be – rough, gloomy, unpleasant – we press forward, knowing that the same grace that has already carried thousands through will do the same for us.”

Horatius Bonar – The Christian Treasury, 1868.


Looking for a silver lining drives a wedge between parent and child

May 22, 2015

Empathy is one of the most essential traits in a grace-filled parent, but especially in becoming an authority on suffering. But unfortunately it is an often misunderstood and missing trait in a parent’s life.

The farther we get from our own childhood the more difficult it comes to put ourselves in the shoes of our children and to remember how we felt as we experienced many of the same things as they are. But empathy doesn’t need a strong emotional memory in order to exist. To help you with the concept of empathy let me first talk about the difference between empathy and sympathy. Continue Reading…

Everyday Grace

Grace for the Hacker

April 17, 2015

I got a call from a man with a thick indian accent named Sam from Microsoft Windows Support and who said their records showed that my computer is infected by a virus. I said, “Oh no what should I do?” For the next 20 minutes, he took me step-by-step through how to verify all the issues wrong with my computer, each time prompting me to tell him what I saw on my screen. Continue Reading…


Painting Over Rust

April 9, 2015

“Discipleship is restorative rather than modifying. Both restoration and modification are aimed at the same thing, change. When talking about cars, restoration is concerned with the authenticity, that the components are what the original manufacturer intended, while modifying a car is done purely on the owner’s whim and is usually based on appearances. Want to bolt a spoiler on the trunk? Go for it. Don’t want to take the time to address a rust issue on the fender? Just paint over it. Restoration and modification both can come after our children sin. Continue Reading…