The Five-Hundred-Dollar Cut

I had just bought the utility knife from Home Depot. It was brand-new and razor sharp. Combine that with my inexperience with cutting old carpet from an even older flight of stairs, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Always cut away from your body, never toward it, I’d been told. Especially with a knife that’s that sharp. But I forgot. Or wasn’t listening, as sometimes the case may be. The accident happened in a flash. It was so quick, I’m not even sure how I did it. But the cut on the side of my hand was deep, the wound resembling two lips with plenty of blood oozing in between. The cut didn’t even hurt, but I instantly knew this was no Band-Aid-variety wound. Light-headedness prompted by the shock of what I’d just done descended on me for a few minutes. “I’m so sorry,” I said to Kim, my…

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Book Review: God Is More Than Enough

Lately my church has been going through a fascinating, encouraging book during Sunday school called God Is More Than Enough: Foundations for a Quiet Soul by Jim Berg. This book goes along with Berg’s video series Quieting a Noisy Soul; we’ve been watching the videos during Sunday school and then reading the correlating chapters during the week in preparation for Wednesday night discussion. When I come across a real gem, I like to let others know about it—and this is one of them. And in the spirit of “approving excellent things” (Phil. 1:10), I like to share the blessing. I must admit that I read few nonfiction Christian fiction books because so many I’ve read (or tried to read) were so simplistic, I felt insulted. Or they tried so hard to be novel that the content flirted with false teaching or waded into psychobabble. This is not one of them. The…

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Book Review: Fear Has a Name

I enjoyed this novel very much. Creston Mapes does a fine job weaving together two dissimilar plot: one about a troubled man who is stalking Jack Crittendon’s family, particularly his wife, Pam; and a second involving the disappearance of a pastor, whose suicidal tendencies suggest he may have taken his life. How these two unrelated story lines eventually merge is potential for an intriguing tale, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Mysteries abound, and journalist Jack is up to the task, using his investigative skills to unearth the truth. Meanwhile, the stalker ups the stakes, and Jack must become more aggressive to keep his family safe. When the unthinkable happens, his faith in God is put to the ultimate test. Creston is an author to watch. His masterful pacing starts from the first page’s home invasion and rarely, if ever, slows down. The adrenaline-laced plot is tight, and the characters—even the…

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Do You Have a Connection Obsession?

Over the last week or so, I had the awesome privilege of literally unplugging, grabbing some suitcases, hopping on an Amtrak (California Zephyr) for a first-class family trip to Grand Junction, Colorado, and spending three days touring southwestern Colorado in a rented van. We had a once-in-a-lifetime experience: I got away from my computer for a while; spent some quality time and conversation with my wife, daughters, and in-laws; and enjoyed God’s amazing handiwork manifested in ice-capped mountaintops, plunging canyons, raging rivers, and the stunning genius of His creation. I’ll never forget it. The train was amazing. We ate steak in the dining car (completely spoiled!) and even had a family bedroom (it was tiny but workable). One feature that made the train trip especially memorable was the sightseeing car. This car featured lots of oversize windows (even on the ceiling) and comfy seats facing the windows to afford the most…

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