Being Real About Real Issues

You know what’s great about working in Christian ministry – or within my church? Since God’s laid out in Scripture what’s right and wrong, sinful and not, we have no conflict. Nobody talks about other people behind their backs about their failings. In fact. no one has any failings.

No one struggles with pride … or anger … or drinking … or pornography … or addictions of any kind. In fact, we don’t even allow those things to be discussed because they are non issues.

“This Is Where I Leave You”: At the Corner of Purpose and Perseverance

I sunk down in the easy chair, stunned. Emotions, complex and unexpected, were forming a funnel cloud inside my head. “Here it comes,” I thought, “but why? It was his time. He lived a long, full life, and he had been in pain as of late. He’s at peace now. Why does this feel harder than I thought it would?”

There was barely time to finish forming those thoughts before a report from our 4-year-old was shouted in from a nearby room:

MOM!

Un-Expecting

Another test.

I’d taken tests for 16 years. From my ABCs in kindergarten to my SATs in high school. By now, my junior year in college, I’d taken hundreds of tests. Thousands, probably. Most I’d passed, a few I’d failed, but none terrified me—made me physically sick—like this one. And I wasn’t even the one, technically, being tested.

My girlfriend was. Wendy was being tested to see if she was pregnant.

Wendy and I met the first day of our freshman year.

4 Things I Wish I Knew Before Having a Kid

It’s no secret that I love fall. The cooler weather, the convergence of pennant races and the beginning of football season … I love it all. But, fall always reminds me of the birth of Daughter #1, who’s coming upon her 4th birthday (I know, already – I’m not old enough to have a 4 year old!). As the calendar goes, her birthday is just a couple months after Daughter #2’s birthday in mid-August – so late summer/fall is full of little girl birthdays for the Sage Household.

Don’t Say Stupid Things To Your Wife

It’s the book idea about relationships to end all book ideas. A book with fool-proof advice to keep you from getting into hot water verbally with your spouse. A book titled: Don’t Say Stupid Things to Your Wife.

The pages would just be blank. You wouldn’t need any advice beyond that.

The wise insight I received from a mentor early in my marriage wasn’t much more complicated than that. Roger, who had been married more than three decades, explained to me that there will be times in my marriage where I will get frustrated and will think of something to say in that moment of anger that would wound my wife.

More Lessons in Fatherhood … from Adrian Peterson and the NFL

I’ve always liked Adrian Peterson. He seems like a nice, well-meaning guy. But sometimes, even very nice guys make some very bad—even tragic—mistakes.

The Minnesota Vikings running back has been charged with child abuse after using a switch (a small tree limb) to spank his 4-year-old son. According to reports, the beating left the boy’s backside and legs cut and bruised.

The Minnesota Vikings haven’t quite known what to do with the situation. First, they suspended their star (and lost that weekend).

If No Man Is An Island, Is Adrian Peterson The Problem?

If you’re a dad… or a mom… or an American human being with a pulse, you’ve probably heard (at least a little) about the parenting-related news surrounding the NFL and the Minnesota Vikings’ All-Pro running back, Adrian Peterson.

If you need caught up… well, there’s really just too much flying around to detail here, and most of it is surrounded by a lot of righteous indignation and flanked by myriad uses of the term, “alleged.” That being said, Peterson “allegedly” spanked/beat his 4-year-old son pretty severely.¹ (You can find out more here and here if you’re interested.)

Spanking is not a new controversy.

Thinking Back to When We Were Expecting Our First…

Many moons ago…My wife and I were expecting our first child and it seemed like nothing in the world could stop us. We had each other, we had a baby on the way, I had a good job, and we had both read and practiced so much that we thought we had the birth and raising of our children nailed down. Boy was I naive!

Thinking back…

My eldest daughter just celebrated her 17th birthday a couple of weeks ago and I tell you that I am not ready for her to be going out into the world.

Dependence

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  

What’s Your Testimony? (Revisited)

On March 13, 2013 I wrote a blog post entitled, “What’s Your Testimony?”  Here is a snippet:

At dinner one evening, our pastor and his wife shared something that has transformed the way we have approached life ever since.

They told us that the Lord was establishing a “foundation of faith” early on in our marriage. They went on to explain that God wanted us to know that He is faithful and good; worthy of our complete trust, both for our marriage and for our future family one day.