God’s Comfort

I remember getting together with Al and his wife at dinner one Saturday night. The next Saturday night, my wife and I were in a funeral home because Al’s wife was in a coffin. This was one of the first times that anybody truly close to us had died.

Al came running to me, looking distraught and frustrated. He said with such pleading eyes, “Henry, tell me something I need to hear.”

I had the time that it takes to walk from the coffin to a couch to figure out what to tell him. I needed to pray! The question was, did God have something to say to him in this difficult time, using me as His instrument? [Read more…]

Speaking the Truth

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24).

 

I was the guest speaker at a church conference and was attending one of those family-style banquets where they pass the platters of food and you eat whatever you want. I was sitting next to the minster of a local church. He filled his plate with a pile of potatoes, smothered it with gravy and all the trimmings, and ate it all. That is not what impressed me. He did it all over again! I could not get my eyes off that second plate.

Finally, he leaned over to me and whispered, “You know, Doc, I am a compulsive eater.” [Read more…]

Consistency

Marilyn and Charles had been having trouble for several years. The trouble was not fights or noisy arguments, but playing cat-and-mouse over Marilyn’s changing moods.

The couple would plan to go to a Sunday school class party or a family gathering, but Marilyn would beg off at the last minute. She just wasn’t up to socializing. Charles would feel sorry for her, change the evening’s plans and stay home. After several weeks of staying home, he would become blue. Then she would feel guilty for causing him to give up his social life and she would start going out. But he knew she was doing it just for him, so he would feel guilty and stay home more. It was a vicious circle, actually a battle of wills, his versus hers. [Read more…]

A Divided House

“Oh no, not another family fight,” groaned 16-year-old Carole, and she fled to her room in tears.

Carole had asked her mother if she might go roller skating with the church youth group, and Mom had replied, “No. You were at Bible Study last night and you studied late the night before.”

Just then Dad had come in and urged, “Let her go. She’s young only once.”

“But Carole needs her rest,” Mom insisted. Then the seesaw argument began, and both her mother and father were soon angry. [Read more…]

Everyone Wanting Their Own Way

Jon was 14, a handsome, tough young man. A likable guy, he noticed the pictures on the wall of my office and asked what it took to graduate from the college I’d attended. Someday he wanted to be a professional man, he said. I found out that he liked sports, reading, and church, and had lots of friends.

But when it came to talking about his folks, his eyes became slits, his lips pressed into a line, and his voice raised a couple of levels as he shrilled, “I hate them!”’ [Read more…]