Tag Archives: soul

Grow Your Soul (the rest will follow)

GROWTH   — I’m a Papa. I have grandchildren and a garage full of all the right tools. I am 55 years old growing.  I have been reading my Bible, praying, serving, and trying to honor God for the past 35 years. I don’t always like it, but I am still growing.  I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to be when I grow up. God is still working on me.  Yes, there is still plenty of room for growth.

I think of my  desire to continue to grow and mature. I want to become the right kind of follower of Jesus Christ. I want to reflect the love described in I Corinthians, chapter 13.  It’s what the Apostle Paul calls, “a more excellent way.” As an educator I picked up on the biblical standards for growth that a Stanford psychology professor applies to adolescent brain development.

According to Carol Dweck (Mindsets and Equitable Education), growth happens best with teenagers when rightly responding in five key areas their lives:


That’s great for kids, but I find that when I am growing God is using these things as my “growth agents.”  Let me explain…

  • Challenges must be something I embrace; I learn something new from them; “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
  • Obstacles help me become stronger and build fortitude, think obstacle course; “…perseverance produces character and character produces hope…” Romans 5:3
  • Effort becomes the active manifestation of the faith I hold.  “Faith without works is dead.”  James 2:17
  • Criticism is painful, but I recognize, not only can I learn something, but criticsim won’t destroy my true foundation. “and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.” I Peter 3:16
  • Success of others is to be celebrated. Oh what joy when I trust God so much that I am happy when others receive praise. When I trust God I am free from despair or resentment when others are exhalted, even when they don’t deserve it. “Rejoice with those who rejoice.” Romans 12:15

My natural tendency is NOT Continue reading Grow Your Soul (the rest will follow)

Soulful Books of 2011


I actually thought about something “devotional” and / or inspirational for the New Year. But I was not devoted and / or inspired to write it.

So, I give you books! Books make great companions. What a great way to hang out with make believe people, or past presidents for that matter. I ran into a few people I didn’t like being around, but overall, books were my 2011 passion.  Each book brought a particular passage of Scripture to my soul and I share the verses herein.

Three Novels (or close to) that Touched My Soul

3. The Brothers K by David James Duncan

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else,

for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself,

because you who pass judgment do the same things. Romans 2:1  

 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this…Romans 14:13

This is a huge novel about family, and families can be complex; it’s a book is about life, all of it. I found the magic of The Brothers K in watching six children of Hugh and Laura Chance grow, and I fell in love with the family, not because I could relate to them, but because Duncan made me care about them.  Parts of the story made me smile and parts were agonizing.  Papa Hugh Chance, a ‘coulda-been’ baseball all-star and his devout Adventist wife, Laura raise six kids that couldn’t be more different. More than once I found myself becoming extremely emotional as I fought alongside members of the Chance family trying to resolve conflict. It was life, existential and moving. I found myself empathizing with each character especially when they were at odds with one another.

This story struck me as authentic, no kooky plot twists or author’s indulgent inventions.   We see the four Chance boys grow up before our very eyes, watch as their characters age and become…  it’s a life experience and death experience — and we see the birth of hopes and dreams, and we see death, or worse.  This book is a big`ole juicy steak. Cut it up and savor each bite. This is not “book-lite” — This is book weighs in at nearly 700 pages. Who has time for that? I’m thankful that I made the time and highly recommend The Brothers K. (I’ll throw in a PG rating because I did  find that many novels ought to have some kind of classification — e.g. I read Water for Elephants and enjoyed the book, but um…R!) Continue reading Soulful Books of 2011