5 Aspects of Deployments That Aren’t Horrible

5 Aspects of Deployments That Aren’t Horrible

Originally this post was to be entitled, 5 Things I Love About Deployments, but that title would basically be a lie. I loathe deployments. I understand that they are just a fact of life for my husband’s career and I try to cope with them in the most mature, adult way I can, but none of that changes the fact that I dread them. My husband is amazing; I love his reassuring, rational, hilarious presence. I hate being a temporarily single parent. All of that being said, we have to make the best of these things. These are five things that I’ve grown to appreciate about these periods of separation in our marriage. We don’t fight: There’s not much to fight about when John’s overseas. We talk about our days and what our son is up to and what’s happening in the news. There’s no kitchen that one spouse didn’t clean. There aren’t those small things we can do to irritate each other, so at least for these past two deployments, they’ve been months largely without disagreement. I’m grateful for that! Our Relationship Grows In Different Ways: Since we don’t always have a lot of time to talk on the phone or video chat since John’s busy with work, a certain one year old likes to grab the phone, and the time difference is challenging, we write about in-depth things in actual letters. There are few material things I cherish more in this world than my letters from John. We write about abstract things that we probably would never talk about in person, but both of us have a lot of time to think when...
The people who walk in darkness

The people who walk in darkness

One of my favorite things about the Advent/Christmas season is listening to Handel’s Messiah. Though we all enjoy a good hearty singalong to the Hallelujah Chorus, I think the arias are greatly under-appreciated. Among my favorites is a magnificent bass aria to the text of Isaiah 9: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light During Advent, we remember the nation of Israel, walking in darkness, waiting for the Messiah. We reflect on how God was faithful to his promises, and came to save his people. We also look forward to the Second Coming, when Christ will come again in glory. But it’s easy to get complacent about Advent. We know how the story goes—we know that the people in darkness will see a great light. We know that at Christmas, our Lord will come to Earth, fully man and fully God. Somehow, our corrupt human nature makes it possible for this to seem like old news. Truth be told, Advent spirituality has a tendency to be, well, kind of lame. In your typical Sunday homily or daily reflection, rather than mature theological insight befitting reasonably educated adults, you’re likely to encounter strained attempts to connect John the Baptist’s “voice crying in the wilderness” to banal, supposedly relevant advice like “take time out of your busy schedule to think about God.” This just doesn’t fly. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light—but it’s abundantly clear that there are still so many people who are walking in darkness, who have not yet seen the great light. Christmas is about the light, but Advent is about...
Your All-In-One Advent Clickbait!

Your All-In-One Advent Clickbait!

You’ve seen them.  Every day, it seems, something pops up in our newsfeeds or our Twitter feeds exhorting and enticing us.  “Five things you need to know today about X…”  Funny, before I saw the headline, I hadn’t given much thought to X.  Even funnier, X usually stands for “the complete behind-the-scenes lives of the cast of Full House”.  You’re right.  I never knew those five things.  That’s because I didn’t care. But today, my friends, I’ve got something better than X.  “It can’t be done!” you say.  Oh no, it can and it is.  That’s because today, X stands for “things you can do to make Advent come alive for your little ones”.  Don’t have little ones?  Read anyway.  Perhaps you’ll spot a typo and can offer me an opportunity to grow closer to God in the virtue of humility. Without further delay, here now: Five Ways to Make Advent Come Alive for You and Your Family The Wreath It’s a tried and true symbol, a stalwart of the season.  Truly, though, what better way is there to count down the time and introduce our young to pyrotechnics at the same time?  The beauty of this symbol is that it is multiple symbols wrapped in one.  The evergreen speaks to eternal life.  The purple and pink (violet and rose) speak of penitence and hope.  The candles burning down remind us of the end of a long, dark night; much as Christmas itself symbolizes the dawn of a new day of salvation.  The trick here is to know these things yourself and then hand them on.  Keep the wreath...

To walk a mile in your shoes

WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS for The 2nd Season of The Walking Dead. If you’re anything like me, you are pretty far behind on watching TV and movies. Consider yourself, my fellow sub-rock dwellers, warned. I’ve heard it said many times in the past few weeks, and most of my life actually, that “you don’t know how you’d act until you live through it.” My wife and I recently finished watching the second season of The Walking Dead. There’s something to be said for binge-watching a complete season of a television show. The viewer begins to notice patterns, character flaws, certain formats and tricks the writers use to play on your emotions. Something I’ve noticed is the overall lack of bedrock principles by any of the characters in the show. The former civil rights lawyer in the show seems to have left those convictions in the pre-zombified world, the former deputies can’t seem to determine right from wrong without say-so from a person of superior authority, and the wife of a deputy can’t decide whether to abort her child or keep it, and she certainly won’t tell her husband until her decision is made. I experience agony watching these people crash from one crisis into another like a pinball game because they lack a solid foundation. I’m a friendly guy, and many people seem to seek counsel from me on various moral topics. It seems many times, a friend will spill his guts about the moral turmoil in his life, and conclude with a warning that I can say what I’d do if in his situation, but I won’t...
Ephesians 5 Is Driving Me Mad!

Ephesians 5 Is Driving Me Mad!

I’m not a procrastinator.  That being said, tonight I reached out to a dear friend and asked him: “Quick give me a topic for a post I need to write.”  That post is the one you are now reading.  About an hour later he replied simply “Ephesians 5”.  “Great, now you’re going to make me look up Scriptures and stuff…” I took out my phenomenal new iPhone 6 and opened the browser, heading to the Bishops’ Conference website.  I clicked on “Bible”, “Books of the Bible”, and then found Ephesians 5.  I started reading it and was completely and utterly lost. Was this some kind of joke?  Had my dear friend meant for me to focus on one specific verse and forgotten to mention it?  With all the determination I could muster I decided to read through this selection of God’s Word to see if there was something I was missing.  I quickly determined that, although I was actually familiar with it, I could not even decipher its meaning in context of the whole chapter! Try this one on for size.  “Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient.” (5:6)  Ooh, it sounds like Paul had inside knowledge of an impending cultic uprising or perhaps the approach of a comet who’s tail would be hiding an army of empty-argument-crushers.  Bizarre. Then there’s this gem.  “Watch carefully then how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil.”  (5:15-16).  This begs the all-important question “Which...
New Waves for Truth & Charity

New Waves for Truth & Charity

Since first envisioning the idea of Truth & Charity in my parent’s living room on a cold December evening, I have been blessed to be the Editor in Chief. Seeing that vision come to life and move from incarnation to incarnation has been exciting and successful beyond any of our expectations. At this point, most writers would wax longingly about life and the ups and downs – but you already know what that sounds like so I’ll skip to the same part you would. I am stepping down from the EiC post and welcome Mary Walker as the new Chief of Truth & Charity. I know she has the creativity and the gumption to move Truth & Charity onto bigger and better things. Thank you for your readership. Keep it...