Knowing the horrors of war may be the experience we need

The nation will benefit from having a Secretary of Defense who, for the first time, is an infantry combat veteran and one who advocates a sharp reduction in the number of U.S. nuclear weapons. Each is a perspective that has been sorely lacking for years among those responsible for committing America's soldiers to combat.

For your own good, be honest about your weight

Do you know your true weight? Or are you like many others who fudge (pardon the food reference) their numbers or otherwise try to avoid the topic altogether? Honesty really is the best policy. We do ourselves no favors if we try to ignore the proverbial elephant in the room.

Figure it out: Be receptive to God’s will

In a faraway city, I have a daughter who is trying to figure out the rest of her life. To be fair, I suppose there are moments in each week when you and I are trying to figure out the rest of our lives, too. But my daughter is at that moment of impending college graduation when the "real" world beyond the classroom is lurking like some ogre -- or perhaps an angel -- outside the door.

Hypertension: A hidden danger

I've heard this comment made more than once: "I had no idea my blood pressure was too high. I didn't feel a thing." Perhaps you have said the same, until you had your blood pressure checked. You had no idea it was dangerously high and put you at risk for heart attack, stroke or other problem.

Wanted: Uniting communication in digital gathering spaces

I love the digital world, the Internet, by whatever name. This morning, I paid bills, made an airline reservation, refilled a prescription, communicated with my physician and planned for a visit from longtime friends coming to town. That was before draining the second cup of coffee.

When invisibility is a curse, not a blessing

Back when I was a kid, I used to think it would be really cool to be invisible. Like any kid, my thoughts back then were usually all about how invisibility could benefit me. Invisibility meant that I would be able to goof off as much as I wanted. It meant that I would hear what the other kids were saying about me when they thought I wasn't listening.

Helping others carry their cross helps us, too

As Lent begins this month, I recall the Stations of the Cross, in particular, the station in which Simon helps Jesus carry his cross. It captures my attention. Simon, most likely on a long pilgrimage from Cyrene (in today's Libya) to Jerusalem for Passover, was "compelled" into service by the Roman soldiers. What did he feel? Not given a choice, did he bemoan his bad luck? Did he wonder how he could take on this burden given his own fatigue? Did he worry about being tainted in the service he was about to render to a "criminal"? Was he moved by compassion for a man beaten, tortured and made a spectacle for the public?

Finding the good news in the news

One of the first questions a news editor asks when hearing a story idea is, "Is it news?" Generally speaking, if the story is about something ordinary, for instance, "Dog bites man," the answer is often no. If it's uncommon, "Man bites dog," then the story is one step closer to clearing the hurdle of newsworthiness.

The Irony of Two Miles and 50 Years

If we think we live in demanding times now, look back at events in our lifetime. Some may drift into history and then provide comfort. Nuclear War and Civil Rights are two events that come to mind. In each, the church had a role with thoughtful teachings on the issues speaking to the moral questions involved.

National unity can emerge from national difference

I tend to think of myself as a United Stater. Not that I'm un-American or not proud to be an American, but I think all who share the part of the planet where I live should be mindful of the fact that there are South Americans, Central Americans and some North Americans who, like Canadians, are not United Staters. We U.S. citizens hold no monopoly of ownership on the name "American."