Dickens’ Christmas Mystery
For fun Christmas reading this season, I highly recommend John Grisham’s “Skipping Christmas,” or Maeve Binchy’s “This Year It Will Be Different.” For a more thought-provoking read, however, I suggest Charles Dickens’ short story, “A Christmas Tree.”
My Imperfect Thanks
Christian psychologist David Myers, in his writing and speaking about happiness, has suggested that long-term human happiness is not particularly dependent on our wealth or health. If you tell him that a year ago one person won millions of dollars … More>
A Challenge to College Students: Be a Full-Time Student
Full-time employment across the developed world is generally defined as 40 to 44 hours per week. The expectations are lower in some countries, such as France, where full-time employment is set at 35 hours per week. The typical college student … More>
Scotland: May We All Live Free
The important cultural analysis by Geert Hofstede, conducted in the 1970s and 80s, and impacting many research paradigms since, concluded that the United States is the most individualistic culture in the world. However, there are a handful of Western countries … More>
How Ray Rice Proves Freud Wrong
As a 21st century data-driven psychologist, I find it difficult to invoke the name of Sigmund Freud. In fact, when trying to type his name, I misspelled it on my first three attempts. Some sort of slip, I guess. … More>
Designing history: The identity of the 21st century
Our primary focus in December of 1999 was Y2K. Would the computer systems handle the millennial change? Might we suffer from serious computer snafus? In the midst of the Y2K hype, we knew, though sometimes forgot, that the year 2000 … More>
Cell phones while driving: Should the State House decide?
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 14 states have enacted laws against hand-held use of cell phones by all drivers. These 14 states include 11 blue states, two swing states, and one red state. These bans are already in … More>
Retirement: A new and different form of work
Both financial and physical well-being in retirement require foresight and planning. Although far too many people fail to plan their financial resources, perhaps even more people fail to plan how to invest their hours and days once the structure of … More>
The VA scandal: Should we expand the federal failure?
Wikipedia has called it the Veterans Health Administration Scandal of 2014. An audit released in early June found that more than 120,000 veterans were left waiting or never got care, and that records were intentionally vague, misleading, and falsified. More … More>
The tragedy to end all tragedies?
The Great War (sometimes in America it was termed the European War) was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, 100 years ago this week, on June 28, 1914. The war was a continuation of the fragile … More>
Daddy, daddy, are you OK?
I took my first CPR course as a young adult, as required by my employer. I had taken an entry level job as a residential manager (houseparent), working with handicapped adults in a small group home setting. I was being … More>
Your trash, my spring yard work
After I picked up the sticks in the yard and raked the leaves that had collected over the winter, I perused the lawn and enjoyed the various signs of spring. A few crocuses were already in bloom. The daffodils were … More>
On the cross, Christ personified ultimate forgiveness. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Christ is forgiveness incarnate.
Our responsibility to “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14) requires us to practice forgiveness. Indeed, … More>
Mother Nature? Nature is not our mother
News stories from around the country focus on blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes, droughts, and other natural disasters. It seems that we live at the mercy of Mother Nature. We do not control our lives; Mother Nature instead controls us.
G. … More>
Ten degrees, below zero. Bitter wind chills. Snow to shovel. Nasty head cold. Stuffy and sneezy. Coughing. But I choose to control my thinking. I choose not to ruminate on todays’ struggles, real and difficult though they are. Instead, I … More>
Can you read this essay?
If you are still following along, then you can answer in the affirmative. According to a recent CNN article, however, a surprising number of the college athletes we watch playing basketball or football can only answer in the negative (“… More>
Our elderly church member and friend had been widowed, again. When we visited his home, we saw that he had written on his calendar, “Alone again.” He was a man of strong faith, and he was not questioning the presence … More>
Another New Year’s resolution? Sustainable exercise: Fun, productive or quick—Your choice
For many years, on January 1, I resolved to practice a more active and healthy lifestyle; instead, I experienced consistent failure.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 20 to 60 minutes of continuous aerobic activity (biking, walking, jogging, dancing, … More>
Equations of Christmas: What does “X” really mean?
I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, a White Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Season’s Greetings; but most of all, I wish you a Blessed Christmas.
Being at our season of life, in those years between teenage children and … More>
Historically, the field of psychology focused on mental illness and dysfunction. Positive psychology developed as a unique new subdiscipline as recently as 1998. Instead of investigating the question of what went wrong, positive psychology seeks to understand the fulfilling aspects … More>
Teenage sex: A family affair?
According to research published by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, our teens may have more wisdom than we give them credit for when it comes to sex education. Most teens (94 percent) think that adults should inform them … More>
Living our lives “under God”
The American Humanist Association has renewed the efforts of some atheists to remove the words “under God” from our Pledge of Allegiance. The organization argued recently in the Massachusetts Supreme Court that the inclusion of these words is a … More>
Parental knowledge: Where are my blind spots?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) frequently airs public-service announcements suggesting that parents should be talking to their children about the dangers of drugs. This is based on evidence that kids who consistently learn about the risks of drugs … More>
During Mother’s last few months, conversations were extremely difficult to follow because her mind seamlessly switched from one decade to another. Isaac Singer writes, “Sometimes she’d tangle one story with another and couldn’t find her way out” (In My Father’s … More>
If you believe everything you read, then kids are doomed. If both of their parents work outside the home, then it’s hopeless. If one parent is a pastor, then forget about it. If one parent is missing, too bad. What … More>
The great 20th century novelist Chaim Potok wrote, in his novel, My Name Is Asher Lev, “You have a gift, Asher Lev. You have a responsibility.” My Mom had a gift of 89 years, 89 years to live her … More>
Academic Freedom, Civility, and the Name of Jesus
Recently, a self-proclaimed Christian instructor at Florida Atlantic University asked his students to write “Jesus” on a piece of paper and step on it. The exercise was from a textbook manual and was designed to teach that “even though symbols … More>
One of the most famous opening lines in literature comes from Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina: “All happy families are like one another; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Great literature causes us to think and ponder; … More>
The Time of Giving and the Giving of Time
Christ is quoted, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Therein is one of life’s toughest lessons. How do we teach our children the habit of giving?
We know that social modeling is a powerful teacher. If we … More>
The Dividends of $elf-Control
As Christmas approaches, Americans are once again spending a lot of money. With that in mind, here are some thoughts on the importance of self-control in our lives.
Experience, an excellent teacher, has taught me many critical lessons. I learned … More>
I’m Positive About Parenting
Both our media and our politicians tell us that it is a terrible time to rear children. As parents, we are tempted to sing, “Why can’t they be like we were, perfect in every way?” We understand totally when one … More>