How jacked up is your family?

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Photo by Uwe Conrad on Unsplash

Recently I’ve begun reading through the Gospels during my devotion time each morning. I’ve longed to write blogs as I work my way through books of the Bible, and am finally putting pen to paper (or thought to computer). I’m calling it Hiking Through the Gospels. Why? Because if you’re like me, hiking isn’t something you naturally get excited about. It’s a walk through nature, typically up a mountain. But when you’re on the trail, there are wonderful discoveries made before you ever get to the majestic waterfall or mountaintop you’ve been trekking toward. …

Kershaw County, July 1823

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Photo by British Library on Unsplash

“Sure feels fine out today.”

The young man looked at the old man like someone had taken a shovel to the back of his skull.

“You crazy, old man. We been out here workin’ these fields since sun up. I’m sweatin’ like a whore in a church house.”

“Yes, boy. But God loves that whore just like he does the preacher man callin’ on her each night.”

The old man grinned tucking the little key into his shirt pocket, the one he lifted from his master’s kitchen when he wasn’t looking.

“Yes, yes boy. God loves…

beauty through a microphone of pain

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Photo by Jordan on Unsplash

When Billie Holiday sang about
Strange Fruit
everyone craving
Fresh citrus from orchards
suddenly lost their appetite.

One he didn’t give a flip about

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There’s a lot to say in 2021 about what’s important. Flags across the nation are moored at the halfway point of their poles as a symbol of the somber realization: 500,000 people are dead now that, at this time a year ago, likely hadn’t even heard the term coronavirus, likely hadn’t experienced a quarantine, and probably never wore a mask to buy their groceries at the local Publix.

In his book Talking With GOATs, the well-known sports reporter Jim Gray recalls a story of a time Al Davis, the bombastic former owner of the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, talked about the…

It’s only two words, but it can change the course of their lives

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Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash

Last week, in a moment of discipline for bad attitudes, constant talking back, and a general disposition of apathy toward anything my wife and I asked our 10-year old to do, she slipped me this note.

We always wore a mask.

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Photo by David Martin on Unsplash

We have spent years telling people
to take their masks off
now we cannot trust those
not wearing one at all.

I’m more attuned now to my own
mortality, a sheep grazing just before
slaughter day.

The restless nights I tarry in
feel colder than they should.
It’s summer outside but the heatwave
is a secret we all keep well hidden

under our clothes. If the office
calls today and tells me my services
are not needed

I will slip the mask down to take a deep
breath of humid air.
Trusting no one but the dog at home.


Pan over to Michael Scott screaming “no….no no no!”

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Photo by Erin Doering on Unsplash

The neighbors that live across the street from me are the most hardcore of Ohio State Buckeyes’ fans. Most Saturdays they sit in their garage with the TV on rooting the scarlet and grey to victory after victory.

As a Clemson fan, this past Friday evening I envisioned another big playoff win over the Buckeyes, another chance to boast of my Tigers (yes…my) and make a casual wave across the street to my midwestern-bred neighbors, knowing my team beat their team.

But you see, none of that happened. Ohio State drubbed Clemson. It wasn’t close. It was one of those…

Life’s more than what’s inside the Red Solo Cup

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Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

In college Saturday nights
were for getting wasted.
Parties outside on the beach
or inside of red Solo cups.

I wasn’t invited but had an idea
of what they meant. I’ve seen the
2:00 a.m. Waffle House and heard
Jimmy Buffet slur
wasting away in Margaritaville
on the jukebox

A 100-word story on overcoming awkwardness

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Photo by Haley Lawrence on Unsplash

The boys gazed awkwardly at the equally shy girls. Which one of us are they giggling at? they all wondered.

The DJ hit play. “Ice Ice Baby” thumped through the speakers. Timmy knew it was time to make his move.

He stepped onto the floor, doing something only he could call dancing. The other boys laughed. Most of the girls gaped in horror.

But not Amanda. The freckled girl with streaks of pink hair smiled, her braces sparkling in the glow of the disco light. She stepped onto the dance floor, not scared of making a fool of herself too.

Some things are not beautiful, but many things are

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Photo by Nick Romanov on Unsplash

“Love is blind” I heard the
blind man say. The irony
not lost on his sheepish grin.

I pause to wonder about
things a seeing man like
myself sees that I’d rather not.

The housewife folding laundry
while her husband undresses
another. A child with cancer.

Old men forgetting the best
of themselves. Old women
forgetting old men.

Bullet casings alongside
finger paintings strung up
in a classroom marked with

caution tape. Thoughts and
prayers offered by men who
don’t pray or think.

No one would wish to be blind. …

Eddie Becker

The first poem I ever wrote was in 7th grade. It was about toucans. It was called “Toucans Two”. It’s the best thing I’ve ever written.

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