Two hundred and seven years ago this morning, a 35-year old lawyer witnessed the most inspiring episode of his life, the sight of the American flag over Fort McHenry after a merciless, 25-hour naval bombardment.
His name was Francis Scott Key.
Had Fort McHenry fallen, Baltimore would have been taken by the British. The loss of Baltimore, just weeks after the burning of the nation’s capital, would have been a crippling blow to the young United States.
Moved by the fort’s valiant defense of Baltimore, Key penned the words to a poem he titled “Defence of Fort McHenry.”
“You’re too nice.” It’s something I’ve been accused of numerous times. And I have to admit it. I’m guilty. I’m a nice guy.
And sometimes, being nice sucks.
There’s no other way to put it.
Well, there is, but I want to keep this article…nice.
Being a nice guy means that you get hurt. A lot.
Now, please don’t get me wrong. I’m not perfect. I have my faults. Plenty of them. So, when I refer to myself as a “nice guy,” I’m not suggesting that I have never been un-nice.
Is “un-nice” a word?
And I just did a…
Three thousand years ago, one of the most successful and highly renowned kings in world history reigned in the Southern Levant. We know him today as King Solomon, the most prosperous king of Israel.
And thanks to the biblical book of Proverbs, we have much of his wisdom still with us today.
Though Solomon did not pen all the entries in the Book of Proverbs, he is credited with most of them. And one of his most profound, at least when it comes to making decisions, is this one:
“Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the…
Life is challenging and it’s not always fair. And the rigors of life will be much easier to navigate when you stop demanding or expecting other people or circumstances to cooperate with your needs or wishes.
The cold, irrefutable reality is that life can be tough and cruel. And many times, we have both people and circumstances disappointing us or actively working against us.
A friend of mine — who I’ve tried to encourage over the years — has had a particularly difficult time. Some of his adversity has been self-inflicted (mainly due to past mistakes), but most has been…
In 1783, General George Washington, commander-in-chief of the American Continental Army, took time out of his busy schedule to send some advice to his nephew, Bushrod Washington, then studying law in Philadelphia. The elder Washington wrote:
Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.
Love and wisdom are crucial to achieving success in our relationships — personal and professional. And in the course of my life, I have found George Washington’s sage advice to Bushrod to be profound and richly helpful.
People should be lavish with their…
The rapid fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban is a humiliating moment in American history and, worse, a devastating setback for millions of Afghan men, women, and children who must now endure brutal misery and oppression.
We are being deluged hourly with analysis and commentary on what Americans should take away from this foreign policy debacle and humanitarian tragedy. But there’s one lesson that seems to be missing.
What we’re seeing in Afghanistan isn’t simply the triumph of oppression and fanaticism, but the tragic and unforgiving consequences of cultural beliefs and practices to which we ourselves are succumbing.
We’ve all been hurt to varying degrees, but not everyone intends to hurt or marginalize us. If we want to improve our society and our relationships, we must choose to focus on the positive in others and give people the benefit of the doubt.
Given my line of work, I’ve worked with countless people who have been deeply hurt by the words, actions, or toxicity of others. I’ve prayed with, counseled with, and tried to encourage many who have truly been victimized by other people.
Many of these people’s stories are heart-wrenching. And they run the gamut from domestic abuse…
“Facts don’t care about your feelings” is a popular saying and catchphrase made popular by Ben Shapiro and often associated with modern conservative politics. Yet, in reality, both facts and feelings matter.
Or at least they should.
The thing about popular mantras or cliches is that they usually contain some truth — sometimes a lot of truth. Otherwise, they wouldn’t catch on. But such truisms often are incomplete. And that’s definitely the case here.
The Thinker is a famous sculpture by Auguste Rodin. Originally called The Poet, this famous work of art has become a symbol for philosophy. …
My heart breaks for the people of Afghanistan.
Not only are we witnessing one of the worst foreign policy debacles in modern American history, we are also watching tens of millions of men, women, and children plunge into a nightmare of brutality and misery.
Three groups of people in Afghanistan will suffer (and are suffering) the most:
These aren’t the only ones who will suffer, but they will bear the brunt of it.
Since the United States government has all but abandoned these people to their fate…
The Bible says we are to avoid contact with “mediums” and “necromancers” (Leviticus 19:31) and that “sorcerers” will ultimately be sent to the “lake that burns with fire and sulfur” for all eternity (Revelation 21:8).
What does this mean for those Christians who enjoy reading — and perhaps writing — fantasy novels?
What does it mean for Christians like me?
As a kid, I was enamored with Superman, fascinated by Star Wars, practically addicted to Star Trek, and thoroughly enjoyed watching Buck Rogers and the 25th Century.
Of course, in full disclosure, Buck Rogers came out about the time I…