Do Gerbils Go to Heaven?

canstockphoto41696161-zsv3207

(c) Can Stock Photo / zsv3207

Our Pastor told a story in his recent sermon, and in it, a little boy’s hamster had died and he asked his father (a fellow Pastor) if “Timmy” had gone to heaven. The boy was told in no uncertain terms by his father that nothing that has not professed faith in Jesus Christ shall enter the gates of heaven. I am paraphrasing, but you get the gist.

We were all a bit appalled to hear that blunt and dismissive statement from a father to a grieving son, and our Pastor said that he took the little boy aside on his way out and told him that Timmy sounded like a great hamster and he was sure that he was now playing in heaven.

Sounds like a platitude, doesn’t it? Continue reading

The “Year of YES!”

Woman Says Yes

(c) Can Stock Photo /studiostoks

I recently wrote a piece for a women’s collective giving circle blog. It was an interview with one of its many interesting and philanthropic women. You can see it at Impact Austin if you are curious. There was something she said that caught my attention and wouldn’t let go. She said that she had decided this past year was the “Year of YES!”

In her case, what she had decided to say yes to was travel. If an opportunity came her way, she took it and found herself with family and friends in places all over the world, having a blast!

What would your “Year of YES!” focus on? We all know we can’t possibly say yes to everything, but what if we decided for a year, or even just a month, to say yes to a certain neglected interest area in our lives?

I think our world might change. Continue reading

After the Weddings…

_Ogg-Wedding-0253SmI wrote about Weddings, Finances and Your Kids not so long ago, and now that the second of our two daughters has concluded her nuptials (last night!), I thought I would check back in with some of the takeaways from these experiences.

As I mentioned in that post, we gave our daughters the money that we planned to spend on each of their weddings, and the choices that went along with that gift. No strings were attached, other than that we expected to be there to see them wed. Continue reading

Dementia Decisions

NYT Article Image - Evan McGlinnMore of us are living longer, and sometimes our bodies are in better shape than our minds as we hit 80-90 years and beyond of age. I am seeing this dynamic in my mother-in-law, who is 92 and can still walk a mile and a half around a mall with few breaks, but who experiences memory gaps that frighten her and challenge that brilliant mind that conquered crosswords in pen and dominated all of us in Scrabble not so long ago.

Seeing her change and decline has been a life lesson to all of us that this may be our future as well, and we need to think now about how we want our lives to be then. Continue reading

Being The Adult

canstockphoto44198158LenaRoAdulting is one of my favorite “new” words. It seems to capture the essence of watching our grown children taking on the responsibilities that we used to take care of for them (so seemingly effortlessly). We see them discover that being an adult is hard, frustrating at times, and just when your kids think they have it covered, that inner teen can pop out to remind them that they aren’t there quite yet. Continue reading