Everything Sad is Untrue: A Review

I have a memory of Thanksgiving at my grandparents’ house. I may have been seven or eight years old. The living room is crowded with adults who are taking turns telling stories from their shared past. My cousin, Paul Ticer, launches into one about my Aunt Addie that leaves her laughing so hard she ... Continue reading

Doing a lot with a little

Stone, brick and concrete: In southern Mexico, where wood and steel are costly, homes and offices are built with materials from the earth. The oldest buildings are constructed of quarried stone, traditionally a green-tinted limestone, or sun-baked coffee-colored adobe bricks. These were used to ... Continue reading

Dangerously familiar

We call them "foreign" countries because they're different.I am in Oaxaca, Mexico for about a month. I'm out of drinking water at present, which means a walk down the block later this morning to buy a 20-liter garrafón for my water dispenser. Or, I could just boil water from the tap and let it ... Continue reading

Faith thrives in America

Is there someone working the levers behind the curtain? Does God exist?According to the latest Pew Forum US Religious Landscape Survey, an ongoing examination of American religious beliefs and practices, 92% of us are betting on the existence of God or a "universal spirit." 7 in 10 are ... Continue reading

Language diversity and taxis

Public transportation takes many forms in the little Zapotec town where I have been living for the past week. There are buses to carry you to nearby cities and collective taxis that squeeze in 5 passengers at a time, the cost split between them all.For local public transport there is the bicycle ... Continue reading

Wedding Rule #16: Don’t serve booze to your husband’s ex-girlfriends

Early Monday morning my wife and I boarded a plane in Oaxaca and flew to Mexico City, Houston, and finally, Phoenix. My mother-in-law met us at Sky Harbor Airport and drove us the last two hours to our home in Tucson. By the end of the day, my head was buzzing and I felt a bit dazed, like when ... Continue reading

Cross-cultural faith

Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a pearl merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it! —Matthew 13:45,46, NLT (Jesus speaking) The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast used by a woman making bread. Even though she ... Continue reading

The junkman no longer cometh

Long, long ago when I was a mere child, I would visit my grandmother at her home in Baltimore. It was a typically fascinating grandparents' home, with a dusty basement full of strange treasures, walls decorated with fading family photographs, an ancient, fruit-laden cherry tree, and all sorts of ... Continue reading