lessons

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

Redirecting my Gratitude

“If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you and certainly wants to make you a saint.” (St. Ignatius Loyola) I woke up last Tuesday not feeling very grateful.  I am not sure why, but I started my day in a “mood.”  Maybe it was the stress of having too much on […]

Acts of Kindness, the Goodness of People & Lessons Learned

I am blessed to be the father of a wonderful teenage son named Alex, who has high functioning autism. Our family has countless stories and experiences describing how Alex has touched our lives and made us better people, but that is not the subject of this post. The words you are about to read are meant to pay homage to the incredible […]

On Fatherly Influence and Practical Lessons

I was blessed to grow up with great parents. We didn’t have much, but my parents made sure my sister and I had love, discipline, faith, strong values, and an appreciation for the value of hard work. My mother played a vital role in our family, as all mothers do, but I find as I grow older that I am […]

Man at Prayer

A Catholic Man Opens Up About Being “Restless”

“Thou movest us to delight in praising Thee; for Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee” (St. Augustine, Confessions). I think most writers are naturally introspective and reflective.  While in Eucharistic Adoration a few weeks ago I prayed for many things, including strength and courage to stay focused on the […]

Vital Leadership Lessons from a Child with Autism

I have been leading people since I was a 16 year old in high school working at a restaurant in the town where I grew up.  Leadership has always been a passion for me and after years of study, reading dozens of leadership books, listening to mentors and accumulating great experience on the way to a successful career I have […]

Father and Son

The Challenges and Joys of Modern Fatherhood

Sometimes I can almost imagine myself as a great father to my children… then I do something to mess it up. I vividly recall a past October when the boys and I welcomed my wife home from a five-day trip to California where she had been visiting her sister. What started out as my great adventure with the kids at […]

Photography © by Paul Johnson

The Treasure and Value of Family Storytelling

One of the best ways to keep your family close as it grows and adds members, either by birth, adoption, or later on with your child’s own marriage and children, is to integrate storytelling into the rhythm of your family life. Storytelling need not be elaborately organized, and you don’t have to have an English literature or speech major to […]

Photography © by Randy Hain

A Glimpse of God’s Glory Revealed

Every now and then I slow down enough to experience God. The picture attached to this post was recently taken by me on the last day of our family vacation, just before my morning run.  The sight of the sun behind the clouds took my breath away as it spoke to me of God’s glory and might, but my frail […]

America, the Resilient

Reminiscing seems to go hand in hand with getting older.  When I slow down enough to look at life through the eyes of my children, I see a world vastly different from the one in which I grew up.  As a product of Generation X, my age group may be the last to remember a childhood without electronic games and […]

Five Important Lessons from Saint Joseph

As the father of a teenager with high-functioning autism, I am sometimes challenged to give my oldest child the focus and patience he needs from me.  I frequently feel inadequate when I advise and guide my 12 year old son through the minefields of today’s culture.  My loving wife should expect my best efforts as a husband, yet I often […]