Posts Tagged ‘Life & Liberty’

Can we find a place between obsessive control and total chaos?



The idea of problems in life being out of our control is often uncomfortable. And it can be downright scary when we assume that our inability to control the outcomes will lead to all-out chaos.

Sometimes to alleviate our fear of chaos we try to clamp down with obsessive measures of control. But then excessive control creates its own kinds of problems.


Which Will it Be?

If you had to pick…would you rather live in a society with obsessive control or total chaos?

Personally, if those were my only choices, I only want the obsessive control if I’m the one doing the controlling. If you’re the one in charge, I like my chaos just fine.

And isn’t that just the thing? I mean, we don’t want things to be out of our control, but we sure don’t want to be under someone else’s control either.

Fortunately, obsessive control and total chaos are not the only options we have. There is a whole range in between these two extremes.

So, how can we loosen our grip without letting everything fall apart?


Click the title to read the rest of this essay, Control vs. Chaos, at Life & Liberty Online Magazine

New Podcast Contemplating Light in Darkness



I did a lot of babysitting in my teens and handled everything from diapers to babies who would not stop crying. One of the most memorable events was the time I babysat when the power went out. Find out how my quick wit calmed a scared kid and what I carry from that experience still today…

Click the candle to listen to my latest podcast at Life & LibertyWhere is God When the Light Go Out?

Thoughts about Libertarianism & Individualism


I noted when I first joined the staff at Life & Liberty that I lean libertarian and being over there has given me a chance to work out and express some of that thinking. My column at Life & Liberty today explores the issue of individualism in libertarian thought.

Here’s an excerpt:

I come at my libertarian leanings as a result of my understanding of God and faith. My background is church work and my college course of study was theology. But even before I studied theology in a formal way, my faith was already shaping my libertarian-leaning ideals.

Because I didn’t come at this by studying libertarian political theorists, admittedly I am playing catch-up to understand the landscape of libertarian thought.

I’m learning that one of the big issues in libertarianism is the role of the individual.

Frankly, I am appalled at the hyper-individualism that pops up in some libertarian thought and I’d like to suggest a better way of thinking about the role of the individual as it relates to liberty…

To read the rest of this post, The Trouble with Individualism, click the title.

Getting a laugh or bringing a smile?


Oftentimes my first reaction to something is a selfish, arrogant, self-centered thought. However, as an introvert, I am ordinarily able to choose to actually say something more gracious. (Introverts are known for thinking before they speak.)

So, one may reasonably question, what is the truest portrayal of who I am? Is it the self-important first reaction or is it the deliberately-chosen, kinder, gentler words actually spoken?

Whichever is the most true is debatable, but it is certain that my first reaction is the funniest. There need be no debate on that. I can easily get a laugh if I just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind.

And speaking of the first thing that comes to mind, it could be argued that my first reaction is the most true. Were I quicker to speak that first thought, there would be integrity between what I think and what I actually say.

Does it necessarily follow that who we really are is exclusively a matter of our first reaction? Can we not be what we first think and what we choose to say or do in response?

If we have the presence of mind to catch ourselves from saying that witty first thought just to get a laugh, is that not saying something about about us? About our character?

See how I work these questions out over at Life & Liberty in my post, How a Well-Chosen Response Can Bring a Smile.

Imagination, Reality, and Kindness in the Realm


One of my earliest areas of interest as a writer was in writing short stories. I often used my study halls in high school to write fanciful stories about imaginary lands. I even had a science teacher who would let me read my stories to the class if she finished her lecture early.

One gem of a story idea was inspired by an odd panel in the family room of the house where I grew up. This one panel was 1/5 the width of all the others and it had a knot-hole toward the bottom.

I imagined a land of little people who lived inside the knot-hole of that panel. And the little people inside there had what I considered a utopian society.

My version of utopia? The little people all lived and worked in harmony and treated one another with kindness.

Brilliant right?

And what laws governed this utopia? None. None at all.

The people weren’t good and kind because laws told them to be, they were good and kind because they wanted to be.

I never quite got around to writing the knot-hole people’s story because somehow this was not like my other stories. It was more of a vision. And it felt too big and too important to reduce to a short story.

But this utopian vision has stayed with me ever since then…

Click the heart in the photo above read the rest of this essay at Life & Liberty and find out what that youthful vision still means to me today.

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