COMMENTARY: The Missing Baby Jesus

In a lovely essay*, Jean Gietzen wrote about a family experience in 1943. It was just before Christmas in North Dakota and her family had just bought a nativity set with small figurines. But Jean’s mother was deeply disturbed to discover the set included an extra Baby Jesus. “Go back to the store,” she instructed, “and […]

The Kindness Clause

By Barbara Gruener “Today I’m thinking about something I heard 13 years ago when I attended a CHARACTER COUNTS! Character Development Seminar in Houston and was introduced to the Six Pillar framework. It went something like this: Think about what you want people to say at your funeral, then live life backward. It resonated with […]

COMMENTARY: Unkind Words Are Weapons 752.2

With four teenage daughters, I frequently find myself correcting, disciplining, or simply protesting unnecessary and unkind comments certain to anger or wound a sister and evoke counterattacks that fill the air with nastiness. Hoping to get them to think before they speak in the future, I often ask, “What did you expect to accomplish by […]