The 5 Love Languages

the 5 love languagesGary Chapman published The 5 Love Languages in 1992. After five editions, ten million copies, and numerous companion books, Chapman has made a cottage industry out of the original manuscript.

Chapman asserts we experience and express love through five love languages, including:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

Most people speak a primary and secondary language.

Miscommunication occurs when couples assume they speak the same language. Learning and speaking your partner’s love language revitalizes relationships.

During premarital counseling, I present couples with a copy of The 5 Love Languages. The concepts provide crucial strategies for healthy relationships.

To paraphrase the Apostle Paul, “If I speak in the tongues of humans and angels, but do not speak my partner’s love language, then I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”

Love others by speaking their love language.


We moved to Buckhead in 2017. After living outside-the perimeter since my teens, I envisioned an area of high-rise buildings and high-density neighborhoods. Certainly both exist, but Buckhead also features rolling hills, mature forests, and crooked creeks.

The church parsonage on West Wesley is a bit like a mullet hairdo—business in the front and party in the back! The front yard faces a busy, metro street. The backyard borders acres of woods. The patio could be located in Highlands, well, except for the constant drone of traffic and planes.

BucksDuring our tenure in the house, I have seen opossums, deer, hawks, owls, snakes, squirrels, chipmunks, and foxes. Two years ago a church member even photographed a brown bear 75 yards away from our backdoor.

Last month I glanced out a window to see a buck emerging from the woods. A few moments later another buck joined him. After meandering around the back yard, they walked down the stairs to the creek.

Several stories account for our community’s name. I now have my own theory!


Big Brother

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

Big BrotherThis oft-repeated mantra of paranoia still makes me smile. The statement both recognizes the mental aberration and affirms its existence.

But are we paranoid ENOUGH? Consider recent, technological “advances.”

  • Cell phones track our physical location.
  • Cellular companies promote thumbprint and facial recognition technology.
  • After searching for a purchase on the Internet, ads for the same product suddenly appear on multiple electronic platforms.
  • Cars’ GPS document our driving patterns.
  • Doorbell cameras share video with parent companies and law enforcement.
  • Security and traffic cameras along with license tag readers record our movement.
  • Alexa, Siri, and their sisters record home conversations.
  • Social media accumulates gigabytes of personal information.
  • Credit companies gather extensive financial information.

In 1984, people would have revolted against governments and businesses that wanted to track our location, record our words, video our actions, and monitor our lives. Today we willfully volunteer this information without a second thought.

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

No “I” in “Team”

Sick emojiA stomach virus viciously ambushed me Saturday evening. A high fever accompanied bouts of DELETED BY CENSOR. I took it like a man, moaning and groaning while praying for death.

My wife alerted the other pastors leading worship on Sunday morning. While I spent the night preparing my funeral, the Reverends Catherine Boothe Olson and Jeff Rogers divided the responsibilities. With only 12 hours’ notice, they gracefully led the three services. Other staff members fluidly shifted and shared duties as well.

In my early appointments, I WAS the church staff. Over the years, I’ve un-learned some lessons about self-reliance and independence. In return, the Holy Spirit has taught some lessons about collegiality and community.

Thank God for the amazing staff family at Northside Church. There’s no “I” in “Team,” and I am glad to be one member of Christ’s body in this time and place.

I do have an unused funeral outline available for anyone suffering from a similar, life-threatening ailment.

I could have DIED, you know.

Road Kill

possumA possum tried to cross West Wesley Road and died messily in front of our mailbox. In the past, I would have used a shovel to reverently dispose of the remains. However, I was delighted to discover the City of Atlanta has a dead animal removal service.

I completed the form and waited. And waited. And waited. And, well you get the idea.

After four weeks in 95+ degree temperatures, the carcass sorta melted into the asphalt. Other than the interim stink and mess, I suppose the city’s dead animal removal service works!

Everyone has some sort of possum problem. You can hope someone else will remove it. You can hold your nose until the stink goes away. Or you can grab a shovel and solve the problem yourself.

The good news is I’m SURE the city will fill the potholes on our street any day now.