Jason F. Wright is a New York Times best-selling author of 10 books, including "Christmas Jars," "The Wednesday Letters" and "The 13th Day of Christmas." |
He can be reached at email@example.com or jasonfwright.com.
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As many of my readers know, in the 1990s I served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil. It was among the greatest experiences of my life.
There was just something about her. The woman behind the Handy Mart counter in Woodstock had worried eyes and a tired smile. I suspected the reason her smile was exhausted had nothing to do with using it all the time, it was just tired of lying.
My family first discovered ABC's "Shark Tank" two seasons ago. We'd been fishing for shows we could watch together as a family and it didn't take long before we were hooked. (Get it? Hooked? Like a shark?)
I've been blessed to speak on four continents in front of crowds ranging from seven to 7,000. I've spoken at schools, churches, corporate chicken dinners and at backyard barbecues.
The 2014 World Cup is the premier sporting event on planet Earth.
During my middle school bus-riding years, my family lived in the quiet country several miles outside of Charlottesville. Unfortunately, I was usually the last to board each morning.
At some point during the evening of Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 1980, my parents happily went to bed knowing that their guy, Ronald Reagan, was going to be elected the next president of United States.
Last week, my family hosted a few good friends for dinner. At some point during the banter between pizza and brownies, one of our guests abruptly changed topics. "So, I've been meaning to ask, what's all this fuss about 'Frozen'?"
A year ago in this weekly column, I described the relief at getting a clean bill of health from my doctor. My mother had threatened that if I didn't schedule a checkup, she'd cut me off from inheriting her extensive thimble collection.
Cue the inspiring music.
Stephanie Robinson of Toms Brook is a wife, mother, friend and Christian. She's also a very thankful soul, and she wants heaven and everyone in between to know it.
Our beloved Virginia has been hit with another winter storm. That means schools have been closed, plows are busy and grocery stores look like the set of a Michael Bay disaster movie.
Every year I speak to thousands of students in public and private schools across the country. At the end of the day, when I walk out the front door and climb back into my rental car, I always have a bit more faith that the future is in pretty good hands.
I've stayed in every imaginable hotel brand from sea to shining sea.
Like many Americans of all faiths and backgrounds, I like to pray often. You probably do, too. We pray at church, over meals, at bedtime, before road trips and when life presents a need that only heaven can meet.
I'm something of a worrier. I worry about our country, my kids, my half-written books, my friends, my mother, money and time. I even worry that I won't have time to do all the worrying I've already scheduled for 2014.
Every year, a few days before Christmas, my family walks into a superstore and with mom and dad's help, our children scatter and purchase pre-budgeted presents for one another. They bob and weave like spies to avoid detection, hiding in clothing displays or playfully posing as mannequins.
By Jason Wright When my novel Christmas Jars, was first released in 2005, our goals were modest. We aimed to sell a few books and inspire readers to experiment with the tradition for themselves. On a personal level, I hoped to reignite the spirit of Christmas in my own heart and home. In 2005, it was about a book. Nine years later, it's about a movement of miracles. For the uninitiated, the tradition is simple and works for anyone and any size family. Simply place an empty pickle, peanut butter, jam or other Mason jar on your kitchen counter or desk at work. Each day, every member of the family drops their spare coins into the jar. Even in this day of electronic money and debit cards, you'll be amazed at how quickly a few shiny pennies and a quarter will accumulate into real change. When Christmas arrives, gather with your family, church friends or officemates and select someone who might benefit from a little boost. During the last nine years, based on thousands of emails and anecdotes, we've calculated that by the time a jar is given away, the average Christmas Jar holds just more than $200. For many...
It's not that I didn't see this coming, right? I've known for a long time that Oakli, my oldest child, would turn 18 this week. Come to think of it, I guess I've known for, well, 18 years.
I first collaborated with Glenn Beck on his 2008 novel, "The Christmas Sweater." Though categorized as fiction, the inspirational story was carefully poured in the concrete of Beck's childhood, and with every edit, he insisted we stay as true to his personal history as possible.
One of my biggest regrets celebrates a birthday this month. Ten years have passed since I ignored three of the most important words I've ever heard.
It's hard to imagine just 10 years ago we lived in a tragic world where no one knew what their friends had for breakfast.
Twenty years ago a young married woman was sexually assaulted in California. The attack resulted in a pregnancy that the woman refused to terminate, despite her husband's threats of divorce.
Picture this: I was strolling around the track at the Central campus with a handful of students discussing what subjects they like most and who were their favorite teachers. After a lap or two, a young man startled us from behind by sprinting right through the middle of our group and shouting something rude as he blurred by. "Whoa!" I asked, "Who was that?" A darling blonde swept her long hair over her shoulder and said, "Oh, that's just my ex." You would expect this interplay among high school students. But no, these kids weren't quite there. Middle school? Nope, these kids still have to hold a hand when crossing the street. They couldn't possibly be in elementary school, could they? Indeed, my walking buddies were third-graders. I quizzed the kids as we continued circling the track. "How many of you have already had a boyfriend or girlfriend?" Almost half said they had. "Have you ever been on a date?" A few brave students said "yes," and then explained that a "date" for kids their age usually means meeting at a predetermined place on the playground during recess. "Do you actually call them dates?" I asked. "Do other boys and...
There are at least three alternate headlines that could have told the story of 2-year-old Jakob Heintzelman. Each would have grabbed the reader right by the heart:
One year ago, if a friend had told me he was suffering from anxiety so debilitating it prevented him from working, studying, speaking in public or even being alone, I might have suggested it was a figment of his imagination.
Aaron Zwahlen of Modesto, Calif., is a big man with even bigger dreams. Born into a family full of superstars -- including a father who played football at Brigham Young University -- and blessed with uncommon athletic ability, Zwahlen has excelled on every field he's ever graced.
With Labor Day behind us, Shenandoah County schools are finally in full swing. The new school year means crisp shirts, squeaky sneakers and lunch boxes that are still fresh. Never mind that soon they will smell like they should only be handled by lab techs in HAZMAT suits.
It's been 30 years since one of the more memorable Sunday School lessons of my life. I was a boy sitting in the middle of a half-dozen other gawky kids learning about God.
On the morning of Aug. 1, a mediocre and marginally known columnist and novelist decided that it was time to launch his personal "soda-free month" to clear mind and body. There would be absolutely no icy-fountain drinks, ice-cold bottles at his favorite gas station or chilled glasses at the local pizza joint. "What a great idea!" he thought.
On the evening of July 19, young men and women of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Winchester region wandered the grounds of the Hill Cumorah Pageant in Palmyra, N.Y. Approximately 140 youth and leaders from nine congregations had traveled nearly 400 miles by bus and car to visit the area, see religious sites of interest and enjoy the annual outdoor summertime pageant.
A seventh-grade student sat at his desk fearing the absolute worst. It was Friday, June 8, 1984. It was also the last day of school before summer vacation.
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