Tony Woodlief | Author


The lies in truth

Michelle Obama called herself a “single mother” last week and we’ll probably be hearing about it years from now. Some Obama opponents consider it evidence the president is an absentee father, others that he’s gay, others simply that the Obamas don’t understand the plight of single mothers. Here’s proof, thousands told themselves, of what Obama …

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If you were to write down the names of everyone you trust — truly trust — what size paper would you need? I needed the back of a receipt. There are ten names on this scrap of paper. Ten people I know would never share any of my confidences, never twist the personal things of …

Listing Read More »


I am rarely humble yet often humbled, which is maybe the surest sign that God has not given up on me yet. I remember, years ago, standing in judgment over a friend who came to me seeking grace. I offered him Bible verses, I lectured him on the stern truths of the Christian sect in …

Friendship Read More »

On the giving of thanks, stomach viruses, and giant Christmas ornaments

Yesterday we cooked and cooked and cooked, and ate and ate and ate, and it was delightful, even the cheesy squash casserole that makes my children instinctively gag just from looking at it. Especially the squash casserole, you little ingrates. My friend Johnny Utah, newly paroled, spent Thanksgiving with us. In order to make up …

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Nerf war

A gymnasium strewn with upturned tables for barricades, a child-hearted husband and wife instigators of the fracas. Boys with single-shot pistols, automatics, rifles, rocket launchers, gathering to compare armaments. The older ones show the younger how to modify their weapons for greater velocity and range. Foam rounds fall from their pockets and collect around their …

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Some of you may enjoy my latest Wall Street Journal essay, about modern friendships. In a nutshell: though I have more Facebook friends than my four-year old Isaac, I’m pretty sure that’s a poor indication of who is more loved.