The Responsibility of Influence

The young adult was walking through a local store wearing a t-shirt with a simple message - "Not a Role Model." No other images, just the words standing out in bold type on his chest. It wasn't too long ago that NBA great, Charles Barkley made that phrase popular.  Barkley was known for his inappropriate... Continue Reading →

The F-word

Growing up in a straight-laced family had its benefits:  conscientious parents, good enduring friends, hospitality, stability, and protective morality.  Hard work and integrity were DNA-like in their influence.  The thought of disappointing others was as compelling as the fear of going to Hell. But the same things that functioned as a moral compass could also... Continue Reading →

No Pockets in a Shroud

Job was a wealthy man, but in a course of quick and awful events he lost it all.  Everything -- children, livestock, servants, and property. Job's response to the loss was to say, "I was born naked, and I will leave this world naked," Job 1:21.  More modern versions of this saying are, "There are... Continue Reading →

Great is Diana!

Ephesus was a city in ancient Turkey, and it was the location of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, a colossal temple to the goddess Diana, also called Artemis. Having a temple to one of the gods in your town was like being near Yosemite or the Eiffel Tower.  People flock to... Continue Reading →

Disgust

"Sue" was a woman I used to know. Unattractive mole-like bumps grew all over her face making her very unattractive, and I wanted to look away when she talked to me. It was not a mature reaction on my part. Visceral and primitive, yes. Mature, no. What I was experiencing was the psychological phenomenon of... Continue Reading →

I’m the greatest!

The woman was invisible. She was the server waiting on a group of business people (mostly men). She served them well by keeping glasses filled, taking care of special requests, and serving the various courses of the meal. But no one saw her. No one said thank you or acknowledged her presence. The most that... Continue Reading →

Flattery will get you nowhere.

The child rearing program called Systematic Training for Effective Parenting teaches parents to help their children internalize values and make choices accordingly rather than depending on external forces such as rebuke, rules, and laws. What this means is that, for example, a child learns to treat others with kindness out of respect (internal value) rather... Continue Reading →

How Seeds Are Like the Human Heart

Ancient sowers did not know what they were going to get when harvest time came. Without multi-row cultivators, GPS, and high tech pest and weed controls they didn't know what challenges lay in the soil. Out the sowers marched, row-by-row, scattering seed by hand. Only time, sun, and rain would reveal which seeds would grow... Continue Reading →

Wannabe Disciples

"I want to be your disciple," the man said to Jesus. "I'll follow you anywhere." Many people would have been flattered by such an offer. A politician might have said, "Let me put you on my campaign team." A teacher might have said, "Let me enroll you in my class." A movie star might have... Continue Reading →

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