It wasn’t too long ago that NBA great, Charles Barkley made that phrase popular. Barkley was known for his inappropriate behavior including on and off-court fights, breaking a man’s nose during a fight after a game with the Milwaukee Bucks, throwing a man through a plate-glass window after being struck with a glass of ice, and mistakenly spitting on a young girl in March 1991. Continue reading The Responsibility of Influence
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 no pockets in a shroud,” or “There’s no U-Haul trailer behind a hearse.” Continue reading No Pockets in a Shroud
Penninah was the wife of Elkanah, and she bore him several children, both sons and daughters. People in town twittered about what a good wife she was and how happy Elkanah was with all his children. Her children’s Parent Teacher Organization named her mother of the year. Penninah seemed to be a walking billboard for the prosperity gospel.
Hannah was the second wife of Elkanah. She had no children. Her shoulders sagged, and wrinkles creased her brow. Mealtimes around the Elkanah house were silent reminders to Hannah of the fact that she had no children to feed – thus her smaller portion of food. She would often just weep and leave the food on her plate. Continue reading Who is like our Lord?
You probably saw it – Matthew Cordle staring into a camera admitting to a drunk driving accident that resulted in the death of a 61 year old man.
It’s extraordinary, if only because of it’s honesty. Most people would enter a not-guilty plea. Court would convene and lots of money would be spent trying to get a guilty person pronounced innocent of the crime.
The daughter of the slain man was credited with saying that she didn’t buy it. That he was just trying to get his sentence reduced. The only problem with her judgment is that the motives of a person are never within human view. You can guess what they are, but it’s only a guess. Only God has the seat in the stands where one can see a person’s motives. Continue reading A Videoed Apology
It has happened before. A carefully constructed agenda and set of to-do’s was turned into just an interesting conversation. The meeting ended with nothing getting done in spite of the fact that the organizational clock was ticking.
Those who didn’t attend had lots of reasons. Worked spilled over into the meeting time. School called to ask a parent to attend to a sick child. Second thoughts about belonging to our group. Too many commitments and not enough time. All legitimate reasons. But all shutting down the actions of the group. Continue reading Letting People Down
Challenges are inevitable when attempting to read a collection of writings spanning such a large period of time and cultural contexts. In many respects, reading the Bible is like listening to half of a phone conversation or reading a 100-year-old letter buried in a box of family souvenirs.
There have been good and bad attempts at understanding the Bible’s place in our lives. The awful Jonestown cult is a good example of interpretation gone wrong. Ditto the Branch Davidians of Waco, Texas. There’s no end to the craziness. Continue reading How To Avoid Goofy Interpretations
“No problem” seems to have replaced “you’re welcome” as a response to the common expression of gratitude, “Thank you.” Since communication is a two-way proposition, “no problem” has implications for the hearer.
“It didn’t cost me anything.” “No big deal.” “If it had been too difficult or costly, I may not have done it.”
“It was easy to do.” “I would have done it for anyone.” “I didn’t think about it too much.”
“No sweat.” “Anyone could have done it.” “Nothing particularly important happened; no biggee.”
Continue reading It’s no problem!
Lots of words come to mind when “freedom” is used.
Probably the most common associations with freedom are words that have to do with government. Autonomy, emancipation, independence, laissez-faire, liberty, power, self-governed, and a host of “un” words such as unfettered are good examples. People who live under the reign of despots such as Kim Jung Il of North Korea are not considered to have freedom. Continue reading Freedom!
The Butterfly Effect is an idea that has been thought about and studied since the 1800’s by both scientists and science fiction writers. The Butterfly Effect describes a very small effect, such as a butterfly flapping its wings in one place, which in later developments causes a hurricane half way around the world.
People who study highway traffic patterns observe similar events. A car far ahead hits his brakes which radiates back though the column of cars behind him. What was once a fast-moving column of cars turns into a long line of red lights. What seems like a small thing has far-reaching consequences. Continue reading The Butterfly Effect
On August 5, 2010, 33 miners were trapped 2,000 feet below ground at the San Jose mine in Chile’s Atacama Desert. Seventeen days passed without any contact with the surface. In darkness. Without fresh air. Without the sun. Without friends and family. Without fresh food.
On the surface, rescuers were giving the miners a 2% chance of deliverance, and they were predicting a 4-month long effort. It was pretty hopeless looking by any measure. Continue reading The Condition Is Hopeless