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 →

We want to sit at the head table.

"You let people walk all over you."  A friend recounted how an advice-giver told him to "get a spine."  Seemed like good advice.  Being everyone's doormat is not a good thing. Although...  Power is funny because it doesn't always give what it promises to its possessor.   Power is good when a solitary individual powerfully... Continue Reading →

The Apprentice

Before a teacher left his village on a long trip he entrusted his two best apprentices with the responsibility of insuring that progress in education continued in the small community.  The village had rudimentary needs, and there was much work to be done in the teacher's absence. The first apprentice was meticulous in his lesson... Continue Reading →

Tapping the Brakes

The highway traffic began to slow down.  Sixty-five was the speed limit, but when it hit fifty-five and then forty-five it was obvious that something had happened up ahead.  The curves and elevation changes of the road prevented seeing the cause, but everyone thought that it must be a bad wreck. Forty.  Thirty.  Twenty.  Stop. ... Continue Reading →

Treated Like Used Gum

Chewing gum stuck to the shoe or under a chair once occupied a person's mouth.  And, the more that other pieces of gum congregate with it the more noxious it becomes.  Like at the Pike Place Gum Wall in Seattle. A used Kleenex blowing down the street on a windy day should only be touched... Continue Reading →

Compassion and the Leper

In an ancient middle eastern village a leper took up his usual place. He sat on his tattered carpet with a tin cup waiting for whatever would clink from the passersby of his little world. He stayed there from dawn to dusk, no matter what the weather. His meal that night would depend on what... Continue Reading →

The Twitter Post

One hundred and forty characters. Even commas and tildes count. A hashtag or an ampersand has the same weight As an A or an O. Descriptions won't fit. A sunset or a baby’s cheek Get no more space than A street address.   Emotions get squeezed out of the tiny 140 character box. You’ll have... Continue Reading →

I hate liver.

I hate liver.  I can still smell the pungent odor that was created when my mother cooked liver and onions.  I can still remember trying to stifle the gag reflex it caused when my parents told me to "eat your dinner."  I can still feel its awful texture in my mouth and taste the nasty,... Continue Reading →

Singing the Dark Psalms

The cover of the January 8, 2014 edition of Christian Century proclaimed, "Why We Need the Dark Psalms."  In the cover article, writer Martin Tel reminds his readers of how the Western church has conveniently eliminated the dark psalms from its song repertoire in favor of happier psalms and hymns. I have to admit that the... 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 →

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