What Do You Mean?

The act of communication is an amazingly difficult task, because we humans communicate on so many levels: Verbal (obviously), Visual (both in writing and gestures, facial expressions), Auditory, and Sensory. We communicate, intentionally and unintentionally along all these spectrums all the time. And guess what, we still struggle with misunderstanding! Just think of the multitude of “messages” you send everyday, both great and small. It’s an amazing thing this art of communication.…

He Gave Them Authority

I laughed out loud when a comedian started talking about words that seem to contradict each other. Phrases like “Jumbo Shrimp” and “Military Intelligence” and “Government Efficiency.” They just seem to cancel each other out! On a more serious note, St. Anthony the Great, the desert dweller, once said: “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying,…

Who Do You Say That I Am?

We were talking in Bible study recently about “First Principles.” It seems this is something we so rarely consider, but if we miss fundamental truths, we always end up in places we never intended to go. For instance, if you don’t build your life on the fundamental truth that when you say “God” you mean the Holy Trinity, you mean the Father, and you mean the UNCREATED, you will wind up with…

Freedom’s Just Another Word…

Janice Joplin had a hit record after her death in 1971 called “Me and Bobby McGee” that had a line that said “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” Kind of a depressing thought, but then again, the song is about the memory of a happier time and the lose of that time, so I guess that makes sense. The whole concept of freedom is at the heart of most…

Take This One; It’s Lighter

“Uncle” Lawrence owned a farm, and when I was a boy, my brother and I would visit this magical place. It was the first time I’d seen how chickens were raised and eggs gathered and cows milked. But what fascinated me most was when I saw the mule being yoked to a plow. The animal, use to this task, simply accepted the yoke and went about his work. Life can feel like…

Come To Prepare the Way!

You’ve met them before. They are the ones who aren’t the center of attention, but they recognize who should be the center of attention and introduce those folks to everyone else. These people seem to have the knack of recognizing who should lead, who should speak, and who should be the example for everyone else. These folks are the ones who introduce the talented to one another. They are the sports scouts…

Why Aren’t You Making Me HAPPY?

“Petulant child!” That’s what I thought as an obviously frantic mother was trying to placate a toddler throwing a fit. Nothing seemed to work. He didn’t want the toy, then he did want the toy. The treat mom tried to give the boy was accepted then thrown down and the screaming commenced again. She tried holding him. That didn’t work. She tried letting him down. That didn’t work. The look in her…

OH NO! It’s Doubt!

Paul Tillich once said “Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith.” Interesting! In reading the Psalms, I encounter such true life and even great heroes of the faith questioning God or struggling with momentary doubt about God and His plan. The Psalmist struggled with watching the wicked prosper while he, working hard to live as God directed, suffered and struggled. But then his doubt melted away…

Do You Love Me?

At the risk of really dating myself with this movie reference, I remember the movie “Love Story” and the famous line from the film “love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Hey, it was the early 70’s and we were just coming out of the tumultuous 60’s. We needed a bit of saccharine sweetness! But does love really mean never having to say you’re sorry? Really? Is our understanding of authentic…

You Are More Valuable

The gradual shift in modern educational philosophy to a “self esteem” emphasis is complete. From the math standards that discourage teachers from “correcting” incorrect answers to the ball fields where “we don’t keep score” so no one “feels” bad, this shift is now producing consequences of its own. In fact, some have come to call the modern generation the “snowflake” generation because these young people have all been told they are just…