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 morph into something ugly. Call it legalism or self-righteousness, it is the tendency to become superficial in regard to the big, nuclear virtues like love, compassion, and faithfulness. Jesus called it “straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel.” Continue Reading »
Posted in Life in general, Editorials, Food for Thought, sermons | Tagged hand washing, unclean, f-word | Leave a Comment »
Our free society provides for equal access to trial by jury for every citizen of our country. It’s one of the ways we preserve individual freedoms and insure that a dictatorial, arbitrary form of government does not take over.
Courts are anal about assembling juries that are as fair as possible. Potential jurors are asked various iterations of “Do you think you can render an objective verdict?” The ones that say “no” or that the court perceives to have too many external, prejudicial influences are excused. Continue Reading »
Posted in Editorials, Food for Thought, Life in general, theology | Tagged court, evidence, guilty, It is what it is, Jesus, trial | Leave a Comment »
Wrestling with God
Began in my maturity
When knees and hands all arthritic
Beg me not to engage in such sport.
As a young man it did not
Occur to me that wrestling
Was permitted against a foe like God
Who could toss me around like a rag doll. Continue Reading »
Posted in Editorials, Life in general, Poetry, theology | Tagged God, Isaac, poetry, prayer, wrestling | Leave a Comment »
A dreaded jury summons came with the bills and adverts for the Land’s End sale. Pangs of guilt also came because jury service should be an honor rather than a nuisance – a privilege of living in a democratic society.
The badge number is sixteen-0-two. From now on four digits are our names to preserve anonymity. Names get changed a second time after the panel is seated. Only one or two digits now – one through fourteen. Continue Reading »
Posted in Editorials, Food for Thought, Life in general | Tagged court, jury duty, Kennedy, showing up, society, Woody Allen | Leave a Comment »
Shakespeare said it. ”Like a red morn that ever yet betokened, Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field, Sorrow to the shepherds, woe unto the birds, Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.” (From Venus and Adonis.)
So did Jesus. ”When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ (Matthew 16:2,3) Continue Reading »
Posted in Editorials, Food for Thought, theology | Tagged Gideon, Jesus, Mary, red sky in the morning, sailors, Shakespeare, signs, weather forecasting | Leave a Comment »
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 preparations and in doing things exactly as the teacher did them. Rules were strictly enforced. Lesson books were carefully followed. Lunch was always served at exactly the same hour. The apprentice left for the day precisely 10 minutes after the students left. He was keenly aware of the exact obligations of the job. Continue Reading »
Posted in Editorials, Food for Thought, Life in general, service | Tagged disciple, Jesus, LifeSpring, teacher | Leave a Comment »