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Three Approaches to Life

Ruth and NaomiRuth is a little 4-chapter book sandwiched between the Old Testament books of Judges and First Samuel.    It’s a tiny, insignificant story – a story without big characters, miracles, or battle victories.

In the story Naomi and her husband Elimelech left their home town of Bethlehem because of a serious famine, fleeing to Moab, southeast of Bethlehem.  Their sons, Mahlon and Chilion, accompanied them – four people in the little party.  After settling in Moab, their two sons married Moabite wives, Orpah and Ruth. Continue Reading »

Jephthah’s Rash Vow

Jephthah's DaughterJephthah made a rash vow.

In the heat of battle Jephthah asked God to help him win a battle against his enemies, the Ammonites.  As a thank you gift, Jephthah promised to sacrifice the first person who came out the door to welcome him after the battle.

Huge debates arise over whether Jephthah meant a literal burnt offering on an altar or something less costly.  Some speculate that Jephthah expected a mere servant or perhaps a household animal to come out of the door.  We’ll never know the answer to that question. Continue Reading »

No Man Is An Island

JohnDonne

John Donne

Seen through the lens of Western culture, the response of the nation of Israel to a man named Achan seems excessive and Taliban-like.  All Achan did was take a little stash for himself from the victorious battle against the Jericho-ites.

Who would miss a beautiful robe and a little cash?

By the same reasoning, how serious is a measly stolen credit card or iPhone?  Or a stolen test answer?  Or keeping one’s wallet closed when asked to contribute to some good cause?  Or not signing up to help with a project or provide a meal to someone who is hungry?  Continue Reading »

Ray RiceBaltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice got caught.  The video of his violence against his then fiancé, now wife Janay Palmer has offended every compassionate person that has seen it.  Evening news has been consumed with the story, and it is everywhere on social media.

As it should be.

Ray Rice is a metaphor of our times.  He stands for anyone who objectifies another human being and turns them into something else such as a punching bag, an object of abuse, or something to be taken advantage of sexually or in some other way.  While the violence of Ray Rice is not to be diminished, I would say the doorway into that violence is objectification. Continue Reading »

On Reading

printingpressMark Twain said it.  A man who does not read good books has no advantage over a man who cannot read them.”

The first printing press was first used in China in 1041-1048.  Korea discovered it in 1377. Movable type was discovered by Gutenberg in Germany in 1450, and from there it went global.  Printing was a sea change in world communication.

Before movable type and the printing press, there was no such thing as a daily newspaper, a school text book, or a printed Bible.  Without the printing press Sir Isaac Newton would have been a relative unknown.  Continue Reading »

Someone has to stop!

Yazidis 04Yazdis are a minority people in Iraq.  Not part of the majority religion.  Not belonging to a majority ethnic group.  No one to represent them in the government.  Isolated to a small area in Northern Iraq.

The terrorist group, Isis, has been persecuting them.  Reports say that at least 500 Yazidis, including 40 children, have been killed in recent attacks.  Extremist Muslims call the Yazidis “devil worshipers” and use that designation as justification for raping, brutalizing, and killing them, including their innocent little children. Continue Reading »

A Pantoum

“I prayed to the universe,” she said.

She believed that rocks and dust could do.

But rocks and dust have no consciousness.

Doing requires planning and creation.

 

She believed that rocks and dust could do.

But rocks just lay in place until they are used. Continue Reading »

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David G. Perkins

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