Archive for 'Commentary'

The Magic 4-Letter L-Word

The Magic 4-Letter L-Word

Remember the Beatles? They made a huge hit in 1967 out of the phrase, “All You Need is Love.” Okay, having a job helps too. In 1981, Crystal Gayle went deeper when she sang, “Too many lovers; Not enough love these days.”

Love is an easy word to spin. A male on the make will say “I love you” at the drop of a dime to have his way. I recently saw a colorful activist with ...

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American Individualism
(As Portrayed by Frank Capra)

American Individualism <br>(As Portrayed by Frank Capra)

In Frank Capra’s 1939 classic film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, a young senator gets his idealism tested in the face of relentless political corruption. Many of his new colleagues on Capitol Hill had long ago surrendered their dignity to the collective to ride the tide of popular power. He is overwhelmed by cynicism until he finds his spine and realizes he cannot stay free and decent without it. He rises up as a ...

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Meta-Thinking

Meta-Thinking

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’ (Matthew 4:17).

Okay, what is repentance? Let’s start with a Greek lesson: “Metanoia” (repentance) literally means: to change your thinking. “Meta,” in this case, means after, connoting a change or reversal. “Noia” comes from “nous” and refers to the mind. As metamorphosis means to change one’s form, metanoia means to change one’s thinking, which in turn shapes a new ...

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“But One Life to Lose”
~ Nathan Hale (1755-1776) ~

“But One Life to Lose” <br>~ Nathan Hale (1755-1776) ~

Nathan Hale never owned property, never fought in a battle, wrote nothing that lasted, invented nothing of note, did not marry or have children, and he failed as a spy. Nevertheless, Connecticut’s state hero commands my enduring admiration.

Today, a captivating bronze statue of Hale stands on the old campus of Yale University. The artist, Bela Lyon Pratt (1867-1917) used a handsome young Yale student, born about 135 years after Hale, as his model. He ...

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Baiting the Hook

Baiting the Hook

“Falsehood is never so successful as when she baits her hook with truth.”
Charles Caleb Colton (1780–1832)

Twenty-five years ago, I recall the shock of seeing the following four categories in the “relationship” section of the want-ads in a local newspaper:

  • Men Seeking Women
  • Women Seeking Men
  • Men Seeking Men.
  • Women Seeking Women.

The times they were a-changing. They still are, at warp speed. I have not checked lately, but I presume there are more categories now, ...

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I Think, Therefore I Love

I Think, Therefore I Love

    “Cognito ergo sum.”

    Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650), French philosopher

Back in the 20th century, while visiting a friend in Tennessee, I heard a guy named Bob address a gathering of Christian musicians and pastors. Bob was introduced as a prophet. Decked out in an old t-shirt to cover a pot belly, he issued the following prophetic call:

    “Lose your mind over Jesus!”

He spoke long enough to make it clear that he practiced what he preached.

Unlike Bob, ...

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A Symphony of Sycophants

A Symphony of Sycophants

It was 852 BC. The kingdom of Israel had been divided for eighty years. In the North, King Ahab was in his 22nd year of rule. In the South, King Jehoshaphat had reigned in Judah for 21 years. A land dispute led Ahab to ask Jehoshaphat to ally with him in a fight against Aram (east of the Jordan). Jehoshaphat responded, “Please inquire first for the word of the Lord.” (1 Kings 22:5).

Kings back ...

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Undaunted Bravery in the Bible

Undaunted Bravery in the Bible

Besides being Bible characters, what do Pharaoh, Joshua, Saul, David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Jehoshaphat, Ahab, Jezebel, Jehoram, Jehu, Joash, Hezekiah, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazar, Darius, Caesar, Xerxes, Herod, Antipas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate, Cornelius, Felix, Festus and Agrippa have in common?

    Give up? This is a short list of political rulers or public officials in the Bible who were directly confronted or counseled by great men and women of God. Many of them got their personal morality challenged.

What ...

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A Fool and His Folly

A Fool and His Folly

    “Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs,
    Rather than a fool in his folly.”
    (Proverbs 17:12)

Watch out! On April 1st, practical jokes, pranks, hoaxes and playful lies will spike. It’s not a day for excessive trust. Maybe I should go for a hike that day–in bear country!

The origins for April Fools’ Day go back beyond reliable tracing. The roots for foolishness go back even farther. The Bible portrays foolishness in ...

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NO!
(Adventures in Answered Prayers)

NO! <br>(Adventures in Answered Prayers)

Have you noticed how delicious hot food can be in a cold wilderness? Surrounded by the wonders of nature, famished from the long hike, and tired from setting up camp, it hardly matters what kind of food you have. It’s all good!

The ancient Israelites, wandering through the Sinai desert for forty years, may have felt this way too… for a few days, weeks or months. But for the most part, praise for the food ...

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