Archive for 'Commentary'

“Nothing But Honor”

“Nothing But Honor”

Elevating honor as a guiding principle can yield personal and cultural greatness. However, obsessing on honor for purposes of personal pride can poison relationships and cripple a cause. The American Civil War presents us with a riveting case-study for this humbling dynamic.

First, some fiction. In the movie “Gone With the Wind,” we heard this exchange:

Scarlet O’Hara: “Take me away with you. There is nothing to keep us here.”

Ashley Wilkes: “Nothing but ...

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Fear and Faith

Fear and Faith

If Halloween is a celebration, then what are we celebrating? Judging by the cute skeletons, goblins, ghosts and grave-yard symbols on our doors, windows and walls, it’s fear and death. Maybe it’s our attempt to laugh at death. Perhaps it rose out of the homage we pay to death with winter looming near.

Either way, millions of Halloween celebrants will be looking for ways to scare and be scared—all in fun. They will decorate their ...

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Resting in Peace
(Visiting Civil War Battlefields)

Resting in Peace <br> (Visiting Civil War Battlefields)

Civil War battlefields stir our souls, humble our hearts and muddy our minds. I know because I recently visited battlefields at Harper’s Ferry, Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania, Antietam, Richmond and Gettysburg. Wow!

Old battlefields are among the most peaceful places you can visit. The tall grass sways winsomely in the breeze. Rustic crooked wooden fences define the boundaries. Noble monuments stand still and silent. Old barns feature bullet and cannon ball holes forever unrepaired. Visitors ...

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Holy Moly Matrimony

Holy Moly Matrimony

Here are your new thought rules:

  • Marriage is generally whatever anyone wants it to be (so long as politicians, lawyers or judges can be found to back them up) between consenting adults who feel like they are in love. It’s called, “marriage equality.” No one can be excluded.
  • Humans, like animals, don’t have any real moral choice about how they love or which gender they are drawn to. They just think and act on pure instinct ...
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Spiritual Alzheimer’s

Spiritual Alzheimer’s

How important is memory? Could you have an identity without it? Could you enjoy old relationships? Could you develop new ones? Without a memory, is it possible to cultivate such traits as trust or gratitude? No, no and no. You could live forever in the moment, but is that living?

Memory loss is nothing anyone in their right mind would choose. Alzheimer’s disease is a memory killer, profoundly tragic and painful for its victims and ...

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Great Moments in Forgiveness

Great Moments in Forgiveness

Forgiveness is more than a mere thought or theory. It originates deep inside but it carries little value until it comes out in action. Here are a few great out comings:

A.D. 33 (approximately):

From the cross, the dying Jesus Christ said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23: 34).

A.D. 34 – 36?

A believer in Jesus named Barnabas brought Saul of Tarsus (a brutal persecutor of Christians) ...

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When Helping Hurts

When Helping Hurts

Hardship can be healthy. This can be difficult to see in the moment but the following simple questions will hopefully expand your vision:

  1. How can you kill a baby chick? Help it out of its eggshell, reducing its need to struggle.
  2. How can you kill a butterfly? Help it out of its cocoon.
  3. How can you kill a baby kangaroo? Help it get from the mother’s womb to the pouch. Fact: Mother marsupials do ...
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Implications!

Implications!

    “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”
    The Apostle Paul (Ephesians 4:26)

What a strange verse. First it tells us to “be angry.” Then it tells us not to let the sun go down–on our anger, that is.

Actually, there are deeper implications. One is that anger itself is not a sin. An angry Jesus healed a man with a withered hand to defy the hard-hearted hypocrites ...

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“Carpe Spero!”
(Dead Poet’s Society in Hindsight)

“Carpe Spero!” <br>(Dead Poet’s Society in Hindsight)

Back in 1989, I took a date to see Dead Poet’s Society. We watched as a boy, tyrannized by an overbearing father, committed suicide. We were duly horrified by the abusive parenting portrayed on the screen and we sympathized with the fictional boy.

After the movie, we went to a restaurant in the real world where a small boy (about age 5) was having an ongoing temper tantrum at the table next to ours. ...

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Undaunted Courage in the Bible and in You

Undaunted Courage in the Bible and in You

“If we as God’s people refuse to speak about sin because it will make others uncomfortable, we are cowards.” ~ Franklin Graham (July 10, 2014)

Moral courage has become unpopular with some Christian leaders today who prefer to be more pleasing to the world and less controversial. Nevertheless (I love that word), I want to offer some biblical ground on which to stand for a return of moral courage in the church and our culture, always ...

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