Monthly Archives: September 2020

Work is Worship

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“The scandal of Christianity in our day is the heresy of a five percent spirituality.” That’s the claim of Quaker devotional writer Richard Foster.  What he means is that far too many followers of Jesus take a Tupperware approach to reality.  They seal off 5% of their lives to experience God.  And the rest of the time?  They assume they’re… Read more »

Dewey Defeats Truman

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What an election year. “The fate of the nation and of civilization is at stake,” according to the New York Times. There’s been a surge of white nationalism.  The president, stoking an ongoing bitter feud with Congress and saddled with approval ratings below 40%, keeps accusing the media of fake news.  The Middle East is torn by war and acts… Read more »


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On a wintry morning in February 1956, a riding instructor named Harry de Leyer drove four hours from his Long Island farm to New Holland, Pennsylvania. Every Monday as many as 300 horses were auctioned at this Amish community.  Harry, a Dutch immigrant, knew horses.  He had $80 in his pocket and hoped to purchase a gentle animal that could… Read more »


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It’s often said that before we can hope to understand someone else’s life, we need to walk a mile in their shoes. Or perhaps join them on a car ride from Washington D.C. to Texas.  Before he became vice-president and ascended to the White House following JFK’s assassination in November 1963, Texas senator Lyndon B. Johnson sometimes asked his black… Read more »


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Loggerhead sea turtles are navigational savants. Against all odds, they somehow “know” exactly where they’re going – even though they usually swim the world’s oceans alone. Baby loggerheads aren’t much to look at.  They are about two inches long and weigh less than one ounce. If they can survive their harrowing first walk from their nest on a Florida beach… Read more »

Solomon’s Failures

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The reign of King Solomon represents the high water mark of the Old Testament. For centuries, faithful Jews looked back to the time of Solomon and his father, King David, as a kind of Golden Age. Solomon was a remarkable person.  He is credited with composing 1,005 songs, authoring more than 3,000 proverbs, and expanding the boundaries of Israel to… Read more »

False Advertising

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The woman in the silver SUV laid on her horn.  And closed in on the bumper of the guy in front of her. She was exasperated by his not-one-mph-above-the-speed-limit pace.     As they approached the next intersection, the light turned yellow.  Instead of accelerating, the guy in front hit his brakes.  The woman pulled onto the shoulder, absolutely committed to… Read more »

Do Animals Go to Heaven?

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Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, the computer scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web, was recently asked what aspect of internet usage surprised him the most. His one-word answer?  “Kittens.”  Cats have gradually taken over our homes and our hearts.  Within the past decade they have soared past dogs as America’s most common house pet, now taking lengthy naps in at… Read more »

Going Through Death

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What is the meaning of life? The Greek philosopher Plato declared that the entire task of philosophy is melete thanatou: “mindfulness of death.”  In 2006, medical journalist Dr. Timothy Johnson wrote, “The meaning of life is that it stops.”  Not much has changed during the past 2400 years.  Mortality rates are holding steady at 100%.  For the past six months,… Read more »

God is For Us

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Viruses can definitely mess up your summer. In the summer of 1981, Chris – a nine-year-old resident of Grand Saline, Texas – got the news that he had mononucleosis.   In a heartbeat, all of the outdoor activities that make life worth living for nine-year-boys – baseball games, fishing trips, bike rides – were declared off-limits.  Chris would need to lay low. … Read more »