Monthly Archives: January 2021


      Comments Off on Ostracism

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have the power to vote someone out of your community? Once, long ago, there was a city where that happened on a regular basis.  About four centuries before Christ, the citizens of Athens annually scheduled four open-air Assembly meetings where they could debate, discuss, and vote on matters of interest… Read more »

Crop Circles

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The first one mysteriously appeared in a field in southern England in September 1976. Observers were amazed.  What had produced the enormous “crop circle” thatseemed to come from nowhere?  More circles followed.  Soon the English countryside was dotted with increasingly elaborate geometric designs and symbols, all sculpted in fields of wheat, barley, and corn.  Then the phenomenon went global.  At… Read more »

Lifeboat 14

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James Cameron’s movie version of the sinking the Titanic is exceptional in that it focuses on a part of the Titanic story that every previous film had ignored: the reality of the hundreds of passengers who were still alive and screaming for help in the freezing waters of the Atlantic long after the ship had disappeared.  The raw numbers of… Read more »


      Comments Off on Mizpah

Every week at the Sunday School I attended as a child, the superintendent closed our brief worship service with the same words. “Let’s all join in the Mizpah Benediction.”  Then we would recite, in lyrical King James English: The Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from another. I have no doubt that our superintendent, a… Read more »

Johari Window

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In 1955, a pair of psychologists transformed their insights into human behavior into a simple illustration. Instead of opting for a fancy technical label, they named it after themselves.  Thus Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham unveiled the Johari Window.  Imagine a window with four panes.  The panes represent four different categories of what I know and what others know about… Read more »

The Bills Mafia

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“Kill him!  Kill the quarterback!” That’s the cry of every National Football League fanbase.  If you can flatten your opponent’s QB, your odds of winning the game automatically skyrocket. Fans of the Buffalo Bills had to be elated last Saturday evening when Lamar Jackson, the uber-talented signal caller for the Baltimore Ravens – and last year’s unanimous league MVP –… Read more »


      Comments Off on Mysteries

Two years ago, the great Garfield Phone Mystery was finally solved. Early in the 1980s, after a fierce Atlantic storm, bright orange objects began to appear on the beaches of the Brittany coast of France.  They were Princess-style phones in the shape of a certain pizza-loving cartoon cat.  If you pick up the receiver, Garfield’s eyes flutter open.  The novelty… Read more »


      Comments Off on Yes…And

Just say Yes…and.  That’s the secret of relationship jazz. So often the first word out of our mouths is No.  That may happen at home, in the workplace, and in the public square.  That’s a dumb idea…  We tried that before and it flopped… You know we can’t afford it… You’ll shoot your eye out… There you go again… I… Read more »


      Comments Off on Paraprosdokians

A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the second part of a sentence or phrase turns out to be surprising or unexpected.  Often they make us smile. Where there’s a will, I want to be part of it.  I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather.  Not screaming in terror like the passengers in his… Read more »

Taking a Stand

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The year 1968 had already been traumatic. In January, the Tet Offensive had awakened America to the hopelessness of Vietnam.  Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were felled by assassins’ bullets during the spring.  The summer was racked by rioting and protests, Czechoslovakia’s futile revolt against the Soviet Union, and the chaos of the Democratic National Convention in… Read more »