Monthly Archives: May 2021

These Honored Dead

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Even before the final shots of the Civil War, another great conflict had broken out between the North and the South. It was the battle of the cemeteries. Before 1864, there was no national cemetery in the United States.  Few people imagined the need for such a place.  But the monumental struggle between the Union and the Confederacy cost an… Read more »


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On February 23, 1945, less than six months before the end of World War II, U.S. Marines fought their way to the top of Mt. Suribachi on the tiny volcanic atoll of Iwo Jima. AP photographer Joe Rosenthal clambered up the slopes behind them, hoping to take a picture of the raising of the American flag. He was too late. … Read more »

Five Great Questions

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How many of these questions can you get right? Who are the five wealthiest people in the world today?Who are the last five winners of the Nobel Peace Prize?Who are the last five winners of the Oscars for Best Actor and Best Actress?Who are the last five winners of the Super Bowl MVP?Who are the last five winners of the… Read more »

Come With Me

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If you’re a follower of Jesus, then you’re a minister. Some of us who have received special training and ordination are Ministers with a capital “M.”  But everyone else, by virtue of being empowered with spiritual gifts that God yearns for us to share with the world, are ministers with a lower-case “m.” What’s the difference between the two? As… Read more »

Seeing God’s Face

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Imagine not being able to recognize faces. That’s the central characteristic of a neurological disorder called prosopagnosia, or “face blindness.”  The term combines the Greek words for “face” and “lack of knowledge” (agnosia is related to agnosticism, the theological position of those who don’t know if God exists).  Neurologists are still trying to unravel its mysteries.  Prosopagnosia seems to be… Read more »

Appropriate Fear

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If you have a desire to experience the world’s most violent weather, Oklahoma is the place for you. As journalist Michael Lewis notes in his book The Coming Storm, the National Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK is “about as perfectly situated as an institution can be.”  Masses of warm air coming up from the Gulf of Mexico routinely collide… Read more »


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Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone; Suzanne, the plans they made put an end to you.  Those are the opening lines to the folk ballad Fire and Rain, the 1970 song that established James Taylor as one of America’s up-and-coming rock artists.  His state of mind was precarious.  Struggling with depression and a downward spiral of… Read more »

Nothing to Fear

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If there’s such a thing as the Most Disappointing Verse in the Bible, Revelation 21:1 just might be the one. John the evangelist reports a breathtaking glimpse of heaven in chapter 21 of the Bible’s last book. Verse four gets a lot of press, and deservedly so:  “[God] will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more… Read more »

Be Nice

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Rachel Pine was flying from Los Angeles to New York City.  She noticed that the flight crew looked unusually harried. When the flight attendant came by to see if she had fastened her seatbelt, Rachel reached into her package of Fig Newtons. “Would you like one?” she asked. The flight attendant gratefully received the snack.  Rachel recalls that she almost seemed… Read more »

The Still, Small Voice

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Elijah the prophet experienced one of the Bible’s most memorable spiritual highs.  In a public contest pitting Yahweh vs. Baal, he singlehanded stared down hundreds of false prophets and won, on God’s behalf, a resounding victory. Imagine what a rush it would be to stand up in a contentious Town Hall meeting in the 21st century and say, “Just in… Read more »