Author Archives: Morning Reflections

The One-Anothers

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When teammates touch each other, good things happen. That was the conclusion of a study a few years ago at the University of California, Berkeley.  Researchers tried to discern the likelihood of success in the National Basketball Association based on how often fellow players went out of their way to experience mutual physical contact.  The research group watched hundreds of early season… Read more »

More than Meets the Eye

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In 1984, the Hasbro company hit a consumer home run.  They introduced a set of action figures called Transformers – vehicles, devices, and animals that could be reshaped into robots and then back again.  For Gen X kids, these toys were indisputably “more than meets the eye.”  After invading playrooms everywhere, the Transformers went global.  They became the stars of their own comic… Read more »

Spiritually Fed

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What are the most memorable meals you have ever eaten?   I’ll never forget a clambake I enjoyed almost 40 years ago near the coast of Maine.  I was one of the adult leaders of a high school mission trip.  Local people, grateful for the work we had been doing for the past week, spent half a day preparing veritable mountains… Read more »

Tumbling Walls

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Joshua’s battle against the Canaanite city of Jericho is one of the great stories of all time. The battle strategy that God proposes is, to put it mildly, non-traditional: “Here’s what you are to do: March around the city, all your soldiers. Circle the city once. Repeat this for six days. Have seven priests carry seven ram’s horn trumpets in… Read more »


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It’s almost certainly crossed the mind of every child who’s ever played on a swing set:  I wonder if I could swing high enough to go all the way around. That’s the kind of cutting edge issue addressed by Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage and their merry team of scientists and engineers on Mythbusters, the Discovery Channel hit show that… Read more »


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Healthcare experts estimate that 80-90% of Americans are dependent on a chemical substance called trimethylxanthine.  Most of us know it as caffeine.  Botanists have long guessed that caffeine – which occurs naturally in the foliage of coffee trees, cacao beans, and several varieties of tea leaves – functions as a pesticide.  Its bitter taste seriously discourages leaf-munching insects.  But what… Read more »

Locked in the Bathroom

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What is it like to hear a word from God? It’s safe to say that many of those who attend worship are hoping to hear something – perhaps an insight, a reminder, or a word of hope. More than a dozen years ago, those attending the 8:15 am Sunday worship service at my friend Keith’s congregation in Wichita, KS heard… Read more »

Miss Atomic Bomb

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During the 1950s, Americans were curiously casual about nuclear energy. A U.S. congressman proposed that two dozen atomic devices might be used to dig, quickly and easily, a brand new Panama Canal. Tourists poured into Las Vegas not just to play the roulette wheels but to catch a glimpse of a nuclear blast. The U.S. military at the time was… Read more »

Fraud Detector

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A few years ago I got a phone call from the fraud department of the bank that supports my VISA card. “Mr. McDonald, we’d like you to confirm a couple of expenses that were recently charged to your account.”  Whenever I hear those words, I always take a deep breath.  I wonder what grabbed their attention.  “How can I help… Read more »

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 »