Tag Archives: Speech

Three Wise Words

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To listen to this reflection as a podcast, click here. Economists Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner – famous for their Freakonomics books – wonder if you think you can out-perform a group of British schoolchildren, ages five through nine. First, listen to this story. Then answer four questions: A little girl named Mary goes to the beach with her mother and brother. … Read more »

The Skunk Effect

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Two months ago we had to let go of one of our dearest “family members.” Joker, an Australian Shepherd so named because he came into the world on April Fool’s Day, brightened our lives for 15 years.  Well, except for that one memorable night a few years ago when I escorted him to the front door of our house.  It was… Read more »

Two Miraculous Words

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Small talk is a big deal. More than a decade and a half ago, Sullivan & Cromwell, one of the most highly regarded (and typically “buttoned-up”) east coast law firms, was experiencing a culture crisis.  Its annual staff turnover was an alarming 30%, and when the journal American Lawyer published its review of mid-level associates, S & C ranked almost dead… Read more »

The Words We Speak

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It happened more than 30 years ago.  But I can remember it as if it happened yesterday. In a quest to be oh-so-funny, I made a comment I still wish I could take back. The Sunday service at the church I was serving had just begun.  I was the preacher that morning.  Dan, my good friend and pastoral colleague, provided the call… Read more »

Riding the Waves

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According to Greek legend, it took the hero Odysseus 10 years to reach home by journeying across the Mediterranean Sea after the Trojan War.  But that’s nothing.  So far an armada of plastic toys has been at sea for 29 years.  And some of them have gone halfway around the world. The great Plastic Duck Odyssey began on January 10,… Read more »

Out of Hot Water

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Throughout July we’re taking an in-depth look at Proverbs, the Bible’s one-of-a-kind book about our never-ending need for wisdom. Drop a frog into hot water and it will immediately jump out. But drop a frog into cool water and heat it gradually, and the frog will slowly but surely boil to death. Right? The Frog-in-the-Kettle parable can be traced to… Read more »