Tag Archives: William Barclay

Reaching Forward–Direction

The late, great Hall of Fame New York Yankee catcher, Yogi Berra, was famous not only for his on the field heroics, but his funny off the field quips, which came to be known as Yogi-isms.

He once responded about his witticisms, “I never said most of the things I said.”

After a game, when he was asked about going to a certain restaurant, Yogi responded, “Nobody goes to that restaurant anymore — it’s too crowded.”

Here are a few more. Continue reading

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Word of the Week: Joy

“Joy” is a word often heard during this holiday season.

Google “Christmas joy” and you will get 624,000,000 hits. You will learn that there is a movie, a novel, and a project all entitled “Christmas joy.”

Hallmark bills its many holiday movies as spreading “the joy of Christmas.” You will receive Christmas cards with a cheerful message of “joy.” Then, of course, there is the popular 18th-century song by Isaac Watts, “Joy to the World.”

Joy, however, should not to be relegated to one season, one month, or one day of the year. Continue reading

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Take Off Your Mask

“To mask or not to mask,” that is the question of our time. Not just in society in general, but among Christians and church attendees.

In the past 8 months, we’ve worshiped with 14 different congregations in 9 different states. Each one has approached wearing masks in worship differently. Some churches requested everyone wear a mask. Others didn’t, and very few wore masks. In some places, it was suggested, but not required. In one church there were masks and no masks sections.

To all Christians everywhere we suggest, “Take off your masks.” Continue reading

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Word of the Week: Temperance

“Temperance is moderation in the things that are good and total abstinence from the things that are foul,” wrote, Frances E. Willard, a 19th-century American educator and president of the Women’s Temperance Union.

In Willard’s time, the concept of temperance was often linked to the total abstinence of alcoholic beverages. Continue reading

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A Passage To Ponder: Luke 4:1-13

John Piper once wrote that sin (lust for example) “gets its power by persuading me to believe that I will be more happy if I follow it. The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier.”

Piper’s observation reminds me of a true story that occurred several years ago. To protect the innocent, as well as the guilty, I will refer to the two married couples as Jason and Judy and Matt and Jen. Continue reading

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The Vision of Hope

Investor and philanthropist Eugene Lang, who died in 2017 at the age of 98 gave away $150 million and assisted 16,000 students to attend college over the course of his lifetime.

Once Lang was speaking to a class of 59 sixth graders in East Harlem. He wanted to inspire these predominantly black and Puerto Rican kids to get a good education. But the children seem disconnected and disinterested Continue reading

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Seeing What Jesus Saw


“Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be” wrote American author Robert A. Heinlein. Continue reading

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Word of the Week: Purpose

“What our deepest self craves,” wrote Henry J. Golding, is not mere enjoyment, but some supreme purpose that will enlist all our powers and will give us unity and direction to our life.”

The key word in that quote is “purpose.” It is a word that seems to be more and more at the forefront of my mind.

Currently, Norma Jean and I are in Madrid, Iowa, for a month working with the brethren, these fine elders and their young preacher, Stefan Richardson. In addition to preaching once every Sunday, I’m teaching a class “Parenting with Purpose.” The concept behind the studies is to be, as Dr. Paul Faulkner puts it “an intentional parent.” Continue reading

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Finding Joy In All Circumstances

I have seen the above snow scene with its accompanying advice posted on facebook several times lately. And most recently by my preaching colleague John Maddocks in Toronto, Canada. I suspect John will have opportunities for a lot of joy this winter.

While this thought may elicit a chuckle, it speaks to a universal truth and a Biblical principle. Accept the inevitable. Learn to be content. And find joy in all circumstances.

The apostle Paul expressed it this way. Continue reading

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Great Verses of the Bible: Ephesians 3:10-11

Several years ago the Smithsonian Magazine ran an article about the German-born mathematical and electrical engineering genius, Charles Steinmetz.

The author related a story that Henry Ford once called Steinmetz to his plant to solve a generator problem that his engineers couldn’t fix. Steinmetz rejected all assistance asked for a notebook, pencil, and a cot. For two straight days and nights, he listened to the generator and scribbled computations on a notepad. Continue reading

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