Tag Archives: William Barclay

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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Word of the Week: Esteem

Did you hear about the fellow who walked into First Suburban Church wearing an expensive suit and a baseball cap?

After he sat down, an usher walked up discretely, introduced himself, and said, “Pardon me, but we don’t wear hats in the auditorium during worship.” The well-dressed man nodded — and left the cap in place. Continue reading

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WORD OF THE WEEK: Self-Control

Self control

Rage, anger and a lack of civility seems to dominate a segment of our society. Or at least it makes the news!

A Texas mother slapped the mother of a girl on the winning basketball team who beat her daughter’s team.

A Florida baseball coach broke an umpire’s jaw after a disputed call.

A transatlantic flight from Rome to Chicago was recently diverted when a 42-year-old man threw a fit when he couldn’t get any more snacks because the crew ran out of crackers. Continue reading

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