Oscar Wilde is credited with saying that “Consistency is the hallmark of the unimaginative.”
Wilde’s point was that consistent living can become a wearisome repetition of sameness day after day. Such consistency can degenerate into a life that is dull. Boring. Trite. Listless. Languid. And essentially lifeless.
In response, an unknown author issued this challenge to get out of the consistency rut. Continue reading
As August ends and September begins with Labor Day just around the corner, I’m reminded that much of 2020 has been consumed by various crises.
Many of the challenges we’ve faced seem to be centered around COVID-19 which have contributed to health care crisis, financial crisis, and national and international crisis. This has affected families, churches, businesses, colleges, sports and our most cherished institutions.
Additionally, issues of racism have been reignited with the death of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands (or more specifically, the knee) of a white Minneapolis cop. Since then there have been other deaths that sparked further racial unrest. Continue reading
“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
Last night Norma Jean and I were watching a Hallmark movie where the two lead characters, Jessica and Ted, were best friends from childhood.
When Ted reveals that he’s engaged to Jennifer, a high school classmate who Jessica remembers as “the queen of mean,” all kinds of feelings for Ted began to surface. To complicate matters Ted wants Jessica to plan their wedding. Continue reading
I recently read about a woman in a diet club who was lamenting that she had gained weight.
She reported that she’d made her family’s favorite cake during the weekend and half of it was eaten at dinner.
The next day, she said, she kept staring at the other half until finally, she cut a thin slice for herself. One slice led to another, and soon the whole cake was gone. The woman went on to tell us how upset she was with her lack of willpower and how she knew her husband would be disappointed.
Everyone commiserated until someone asked what her husband said when he found out. Continue reading
“We need encouraging lessons,” one of the Shepherds of a local church said regarding a meeting I’m scheduled to hold this Fall.
He observed that not only had COVID-19 had an impact on their Church Family but also other events had taken their toll as well. I suspect this can be said of most local congregations that have had extended periods of not assembling and still have not returned to a normal schedule. Continue reading
Tim Hansel, in his book Holy Sweat, relates the remarkable story of Clarence Jordan, “a man of unusual abilities and commitment.”
Jordan earned two Ph.D.s, one in agriculture and the other in Biblical languages. His talent and skill could have been used for many profitable pursuits, but he and his wife, Florence, decided to help poor people in rural Georgia–both black and white. So, in 1942 they founded Koinonia Farm in Americus, GA. Continue reading
This past weekend Norma Jean and I have enjoyed the hospitality of our friends Aaron and Kristin Thompson in Castle Rock, Colorado.
We first meet Aaron and Kristin when we moved to Tampa in 2002 to work with the North Boulevard church. They were single college students. During our time there, they began dating, married, and sweet Molly was born. After moving to Colorado they gave birth to their son Caleb, a lovable, energetic little fellow.
Being with the Thompsons rekindles my appreciation for the need, joy, and value of good friendships. Continue reading
One Sunday on their way home from worship services, little Suzie turned to her mother and said, “Mommy, the preacher’s sermon this morning confused me.”
“Oh, why is that?” the mother asked.
“Well,” replied Suzie, “He said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?”
“Yes, Suzie, that’s right.”
“But he also said that God lives in us. Is that true, Mommy?” Continue reading
Is it just me, or does it seem our national discourse is growing more crass, coarse and crude?
Foul language and rude retorts are nothing new. But they seem to be increasing in frequency and intensity. It is definitely reflected in exchanges on social media. Even among Christians.
Recently I witnessed a clash of opinions on facebook that featured name-calling. Imputing of motives. And disrespectful accusations. In a few cases, vulgarities were hurled at others with opposing views. Continue reading