In The Corporate Coach by James B. Miller, a book on my shelf that is left over from a long-abandoned career in sales management, James Miller discusses the role of “the twitch in your elbow” while interviewing job applicants. Gut instinct, we might say. And a big part of that, he says, is the commitment the applicant shows toward other activities. If he’s a scratch golfer, he didn’t get there just with 18 holes on Saturday. Maybe he’ll cut out of work early some days. If he’s out on his boat every weekend, who’s to say he won’t miss a few Monday mornings?
Commitment is a character trait not everyone has. It is to be admired. Read More
Rabbits and eggs are in great abundance this time of year. And anyone who knows anything about the history of Easter knows why. They are symbols of fertility. The spring equinox has always been celebrated as the time that the earth is in full recovery from winter. The earth has come back from the dead, as it were. The pagans, who saw the earth as an entity to be worshiped, turned the equinox into an opportunity for revelry — and, typically, debauchery. (Children, if you don’t know what “fertility” and “debauchery” mean, ask your parents.) The Catholic church incorporated local pagan worship traditions as it spread throughout Europe many centuries ago. Thus, the celebration of the rebirth of the earth became the celebration of the risen Lord. (The Greek word in Acts 12:4 rendered “Easter” by the King James Version translators is the same word rendered “Passover” every other time it occurs.)
Personally, I like rabbits. And I absolutely love eggs. Read More
Hospitals across the country are retheming after a recent study unearthed a startling fact. Of 250 children surveyed, exactly 250 of them expressed an aversion or out-and-out fear of clowns. I suppose a generation of administrators raised on Bozo and Ronald McDonald were slow to realize that garishly painted faces were just about the last thing children wanted to see when they were already scared out of their minds. Read More
Some people have five talents. They have all the skill, all the charisma, all the opportunities. It seems as though service in Jesus’ kingdom comes naturally to them. We are not surprised to hear when they have done great things in His name. We expect it out of five-talent people
Some people have two talents. They are not as privileged as the five-talent people, obviously. But we still admire them. They get the most out of what they have. They do not envy the five-talent people for their success and the glory that comes with success. They just do their job and do it well. Sometimes they even wake up to find they have become five-talent people themselves. And good for them. Good for us. And then there are those with only one talent. Read More
It seems to me that “cultural appropriation” only becomes problematical if the “culture” being appropriated is associated generally with people of color. (White, by the way, is a color. The Crayola people say so, anyway. And the pale orange-peach tone that accurately defines the skin of this “white person” is a color, too. But I digress.) Read More
The advent of the new year is all about hope. We hope the good things we have experienced in the outgoing year will continue and increase. We hope the bad things we have experienced will diminish or disappear.
But hoping is far different from wishing. Read More
In heaven you will find holiness; in hell you will find wickedness and impurity (Revelation 22:14-15).
In heaven you will find those who obeyed the gospel; in hell you will find those who did not (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10).
In heaven you will find Jesus (John 14:3); in hell you will find the devil and his agents (2 Peter 2:4).
So the 2018 election campaign is officially over (or as a cynical friend of mine put it, the 2020 election campaign has officially begun). Every election I think we’ve hit a new low with regard to decency and civil discourse. Read More
Simplicity, as pointed out to me recently by Bro. Ed Bragwell, is the opposite of duplicity. Yet again, Hal slaps himself in the face and wonders how something so obviously true and practical escaped his notice for 52 years.
“The simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” is addressed in 2 Corinthians 11:3. Read More
Peter was an experienced fisherman. He had no doubt experienced many troubling waters in his life. But this particular storm was placed in context when he and the other disciples saw Jesus walking on the water. Peter had enough faith to recognize the Lord’s voice, and enough confidence to ask if he could walk out on the water to meet Him — and to do so when Jesus gave him permission. Read More
One of my recent Bible acquisitions claims to have an “imitation leather” cover. Well, I guess that’s right, as far as it goes. It’s certainly not real leather. But honestly, if I had not seen the words on the box, it never would have occurred to me that it might be leather. It may as well have called itself imitation rubber, or imitation wool, or imitation cardboard. Read More