Popcorn

I was recently injured while making popcorn.  True story.  A stray kernel decided to pop within the fluffy confines of the bowl instead of in the popper — hardly unusual.  But this one sent a piece of hot bran straight into my right eyelid.  If I had that eye wide open at the time, it could have done serious damage.  As it was, I only had nagging pain for a couple of days — a small price to pay for a good story, I say.

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Why we left Egypt

Throughout the Old Testament, “Egypt” is used as a metaphor for slavery.  The Israelites spent 430 years in Egypt, much or most of which was spent under the Egyptians’ thumb.  The kind behavior shown to Joseph and his family was not continued by the Pharaoh “who did not know Joseph” (Exodus 1:8).  Life soon became intolerable for the nation, even to the point of being forced to kill their own male children.  But God was watching over His people the entire time, even and especially during the worst days.  And when the time was right, God intervened.  Pharaoh was humiliated, Egypt was crushed and looted, and Israel emerged on the other side of the Red Sea as a nation to be seriously regarded and respected.

But the story was not yet over. 

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Enslaved no longer

“Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.’ ” — John 8:34-36

 

Sinners do not properly understand the principle of being enslaved to sin. They know nothing other than slavery. They have found contentment and even joy in slavery. They have convinced themselves that sin is the inevitable and preferred state of mankind. By committing themselves to slavery, though, they are prohibiting themselves from living the life that they were, in the most literal of senses, born to live.

 

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Love Lifted Me!

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. 

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Drama at Mark 16:16 Airlines

The scene is the lobby of Mark 16:16 Airlines.  A worker stands behind the counter, smiling, waiting to assist someone.  A man approaches.

Worker: Good morning!  Welcome to Mark 16:16 Airlines.  How can I be of assistance?

Customer: Yes, hello.  I would like a ticket, please.

Worker: I would be glad to assist you.  Would you like a ticket to heaven or to hell?  We are proud to offer both.

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Abandon Faith! Three arguments, asked and answered

Following up with last week’s article in this space: The “sister” in Christ to whom I referred — the one who prompted the article regarding society’s idea of “sex education” vs. God’s idea — claims now to have lost her faith entirely.  Whether her views on this particular subject helped her along those lines are not, I could not say.

I asked her what was the specific cause of her apostasy, and she was glad to answer directly and respectfully.

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Praying for Parkland, and For Us All

Without trying to take sides in the gun vs. anti-gun argument, allow me to cautiously make the following observations: one, a gun tragedy is guaranteed to bring people out of the woodwork, quoting outrageously misleading statistics and claiming that all gun advocates are essentially guilty of murder; two, gun advocates will try to “put things into perspective” by saying the problem isn’t actually as gigantic as it is made out to be, and essentially come off like jerks who think a dozen or so dead children is not that big a deal. In short, everyone still believes what they already believed, they’re just louder about it. 

I find facts a lot less argumentative than rhetoric, so let’s look at some facts.

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Know

Mathematician David Hilbert had inscribed on his tombstone, “Wir mussen wissen. Wir warden wissen.”  He was German, in case you thought this was going to be a note about typographical errors made in granite.

“We must know.  We will know.”  That’s the translation, and a powerful commentary on mankind’s need — mandate, even — to advance the boundaries of knowledge. 

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For Dale and Annette, but especially for Zachary, Jonathan and Matthew

Once upon a time, there lived a young man in a faraway place; although Aggies like us inevitably want to call such characters Rock, we'll call him Jake.

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Scale

The gym at Canada’s Carleton University has removed its scale.  Some participants called it “triggering.”  Seeing disappointing numbers appear day after day could lead people to be discouraged about their weight.  I figured that’s why they were in the gym in the first place.  But whatever.

        Instead of yammering some more about political correctness, instead I would like to inject a bit of reality into the concept of measurements, ...

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The Parable of the Rock Climber

She’s barely holding on.  She is losing feeling in her fingertips.  She became convinced a while back that starting this climb was a mistake in the first place, but by then she had no choice; it was continue upward or fall to certain death.  So she continued upward, on a journey she had already decided she could not finish. 

And then she stopped to take a rest.  It was never a long-term plan.  She just wanted to do anything but climb.  ...

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Year

The deaths of George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds this week seemed to set off yet another wave of complaints — not that we would be robbed of their respective talents (the word being used generously in the case of Mr. Michael), bur rather that 2016 was going to go down in history that much faster as the worst year in the history of … whatever.

How realistic is that? ...

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Hitting

Pete Rose is a poor excuse for a human being on multiple levels, but there’s no doubt he is an expert in the science of hitting a baseball.  I saw a fascinating conversation between him, Frank Thomas and Alex Rodriguez the other day.  The three of them together have about 10,000 major league hits more than I do, and I’m always in favor of listening to experts.

 

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