I am so broke
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Billie Holiday got it cold: “Money, you’ve got lots of friends they’re crowding around your door; but when you’re gone and spending ends they don’t come no more.” Do you know the fear, the shame, the panic of being broke, or worse, of being over your head in debt? Have you ever encountered the repo man, a collection agency, bankruptcy, foreclosure, eviction? God has a special place in his heart for the small and poor of the earth. Ironically, in... Read More
Internship
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We’re all so absorbed in the struggle to survive, caught up in the here and now, that we don’t always pay attention to how God is describing our future life in heaven. Heaven won’t be eight bazillion years of vacation. Work, growth, and significant service will continue, and our earthly life right now is only “spring training.” “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with little will also be dishonest... Read More
A text for the ages
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My children are irritated that I don’t have a smartphone or GPS. I tell them I have a phone on the wall that seems pretty smart and there are maps in my head. I think they’re afraid that I’m going to keel over somewhere and won’t give off any signal. I tell them I may get one, but I am waiting for the technology to improve. They shake their heads and walk away. I know sharing a message can be... Read More
I feel cheated
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As you know, when you begin a Monopoly game, everybody gets $1,500 in start-up cash. Everybody’s bank account is the same. The score in every major league baseball game since Abner Doubleday’s time is always 0-0 at the top of the first inning. Alas, life is not like board games or sports. Different people have vastly different amounts of “start-up cash.” Some are born to wealth. Some are born in happy, stable, loving homes. Some are naturally intelligent and breeze... Read More
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Have you ever had your car broken into? Have you ever been mugged or sexually abused? Has your home ever been broken into? Not only can sad events like those hurt you materially and physically, but they can leave you with more or less permanent fear. They can rob you of your feeling of safety no matter where you are and damage your ability to trust other people. Our society has too many weapons. Too many unstable people roam the... Read More
Appreciate the queen
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It has been my experience in life that men tend to be task-oriented and women are wired more for relationships. Do you agree? Think about it—is there male or female handwriting on most of the greeting cards that you receive? Female, of course. What would you say is the female-to-male gender breakdown of gift giving in your circles? 50/50? I doubt it. Try 80/20, and I might believe you. Everybody needs to grow in cultivating a thankful spirit, but I... Read More
Time to confess
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One of the upsides to growing up with siblings is that you can blame them—especially when they aren’t around. The cartoon Family Circus captured kids’ typical reactions by featuring a little ghost named Not Me. It’s not so cute when we act innocent as adults. Maybe you hint that the project was late not because you procrastinated but because other people lacked commitment. Maybe you try to justify your yelling by saying the kids deserved it. Maybe you keep a... Read More
Is it your dream too?
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Racism is a terrible social issue, and it has been part of our country’s story from the beginning. Giving preferential treatment to some and denying opportunity to others is cruel and immoral. It stifles social mobility, wastes people’s true talents, and makes some people second-class citizens. It is fueled by ignorance, imagined self-superiority, and greed. Racism has plagued all human history, ever since there were people who were different from one another. “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord... Read More
I'm going to be fired
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These days when a corporate firing takes place, it’s abrupt. No warning. A security guard escorts you to your desk, watches as you clean it out, takes your keys, and escorts you to the parking lot. There’s a reason for that seeming coldness. A disgruntled employee can do an incredible amount of damage, either by sabotage or theft, to a company’s business in a very short time. In Jesus’ parable of the shrewd manager, the wealthy business owner made a... Read More
How your story ends
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So often as I listen to Bible stories, I can’t help but be jealous. I mean, almost all of them end well. Ruth and Naomi had no idea how they would survive, yet they ended up being part of Jesus’ family tree. Moses was left to drift down a river, but ended up leading God’s people out of Egypt. Then I realize that I get to read their whole story in one sitting. They are considered heroes of faith because... Read More