Endowments
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Every business and individual in America has been hurt in some way by our sagging economy. People have lost jobs. Many who kept theirs lost pay raises or suffered benefit or salary cuts.   Unfortunately, thrifty savers got pounded. It gave me great pain to tell my teenagers that the money that they had carefully been saving for college was now worth 35% less. There was hardly any place to stash your money that wasn’t severely dented. Stocks, bonds, mutuals, real... Read More
Cussing
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Perhaps you’ve heard of Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill church in Seattle. A prolific author and speaker, he has a considerable national reputation. Some of his detractors, including equally famous Southern California pastor John McArthur,  recently ignited some hoo-ha when they criticized his occasionally salty pulpit language as inappropriate “cussing.” McArthur even called for Driscoll to step down as Mars Hill pastor.   Apparently Driscoll has been heard to say “Damn” not in its Biblical sense but in the more... Read More
Tiller
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Dr. George Tiller was reviled by pro-life advocates in America. He was one of only a very few doctors in America who would perform late-term abortions any more (i.e. after the 21st week). His clinic in Wichita functions only with heavy security. His most vocal critics mocked him as “Tiller the Killer.”   George Tiller was shot and killed on May 31 while serving as an usher in his church, Reformation Lutheran in Wichita. Kansas police have a man in custody,... Read More
Both And
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There was considerable excitement in central Wisconsin recently over the Leilani Neumann trial. Neumann’s 11-year-old daughter, Madeleine Kara Neumann, died in March of 2008 of complications due to untreated diabetes. What has compounded the tragedy is that there was time to seek medical help. Doctors testified at the trial that fluids and insulin would have saved the child’s life. The Neumanns, however, chose to put their trust completely in God and only prayed for their daughter.   It took a jury... Read More
Miss California, Part II
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I guess I feel faintly foolish.   Two weeks ago I wrote about my admiration for Carrie Prejean, Miss California, who may have missed out on being Miss USA because she explicitly declared her support for heterosexual marriage. Have you followed the soap opera since then? It appears that Miss Prejean had done some semi-nude modeling prior to her Miss California crown. Surprise—the photos were rocketing around the internet last week. And as you could imagine the laughter and disdain rolled... Read More
Moses' Mom
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Mothers’ Day is rapidly fading in our collective rear-view, and before it is gone completely from mind I am in the mood to reflect on moms. Motherhood sure takes some unusual forms in our culture, doesn’t it? How will the 14 kids of Nadya Denise Doud-Suleman Gutierrez, a.k.a. the Octomom, turn out? How will Angelina Jolie’s international adoptions turn out? Would Madonna be a good adoptive parent for an African child?   One of my favorite “characters” in the Bible is... Read More
Swine Flu
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It seems to me that 9/11 and the real estate/subprime collapse have left Americans a little paranoid.   The news about flu cases caused by the H1N1 virus, popularly known as “swine flu,” seems to me to be bordering on hysteria. There has been one death in America and as a result schools are being shut down indefinitely. Good grief. The World Health Organization reports that every year 250,000-500,000 people worldwide die of influenza. The Waukesha County health and human services... Read More
Miss California
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Are you a big fan of beauty pageants? Well, I’m not either. I don’t even notice ‘em come and go. But the Miss USA pageant in Vegas the week after Easter sure raised some dust.   It seems that Carrie Prejean, Miss California, was the front-runner until one of the “judges,” the self-styled “Perez Hilton,” asked her if she thought that the U.S. should legalize same-sex marriage. Carrie replied, “I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a... Read More
Room in Your Heart
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Did your parents pray regularly with you when you were small? Did they make up customized prayers or did they recite a standard list? Here in our home we made up special prayers, but we always ended up with “Dear Jesus, please send your angels all ‘round our beds and keep us safe all through the night time. We love you Jesus very, very much, Amen.” Funny—my kids all seem too big to say that any more…   When I was... Read More
Sneezing
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The more I ponder our language and culture, the more surprises I find. We behave in all kinds of ways that we don’t even think about.   Bodily noises, for instance. Why does our culture permit—no, demand!—that we comment when someone sneezes? There are many bodily noises emitted by others that we are supposed to endure in silence. But if someone explodes in a sneeze, we are social lepers if we don’t offer a remark.   There are only two appropriate comments,... Read More