Trapped
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Let your imagination go to work – you’re a coal miner, trapped by a tunnel collapse over two miles below the earth’s surface. As I am writing this, there is no news whether the six men in Utah are alive or dead. Assume they’re still alive—what do you suppose it’s like down there? First of all, it’s dark, really dark. Your helmet lights are good for only 12 hours. Most of their time would be spent in total darkness. There... Read More
Power Grid
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Life in Iraq right now is hard, very hard, on everybody. It is hard on the coalition troops, Iraqi army and police, and especially hard on civilians. Unemployment is high, the country is awash in weapons, and municipal services in the great cities are barely functioning in the 110-degree summer heat. And here is one of the bitter ironies of the Iraq war: as fast as American armed forces and their contractors can repair the electrical power grids to the... Read More
Mocha Inflation
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It seems that Starbucks’ margins have been getting too thin. Seattle Corporate HQ recently announced that prices will go up 9 cents. If you are a venti mocha non-fat latte regular, you may be grumbling next week. You’re already forking over more than three bucks a cup. But to all you caffeine-haters, this is a non-event. You may wonder why otherwise sane-looking people would spend that kind of dough for a mere cup of coffee. The answer, of course, is... Read More
Airport Rage
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Do you hate airports? Do you have any horror stories about long delays, canceled flights, hours on the tarmac, or bad food? Personally I find airport experiences exhausting. If I have to spend a day traveling, I am more tired at the end of the day than if I had actually worked. How can sitting around be so tiring? Whenever I feel a good airport whine coming on, I find it helpful to do some thankfulness therapy, glad that I... Read More
Sudden Death
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British philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote that the life of man is nasty, brutish, and short. Does that sound awfully crabby and pessimistic? Not to me. Not today. Today’s newspaper's online edition reported that a state senator had accidentally killed his own grandchild. He was backing his car out of the driveway, and the little girl must have slipped out of the house and run behind the car. How can a story like that not crush your heart? Those of us... Read More
Gaza
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What do you suppose life is like when 1.4 million people are jammed into a little strip of land only 25 miles long? Gaza these days is full of refugees, poverty, and AK-47s at the same time that it has been largely cut off from travel and trade with the rest of the world. Now controlled by the military/political party Hamas, Gaza is considered as dangerous to Israel as it was 3,400 years ago. Back then the Gaza plain was... Read More
Solstice
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The farther north you live, the more you enjoy this time of year. June days are wonderfully long, and the 21st is the longest of them all. In Wiltshire, England, 24,000 people gathered at Stonehenge to watch the sun come up over the heelstone. Some showed up just to party, but others were earnest Druids and pagans who came to celebrate and worship Mother Earth and the “sacredness” of the solstice. “Solstice” comes from the Latin words sol (sun) and... Read More
Princess Diana Again
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Well, she’s back in the news again. Princes Harry and William have asked the news media not to air footage of the terrible automobile crash that claimed their mother’s life ten years ago. What is it about her that makes her newsworthy even in death? Well, she was so beautiful, of course. Her fairy-tale wedding was watched on television by many millions. She was royalty. She had two adorable children. Let’s face it—we need princesses. Even here in America, where... Read More
Suicide Watch
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Well, he’s out. The infamous Jack Kevorkian, “Dr. Death,” was just released after eight years in prison. His crime: assisting suicides. He is defiant and unrepentant, still insisting that people should have the right to kill themselves. His views find sympathy even among some Bible believers, who know of people whose lives seem hopeless and pain-filled. From a completely human point of view, it can seem like an act of mercy to let someone take a fatal dose of a... Read More
Identifying Your Gifts
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We got a letter last week from a friend of Time of Grace, who wrote in for a little advice and prayer.  He was being encouraged to serve as the chairman of his congregation, and didn’t feel that he was a good enough public speaker.  While he loves his church and would love to serve, he’s terrified of the thought. Have you ever been pushed towards a leadership role that you really felt unequipped for? One of the tricks, one... Read More