Time for Payback?
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Do you believe in payback? People in books and plays and movies sure do. Revenge drives many stories of great and not so great literature, from the time of the Greeks and Romans, through Shakespeare, to the Revenge of the Jedi. In our own families, we hear talk like, “I’ll teach her a lesson,” or, “I’ll show him. I’m gonna make sure he doesn’t forget this day.” Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t treat us like that? God does not... Read More
Does God Hate Sinners?
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Does God hate sinners? I said that in a message some time ago and got some push-back from some readers and viewers online. God does say that, and perhaps a word or two of explanation could help with this concept that some find difficult. It is always a temptation to take difficult concepts in the Bible and rationalize them and make them fit our human reason. Sometimes the Bible asks us to accept two seemingly contradictory concepts and hold them... Read More
What Freedom Gives
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Here in my community and communities throughout America, this week we'll celebrate our nation's independence – the 4th of July. Communities across the country will join together with parades, fireworks, patriotic flags and family cookouts to celebrate the freedom we as Americans have.  The word "freedom" has a sweet ring to it, doesn't it? Those who spend their lives guarding it deserve our gratitude. Being Americans means that we can worship, study, and evangelize in peace. This 4th of July,... Read More
Gay Marriage
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These are not happy days for defenders of traditional male-female marriage.  The State of New York recently decided to recognize all marriages (including gay marriages) performed in other states. The voters of California passed Proposition 22 by a 61% majority vote affirming traditional male-female marriage, but the California Supreme Court in May struck it down as unconstitutional. The justices asserted that the right to a same-sex marriage is implicitly guaranteed in the state constitution. Christians who believe in an inspired... Read More
Quiet Desperation
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“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,” Thoreau wrote in Walden in 1854. Though he was speaking of the tedious nature of labor, he might as well be speaking of people’s mental state in general. “Quiet desperation” might also describe how people feel shortly before they choose to commit the crime that must not be spoken: suicide. You don’t read much in the papers about people who take their own lives. Unless the individual was famous, the media... Read More
Genius
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One of his letters, written shortly before his death in 1955, just sold at auction in London for $400,000. Whose hand-written thoughts are worth that much? Albert Einstein, physicist and genius. In the “Miraculous Year” of 1905, Einstein published four papers in a German physics journal, any one of which would guarantee his science immortality. The most well-known of the four was his theory of mass-energy equivalence, expressed by the formula e=mc2. Elsewhere Einstein had written that the superb order... Read More
Eugenics
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“Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Those sad words are the conclusion of Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ 1927 Supreme Court opinion which led to the involuntary sterilization of Carrie Buck, an otherwise healthy 18-year-old girl. The Court upheld the right of the Commonwealth of Virginia to sterilize the “feeble-minded.” She was placed on a table by an agent of the state, who made an abdominal incision and cut her Fallopian tubes. One of the terrible ironies of Carrie’s life... Read More
Bridge People
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I spent an evening last week with a roomful of Nigerians. Yeah, Nigerians—here in Milwaukee. There is a surprisingly large community of expatriate Africans here. I had a blast. The buffet had some standard American fare, but it included also steam trays of goat meat and quite a bit of stuff that I had never seen or smelled before. The DJ blasted music that sounded like a cross between Caribbean steel drum, salsa, and Bob Marley. The beat made me... Read More
She Ain't Heavy
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By now I hope you’ve seen the news clip. The cable stations have given it pretty heavy airplay. Sara Tucholsky is a player for the Western Oregon women’s softball team. In their recent game against Central Washington, Sara hit a home run, her first ever. As she was rounding first, she tore a knee ligament in a freak accident and collapsed, unable to finish her victory lap. The rulebook states that any teammate touching or helping her would result in... Read More
Cinco de Mayo
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So what’s the big deal today? Why do Hispanics, and especially Mexican-Americans, always get so excited on May 5? Is it anything more than just an exercise in national pride and awareness and a chance to sell Coronas and margaritas? May 5 actually commemorates the Battle of Puebla in 1862. During our own Civil War, Mexico had to suffer the indignity of being invaded by the French, who installed their own emperor, Maximilian, over the Mexican people. The little Mexican... Read More