“Workouts” ~ Vital for Spiritual Fitness, Too

There was at least one occasion in my life when every physical fitness goal I had was finally achieved. I recall smiling with satisfaction and glowing confidence as the mirror reflected what faithful adherence to a demanding exercise regimen can produce. I should probably mention that I Continue reading

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Weaponizing the Dictionary

Words present a unique and challenging paradox. While they are sometimes profound in their strength, at other times, when called upon to express something deeply moving, they feel woefully impotent. In some cases, words are vitally important, while in others, they’re considered as little more than the garnish on a serving plate, valued for appearance but never intended for actual consumption.

The Scope and Power of Words ~
The breadth of territory that words can encompass is virtually without limit, and the power they can wield is immense. Words can lay hold of Continue reading

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A Treasure Unclaimed

A close friend of mine made a startling discovery recently. During a project to clean up some old personal records and outdated documents, she found an envelope that contained a Certificate of Deposit worth several thousand dollars that she had bought several decades ago. In the intervening years, she Continue reading

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A Circus Comes to Town

I went to a circus once. The traveling extravaganza brought their big tent to our small town of about 2,500 and afforded me several priceless first-time experiences, like animals I had never seen. Our little family farm had been home to a variety of commonplace livestock – cows, pigs, chickens, and a couple of horses. We had a goose once, but it bit my grandma on the tender part of the back of her leg so she cooked it for Sunday dinner. Anyhow, in spite of my time around a barn, I had never seen anything like an elephant, much less be close enough to smell it. Smelling a live elephant is a pretty big deal for a small town guy who’s about to become a teenager. I couldn’t wait to Continue reading

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Emojis Don’t Say It All

Have you noticed how our language seems to be devolving into a pictographic system? Our native language is being reduced to a rapidly expanding collection of symbols that are morphing into a unique language all its own. Signs at busy downtown intersections used to have words on them. Now they have little humanoid images of a guy walking when it’s safe to cross the street, and when it’s not, the little guy gets a big red circle around him with a crossbar through it–no reading skills needed.

Symbols offer an efficient way to communicate and their use has expanded to embrace much more than traffic safety. The exploding practice of symbolic communication has been fueled by Continue reading

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Jesus ~ Vs. Our Five Basic Fears

There were two diving boards on the platform of our county’s only public “swimming hole,” a place I only got to visit two or three times a year. At the relentless urging of a couple of my friends, I found myself standing at the outside edge of the “high” board – “high” being about 7 or 8 feet above the semi-brownish lake below. The high board didn’t look so high from down there in the water, but the view got more imposing with every step up the ladder. By the time I got to the top, my pudgy 13-year-old body was on the verge of visibly trembling. I’d heard that just before you die, Continue reading

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