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Tag: compassion

Thorns Infest the Earth?

Thorns Infest the Earth?

“for (God) has been mindful of the humble state of his servant…” Luke 1:48 One summer, as we sat listening to a campfire worship, my son tapped my arm and asked, “What’s that song we sing in church that goes, ‘Thorns infest the earth?” Peter was in third grade and, like most children his age was a master of random questions. It caught me completely off guard. So I asked follow-up questions to see if I could narrow the field of possibilities….

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Help the Oppressed Be Free

Help the Oppressed Be Free

Several years ago, a van I was driving was hit by another vehicle. It was the strangest accident. I saw the car approaching and watched the drivers face as we collided. Even though she was watching the road, she never saw me. It was like her mind was somewhere else. The driver was a single mother who left work to care for a sick child. In her rush to get back to work, she made a mistake. Her face was filled…

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It’s An Opinion, Not Fact

It’s An Opinion, Not Fact

“For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” 1 Thess. 5:2 This morning I read a story about Fox News. Viewers are irate with the network’s chief news anchor, Shepherd Smith. It turns out Smith called into question the facts related to a potential Hilary Clinton “uranium” scandal. President Trump has made accusations against Clinton regarding the sale of uranium to Russia. He said there was clear evidence…

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A Pastor and a Bike Thief

A Pastor and a Bike Thief

“For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live.” Ezekiel 18:32 My bike was stolen out of my garage this summer. Maybe I have written about this before, but I remember it every morning. I watched the thief walk by my house and ride my bike away as I wrote my daily reflection. It turns out, Jussi, our trusted labrador retriever, is only good at fetching balls, not criminals. He was…

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Calculated Worth

Calculated Worth

“Or are you envious because I am generous?” Matthew 20:15b When I was a child, I loved baseball. My favorite thing about the game was calculating batting averages, earned run averages and some statistics I made up on my own. Baseball taught me most of my basic math skills. It also convinced me, I could statistically compute the value of a player.  My self-generated statistics are elementary to the equations statisticians use today. New categories for evaluating baseball players seem…

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What Will Come of Dreams?

What Will Come of Dreams?

“Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” Gen. 37:20b Nelson Mandela was given the name, Rolihlahla, at birth. It was a tribal name meaning, “troublemaker.” It wasn’t until he attended school that a teacher named him, Nelson. Why this name was chosen, Mandela had no idea. However, today, we remember him as both. Mandela was a troublemaker because he had a dream. If it weren’t for his dream, he probably would have remained nameless to the rest of the…

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The Unceasing Anguish of Rejection

The Unceasing Anguish of Rejection

“I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.” Romans 9: 2 My wife, Peggy, and I used to take visiting church leaders on tours of New York City. These tours included the typical tourist attractions – Times Square, Central Park, Wall Street, etc… However, they also included the hidden places not found on tourists maps. Places which captured the complexity of the city. One of those places was an alternative school for runaway youth. The school had been…

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Laws for Walking

Laws for Walking

“Happy are those…who walk in the law of the Lord.” Psalm 119:1 Recently, the St. Paul Police Department has been aggressively enforcing pedestrian right away laws throughout the city. In Minnesota, pedestrians have the right away. Cars are required to stop when a person crosses the street. Technically, pedestrians are supposed to be in a crosswalk area, but this is not always the case. These laws are designed to prevent cars from hitting pedestrians. One area the police have been targeting…

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Open Your Eyes to Hope

Open Your Eyes to Hope

“…with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you…” Eph. 1:18 The news this morning from England is devastating. Once again, an act of inhumanity has taken innocent lives and left a community wounded. Although, the community affected is the world and the common characteristics we share are a sense of vulnerability, frustration and sadness. Vulnerability, because we cannot stop these acts from happening. Frustration with the level of…

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Love, the Greatest of All Shrubs

Love, the Greatest of All Shrubs

“yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs…” Mk 4:32 There was a Catholic nun in Sullivan County, NY who worked tirelessly to help at risk youth discover new life. She was sweet, soft spoken, and gentle. I often felt like the young people she worked with were changed simply by being in her presence. She once brought a group of teens to our camp for a weekend retreat. As soon as the…

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