You’re Going To Fake It After All

[239 words] In his youth, the grandson of John Philip Sousa made large sums of money as a guest bandleader. He knew it wasn’t because of his talent. Since he shared the same name as the great American composer and conductor, he knew that is what impressed the crowds. His invites were about his name not his abilities. He knew these because he could not read a single note of sheet music.  He wasn’t the first of the last person to lean on their heritage rather than their abilities. Just because you carry a name, however, doesn’t mean you are…
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Maybe I Can Wait

[331 words] The Houston Airport had a problem. Over and over, a major complaint from its customers was that they had to wait too long for their bags after the flight. So the executives worked to address the issue. They added new staff, streamlined the process and were able cut wait time from as long as 30 minutes in some cases to an average of only 8 minutes. Still complaint kept pouring in. They did everything they could to shrink the time, but 8 minutes was about as fast as they were going to get. Yet irate customers still bemoaned…
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You Are Not Fooling Anyone

[198 words] Little Johnny’s teacher asked him to stay after class. She confronted him, “Johnny, I know that you cheated off Suzie on yesterday test.” Johnny snapped back, “What makes you think I cheated!” She remarked, “Well, one the first question who was the first president, Suzie put George Washington and so did you.” Johnny replied, “Well that’s an easy one, everyone knows that!” “But on the second question,” she continued, “What president freed the slaves, Suzie put Abe Lincoln and so did you.” “Well so what?” Johnny piped, “Lots of people called him Abe!” The teacher sighed and said,…
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Love Those Long Sermons

[290 words] The youth minister and I were discussing sermons, specifically how long they should be. We were both curious at how two different preachers could preach a lesson of the same quality for the same amount of time but one would be well received and the other criticized. As we talked, I remarked that I knew a preacher that was known for his bouts of long-windedness but that people didn’t complain rather they were cheerfully amused. I said it was because he was such a loving part of the lives of the congregation, a little bit of extra time…
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First Remove The Log

[174 words] A wife called her husband frantic because she saw a report on the news about a driver that was going the wrong way down the highway he usually used. When the husband picked up the phone, she warned, “Honey be careful, there is one crazy person driving on the wrong side of the road” He agitatedly replied, “One?! There are dozens of them!”  It is hard to be unbiased when we look at ourselves; sometimes we might be a bit too hard but more often than not we have an attitude of arrogance. We are right even if…
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It Goes Without Saying

[318 words] We’ve all probably heard the adage that the majority of communication is nonverbal. This notion is from Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of the book Silent Messages. In his research, he found that only 7 percent of any message is conveyed through words, the rest (38 percent through certain vocal elements and 55 percent through nonverbal elements) is unspoken.  What we say is more about how we say it and the influence of other factors that make the message. Our smile conveys sincerity. Our dress imparts seriousness (or the lack thereof). A head nod implies conviction. This isn’t just…
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Safer Than Houses

[186 words] Investment can be tricky things. Do you put your money in stocks or bonds, real estate, or hide it under your mattress? Even the most seemingly stable places to put your money can turn south in a heartbeat. Lots of people have experienced the phenomena of thinking they invested well only to learn that all the money is gone. So where should you invest? Ben Franklin said, “If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” Proverbs 4:5-7 tells us “…
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Thoughts and Prayers

[281 words] There has been a backlash in recent times against those who offer prayers during a tragedy. To some, the phrase has come to be an empty gesture, which acknowledges an issue but refuses to do anything about it. I’m sure that some of this is because of a growing atheistic mindset in our culture, but I also think some of it comes from the mistaken idea that prayer and action don’t go hand in hand. There is no greater example of someone who meshed prayer and action than that of Nehemiah. When he heard of the tragedy that…
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Do It Well

[101 words] Amateur, haphazard, slipshod, hit-and-miss, inattentive, incomplete, mediocre, shallow, skill-less, unskillful, wanting. All these adjectives are ones we use to describe things that are done but not done well. It’s an attitude that is far too common today. We settle for what is easy, normal, the status quo. But was this the example of Jesus? In Mark 7:37, people in describing Jesus said of him, “He has done all things well…” In everything he did, Jesus held to a higher standard of excellence. He did just do it, he did it well. Why shouldn’t we do the same? Barry…
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Never Enough

[135 words] Someone asked John D. Rockefeller, the richest man of his time, how much money is enough? He replied, “Just a little bit more.” Lots of people have that problem. We think if could just make a little more, we would be set. But when we get that little more, it isn’t too long till we are saying the same thing just with an increased amount.  The Preacher tells us this truth in Ecclesiastes 5:10-11: “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity. When good…
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Whatcha Gonna Do Brother?

[289 words] It all came down to a missed phone call. Hulk Hogan, the famous wrestling star, missed a call from his agent about a possible endorsement deal. Now the story has shifted over the years, but basically, his agent had set up some potential sponsorship on some kitchen items. These companies felt a celebrity name on their product could rocket them to success. Hulk favored a meatball maker but the agent had another product in mind. So he rang up Hogan. But he never answered. So the agent moved on to his next client to see if he wanted…
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Who Made This Road?

[199 words] Ever drive down a road and wondered what kind person would design something like this? Well, if you live in New York chances are it was Robert Moses. He was an urban planner that helped to design many of the highways and bridge systems in New York City. His ideas were often controversial and range from the displacement of thousands of people from their homes to his plans that lead to the Dodgers leaving town. But the oddest thing about the man, the same man that helped create America’s Car Culture, the man critics claimed “loved cars more…
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Does Anyone Care About This?

[177 words] Dr. William James, an eminent psychiatrist in the early 1900’s, said “The deepest principle of the human experience is the craving to be appreciated.” Not all that much has change in one hundred years. Everyone likes to be credited with a job well done and know that what they do is appreciated. Even Jesus was disappointed with only one of the leppers return to thank him for being healed. (Luke 17:11-19)  We can lose the habit of gratitude. A simple thank you or compliment can brighten anyone’s day. As loving Christian it should be our goal to do…
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Did Jesus Condemn Homosexuality?

[202 words] Many times you will hear the argument given that Jesus never condemned homosexuality. That lack of condemnation is then skewed as acceptance. However, a closer look at scripture leads to a different conclusion.  In Luke 10:12, Jesus is denouncing those that refused to believe the message about the kingdom of God when He says, “I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.” Why would Jesus say that?  Sodom was the best example of the worst place, and Jesus used it to emphasize that the unbelief would be punished…
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Is It Wrong To Not?

[396 words] Is it wrong to not use an instrument of music in worship service? Is it wrong to not drink alcohol? Is it wrong to attend every church service? Now the opposite of these topics often draw many articles and lesson, as people are curious to find out the limits. But one rarely claims fault when one is not on the outer edge. In the book of Job when the text is describing the righteous nature of Job it says: When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in…
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Did Bugs Bunny Corrupt the Scriptures?

[366 words] If I called you a Nimrod, how would you feel? If you are like most people you would probably feel insulted. The popular definition for a nimrod is an inept person, an oaf, a moron, an ignoramus. The original name Nimrod really meant to be a skillful mighty hunter. Its origin is found in Genesis 10:8-9:  “Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.” How did the mighty hunter become an inept oaf?…
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Dig a Hole, Fill It Up

[198 words] A man was enjoying a relaxing day in the city park when he noticed two workers. One of the workers was furiously digging a hole. The other worker would come along after the first had finished and just as furiously fill it back in. The man stared in disbelief wondering what was going on. After several moments, curiosity got the better of him and he walked up to the workers and asked why they doing something so worthless. “Worthless?” the worker quipped, “If anybody on this crew is worthless, it is the guy who plants the trees, he…
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The ABC’s of Bible Class

[193 words] Attendance: No one can learn anything from Bible class if they are not there. Constant attendance will help reinforce the lessons being repeated each week. Attendance not only means being there every time but also on time. Not a minute of instruction time should be missed if you want the child to receive the full effect of Bible class.  Bible: No student is complete in Bible class without a Bible. From the moment a child can read they should have their own Bible that they can study from. Select a translation that they can understand, but don’t sacrifice…
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But I Was There!

[106 words] For many, a person’s faithfulness is synonymous with attendance. A person is faithful to the Lord if they are at the services with regularity. While assembling together is vital for a Christian (Hebrews 10:25), we have more than just services to attend, we have to attend to service. Christian duty does not begin and end at the doors of the building. A person can never miss an assembly and still be unfaithful in regards to seeking the lost, loving one another, or doing good works. Attendance shouldn’t be the end of our commitment to Christ but rather the…
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Getting God On Our Side

[178 words] In his inaugural speech John F. Kennedy said, “With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”   That last line has always been one that has struck me as very important. Many times we make plans on our own and then ask God to bless them. That’s a backwards approach. In any planning we do, we should begin by asking ourselves,…
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Guess Your Future?

[139 words] There are those that claim they can see the future. From the side room psychics to wannabe Nostradamus; their claims are nothing but vague guesswork and fuzzy images. With some imagination, you can bend their prophecy into something that maybe resembles the facts of the future.  But the prophecy of God is different. For example, in Psalm 22, in describing the fate of the Christ it says of those that mock him “All who see me sneer at me; They separate with the lip, they wag the head.” This event occurs hundreds of years later, exactly as foretold….
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You Could Care Less If Dad Is Gone

[261 words] Empathy is the ability to feel for others. It’s what makes us care about each other as people and forms the roots of compassion and love. In a world that struggles with bullying, anger, and coldness, you could imagine why people want to know how to build it. Richard Koestner, a psychologist at McGill University was attempting to do just that. He looked and found a study that had been conducted at Yale University back in the 1950s. It involved 75 men and women who had been part of a study when they were children. When Koestner and…
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The Hardest Words to Say

  [187 words] I must have been sick on the day they taught phonics in school. If I don’t recognize a word by sight, I can find some amazing ways to mispronounce it. I cringe when I have to use certain words because no matter how much I practice, I’m not sure how it will come out.  However, I know that the hardest words to say are sometimes the most simple to pronounce. Phrases like, “I’m sorry” and “I was wrong” and “I have sinned.”  It would behoove us to remember this when people need to say those words. We…

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Mr. Knew-It-All

  [140 words] Experience is a trait that is very valuable for any organization. A person with experience in an area can usually do a job faster, easier and better than those without. However the Preacher tells us in Ecclesiastes 4:13 of a time when experience is wasted. He says, “A poor yet wise lad is better than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive instruction.” Experience and position are not assets to those that think they no longer need to listen to anyone else. No matter how long you have been doing something and…

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Do It Well!

[104 words] Amateur, haphazard, slipshod, hit-and-miss, inattentive, incomplete, mediocre, shallow, skill-less, unskillful, wanting. All these adjectives are ones we use to describe things that are done but not done well. It’s an attitude that is far too common today. We settle for what is easy, normal, the status quo. But was this the example of Jesus? In Mark 7:37, people in describing Jesus said of him, “He has done all things well…” In everything he did, Jesus held to a higher standard of excellence. He did just do it, he did it well. Why shouldn’t we do the same? Barry…
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Never Enough

  [140 words] Someone asked John D. Rockefeller, the richest man of his time, how much money is enough? He replied, “Just a little bit more.” Lots of people have that problem. We think if could just make a little more, we would be set. But when we get that little more, it isn’t too long till we are saying the same thing just with an increased amount. The Preacher tells us this truth in Ecclesiastes 5:10-11, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity. When…

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What You Take With You

  [294 words] When Abraham Lincoln was shot and killed in Ford’s Theater April 14th, 1865, he had no idea that night would be his last. Lincoln loved the theater and it was his common diversion for his stressful job. So he probably didn’t think much about what he carried in his pocket that night, but maybe we should. In the personal effects found on Abraham Lincoln that night: a small handkerchief, a pocketknife, a watch fob, glasses (one repaired with cotton string), a Confederate five-dollar bill, and wallet with only some worn-out newspaper clipping in it. Most of the…

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No Stone Unturned

  [303 words] In Mark 13:1-2 we read, “As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.” A very bold and specific prediction, yet it didn’t seem very likely. Even if the temple was destroyed, who would go to all that effort? Some of the stones weighted over 400 tons. However, it turn out Jesus was exactly right. Four decades…

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It Is Not Going To Work In Your Favor

  [283 words] It really is a true story. It happened in Florida back in 1986.  Jurors were being transported by elevator to hear a case when it got stuck between floors. For twenty minutes they hung there until the elevator was finally fixed. On their l arrival, the judge was concerned that the event might sway the jury. Why?   The case they were to rule on involved an escalator accident. And the company being sued was the Otis Elevator company. The same company that operated the elevator they had just been stuck in. And they knew it because…

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The Answer is Blowing In The Wind

  [263 words] Any runner, cyclist, or truck driver will have experienced this phenomenon. When you are going into a headwind, you notice it. The wind buffets your efforts, you feel every moment of discomfort and pushback. However, when you go back in the other direction when the wind is at your back, you don’t much think about how it pushing you along if you are even are mindful of it. The headwind is constantly fought and on your mind; the tailwind isn’t as noticed and quickly forgotten. It’s not just a wind issue. The problems and difficulties of life…

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The Hardest Words to Say

  [179 words] I must have been sick on the day they taught phonics in school. If I don’t recognize a word by sight, I can find some amazing ways to mispronounce it. I cringe when I have to use certain words because no matter how much I practice, I’m not sure how it will come out. However, I know that the hardest words to say are sometimes the most simple to pronounce. Phrases like, “I’m sorry” and “I was wrong” and “I have sinned.” It would behoove us to remember this when people need to say those words. We need…

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The Church of Me

  [278 words] Sometimes people will ask me about my church. They assume since I am a minister that somehow I have some ownership or say over it. We do that too. We remark ‘at my church’ or ‘come to my church.’ It might just be a slip of the tongue but we need to work to correct it. Because it is not ‘our’ church, and that is a very good thing! The church of me wouldn’t be a good one. Oh, it might be likable enough, it could be entertaining, and it might have the community’s approval. The church…

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It’s Best Said In What You Do

[190 words] There are times when we find those around us suffering. When a friend gets the call no one ever wants to get, the diagnosis comes back worse than expected, when tragedy strikes those around us. It can be a very helpless feeling to try and provide comfort to those is the midst of such pain. We don’t want to say the wrong thing and make it worse or we don’t want to say nothing and seem as if we don’t care. It is hard to know what to say that will help. In John 11, Jesus was faced…
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What Gossip Says About You

[160 words] Many people think gossip is a harmless diversion. However, a study on gossip found out that it indeed hurts someone, one you might not expect. Researchers set up a test where subject watched a video were actor talked about a third party. In the videos, the actor would either say something very negative or positive about the other person. After the video, the subjects were asked to rate the personality of the speaker. Even though it was obvious that actor was talking about someone else, the participants consistently attributed the negative traits to the speaker. As Jean Paul…
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I Know What Love Is…

[371 words] You may have seen the recent commercial by the Ad Council that tells us love has no limits. It shows people behind an x-ray screen embracing only showing their skeletal outlines. The people emerge from the behind to reveal they are a same sex couple, to a cheering crowd. The scene is redone with people of different races, religions and ages. Each one is accompanied by the text; love has no gender, love has no race, love has no disability, love has no religion, love has no labels. The ad campaign claims to combat what is seen as…
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It Is a Lot of Garbage

[280 words] What the biggest man-made structure? You might be thinking the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China, or One World Trade Center. However, those are all wrong….maybe. What do we mean by biggest? Tallest? Widest? Takes up the most area? Even the term ‘man-made structure’ is problematic. What if we really weren’t planning on making something, does that count? If that’s the case, then the answer might just be Fresh Kills, a garbage dump on Staten Island. The site is 4.6 square miles in area and, when operational, had twenty barges carrying 650 tons of rubbish shipped into it…
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Oh, It’s Nothing

[302 words] It’s greater than God yet also more evil than the devil. The poor have it, and the rich don’t want it. If you wear it you show everything, if you speak it you remain quiet and if you buy it you save money. The blind see it, the deaf hear it but if you eat it, you’ll die. What is it? Nothing. Nothing doesn’t sound like it is much of anything but in reality it is something. Doing nothing can get you fired. Saying nothing can help you out of trouble. Seeing nothing make you look ignorant but…
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Those That Are Sick Of Our Church

You hear people make the statements; “I want Jesus but not the church,” “Jesus is my personal savior but I’m not into organized religion,” and “I find my spirituality in nature, not in a pew with other people.” It’s an emphasis that while Jesus is desirable, his church is not. Can you have one without the other? Consider what is said in Acts 9:3-4. Here Saul is confronted about his actions. The Voice from heaven asks why are you persecuting Me? Saul is confused. The Voice from heaven must be the Lord but when has he persecuted the Lord? He…

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Putting The Fun Back In Funeral

[221 words] Would you rather go to a party or to a funeral? Pretty easy choice you might think. Now before you answer let us consider the scriptures. Ecclesiastes 7:2-5 says, “It is better to go to a house of mourning Than to go to a house of feasting, Because that is the end of every man, And the living takes it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, For when a face is sad a heart may be happy. The mind of the wise is in the house of mourning, While the mind of fools is in the house…
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Why The Ship Is Sinking

[257 words] In 1628 the Swedish warship Vasa was set to take its maiden voyage. The ship was built upon completion was one of the most powerfully armed vessels in the world. However the maiden voyage didn’t go that well. Less than a mile offshore the ship encountered what was described as a slight breeze that capsized and sank it. How could such a powerful war ship go to the depths so easily? It was generally consider to have been built asymmetrically. This caused the center of gravity to be off and therefore it took very little force to tip…
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