Archive for the 'Ideas to think about' Category

(Posts Archive)

Apocalypse has Begun

In everyday usage, the word apocalyptic represents horrific events that preview the end of the world as we know it. When used of the Bible it suggests a cosmic unveiling, intervention and new world order. Normally, we think of apocalyptic events as future. But, according to the Gospel, the greatest of all revelations has already […]

Ubuntu

A story is going around the internet that, in some ways, sounds more like legend than fact. But the idea behind it seems to represent a cultural value that is real. As related on an Ubuntu website, an anthropologist made an important discovery after completing his study of a tribe in a southern region of […]

The Games we Play

On the heels of an amazing Wimbleton final between Sweden’s Roger Federer and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic; and as World Cup competition begins to move toward a final crowning in Rio, I’m once again trying to weigh the global fascination with sport and competition. It could be that the examples I’m looking at are of little […]

The King of Hearts

According to an online news source, a couple of regular customers of a Loveland, Colorado, fast-food restaurant, ages 52 and 85, ended up in court after disagreeing over a parking space. Assault charges were filed after the younger man swung open the door of his vehicle knocking the older to the ground. As in all […]

Jacob’s Legacy

In All’s Well That Ends Well, William Shakespeare gives us the thought that “No legacy is so rich as honesty.” Two centuries later, a French author by the name of Victor Hugo showed his readers that a legacy of honesty—without grace—can turn us into devils. In his 19th-century novel Les Misérables (i.e., The Miserable), Hugo […]

Jacob’s Sleepless Night

When a loving father lets his little boy tackle him to the ground or match muscles in arm wrestling, we don’t expect to see dad suddenly subject his young son to a painful arm twist or body slam. So why then do so many of us feel roughed up, abandoned, and even left for dead […]

Jacob’s Ladder

In 19th-century America, a generation of oppressed slaves sang a spiritual about “Jacob’s Ladder.” The repetitive, rhythmic lyrics about climbing higher and higher helped them envision themselves on a hard journey to a better place. The original story is about a great ladder reaching up to heaven, and it’s as down-to-earth as the man who […]

The Heel Snatcher

In Greek mythology, Achilles is a great warrior who dies from a poisonous arrow that lodges in his heel. Prior to his birth, a prophecy had foreseen his untimely and early death. So when he was born, his mother dipped him in the River Styx that was thought to give magical protection. Holding him by […]

Ligers and TomTatoes

Two recent news articles describe attempts to alter nature.  One tells the story of a 922 pound cat that made it into the 2014 edition of Guinness World Records. Hercules is a Liger, a cross between a lion and a tiger that lives at a Myrtle Beach wildlife preserve. According to the cat’s owner, ligers […]

Adam and Jesus

In the era of the Great Depression, the dust bowl, and breadlines, it might seem fitting that the 1930s also produced a dark comedy cartoon that came to be known as The Addams Family. Created by illustrator Charles Addams for The New Yorker magazine, the single-frame comic gags took a satirical look at a ghoulishly […]

The Wonder of a Tree

Discover Magazine published an article called “The Life, Death, and Life of a Tree.” It’s the wonderful story of a majestic redwood tree affectionately named Luna II. According to writer Jack McClintock, Luna II is a coast redwood whose scientific name, Sequoia sempervirens, literally means “ever-living.” He quotes the forest manager of Luna II who […]

A Better Righteousness

On a California beach, young surfers use the word righteous to describe a big wave, a drug-induced high, or a sexual adventure. In a nearby church, members of a prayer circle use the same word to talk about behavior that complies with the moral laws of the Bible. I’m guessing the beach crowd knows they […]

A Realistic View of the Bible

The Bible pays a price for being one of the most quoted and talked about books in the world. Even those who haven’t read it for themselves often assume they’ve heard enough to know what it’s about. But there’s more to this Book of books than its reputation may suggest. Being anything but predictable, first […]

Grounds for Mercy

A French news report told the story of a young field dog that jumped on its deer-hunting master in a playful show of affection. When the pup’s paw caught the trigger of the hunter’s firearm, the gun accidentally discharged, resulting in the loss of the owner’s hand. The victim later blamed himself for not having […]

Solomon and Jesus

Long ago, a young king of Israel wrote, “Blessed are those who find wisdom, . . . she is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her” (Proverbs 3:13-15 NIV). The Wisdom of Solomon: To this day, we still tell the story of how God appeared to him in a dream and […]

Samson’s Eyes

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH • Time: 1070 BC • Place: Land of Israel • Spirit of the Age: In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. —Judges 21:25 NKJV • Growing Crisis: A group of people known as the Philistines have brought their foreign gods and influence […]

Samson and Jesus

Samson is one of the most interesting people of the Bible. Like the Philistine Goliath, he’s remembered for his legendary physical strength. After killing a lion with his bare hands, he took on a whole army with the jawbone of a donkey and, in his last act, pushed down the pillars of a huge temple […]

Bully

When my wife and I walked into the small, darkened auditorium, we saw something that has been almost as unforgettable as the documentary we had come to see. Scattered and spread out among the many empty seats, a few parents sat with children in a manner that, as I recall, looked more like a visit […]

The Mystery of the Greenland Shark

How does the slowest shark in the world catch its food? Living in frigid, near-freezing waters, the Greenland shark swims at less than 1 mile an hour. It takes seven seconds for one full sweep of its tail to propel it forward. Researchers, however, have found remains of seals in the sharks’ stomachs. Those findings […]

Norway’s Trial of the Century

In July of 2011, a 33-year-old Norwegian bombed an Oslo government building and then gunned down scores of guests at a Labor Party youth camp. Seventy-seven people died, and many more were injured. Prior to the attacks, the young gunman wrote a lengthy manifesto titled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence. In chilling detail, he […]

Gold for Claressa and Flint

Never thought I’d find myself choking back cheers of joy watching a 17 year old girl box her way to Olympic Gold. But that’s what happened last night as I watched Claressa Shields beat an opponent almost twice her age. Wasn’t raised to anticipate celebrating a woman boxer even though I was raised to read […]

Curiosity

After hurtling through 352 million miles of space for 8 and ½ months, carrying a 2.6 billion dollar Mars rover, the space-laboratory named Curiosity survived seven minutes of terror to make an amazingly ingenious landing on the red planet. Why curiosity? Because in yet one more attempt, NASA scientists are trying to find evidence of how […]

The Bible and Cut Flowers

The words of the Bible can be like cut flowers. The words of Jesus, like the laws of Moses, can be selectively chosen and arranged for anyone’s temporary purposes and enjoyment. But once the words are sheared from the stem and root of the story they are telling, they begin to fade in significance like […]

Giving Facts a Chance

In the early 1950s, a small Chicago-based religious sect predicted that the world was going to end on December 21, 1954. Their leader claimed to have received this information from an alien reincarnation of Jesus who went by the name of Sananda. Their prophecy caught the attention of researchers from Stanford University, who decided to […]

Load Tests

While meeting with a group of co-workers in Singapore, I looked out a seventh-story window and noticed a pile of huge, concrete blocks. When I asked about it, a colleague gave me some background. He said that since Singapore is a city-state built on an island, it is a common practice to test the stability […]

Our Fathers

On StoryCorps, a project of National Public Radio, I heard 73-year-old Walter Dean Myers tell a story that he says has forever changed the way he remembers his father. Myers, an author with almost 100 books to his name, recalls that at 14 he already had a love for writing. Since his parents didn’t have […]

How Could a Good God Allow This?

In a world as messed up as our own, there are many reasons to ask how a good God could allow this? And why? Long ago, a grieving, angry man found himself tormented by such questions as his friends accused him of hiding the scandal that would explain why he was suffering more than they […]

The Roar of Deception

In October 2011, 56 wild animals terrorized the town of Zanesville, Ohio. The owner of an exotic animal park, troubled by legal challenges and neighbor complaints, had lashed out against the community by deliberately opening his cages just before dark. Local authorities responded by warning neighbors, barricading roads, and closing schools. After a couple of […]

The Tree of Life

A recent motion picture begins with powerful images from the Hubble telescope and the whispered question, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? . . . When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4,7). As a film, The Tree of Life (written […]

Higher Learning for All

Before Jesus returned to his Father he challenged his disciples to teach others what he had taught them. At this point, questions linger from our past conversations. Were Paul, Peter, James, and John faithful to that Great Commission, even though they seldom quoted their Teacher in their New Testament letters? Seems to me that their […]

Who or What Has Changed?

Malachi, the last prophet of the Hebrew Scriptures, quoted God as saying, “I am the LORD, I do not change” (3:6 NKJV). Down through the centuries, however, many have noticed that, somewhere between the Old and New Testaments, the God of the Bible does seem to change. Instead of sending down war, floods, fire, and […]

Famous Pairs

Famous pairs usually have something in common. They are the right combination of two people who help one another do together what they could not have done on their own. A short list might include: Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Abbott and Costello Car Talk’s Tom and Ray Sherlock Holmes […]

The Bible and Truth

In all of our lives there are defining moments that come with the realization that our world will never be the same again. Some of these events changed the course of history. We may have been around long enough to remember where we were when we heard that John F. Kennedy had been shot. Others […]

Being a Man

Some of King David’s last words were a challenge to his son. To Solomon, who would inherit the throne, he said, “Take courage and be a man” (1 Kings 2:2 nlt). What was this father saying? What did his son hear? Just as importantly, what do we hear in those words? Thousands of years later, […]

Famous Pairs

Am guessing that when you see the following short list of famous pairs, you will think of other duos that have a way of doing together what neither could do on their own. In addition to bacon and eggs, there are, Sherlock and Watson Tom and Huck Abbot and Costello Batman and Robin Lewis and […]

Endless Knowledge

Never before have so many people had access to so much information. With human knowledge doubling every few years and search engines like Google and Yahoo! at our fingertips, the potential for learning seems endless. The horizons of knowledge—According to Reuters News Service, the Hubble Space Telescope has found 10,000 galaxies in a window of […]

Who Would Have Thought…?

National Public Radio’s StoryCorp has just released a wonderful story told by a grandfather to his two granddaughters. (NPR Link) According to attorney Martin Levin, while in college back in he 1930s, he met a fellow student who in his words was, “the most obnoxious, most difficult, and most awful person I’ve ever met in […]

God on Trial

After surviving the horrors of Nazi concentration camps, Elie Wiesel wrote a novel titled The Trial of God. Reflecting Wiesel’s own crisis of faith, he created a character who accuses God of “hostility, cruelty, and indifference” for silently turning His back on His people in their time of need. In this plot, the only one […]

What’s Going on Here?

Store manager: What are you doing here? Stranger: Why do you need to know? Store manager: I’m making it my business to ask, why are you here? What are you going to do before your leave? Stranger: I’m here to do my father’s business. Store manager: Who’s your father? Stranger: You’ll know before I leave. […]

Camp Hope

Now that 33 miners have been lifted from 2000 feet below the surface of Chile’s Atacama desert, Camp Hope will soon be a memory. At one point the temporary tent city in the middle of a barren nowhere hosted between 2,500 and 3,000 family members, journalists, volunteers and rescue workers. Now 70 days after the […]

Poison Ivy or Wild Blackberry

Years ago I chased a softball into patch of poison ivy. Ever since, I’ve been looking for it (not the ball but PI) along the edges of wooded areas, in fields, and even among the myrtle of our yard. Haven’t forgotten the weeks of blisters, itch, and discomfort. Along the way, I’ve appreciated the simple […]

What Comes to Mind?

Got this picture the other day after coming upon a couple of young bucks sparring. Have been trying to think of a reason to post it. It’s a bit small. But you should be able to  enlarge the picture by clicking on it. Remembered it again this morning while thinking about the way the New […]

What’s More Important?

In a business, what is more important, people or process, relationships or product? Or to clarify, what is more important in a commercial enterprise, people and relationships or process and product? My guess is that some of us would say that this is a no-brainer. But I’m also guessing that among those of us who […]

Studies in Contrast

Does the Bible contradict itself? More than a few people have written books or hosted websites to say that they lost their faith after seeing how often the Bible contradicts itself. Some have spent a lot of time compiling lists of apparent discrepancies in both Old and New Testaments. Collections of alleged Bible contradictions are […]

Letterman Without a Laugh

Long time, late night host and comedian, David Letterman told his audience last night that he has had sexual relations with members of his staff. CNN story. The story needs to be made public, he said, since he had appeared earlier in the day before a Grand Jury to give testimony in an extortion case. […]

Hope for A Dying Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is dying. Water levels of what the Bible also calls The Salt Sea, already rest at the lowest on earth (1378 feet below sea level), and are dropping at a rate of three feet a year. The problem has developed not only from natural weather cycles, but also from the amount of […]

The Geico Gecko

A Science article by Henry Fountain in the New York Times yesterday tells an interesting story about the little Gecko whose animated likeness has been  so cleverly used in the TV Gecko/Geico Insurance commercials. According to the author, “Like some other animals, the gecko can perform a neat trick when threatened by a predator: it […]

Seeing as We Are

One of the thoughts that has intrigued me over the years is that, “We see things not only as they are, but as we are.” I’ve wondered whether that could be one way of paraphrasing Paul’s words to Titus when he wrote, “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled […]

Don't Kiss the Saint

A Madrid AP news item caught my attention over the weekend. It reported that the emergence of Swine Flu has necessitated a new rule: “Don’t Kiss the Saint.” For hundreds of years visitors to one of Roman Catholicism’s holiest shrines— claiming to hold the remains of the Apostle James—have hugged or kissed a statue Spain’s […]

Peace Child

Don Richardson, author of Peace Child and Eternity in their Hearts, is known for a discovery that he and his wife, Carol, made among the  Sawi people of Dutch New Guinea. At the time (1960s) the Sawi people were headhunters, at war with rival tribes, and absorbed in a culture of aggressive self-protection. To the […]

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