Weight to Fathers

I am more and more convinced that we need the fifth word of the Ten Words. We need them all. I know. But the fifth one seems to experience some serious lack in our culture. What does it mean to honor your father and mother? The word “honor” is the Hebrew word for “weight, burden.” So, first of all, I don’t think the point is that our parents become a burden. No. There is plenty of that kind of thing happening in our culture. But they should have weight. We shouldn’t treat them lightly, as if they don’t matter. Continue reading

Generously Small Gift

I don’t take issue with what Jesus said. Goodness no. He is my master. I do take issue with how his message is used. I suspect that the message concerning the widow giving her two small coins to the temple treasury, is used to beat people up until they give more. Give until it hurts and the like. There just may be a couple of things to keep in mind here. Continue reading

Beware Ostentation

Its not the clothes. It’s the attitude. As a chaplain, I have to wear a badge when I am out at the youth correction center I work at. That badge opens doors – literally. I also have a radio. Maybe, when I am wearing that badge and that radio, I feel important. Maybe it is more than that; maybe I feel more important than those poor slobs who don’t even have a badge or a radio. Badges, we don’t need no stinking badges. Continue reading

Reductio Ad Absurdum

Ah, the old reductio ad absurdum ploy. What? You don’t know what that is either. Hold on a minute and let me Google it. I’m back. It is Latin for “reduction to the ridiculous.” It is an argument that takes a line of thought and displays it within a scenario that is designed to make the whole think look absurd. Here is an example of one that is used on me somewhat frequently: You say God is a loving God right? Continue reading

Mother Dilemma

Mothers; good mothers; have to make difficult decisions. I think this is always true, but there are varying degrees of difficulty. One year, when my family and I were on a mission trip in Honduras we visited an orphanage for special needs children. In this area, it was the first of its kind. We listened in horror as the director of the orphanage told us the stories of these precious children. These children, because they were born with special needs had been abandoned. Wait! Before we become all indignant, we may need to walk a mile and all that. The families are poor, barely existing. They already have five or six children and along comes another one who has needs that you cannot pay for. Continue reading

Image Bearers

If I bring up the subject of taxes does it fill you with warm positive feelings? Maybe you can feel good knowing that all of your taxes are being used for good things; things you can really get behind; things you would have contributed to anyway. Yeah right! We are adults here. We know that some of our tax money is used for evil. It was no different in Jesus’ day. Continue reading

Sharecroppers

My grandpa was a sharecropper near New Madrid, Missouri. Since that is not a common thing anymore, maybe I should explain what that means. He did not own the land. He was allowed to live and raise a crop on the land. His particular crop was cotton. The owner of the land received a portion of the harvest as rent. I don’t know the exact arrangement my grandpa had. But sometimes what was owed was not a percentage. Continue reading

Sharecroppers

My grandpa was a sharecropper near New Madrid, Missouri. Since that is not a common thing anymore, maybe I should explain what that means. He did not own the land. He was allowed to live and raise a crop on the land. His particular crop was cotton. The owner of the land received a portion of the harvest as rent. I don’t know the exact arrangement my grandpa had. But sometimes what was owed was not a percentage. Continue reading