July 2010

The Inspector meets Mr. Talent

The inspector waited determinedly as he rang the door bell a third time. He knew someone was home because he could hear the faint sound of one of those noxious courtroom shows on a TV. While standing there it crossed his mind that he should just sit down in one of the white wicker chairs arranged so invitingly on the porch and simply wait the guy out. The home, like all the homes in this newer pastel painted neighborhood, with its neatly manicured landscaping and freshly mown lawn indicated its owner was attentive to all the necessary upkeep.

Suddenly the door opened. The man standing there looked like an everyman, no unusual features. The inspector got right down to business. He introduced himself, flashed his ID and asked “Are you Mr. Talent, Mr. One Talent?” The man nodded his head reluctantly “Yes . . .what do you want?”

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The joy in being a nobody

I love this little poem written by Emily Dickinson more than 150 years ago. It conveys in such an unassuming way a deep spiritual truth. The Apostle Paul writes “There is no respect of persons with God.” (Romans 2:11) He is quoting here an Old Testament passage out of Deuteronomy 10:17 that says “God does not show partiality or take a bribe.” This is a very freeing truth. The basis of our relationship with God is not measured by accomplishment – by making ourselves or proving ourselves to be somebody.

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What I told Pharaoh

One of the most amazing and unforgettable experiences I have ever had was to have a face to face encounter with Pharaoh king of Egypt. Yes, I am talking about the very same Pharaoh whom Moses confronted with the 10 plagues over 3000 years ago. Several years ago Susan and I spent a week in Egypt visiting our daughter Anne who was teaching at the time in a private school in Cairo. My Egyptian highlight reel features only two events from that trip: our hike to the top of Mount Sinai and the visit to the Cairo Museum.

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