Monthly Archives: February 2015
These days it’s called “paying it forward.” Originally the idea was that debtors be encouraged to pay their loan to someone in need and not to the original lender. Ideally this will start a sequence of kindness that never ends. The whole idea is dicey but with manageable amounts could benefit a culture.
C. S. Lewis was a most generous individual. Much of the money he made from his many books he gave away to those in need. And as often happens to charitable people he was sometimes criticized concerning some of the recipients. Continue reading
My challenges in grammar are only exceeded by those in math. I still remember how crestfallen I felt after struggling to get down some rule of New Testament Greek only to hear those four horrible words, “Except in cases of.”
I take some small comfort in the fact that I am not alone. Sometimes my inquiries correct my misunderstanding. Sometimes they correct the other person’s misunderstanding. And sometimes we agree to disagree and have the dictionaries and lexicons to prove our alternate approaches. Continue reading
I recently spoke to someone who got a promotion. Sweet! But the response of colleagues who wanted the job was sour. It doesn’t take long for some people to turn a positive into a negative, excitement to anxiety, and what should have been an opportunity to share with others into a reason to avoid them. What to do?
In June 1955 Mary Willis Shelburne found herself in such a situation. For reasons now unknown she was caught in the middle of collaborators who were not getting along. And as always happens in such situations it was taking a toll on the middleman, or middlewoman, or perhaps it is middleperson. Continue reading
We can’t help living in the moment. It’s all we have. But we have to be careful of not confusing the video of life with a snapshot of here and now. The way someone is today may not be the way they are tomorrow.
Everyone goes through stages. Infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, midlife, mature adulthood, senior citizen. As we go through each stage things change; physically, mentally, emotionally. We may move from liberal to conservative to moderate and back to _______. We are brought to church as children, leave as college students, and return as parents of young children. We used to love candy and avoid vegetables (well, okay, maybe not everything changes). Continue reading
“What? You don’t know?” Ever have someone say that to you? The context is a topic in which people think you are omniscient. “You work on cars but don’t know what’s wrong?” “You work with computers but never heard of that program?” In my line of work it’s, “You know God but can’t explain why that tragedy happened?” People are surprised and dismayed. I understand.
In September 1956 Mary Willis Shelburne wrote to C. S. Lewis about some financial difficulties. The details are unknown but she evidently was in need of money and was unsuccessful in talking to the bank. Lewis was sympathetic but admitted, Continue reading
Appearances are important but not that important. We can’t help coming to conclusions about people based on appearances but realize we are often proven wrong as we get to know the individual.
On October 15, 1860, eleven-year-old Grace Bedell wrote to the Republican candidate and future U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln. She had an idea. She put it in these words, Continue reading
Matthew Henry (1662–1714) was a Welsh Non-Conformist minister. He began studying law but later changed to theology and in 1687 became minister of a Presbyterian congregation at Chester, a city in Cheshire, England. He is best known for his six-volume expansive commentaries, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments (1708–1710).
An entry in his diary records a time he was robbed of his wallet. He also records his response, Continue reading
It’s the classic awkward moment. You say to someone “Cheer up! You look like you just lost your best friend.” Come to find out, they did.
Author Mark Twain was familiar with suffering. In just a little over 30 years he experienced the loss of his nineteenth-month old son, Langdon; twenty-four year old daughter, Susy; and his wife, Olivia, who passed away at age fifty-eight. Continue reading
Richard Feynman (1918-1988) was an influential physicist. He helped develop the atomic bomb, investigated the space shuttle Challenger disaster, and in 1965, along with two colleagues, was awarded a Nobel Prize for his work in quantum electrodynamics.
In June 1945 his high school sweetheart and wife, Arline, passed away to tuberculosis at the age of 25. Sixteen months later he wrote her a letter and sealed it in an envelope. After his death in 1988 it was opened. Part of it read, Continue reading
Someone once told me to contact them anytime. They looked forward to the interruption. A good way to look at interruptions is to look forward to them.
December 1943 was not a good time in the Lewis household. Among all the other difficulties in his life Lewis was having to take care of Janie King Moore, nicknamed “Minto,” a woman 25 years his senior. In a letter to his friend Arthur Greeves, Lewis opens up on things at home: Continue reading