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It’s Not Acceptable to be Sad?

It’s Not Acceptable to be Sad?

I have been asked to speak to a group of high school students this Sunday evening about depression.  It’s not an easy topic to delve into by any means, but it is relevant.  Unfortunately, suicide ideation among teens is far too common.  And, depression is by no means uncommon among students.  Where do I begin? I have a strong hunch that some students are of a mind that being sad is unacceptable.  If they feel sad, then they conclude something…

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Abused Children Need Heroes: I Just Happened to Meet One Last Night

Abused Children Need Heroes: I Just Happened to Meet One Last Night

We have a “Dale” at camp this week, and the truth is every child that has been abused or neglected needs one. I saw Dale for the first time Monday night when I went out the camp with a group of men to relieve the male counselors for a couple of hours.  We show up in the evening, so they can get a break to shower and relax after a full day of serving a special group of children.  As…

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I Didn’t Go to Church Today…. (And I am the Preaching Minister!)

I Didn’t Go to Church Today…. (And I am the Preaching Minister!)

I didn’t go to church today, but I did see “church” today. Allow me to explain… Less than two weeks ago a sweet 92 year old lady, who is a longtime member of the church I serve, lost her 60 year old daughter very suddenly. She passed away in her sleep. It was an unexpected event for the entire family. The daughter lived with her mother, so that makes the sudden loss even more difficult. This morning before worship I…

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An Afternoon at the Trauma Center

An Afternoon at the Trauma Center

 My big mouth has always gotten me in trouble. Sunday was no exception. I preached on the subject of “mercy” yesterday. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy was my assigned passage. I defined “mercy” during the course of the sermon. Mercy is compassion or sympathy in action. It is taking positive action when someone is in trouble. It is not mere idle sentiment or vain words. That is good stuff. And so far so good on…

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Grace is Truly Amazing: A Tribute to Ellen Berlin

Grace is Truly Amazing: A Tribute to Ellen Berlin

 I am not writing from a prison cell tonight, but it is not like that would be beyond the scope of possibility. I graduated from high school with very average grades, made below average grades my first two years of college, and miraculously got with the program and graduated with a B.A. degree in 1984. I went on to earn both masters and doctoral level degrees. That is sure proof that miracles do not cease. How did that happen? Why…

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My Favorite Randall Turns 21 Today: I am Declaring my Dependence…

My Favorite Randall Turns 21 Today: I am Declaring my Dependence…

My firstborn turns 21 today. That is a pretty big milestone in a person’s life! As recently as last week I referred to him as my #1 son. I was of course referring to birth order. Someone aptly pointed out to me that such use of a number has a ring of preferential treatment to it. In reality, I have three #1 sons. There is my favorite Randall, my favorite Daniel, and my favorite Mitchell. There is no doubt that…

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The Grinch Crashes the Police Dept. Christmas Party

The Grinch Crashes the Police Dept. Christmas Party

Confession is good for the soul. I must admit that the Grinch is my all time favorite character in the reporitire of characters that Dr. Seusss so cleverly created. Here is the problem: I like the Grinch before his heart grew. I am serious. Perhaps it is not entirely true. Actually I am a reformed Grinch. The My own heart has actually grown. But I used to despise the Christmas holidays. Thus…why I like the small-hearted and unreformed Grinch. During…

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The Smells and Tastes of Home…

The Smells and Tastes of Home…

The Thanksgiving Holiday got underway officially at the Knox Manor last night with the arrival of our firstborn from college. It was a typical entrance. Nothing was out of the ordinary. He headed for the refrigerator immediately. But unfortunately disappointment ensued. He just knew there would be some of his mother’s cowboy stew leftover in the fridge. His brothers had inhaled the last spoonful the day before. There were no Ziploc bags of cornbread on the counter either. He had…

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