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On Poking Things With Sticks

January 2015 On the subject of poking things with sticks, we may find wisdom in the old adage, “Let sleeping dogs lie.” This usually means, don’t provoke something unless you are fully prepared for both their responses and your own. Provocation of someone or a situation should not be done without strategic thinking—unless, of course,

Eternity is Here

December 2014 As wonderful as life is, it is frequently a challenge and often filled with deep disappointments. As we celebrate the birth of Christ this month, even He, as the Scripture reminds us in Isaiah 53:3, was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” The fallenness of mankind and reality of human suffering

Back into the Dark Ages? An Intelligent Battle for Freedom of Speech & Freedom of Religion

November 2014 I was arrested in the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley in December 1964 over the issue of recruiting Freedom Riders to help eliminate segregation laws in the South. It was a big deal to me since I was still on an academic-athletic scholarship, although injured at the time. The newspapers took note of

Making Promises We Can’t Keep

October 2014 The latest Barack Obama controversy involves his amazing promise to the nation that he will not put “boots on the ground” in our war on terrorism in Syria and Iraq (ISIS). For the sake of this discussion, I am not primarily concerned with the obvious absurdity of his “promise” or the fact that

What Would You Say to Yourself?

September 2014 Impossible as it seems, I have been out of high school for more than fifty years. My wife is now approaching the same “impossibility.” For those of you less ancient, you have nevertheless probably had similar “looking back” experiences and pondered the reality that in those bygone years, you—in many ways—had “no clue,”

Democracy in Crisis

August 2014 Sustained political or economic instability calls into question the competence of both leadership and systems. These institutions are wobbling today, both in terms of the effectiveness of Western democracy as a political institution, and capitalism as a just or sufficiently stable economic system. I personally believe in both institutions properly guided and operating,

On Freedom

July 2014 Freedom is ultimately the sustained will and enabling grace to obey God. Any other definition seems inadequate to me of late. As our morally crumbling society continues to grasp for “freedom,” “tolerance,” and “authenticity,” I inwardly cringe under the misuse and vacuous weight of what those words carry in meaning to our culture.

Effective Government: The Foundation for All Our Work

June 2014 “I am the vine, you are the branches; apart from Me you can do nothing.” —John 15:5 If our government is not effectively working in our lives, families, churches, or nation, whatever we are trying to accomplish will greatly suffer. Government is the foundational platform from which all human activity flows. God’s Kingdom

What Goes Up with Us When We Die?

May 2014 “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with

The 2014 Elections: Yours Not to Lose

April 2014 As many of you around the world know, we are about to experience our mid-term elections of Congress here in the US. As some of you also know, there is a common dictum swirling around that says, “There are two political parties in Washington: the evil party and the stupid party.” It shouldn’t

The Iceberg Effect

March 2014  This year, the theme of Strategic Christian Service’s annual Transforum conference deals with what I call the “Iceberg Effect.” The Iceberg Effect is the common mistake of misreading or misperceiving the true dimensions of a problem or action because, like an iceberg, we see only about one-eighth of its true size or potential

Facing What’s Really There

February 2014 “There will be peace in our time.” —Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister of the U.K., 1938 History, if it proves anything, proves that bad things happen when leaders and nations refuse to deal with what is obvious. Neville Chamberlain’s above quote is infamous. When faced with the stark realities of Hitler’s intentions to conquer

Nelson Mandela

January 2014 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God”. -Matthew 5:9 I had the privilege of meeting Nelson Mandela at the Whitehouse some years ago. Without being unkind, the contrast between him and the Clintons was significant. That being said, Nelson Mandela was right near the top of anyone I

On Apathetic Ignorance: Commitment & God’s Kingdom

December 2013 “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.” —Hebrews 4:9-10 (NIV)  As we close 2013 and move toward yet greater social chaos in 2014, it behooves us to reflect on where we are both personally


November 2013 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” —Psalm 100:4 The entry point into God’s presence is through thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is humility in action; it demonstrates both

Opinions, Values & Principles: It’s a Bad Time to Be Confused

September 2013 In a period of crisis and uncertainty, it is a really bad time to be confused about the basis upon which sound decisions are made. In a crisis, a clear head is largely the only ticket out. Indeed, most social crises are caused by large numbers of people—especially leaders—being “lost” relative to the

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