No substitute

It doesn’t happen often, but a new thought struck me one day. I was showing my daughter how to shoot a basketball through the hoop when the thought came. There is one person on earth for whom there is, in my case, no replacement. My friends in Africa, Tennessee and Texas can find other friends, I suppose; if I should pass away, my spouse might (and probably should) seek happiness in another marriage relationship.

But for my little daughter, there would always and only be one Dad. I was irreplaceable. In the event of my death she might be lucky enough to have a good man become her “stepfather,” but I was her one and only “Daddy.” Continue reading “No substitute”

From persecutor to proclaimer

Can you imagine how earth-shattering the news was that Saul of Tarsus had become a Christian?

He had gone to Damascus from Jerusalem to arrest Christians. He had with him letters from the high priest giving him the authority to do this (Acts 9:1-2 – keep in mind that the only Christians at this time were those who were Jewish). He was willing to travel at least 140 miles (220 km), a journey that would have taken around a week. This was one man who was determined to see Jews who were now following Jesus eradicated. Continue reading “From persecutor to proclaimer”

A secret life

When I look back on my teen years I see a repeating pattern.

In the 1960s, teens had long hair and wore bell-bottom pants with a flowery shirt. The long hair was supposed to be a sign of rebellion against the “establishment.” The evidence, though, shows otherwise. No matter how much we thought our hairstyles and clothes were different, we were all dressing alike. We were conforming to the majority of those our own age.

In a way, we were engaged in a sort of self-deception. We thought that because we looked different, we were different. Actually, we were not nonconformists. On the contrary, we looked like each other. We conformed to the way we thought we should look. Continue reading “A secret life”

Visual aids

“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV).

There is nothing like teaching an audience which does not speak your language to make one appreciate the value of visual aids. Some things just don’t translate very well. Some English words or concepts don’t have an exact equivalent in other languages. When that happens, the speaker and the translator must resort to other means in order to communicate adequately. Continue reading “Visual aids”