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Joyous Envy

“Oh, I wish I could play the piano like you do!” How many times have I heard this comment over the years? “But I’ll bet you wouldn’t want to spend all of the hours in lessons and practicing,” is my usual response. And then we both smile in the recognition that their envy is actually a joyous expression of an appreciation for my musical gift. The Bible tells us not to covet, not to scheme so that we benefit from another’s loss (Ex.20:17). Jealousy is all part of this. We’re also instructed over and over in the New Testament not to let jealousy and envy destroy our relationships (1 Cor. 13:4; Gal. 5:26; James 3:16). Jesus Himself includes envy when He warns us about what can ruin our inward na

Impossible Improvements

“Which is better… 1 or 2?… A or B? Now is this one better… or is it worse?” After about ten minutes of eyes straining at the chart, trying to decide which answer to give, hoping he wasn’t giving me trick questions, I settled back into my chair and waited for the eye doctor’s results. “Well, the vision in your left eye is improving, so I’ll have to readjust the power in that lens.” “Did you say improving?” After almost sixty years of hearing the bad news that my lenses would be getting thicker and thicker, there was hope! He told me it was one of the benefits of aging, nearsighted eyes. They do improve. Unfortunately, according to the rate I was going, he said I’d have to live to be more than

The Anchor You Can Trust

“Mommy! Help me with this worm. Please, Mommy!” “Just a minute. Mommy needs to row out a little farther and let down the anchor again.” I had taken my three little ones out fishing one bright, sunny afternoon. The rock pile that was always a good hideout for bass and perch was just a hundred yards or so offshore… an easy row and shallow enough for the anchor rope. I let the rope on the winch run out, and it stopped, presumably with the anchor resting on the lake bottom. But as I set each child up with pole and bait, I noticed we were slowly drifting toward shore. Several times I cranked up the anchor, rowed out again, and released the winch. Same result. After about an hour of this nonsense,

What's in a name?

"If you call me at the restaurant and you don't hear anything when someone picks up the phone, just start talking. It's me." When I was a student in clinical voice disorders, my client stuttered. His greatest fear was saying his own name. Imagine that! Unfortunately for him, his father had the same first name, and it was the first word in the name of the family business. Every time he answered the phone in the restaurant, he froze. Poor Tony! Afraid of his own name! Our God is very concerned about His name. He knows that a name can define power. But it can also create limitations. That’s why He said, “Call me Yahweh… I Am” (Ex. 3: 13-14). He’s so beyond our human ability to grasp, that it’s

Restoring the Joy

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