Being Wanted, Part One

Her voice was weak and fearful as she spoke to me over the phone. It was almost midnight and she kept apologizing . . . but she was so lonely and wanted someone to listen to her. I never got her name nor her address nor enough hints about her location to follow up our conversation. Her desperate story broke my heart. I actually wept after she said, “Good-bye—thanks for listening.”

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Remembering Names, Part Two

Okay . . . there you stand, getting introduced to someone. How are you going to remember the person’s name? Well, you’re already of the mind-set that this meeting and the person are very important. You remember that from yesterday, right? Okay, so now zero in first on one major thing—the name, nothing else, for a few seconds. Ignore all distractions and peripheral activity. Listen for one thing, the name. That is your goal, after all.

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Remembering Names, Part One

Remembering is a skill. Sure, there are those who have been blessed with a good memory. But they are exceptions. For most of us, remembering is a skill, like speaking in public, singing, reading, thinking, or swimming. We improve at a skill by hard work—direct effort applied with a good deal of concentration, mixed with proper know-how.

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Who Cares?

Who really cared? His was a routine admission to busy Bellevue Hospital. A charity case, one among hundreds. A bum from the Bowery with a slashed throat. The Bowery . . . last stop before the morgue. Synonym of filth, loneliness, cheap booze, drugs, and disease. The details of what had happened in the predawn of that chilly winter’s morning were fuzzy. The nurse probably shrugged it off.

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Keeping Good Company

In our continuing quest for divine wisdom, I have suggested, first, that we read Proverbs regularly and, second, that we gain the perspective of experienced, godly believers. We must also guard what we have. Choose your friends carefully. My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause;

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Sowers of Dissension

The last two abominations break from the pattern of using body parts as illustrations. The Lord finds these activities detestable, and they are linked together because they have similar effects on the community of God’s people. 6. A false witness who utters lies: Rare are the truth tellers, and many are those who deliberately misrepresent the facts.

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Anger against God’s Enemies

As David thought about God’s intricate design of humanity in Psalm 139, and he pondered the Lord’s loyal love for each individual He took such care to fashion and endow with purpose, the king grew angry at the enemies of God. How ungrateful. How disloyal! How outrageous that they should rebel!

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Cooperation

Great civilizations often achieve great things because they have a great leader who casts a vision, marshals their resources, organizes their members, inspires their action, and of course, goes before them. People generally fare better when they have a leader, when someone helps them cooperate and accomplish what can only be achieved with a coordinated effort. But what if there is no leader?

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Response to Others

Psalm 101, David’s spiritual manifesto in song, began with a list of admirable qualities the king desired to cultivate. He then took a good look around him to determine how he would respond to different kinds of individuals based on their positive or negative influence. The Blameless. He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me. (101:6b)

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A Midwinter Poem

AS WE MOVE TOWARD the close of this year, we must refocus our priorities. Here is an anchor passage for us as we end one year and begin another: Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. HEBREWS 10:23–24

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