Comparison

If I may select a well-known phrase from the cobwebs of the fourteenth century and wipe away the dust to garner your attention, it is: COMPARISONS ARE ODIOUS. Odious . . . disgusting, detestable. If you want to be a miserable mortal, then compare. You compare when you place someone beside someone else for the purpose of emphasizing the differences or showing the likenesses. This applies to places and things as well as people.

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Keeping Your Word

March 11, 1942, was a dark, desperate day at Corregidor. The Pacific theater of war was threatening and bleak. One island after another had been buffeted into submission. The enemy was now marching into the Philippines as confident and methodical as the star band in the Rose Bowl parade. Surrender was inevitable. The brilliant and bold soldier, Douglas MacArthur, had only three words for his comrades . . .

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Rumors

Abraham Lincoln’s coffin was pried open twice. The first occasion was in 1887, twenty-two long years after his assassination. Why? You may be surprised to know it was not to determine if he had died of a bullet fired from John Wilkes Booth’s derringer. Then why? Because a rumor was sweeping the country that his coffin was empty.

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Nit-Picking

TWO CONGREGATIONS OF differing denominations were located only a few blocks from each other in a small community. They thought it might be better if they would merge and become one united body, larger and more effective, rather than two struggling churches. Good idea . . . but both were too petty to pull it off. The problem? They couldn’t agree on how they would recite the Lord’s Prayer.

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Our Words Matter Much

ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S COFFIN WAS pried open on more than one occasion. Once in 1887, twenty-two years after his assassination. Why? It was not to determine if he had died of a bullet fired from John Wilkes Booth’s derringer. Then why? Because a rumor was sweeping the country that his coffin was empty. A select group of witnesses observed that the rumor was totally false, then watched as the casket was resealed with lead.

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When You Grow Up

“WHAT DO YOU WANT TO be when you grow up?” The answers we receive are all over the map. One youngster recently told me he wanted to be either a car mechanic or a garbage collector. When I asked why, he gave the classic nine-year-old response: “So I can get dirty!” I smiled and understood as I reflected on my own childhood.

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Making a Thorough Self-Evaluation

I’LL NEVER FORGET SOMETHING I heard on the radio several years ago. A woman in West Palm Beach, Florida, died alone at the age of seventy-one. The coroner’s report was tragic. “Cause of death: malnutrition.” The dear lady wasted away to fifty pounds. Investigators who found her said the place where she lived was a veritable pigpen. One seasoned inspector declared he’d never seen a residence in greater disarray.

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When Actions Matter More than Words

THE CHRISTIANS IN THE Macedonian churches were servants who gave without any concern about receiving the credit for their generosity. But Paul reveals something else remarkable about the nature of their gift: Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor.

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A Gift That Overflows

THE CHRISTIANS IN THE Macedonian churches were servants who gave without any concern about receiving the credit for their generosity. But Paul reveals something else remarkable about the nature of their gift: Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia.

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Humility and Inferiority

PART OF HUMILITY IS HAVING a preset mentality that determines thoughts like this: “I care about those around me.” “Why do I have to be first? Today I’m going to help someone else win.” “It’s my sincere desire to curb my competitive tendencies and turn that energy into encouraging at least one other person.”

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