God’s Aware of Your Tears

TEARS HAVE A LANGUAGE ALL THEIR OWN, needing no interpreter. In some mysterious way, our inner-communication system knows its verbal limitations, and the tears come. Eyes that flashed and sparkled moments before are flooded. Tears are not self-conscious. They can spring upon us when we are in public or standing beside others who look to us for strength.

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Two Questions

WHEN COMPARING THE ACTS OF forgiving and forgetting, I believe forgetting is the tougher assignment. Why? Because forgetting is something that is shared with no other person. It’s a solo flight. All the rewards are postponed until eternity . . . but how great they will be on that day!

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When God Forgives

TRUTH BE TOLD, it’s God’s forgiveness of us that makes it possible for us to forgive others. Jesus Christ paid in full the penalty for our sin. God’s wrath was expressed against Him—the One who took our place. God was therefore satisfied in His Son’s sacrifice . . . allowing all who would turn, in faith, to the Savior to be totally forgiven. Christ’s blood washed away our sin.

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A Psalm of Thanksgiving

BY NOW, YOU’VE NOTICED I’ve got a love affair going with Thanksgiving. It has been going on as far back as I can remember. Hands down, it’s my favorite holiday of all. Here’s why . . . First, there is no way it can be commercialized. Have you noticed? Shopping centers jump from spooks to Santa . . . pumpkins to presents . . . orange and black to red and green. It’s doubtful that any of us has ever seen (or will ever see) a Pilgrim hype. Just can’t be done. Except for grocery stores, merchants are mute when Thanksgiving rolls around.

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Tears at Christmas

I’VE LIVED LONG ENOUGH TO know that sometimes Christmas hurts. And when words fail, tears flow. In some remarkable way, our complex inner-communication system knows when to admit its verbal limitations and signal its need for assistance. It’s an amazing thing. Lips that previously moved freely begin to quiver.

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Songs in the Night

THERE’S NOTHING LIKE THE SONGS OF the faith to help us live beyond the grind. Why else would God have inspired those age-old compositions? Surely, He realized the lasting value of each musical masterpiece and therefore preserved them to help us persevere. They drip with the oil of glory that enables us to live beyond the grind.

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The Blessings of Family

A FAMILY IS LIKE MANY THINGS, perhaps most like a garden. It needs time, attention, and cultivation. The sunshine of laughter and affirmation. It also needs the rains of difficulties, tense moments, and serious discussions about issues that matter. And there must be spadework, where hardness is broken loose and planting of fresh seeds is accomplished with lots of TLC. Someone recently passed on to me suggestions for fifteen rows worth planting:

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Blowing It

IT HAPPENS TO ALL OF US. Teachers as well as students. Cops as well as criminals. Parents as well as kids. The diligent as well as the lazy. Not even presidents are immune. Or corporation heads who earn six-figure salaries. What am I talking about? Making mistakes, that’s what. Doing the wrong thing, usually with the best of motives. And it happens with remarkable regularity. Let’s face it, success is overrated.

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Be Still and Know

AS I WRITE THIS, the thermometer registers in the nineties. The air is still and heavy. The dog is panting at my feet, the sun is high, and the birds are silent and still. Within a matter of hours night will fall, the dark sky will be ablaze with moon and stars, and sleep will force itself on me. As I slumber, life will continue uninterrupted. Appreciated or not, the canvas of nature will go on being painted by the finger of God.

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Handle with Care

THE PACKAGE ARRIVED SAFELY, the reminder “Fragile: Handle with Care” affixed to the front. Oh, it had a few scuff marks and a bent corner or two, but by and large, nothing was damaged. Inside was a photo of my family, just a picture of six people with the same last name, four of whom were delivered by God into our home between 1961 and 1970. Those four deliveries should have had the same reminder: “Fragile: Handle with Care.”

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