Several years ago a group of Christian missionaries met in Delhi, India, with representatives of other religions to discuss their beliefs. In the course of their talks, a member of a major non-Christian religion said to a missionary, "Tell me one thing your religion can offer the Indians that mine can't." The missionary thought for a moment and replied, "Forgiveness! Forgiveness!"
Without a doubt, this is a self-indulgent, demanding age. People want what they want, and they want it now. And when they get it, they only want more. That's true not only of undisciplined children but also of adults. "An undisciplined adult," wrote David Augsburger, "is just a child who has grown old."
Rosa Parks' refusal in 1955 to give her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama, was a turning point in the civil rights struggle. So in 1994, the public was stunned when 80-year-old Rosa was robbed and mugged in her home by an intruder. A short time later, an alert citizen recognized the suspect from a police photo and with a friend held Rosa's mugger until police could arrive.
If somebody killed your child, could you ever forgive him? By God's grace the raging desire for revenge might eventually die down within our hearts, but most of us would probably prefer never to see that person again nor to help him in any way.
When Milton J. Petrie died at the age of 92, his lifelong pattern of generous giving continued. The newspaper headline reporting his death said: Millionaire's Death Doesn't Stop His Generosity.
It was my privilege to spend time with a group of church leaders at a pastors conference. It soon became evident that the rugged demands of the pastorate and the idealistic expectations of some congregations were taking a toll on these faithful servants of the Lord. Some were burned out and emotionally exhausted. Others were asking hard questions about the primary responsibilities of a pastor and how to find time for everything.
Norman Kotker decided to find out for himself whether Podunk, which in our language serves "as a symbol of utter insignificance," actually exists. He learned that there are several US towns bearing that name, including one in his home state of Massachusetts. His search for the town was an amusing, somewhat frustrating adventure. But finally he found Podunk Road which led him to a housing development and the old Podunk cemetery.
The fifth-grader watched her father struggling under the hot sun to cut the grass on the family's sizable yard. When he was finally done, she said to him, "Daddy, I wish we had a riding lawn mower. I'm going to buy you one." She did more than make what seemed like an impossible promise. She began praying for a riding mower for her dad. And she began doing odd jobs to earn money.
A newspaper reported an unusual incident at a fast-food restaurant. The manager had put the day's cash in a paper bag for deposit that night, but an attendant mistook it for an order and gave it to a couple at the drive-through window.