My neighbor seemed upset with me. Apparently I had done something that bothered her. When I asked if I had offended her, she responded with a curt “No!” I told her, “I don’t want any bad feelings between us. If I’ve done something to offend you, I apologize.” Since then the climate has remained cool.
One sunny day, four high school boys couldn’t resist the temptation to skip classes. The next morning they explained to their teacher that they had missed her class because their car had a flat tire. To their relief, she smiled and said, “Well, you missed a quiz yesterday.” But then she added, “Take your seats and get out a pencil and paper. The first question is: Which tire was flat?”
Here we are at the beginning of a new week. For many people, Monday represents the start of another monotonous cycle of work. Maybe it’s a mountain of washing and ironing, an endless quota of parts from a machine, the same dull routine on the assembly line, or the tedium of sitting at a computer.
The National Weather Service advises that if you’re ever caught out in the open during a severe lightning storm, you should kneel down, bend forward, and put your hands on your knees. Then, if lightning strikes nearby, your body will be less likely to serve as a conductor. Maximum safety depends on keeping a low physical profile.
What makes a shiny apple look so delicious? The skin, of course. But what is it about an apple that actually makes it delicious? The juice and substance inside. That’s the apple’s real "character."
When Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers who had sold him into slavery, they were speechless and "dismayed in his presence" (Genesis 45:3). Fear and guilt quickly reminded them of the heartache they had caused their aged father Jacob, as well as their brother. Joseph, sensing what was going on in their hearts, immediately reassured them before the seeds of self-blame could take root. He said, "Do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here" (v.5). Joseph knew that God had used his trials for the good of many people.
Have you ever noticed that in winter some oak trees retain their crisp, dry leaves long after the maples, the elms, and the walnuts have become bare skeletons? Even the strong winter winds and the early spring rains do not completely strip the oak branches of all their old leaves. But as springtime progresses, warmer winds blow and something wonderful begins to happen. Tiny buds start appearing at the tips of the twigs, and the dried remnants of the preceding season fall off. New life replaces the old.
The Jews clearly understood that God's commandment not to kill refers to murder-the malicious taking of human life. It doesn't forbid governments to use the death penalty or to wage war. This commandment deals solely with private morality.
I was washing my car one evening as the sun was preparing to kiss the earth goodnight. Glancing up, I impulsively pointed the hose at it as if to extinguish its flames. The absurdity of my action hit me, and I laughed.