Trees and People, Showing Our True Colors

When autumn sparks into transient brilliance, it’s easy to imagine the trees are putting on a short, colorful show before winter puts them to (temporary) death. Yellows, oranges, and reds take over where green had ruled. A hillside becomes a community of color, each tree distinct, when only weeks ago their greens had blended into a soft, eye-soothing sameness. Continue reading

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The Worst Reason to ‘Unfriend’ Someone: She Wants You to Be Better

It’s painful to see phony news from fake news websites appearing on my Christian friends’ Facebook feeds. It’s even more painful to be “unfriended” after challenging them.

Did ABC News Say the President Banned the Pledge?

This item on mashes up a photo of a very young President Obama with an entirely made-up “news article” about a ban on the Pledge of Allegiance.


How is it that people don’t recognize that isn’t the website for ABC News? How is it that Christians are disseminating falsehood as if it is truth?

9 Fake Charts from the ‘Federal Reserve’

Here’s another piece of misinformation I got via a Facebook friend. It claims to be a set of very dismal economic condition graphs from the Federal Reserve of St. Louis, which produces the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) charts. Continue reading

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She Couldn’t, and She Did

People May Say I Cant Sing

As Florence Foster Jenkins, Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep portrays a woman whose drive to support the musical arts kept her alive for decades longer than her diagnosis should have allowed. The program for Jenkins’ daring performance at Carnegie Hall — undoubtedly the worst vocal performance ever on that stage — is now the most requested program in the entire Carnegie Hall archives. Her vanity recordings on the Melotone label (be sure to listen!) were the label’s largest sellers. Free tickets to the Carnegie Hall concert went to 1,000 US military personnel in honor of their WWII service. And Mrs. Jenkins sang courageously, despite her utter incompetence.

“People may say I can’t sing, but no one can say I didn’t sing,” said Mrs. Jenkins.

Be sure to catch this uplifting film*, which opened this week. And then ask yourself: “What is it that ‘I can’t do’ and could do anyway?” Then: Do it!

*Potential filmgoers be aware: the PG-13 rated film represents elements of life that God considers sin, including a long-standing extramarital relationship.

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One way God could work through candidate Trump

Yesterday, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump called for foreign spies to (further) hack our national interests. Russia already has been credited with the hack of Democratic National Committee servers that permitted a Wikileak of party emails. This week, Trump urged Russia also to attempt to gain access to the email server Hillary Clinton used for State Department communications. *


In a press conference Wednesday, Donald Trump called on the Russians to dig through State Department emails.

Republican leaders, business leaders, scholars of the law, and retired senior military officials have all noted that calling for spies to access US government communications is, by definition, treason. Treason is normally an offense that lands a person in federal prison.

And maybe a prison term is the means by which God will allow Donald Trump to begin a new work of God, as so many of my conservative Christian friends expect he will.

You see, this isn’t the first time that a cloak-and-dagger assault on a presidential campaign has landed people in prison. During Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign, his team’s burglary of a suite in Washington’s Watergate Hotel put Chuck Colson, among other co-conspirators, into prison.

In prison, the late Colson became a firm believer (receiving the highly beneficial support of a weekly private Bible study under church historian and Gordon-Conwell professor Richard Lovelace). On release, he founded Prison Fellowship, now in its fifth decade of helping those imprisoned and their families, and seeking justice system reforms.


Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson’s faith was nurtured while he served time for a campaign crime.

So now we have candidate Trump, whose Christian faith has been endorsed by numerous conservative leaders, and whose political activity has placed him — in the normal course of events — at risk of imprisonment.

Could it be possible that our next prison reformer is about to be born?

Only God knows.

Some relevant links

* Also, a day-later “just kidding” from candidate Trump


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Humility by the sea

If Thou Couldst Empty All Thyself of Self

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