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Al Capone. Back in the Roaring 20s, hearing that name could send shivers down your spine! Capone was Chicago’s most infamous prohibition-era crime boss. He was best known for his violence and ruthlessness in eliminating his rivals. Besides taking down seven rival gang members in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, he was not above killing on a more personal nature.
The phone rings. Your child has the flu and has thrown up all over the sofa, and someone just rang your doorbell. You have a stack of books begging to be read, you still haven’t caught up with your emails, and your son needs to be dropped off at soccer practice. It’s really hard to remain focused these days, isn’t it?! Our lives are filled with the urgent, and we seem to have little to no time for the eternal and issues that really matter. It’s like a hippo in a garden - hard to see what truly matters with a large herbivorous creature taking front and center!
Back in the 50s and 60s, when I was growing up, my father would often round up all of our rubbish, debris, and leaves, load them into his power-blue GMC pickup truck and haul everything off to the local dump. I often went with him, checking out all the cook junk - all sorts of things - broken furniture, old toys, broken appliances, etc. There is a saying among archeologists: “Man is best described by what he leaves behind.” I believe it. Even the Bible confirms this with a verse out of Hebrews 11:4: “He, being dead, yet he speaks” Apparently, both our trash and our lives speak well beyond the grave!
Yes, yes I know - the word 'unite' is misspelled. 'Untie' - 'unite' - but does it really matter? Does it matter if we say 2 + 2 = 11, or that a dog is an elephant?? Pretty crazy stuff, but I think we'd better get our "truth" act together or the mess we're allowing to creep into our families and through our communities will only get worse.
One sunny afternoon, as Bob and I drove down Lamb’s Canyon, we noticed about fifteen people lined up along the top of a deep ravine, just staring down into the side of the canyon. Thinking something was amiss, we pulled over and joined the lookie-loos. And then we saw it - a car had plunged down the steep side of the hill and had flipped over at the bottom, leaving two scared teens in distress. One was standing but his friend was not moving and laying flat on his back.
Years ago, we had a wonderful family plugged into our church. Mom, dad, and two kids - a son and a daughter. One day after our Sunday church service, the husband, whom I will call John, approached my husband for prayer. It seems that his business was slowing down and he desperately needed it to pick up and prosper. So Bob prayed with John for his business to thrive.
Several years ago, a lady came into our church offices seeking financial advice. It seems that she had “fallen in love” with someone in Nigeria (sight unseen) and had been sending that person lots and lots of money - per their request - believing they would soon come to America and engage in . . . wedded bliss. She had lost most of her savings and now that her money was gone, so was he. She was deceived, of course - hoodwinked out of her life savings.
1-3. (a) Why might Esther have felt intimidated by the prospect of approaching her husband? (b) We will discuss what questions regarding Esther?
Like many of you, I grew up in church. Back then, church was quiet. Shhhh…Once you entered through the sanctuary doors, there seemed to be a mood of solemness. As a kid, I thought if I sneezed too loudly it was a terrible thing. But things change - Hallelujah - and today, many churches now see themselves as places of Godly celebration and fellowship. I’m convinced that Jesus had great spirited meetings and that laughter, excitement, and passion were always in play.
Wayyy back in my high school days, we were required to take Spanish. I have to admit being bilingual was apparently not my thing, but this I do remember; whenever our class was getting too loud for our teacher, she would yell out, “Escutcheon por favor! Escuchen!” Translated - listen please. Listen. It seems to be my one big takeaway from two years of Spanish. I even used that line on my own children when they were young.