Chad* called me and asked if I would meet with him and a criminal investigator. When I arrived at the meeting, Chad explained that a former leader, Pat, he had worked with, had moved to his hometown and was lobbying to join a historical organization of which Chad was a member. He then went on to explain how decades earlier, this member had badly hurt him professionally. As he described the events his body stiffened, his face contorted and it was obvious that he was under stress just retelling the story.
Have you ever been frustrated by something that should work and doesn’t? For the last several months I’ve had a rotten time trying to charge my phone. I purchased several charging cords but the connection always seemed to be an issue to the point where many times I would have to hold the phone and firmly push the cord to get a steady charge. I was just about to take the phone into the store and replace it when I had an idea. Taking a pin I probed the cavity where the cord connected and immediately all kinds of dirt and matted hair began to come loose. Honestly, I felt pretty foolish—no wonder the phone was not properly charging—it was plugged up with debris.
Teta peered at us from behind the counter of the small store nested next to the Kigali Genocide Memorial. Softly, we asked her if she had experienced the awful slaughtering that began on April 6, 1994 in Rwanda and she nodded her head yes. At the age of six her entire family was massacred. Crazed Hutus began ridding the earth of their Tutsi countrymen. Pastor David asked her if she was able to forgive the perpetrators who made her an orphan. She somberly replied, “Forgiveness is a big word.” Then she explained that 24 years later, she could not forget what was done to her family and to herself and, in that remembering, there was an unwillingness to forgive.
Have you ever had a boss that was so toxic, so unrealistic in his or her demands, and so arrogant that you just wished you could find a flight to any island on the planet to escape? Angry bosses cause enormous stress. Violently angry bosses are worse—they are actually dangerous. What is one to do when faced with a hostile work environment where the one in charge does not care about your observations or concerns and threatens your safety?
Michael "Mikey" Weinstein allegesthat while a cadet at the Air Force Academy (AFA) he was psychologically harassed, faced anti-Semitic slurs, death threats, and “two incidents of hazing where he was ambushed, beaten, and in one case hospitalized.” Both of his sons who also attended the AFA, also experienced Christian proselytizing and derogatory statements directed at their Jewish heritage. Weinstein decided that the best approach to eliminating anti-Semitism and Christian proselytizing was to launch the Military Religious Freedom Foundation(MRFF),“formed as a watchdog organization to protect religious freedom in the military in accordance with Department of Defense Directive 1300.17, Accommodation of Religious Practices Within the Military Services.” MRFF was nominated on five occasions for the Nobel Peace Prize.
You could hear them screaming at each other five offices away. Heads poked out to see what was going on—I was afraid words would escalate to blows, but fortunately that did not happen. Don looked like he was going to have a heart attack, his face was beet red and he was shaking. Rich’s jaw was clenched and his palms rolled into fists but with three of us coaxing we managed to get them separated and back into their own offices.
I asked Rich what happened. He said he went into Don’s office to ask how Allie was doing on the project she was working with him. Don told him she was worthless and to get out of his office, he was sick of taking Rich’s broken employees and felt like Rich deliberately was out to make his life miserable. Rich said the way Don spoke penetrated his brain and hit his anger button. He knew Allie had her weak areas but he was proud of her hard work and resented Don’s judgmental attitude. Furthermore he didn’t appreciate the way the older manager always blamed people instead of trying to get along. So instead of finding a response to deescalate the tension, he spoke the first thought that raced across his brain, “Don you are a loser and I’m sick of trying to help you.” Those words brought Don out of his chair and began a two-minute shouting match.
Jadon is almost 21 months old and being his grandpa is one of life’s great blessings. Jadon’s first word was “ball.” Virtually as soon as he learned how to walk he began kicking balls. He will walk and run around the room for quite awhile either throwing or kicking soccer balls, footballs, tennis balls (well you get the idea) and it is amazing to see his coordination. Jadon’s first phrase was “I love you” which he learned from Mark and Sarah. But his first connection of two different words was “more food.” Mentally he figured it out that more combined with food communicated that he was still hungry.
Colossians 3:5,8,12,13—Therefore, put to death what belongs to your worldly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry . . . But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth . . . Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.
1 Samuel 2:6-8—The LORD brings death and gives life; He sends some to Sheol, and He raises others up. The LORD brings poverty and gives wealth; He humbles and He exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the garbage pile. He seats them with noblemen and gives them a throne of honor. For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s; He has set the world on them.
I am convinced that I have found one of the causes of cancer—it’s a small mass of cells that when left on its own rapidly grows into a destructive monster. The cells are called assumptions.
This is another one of those topics most of us would rather not be bothered with—to our own peril. We want God to be just and fair but we often fail to understand that His fairness is effectual because of what lies underneath it—His wrath. How can anger have anything to do with fairness? Well, let someone try and grab your daughter and abuse her and you’ll have a good idea. Watch someone blatantly run a red light and see if your blood begins to boil. The Bible teaches us that “God is a righteous judge and a God who shows His wrath every day” (Psalm 7:11).
Sam walked from the studio into the sanctuary. The amplifier levels were set incorrectly and the sound in the room from the instruments was unbalanced. So he adjusted the levels on the soundboard and moved the amp volumes up to full power. He removed the old paper arrows taped to the board assigning each channel a specific level. Now the system sounded great. Sam was pleased he had helped the church.
The more I looked at the bill the madder I got. It was ridiculous, outrageous, sheer robbery! So I called the phone company. I asked the customer service representative how Pluto* could justify charging me $14.47 for a three minute collect call. He said I was not a Pluto client and therefore I had to pay the connection fee and the high rate charged. Attempting to control my rising ire, I explained that this was a great way to ensure I would never be one of their customers. He was unsympathetic, unconcerned and suggested that’s what I get for making a collect call.
2 Chronicles 24:2—Joash did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight throughout the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest. (NLT)
2 Timothy 2:20,21--Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver bowls, but also those of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.