Practical, Therapeutic, Theological Thought

The Lone Ranger Rides Again (Summer 1990)

“I wonder who’s in church this morning?” he thought as he paid his fare. He looked around. There were only a few souls on board. He found a seat, pulled out The Moviegoer, and began reading.

Practical, Therapeutic, Theological Thought (Summer 1997)

Responsibility, Commitment, and Authority are three of the stones that David took when he went to face Goliath. With these three stones, pilgrims slay giants daily. Strength to your slingshot arm!

Acting too quickly (Fall 1998)

Text: “Bodily Exercise profiteth little.” – Paul of Tarsus
Motto: “The real game is the game you are in.”

Practical, Therapeutic, Theological Thought (Summer 1999)

Unsung Heroes. The greatest heroes of our time are people who are not consuming and despoiling the earth. These people are seldom described as heroes in the news. My heroes are folks who do not ride on noisy, polluting airplanes and people who walk or ride bicycles instead of driving around in cars. These persons are often labeled non-productive and I am grateful for the contribution each of them makes to the commonwealth.

Locks, Technology, and Freedom (Fall 1999)

It is good to be sitting here in the Music Cove using pen and ink rather that typing standard characters on a keyboard. I can make the letters as I like, and I enjoy the flexibility.

Practical, Therapeutic, Theological Thought (Spring 2000)

Give up sainthood, renounce wisdom; And it will be a hundred times better for everyone

How Can We Stop Shrinking? (Summer 2000)

In the August, 2000 issue of Harper’s I read: "Average number of words in the written vocabulary of a 6 to 14-year-old American child in 1945: 25,000. Average number today: 10,000."

Practical, Therapeutic, Theological Thought (Winter 2000)

I miss the 1900s. I wish I were writing the date 1973 for example rather than 2000. Does that mean that I want to be back in 1973? Not really, I just pulled that year out of the hat. It’s the 19 that I miss and with it the idea of my life in that century.

Practical, Therapeutic, Theological Thought (Spring 2001)

Perhaps you have noticed a pianist sit for a few moments collecting herself or himself before going into action—before hitting the notes. Once started, there is no turning back. I wonder whether those are moments of letting go or times of high concentration during which the pianist mentally reviews the music. I think it is the former because there is not enough time for a complete mental review. The performer must proceed trusting memory and practice.

Leisure under Attack (Summer 2001)

I spoke with a person the other day who said that psychologists are lazy. "How about philosophy and philosophers?" I asked. "Oh Ish! Another lazy bunch." She was adamant that the state's contribution to education should not be used to subsidize "soft" things such as music, art classes, literature, etc., except perhaps as minors. The money should be spent on useful things—science, business, technological development, medicine, and the like.

Practical, Therapeutic, Theological Thought (Winter 2001-2002)

Those who "measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves among themselves, are not wise" (II Corinthians 10:12).

The End of the World (Summer 2002)

“No one can predict the date of the Second Coming or the end of the world but I cannot see anything beyond 1953.”

A Happy Coincidence (Winter 2002-2003)

Few things are better than a happy coincidence. A happy coincidence can be just about anything. It can be big; it can be small. It can be a chance meeting of a friend; it can be a surprise inheritance or relief from a burden or a reprieve of an illness. We usually think of a happy coincidence as a surprise, but it can also be planned.

Disturbed (Summer 2003)

I am disturbed because most of the momentum in public life is headed in the wrong direction. Things are headed the wrong way because the dominant political and economic power values private wealth over public wealth.

When does God smile? (Winter 2003-2004)

Was God smiling when he blessed Abraham (Genesis 22:15-18)? How could God not have been? He knew it would make Abraham happy.

Reaching out--Drawing in (Fall 2004)

Never has it seemed more important to me to reach out, to cross barriers, to break down dividing walls as Christians are called to do. Perhaps one might say that it is a time to set one's eyes and one's purpose on a different front.

A word about abbreviations (Winter 2004-2005)

I’m against them. I do not live in PA or MN or IL. I live in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, or Illinois. Isn’t that a lot better?

Providence and the Blessings of Limits (Winter 2005)

The linguistic root of provide and thus of providence is the Latin pro videre—to see ahead. Whatever the divine part of providence may be, basic human pro videre is part of its fabric. We humans know, experience, and contribute this part of providence.

Question of the deeper soul (Spring 2007)

Some people seek God intensely like Thomas a Kempis, Thomas Merton, Ghandi—millions of people. I’m not one of them, at least not now.

Thinking about two phrases (Christmas 2007)

I recently encountered this term in a review by John Gray of Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong by Marc D. Hauser. Gray told about a bonobo who displayed an “aversion to inequity” in trying to assist a bird. I knew right away what the term means. I recognize an aversion to inequity in myself and I think most humans have it more or less.

Young Turks (Spring 2008)

I don’t know how the metaphor “young Turks” got started, I’ve not checked out its meaning with anybody until now. It refers, does it not, to younger people who act with boldness and energy, and who challenge authority though they need not reject authority if it passes their test? Usually the word has a positive, respectful, even admiring connotation.

A Favorite Story (Spring/Summer 2013)

Practical, therapeutic, theological thought (Fall/Winter 2015)

Someone recently said: “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” Not bad. I’ve heard that said before. Easy to see the truth in it. I can hold out for something “perfect” and end up getting nothing.

Descartes error? (Fall/Winter 2016)

The admirable Rene Descartes realized that the human mind, his and ours, everybody included, is filled with misinformation, false claims, errors, and a lot of BS.

Life, prosperity, health (Spring/Summer 2018)

The mystery of life and personality remains and always will. It is life. Life is always on the move and cannot be captured. Our bodies of needs and urges and ultimately death that make our existence possible, quite graciously make themselves subject to our minds; we are conscious, and we live in the independence of personal life and freedom. Amazing. Astonishing. Improbable! And, yet, there it is. Here it is.

Fearlights (Fall/Winter 2018)

Is there anyone who would debate the assertion that much human activity is guided by fear? I’m not saying that is bad. After all, it has been proclaimed that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.