What Can the Past Ever Say to Us?


“I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.” 2 Pet. 1:15

There is a pervasive attitude among many in the modern world that discounts the value of anything from the past for the present. As life has sped up through technology and soundbites, many discount the past by saying, “What can the past ever say to us?” Os Guinness (author of Impossible People) says we live with an “absurd ‘anti-oldies’ movement”. With such a view, things like music, values, traditions that are older than a decade are simply rejected as obsolete. Guinness quotes one conservative British cabinet members as saying, “Someone needs to fight the selfish, shortsighted old. They are the past, not the future.”

Our Words Matter

Words Have Power

“A healing tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it crushes the spirit.”  Prov. 15:4 (NASB)

While a student at Denver Seminary (a very long time ago), then president Dr. Vernon Grounds, made an indelible impression upon this young, naïve seminarian. Dr. Grounds went out of his way to greet each student he encountered with a genuine word of encouragement and value. That was his way, and in his company, not only did I feel like the most important person on campus, I also knew that he believed God had great plans for my life.

There was, on the other hand, a professor who didn’t particularly care for me, and who made it very clear that he considered me nothing more than an “average” student who, in his opinion, “would never amount to anything.”  Which of the two do you think stirred life and hope into my spirit, and which crushed my spirit? I wish I could say that Dr. Grounds’ life-giving words had more impact on me than the latter, but for a long time I felt my spirit crushed -- something very hard to repair.

The spirit of children and youth are especially easily damaged and crushed by our words, if we are careless with them.

What Can We Learn from a Dog-Whisperer?

Man Training Dog

Several years ago, the famous dog-whisperer, Cesar Millan, caught the attention of a lot of parents, leading some parents to asking whether his methods for dog training could apply in their own practice of childrearing. While Mr. Millan doesn’t specifically counsel parents about childrearing, he did offer his personal thoughts about it in a 2009 New York Times article by Marcia Segelstein.

Asked if he thought his techniques could apply to parenting, Cesar said he follows “a more traditional, hierarchical child-rearing philosophy. In America,” he commented, “kids have too many options when they need only one: ‘Just do it, because…’”

Segelstein suggests that the challenges facing today’s parents may have a lot to do with

Will You Finish First or Finish Well?

Runner Through Finish Line

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Tim. 4:7

Some years ago, I ran across an article on persistence that I had tucked away in my files. I have no idea who the author might be, but I thought I would share a few excerpts from the article for you to ponder. I am sorry I am not able to give proper credit to the writer, but I suspect he or she won’t mind. I have made a few of my own comments which I have italicized and placed in brackets so you know they were not in the original article.


“Persistent action follows commitment—that is, you first must be committed to something before you’ll persist to achieve it...” –Jeff Keller

I recently purchased a copy of William J. Bennett’s book, The Children’s Book of Virtues. I love to read one of its stories to my grandchildren—the fable of the tortoise and hare. You will remember that the persistent effort of the tortoise paid off in attaining the finish line while the much fleeter hare slept along the trail.

Are You the Real McCoy?


The days of the blameless are known to the Lord, and their inheritance will endure forever. Psalm 37:18

A few years ago, my grandson, Corban, and I visited the Western Museum of Mining and Industry in Colorado Spring. We were fascinated by the large steam engines housed there that had been used in the mining industry in the early 1900’s. Each engine depended upon several McCoy oil cups to keep the engines well-oiled and functioning. The McCoy oil cups were a popular and efficient system, and soon inferior copycat versions of the oil cup appeared. Unfortunately, they never measured up to the quality and performance of the original McCoy oil cup. After repeated failures, operators were soon demanding the “real McCoy” to keep their machinery operating.

In the arena of faith, a genuine follower of Christ—the “real McCoy”—is recognized not only by their talk, but also their walk. It’s being able to say like the apostle Paul,

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Latest Comments

  • What Can the Past Ever Say to Us?

    03.26.2017 13:47
    Amen! I agree wholeheartedly! In my blog and classes I teach, I encourage people to write their ...


  • Our Words Matter

    03.12.2017 15:07
    P.S. Have never seen a more powerful picture to describe your topic than that which you used today!


  • Our Words Matter

    03.12.2017 15:04
    Omigosh! What a powerful message! And how entirely true! Affirming words from grandparents can go ...


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