A Call Confirmed

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Truth is stranger than fiction. The adage proved itself one October night in a small-town church. When an uncommon word astonished a gathering and helped frame a destiny. Rising from my seat next to friend and mentor, David Mulford, my response felt surreal. Like an out-of-body Sci-Fi character I advanced toward the sanctuary altar. Each step added to the emotion….

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Signposts

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The spindly lady of the Bluegrass State bought me time. Mrs. Hottenstein’s sponsorship gift achieved what she’d hoped. Freed me to attend more to my college work at hand. And the extra hours away from the teletype keys meant added time with my young nurse-student wife. That meant a lot. Our ships-passing-in-the-night could sit a few more minutes each day…

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Mother

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*today’s post is in current time, a departure from my usual narratives out of a more distant past. I’m in Africa. A ministry visit. Thank you for your time and for joining in special prayer. *** Tanzania, my country host, lies mourning. The bright young students held such promise, their minds fired up for the day’s challenge. That was reality…

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A Curious Mercy

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My host brings me hot tea and we talk of yesterday’s murder of his young brother. Nashon Gibuke, my host, was a modest spiritual shepherd entrusted with the care of an equally modest gathering of believers, young in the faith. By the time of this visit he had served as pastor for barely thirty months. Had recived the leanest of…

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Death Valley

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There in the African Savannah where acacia trees with their flat-topped enchanting forms dot the landscape, an adolescent boy, a humble cattle-tender, was cornered by thieving attackers. He made a futile attempt to seek refuge among his father’s herd of semi-nourished cows – the bounty his attackers pursued. Horrifying moments raced like short distance sprinters toward the finish tape until…

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Solace For Mourning

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My foolish act, passing an anguished mother along a roadside so I could make a preaching appointment, kept me stuck in long-term remorse. For years I periodically revisited in my mind’s eye the awful scene. Each time, left sorrowing, self-detesting, grieved. I had been given, at my own hand, a teaching moment of a severe kind. Any hearing the term…

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Conditioning

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I agonized the fresh image in my mind. More than haunting, the scene from this morning of the stricken child assaulted my senses. A torment ensued. I stood behind the rough-hewn pulpit looking out at twenty worshippers. A shudder gathered in my middle back then up and across my shoulders. How could this have happened? How could I have driven…

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Time Share

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“I want you to do something.” At nine decades and counting Mrs. Hottenstein’s spunk hadn’t waned. Bypassing my questioning look, she peered at me through steel-trimmed lenses. Not unkindly. Still she certainly meant business. But about what? “I need you and Ann to bring me details of your employment earnings, along with your overall monthly budget.” Again, no pause to…

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Kentucky Surprise

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“Fill ‘er up young man and check the oil, get the windows sparkling and, yes, run that vacuum of yours above and beneath the floor mats.” It is common knowledge that many college kids scrape to get by. Such was our world in those days of self-service at the pump. My young bride and I liked San Antonio with its…

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Strong Language

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“Hey Gary, got a minute to listen to my water pump? It’s got a clatter goin’ on.” Minutes later, socket and ratchet in hand, the wiry young man wriggled beneath his fellow student’s old car. He felt as at home here as an armadillo in this South Texas heat. It was why Gary Pokorney’s conquest in Korea left me mildly…

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