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From Daniel’s Den…

FOCUS: A TRIBUTE TO MOM

      My mom will celebrate a birthday this week. Her birthday has fallen on the calendar just before Mother’s Day for the past 89 years. Since my older brother celebrated his 60th birthday in February, my mom has been a mom for two-thirds of her life.

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FOCUS; THE FUTURE

     About 35 years ago (1985), Michael J. Fox starred in the hit movie “Back to the Future.” The movie’s popularity prompted film makers to release “Back to the Future II” and “III.” As I recall, the basic story line of the first movie involved a contemporary family, their teenaged son and an eccentric scientist/inventor.

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FOCUS: TOO MUCH OF ME

     One day on the week following my experience with the water sprinklers during an attempt to jog at the high school football stadium, I returned to the track in order to continue my training for the summer Olympic Games that would soon occur (Note: I was preparing for the 2000 Games. In other words, I was much younger and could still run a little).

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FOCUS

     The high school football stadium in the community where I was serving as pastor had a track that encircled the field. Many mornings I would arrive at the stadium early in the morning to run (actually to jog…more like a crawl).

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ACCORDING TO THE WORD

     Children often sing, “The B-I-B-L-E, now that’s the book for me. I stand alone on the Word of God, the B-I-B-L-E.” The theme of Psalm 119 is the word of God. The psalmist highlights the theme and importance of God’s word by employing a different synonym (“law,” “statutes,” “commandments,” “word,” etc.) for God’s “word” in each verse of this longest of psalms.

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THE CONQUEST OF THE CROSS

     Dictionaries typically define “conquest” within the context of a successful military exploit as presented by “the assumption of control of a place or people by military force.”  Secondary usages define the term as “the overcoming of a problem or weakness.”

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THE CRIES FROM THE CROSS

       A neighboring church in the Louisiana city where I served as pastor hosted Holy Week services each year. Folks from both Baptist and non-Baptist churches gathered in the host church’s fellowship hall at noon to enjoy lunch and a short devotional presented by local pastors. The host pastor developed the theme and assigned the guest speakers their specific topic related to the overall theme.

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THE CLAIMS OF THE CROSS

     Dictionary definitions for the word “claim” include (1) “a written request to an organization to pay you a sum of money which you believe you are owed;” (2) “To demand something of value because you believe the item belongs to you or you have a right to it; (3) “A statement that something is true or fact although other people may not believe the claim.”

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THE CRIMES OF THE CROSS

     “If everyone obeyed the 10 Commandments, we would have no 10 o’clock news”  was presented on the marquis of a fuel mart on Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans several years ago. While some folks might be prone to agree with that statement presented within the context of New Orleans, the truth offered by the statement is not limited to a particular place or geographical region. Rather, crime and those who commit crime permeate society both historically and in the present.

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THE CHRIST OF THE CROSS

     Melvin and his family attended the first church I served as pastor. His 12-year-old daughter was the first person I ever baptized. Melvin was in his early 30s, stood a little over six-feet tall, had an athletic build, shoulder-length hair, and a short beard. In many ways, Melvin looked a lot like the depiction of Jesus Christ presented in pictures.    

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