NOT FOR SUNDAY ONLY

Commentary by David Sisler

Columns from 1998

Your comment is welcome.
Write to me at: n4so@hotmail.com

  • SO MUCH GRACE, SO FEW TAKERS
  • In a world where we constantly seek new pleasures and new thrills, where gadgets and gadgetry become ends in themselves, there is a rare treasure, and a satisfying pleasure, to be found in a quiet house with a new book and a hot pot of coffee. To that end, allow me to suggest two books, whose titles sound worlds apart, but upon close reading, may not be so different at all.
    (December 26, 1998)

  • A CHRISTMAS CARD
  • There is no lace, no cuddly cherubs, no "personalized signature" stamped in gold foil, but please open the Christmas card I have written just for you.
    (December 19, 1998)

  • THOSE WHO ARE PUNISHED, TEACH
  • Teaching is not a job into which you are promoted, but a job into which you are demoted. Supervision is all, teaching is nothing. Or at least that is the way the Richmond County (GA) Board of Education makes it appear.
    (December 12, 1998)

  • HERE'S WISHING YOU A "HAPPY SPARKLE SEASON"
  • The inmates are in charge of the asylum. Jersey City, NJ celebrates its ethnic and religious diversity all year long. Guess which two religion's symbols these uncivil folks have brought suit against?
    (December 5, 1998)

  • THREE CHRISTMAS PRESENTS YOUR WIFE WILL NOT RETURN
  • Searching for that perfect gift? One she absolutely will not want to return or exchange? Read on!
    (November 28, 1998)

  • THE COLLECTION
  • "Once upon a time, which is all times and no times, but not the very best of times, there was a castle..." (Briar Rose, by Jane Yolen).
    (November 21, 1998)

  • TO RUSSIA WITH LOVE
  • In six weeks I will be making my eleventh trip to Samara, Russia. Accompanied by a dozen hearty souls, we will visit four orphanages, sharing the bounties of our country with some very special young people. This time, I need your help.
    (November 21, 1998)

  • JIM JONES, JONESTOWN, AND JESUS CHRIST
  • The nation of Guyana has much natural beauty, many rivers and waterfalls, but many Americans do not think about beauty when they think about Guyana. They think about Jim Jones and the deaths by murder or suicide of 913 members of his Peoples Temple Full Gospel Church 20 years ago.
    (November 14, 1998)

  • WHEN YOUR PAST IS NOT YOUR FUTURE
  • Imagine having your entire life defined by one moment, and not your best moment at that.
    (November 7, 1998)

  • WHEN THERE ARE NO DEFINITES, ONLY MAYBES
  • The two articles were very dissimilar, but perhaps not dissimilar at all. One was a straight news story, the other, an opinion piece. But, hey, that's okay. These are the 90s!
    (October 31, 1998)

  • BEANIE BABIES
  • 15,000 unsold seats for baseball's second best ticket could have been filled if the promoters had remembered two words: Beanie Babies.
    (October 17, 1998)

  • WHEN INFIRMITIES OVERTAKE
  • The man is a quarter century past the Biblical three score years and ten. He has walked faithfully with God his entire life. But in these days of inactivity, a condition brought on not by choice, but by infirmity, he needs reassurance. He is afraid. "Afraid" seems so polite, so unemotional. He is just plain scared. Can you understand that?
    (October 10, 1998)

  • THE COMPUTER ROOM
  • Today is the day I get my own personal, private computer room. But first I have a wedding to attend and a daughter to give away.
    (October 3, 1998)

  • WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT
  • What is it about baseball that "the national past time" needs a "savior?" This year baseball has two "saviors:" Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. In 1995 it had one Cal Ripken, Jr. A few days ago, Cal ended The Streak, saying, "I think the time is right."
    (September 26, 1998)

  • TAKING SIN SERIOUSLY
  • Before this year most people did not know David, king of Israel, from Howard Johnson. At best we knew he wrote an old poem that talked about sheep, shepherds and overrunning cups. Oh, and there was that thing with the woman in her bath. Then because private events were made public we looked his story up. We learned that David's private life was exposed by God. We learned that David repented and was forgiven. Most of us still never learned how serious was the sin of which David repented.
    (September 19, 1998)

  • AN ACT OF GOD
  • You've heard it before a natural calamity strikes and every one calls it "an act of God." Just what does that mean?
    (September 12, 1998)

  • WHATEVER HAPPENED TO "BE CONTENT WITH YOUR WAGES?"
  • "Be content with your wages" is probably not a popular text in the union hall this Labor Day weekend (or any other time, for that matter). It becomes increasingly less popular when it is viewed in its context: John the Baptist's call for personal repentance.
    (September 5, 1998)

  • MY HANDS ARE EMPTY
  • I picked up a rock. President Clinton, by his own admission, and by all of the testimony against him, is guilty. And it is about sex. And it is about lying. And it is about abuse of trust, no matter what the spin doctors want you to believe. It is not about prying prosecutors, no matter what the spin doctors want you to believe. It is about sin.
    (August 29, 1998)

  • THIRTY YEARS WITH THE WRONG WOMAN
  • It is a song that never made the Top 40 list. To my knowledge, it has been sung by only two men, to very limited audiences. It is required that you sing it with a twinkle in your eye (if you do not, that eye may change colors to black and blue).
    (August 22, 1998)

  • FORGIVE? HOW MUCH?
  • If you lived in Volgograd, Russia, could you forgive the Nazis who destroyed the old city, called Stalingrad, and caused the deaths of a million of your countrymen? If you lost a loved one in the Kenya and Tanzania embassy bombings, could you forgive the terrorists? If your husband was clubbed by thugs and died from the attack, could you forgive them? Should you? If so, how much?
    (August 15, 1998)

  • UNITED METHODISTS, BOY SCOUTS AND HOMOSEXUALITY
  • "We respect other people and other people's beliefs," says Boy Scouts national spokesman Gregg Shields. "We simply ask everyone to respect our rights to hold our own beliefs."
    "In churches where ungodliness and apostasy prevail, the evil of schism rests on those who make it impossible to stay:" John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church.
    (August 8, 1998)

  • LET THERE BE LIGHTBULB JOKES
  • The humble "Lightbulb Joke." It pokes fun at our faults and foibles, real and imagined.
    (August 1, 1998)

  • MISTAKES AND THE APPLE
  • Adam said, "It's not my fault!" Eve said, "It's not my fault!" When I turned the wrong way onto a one way street, I said, "It's not my fault!" Well, whose fault is it?
    (July 25, 1998)

  • WOMEN'S RIGHTS: HAPPY ANNIVERSARY?
  • The Women's Rights Movement marks July 13, 1848 as its birthday. Some thoughts as the movement celebrates number 150.
    (July 18, 1998)

  • IN SPITE OF THE RISK
  • In spite of the known risks, we continue to do things that may harm us and may even kill us. If they don't kill us, our actions may prove fatal to someone else.
    (July 11, 1998)

  • SHAMING SACRED HONOR
  • "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our fortunes and our sacred Honor." What did that mean for the 56 mean who signed the Declaration of Independence? And what does it mean for Americans today?
    (July 4, 1998)

  • THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW EXISTED
  • What do you do when for the second week in a row, no "lasting tribute to Princess Di" is available for purchase? Hope for a great catalog.
    (June 27, 1998)

  • WANTED: DADDIES!
  • To all fathers everywhere, who understand that being a father is more than a biological function, who joyfully take on the job of being a Dad, and who do it well, Happy Father's Day!
    (June 20, 1998)

  • BAPTISTS, MARRIAGE, AND SUBMISSION
  • Last year they took on Disney and homosexual relationships, this year the Southern Baptist Convention addressed one of the basic precepts of heterosexuality.
    (June 13, 1998)

  • A THIEF IN THE NIGHT
  • "All I know," Will Rogers said, "is just what I read in the papers." Sometimes, if we are lucky, that is enough.
    (June 6, 1998)

  • A LETTER FROM GOD
  • In recent days, Paul Harvey has read two very different pieces, two very powerful documents, on his national radio program. One is called "If I Were The Devil." The other is "A Letter From God." A comparison between the two, reveals some striking similarities.
    (May 30, 1998)

  • FROM MY WINDOW
  • I was enjoying the solitude of my room, when something broke my concentration. I walked to the window, opened it, and leaned out. The source of my disturbance was a young man, 17 years old, and woman, at least ten years older than that.
    (May 23, 1998)

  • SEINFELD
  • When our minds are filled with empty things.
    (May 16, 1998)

  • CONFESSIONS OF A PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING FAN
  • Yes. It's true. Read on.
    (May 9, 1998)

  • GOADS AND BLIND SPOTS
  • Can you imagine the mental frustration of knowing the barber shop is always closed on Wednesday, but not being able to discern that today is Wednesday?
    (May 2, 1998)

  • FAITHFULNESS IS BETTER THAN PROSPERITY
  • Given the choice and you do have the choice would you pray for safety from all attackers (spiritual and physical), or would you pray for faithfulness?
    (April 25, 1998)

  • DIVORCE AND THE PASTOR, PART 2
  • A look back at an earlier column. The writing of this sequel was helped by one of my readers.
    (April 18, 1998)

  • GOOD NIGHT, IRENE
  • It was one of those memories which springs to mind for no apparent reason. I was lured in by a newspaper article entitled, "Twins are making money on the Internet."
    (April 11, 1998)

  • BASKETBALL TICKETS AND PRIORITIES
  • March Madness ended on Monday night. At least for this year. But weeks before Kentucky was crowned national champ, some Duke students camped out for six weeks just to get tickets for the regular season finale. Some thoughts on the things we deem important.
    (April 4, 1998)

  • CELEBRATION?
  • My dispute is not with homosexuals as individuals, but with those members of the clergy who affirm and sanction them in their homosexual lifestyle -- a lifestyle which God's Word says will exclude them from Heaven.
    (March 28, 1998)

  • TITANIC
  • It was the fastest three hours I think I have ever spent. I never looked at my watch. But what really sank the "Titanic?"
    (March 21, 1998)

  • ILLEGAL OPERATION: SHUT DOWN!
  • I love my computer. I hate my computer. That is not an admission of a split-personality, but rather a reflection on Mr. Babbage's progeny, and one of its annoying "error messages."
    (March 14, 1998)

  • EMORY UNIVERSITY AND SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
  • Can you be a little bit pregnant? Obviously not. But the trustees of Emory University are giving it the old college try.
    (March 7, 1998)

  • SUPER SECRETS
  • Can you keep a secret? What is the formula for Coca Cola? What are the Colonel's eleven herbs and spices? What is the biggest secret of all time?
    (February 28, 1998)

  • CHANGING THE UNCHANGEABLE
  • I am not a golfer. I would not even qualify as a duffer. Nevertheless, some thoughts on Casey Martin, the PGA and changing the rules.
    (February 21, 1998)

  • BUGS
  • Anyone who has ever set down at a computer keyboard knows that your own ineptness is not the only potential problem. There is a little phenomenon known as "bugs." If Murphy hadn't invented his famous law before computers were foisted on an unsuspecting public, it would have been mandatory after the fact. If anything can go wrong it will and always just before you hit the "save" button.
    (February 14, 1998)

  • THE CONSEQUENCES OF FORGIVEN SIN
  • Karla Faye Tucker died on Tuesday, February 3, 1998, for the crime of murder. Thoughts about her conversion and her request for pardon.
    (February 7, 1998)

  • LIFT UP A STANDARD AGAINST HIM
  • The day after the Lewinsky allegations surfaced, the president's approval rating plummeted. A week later they were nearing an all-time high as people said, "Personal conduct doesn't matter." Should not our nation's highest leader be held to the highest standards? Are moral standards no longer relevant?
    (January 31, 1998)

  • THE ANSWERING MACHINE
  • Answering machine messages, call screening, and God.
    (January 24, 1998)

  • THE TRAGEDY OF THEIR PASSING
  • The world will little note, nor long remember. Unless your ancestors were Rose and Joseph Kennedy.
    (January 17, 1998)

  • UNTO US A CHILD IS GIVEN. AND THEN?
  • It is assumed that the from-birth-training a child needs to ensure a life on the "straight and narrow" comes from the child's parents. If a parent is a convicted murderer, is she the best choice?
    (January 10, 1998)

  • OUTSIDE INSIDE
  • Rio De Janeiro is the plastic surgery capital of the world. There are more plastic surgeons per capita in Rio than in any other city in the world. The Old Testament prophet, Samuel, would have said the emphasis was being placed on the wrong "side."
    (January 3, 1998)

  • Click here for columns from 2005.

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  • Click here for columns from 2003.

  • Click here for columns from 2002.

  • Click here for columns from 2001.

  • Click here for columns from 2000.

  • Click here for columns from 1999.

  • Click here for columns from 1997.

  • Click here for columns from 1996.

  • Click here for columns from 1995.

  • Click here for columns from 1994.
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Your comment is welcome.
Write to me at: n4so@hotmail.com