Thought Tools

Power All the Way to the End

Have you ever found that once you’re in the midst of a project, you lose some of the enthusiasm and excitement that motivated you at its beginning? It’s just plain harder to keep going on an existing enterprise than it was to launch it in the first place. As children, we were particularly susceptible to...

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Why Are the Shrinks Jewish?

I enjoyed watching a five-floor building being constructed nearby. I enjoyed the sound as workmen started up the giant diesel engines in their bulldozers promptly at 7am every morning. I enjoyed watching men swarm up rickety-looking scaffolding to pour concrete columns and sway precariously on cherry picker platforms thirty feet up in the air welding...

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Two Countries – Two Religions

As a fan of geography (Not social studies, but geography!) I can think of quite a few islands with an international border cutting through them. Cyprus, St. Martin, and Ireland come to mind. It is the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, however, that fascinates me the most. On no other divided island I know, does the...

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Knowledge Before Action?

Yielding to the temptation to offer advice is fearsomely dangerous. When asked for advice, it is indeed tempting to respond magnanimously as the wiser and more experienced person. Condescendingly giving advice, as a rich man grants pennies to a beggar, certainly strokes the ego, but it is oh, so very dangerous. I know of what...

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Out with the Old?

It is quite exciting to tell ourselves, “This year is a new chance.” “This year will reveal an improved version of ourselves. Just wait and see how our marriages, families, and businesses thrive. It’s an opportunity for a new beginning.” I’m all for looking ahead and upgrading our game. But let’s not be too quick...

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Define This

The adolescent daughter of friends of ours has an annoying habit. To almost anything said to her, she aggressively retorts, “Define __”. For instance, when I saw her last week, I innocuously greeted her with “Hello Denise, how are things with you?” “Define things” she snapped back. There was, of course, no good answer. One...

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What Is Ancient Jewish Wisdom Good For?

Back when I used to build boats, launch day was fraught with tension. I know what you’re thinking. The crane is lowering the new boat into the water, the customer stands there watching anxiously with his family. Will it sink right there in front of everyone? Wrong! The chances of a new boat that was...

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A Force for Good

You have just arrived in a strange city and you’re hungry. Spotting a restaurant over the street, you enter and gratefully, sit down. The waitress soon comes because no other table in the restaurant is occupied; you have the place to yourself. Glancing at the menu you place your order, but the waitress irritably informs...

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The Missing Morality Matrix

You’re in luck if you want a deal on a battery car. Even with government incentives that penalize Kansas farmers to underwrite the purchase of Teslas in Beverly Hills, e-cars aren’t selling. General Motors has abandoned its e-car production targets. Mercedes Benz is offering discounts of up to $5,000 to buyers of its electric vehicles....

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Destruction is Fun

I’ve often been asked what the world might look like if God had never provided His Manufacturer’s Manual. The answer is that without a Scriptural system of values and the blueprint of government that Scripture provides, we’d live in a world of unrestrained barbarism. Or as Thomas Hobbes put it in his 1651 book Leviathan,...

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