Snoopy and the snowman

For what is a man profited, if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Matthew 16:26 This story is about Snoopy, the beagle in the Peanuts cartoon. In case you aren’t familiar with Peanuts, it’s about the lives of a group of young children, maybe six or seven years old. Snoopy is the main character’s dog, although he has as much personality and imagination as any of the children. There’s one cartoon from the 1970s that I remember well. The children had built a snowman, complete with carrot nose, coal eyes and a neck scarf. After …
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Merry Christmas… or Happy Holidays?

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. Roy L. Smith 1887–1963 Last week, one of my neighbors put up a yard sign saying “Christmas is all about JESUS.” I couldn’t help but think that their message presented a very narrow interpretation of the Christmas season, and one that somewhat misses the point. I agree that Christmas shouldn’t be a consumer-driven, consumption-focused holiday. But if we go too far in the other direction — defining the holiday with a Christian perspective that excludes other beliefs — then we’re still forgetting the spirit of the season. Jesus …
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Building a house

A man’s character is his fate. Heraclitus c. 540 – c. 480 B.C. Many years ago, I worked for a home building company, and I observed very interesting behavior among people purchasing custom-built homes prior to construction. Because of the soil conditions in the area, it was necessary to drive pilings to support the concrete slab. After the slab was poured, the frame was erected. New homeowners rarely visited the house prior to the framing, but once the house was framed and sheetrock was hung, the new owners generally stopped by every two or three days. The closer it got to completion, the …
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